So i have had a Windows Phone 7 device (the HTC HD7) for about 3 months now, which is enough time i believe to give some solid feedback about the device and the operating system.
First of all the hardware. The device is beautiful, it is seriously good, i only have two issues with it. The first is the lack of storage, i am not too worried about it begin removable, but 16GB is small, but i really think in todays environment of having lots of media and the device being perfect for video more storage is required 32gb as a minimum maybe with a 64gb option. The second is to do with the coating on the stand, it is rubbing off and it makes the device look slightly tatty.
Now onto the software. As a whole it is brilliant, the home screen, the pre-installed applications are great. Office is especially good. There are a lot of good quality third party applications as well, especially games.
Twitter for Windows Phone is a brilliant application, BUT it does take too long to load and collect tweets, as well as not using service notifications to get updates. The upcoming update should deal with the speed issues twitter is having, but using background service notifications, is down to twitter, and it really is a must.
Now there are a lot of really good games especially on the Xbox Live side of things – ‘Need For Speed’ is a must to play on the device, and there are lots more out there although some can be a bit on the pricey side.
The calendar application sucks, it really does suck and Microsoft must do something to fix this as soon as possible!! I have multiple calendars, but you cannot select them, or unselect them. The Facebook integration is really good, but i would really like it to support Facebook direct messaging with getting notifications when i get new messages, or replies to my statuses.
So overall i give it 7/10 its really good, but they have a number of key things that they need to do within the next year to catch-up and be on a level heading with Apple. But before i go over them, i would just like to say that they have already surpassed android, maybe not on a feature basis, but definitely on a quality and UI basis. Many of the features they need to implement to catch up with Apple, will also help them against Android.
Copy and Paste – its not a feature i have ever really used or needed to use, even when i was on Android, but its something that’s needed. This will be in the first update so it can be as good as crossed off.
Conversation View – In outlook emails need to be displayed in conversation view.
A better Calendar Application – Support for more calendar protocols especially CalDav, with support for multiple calendars within one provider.
Multitasking – Now every other major platform has it developers wont be going out of their way to use a notification service, Microsoft need to find an efficient way of putting multitasking into the application model like Apple have.
Facetime Competitor and Front Facing cameras as compulsory – Apple have it, there really is no reason why Microsoft cannot, they have the Windows Live network there already to support it, I suspect and i have seen a number of blog posts recently that suggest that Microsoft are planning it for Windows Phone 8, when that comes.
Internet Explorer – The current browser does a good job, but is seriously lacking compared to the browsers on Android and iPhone. It is rumoured that in the Autumn IE9 will be coming in a update. I hope Microsoft do that, and it would be a welcome update.
Video Support 720p HD – It has been brought to my attention that it cannot play 720p video without first begin converted. Now i think this is ludicrous, the graphics hardware is obviously powerful enough to handle it, so i think this must be down to a software limitation. Again this might be fixed in the Autumn update which is classed as a Media Update, and might change the software version to 7.5 so should be fairly major.
If Microsoft can do all of the above then in the next 12months they will have kicked Android into the dust, and be lining up to take on Apple.
But i do not expect Microsoft to take #1 as top Smartphone operating system. I expect in two or 3 years time the market share to be Android with the lions share and have most of the market. I think this because there are lots of cheap, and i mean cheap, which even though they are poor quality, most people don’t care, and wont notice. I then expect Apple and Microsoft to be fighting it out for second place, i think they will both have roughly the same market share. I think RIM and Nokia (Symbian) will come in 4th and 5th with Palm trailing. So 40% of the market for android, about 20% each for Apple and Microsoft, and the rest split up between the smaller players.