Beautiful. That’s the one word I would use to describe the new UI on WP7S. I’d called for Microsoft to use Zune 2.0 as the basis for the rebirth of Windows Mobile (starting way back in Oct ’07), and they did not disappoint… except with that horrible name.
Remember when J.J. Abrams rebooted the Star Trek franchise and called his movie “Star Trek 11”? Or when Christopher Nolan rebooted the Batman movies with “Batman 5: Batman Begins”? No, you don’t because those guys know that refreshing a franchise means fresh numbering.
I understand wanting to stick with the “Windows” branding and changing the name to “Phone” gives it a fresh start. If they’d stopped there, I’d call the name an adequate, if boring, restart. But then they stuck on “7” even though this is the first OS called “Windows Phone” and, for some unfathomable reason, stuck another word on after that, eating up valuable headline space, ensuring the full name will rarely be used, if ever.
What really irks me is the contrast between the inspired UI and the uninspired name. There’s no way any of the guys who designed this work of art ever said “You know what would be a good name? Windows Phone 7 Series.” No, they were working on “Photon” and the “Metro” interface. Those are great names, as in “Wow, Metro on Windows Photon is incredible.” vs. “Wow, ‘the social networking interface on Windows Phone 7 Series’ is way too long to say.”