Windows Phone 7… Who??

Ever observed, how one of the most common questions among aquaintances is, “Which phone do you have?”.

Now, I’m OK with judgemental people wanting to know what type of phone I own. What is irritating however, is the snotty look of derision I usually get when I tell them that my phone is a Smart Phone, but not an iPhone or an Andriod phone. Not to exagerate, but at times, it borders on people giving me the dramatic chipmunk  look too.  Dont even get me started on Blackberry users. (If researchers ever need a new study on addiction, a good place to look out would be all those who post their BB pins as their gtalk or Facebook status.)

So, What’s the deal with Windows Phone 7? I guess its best if I explained it using this short 90 second video below:

So as you can see, the basic idea behind a Windows Phone, is customizability. It is one of the stellar features of the WP7 that makes it so different from any other phone. Being a developer, I get to meet a lot of people who have a diverse understanding of various technologies. After hearing their biased and sometimes unbelievably biased opinions, it would be safe to claim that the general consensus is that the Windows Phone focuses more on giving that “Personal Touch”.

Compare any 2 iPhones. The major difference you would notice would be the icons of the Apps installed. Now compare any 2 WP7s. Yes, they do have similar tiles. But each tile would have been customized according to the user. That makes a difference. The live tiles, the People’s Hub, that gives the Windows Phone something unique to really admire about. Now I am not trying to bad mouth any other product by any other company. I’d be a fool to say that the iPhone is a piece of junk. It has its own strokes of brilliance. But when I compare a Windows Phone 7 to any other phone, I will say that the WP7 is the hands down winner.

Essentially, Windows Phone, is a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft. Its predecessor, the Windows Mobile, was primarily aimed at the enterprise market unlike the Windows Phone, which entered the Consumer Smart Phone market sometime in the second half of the year 2010.

The fundamental concept of the new UI (User Interface) introduced by Windows Phone, was “Metro”. The concept of Metro however, isnt really that new. It was used as early as in the 1990s’ in products such as Microsoft Encarta 95. Metro is based on the design principle os the Classic Swiss graphic design.

It is interesting to note that the Metro UI is partly inspired by signs that are commonly found at public transport systems. I was a little surprised when I read this at first. But as it turns out, it’s quite out there, if you really look for it. The other night I stumbled across this banner while on my way to the Dubai Jazz fest:

If you observed the tiles in phone shown in the Video and the tiles in this banner, you can actually see the similarity.

The real beauty in all this is that, since Microsoft only makes the Operating System and provides phone manufacturing companies like Nokia, Samsung, LG, HTC, etc, the chassis (guidelines to be followed, like minimum hardware requirements, support etc), this gives manufacturers a chance to use their creativity to make the phone’s physical appearance classy, or jazzy, or simple, or sleek. The icing on the cake is that, all these phones are much cheaper than any other smart phone that can come even close to the specs of these Windows Phones.

To give you an idea of what I mean (about the looks of phone) :

Well, that wraps it up for today.

More on “WP7” Vs “the Rest” in the next post. Till then, Take care folks.

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