Our friends at the Windows Phone Connection have took the liberty of debunking Galen Gruman's "article" that labels Windows Phone 7 as a disaster. Galen, a former MacWorld writer, lists off numerous issues in Windows Phone 7 that he believes will spell out its failure. On the other hand, Bill Fisher points out that his article is poorly researched, often factually wrong, and really just surprising for its willfully ignorant, negative tone.
Here's a few excerpts from Galen's article that warranted debunking:
◦"It is supposed to ship around Christmas 2010" - Wrong. It will be shipping well before Christmas, during the holiday shopping season, as has been stated officially many times.
◦"The early demos were intriguing due to the use of the card metaphor to organize apps and information, providing a possible fluidity among apps and information that would let users swim through their business and social activities. And the distinct UI -- though based on the unsuccessful Zune media player -- looked as if it would stand out from the crowd of mobile devices..." - Interesting mix of sloppy history and compliments: There was never a "card" metaphor - Palm's WebOS uses a card metaphor, but Windows Phone 7 includes "tiles" and "hubs" for organizing and accessing content. In addition, though the distinct UI may share some elements with Zune - the use of typography on the hubs, for example - the UI wasn't "based on" Zune; and the Zune itself, while perhaps commercially unsuccesful, is widely seen as a better software/hardware combination than the iPod or any other competitor.
◦"It's as if Microsoft decided in summer 2007 to copy the iPhone and has shut its developers in a bunker ever since" - Wrong. Anyone with a passing knowledge of the history of Windows Phone 7 understands that while development efforts on the OS go back at least to 2007, the current iteration of the OS is brand-new, and the result of a specific, very recent effort to create a phone experience that offers a clear, dramatically different alternative to iPhone and every other platform.
◦"You will scroll and scroll to find what you want, thanks to how Microsoft has oversimplified all tasks." - Which is it? Are you forced to scroll and scroll, or is it simple? With just a quick glance at the Start screen, most reviewers and testers report that information is instantly clear, the UI is intuitive, and the utter simplicity is welcome. Moreover, swiping left and right is easy and quick for users. And on the other hand, while the hubs may require some scrolling, it's arguable that the unique hub concept is richer and more sophisticated than any other OS out there - why not group together related apps and information in one place? There's always a dead-simple list of applications if you want to get at information that way. Ultimately, you can interact with Windows Phone 7 as simply or as complexly as you wish.
◦"Each tile has just a little bit of information -- often just three items -- and you're supposed to scroll sideways via finger gestures to see details on each option in full, then click the one you want to get more details. But if you have more than a few apps in a tile, for example, this approach quickly gets too ungainly..." - I don't even know where to begin. First, there's the factual error of mistaking a hub for a tile; it's the hubs that have multiple items grouped together, not the tiles. (I don't think this author really paid much attention to all the content Microsoft has been releasing for Windows Phone 7.) And then there's the complaint about scrolling and clicking - I'm just not sure how this is any different from other OSs: swiping to the side, tapping to open an application: these are common across all smartphone OSs. "Having more than a few apps in a tile" - again, the incorrect term to describe the hubs, but more importantly, the idea that it's somehow "ungainly" to swipe sideways to find multiple applications is bizarre: This is the solution most smartphone OSs have chosen to accomodate the increasing number of apps available today.