How Microsoft Backstabbed Me & Why I'm Sticking Around
Around this time last year, I ordered my first Windows Phone. I had done my homework and read up all there was to know about the OS and what set it apart from Android and iOS.
I spent time fiddling with friends’ iPhones and various Android devices. iOS was snappy, functional, and consistent– I really appreciated that. But, I also found the home screen to be lacking. The icons are pretty, yes, but don’t do much else than serving as doors into apps.
Android was a mixed bag. The idea of customizing the home screen with widgets is very cool, but often times left your home screen being a hodgepodge of styles. What’s more, navigating around the OS proved to more complex than I’d like and suffered from occasional stuttering on all of the devices I tried. Others also suffered from a severe case of the uglies (looking at you Droid).
“Oh, my phone hasn’t been updated to the latest Android version yet,” a friend told me. “I should be soon though.”
Not knowing whether your Android device would be updated to the latest and greatest is something of a tragedy, and I wanted no part of that. “You just gotta go Nexus, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be updated!” they’ll say; it’s the equivalent of saying “You can have any color, as long as it’s black.” So much for choice, huh?
Then there’s Windows Phone. It stands in between the iOS and Android; it has the stability of iOS and a lot of customization options as Android has (though not as deep). Live tiles are a wonderful change of pace and the home screen truly looks unique and it all runs slippery smooth.
There was (and still) is a large void in Windows Phone, however, and everyone and their moms know what it is: apps are few. Knowing this going in, I clicked and confirmed my order for a Samsung Focus S.
The lack of apps was a source of small ridicule for me from my Android-laden family. Scrabble with Friends? Sorry, I don’t have that. Aside from a few missed opportunities to play games across platforms, I was nary another complaint.
What I really did appreciate was that with however few apps there were, the most popular ones were very well designed. Apps such as Flixster, Twitter, and Facebook all carried over the Metro design language and made the whole experience almost seamless.
Microsoft’s announcement of Windows Phone 8 and the news that legacy devices won’t be getting the big update left me bitter naturally. I thought I’d avoided this sort of thing by steering clear of Android. I questioned my faith in the platform for the first time.
Months after, I’m still thoroughly enjoying the Windows Phone 7.5 experience, and my mind is made: my next phone is still going to be a Windows Phone. With the release of the iPhone 5 (which is a beauty) and the Nexus 4 leaving me rather unimpressed with their software, I am dead sure now.
Windows Phone 8 brings the hardware up to snuff and really looks as though it can put up a good fight with the likes of iPhones and Android phones. I’m also pretty confident that Microsoft won’t stab me in the back again with another update that I can’t have. So, Lumia 920, I’ve got my eyes on your pretty cyan bod.