Windows Phone 7: First Looks

Posted by Zealot on Jul 19, 2010

closeThis post was published 4 years 8 days ago which may make its actuality or expire date not be valid anymore. This site is not responsible for any misunderstanding.

WindowsPhone7-4 All the usual suspects have gotten their Windows Phone 7 Technical Preview devices and the first looks are hitting the net today. We are at least around three months from release of a consumer device running WP7 but certainly the reviewers are getting solid impressions from these preview devices, and thus far they tend to run a wide gamut from outright hatred to cautious optimism.

Of course the hatred bar was set by Galen Gruman in Infoworld last week, but he was so extreme and rabid about the fact that this timorous WP7 beastie was the end of Western Civilization, I just assume his mother was frightened by a PocketPC when he was a baby and ignored him. However, his article did solidify my view that it is time to stop using any analogy that includes “lipstick” and “pig”…really, it’s enough now.

Lets take a look at what we can learn from three more mainstream views of the new OS after the jump.

Based on the indepth views of Engadget, Boy Genius and ZDNet (all of which are worth an extended read) we can come to some generalized truths about Windows Phone 7 at this stage….

  1. It feels unfinished (well, yeah, three months to go, and then it will only be the first release. However, that first release needs to be VERY tight)
  2. It is unlike anything else out there, yet still feels like all elements were redesigned intelligently even if you don’t agree with the change. There is none of the “Lets make the titles red since they were blue last time” change for its own sake thing.
  3. The Hub concept of grouping applications and shortcuts based on task is different and something you will either love or hate, but makes the phone seem a little too minimalistic right now.
  4. It still feels very “Microsofty” (ummm…sure)
  5. The Zune interface and the Marketplace rock
  6. Many features like email and Office integration are nice, but still lacking key features.
  7. Where’s Twitter?
  8. If the final version still lacks multitasking and cut and paste, that fact is going to be hammered on again and again in every review and it will be the main talking point of the release. Every Apple fanboi who spent the last two years telling us cut and paste was useless will be saying it is now absolutely essential. Honestly, I don’t know what MS was thinking when they pulled them from the software.
  9. It will be a Quixotic battle for it not to become this years webOS (nice, but overshadowed by iOS 4 and Android) and likely the Windmills will win, but at least Microsoft is trying this time.

Likely the most comprehensive preview (if also the most positive due in part to the fact that Matthew Miller is a Neo Maxi Zune Dweebie like myself) is at ZDNet. Like it or loathe it once you read it you will really feel like you have spent some time using the new Windows Phone 7.

As for me, I do feel there is a niche to be exploited between iPhone’s walled garden and Android’s open sandlot. Palm tried to play there and failed…but if anyone has the marketing and channel muscle to make this work it is Microsoft. However, their recent gut checks have all left a lot to be desired. They killed the Kin, backed away from the Courier, damned Zune HD with faint praise and no extended marketing support….of course one could say they did those things due to Ballmer’s devotion to turning their Mobile business around.

Let’s hope so, since competition is always good…without Microsoft to measure themselves again and kick around, neither iOS 4 and Android would be what they are today.

Here are a couple excellent preview videos from Miller, for your viewing pleasure. Drool or spit, as you will.

Zealot (839 Posts) - Website | Twitter | Facebook


By day a department manager and writer for a major network device vendor...by night Zealot stalks the mean magnetic streets, striking fear into the hearts of bandwidth abusers and theme park mascots. Zealot has been involved with mobile devices for more than a decade now, starting off with dumb phones, moving to PDAs and then to smartphones, notebooks and netbooks with the odd PMP thrown in. Most of his mobile time currently is spent on a Treo Pro, Zune HD, Thinkpad T61, HP Mini 311, iPod Touch 3G, iPad 16G or a Hackintoshed Compaq Mini 704. He proudly groks the Geek community and considers himself a Neo Maxi Zune Dweebie (thanks Wil Wheaton!).

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  • Samir Shah

    Your comment about it being a nice compromise between Apple's walled garden and Andoid's open sndlot is very perinent.

  • http://twitter.com/mobilitysite/status/18897210897 mobilitysite

    Posted: Windows Phone 7: First Looks http://bit.ly/bGLaqg

  • http://twitter.com/sharpgames/status/18918066299 Portal Sharpgames
  • http://twitter.com/thiagotd/status/18918339654 Thiago Adamo

    RT @sharpgames: Windows Phone 7: First Looks http://www.mobilitysite.com/2010/07/windows-phone-7-first-looks/

  • Tegan

    Is Windows Phone 7 any less a walled garden than iPhone?

    Apple is explicit in its rules and regulations. Microsoft doesn't allow 3rd party software to compete with its services by not allowing them to use native code or multitasking.

    I consider iPhone and Windows Phone 7 to be both in the closed camp. Android and MeeGo in the open camp (MeeGo a bit more open than Android).

  • http://twitter.com/mickeypaviol mickeypaviol

    Ouch! Tell us what you really think, Galen. The first version of WP7 will not run Flash either, will it?

    The Microsoft media machine is in full force on this one. This is one of the few negative articles I've seen on WP7. There are glowing reviews from the usual suspects. Microsoft can't wait to get it right by the third version with this one. They need a compelling product day one.

