Good, bad, ugly

Give my increasingly strenuous and passionate pleas public and private to Microsoft, the Windows Phone team, and its PR people over the past year, I think a central message is being lost here. I see it in the curiously critical comments on other blogs and from a minority of commenters here on this blog. Surely, if I was the proponent of Windows Phone I claim to be, I wouldn’t be so frequently criticizing the company and people who make and sell this product.

I don’t see it that way, of course, but then I also don’t feel the need to justify my actions and reactions I’ve had to the the events of the past year. Please, have your own opinions about this. But even more important, please come into this with some sense of context and awareness.

Anyway, I’ve gotten an increasingly sad number of emails from people with the same themes: Knowing what I know now, would I still buy and use Windows Phone? Would I still recommend Windows Phone? etc.

I love Windows Phone

I am using Windows Phone, and while I must focus in part on successful mobile platforms for professional reasons, Windows Phone is still my choice. It’s the superior platform, period. (It’s not the superior ecosystem, not even close, but that’s another story.) Yes, Microsoft has bungled and mismanaged this product, and badly, and this isn’t something that just happened since the launch, they were busy doing nothing to promote this thing or answer press queries throughout all of 2010. The silliness around the software update(s) has only made public what I’ve known all along. They just can’t get out of their own way.

And it doesn’t matter. Every time I pick up an iPhone or an Android device and then return to Windows Phone, it just feels better. The Focus, in particular, is a wonderful device, lighter and faster than any iPhone, and with a gorgeous, bigger screen. There’s no comparison. And while Android is getting better—I have any even bigger Droid X which is quite nice—it’s still lacking in some crucial areas and is, if anything, even more fragmented than Windows Phone.

Sometimes preferences don’t boil down to logic, they boil down to emotion. And Windows Phone is like that. It’s right for me, and I love it, and I want Microsoft to love it as much as I do and feel the same alacrity about getting it right, and fast. But they don’t, and I don’t care. Because this is about something more than logic. It’s about a deep caring for a technical product, a feeling that is harder and harder to summon as one ages. Young people are like wind-up toys: Watch ‘em blog! I’m more a slow boil. But with Windows Phone, I feel it. Don’t discount the importance of this. Trust me, these things are few and far between.

But can I recommend Windows Phone?

Recommending Windows Phone is another thing, of course. I’m not going to say, don’t buy a Windows Phone. But then I’m not going to suggest buying one without caveat either. Right now, there are two mobile platforms that make a heck of a lot of sense, and they are, in order, iPhone (iOS) and Android. Recommending Windows Phone in the face of these far more logical choices requires a lot of explanation. You either want it or you don’t. If you don’t, explaining it won’t make a difference.

But I’m here because I love Windows Phone. So yes, you know where my heart lies. I can’t look you in the face and tell you to make this journey with me, like we’re Frodo and Sam trudging up Mount Doom or something. But I can tell you that I’m in it for the long haul. And maybe you’ll want to come along.

When I wrote Windows Phone Secrets I did so knowing that about 16 people would buy the thing, and I’m happy to report it’s barely exceeded my expectations. But I did it because I really cared, and wanted an excuse to get to know something deeply again in this age of surface knowledge and inane blogger influences. I see the future of computing as mobile and connected, and within this world, Windows Phone is my vehicle of choice. I prefer it. Most of you are on board, if you’re reading this. You evangelize it or you don’t. I think it evangelizes itself, assuming people don’t know too much about Microsoft’s deer-in-the-headlamps update strategy.

The future

IDC’s silly (and incorrect, as deftly explained by the very credible Matt Rostoff) prediction that Windows Phone will somehow defeat the iPhone and become the number two smart phone platform is, of course, science fiction. But there are signs of hope for Windows Phone. I’m getting some signals from friends at Microsoft—not officially, no, that would break the veil of silence under which Windows Phone must be squirreled out into the world—that the company is actually considering speeding up the pace of development.

One of the big questions is whether there will be any update between NoDo (March) and Mango (Fall 2011), for example. And when Eric Hautala posted his first, mostly awful update on the phone update situation three weeks ago, he mentioned that he had been brought on board to head the team responsible for “sending software updates with new features and improvements to your phone.” This is rather vague, and while I playfully imagine the guy who preceded him bouncing around a padded room because of the team’s inability to ship a single update in five months, let’s just take him at his word.

Too, Microsoft’s Greg Sullivan spoke this week on the record about the update situation, noting (finally) that the company had to move more quickly. “We certainly understand that it is a fast-moving market and we will be able to accelerate the delivery of new capability and innovation on our platform,” he said. Sure, you’re saying, you could only move more quickly than you have. But another small public hint at what I’d heard privately.

Windows Phone has a lot of problems: Bugs, missing features, and so on. NoDo solves only a tiny percentage of these. Mango (or RTM+1, or Windows Phone 7.1 or 7.5), even, will only solve some of them. I have and will continue to argue that more needs to be done. Maybe it will happen. Maybe that’s Hautala’s primary focus. Maybe he’ll start blogging proactively instead of reactively once they get their act together. I can’t wait.

And then there’s Apollo, the RTM+2 version of Windows Phone, or what we might think of as Windows Phone 8. Is this product just Windows 8? Is it an evolution of WP7.x? Will today’s apps move over seamlessly either way, or will they need to be recompiled? There are lots of questions. Lots.

But that’s the far future, relative to what most Windows Phone are now waiting on. There’s a lot to be done before then. From my perspective, the first step is going to be moving on from this update silliness. And that can’t happen, of course, until Microsoft simply fixes it. Like many of you, I await that happy day.

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64 Responses to Good, bad, ugly

  1. sHAYM4N says:

    Communication on what we CAN expect from Windows Phone and WHEN is a must. I’ve moved over from Android to an Omnia7 and I love the thing, but it’s going to unravel into a mess if they don’t update and give some guidelines towards the high-end developers.

    So many apps still don’t integrate into the Metro hubs in a meaningful way and meaningful notifications for Twitter/Facebook etc are still absent.

    Are they going to leave it up to XDA Developers to fix all their problems?

  2. hammel22 says:

    Thank you so much for your honest and, I think, appropriate criticisms of WP7. I hate that we live in a world of extremes – either you absolutely love something . . . or despise it. What has happened to the middle ground?

    I have been watching Windows Weekly and have been reading your posts for about a year. I was excited at the launch of WP7 last fall but still had a few months left in my existing contract. Last week, I purchased the HTC Arrive, Sprint’s only WP7 phone. Yes that’s right, even with all the criticism (all deserved) about Microsoft’s mishandling of the updates, I still was able to make a very educated decision that WP7 is the right platform for me. I appreciate that going into this purchase I knew that there may be some bumps along the road, but that overall, WP7 was going to work for me better than iOS or Android.

