Windows Phone 8.1 is compelling, so stop dreaming of Android

Windows Phone continues to improve with the latest 8.1 update, and offers enterprise users a personal experience with the power of Microsoft and Exchange in their hands.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
Windows Phone 8.1 is compelling so stop dreaming of Android
Image: Microsoft

A couple years ago, GigaOm's Kevin Tofel and I, along with most of the mobile tech community, questioned whether Nokia should have gone with Android as its primary mobile operating system instead of Windows Phone.

A lot has changed since 2011. Now that we see Microsoft owning Nokia's hardware and devices group, people are one again questioning whether Android is the better mobile operating system for the Microsoft-Nokia duo.

I admit to dreaming about a Nokia Lumia 1020 running Android where I would get the ultimate camera phone experience with an operating system that has all the apps I could ever want. With Samsung now dominating the Android platform and making devices with excellent cameras, that dream is no more. But I still want to see Microsoft continue to embrace Windows Phone and encourage developers to bring their apps to the platform.

As much as I like using iOS and Android devices, a world with just iOS and Android does not appeal to me. Both Windows Phone and BlackBerry continue to remain as viable smartphone alternatives. ZDNet's Simon Bisson wrote a great article about how Windows Phone is the new BlackBerry for businesses. Both of these platforms offer up optimized communications experiences — single inbox, quick access to status of your contacts, integrated services in one hub/area — unlike what can be seen on iOS and Android.

Windows Phone is focused on making your device a very personal experience with an entire user interface dedicated to each person's personal tastes and needs. After initial startup and setup is completed, you will not find another Windows Phone exactly like yours. On the other hand, you will find plenty of iPhones and Android smartphones that look the same as everyone elses. This personal experience is extended to services and communication methods as well.

Aside from the personalization aspects, Windows Phone offers a stable and secure platform for the enterprise. Several people in my office use Windows Phone due to the powerful Exchange integration and access to our network. There are some limitations with other operating systems at work — it can't be said about other platforms on Microsoft's services.

Windows Phone apps are designed with a Metro look and feel that makes them unique in the smartphone space and mirrors the elements you now see on Windows 8. Running Android apps on Windows Phone would destroy the Metro experience and possibly expose businesses to the dangers of Android malware and viruses.

While Windows Phone is not perfect, Microsoft continues to improve the operating system and Windows 8.1 is a revolutionary update. I love the current Developer Preview on my Lumia 1520 and look forward to the update from Nokia rolling out right now.

Developers continue to roll out apps for Windows Phone and the stability of the platform can't be beat. Roll on Windows Phone, roll on.

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