by Jin S. Kim
Windows Phone 7: Very similar to Zune HD. Complete revamp of start screen. “METRO” UI that is “very clean”, “soulful”, and “alive.” No multitasking and no Flash. Full Xbox gaming and Zune integration. The METRO UI is expected to be unveiled at Mobile World Congress, not hardware.
I must say Zune HD has more hardware firepower than the iPod touch. If only Microsoft had something as big and good as the iTunes Music Store the Zune HD would see considerably more sales. I am not surprised to see that a future Windows Phone 7 will make use of the Zune HD as well integrate Xbox gaming. The Zune HD UI is quite nice and simple and generally works quite well. There’s also a fairly large Xbox following. Taking advantage of just those two would be a solid start for Windows Phone 7.
Apple doesn’t have an Xbox-equivalent gaming experience. Sure the iPhone and iPod touch can game but the experience falls short of an Xbox or a PlayStation. I’m not a hardcore gamer but my preference is to mash a physical button to kick things into gear. Unfortunately the Windows Phone 7 will lack that physical connection too. But I have hope, in a Xbox controller you can stick the Windows Phone 7 into. Or maybe you can use a Xbox controller to control the Windows Phone 7. I’m sure there will be an enormous number of possible solutions, all being rather inelegant but utilitarian.
The METRO is codename for the UI that will be better than what you find on the Zune HD. I’m not sure what I should think when I hear words like “soulful” or “alive” to describe a UI. But here’s hoping the METRO UI will be a worthy competitor to the iPhone OS or webOS. I don’t doubt it will be infinitely more polished than Android since Zune HD’s UI is much better already.