back to article Microsoft tempts with WinPho demo on... iPhone

Microsoft has pieced together an HTML 5-based demo of its Windows Phone OS' Metro user interface, giving iOS and Android users a taste of what life's like on the other side. Windows Phone 7 on... iPhone   Windows Phone 7 on... iPhone While it isn't exactly a fully functional system, the demo does showcase WinPho's tile-based …


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  1. turnip handler

    Helpful introduction to WinPhone

    A nice little demo that helped give me more of a feel for the WinPhone than just playing in the shop, due to the walk through for each tile.

    I moved away from windows on my phone as they decided to cut all functionality but looking forward to next year as I think my next upgrade will be to WinPhone provided the right hardware is available which Nokia may be able to deliver on.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tried it

    I liked the font style and the neat transisions but I did not like the tile based OS and even in the demo with the hints I got lost. I felt I was just doing what i was told without really knowing what i was doing. It certainly doesn't tempt me away from iOS or Android.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      I'm not sure it's a very good demo

      It's understandable from a technical point of view but most of the demo seems not to operate, the permitted interactions being not a great deal more than those mandated by the blue hints. It is a little better than a video and I'm sure they'll get a lot more attention because of the way they've done it but I'm not sure it makes the best impression.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Thing with the tiles is that its different, i admit i found it odd to start with but given a while i wouldnt change it for the world, it actually makes sense and feels more logical.

      Its funny, WP7 gets slated a lot because its not like ios or Android, but thats the point, its not ment to be, but what it does do it does very well.

  3. jeffo

    Reminds me of the old joke...

    ...about when Bill Gates samples Hell and then Heaven. Hell seems much better, so he chooses it, but when he gets there, it's not at all like he saw. "Ah, that was just a demo."

  4. Mark C Casey


    All that really did is remind me why I like my work provided iphone so much and why I'll buy an android phone for personal use.

  5. Phil A.
    Thumb Down

    Just looks a mess

    I really don't understand the attraction of WP7. OK, it's different to iOS and Android but different doesn't make it better. It's incredibly wasteful of screen real estate and is full of pointless animations.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    On my Samsung Jet....

    "Hello.... if you're looking for our Windows Phone demo, your device or webbrowser isn't supported at this time."

    Another missed opportunity. I mean; how likely is it that people on Android or iPhone would switch when compared to people who are currently using an older phone ?

    Instead of targeting people who are already using a modern phone, target the ones who are most likely to consider a purchase in the (possible) near future.

    That's called, you know, marketing.

    1. Shaun 1

      Oddly enough

      I get that same error message using WP7

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Will it crash as much as regular WIndows?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I hope so....

      ..I haven't had a pc crash out in years...

      1. Richard 31
        Paris Hilton

        I haven't had a crash or need to reboot my WP7 phone since the release day of Mango. Nor a Windows crash in i dont know how long. So from that perspective, yes it does crash as often as desktop windows. Not at all.

  8. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT)
    Thumb Down

    I dislike this...

    I don't know if it's just the demo (though I suspect it's not, having seen some screen shots from Win Phones), but the fact that the titles seem not to fit on the screen properly just rubs me right up the wrong way. I really don't care if it's a design feature or what, but it feels like they couldn't be arsed to make shit fit properly. It feels very clunky and needlessly difficult to use. I like Android because it can give me lots of information at once, not 5 or 6 of the biggest buttons ever. I guess it's good for those who's eyesight it failing them I guess.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      I agree with you - I just don't like the styling.

      That isn't to say it's bad, just not my mug of coffee.

      - Also, it is just me or is the "People" tile in the top-right screenshot in the article rather uncanny valley?

      The woman with half-a-beard kinda freaked me out...

  9. Thomas 18
    Big Brother

    Good tactic

    Expect Apple to block access to the site in the coming weeks.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      You are a troll

      Apple have never blocked a web site before or in any other way filtered web content.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  10. Miek

    Wow, WP is even worse to use than it looks.

  11. Anonymous Coward


    As clearly if you have a decent Android handset, why would you want to massively downgrade to a Windows Pho 7?

    If you have an iPhone, surely the task is to move up, i.e. to a mid-high end Android handset, rather than downgrade to a Windows Phone 7..

