No one seriously could claim that Windows 6.5 is a state-of-the art smartphone operating system. Besides all enhancements HTC brought to the homescreen of the devices the backyard with standard functionality was old, less finger friendly and relied on concepts from the beginning of the last decade where you had to use a stylus to type or draw messages and tap on checkboxes. Developers had the chance (if they could afford a copy of Visual Studio) to change that but they didn’t – may it because the platform was too unsexy for the Apple-affiliated brand nerd or the Linux geek that used to work on Android or because its marketplace was installed on such a small number on devices and not supported by most manufacturers initially.
IMHO Microsoft’s Windows 7 phone series could change everything to the better of the unlucky and tarnished super-company from Redmond. It offers a very unique way of using it and it concentrates on real world needs – much more than any other platform that simply puts some playful but mostly unneeded widgets and apps in the front page of the phone’s display. At one glance you see your friend’s updates, how many mails have arrived, what time it is and even if your Xbox buddies have updates. The submenus (hubs as Microsoft calls them) are fluently integrated and offer a completely new, never-seen-before user experience that definitely is an amazing way to present information. Luckily Microsoft limits the graphical magic to some switch and slide effects occurring when you change the menus (at least in the previews that you can download all over the web) – a very good decision that also might be decisive for users that don’t get the real benefit of animated homescreen wallpapers (they don’t have one besides showing off you phone to friends never seen Android before).
Today Golem (and many others, sorry guys) wrote that Microsoft denies that HTC will override the homescreen with Sense. Of course Microsoft will deny that since without the native Home you don’t get the idea of the system at all. And actually: is HTC so numb that they would do that? I dismissed Sense on my Desire for ADW.Launcher one week after I got the phone. All the graphics in Sense look nice but actually – they don’t make much … sense. A social hub – Sense’s real advantage – is integrated in many modern OSs already (bada is the best example I think) so this doesn’t fit over WP7S either.
For all of you who haven’t seen it yet, here’s a video for the new Windows 7 phone series feature set:
And finally here’s Golem’s (german) article about the feature set: http://www.golem.de/1008/76964.html. Note that there won’t be a commonly usable multitasking instance and copy and paste functions in WP7S.