Author: Anand Pandya
For the longest time, I used a Nokia phone (the same one everyone had), and then when smart phones hit, I switched over to a BlackBerry. I loved my BlackBerry and thought there was nothing that would ever get me to switch. I received an iPhone for work, and though I can see why everyone likes it, I never really got hooked by the features and the volume of available apps. So, if you’re keeping tabs, that’s a BlackBerry and an iPhone…I’m a pager away from a full blown Batman utility belt.
However, while attending WPC 2010, Microsoft unveiled the Windows Phone 7, and the entire Verizon center gasped in impressed delight. Here was something new. Microsoft, as KT put it, had made up for their lost ground in the phone market. I got the Windows Phone 7 the night it came out (because I’m a dork like that), and within 30 minutes, I was hooked. The tile UI, the ease and simplicity make using my phone easier to use than ever.
As I alluded to earlier, I don’t use a ton of apps, so the small volume (that’s consistently growing) of apps didn’t bother me. Could I make clear calls? Yes. Could I read and respond to emails and text? Yes. Could I listen to music? Yes. Could I read and alter Office docs comfortably? Yes. 4 Big points, 4 Big check marks. I’ll even take credit (though he won’t fess up to it) that I was responsible for our CEO for getting a Windows Phone 7 after he tinkered around with mine when he was in Dallas.
One thing I’ve noticed though is, the social attitude tends to be that the Windows Phone 7 can’t be good because…well, it can’t be good because it’s Microsoft, and everyone knows that it’s “not cool” to have those products. (Nevermind that everyone I know who scoffs at Microsoft consumer products owns an XBox.)
Would Microsoft have been better off then they are selling Windows Phone 7 if they never called it Windows Phone 7? Think about it, if the stigma is “Microsoft consumer product is not cool”, but the reviews are “this tile UI is really great, and for all intents and purposes this phone is awesome” wouldn’t the overall review of an unbranded phone be “this is a great phone and we can’t recommend it enough?” I had the same discussion with a customer of ours who is in the telecomm world, and they agreed whole heartedly that if Microsoft had named the phone something else, and let the carriers and manufacturers just sell it on their brands, the social stigmas wouldn’t apply and the phone would be doing even better than it already is.
If you own an iPhone, BlackBerry or Android and then played around with the Windows Phone 7 UI and liked it, but it was simply the “Samsung Focus” and not a “Windows Phone”, would that be enough for you to switch? Share your thoughts.