During July 2010, Microsoft previewed to the press a beta stage development of their latest operating system that would hopefully be able to directly compete with Apples iOS4, Google’s Android 2.2 and subsequent 2.3, and other mobile phone operating systems. In October and November 2010, the final version of Microsoft Windows Phone 7 version 1.0 was released to the general public on a variety of handsets from a number of manufacturers.
For the new operating system, Microsoft had decided that the previous Windows Mobile platform had reached the end of its life and terminated development in favor of an all new system. With WP7, Microsoft decided to target the consumer market solely, as opposed to the enterprise market that Windows Mobile was previously aimed at. This meant that more had to be done to support popular and fashionable functions such as social networking support and touch screen capability, which it seems it has achieved.
The Windows Phone 7 interface is a real pleasure to use, with very fast and smooth page transitions, if a little over complicated, and easy to read and use page layouts that can quite easily compete against the best of the Apple and Google operating systems. Full integration with Microsoft’s massively popular Xbox 360 online Live software is a very successful and fashionable addition, as is integration with Microsoft’s entertainment platform Zune. Microsoft have also made sure that social networking functions are easy to use and incorporate a wide range of networking sites, including Gmail, Facebook and Hotmail.
Unfortunately, even though different guises of the WP7 operating system have been in development and cancelled over the last 6 years, this particular version has only been in development for a relatively short time, and it shows. Although many functions work well, it seems that this version of the system is a good year behind market leaders and, as such, there are a few bugs to iron out.
To sum up, the Windows Phone 7 operating system is a great looking platform that is easy to use and access, with very good multi-tasking capabilities compared to the competition and very efficient processor utilization but ultimately lacking in most other areas. What makes up for this is that WP7 is a great starting point for future updates to iron out these small problems and Microsoft seem to be committed to their new platform. So although it may seem that right now WP7 can not quite compete with Android and iOS4, it looks like it will not be long before it can.