Let me start by pointing out the web's favourite mobile OS. Having spent some time with an Android device, I get it. All those applications, that insane lust to find something new and shiny and fiddly and the nagging feeling that if I keep looking through the marketplace Play Store I won't get left behind. I get that the little green robot (running on a Sony Xperia S, if you need to know the details) has a huge bank of applications that will allegedly do anything you ask of the phone.
Yet a few weeks into the trial, when all my ADHD tendencies have been served, I'm taking a step back to look at what I'm using my smartphones for. And although you might be shocked, given I'm writing this on "All About Windows Phone"(!), I'm struggling to see where the so called advantage to Android is.
After all, when I wake up in the morning I'm checking the same thing online (Email, Facebook, Twitter, comments on blogs). I'm making calls and getting push email alerts throughout the day. The day to day tasks of a smartphone user are now very much fixed, and your handset, no matter the operating system, is likely able to accomplish life's online challenges with ease.
Android does the job. So does Windows Phone (so does iOS, Symbian, and any other modern OS you care to throw at me). But Windows Phone is far faster at doing these checks and interactions than Android, iOS and Symbian.
Part of that is down to the live tiles letting you see what needs your attention before taking you straight to the information. In the majority of cases you'll be staying within a consistent Metro-based user interface (and likely in the first party applications coded by Microsoft). Android may have the widget system, but the hodge-podge of applications, all doing things their own way without a strong UI hand on the tiller, means making a bundle of mental jumps to realise where everything is.
In sitting down with a plain sheet of paper to decide what a modern smartphone should do, Microsoft have created a system that is fast - the glance and go that is constantly talked about. But I wonder if that system is one reason that it's not getting a huge amount of geek love?
If you have to keep picking up an Android device, if you have to keep checking the store for new apps, if you have to keep moving in and out of different applications to get your information, you're going to spend a lot more time with the device in your hands, playing around with it. Hand the typical technology fan a new handset that needs to be played with constantly while they interact with their social networks, and you might begin to see why Android handsets pick up an 'indispensible' hashtag.
Contrast that with Windows Phone. Look at the screen, go straight to the information through one of the built in apps, and put phone back in pocket. It probably took longer to write that sentence than checking to see if have new @ replies waiting for me on Twitter. How can the geekerati build up a relationship with a device that doesn't need constant fiddling with?
Windows Phone has a great strength in the 'glance and go' concept, it makes for a wonderfully efficient communications device. But I wonder if, by targeting the typical users, the people that love to hold a torch for a new device are going to think Windows Phone is a little 'simplistic' to use. Windows Phone has struggled to get the same sort of social media traction that iOS and Android have received. I wonder if this is down to the 'social network amplifiers' not spending all their waking minutes tweaking their smartphone and building up that mental relationship with the device, a relationship that would carry over and be seen by everyone else online.