Is Windows Phone becoming Android? That's the question a Fandroid asked me recently and here is his argument...
With information trickling in on what features and changes Windows Phone 8.1 is bringing to the platform, I can understand how that's a reasonable question.
When Microsoft first launched the Windows Phone over 3 years ago, they touted the message that this was a phone that would save us from our phones (our phones being Android and iOS devices).
And after I got the Lumia 900, I understood what they were talking about. Windows Phone was the simplest of smartphones, you went in did what you wanted to do and got out, not a lot of settings or customization to spend hours tweaking, it was just simple.
Here's the brilliant ad Microsoft put out back then regarding Windows Phone...
Windows Phone was nothing like Android or iOS. But as it turns out, after 3yrs+, that's not what smartphone users want after all.
Since the launch of WP7... then WP7.5 and now WP8, users have asked for one android-like feature to another iOS feature ported to the WP platform.
Take a look at Windows Phone Feature Suggestion Page where users submit features they want to see added to the platform, you get to vote on which ones you want, and the features with a lot of votes will be considered by the Windows Phone team.
You will find a lot of feature requests are in the context of "bring ??????? to WP, like it is on Android or iOS"
I agree there are features you absolutely must have on a smartphone to actually make it a smartphone, features like notification center, separate volume controls, file manager and more.
But features like transparent tiles, customisable background in the start screen, on-screen buttons are they totally necessary (not that I'm against them).
Because as more features are introduced (as they most certainly will in the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update) we will have a settings page a mile long and sooner or later, the Windows Phone will be just like Android, unnecessary features, uncountable customization settings and the lot. resulting in OS crashes and even security vulnerabilities?
Windows Phone will no longer be saving you from your phone. Well that's the argument.
I think Windows Phone team is thriving to take those features that made Android the best and make them better, take for example the action center (recently leaked), it's not just a notification center, it's a smart notification center.
Adding these android or iOS features and making them even better, smarter will help users switch to the WP platform effortlessly. As long as Microsoft doesn't lose sight on why they made Windows Phone in the first place: Making it as simple as possible.