    And if you have any Android you can already run a Metro UI copy if for some insane reason you want people to think you were stupid enough to be the only person to have actually bought a Windows Phone 7... Search the Android marketplace for Metro Launcher...

    Really don't get the point of this.. I can't see anyone thinking, "wow, look at the non-customisable MetroUI, I want me some of that..."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hey everyone, quick look!

      It's Barry Shitpeas talking about Windows Phones and he likes them.

      Oh, no, he doesn't, it's just another ill informed rant as per usual.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "...another ill informed rant as per usual."

        I'd expect nothing less from the Fandroid-in-Chief. What Barrington doesn't get is that the Android UI is a bit of a mess. There are some fantastic ideas in there, but the whole experience lacks any sort of cohesion, which is kind of important. Android has be come popular with the general public because it is the lowest common denominator, just like Windows and just like Windows not because of any great technological edge over the competition; actyally *all* modern smartphones are pretty good at what they do. Windows Phone on the other hand is a really interesting design exercise. Rather than try and take the desktop metaphor and squeeze it onto a phone, they have re-thought how we need to interact with devices and offered a decent and viable alternative solution. This might not be for everyone, and the self aggrandising 'power users' will hate that they can't fuck-up^H^H^H^H^H^H tweak the interface to their [*ahem*] taste, but at least Microsoft have thought it through. I still prefer iOS, but that's me. Both WinPho and Android have the pros and cons and if it works for you then all power. Barrington's tiny little mind however sees things only in black and white; this is zero-sum to him.

  12. Dazzz
  13. /\/\j17

    So, just like in the desktop world Apple users just end up buying over-priced hardware and then run Windows on it to do anything useful!

  14. Bodestone

    They could have made an effort

    If they had included support for Opera Mobile then they would have reached a much larger audience.

    1. Captain Save-a-ho
      Thumb Down

      Better still

      If they could just support all prior x86-driven software, they would really have a market.


  15. Z80

    Poor kids

    Not picked up from school until 5.30? Let's hope there were some after-school activities for them.

    The phone owner is doing alright though - 2 lunches.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That is all... It just DOESN'T work well at all.

  17. Rosco

    [Facepalm] The website doesn't run on WP7 phones

    I love my WP7 but this is the biggest fail ever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      yo, i heard yo like windows phone 7 so much i put windows phone 7 in yo windows phone 7

      Seriously though, why on earth would MS waste developers time optimising the HTML demo for WP7 users when they are already running it? Stupid comment.

    2. bigphil9009

      Err, why would you want to run this on a WP7 device? You have all the functionality already....

      1. Rosco

        The point is, it makes the WP7 browser look crap

        It's supposed to be a showcase for the greatness WP7 but manages to demonstrate that the WP7 browser can't cope with HTML5. That's a silly own goal.

        1. Jim Coleman
          Thumb Down

          I think you'll find that the demo is using device detection to see if you're running Android, Wp7 or IOS. If you're running WP7 it prevents the running of the demo. Not sure why, but rest assured it has nothing to do with HTML compatibility. As others have said, it's a bit silly wanting to run a demo of a system....on that system, no?

  18. tmTM

    Waste of time?

    Dear iphone user, you already have everything you want/need in your current phone and we know you are very loyal to your current platform.

    Would you like to sample something completely different, alien and no-where near a chic?

    humm, no response.....

    Perhaps Android or blackberry users would have been a better target, find some poor soul with an old motorola who's still waiting for the long promised update thats not going to materialise - then you might get some interest in WP7.

  19. NightFox

    Not sure of the wisdom of this - I'd imagine that a HTML5 mock-up isn't going to be as smooth as the real thing, surely you'd want to be trying to impress iOS/Android users with WP7 at its absolute best, not a low-grade mock-up that people will assume to be as good as it gets? Or is the HTML version really a good representation of WP7 at its absolute finest?

    1. Jim Coleman

      I think you'll find a proper WP7 demo app would be in violation of Apple's Appstore policy as it promotes a rival system. Hence the HTML5.

  20. CarlC

    Thanks MS

    at least I know what to avoid now!

    1. Shaun 1

      The crappy iPhone frame around the lovely metro bits?

    2. Jim Coleman

      Yep - IOS and Android.

