As I watched the Mango press conference in NYC today I started thinking about all the posts I have read the past eight months from people, including myself, focusing on what I will describe as trivial shortcomings; ringtones, multitasking, direct Outlook integration, etc. The truth is Windows Phone, and specifically WP Mango, is much bigger than all of that. Change simply for the sake of change is a waste of time and resources. But Windows Phone Mango is not about change, it is a whole new experience. Microsoft has taken the things we do most often with a mobile device and created a powerful, but silky smooth integrated interface that, dare I say, thinks for you.
I know today’s presentation was not about hardware, but aside from one reference to 4G, there was no mention of specs; bigger, brighter screens, dual core whatever, front facing cameras, memory chips, sleek, snazzy, svelte, and so on. That’s because Windows Phone Mango is not about specs, it’s what’s inside that counts stupid. There is a good selection of devices today, with more to come later this year, including handsets from three new manufacturers, but if your focus is mainly centered on specs, then you are probably missing the point, and ultimately may miss the boat.
The entire Windows Phone experience has been engineered to work seamlessly, from one task to the next. Or what Microsoft calls, “A People Centric Approach”. The integration of things we commonly do each day, coupled with connected apps that allow you to drill down creates a unique user experience. Today’s presentation touched on so many new integrated features it was hard to keep track. Groups, WL Messenger, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pictures, History, Skype, Quick Cards, Local Scout, Enhanced XBox Live, Enhanced Calendar, Combined Email Inbox, Visual Voicemail, Conversation View, No Touch Text, and so on. Yes, there will be those that are probably already beating the same drum complaining about the one “specific” want that has not been mentioned or included in Windows Phone Mango. When you stop and think a moment of all the things that WP Mango “can” do, those particular wants become much less important. The big picture is indeed bright. But as you can’t please all of the people all of the time, there are other platforms that may satisfy your particular “wants”, although the feature balance sheet for Windows Phone will be hard to ignore.
I have read comments recently about how the “Windows Phone” branding has impacted the popularity of WP7, with “Windows” perceived as a bad word. Hey, get over it already. Not sure exactly how or when Microsoft and Windows became the enemy, and I will admit that I have always had a sort of love/hate relationship with the folks in Redmond. But Microsoft has created a real winner in Windows Phone (Mango), and that’s a fact that can’t be denied. It’s here to stay and will continue to improve while ensuring that the user experience is not compromised by a burdensome list of features, instead focusing on productivity and function.
Of course, Windows Phone is not for everyone but that’s why we all have choices.