Windows Phone 7 Preview Roundup

Submitted by lalit on July 19, 2010 - 6:46pm.

Microsoft provided few websites with Windows Phone 7 preview devices and those websites have posted detailed preview of the upcoming mobile OS. The Samsung devices that Microsoft sent were the same reference hardware, which the company will provide to the developers starting today. Most websites called Windows Phone 7 a step in right direction, but incomplete. Below we have added conclusions of some of the Windows Phone 7 previews posted online:

CNET: It's absolutely mind-boggling that Windows Phone 7 is missing some very fundamental features, like copy/paste, third-party multitasking, and universal search. In the past, competitors like Apple were lambasted by the public for not having such features, so you'd think Microsoft would take precautions not to repeat such mistakes. What's worse, the rest of the smartphone world isn't slowing down, and with Windows Phone 7 not scheduled to launch till the holidays, the divide could get deeper.

Criticisms aside, there's a lot we like about Windows Phone 7. The Zune integration is killer, and the core apps are much improved. We also commend Microsoft for being able to acknowledge that its old OS wasn't working and taking a chance on rebuilding something from the ground up. In the end, we think the company's created a pretty solid foundation on which it can grow, but it's got a lot more work and fine-tuning to do between now and the holidays.

Engadget: What we've been presented with here doesn't exactly feel like a complete mobile operating system in many ways. Some parts of Windows Phone 7 are more like a wireframe -- an interesting design study, an example of what a next-gen phone platform could be. That's both good and bad. On one side, we're still really excited by the prospect of Metro as a viable, clean-slate approach to the mobile user experience, and there are lots of smart moves being made that could lead to greatness. On the other side, Microsoft has to turn this into a viable retail product that can hang with the fiercest competition in the history of the cellphone in just a few months' time, and there are some serious issues that need to be addressed. Frankly, it's a little scary.

BGR: We liked using the OS in general, though the experience for us felt a little too much like our time using the Microsoft KIN 2. The tiled homescreen seems a little too constrained and boxed in for us, and the non-frills design approach actually left the handset menus and navigational elements feeling bare and unfinished, rather than pure and unaltered. Not having any sort of menu for hoping back and forth between applications hampers your every day usage, and the animated transitions also start to feel old pretty fast. For a phone that was made from scratch and started on after the first iPhone was introduced, and for a phone that’s not even in market yet, it unfortunately in our view falls short. There’s practically no real innovation we can see with Windows Phone 7. It’s a decent mashup of some already pioneered features like aggregated status updates linked with your contacts, customizable homescreens, and a mobile apps and music marketplace, but we’re not sure that’s enough to push WP7 ahead of the three big juggernauts. It’s a fantastic featurephone, but as a truly competitive smartphone platform, we’re just not sure at this point in time.

SlashGear: This isn’t KIN.  It’s altogether more serious and there’s altogether more riding on it.  Microsoft is making plenty of promises about the future of Windows Phone 7, and if they can coerce developers into play then they could carve a niche.  In comparison to Windows Mobile, the new platform looks better, performs better and feels more aligned with how smartphone owners use their devices today.  Of course, in the process Microsoft has cut ties with their sizeable back catalog of third-party WinMo apps and that’s left a big gap in what’s currently a sparsely-populated Marketplace.  With only months to go before the first production devices are expected to go on sale, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft’s distinctive UI and what we’re hoping will be top-notch hardware can persuade users to look past established rivals and take a chance on what, even at launch, will be a work-in-progress.

PC Mag: Smart phones are, for all intents and purposes, handheld computers. As such, it's impossible to hit every feature in a hands-on report. Windows Phone 7, for instance, comes with a complete set of Office apps that let you create and share documents. I was disappointed to see that this build wouldn't let me type in landscape mode, but that has to be a beta bug. The Xbox Live Games Hub isn't functional yet and there are, essentially, no apps in the Marketplace. Even so, Microsoft is clearly – and finally – heading in the right mobile direction. Now if they could just nail down that ship date.

Gizmodo: Windows Phone 7 is good. Really good. It has the raw components needed to build a great smartphone. Or at least, one from 2009. Is that enough? It's starting a generation behind Android and iPhone, which now have tens of millions devices. On top of that, it's behind them functionally, too, missing things that are now table stakes, like copy and paste and multitasking for third-party applications. People might not know what 'multitasking' is, they'll just wonder why they can't play Pandora in the background.