Hi, I'm iPhone Rene, and You're Windows Phone? -- Round Robin

Rico

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So, Sense UI, is that hiding the true power/purpose of Windows Mobile on these two devices? Last year I liked the Treo Pro more than the Touch Pro 1 because it was so unabashedly WinMo -- fast, fiddly, and front-facing. Now it seems hard to find a plain vanilla (or Titanium) Windows Phone.

Are we losing something in the race by HTC and others to become more mainstream friendly and accessible?
Anytime something becomes more mainstream, it risks alienating it's core userbase by going in a completely different, often more accessible, direction. But that has to happen to attract new user so that the company can grow and serve not just those new users, but also the ones who were with the company early on.

Obviously, Sense does hide some of the power away from the user. It also hides the ugliness and lets them perform basic tasks within Sense which is more finger friendly. It's added some sexiness that Windows Mobile hasn't had, and i think once people actually use the devices they realize that Windows Mobile isn't the child-eating ogre that it's been made out to be.

jankyhanky said:
Touchflo, Wizbar, and some of these UI's have been over the top or just plain silly. WinMo 6.5 and even 6.1's interfaces work fine. They just aren't very good looking. Touchflo makes winmo HARDER to use. I can safely say that I would never use the messages and the contacts panel on touchflo.


I would be happy if WinMo cleaned itself up so that HTC wouldn't want to skin it anymore.
i'll agree that there's some over-the-top launchers out there. Many launchers (like ThrottleLauncher) aren't built by people who have backgrounds in design, be it graphic, information, etc. They're just copying UIs that work and adding features. That's not how you make a good interface. But it shows the flexibility of Windows Mobile to emulate other interfaces, which obviously a sizable amount of Windows Mobile users want. That and girly wallpaper.

TouchFlo's come a long way since the annoying spinning cube. i'd say that now with Sense, it's extremely usable and provides a better overall UX for most people than the stock UI. Most reviewers seem to agree. TouchFlo 3D as it came on my Fuze was more like a proof of concept than something usable. i disabled it and used the stock 6.1 interface. TouchFlo 3D 2.x actually became usable and snappier. i prefer it to the stock Windows Mobile interface, though i disable half the tabs because i either don't use the service the tab offers or have something which works better. Sure, it makes things a bit harder to use because you'll eventually be dropped back to the Windows Mobile UI which means learning another interface, but for my uses it makes up for it by putting my alarm clock, agenda, and basic weather all within a few swipes or taps, and very easy to tap on. i also like being able to preview emails because many i get aren't worth reading immediately. Is it over-the-top? Sure, i could do without the flipping envelope animation and the amount of polish they put on the weather tab is ridiculous, although i've warmed up to it. But that's what attracts the masses. i can't tell you how many people have been wowwed over the weather app, many of which iPhone users.

HTC will be skinning Windows Mobile for some time. It's not like they looked at the platform and just felt bad for the UI and decided to skin it. They realized that by skinning it not only would it make their devices easier to use and sell, but ultimately that they could create an experience and brand that would transcend OSes. It's why we see Sense on their new BREW phone. It's the iconic interface for HTC. Regardless of how pretty the WM7 GUI is, OEMs will continue skinning it.

jankyhanky said:
The UI on TouchPro2 is way too over the top. What's wrong with 6.5 stock? The new HP
iPaq Glisten and LG Expo left it almost intact on their new phones.
Everything i've seen on the Expo shows a heavily-skinned UI; LG's S-class interface. i think it goes deeper than Sense even.
 

jankyhanky#WP

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Everything i've seen on the Expo shows a heavily-skinned UI; LG's S-class interface. i think it goes deeper than Sense even.

From the pictures I've seen online I thought the Expo was skinned too, but our LG rep came into the store the other day to show off her new Expo. It was her first smartphone, so I was surprised to not see any of the S-class skinning. I didn't look at it for more than a minute or two, but it looked stock to me.
 

jc1125

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I'm going to answer the question about branding. I may not be saying anything here that you probably haven't thought of yourself, but I see the branding of Windows Mobile as being a result of their corporate culture. Apple is almost Japanese in the way every aspect of the iPhone was developed (Kaisen or continuous improvement...something I learned in B school), which Steve Jobs overseeing every aspect. I like what you wrote about the iPhone being something that Steve Jobs loved. It seems personal to him, and most certainly it has his fingerprints all over it.

