Let’s welcome Microsoft back to the mobile market with Windows Phone 7. Microsoft has done a 360/pushed the restart button. Most blog sites have posted their preview reviews of Windows Phone 7 and there’s a lot of consensus or what’s missing and what works great.
New users will have a bit of a learning curve. Users of the Zune HD will find this UI familiar and could probably adopt more quickly. Some users may find this design minimalistic and very clean and unattractive. Others might find it attractive. It depends on your perspective.
Most reviewers agree that the keyboard feels great and the word predictor is a nice touch. It’s fast and very responsive.
Another feature that works great. Most reviewers agree that the email was a nice experience but it would be great if a search feature as well as a universal inbox was added.
It’s a hit or miss with the IE Browser. It works ok but Android and Apple still have superior browsers compared to the one on WP7.
Microsoft’s bread and butter. Office is nicely integrated but Microsoft should have included copy and paste in its first offering of Windows Phone 7. It doesn’t exist in Word or OneNote. Microsoft has said it could be offering it in the future but we’ll wait and see.
Other tidbits: Lack of multi-tasking is a bit of a letdown. No copy and paste in the early release is also disappointing considering the fact that WP7 uses Microsoft Office.
Microsoft has made a nice headstart getting Windows Mobile 7 out. The only question now is whether developers will step up and deliver some killer apps. It’s nice to see Microsoft integrate some of their other products such as Bing Search/Maps as well as Xbox Live onto its platform. Some stuff such as copy and paste and multitasking need to be ironed out.
Microsoft has its work cut out for it especially with Android being the hottest OS out right now. The iPhone 4’s antennaegate will probably help Android more than it will help Microsoft because simply, Google has more handsets out in the market. The Droid X will or seems to be a winner. Verizon has already sold out both in retail and online. The Droid 2 is coming and this will only increase the momentum of the Android OS.
Microsoft will be playing catch up for a while but if they can hold their own, they could gain ground. The X-factor in determining whether Windows Phone 7 will be a hit is Apps. If Microsoft doesn’t have killer apps at launch, they will have a harder climb.
But for now, Microsoft is making some positive strides.