Not long after I wrote my last article about Tablet Computing, a really good Black Friday deal came up at the Microsoft Store. I headed over there and got two HTC Radar phones for free, both loaded with the Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) software. I had to cancel Verizon and switch to T-Mobile, but it was well worth it.
I can’t describe how great this phone is. It’s really changed the way I use computers; I end up using them a lot less. All the small tasks I would usually have to plop down in front of a PC to do can quickly be done from the phone. Facebook, emails, checking stocks, looking at website analytics. It has a great web browser and there are a decent amount of applications for it (including games).
I love how Windows Phone links together all of the information about your contacts. I can pull up someone and link all their info together by several accounts, like their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Outlook, and then their Windows Live ID. The phone will fill in the contact’s picture automatically and then aggregate all of that person’s information on one screen. When you pull them up, you can see all their latest status updates (regardless of the network).
When I signed up for the phone, it came with two $25 dollar gift cards (one for each phone) that were good for the Microsoft Marketplace. I filled in the paperwork required for that and forgot about it. About two weeks later, my mailbox was stuffed with envelopes from Windows Phone. They must have messed up and I ended up getting $150 worth of gift cards! I’ve used this chance to buy a lot of different games and applications and see what there is out there to offer.
I personally think that Microsoft nailed it with this phone. To me, it seems like it’s just a matter of time before people eventually switch over to this (whether that happens or not is up for debate). If you read my blog, you might remember my “I hate cell phones” rant and you’d be glad to know that, as part of the switch from piece of crap feature phone to smart phone, I’ve also made sure to keep my etiquette. I don’t bust the phone out in meetings or while I’m talking to people.