    WP7 appears to be the new Metro UI running on the old OS. IE6 has been updated to IE7. When did IE8 come out? I've seen little concerning Exchange and Office integration. Apple and Google have both been chastised for not being enterprise ready. Will WP7 be enterprise ready? I'm not sure Microsoft is trying hard enough.

  • x2h

    I read Galen Gruman's full preview and I am sorry to say that I have to agree with most of his points. His language is a bit extreme but it tells me that he really cares about WM. The more you care about it, the higher the expectation, and thus the more disappointment. Most people have related MS with the image of a loser expecially in the mobile world now, and yet their latest effort with WP7 only reminds me of Vista in the PC world. One example: MS is always 2 -3 years behind Apple, starting from the 80's and 90's. Here again they try to mimic iphone by removing multitaksing, while Apple tries very hard to put it back, and they did it in iOS4. How ironic! Do you know what that means? That means Steve Job can now attack WP7 for not having multitasking. And what's MS gonna say? I have an idea: copy what Steve Jobs said in 2007 to defend non-multitasking and wait until WP8 in 2015. Yeah something like that. Or try something like this: “Oops iPhone changes too fast! WE can't catch up!” I smiled when I read Galen's comment that WP7 is a 2007-era iphone. Exactly my feeling!

    Don't get me wrong, I love WM … until WP7 came out. My next OS in a few years will be running Android I think, unless Steve Ballmer can walk on water.

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    I consider any platform where you have to buy your software from the OEM store to be “closed” — unless their Market imposes no rules on content at all and only validates security ahd functionality. Otherwise, the only differences are the tools used to build things, the rules the store imposes and the APIs available for use.

    I thought all Android apps had to come from the Android Market, too (unless you root your Android). If that's true, and if Google imposes rules on the Market, then I consider Android closed, too

    Steve

  • http://twitter.com/shinjir/status/18944910102 Murilo Maciel Curti
  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    I consider any platform where you have to buy your software from the OEM store to be “closed” — unless their Market imposes no rules on content at all and only validates security ahd functionality. Otherwise, the only differences are the tools used to build things, the rules the store imposes and the APIs available for use.

    I thought all Android apps had to come from the Android Market, too (unless you root your Android). If that's true, and if Google imposes rules on the Market, then I consider Android closed, too

    Steve

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    MS is always 2 -3 years behind Apple, starting from the 80's and 90's.

    That's simply untrue. Microsoft introduced a phone OS at least five years before Apple did. it did respectibly well, too — until the iPhone, and then Android, came out.

    IE 1 came out in 1995; Safari came out in 2003. (Source: Wikipedia)

    I don't think we even need to mention which OS supported Intel processors first, do we?

    I read Galen Gruman's full preview and I am sorry to say that I have to agree with most of his points.

    One thing Galen got very wrong is calling WP7 a “2007-era iPhone”. That's the original iPhone, which didn't have an app store. WP7 will be more like the 2008 iPhone 3G. Granted, that's still two years behind Apple, but not three.

    Steve

  • x2h

    Thanks for pointing out the errors. I wrote it in a rush without much thinking. Here's the correction: MS is always 2-3 years behind everybody's orignial ideas, including Apple. What that means is that, they don't innovate, they simply copy. It is true WM is 5 years before Apple's iPhone. But that's because MS was following Palm's original footsteps (the first PDA OS). IE came out way before Safari, but that's because MS was following Netscape's footsteps (The first graphic browser). See the trend? I will give you another example: The WM Marketplace. Sounds familar? Yes it's following App Store (the first App Store online), thanks for mentioning it in your post. I am just disappointed that MS never come up with something original. OK you are right they are not 3 years behind iphone, but rather 2 years. That doesn't weaken my points, 'cause I did say 2-3 years in my original post. The point is, they are always late, and it's dangerous in the tech world.

  • x2h

    Thanks for pointing out the errors. I wrote it in a rush without much thinking. Here's the correction: MS is always 2-3 years behind everybody's orignial ideas, including Apple. What that means is that, they don't innovate, they simply copy. It is true WM is 5 years before Apple's iPhone. But that's because MS was following Palm's original footsteps (the first PDA OS). IE came out way before Safari, but that's because MS was following Netscape's footsteps (The first graphic browser). See the trend? I will give you another example: The WM Marketplace. Sounds familar? Yes it's following App Store (the first App Store online), thanks for mentioning it in your post. I am just disappointed that MS never come up with something original. OK you are right they are not 3 years behind iphone, but rather 2 years. That doesn't weaken my points, 'cause I did say 2-3 years in my original post. The point is, they are always late, and it's dangerous in the tech world.

  • stevenshytle

    Having used WinCe/PPC/Mobile since 1999, the read on ZDnet just about finalizes my exit from WinMo. No external memory, task-exchange sync, copy-paste or multi-tasking are combined as a deal killer. If tasks are not supported does that mean that tasks are coming out of of Outlook as well? If I cannot copy-paste I will not have much use for Word or Excel on the phone. External memory and copy-paste, what needs to be said??? I guess I will just buy 3-4 WinMo phones to keep me going until all the mobile phone OS grow up and MS wises up or Ubuntu on the HTC Rhodium platform is stabilized…

  • dannyfein

    im looking forward to getting one of these.

  • dannyfein

    im looking forward to getting one of these.

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