Windows Phone 7’s only problem

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Windows Phone 7 is a beautiful operating system. It is an environment that is unapologetically different from the things that came before it. It is efficient, fast, simple, vibrant, easy to use, distinct, professional, and fun. It’s so many different things at once that you think it would be confusing, or contradicting… but it isn’t. At every turn and from every angle, Windows Phone 7 has it’s act together. Sure people mention that some apps are missing from Windows Phone 7, but really there is only one big problem with Windows Phone 7: t doesn’t solve any problems that the other options competitors in the field don’t already solve.

The people migrate from one device to a new one is, typically, because that new device does something that your old one didn’t do. People moved from a Palm m505 or older models like that, to the Windows Mobile phone environment (think, Treo!) because it was an all in one device. The Blackberry was an all in one device with better security. The iPhone brought the iPod you loved to a newer, cleaner, crisper phone environment. The Android was open sourced. Windows Phone 7? It… uh… well, it’s not the iPhone.

Although Windows Phone 7 has a lot going for it, it just doesn’t have anything on the others. What, integration with Zune? A Skype client that is late to the party? It just isn’t anything special. It’s everything I described above, but it doesn’t solve anybody’s problem, and that is why we’re not going to see massive adoption, at least not until they can prove to be something that the others are not. Perhaps this is Microsoft’s chance to stand up for privacy (doubtful), or to reach out to the market of people who want full control over their device (if you want to pay for it). Microsoft needs to set themselves apart from the others, but it doesn’t.

Microsoft is doing their best to make their ecosystem more inviting and connected, perhaps future revisions to Windows Phone will see that. While Google fumbles their way through many offerings, Microsoft has slowly connected themselves with many of their own services. While it’s true they don’t seem to be the scale of Google (connecting things like your Google Maps, Gmail, Docs/Drive, Google Plus, etc…), Microsoft has had an excellent version of Bing Maps since launch, integrates directly with your Live ID for purchases, lets you play Xbox Live games and earn gamerscore from your phone, has added direct support for Skydrive, (finally) introduced Skype, and has of course had Facebook (who Microsoft owns about 3% of) available and seamlessly integrated with WP7 since launch. The interface istself if fluid, different, and stands out from its competitors. I absolutely love it, and once Sprint gets their LTE figured out and offers a Windows Phone 7 with LTE, I’ll most likely jump ship entirely to Windows Phone. But right now, it does come up just a little short in the app catalog (or at least the lag time between when other devices get an app and WP7 gets the same app). Microsoft’s problems aren’t insurmountable, and I’m one of the few rooting for them, but I have my fears and doubts, at this stage in the game.