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Thinking about Windows Phone 8

I watched Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 Summit on Monday and I came away impressed.  My phone contract is up and I have been holding off on getting a new phone.  I knew that Windows Phone 8 was coming and I didn’t have an urgent need to get a new phone. Between that and the Surface tablet, it’s good to see MSFT putting some skin into the game.

The new screen resolutions and shared code base with Windows 8 are very attractive features.  I like how multitasking has been enhanced but not in the wild west flavor of Android.  My Droid 2 can slow to a crawl, depending on what is running.  I would like to avoid that user experience.

I also like the redesign of the start screen.  They had wasted real screen estate in WP7, the live tiles are defining feature of the OS – more is better.  The extra files will look noisy.  You can use a blank tile to create some space between tiles, that may be easier on the eyes.

If you are existing Windows Phone 7 owner, you get a facelift of the new start screen with the 7.8 update, but you don’t get new OS.  People are pretty ticked off about that.  It is the nature of the business, just ask anyone who bought an Android phone a year ago.  Some of them will get Android 4, most will not.

The Nokia’s Lumia 900 looks like a decent enough phone, but I’m on Verizon Wireless and they really are not playing in the Windows Phone arena.  That phone was never an option for me.  Verizon has stated publicly that they will carry Windows Phone 8 devices.  They wont be out until the end of the year, so I’ll have to live with an aging Droid 2 for a while longer.  Having Verizon be a serious player will really open up the market for WP8.

As a developer, I want to get my hands on a WP8 device and writing some code for it.  I’ve played around with Android development, but I would prefer to use C# and XAML over java.  I hope that MSFT can pull this one off.