What Windows Phone 7 Should Have been.

Well, we don’t have any initial plans to develop any of our Applications on Windows Phone 7. Microsoft just went too far away from where they were in the mobile space and worried too much about asthetics and what iPhone was doing to please a consumer level instead of staying with the flexibility that usually defines them.

What did Microsoft need to do.

Yes, they needed a more refined interface. But really, this is just a skin. I like some of the 3rd party Skins better than the direction that Microsoft went, wish those were still an option… Supposedly this new Zune and Box interface is popular with a lot of consumers, and it has an initial ‘oh how’ factor, but it DEFINITELY isnt for everyone. And If I, who is comfortable with a lot of OS designs, look at it and my first thought is “confusing”, what are regular consumers going to think.

So why isnt this interface design more of the top level, with ways to make an application use them without forcing them too. If I want to build a Zune interfaced app or a box interfaced app give me tools to do so and maybe even encourage me to do so. But guess what, this style will grow tired(which I think is a big problem, which iPhones interface elements don’t suffer nearly as bad from), so let me as the developer not do it if I don’t want too…

Yes, it will be snazzier with Transitions and more ‘smooth’, but that all could have come without re-inventing everything. How cool would it have been if you could turn off ‘Zune Craziness’ and go to Mobile Shell or Sense or even “gasp” the very handy today screen and plugins.

They could have (and started too) create new controls that were more touch friendly and attractive. Finish them off, make them work right, incorporate them everywhere in the main OS’s UI, and give them to developer’s to use…

The OS should simply have been based on the same direction it has always been but completely overhauled. It should have been dropped on a new kernel and taken the time to optimize it and dump some of the legacy support and re-write major communication and other pieces that needed help. It should have been cleaned up and compartmentalized so that OTA updates are possible and easy. Hardware requirements should have been raised and simplified to a more appropriate level and not catered to whoever was offering to buid a device if ‘x and y’ were done. Settings screens should have been simplified and cleaned up, and moved to a better interface. And then if you want to offer new ways for apps to look that don’t follow your long existing standards, well offer those paradigms but don’t strip out the usability of the old ones. And then offer new development tools to compliment the device but allow current development to be re-compiled using the same or similar source code that was the standard before, and not force everything to be re-written from scratch.

They didnt need to take Apple’s closed position that developers need to be babysat on everything for speed and stability wise. Its just not true. The raising of hardware requirements and possibly making the OS actually do what you claimed it always did memory management wise would have been a significant improvement. Or even make up a couple new pieces that most applications should have code wise that do some of the simple things like persisting when application goes to the background, and clearly document it and make it the default so most apps use it… Sadly they even took it a step further than Apple and took away native code development which will actually make some applications slower and defeat the purpose.

Now think of all the Enterprise level solutions and Business oriented users of the old OS that are now out of luck once they slowly phase out the original WM OS… I think they really could have done it so that there was one solution for both sets of users….

They simply went too far. Which is maybe the way they felt they needed to approach it, but then they’ve segmented and lost what they did have on a gamble that consumers will like the trendy interface and snatch this up and the hope that they can then attract new developers away from the other new OSes.

Good Luck.