Why Windows Phone 7 Is Better Than the iPhone? Is it?

Here’s how:
1. Tiles
The tile function of the screen replaces the icon displays seen on the iPhone and the Android with living breathing tiles. Just picking up the phone you can see what is going on in your world without opening any app.
I know we can have push notifications on the iPhone and alerts on the Android but they both require some element of effort. The push notifications don’t always hang around on your iPhone and on the Nexus I have to slide the thing down and then read through the various bits.
This delivery of information is just one example of how Microsoft are looking to fully innovate with this phone, not just deliver a version of what the market is used to.

2. It Comes in Multiple Form Factors
Some people like touchscreens, others like keyboards. Some like sliders, others like slabs. Apple offers one iPhone form factor: the full-touch slab. Microsoft and its partners have announced ten WP7 phones for its initial launch, including touch-only phones in a few sizes, touchscreen phones with slide-out QWERTY boards, and even the faux-ghetto blaster HTC Surround with its slide-out speakers. Variety, they say, is the spice of smartphones.

3. It’s Got Office Hub
All Windows Phone 7 devices will ship with a mobile version of Microsoft Office that features Sharepoint support. Office and Sharepoint, along with the obligatory Exchange support, promise a level of Enterprise-class utility for WP7 users that iOS simply can’t match—even with third-party business software like DropBox, Google Apps, and QuickOffice.

The Hub strategy is core for Windows Phone 7 and it makes a lot of sense. So, I will have a music hub in the shape of the Zune app. But this app is not restricted to content I have uploaded to, or bought in Zune, but all the music content on my ‘phone. On my iPhone I have many music apps, each with different content. I have to remember where my music is before I can play it. With the 7 I can access my music in the various apps, or I can have a centralised hub of music.

4. It’s Got Hardware Camera Buttons
This is a standard attribute of all WP7 devices. Love it.
5. Sexy Apps, Lots of Apps
It’s all about the apps. We saw some great app demonstrations yesterday from some of the biggest names in Apps. Seesmic, Foursquare, Shazam, the Associated Press – all bringing apps to the 7. So, we don’t need to worry about not having the big names you are used to. It looks like they are already lining up to come on board.
Quality Apps - the demonstrations we saw yesterday (longer post here) all looked awesome with plenty of depth, functionality and interaction. These apps were developed in 3 weeks running the new Silverlight platform announced yesterday. With around six months before the 7 will be released there is plenty of time to further develop great apps.
Try before you buy - forget this lite/pro app business. You get to download the app as a trial. The functionality for the trial is core to the new Silverlight toolbox, so it is down to the app developers to decide the best way for the trial. Some apps may be fully functional but on a limited trial time. Other apps may have limited functionality or the first few levels of a game.
6. Games
Did we mention games? Forget Flight Control, how about full on XBOX action on your phone? The graphics look up to it and the game levels, credits and achievements will be recorded against your Live profile.
This cross performance works on a number of levels. Not only will you be able to continue playing your XBOX games on the phone (we don’t know right now if you can play all of them) but also that it remembers you across platforms so you can pick up where you left off when at home in front of your XBOX.  In a sense, this is what Sony has been trying to achieve with the PSP/PS3 hook up, but with all the other mobile bits added.
If the 7 can be an awesome entertainment platform as well as the business platform of Microsoft’s heritage, this could be amazing.
7. A Great App Marketplace
One of the initial stumbling blocks for Android was the Market. Not only did it not have as many apps as ITunes, the actual interface was horrible (that’s a technical term.) The new market interface is better but still hard to find stuff.
What about billing? iTunes billing is great, if you have a credit card and an iTunes account. Android again, you need a card and a Google Checkout account. So Microsoft will launch with credit card payments, operator billing, and try before you buy.
The operator billing alone should extend the potential reach of app users (anyone under 18 for starters) and offer another convenient way to buy apps.
8. Email
It will have full capability to support not just Exchange accounts but all other major email providers as well. So, you don’t need to have an Exchange account to be using this for email. However, if you do have exchange, this will be a boon.
Remember, the iPhone has Exchange support but the Android does not offer Active Sync. The 7 will offer multiple exchange account sync which will also be good for business users. Let us not forget there are still a lot more people running Exchange emails than Gmail or Apple Mail. Blackberry, are you paying attention?

