Myerson, the Microsoft Corporate VP of Windows Phone
Engineering who was recently called out on the Microsoft
Kin phone debacle, had some good
news to report yesterday. Windows Phone 7 hardware and
software has been released in beta form to developers and a handful
of reviewers.Myerson writes:
today, thousands of prototype phones from ASUS, LG and Samsung are
making their way into the hands of developers over the next few
weeks. Combine that with the beta
release of the Windows Phone developer tools, and I can’t wait
to see how our developer partners take advantage of our new approach
to smart design and integrated mobile experiences. I’m personally
working on a flash card app for my daughter, and am consistently
amazed by the ease with which Silverlight and Visual Studio make WP7
impressions of the phone boil down to that Microsoft seems to be
nailing many key elements, but in other places presents conspicuously
broken or missing functionality. First let's get the bad
out of the way. As widely rumored, Microsoft has not
included copy and paste yet. There is a small chance that
this will be included in the final version. Early reviewers say
that text selection is working well -- so it seems baffling that
Microsoft would not include
it. But at this point that appears to be the case.Also
third-party multitasking, which both Apple's iOS 4 and Google's
Android OS currently support (and something that previous iterations
of Windows Mobile supported). That's not to say updates won't
be available to various apps, but it does mean that transitions to
them may be significantly clunkier. And Flash web media plugin
is missing -- and even stranger still, Microsoft's own Silverlight
also isn't implemented.Finally, perhaps the most egregious
sin is that for those with Facebook accounts, if you use your account
on the phone, it will pull in your contacts -- all of them.
This makes the contacts list -- an essential part of the phone
experience – nearly unusable.Moving on to the okay,
Microsoft has reportedly done an okay job squeezing a hybrid Internet
Explorer 7/8 browser into the phone. Nothing fancy, but it gets
the job done. It doesn't, however, support HTML5. Likewise
Microsoft Office is decently implemented, with collaboration
functionality. However, Office programs lack key functionality
(no font selection in Word, etc.) and PowerPoint editing is
absent.Likewise SMS/MMS texts and email appear to be done
proficiently. The messaging interface is a bit hard to follow
as all the text bubbles are the same color -- whether you sent them,
or received them. And email has no threaded organization,
though it does have a helpful filter for unread messages.Then
there's the good. The home hub seems to be very well integrated
and more innovative and informative than Apple's home screen (at
least), if not Android's. Likewise the camera is receiving a
lot of TLC, which results in both faster image capture times and a
nice interface for pictures.The touch keyboard is also
reportedly fantastic -- at least as good as the iPhone's, which is
saying something. Likewise the built-in
Zune player could also be viewed as a fantastic addition.
If you aren't into music, don't use it. If you are, pony up the
$14.95 a month and you'll be treated to an almost limitless library
of on-demand music -- a true value.A lot of how people are
reacting to Windows Phone 7 appears to be based on their own
Genius Report wrote
a rather scathing
review of the OS. Paul Thurrott's Windows
an obvious Microsoft supporter, on the other hand, wrote
review of it. And Engadget --
somewhat of a neutral party -- wrote a mixed
review.Ultimately, customers will likely react to the
phones in a similar fashion if Microsoft is unable to fill in the
holes before its holiday launch. The promise is certainly
there, but is it worth passing up Apple and Google's compelling
quote: But make no mistake, it's completely different from WinCE and WinMobile before it.
quote: RIM quivers as there is a cost savings here not needing blackberry servers or server licenses.
quote: Microsoft Sharepoint - Oh yea baby.
quote: I'm sorry but you are quite incorrect, anyway you want to put it, the core OS is still CE based. The fact that the front end and application framework has been completely remodeled is irrelevant.
quote: Just as Windows XP remains part of the same NT family as Vista/7. Windows Phone 7 remains part of the CE family (and thus part of the previous WinMo family).
quote: Absolutely relevant. When a new updated OS is introduced that loses a good chunk of it's functionality as the previous version, plus forces a complete re-write of all applications since none are backwards compatable makes this extremely relevant.
quote: quote:Just as Windows XP remains part of the same NT family as Vista/7. Windows Phone 7 remains part of the CE family (and thus part of the previous WinMo family).Not when everything written for its predacessors is broken. Even many Win95 programs will work in Windows7. Very bad analogy on your part.
quote: You seem to want to argue core computing/kernel semantics. But fact is, it's radically different from previous versions. 99.99999% of people don't care about kernel revisions, they want something that works, and breaking all thier programs they've already bought under winmo6.5 is not a good start.
quote: You do realize that the inability for backwards compatibility is not because its not possible, its because MS is locking it down. By the same account do you really think the OS in incapable of running native code?
quote: What 99.999% of the people care about is completely irrelevant, nor am I arguing semantics. However hard for you to accept, reality is reality, its irrelevent what the masses 'think' if the reality paints a different picture.
quote: Huh???? What are you talking about? I was merely explaining they were part of the same OS family, and each iteration is anything but a completely new OS. My statement has absolutely nothing to do with what software will run on what platform. And of course lets not get into the fact that W95 is 9x based, and is not part of the NT family of OS's I described.
quote: By your logic , Windows Vista is a ' new ' OS, as they dramatically altered the Kernel (in fact far more than what was done between CE5 and CE6), yet even Microsoft won't go as far as to claim its a completely new OS.
quote: While I think this will make some traction, it will be hard to beat the established players since MS is so far behind the feature curve.