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Windows Phone 7 Challenge: The verdictWill Molly move in with Mango or run back to Android? Find out the verdict in the Windows Phone 7 challenge!
Hi, I'm Molly Wood from cnet.com here with my final update on the Windows Phone 7 Challenge. Now, as you know or maybe know, I've been using Windows Phone 7 Mango for two weeks now to see if I like it better than Android. It's time to get to the verdict but before I get there, I promise to you an update on some of the services on this phone. Last week, I focused mainly on getting it all setup and getting to know the e-mail. So, over the course of the two-weeks, I've discovered a couple of things. I mentioned that the two most important features to me were gonna be speech to text which is integrated throughout Android in which I use constantly and also mapping which I use constantly because I get lost a lot. Now, if you read my latest blog update about Windows Phone 7, you know that I'm a little frustrated that speech to text is not integrated throughout the operating system. It's really only available for basic commands from the home screen and in texting. So, I can't compose an entire e-mail for example via speech to text. That's a bummer. The bigger bummer though is the navigation. Look at the Molly Rants blog for more details on this but the short version is that for some reason Microsoft is putting this kind of for turn-by-turn direction thing. It has turn-by-turn directions when you use maps and thing but you can only get audible directions if you actually tap the phone screen to enable the next instruction. It doesn't just like read them out to you like every other mapping solution on earth. This is battling and makes it, as far as I'm concern, kind of unusable like you're using it when you are driving. You shouldn't have to look down and find the phone and tap the screen for the next direction. That makes some nuisance. I did promise though that I would try out some of the services like Zune Pass which is a music subscription service that competes with Spotify, Pandora, and services like that and I have to say Zune Pass is fine. It's a very good streaming music service. It's great that you can download as many songs that you want while you're using it. I wish it had a slightly more integrated cloud solution the way that Google and Amazon do. You can, I guess, upload songs through your Microsoft SkyDrive account. SkyDrive is kind of their cloud service that let you store documents, photos, music, and things like that. The SkyDrive service is great. I mean it's a nice cloud service although the web interface is terrible and really requires Internet Explorer. But, I couldn't and again this might be me. I could literally not find a way to access my SkyDrive from the phone other than, I guess, by going to the browser which is weird. There just needs to be an app for that. There is a third-party app that lets you access your documents and your music but that's a little clunky and it feels insecure to me. So, I've kind of want there to be a better cloud experience overall in this phone. Alright, so what's the verdict? That's under the little negative I know. But, here is my ultimate decision about Windows Phone 7. There's nothing really wrong with it. I like it fine. I mean I have to say when it comes to Mango, it is easy to use. It's attractive. If you use a lot of Microsoft services, it's decently well integrated as well integrated as anything from Microsoft is and I think that people who are looking for that nice easy to use experience would be perfectly happy with this operating system. I think the biggest battle that Microsoft has to fight is that most people who are looking for an easy to use integrated experience are probably gonna buy an iPhone and I can't give them a good reason not to. And, as for me personally, I find that Android gives me a little more power and a little more flexibility and a little more of a sort of power-user experience. So, I guess if I have to say the final word on Windows Phone 7 Mango, it's kind of on the friendship ladder. I like it but I don't love it. It's not gonna be my next phone. In terms of the challenge, I guess that makes it a push. I'm Molly Wood from cnet.com. For more of my thoughts about Windows Phone 7, go to cnet.com/molly-rants.