Windows Phone 7 Achieving Android’s Dream?

Anand Lal Shimpi & Brian Klug, on carrier-bundled apps on Windows Phone 7 devices:

While Microsoft won’t enforce a clean install on every Windows Phone, it does ensure that anything your carrier/OEM installs on top of the OS can be uninstalled. My Samsung Focus for example came with a bunch of AT&T apps. Not only can they be unpinned from the start menu, they can also be completely uninstalled. Carriers get the option to differentiate, but users get the option to say no, it’s a win-win situation. If you do a factory reset of your phone however, it will restore the phone to its original state – which will include reinstalling carrier/OEM installed apps.

Coupled with Microsoft’s oversight concerning their partners’ hardware, it really sounds like Microsoft has spent some serious time looking at Android’s problems and learning from them.

The Droid X and almost every other Android phone[1. Even the T-Mobile G2, which is the latest “Google Phone” comes with pre-loaded apps and protection against rooting.] come with tons of crapware that can’t be uninstalled, and every week there seems to be a new UI on top of Android. The original Motorola Droid was the last true “vanilla” Android device with no preloaded apps and no custom UI, and it’s been discontinued for months.

If Microsoft can keep carriers from loading up handsets with crappy apps (or at the very least, keep this uninstall feature around) and keep hardware manufacturers from producing sub-par gear and customized UIs, Windows Phone 7 may indeed fulfill Android’s original dream — a smartphone OS that runs across multiple carriers on multiple form factors while delivering the same experience to everyone.

Which is a hell of a feat to pull off. Google doesn’t seem like they are able to do this. But Microsoft… well, they might just get this right.