I really like Windows Phone. In fact, I’d like to jump ship to it.
I’ve admired it from a distance for at least a couple years. My friend Mark, who works for Microsoft, was an early adopter. I remember playing with his first phone a couple years ago in Seattle, and I was genuinely impressed.
So why don’t I switch? There is no simple, single answer. It’s a bunch of small things - habits and fears - that make me hesitate. And it doesn’t hurt that iOS is still, pound for pound, the best mobile OS out there.
So what are all the small things? (Remember, these are habits and fears - e.g., emotional and probably illogical).
- I haven’t lived with it. I’ve only experienced Windows Phone for an hour here, and an hour there. That’s a lot different than living with a phone for 12 hours a day. I would need at least 30 days to see if it trumps my iPhone.
- Microsoft. I’m not interested in anything else they do…at all. They make some interesting products for sure (Xbox + Kinect), but there’s nothing I truly care about. Windows, Office, tablets, Azure, SkyDrive, Sharepoint, Skype, etc. None of those products strike a chord for me, so it’s hard for me to believe that this one product will live up to my annoyingly high standards.
- iMessage. Most everyone I communicate with uses an iPhone and iMessage. I hop back and forth between phone and computer all day long to send texts. Using only my phone for texts would be a huge step backwards and a big inconvenience.
- Airplay. I send stuff over the air to my Apple TV all the time. I don’t have an Xbox, and never plan to have one. Chances of Airplay support in Windows Phone? 0.0%
- Music. I tried Rdio and Spotify for a while, but turns out I’m an old man and just listen to my collection most of the time. And that collection is all in iTunes and iTunes Match. Those work perfectly with in iOS. I’m sure you can get Windows Phone to work with iTunes, but certainly not perfectly.
- Calendar. My calendar is on iCloud. iCloud is CalDav so maybe it would work OK on Windows Phone. But I just don’t know for sure, and I’m not buying a $400 phone and moving all that calendar data somewhere else on a maybe.
- Outlook? For all I know it’s the best email client in the world. But I’d feel dirty using it. (OK, this one is purely emotional, but it’s honest).
- IE? Using a non-Webkit browser makes me feel ill. See Outlook point above.
- iCloud. As bad as it is, it mostly works. My contacts, calendars, notes, Safari bookmarks, photos, etc. all stay in sync. I know Microsoft has similar services, but I’m certainly not moving to Outlook.com, some IE bookmark hack, Skydrive, etc. It’s just not gonna happen.
- Photos. I use Aperture on my Mac. 95% of my photos are taken on my iPhone, which syncs up to Aperture perfectly via Photo Stream – over wifi, with no tethering. I can’t imagine Windows Phone is going to push to Aperture that smoothly.
- OS Updates. iOS is updated like clockwork. I can reliably expect something new every year, that works well on the last 2-3 generations of devices. I have no idea what Windows Phone OS update cycles are like. Last I heard, they dropped support for all old devices when they’re latest OS came out.
- Apps. I don’t even use that many – maybe 20 total everyday. But those are 20 best-in-class apps. Dropbox, 1Password, Instagram, Tweetbot, Google Maps, etc. Does Windows Phone have comparable apps of that quality? I don’t know. And quality aside, some apps that I rely on everyday just don’t exist - Basecamp, Fitbit, Withings, and ScannerPro to name a few.
- Integration with Mac. I’m guaranteed everything between my iPhone and Mac will work. Windows Phone? I don’t even know if I’ll be able to pull videos off it reliably. Maybe?
- Bing for everything? Microsoft touts in their commercials how people prefer Bing over Google by some wide margin. These are crazy people.
So you can see, it’s a pretty long list. And the thing is none of these are, by themselves, deal breakers. But the amount of effort it would take to overcome these is just too high for me. I am an old, lazy curmudgeon who will stick it out on iOS. I think.