Updated: Microsoft announces availability of Windows phones

Today can be marked as the last day of the "Windows Mobile" device brand as Microsoft has announced the availability of Windows Phones worldwide at an exclusive event in NYC hosted by Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division. The devices announced today ship with Windows Mobile 6.5, which has been a long time coming.

So what is a "Windows Phone" one might ask? "Our lives increasingly have become this complex mash-up of our professional and personal worlds, so we need a better way to connect to the people we care about and an easier way to connect to the information that matters to us," Bach said during his welcome at the Open House.

A Windows phone offers a variety of software and applications including: Mobile versions of Windows Live, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and much more. A redefined e-mail experience which the ability to manage multiple accounts using Outlook Mobile and Exchange Server synchronization.

One of the applications that was announced today at the event was My Phone, which was announced earlier this year at Mobile World Congress (Our first impressions). My Phone is a free service that helps people manage, backup, restore, synchronize data between PCs, and share information from their Windows phone directly to Microsoft's secure My Phone servers .

Additional features of the My Phone service is a set of "lost phone" features that are currently free of charge until November 30th, and for $4.99 after. This package allows users to immediately locate the phone's current location on a map (U.S. only), remotely lock a phone, post an "if found" message to its screen, loudly ring the phone even if it's set to vibrate or silent mode, or to remotely completely erase the phone's content.

Here's a list of Windows phone available today or in the coming weeks (country and carrier):

In North America:

  • HTC Pure from AT&T
  • HTC Imagio from Verizon Wireless
  • Samsung Intrepid from Sprint, available Oct. 11, 2009
  • HTC Tilt 2 from AT&T, available in the coming weeks


In Latin America:
  • Samsung Omnia II available in the coming weeks from TIM Brasil


In Europe:
  • MDA Vario V, MDA Compact V and HTC Touch2 and the Samsung Omnia II from Deutsche Telekom in select European markets
  • HTC HD2 from Orange, available in the coming weeks in France
  • HTC Touch2 from Orange, available in the coming weeks in France, Spain, Switzerland and Romania
  • A software update for the HTC Touch Pro2 from Orange, available in the coming weeks in France, U.K. and Romania
  • Samsung Omnia II from Orange, available in the coming weeks in Poland, Switzerland and Slovakia and from early December in France
  • Samsung Omnia LITE from Orange, available in the coming weeks in France and Spain
  • Samsung Omnia PRO B7320 from Orange, available in the coming weeks in France and the U.K.
  • Toshiba TG01 W from Orange, available as an update to the TG01 in the coming weeks in France, the U.K., Switzerland and Romania
  • LG GM750 and Samsung Omnia II from SFR in France
  • TMN Bluebelt 2 and TMN Silverbelt, made by ZTE Corp., from TMN in Portugal
  • Samsung Omnia II and Omnia LITE from TMN in Portugal
  • HTC Touch Diamond2 from Vodafone in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, South Africa and Central Europe
  • HTC Touch Pro2 from Vodafone in the U.K. and Switzerland
  • LG GM750 from Vodafone in Germany, the U.K., Spain and the Netherlands

The following phones are available on the open market in Europe:

  • Samsung Omnia II, Omnia LITE, Omnia PRO B7320, Omnia PRO B7330 and Omnia PRO B7610 available in October


In Asia:
  • ZTE X60 from China Unicom
  • HTC Touch Diamond2 from Telstra


The following phones are available on the open market in Asia:
  • Acer beTouch E100, beTouch E101, beTouch E200 and Acer neoTouch
  • Garmin-Asus nüvifone M20
  • HTC Snap, HTC Touch Pro2, HTC Touch Diamond2 and HTC Touch2
  • LG GM730 and LG GM550
  • Samsung Omnia II and Samsung Omnia PRO B7320, Omnia PRO B7330

Update: Attendees at today's event in NYC also got a sneak peak and hands-on experience with the Bing for Mobile application coming this fall. First impressions: Elegant UI, very quick search results, and relevant search results. Check it out:

More on the Bing for Mobile application is expected to be announced later this year at the Web2.0 Summit in San Francisco.


Important links:
Link: Microsoft Press Release: NYC Open House
Link: Microsoft Press Release: Redmond Headquarters
Link: Microsoft My Phone Service Homepage
Link: Windows phone homepage

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I'm not sure it's a good idea to use the Windows brand here. The Windows Mobile brand doesn't exactly have a good reputation in its current incarnation, and this just sounds like a continuation of that. IMHO, they should be brave and try something new here. Windows is IMHO in the odd position of being extremely well-recognized, but with so-so reputation.