    Please don’t ever change your approach. I love that if there is something to cheer about, you will be a fanbuy, but that when something is wrong, you are the first to bring it to our attention. Job well done!

    By the way, so far, I LOVE my Windows Phone!

    • To this commenter: You’re lucky – that HTC Arrive came preloaded with the February & March updates, so you can ignore this whole update issue :P

      To Paul & the article in general – 100% my thoughts too (except replace Samsung Focus with HTC 7 Mozart for me)

  3. dmw4814 says:

    Paul,

    I feel exactly the same way you do about Windows Phone 7; there is something about it, even though it is buggy & missing features it DESPERATELY needs to have, that I love! I just bought an HTC Thunderbolt the day it came out, and I really like it, but I’m anxiously awaiting Verizon’s very 1st Windows Phone 7 device (the HTC Trophy)! I wanted a Windows Phone 7 device so bad when they came out that I purchased an HTC HD7 the day it was released on T-Mobile, but I have 5 lines with Verizon, so it was never feasible, because of early termination fees, to move my service over from Verizon. So, I had to cancel the service with T-Mobile & sell the HD7 on eBay to cover my early termination fee. So, I am now eagerly awaiting the right Verizon Windows Phone 7 device, and my wife just does not understand why I want a phone operating system that is missing features I have with my Android phone. I can’t explain it; I just know I do!

    Please keep after Microsoft & help get the juggernaut moving!

    Thanks!

    Dennis

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      I suppose my reaction, from Microsoft’s perspective, is like that of the wife who is told that, yes, she does look fat in that dress. One can claim to want objectivity and honesty. But sometimes it cuts a bit too close.

  4. Mindi B says:

    I think it sucks a bit that you’ve even had to write this particular entry, Paul. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with how you express your passion for this platform. There’s just clearly too many people out there who assume one has to blow smoke up someone’s ass in order to express enthusiasm.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Most of my feedback is very positive. Some is negative. An even smaller percentage is downright crazy. People’s perspectives never cease to amaze. How any blogger could claim to be a Windows Phone fan and not have a problem with Microsoft’s behavior these past few months is beyond me. (And of course, my experience with this goes back longer.) Those people aren’t fans. They’re cheerleaders. We need less of that.

  5. msb2ncsu says:

    Well said, Paul! I promote the hell out of Microsoft products, but it has become harder and harder each passing month. The fact that I still don’t know when I’ll be able to get WP7 on VZW (now a third deadline for “Special Offer for Microsoft Employees” at VZW: http://bit.ly/i59tKL) and there is no clear indication of when it could happen. Heck, even when it does the hardware spec is already a year outdated. I love my zune, xbox360, windows7, media center, and (most importantly) being a developer in the Microsoft framework/ecosystem but I feel like those stranded Japanese soldiers in WWII: still fighting a war that the empire has already given up on.

  6. sk says:

    I don’t think it matters that much in the long run.
    I doubt the first few Android handsets got all of the updates. That didn’t stop Android devices from dominating. Carriers have too much control and will always be the bottleneck. It sucks for the early adopters and the Windows Phone market will eventually become as fragmented as Android’s, but new devices released by the end of the year will probably have the Mango update. Carriers have nothing to lose here. You (Paul) and others blame Microsoft for this mess and many will probably switch to Android or other platforms. For AT&T, it doesn’t matter if users buy an Android phone or a Windows Phone, as long as they’re able to sell phones.

    • sk says:

      And I’m not trying to defend Microsoft here, but I do think the real culprits are the carriers. Microsoft probably agreed to all of their terms to get them to stock and promote the Windows Phone. Unlike the iPhone, where AT&T was desperate to have the phone and keep it exclusive, Windows Phone isn’t that hot a commodity. AT&T wouldn’t have lost much if it hadn’t sold those phones. And, like I said, people blame MS for this mess, so why should AT&T even care?

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        It’s Microsoft. Microsoft made this deal, even in the wake of how the iPhone works. We know AT&T is evil. Why give them the weapon to practice that evil?

      • glonq says:

        Is it really as simple as “AT&T make a deal to effortlessly allow all of Apple’s updates, then decided to screw every other phone?”

        I have a hard time imagining that even AT&T could be that evil.
        I have a hard time believing that Apple could bargain such a unique concession from carriers.
        I have a hard time believing that Microsoft could not bargain for similar treatment as Apple.

        And even if all of these notions were true, it doesn’t explain why every other carrier on the planet also behaves essentially the same way (easy on Apple, tough on MS).

        If NoDo was really ready 2 or 3 months ago, why didn’t Rogers release it for Canada? Was MS forced to withhold the update from every carrier on the planet until AT&T was ready in the US? That seems unlikely.

        I’d really love to learn what the inside story is on this.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        I think you’ve accurately described it.

      • sk says:

        Sorry, but Microsoft cannot be compared to Apple at this point. The company can only dream of having the kind of power and influence that Apple has. If Apple announces a new product tomorrow, companies will line up to be part of it. And that’s because it’s almost a guaranteed hit. Can you say the same about Microsoft? In fact, do you see AT&T’s carrier branding on iPhones? Why is it that other phone makers can’t stop AT&T from branding their phones or installing its crapware on their phones?

        Like I said, Windows Phone will end up being like Android, where early adopters, including me, will end up getting screwed and new phones will launch with the latest updates. I’m sure we’ll see phones with Mango by the end of the year, but don’t expect to see it on your phones.

        One more thing, the initial set of phones were pretty meh. OEMs seem to launch much better phones with Android, like the HTC Evo.

      • captiosus says:

        @glonq:

        Why is that so hard to imagine? At the time Apple was about to bring out the iPhone, there really wasn’t much like it on the market. There were a hodgepodge of “consumer” smartphones that were lost in a sea of mediocrity. RIM was the only “big boy” in the market, and most of their products were directed toward enterprise consumers.

        Apple came along and showed off a decidedly consumer-friendly “smartphone”, and offered to work exclusively with AT&T, which gave Apple a lot of leverage in determining how the update and iOS process would go. AT&T just had to sit back and enjoy the tide of profit.

        As for the WP7 update, AT&T is currently doing the exact same thing to Android users who bought the Xperia X10 last fall. The X10A, the AT&T version of the Xperia X10, only came shipped with Android 1.6. In mid-November, Sony Ericsson released an update to bring the phone up to Android 2.1. Everyone but AT&T users could get it from Sony Ericsson’s website; AT&T users had to wait for AT&T to “test” and deliver. Almost six months later and guess what Xperia X10A users still don’t have even though Sony Ericsson has come out and said the Xperia X10 is going to be upgraded to 2.3.

