Accelerating the Windows Phone Ecosystem

Accelerating the Windows Phone Ecosystem

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This year has been one of significant change for the mobile industry. We are moving from a battle of devices to one of ecosystems. What is required to build and maintain a vibrant ecosystem is broad - defined by the relationship between hardware, software, services and applications working together to bring innovative new experiences to a world of devices.

This shift has been accelerating, and we have been moving fast. It was only a year ago that we unveiled Windows Phone 7 to the world for the first time.

It was more than the launch of a new product. Windows Phone 7 represents the best from Microsoft including Xbox LIVE, Office, Bing, Hotmail and Windows Live, adding to that deep integration of third party experiences like Facebook as well as thousands more from developers. For consumers, we set out to make Windows Phones the easiest to use and most delightful phones in the market. With Windows Phone, our top priority was to build phones that people love. Our phones are differentiated in the way they are designed, and the way that experiences are seamless and beautifully integrated. This focus on smart design makes it easier and faster to get to the information you care about. And with Windows Phone Hubs, we organize information, applications and services into one place.

The feedback from our customers has demonstrated we are on the right path. Today, 93% of Windows Phone customers worldwide are delighted with their phones. And perhaps even more importantly, customers are spreading the word. For example, 9 out of 10 people who purchase a Windows Phone tell their friends, family and coworkers that they should buy one too.

As I’ve articulated, job one was to ensure that those who touch and use our phone love it. This focus has built us a strong reputation within the industry as well, with the over 30,000 registered Windows Phone developers who have already seized the opportunity and delivered 8,000 quality applications to date, adding about 100 new titles every day.

Today in a keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Steve Ballmer announced several new features and capabilities that will make our phone an attractive option for even more people coming this year.

Here is a summary of the announcements made:

First Major Update
A free customer update will be made available for all Windows Phones in the first two weeks of March, which includes new capabilities such as copy & paste and faster application performance.

Availability on CDMA Networks
With added support for CDMA networks, Windows Phone will be available to even more customers on mobile operators such as Verizon and Sprint in the first half of 2011.

Twitter Integration in the People Hub
The popular social networking service Twitter will be integrated into the People Hub in the second half of 2011.

Office Document Storage in the Cloud
Document sharing and storage in the cloud via Windows Live SkyDrive will be added to Windows Phone in the second half of 2011.

Next Generation Browsing with Internet Explorer 9
A dramatically enhanced Internet Explorer 9 web browser will be added to Windows Phone in the second half of 2011. It will feature the same standards support (HTML5, etc.) and hardware accelerated graphics as the PC version.

Additional Multi-tasking Capabilities
We will add the ability to switch quickly between applications, run applications in the background (such as listening to music), along with a number of other capabilities in the second half of 2011. Developers will learn much more about this during April’s MIX conference.

Strong developer, handset maker and mobile operator partnerships coupled with an increased pace of innovation and lower price points will help fuel our growth for the long-term. We’ve laid the foundation for this with a quality experience we know customers love. This year, our attention turns to bringing that experience to a critical mass of customers so we can we begin to enjoy the economies of scale that will have a long term impact on market share. Now that we have a strong start, it’s important for us to accelerate our innovation and deliver it to more customers than ever before.

Our recently announced partnership with Nokia is a significant next step in this journey. In this partnership, Microsoft adds software and services expertise together with Nokia’s expertise in hardware design, imaging and mapping & location. The result is a product backed by some of the world’s best known brands including Office, Xbox LIVE, Bing, NAVTEQ and Nokia. Working with Nokia to bring together our highly complementary assets and competencies will allow the Windows Phone ecosystem to delight more customers at even greater scale.

We are excited to work with Nokia and our other handset maker partners because it will help catalyze the Windows Phone ecosystem – making it a compelling alternative to the existing choices for mobile operators, developers and consumers. We will have much more to say about this strategic partnership and the opportunities it presents over the coming months as we prepare to deliver significant volume of Nokia Windows Phones in 2012.

Our work in 2011 will begin a new cycle that will spur on lower cost offerings, along with a wave of third party innovation and opportunity that will make us very competitive with the incumbent market leaders in key markets.

We’re confident that Microsoft is on a path to be successful with Windows Phone and its growing ecosystem because we have momentum, a clear vision for what lies ahead, and a unique set of assets that will help us move the Windows Phone ecosystem forward.

Andy Lees
President, Mobile Communications Business

65 Comments
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  • bfarber
    1 Posts

    +++10000 for allowing camera settings to be saved!!!

    This is horrible! I need to change the resolution, Anti-Shaking and WDR whenever I take a photo!

  • So I've amassed a bit of a gripe list about my WP7. To where can I direct it?

  • rhodeuk
    1 Posts

    I've been using this as a work phone alongside my personal iPhone 4 and I have to say I'm pretty impressed.  Yes there are issues with it but overall the experience is slick and consistant.  Things I'd like to see improved beyond what you already have planned?  

    Better Zune/Media center integration - I use media center a lot, it's one of best features in Windows IMHO.  It's just a shame that it falls a little short in some regards.  Streaming to Xbox's around the house not a problem, streaming to a laptop wirelessly is fiddly, streaming to Windows Phone 7 isn't possible, copying video across to WP7 isn't straight forward.  Microsoft are really close to bringing the media hub dream to the masses, they just need to link some work streams together.

    Messenger - mentioned many times in this thread, seems like a no brainer.

    Improvements to Zune to include a podcast directory as rich as iTunes in the UK.  Recently launched a podcast and was keen to get it on Zune marketplace only to find it wasn't launched in the UK.

