Windows Phone 7 is the most efficient and remarkable version of Windows on a mobile phone that Microsoft has yet fashioned. But that’s not saying much – and still if the actual quality of the operating system has much to advise it, it offers small that will modernize the very crowded smartphone marketplace.
There is, of course, a trouble with reviewing any mobile operating system, because the software is so closely connected to the hardware on which it is operating. trying a nearly final build of WP7 on an HTC HD7, the feeling was of a package that certainly felt more proficiently put together than a distinctive Android phone, and legitimately rivaled the user understanding of Apple’s iPhone. But WP7 did fewer than either of those.
So turn on any WP7 device and the home screen slides up to expose a panel of big icons. These provide access to the “hubs” around which the system is built – from “People” to “Pictures” or “Music and Video”. Scroll up and as you approach to the bottom of the list the icons above are compressed faintly; it makes knowing where you are in a list perceptive. Menus all the way through the phone, too, rotate onto the screen in a way that is as smooth-looking as it is surely battery-draining.
On each screen, a top banner slides across, too – so you know you’re in any given sector because you can observe most of its heading, apart from of which sub-menu you’re really looking at. It’s a tidy touch.
Contacts information is incorporated with social networks in a manner that is more complete than on any other cell phone I’ve yet used. But as with so much of WP7, Microsoft has re-imagined how a phone’s interface should seem to be, rather than re-imagining what it should be able to do. Multi-touch web-browsing is smooth, too, on HTC ‘s inspiring screen, but that’s a feature that is progressively more standard across all platforms. Certainly, web-browsing is as integral to a phone such as this as phone calling itself.
Microsoft also claims that it is with its Apps that it will make a real dissimilarity to how people believe of their phones – rather than apps feeling like distinct parts of the operating system, they’re more widely integrated into the OS. So the Huffington Post app, for instance, looks like just a different sub menu, with awesome pictures. This yet again is neat – and surely the predictable future for apps – but it’s a primarily cosmetic development. Of course, incorporation with Microsoft Office is remarkable, and the HD7’s large screen makes it helpful.
So what doesn’t WP7 carry out – there’s no moveable hotspot functionality as there is in Android 2.2; there’s no synchronizing with iTunes in the same method as with iPhone; there’s not even the free of charge satnav to the same standard as Ovi Maps from Nokia. Everything looks legitimately slick and stylish – but WP7 is neither cutting edge under the bonnet nor so easy to use that it’s a credible object of aspiration for anybody but a business person whose IT department won’t allow them a better alternative.