        But I digress. Microsoft’s system of hardware minimum requirements is very much like Apple’s and Microsoft really shouldn’t have given ultimate authority to the carriers to test and distribute updates. In all honesty, the updates really have zero bearing on the carriers themselves and is a process that should involve Microsoft and the handset OEMs only. It simply boggles my mind that the smart folks at Microsoft didn’t see how AT&T has been treating Android users for over a year and think, “You know, maybe letting them distribute updates would be a bad idea.”

      • jonahu says:

        My initial reaction was to blame AT&T for the majority of the pains related these updates. After all – it appears on the surface that there is no real reason to hold up these updates for so long right? It’s just the carrier being difficult with evil intentions right? It’s not so simple – even if MS had full control of these updates.. I’m talking specifically about the Samsung Focus updates.. what would be the typical user’s experience? Let me try to describe it.
        1) Attempt to apply February update. Fail!
        2) If you’re one of the lucky ones who didn’t get bricked – try these steps officially from MS:
        http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2518812
        2a) If you’re one of the lucky ones where this actually worked great! But only after a few hours wasted and a whole bunch of your content deleted needing to be restored. Nice.
        2b) If that still doesn’t work.. what now? You’ll probably try AT&T hoping for a miracle.

        3) You got bricked – you’ll probably try AT&T hoping for a miracle.

        The point of all this is that the current setup puts a whole lot of burden on the carriers to provide support for something MS pushes out to millions of devices. If we make a direct comparison to what the carriers have to deal with if Apple screws up their updates.. it’s pretty simple. All those iPhones need to do is head over to the nearest genius bar. Apple takes care of them in a way MS simple can’t at the moment. If I were a carrier – I like the what Apple brings to the table. MS simple can’t pull its on weight when it comes to dealing with snafus like this.

      • unndunn says:

        The key issue is support. Who *supports* the phone? Who answers the phone when you have a problem with your device? Who replaces the phone when its broken?

        With iOS devices, Apple does. If your iPhone has a problem, you call Apple. With WP7 devices bearing carrier branding, you call the carrier.

        Think about the ramifications of this for a few moments.

        It means the carrier must maintain a huge support infrastructure. They need to build and staff call centers. They need to print manuals and other support materials. They need to document everything on their support websites. They need to train staff and call-center workers on how the phones work. In many cases, they need to provide developer support too. They need to make sure their branded accessories work with the phones. They need to make sure that, not only do the phones operate on their network, but also that their relevant software stacks work. And they need to do this for hundreds of phones from dozens of manufacturers on many different OSes.

        And when an update is released for a phone OS, they have to RE-print manuals and support documents, RE-train staff, REvise online and developer documentation, REcertify their branded accessories and software stacks. And they have to juggle this among hundreds of phone/OS/manufacturer combinations.

        Apple can do what it does because it takes responsibility for ALL of that. Apple prints manuals. Apple trains support staff. Apple supports developers. Apple certifies software. Apple supports accessories. Apple does this on a global basis. There is a reason iOS devices do not have carrier branding.

        If Microsoft wants to be able to push updates willy-nilly, then it has to take similar responsibility; this isn’t the desktop OS market, where it can bully its OEMs into taking support responsibility. But Microsoft simply doesn’t have the support infrastructure in place to do that. It’s a software vendor, not a hardware manufacturer.

        Apple only has to support a handful of devices that it knows inside and out. AT&T has to support devices it didn’t build, running OSes it didn’t write. And then it has to contend with the fallout when a bad OS update goes out and bricks phones.

        If you were in AT&T’s position, wouldn’t *you* want some time to be prepared before an OS update is released?

        It’s easy to suggest AT&T is evil, and accuse them of withholding the update in order to entice us to buy new phones. But AT&T WP7 owners are on month 5 of a 24 month contract… there is no way we’re going to buy new phones, and AT&T knows this. Accusing them of being evil is just disingenuous. What is clear, however, is that they do need to find ways to reform the business model a little bit, to find ways to share support duties between the carrier, OS vendor and hardware manufacturer.

        Microsoft is helping, by taking more of a role in testing and precertifying its software for carriers around the world, but it can’t do it alone. Someone still has to provide end-user support. A possible solution would be for Microsoft to work with its hardware partners to provide customized devices (much as it is doing with Nokia), but it would still need to beef up its support infrastructure and retail presence.

        For my part, I know that the next Windows Phone device I buy will have no carrier branding on it, even if it means I have to pay full price for it. But as long as that carrier logo is on your phone and the carrier supports it, it controls your experience. And it is entirely justified in doing so.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        This is a fair, logical, and, I think, correct assessment. Especially about Apple’s position and responsibilities. If only Microsoft could communicate as effectively as you have here. :)

        That said, AT&T is of course evil. The mobile carriers are all evil. Microsoft specifically designed the Windows Phone update testing process so that their own internal tests were a superset of what the carriers would test, with the goal being that they could hand off an update and say, go ahead, test it, but we’ve already tested it against your own tests and it passed. But this clearly hasn’t been enough for AT&T, which will take at least four long months to “test” (mostly just “sit on”) the smallest possible update imaginable, one that will in no way impact their network.

        And Microsoft is indeed naive to believe this was going to any other way. I told them this, and I’m sure others did too. Being right doesn’t make me happy. It just makes me sad in this case. But hopefully some good will come out of it, in the sense that Microsoft will wake up and do things differently going forward. Their sly “outing” of AT&T on those “Where are my updates?” pages is just one example of that, I think.

      • unndunn says:

        I think Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia is a highly encouraging development. Nokia already has the global support infrastructure in place to provide end-user support, and they have the chops to build a device that people would be willing to buy off-carrier.

      • jonahu says:


        That said, AT&T is of course evil. The mobile carriers are all evil. Microsoft specifically designed the Windows Phone update testing process so that their own internal tests were a superset of what the carriers would test, with the goal being that they could hand off an update and say, go ahead, test it, but we’ve already tested it against your own tests and it passed. But this clearly hasn’t been enough for AT&T, which will take at least four long months to “test” (mostly just “sit on”) the smallest possible update imaginable, one that will in no way impact their network.

        Wrong again Paul.. ;)

        The problem here is that Microsoft’s “specifically designed testing process” from the carrier’s perspective is really “untested”. Of course it is right? It’s the first update. How could they really know what’s going to happen when they release the hounds? So again if I were a carrier I’d say thanks to Microsoft for their testing efforts – but if you don’t mind .. I’d like to do a few of my own please. Can you blame me for not wanting to jump right in head first?

