WinPhone 7 two months later

[Disclaimer: I work at Microsoft. I would probably still be saying the following even if I didn’t, though]

I’ve had a Windows¬†7 Phone, the Samsung Focus, for a couple of months now, and thought I’d give a quick report.

First, I really, really still like it. More than the iPhone. The reasons for this are several-fold:

  • The email client is efficient and I don’t need to spend a whole lot of time in it. Multiple accounts are nearly friction-free (just multiple slabs in the root UI). I can easily tell which accounts have recently received mail.
  • Syncing music over wireless is great. If the phone is in the house, I can sync to it without uncoiling cables and whatnot.
  • It’s a phone; I can actually make calls on it. The iPhone was pretty clumsy when it came to answering and originating calls. I haven’t missed one yet.

I’m also having a ton of fun programming it. I’ve had all week to work on a 2-D game and the development environment is fantastically good. (I wish I was a better artist; my art is solidly rooted in the early 80s, but I figure I can give some people a decent amount of entertainment for a buck, when I finish this thing). I’m having flashbacks to programming the Atari 800 in Basic, only C# and the XNA framework¬†are a zillion times faster and easier to use; I was dead to the world this afternoon while I got some snazzy input classes working.

It’s not total daisies and puppies, though:

  • Marketplace search is full of stuff I don’t want (I want to look for /games/ but I get /music/ and vice-versa).
  • The browser needs work (hyperlink hit areas are too small).
  • App tombstoning seems unpredictable. I’m sure it’s working as designed, I’m just not privy to how it works, and I’ve just gotten used to every app forgetting about its previous state, with the occasional pleasant surprise when they haven’t forgotten.

Cut-and-paste? Never used it on the iPhone, I don’t miss it now.

It’s pretty good, but there’s room for improvement, and I imagine the WP7 team is not sitting on their fundaments.

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6 Responses to WinPhone 7 two months later

  1. Drakfyre says:

    Hey, I am interested in extending my development to new platforms; is there a good Win7 phone I can get for relatively cheap without a plan? (I have an iPhone 4 and do not intend on switching, but you are making me really want to dev for these things.) I love this site and your posts about the Win7 phone are really interesting me in the product.

  2. Peter Ibbotson says:

    Interesting, I’m waiting for the following features to get sorted out before I look properly at a Windows Phone:

    Tethering[1], syncing with outlook (not exchange) and user defined ring tones (odd but it would really annoy me).

    Microsoft need to get a road map with dates for some of these features or I might even give the iPhone 5 a try come the summer.

    [1] – Tethering I know is possibly by using the enginering menu on some phones and carriers are probably part of the reason it’s not built in but fsck the carriers.

  3. Peter Ibbotson says:

    Oh BTW I quite the like the current iPhone but the thought of iTunes going near my PC is quite off putting.

  4. James says:

    Glad to see you are still happy with your win7 phone. Personally… I like my iPhone a lot… and dont really have a pressing desire to go to a win-phone. If anything I would go to a droid if I was going to change.

    Agreements:
    -The wireless music sync sounds great… wish iPhone had it

    Disagreements:
    -I don’t have any problems making/answering phone calls
    -The unified inbox lets me deal with mail from my multiple accounts without any problem… and with the touch of a single button I can also move back and check my inboxes individually if thats what gets me going.
    -I use the heck out of copy/paste particularly from the browser to email or map. I really would be unhappy doing without it.

    @Peter… iTunes on a windows box… I don’t really see the problem but i guess if its an issue for you then fine. Personally I was a long time windows user and all round MS fan… Then I gave Unix, Linux, and OS-X a try… never going back. But to each their own… the preferences between OS have been beaten to death so I wont go into it. But I am kind of curious why iTunes on a windows machine is a problem?

  5. Austin says:

    Is there a “Star Raiders” for the Windows 7 phones?

  6. chrislynn5 says:

    I’ve had the original Edge iPhone, and now the iPhone 4. I love the comment about “that is can actually be used as a phone”. iPhone is not a phone, they don’t even advertise this. When did using a cell phone as a phone have to become a feature that it might not have???? Try using the iPhone in certain cars, a clicking noise that is in unbearable for the other person on the phone. And iPhone says, too bad.
    I just want a cell “phone” to be a good phone first, then a game system second.

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