The Empire strikes back

I shamelessly stole a tweet for the title of this entry (hope you don’t mind, chetansharma) as I found it very fitting for what transpired today in New York at the Windows Phone 7 keynote.

First off, I’ll get my pet peeves off my chest regarding Windows Phone 7:

  • No cut and paste (slated for early 2011, so at least it’s coming – yes Microsoft, we do use this functionality still)
        • No multitasking
        • Certain functionality missing from the API which I won’t get into here

Now, I do understand that certain things had to be cut for the first release in order to provide a good and stable experience and so I hope that the rest will come in (near) future updates. The approach to do quality over quantity is a good one if this new platform is to stick, we don’t need for WP7 to fail right out of the gate.

So, all that settled, let’s get to the real news: WP7 has launched and the devices has done their stroll down the catwalk! I find myself in a pickle; I don’t know which device I want as they all seem so tastySmile

I do hope that WP7 marks Microsoft’s comeback into the smartphone marked and not a complete failure like, for example, Gartner predicts. Microsoft has done a solid piece of work; they started completely fresh (pretty gutsy and costly) and even came up with their own interface or as the keynote promoted: A different kind of phone. I won’t get into all the features as plenty of articles out there do indepth reviews of them shortly, I assume, but the idea of aggregating information from different sources and placing the data at your fingertips via the tiles is an interesting approach and I think it will work delightfully.

The Metro design is a matter of taste, I’m a big fan of graphically esthetic interfaces and I love the transition effects they do. I know some think they’ve overdone it and some even say its just stupid and a poor attempt at doing something to win over the masses. I’ll just say that my personal opinion is that I love my phone to be all pretty and fancy and leave it at that.

Also, Microsoft finally did what they should have done way earlier: Set some hardware requirements for their OS to ensure smooth running and good user experience across vendors. That’s one of the main advantages a certain fruit has had as they had firm control over the hardware their OS would run on.

I have one little nuisance nagging me and that’s the availability of certain services in my country. As far as I know, there will be no Xbox Live, no Zune and no Marketplace in Norway the day the devices are out in stores. I’m rather tired of fun functionality being available only in the US such as movie rentals etc but that’s an annoying licensing matter.

But, WP7 delivers what I’ve been waiting for: A development platform where I can use Silverlight and XNA and most importantly, Visual Studio. It’s easy for beginners to get into and for more advanced developers to have fun with. That’s where the nameless fruit fails horribly. I just hope that it will get firm footing in the marked and developing WP7 applications won’t become something rare and for especially interested.

And that’s my little comment on today’s keynote.
Wonderfully and delightfully yours.

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