Windows Mobile is the OS.

Windows Phone is the actual Phone.

"Dude, what Windows Phone do you have? Ah, that one is sweet! Hey guys, check out my Windows Phone!"

It would sound weird saying Windows Mobile Phone every time. Hence, the re-naming.

andrewbares said,
"Dude, what Windows Phone do you have? Ah, that one is sweet! Hey guys, check out my Windows Phone!"

It would sound weird saying Windows Mobile Phone every time. Hence, the re-naming.

Ha, it would sound weird having that conversation at all. Maybe something like this:

"Hey, can I borrow your phone, mine is still rebooting. Nah, I am still stuck on 6.2, waiting for an update before I can make calls again."

cakesy said,
Ha, it would sound weird having that conversation at all. Maybe something like this:

"Hey, can I borrow your phone, mine is still rebooting. Nah, I am still stuck on 6.2, waiting for an update before I can make calls again." ;)


You lead a sad, sad life Cakesy. Go troll somewhere else.

I'm waiting for Windows Mobile 7 or whatever they decide to call it by then.

Right now I'm more than satisfied with a laptop, a Nokia 9300 and my iPod nano. However, I would like to buy a new phone with WiFi and GPS capabilities but I will wait to see reviews of the new features that are introduced with these new phones before making a decision to wait for WinMo 7 or buy as soon as a carrier here has these phones.

How is this any different then any other Windows Mobile phone.

These aren't made by MS, they are made by other mfgs... and they run Windows Mobile... I don't see how this is any different then any previous HTC WinMo phone released in the past, minus it's WM 6.5..

XDA has even newer 6.5 builds than what MS RTMd, which is kinda odd, but I'm thinking they're could be a 6.5.1 or rather a 6.8 or so, the UI changes in the later builds are big ones.

This confuses me. Maybe because I've known people who've called their cell phones 'mobiles'. I guess I just don't buy into the "We're being more clear by saying phone instead of mobile" mentality, especially since phone--for me at least--specifically refers to the call feature, and doesn't apply to the myriad other things smartphones have come to offer. When managing my calendar and email, transferring documents, browsing the web and listening to music, it stops being a phone and is in every sense of the term a mobile device.

I wouldn't touch a windows Mobile phone with a 10 foot pole. At lease until I saw what Version 7 had to offer. When that happens Microsoft HAS to start from scratch and tell developers to redevelop all there apps for Version 7. Other wise whats going to happen is you'll have an OS which is VERY finger friendly but once the users opens an app made for an older version of windows mobile the user will once a again be forced to use a stylus.

Kirkburn said,
I'd rather have the option of using a stylus, anyway.


Stylus adds a world of possiblities not acheivable with capacitive screens.

warwagon said,
I wouldn't touch a windows Mobile phone with a 10 foot pole. At lease until I saw what Version 7 had to offer. When that happens Microsoft HAS to start from scratch and tell developers to redevelop all there apps for Version 7. Other wise whats going to happen is you'll have an OS which is VERY finger friendly but once the users opens an app made for an older version of windows mobile the user will once a again be forced to use a stylus.

I have in the past, when all there was was palm, who dropped the ball. Now Microsoft have dropped the ball. There are so many great possibilities now, Google, Apple, Palm, Symbian, Blackberry, you would have to be insane to get a WinMo phone today. Maybe 7 will change that, doubt that though.

cakesy said,
I have in the past, when all there was was palm, who dropped the ball. Now Microsoft have dropped the ball. There are so many great possibilities now, Google, Apple, Palm, Symbian, Blackberry, you would have to be insane to get a WinMo phone today. Maybe 7 will change that, doubt that though.



Even if it does change that, and is great, you still won't like it. We get it already man.

Why doesn´t Microsoft learn not to bore us with almost ALL PRODUCTS named by Windows (insert real name here)? This is so boring. Like I have to read Windows every time I sit in front of my computer and now on every single product launched. Windows Live Search is pathetic. Only when MS changed to Bing it then started to have some respect. MS marketing team must be the same old guys from the 90´s. Oh boy.

Um...what?

So you don't like MS because they use Windows all the time? You must really despise Apple for the iEVERYTHING then.

ahhell said,
Um...what?

So you don't like MS because they use Windows all the time? You must really despise Apple for the iEVERYTHING then.

Actually for the comparison to make sense, Apple should start:

MacOS iPhone
MacOS MobileME
MacOS Final Cut Pro
MacOS QuickTime

... and so on... beautiful, isn`t it?