Microsoft on the other hand, at least for its mobile space, uses the Windows model. It creates a powerful OS and releases it to the world. Third party manufacturers are free to make hardware for it, or to release custom GUIs for it. It really is the Catholic versus Protestant metaphor that Dieter used in the past. Perhaps Windows Mobile is just product to Balmer. Although the development of the Windows Mobile platform is more organic.

Microsoft is also a very large organization, and having worked in large organizations I can see how sometimes communication between groups might be difficult. Apple seems to me to be more centralized. There is most certainly a Steve Jobs guiding...approving or disapproving. Windows Mobile seems less guided..

Windows Mobile needs direction, marketing and branding.. When Microsoft makes a concerted effort (like in the Zune) it can do it.

I think Microsoft should be like Google. Throw the weight of Microsoft behind a hardware development team, software....synergize... and create a killer Microsoft Windows phone. I know it may create tension with HTC, but aren't many third parties started to manufacture Android phones anyway. Maybe Microsoft needs to take its mobile destiny into its own hands. A Microsoft unlocked Windows phone. That would be cool.
 

Rico

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From the pictures I've seen online I thought the Expo was skinned too, but our LG rep came into the store the other day to show off her new Expo. It was her first smartphone, so I was surprised to not see any of the S-class skinning. I didn't look at it for more than a minute or two, but it looked stock to me.
Phonedog has a video review on Youtube, and the review starts off with the stock UI. A few minutes into it, he switches over to the S-Class UI.

i would've killed for a 3.5mm headphone jack and/or the tilting function of the Tilt 2, but i think i'll upgrade from my Fuze to this. i'm disappointed that the HD2 went to T-Mobile, and Mal confirmed some concerns i had about it likely being able to run Windows Mobile 7, but not provide the full experience.
 

Sayo

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Windows Mobile needs direction, marketing and branding.. When Microsoft makes a concerted effort (like in the Zune) it can do it.

I think Microsoft should be like Google. Throw the weight of Microsoft behind a hardware development team, software....synergize... and create a killer Microsoft Windows phone. I know it may create tension with HTC, but aren't many third parties started to manufacture Android phones anyway. Maybe Microsoft needs to take its mobile destiny into its own hands. A Microsoft unlocked Windows phone. That would be cool.


I sort of like the (supposed) direction Microsoft is heading in with the re-branding of Windows Mobile. With the introduction of "Seven" in two forms, Microsoft is, at the same time, able to pull off their old model of licensing out an essential or "core" business edition OS, while presenting their personal, vertical, consumer solution (Zune/apple-esque), where they would intend to control the specific device access into their walled garden of zune and XBOX integration. Also, by leveraging the XBOX brand, they are potentially able to gain a fairly signifiant foothold immediately ollowing release, even with only first-party apps in the initial rounds.

In short... Microsoft might be about to get back in the game.
 

Fobok

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I really hope they can get back into the game.

I think the small number of people posting in these WME threads compared to say Crackberry or Android Central shows that WinMo really has a lot of public interest ground to catch up.
 

nihouma

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When I hear 7, I'm concerned that I might lose the power, since it is an entirely new kernel. Sure, eventually we will get back to the level of control WM has right now, but at release, it will (probably) be unfamiliar enough to delay that control for a few months...By that time, Android and webOS will be understood enough to provide that same control.

It is the true strength of WM, and if MS can pull off UI rehaul whilst keeping power, I'm definitely going to stick around...
 

Fdo35

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I just want to say that I am anti-Apple in every way, so as to not insult you, I'll just say that Windows Mobile 7 is Microsoft's solve-everything solution; it's even built from scratch.
 

Fdo35

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So yeah, Windows Mobile 7 will have many, many improved features.
To see alot of them, look at all posts tagged windowsmobile7, WM7, WindowsMobile7, Seven, and things like that on this site.
 

dougsyo

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The hubbub over iPad was ridiculous
- no Flash
- no multitasking
- no camera
- no MicroSD slot
- ATT - and a funky SIM that is better than a network lock at keeping control

No thanks.

Doug
 

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