Well guys I have enjoyed reading all of your thoughts and I am sure all the readers feel the same way. If you have anything else to say, today is the last day, and tomorrow I will post the final thoughts tomorrow, but for now here is one that I received Monday and it seem to be coming true.
I have been using Windows Mobile for several years now, since the HP 2015 with Pocket PC 2003 SE. Like most readers of mspoweruser.com, I consider myself a power user. I currently use an HTC Touch Pro 2 on the Sprint network in the US. The thing that drew me to the Pocket PC platform originally (from Palm OS) was how much could be done on the Pocket PC. That was back before you could even listen to music on a Palm device. With my current Windows Mobile device I listen to music, watch movies, download podcasts directly to the device, play games, work on databases, email, text, and use it as a reference and data look-up guide (weather, IMDB, etc). There’s probably more that I’ve left off the list.
My attitude towards Windows Phone 7 is best described as cautiously optimistic, with a "wait and see" mentality. I will most likely get a WP7 device, but not immediately when they release. My contract renewal with Sprint is early 2011, so that will give me time to see and read reviews with reaction to the phones in the real world. I have loved using Windows Mobile, but I have been slow to recommend it to others, especially non-power users. I myself can’t stand the "out-of-box" experience of Windows Mobile, so how can I recommend it to others. Titanium and overlays like Touchflo help, but I use a cooked ROM and a lot of tweaking. While I do the tweaking to get a good experience for me, I don’t actually like to have to go through the tweaking process. I’m hoping that WP7 will have a great out-of-box experience and be something I can recommend to others.
I like the direction and overall UI scheme of the new Windows Phones. Live tiles that give you useful information and the ability to customize what is on your home screen is great. I’m not worried about things like copy and past. Now that MS is taking over the updating of the phone OS (a great change from leaving up to the phone companies), these features that MS doesn’t have time to fully implement before the release of the phone will be pushed out as updates. Also, MS is changing things it can recognize as phone #’s and addresses, etc as links to initiate a call or map look-up so copy and past won’t be needed as often. That said, it is something that I use infrequently, but is important when I need it. Microsoft really seems to be rethinking the mobile experience and trying to make a product that will be optimized for mobile use.
I’m actually excited about the prospects of the multitasking on the WP7 devices. Hopefully Microsoft gets it right. For most apps, I don’t want multitasking. Any application that is only useful while I am interacting with it (games, Word, Excel, a reader program, etc) doesn’t need to be using processor resources while in the background. The app pause and resume with quick app switching works just as good as "real" multitasking in those instances. There is so much attention on audio programs not being able to run in the background that I am confident that MS will allow audio playing in the background. I am worried about other applications though. I use a podcatcher to download podcasts directly to my phone. I don’t want to have to have the podcatcher in the foreground watching a download progress bar in order to not pause my downloads. The best solution for that type of program and web browsers would be if the phone could let the downloads (or page loads) continue and pause all other aspects of the program while in the background. I’ve had enough slow-downs and laggy response on my Windows Mobile phones that can be fixed with a soft reset to realize that completely free multitasking has it’s drawbacks.
I’m dissapointed in the lack of support for removable media (ie secure digital cards). I love to be able to load up a spare 8 GB micro SD card with movies when I go on a trip and carry it in my wallet. That will be lost. Also, a card slot offers easy, cheap, memory expansion. With the iPhone, you have to pay $100 extra to get an extra 16 GB of memory (16 GB micro SD is available for $40). I’m also worried about the restriction loading apps only through the app store. While I appreciate the security advantage to forcing all apps to go through an app store (MS should catch the viruses and trojans, etc), I worry that that will discourage the types of useful user-written utilities that we can currently find on sites like XDA-developers. I would prefer not to have to "jailbreak" my phone, but will if it means enough extra utility.
In short, I see a lot of promise for the new phone OS and hope that MS delivers.