Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s latest attempt at making a mobile OS that somebody might actually want to use. And this time around, Microsoft seems to have been extremely successful. Windows Phone 7 is a sleek, sophisticated operating system with all the power that one would expect from any version of iOS. This is the takeaway from the hands-on with various Windows Phone 7 devices.
Windows Phone 7 has an interface that is unique compared to all of the other smartphones that are around today. Everything in the phone, from integrated functions to applications, are put in tiles on the home screen. Even calendar events can be one of these calendars.
Messaging capabilities on this phone are great. A user can connect the phone either to a Facebook or a Windows Live account to save everything to the internet. The on-screen keyboard is excellent and very quick to use.
The Media Player in Windows Phone 7 is extremely strong. Microsoft has chosen to integrate the Zune software into the phone, which is mature and full-featured, having been in the Microsoft Zune for years. Windows Phone users can even use the online Zune features, and therefore play any songs that they bought or rented for their regular Zune on their phone.
The Camera is nothing special. It takes pictures but doesn’t do much editing. The phone can record video as well, but there really are no special features.
Microsoft Office is probably the best reason to use this phone. It is Microsoft’s flagship software and something that is not available for any other phone or mobile operating system. Every program that is in the standard Microsoft Office will be included, and with the excellent on-screen keyboard, it could make a road warrior much more productive.
So far there are no third-party applications, which is the feature that many base their phone decision on. However, Microsoft has been paying Apple developers to develop for their platform, so it is likely that at launch there will be many more applications available. While not as many applications as for other platforms, there is nothing to worry about here.
This is perhaps the worst part of the phone. Microsoft is using Internet Explorer as the integrated browser, which has never been very well-represented in mobile. It is extremely ugly and lacks for many basic features. One can only hope that there will be good third-party browsers available. Adobe Flash is not supported.
Is it a buy?
Windows Phone 7 is definitely a better operating system than Microsoft has made for mobile in years. It is sophisticated with a great interface and a great supply of features. Applications will probably not be a problem at launch.