Windows Phone 7: a limited browsing experience?

I was very impressed by the new WP 7 that came out at Barcelona MWC. The User Experience just seems great with its “Tiles” and “Hubs”. The OS seems fluid, responsive and fat finger friendly.

Windows Phone screens

Windows Phone screens

I scratched a bit behind the surface thanks to some connections in the industry.

And here is the disappointment. After chasing for years RIM’s BlackBerry in the business segment, Microsoft is now after Apple’s iPhone. Microsoft is reproducing not only the best of the iPhone features.

Windows Phone 7 series seems to have a few drawbacks compared to Windows 6.x:

  • WM6.x applications are not compatible
  • There is no application side loading possibility:applications are only available through Marketplace
  • There is no file explorer
  • No background application running : application in the background  is paused, and if not used for some time, it’s terminated and has to be relaunched from Start Screen. With the exception of audio which will always run in the background

I understand all these measures are to guarantee an outstanding User Experience even if it is a closed and somehow limited one.

As for the real big issue it lays in the browser. The Browser will based on IE8 I believe. You’ll get nice features like multitouch, pinch/zoom, smart address bar, autocompletion, …
But it won’t support any of Flash, or HTML5! It will support only Silverlight. Even if the performance is great what web sites can you browse without these technologies? Win Mobile 6.5 was supporting Flash and it was just a good to browse whatever site.  I hope the guys at Redmond will think twice and do the extra mile to port at least one if these technologies. Otherwise this very limited  browsing experience may create a strong rejection …


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