The distribution model is more of a hybrid model where Microsoft offers a vetted marketplace to download music, apps, and more. You also have the ability to use a private distribution model. The Marketplace vetting process is far more open than the App Store—not difficult to believe.
# 9: Office integration
Now, my notes and documents are available on my desktops, in the cloud, and on my phone—always synced.
# 8: Feels better
The Windows Phone 7 is more usable with the panorama design element, hubs, and haptic feedback. It feels more alive and responsive.
# 7: Looks better
It is clean and simple; the metro design language is beautiful.
The animations and fonts are much more fluid and modern looking. Tiles change to reflect status changes.
# 6: More configurable
Windows Phone and Zune are more configurable. For example with podcasts, you can precisely determine how an individual podcast is synced.
# 5: Gaming
Gaming is connected to Xbox Live. The underlying technology is XNA—an existing technology for game developers. Great games exist and many more are coming.
# 4: Bigger screens available
The iPhone has a 3.5" screen. Windows Phone 7 is available up to 4.3" screens. It makes a difference. Personally, I have trouble reading an iPhone even with the retina display.
# 3: Wireless syncing
With Windows Phone 7 once you have initially synced by wire to Zune, you can sync using only WiFi. Once you enter your home wireless network, it will automatically sync.
# 2: People hub
A smart phone is, ultimately, about people, places, and content. The people hub combines Facebook, Linked In, Live, and Outlook contacts into a single hub. You can see updates, make calls, text, profile pictures, etc. from one hub. This is just not available centrally on the iPhone—only contacts.
# 1: iTunes sucks
Let's face it, iTunes sucks, especially on the PC. It is frustrating, clunky, and outdated. You can't sync and do anything else until it is completed. The Zune software is beautiful and works well. I can sync while even working on the phone and Zune at the same time. Try out the Zune software for yourself—no phone or Zune player required: http://www.zune.net/
While these reasons are from my own perspective, I am not biased against the iPhone. I have been using the iPhone since it was launched 3 years ago. The iPhone is enjoyable, but now I like Windows Phone 7 much better. If you have a MacBook running OS X then the iPhone certainly makes sense; but if you have Windows 7 machine and an Xbox then the new Windows Phone makes much more sense.
The Windows Phone 7 is great design—it not perfect, it is not magical, or made from unicorn tears, but it is great.
Recently, Microsoft has gotten heat for losing a few senior executives, but they have also hired great designers that care about esthetics and are producing great technology. And they're doing high quality, high velocity development by leveraging agile methods. Talented people tend to bubble up. Now, new blood will be given a chance. Don't consider Microsoft out.
This post was inspired by Will Clevenger and David Letterman. Enjoy.