Luis Mazza said,
Why doesn�t Microsoft learn not to bore us with almost ALL PRODUCTS named by Windows (insert real name here)? This is so boring. Like I have to read Windows every time I sit in front of my computer and now on every single product launched. Windows Live Search is pathetic. Only when MS changed to Bing it then started to have some respect. MS marketing team must be the same old guys from the 90�s. Oh boy.

Good point, while Microsoft do have a lot invested in the trademark Windows, they are overusing it. Maybe in the past it was necessary, when nobody new what a smartphone was. But these days, no.

And agree, Windows live search is a silly name, Microsoft seem like they are trying anything to get people to accept it. At least bing is decent departure from this, even if its market share is starting to fall.

Luis Mazza said,


Actually for the comparison to make sense, Apple should start:

MacOS iPhone
MacOS MobileME
MacOS Final Cut Pro
MacOS QuickTime

... and so on... beautiful, isn`t it?


You forgot these....

iPhone
iPod
iTunes
iMac
iLife
...and more

They're overusing their trademark, it's really annoying. I guess Windows doesn't sound that bad anymore


You forgot these....

iPhone
iPod
iTunes
iMac
iLife
...and more

They're overusing their trademark, it's really annoying. I guess Windows doesn't sound that bad anymore ;)[/quote]


iSomething is not the same as using an OS name to give names to almost all products. Thus "i" is not same as "Windows", which is much more complex.

Windows Phone is a poor choice of name. Yeah, sure it's a change from bad reputation before, however, it seems to be more vague now and leaning more on the approach that Microsoft is producing a 'Windows Phone' then the software/platform alone. They would have been better off keeping Windows Mobile name and just simply releasing 6.5 and say goodbye to it and start all over again from a new approach with 7.

Digix said,
Windows Phone is a poor choice of name.

When will Microsoft learn that re-branding alone will not help stop its declining market share.

thealexweb said,
When will Microsoft learn that re-branding alone will not help stop its declining market share.

Ooh, like launching a new OS version and an app store?

Oh, wait...

Why is it that people don't understand these things even here in the tech world? The OS is still called Windows Mobile. The devices are called Windows phones. I don't even think the "p" in phone is supposed to be capitalized there.

The idea is that instead of saying "Windows Mobile phone" you're now just saying "Windows phone". That's it. Nothing more.

Silverskull said,
Why is it that people don't understand these things even here in the tech world? The OS is still called Windows Mobile. The devices are called Windows phones. I don't even think the "p" in phone is supposed to be capitalized there.

The idea is that instead of saying "Windows Mobile phone" you're now just saying "Windows phone". That's it. Nothing more.

Doesn't change the fact that it sounds silly. Of course the zune phone only sounds mildly better, and will confuse business users wanting to use windows apps.

So, wait ... "Windows Phone" sounds silly? Like a phone, which runs Windows?

Yeah, that's way sillier than "Windows Mobile".

Kirkburn said,
So, wait ... "Windows Phone" sounds silly? Like a phone, which runs Windows?

Yeah, that's way sillier than "Windows Mobile".


Windows Mobile sounds like a Windows OS for Mobile.

Windows Phone does sound like a phone that runs Windows, which is not the case. It doesn't run windows. It runs a mobile/cut down/rubbish version of Windows.

cakesy said,
Windows Mobile sounds like a Windows OS for Mobile.

Windows Phone does sound like a phone that runs Windows, which is not the case. It doesn't run windows. It runs a mobile/cut down/rubbish version of Windows.


Which was the exact same situation for the iPhone until mid-2008. The OS was referred to as OS X.

I don't think anyone would be under the impression that a mobile phone would be able to run a desktop OS. But it is still Windows.

Such a shame they screwed the WM Marketplace (AppStore) launch though. That also opened today, and has a grand total of... wait for it...


39 apps.


*slowclap*

FloatingFatMan said,
Such a shame they screwed the WM Marketplace (AppStore) launch though. That also opened today, and has a grand total of... wait for it...


39 apps.


*slowclap*

There are already thousands of applications for Windows Mobile. There have been for years.

neodorian said,
There are already thousands of applications for Windows Mobile. There have been for years.


I'm well aware of that. I've been a Windows Mobile user since 2002 came out and work closely with an OEM maker of WM phones. My point was, they launched their brand new app store today, and the shelves are virtually empty.

Real clever that, considering the massive library of apps available.

And the point you seem to miss is that MS can't just drop all those apps on their appstore, you as a winmo app dev has to want to put it up there in the first place.

