Having been initially impressed by the style of Microsoft's new mobile system, difficult questions are coming thick and fast, such as: why has Microsoft banned skins on WinMo7?
We hope you like the square look of Microsoft's 7-series mobile interface, because that seems to be how it will look on any device, from any maker. Now, if you're happy with the look (although the main screen looks to us like a game of techno-bingo) that's no bad thing. After all, there isn't much you can do to jazz up the iPhone bar the background. But, mobile makers themselves face the prospect of making varied devices that all have the same front-end, limiting the differentiation that stores and buyers would like.
Which is where Google's Android must seem like a rather happy place to be, it can be skinned, customized, altered and tweaked in almost endless ways. So, when it comes down to building phones, will makers pick one they can customise to just how they like, or will they plump for one that will end up practically the same as everyone elses? Also, Google gives Android away, generating money from mobile search, while Microsoft will charge others to use its mobile OS. Available in any colour, as long as its approved.
So, while Microsoft might finally have a decent phone OS on its hands, a point will be debated until we get test units to play with (plus the lurking menace of Internet Explorer), it might end up fighting a losing battle with makers and telcos who want something a little more flexible to offer to us customers. There might be plenty of room for all comers on the store shelves, but limited factory output and ultra-tight building budgets might have something to say in this battle