    I can see a lot of business users being very alienated by this change and the comments are a testiment to that but the business IT landscape is changing rapidly into a consumer adoption model.  Business devices now have to have a consumer friendly sheen to them in order for people to use them.  The uptake on certain fruit based tablet devices at the board level is not because they are the ultimate productivety tool, it's because they look and feel cool.  Microsoft is on the money with this change, now they just need to get the ecosystem cooking and the XNA three screens development really needs to be demonstrated more.

  • Skype (apparently Windows Phone 7 lacks sockets support?), custom ring tones and Lync integration.

  • dkb1898
    167 Posts

    @gadgetebz - I agree 100%. Frankly it's embarrassed, and I'm embarrassed that I suggested this phone to friends when I first got it. Because there are no answers for them on the many missing little refinements that even $200 feature phones have. Since I bought this device it's been nothing but disappointing from a communication and information standpoint. The promise of the OS was great, but there is no information on any refinements outside of some of the bigger features. Don't get me wrong, I like my phone a lot, but my 90% satisfaction has dwindled after the first month to around 50%, and will continue to go down if this first update only addresses the 3 things we were told it would address.

  • I have been using Windows mobile for several years (which I've been happy with) and my current phone is coming to the end of its life.  I have also been a long time Verizon user and have no intention to going to a lesser service provider.  I'm also a big fan and own of a Zune HD.. I hope they get a Verizon phone out by April or they will be losing a long time user to Android.

  • sea4
    1 Posts

    What about the Zune? it should be in the list of your assets... unless like someone else mention, you are planning to kill the brand. this would be unfortunate as I believe, like the wp7, you can look as mass market and greater market share in a serious way. if there is a great focus to capture the mindshare of persons, this too will be a great success. you have spent time developing the zune ecosystem, now it the time to tell the world about it greatness!! please! sugestion: there should be a zune blog in the lists of microsoft blogs. Long live Zune!!!

  • gadgetebz
    19 Posts

    I have had my windows 7 device since say one in October. Before that I have had windows mobile 6 phones...

    I am enjoying the APPS especially but would love to see some old favorites like TOMTOM and SKYPE in the near future. I love the homescreen which reflects me with my photos and pinned websites music etc... But even this could be improved for example maybe using profiles to change the layout for work and personal life etc..

    I am actually surprised  that 93% of windows phone7 customers are DELIGHTED with their phones. I use an Omnia 7 and would describe myself as fairly happy with the experience but frustrated by the missing features. On balance its definitely more enjoyable than using my previous HTC Blackstone. It still crashes and hangs sometimes but much less than windows 6.5.

    Really pleased with the announcements related to SKY DRIVE, COPY and PASTE and MULTITASKING and the Kinect thing was Cool which will definitely get people`s attention. But there is still much to do before I would describe myself as delighted!!

    MEMORY - PLEASE PLEASE SORT THIS OUT!!! My OMNIA 7 is Crippled with 8 GIG who`s idea was it to set the minimum and 8 GIG... ultimately this will hurt the APP STORE because my device is almost FULL so less purchases.  I must decide what to remove Music or Photos etc... to add more APPS.. Please Please make 16GIG the minimum storage allowed and or make the SD CARD solution used in the FOCUS the norm so all devices have a secure UPGRADE path???

    THE CLOUD - Can`t use half my APPS or ACCESS MUSIC or PHOTOS stored on the WEB when I have no 3G connection. This becomes 10x worse when you have only an 8 GIG phone filled with APPS as I need to free space by leaving my Music on ZUNE and Photos on SKYDRIVE. Because of this device is useless when I am at work as 3G connection is almost zero. Encourage developers to have a strategy for their APPS where possible to allow for lack of internet connectivity at times. Also allow Windows phone APPS to connect to the Internet via the USB cable connected to a PC plz??  

    Like other people have said the camera thing annoys me especially when Microsoft makes such a  big deal about it. The thing is I never remember what the default settings are !!! so just let me decide how I want to set the camera up.Currently this is not a great experience for me !!

    Live Messenger - what is the deal here ??  Do you know how annoying it is to see IOS and Android with a better MESSENGER APP than WP7 and what`s more these APPS are made by Microsoft!!  At least Google has the good sense to keep the best version of their APPS for their OWN "OS"....  I hope you stop this practice.

    Notifications - Please let users decide what notifications are automatically displayed. To have a private incoming SMS displayed in full view of the person sitting next to me can be potentially embarrassing. This even happens on the lock screen - CRAZY!!! On other OS`s you can switch this feature off why not Windows Phone???  So yes I want to see live Football Scores pop up in full view...  BUT....messages from my NEW Girlfriend should remain private!!   hope this makes sense....

    Email - Currently my Windows Phone does not support - Global Address Book (GAL) so now I cannot look up colleagues phones number unless I carry my OLD HTC Windows 6.5 phone. My company like many companies use Exchange 2003 - I know its old but the Iphone guys can do the lookup why can`t I with my MICROSOFT PHONE??

    Front Facing Camera - Please put this in the default SPEC as will 100% sell devices. My female colleague recently purchased an Iphone over a WP7 just because it had a front facing Camera. She actually preferred my Omnia 7 in nearly every way over the Iphone, The METRO UI looks really personal...  However when someone showed her the front facing camera on the Iphone she was sold. She said she can now take great easy portraits photos for FACEBOOK nothing to do with video calling or Facetime. Please don`t leave this for the OEMS to decide!!! Also WHY NO LIVE MESSENGER with VIDEO as a NATIVE APP surely that`s obvious?

    At least tell us when it`s coming and if it`s not planned I am truly truly worried about the decisions being made..

