Posted by: Frank | February 1, 2010

What’s Wrong With This Picture

There are two ways that you can look at these Windows Mobile screen shots. One way is to conclude that because so many developers are working on alternatives to the stock Windows Mobile user interface, that must mean that the Windows Mobile user interface is bad. In other words, many developers see demand for alternatives and they are attempting to fill that demand. Generally the problem with these alternatives is that they only provide an alternative for a small amount of the Windows Mobile UI, and at some point you end up seeing and working with something that is completely different.

A second way to look at the screen shots is that Windows Mobile provides the flexibility and capability to allow developers and users to tailor the UI to their own preferences. Handheld devices are intended to be very personal, and Windows Mobile provides a greater amount of personalization than most other devices. The optimist sees capability while the pessimist sees complexity.

In short, the screen shots represent to me both the blessing an curse of Windows Mobile. It has an incredible amount of capability that is really appealing to more technical users, but it also is also very confusing to the average consumer. The problem is that the number of average consumers in the market to buy mobile phones is significantly higher than the number of technical users. Ironically, the flexibility that some would say is the root of the problems with Windows Mobile, is what is currently enabling device manufacturers like HTC to keep their Windows Mobile devices afloat while Microsoft works on Windows Mobile 7.


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