Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Windows 8.1 – The Time is On!

For a long time in the past, we have been telling people; “Don’t go with a Windows Phone right now. Though the OS looks promising, it’s not in any race with iOS & Android.” Nokia strived hard and breathed its last but stayed loyal to Microsoft and then, finally, died on the lap of Microsoft Inc.

Apple: iOS – iPhone
A phone with Apples own operating system iOS (at launch: iPhone OS) combined with Apple-designed hardware. It was marvelous. It’s proved what a phone with super-compatibility of hardware-software could do.

Google: Android – Nexus/ Moto X
Google (in association with HTC, Samsung and LG) created the Nexus – A phone which made the tech-world gaze at what the Vanilla-version of Android looks like.
Google then bombed when it came to the news that it acquired Motorola. And boy, what did they do to the Moto?? They came up with the Moto X. This super-device was way shy of being the flagship of Android. But, it showed the maximum way Android could magically perform when combined with compatible hardware.

Alan Kay once said, “People who are really serious about software, should make their own hardware”.

Steve Jobs with his Apple Inc. followed the same great lines (and displayed the same line during the launch of iPhone in 2007). Google did the same. They bought-out a hardware partner, Motorola (Later, sold it to Lenovo – Bad decision). Microsoft will now do the same, as they bought-out their longest serving soldier Nokia.

We all know that Microsoft is the BEST when it comes to desktop computing. You may also like to know that Microsoft is also a great thinker and revolutionist when it comes to hardware design (read Microsoft Surface Pro 3). The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 beats Apple iPad Air in almost all departments when it comes to hardware and design.

The OS: Windows Phone OS v.8.0 was a great leap for the OS as it came in real competition with iOS and Android. Now, with the launch of version 8.1, the Windows Phone OS goes a step closer to becoming a Fab-OS (ahem, it is still a bit-behind becoming the Complete one).

Voice Assistance: It also introduces a personal assistant “Cortana” into the phone world. Considering its first foray into Voice recognition and voice assistance, the Cortana is far ahead of Siri & Google Now (personal views). Both the iOS & Android provide voice assistance which answers when asked. The Cortana acts just like a living personal assistant. No, it doesn’t ask for a monthly salary and increment. Rather, it learns from your previous searches and responds like-wise. It can also tell you jokes & that too, not repetitive. Hahaha….!!

Battery: Google’s OS has been renowned for being a juice-thirsty monster. It requires being plugged-in every night without fail. Windows OS (both phone and desktop versions) are known for draining less power and it also manages the power like magic.

Reach: The web of Android-powered phones is vast-spread. Almost all mobile hardware manufacturers make Android phones. Thanks to the latest development at Microsoft, Nokia being its General of the Windows Army, the likes of Samsung, HTC, LG, Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, Lava, Xolo, Karbonn, Micromax, etc. are the new-recruit soldiers in its army. (Samsung, HTC, Huawei & LG used to manufacture Windows phones in the past too, but at a tortoise pace) The likes of Indian manufacturers coming into the list, we may receive cheaper Windows phones.

App Store: Someone with an iOS or an Android device would boast about the millions of apps (and counting) that are available on their respective App Stores. Well, mathematically, Windows App Store lags a lot behind the two, but, literally, how many apps do we use from the stores off the millions? And how much percentile amongst those millions are real sensible apps? 30%? 40%? Well, not a bit over 40% apps I would say. Windows App store has almost 90% of sensible, non-repetitive, original apps. And, that is what is fascinating about it.

Updates: The problem with Android updates is that, the manufacturer decides whether you receive an update or not. With Windows, it all is in the hands of the Godzilla of Software – Microsoft, and you receive all latest OS updates till your phone finds a coffin, finally. That will be a big cheer.

Note: The latest entrants to the list of Windows phones in India are Micromax Canvas Win W092 (4-inch, Quad Core, Win 8.1, 5MP+0.3MP, 1500mAh, INR. 6500/-) & Micromax Canvas Win W121 (5-inch, Quad Core, Win 8.1, 8MP+2MP, 2000mAh, INR. 9500/-) The Windows budget series has gone cheaper. Hope, the quality is also good.

Verdict: Officially, we declare, “Wake up Guys! It’s just the time to go, grab your Windows device!!”

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