Engadget posted a bunch of info and analysis on Windows Mobile 7 yesterday (now called Windows Phone 7 Series — no more Windows Mobile), and the new OS looks pretty serious. It’s a complete minimalist, monochromatic departure from Windows Mobile 6.5 (which in my opinion is a very, very good thing).
Microsoft has desperately needed to reinvent themselves in the mobile marketplace, and it looks like this may be exactly the sort of dramatic change they needed (and hopefully indicates the direction they’re heading in).
While I’m not crazy about the inability to install apps not sanctioned by Microsoft inside their Marketplace, the visual appeal and improved user experience of this new OS may still be enough to win some folks back to the Microsoft mobile platform.
Here’s a video from Engadget showcasing the Windows Phone 7 Series and some of its features.
I’ve always found the transformational nature (data turns into information, which turns into knowledge, which turns into wisdom) as well as the lack of focus on context (‘wisdom’ — whatever wisdom is — is not always necessarily better to have than data) a bit annoying. But read Patrick’s post, it’s very informative and makes some great points.
With any system, there is the inevitable volume question — how do we derive the quality information from the mediocre but high-quantity information. As Jack correctly points out, using collaboration tools (think Twitter, FaceBook, etc.) can actually make it more difficult to track that conversation down later on, whereas an email conversation (thread, basically) might be easier to search through.
In addition to Jack’s points, I can also envision situations where client confidentiality or other sensitivities would prevent you from having this sort of public conversation — where you would want the flow of any conversation to be tightly controlled and monitored (counter-intuitive to collaboration, I know, but unfortunately, sometimes a regulatory or legal reality).
I’ve always believed that most of the time, frustrations arise due to people picking the wrong method of communication for a particular conversation. There is nothing inherently good or bad about email, we just sometimes need to give a bit more thought as to whether it’s the appropriate mode of communication for what we need to talk about.
I was sitting on the subway last week (which is unusual for me, as I tend to avoid the subway at all costs), and during one of the brief moments where the train goes above ground, was sending a few emails. After giving myself a mental pat on the back for being so productive, I took a look around the subway car. Guess what everyone else was doing?
Exactly the same thing I was.
It was then that I had a sudden realization about productivity: while technology may enhance our productivity when compared to how productive we used to be without (or with a ‘lesser’) technology, I seldom think about how little my productivity actually increases compared to others.