Microsoft announced recently that Windows Phone 7 has RTM’d to manufactures. The developer tools will be release September 16th, 2010 and the new marketplace is expected to open the first week of October.
I plan to be standing outside of the T-Mobile store, iPhone style, to get my hands on this new hardware. I may not be getting the first model to be released because I really want the rumored HTC HD3 or HD7 or whatever they plan to call it.
While my friend has recently acquired an Android phone and I currently have an iPhone I am really excited about this new offering. Below is an explanation of why.
Reasons I want a Windows Phone 7 device:
- The number 1 reason is the development experience. Windows Phone 7 allows tools that we use to build everyday applications to be used to build apps for the phone with very few (if any) modifications. In fact, there are over 300,000 downloads of the beta developer tools so far! I am used to writing quick little apps on the desktop when I need something. I like that I’ll be able to do the same thing with my WP7!
- I have a *lot* of code already written in C# that I can use! In fact, I am using a library I wrote years ago for one of my apps. It is a lot of stuff I don’t have to do special just because I am targeting a mobile device.
- Did I mention that I got really far into the development of my first WP7 app in just a couple of hours! The productivity is amazing! Even sending the app to the Emulator is lightening fast! The developer story for this device couldn't be better!
- Microsoft has made it very easy for software houses to port Games using XNA to WP7. I expect the gaming experience on WP7 to be fantastic! I mean it supports DirectX 9! Another thing to consider is that people tend to downplay the XBox Live experience part of the phone but it really could take off. Challenging people to games, for example, is all the boon on Facebook which has a huge gaming presence. This same kind of interaction takes place on XBox live and could catch fire and that would make the devices hugely popular.
- FM Tuner – This goes a little bit to the “iPhone is not enough” feeling I’ve been having, but it sure would be nice to have a HD FM Tuner on my phone.
- The hardware on the Rumored HD3 is freakin’ Amazing!
- My iPhone is good. My iPhone is nice. My iPhone has lots of apps, but I still don’t have a good user experience working with word, excel, etc. Really not impressed with it’s capability as a “business device”. I can’t save files to disk, I can’t insert an external flash card, share my WiFi ala HotSpot or tethering, etc. There are just a lot of “can’ts” with the iPhone.
- My last dig on the iPhone is AT&T. I currently have an jail broken 3G, but I’m reluctant to update the OS beyond the 3.0 OS I currently have. I’m not even sure it will let me go to 4, but I can’t risk loosing my Jail break. More and more applications will not run on my phone and Apple is really trying to kick us out! I can either fight it or take the message. I’d rather get an Android phone than switch to AT&T!
- Android phones are sure capable and functional but sexy they ain’t! Their app store is starting to rival Apples and the development story isn’t too bad. My criticism is that their touch isn’t nearly as good as the iPhone or Zune (which WP7 is based on) and the user interface seems slow. Mind you, I’ve only played with 3 real devices and 1 emulator but everything I see coming from WP7 looks super fast!
- Another good / bad for the Android is the OS. The Android OS is Open Source and rooting the device is straight forward and commonplace. The bad is that it seems like Google leaves a lot of their “old generation” phones in the cold when it comes to OS enhancements. If you buy a brand new phone today, there is every reason to believe that the next version of the OS won’t work on your phone. There is absolutely no guarantee that Microsoft will behave any differently but it probably couldn't be any worse than Google for the upgrade story.
- I believe that the missing features of the OS (Copy & Paste / Multitasking) will be delivered very soon.
- I kind of like the idea of a fresh-faced marketplace with nothing on there yet. As a developer / software engineer, there is more opportunity there than in say the iPhone marketplace that has been going for years.
So as you can tell I am hugely excited! My only problem now is choosing which application to finish first and how much time to spend on them in any given weekend! :) I WANT TO GET MY NEW WINDOWS PHONE 7 TODAY! I WANT IT! I WANT IT! I WANT IT! Err, um, I guess developing applications on the emulator will have to distract me until then!