Windows Phone 7 May Have Won Me Over!

You’ve all read about how much I love and adore my Palm Pre and it’s operating system WebOS.  I do, I REALLY love my phone.  I was definitely intrigued by Windows Phone 7, since I’m such a Microsoft girl.  I had some very specific questions that would make or break my decision to move from my Pre to a Windows phone.  The main one was whether or not it would integrate with my PLETHORA of Google calendars.  Another one was if I was going to be able to have a hardware keyboard.  Ieven signed up for the Windows Phone 7 backstage to ask!

While I was at BlogHer in New York City last week, I made my way up to the Microsoft suite because I had heard that they had Windows Phone 7 up there to play with!  I could not wait to get my hands on it live!  The first question I had for my friends up in the Microsoft suite was about the Google calendars.  They assured me that it would work the way I wanted it to.  In fact the rep I talked to while I was there didn’t even know that WebOS could already do that with the multiple calendars (not just my Google calendars, but I have Exchange and Outlook calendars too).  With that fear out of the way, she continued to show me all of the other features of the phone.

First we took a look at the home screen.  She showed me how you can rearrange, add, delete as many tiles as you want.  The tiles are “live” so that means the image on the tile is constantly being updated with what is going on behind the tile.  For example the email tile will have how many new emails you have, the calendar tile will have your next appointment on it, pictures will show the latest pictures from you or your friends.  You can pin different tiles from any app on the phone.  She explained that the phone was designed to give you super quick access to the things that are important to YOU.  It is a similar approach to Windows 7 for the PC.  With Windows 7 they created jump lists and windows peek to help you click less times to get to where you need to go.  They are completely right on the money with this approach.  One reason I never got behind Windows Mobile to begin with is that it was trying to be a mini computer.  I didn’t want a “start button” on my PHONE.  I wanted quick access to what I needed.  Windows Mobile was just so big and clunky.  They completely revamped the operating system, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Another great feature is it’s integration with Microsoft Office.  I was able to pull up an Excel sheet and a Word document on the phone, and it looked incredible.  It also had One Note and Powerpoint.  That is definitely one thing I’m missing on my Pre.  My husband and I are on a tight budget, and I have our budget built out on an Excel document.  It would be great if I could update the document right at the time of purchase.  Documents To Go was supposed to create this functionality on the Pre, but when Palm’s fate was teetering they abandoned development.

The “What’s New” page is a great new feature of Windows Phone 7.  It brings together all of the updates from your friends across multiple platforms (facebook, Windows Live, etc).  If you go into the pictures area of the phone, What’s New will bring together all of the pictures your friends have posted, if you are in the People area of the phone you will see everyone’s updates.  I really enjoyed seeing how well the integration across the various social media platforms worked.

The last thing I wanted to mention was the voice commands.  You can go into the search function and say “pizza”.  Then you have various tabs that you can choose from.  You can tap “local” and it will show you the various places that have Pizza in your area, you can tap “news” and see all of the latest articles from around the net about pizza, or you can tap “web” and get the top web search results for pizza.  Again, they are making finding exactly what you need quick and convenient.

Now that I’ve shown you MY favorite features…I’m going to let the phone show you the rest!  Enjoy!

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website


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