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We're quickly approaching the one year anniversary of Windows Phone 7 in the States. Microsoft's most recent attempt at the mobile market was met with quite a fanfare, but soon fizzled in the midst of the unrelenting onslaught of Android phones. No, Windows Phone 7 was not forgotten. It's always had potential and equally mind share, but without the extra push from carriers, the lack of some blatantly critical features and a vast selection of devices, Windows Phone 7 has only managed to muster one percent of the US smartphone market share.

That said, the entire Windows Phone 7 camp has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the major Mango update, which is said to bring the platform up to speed, for the most part. Some of the improved features include more landscape support, multitasking (sort of, it's more like task switching seen in iOS), more group communication-based features and social media integration, etc. In short, everything has been improved upon at least a little; a shoe shine here, a little polish there, and the features necessary to compete have finally arrived.

On the hardware side of things, Windows Phone 7 has been far less active than the Android camp, obviously. There are a handful of options when it comes to Windows Phones, but only if you're willing to switch carriers for a specific phone or form factor. Each carrier has one, maybe two, Windows Phones and selections are scarce. Aside from some design and form factor differences, all of the specifications are nearly identical. And in comparison with their Android counterparts, they are fairly under-powered. Granted, Windows Phone devices have hardware-accelerated graphics, yielding higher performance out of more lightweight specs, but a little extra oomph wouldn't hurt. A hands-on with a pre-release version of Mango from Sascha Segan of PC Mag revealed that IE9 on “the Focus fell far short of the latest dual-core Android phones” when put through the “Sunspider and GUIMark browser tests.”

Personally, it has been tough for me to suck it up and buy a Windows Phone to use as my personal device for two reasons. I reviewed the Focus, the Surround and the HD7 late last year and was mostly underwhelmed. At the time, hardware nor specifications were an issue, and for first version, software wasn't bad either. But comparing it to the other devices laying on my desk at the time, Windows Phone was missing some key features (copy and paste, multitasking, etc.). Several updates later, those features have since been added. And I'm almost ready to give Windows Phone a second try, but not before Mango officially lands. I want a phone that was meant to run Mango – a late 2011 or 2012 device, if you will.

Even with the Mango update, however, Windows Phone 7 is far from perfect and could use a little more work, from what I've been told. The Metro UI is simple and easy to navigate, but it grows old very quickly and could use a little more pizazz – more colors, personalization options, anything to make it more interactive and inviting. Microsoft has focused so much on creating software for a phone to “save us from our phone” that they have created software almost too boring to use.

I know that not everyone agrees. Some actually find Windows Phone 7 to be a refresher and openly enjoy the Metro UI, as is. But there are so many possibilities that could make Windows Phone look and feel much better. Upon browsing tonight, I stumbled upon this banner image in a XDA member's forum signature. I have to say, if I could have Windows Phone in any form, this would be it. I would add the ability to theme the Metro UI – different style tiles (size, appearance, color transparency), wallpapers, tile-like widgets (notice the Sense-like clock) that display information more appropriately than bland, two-tone tiles, etc. And I'm not necessarily picky about specifications. However, I would like to see advanced 5-megapixel cameras and higher resolution displays. That's all it would really take for me to truly be happy with Windows Phone as my personal platform.

This leads me to ask, WP fans, what would you change about Windows Phone given the opportunity? What software or UI features would you add? And what about hardware? Would you have Microsoft bump the specifications to match those of current dual-core Android phones? Get creative, the ball is in your court.

Image via XDA


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91 Reactions to this post

"What would you change about Windows Phone 7?"


