Ashlee Vance is a rarity in Silicon Valley: Rather than toting an iPhone or Android device, he has ... a Windows phone, which means he gets "ridicule and pity" wherever he goes, he writes in BusinessWeek. Windows phones aren't hip. Some of the coolest apps (hello, Instagram) are missing or sub-par. But here's the thing, Vance writes: Windows Phone "just keeps getting better." With its latest update, which works on larger devices, "users can now really go to town customizing their home screen interface," just one of a few important upgrades.
And that home screen is the main reason Vance loves his phone. "You get large icons that constantly update with new information and that look as if they belong in 2013, unlike the interfaces on so many Apple and Android devices that look as if they belong on the very first smartphones," he writes. Yes, yes, he hears you: You still want Instagram, and Microsoft wants you to have it—but the company can't do much other than wait for Instagram to come onboard. Even so, Vance is perfectly comfortable with his phone choice: "You can find me this winter on a beach in El Salvador, taking amazing 41-megapixel photos and using my Windows Phone with pride." Click for his full column. (Read more Windows Phone stories.)