Opinion: Dear Windows Phone: Get Your Act Together

We love Windows Phone. It was a hugely important step forward for how people think about phones. It promised to be a true, thoughtful, original alternative to the iPhone. But it still has some serious problems.

It shouldn't be like this. Nokia's Lumia 800 and 900 Windows Phones are plum delightful hunks of hardware. And the OS is constructed so that comparatively lacklustre guts aren't really an issue. And, frankly, WP is mature enough that its major flaws should be distant (bad) memories. What happened?

Broken Windows

Windows Phone's greatest trick, the reason that it should be a true alternative, is its simplicity: it is uncomplicated, pleasant. Well, in theory at least: Right now, using Windows Phone makes you think too much, ironic for a platform whose ad campaign stresses a quick in-and-out experience. You feel uneasy and unsure about tasks that you should be confident are happening flawlessly. Every time you go to sync your files, store your music — or do anything that requires your phone to perform a prolonged operation — you have to keep an eye on it, make sure it doesn't crap its pants in the middle of the mall. This simply doesn't happen when using an iPhone or a decent Android handset.

Patterns develop. And having those inconveniences in the back of your head changes how you think about your phone and its neighborhood. Windows Phone is rotten with broken windows, while Apple keeps the paths in its walled garden pristine.

More than the spec race or design war, Microsoft has to get the simple stuff right before anything else. There are only so many times I can tell my friends that no, WP doesn't have that very basic feature, but look how beautiful it is. I've been a Windows Phone devotee for almost a year now, and I'm starting to cringe every time I hand my phone to a friend to show off this "great alternative". It's like living in one of those Home of the Future installations: futuristic features around every corner, but the faucets and light switches don't work.

Gotta Make the Layups

Whether by default or design, the most powerful thing about Windows Phone — and its biggest differentiation from iPhone and Android — is the way the OS itself picks up the slack for its seriously slacking apps. It doesn't matter that the Twitter app is an impossible piece of vomit, or that the Facebook app isn't much better, because WP lets you use either network, simultaneously, in its baked-in "People" tile.

Problem is, this vaunted integration — and it really is pretty great in theory — is full of half-measures and required workarounds in practice. You can't view your own wall in Facebook. You can load tweets, but not reply-threads for Twitter. You can use Facebook Chat but not GTalk. Foursquare is MIA. (There is an official app... but when we showed it to app-savvy company co-founder Naveen in November, he had never seen it before). On their own, these are relatively small complaints. But taken as a whole, it feels like reading a book that you would really love — if there weren't so many pages ripped out.

Even that would be workable if what was there worked better. iOS has a gazillion apps, but the Apple-designed core apps — Music, Mail, etc — are so rock solid that you almost can't compete with them. Windows Phone's apps aren't like that. "People" loads tweets and status updates. Sometimes. But sometimes it doesn't, and you just sort of get used to it after a while. The default Music app's organisation is a mess. That's a massive problem for a platform that positions itself as the mobile OS that doesn't need apps.

This deficiency isn't helped by what's going on with the apps that are there. Owing partially to Microsoft footing the bill for mercenary devs to build third-party versions of popular programs (this is why Selvadurai had never seen his company's WP iteration), you're mostly left in the cold once you buy an app. Foursquare hasn't seen an update in ages. That would never, ever happen on iOS. And if you were an expat iPhone convert, you'd rightly call bullshit.

Microsoft needs to rally its developers (developersdevelopersdevelopers), but they aren't answering the call.

Arrested Development

There are apps that do what you need them to do for Windows Phone, in the way that the inches-from-scrap-metal computer in your parents' garage gets the job done when you really need to send a quick email. But the super-slick, this-is-why-you-need-a-smartphone apps that make iPhones and Androids worth having? The quality just isn't there, even when the apps are.

