Welcome to Windows Phone 8 Field Guide, my gift to the Windows Phone community. I've been enthralled by Windows Phone since Microsoft announced the new platform in February 2010 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. I was so excited by this release, in fact, that I wrote the first-ever book about Windows Phone, called Windows Phone 7 Secrets, in the middle part of that year, before it even shipped to the public. In doing so, I was also one of the first people outside of Microsoft to obtain a prototype Windows Phone handset, and I took it to Europe that summer after writing the book and continued the conversation by blogging about my experiences. Since then, I've never stopped using or writing about Windows Phone. Few people have more experience with this platform than I do.
Long story short: Windows Phone was—and is—everything that Android and iPhone are not. It provides a wonderful new way of doing things. Oh, and unlike iPhone, it can actually make error-free phone calls too. Bam.
I've certainly had my ups and downs with regards to Microsoft's treatment of this platform. While Windows Phone has emerged during the writing of this book as the clear number three smart phone platform behind Google Android and Apple iPhone but ahead of Blackberry, it has yet to achieve what I consider to be a sustainable level of usage. But the trends are positive. My fingers are crossed.
But I've never wavered in my support of both Windows Phone and the people who use it (or are considering using it). I test new smart phones regularly, and while I've kept up on the advances in Android and in Apple's recent me-too moves with iOS 7, these platforms simply are not interesting to me. Yes, the iPhone was innovative when it arrived in 2007, but that's also when Apple stopped innovating and started protecting their product. Android? That was never innovative. Android is a mess.
Windows Phone isn't just different. Windows Phone is better. And you can tell that's true every time a feature emerges in the competition that copies one from Windows Phone. Social networking integration. Integrated experiences. Beautiful Swiss-influenced design and killer typography. Windows Phone did it all first. Windows Phone still does it better. And it keeps getting better.
Thanks for reading. And thanks for using Windows Phone. You made the right choice.