If MS just grabbed all the winmo apps out there and filled up the marketplace, they'd have more than enough to compare to Apples, yet they didn't. It's a process devs need to do themselves.

master2k27 said,
how many did apple start off

there will be lots coming thoe


That is irrelevant. Apple were the first (when everybody else should have been, they just stopped thinking for a while), and had no competition. MS do not have that luxury.

The fact is, Microsoft need to do everything in their power to ramp that up, make it as easy as possible for peeps to get apps in their store. It looks like they are doing this, so it should grow rapidly.

They also need to talk about how many devices are out there that can use these apps. We know Apple has about 50 million devices, what does MS have?

cakesy said,

That is irrelevant. Apple were the first (when everybody else should have been, they just stopped thinking for a while), and had no competition. MS do not have that luxury.

The fact is, Microsoft need to do everything in their power to ramp that up, make it as easy as possible for peeps to get apps in their store. It looks like they are doing this, so it should grow rapidly.

They also need to talk about how many devices are out there that can use these apps. We know Apple has about 50 million devices, what does MS have?


1) Apple wasn't the first, are you high? There have been App Stores on phones since the late 90s from virtually every carrier. Think how many copies of Bejewel have been sold and download to phones in the past 10 years?

2) Apple has a 'lot' of apps, but they still are not the #1 seller of phone applications, see #1.

3) Apple had an entire year of the iPhone existing before they even offered 'applications' to users, and they they were able to get development going during this time.

4) Apple has more strict control over submitted applications, so they have a 'registration' and 'approval' process. Windows Mobile applications have always been like regular computer applications, as there are thousands of them, but no 'authority' to register them all or approve them or a 'framework' for approval and 'mechanism' to distribute via a marketplace. This means Microsoft has to build an entirely NEW eco system with all the submission and approval process for applications based on carrier requirements that WinMo phone developers and users have never had to deal with.

There are 'still' more Windows Mobile phones than there are iPhone, despite the fanboi press that would like people to believe everyone uses and iPhone.

FloatingFatMan said,
Such a shame they screwed the WM Marketplace (AppStore) launch though. That also opened today, and has a grand total of... wait for it...


39 apps.


*slowclap*


There's over 200 apps, at least, in the store now. And that was on the day of release.

Maybe on the first HOUR, there were only 39, LOL.

andrewbares said,
There's over 200 apps, at least, in the store now. And that was on the day of release.

Maybe on the first HOUR, there were only 39, LOL.


Only showing 45 now. Checked as of 10 seconds ago.

Sounds like they might be restricting content based on location, I'm in the UK. If so, that's REALLY clever, that is... Not.

+1 to that. But then again, america is the only country in North America. Mexico, Canada, and the Caribean countries are just new states

I might be mistaken but I don't think Microsoft will allow phones to upgrade OS. they will, at most, release security patches. there is too much compatibility issues. For example, even though HTC and Samsung both have WinMo 6.5, but each OS is highly customized for each phone, it may look and feel the same but under the hood they are compiled very differently to adapt different chipsets... It's not like PC where you can get a universal install disc.

Only if your phone manufacturer puts out an update for your model, and then it depends if your mobile carrier decides to give that update to you.

Shadrack said,
Will current WinMo users be able to upgrade to WinMo 6.5?

Depends on your phone. When I had my Touch Pro I was already running ROMs based on early leaks of WM6.5. I can't imagine this will get less common as the OS is officially released.

What a shame.

Seems like there should at least be guaranteed updates within a version. Like, if I buy a 6.x WinMo phone, I should receive all versions of 6 that come out just like Blackberry and iPhone users do. Why should the carrier and manufacturer bother updating your phone? They would rather you buy a new one >

Just got check out XDA-DEvelopers if you want to upgrade your OS. They even have NEWER WinMo 6.5 builds than what MS is using as RTM code. People are calling it 6.5.1 and it does look better UI wise. Nicer on the fingers.

TCLN Ryster said,
Only if your phone manufacturer puts out an update for your model, and then it depends if your mobile carrier decides to give that update to you.

This is one of the big problem with WinMo. I have been in a situation, years ago, where I could update my phone, but since the manufacturer didn't want me to, and didn't release an update, I couldn't.

cakesy said,
Do you want to? See this review:
"The interface improvements are welcome - and long overdue - but the changes are mere window dressing. It's simply not good enough to overthrow Android or the iPhone"
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/software/35...dows-mobile-6-5

And that is a pro-Microsoft website

I have to agree. My buddy had installed 6.5 on his phone a while back, and we both decided we liked the Android platform better. I still use my G1, but he picked up an iPhone, and as much as I can't stand Apple, I have to say the phone is slick.

