Windows Phone 7 is slowly marching upwards

As Windows Phone enthusiasts, we all already know that the intuitive design that new Metro UX with hubs and live tiles offer arguably the user experience for smartphone users out there. Even with Microsoft’s missteps on slow updates, lack of assertiveness at carrier stores just to name a few, and the fact that some needed features that will not be incorporated into the OS until later this year, I’m beginning to have a sense that they have momentum on their side. Two articles which are worth your time to read come to mind. The first is by Louis Gray titled Windows Phone 7 is the Best Windows I’ve Ever Tried . Here are some excerpts

While I am typically skeptical when it comes to products from Microsoft, I am remarkably surprised by the great quality of Windows Phone 7. Over the last few days, I have been using an HTC HD7 device running Windows Phone 7 alongside my Android devices and occasional iPod Touch use, and without reservation, I believe the Windows Phone 7 experience to be a serious challenger to both platforms in terms of quality, intuitive use and simplicity – things you usually won’t catch me saying about Microsoft, or Windows specifically.

If forced, I could absolutely live within this device and not be too much worse for the wear. I’d miss quite a few apps today, and might find myself without the breadth of options available with Android, but make no mistake, this is the most pleasant device I have ever used that sports a Windows icon, and I am eager to see if Microsoft can overcome their rocky start in smartphones to be a real challenger. The more the merrier.

Thenextweb’s Fatema Yasmine took a test drive with a Windows phone device and wrote her experiences in post titled “A week with Windows Phone 7.” Her primary phone is an iPhone, but she gave it up for a week to test out a Samsung Focus. Here are some excerpts

After giving the phone access to your accounts you will see the tiles on the home page updating with the latest amount of unread emails, pictures of your friends and other high level information. It’s interesting to have with this dynamic home screen. The tiles make it easy to reach important items quickly. The phone uses the combination of vertical sliding and horizontal sliding to move from the home screen and the deeper layers, which creates a very intuitive experience.

The Windows Phone 7 is as easy to use, or perhaps even easier than any of the other mobile phone operating systems currently available. Instead of scrolling through page after page of apps, all the information you care about is front and center. When you want the apps, a single tap takes you to an alphabetical list when you can find what you want quickly. Its screens are beautiful; I would go as far as to say that I found it better looking than the iPhone.

I thought at the end of this week I would be rushing back to my iPhone but no, I am still using the Windows Phone 7 and am not sure, when and if I will revert back to my iPhone full time. If you’re looking for a smart phone and have never used one before, Windows Phone 7 would be a great place to start

After going through the past weeks of  never ending  releases of new Android devices, the unveiling of the HP Pre3 and the upcoming prospects of the iPhone 5, it became quite depressing not to see any new WP7 devices. In the midst of all that chaos, I came to this conclusion, user experience matters more than hardware specs.

If Microsoft can get all their remaining core services to work together on the phone and seamlessly integrate with the cloud and the desktop, which looks like they are going to especially with the Mango update later this year, their rivals should start to be worried. This point was reinforced as I listened to the latest Windows Weekly Podcasts # 197 when Paul Thurrott and Leo LaPorte were talking about the number of apps on the iPhone. Its only a matter of time before Windows Phone gets all if not most of the top tier apps available on iOS and Android. WP7 will never match the number of apps on those two platforms but they don’t need to.

A year from now, an integrated user experience will matter more than the app centric model found on the iOS and Android in my opinion. Luckily for Microsoft, those two companies are tied to that model for now which gives the guys from Redmond a clear line for differentiation.

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