Sunday, March 03, 2013

Small (and big) inconsistencies with Windows 8 and Windows Phone

I have been using Windows 8 (on my desktop and netbook) and Windows Phone on daily basis as my primary devices for quite some time now. This post is a list of inconsistencies I find with using these interfaces that are supposed to integrate the experience across the screens:

1) Scrolling on home screen: Windows 8 makes it horizontal scrolling where as Windows Phone is vertical scrolling. Why on the earth it is this like this? I have no clue. Windows 8 could have simply adapted the way Windows Phone does the scrolling.

2) Resizing the live tiles: Windows Phone does this right; hold down the live tile and the resize glyph is shown right below the tile. With Windows 8 you have to go down and see that bar (what ever it is called) at the bottom to even know that you can resize the tile. This is particularly inconvenient once you have got used to Windows Phone. Wasn't familiarity with Windows Phone going to make my Windows 8 learning curve easier?

3) Where is the Bing lock screen image option in Windows 8? It is simply the best feature in Windows Phone.

4) Where is the 'Me tile' in Windows 8? Or other way round: Why is the People tile and the Me tile in Windows Phone not integrated (as in Windows 8)?

5) As with Windows 8, why there is no option to switch off live tile in Windows Phone? No, for end user this is not the same as going to settings and switching off the background services.

6) Why can't I set sound profiles on per application basis for Windows Phone as I do with Windows 8?

7) The desktop notifications and the new Windows store application notifications are all messed up and confusing at best. There is a need for unified notification center, which should be also available with Windows Phone.

8) IE10 UI on Windows 8 (new metro version) is much better, especially the way tabs are handled. Why is this not adapted for Windows Phone is quite a mystery.

These are the major concerns that I have on day-to-day basis. There are others (like why can't I create a new Powerpoint using Windows Phone?). But I guess, these are more niche problems. Until Microsoft fixes these issues, probably Ubuntu stands a better chance of bringing the 'one OS multiple screens' strategy to masses.

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