Just like everyone else, I have been pining for something new in Windows Mobile, anything new! Windows 6.1 is certainly quite old and at this point 6.5 is a facelift that didn’t quite work out. Actually, a ‘facelift’ is a perfect analogy for explaining what 6.5 is to 6.1, the only difference being that people are not shy about pointing out how obvious it is.
Windows Phone 7 Series (that name cries for a comma!) certainly looks fantastic and I can’t wait to get my hands on it! It is new and different – if you haven’t seen Zune HD – and is a great move by Microsoft to get back into the fight. It’s a UI that addresses the uniqueness of using a phone rather than previous iteration’s insistence on digging a PC-in-your-phone trench. I’m all for WP7S and feel like I can brag about Windows Mobile/Phone all over again.
Despite all this euphoria I still feel like I’ll miss Windows Mobile 6.x. There are a TON of applications available for it, a huge number of designs to cater to your phone preferences and the ability to change the look and feel in many ways.
Windows Phone 7 Series will not have much customizing, at least not anything that’s been announced yet. The user experience will be basically the same across all manufacturers and devices. I am not sure how much I am going to like that. Maybe I won’t mind at all because the UI will just be that good. Perhaps changing backgrounds twice a day will keep me interested. Sigh, I just am not sure.
With Windows Mobile 6.x you can use the default start page, third-party UI’s such as my favourite, SPB Mobile Shell or the UI skin that comes from manufacturers such as HTC’s Sense UI or LG’s S-Class UI. These can drastically change the look and feel of Windows Mobile since they can go fairly deep into the OS itself. I love having this kind of flexibility and it’s the reason I keep going back to Windows Mobile.
Perhaps I’ll need to start a support group (no, not technical support) to help us hangers-on with the transition away from our blankies…er, Windows Mobile.
One thing is for sure, prices for the Starter Edition phones will probably be relatively low, and a bunch of used units will flood eBay. It should be a hay-day for those of us that use our money on mundane things like paying bills, feeding our kids, heating the house…