Take Rdio. Rdio's iOS and Android apps are wonderful music-streaming utilities. Those guys know how to make a mobile app. But on Windows Phone? It hiccups. It crashes. It doesn't sync correctly half the time and finds something else to screw up the rest of the time. It is not very good. When we talked to Rdio's people about it a few months ago — specifically, the quick-resume feature in Mango that was supposed to deal with the constant resolving that plagues all WP apps — they knew their Windows Phone offering wasn't up to their standards. Why? Time. Most of the successful mobile app teams are too small to focus on Windows Phone when the audience isn't there. And the apps that Microsoft supplements to get off the ground end up as unsupported ghosts. What's left becomes, all too soon, unusable.

It's like this across all sorts of mobile ghettos in Windows Phone. Apps that work just fine — wonderfully even — on iPhone and Android just plain stink on WP. Or worse, they aren't even there. There's all of one (relatively) worthwhile cross-platform chat app, for instance, compared to gobs and gobs for the competition. Too many potential converts are lost over simple things like, "No Instagram? No thanks."

Microsoft doesn't seem interested in doing anything about it. When we talked to a Windows Phone spokesman at CES, we asked if the company would consider raising the bar for apps getting into the Marketplace. If they'd at least consider making game-changing features like quick-resume mandatory. Nope:

"We think that over time the apps that take advantage of features that make the experience better will rise to the top naturally." And if no one adopts features as vital as quick-resume? "We might consider something like that in the future, but we think the Marketplace will put itself in order."

Maybe it will. But for now there is no chicken, no egg, and no damn way for me to play my Rdio on the train.

Be Evil

To be clear, Windows Phone isn't in any immediate danger. Microsoft has pumped in too much money to let it fail any time soon, and Windows Phone 8 is on the horizon. Redmond's said that the upgrade to the Windows 8 kernel (Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 are based on the aged Windows CE) will make developing for the platform much easier. It should mean more frequent updates, since the process will be more streamlined. But we've heard this before. Windows Phone 7.5 Mango was supposed to be a panacea, and thus far it simply hasn't been.

We love New Microsoft, the benevolent tech giant playing like a lightweight: a scrappy underdog dodging and weaving its way through a landscape full of mobile titans. But what we need now is a little bit of the Old Microsoft. The one that wouldn't think twice about bearing down on its partners if that's what it took to strong-arm its way into any damn market it wanted.

The exciting, refreshing, wonderful way out of the iOS and Android black hole is still under there. The Windows Phone ship doesn't need much to get itself righted; a few fingers in a few holes might do the trick. So please, Microsoft, get this done so we can finally have something — anything — to rave about besides a dreary, dreary iPhone.

Chris Madden is a New York illustrator and designer. You can see his awesome work here, follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


Comments

    I love my Windows Phone, but I agree with all of the above.
    Thankfully, my phone is mainly a phone, so it doesn't bother me too much. I can see how it would detract for many others though, and this is obviously reflected in the market share that WP has.

      Most people want their phone to be more than just "a phone".

      Windows Phone has failed in many areas, but worst of all is that it is just another interim OS, until Windows Phone 8 arrives. Those who buy current Windows Phones and Lumias will not be able to upgrade.

        Where is the proof of this?

          J.Stewart, what magical crystal ball do you base that on?!

        I think you're full of shit with that one buddy.

        http://wmpoweruser.com/microsoft-evangelist-confirms-all-windows-phone-7-handsets-will-be-upgraded-to-windows-phone-8/

          This statement was since retracted:
          http://blogs.msdn.com/b/nunos/archive/2012/04/19/my-comments-on-windows-phone.aspx

    I find this opinion piece somewhat dubious, to say the least. Being the happy owner of a Nokia Lumia 800 I can honestly say the only slight criticism I have with the platform at present is the lack of regard developers have with bringing their apps to the Windows platform as well as iOS and Android.

    Best article I've read. Are MS even listening, though? Do they have ANY solutions in the works alread? I love MS products, but I'm fed up that the "awesomeness" always seems to be the next product, and when that doesn't get realised, then the next product after that.

    Motormouth! where art thou?

