Windows Phone 7 – The previews are out

Windows Phone 7   The previews are out Recently the mobile world has become pretty brutal, with even the mighty iPhone getting punched square in the face by antenna issues. Windows Phone 7 now seems to be in the firing line, with the Boy Genius Report and other sites ripping into the OS. Some of you may have also heard about the InfoWorld article calling the OS a “disaster” – this has been picked up by The Guardian and other news sources.

Let’s concentrate on the BGR Preview and ZDNet previews though, as a few sites and many developers appear to have got their hands on the technical preview today. There are some good points with Matt Miller (ZDNet) stating..

“The current experience is amazingly stable and fluid and I am quite impressed with what they have done. It has taken some time and they were pretty much out of competing for customers for most of this year, but it looks like they will come out firing with all they have this coming holiday season.”

There are, however, some negative comments, with Matt pointing to the lack of a Twitter app out-of-the-box, lack of “USB Drive” mode, no copy and paste and no multi-tasking. The BGR Preview goes further, pointing at problems when dialling a number…

“We’re not going to lie, we really have no idea how people actually let the phone app get this far. When you first launch the application, you’d except to be at the keypad, so you can actually make a call, right? No. You’re presented with the recent call history list. Just text splattered on the screen. No problem, you’ll mosey on over to settings and change the default view so the keypad shows up. Ah, problem there. You can’t make that change because it’s not an option. So to make a phone call, you have to go into the phone and hit one of the poorly-sized action buttons below to bring up the keypad to make a phone call.”

We should point out that the phone isn’t complete as yet, so we’ll hold our comments until the actual devices hit the streets. These are all “early looks” at the OS as it is now, and we hope that these negative comments can be turned around as I think there’s an element out there who want to see the OS fail. Overall the previews seem to be a fairly mixed bag, with strong improvements and positive remarks sitting next to quite scathing comments. We’ll leave the last words to BGR, but click on to see the articles in full..

“The tiled homescreen seems a little too constrained and boxed in for us, and the non-frills design approach actually left the handset menus and navigational elements feeling bare and unfinished, rather than pure and unaltered. Not having any sort of menu for hoping back and forth between applications hampers your every day usage, and the animated transitions also start to feel old pretty fast. For a phone that was made from scratch and started on after the first iPhone was introduced, and for a phone that’s not even in market yet, it unfortunately in our view falls short. There’s practically no real innovation we can see with Windows Phone 7.”

UpdateEngadget have their comments online too, click on.

Links – BGRZDNetEngadget The Engadget preview is now online and there’s some good feedback – the email interface is great, the keyboard is great, but unfortunately the concluding comments aren’t so good. Let’s hope that Microsoft can use this feedback and build on it for the final devices..

“What we’ve been presented with here doesn’t exactly feel like a complete mobile operating system in many ways. Some parts of Windows Phone 7 are more like a wireframe — an interesting design study, an example of what a next-gen phone platform could be. That’s both good and bad. On one side, we’re still really excited by the prospect of Metro as a viable, clean-slate approach to the mobile user experience, and there are lots of smart moves being made that could lead to greatness. On the other side, Microsoft has to turn this into a viable retail product that can hang with the fiercest competition in the history of the cellphone in just a few months’ time, and there are some serious issues that need to be addressed. Frankly, it’s a little scary.”

“By any measure, Microsoft’s got its back against the wall in the mobile game, and becoming competitive quickly is vital to the company’s success — and in that regard, we understand why they’ve been so adamant about getting Windows Phone 7 on shelves in time for Holiday 2010. The thing is, putting out a product that’s half-baked risks alienating early adopters at the worst possible time, especially considering that we see a clear-cut (and pretty painless) path to fixing the most egregious shortcomings. Seriously, if the WP7 team put their heads down and added a clipboard and some rudimentary multitasking, Microsoft could have an exceptionally solid version-one product in Windows Phone 7 — especially when coupled with the company’s fierce outreach to developers.”