With the announcement of Microsoft making an Android Phone I thought it would be fun to have a thread for us Windows Phone / Mobile fans to reminisce, wonder where it all went wrong, and hope that one day it might even go right again.
My first smartphone was a XDA Zest running Windows Mobile 6.1 in around 2008. In many ways a terrible device, but a comparatively full featured web browser and ability to edit documents on the go was fun in a world still filled with flip phones. It had that Windows Mobile problem of many interfaces having tiny buttons which required the use of the stylus. It also had a rather lacklustre app store. Some thing never change.
I moved on to a Samsung Omia W with Windows Phone 7.5. Windows Phone 7 in it’s prime is probably my favourite mobile OS. The metro design was beautiful. And cool. Live tiles, panoramas, a consistent theme. While the app selection was still sparse, many embraced this design language, and were better than on of platforms as a result. With a Zune branded music player and Xbox branded games hub it felt like MS was incorporating the best elements of it’s other consumer plays. And yes, hubs. Probably my favourite part of the platform. Having all your photos, social media etc in one place was amazing and such a step forward. But you can see why Facebook etc would prefer to have you use their apps, and so it was killed off.
Next up was a Lumia 1020 on WP 8. The ultimate conversation starter. Pull out the phone for a quick picture and the camera sensor would be centre of attention. “Yes, 41 MP!” Some of the metro UI features were phased out in an attempt to make it easier for apps to be ported over. A pragmatic choice, but it did ruin some of the sparkle.
I’ve just had to check the market share stats because thinking back the collapse was so quick. I felt so positive when I first purchased this device. Market share was higher over here in Europe, double digits in some countries. Important apps were present. Even my non technical friends were buying them. It was a viable 3rd platform.
But I guess it was downhill from there. Market share stagnated and fell, as did the app count. Device releases from the newly MS owned Nokia became lacklustre. Then it was announced that a large proportion of WP8 devices wouldn’t be upgraded to 10. The 4th total upheaval in a row, people who had bought into the platform again abandoned and left behind. MS started releasing software on Android and iPhone before WP.
It was at this point that I decided to hop off the train and purchase an Android device rather than something running Windows Mobile 10. It just didn’t feel like the platform had a future. I guess looking back I made the right call. But I do still miss the glory days.
Any other WP fans here? What did you like? When did you decide to move off? Or are you one of the crazy ones still using the platform? Would you embrace a future Windows 10x powered mobile device? Or have you been burned enough times already?