by Ed Hansberry
For the early part of its life, Windows Mobile was one of the more powerful mobile platforms, yet it was never known as being the most spry. Microsoft set out to fix that with Windows Phone 7 and early indications are it has succeeded.
I’ve said it many times before, the iPhone turned the smartphone world upside down and set new standards for performance, navigation and web browsing when it launched in 2007. It showed how well a smartphone could perform and it also showed that web browsing didn’t have to be painful on a small screen. Microsoft tried to gain some ground with various iterations of Internet Explorer 6 on its 6.1 and 6.5 versions of Windows Mobile, but it never really came close to the iPhone.
Face it, terms like bloated and slow seemed justifiable on Windows Mobile phones when compared to an iPhone. Now though it looks like Windows Phone is catching up and even surpassing current market leaders Android and iOS. PocketNow has a quick video showing how fast Windows Phone 7 boots up. It takes around 25 seconds for it to go from being powered off to the home screen where it is usable. The iPhone and Nexus One running Android take twice as long at a minute and for comparison, they threw in the Windows Mobile 6.5 powered HTC HD2 and it took over a minute even with Sense disabled.
Now, the goal of course is not to have to boot up your machine all of the time, but the truth is, smartphone are computers and they do need to be rebooted occasionally. In our office we have Blackberrys, iPhones and a few Android devices and they all need to be reset on occasion, so don’t try and suggest that only Microsoft products need rebooting. It is a tired and false argument of the unimaginative.
It is nice to see Microsoft is putting so much effort into speed and responsiveness of their new platform. We’ve already seen where Windows Phone 7 puts the new Blackberry 6.0 browser to shame. PocketNow also did a comparison of how Windows Phone 7’s browser stacked up to the iPhone and Android platform. While there was no clear winner in this category, Windows Phone 7 did perform very well, winning some of the speed contests and showing smoothness in just about all tests where the competition showed some stuttering.
One thing to keep in mind too in all of these tests is Windows Phone 7 isn’t done. It is a near final build, but Microsoft continues to make tweaks. The hardware also a prototype and likely has some rough edges. Worst case scenario though is nothing improves and Microsoft is merely very competitive. Best case scenario is once all of the hardware and software is done, Microsoft ekes out a bit more horsepower and becomes the best all around performing platform to date.