Since getting my Nokia 928 yesterday, I've gotten a lot of questions about "Why a Windows Phone??"
There's no easy answer. Especially when discussing technology that's personal. And phones are personal to people. What I've found over the years that I've been writing about technology that when people get something high-tech -- whether hardware or software -- they tend to think theirs is The Best Ever. In part, it's because they have a good amount of money invested in it. In part, because the way we use a lot of technology, it is personal. Some part of it is that because a lot of technology is proprietary, when you've made your decision what to get, you know that you're likely going to keep with that for the long haul. And some of the reason can be that what they have...is wonderful, and arguably The Best, or as good as any other.
But having said all that, my observation too is that when people declare theirs The Best, they generally haven't tested the others that are available. So, debating The Best tends to be a self-defeating process.
Why I got a Windows Phone, and this particular model is too convoluted an answer, and there might not even be a good answer. The reality is that all operating systems are good. And mainly we want a Smartphone to make calls, send text messages and check email. And all phones do that just swell. It's the bells-and-whistles (and most notably, of course, apps...) that start to cause differences.
At the top, as I wrote here a while back, I switched to using Microsoft Exchange recently, and a Windows Phone integrates with that and Outlook particularly well. Also, I've been testing some Windows 8 tablets and know that eventually I'll be upgrading to Windows 8, so I preferred a phone where the operating system was basically the same.
Honestly, as I said, I'm sure I'd have been happy with any operating system. Many Android phones have great reputations, the Samsung Galaxy S4 particularly, but I'm not crazy that there's no standard among Android phones. Every one has to be configured individually. I use an iPod Touch, so switching to an iPhone would have been easy - but a) they're ridiculously expensive (especially compared to free, as the Nokia Lumina 928 was, even being the top of Verizon's line), and b) I've had problems with the iPod's WiFi not connecting, which I've researched and found it to be rare, but not uncommon for iPhones. And that made me gun-shy, even if unreasonably so. Though semi-understandably.
Important too is that a friend who's a major, national tech writer has a Windows Phone (the Nokia 928, in fact) and swears by it. Also, he's got lots of inside, non-disclosure information from Microsoft and has dropped hints about some impressive, important things coming next month in the Windows Phone 8.1 upgrade. Another tech friend has two -- for himself and his very low-tech wife -- and both rave about theirs.
Also, this Nokia has gotten very good reviews. To be clear, It's not perfect, and there is unquestionably a lacking of apps -- but there are easy workarounds for most missing apps (like, there's no Dropbox app, but you can just open the browser and access your Dropbox account there). And most people really only use 2-5 apps regularly.
I'm sure I'd have been happy with any well-researched phone I'd gotten. Mainly, I preferred the closer integration with Windows. Yes, Windows Phone is a new O.S., but everything I've read is that for something so new, it's well-regarded, and improvements should be growing. In just one year, it has 10% of the market in Europe, which means there's a bigger market for apps that people in the U.S. suspect. And with Microsoft buying Nokia, you know the platform will be supported.
And in the end, I have a two-year contract. If I'm not bowled over by the phone...in two years I'll switch. It's high-tech, not rocket science.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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