Windows Phone 7/8 Catch All

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Overall it's sounding pretty positive.

Launching in October, I'm due an upgrade about August next year so by then the kinks should be worked out. Seems nice to have a good interface that doesn't rip off the iPhone.

A few extracts from the linked reviews.

Engaget wrote:
On one side, we’re still really excited by the prospect of Metro as a viable, clean-slate approach to the mobile user experience, and there are lots of smart moves being made that could lead to greatness.

For as much crap as Internet Explorer gets (less, admittedly, now that the debacle of IE6 is finally starting to fade), we’ve got to say that web browsing on Windows Phone 7 is actually a really pleasant experience.

Gartenberg wrote:
Microsoft’s done a very good job with a revamped user experience that’s not like anything on the market. Taking a lot of UI cues from Zune HD, the OS is heavy on the visual, using fonts, color and an interesting use of space to make for a solid experience that’s both easy to learn and pleasing to look at.

Summing up, Microsoft’s doing the right things here with Windows Phone 7. It’s visibly differentiated from the competition

Fast Company wrote:
There’s a nice level of consistency throughout the apps demonstrated, with the same text and same side-scrolling user interface. That kind of attractive consistency is something iPhone (and Palm WebOS) customers are well accustomed to, but something still a bit out of reach of Android.

Everyone seems to love the keyboard, rating it nearly as good as the iPhone’s and significantly better than Android’s or BlackBerry’s.

One Negative review from Boy Genius Report

The thing is, sometimes when using Windows Phone, things are so minimalistic, that it actually feels a bit too lonely and open. Don’t get us wrong, it’s nice to feel like you’re not constrained to a certain window or foreground app, but at the same time, we can’t help but feel that there could have been so much more done.

Microsoft’s browser is fine, but it’s far from pleasurable to use. It’s not the most elegant browser [...]

We have been playing around with WP7 for enough time, and the OS is well-enough along that we have got a great feel for it, regardless of any minor improvements before the first handset launches. Microsoft has no doubt broken course and gone in an entirely new direction, something that many people wish RIM would do, and we applaud them for that. They have created a brand new mobile operating system packed full of clean, modern, and sometimes even beautiful design elements.

I am pretty pumped for this phone - this is going to be my bonus/xmas present to myself, so I hope that it comes together well!

I'm very interested. I still think I'll buy an Android phone soon, then look at this again next year once some of the inevitable rough edges have been worn off and some of the holes in functionality are filled.

I'm a bit concerned they are going closer to the Apple direction of a very closed off environment with a single marketplace and no sideloading (that I've heard of), vs the Android situation where things are much more open, maybe to an almost fault in that things end up looking a bit unfocused in design. We'll see how things go post release.

Boy Genius Reports totally slammed it.

The OP quoted the BGR review, and after reading it, I wouldn't say they 'totally slammed it'. Some important pullquotes:

"We liked using the OS in general, though the experience for us felt a little too much like our time using the Microsoft KIN 2."
"They have created a brand new mobile operating system packed full of clean, modern, and sometimes even beautiful design elements."
"There’s practically no real innovation we can see with Windows Phone 7."
"It’s a fantastic featurephone, but as a truly competitive smartphone platform, we’re just not sure at this point in time."
"...we can’t see an overwhelming reason to use one instead of an iPhone, BlackBerry or Android handset."

I think, if anything, I'd call the report thorough, if a bit schizophrenic.

Wow, that guy doing the Wired video review is really annoying.

It looks like an interesting approach, but extremely unpolished at the moment.

Dislikes: I really don't like the way they have text running off the side of the screen the whole time. The home screen looks a bit odd as well - why do they waste that whole strip down the right hand side just to show one arrow top right? Animating the tiles is an odd choice as well, kind of distracting and unnecessary.

Zelos wrote:
Dislikes: I really don't like the way they have text running off the side of the screen the whole time.

That's Zune/Metro UI. I like it, but I can see how it would annoy some.

The home screen looks a bit odd as well - why do they waste that whole strip down the right hand side just to show one arrow top right? Animating the tiles is an odd choice as well, kind of distracting and unnecessary.

Again, I can see your points, but it seems to be an interesting rethink of the phone paradigm. Which is a good thing for MS in general, because IMO the reason Windows Mobile has been a mess in the past is that they insisted on a desktop paradigm shoehorned onto a phone.

I think it looks simple and gives you a lot of info in a glance.

I liked the Engadget video that's in their preview, btw.

Maybe it's just because I started my development career in the days of PalmOS, when we obsessed over every pixel in the UI because the whole screen was only 160x160, so a whole strip wasted like that looks horrible to me. Windows Smartphone had the same problem, they made the menu bar and status bar huge so the usable area of the screen was tiny.

It's a massive improvement on their earlier mobile OSes, anyway.

I'm getting a weird sense of deja vu here, have I posted this comment before?

