Feeds

Phone 7: Another Vista or another XP?

We scratch beneath the surface and find a bit of both

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Exploring with Internet Explorer

Microsoft's web browser deserves a special mention, as it's faster and more responsive than any of the competition. Pinch to zoom is supported, but mostly one just taps to zoom in and out, and the speed with which it loads and renders pages is directly comparable to a desktop computer. Few sites recognised the browser as being mobile, so in most cases we had the desktop site that worked perfectly on the diminutive screen.

Flash isn't supported, and won't be anytime soon, but neither is SilverLight (Microsoft's answer to Flash). We're told that YouTube videos will work, and that a YouTube client will be triggered by clicking on an embedded video in a website, but on our handset that wasn't working.

Microsoft WinPho 7

It would be nice to think that other applications might be integrated in the same way - triggered though a website link, but apparently that's not the plan. Better functionality is reserved for Microsoft and its buddies.

The Final Call

Microsoft has achieved amazing things with Windows Phone 7, and some of the details are beautifully executed, but the platform is far from perfect. When the handset was first issued, the Microsoft staff spent more than half an hour trying to get it working with The Register's email system, partly thanks to some dodgy hotel Wi-Fi, and partly down to the way we run our email system - but mostly the time was taken up looking at a mailbox that blithely claimed to be empty and refused to admit anything was wrong. A couple of error screens and we'd have been sorted in half the time, but Microsoft hates to display error screens, so Windows Phone 7 doesn't show them.

Even now the mailbox integration is far from perfect, working perfectly with an IMAP account but unable to tally with the contents of a Gmail box, for reasons that remain obscure.

This is all a shame, 'cos the animations and thumb-driven interfacing really is very impressive and makes the handset pleasant to use despite its complexity. The tiles need to be more interactive to justify their existence, and what bugs there are need addressing, but in a year or two Windows Phone 7 could be a very impressive platform.

But not yet. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.