Windows Phone 7 Called “Elegant”

Posted by Zealot on Sep 01, 2010

closeThis post was published 4 years 20 days ago which may make its actuality or expire date not be valid anymore. This site is not responsible for any misunderstanding.

Foriegn_1_540x936Before the entire blogosphere becomes an arm of Apple’s Marketing team for 48 hours or so after today’s event, let’s look at a somewhat singular event that occurred today. One of my favorite real tech columnists, Ina Fried, actually called Windows Phone 7 “elegant” yesterday after working with the OS for about a month now.

Now in the past I have called Microsoft products “useful”, “comprehensive”, “inexplicable” “powerful”, “infuriating”, “possessed by dybbuks”, even “intuitive” once or twice, but never elegant…and that she is doing so is a very good sign. Fried posted her “Beyond Binary” column on CNET yesterday with a very good summary of where Windows Phone 7 is at currently, just a few weeks before release.

She qualifies her remarks with the fact that she is working with one of the preview devices so there may be changes in the final OS and the actual hardware may make a difference in what we see at release…but overall she really liked the OS. Most of her problems with it she states would normally be acceptable in a “first effort” (remember that first Android version on the G1? Blargh!), and some others might hopefully be corrected in the release version (cough*cut&paste*cough). However, this is not a normal release.

Here are a few lines summing up her feelings at this point…

Microsoft often throws around the phrase "it just works" as a design goal for a new piece of software. In practice, however, the products rarely live up to that billing. That said, Microsoft appears to be pretty close with Windows Phone 7. Although the software is not final and it is running on prototype hardware (in my case the Samsung Taylor), its clean look isn’t interrupted by error messages, hiccups, or other form breaks.

Above all, Windows 7 is–dare I say–elegant. Even my foreign-language spam looks beautiful on the device. It almost makes me wish I understood all those messages in Japanese, Korean, and Arabic.

Its beauty is more than skin deep, too.

One of the things I demand in a phone is that it behave like a portable consumer electronic device, not like a tiny computer. It should be instant on, easy to navigate without too much thought, and hide nearly all its complexity. To me that’s what made the original iPhone and all its successors such a hit. (It’s also why I think the iPad poses a serious challenge in the market for highly portable computing, but that’s another story.)

With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft doesn’t make up for all of its years of lost ground in this area, but what it does, it does very well.

The consensus amongst early reviewers has been first and foremost that Microsoft has its back to the wall, and considering the marketing budget Microsoft has set up to support the WP7 release, they have gotten that message. Beyond that, most agree that the OS is “good” with a few glaring errors. Many have said that this OS would have been a slam dunk hit even two years ago…however a lot has changed since then and many people, myself included, have been given cause to doubt Microsoft’s resolve and ability to execute for the mobile market.

It boils down to two major questions now, since Windows Phone 7 is clearly not the technical disaster many expected…

1) “Good” is nice, but is Windows Phone 7 “Good Enough”?

and

2) If it is Good Enough…will it matter?

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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  • jk

    The answer is: it is more than enough. actually it doesn’t has to that good to be enough. I know your opinion is in the opposite. Well, what can I say?

  • http://twitter.com/mobilitysite/status/22724800047 mobilitysite

    Posted: Windows Phone 7 Called “Elegant” http://bit.ly/abf9HA

  • http://twitter.com/electronicsdiva/status/22727599746 Leah Morrison

    ED's Tech Update: Windows Phone 7 Called “Elegant” http://bit.ly/9uOIAv #microsoft #tech

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    Probably not “good enough” for me or others with a lot of Windows Mobile software and/or expertise. I'll certainly check it out, but if it's wanting, I may well be going to Android. (I should be getting a Droid X for a project at work, so I'll have a good chance to play with Android.)

    I certainly doubt that I'll give them three releases (the number it usually takes Microsoft to get something right).

    Steve

  • Phmurphy

    What about a few simple details. Like, are file extensions finally visible? Will it run real work programs like ArcPad that uses lots of graphics like aerial images. Will syncing via Windows Mobile Device Center be faster than a melting glacier. I know that the big market isn't like me, but I want a smart phone that IS a good computer not just a jukebox, internet browser, game toy.

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    Probably not “good enough” for me or others with a lot of Windows Mobile software and/or expertise. I'll certainly check it out, but if it's wanting, I may well be going to Android. (I should be getting a Droid X for a project at work, so I'll have a good chance to play with Android.)

    I certainly doubt that I'll give them three releases (the number it usually takes Microsoft to get something right).

    Steve

  • http://twitter.com/innerfamilylife/status/22791210473 innerfamilylife

    Windows Phone 7 Called “Elegant” #winmo http://viigo.im/4IgL

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    From what I've read, the entire file system is no longer exposed. I also don't think WMDC will work with Windows Phone 7 (although I could be wrong).

    Steve

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    From what I've read, the entire file system is no longer exposed. I also don't think WMDC will work with Windows Phone 7 (although I could be wrong).

    Steve

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