Windows Phone 8 was announced on Monday, Oct. 29th. While most of the features and phones were already known to the public, the event showed off a beautiful and new way for phones to work. A phone that is "reinvented around you" as they stated at their event.
But what is it that sets Windows Phone 8 apart from the dozens of Android phones, and the iPhone? Integration. The integration of numerous services into the actual phone UI is very appealing to me. For example, Twitter and Facebook are built into the people hub, other services are integrated into the OS as well. While some people may not like that sort of integration, there is always an app for that. The integration in iOS and Android just isn't as deep.
I had a Windows Phone 7. I was one of the first people to get one back in November 2010. I was debating on whether or not to get the iPhone or Windows Phone 7, I wasn't a phone expert back then so I chose by using the two phones and I found Windows Phone 7 more inviting, more simple. And by simple I don't mean featureless. As DaVinci said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication".
To truly create a device that feels simple, yet has all the features you wanted was a great feat. However, Microsoft wasn't quite there in 2010, or 2011. But now, with the launch of Windows Phone 8 I feel that consumers, who start see the tile interface and play with the Windows Phones at retail stores, will get it.
There is an appeal to having things be simple. I, for one, spend way too much time flashing ROMS and customizing my Galaxy Nexus, and I sort of wish I had a phone with limited customization. . That situation is restricted to flash addicted people like me, but it would be nice not to have the option for advanced customization. I could probably find better use for that time.
Yes I know the iPhone is restrictive as well in terms of customization, but I've owned the iPhone 4S and am not the biggest fan. It's a great device, don't get me wrong, but I feel that the Windows Phone 8 OS has something very attractive about it. I think I'm going to take the plunge when my upgrade comes around and see if WP8 lives up to my expectations.
Have a look at Joe Belfiore demoing some of the new Windows Phone 8 devices and features. Here's a small quote:
"It's the only phone that has live tiles, for the people you care about and the apps that you use all the time. It's a different story than iOS and Android. The iOS 6 homescreen is really just a sea of static icons. It's not people; it's not live data. Of course, after five years, they have added one more row of icons! Android homescreens typically present a complex maze of icons, widgets, and settings. But, they look a lot like iPhones, too. If you put a bunch of them together on a table, it'd be hard to tell your own from the crowd. We felt there was a better way. Windows Phone 8 -- it looks different, and that's because we didn't make WP8 for all of us, we made it for each of us."
AUTHORS NOTE: Over the past 6 months I have been experimenting with each of the three main ecosystems: iOS, Android, and now I am going to begin using WP8 and Windows 8 products only. I am doing this to compare the experience between each ecosystem. I am trying to truly test the differences between iOS, Android, and WP8. I've spent months using, Apple products, then I moved onto Google products and I am about to start Microsoft products. I am spending so much time with each one to get experience everyday use scenarios. Once I am done with this experiment, I will be posting some conclusions.