Just done watching Microsoft’s keynote on Windows Phone 8 so thought I might share a few thoughts that are too big to fit on Twitter.
I generally liked what I saw. I’m glad that Microsoft plugged some of the major holes in the OS and brought it up to speed by adding support for multi-core processors, higher resolution displays, microSD cards, etc. It’s all very nice and very useful.
It’s also very old.
To be honest, this is basic stuff that should have been there from day one. I’m only saying this because it’s Microsoft and they have been in this business for a long time, longer than Apple or Google. To think a company like Microsoft did not foresee smartphones eventually requiring multi-core processors or higher resolution displays is laughable.
And because of this the current Windows Phone 7.5 users are screwed. They put restrictions in Windows 7.x that made it impossible to OEMs to put in weaker hardware (understandable) but also more powerful hardware (absurd). And now they are claiming they can’t put Windows 8 on these devices because the hardware is not capable of running it.
Coming back to Windows 8, as I said, I liked what I saw today. They were basically playing catch-up but it’s better to do that than to not have important features at all.
One thing I did not like is that Microsoft is still not supporting OpenGL. Now I know DirectX is superior and that you can write games for Windows 8 or Xbox and port them over to Windows Phone 8 with minimal trouble. But just because DirectX is superior developers who have games on iOS and Android in OpenGL aren’t going to start porting their games over immediately.
This is why Windows Phone 7.x got few of the games found on other platforms (even though obscure devices like PlayBook got them) because it lacks support for OpenGL and Microsoft is making the same mistake again. Having new and exclusive games is always nice but it’s also important to get all the great games available on current platforms over to yours. Those are the ones people actually care about.
Anyway, we’ll see how this goes. As of now, Windows Phone seems much more complete than what it was before. Now it needs some killer hardware and hopefully the developers will take notice and make compelling apps.