      Insert comment about how all of MS's exclusive alternatives like Zune are waaayy superior to the more popular services. And if there's no 3rd party app alternative... well, we never wanted your Words with Friends, Draw Something, Angry Birds Space, Instagram, Dropbox etc etc in the first place! So there!

        So by your logic, a Toyota Corolla is much better than a Ford Focus, simply because it is more popular? And a Big Mac is a better hamburger because they sell more of them? Next you'll be telling us that One Direction are really good. I'll take good over popular every, single time. I can only think of one time in my life when the two things have coincided, and that was for the 5 weeks that Devo sat atop the national charts with Whip It. (Actually, it was the Devo Live EP but I figured that wouldn't mean much to most.)

          You're the one making the accusation of argumentum ad populum but I never said any such thing. I don't believe something is necessarily better because it's popular. You love trash talking the 'Sheeple' but what about Windows's overwhelming dominance in desktops? Accusations of bias and herd mentality work both ways.

          I pointed out certains apps that I might not use, but many do. None of these are platform exclusives, I'm not asking for iTunes on WP7, but Dropbox? That's a service that is popular, entrenched and people are using to collaborate. I don't WANT to use Skydrive, I want the option to use Dropbox. Just as I want the option to use Instagram (which I think is a fairly terrible app) and Draw Something. These matter, even if you obviously don't think they do.

      We don't need Motormouth

      "Sheeple", "I am in a band, so piracy is bad", "Windows phone is great", "Tablets suck, except Windows 8 ones probably", "Sheeple"

        haaahaha I don't know which is better, 'sheeple' or 'I'm in a band'.

        By the way, you only put two 'sheeple'. Needs more.

          Of course, the sad reality here is that if you weren't sheeple, all any of that would indicate is a consistent vision, born of objectivity and logic. Being in a band is no more remarkable than wearing red socks, it just happens to be a fact that supports certain views. I don't mention any of our achievements, I simply mention it when it seems appropriate to the discussion. There are a lot of very sad sheeple in sad, little bands. (I know, we've supported plenty of them.)

          And for the record, its not Win 8 tablets that will be good, its Intel-based tablets. Win 8 on ARM will be at least as useless as iOS or Android. And who knows, Apple might already have stitched up a deal to get a 3 month march on the competition with a dual-core Atom tablet running OS X? That would certainly get my attention because it is the hardware that matters most to me, the OS is at best a tertiary consideration, if it comes into calculation at all.

            @MotorMouth - Honest question: why do you keep saying "sheeple"?

            The problem with saying "sheeple" all the time is that it makes you come across like one of those terrible unimaginative pompous people who say "sheeple" all the time.

      He was commenting on the age this morning about some inane bullshit regarding a second airport.

        It wasn't the Age, it was the Herald. Why would you even read the article, which was about the Sydney Entertainment Centre redevelopment, let alone the comments? But my best work is reserved for Drive, you should check that out.

    Had to get rid of mine, didn't have any of the features that I wanted. That was very early on though, but from reading the above, it doesn't seemed to have changed all that much

    I largely agree with the tone of the article, but there are some non-issues there too. Unfamiliarity, uncertainty with using the OS will fade with time spent with the phone. It's different from iOS and android but every OS has its learning curve.

    My biggest issue with WP7 besides the dismal app selection and support, that has already been covered in extensive detail here and on Chris Ziegler's TIMN article, is hardware.

    None of WP7's OEMs short of Nokia seem to care about WP7, but I can't really blame them either. If you sell 10 android phones for every WP7, you'd play to your strengths. Just look at the newest HTC flagships on each platform. The Titan II vs the One X isn't even a fair fight. WP7 handsets aren't exciting and the sales numbers reflect it. Part of this is due to MS's outdated spec standard (seriously? Single core and 480x800? This isn't 2010), another aspect seems to be industry wide disinterest from OEMs to devs to WP7. The only ones bucking the trend are Nokia and that's because they've tied their future to MS.

