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.