I can't wait to see how it's doing after a year on the market. As much as I like my Droid, if it's a solid option, I'm quite likely to get one of these instead of just upgrading to a new android phone.

trueheart78 wrote:
I can't wait to see how it's doing after a year on the market. As much as I like my Droid, if it's a solid option, I'm quite likely to get one of these instead of just upgrading to a new android phone.

That's kind of my plan. Buy an Android phone now, then see how these are doing next summer. The gamer in me covets XBL integration, and I do like the Zune stuff. But the pieces that won't be there at launch makes me think I need to let it mature a bit before I jump in.

I think Paul Thurrott has a pretty good and balanced write up on what's great and what's missing in WP7. And that's kind of why I think my next phone will be Android, and next year I might move to WP7 as these things get worked out.

MannishBoy wrote:
I think Paul Thurrott has a pretty good and balanced write up on what's great and what's missing in WP7. And that's kind of why I think my next phone will be Android, and next year I might move to WP7 as these things get worked out.

Very interesting read. Glad I'm a year away from an upgrade, that give Windows Phone time to mature, or I will know for sure if it's Android or BB by then.

I'm going to be making the jump from Android to a Windows 7 phone on release day. I like my Incredible but I think Windows 7 Phone does something actually, new. I love the Zune GUI and intergration.

MannishBoy wrote:
The gamer in me covets XBL integration, and I do like the Zune stuff.

There's 360 Live on Android. As well as "1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends".

LiquidMantis wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:
The gamer in me covets XBL integration, and I do like the Zune stuff.

There's 360 Live on Android. As well as "1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends".

Not the same thing. The promise of Live on WP7 is full service integration, with future versions even being shown with functionality to share save games between the phone, XBLA games, and a PC. Playing games with XBL friends, etc.

More on Xbox Live on Win Phone 7 @Engadget. Looks pretty cool so far in the videos in the piece. 60 launch titles. To see them in the preview, click the press release button.

Wow! That Live integration is very solid. Games looked great too.

Surprised not to see Geometry Wars as a launch title. Isn't it out for iphone? You'd think that would be a big title to push early.

Geowars would be great.

That "Crackdown" game that used Bing Maps sounds pretty cool, too. Mixing real maps with a tower defense type game should make for a ton of variety.

I'm due an upgrade this year but because I'm in Canada there is absolutely no way that a Windows 7 Phone will be released anytime this year so I'm going to go with a Captivate when they are released on Rogers in September and I'll probably switch to a Windows 7 Phone towards the end of next year maybe..

Mysteri0 wrote:
I'm due an upgrade this year but because I'm in Canada there is absolutely no way that a Windows 7 Phone will be released anytime this year so I'm going to go with a Captivate when they are released on Rogers in September and I'll probably switch to a Windows 7 Phone towards the end of next year maybe..

Europe gets Win Phone 7 in October, the US in November. Haven't heard anything yet about Canada, but I don't see why it wouldn't be out there this year.

MannishBoy wrote:
Europe gets Win Phone 7 in October, the US in November. Haven't heard anything yet about Canada, but I don't see why it wouldn't be out there this year.

Well to put it in perspective, we never even got the Zune HD and pretty much we never got any accessories for it after it was released. I don't even think you can buy any kind of Zune hardware or accessories anymore...

Mysteri0 wrote:
Well to put it in perspective, we never even got the Zune HD and pretty much we never got any accessories for it after it was released. I don't even think you can buy any kind of Zune hardware or accessories anymore...

Neither did Europe. And they are getting the phones before the US. There was a leak recently that the UK was getting ready to get Zune streaming.

Canada's no different than Europe in that regard.

I don't think they're going to sell you a Zune, but they're going to make the service available on Xbox, phones, PCs, etc. eventually.

Any idea on prices for the Win7 phones? I mean, is the hardware array going to be like Apple, Google, or in the middle?

trueheart78 wrote:
Any idea on prices for the Win7 phones? I mean, is the hardware array going to be like Apple, Google, or in the middle?

I'd bet $200 will be where most of them launch, with maybe a few premium devices in the $250-$300. But I really think they have to stay for the most part at around $200.

They have to get market traction here, so surely things won't be too high.

(all guesses)

MannishBoy wrote:
(all guesses)

I know what you mean. With LIVE integration and likely support for the Zune Pass, I'm tempted to grab one earlier than I was initially thinking, but we'll see how this all goes.

Windows Phone 7 went RTM today: http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_p...

I've been using Windows Live Sync and some other Live services lately across my Windows + Mac machines and I'm really enjoying it. Will be trying it out on WP7 when it finally hits retail...Time will tell if it will replace my iPhone...

Just watched the Quick Look at Xbox Live Games on Windows Phone 7 over at tested.com - kinks aside, this is going to be my next smartphone upgrade.

A couple of great new ads, but this one is me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvV6_...

Well played, MS...well played...

I like the immediate compatibility with Zune software. If the Kindle app and GPS ever find their way on there, then the Windows 7 phone will very likely become my "universal portable black box."

I got my Samsung Focus today... so far I'm fairly impressed.. everything just "works" I'll be using it as my main phone for the next couple days so it should get a decent torture test.

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