    Please Please Remember Early Adopters are as important as Adverts on TV.............  I show Everyone my Windows Phone 7 family, colleagues, friends even on occasion random people I meet in a Party...   More openness about BUG FIXES and New upcoming  Features is 100% the right thing. We can then tell people the missing feature is coming in 3 months or 6 months etc...

    I look forward to being delighted with my Windows Phone sometime after the Late 2011 update!!

  • dshunk
    1 Posts

    I have been using Windows phones for a few years and have been happy with them for the most part.   I have also had the opportunity to use the Android platform.  I recently picked up my Win 7 mobile phone about a week ago and for the most part I find it to be an easy to use powerful tool.  I would suggest that you use Bing to integrate the complete web search call and navagate experience into one place and do not force customers over to third party applications.  One feature that I thought was very useful on IOS and Android  were the applications that allow a complete and easy search find and call or navagate to location.  This is a smart phone and it should allow us to quickly locate a business call and navagate to it.  Turn by Turn voice guided directions should be included as an integrated part of the user experience and not cobbled on as a third party application.

  • Artur
    3 Posts

    ScubaDog2008: regarding the behaviour of the Back and Search buttons, i confirm that a developer can override the behaviour of the Back button so that it won't automatically leave the app/game, showing instead a context menu. But there is currently no way to override the Search button! If this was possible, and i in my opinion it should be, it could be very handy to implement search in a application specific context or, in the case of games, to prevent the automatic tombstone when someone accidentally presses it. This way, if someone wanted to use Bing, they could press start to leave the app/game and then press the search button to go to Bing.

  • ScubaDog
    141 Posts

    Nater said "Still no Windows Live Messenger coming?  I may have to send this phone back yet.

    I don't see Microsoft competing with Android and iOS in the US if they support iOS better than WP7 and ignore "expected" features like first party IM Clients, Turn by Turn Navigation (which even Windows Mobile 6.5 users have in Bing), Copy and Paste, Multiple Calendars.

    Also, adding contacts in Windows Live with an IM address filled in creates duplicates contacts in both Windows Live and on your Windows Phone.  You get one Address Book contact and one Messenger Contact Duplicate that's just their email address.

    Fix this, now.  It's inexcusable to have your contact list bloated to high heavens because the Windows Live team is retarded."

    Nater, why do you have to be so bratty about it?  I mean, really, you come in here--like a lot of people on other forums, I might add--INSISTING on this feature or that and insult the company.  It's fine to be disappointed or frustrated, we all get that.  But you complained about at least one feature that is about to be added into the OS next month. Surely, you already knew that.  Also, what exactly makes you think everyone is desperate for the features you seem to believe are 'critical'?  For example, in my opinion, Messenger is old and tired.  Facebook, Twitter and SMS cover all the instant comm that I need.  I got rid of Messenger from my desktop a couple of years ago because all my friends stopped using it in favor of Facebook, etc.  TbyT nav is also coming at some point, though I don't understand the demand for it---do you really need a nanny to tell you how to get somewhere?  I can follow a map easily.  Finally, multiple calendars.  I never understood why anyone would have multiple calendars.  I integrate all my calendars to the one specifically because if I need to be somewhere I don't want to be flipping through different places to figure that out.  All of my appointments are on one calendar.  Oh, and what's the complaint about the "bloated" Contact list?  Do you not know how to manage your own data?  Some of us keep our lives--and our information--more neat and tidy, apparently.

    I've said all this to make the point that not everyone considers certain features as important, so it's simply "inexcusable" that you insist otherwise, make demands and insult.  If you're dissatisfied with the platform, please move to an Android device and the rest of us can get back to a more peaceful existence.

  • Nater
    147 Posts

    Still no Windows Live Messenger coming?  I may have to send this phone back yet.

    I don't see Microsoft competing with Android and iOS in the US if they support iOS better than WP7 and ignore "expected" features like first party IM Clients, Turn by Turn Navigation (which even Windows Mobile 6.5 users have in Bing), Copy and Paste, Multiple Calendars.

    Also, adding contacts in Windows Live with an IM address filled in creates duplicates contacts in both Windows Live and on your Windows Phone.  You get one Address Book contact and one Messenger Contact Duplicate that's just their email address.

    Fix this, now.  It's inexcusable to have your contact list bloated to high heavens because the Windows Live team is retarded.

  • ScubaDog
    141 Posts

    WSantosF:  I disagree with suggestion that the back and search buttons should be physical buttons.  I much perfer them in their current state.  It wouldn't be a deal breaker if future devices went to physical buttons, but I've already adapted to this design choice and it almost never becomes an issue for me now.  I like the MUCH cleaner surface.

  • ScubaDog
    141 Posts

    Arthur, while at times I've run across the back button/search button issue as well, it's gets more rare as i develop a holding/use style.  The reason why your idea of having a mappable capability to those buttons is because of how they will now be used in the Task Switcher function.  To some degree, as I've observed in SOME games, that back button appears to be somewhat mappable in that it's used to pause the game to move to the menu of the game.  So, it seems to me that using that function to prevent an all-out loss of game progress is the best compromise when it comes to developing apps.  In fact, I wouldn't be adverse to having developers adopt that as a convention for the use of said buttons.

  • wsantosf
    10 Posts

    One more annoying setting: the camera shutter noise. I understand some countries require that by law. I don't believe that's the case in the US, but it makes it impossible to use the phone in a quit setting, like a museum. Unless there's a legal reason, there should be a setting for this too.

    And the back/home/search buttons should be physical - it's too easy to brush on them in my Focus, especially since they're not backlit.