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David Kimberlin lol the company who makes it :)
Ryan Nickell Decently more landscape support expessialy fore the lg quantum and HTC arrive
Josh Evans 1) Apps are entirely too expensive. Same apps on Android or iOS are half the price or even less in some cases. 2) Customized ringtones (I don't have 6000 ringtones on my phone, but come on.) 3) Front facing camera.
Nathan Wright Not much its already great and mango will fix alot of complaints. Just keep Android far away from it.
Zach Cline @Nick - Mango is blazing fast. I only saw it in action for a few minutes but it's faster and smoother than android.
Abhinav Paturi More phones and better processors
Shawn Meadows App store..... Keyboard..... The Microsoft/windows part
Phu Tran The retail price! I dont have the money to get one :[
Nick Kalman It's already better then anything on market plus Mango is coming. With Mango it'll be by far best Mobile OS on market.
Rob Lyons They should put one on prepaid.
Byktor Urvaes Everything!!
Zach Cline There are too many android devices out there as is, And not everyone wants one. I'm on the DROID x now and I'm getting the iphone. 4 in a few months. Time for something different.
Michael Flores Make it an android phone
Joe KJ Girgis And windows market place should get more third party Apps
Joe KJ Girgis Custom ringtones
Jean Pacrim Hardware support,carrier support!!!! That os is the best out there... If you want a real safe,fast,smooth, wp7 os is the way to go. The hubs are great, people just have to see how it works... Tap one tile!!! UR IN HEAVEN.. ANDROID FAN BOYS STAY WITH UR CRAPPY BORING PHONES!!!
Zach Cline Too many android fanboys trolling again.
Javier Segura Nothing it's smooth, unique and functional. It's everything that Android Crap OS is not.
Petr Seman BT connectivity needs change
José J. Landrau Those tiles. They make the phone look like a toy.
Rob Peña I got the best of both! Have an EVO 4g, running Launcher 7, with Android 2.3.3...and the help of XDA!!
Jennifer Miller I liked Windows mobile 6! But not crazy about the hub interface...
Khris Chavez For it to never exist
Karlee McCoy Defiantly think it needs to be able to change ringtones and backgrounds apps will eventually cone around when it gets older but smart phones should be able to change simple things
Cyr Parlapiano Or 5th (rim) and number 6 was hp, they got the idea pretty quick. They should just continue improving android
Cyr Parlapiano Clearly weere all agreed that windows should stick to cpus only what do they hold 7% of the mobile os world. Android is king and ios is its bitch. Theres no room for a 3rd or 4th(grid os)
Brandon Androes I'd make it an android
Mick de Raad Microsoft should simply skip windows phone and make phone's themselves with android w/ windows phone 7 ui
Anzkary Torres The windows part o___O
Hansel Starley Better phones, better games, unique designs, up to date tecnology.
Daryl Riley Jr. I would change the tiles and make the screen more customizable
Nic Gruwell This would be a much better question after Mango is released but having never owned one (but played with a Focus at AT&T a bunch) it needs more apps to use live tiles and super phones with great specs like android
Nick Goetzinger The windows part. The phone is ok.
Jose Calderon Everything
Ivar Larsson the OS, to adroid
Robert Centennial Nothing it's perfect
Rogelio Victoria Giving flash to the browser.
Fonzy Paniagua Front Facing Camera, The Market PLace, And Htc Sense all Over it instead of the stupid htc hub !
Nathaniel McCord I always depended on windows mobile for a business set up now it feels kinda like my android or my iphone more like a gaming set up targeted for high school kids and adults that have lives revolving around social media.
Moinuddin Forhad So far nothing.it's a good os,just need to have a rich app store.and I bet it will come to second position and android leading the mobile os.
Josue Cifuentes Ringtones!!!!
Steele Lloyd Battery life
Marla Klytta Had the iPhone and a couple droids, switched to the HD7 and loved it for about 2 days; then I realized that I couldn't upload my own ringtones, or change the background. The tiles, I can handle... but only one screen? And no way to organize apps, wait... what apps? I quickly hacked an HD2 to Droid and am going about my merry way.
Simon Kirshon Well phonedog, that's a stupid question. You should've asked it after Mango's release, since it's gonna change everything. Now back to the question: I would add kill apps ability and change the UI a little bit, make it look more like WM 6.5
Josh Sussman Everything.
Memo Mrtr Make it have android
Leeming Wong The whole damn thing, windows mobile will be the end of Nokia.
Mark Charlton Flash on the web browser
Saad Khan mango is the answer
Mark Fisher Jr. Make it have android os.
Sharee Mullins Hogan The operating system!
Maciej Lugowski Ability to make font bigger for visuall impaieed
James Matthews Fine as is.
Alycia Smith My mom has a focus and what I have noticed is lack of doing custom ringtones and lack of audio alerts if you missed a call of or text and just lack of apps
Daniel Airozo I've used an iPhone and have had several android devices in the last year. Just bought a hd7 yesterday. Trying out wp7 for the first time just for something new. Really like it so far but I do miss my widgets and custom Roms from android
Tyler Neill buy webos and use that, but add microsoft office and stuff
Joseph Ramirez Some Dual core models... thats about it.
Ian Walker Needs loads more apps and 3rd party support.
Will Doyle Cover it with chia seeds and watch it grow.
Rafael Guzman Everything. I hate it
David Harness Amount of apps. If it had the app quality and amount of the Apple App Store I'd own a Windows Phone 7 device
Gary Palmer II Everything
Ernest Marvin Esteban add widgets, add a notification bar, add flash, make it customizable, make it open source, add more apps,
Ronnie Carlough Make it a android.
Mj Williams not much, toss in the ability to change colors and maybe add bg images. imho windows phone has exceeded android and apple eons ago creating a great product
Marco Cebrero Windows Marketplace. Or Fuck it change THE WHOLE OS.!!
Yuvi Love I would change it to android Haha
Justin Cross Change it to web OS
Sean Hunt this 16gb trend with no expansion options I NEED STORAGE, thats the only reason I dont have one
Arvydas Grušeckas I love WP7, but I would change multitask and allow to kill apps easily from view. Also, I would like fast wifi and internet switch :)
Xavier Alexander Windows OS
Gavin Feist Why change anything about it? Its not gonna go anywhere anyways. it sucks
Donald Bogan It's absence from my life. You wanna help me with that? I'll in box you my mailing address if so.
Ignacio Gonzalez It's very existence...
Dwayne Demaurivert Making it a lil more customization wise other than that great and fast
Curt Popejoy Better hardware
Steve Wyatt Turn all Win7 phones over to Android. yeah, that's the ticket.
Marc Middendorp nothing... it good .. it's perfect..
Ricardo Lopez The metro ui look
Chris Bushing I'm not sure exactly what to change but zune needs a better streaming competitor to have on the devices and more app compatablities
Jamil Cooper Customize and multi tasking
Tony Luu The asscessable user interface, multitasking and more 3rd party applications for windows phone 7
Patrick Do Be more compatible with tons more app.
Keven Sotto Ngujo cuztomizable UI...
Ediben Yoonan The multitasking




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