        Now fast forward to the first February roll out… Exactly what everyone was hoping wouldn’t happen.. happened. Sure it was mostly isolated to a few handsets but when all the craziness was going down you can imagine the scramble right? What other handsets were affected? What versions of the firmware? What carriers? This just further confirmed to AT&T and all the other carriers that .. yes Microsoft’s “specially designed testing process” was not full proof AND further solidified their stance that yes.. they will take as long as it takes in their testing process until they get the feeling – you know that warm cozy feeling inside that everything is going to be ok?

    • sk says:

      Again, Microsoft is no Apple. But Microsoft should not have lied to its potential customers about the update process.

  7. tinod says:

    Personally I think this whole update-debacle is getting out of perspective. You said that Windows Phone still has a lot of problems, missing features and bugs. But the software, the OS, is just one very small part of it and from my view it isn’t the most important one.

    What’s more important than updates to improve performance and to add features like copy&paste are the services you use on your phone. People shouldn’t forget that Bing and Zune are very rudimentary in most parts of the world. In other words: it doesn’t matter if you can copy&paste text if you can’t do a local search on the go.

    That is why I think the PDC’ prediction isn’t that much of science fiction. When all smartphone platforms will be more mature, it really comes to what services are available. Apple is the only one without a real social community or search based services. Navigation and document editing on the go are also not there from Apple. Microsoft and Google do have very strong products here already. With Microsoft having very large communities from Xbox, Messenger, Hotmail or even Office.

  8. Ian says:

    Well, keep up the pressure, Paul! They need it. Microsoft will not make better products by everybody pampering them. If we did, and we all made up excuses as to why Windows Vista was Vista (though personally I really liked Vista, XP was crap, though that’s my opinion ;-)), we would likely not be running what Windows 7 is today.

    I suppose another example is security on Windows, it was just plain horrible, but with so much pressure on Microsoft to make Windows more secure, it is now more secure than Mac OS X according to experts and hackers alike. Sure, even if the masses didn’t complain, Microsoft would have still improved security on Windows, but not like it has come to be today. Same for Internet Explorer, they made 6 and were done (supposedly IE6 was a godsend back in the day, though I have no idea if that is true), and thanks to complaints and pressures put on them by other competitors (Firefox, Chrome), they eventually picked up their feet and made IE9. Took awhile, sure, but they did it.

    I can’t wait until Windows 8, I honestly think it is going to blow everyone’s mind, in the sense that it could run on essentially everything — maybe even a toaster (ha!) — just it would have a different interface for each platform, but the operating system underneath would be the same. The same would go for applications, they would still need to make a different interface for each platform, but the application underneath doing the work would be the same. That’d be cool, wouldn’t it?

  9. dkb1898 says:

    “and while I playfully imagine the guy who preceded him bouncing around a padded room because of the team’s inability to ship a single update in five months”

    Thank you for brightening up my otherwise dreary day as an AT&T windows phone customer.

  10. mog0 says:

    I think the biggest problem with all the update stuff is just the complete lack of information. I just wanted them to say Vodafone UK will get their updates between these dates not some vague “Scheduling”. Also would be good if they would give enthusiasts a way of jumping the queue.
    This is done on Windows, for example with IE9, they’ve got a phased rollout with Windows Update but anyone who desperately wants it can just go download it and install it.
    If they made the check for updates on Zune just give you the update regardless of whether you were at the front of the queue it would be much better. And of course get rid of the pointless network testing. The unbranded phones are already on their networks, why do they need to test the branded ones????

    On a positive note, I plugged my phone into my computer to charge this morning and zune popped up offering me the update. I now have copy & paste :-)
    Just a few more updates and I might be back up to feature parity with where I was 3 5 years ago with Windows Mobile :-)

    Mog

  11. s80t699 says:

    I have followed this product very closely since last summer expecting to be able to get a unit in the fall, but wait….I am a Verizon customer, so I am still waiting. I want a WP7 because I am a Zune user, very happy with my Zune Pass. I want to get off of my pig of a Win6.5 device and join this decade of products. I know the frustration of the update cycle is annoying as heck. I work in high tech and I live software release dates and all the junk that goes into this stuff can be tough to manage/predict. On the other hand, the lack of reasonable communication has been really the biggest problem I have had all along with WP7.

    I actually thought that VZ might release the phone by now and there STILL is no release date. At least you guys get to enjoy the benefits of the 1.0 product. I am still stuck at the starting line, waiting for VZ to devote a little attention and get the HTC Tropy out there.

    All in all, Microsoft has to be more communicative about what’s going on. No reasonable consumer likes to be kept in the dark this long whether it’s for a product release (Hello anyone out there at VZ?) or a software update (or two)….

  12. curtkessler says:

    Well said. I still love my Focus…when I pick up my old iPhone 3GS (still in service) it somehow feels clunky and weird now (I really still need my Words with Friends fix though!). In the past, I’ve recommended WP7 to about 8 people, would I today? Yeah, probably still would–for most users. That said, MS (and their evil overlord AT&T) really have to find their way out of this mess, right now it looks and feels a lot like an abandoned platform if you are to believe the Windows 8 on everything messages coming out of MS.

    The article I read on the Windows Team ‘licking the cookie’ on anything they deem eminent domain seemed right on. A little success and the great eye of Sauron swings around to you and consumes you, thus setting back progress and watering down the products. Is this all overblown? Yeah, the update isn’t even all that great…I think it’s because it’s our first taste of the process and everyone’s collective “WHOA” when we realized what a mess this is going to be if they don’t figure it out. I think too everyone wasn’t worried about AT&T as much when we bought these because we looked at our iPhone update process as the norm rather than the exception.

  13. glonq says:

    The reason that I love Paul is because he’s not afraid to declare that the emperor has no clothes. Much like in politics, there’s a strong tendency among us tech enthusiasts to shun one of their own who won’t “tow the party line”. I think Paul gets a lot of crap from Windows fans because his criticisms are seen as giving ammunition to the enemy. The fact that we’re all a bunch of strong-headed, cold-hearted semi-autistic immature fanboys who need to see everything in binary: good/bad, right/wrong, for/against certainly doesn’t help the situation.

    Like many of you, I rely of MS for my paycheck (indirectly). If they disappeared, I’d have to say goodbye to silverlight and .net and WinCE and lots of good things that my career relies on. So when I criticize MS, it’s not as some pinko apple or google fan. It’s as a guy whose livelihood depends on MS getting their act together and keeping competitive. It’s frustrating and bewildering to see them fumble so badly.

  14. Paul,

    I just read your post on the Supersite about “jailbreaking” and updating your Focus to NoDo. I’ll be waiting (probably until 2012) for the official At&t release of NoDo, but I applaud your circumventing the whole fiasco to give us a look at what we are missing and will, hopefully, eventually receive. I can’t believe it’s come to this, but did we really expect Microsoft to learn their lesson?

