Last week InfoWorld put out a positively scathing post throwing every bit of negative ammunition they could find at the newest preview of Windows Phone 7. Today I saw a few that seemed a little more toned down and, surprisingly enough, objective and informative! At the bottom of this blog post, I link to a couple of the latest reviews/previews that I could find, including the most negative of them from InfoWorld.
There are a few common threads in the articles that I’ve been seeing. One of the biggest and most controversial points in these articles is the UI. Love it or hate it, there seems to be no middle ground. One thing that is fact is that the UI is just different. It doesn’t look like the iPhone’s GUI and it doesn’t look like Android’s or any other. The inspiration from some of the Zune HD work is obvious, but even then you can see where the designers broke away even from its Zune roots.
To hear Microsoft explain it, “Metro” (the codename for the GUI) is literally inspired by metropolitan signage. The purpose of this inspiration is to ensure that the user can quickly and easily find whatever they’re looking for. A secondary goal of this GUI is to get all of the pomp and circumstance out of the way of the user and give them the app with a minimalistic approach to chrome, menuing, and grids. This minimalism has drawn some criticism for being a “throwback”. I can see where that criticism comes from, but I really think once people use Metro for a couple hours, they’ll start to see why it is the way it is and the purpose of the minimalism. That said, the UI as it stands now can obviously be improved in many places.
Another suite of universal complaints includes the lack of multitasking, lack of copy/paste, lack of this, lack of that, and so on. Many of the complaints are obvious trolling/clickbaiting attempts because they complain the phone is missing features that no other competitor phone has.
One thing’s for sure – WP7 is certainly stirring up a bunch of media attention. I’m personally eagerly awaiting the day I get to play with an actual developer device (hint, hint, if anybody from MSFT is reading this!) and seeing as how there’s still several months left before launch, I can’t wait to see what the next preview of the OS and accompanying hardware looks like.