      I still don't get this. There are now 80,000 apps, surely you can find the things you need? If not, bookmark the webpage that will do the same job. Is there some magic number of apps that will suddenly make WP7 more attractive?

        The app selection isn't the biggest problem, as I have mentioned. It's just a symptom of poor developer momentum in WP7. This will probably change, but right now, it's not even an option for people like me. You're obviously against the so-called 'popular' apps, but the very fact there are 3rd party versions on WP7 shows that people want them but can't get the real deal.

        There is no magic, arbitrary number. I'd happily cull 70% of the app catalogue from either Android or iOS if it meant 2-3 more great ones I'd use regularly. Most of that it is fluff. But right now, WP7 isn't satisfying people like me. Where is the official Dropbox client? Pandora? Instagram? Why are Facebook/Twitter so poorly integrated and supported?

        This is to say nothing of the games that WP7 doesn't have and will never have in the near future, simply because they are incapable of running on MS's current hardware standard eg. Infinity Blade, Rage HD, Shadowgun, MC3. MS is completely wasting the potential IPs they can pull over from Xbox.

        So to your question, all these need to come together for WP7 to become more attractive.

      I think you'll find with Windows 8 most of these things are likely to change. To be pefectly honest, Android was a heap of shit on Donut's release - it wasnt even comparable to iOS until Gingerbread.

      Even then, PC integration is one thing that Google cant seem to get right. If patent wars can make anything happen - for the love of god - I hope samsung runs over to microsoft and borrows the PC software for Zune: because its a helluva lot better than anything they've done with Kies. HTC's Software is pretty crap for the PC too.

        Sadly, word is that Zune is set to be replaced by something else. We can only hope it is not the God-awful Music app in Win 8, which is worse than useless. The Zune software is the thing that started me looking at MS differently. It was an absolute revelation. Lately my ZuneHD has been playing up and I've been playing music through Zune on my PC and it is fantastic, the complete opposite to WMP. I don't know that I'll be able to let it go too easily.

    I find most of this a load of one sided BS. I have both iPhone and WP7 in my household. I have NEVER had a problem synchronising or updating my WP7 handset and feel confident every time I do it. The iPhone on the other hand ALWAYS fails when it comes to an iOS upgrade, and synchronising always has issues with content licenses, etc.

      Yeah, I actually think one of the amazing things about my WP7 phone is how it just gets those big upload/download jobs done without me having to sweat over it or anything. The only limitation is reception, I live in a steep valley, but that is much better on my Lumia 800 than it was on my Focus.

        I thought you said you lived on a yacht?
        http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/04/do-sports-events-prompt-you-to-buy-a-new-tv-poll/comment-page-1/#comment-270768

          Not too many sheeple live on a yacht at the top of a hill, I'd reckon. The valley in question has up to 12m of water in the bottom of it, about 5m under my arse at the moment, connected to the Tasman Sea. Its just that the valley aspect of it seemed a little more relevant to reception issues than being on the water. Its nice to know you're paying attention, though.

      I love my Lumia, it was given to me by Nokia on release as a gift. Excellent gadget for intergration with my PC, easy to use and its quite impressively solid for performance even when running quite a few things.

      I will agree with the facebook stuff, mate - microsoft needs to be shot for that. Its pretty crap.

      Yeah um [citation required] on the sync etc issues, that's the first I've heard of it and have never had this fail. Disagree with the music app comments as well, but that might be personal preference. The twitter/fb etc integration comments are fair though.

    My WP7 phone has never had a problem with synchronisation or installing any update. No application on it has ever failed. WP7 is brilliant and far easier to use than either iPhone or any Android phone and I have tried both.

    I love my windows phone

    but agree with everything said in this article. The people hub annoys me how it doesn't show all information, and that i cant do everythihg through it, and often have to log on to facebook on internet explorer to actually get things done.

