- 12-28-2009, 10:19 AM #1
Hello everyone, this is Matt Miller from Nokia Experts kicking off a discussion for the third week of the Smartphone Round Robin. I started using mobile devices back in 1997 with the Palm Pilot and then in 2001 added Pocket PC devices to my collection. I have been a HUGE fan and advocate for the Windows Mobile platform so this week I actually am covering a platform I am intimately familiar with. Like Nokia, Microsoft has been in the game quite some time and even though neither OS is as flashy as Google Android or the iPhone, I think you will all agree they are both still valid, extremely powerful, and highly customizable.
To generate some discussion about Windows Phone and help you get some entries into the contest for your own Windows Phone device, I have the following questions for you all here:
- As a Windows Phone fan I have been frustrated by the apparent slowness of Microsoft to get updates out to users. IMHO the release version of WM 6.5 was lame and what I have seen with WM 6.5.3 is what we should have seen with WM 6.5. Will Microsoft ever change to be more responsive to the mobile community?
- Most of the Windows Phone devices I have used have been HTC models. What other manufacturers do you like for Windows Phones?
- I have also been extremely frustrated with Microsoft in regards to services because they could have easily been first with a hosted Exchange program so everyone could have had an experience like BlackBerry and an on-device software application store. Microsoft has the technology and the intelligent people to get these things done, as we see with the Zune HD and Xbox 360. Do you think it is the large corporation culture, inability to really understand what people want, or something else that prevents Windows Phone from leading in these types of areas?
- What Windows Phone feature do you think you'd miss the most if somebody replaced your device with a Nokia smartphone?
- What 3 things would you tell a Nokia Experts reader about to convince them to buy a Windows Phone device?
....there's plenty more to talk about, so don't feel limited by the above. Remember, every day you make a post in this thread for the next week, you'll be automatically entered to win a smartphone! More details at www.smartphoneroundrobin.comCheck out my coverage of Nokia at nokiaexperts.com and all other mobile platforms at blogs.zdnet.com/cell-phones
12-28-2009, 05:04 PM #2
- 77 Posts
1. Yeah I wish they had been quicker at updating the OS. One wonders how much progress could be done on WM7 by now had they not brought the stop gap that is WM6.5 still there were some needed changes made to the os. Spend some time with 6.1 on a large screen device and the new larger menus will be welcomed.
2.I liked the Palm treo line of WM phones especially the 750 (my wife loves it still)too bad they stopped making them but I like the HTC line the best.
3. Not really frustrated. I didn't need exchange until after they offered it and I have always knew where to find the applications I needed. I do think they could have owned the mobile space by now if they had ever looked beyond the enterprize to the consumer market. Sometimes business make decisions or fail too that make no sense and they think no one else is doing it why should we when that is exactly when they should do it. Also I think that the HD2 is proof that the hardware is just now really catching up to the power requirements of the OS.
4. Customization and frankly there is one application written only for WM that I could live without but just don't want to.
5. 1. use it
2. don't listen to the media
3. use it. ( no I am not being a smartalec.) It just does much more than people give it credit for. I would say form facters but WM and Nokia are equals here in my opinion
I just think that many people (probably none of the people on here) buy what they are told to buy and never give anything else a chance. They talk about how bad WM is and have never used it. If you have used it and don't like then thats fine. but don't hate on something you know nothing about. I don't know the OS on the recent Nokias so I can't compare that. I know Matt has used them all and I value his opinion (just don't always agree) and respect his preference because he has used them all
I am enjoying this round robin I think it has been well balanced.
- 12-28-2009, 08:00 PM #3
1. Microsoft has been incredibly slow. The new builds of Windows Mobile 6.5.x really is what 6.5 should have been, in particular moving the start menu button to the lower left corner. But to be honest at this point I don't understand why they're still working on Windows Mobile 6.5. To me they should be 100% working on Windows Mobile 7 in hopes to try and recapture the market share they've been bleeding for the last few years.
2. I don't think anyone other than HTC has done a really good job with Windows Mobile. The Sony Ericsson X1 had great hardware, but the panels interface Sony came up with was a waste of time. None of the other companies have done even a half way decent job.
3. Microsoft is too big, they have too many divisions and they still seem to think smart phones are for companies....have you seen their Windows Phones ads? Walking Mobile Word and Excel icons? Really?
4. That ones really hard since Windows Mobile and Symbian are more alike than unalike.
5. Look on a recent HTC device, 'nough said!
- 12-28-2009, 10:59 PM #4
As a Windows Phone fan I have been frustrated by the apparent slowness of Microsoft to get updates out to users. IMHO the release version of WM 6.5 was lame and what I have seen with WM 6.5.3 is what we should have seen with WM 6.5. Will Microsoft ever change to be more responsive to the mobile community?
I think everyone now realizes how important mobile computing has become to the lives of people everywhere. Smartphones are the new notebooks, notebooks are the new desktops.. in a sense. Having seen the fairly dramatic UI usability changes in many of Microsoft's recent offerings (Zune, Office, Windows 7, Currier Concept), it's clear that Microsoft is beginning to focus on refining their platforms in terms of both flash and substance--they're just a battleship when it comes to changing course in a mistake.