  • Artur
    3 Posts

    Hello,

    As a developer myself, thank you for this input. I have a couple of sugestions for further refinement:

    a) Regarding the default camera settings, my opinion is that WP7 should have an option to not reset the settings every time the camera app is started. There are lots of scenarios that would benefit from this and it will make people irritated if they want, for example, to always turn sepia on or flash off in a particular situation. One way to do this is implementing saveable camera profiles. It would rock this way.

    b) I have another issue that you should consider. I own a Samsung Omnia 7 and, as you know, the Back and Search buttons are not real buttons, they just track the touch. Well, I and all (i stress the word 'all') of the friends that tried to use the phone, one way or another, accidently swiped the fingers over these buttons causing the current application to tombstone or quit. This is very very annoying particularly in action games (like Fruit Ninja or Rocket Riot), where, in a tense game situation, i saw it happening to all my friends and they all got annoyed by this. I think Microsoft should really consider a way to minimize these situations. For example, the Search button could be available to the app/game, so the app/game would do whatever it wishes with this input, just like what happens with the Back button. Or, when in a game, the Search and Back buttons would only be "activated" by a long press. I stress that this issue was the only thing that people complained while they tried the phone, all the rest was "wow, very nice, beautiful, etc, etc".

  • It's good to find some info on the update but the one glaring omission for me isn't camera settings, not even copy/paste.

    It's visual voicemail.

    After two years of iPhone I love the change to WP7, but the worst thing is to press the voicemail button, hit #, dial my entire number, hit #, dial a passcode, then get my messages in sequential order.  It's absurd for any smartphone to lack VVM.

    I love the Zune integration, as well as the UI but the lack of communication to users and the long delays between updates makes it hard for me to recommend this phone to friends and coworkers.

  • Cizzy
    4 Posts

    Just wanna throw out there that I am super excited for whats coming for Windows Phone. All great stuff. Would love to see intergration with Windows Live Messenger for Xbox Kinect video chats and such. Also wanna just throw this out there Zune was a major selling point for me and Windows Phone. I really hope that Microsoft isn't rebranding or even worse getting rid of Zune. It is a solid service that I feel is just now getting a lot of mainstream support (Xbox, Windows Phone, ::fingers crossed:: Mac and iOS Support). Great job guys, you have a lot to be proud of.

  • GBK
    38 Posts

    ScoobaDog2008 .. I don't believe I've made any demands.  I simply asked if there was going to be any movement on the Bing Maps front. I do not believe we need to put the full force of Nokia services behind this app to get it competitive.. (long term yes ) short term we already know it can be better. It's been done  for the other system..  I do believe this is a comment area that allow posting of both affirmations of the plans and concerns about items not mentioned?

  • adityak
    6 Posts

    @ Brian Seitz, The next time "team' decides to make design decisions like the camera settings application that are way out of the solar system add a toggle switch to let "User" decide if they want that insane feature.

    And what is the deal with the icon bar (signal, battery, wifi...etc) on the homepage. It is so annoying to hide it by default. I don't know until it tells me that I am critically low on battery juice. Again the same... throw in a toggle switch for such insane "features"

  • AwayBBL
    1 Posts

    While we are on the topic of camera. Microsoft needs to give full access to developers so they can read the cameras video frames to enable rich applications such as augmented reality and barcode scanning. Even Microsoft own Microsoft Tag application works hundreds of times better on iPhone and Android, as opposed to the click-to-scan version on wp7.

  • For the camera issue, just allow us to set default settings in the settings dialog. Add a Camera section there.

  • dkb1898
    167 Posts

    Please WP7 Team, start up a WP7 Engineering Blog...I think you will have amazing results if you do that.

  • ScubaDog
    141 Posts

    To Nesher & JRYoung86: The camera issue has been discussed exhaustively on the Backstage and other forums and we finally got the answer revealed during the Mobile World Congress.  The THOUGHT from M$ was that there are so many settings you can change, specifically the specialty items like Sepia or B&W, that when a user is just trying to make a quick snapshot they would never have to guess what their last settings were because it always default to what we're stuck with today.  In other words, M$ didn't really talk to consumers, but rather proceeded under their own assumptions of what the "customer experience" should be.  The fact is that almost all of us configure our digital cameras with our preferred settings with the expectation that if we needed to take quick snapshots the cameras would already be at OUR preferred "defaults".  What M$ truly missed here (besides the Voice Of the Customer) was a simple solution to the problem they invented.  Have USER PREFERENCE settings.  The user would go into the Settings, configure all the items as they would normally want to have them IF they were trying to execute that quick snapshot.  Any other settings you make during normal camera use would disappear just like ALL the settings do now.  So, if I set Saturation to Max, Anti-shake to On, Sharpness to High and saved those as my User Preference, when I pressed the camera button from a locked state these are the settings that would come up.  If I decided, while I had the camera active to switch to Sepia, I could take all the pictures I want in Sepia mode and when I exit the camera mode the settings would revert to my User Preference.  Very simple, really.  And it didn't take a brain surgeon to come up with this solution.  Which is why I'm convinced the truth is that M$ didn't want to bother with doing anything else with the camera function and either got lazy or ran out of time before the Nov 2010 launch.  I do not believe for a second that, contrary to their line, that this is a "feature".  We have long joked around the desktop platform that M$ never has bugs....they have "features".

  • With regard to the Camera Issue (which I too find very annoying) I can respect the fact that the WP7 team was trying to inovate around a situation but if thats the case then shouldn't the Anti-Shake option be defaulted to ON as most people would want this option on most of the time? I hope that they will give me the options to just save my optomized settings sometime in the future.

