Windows Phone 7, Day 30: WP7 'Mango' Is Ready for Prime Time
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30 Days With Windows Phone 7: Day 30
Another 30 Days journey comes to an end. For me, the 30 Days With Windows Phone 7 has been the most enjoyable and enlightening of them all so far.
The first time I experimented with Windows Phone 7 there were some things I liked about it, but overall I found it disappointing. It took Microsoft another year and two major updates, but with "Mango" I can honestly say that I think Microsoft has a solid mobile OS worthy of competing against iOS and Android.
My son recently drowned his iPhone 3GS and chose to replace it with a Motorola Atrix 4G. It is fine and he likes it. Both the Motorola hardware and the Android OS seem capable enough. The couple times I have played with it, though, I have felt like it is a cheap knock-off of the real thing--like having a Pepsi instead of Coca Cola, or eating at Burger King instead of McDonald's. It's OK, but I already have the "real thing" in my iPhone 4.
Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" is a whole different story. It is a unique mobile OS that delivers a different experience that doesn't simply try to imitate iOS--more like having a Red Bull instead of a Coca Cola, or eating at KFC instead of McDonald's. It's not that I like it better than iOS per se. I like it about the same but for different reasons.
When Microsoft first launched Windows Phone 7 and ran the marketing campaign about how it's time for a phone to save us from our phones, and how Windows Phone 7 is designed to get you in, and out, and back to life, I thought they were a little silly. I mean, even with Windows Phone people will still be surfing the Web, checking email, texting people, etc.--so how exactly is that different?
The fact of the matter is that it's not--at least not at its core. I do still use Windows Phone to accomplish the same things, but there is actually something more to the Windows Phone ads than just marketing hype. The way Microsoft has integrated functionality into the Hubs, and seamlessly merged different features and services together makes it more streamlined and really does enable me to accomplish what I need to do and get back to life…if that is my goal.
I won't bother recapping all of the things I like or don't like about Windows Phone 7. You can feel free to peruse the whole 30 Days series and get those details. I will sum up by saying I was more than pleasantly surprised by "Mango". Frankly, I was shocked at how awesome it is, and how much I really like it.
As I wrap up the 30 Days With Windows Phone 7 series, I can honestly say I found myself torn between Windows Phone and iOS, and seriously considering moving from my iPhone 4 to the HTC Titan when it becomes available from AT&T. In the end, though, I ended up sticking with iOS and pre-ordering the iPhone 4S.
It was a tough call. I use a Windows PC, and I rely on Microsoft Office, so a "Mango" smartphone would be a natural fit to some extent. But, the changes coming next week with iOS 5 and iCloud, and the seamless syncing between my iPhone, my iPad, and my Windows PC--combined with my existing investment in iOS apps--make a compelling case for iOS…at least for me.
I can't stress enough, though, that you should take a look at Windows Phone if you're in the market for a new smartphone. It is a very capable mobile OS and I am confident that you will not be disappointed. You owe it to yourself to at least check it out and seriously weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.