Okay guys. I’m going to warn you up front. This is going to be a little out there. Let’s start slow with a little quote from a Simmons comment on Ramon’s article.
“What I still don’t get is how there used to be outrage here that Microsoft was selling out and ditching everything the XDA crowd liked about their phones yet now, after some leaked screen shots, decent PR, hype and youtube clips, most of you are drooling over its release. As complete a 180 as the changes to the phone that set it apart from all the others (well, that and that relatively few people owned them).”
Cool. I get what you’re saying. After reading your last post I considered what you said about how Microsoft pretty much tossed their existing user base aside like a twice-used condom. Microsoft’s market share rests somewhere between not shit and 3/4 mark of the “other” column you mention so often and it’s because no one wants it. Windows Mobile had its time when nothing could touch its functionality. I’m going to take you on a metaphorical journey to illustrate my point.
Let’s start by placing Windows Mobile. It was originally put together in 2000, which was a time when a hell of a lot less pictures sent, facebook statuses updated, and twits twated via a mobile phone. It was for email through exchange servers and to this day it still offers some of the best exchange server integration. The point is that this Mobile OS that took us through the first decade of the 21st century was designed at the beginning of that decade and has lost some of its appeal and comparing its functionality is an interesting test.
Think of Windows Mobile as a mature and venerable mobile OS in the spirit of Betty White. A sweet old lady who knows and does everything you can imagine but is not so great on the eyes. No one can deny the awesomeness of Betty White. However, when you place Betty White next to let’s say the Olsen Twins you begin to notice the shortcomings that are a product of age. You have one cracked out and stripped down Olsen (IOS) and then you have the diabetic sweetness of the non-crazy self-loathing Olsen with an identity crisis (Android).
This is a snapshot of the Olsen twins (and Operating Systems) as they were when the Nexus One was released. But don’t be so quick to forget this was not always the way of things. There was a time when men sat counting calendar days for the Olsen twins 18 birthday just as there were losers waiting for IOS and Android to enable Copy and Paste. All the while Betty White was hanging out with the Golden Girls, doing Saturday Night Live, and generally making our lives more awesome with what she had left.
Now Betty White can barely move and all the other Golden Girls are dead, but the Olsen twins are legal. They have gotten over some of their personal issues (copy paste, multi-tasking, anorexia,) but they still have their quirks. Now we bring this whole metaphor full circle to introduce Microsoft’s newest child, Miley Cyrus. This young and still maturing platform still has a lot of potential for foundational changes and not just face lifts. I’m not saying that the new Windows Phones aren’t lacking because they are missing some core functionality and it hurts. At the same time there are things possible through the dynamic aggregation of application functionality into a single and productive hub environment that just isn’t possible with a folder. The functionality will get there (just like it did with Android and IOS) and go beyond as a newer generation and user interface paradigm that will shift the focus from grid based app/widget arrangements. Although this same generational gap occurs when comparing a more mature celebrity or a mobile OS the balance will shift.
Let me know if I’m reading too much into this or if Simmons is the crazy one. Drop us a line.