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Review: Samsung Focus with Windows Phone 7

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The Samsung Focus is a wonderful piece of hardware. The screen is superlative, among the best I've used on a mobile phone, and the build quality and design are excellent. The phone sounds great during calls, gets good cell reception and snaps fine pictures. Battery life could be better, but it wasn't the worst I've seen by a long shot.

Windows Phone 7 is inspired and completely different than anything I've seen before on a mobile phone (except maybe the Kin, but that doesn't count). But from a business user's perspective, WP7 is going to be a serious disappointment, especially if you are used to Windows Mobile. The new system definitely puts play before work. While features like the multimedia player and the Xbox Live apps are mature and well developed, business features obviously took a backseat. The phone lacks advanced features in scheduling and business messaging, and it wasn't even able to open my PowerPoint and Excel files.

What's even worse for Microsoft is that other devices, notably the Apple iPhone, already have mature app markets and features in place, so many of the features that business users will need most, like perfect document editing and business-class instant messaging, are already available on Apple's device, while Microsoft fans will have to wait for support.

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So that's my advice for business users. Wait for support. If you use your phone more for fun and games, for pictures and social networking, the Samsung Focus might be a fine choice. But if you need to stay productive and communicate with the rest of your corporation, Windows Phone 7 is not going to get the job done, at least not yet. Let's just hope that Microsoft hasn't abandoned its core constituency, business users, completely, because the phone starts with a fantastic base design, and I think business users would enjoy an option completely different from the iPhone and other interface designs on the market, if Microsoft can help them get their jobs done.

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