  • nesher
    7 Posts

    I'm asking myself, why camera always loads default settings if there is an option "load default settings" in camera settings? Second question: The phone is off, I want to make quickly foto. I don't need to enter my code, just press long on camera button and it starts the camera. Greate feature! But wait... First I have to set my own settings, because camera was started with default settings.... It's a pity... the picture away...

    Great camera feature WP7 Team!!! Thanks :(

  • @ScubaDog2008 - totally agree with you that the variety of fiefdoms and brand names within Microsoft is confusing to the customer and probably damaging to their bottom line. Some focus would not go amiss. However, my point was that, outside of the US, the Zune brand is either not available (via its instantiation in music devices) or being damaged by the customer experiences when using the devices that do have the brand.

    To some of us outside the US, Zune is in danger of taking on the negative mantle that was last sported by Windows Vista.

    Name recognition is powerful - it's just that it cuts both ways.

  • ScubaDog
    141 Posts

    To Geoff Coupe:  While I'm aware of the issues you are referring to, you may be missing part of my point.  Zune is MORE than just a website.  It's the player in WP7 and it is a hardware device (upon which part of WP7 is designed, incidentally).  I am fully onboard with creating a solid and ubiquitous "ecosystem", as M$ and other are now calling it <ahem>, as long as it still allows each "organism" in the ecosystem to maintain a certain degree of independence (because, the FACT is that our tether to the web is still quite tenuous and untrustworthy, globally).  So, given that, I'm not concerned for the ultimately goal.  But I AM taking issue with bouncing from name to name, just as name recognition is building headway.  M$ already has a ridiculous number of little "thiefdoms" in Azure, Dropbox, SkyDrive, Mesh, Hotmail, Live and, yes, Zune.  And NONE of it seems the heir-apparent for being the core of an integrated Cloud solution, not even Live.  I think there IS value in maintaining a certain degree of "identity" of certain organisms within the ecosystem, and I think it's a mistake to kill Zune off out of a misguided attempt to create a "cloud-in-name-only"....which is what we have now (and will for the foreseeable future).

  • @Scubadog2008 and @filipich - Zune may have a "solid reputation" in the US, but in the rest of the world that is far from the case.

    Microsoft has chosen to use the Zune infrastructure to deliver apps and other content to WP7 users, but that's a decision that is currently backfiring on them. In many countries, the Zune experience is either non-existent, or a pale shadow of what US users enjoy. In many countries, even though the phones are available and supported by carriers, customers cannot buy apps for their phones via Zune.

    Add to that the fact that the design of the current back-end infrastructure of Zune prevents users from ever changing their country of residence or even being able to delete their Zune account and start afresh, and you may begin to get some sense of the dissatisfaction that many non-US WP7 customers are feeling.

    Microsoft needs to get a global infrastructure in place to support their WP7 ecosystem as quickly  as possible. Zune is currently just not it.

  • I would also like to see the Camera app save the settings. :)

  • +1,000 On camera settings!!!!!  

    Every time I "quickly" want to take a picture or video I have to change the exact same 2-4 settings I always change.  That is VERY, VERY, VERY annoying!

  • What's going on with Zune? I tell my circle of friends and colleagues that Zune kicks iTunes in the (in Jim Rome's words) arse!!! Re-branding is what I am reading. What the hell?

  • wp7Dave
    36 Posts

    +1 for allowing camera settings to be saved.

    I agree with vanmardigan and csmikle. The "feature" that resets my camera settings is ANNOYING! The camera setting that I use the most on my Samsung Focus is the  anti-shake setting. Having to turn that on everytime I open the camera before I take a pic frustrates me. Instead of being able to point-and-shoot like the commercial, I end up turning the camera on, going to settings, setting anti-shake to on and then taking my pic. Hopefully I haven't lost the shot by then. The point-and-shoot camera that my camera essentially replaces allows me to save my settings.

    Maybe the OEMs added settings like anti-shake and have them disabled by default, which was an oversight. However, we should have flexibility in the software settings to overcome this oversight. The phone already has a "reset to default" feature in case you really screw things up.

    One way to mitigate this is to set your camera settings and lock your phone. Then unlock your phone to take a pic. This works if you are say on vacation and taking a number of pictures in a short time without doing anything else with the phone.

  • ScubaDog
    141 Posts

    To GBK:  You've evidently not been paying attention to the Mobile World Congress or other interviews surrounding the partnership with Nokia & Naviteq.  I can almost guarantee you won't see any movement on the Bing maps front until the partnership fruits are realized.  Naviteq is by far one of the top companies in that nav/mapping arena and once you see their technology integrated with Bing you'll settle for nothing less.  Just be patient (yes, I know, something that Microsoft has been testing in ALL of us since WP7 launched).  Resist the urge to demand something right now "or else", as so many seem to do these days.

  • GBK
    38 Posts

    Are there any plans/info on the updates to Bing Maps.. to bring it inline (preferably ahead) of where the app is on iOS devices right now?  There was little/none mention of that anywhere and I'd hate to think I'd have to wait for Windows Phone 8/Nokia critical mass to get turn by turn navigation and improvements to the current app.

  • +1 for saving the camera settings. Your research is wrong. Every camera I own retains the last used settings.

