Yesterday I managed to get my hands on a final build of Windows Phone 7. I can’t say on what hardware it was running but I thought I would put together a few of my thoughts on the OS.
There are a growing number of reviews that go in depth into the OS, how it performs and more. I will not be doing this, I am simply giving my brief opinions from a less technical and everyday users point of view.
So I have used Windows Mobile before, not Windows Phone 7 but older 5, 6, 6.1 and 6.5 devices. I left Windows to go to Android because it was a bit more fun and the number of applications and I would find it difficult to jump back.
Since the announcement of Windows Phone 7 I have been sceptical about the layout of the interface – it is a huge change and I wasn’t sure whether it would actually work but I have to say now having used it I am being persuaded that it is not so bad. Now I am still fairly young so some would say that I am more open to change thus I am less phased by the new design. This is incorrect – I am. As clunky as WM might be it worked and 7 is radically different so it had a lot to prove.
Any experienced Windows Mobile user will be a bit perplexed by it at first. Things are not where you would expect and the whole operation is different.
So a bit of learning is necessary. No longer will you go to a menu or something or look for an icon necessarily, just flick the screen from right to left to go from you inbox to your outbox etc.
It is fast, I mean really fast. There was no lag, screen and icon transitions were smooth and as good as if not better than any competing OS.
I can’t go into detail about everything but the OS from many aspects impressed me. New and improved gallery layout etc all worked really well. Icons and menus within applications were fairy logical and easy to use via a touch screen.
One aspect of the device that really stood out for me was the on screen keyboard it was brilliant.
Windows Mobile on screen keyboard has traditionally been shocking and the OS now accommodates the capacitive touch screen which allows the fat finger and thumb prodding of the QWERTY keypad.
In portrait of landscape it worked really well. Without any hassle I used the keyboard for the first time and wrote a paragraph of text with no errors. The software accurately detected the key presses and quickly corrected logical errors. My HTC Desire is great in landscape mode when entering text and its often difficult to find something that will compete, the Windows Mobile 7 setup does.
So all in all my 15 minutes with Windows Phone 7 left me in a much more positive frame of mind about it and I actually think that Microsoft, ‘might’ just have done about enough to stop being walked on completely by the competition.
It will be interesting to see what hardware comes to market, but come late November, there should be a very solid and desirable selection of Windows Phones, that you could and should consider.