    I have decided to get the new Samsung galaxy when it comes out until windows 8 comes out and hopefully lixes all the flaws in the current OS

      Really? What do you actually "get done" on Facebook? I thought it was the kind of things sheeple used to waste time, not do things?

        Alright dickhead. I use facebook to get things done, such as event planning and management, talking with the artists under me (far more convenient often than phones etc).

        Just because YOU don't have to get things done on it doesn't mean others dont.

        SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE SHEEPLE

    I really struggle to get my head around the whole apps mindset. 99% of apps are things a browser is at least as capable of doing. e.g. I've never seen a public transport app that is as good as www.131500.com, the eBay app is US-centric, m.ebay.com.au is much better and the IMDB app is nowhere near as good as the full website experience. Even the one kind of app I tend to obsess over, weather, just takes information from websites and presents it in a stylish format. Realistically, I'd be just as well off going to the BOM site and getting it straight from the horse's mouth. Maybe apps reduce one's reliance on bandwidth but most of the time I'd rather use my browser, even though its IE. I've sure as hell never seen an app that would make me wish I wasn't using WP7, apps I use generally seem to lack the style and flair of WP7 versions on other platforms. i.e. For me, the best reason to use apps is because Metro looks really cool, so apps made for it tend to look better than the website. But I'm a graphic artist, so I'd expect a bit of bias in that area. Take style out of the equation and websites almost always trump apps.

    Of course, there are exceptions. I like the way Musixmatch's Lyrics app integrates with Zune, you couldn't do that with a bookmark, but looking through my installed apps, that is the only one that stands out as being better for being an app, except maybe for Hey DJ! (which is really just a wank anyway).

    I switched from Windows Phone to iPhone and I am really happy with the new platform.
    For me the issues were
    - App selection, including Australian business apps. My banks mobile site didn't work and there was no app
    - Some of the inbuilt apps had minor annoyances.
    - Third party apps weren't as good as their iOS counterparts.

    A big issue was that as an iPad user the prospect of multi-device apps made a lot of sense. I can play Draw Something on my phone while out, but use the larger screen on my iPad when at home. Before I even took my iPhone out of it's box I already had about 10 apps for it just because I had an iPad.

    It's not specifically a problem with Windows Phone, just a deficiency with the ecosystem. It might be fixed with WP8 + Windows 8 but I buy into an ecosystem for what is available today.

    I'm not sure what OS youve been using because it obviously isn't the same one I've been using for the last 18 months.
    I've never had a sync problem ever and I haven't seen an app that doesn't support fast resuming almost since Mango was released.

    I couldn't be happier with WP7 and based on customer satisfaction surveys it seems that the overwhelming majority of WP7 users feel the same way.

    Never had a Windows Phone syncing or updating problem. It is honestly really annoying to have all these people creating Facebook events because they "updated their iPhone, need new contacts." Where WP would automatically collect this info from the cloud if it did lose it.
    Also, how is Windows Phone not simple. The set-up is so insanely easy I can't stop admiring it 18 months later. I turn on the phone, sign in with one account, and BOOM! All of my contacts are present with there Facebook profile pics flashing on the people hub, my profile pic stands out on the me hub, the picture hub is showing a slideshow of my photos from Skydrive and Facebook. My emails are ready to read, social feeds ready to be browsed and my Xbox live account is ready to play games.
    Windows phone is so intuitive and smooth, I often just take it out of my pocket to admire how the lock screen appears to be weighted when you let it drop, how the arrow on the Start screen nudges over to hint you towards the other apps, and how every single graphic and piece of text will respond to my touch by slightly rotating away from my finger. The whole OS seems like you are playing with some bright objects that are floating above a dark pool. My personal favourite is the check list boxes that pop out in a burst of colour when you press the side of an email.
    There, that is my opinion. But unlike certain writers out there, I didn't make up any fake facts or exaggerate any true ones in attempt to convince that it is more than just my opinion.

      I actually think the problem with WinPhone and Zune is that it is too intuitive and sheeple tend to overthink it, rather than doing the obvious. I've seen it time and again with ZuneHD users who assume it has to be harder to use than it is and get themselves tied up in knots.