  • ScubaDog
    141 Posts

    Brian & Co.,

    You might share with the developers that MOST of us who own a regular digital camera normally configure them with OUR perferences and leave them there.  My camera has all manner of special features, much more than on the Samsung Focus, and it's my bad if I happen to leave Sepia set or something like that.  I'd rather have to only change one setting than eight or ten.  I never, EVER shoot at low res.  I never, EVER shoot without full saturation or sharpness.  I rarely shoot without that anti-shake feature off.  So, for me, there is no such thing as "pulling the device out for a quick shot".  Never.  The philosophy behind not being able to save the settings flies in the face of how people use there regular cameras.  The marketing folks dropped the ball when they didn't actually get the VOC (Voice Of the Customer).  Now, I'm really, really pleased with WP7 overall and having seen the demos from MWC on upcoming upgrades/fixes, I'm even more excited.  However, I'm also perplexed--along with many others--why the word "Zune" is almost not mentioned at all in context of the future of WP7.  Are they looking at a name change or meme evolution?  I'd warn you that name recognition is key, and Zune has built a pretty solid reputation.....be extremely careful jacking with that.

  • It's good to finally see a concrete time line for updates, but what I miss most is for WP7 to be officially launched in my local area (Norway) so I can get full access to the Marketplace and other relevant services. Today my HTC 7 Trophy mobile is set up using a US Live-ID.

    Microsoft, when can we expect a local launch for Norway and the other Scandinavian countries??

  • dkb1898
    167 Posts

    I truly appreciate you all being upfront about major new features that are coming down the pipe. That said like others are saying there needs to be more information. IEBlog, and the Engineering Windows 7 are great examples of how communication should work between the community and Microsoft. Mr. Sinofsky has the righ approach by communicating technical details and decisions to the enthusiast base, whether or not all agree with it. While I think WP7 is the most innovative, and easy to use platform out there I can no longer suggest it to friends and family. I just have no information on little things that will matter to them (sending video over texts or email), drive them nuts (Camera app), or prevent them from doing their job (ability for more advanced Exchange features, etc...), get their emails over from Outlook without an advanced user (me) helping them out.

    Again please start following the example of the Engineering Windows 7, and IEBlog postings and you will find a lot of positive feedback from the enthusiast and developer community. The Camera app issue could have EASILY been a post in June of 2010 in which you would have gotten great feedback from the community that not saving settings would be a bad idea, even seen as a bug. Little things matter because it shows the engineering work is being done,  the big things are nice surprises.

    Frankly the current approach gives me little confidence that Windows Phone is being refined, and today was the breaking point. All the big stuff, while nice, tells me nothing about when and if all the little missing details will be filled in. Would you recommend something to someone if you had no clue if little features available on every other phone on the market were coming to that product? Sending video over texts, camera app, etc, etc, etc...

  • timscud
    1 Posts

    @Alimaggs...we haven’t forgotten about Zune.  Cools stuff coming...

  • khanzor
    1 Posts

    I couldn't agree with @vanmardigan more. Please let us know what is happening. Slipping schedules are fine, I don't care, but enthusiasts should be informed about these things. Why isn't there something up telling us what will be coming, even if it is dropped or causes the RTM of patches to slip?

    The twitter account for @windowsphone is just some sycophantic retweeter of positive comments. Where is the actual information?

  • TDA
    8 Posts

    I completely agree with vanmardigan. You guys need to talk more and be more open (at least to us enthusiasts). We're not afraid of information! You're not doing yourself a favor with all the secrecy. It only creates rumors and rumblings and frustration. The last Zune software client update is a perfect example for that. It just came out, no change log was available (please add that to the software client! Look at MetroTwit for design references ;)), the Zune support on Twitter had absolutely no idea what it is about and so the rumors and speculation started, until Matt finally said something on the podcasts (and everybody was down again, because it wasn't about the WP7 update). When the info was public, the Zune support on Twitter still had no idea. Where else should we ask about this? On Facebook? There's no "askwindowsphone@microsoft.com" as far as I can tell. I know that Matt and Brian (and Jessica on the Zune side) are doing a GREAT job at listening and actually answering some of the question, but three people can only do so much. Again, please be more open in the future and let us know about some of the upcoming things or delays. I know it's hard to do, because you don't want to promise too much, but letting us in the dark won't help either. You would make a great start at this, if you could give us a detailed change log (especially on the bug fixes) for the first WP7 update on launch. Or do you want us to guess and speculate again? ;)

    Also, +1 for fixed camera settings or at least different user created presets.

  • Sheeds
    205 Posts

    Nice Blog Update.  Bit of momentum for WP7 is a good thing.  I echo csmikle's comments above.  Just allow a slot for USER adjusted default settings - or amend the default camera setting to anti-shake on, and the default video setting to 720p record.  These would have to be the main two changes 98% of people make and hate having to repeat.  Of course, the back button resumes the camre with your previously changed settings - but you need a load user defined default!

  • finarne
    3 Posts

    My *only* gripe is having to go through and change the camera settings to *my* default settings each and every time I want to take a photo. As others have said, please please please allow us to save *our* default settings so that when on the spur of the moment we pull out the phone and press the camera button it will take photos using our settings. I have a Samsung Focus and the default is to have anti shaking off, wide dynamic range off and sharpness at medium, I change each of these settings *every* time I take a photo and I must admit it's becoming a chore (not to mention the fact that I've lost the opportinity to get some photos of the kids 'cause I've been fiddling with the settings).

  • csmikle
    14 Posts

    Given how many services you can plug in to Windows Live (though you can only plug in your own, not very useful) I assumed that WP7 was going to have an API for the People Hub so that any service could be developed to show up there. That way Twitter or MySpace could code their own way into the hub. We could add blog RSS to certain contacts. Is there no roadmap for extensibility? I hope there is. Providing nothing but some history items in the Music+Video hubs does not fulfill the promise of WP7.