  15. leafworth says:

    Some Good:

    Microsoft does care about WP7 and is genuinely trying to make it better for the users and the developers. Here’s my story.

    I’m working with a business partner on game for the Windows Phone 7 platform. I’m not the primary writer of code however, I’m the designer, renderer of visuals, writer of text and so forth. Consequently, I use a Mac for all my work and run the WP7 Dev tools from within a VM. It can’t display our game because of graphics rendering limitations so I bought a Samsung Focus which I also use as my personal phone.

    When Microsoft’s WP7c (connects your Mac to your WP7) went live on the Mac Store I downloaded it, ditching my beta version. The 1.0 didn’t work very good. I expressed my disappointment and suggestions for improvement below an article on Engadget and received a prompt response from someone working at Microsoft. Over the next three days a Zune developer at Microsoft had me log the WP7c trying to find the bugs and we succeeded in finding the problem.

    They sent me a new WP7c application that was bullet proof back in mid February and released a 1.1 about 5 days ago with even more improvements. My opinion: If Microsoft was willing to go out of their way to help a guy who uses a Mac, they care about the platform and are making a genuine effort to support it.

    Love your blog by the way. Thanks.

  16. ejlee2006 says:

    Paul, I appreciate everything you do, like what I said before, you are the only advocate for us early adopters of wp7, we need to support you not criticize you. Keep it up Paul.
    Even with all the messed about the updates, I know msft wp7 will get better and better, it will take a while but I know It will.
    MSFT is very much capable of doing this thing. Hd7

  17. Mike Cerm says:

    Microsoft should have been clear from the beginning, and this is exactly what they should have said: We will ship updates on a 6-month cycle. Updates may be delayed, pending carrier approval. Nonetheless, if you own a Windows Phone, you will receive each update.

    Given how they’ve done so far, that’s exactly what they should have said. By saying, “we intend to move quickly,” they set very different expectations. Would the above statement have been bad, or turned people off of the platform? Maybe some. However, the update situation is STILL better on WP7 than it is on Android, where the is no official update situation.

    Currently, there are Android phones on the market, being sold by carriers, which are running version 2.1 of the OS, a version which is more than a year old, and 2 major revisions out-of-date. Some of these phones may be updated to 2.2 eventually, but some will never see ANY future updates. None will ever see 2.3, which was released by Google a few months ago. It’s insane. When you buy an Android phone, unless you’ve done your research AND you have a crystal ball, you have no idea what you’re getting, and whether it will be supported 6-months from now… or even right now, when you just bought it!

    Yes, Microsoft should be targeting an Apple-like release schedule, but let’s not forget that Android is actually the market leader now. Microsoft is already offering a much more unified and consistent experience than the market leader. We know when the next update is coming, roughly, and that it will at bring them much closer to feature-parity with the competition.

  18. Aditya says:

    I love the title Paul!! :)

  19. kabukin0 says:

    I think the deal with Microsoft, is that they have -NEVER- had “clarity” in their ideas and approaches to developing products. They’ve had that in business-terms. They are the best out there in the long run at doing business.

    What I mean with this, is that Microsoft typically has attempted to do a lot of ideas at the same time. Apple on the other hand, has not. They’ve made one cheap computer, one expensive, an ipod and a phone, and then a tablet. That’s it.

    We’ve seen a lot of published products from Microsoft, beta or not, that have been killed at some time. I think that this is one of the reasons I’m right, -in saying that Microsoft doesn’t have a visionary in it’s product development.

    Ballmer probably is the best business-dude there is in the software business. Unlike Apple and Google, he deals with other software people, more than he deals with consumers. Even now, with Windows Phone, Ballmer and MSFT will not be the ones pushing the product to the users, Nokia, HTC, LG and Samsung will do that work.

    Question is, will it be enough to have a large corporate ecosystem of office/windows-server/sharepoint/office365 sellers, push the phone to corporate users, and nokia, htc and samsung pushing it to consumers. I do think that this is what IDC has thought of when they’ve been prospecting Windows Phone sales. There are gazillions of affiliate microsoft people who will push WP7 into the market, -this is a key property that Apple and Google lack.

  20. korn1699 says:

    They added a date of early April for the end of testing on AT&T phones, although I don’t really trust much of what they say anymore..

  21. commo22 says:

    First of all, Thanks for spearheading this movement. I see that your name is being dragged in the mud with every post that you type about the lack of updates and transparency. I would even say that this was the reason why Microsoft is now trying to be more vocal with their “lack up updates”. Good job. Now, let’s move on. Like you said, the update really doesn’t add much value and I think your are tired of talking about it. I for one am getting tired of reading about it :P Mostly, because unlike other people, I do have the update on my HTC Arrive and my frustration was with the lack of CDMA support. Now that I have the phone, I can honestly say that despite my view of shortcomings, the OS really does get to me emotionally. I also have both the HTC Evo and iPhone 4 and I just gravitate to WP7. The OS really does seem alive. It’s not just the live tiles but also how background picture changes depending on the current hot APP. Same thing goes for the Zune Marketplace and the pictures hub. This phone always has something new for me to see whenever I decide to explore it deeper. The real advantage to his is the whole ecosystem. Xbox Live, Zune, and the Live account. You do have to subscribe to a Zune pass in order to truly appreciate the device. Just last night, I got a message pushed out to my Games hub from a friend using his xbox 360. Simply amazing. My biggest wishes right now are a better browser and multitasking. I have a lot more needs like better Corporate intergration, a Google Maps w/latitude app, IM client which can use Google Talk and tethering support. Once I get that, there won’t be a need for me to carry all 3 devices with me. I’m not sure if finally getting the NoDo update will make you happy but I for one am satisfied with how it’s running for me right now.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Right.

      This was never about NoDo. It’s more about the lack of transparency–and, now, honesty–and the inability of this company to ship even the smallest of updates. NoDo is barely worth discussing. But then that’s what makes this discussion so painful. This should have simply been the December 2010 update, and the first of 3 or 4 such monthly updates we’ve received by now.

      Anyway. Yes, ready to move on. I think a short term focus here should be on pragmatic ways to get around the issues with Windows Phone, since Microsoft won’t be fixing many of them for a long time to come.

  22. cesareauteri says:

    As an dutch Windows Phone user I’m in a love/hate relationship with this device. I love my Samsung Omnia 7. Great design with a great UI. But because I live in the Netherlands the available functionality is near nothing. I already created an additional UK Live account (also a general practice by MS employees here in the Netherlands) to gain access to the market to get at least trials and free apps. Not a situation I would advise to any of my friends. So my recommendation would NOT to buy this phone for at least another year.