        You seriously think Zune is intuitive?

        Really?

    Honestly I’m glad this article is filed under opinion because I have no idea where you got most of your arguments from. I was trying to read it with an objective mind but then I got to the part saying you can’t view your own Facebook wall. Have you even been to the Me hub? You know, the place with your Facebook wall among other things. Honestly I see you are having problems with WP but I haven’t had any of them. I think the bigger problem is you don’t like it. I know for a fact that my original focus has had to reset less times than many iPhones, and by extension countless Android phones. The built in apps ARE rock solid, I don’t know where you find flaws in them. The people hub brings up updates from all social networks way faster than iOS’s Facebook app. Anyways, this article makes me a little sick because you are taking your anger out on WP by coming up with complete bullshit. Nothing against you or any of the other phones out there, just next time when you write an opinion article, try to keep it as just your opinion, and stop making up stuff just in attempt to convince others to think the same.

      Opinion must be backed by facts. I see no facts in this article.

    i'm still happy with my wp7, the only thing i miss from iphone is viber (apparently it's coming really soon!) and my bank apps, never had problems with syncing

    Agree with the above - as a WP user I get annoyed with Microsoft's "almost there" attitude with their phone. For example, I bought a Zune pass, which worked great initially, but then stopped working for a few days when the DRM link seemed to break. The other day I plugged my phone into my PC to sync some music and the phone couldn't get detected - had to powercycle the phone to get it to connect. It is annoying, as they're great phones, and I won't be switching when my current contract is up, but you just wish they'd be a bit more "Apple" about things when it comes to things just working.
    I bought the new iPad for the above reasons - having been itching to get a tablet for a while I decided I don't trust Microsoft to deliver a pure, no hassles tablet experience. This has been the first Apple product I've ever bought (having previous been a hater) - and I love it!

    "you have to keep an eye on it, make sure it doesn’t crap its pants in the middle of the mall" - wtf. You must have a dud unit - my WP7 handsets have never had an issue with syncing, installing apps, large WiFi downloads (i.e., maps of Australia for Nokia Drive).

    "There are only so many times I can tell my friends that no, WP doesn’t have that very basic feature" - like what? The only basic features I can think of that WP mysteriously lacks is separate ringer/music/sms volumes; and multi-page MMS.

    "[WPs core apps suck]" - way too many counter-points to name them all. In summary: different != worse.

    "Microsoft needs to rally its developers" agreed. Moar apps would be nice but then again everything I personally need is covered.

    "There’s all of one (relatively) worthwhile cross-platform chat app" - Facebook chat, threaded inline with SMS chat. 'nuff said.

    I've only ever used Mango, so can't comment on the first-release WP. But the things about the phone that *do* work (i.e., the core hub-based stuff like People, Pictures and Media) suit the way I want to use my phone just right.

    First thing first please. The writer is a yank and no doubt he has been paid to bad mouth WP7(orWP7.5).

    WP is a great mobile phone. The people hub is a great idea but GUESS WHAT??? It is not up to M4 to make sure everything is written into the phone when you buy it. If M$ owned Facebook, FourSquare etc then it would be a different story but they don't so they have created a very basic system for these and others in the People area. GTalk isn't popular enough to warrant it's own place on WP because it's GOOGLE'S PRODUCT. If you want GTalk, make Google write one for WP but I'm guessing they won't because they have ANDROID!!!

    I'm really angry at this kind of article trash and the fact that Giz at the moment thinks that this yank's experience is anything like here in AUSTRALIA!!!

    Hey Giz US (osrry Giz Au), how about you stop sucking up to Apple and grow a spin. Ever since that iPhone prototype issue you have continued to suck up to Apple. You continue to put down other products that compete against Apple. I wish I could sit down with this person and scream.

      Who exactly do you think is paying Gizmodo to badmouth WP7? I don't think either Apple or Google would feel threatened enough to bother.

