Windows Phone 8: The people’s choice, or biased reviews?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Windows Phone 8 is a small but mighty contender in the platform wars, and apparently it’s not doing too terribly when it comes to customer satisfaction of the overall operating system. PCMag recently released their Readers’ Choice Awards for 2013 regarding smartphones, and Windows Phone 8 takes the cake with an overall score of 9.0 satisfaction rating, topping Apple’s iOS satisfaction score of 8.6. The mobile platform has come a long way from its early days using Windows Mobile and consumers are starting to take notice.
In 2012, PCMag reported that Windows Phone 7 shared the top score with Apple’s iOS, which might seem surprising to many as the two top profiting mobile operating systems are iOS and Android – you’d think that would mean they would be most satisfying operating systems overall as well. However, you have to take into consideration that Android is not only big name contenders like Samsung and HTC; there are plenty of manufacturers that make low-end Android phones as well, and since the poll didn’t take what manufacturer was being used into consideration Android did surprisingly well at a score of 8.1.
So what made Windows Phone 8 perform so well?
According to the article, Windows Phone 8’s strong points were the camera, the operating system, 4G capability, and display size. It was mostly lacking in apps and reputation, both of which were won by iOS.
Some would argue that owners of Windows Phone 8 devices went into the device specifically looking for an operating system run by Microsoft and had a biased opinion from the start. While this is a possibility (many people gave up on Windows Phone due to the previous hurdles faced with Windows Mobile) I think the same could be said for iOS as well – are the products innovative anymore? Not really, but people (including myself) are still holding on to the fact that it’s not that bad and still holds relevance compared to more modern devices. Microsoft completely revamped their phone interface and did a pretty decent job of it from the looks of it, and it looks like people are beginning to notice because biased or not, you can’t disregard people’s feelings of being satisfied with a product regardless of the feature that entices them the most.
Although I don’t have personal experience with Windows Phone 8 from an ownership perspective, this definitely helps sway my decision towards a Windows Phone 8 device come upgrade time. Although I was fairly certain of it before, uncertainty of how well the device would tailor to my needs made me wonder if it would be the right choice. My first few smartphones were Androids, but I feel that Androids tailored to my younger self more appropriately than it does now. Looking at the specifics of how this score was broken down it was easy for me to tell what aspects made the best impressions on different platforms. Aside from showing us the overall “People’s Choice” score, this poll did a good job of pointing out each operating system’s strong and weak points from an actual ownership perspective. Even if the scores were biased, most people wouldn't fake satisfaction to that extent, and the overall reception of Windows Phone 8 has been pretty good anyway so I don't find it completely unbelieveable. Ultimately, I’ll only ever be able to judge an OS based on my own perspective – making it even more so of a point that I need first-hand experience with Windows Phone 8 before being able to officially agree with the statement that it’s the “People’s Choice” for 2013.
Readers, what are your thoughts on the reviews? What platform would you have voted for to be the People’s Choice platform? Do you view Windows Phone any differently because of these ratings? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!