HTC have us a fine oppurtunity in selecting phone with the same specification, but different OS - HTC Tattoo with Android and HTC Touch 2 with Widows Mobile 6.5. There is no better ground for comparison than these two devices. Both smartphones are based on the same platform, Qualcomm MSM7225 processor with 528 MHz of clock speed, intergrated with the amount of memory, air interfaces, cameras, and even an FM-tuner.
Interface for both devices is actually the same - it's HTC's Sense. However, the differences between Android and Windows Mobile are uniquely great. The similarity, in fact, is only the main screen. In Windows Mobile Sense it is a set of windows which can be browsed through the horizontal swipes or using icon . The displayed applets can be customized; however we
can only turn on / off individual tabs. Android is all about applets, including the objects of the main window - its widgets, they can be also placed on the seven pages of its interface. Some of them repeat the design of Sense applets; others are taken directly from Android. In sum, the shell came out slightly better in Tattoo: flexible configuration options, more modern graphics and animation.
As for specific to the OS interface elements themselves, Android is the leader by a wide margin. Notification bar that stretches on to entire screen is more convenient than it is in Windows Mobile; HTC even added a function for it to show in a separate window. Standard application interface elements are bigger and better placed in Android.
Performance. According to stereotype, Android is faster than Windows Mobile, especially than WM 6.5. It's not entirely true, as we saw both systems are working equally fast. In terms of pure speed experiment both OS's are running virtually at same speed, this also applies to interface renderer and applications. Programs' launching speeds depend on their specific implementation under each operating system, there is no systematic lag in any one of the smartphones. However, there are two "buts". Windows Mobile has the ability to collect "bugs" and "hang" during a session (without rebooting). This problem usually appears after some time, while Android keeps high performance even at very high and use of system and applications.
Working with files. The Windows Mobile users and applications have full freedom of handling files, virtually the same as in the desktop Windows. File management in Android is a huge problem. There is no file manager preinstalled. Finding and installing programs is not difficult, however applications use strict bindings to their work folders. Many applets can only work with documents in a folder with a specific name.
Working with e-mail. Until recently, Windows Mobile has been setting the bar for functionality, flexibility and compatibility, but Android is setting new standards in working with e-mail. It's not just a normal Gmail client, which allows the most convenient way for the mobile device display and manage correspondence, and work with related services, Google (Calendar, Contacts), but also in the implementation of other protocols. In HTC Tattoo supports POP3/SMTP, and Microsoft Exchange. Android works more stable and is better when different encodings in the body of letters. But it has problems with file attachments. If your mail client is set to save files to SD, it won't save files at all if there is no SD card. There appears the same problem with file management (if the mail client is configured to save them to SD. The second problem is that Tattoo did not have any preinstalled software to work with Microsoft Office documents.
Work on the Internet. Android is the leader here. The HTC Touch 2 has Opera Mobile 9.5, but it is fairly slower than Android browser. Android browser is faster in rendering pages, better in compatibility with web design technologies and user-view control. Android also works better with caching in your browser, which further enhances the ease of navigating through the pages.
Telephone communication. There are no dramatic differences in implementation of telephone applications in Android and Windows Mobile. At least, this applies to HTC products. Both have a simple call via interface or the hard button, large keys, direct access to your address book. In both cases, they used Windows Mobile users search method by applying a mask of all the letters on entire array of data. Android features slightly more modern graphics and slightly better virtual service keys. But here we should not forget that Windows Mobile is not used only on HTC. Typically, each manufacturer has its own smartphone, "dialer" and, as a rule, it is somewhat worse than that of HTC.
Multimedia. Capabilities of both systems for playback of graphics, audio and video files are somewhat similar, players and viewers are comparable in terms of functionality and ease of management. The only problem on Android is again its file management system.
As a result, a comparison between two identical devices with different operating systems breaks the stereotype that Windows Mobile is worse than Android in all the aspects. In the hands of producers who have experience with Microsoft and striving to make their devices of high-quality and attractive for consumers, both OS's running approximately equal. Android has a much better interface, and it is more stable under prolonged heavy use, but it has some problems with the file management.
Our experience also shows that device manufacturers play a key role in the development of the operating system and its adaptation to the needs of the user. Consortia and software companies are more concerned about the functional expansion of the platform, supported by new technologies than on particular aspects of its capabilities and comfort of use. As a result, the general definition of Android as a "crude and unbalanced equipment", and Windows Mobile - as "unstable and slow". But the knowledgeable and skilled work of HTC equals them out.