Windows Phone is better than ever, but still falls short on apps
14 April 2014
Summary: Windows Phone 8.1 is the best update yet, thanks to its revamped design and modern features, but it lags behind iOS and Android.
Pros: Windows Phone 8.1 puts more tiles on your Start screen and finally gives us a notification center. Voice assistant Cortana is fast, helpful, and just a bit witty.
Cons: Cortana is in beta, so you'll encounter a few bugs. The Windows Phone app store has fewer titles than Google Play and the Apple App Store, and what's available isn't as full-featured as the iOS and Android versions.
Conclusion: Windows 8.1 Update is geared towards pleasing mouse and keyboard users while simultaneously deepening integration with its touch-friendly interface.
Pros: Fastest startup of any Windows version. Better mouse and keyboard usability. Better integration of modern and "classic" Windows apps. Loads of included apps and utilities. Improved Mail app. Help for getting started. Better integration of tiled Start screen and desktop. Boot to desktop by default on laptops and desktops.
Cons: Dual nature may still confuse some. Windows app store lacks some big titles. Included apps (mail, music) not as slick as those of OS X Mavericks.
The ‘Third Mobile Platform’ Is Finally, Really Here
29 October 2012
Excerpt: When Microsoft launched its totally new Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system two years ago, it signaled Redmond’s first real step into the smartphone market. The 2-D, tile-based platform was visually stunning, and it showed Microsoft was intent on taking the smartphone operating system into new conceptual territory. It was different, and different looked good.
Windows Phone 8 review: Microsoft's mobile OS comes of age
29 October 2012
Summary: Windows Phone 8 is absolutely worth using, especially if you enjoy a simpler, bolder interface. However, if you need a robust app selection now, stick with the more fully formed Android and iOS.
Pros: Windows Phone 8 closes major gaps by bringing support for HD screens, multicore processors, and NFC. Other software additions, like Kid's Corner and camera app tie-ins, are also welcome.
Cons: Microsoft's mobile OS still trails the competition when it comes to default voice navigation, basic camera features, and the quantity and quality of its apps. Voice actions are hit or miss.
Excerpt: The new version of Windows, which is available Friday, sees Microsoft tucking the old, desktop-focused Windows skin into its back pocket, and instead donning a colorful, touch-friendly suit of tiles. It’s such a grand departure from Redmond’s legacy Windows software that most users won’t recognize it as Windows at all. And that’s a beautiful thing. I’ve been testing Windows 8 over the last few months, and I’ve come to really enjoy using it.
Summary: New version, system update, service pack – call it what you will, Windows 8.1 is a lot more than just a collection of security and bug fixes for Microsoft’s touch-friendly Windows 8 operating system. It also addresses shortcomings and adds new features which didn’t quite make it into the original release, to deliver a much improved platform which should quieten some critics.