Smartphone reviewers are divided on the usability of Microsoft’s latest operating system, after the software giant shipped preview versions for testing.
Blog site Boy Genius Report said the user interface (UI) of Windows Phone 7 was “minimalist”, with the action buttons used to add options to pages being pretty standard and hard to use.
The site said the scrolling was irritating and had a rubber banding effect.
In contrast, Engadget praised the speed and touch responsiveness of the OS – suggesting some limitations are inherent to the prototype devices being used.
However, both sites criticized Microsoft’s decision to hide battery-life and other indicators unless users pull the details up, and for leaving threaded text message speech bubbles in the same color.
They also slammed the lack of copy and paste functionality, and the absence of support for third-party multitasking.
The OS integrates Facebook throughout the phone, with the traditional contacts list replaced by a People section combining contact details and access to Facebook profiles.
But the OS has no first-party support for Twitter – an omission Engadget found curious.
And the added navigation required to actually make a phone call using this system frustrated Boy Genius.
Windows Phone 7 also handles web browsing and email well, although the SMS application is “bare bones,” Engadget added.
Curiously for a company that spends so much developing word processing programs, the integrated Office program currently has some basic limitations – including an inability to change the font of a document. These limitations were also criticized by the previewers.