Windows Phone 7 Series

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdDAeyy1H0A[/youtube]

I am going to get grief for this post, but the new Windows Phone 7 series is…Nice looking. It’s also about 5 years too late. In many ways Microsoft reminds me of the big-three: slagging off the last decade or so, resting on their laurels, committing themselves to the lowest common denominator. I was happy to get my Windows Mobile 6-series Blackjack II phone not even two years ago which kicked it off for me. I wanted a not-iPhone and I wanted expandability. Then came the Nokia E71, my most favorite smartphone in the truest sense. And now my Nokia N900 which I am still enjoying every single day, the ultimate convergence device (for me at least).

What is it about the Windows phone? Well, it’s probably the only phone UI I’ve seen that looks gorgeous in a way that’s not ripping off the iPhone in any way. And I like that. It’s actually MORE visually attractive than the iPhone. I don’t know how it plays yet because I’ve not actually touched one. And that’s the problem: manufacturers are flocking to Android and even Samsung is writing their own OS.

Where will that leave Microsoft? Well, they’re going to have to pick up a LOT of speed and quickly. They might even have to partner with the likes of Dell or HTC to develop a phone that blows them all off the map — not an easy task. If the hardware features HD recording, 32GB on-board and card storage, 4G networking and a built-in drop/box/OTA file sync, then maybe it can be a game-changer. Or maybe just a game-keeper-upper.

We shall see. I am intrigued. Not going to buy one (or will I?) but I am going to keep my eye on it.

Apple vs The World

I have a love/hate relationship with Apple as many of you well know. I have been a card-carrying Mac user since I first used a LC II at the Canton Public Library all the way to my 15″ MacBook Pro, arguably the best laptop I have ever used.

But I am really discouraged by the news feeds today. I read about Virgin Atlantic’s decision to remove Flash on their website so that it would work better with the iPhone.

What?

I don’t have an iPhone and it’s not because I don’t like the iPhone. It’s because I don’t like the culture that has been created around it. The fact that a company would alter their entire website to work on a phone that few people access on their mobiles is beyond me. Going so far as to suggest that Flash is “limiting” is beyond Saturn (the planet). Without it, web video sites like YouTube and Vimeo wouldn’t have taken off as much as it has.

On the other hand, moving websites away from Flash makes sense. I am encoraged by a future in which HTML5 sites replaced platform-specific apps to deliver a consistent browser experience across devices and platforms.

And that’s the reason VA should have given: design once and reuse. But let’s do it for the right reasons… Not because you want to pander to one device and manufacturer.

Virgin: Wipe the brown stuff on your nose. Steve obviously stopped too quickly.

Keeping warm, carrying on in Wicker Park

I have been seeing adaptations of the “Keep calm and carry on” posters all over the city. According to Wikipedia, these were never produced. Instead their resurgence has been as recent as 10 years ago.

It seems a fitting mantra for me as a Buddhist and for everyone these increasingly unpredictable times. I admire its message but also the timelessness of the design and the typography. A quick search on the Interwebs reveals that P22’s Underground Pro is the closest font. Gorgeous.

If this is all too serious, check out this site instead.