    It’s even worse. I decided to return to my “old” Android phone because I need some crucial functionality, which I expected by now on my Windows Phone. This meager update is enough to push me away again for a while and wait for future developments while enjoying the rich Android environment.

    As a long time Microsoft PocketPC/Mobile/Phone user it felt as a betrayal to Microsoft when I bought my Android Phone and once again it hurts, but Microsoft made me do it.

  23. Looks like MS has updated the update schedule chart. At&t phones are now in “Testing” but with a Double asterisk attached, which claims testing will be completed early April. Please, just give us a date!!

    http://windowsphonemetro.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/microsoft-offers-att-users-a-glimmer-of-hope/

  24. lsobrado says:

    a lot has been daid about the IDC report. but little has been said about all the people who are now coming out trying to burry it and say it is wrong, who said the same thing about android never standing a chance in what seemed like an apple dominated world. little did we know, android will not only catch up, but beat the iphone. Today hardly anybody remains that doesn’t think the iphone story is one of having lost 1st place to a flood of android devices. likewise, wp7 may seen like it could not possibly topple the iphone, but keep in mind the iphone is a lot weaker than it has ever been. people are now used to non apple (aka android) being a viable choice and thus are more likely to see wp7 as a perfectly acceptable 3rd choice. this is only bad news for apple for once they are not perceived as the only choice they tend to suffer as they did back in the PC years and as they are starting to fall behind in the smart phone race. No, it will not happen overnight but clearly, apple has a different business model than google and microsoft and that business model is fundamentally goign to limit them to second, if not 3rd place longer term. the sun is setting in the iphone, people are just waking up to it.

  25. curtkessler says:

    If an update falls in the forest and nobody hears it, did it make a sound? For all MS’s promotion of saying they’ve done and update or two, it really hasn’t happened util their user base has it. They have to be the ones to manage the pipeline and negotiate better management of the process with the carriers. Since Rogers in Canada is pushing out NoDo to Focus users, we can now be sure to lay this right at AT&T’s feet. But at the end of the day, it’s MS that has to make sure this doesn’t happen. They need more leverage. With the consolidation of the carriers AT&T has less and less reason to care–maybe they just need to have another route that bypasses the carriers, enable their own hacking or updating as part of the developer process rather than the roundabout current hacks. If you could upgrade to NoDo with the normal tools MS would boost people into dabbling in WP7 development, satisfy all of the early adopters, and quiet this all down. The early adopters would become evangelists again rather than ardent critics. And most ‘normal’ users who don’t really notice things like this wouldn’t care one way or the other. MS needs to encourage a flourishing ecosystem rather than this dystopian nightmare they have now.

  26. Daimen Hutchison says:

    I feel the same about this phone, there is something that just feels “right” and “modern” about it. For all it’s flaws it’s a pleasure to use during the day.

    I’m surprised you are getting criticized for encouraging Microsoft to improve their service and the device – even with your somewhat blunt delivery. Without honest feedback, how are they supposed to focus their resources on resolving the issues that are important to their consumers?

    I’m comfortable with being an early adopter and I truly hope that Microsoft realize the opportunity they have here, this could end up being a driver for all their other services in this space.

    I hope they consider breaking up Mango and introducing monthly bug fixes. The music player losing all volume after thirty minutes is slowly driving me insane :)

  27. rich682 says:

    I hope the current contract they have with AT&T is not a long multi year one. Even if MS starts being more transparent the mobile operators would still have the last say about updates that would make it to the phone. They could keep the updates in testing for the life of the phone.
    Paul did you hear about the Dell Venue Pro getting not only the NoDo update but also a firmware update from Dell?

  28. polychromenz says:

    Another quality posting Paul. Major shame you felt you had to write this but understandable. Keep up the good work.

    I agree 100% with your mindset re WP7.

    Good to see the updates slowing rolloing out and let’s hope that they learned a lot and next update will be much less stress for all involved, including the guys at MS who I am sure do not intend to cause us angst.

    Woudl be nice to see some smaller updates pre Mango but I doubt they can ( in any practical way) split the code, add fixes etc and then merge this with the Mango work. I thing we are no committed to getting Mango as our next update. I can live with that but it would be great to have a place we can all list our bugs an see if they can try to knock of the bulk of them. New features are great but bug fixes are key to day to day enjoyment.

    Can’t wait for Mango to be a distant memory as I check my Skype voicemails before using satnav to drive home :)

  29. Dale Nix says:

    As a avid follower since first listening to you on Windows Weekly with Leo. I remember when you first started hinting at WP7 and your excitement on this new UI. I had the same anxious excitement, still do and thrilled to own a phone that is packed with innovation and stunning usability!

    I am also a dedicated user of MS products, mostly because it is OPEN and I think eventually will be the down fall of the I-Phone.

    Anybody who has followed you knows where you stand, so why explain yourself too nay sayer’s and critics? If you have already answered this in the past, please disregard and kindly refer me to that post or show.

    To me; you are a “Watch Dog” for MS & the Tech Community. “I Get It” Please carry on!

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Critics are a vocal minority, I know. But I’m still surprised when people bring the same tired arguments to the table:

      – Why are you “whining” about Windows Phone? As if standing up for the rights of users is anything but the right thing to do. Let me be clear here: The people who buy the products are number one. Microsoft answers to YOU, not vice versa. Understand this relationship, please. And remember that when this company makes promises, you should expect them to carry through on those promises. And people who just mindlessly print positive news or ignore real issues are cheerleaders and should be ignored. Obviously.

      – Why do you believe this is Microsoft’s fault when clearly AT&T is the problem? As if Microsoft wasn’t the one that agreed to these contracts despite decades of experience with the carriers. This is perhaps the most unsophisticated question I’ve gotten in this entire episode. People who think like this aren’t thinking it through.

      – Why do you complain about Windows Phone update slowness when Android has the same issues delivering updates? As if the example of Android isn’t in fact proof that Microsoft should have done it differently, given that it could look back on both the iPhone (the right way, clearly) and Android (the wrong way, clearly) as examples. Again, obvious.

      These things are obvious to me, logical, and correct. But again, I get the same tired questions repeatedly as if repetition somehow makes an incorrect assertion suddenly correct. So I explain myself, again.