      Also, did you miss the first line of the story? "We love Windows Phone"
      Just because they aren't rabid Windows Phone fanboys they are automatically Apple fans? It is possible to like something but admit it has flaws.

      I used Windows Phone for over a year, and it's a good platform. Just wasn't the right one for me.

        There's plenty of valid reasons to criticise WP7 and this article touches on a few. It also pulls some out of *very* thin air though (seriously, what sync issues?) which is where the credibility problem lies.

    The deficiency with the ecosystem isn't something Microsoft can 'fix'. They have done everything imaginable to help it along though. THe best development tools and languages, best dev support and documentation. They are paying popular apps to be ported over themselves.

    The only thing that will give WP more apps is for its userbase to become big enough. There has to be a business case for devs to target WP. End of story. Withe the success of Lumia series WP is getting a bigger market for devs to sell to, so it is only a matter of time really.

    Now, this is a chicken and egg scenario isn't it. WHich is why I find it really frustrating when tech bloggers, the people who should be knowing what the f*** they're talking about, going on about WP's lack of apps, like it's their fault. It's not. Maybe there's some facepalm obvious things MS haven't done? I haven't heard it, and I'm sure MS would be happy to hear it.

    WHile I'm on a rant, I'll also go on about 'lack of updates', like it's a terrible thing. Too many updates is also bad. The best thing is to have 1 or 2 major updates a year, make sure the carriers are on board and is rolled out asap. They did this with Mango. It's no use publicly releasing updates every few months if people can't get them. It costs carriers money to test and release updates. MS's strategy is MUCH better than Google's, IMO. More sustainable for carriers and results in updates actually being delivered to the customers.

    One final thing. How good is Wordament?!? I'm seriously hooked. Props to those guys. Anyone with WP should def check out that game. It's genius

      Why are constant updates a bad thing? Android started well behind iOS in terms of attractiveness and feature-set, but Google updated the OS like maniacs to the point it's arguably the most feature-rich OS. MS is starting in 3rd place and isn't even keeping up at this point, when they should be trying to pull ahead. How long did it take Cut/Paste to get included? When will basic multi-tasking be fixed?

      It's true that Android still has teething problems getting updates, but as mentioned, MS has a HUGE advantage in this regard with strictly controlled hardware, no skinning etc, they should be using this by updating every second day if need be to get it up to scratch with iOS/Android.

    I have come to the realisation that WP7 was/is a stop-gap measure and that WP8 will be the real deal. But like the Holden Adventra, it is a perfectly useful stop-gap that all but the top few percent of hard-core users would be perfectly happy with. It is understandable that developers have little interest in WP7 apps but I'm sure that's why MS has built Metro into Win8. It should only take Win8 a few months to pass the number of iOS users out there, at which point it will become the best way for any app developer to reach the widest possible audience. Once that advantage is conferred to WinPhone, at version 8, I'd be very surprised if we didn't see a big change in developer's attitudes towards the platform. Of course, as a corollary to this, it would be stupid for developers to put too much time into WP7, knowing that it will soon be obsolete (although WP7 apps will run in WP8, according to MS).

      Made a mental note of this.

      MotorMouth
      " It should only take Win8 a few months to pass the number of iOS users out there,"

      Will see you after say 4 months of Windows 8 release. Want to put a bet on it? Say a even $100?? I will even gladly throw my iPhone into Sydney Harbour while yelling out "I'm a Sheeple, I'm a Sheeple. Microsoft please save me from the popular products Apple and other companies make and help me see the world in the eyes of my new lord MotorMouth"

        I will even buy your bands entire music collection as christams presents and give them to friends and family under the conditions they do not act like Sheeple any longer.

        We had the occupy movement, could we start the Anti-Sheeple movement :)

    "Every time you go to sync your files, store your music — or do anything that requires your phone to perform a prolonged operation — you have to keep an eye on it, make sure it doesn’t crap its pants in the middle of the mall. "
    Every time? Really? Please elaborate or provide other sources also displaying this, otherwise it's either an experience you're exaggerating about or an irregular bug.

