Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer has attempted to draw some attention away from Google`s launch of Android 4.0 by talking up the benefits of his own company`s Windows Phone 7 platform, which he believes is far more accessible for smartphone novices.
Windows Phone 7 was recently the beneficiary of a major update known as Mango, bringing its official version number up to 7.5. This update included more than 500 changes, such as adding streamlined app switching, Twitter integration and a brand new web browser.
Mr Ballmer said that Windows Phone 7 is far less complicated to interact with than Android, claiming that only computer experts are able to get the most out of the experience available on Google`s smartphones. He was clearly exaggerating to make a point, but there is no doubt that Microsoft is aiming to appeal to first time smartphone buyers rather than tech-savvy consumers.
While Android 4.0 retains the multi-homescreen interface of its predecessors, allowing users to customise and add widgets to each as they see fit, Windows Phone 7 opts for a far more restricted but undeniably simpler system. This employs one main home hub with moveable Live Tiles that provide notifications, information and shortcuts to applications and websites. Users can arrange these as they see fit, but the cohesive look and feel along with the intuitive process of placing individual tiles definitely gives it the edge over Android.
The HTC Titan is the smartphone that Microsoft is touting as the flagship device for the new Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update and interestingly enough it shares one similarity with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google`s front-running Android 4.0 handset. That feature is a very large display, with the Titan sporting a 4.7 inch SLCD screen while the Galaxy Nexus has a 4.65 Super AMOLED Plus unit.
The Titan has a 1.5GHz single core processor while the Galaxy Nexus has a 1.2GHz dual core chip. Microsoft`s offering may be technically less powerful than Google`s, but since Windows Phone 7 is better optimised to utilise this hardware the difference is negligible.
Personal preference plays a large part in making a choice between one smartphone platform or another. While Android lets users personalise their handset, Windows Phone has a far more unified, consistent experience guaranteed, thanks to minimum hardware specs enforced by Microsoft which means you can pick almost any handset that runs it and enjoy the same basic features that run in a predictable manner.
If you do want to buy a new smartphone device, whether based on Android or Windows Phone, then it makes sense to harness a voucher or deal provided by a site such as Groupon as this can net you big savings. In a rapidly evolving market, cutting edge handsets rarely retain their positions for extended periods, so paying a premium does not make sense.