      Circle of life. :)

  30. damged says:

    As an Android user I kind of think its funny that you give Microsoft so much hassle for their update process because if you think 5 months is bad, try 11. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying not to call them out. I like that you do because I think it helps in making sure that issues with the platform get resolved. I’m just saying when compared to Android its not nearly as bad as you make it seem. I will also say this. I have never used WP7 but recommend it to my friends over Android. There is no Paul Thurrott for Android so stuff like this http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=1237 goes unnoticed. That issue by the way has affected both mine and my wife’s phones on both our mytouch 3g and G2s so not sure what issue there is. And on the issue on copy&paste. It doesn’t exist on the Google Reader and Twitter app for Android and where it does exist its a pain to use. Once I’m out of my contract I’m running to the Windows Phone platform and not looking back.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      As I’ve pointed out many times, an example of how not to do something right is not an excuse. Yes, Android has its own issues. But the point is, both Android and Windows Phone have an example of how to do this right to look at, the iPhone. So Microsoft choosing the wrong approach in light of this is worse, not better, than when Google did it with Android. Because Microsoft had both examples to work from, and it still chose the wrong approach.

      I’m a bit confused why this isn’t obvious. People keep bringing up Android like that excuses Microsoft. Android is in fact proof that Microsoft F’ed up even harder than some believe. No?

      • damged says:

        Actually, Android kinda does excuse Microsoft. Should it? No. But as an Android user I’m the one Microsoft needs to win over. I don’t see a lot of iPhone users jumping ship to WP7 even if the update process was without flaw. So WP7 just needs to be better than Android. Is that the best practice? I would say no but it’s kinda like voting. You know that both candidates aren’t the best but you pick the lesser of two evils. Either way if I had to pick an updating process that I like, I would point to CyanogenMod. When they release the latest rom you just download it straight to your phone and apply the update whenever you want. I guess my question to you is why do you think Microsoft is choosing to do what they are doing with WP7? I’m pretty sure there are some smart people there who realize that the smartphone market is a billion dollar industry. So there has to be a logical explanation. I know you have written in the past about the glut of middle management there but can that really be what is slowing them down? Now that would be a good blog posting that I would enjoy reading. Your opinion on why Microsoft does what they do as far as WP7 is concerned.

  31. Ian says:

    So I was, for some reason I cannot remember, looking up Steve Ballmer quotes, and this certainly applies here (I think):

    “I like to tell people that all of our products and business will go through three phases. There’s vision, patience, and execution.”

    So I guess Windows Phone is still a vision? :-P

  32. alimaggs says:

    Nice article. I imagine most people commenting here are in the same boat. The emotion is frustration because it’s a great platform and deserves to do well.

    It comes down to your earlier comments too – these phones sell themseleves. Eleven of my friends now have a Windows Phone – not because they saw a good in-store demo, or that the adverts won them over (I’m in the UK… The TV adverts vanished months ago, although I am now seeing print adverts and billboards) but simply because they played with mine and loved it – they love the social feeds, the Xbox stuff, even the Zune Pass. These phones sell themselves. Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to be doing little to promote the phones, and the carriers/retail stores even less so. I know these phones are good, my friends and family know these phones are good. We’re all here because we love the platform, and the frustration comes because Microsoft isn’t moving fast enough with adding features/fixing, nor do they seem to be promoting the phone and it’s features.

    Incidently, I do believe the ecosystem is actually superior to the Android in the sense that they have the devices and in-built content delivery (Xbox, Zune, Office, etc.) – try getting music/video through Android – though they need to improve here too. At least they have the PC and the Xbox 360 in their “ecosystem” – though they need a tablet, a Zune HD2-type device and to bring their video service and other brands (Messenger, for example) into the fold to compete with iOS.

  33. weiterer says:

    Hello Paul, I have read your blog for some time now. I agree with you when you say there is a bad vibe against Microsoft on other blogs and websites. Did it ever occur to you this are Apple stockholders or paid by Google?

    Even when MS does something good, in 1 minute the trolls start to appear to make Apple advertisements or to trash MS. Its not a coincide, just check the most popular tech blogs and magazines.

    This people attack Microsoft and specially Windows Phone without any facts at all. The update problem was highly exaggerated. Windows Phone still will deliver faster then Android their first updates, and the road was a bit bumpy with the first updates for MS but better slow and secure then fast and breaking phones.

    The problem with updates not coming and people so anxious is mostly because WP7 is very new and like any new OS it has some things missing. And the other part is because most WP7 owners really love their phones and are very passionate about their phones that they cannot wait to make it even better. The problem with the updates are indeed to blame on some carriers not on Microsoft.

    Almost all international users, or unblocked phones or unbranded phones never had problems to get updates. Today the only ones suffering are still the ones under AT&T, other carriers are sending them as we speak, blog, write, what ever…

    And to make you all guys feel like you exaggerated the whole situation, AT&T will start shipping updates before the middle of April. As per stated in the Microsoft page, which was updated just a few hours ago, AT&T is going to finalize the testing phase at early April, so if things don’t go wrong, Focus users will have their updates in 3 weeks or maybe 4 in the worst cases. AT&T is not getting exactly the best press with this, specially because again T-Mobile is doing it right. But since its AT&T we never now, so dont take this for granted. Why I can affirm is that MS is not going to leave their users and they are pushing for updates, they will react if AT&T or other carriers don’t. Its a matter of loyalty and they cannot fail their users anymore, specially at expense of the mistakes of other companies. But they need to give them time as well. And I agree that they had enough time now to test their updates.

    To all other users that must have the update today, you can always unbrand the phone and get the update.

    Now to the WP7 phone. I don’t think the IDC report is based on speculation like allot of people posted online. I happen to know countries and I can tell you this. Europe and the US is not the world, even when most Europeans and Americans cannot see over their shoulders, I include myself.

    You don’t see a single Android or iPhone in some countries that have more cell users then the whole US. In developing countries, South America, Asia, and other parts, Nokia is still the absolutely phone ruler, in market share and brand. So its not out of imagination to say that if MS does it right with WP7, this Nokia users will be glad with it, stopping Nokia share drop immediately and putting Windows Phone as the most used OS phone worldwide. Granted, you will not see that in the US, and neither in the Europe but that is because Microsoft is actually betting extremely hard worldwide, like with Windows. Let me tell you this, I never saw someone using a Mac in some countries, they don’t even exists. Microsoft is putting their bets on something allot higher then what Apple ever did.

    And you have to take this for granted. Windows Mobile was terrible, even so I could find better software for it then for other phones. Most phones have apps, if this apps can run on either platform there is no loyalty to that OS. Thats why Android is gaining market so fast over Apple, there is no point in having an iPhone if you can have the same on any device you choose, some even with better hardware. With Microsoft he story is different. Microsoft will integrate WP7 with Windows as an extension of your PC. That means, that you will use your PC daily and then plug your phone and take it as an extension of your work. Microsoft dominates the business sector with products like Outlook, Office, Exchange, SharePoint, etc. And WP7 is all of it. Its a business phone (the main reason I bought it) and its a consumer phone with the Xbox integration. This ecosystem is something where Microsoft is betting. I waited for WP7 for 2 years, reading online every day. I knew it was not going to fail, and the reviews and first impression where excellent. Specially because users actually love it, and its different. Granted, some glitches are there, but they will be fixed.

