What was your first reaction when you first laid eyes on Windows Phone 7 Series? I have to admit my first reaction was not unlike the response I give my wife when she asks what I think of her new dress, haircut, or when she experiments with a new recipe; cautiously positive. At first look, the Start Page lacked a certain zip or pizazz that I have grown accustomed to with Windows Phones. 

Often is the case that as you learn more you learn about something, your first impression changes. While the graphics of Windows Phone 7 Series felt like a step backwards, the more I learned about Hubs and the consistency Microsoft would strive to maintain the more Windows Phone 7 Series grew on me.

Still, while it may sound superficial, I wish Windows Phone 7 Series had a little more "pop" to it.  It reminded me of the generic Today Screen of Windows Mobile of yesterday, that while functional lacked pizazz.  What might help Windows Phone 7 Series's first impression is a Start Screen that is as graphically pleasing as it is functional.

I've gotten spoiled with graphical impact HTC's Manila/Touchflo screens offer and MaxManila really adds a flair (along with more functionality) to the Windows Phone experience.  Windows Phones have a developed a tradition for customization to allow owners have their phones reflect their individuality.  Hopefully that will carry over with WP7S's features.

Microsoft in their Mobile World Congress presentation stated they want to focus on the end user experience.  Isn't the ability to customize the appearance of your phone part of that experience?  Or will functionality win over aesthetics and the lack of customization become a non-issue?