British comedian and actor Stephen Fry (Jeeves and Wooster, Blackadder, Wilde, Bones) is a huge nerd. For one thing, he’s six foot-five. For another, he records podcasts and writes newspaper columns where he openly promotes open-source software and Apple gadgets, runs a Twitter account nearing 2 million followers, and jokes that he’s never met a smartphone he didn’t buy.
With that in mind, seeing Fry stand up on stage praising Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 during its London launch on Monday will either be viewed, as Fry admitted, as total “treachery,” or the rational conclusion of a mind able to rise above his self-admitted prejudices and be impressed by a Quality product.
Check out the 4 minute video here:
Fry, who says he was loaned a number of Windows Phones a week before the launch but otherwise not paid, says the most important test for him is that a smartphone must “deliver pleasure” by being fun and intuitive to use.
Windows Phone 7 passes that test with flying colors, he says.
On a more philosophical level, Fry also supports Windows Phone 7 because he favors biodiversity,and because he “admires” Redmond’s “humility” for admitting that it had “focused too much on enterprises and ticking boxes for functions.” Now, he says, Microsoft gets it.
Fry doesn’t hold back on criticizing the earlier Windows Mobile, calling it the OS equivalent to gray 1960s office architecture, and describing the “horror” of drilling down through “countless” menus simply to turn on the Wi-Fi.
But Fry is so impressed that he plans to carry a Windows Phone 7 handset in one pocket, with his beloved iPhone in the other.