    While I'm on the topic of wishes: I don't see why the Me Live Tile can show the text of status updates but Messaging and Email won't show me text (the WM6.5 homescreen beats WP7 for glance and go). Marketplace could be blinking new items, Phone could be blinking numbers, there could be a whole lot more Live Tiling going on, battery drain or not.

  • I have given win mobile plenty of chances. Ce, 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5... just can't take it anymore

    -- sent from my droid X  :-)

  • csmikle
    14 Posts

    Regarding the camera settings: Defaults made sense as you pointed out, since I don't want to shoot a photo and then realize I left it in sepia last time, or no-flash when I need flash now. However OEMs decided to give us settings like anti-shaking and leave them off by default, meaning we have to turn it on every single time (since we obviously want that). 720p recording also makes people feel like this.

    The solution seems simple to me... Allow the user to save their own defaults, and revert to that every time we open the app (like you have now). No-one would ever complain again (Hey, maybe I like all my photos sepia)

  • And also an advice, what about other payment methods? Microsoft Points? Paypal? I don't have a credit card :(

  • HuwJ
    14 Posts

    Whilst all the additional bells and whistles will, no doubt, get the gadget blog teenagers tiresomely excited, I am getting increasingly frustrated by the lack of attention to deploying this fabled 'ecosystem' to non-US users. A matrix of what's actually available is here: andrewtechhelp.com/.../115-windows-phone-7-feature-availability-matrix - and it makes for a rather depressing experience.

    I find it genuinely astonishing and rather depressing that Kinect integration is considered important enough for Ballmer to mention at WMC, but international ecosystem rollout isn't.

    Sorry - I'm just not on board with this platform yet and I will not be as long as MS fail to consider how to get all the functionality to all the users - wherever they happen to live.

  • Please consider Windows Live Messenger. Twitter is nice, but WLM with Video chat would be really cool!!!

  • Dave S
    1 Posts

    Similar to one of the other posters, I've migrated from an iPAQ to a Moto Q to an HTC Imagio.  Come July I'm not sure i will stay with Windows and will look seriously at the alternatives.  I'd like to see Activesync or its successor made more robust, more reliable, more visual and easier to fix.  I want lots of apps, dual core, Pandora.  Most of all I want support and good feedback for any issues that pop up.    Since Microsoft has lost momentum, they need to do more than merely catch up, they need to reach beyond.  For starters, subsidize app develops for popular app..  Include them on the new phone

  • anything that fixes the unified volume controls and the Missing calendar functionalities yet ?

  • Mark
    6 Posts

    Brian.. you guys need something like Dell's IdeaStorm for feedback/suggestions.   I have tried to provide detailed feedback on the create.msdn.com fourms but it doesn't seem to go anywhere and not a well organized place for suggestions.   I love my WP7 but I also want it to replace my work phone/functionality.. so things like Remote Desktop are high priority and VPN support since a lot of web pages are behind VPN.  There are also a lot of great ideas like No GeoTag locations where your camera wouldn't geotag your photos if near one of those set locations (IE: your home).

    I think there is a lot to learn from the huge developer community and the way that the fourms are organized is not a good way to provide feedback/ideas... a better system like IdeaStorm(.com) would be good.. hell integrate it into the WP7 platform. Be the platform that truly listens to the community and is responsive to that.

  • Overall I like the phone & OS -- I've been a Windows Mobile user going back 5+ years to the Pocket PC days.  My biggest issue that I haven't seen addressed anywhere is the lack of ability to sync with desktop applications.  I've also been a longtime user of SplashID (password manager) and that's the big thing lacking in the OS for me at this point.

  • I've been a loyal windows mobile device customer since 04, when I invested $600 and change in a HP IPAQ PDA that did not function a s a phone. I did so because I wanted a device that I could use like a PC without carrying around a notebook computer.  I eventually switched to Windows powered phones. Windows phones were buggy, but I didn't want to switch to another smartphone platform because the ability to create Word and Excel Docs was a killer app for me. Blackberries until very recently allowed Office doc viewing and editing, but did not permit creation.

    I was looking forward to the Windows phone release, which I figured would include everything I liked about previous Windows Mobile operating systems, in a cooler package, with a better web surfing experience.

    My current phone, a Windows 6 powered HTC Fuze, hasn't held a charge for more than a few minutes for months, but I delayed buying a new phone until the WP7 release. I delayed my purchase at launch because the LG Quantum, the only Keyboard Windows 7 phone my carrier At & T sold was not yet available. I was annoyed that so few of the WP7 devices had keyboards, since I used my phone like a PC and there's no computer like experience without a keyboard.

    Before I had the chance to buy a Windows 7 phone I discovered the pasting exclusion. Although the inexplicable absence of copy/cut paste was known for more than 6 months, the average consumer and even some of the fairly tech savvy such as myself were unaware of a feature that we took for granted's omission. Not being able to paste is deal killer for me and I am still extremely angry about the decision to exclude a function that was in every other mobile windows version and all other smartphone operating systems.

    I called, emailed, Facebooked, and Tweeted my complaints to individual Microsoft personnel, including developers, and general Microsoft contact points. The fabricated company line was that according your research pasting wasn't important to users.  Really? Who were in your focus groups? 12 year old Xbox users? Certainly no one who used mobile office apps, which are rendered useless without pasting. Ever try using Word or Excel on a PC without pasting?

    I was told the update adding pasting would be implemented in the beginning of 2011. I was unaware Documents to Go now has an app that allows Word and Excel doc creation on Blackberries and Androids, so I felt I had no choice but to delay purchasing a new phone and waiting for the update. I continued to complain, hoping that steady unwavering user whining might accelerate its implementation.