The branding is good, but the product is honestly no longer relevant in today's ecosystem. They have the same problem Nokia potentially faces in the coming years if they refuse to act--An operating system that is satisfying an increasingly smaller community with little generating interest in new participants. Micrrsoft's best move is an Android approach. Google showed that you can successfully release your own hardware (which Microsoft has show excellence in) without cannibalizing the growing community of partner phones.
Anyway, I wouldn't count Windows Mobile out just yet. Clearly there's a large gap between Windows Mobile today, and the other leading platforms, including iPhone, WebOS, and Android... but Windows Mobile hasn't seen its extreme makeover yet... and with Microsoft's resources and partnerships, there's great potential.
- 12-29-2009, 06:21 AM #6
Welcome to the world of Windows Phone. Judging from the first impressions video you are not a stranger to our little neck of the technology woods. I need to say right off the top I am so jealous of the week you get to spend with the HD2.
1. Like nearly every Windows Phone user I am frustrated at the SLOW pace of OS development. If it weren't for the fine folks at XDA I may have run out of patience. Also, HTC has done far more to improve the user experience in the last two years than Microsoft. That being said, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I have faith (OK, hope) that wM& will reward my patience.
2. HTC has done the best job overall in both hardware and software but Samsung has at least kept them honest by releasing compelling alternatives. Sort of like how Apple computers been a compelling alternative to PCs but in the end I still prefer to work on a PC.
3. I believe it was due to a collosal misjudgment of the future of Smart Phone technology. In 2006 when Apple was developing the Iphone, Microsoft and for that matter, every other smart phone platform sold the vast majority of their phones to business users, technocrats and gadget geeks. They did not foresee that the vast consumer customer base would so quickly become the dominant force driving smart phone technology. Microsoft was slow to realize that they could not continue to thrive depending on their business core customers. I happen to live less than 10 miles from Redmond and have chanced on some insider gossip. It appears there was a huge shake up about 6 months after the first Iphone and the entire future philosophical strategy for Windows Mobile was torn apart and built again from scratch. this cause them to rethink EVERYTHING and re-imagine what Window Mobile should be in the new paradigm. Windows Mobile 7 will be the realization of this new philosophy. Truthfully, I know absolutely nothing specific about WM7 than what I've read on the tech blogs. I just know it will be a huge step in this new direction and I have a few hints about the new direction but since Microsoft hasn't made any grand statements about their new vision for smart phone technology and I don't know how accurate my gossip is it would be foolish for me to speculate. Let's just say I am very optimistic.
4. I would miss the ability to manipulate nearly every characteristic of the Windows Mobile experience. I enjoy the process of tweaking the phone to make it just perfect then tweaking it some more, breaking it, fixing it and tweaking it some more. As my wife points out it is a self defeating waste of time but I enjoy it. Also, I would miss the feeling that anything any smart phone on any platform can do can be done on a Windows Phone. It might not be as flashy, pretty or easy but their is nearly nothing anyone's smart phone can do that mine can't do and there are many things only Window Phone can do.
5. a. Make a commitment to complete the learning curve. Just like when you diet or quite smoking if you don't make the commitment you will never succeed and earn the reward when you finish the process. Sadly, it is true Windows Phone has the steepest learning curve but you are rewarded with by far the most powerful and flexible user experience available to date.
b. Make use of the generous help of the user community on this and other forums. They are more than happy to help a new convert experience the pleasures of a well tweaked and softwared Windows Phone.
c. Leave your preconceptions about Windows Phone behind and open your mind to new ways to get from A to B on a smart phone. Don't let the way you have always done things on your tried and true smart phone dissuade you from learning a new and perhaps better way to get from A to B and you may even discover C & D that you didn't even know about going in.
Once again, welcome to Windows Phone and I look forward to your thoughtful insights on the HD2 and AT&T Tilt.
PS. Apparently, Phil consistently underestimates size. The Tilt2 has a 3.7" screen and the HD2 has a 4.3" screen. I can't help put wonder if Phil's wife knows about his difficulty estimating size :)
Last edited by DJChameleon; 12-29-2009 at 02:54 PM. Reason: fixed silly typos.
- 12-29-2009, 06:25 AM #7
I forgot to mention that I am thoroughly enjoying this Round Robin. Last year was nice bit this year has been awesome. The new format is great and the combination of video, podcasts and forums has been a great time waster. I check back every day to see what's new. Thanks for putting this all together.
- 12-29-2009, 12:52 PM #9
Personally, I want to be a fan of Windows Phones, and I am a big fan of the HD2. I think HTC makes by far the best WM phones, and I'm a fan of a variety of them. I'm in some sense waiting for them to get away from the crap that is the WM6 family of OSes if you will. I hate the plain white interface that makes it up for the most part. I will say that they are moving the right way, and I just wish that not only could we see WM7 previews, but that it was almost here. The HD2, to me, is worth switching to on a hardware level, and I wonder if I could deal with the OS mainly at this point. I think that Symbian is just as ancient at this point, and no better an option, though I think that Maemo is looking like a good possibility
- 12-29-2009, 07:45 PM #13
1. Nope. They don't care enough.
2. Samsung is terrible. I don't trust LG with dumbphones, let alone smartphones (They use cheap bluetooth drivers and cheap touch screens). Motorola is okay, but their Q didn't have the most comfortable keyboards.
