Windows Phone 7: The First Thoughts after hands on...

[COMMENTARY] The moment of truth is not far away. I guess the next 12 months will be a catching-up period for Windows Phone 7. It is not the end, it is only the beginning. In these 365 days, Steve Ballmer and gang will pull out everything they got to make Windows Phone 7 a successful mobile operating system.

You can easily see why. On the day of launch, there are mixed reactions among the crowd. I was at the LG Optimus 7 Launch Event (that is going in a separate post) and I saw the media and tech people. I spoke to friends about it. Here is what I gathered. The enthusiasts are calm
yet hopeful. The manufacturers are excited yet restrained. The consumers are well divided into two camps.

The iPhone, Android and Blackberry camp said “Ah, ok. Windows-based phones are back, cool.
What’s for lunch?”

The others said “Windows Phone! Ok lah, when my contract is up, I have one more choice of OS. Yay! Ok, then what’s for lunch?”

Never mind anyone else. I like it very much. Yes. I meant Windows Phone 7.

I have seen the User Interface time and time again on videos and pictures. But when the historical moment came, I am still pretty much hyped up. Toyed with LG Optimus 7 for several minutes. Then I let the feelings subside. I went back to the phone again. Boy, it is still as refreshing as ever. The UI looks and behave like it is year 2050.

Modern fonts and flying menu. Classy design to go with the huge screen. Topping it off is speed of the device. Quite simply fast.

Taking the physical design of the phone aside, since Windows Phone 7 is essentially what is the gold in the phone, I think some consumers will take time to take to this new OS and some will instantly fall in love WHEN they see it for themselves THAT IS. Microsoft has failed them one time too many for them to believe the media.

Other stuff that are suppose to be there is there. Good display screen. Usable on-screen keyboard (seriously, way better than stock Android’s). Maps. Decent camera.

Before you actually call me a Windows-fan boy and call the police to arrest this mental man on the loose, hear me out. There is one gapping hole and quite serious in actual fact. Where are the apps?

I scrolled through the apps pre-installed on the demo sets, there aren’t many. I saw a couple of RSS readers and Huffington Post. And some other apps that are pretty much made for usage in the States. This is clearly going to be the single most important area Microsoft have to continue their good work so far.

Singaporeans want to play games on our packed-like-sardine SMRT. We want games that are cute. Games that interacts with other users of Windows Phone.

Singaporeans want 4D apps, we need the 4D first time. We want HungryGoWhere and BuUuk to see where to eat. We need SGBus to tell us how many times can we snooze the alarm.

That's right. Whether Steve Ballmer will be laughing or be laughed for his gang's blockbuster of the year depends highly on the Apps store. Now, this is the game of chicken and egg, will the developers try their luck on a new born platform or will the consumers be willing to splash out their moolah for a phone without a good variety of apps?

As of now, you can pre-order your Windows Phone 7 phones with SingTel. With Samsung Omina 7 and LG Optimus 7 priced at S$638 and S$718 respectively with 2 year Telco subscription. Ouch. Isn't Apple iPhone 4 selling in the same price range?

Let wallets of the consumers decide.

First thoughts completely taken out here and my event report for the LG Windows Phone 7 launch will coming right up...

Pre-Order Windows Phone 7 phones with SingTel - Link
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