Thursday, May 26, 2011

Windows Phone 7 : The Good and Bad

As a standalone smartphone OS,Windows Phone 7 seems impressive and is miles ahead of the earlier Windows Mobile platform.But, when compared to the Android and Apple iOS, WP7 (currently) has its share of limitations, issues and restrictions.
Windows Phone 7


What's Good
Not Exactly an 'App Centric'
Unlike Android and iOS platforms.Windows Phone 7 keeps away from the app centric interface for its home screen. You get a tiled interface(its a world without walls but it contains tiles). These tiles are a lot larger on the screen, this allows for easier operation owing to the larger surface area of each tile. Another significant advantage is that each tile is 'Live' and displays latest information and updates without having to enter the application.

Hubs
Windows Phone 7 groups related content and information under 'Hubs'. Content is segregated across six hubs-People,Music,Pictures,Games,Marketplace and Office. The 'people' hub clubs your phone contact list, facebook friends list and email contatcs together. In the same fashion relevant content is grouped across the six hubs in an easy to find and use manner.

Fluidity that rivals the iOS
When it comes to the touchscreen response and behavior, WP7 is at least as good as the iOS and certainly better than the Android(2.2) platform. Using the device for a couple of hours and you get the drift. Microsoft has opted for a clean, simple and straightforward approach.

High on Gaming and Music
You essentially get a Zune HD player when you buy a WP7 handset, much like in the case of the iPhone that doubles-up as an iPod touch.Overall, the media experience is better on the WP7 devices compared to the Android platform, media is managed centrally and you get the full fledged UI of a popular media player platform that is missing on Android.
     It's no surprise that WP7 ships will all the goodness of the Xbox platform  Xbox live on the WP7 is great news for mobile gamers. The gaming experience is fulfilling and very dedicated  similar to gaming on a dedicated console. Each game available on Xbox live platform has a demo available for free download.

Takes Work Seriously
The office integration and implementation on Windows Phone 7 is surprisingly brilliant. Right from the ability to view all common office to editing them and managing them, the process is much better compared to any smartphone platform today.
WP7 Office

What's Bad
Not for customisation
If you are experimental kind, always trying to tweak and customise your device to make it look, feel and function differently, WP7 will make you feel very cramped. The interface is more or less fixed and unlike the Android OS, you cannot customise WP7 to make it sing to your tunes. Moreover, you can't even add a custom ringtone.

App Support
App Support for WP7 is weak. Windows Phone 7 marketplace is no where close to Android Market and the Apple App Store.The restrictions of a closed platform coupled with stringent requirements and guidelines for app developers is pulling WP7 down in terms of the sheer number of apps, quality of apps and also the overall developer interest. Also,unlike Android, one cannot expect a lot of free apps featuring on the WP7 Marketplace.

Microsoft Centric
The default universal search on WP7 is Microsoft Bing, the default browser is Internet Explorer and the default GPS application is tied to Bing Maps which is no where close to Google Maps and you cannot install Google Maps on a WP7 device as of now.
Even when it comes to device management Windows Phone 7 device is locked to the Zune software, which acts as a door keeper for most of the interaction. So, when you are buying WP7 as a platform, you are essential agreeing to live by the Microsoft software and depend o their services which aren't the best in all departments.

The Final Saying
All said and done, the WP7 is surely an interesting proposition that will be closely watched by one and all. If you are keen on the WP7 platform, I suggest you wait for the arrival of more devices and some significant updates to the platform before you take the plunge.
WP7 UI

2 comments:

  1. Microsoft has released the Windows Phone 7.1 Beta tools including all the hyped “mango” goodness targeting WP 7.0 and the 7.1 beta release.
    To download Tools for Windows Phone 7.1 http://bit.ly/kZoLKJ

    Phones running the new software, will let users search for restaurants and businesses in their immediate area, perform voice-based Web searches, identify music playing in their surroundings, and switch back and forth between applications. The release will also include a fully HTML 5 compatible web browser.

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