Yeah, but not for this. I'd compare plan cost, platform openness, and hardware variety between Apple, Palm, and Android right now if I were you. I really liked my Touch Pro but until WM7 comes out, it will ultimately disappoint you compared to other offerings.

I find iPhone is a decent platform if you want games and doodads regardless of cost. It lacks in multitasking, it is very restrictive as far as what you can install, and the plans are some of the most expensive out there so you may want to check out Palm and Android first if those things matter to you.

neodorian said,
and the plans are some of the most expensive out there


Not true, at least in the US on AT&T, as they charge exactly the same for data plans for the iPhone, Blackberry, or Windows phones.

I would still wait until next year really. Android and Verizon have something going on in the next couple of weeks but most of these phones (iPhone, Android, Palm, WinMO) are just getting started and scratching the surface. I would wait for a little more maturity, personally and then compare the carriers as they're all reshuffling plans. I expect the chips to fall by summer imho.

roadwarrior said,
Not true, at least in the US on AT&T, as they charge exactly the same for data plans for the iPhone, Blackberry, or Windows phones.

Correct. If you are in the US and you want an iPhone, you are stuck on AT&T which is one of the more expensive carriers for high-end data plans compared to Sprint or T-Mobile. I would have to pay something like $30 more a month for the same plan I have on Sprint which always kept me from switching over.

roadwarrior said,
Not true, at least in the US on AT&T, as they charge exactly the same for data plans for the iPhone, Blackberry, or Windows phones.

Yeah. When I was trying decide between iPhone, Blackberry, and WinMo all the plan rates were exactly the same. Unlimited Text/Data and smallest minute plan (450mins on average) was about $100. Each provider offered a no-text option which would be about $80 a month. This is all including tax.

Blackberry phones came the cheapest w/ 2y contract and WinMo were for the most part the more expensive phones. iPhones were in the middle.

The whole multitasking thing is really the only "feature" it lacks (and non-iPhone users can point at as a device flaw). It is really moot point IMHO, as most iPhone users don't even know their phone doesn't truely multitask because the way things work and load it "feels" like it is multitasking. The only apps that really stick out as not having multitasking are apps that play music (like Pandora) and IM apps (although there are Notifications and if you have something like Beejive IM they work great). Other than that, I can't say it bothers me that apps I'm not currently using are not taking up any system resources so long as when I open them they load quickly and resume their previous state (which is the case).

In the end if you really want true multitasking, you can jailbreak your phone and install Multitasker which will let you multitask your apps to your hearts content. I really haven't had the desire to do this, because it wouldn't really increase my enjoyment or usability of my iPhone.

Shadrack said,
Yeah. When I was trying decide between iPhone, Blackberry, and WinMo all the plan rates were exactly the same. Unlimited Text/Data and smallest minute plan (450mins on average) was about $100. Each provider offered a no-text option which would be about $80 a month. This is all including tax.

You aren't comparing all carriers. Sprint has a plan with 450 minutes, nights starting at 7pm, unlimited text, unlimited data, unlimited commercial turn-by-turn nav and free calling to any mobile phone regardless of carrier for $69.99.

As someone who has been able to multitask for years on smart phone platforms, I most definitely find the lack if multitasking to be annoying. I treat my smart phones like pocket computers and the idea that you need to close one application to access another pretty much ruins that.

Obviously your mileage may vary but when I have been free to multitask and do things like tether or install applications free of some kind of approval process for years, having to give that up feels like a step back. No amount of games and other bells&whistles will change that for me and that doesn't even get into the whole virtual keyboard thing since that seems to depend on user.

The idea that you would have to crack your phone and break the terms of the software license to do what you please with it is ridiculous in this day and age. Even Microsoft doesn't make you do that in Windows Mobile and they're supposed to be the big old corporate bad guys. With Android and WebOS allowing you unfettered access to applications as well as great hardware options and less expensive carriers, it's hardly the obvious choice you make it out to be. You really have to weigh your uses and budget against the multiple choices out there, not to mention the ones expected in the next 6 months or so.

neodorian said,
You aren't comparing all carriers. Sprint has a plan with 450 minutes, nights starting at 7pm, unlimited text, unlimited data, unlimited commercial turn-by-turn nav and free calling to any mobile phone regardless of carrier for $69.99.

