Microsoft Reboots Mobile OS

Brian Chen at Wired tells the story of Microsoft’s reboot of its mobile OS:

The old MO with Windows Mobile was to modify skins of the OS in compliance with a manufacturer’s set of instructions. The new plan for Windows Phone 7 would be to design the operating system around customer enjoyment, similar to Apple’s approach.

A focus on typography:

… instead of a screen cluttered with icon buttons, Windows Phone 7 focuses heavily on typography to display different features and functions.

Metro is a very different approach compared to Apple’s iOS. It seems more elegant in some ways and it probably stems from Microsoft’s elegant use of beautiful typography.

Apple’s immediate future with its next major OS X release will incorporate some UI elements from iOS. I am excited at the possibility that Microsoft might follow a similar strategy and fuze Metro UI elements into the next Windows version.

Right now if I could pick and choose, I would want my Retina Display-equipped iPhone 4 running WP7. The Retina Display is by far the best mobile screen on the planet. Samsung’s Super AMOLED looks to be a near-perfect match with so much black in Metro, but it wouldn’t do well because its weakness is in rendering clear text.

The only thing that doesn’t sit perfectly well with me is WP7’s front screen: the solid colored blocks are unnecessary. Make them transparent to the background.