iPhone versus Windows 7 Phone
A few days ago I made the switch from Apple iPhone to Windows 7 Phone. The day it came out on AT&T. Not because I disliked my iPhone, but because this new OS will provide a glimpse of how Microsoft will compete for years to come in the explosive Smartphone revolution. I thought I would write about my experience. I have not read any instructions on the device (same as iPhone experience). Both Apple and Windows devices have a significant focus on the younger market (games, social networking, music). I don’t intent to provide any feedback on the features of either system in most of these areas with the exception of Facebook. Facebook has a very deep relationship within the Windows Phone experience. I believe this strategy could drive a major benefit as there are many aspects of the mobile lifestyle that can rely on your definition of “friends” and I expect many revolution applications to drive this forward in the near future.
The screen quality on my HTC is fantastic.
Exchange and Email
First off, I found it slightly easier to connect my iPhone to our implementation of Microsoft Exchange Server. I had to try changing settings about 4 times before I found the right combination of domain, account, SSL, ect.
Second, I find that lacking cut and paste makes editing email responses more challenging. Also, I am used to being able to respond to an email (REPLY) and being able to cut some of the content from the email chain. Windows Phone does not allow this (at least that I can tell).
Synchronizing of email is missing an option that I got used to. On the Windows Phone, your options are:
- Synch as items arrive
- Various time intervals
I like to conserve battery so I am running as “Sync Manually”. I liked the option on the iPhone that would Synch when I opened the application. It is just 1 less click. I find that the Windows Phone interface for mass deletion of emails has an edge over iPhone.
Calendar support is more inclusive of features and capabilities of Microsoft Exchange calendars like recurring meeting support and private meeting support.
In general, navigation is straight forward and gestures work in similar fashion to the iPhone. It took me little time to adapt to it. I like the dynamic icons on the main screen. It is an efficient use of space and can provide useful information. I found the management of icons on both the main page as well as the app navigation a little more complex. The main area of disappointment for me was the lack of fast navigation through large lists such as with contacts. The Windows technique to navigate contacts (“People”) is either clicking the search button and start typing, or screen gestures to scroll the list. With a list of thousands of contacts the process can be improved by taking some concepts like Android and iPhone use such as alphabet drill down which allows the user to click once to drive down to a letter to begin scrolling.
Secondly, coming from another device (Android or iPhone), the sensitivity of screen gestures using your finger is different and takes time to adjust to. I think a tool that adjusts the sensitivity level much like you find on a PC for the mouse would be a nice enhancement.
Will Windows Phone 7 become a dominant player in Smartphone? Well, based on overall experience, the OS is a contender in the consumer space but its early stages and depth of application availability may be a disadvantage. The dark horse here for me will be where the future of integration to Facebook will go. Again, I believe that building deep integration into Facebook could prove to give Microsoft a revolutionary driver. I also believe that this device may dominate the business landscape. Why? IT infrastructure and management for Microsoft centric corporations are familiar with the tools to support security to back-end systems and integration to CRM, Office, and SharePoint. In addition, the massive pool of Microsoft developers already employed by these companies are much better positioned to develop business applications than iPhone and Android developers. The future will be quite a race.