5 places where Windows 7 phone is better than iPhone iOS4
Windows 7 phone can be the iPhone killer. Why? Scale, style and apps, suite of services that range from business to entertainment, browsing and searching. The Windows Phone 7 hooks this all together in a way that puts the market on its head. Instead of emulating what others have done, Microsoft has taken a radical approach to the phone. I give you top 5 reasons why I believe this is the one.
1. User interface and style
From the get go, this just looks better. 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 donít 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.
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 ëphone. 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.
Take the hub strategy across to other content, like business documents and Office becomes the business hub. This strategy gives me the best of both worlds, I can use my preferred app or I can find it in the main hub. Smart.
2. Sexy looking, High Quality Countless Apps
Itís 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 ñ all bringing apps to the 7. So, we donít 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.
When you take quality into concern, the windows 7 phone apps look awesome with plenty of depth, functionality and interaction. These apps were running the new Silverlight platform announced by Microsoft. 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 of Apple. 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.
3. Games, Games and more Games
Did I 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 donít 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 Microsoftís heritage, this could be amazing.
4. An App Marketplace unlike Appstore
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 (thatís 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.
5. Fully capable E-mail and Mesh Syncing
The 7 will have full capability to support not just Exchange accounts but all other major email providers as well. So, you donít 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?
How can you forget Mesh? Finally everything comes into place in an easy less confusing way. Music, work, games, contacts all come of age in one place synced seamless.
What I certainly did forgot 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 didnít really inspire, don’t get me started on Vista and 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 doesnít perfectly integrate my Google life. Nor does Android completely ñ Gmail, Google apps yes but other accounts like Google Finance still don’t hook up.
Microsoft may be the sleeping giant not as sleek and sexy as Apple, and not as fast as Google. The Windows 7 phone is the show piece if not the centre piece of their empire which will help them back on the path to greatness. We have seen some great things in Windows 7 phone, beautiful graphics, great games and of course a great hardware to bring all this onto life.
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- 3.4.11 / 7pm