With this dramatic title I mean that something has changed in my gadgetery. After 9 years I am leaving the Microsoft mobile platform, who knows if for good.
9 years!! That is, in Internet years, like, I don’t know… 3 centuries? half-an-eon? Anyway, a long time it is.
I have owned a device with a mobile OS from Microsoft since the first device with Pocket PC 2002 was released. After that, a trustworthy Windows Mobile 2003, a not-so-trustworthy WM6 Professional (I skipped WM5, not that I think missed anything), a pretty stable WM6.1 in a device in which I managed to smuggle a WM6.5.something ROM in. Besides, I have laid my hands onto Windows CE 2.11, PocketPC 2000, and the archaic Smartphone editions. And yeah, I have occasionally borrowed a Windows Phone 7.
Loyalty? naaaah. It is an alien emotion to my consumer ego. For some time, believe it or not, Microsoft’s was the best mobile platform available. Later on, I think it was a mixture of inertia for using familiar programs for the platform, good enough features and some damn good killer applications (mainly GPS navigation).
But for some time now I have had the feeling of being inside an empty cage with a corpse. Vendors were not going to release any more terminals with the platform, Microsoft considered it obsolete and moved onto WP7 and developers were switching efforts towards feature-richer (and more profitable) platforms.
So I have made the switch. Android is, and I have the feeling it will be for some time, my platform of choice. Pretty much it was an easy decision. Hell, there was no decision at all! Its merits are great, but so are the demerits of the competition.
- WP7 was a very early no go. How on earth a company with experience in the field for so many years is able to erase all competitive advantage derived from that experience and release a pretty immature platform is beyond me. Lack of interesting applications, very limited user base (to put it mildly) and doubts, many personal doubts about its future trump a very sexy and snappy UI anytime. Bye Microsoft, and thanks for all the fish.
- iOS, though tempting, was also dismissed. Obviously not for the lack of applications or the size of the user base. Maturity is not an issue anymore either. Instead, lack of choice on the hardware side and vendor’s corporate politics made me dismiss the option. You either have THE terminal and the applications blessed by the Mother ship, or you don’t have it. Besides, despite its inarguable quality, it is a bloody expensive platform, hardware and software wise. I am not a believer… yet
- Blackberry, despite its popularity amongst several segments of the population, is a platform that evokes little positive emotions in me. Promises of long battery life, flawless connectivity, an apparently healthy habitat for applications could not match my perception of unattractive terminals and general boredom.
- webOS and other dead-walking platforms… Thanks, but no, thanks. I mean no disrespect to anyone (easy to say now) and I feel truly sorry to include this OS in the same bucket as other platforms such as Symbian, MeeGo, Maemo and the akin. I have little doubts of its technical merits, but virtually no-one uses it, therefore almost no-one develops mainstream applications for it. Negligible penetration in European markets and the alarming lack of terminals made me discard it from the start. I wonder how HP is going to steer the wrecking ship. If it re-floats in the future I might consider it. Not for now…
Of course, those are just my opinions that drove me towards my choice of platform. Take tem with a grain (or a bucket) of salt.
Besides, I have to tell you a “secret”: I am a lousy analyst. Even worse than the professional ones. My lack of vision is legendary. So do not get surprised if, in a couple of years, I am running away from the platform, the vendor of both. Loyalty? naaah.