Amazed at the current state of Windows Phone 7 - piss poor but with potential.

Ran across an offer for a Windows Phone the other day. $0 on a contract extension. Since I have multiple cell lines one of which was recently extended, to me it amounted to a virtually free phone.

After an hour of quick research I had decided.

Right now:

  • No Windows Phone currently has a front camera or videoconferencing app
  • No official instant messengers. Absolutely none. Web messengers only, like the iPhone in 2007, or sketchy third party ones.
  • No Evernote. Argh!
  • No turn by turn GPS (third party app only)
  • No multitasking. Cheap shot - iPhone doesn’t multitask either, and an upcoming update will introduce this feature, along with copy/paste and a much improved browser, but its a shortcoming for now.
  • No support for flash
  • 512MB RAM tops for all Windows Phones. When multitasking does appear the phones will still have a low ceiling.

There is no word from Microsoft on when a hardware refresh is coming which will include basics found on competing phones, such as dual core CPU, better screens, better graphics, more RAM, the front camera, LTE, NFC, etc. Mum is the word on that.

Developer access to functionality also appears to be limited. An app can’t open TCP sockets, for example, which hinders companies like Skype from releasing a client for Windows Phone, and they’ve all but stated as much.

Maybe my standards are too high and I can only play with dual core superphones right now. But at the moment you couldn’t give me a Windows Phone for free.

I’ll keep my eye on it. The UI is beautiful and the platform does demonstrate a lot of form meets function design - the potential to solve several problems found in the iPhone / Android platforms is there (no UI jerk, no version fragmentation, lower limits on hardware specs, among others too long to list in this article) but has yet to be realized. I’ll tune back into WP7 in six months or so maybe.