Windows Phone 7 First Impressions

  • First off, when you first do anything on a new Windows Phone you notice all of the beautiful transitions moving in and out of the screen. If iOS and Android want to stay on top they will have to work very hard to get some great looking transitions in with their next software releases.
  • Next off, Pivots. Pivots were confusing to use at first but grew easier to use over time. Pivots look much better than their alternatives such as tabs and filters but were not as easy to use. This is Microsoft’s first crack at this, so this could easily be improved in the next version.
  • Windows Phone 7 has far less crapware and carrier and manufacturer tampering than Android but not as little as iOS.
  • People and contact integration rocks, this is what iOS needs. Seeing what’s up with your friends is great for social communication and know what is happening in their lives before you contact them.
  • Featured songs and apps backgrounds in the Marketplace were distracting and do not benefit the user. It could also be potentially embarrassing if someone looks over your shoulder and sees and huge Taylor Swift background. Just throwing that one out there.
  • No push notifications, multitasking, home screen backgrounds, or cut, copy, and paste. All of this is excusable due to the fact that the OS has been out for just a little while. Additionally there is no AirPrint or AirPlay esque alternative.
  • Notifications on the lock screen are less noticeable than even on iOS.
  • Needs a better Mac OS X ‘home base’ like iTunes is for iOS.
  • Search button only takes you to Bing and is very limited. It does not benefit the phone aesthetically and has a limited use case.
  • Physical back buttons are better as software back button like on iOS. Simplicity is key.
  • Zune does not support landscape orientation and is not visually pleasing.
  • Internet Explorer stinks and everyone knows it. It is not any better on a mobile platform.
  • Tablet support. Windows Phone 7 has no tablet support and if it was on a tablet it would stink, but so does Windows 7 on a tablet. Microsoft needs something to fill this gap, and fast.

Overall, Windows Phone 7 has great potential, but has to be improved quickly to keep up with iOS and Android.

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