Amusingly, we’ve been accused of being biased towards both Android and Apple in the past. However it’s never been suggested that our one true love is Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Well, that might be set to change, as WP is all I’m going to write about for the next several hundred words.
If you believe the analysts at Pyramid, Windows Phone will become the most popular smartphone operating system in the near future. How near? Space year 2013AD, to be exact. Maybe it’s about time we started showing WP a little more love.
Windows Phone 7 launched last October and was immediately criticised for omitting key features, perhaps most notably copy&paste. Apple took a huge amount of stick for the delay in introducing the feature to iOS, yet Microsoft, bizarrely, saw fit to debut its new OS without it.
Of course, that’s all been rectified now with the NoDo update. It only took – what? – five months to roll it out. Microsoft will be keen to gloss over the disappointing "pre-update" that did, well, nothing, not to mention the reported problems with bricked Samsung phones.
The Mango update, scheduled for release later this year, or possibly early 2012, will further improve the OS, with enhanced multitasking, Internet Explorer 9, and a host of big name apps from the likes of Amazon, Skype and Spotify. Oh, and don’t forget Angry Birds.
Microsoft will also introduce a couple of brand new Bing features, in addition to the existing Maps content. Bing Audio is essentially a Shazam-style application that allows you to identify a song by holding your phone up to it. Bing Vision will allow users to scan barcodes.
Developers will also be able to access the motion sensor, which paves the way for an abundance of augmented reality-style action. Nice.
The Windows Phone 7 range boasts Office and Xbox Live-related goodness. As a hardened gamer, the latter is certainly appealing. You can sign in with your Xbox gamertag and earn achievements to boost your gamerscore. Not that I approve of achievement whoring. Ahem.
Microsoft has fairly strict regulations in terms of the necessary specs for Windows Phone 7 handsets. You can expect a flash camera with at least 5MP, a minimum of 256MB RAM and 8GB flash memory, and seven dedicated hardware buttons. As such, the handsets are largely very similar.
There isn’t a great deal of Windows Phone 7 devices on the market at the moment. Nokia is expected to give the OS a huge boost when it finally joins the party, eventually introducing a much-needed range of mid-range devices. In the meantime, your choices are HTC, LG, Samsung and Dell, and they ain’t cheap.
So this is the point where I was going to list some of the WP7 handsets that you can pick up at the moment, but I appear to have rambled on for longer than expected. I guess I’ll get to work on that on Monday.