Windows Phone

Pros: Innovative, unique take on the smartphone; killer hardware specs

Cons: Unclear whether customers will embrace another new platform

Rating: Four out of five stars

Recommendation: When Microsoft revealed that it was going to dump Windows Mobile and start over, I was surprised. When it revealed that it was going to build off the underappreciated Zune platform, I was pleased. But when it revealed that it was tossing out the tired, apps-based model used by the iPhone and its many copiers and making a truly innovative user experience, I was floored. Whether this new platform will be embraced by users or developers remains to be seen. But the work looks solid, and even in these early days, it appears that Microsoft is on to something: Developers have a mature .NET and Silverlight-based environment to work in. And users will have a touch-tastic new UI that might eventually even be seen on non-phone devices. Color me excited: Windows Phone is a platform to watch.

Contact: Microsoft 

Discussion: SuperSite for Windows - WP7 preview

 

iPhone OS 4.0

Pros: Multitasking ability; better enterprise support; more customization

Cons: Should have been in there all along; multitasking isn't complete

Rating: Four out of five stars

Recommendation: With its iPhone OS 4.0 update, due in mid-2010, Apple does something new with its smartphone platform: It's aping the competition. Whether this is a sign of maturity or of desperation is unclear, but the iPhone is picking up a lot of familiar functionality. It's getting multitasking (like Windows Mobile/Windows Phone and Android); customization features (Android); support for multiple Exchange accounts (Android) and an integrated Inbox (WebOS); and enterprise Exchange features (RIM Blackberry, Windows Mobile). And it’s even getting a Game Center, similar to the Xbox Live support on Windows Phone. But regardless of the sources of its functional inspirations, Apple's iPhone OS should continue its reign atop the smartphone market. With this update, a good thing is getting better.

Contact: Apple

Discussion: SuperSite for Windows - blogs