    This means some software or apps, that come with WP7 are not going to be merely mini software called apps this days. There will be real softwares, that can combine PC and phone usage, with sync or in any other method of integration. That means this softwares will never be available in the iPhone or Android, making WP7 users loyal, as there will be no port or migration to other phones once you realize you cannot use the same stuff. And Microsoft can do this, as they have a legion of developers, great developers tools and on the end they share profits with everyone as opposed to Google where they just want to force you to their services. There are more companies doing money from and with Microsoft then with any other tech company. That means with bundled services, developing software, etc. And Android on the other way is having a very hard time selling their apps, because Google consumers where spoiled to “free” everything. The fact of life is that even developers need to put money on their tables at the end of the month.

    Windows Phone is here to stay. Microsoft is slow, like with any company with so many products, but once the engine starts, its unstoppable. All they need is hear their users, what they want and need like they did with Windows 7, the best OS MS ever did, and Office 2010 is also excellent. And they sure have allot of loyal users to get their feedbacks. I love my Focus. I love to use a phone in a productive way, not just to play games like most iPhone users do, same with the iPad, its a gaming device, most Apple products for example are flashy but thats it, you cannot actually use those devices in a productive way. I need a phone and a productive on the go tool. An extension of my laptop, an extension of my PC, an extension of my digital life.

    Give MS time. Don’t let them sleep, but don’t exaggerate things like with this updates. Once they are on track people will not even remember this. I do agree with something. They need to market their phone more, specially worldwide and not just depend on carriers like they do now. They should build the ecosystem, not wait others to do it. Carriers care less what people use. On the end, if the OS is good, its going to market itself, like the Wii did. Example, I played it on a friends house on night and ordered it the same night via Amazon. So that cool was the product. MS needs to do the same with WP7. The hardware is here, not lets the miracle being, that means the software.

  34. microforever says:

    I just want to say, thank you Paul for sticking your neck out for us. I unbranded my Focus and got No Do update in no time which make the whole things even more frustrating. This update really should have been out in Jan and we should be looking forward to more bug fix and improvement in April, instead those that are still shackle to At&t are still waiting for testing to be concluded. My suggetion to those that are on At&t, just unbranded your phone and you will be much happier.

  35. suchsense says:

    Thanks for your blog, it is a joy to read. Just got an WP7 phone myself. A Samsung omnia 7. Chose it because of the price, 260 euro’s. Comparable android and iphones are 450-650. So the “bad press” of WP7 has it’s advantages. For the price i am really pleased with the phone and WP7. Got the NODO update and now browsing the market for usefull apps. I do find the market to be kind of expensive and it is a shame that MS does have all the apps here in Germany, that are in the US.

    Hope MS will wake up and starts to update and push the OS.

    Keep up the good work !

  36. Dixon Ticonderoga says:

    When I first started listening to Windows Weekly I was really annoyed by the fact that you seemed to complain about Microsoft and point out their mistakes as much as anything. “Why don’t we have the cheerleaders that Apple has?” I thought. Then I remembered something that Al Franken wrote (paraphrasing) “Their love is like a baby’s love for it’s mommy, unconditional and unquestioning. This is a more adult love where you acknowledge faults. It doesn’t mean you love it less, just that you want it to be better.”

    And that’s the difference between a fan and a fanboy. Here’s hoping you never become the latter, Paul.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Thank you for getting it. And no, I will never be the fanboy some people believe me to be. I feel that my record, over 15 years or so, clearly bears that out.

  37. Paul, that was a great post. I liked my Focus too, but ultimately it was lacking some things that I ‘NEEDED’, not wanted.

    Like you, I have a Droid X too. I think it is a wonderful phone and very stable. It has what I need for my work. I am optimistic that MS will get Mango done timely and get it pushed out. I think to do so, they need to throw out a simple update soon, so that it is blocked by the carriers to force them to release Mango.

    A Mango phone on Verizon would be a nice combination… Maybe some day!

  38. Pingback: Love of Windows Phone 7 | Ramblings of MichaelStolzen

  39. cesareauteri says:

    May I remind you all that here in Europe most people have unbranded (unlocked) Windows Phone 7 devices, because they bought the devices as microsoft enthousiasts. But also the phone’s sponsored by carriers available in the countless phoneshops are nowadays (at least here in the Netherlands) unlocked devices.

    My unbranded Samsung Omnia 7 would still be waiting for the NoDo update if I had not done this “update hack”. So carriers have nothing to do in this case with the slow roll out of the update or it must be that they will delay the process even further.

    Because the proces is completely controlled by Microsoft through the Zune app, I feel MS is solely responsible for the long wait. MS allows manufacturers and carriers to frustate the speed of this process through all kinds of agreements made with these companies. But at this moment I think that Microsoft is strangely enough playing the biggest part in this extraordinary slow update rollout. I believe MS is slowing down the update process, because of their partnership with Nokia and Nokia needs transition time. This gives Microsoft also the extra time they need to develop Windows Phone 8 and introduce this platform on the phones of their prefered partner Nokia.

    For this moment it looks like if Microsoft is only preparing the soil to grow their next Phone generation.

  40. gmfeld says:

    The Good, Bad and Ugly. File this under the “Ugly” section. Over at Mobility Digest, there’s a very good analysis (I’m not a developer/techie, it seems like a good analysis to me) on the built in limitations of Live Tile push/pull. If I’ve got this final analysis right, it seems clear its an issue baked into the WP7 system. I’ll put this on my wish list of something I hope gets improved (right behind Bluetooth).
    http://mobilitydigest.com/the-live-tile-debacle-and-a-solution-sort-of/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MobilityDigest+%28Mobility+Digest%29

  41. russ61 says:

    I’m in Australia, bought a htc mozart from Telstra on a 24 month contract.
    The phone seems sluggish in that just flicking up the initial wallpaper screen takes 10 or so sweeps – same with answering a call – I invariably have to call the person back because the phone won’t let me answer in time.

    I’m still waiting for Telstra to release the nodo update… and I hope that the update will improve the performance of the phone… otherwise I’m just going to give up and go back to my old nokia n63 which while not smart did at least function reasonably as a phone.

    Fingers crossed… I shelled out for the WP7 developer membership as well in the hope that I’d really get into this phone and write some apps but so far I just feel negative about it.

    I currently wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

    Microsoft have always taken 3 or 4 versions to get something right and make it usable… but with WP7 I don’t think they have that luxury.

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