Technology: Windows Phone 7 – Bang or Bust?
Let’s talk about Windows Phone 7.
As a general rule, I have very few chances to upgrade my technology. Most of what I do upgrade is either confined to my computer (which happens every 5 or so years) or my game systems (I buy new ones about 1 to 2 years into their life cycle), so it’s a rare sight that I’m able to upgrade my phone, and to such a degree, either (my last phone was an old WM6.1 device). I had a choice of getting either an iPhone 4 (which everyone and their mother has) or a HTC Mozart running Windows Phone 7 OS (and risk having it blow up in my face if Microsoft ends up stopping support and crap for it prematurely). I ended up getting the WP7 phone. Do I regret this? Well, yes and no.
It’s a move without undue risk. Apple’s device has a well established userbase and app store, whereas Windows Phone 7 is barely 5 months old and has a handful of apps, only a few of which are even remotely useful – hell, they farmed out their Windows Live Messenger App to a third party for development, which can’t be a good first sign. They’ve been slow on updates, too, with the first one not only delivering nothing of any real use to the phones, but also bricking some phones. Thankfully my phone was made by HTC, and mostly it’s Samsung’s phones that got affected, so my haste in bum rushing the download onto my phone didn’t cost me a bricked phone and two weeks of waiting to get a new one. Still, this is a rocky start to an already shaky base.
I’m still attached to my Windows Phone 7, and it’s given me a lot of great functionality; the Mozart is an amazing piece of hardware, and I’m very happy with it, and the potential of the OS and its accompanying software is certainly appealing. However, however nice a word, potential is only useful if it is utilized. A lot of things over the years I thought had incredible potential ended up pissing it all away like the morning after a cheap vodka binge. The interface and applications currently installed on my phone are great, but are nothing substantial yet, and judging from some developer’s complaints about Microsoft’s “draconian” app store practices, new apps in the future seem to be worrisome. I have no idea if the “draconian” claims are true; however, certain high profile messenger systems still do not have apps on the Zune Marketplace, which is disheartening. It’s been five months post-release, and we don’t even have an AIM app yet.
The new update (originally scheduled for February release) got delayed to March, and hopefully that’s where it’ll stay. For now, I can just hope for the best and pray that I didn’t make a bad purchase decision. Time will tell.