Basically all smartphones these days can do everything, or I should rather say they can do everything a cell phone can possibly do, besides just texting and phone calls. The difference is HOW they do it.
A pleasant graphical user experience and ease of use is what some people look for while others look at more technical details such as customising a phone to their hearts content by installing any possible application.
With todays smartphones and their smartphone operating systems, all of the above is possible with most of the operating systems. And if its not standard, just install an app from the market place/app store which can be found on the phone(s).
Then there are those who want something much more extreme, which is to customise or install custom ROMS. This basically means wiping your current operating system and adding a custom flavour from downloaded sources. All very well and legal (though not endorsed by respective phone manufacturers)
For the purpose of this article, we will concentrate on the first batch of users, namely those looking for a goodlooking graphical user interface as well as ease of use without the need to customise. And this is where Windows 7 comes in.
Windows Phone 7 is an operating system that was designed from the ground up, totally new. It is NOT Windows Mobile (which ended at version 6.5) but infact totally rebranded to Windows Phone where the version starts at 7 and recently beed updated to 7.5 (known as the Mango update). This is where most of the confusion comes in, where most people tend to think it is just an extension of the Windows Mobile OS 6 series.
Windows Phone 7 is not the best phone OS and neither is it the perfect OS, however for some people it will be perfect while others might need more from a phone.Much the same like the Iphone OS (iOS), Blackberry OS or Android is perfect for those needing what they want.
One of the main features of Windows Phone is the "live" tile based system (as opposed to widgets). This allows you to be able to see everything at a glance from your home screen (or start screen), which is also the menu. These tiles are all "live" and interactive, which means you can see facebook updates, whatsapp messages (if installed), emails, smses, photos all as they happen.
Facebook integration works perfect as well as twitter, emails and threaded messaging. This is the same for Office, Internet Explorer, Xbox live and the built in music player which runs off Zune. All of these apps just work seamlessly in the operating system which works blazingly fast. And if you need more, just go to the Windows Phone Marketplace and download any of the 60 000 apps available.
Current phones using this operating system are the HTC Trophy, HTC Mozart, Samsung Omnia 7, HTC Titan.
The upcoming Nokia Lumia series of Windows Phone 7.5 is quite a rage at the moment and will soon be launching in South Africa. At this stage, only the Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 is confirmed but many people are eagerly awaiting the Lumia 900.
This article is not to review Windows Phone 7X and neither is it trying to determine the best operating system. It is rather a quick experience of the Windows Phone 7X operating system and provide exposure to an operating system that could have been perfect for some people out there but due to the stigma it carries, does not even get a look at. As an example, go to any big name Cellphone store and ask for a Windows Phone 7 operating system and you will find very reluctant sales drives behind these. Hopefully the Nokia range will make a difference.