There’s been a bunch of Windows Phone 7 reviews out there, and most of them come to the same conclusion: great piece of software for a 1.0 release, but it does miss a few vital features. The Ars Technica review, as usual very in-depth, highlights one particular aspect of the platform that speaks to me: Windows Phone 7 has a sense of humour.
Ars Technica author Peter Bright wrote a very thorough review of Windows Phone 7, and as usual, it’s a good read that gives a lot of detail on Microsoft’s last ditch effort in the mobile industry. “Microsoft doesn’t often get version one releases right, but this time, it has got the release very right indeed,” Bright concludes, “Windows Phone 7 looks great, works well, and is a treat to use. Market success isn’t assured, but judged on its merits alone, this is a platform that absolutely deserves to succeed, and I really, really hope it does.”
Great, but what about that humour? Well, Bright describes two instances where Windows Phone 7 shows a sense of class, style, and humour that I would normally not expect to come out of Redmond. For instance, there’s a live tile on you homescreen which shows the number of unread text messages. Normally, the tile shows a simple smiley face. However, once the unread text message count starts to go up, the smiley face changes with it, from a blinking smiley face, all the way to a surprised (:-o) and upset smiley face once you hit four or more unread text messages.
Then there’s the find-my-phone feature which allows you to lock remotely lock, wipe, etc., the phone, while displaying a message on the phone. There’s a number of built-in messages with smiley faces that are pretty fun in a rather dry way.
Most of you probably won’t understand why I make such a big deal of this, but then, there will be a few long-time BeOS fans reading this who will get this perfectly. Stuff like this may seem frivolous, but what it does is important: it gives your software personality. BeOS did stuff like this as well, such as the haiku error messages in Net+, or the “Bummer.” dialogue in BeAM when something went wrong.
This overly serious technology world could do with some infusion of lightheartedness – too many people take software way too seriously. So, Microsoft releasing a solid version 1.0 product, with great aesthetics and a sense of humour? Something must be very wrong with this world.
I blame piracy.