Sunday, October 17, 2010

Windows Phone 7: Are you buying?

Last Monday, Microsoft held an event in New York to officially launch Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s attempt at getting back into the smartphone space. Steve Ballmer, and AT&T Wireless CEO Ralph De La Vega were there. My thought when I saw Ralph De La Vega come up on stage was, what was Microsoft thinking, bringing up AT&T Wireless CEO on stage. When they clearly know that people hate AT&T (at least people who live in major areas like the SF Bay & New York). The good news is that AT&T is only the exclusive partner at launch. There will be more devices coming with WP7 (Windows Phone 7) for the other major carriers later on. Some speculate that some will come for Verizon & T-Mobile in early 2011.

Now that we can move on past AT&T stuff, WP7 is interesting in my mind because of it’s neat active tiles-based UI. Their goal was to eliminate steps to achieve a certain task with WP7. For example, instead of needing to go into the calendar app to check for upcoming events, you just unlock the device and the calendar tile will display the next upcoming event. I thought that was quite thoughtful of them to implement that. Some people believe that Microsoft put the OS first, and the apps took a back seat. That wasn’t necessarily 100 percent true. Microsoft did thoroughly think about the interface & user experience, but they will continually work on the app experience and the application market they have setup. Now they do have apps, but as of now they only have about 2,000. More and more will come and many developers have expressed interest to develop applications for WP7, but it’ll take some time for the number of apps to become measurable to Android or iOS.

My questions for you is, are you buying a WP7 device when they launch on November 8? I hope for one of two things in your response. A, I’m not getting one until a Verizon or T-Mobile device comes or B, I have a nice sized budget and AT&T coverage isn’t awful in my area. If you could really wait until a second revision of WP7, I’d encourage you to wait! First off, WP7 doesn’t come with copy & paste. Although Paul Thurrott from the Windows Weekly podcast expects that to come in early 2011. And according to him, copy & paste is going to be implemented well in WP7. Another reason to wait off until a second revision of WP7 is because of other features & issues as well like compatibility with first generation devices. If the same thing with Android & device compatibility issues come with WP7, then we can expect the general public to just become more confused than they already are with the tons of Android devices. It’s good to have choice, but then again, too many choices is a bad thing!

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