While the features that Windows Phone 7 can call “exclusive” are few and far between, there’s at least one aspect of it that is absolutely, undeniably original: the user interface.
Called “Metro”, the UI is so unique that it’s almost polarizing — you’ll know whether you love it or hate it within a few seconds. Microsoft is counting on finding a few more lovers in the crowd, it seems: they’ve just launched a browser-based WP7 simulator, seemingly tailored solely to sing Metro’s siren song to the wandering iPhone/Android user.
The simulator is cute, and definitely a great example of what can be done with some incredibly clever scripting — but I’m not sure that it’s actually helpful, either for Microsoft or the curious user. For a laundry list of reasons, the simulator only scratches the surface of what Windows Phone 7 can do; while you can tap into certain screens (the People hub, the Phone dialer) and kinda-sorta simulate what you’d do there, the vast majority just kind of sit there. You’re really just walking through a series of animated screenshots. For anyone who’s written a line of code, the limitations make sense — but for the user trying to get that full-fledged Windows Phone experience, it could easily come across as broken.
Still, it’s worth checking out if only to admire the scripting work. You can find it at http://bit.ly/vvvU05, or by clicking this direct link from your smartphone. It’ll (sort of) work from your desktop browser as well — but as it’s tailored around swipe gestures and touch input, mouse input tends to choke it up.
Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured. Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market. Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and...
Windows Phone 7 is the successor of the Windows Mobile 6.5 mobile operating system in development by Microsoft, scheduled for release by October 2010. Microsoft’s goal is to create a compelling and predictable user experience by redesigning the user interface, disallowing partners to modify or replace it, integrating the operating system with other services, and strictly controlling the hardware it runs on.