    January came and went, yet there was no update. Then the Feb 7 rumors floated around and although I was skeptical about their truth, I hoped for the best. Unfortunately, as I expected, the update failed to materialize, despite its availability to developers.  Microsoft then began spreading rumors that the carriers and manufacturers were responsible for the delay. That would have been a plausible explanation if the update was to be pre-loaded on the phones, but since we are forced to download Zune software to update, carrier and manufacturer participation isn't relevant.

    Now you say the update will happen in March. How do I know that March won't turn to April and April to June and June to September? Your track record hasn't been very good concerning this update.

    Now that Word and Excel document creation is available for Blackberries and Androids, I am no longer at the Window's Operating system's mercy. I need a new phone badly and won't buy a device that doesn't allow pasting. My phone won't hold its charge for more than 5 minutes and I have been delaying business meetings because of it. Yesterday, I was in a bar when my stepmother called to say my father was in the hospital. I couldn't find out details because my phone died after only a couple of minutes of use. I must replace my phone ASAP!

    If you want to keep me as customer, please allow me to download a beta version of at least the pasting function until the full update is implemented. If not, I'm probably going to buy an Android and purchase the software that allows Word and Excel doc creation.

  • Thank you for the response, Brian. It really means a lot to the users when you guys communicate with us, even if we don't like the response, it is infinitely better than being left in limbo. You guys have done a fantastic job building a potentially revolutionary OS, but you have to keep listening to users, and not just listening, but actively responding as you have done. Thanks again. :)

  • I note that Microsoft Presspass quotes you today as saying:

    "...the phone is now available from 60 mobile operators in 30 countries around the world" ... "As phone availability and sales grow, so too does the app marketplace – there are now more than 8,000 apps in the marketplace and 28,000 registered developers".

    However, the Marketplace is only currently available in 16 of those countries. People buying phones in other countries (where the phones are available, and supported by carriers) such as India or Sweden are finding that they can't get any applications because the Marketplace is not available to them. That does not make for customer satisfaction, and is probably damaging future sales in those countries.

  • techSage
    23 Posts

    The point about Enterprise deployment support is valid and one that I know Microsoft is going to address in due time, but I think it has been important that they make a phone that PEOPLE want to use first and then add support for businesses that feel pressure from an overwhelming majority of users that want Windows Phone 7 once it has been well-established as a consumer must-have gadget.  Well-played if you think about it.  Just means patience on the part of those that can already see that it is the best choice.

  • The only feature I've missed in the calendar and contacts applications is not having access to attachments in appointments.  I actually do access multiple calendars without issues, including multiple Live calendars, although a different id is used to access each calendar so they are created as separate accounts.

  • Nice to hear the upcoming changes. Will there be also better calendar and contact funtionality in 2/2011? Actually many people are missing fields from Microsoft Exchange and the ability to open multiple calendars from one source. Without that, no one of my colleagues and friends will move to Windows Phone.

  • I'm a little disappointed that I did not see anything about enterprise application distribution or Lync integration with WP7.  Converting WM6.5 users is kind of held up by not having these two features.

  • thanks for the feedback vanmardigan. regarding the camera settings: it was a decision by  the team thinking that if you pulled the phone out to take a quick pic, it would be better to know it was always in a default setting rather than having to remember what the settings were the last time you took a picture, so shooting for predictability. That said, feedback from folks like you has the team seriously looking at that option to see if there is a more optimal option. thanks again..

  • Alimaggs
    22 Posts

    All good stuff.  Love what's coming down the pipe.

    No mention of Zune though? Should we be reading something into that? Really hope not... Having had a Zune pass for just a few months (since the UK roll out), I love having the service across all my devices...  It's actually one of my favourite features of the phone.

    Anyway, good work, loving where all this is going, both as a consumer and developer,

    Also, Windows Live Messenger on the phone? Please!

  • All this talk of acceleration just highlights how SLOW everything has been moving. Aside from the app market (which has stunned me with its diversity in such a short time), MS has moved slow to address users needs. 5 months to get a bugfix update (plus copy/paste) is pathetic. No clarity to the end users on when or what (for example, is the camera settings reset a "feature" or a bug?) this update will contain, in its entirety, even weeks before deployment is silly. What the heck is the point of being coy? Of not being absolutely forthcoming, especially if the update is finished?

    Systematically ignoring user concerns about Instant Messaging, YouTube, the camera app, SD cards, etc. just because you don't have a nice PR ready answer is unsatisfactory. I'm stuck with this phone for a while, but I won't recommend it or buy another WIndows Phone if all these empty promises of acceleration and commitment to users only applies to some nebulous dates in the future or wanting to appeal to folks who haven't purchased the phones yet rather than making sure those that already own it are absolutely taken care of. Not through lip service, but through information, honest communication, and REALLY listening to what we are saying and concretely responding even if you don't think we'll like the response.

    Again, I come back to the camera app. The settings reset every time I close the app. Is that a feature or a bug that will be taken care of in the update? Nobody responds through Twitter or email correspondence. If it's a feature, even if no one wants to man up and admit it (because let's face it, it would be the dumbest "feature" ever in a camera app), why not take responsibility and acknowledge it? If it's a bug, isn't it great to let the users know that it's going to get fixed? Little things are what your competitors are getting right, and what you guys are ignoring as you set your targets for what needs updating.

  • #1 priority should be getting good CDMA devices out.  Why leave half of US customers?  And then to only release phones like HTC 7 Pro (No global roaming) is not a good start.  I just want a global roaming WP7 device on Sprint.  That's all.