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BlackBerry vs Windows Phone 7 head-to-head

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Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry OS 6

The BlackBerry platform has traditionally been a favourite with business users but, along with iOS and Android devices, Microsoft is looking to establish its Windows Phone platform as a genuine contender.

Millions of businesses use Microsoft software, so the ability to deploy smartphones that integrate into this legacy environment could be very attractive.

V3 has run through the features of the two operating systems to find out which offers the best functionality for enterprise users.

Interface
Windows Phone comes with a very simple user interface, which makes it easy to navigate, much like Android and iOS. The home screen is populated with very distinctive 'live tiles' that allow quick access to applications such as messaging, internet, calendar and settings.

Users can access a more comprehensive list of apps by clicking a small arrow in the top corner, and 'pin' shortcuts of frequently used apps to the home screen.


Microsoft Windows Phone Mango
Within an application there is generally the option to slide across panels to bring up menus, and the platform supports a maximum of four panels. There are also a number of 'hubs' available, which are a cross between widgets and applications as they are designed to provide additional information.

The People Hub is intriguing, allowing the ability to scan contacts and integrate Facebook and Windows Live feeds as well as photos. Twitter and LinkedIn integration is expected in the future, which will make this more useful.

There are an additional five hubs - Pictures, Music & Video, Office, Games and Marketplace - but the Office Hub is going to be one of the most appealing to business users.

In contrast, the most up-to-date version of RIM's operating system is BlackBerry 6, and for the purposes of this head-to-head we tested it on the flagship BlackBerry Torch smartphone.

The interface is a considerable improvement over previous versions, making much better use of graphical icons and touch screen navigation.

Most of the principal functions are accessible from the main homescreen and, like Android and iOS devices, users can swipe between different panels.

Apps are bundled together in five sensible categories of All, Favourite, Media, Downloads and Frequent.

 RIM BlackBerry 6 interface

The Favourites and Frequent categories are particularly useful. The former can be used to store frequently used contacts, apps and web pages, and the latter keeps track of the 12 most commonly used features.

Popular social networking apps such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube are all located on the home screen. The Social Feeds app also saves the need to search through individuals apps as it groups messages from AIM, BBM, Facebook, Google Talk, MySpace, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger.

Winner: BlackBerry
Although both interfaces are easy to use, the BlackBerry 6 OS has a little bit more funtionality. However, Microsoft is due to add a significant number of feature via the Mango update in the autumn, so it could overtake RIM's platform by the end of the year.

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Khidr Suleman
About

Khidr Suleman is a reporter at V3.co.uk, a role he has fulfilled since June 2010. He covers business hardware news and reviews, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, projectors and printers, as well as online applications.

Prior to joining V3.co.uk, Khidr worked as a freelance technology journalist. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.

 

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