If you have read more than two blog posts on Psiktech you have probably noticed that I have a strong tendency toward Android and Windows Phone 8. I am a former Apple fanboy who has long since left that demographic. While I am critical of Apple, it is not because I intrinsically dislike them. No, it is because I expect them to live up to the hype and expectation that they build up around themselves. While Apple stagnates, rests on their laurels and watches Android eat it’s lunch, Windows Phone 8 is creeping up and looks to be the most innovative mobile operating system this side of anywhere.
If the Nokia Lumia 920 is any indication of the direction that Windows Phone 8 devices might go, Android better watch out as well. Despite the fact that Windows Phone is an almost insignificant portion of the smartphone market, there is a lot of room to grow. The almost inevitable demise of RIM’s Blackberry devices, the IT void will be filled. Much has been written on the subject so I don’t need to say more about the obvious tie-ins IT administrators will see between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices.
The most striking designs in both hardware and user interface are firmly in the WP8 camp. Apple’s iOS looks like it was designed by Fisher-Price and the iPhone chassis is flat-out boring. Not to mention the fact that with all of the emphasis on the “simplicity” of Apple’s design, they are rapidly becoming the Jitterbug of smartphones. Samsung’s recent TV spot alludes to that fact.
Android on the other hand is on the other side of the spectrum. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich made vast improvements on the design and implementation of the operating system. Android 4.1 Jellybean enhanced features, and the user experience along with adding nifty features like Google Now. On the hardware side, Android is having difficulties providing a consistent experience. Many of the manufacturers (and developers) don’t follow the design guidelines that Google has laid out. Take Samsung for instance. What is up with that ridiculous home button on the Galaxy S III and upcoming Galaxy Note II? The button is tacky and too reminiscent of the iPhone. As much as it violates the “open” philosophy of Android, Google needs to put the hammer down on a little bit and insist on consistent hardware.
This is where Windows Phone shines. It looks nothing like Android and iOS. There is no way a person could look at a Windows Phone and confuse it for an Android or an iPhone. The design is slicker, cleaner and more efficient. Where the iPhone is the mom phone and Android is for both the cheapskates and the powerusers, Windows Phone 8 splits the gap in very pragmatic fashion. They have most of the tricks of Android and are not as bogged down as iOS.
And I probably won’t buy one.
Why? Because Windows still has the stink on. When people think of Windows, they think of work, Vista, Windows XP and IT issues. The Windows brand is not sexy. Despite the major re-branding effort underway, the name Windows has been tarnished by two decades of history. It’s completely irrational I know. I should be paying attention the functionality and design and not just the perception of a brand. I want to change but can’t bring myself to do it.
To use a Windows Phone 8 device to the fullest, I have to buy into a whole ‘nother ecosystem. I am already very heavily invested in Google and the effort it would require to move everything over would be a hassle. I have a system that is set up and working well. Overcoming personal inertia can be incredibly difficult.
This all said, I sincerely wish the best for Windows Phone 8 and Nokia. Ideally, the smartphone market would be divided roughly equally among the three main smartphone operating systems. This would foster the greatest competition and the consumer would benefit. I haven’t completely ruled out switching to Windows Phone. That will all depend on if the Nokia Lumia 920 comes to Verizon or not.
Any switchers to Windows Phone out there? Let me know your experience in the comments below! I’m serious. I am still on the fence.