  21. Andy Watt
    Thumb Up

    Cool... looks better if launched from a shortcut icon in iOS though

    When on the site in iOS, save a shortcut to the home screen, then launch frmo there. No safari controls, only a tiny amount of text at the top - almost looks like winPho live :-)

    Impressive use of HTML5. Works quite well.

    And I'm impressed with the winPho7 interface, I wanted to know what it was like. it's quite revolutionary, isn't it? Clever.

  22. bredman

    Demo doesn't work on Dolphin HD browser

    Very difficult demo to use, probably because I have never used WP7 before.

    But it all fell apart when I was expected to swipe sideways. Because I use the (excellent) Dolphin HD browser, the browser keeps sliding the page sideways.

    As can be expected, I gave up after less than a minute.

    1. Jim Coleman


      Says more about the Dolphin browser than about the demo.

  23. Robinson
    Thumb Up

    Still interested

    Yes, the demo is shite. But I'm still interested in getting one (got an iPhone 3GS at the moment). I definitely want a Windows 8 slate next year, instead of an iPad. So I was thinking about a WP 7 as my iPhone contract ends in March. The main thing I'm thinking is that the Windows phone, slate and my home PC will all be able to interoperate correctly with each other, without me having to buy bolt-on bits of software to help out.

    At least that's the theory. Still not 100% sure - perhaps I'll have a play in the shop.

  24. tirk

    Thanks for that!

    Now I can see why WP7 user base in the UK has declined from 1.7% down to a truely awful 1.0% over the last few months -

  25. mistermax

    Get it working on WinPhone hardware first...

    Perhaps it would be more useful for Microsoft to work more closely with existing hardware suppliers in order to ensure that updating to the much touted Mango release isn't a complete disaster.

    Borked my phone, needed to restore and have been unable to get to Mango with any stability. Phone reboots randomly.

    Seems like the whole public beta strategy to me. Put it out there, see what happens. Which is more painful with a phone than a desktop or laptop, because of a heavier reliance on the phone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The update to Mango is over (or at lesat pretty much over) and was a success - I haven't heard of any phones that failed, other than yours. Are you sure that you don't have a hardware problem?

  26. Adus

    Why all the hate?

    I've had an iPhone, Android and WinPho and I think they are all better at some things and worse at others. I'm currently using a WinPho as my main handset because i really dig the metro UI and I like their Outlook integration functionality for work.

    Just you know, buy the phone you like and let others do the same :)

    1. sandman

      Don't be naive!

      Look, the poor kids have got nothing else to brag about or identify themselves by than their choice of phone/OS/etc. They're not hard enough to join a gang, sociable enough to have real friends, or rich enough to own a car they could brag about, so technology is the only way they feel they can belong to an in-group. Of course, anyone with any taste would know that only retro phones like Motorola Pebbles are cool ;-)

      1. dogged

        you can pry my RAZR V3ii from my cold dead hands!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All it does ...

    ... Is make me feel unpleasantly woozy and slightly sea-sick.

  28. Sean Baggaley 1

    I rather like it.

    I prefer iOS personally, but I can see the Metro UI's interface's attraction to users who prefer text over icons.

    Humans don't read most words letter-by-letter: we learn to recognise them by their shapes, (just like icons), so there's solid cognitive science behind that Metro UI.

    I think Microsoft may be onto something here. It's not going to wean OCD graphics fans like myself off iOS and its lovely, sensible, ordered, ranks of icons, but I can see Metro appealing to users like my mother, who still has to peer at the text beneath each icon on her desktop to identify each item.

    Some people simply get along better with textual rather than graphical cues. Fair play to Microsoft: it may still have the feel of a v1.x platform, but it's got a lot of potential. The only major down-side is that all that text means more localisation work. (Not that I mind: I'm a mild-mannered translator by day!)

  29. M Gale

    Didn't work in landscape mode, then it decided that a 7 inch screen is way too large and only occupied a portion of the top left. Oh, and then the blue "slide here" animation was all screwed up and in the wrong place.

    It scrolled smoothly though. A good demonstration of the bog standard Android browser's capabilities, but not a great UI. Reminds me of when Windows XP came out and all people wanted to know was how to get rid of that awful Fisher Price scheme. Maybe I'll try the Metro-a-like that's in the Market just to show off to people with WP7, but I don't see me sticking with tiles for long. Not when I have widgets, anyway.

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