Tag Archive: Windows Phone 7

I’m a Windows Phone 7 user – used to be on iPhone, tried Android but I’m more taken with the Windows Phone. I think it has a better UI, it’s a better UX and despite there only being 40k apps, I’ve not really missed anything from iPhone or Android.

The homescreen with live tiles, integration with Outlook (handy for work) and incremental improvements in speed, multitasking etc mean I’m always a little disappointed when I try out the new Galaxy on Android etc. Mind you, I’m going to try the iPhone 4S soon, so maybe I’ll be swayed by Siri.

Will it be a breakthrough year in 2012 for Microsoft and Windows Phone? It’s a hard road and the 800lb gorilla is the iPhone and Google now has 52% market share with Android but Windows Phone 7’s existence should force Apple and Google to look at their own platforms and at least match or better Microsoft’s efforts. It would be foolish to dismiss Microsoft, especially given how much money they and Nokia are going to spend. At the very least 2012 will be great for the mobile customer as the competition heats up.

Mashable thinks there’s something to be told in this story too.

I never thought I’d be a fan of a Microsoft-designed product but hey, delighted to be surprised. Now, a tablet with an OS like Windows Phone 7 …

A three-horse race?

There have been some interesting debates going on online as to whether Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft to use Windows Phone 7 is a smart move (and good for developers) or the death throes of the Finnish giant.

It does make great sense to me.

Nokia only had a limited hand to play. It could stay on its present course, weighed down by an RnD budget that was producing nothing of any consequence as far as the market was concerned, amazing when it’s spending more than $4bn and three times that of Apple. Keep faith in Symbian and pin hopes on MeeGo, which despite Marko Ahtisaari’s (VP of UX) fine set of skills, was looking more and more like the product of a moribund giant. So, a slow death.

An alternative was Google and Android. However, the opportunities to differentiate for Nokia would be limited in such a diverse and crowded space. The upside would be apps and developers galore but the hardware battle would be extremely tough, even for a fighting fit company, not something you say about Nokia presently. And the uplift in marketing from Google would be limited at best. So, better than slow death but definitely relegating it to second or third tier in the mobile world.

Finally, the choice the company did make.

The marketing power from Microsoft alone makes this a good choice. The software giant is desperate to gain a significant foothold in the mobile space, which will become the most important platform for consumers and business alike over the next 3 years. In Windows Phone 7, it has made a great start. In my opinion, it’s the leading mobile OS in terms of UX and design and presents a credible challenge to Android and iOS. That makes two big plus points.

The rest is down to Nokia itself. If it can get back to making fewer and better handsets, powered by Windows Phone 7 and cheaper to boot, then with its installed base the company could pull itself out of the mess. However, handsets have to now be one of two things: Really simple and cheap or beautifully designed and integrated with the OS. Nokia can do both but it has to stop making such a diverse and often crappy range of handsets and focus.

Apple, Google and Nokia/Microsoft should make for a great battle and hopefully consumers will be the winners!

Looking back over my blog, I realised that I’m really only covering a small proportion of what I get up to and I want to keep a record, especially if as hoped I have some kids this year. So, going to make an effort to track a few more events and also blog a little more often.

The year is starting with some well deserved rest having gone flat out for 8 months in my new job at Vodafone. The sun’s out in Piha and I’ve steered clear of the Mac though I have been compiling a bunch of things I want to explore next week, easing back into work mode. The key thing is really creating a work mode using tools to help keep the flow modest instead of the tidal wave of last year. Got a redesign on the boards, been stewing on that one in my head for a few weeks, so it’s going to be sitemaps, flows, wireframes and some designs flat-tack for 5 days, then into the selling and getting approvals.

Really want to get my Omnigraffle stencils in order. It’s my tool of choice but definitely open to changing as I want to create more code off the back of the layouts. Could mean a swap back to Axure but the key points will be

  • The ability to reuse items
  • Sharing items/modules
  • Create base code
  • Works across Mac and PC
  • At the moment, nothing quite cuts it but Omnigraffle is so quick to use and the stencils are essential so we’ll see.

    iPad and mobile apps are going to figure large, at the moment reworking an existing app for the iPad is the first cab off the rank but then I’m going to focus on a Windows Phone 7 app. Incredibly impressed by WP7 as an experience. Well thought out, good design and IMHO better than the iPhone iOS, which for me is still a surprise as I’m a huge Apple fan. However, Microsoft (first with Zune) and now with WP7 have really grasped the nettle and I hope sales support MS’ efforts, will be interesting to see if WP7 is ported to a tablet next week at CES.

    So, this week, it’s all about Photoshop practice, Omnigraffle stencil builds, sketching bits and bobs and some good fiction reading. Interspersed with reading, swimming and surfing, roll on 2011 it’s looking mighty fine from here.

    What future for Nokia?

    Nokia handsets are designed for the pre-iPhone era. In their day, great and with sales to match (1.3 billion) but times have changed dramatically. The iPhone, Android handsets and now Windows Phone 7 have crossed the rubicon and helped to create a new era of mobile use, where the phone/device does many things – camera, email, instant messaging oh and the odd phone call. And, once a customer has crossed over, they won’t be going back.

    Promises are being made by Nokia and an acquaintance of mine heads up their UI and UX, so have a listen/watch of Nokia’s Marko Ahtisaari, I’m underwhelmed by what he had to say sadly. With no product, promises of a new design pattern and drawing on old, tired Europe vs US battlelines, my gut reaction is that Nokia has buried its corporate head in the sand and thinks that its market share will buy it enough time to catch up with Apple, Google and Microsoft, and that everyone is waiting for what Nokia has to offer.

    I’m unconvinced, the lifecycle i.e. how quickly people change their handsets means that by 2011 the new Nokia UX/UI design could well be irrelevant as customers have moved to other manufacturers and platforms, and winning people back is much harder than getting them the first time. 2010 could well be the jumping of the shark for the Finnish mobile giant.

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