This is the first generation of Windows 7 phone, and it is really an impressive start when that is taken in consideration. I can only wonder, if Microsoft came out of the gate this strong, what is their platform going to be like once it hits its stride.
Additionally, during my demo period, a co-worker played with my phone and decided to renew with the Trophy instead of another Android handset. He is using the device as his sole mobile device, tightly integrated with his role at our organization. He remains very impressed with it - and was highlighting some of his discoveries about how the hub, data-centric model works, things that I may have missed out on fully leveraging.
In particular, he has complained that the Facebook app is not very robust, and I agree. Android's Facebook app also lagged behind iOS for a long time after release, and even WinMo 6.5 had more features than Android around the time that the Droid 1 was hot stuff. Those gaps have gradually been closed for Android. Hopefully we'll see the same thing take place with WP7. Not that Facebook is the be-all-end-all of Smart Phone apps. But with 750 Million-ish active users, having a robust Facebook app is obviously going to be something that is on the radar of many Smartphone users.
Despite the frustrations with the actual Facebook app, my friend says that the hub-integrated Facebook features actually deliver very well on the promise of the hub-centric design, capturing all of the data that is important to him and presenting it in a data-centric versus app-centric model throughout the hubs of the phone. I told him my concern was that I would miss important updates, wall posts, or other Facebook data as WP7 decided what was important to aggregate into the hubs. He said initially he was concerned about this too, but after comparing the updates arriving at his phone versus the presentation through the web, it seemed like nothing was being lost. With more time, maybe the Microsoft hub model would have grown on me more.
He did rave that he loves having a device where the hardware is always responsive, never glitchy, and can always be counted on. I mentioned that I frequently miss a picture when my Droid 2 decides to throw a fit when I log in quickly and try to open the camera app, lagging and stalling and finally responding long after the moment is gone. He related to this issue, and mentioned another common Droid 2 issue, where the phone simply will not respond when you try to bring it out of sleep, until it is darn good-and-ready. He said he does not miss this at all. The only glitches he has seen were again, in the Facebook app, where sometimes flicking left or right will either lag and hang for a moment, or seemingly crash the app altogether. There is no denying that Microsoft, WP7 and HTC seem to have gotten the balance right so that the relatively modest hardware of the Trophy deliver an experience far more reliable than a lot of other handsets that *should* be running circles around this device.
The whole reason I love Phone7 is because the OS doesn't stand in my way. It was never going to be as flexible and as customizable as Android and it's not going to be iOS either...the feeling is just different. With Phone7, getting to what i want is almost too quick and easy that it feels almost like...I'm getting a lesser experience...almost like I should have spent more time on this task or that task. There are a ton of nice little features to this OS that when i go to tell someone how great it is, it's actually hard to describe because when you explain how it works, you think to yourself, "well, that's how it should work" and then the experience doesn't seem so incredible. After using Phone7 for months, handling my friend's iPhone4 or my boss's Thunderbolt (I don't mean to start a flame war) almost feels like work...it actually takes effort to do what I want because the Phone7 way is just...natural. That could be because I have a Microsoft mindset but I find that whoever I hand the phone to, they're able to flick through it so casually that they don't realize how great it actually is and actually dismiss it for being too simplistic. It's like...if it doesn't take effort to use, then it's not as powerful which is a mindset that is becoming all too common in technology. Microsoft's done something right with this OS. Of course, it won't appeal to open source evangelists or Apple die-hards but it's a great example of what Microsoft can do when it decides to leave the past behind it.
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