So what is it that makes a WinPhan a WinPhan? When Windows Phone became available for general consumption, late in 2010, it came from no where. Microsoft went from an OS that was trying to emulate the PC, which at that time was not that far removed from Android and iOS, to the now familiar tile based[Metro no more, but modern] UI that we see today. Today, turning the books on itself, Microsoft has applied that design language across it’s desktop/tablet range as well.
What was it though that sucked people in, it certainly wasn’t app availability, there was less than 2500 apps in the marketplace when I got my first Windows Phone. Wasn’t functionality, 7.0.7004, the first build of WP was buggy, no copy paste even, and had a long way to go.
It definitely wasn’t the devices, there was really nothing special there, OEM’s at the time took their current device designs and adapted the innards to run Windows Phone 7. Recycling the slab form factor, big glass screen, the buttons and CPU/GPU that they had to have to meet WP hardware requirements, and not much else. That continued right through first and second generation WP7 devices, until of course Nokia came along, rather late in the game.
It was definitely the UI that captured the imagination, it broke away from the norm, and although quite unrefined at the start, it still had an appeal that drew a lot of us in. In fact, made a lot of us blind to what the OS lacked. Somehow though I do not solely think it was the bling, the differences that made fans of a lot of us.
Potential, a “glass half full” attitude, seems to be the mainstay of the WinPhan. There was something fresh and inspiring, the thrill of a challenge and a certain camaraderie that developed in supporting what was seen to be an “underdog”, that deafened supporters to the criticism. There have been a lot of swinging voters along the way, whose concerns have come down to the fastest processor, most ram, largest on board storage and SD card support. The sorts of things that do not inspire loyalty, just an attitude of bigger, newer is better.
WinPhans are loyal, have probably grown with the OS since they acquired their first Windows Phone, or since it was first released and have remained excited about it as it has progressed. They have probably kept the faith and have updated to WP7.8, or upgraded to WP8, to start the process again. While many would say it’s a continual beta test, it’s the changes, learning and updates that keep people interested, and the fact that from woe to go, the OS has not staled.
So what makes a WinPhan? You tell me?