My thoughts on Windows Phone 7 (George Ponder)

We've been following Windows Phone 7 for some time and now that it has been "officially" launched it can't land in stores fast enough. With as much as we've digested over the past eight months or so, I find my thoughts on Windows Phone 7 scattered about, ranging from devices to software to integration to the new phone's market survival.

Collecting them has been a challenged but if you ease past the break you can find my ramblings on Windows Phone 7.

After sitting down and trying to put my thoughts into a well written piece (like Tim's) several times without success, I decided it was best to simply hit the highlights.

Devices: I like the selection. While I was afraid that Windows Phone 7 would be dominated by the "black slab" design, we're beginning to see a nice selection of phones. I'll start out with the Focus, if I begin to miss a physical keyboard the Quantum is available and maybe, just maybe, the 7 Pro will come to more carriers.

Windows Phone 7 - The OS: While this may sound superficial, the one thing I'll miss about Windows Mobile is the customization potential that OS had. From third party User Interfaces to custom wallpapers to custom ROMS, you could make your Windows Phone reflect your personality. Given the choice of functionality or customization, I'll take functionality. But would it have killed Microsoft to have added some form of customization beyond tile color?  Maybe custom wallpapers for the Start Screen?

I'm curious to see how Windows Phone 7 handles data streams outside the presentation halls.  The phones will be data dependent with all the updates and integrations that will exist.  Will our wireless carriers be in a position to insure we have dependable data services? 

Windows Live: Windows Live will be a big player with Windows Phone 7 and I trying to learn as much about Windows Live as I can.  I just wish Microsoft would have done a better job of the name game. Windows Live email is Hotmail while Windows Live Mail is part of Windows Live Essentials that runs on your PC.  We've still have a few updates left for Windows Live and maybe some of this will sort itself out.

While the Kin project fell flat, the KIN Studio was that systems strength and one that many felt should carry over to Windows Phone 7. Having access to everything on your phone from an online portal is a great tool and hopefully Windows Live will give us that functionality.

XBox Live: This will be an interesting integration and has the potential of expanding the age demographic for Windows Phone 7.  I just need to find a way to connect my new Windows Live ID with my existing XBox Live ID.

Marketplace: 2,000 apps! It is a strong testiment on the developer support behind Windows Phone 7.  We felt that for Windows Phone 7 to have a chance of prospering, developers had to be supported and on board.

As a reviewer, I'm looking forward to seeing what all these apps have to offer. As a consumer, I'm looking forward to seeing what all these apps have to offer.

Availability: Windows Phone 7 can't get here quick enough. I'm envious of those in Europe who will get their hands on the new phones in a short few weeks. I just hope the local AT&T store has plenty of phones in stock on the 8th because I'll be there bright and early to get one.  I'll buy mine at the non-contractual price (my 2yr contract hasn't expired) otherwise I'd be tempted to pre-order the HTC Surround from Best Buy.

And I think that's my main thought on Windows Phone 7. It can't get here quick enough. I'm ready to set up my device and get my hands dirty with it.

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.