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Windows Phone vs. iPhone: 15 months later

Thursday, March 15, 2012 in Technical Articles (Views: 4323)
It's been about 15 months or so since I started using the Windows Phone. I converted from the iPhone 3GS, and recently upgraded iOS and switched back thanks to hardware malfunction. So, here's the look at the two side by side.

First, Microsoft had an uphill climb with their phone for 2 reasons. Frankly, Windows Mobile sucked, and I can say that since I used every version from PocketPC phone until 6.5. The fact they refer to this as Windows Phone 7 is probably a bad thing, some could see it as an upgrade and not a rewrite.

Microsoft though does have something decent on their hands now, and it will be interesting to see what they make of it as 7.5 (Mango) has been out a while. Apple is not #1 in the market - that belongs to Android. However, it is still a really good device. I really didn't miss the iPhone all that much, and for some things, I really don't miss it.

Let's just do the spoiler now and say that the results are about even - and for Microsoft to say that in my mind, is quite an achievement. This is of course, strictly from a technology perspective, and not market share. Microsoft in my mind, really dropped the ball on marketing this product. If you were to go into most mobile carrier stores, it's sometimes hard to find a Windows Phone, or worse, a salesperson trying to talk you out of it for an Android when their knowledge of all products is lacking.

What they both do well? They are both stable platforms - Windows Phone is much improved from Windows Mobile which required at least a reboot a day, and sometimes it would take minutes to have a click register. Windows Phone is responsive, stable, and in 15 months, only needed 2 reboots. The iPhone is pretty solid as well, with few reboots.

What Windows Phone does well and iPhone doesn't is the ability to manage life. With more than 1 email account, I can have signatures for every account. I can organize my life quickly, get around the phone apps like calendar, contacts, conversations, and really do it quite quickly with a fairly easy flow. The iPhone on the other hand, doesn't have "an app for that". Everything is seperate, and the best answer to multiple signatures is copy and paste from somewhere else. If you want to send a message to someone, make sure it's on the right account with the iPhone. Windows Phone literally leaves Apple on the turf on this one.

One piece of credit to Windows Phone, was the one step move to the camera. I'm sure Microsoft felt a little flattered when iOS 5.1 FINALLY added a camera feature to the lock screen instead of several moves to get to the camera.

What iPhone does well and Windows doesn't is app support. Windows Phone has a lot of apps, but a lot of them are garbage, as does Apple. Quantity doesn't equal quantity, people. For those better apps, you can tell the iPhone versions are much more polished and developed. My guess is that people want to invest time and effort where the market share is. But, I do think that for the most part, Apple has Microsoft beat on the amount of "cool apps" and apps that can make life more pleasant. For example, I can check in for flights, have a bank app that can deposit a check without going to the bank, and so forth. Windows Phone doesn't have those apps to help manage life.

Honestly, between the two - if it's a communication device you want, it's by far Windows Phone. If it's a game and app machine, it's by far iPhone. With the amount of hype and effort going to Windows 8, it will be interesting to see what comes out of it.

Apple I think with the iPhone has peaked, but they had such as good product, and honestly, I can't think of much they can do to improve it except, well, make the communication interfaces more like Windows Phone.

Windows Phone I think is up and coming, and needs to draw support like Apple has for the iPhone. If they could score that, it could be easy for them to move up and even challenge for the top spot. Maybe another 15 months from now, things will be different. Time to wait and see...


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