    "You can’t view your own wall in Facebook."
    Umm, really? You haven't used the Facebook app have you. Swipe in Facebook until you see a page displaying Profile etc, select Profile and there's your wall...

    "Windows Phone’s apps aren’t like that. “People” loads tweets and status updates. Sometimes. But sometimes it doesn’t, and you just sort of get used to it after a while."
    Can't vouch for Twitter. However i do not get this issue with status updates on Facebook. Again, if you can't source where this occurs with many people, i.e. known bug, then you're either exaggerating again or it's a random bug...

    Seriously Gizmodo - you let this opinion piece get pass whatever editorial standards you have?
    Damn...

    "Every time you go to sync your files, store your music — or do anything that requires your phone to perform a prolonged operation — you have to keep an eye on it, make sure it doesn’t crap its pants in the middle of the mall. This simply doesn’t happen when using an iPhone or a decent Android handset."

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAH Sorry, I stopped reading there because this is total crap. Rubbish phones have been rubbish due to crappy hardware and drivers, not the OS. Plus Microsoft not supporting SD cards while OEM's tried to either do it anyway (Samsung/Dell), or cheap out and use SD cards as fixed onboard storage (HTC).

    Mind you every week at least one of my friends is posting about how they can no longer make calls / sms / etc on their android phone and have to send it off for warranty.

      The main reason I bought a Focus was for the microSD support but it was useless. After having to reinitialise my phone for the second time, I removed it and put up with the 8Gb of on-board storage. No more problems after that. Mind you, I just noticed that my 16Gb Lumia 800 still has 6.2Gb free and I've got everything I could possibly want on it, at least until I can buy a 128Gb phone and put my whole music collection on it.

    How is music managed on the WP7?
    Can you just drop it into a folder like android or are you tied into zune like itunes (only access from one computer etc)? I personally can not use the iphone as I wish to manage my phone from where ever but am getting sick of android and would like a change, plus am looking to get a windows 8 tablet to go with my ipad so would be nice if they tied in..

      No, you have to use Zune but Zune is the best possible way to organise music, so why wouldn't you want to use it? There is just no way I could go back to the utter mayhem of dragging and dropping folders. That said, it would be nice if it did show up as a mass storage device so I could use it like a USB Flash drive to move stuff around.
      You're definitely not limited to one computer, though. I've synced music from at least 4 different PCs with no problems.

        That's a shame, could be a deal breaker for me but I'll wait and see.. i really do like the look of the interface..

    Wonder what phone you've been using dude. Are you sure you have Windows Phone? Or did you buy a Fong Kong. My old Samsung Focus works damn good and apart Vodafone network letting me down, I have not had any major issue with it after the upgrade to Mango. I would not swap my WP for anyone other mobile OS, even if you were to give me a bj. I wonder why my friend, an apple fan, left for a WP :)
    Sync problems? Not an issue there. Wireless sync works well. Zune is great and shits on iTune which even the apple people don't understand how to use!
    I have a new title for your article: Be sober when you write an article and don't pull it out of your arse!

      What if I got my Dad to take his teeth out and give you BJ? Still no?

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHA YOU'RE SO FUNNY.

        MotorMouth, you are worse than aids.

    Having the option to separate my multiple email accounts onto the main tile windows so I can see them at a glance is a big plus. I use the mail, contacts and address book heavily, Skype a handful of times a week and the scout when travelling it, does most of what I want.
    More active tiles where I can see the main info without opening the app would be nice.
    Also the browser is works better than the iPhone.
    It also runs faster than the iPhone and Android with comparable hardware and has never crashed on me.
    For the company I work for I went from Blackberry to iPhone to Windows Phone so I think the email and messaging should be better if the best of Technology from Blackberry and Windows Phone combined then I would be really impressed.
    My 2c worth.

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