So, the most interesting thing happens after Bill Gates’ remarks on his envy of iPhones, Microsoft showcases their own “iPhone”. Is it iPhone killer? Let find out.
According to Engadget guys, Windows 7 Mobile is built from scratch, integrating a lot of existing Microsoft services such as Xbox LIVE, Zune, and other social media enhancements. Let me say first here that I don’t use Xbox LIVE nor Zune so I am not going to be happy about extra bloatware I need to deal with, especially on a smartphone I am buying.
The phone operating system does away with pretty much every scrap of previous mobile efforts from Microsoft, from the look and feel down to the underlying code — everything is brand new. 7 Series has rebuilt Windows Mobile from the ground up, featuring a completely altered home screen and user interface experience, robust Xbox LIVE and Zune integration, and vastly new and improved social networking tools. Gone is the familiar Start screen, now replaced with “tiles” which scroll vertically and can be customized as quick launches, links to contacts, or self contained widgets. The look of the OS has also been radically upended, mirroring the Zune HD experience closely, replete with that large, iconic text for menus, and content transitions which elegantly (and dimensionally) slide a user into and out of different views. The OS is also heavily focused on social networking, providing integrated contact pages which show status updates from multiple services and allow fast jumps to richer cloud content (such as photo galleries).
Although the Engadget review has plenty of great for-marketing screenshots, upon closer inspection of real screenshots, the Windows 7 Mobile Phone comes up short. It reminds me of the rest of Windows Mobile family, utterly useless and ugly UI. You can be judge of that, I won’t scold you for it, see the screenshots up and close here:
There’s doesn’t seem to be a vast amount of difference between the new Windows Mobile 7 and previous versions as far as I can tell from those screenshots. Plus, I’ve been using Google Nexus for over a month now, its capabilities for cloud mobile computing is simply speechless, especially my web Picasa photos are seamlessly integrated into my phone ALREADY. I am sure Windows Mobile 7 provides this (and it does), but that comes to me as nothing new and innovative but Microsoft is simply trying to catch the train.
Watch this video on how the Microsoft emphasizes mobile cloud photos. Well, I guess it ain’t a bad thing. Just sayin’, it’s been done already (See my Nexus One PicasaWeb video here):
Why am I being so harsh? Because I have seen what Microsoft has done with mobile operating systems in the past, simply terrible. I started boycotting Microsoft Mobile operating systems since 2006 and this isn’t going to change my mind right now.
However, if I try Windows Mobile 7 in real life and it does live up to more than its marketing buzz, I will do a positive review on it just like I did with Windows 7 after I dumped Vista into abyss of hell (and Vista never came back from there ever either).
For Microsoft Office lovers out there, this is going to be an exciting phone to get since you will be used to its enhanced Microsoft features. But for those who have moved onto better things like cloud-computing and GoogleDocs, having Microsoft features on a smartphone will simply be another needless bloatware/crapware on the phone.
I find it hilarious that Microsoft emphasizes its phone ability to sync to Zune HD. Like who uses that? I don’t. And Silverlight? I don’t even like Flash that much anymore, no thanks Microsoft. Please focus on making operating systems, not cellphones. I think this phone is made for existing Zune users, not for everyone.
Okay, but really, this is just going to be fun to watch Windows Mobile 7 competing against Google’s Nexus One, HTC Desire (the Nexus One evil-twin), and the iPhone.
On the side note, I think this is the year iPhone will be losing their battle and market share big time, especially here in the U.S.
I will simply stop here because my reviews have fared pretty darn accurate on Microsoft’s stuff, especially Vista and Windows 7. (And boy was I right, Vista went to hell and Windows 7 went to heaven, really!)
I still care for Microsoft since I am using Windows 7 but if they are going to compete with the rest of the world, Microsoft has to step up and include cool things like Google Navigation and Google integration with GMail, Goggles, Voice, and all that good stuff people use nowadays. Remember the saying, “if you can’t beat them, join them,” and that’s what Microsoft has to do now, embrace Google’s technological advances on map technology, phone services, e-mail services, and I will start using WinMo again. I went to CES 2010 this year and Microsoft had their “new map” featured on the floor with pixel-loading maps, it looked like they copied GoogleMaps and re-introduced their maps, nothing more to it.
Btw, the last time I logged into MSN was back in 2006. And how have MSN has grown over those years? Not much.
No matter how you dress a pig, it’s still a pig. Instead, kill the pig and get on with the horse. By the way, Windows 7 is a horse, I still don’t see how Windows 7 Mobile can be though.
Well, minds change over time, let’s just wait and see what the real deal is about.