Thoughts Of Windows Phone 7 So Far By: Doug Smith

After I posted my thoughts towards the hardware we know of so far for Windows Phone 7, I asked for some thoughts from others. Here is one from one of my personal friends whose name is Doug S, and he is the owner of MobilityDigest.com. He sent in his email giving us quite a bit of information about his background with Windows Mobile and what he thinks of Windows Phone 7 so far.

Anyways, here is what he had to say:

No one stays more disappointed with Microsoft Windows Mobile Phone than Microsoft Windows Phone owners. I do not think that Android and iPhone have all the hardware advances. Case in point, my beloved Telstra HD2. It has a 1GHz processor, a awesome 4.3 WVGA Screen, 5 megapixel camera, and tons of memory with a storage card increase. The Incredible has a 8 megapixel camera, and the iPhone has 720 HD video recording, a smaller but better screen. So I would argue that any one of these are “better” than the other with any margin of victory. The difference is MARKETING. iPhone wins by a country mile hands down. Android has done very well, Windows Mobile is an EPIC FAIL! The WP7 does not need to have earth shattering hardware advances, the iPhone NEVER did over Windows Mobile devices. What it did was:

  1. Worked very well
  2. Easy to use
  3. Better Internet Browser (skyfire might have been more powerful, and Opera comparable, but generally speaking they SUCK on Edge)
  4. Tons of apps to keep people coming back for more and SPENDING money.
  5. Superior Marketing
  6. Company strategy that placed it’s Brand in an elite status (Microsoft Windows appeal is low cost to the masses)
  7. Major Carrier investment (AT&T)

I have been in Tons of Apple Stores and AT&T Stores and NEVER did I hear a iPhone customer ask if it’s faster than Windows Mobile or even COMPARE it to Windows Mobile. The people that buy Windows Mobile already knew about it and what they wanted. RARELY do I ever see a WinMo Owner that bought it because it looked better. They are too friggin expensive for impulse buying. So let’s look at that point. Cost. Apple and Windows Mobile generally have a higher price point. Most often really similar in basic cost at about 200 dollars with 2 year contract. Tommy, Suzi, Ricky, and Beatrice all have the iPhone. No one I know has a WinMo phone, what are they going to buy? Exactly, the iPhone to keep up with the Jones. Look how many kids have iPhones with no Smartphone knowledge. It is just that ALL their friends have one and it is the “cool” phone to have.

Windows Phone 7 better, and I damn well emphasis this, BETTER be cool, appeal to the masses, and most of all WORK!! So here is the first problem out of the gate. Internet Explorer. EPIC FAIL! Why Microsoft has not fully beefed the application up is beyond me. This is one of the first things WP7 are going to look for when using the device and it is going to be an EPIC FAIL for them. Now I will say the UI, the Zune and XBox integration are going to be a home run. In my opinion, that is what is going to save this Device from utter disappointment.

I have not really talked about Android. Android has done what Windows Mobile has failed to do and with the SAME tools. Android has the same hardware as the latest and greatest Windows Mobile Device and will have the same Hardware as any WP7. No advantage. Carrier support. Yep. Does it work? I would say in my limited time with the Device that all aspects of Android work better than Windows mobile out of the box. They both have HUGE community support, and tons of third party apps. But Android out of the gate kicked WinMo’s ass with marketing. The Motorola Droid campaign is outstanding. I like the progressive feel to Android’s OS with the constant evolution of the OS. Currently 2.2 Froyo is hitting with over the air updates. Has WinMo ever done that . No ah ah.

My opinion is based on my experience in which I have over 8 years of fooling with Windows Mobile and Pocket PC on scores of devices. My experience is tempered I think by the fact I am not a “Tech Guy” with a degree in this field, rather I am a Sales and Marketing guy who works in the High Performance Automotive field. So it is not because I had to have these devices, it is because I WANTED to have these devices. With that, it is these people that WANT these devices, the nOObs as we call them that drive this industry. Money and unit sales are what drives development, not IT guys overclocking the processors, hardware specs, or anything like this. WP7 needs to simply work. no freeze ups, applications open and close, slick UI that is easy to use, and most importantly appeal to consumers. People want to spend their money on devices that other people know and respect. They do not want to spend money on a phone that no one else they know has, or knows anything about. They do not want to spend gazillions of hours reading XDA Developers and being flamed to get the damn thing to work. Now granted we do, but we are the minority.

Windows Phone 7 better work, be easy to use, and have main stream appeal to consumers. Massive advertising campaign with tons of celebrity endorsements to make people want to have one. Then the Carriers support which we know AT&T will at least initially do. I know David has been on a rampage about the apps and ease of which XNA and Silverlight can create them. That’s great. It won’t be enough. The Damn Browser will kill all that cause it will suck ass. Maybe the apps like weather will help, but browsing will still suck. That’s why I am not buying stock in WP7. I am not convinced that they will have the tools to carry it across the finish line. Will I buy one? Hell yeah, but I am seriously concerned that iPhone owners won’t. Remember, they see all the celebrities and their buddies carrying them.

Doug

That is quite a lot, but he clearly says how he feels about the upcoming OS. If you have other views or want to just tell us how you feel about Windows Phone 7 so far, send us an email at [email protected] and I’ll make sure to read it, and most likely post it.

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