Does that include taxes? I believe once you add tax to that $69.99 it is more like 80-something. My figures include tax. But I was not aware of that particular sprint because they are not available (or at least not big) in my area >

==EDIT===

Yay! Neowin ate my comment.

I'll try to paraphrase: if you want to talk about what the iPhone lacks, point to the lack fo a true file system. That is what bothers iPhone users the most. I don't think most iPhone users really care about true multitasking. Note, I write "true" multitasking, because the iPhone does in-fact multitask some things. Telephone calls and iPod for example can occur ontop of any app. Its the random 99 cent apps from the App Store that don't run continuously in the background (thank god).

Yeah the file system would annoy me but I feel like the average user would never poke around in it.

Sprint is big in populated areas and less so in rural areas since Verizon bought out lots of smaller regional carriers to get their good coverage farther out. Luckily, Sprint roams for free on Verizon towers so if I'm ever out in the boonies with poor Sprint signal, I'm still good to go because I just use a Verizon tower.

I think a lot of it comes down to how you use it. I use the unlimited data, text, nav, etc. so it's valuable to me. I never run out of minutes because it's free to call any mobile phone and I call maybe 90% mobile phones.

On AT&T things like nights starting at 7pm, monthly access to their turn-by-turn navigation, unlimited text, unlimited data, etc. are all extras and they add up higher. If you could do without some of those you could probably get your plan down to that lower range.

Personally I use a shared plan with my girlfriend where we split 1500 minutes and get unlimited everything else for $129.99. I get a discount for working where I do so it's closer to $112. After tax it's around $60 each. I thought about getting an iPhone but I would have spent closer to $150 plus tax or $80+ each so I counted that as a strike. I know not everyone is on the same budget as me so it may not matter to everyone. Likewise I really hate virtual keyboards so that was another strike. The whole need to jailbreak in order to do some common tasks was a third.

Anyway, I ended up with a good phone and that's all that matters to me. I don't own stock in Apple or Palm or ATT or Sprint so it's all just for the sake of debate and comparison.

(I really wish I had bought Palm stock back in December when I had considered it ahead of the trade shows. Went from $1.42 to over $16 a share now.)

Well, to be fair I only compared T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and AT&T. They were all comparable plan wise. Seemed like decent WinMo phones (like HTC ones) started at $399 w/ 2y which I thought was ridiculous.

neodorian said,
Yeah the file system would annoy me but I feel like the average user would never poke around in it.

It really sucks. You can't connect the iPhone to your computer and copy files to it like you can the iPod Classic/Nano. You can't have two separate spreadsheet apps modify the same spreadsheet on the iPhone because they both have their own "file space." You can't upload a .doc to your iPhone and then manipulate it and copy it back to your computer easily. There are some apps that have some work arounds for this. But this design decision affects Jailbreakers too because any 3rd party implementation isn't going to be supported by the vast majority of Apps out there.

I know not everyone is on the same budget as me so it may not matter to everyone. Likewise I really hate virtual keyboards so that was another strike. The whole need to jailbreak in order to do some common tasks was a third.

The on-screen keyboard bothered me at first too. After getting use to it, I can type about 45 wpm which is pretty dang good IMHO. Now I like it and when I see a full qwerty keyboard I think, what a waist of space.... there could be a larger screen or a slimmer form factor.

Shadrack said,
The whole multitasking thing is really the only "feature" it lacks (and non-iPhone users can point at as a device flaw). It is really moot point IMHO, as most iPhone users don't even know their phone doesn't truely multitask because the way things work and load it "feels" like it is multitasking. The only apps that really stick out as not having multitasking are apps that play music (like Pandora) and IM apps (although there are Notifications and if you have something like Beejive IM they work great). Other than that, I can't say it bothers me that apps I'm not currently using are not taking up any system resources so long as when I open them they load quickly and resume their previous state (which is the case).

I guess that varies from user to user. I think most iPhone owners are well aware of it's inability to multitask but don't know that other phones are able to do this and decide to live with it. I'm pretty sure my wife hits this barrier every time she asks me to pass her my phone so she can use the calculator or check her calendar while composing an emails on her iPhone.

Personally, it was one of the reasons I dropped the iPhone. Looking something up on Google while trying to compose a text message or make a recipe in LooseIt was such an episode in frustration.

Also, the multitasking options available to jailbroken phones are buggy at best when compared to phones that actually have true multitasking. More often than not the background app will bug out, and will sometimes crash the whole system. I definitely wouldn't trust a half written email or blog post to any of the multitasking hacks.