Wow what a day.In Microsoft’s 10 year history in the mobile space, I have yet to witness anything as profound as the Windows Phone 7 launch experienced today. While naysayers and dedicated fan boys of other OS offerings may disagree, I can honestly say that Windows Phone 7 is a different kind of phone. Yes some features and functionality may appear similar to other mobile offerings, yet it is Windows Phone’s stance that is different.
Simply put, Windows Phone 7 is your phone setup by you to access the information you deem important the way you want. It is not about the sexiness and sleekness of the device itself, but rather, the personalization of a true platform OS in a matter that meets your requirement via the plethora of Microsoft’s offerings from XBOX Live to MS Office. The start screen easily achieves this as it is your representation of what is important to you.
Should gaming and media be you thing, simply move up the XBOX Live, Music &Video tile and pictures tile. The Xbox Live online gaming service provided via the games hub and will host over 60 known games such as Halo, The SIMS, Crackdown and Castlevania to name a few. Users will be able to play games live against other users through turn by turn based games and achievement based games will allow gamers to up their scores and even be able to collect hidden gems to be used on XBOX and PC.
If productivity is more important to you, move up the Office, Outlook and Calendar tile. The Office hub is your link to productivity applications, including Microsoft Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, and PowerPoint Mobile. It also allows you to access collaboration documents in the cloud through Microsoft SharePoint Workspace Mobile 2010 or work via whiteboard using OneNote which allows users to sync notes taken on the phone to a PC through the cloud.
Again, other offerings can provide similar instances to offerings found in Windows Phone 7. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told that Facebook updates found in the People Hub, your new contact tool, can also be showcased on other offerings via add-on applications. However, that’s just it. Add-on applications are needed to do what Windows Phone 7 can do right out of the box. No searching for applications do complete tasks that can be natively done through Windows Phone 7. Lastly, Microsoft’s ecosystem offering, from Windows Live to Office to XBOX Live and everything in between, is one of the largest offered in market today. With end users accessing their data 4 times more than they would on their actual PCs, would it not make sense to utilize an OS that quickly and easily can access said data and allow the user to interact with is as they see fit? General availability of Windows Phone 7 will be November 8th in North America and I am excited. While I don’t expect line-up’s around certain carrier stores, not saying it won’t happen though, I think the way smartphones will be perceived will in fact change once more. It is less to do with the phone itself, more about having Windows Phone 7 be your “window” to the data that matters to you most.