9. It Supports Zune Pass
Yes, iTunes is the current Gold Standard in digital music stores. And yes, iOS users have their choice of subscription-based music apps including MOG and Rdio. But Zune Pass gives you more for your $10 per month than any iOS app does simply by allowing you to sync music across your mobile and desktop/laptop devices. That’s our biggest complaint with MOG: there’s no way to sync iOS tunes to a laptop.
10. It Syncs Contacts Across Social Networks
Set up a Windows Phone 7 device and sync it to your Facebook and/or Google accounts. Lookie there, on the home screen! It’s a live tile with rotating photos of your contacts! Drill down to the People hub and you’ve got names and photos and contact info and social networking updates right there on your phone. We know, we know. All modern smartphone OSes do this…oh, wait, not all of them do. Apple’s iOS doesn’t.
 11. It Works on Mutliple Carriers in the U.S.
Yeah, the Verizon iPhone rumors are hotter than ever. But that doesn’t change the current reality of using an iPhone in the United States; It’s AT&T or bust. WP7 will launch on AT&T and T-Mobile in the US, with the HTC 7 Pro set to hit Sprint early next year.

12. Mesh. Finally
Remember Mesh? Microsoft’s plans to sync your life across channels and platforms? It seemed a little ahead of its time back then but with this, finally everything comes into place. Music, work, games, contacts all come of age in one place.

What we forget (or I certainly did) is that Microsoft has all the component parts to serve my digital life. Email, Search, Gaming, Music. Until now some of those have been a bit crap, the Zune didn’t really inspire, don’t get me started on Vista and pre bing, search wasn’t too hot either.
Roll forward a year and Windows plans are coming together. With the phone the potential centre of my digital universe I tend to gravitate to the platform that gives me the greatest experience to hook them all together. The iPhone gets better but doesn’t perfectly integrate my Google life. Nor does Android completely – Gmail, Google apps yes but other accounts like Google Finance still don’t hook up.
Microsoft is the sleeping giant. Historically not as sexy as Apple, and not as fast as Google. The 7  phone is the show piece if not the centre piece of their empire which will help them back on the path to greatness.
Of course this post assumes Microsoft can get the hardware right. We have seen some great things, beautiful graphics, great games but will the hardware be up to it? Multi tasking is not coming which is probably a smart reason to manage the hardware drain. No doubt they will be working hard to find the right partners to deliver the best handset possible. A glitch in the hardware could be the undoing of such great potential.

Okay, now let's take a look at the other side of the coin:
1. It can’t…
WP7 can't cut and paste, play Flash/HTML 5/Silverlight videos, unify your inbox, show threaded email or do a bunch of other things iOS can. To be honest, Windows Phone 7 launches with a “can’t” list that more or less mimics the one iOS launched with. Problem is, the original iPhone hit three-plus years ago and brought a ton of revolutions with it. Microsoft has a bunch of catch-up work to do. Immediately.

2. It Lacks iOS’ Ecosystem
Love it or hate it, the iTunes/App Store ecosystem rules when it comes to mindshare and revenue. Add to that the enormous “Made for iPhone” cottage industry of cases, speaker docks and earphones, and you’ve got a full-blown mobile way of life that exists in Apple’s real and virtual stores across the globe. You know Microsoft aspires to such heights with WP7, but can they get even half of the way there?
3. It Won’t Have Many Apps
The handful of WP7 apps I’ve seen thus far have been gorgeous; Microsoft did a great job of insuring that third party devs adhere to WP7’s overall look and feel in designing apps. Thing is, iOS offers literally hundreds of thousands of options in its App Store. That’s a big, bad number to stack up against.
 4. It's Version 1
Get ready for bugs. Get ready to wait for features your friends already have. Get ready to wait for v2.0. (Yes, I copied this from my WP7-vs-Android article, but hey, it bears repeating.)
 5. It Has Already Lost a Ton of Loyal Users to Apple (and Google, and RIM)
Microsoft lost a ton of its smartphone install base since announcing the death of Windows Mobile and the subsequent birth of Windows Phone. The latest figures from Canalys give MSFT a mere 3.0% share of the global smartphone market. While all of those old WM 6.x users certainly didn’t migrate to iOS, it stands to reason that a bunch of them are gone today. No matter if they fled for Apple, Google or RIM – they left Windows. The big question is whether or not Microsoft can win them back, no matter how good WP 7 turns out to be.

Why Windows Phone 7 Is Better Than the iPhone? Is it? Why Windows Phone 7 Is Better Than the iPhone? Is it? Reviewed by Admin on 2:36 PM Rating: 5

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