For what it's worth, Windows Phone was actually an amazing platform for both users and developers, and shows a fundamental rule of technology: There Is No Third Ecosystsm. The most dominant hardware maker (at the time) and software/os maker teamed up with a really great product, but couldn't break the established smartphone duopoly, even though it was only a few years old by that point. I wasn't a Microsoft fan by any stretch (the opposite actually), but even I agreed with the decision at the time, especially after using Windows Phone. First mover advantage is huge, and developers only have so much bandwidth.
Edit: Heh. Apparently someone did write a book. See comments below. Wow.
They have. Help yourself:
I don't think this is fundamental. Microsoft really dropped the ball on Windows 10 Mobile. Building a third ecosystem is very hard, and it's a long term commitment. Microsoft had made good inroads on cheap phones with reasonable performance, and they didn't follow through with that for W10M; instead they were focusing on flagship phones. Flagship phone buyers are a lot more discriminating about everything including OS polish, app marketplace, and upgrade experience (edit to add, and a browser that doesn't suck).
In my view the app support killed the platform. It would have been impossible to fix. Even if Microsoft had paid for the development it would not have made sense for companies to spend time with WP versions for just a few users.
It's one thing to build an app for a platform with not very many users; it's another to build three similar apps for three similar platforms that don't have very many users. This is something Microsoft should have done better, and falls in the camp of if you're going to be a third ecosystem, you have to be consistently good.
You would have thought that Microsoft of all companies understood the value of platforms, having maintained Win32 compatibility for a decade already at that point.
Similarly Nokia bought Trolltech for their Qt UI toolkit, because it would allow software to be developed that could be compiled for both Maemo and Symbian. But before that could be put into effect, the board panicked and brought in Elop (in large part because of American pension funds, apparently).
This more than anything was perhaps what allowed Apple and Google to take over, as it signaled to companies that Microsoft was not committed to support them for the long haul.
Not long after we started to see abominations like iPhones fitted with barcode scanner cases to handle warehouse inventorying!
I used an HD7 for years, as well as a 925, because it always felt snappy and "brand new".
I fired up my 925 a few days ago and it still feels fresh, quick, and gorgeous.
Smooth experience, no clutter, no distraction - it just works.
You're probably referring to the first party apps which used an entirely different UI framework which was never publicly accessible.
Meanwhile in the earliest days of Windows Phone Silverlight the default blank app in Visual Studio took more than a second to load.
Here’s my old WP7 project implementing both of these:
Update: the solution in that repo builds a WP7 app using WP8 SDK. Earlier versions used WP7 SDK. I had to upgrade a few things, e.g. replaced Async CTP with Microsoft.Bcl.Async but the changes were minor.
BTW, when original iPhone was released in 2007, it didn’t have any user-installable apps at all, only the built-in ones. The store with the apps was launched a year after the phone.
Moblin, much like Maemo, started out as a modified Debian.
But right after the merger was announced, Intel released Moblin 2, that was RPM based.
End result was that Nokia was left hanging high and dry with their N900 that used DEB and also attempted to switch out GTK with Qt (Nokia bought Trolltech) because Qt could be used on both Linux and Symbian.
There was already an established duopoly when iOS and Android first shipped.
But what happened was that for some reason the focus shifted from the well established European market to the backwaters American market, rolling back some 2 decades of progress in mobile tech in the process.
Nokia was demoing Symbian phones that could operate as a pocket computer (just hook up to a TV a keyboard and a mouse) while Android barely could show a video on a external screen by blanking the internal one.
Yet the established players flinched, bought into the MSM hype, and ran their ships aground, leaving themselves wide open to be overtaken by upstarts.
Inability of Nokia/Microsoft to see that it wasn't amazing at all - in my opinion is the reason they got destroyed by iOS and Android. Windows Phone 7 was far from amazing, and by the time windows phone 8 came out - everybody already realized that and were not going to purchase another phone with WP8 that will be bricked by a new update again like all the WP7 phones did.
One day it fell down about 3 meters on a stone floor and survived almost without a scratch. Great hardware, nice software, but a poor mobile strategy by Microsoft.
And second mover, it seems, then, but not third. Is that so?