Windows Phone 7… Catch It!

Over the last few weeks I have had plenty of opportunity to play with a number of Windows Phone 7 devices, and I am loving it!  Windows Phone 7 is as friendly and simple as any other Phone OS I have come across, and much moreso than the myriad Mobile 6, 6.1, and 6.5 devices I have gone through since making the transition from dumb phone to smart phone. 

The phone I am playing with currently is the Samsung Taylor, which is slightly larger (but slimmer) than my HTC Tilt 2, with the same size screen.  That is where the similarities end.  It’s multi-touch intuitive interface is extremely responsive and friendly… what many would call Sexy.  It is a prototype model that will not be available to the public, and will be replaced on November 8th by the Samsung Focus (http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones/SGH-I917ZKAATT), which has some REALLY impressive features, including:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1GHz CPU
  • Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours
  • 480×800 pixels
  • Proximity sensor for auto turnoff
  • 512MB RAM/512MB ROM
  • 8GB internal storage
  • MicroSD card slot
  • 802.11 b/g/n
  • MicroUSB 2.0 port
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • 5MB camera (2592×1944)

…and so much more. 

What can I say about Windows Phone 7?  It is, in a nutshell, everything that Mobile 6.5 isn’t.  It is intuitive, friendly, and geared toward end-users, while still being completely business-friendly and centrally manageable.  It only took a few seconds to connect to my Exchange 2010 account, and its high-speed connections (you have the options of GSM, EDGE, HSPDA, Wifi, and more) ensured that my data came down FAST.

Web browsing is amazing… My blog (complete with Autumn Leaves theme) came down measurably quicker than it did on my Tilt 2 (which is still the best Mobile 6.5 device I have!) and even at full screen (not easily legible because of the size) it was extremely clear; but when I put to fingers on the screen and flicked it open, the instant zoom not only made the page clear and legible, but made me fall in love with the platform!

Of course all of the expected functionality is there… Live Messenger, Adobe Reader, Maps, and the Windows Phone 7 version of Office 2010 which is the only mobile platform that will allow you to natively edit .PPTX, .XLSX, and .DOCX files.

To test out PowerPoint I decided to e-mail two of my own decks to the phone because I not only wanted to see how fast 2.5MB came down, I also wanted to see how easily you could open an e-mailed document… and WOW was it simple (clicked on it, saw Slide 1, complete with 2010 theme!).  However that was the ‘101 level’ of the experience.  What came next made me stand and take notice!

My presentation (Installing and Configuring a Hyper-V environment on Windows Server 2008 R2) not only ran FAST, it ran BEAUTIFULLY.  I expected the first couple of ‘text & theme’ slides to behave well, but when I got to the slide ‘Installing Hyper-V’ – a slide with 15 different transitions between full-screen images and saw now well it presented – complete with all of my custom transitions with no speed difference as compared to my HP laptop with 8GB RAM and an i7 CPU – I was shocked, awed, impressed, and in a nutshell I WANT ONE!! 

As a Virtual Partner Technical Advisor for Microsoft Canada I spend a lot of time visiting partners and switching between demos on one laptop and PowerPoint on the other.  Imagine now I can connect my PHONE wirelessly to the overhead projector and BAM… I no longer need two laptops!  WOW!  I WANT ONE!

Of course it didn’t occur to me until after I had done playing that I hadn’t tried what was once the main purpose for these devices… I called my wife.  The call was clear, high quality, and no matter how I held it neither lost reception (as my Tilt 2 is prone to do) or disconnected (as I heard might happen with SOME competitive devices).  Another big win!

Overall I am definitely excited about the platform… my personal preference will be for a phone with a keyboard (I have really big hands) but even so the on-screen keyboard was easy to use, and whichever model I end up with I expect I will love it!

More to come… these devices are coming to Canada November 8th, which will be the dawn of a new era in mobility… don’t miss it!

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