3. Windows Phones are good enough to do what people want them to do. I really feel like that is good enough for Microsoft.
4. I just switched from WinMo to Android. I'd rather have an E72 than any Windows phone. If I lost my Droid Eris, I would die a little inside.
5. It does Remote Desktop and MS Office natively!
- 12-29-2009, 10:21 PM #14
Most of the Windows Phone devices I have used have been HTC models. What other manufacturers do you like for Windows Phones?
To be honest, I really like the way HTC has embraced the spirit of Windows Mobile customization and modification. Their Sense UI has been increasingly more impressive as of late and is just about solely responsible for keeping Windows Mobile looking relatively fresh. I don't see near that level of attention really coming out of other manufacturers, who seem to be phoning it in, if you will... or simply dropping development.
Having said that, there are a number great arguments for sticking with Windows Mobile, but few draws for new smartphone users outside of simply device availability (and boy, some of those devices are fairly lustworthy). Ideally, Windows Mobile 7 will fix much of this next year.
A side note... I'm personally not all that crazy about the name "Windows Phone."
- 12-30-2009, 09:20 AM #16- Phil
- 12-30-2009, 12:53 PM #19
Thanks for the responses folks. I see on the front page here that a foreign HTC source stated the HD2 will be upgradeable to WM7. Wow, that is huge and gives Windows Mobile HD2 owners a device that will be good for at least a year, right? Will this sway you to pick up the HD2 device now or do you need more convincing?
Do you think Windows Mobile 7 will make it out before the end of 2010?
I personally think the weakest aspect of Windows Mobile that Microsoft has seemed to forget in the dust has been media support with the same old lame Windows Media Player. Apple makes it easy to get content on the iPhone and Microsoft needs to bring their fantastic Zune HD experience to Windows Mobile soon. What can they do to get video content on the Windows Phone platform? Is this also through the Zune Marketplace?Check out my coverage of Nokia at nokiaexperts.com and all other mobile platforms at blogs.zdnet.com/cell-phones
- 12-30-2009, 01:00 PM #20
2. I only use HTC phones.
3. See answer #1 above.
4. ROM flashing.
5. Flashing, flashing, flashing. It's all about the customizability.
12-30-2009, 02:17 PM #21
- 1 Posts
I've only owned a Tilt and a Touch Pro but I think a few things are often overlooked while bashing MS. First, am I the only person still amazed by the fact that so many applications written for WM run like turds not due entirely to the hardware, but in large part due to bad memory mgmt.? It's shocking to see some of these programs crash and burn and not unlike Windows BSOD's, the OS gets the blame 99% of the time. How about introducing some quality control in programs before they make the marketplace? Make the WM7 experience even more solid by (I'm gonna say it) EXCEEDING user expectations! I love my phone so it pains me to have to pour a little salt on the MS parade but...
Learn from the advances made in user interface via SPB Mobile Shell and Touch Flo/Sense, they are built on sensible assumptions about how users actually USE the product. Please stop using the smallest known visual controls in history to do things like change volume.
FOR GOD'S SAKE PLEASE MS UPDATE THE CONTACT MANAGER AND POCKET OUTLOOK TO BE FINGER FRIENDLY!!!! I'm sick of how inaccurate my finger is on a high res screen when trying to find a contact by selecting a letter from the right-hand list. Outlook is positively painful to use with a finger and the menus suck.
Want to beat Apple? Here's my personal opinion on how to start...let users build there own user interface. Give them some templates that they can use out of the box but also let them build their own homescreens at least. A combination of apps, contacts, email, calendar, and IM controls could be arranged the way the USER wants, not ATT/Verizon/Sprint. I don't want honeycombs, I don't care for iPhone's never ending squares...let me build it online from an ever growing list of community and MS developed controls. It would also be fun while practical to have a screen that's unique to the user...what a novel concept!
- 12-30-2009, 07:50 PM #23
Cooking roms already solves the customizeability problem.
From the roms I've tried, WinMo6.5 is already sort of touch/flick friendly. The buttons are a little bigger. The menus are okay. HTC makes it all a little better too.
But yeah, memory management is a big issue. I feel like they could just start over at this point, and rebuilt from the kernel up. (Buy Palm maybe?).
- 12-30-2009, 10:59 PM #25
I see on the front page here that a foreign HTC source stated the HD2 will be upgradeable to WM7. Wow, that is huge and gives Windows Mobile HD2 owners a device that will be good for at least a year, right? Will this sway you to pick up the HD2 device now or do you need more convincing?
I have to admit, it's very tempting to know that a device purchased today would essentially be an entirely new experience less than a year from now with the introduction of Windows Mobile 7.
..I always felt that the HD2 was likely built as a Windows Mobile 7 phone first, merely caught up in the delays.