By far we all know the first wave of Windows Phone 7 devices (to be available Oct 2010) will provide a complete new user experience. Here are some 'leaked' videos of WP7 devices (disclaimer: unverified sources):
So the UI looks pretty cool-instead of placing a matrix of application icons on the screen, Microsoft chooses to let user build "tiles" on the home screen, with each tile linking to an application. Actually I believe this design is a bit ahead of iPhone. Look at Windows 3.1 and iPhone. Do you see some similarity?
Naturally, one may ask: other than the "icon matrix", is there a better way to present a list of applications on a screen? Maybe this one?
It seems to me that the WP7 UI is kind of a big leap from the "icon matrix" style--this is like Win95 versus Windows 3.1.
Microsoft has finally figured out how to leverage the company's other assets to grow the Windows Phone ecosystem: XBox, Zune, Office Mobile, and Sharepoint.Granted, a significant part of the new system borrowed ideas from iPhone: "touching is believing", the capacitive multi-touch screen, MarketPlace (app store), few buttons (3 instead of 1 on iPhone), etc. Still, WP7 has some edge over other platforms:
- XBox Live: neither Apple and Google has such a gaming network; Nintendo and Sony do; but are they planning to make phones?
- Office Mobile: view and edit your Office documents on the device;
- Zune: very similar to iTunes, and what you already see on a Zune HD device. Sleek UI, simple PC client;
Hopefully these new things, plus a stable, touch-friendly, and "simple" UI will win back many deeply unsatisfied Windows Mobile users.