We need different. We need variety. We need distinct choices. Clear choices that stand out. I am glad that Windows Phone 8 offers me a real choice right now. As far as I can tell, Windows Phone 8 is the best and most innovative thing to happen to mobile since 2007. Everything else has been copy-and-paste.

In Defence of Windows Phone 8

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Finally, Windows Phone 8 is here, and as usual, there are lots of views, opinions and comments being passed around about it. Naturally, some people will like it, and others will not – and that is okay. However, when I begin to read statements like “Windows Phone 8 is imperfect,” I get ticked off.

For one, there is no perfect OS. There are only OSes that we individually prefer to others. Secondly, the same people who are complaining about what Windows Phone 8 lacks today are the same people who drooled over iOS despite its gross deficiencies, even till date. If a reviewer says, “I don’t like this OS because it doesn’t work for me,” that is good and in order. But when he starts pronouncing an OS as imperfect, I really want to tell him to STFU. It is just plain being myopic. The world is bigger than his little corner.

iOS is imperfect. Very. Android is. Belle is. BlackBerry is. All of them are imperfect, but different people prefer them differently, which is why regardless of how any OS is maligned, it still has a market and a fan base. People are different. That’s how the world is. Dissing something because it is different from what you want is just plain juvenile.

I tweeted a gripe about this attitude earlier today, and one of the responses to my tweet was that “Times change. No notifications centre, for example, is inexcusable these days.” I honestly do not understand this. I owned an iOS 5.1 device till recently, and still have Android smartphones available, all of which have notification centres. The notification centre is cool, but I have never found it essential. I use devices without one and do not miss it in any way. So, who defines and determines what is forgivable and what is not? The absence of a notification centre on a mobile OS may be unforgivable for him, but until he said it, I didn’t even know that it was supposed to be a problem for anyone.

Here’s the problem with the human race: We ask for a quality like innovation, which often implies that people should do things differently. But then when someone goes out and innovates, we kick hard, often hypocritically. The truth is that, as a rule, people define “innovation” in terms of who and what they like. If it isn’t coming from their favourite Joe or source, it doesn’t qualify as innovation. You know the way kids go, “My dad is stronger than your dad?” Exactly.

Innovation = Variety = Good

I don’t want different platforms working the same way. I want variety. Variety is good. I am glad that variety is finally present in the modern smartphone market. After years of Android trying to ape iOS, Windows Phone finally brings a fresh of breath air.

I do not care whether Windows Phone ever outsells iOS or Android. I do hope that it sells enough to stay viable in the market, which is all that matters really. If someone does not like WP8, he should not buy it. Simple. But I hope to God that we shall see more variety from other platforms in the near future, especially MeeGo and Firefox mobile. BlackBerry OS 10 seems to offer some fresh air too.

For a while, the mobile landscape has been extremely boring for a while. Everything looks and works alike. Slabs. touch. Pull-down. We need more variety. All of them trying to ape a now dated OS and user interface introduced in 2007. Shame. After all of them end up looking and working the same way, what choices then would we have?

We need different. We need variety. We need distinct choices. Clear choices that stand out. I am glad that Windows Phone 8 offers me a real choice right now. As far as I can tell, Windows Phone 8 is the best and most innovative thing to happen to mobile since 2007. Everything else has been copy-and-paste.

8 comments

  1. jes read d review on w8, dey really improved, bringing to light d epic fail known as 7.5.

    Key features:
    Multi-core processor and multiple screen resolution
    support
    Clean, uncluttered UI with distinctive design language
    DirectX graphics support
    Excellent MS Office mobile implementation
    Top-notch social integration
    Cloud services (SkyDrive, Windows Live, Xbox Live)
    Wireless sync of multimedia content
    Internal memory expandable via microSD card slot
    USB Mass Storage mode
    Multi-tasking
    DivX/XviD video support
    Nokia-powered Bing Maps
    Children’s corner
    Data Sense
    Class-leading JavaScript performance
    NFC support
    Bluetooth file transfers..

    am impressed, almost tempted…. finally dey get it. status bar ain’t so useful tho + dia tile thingy is awesomely beautiful

  2. NB: 7.5 lacked 90% of d aforementioned key features. alas,d phones will b expensive :'( & d 7.5 can’t b upgraded to 8

  3. with all those things we have been clamoring for now implemented in WP8 , the Mobile OS MarketPlace has just gone off like an incendiary.

    The two things that can now tip the scales in WP8`s favor is the variety and quantity of available apps; and price competitiveness of the WP8 devices…

    if Microsoft creatively leverages on their Desktop dominance, they may still surprise us all. yet.

  4. Just watched the video review of windows phone 8 by Joe Belfiore. The OS looks beautiful. Amazing and unique in what it does!

  5. Very much on point. Different people prefer things differently and when making choices, a lot of things may just come into consideration. Some people are so hooked on some features that they simply find it difficult to accept any platform lacking the implementation of such features. Believe it or not the pulldown notification system is very good that both Nokia and Apple did not waste time in copying it.

    Crying over lack of the pulldown notification, even generalizing it is fine, but saying that Windows Phone 8 is imperfect because of its lack isn’t like saying anything really because I’ve not heard that Microsoft is marketing the OS as the perfect OS. Against Apple’s iOS, it may be okay.

    OS differentiation is good but copying one or two very good features is not entirely out of order, and I can remember Mr. Mo himself advocating that but again choosing to do it entirely differently is still good, that way we can explore other options. I appreciate the pulldown notification system very much but I do hope Windows Phone 8 will garner enough momentum to survive.

    Copying does not always guarantee success and that may be one of the reasons for the woeful failure of the previous Windows Phone 7.x because Microsoft chose to copy Apple’s business model in its implementation so I commend them for trying it in a different dimension this time and removing most of the Apple-ish restrictions that plagued their Windows Phone 7.x.

  6. I think the window phones OS got almost everything nokia fans wanted, “except” may be USB OTG. Some people are just fanatics. I wish you luck NOKIA. Just like first love, nokia was my first smartphone and I just can’t distance myself away from her. Whenever I read or hear bad news about nokia, it touches me as if I have a share in the company. I think it good to be die hard fan of a product and leave with its defficiencies as if those things are no problems, but what is bad is not to appreciate good things or better innovation in other OSs.

  7. Defense? Windows phone needs no defense. Pound for pound, its probably the best or at worst the second best mobile OS at the moment. It has the best and most unique interface. Good riddance to the stale grid of icons. It is only beaten in features by android and even at that, it has features no other OS has. It is smooth, Very smooth with transitions to die for. It has some of the best hardware. The lumias, activ and 8 series phones. The only area it has to catch up on is number of available apps which is understandable given the fact that it is relatively new. Nevertheless, it has leapfrogged BB Os and Symbian on availability of apps in its apps store. If any platform is going to lure me from android, it can only be windows phone. Like someone said, this is the first real innovation in mobile OS since 2007. If you still have doubts about windows phone, do yourself a favour and go to youtube. You would be blown away

  8. WP8 is bringing in an entirely fresh look, design and functionality. it doesnt have to be perfect. its different enough for it to be considered against the present ios and android. if I an leaving android today, its to jump into the WP8 camp.

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