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Happy Friday! What a better way to end the week than a new episode of Windows Phone Radio? This week, we welcome Aaron Woodman from the Windows Phone product management to talk about the recent trip to Mobile World Congress, the start of the first phone update and much more. Matt speaks to game news from the Xbox event in San Francisco, and I chat up the new HTC Arrive for Sprint. Tune in, stream or download in Zune or iTunes now!
Hey guys, check these mockups:
Loved the live tiles with transparency and the background on hubs and main screen! We need those features in mango!!!
How long can you guys keep running from us? For the 100th time we are your hard core fans that are here to support you and help make your products better. Please respond with real answers, facts not just the bulls$)&# spin. Will we see the update next week or not?
5% of failures from lack of connectivity.....I don't believe that at all.
Strider, checkout the Microsoft Answers website. There's an interesting thread there that one of the WP7 moderators had introduced a few revealing bits on. While not much on what caused the original pre-update issues has been shared, more about why the current one is creating failures on some machine has be intimated. It has to do with the mode that the device is in (eg. ZUNE versus MODEM or other modes) at certain points of the update process. There is a driver and timing error cropping up. Realizing that Samsung owners can use the Diag tool to reboot the device into Zune, Modem or USB modes makes me believe that part of the update process likely involves switching the devices into a USB mode to pull and push large amounts of data "offline" from the actual operating system. Obviously, the Zune software must reference different drivers to address the device in one mode versus the other, and that if the devices don't "switch modes" correctly this could explain the timing problem resulting in an error that reads as a "incorrect driver" problem. This scenario becomes more believable when you see that SOME folks have been able to interrupt the step in the update process that mentions something about looking for a driver, and then the update continues on successfully. I would LOVE for Microsoft to share more details about the mechanics of the update process....their generic description for the uninitiated masses is quite wimpy to those of us who typically dig deeper ;)
Samsung updates seem to have resumed....Can't say I have seen any specific advice from MS or Samsung over what the issues was however.
Apparently I have not been clear in my post. My original post was directed to the WP7 team. I was commenting in response to the portion of the Windows Phone Radio program that discussed future full integration of Skydrive with WP7. My wish was to request that additional be considered before allowing full access to the entire Skydrive from Windows Phone.
So, now that Apple has announced the features being brought with iOS 4.3, I wonder if Microsoft will be making any attempt to close some more of the gap by incorporating some more things into Mango before its release at the end of the year. Apple is definitely starting to step up their "A" game.
Well, really, from your phone, your SkyDrive documents are pretty safe since you don't have a way to upload the files or edit them directly unless you access windows.live via the browser and you happen to have it storing your account and password. The only files that sync directly are photos and OneNote pages. So, until Mango comes out and full bidirectional access to the SkyDrive via the Office hub is available, your stuff is pretty safe. I'd be more concerned with the data that's actually on the phone, rather than the SkyDrive. So, yes, the option for a strong 128-bit encrypted password is much needed....I've just heard no hint that they intend to add that in the near-term.
Scubadog2008, yes I am referring to the WP7 only allowing a 4 digit passcode. I am aware many users do not have a passcode on their phone. That is their choice. All I am saying is that I would like an option for a strong passcode to protect my Skydrive documents.
TricBox, you really need to utilize more of the Window Phone websites. A lot of the most up-to-date info is available. Microsoft isn't going to allow fragmented devices, at least no more than one update's difference (carriers will only be allowed to block one update, and then the next must be allowed and it WILL be cumulative). Paul Thurrott posed an interesting hypothesis that this update had a two-fold purpose. First, to test the update process before a REAL update happened. Second, to beat carriers at their own game---if they planned to thumb their noses at the first update (which isn't really an update, per se) then they would HAVE to let the NoDo update fly. Obviously, if a carrier allowed this pre-update they COULD choose to block NoDo until Mango (or an interim update happened), but it's a fair gamble that a carrier that would let this pre-update run is not likely to block a real update. This just forces the hands of carriers to don't play nice. A smart move, in my opinion, if that was the intent. The unintended consequence (and, actually, a benefit) is that some devices failed. Which means they can fix the problem before the real update comes out. But, again, I can't stress enough to folks that, when it comes to updates, beat your carriers up FIRST. If they say, without caveat, that they are not blocking updates, THEN ping Microsoft.
To Victor Solis: the update is halted period, as far as I can tell. I've not seen any reports of other devices getting updated since the flaw cropped up. The other thing to remember is that although the root causes M$ claims to have found are PC-centric, the way Zune interfaces with each model of phone depends on a certain degree of consistency and predictable behavior. I've read that a couple of the firmware revisions were most susceptible to the problem. This tells me that when backup/update routines get to certain points they rely on specific communication and behavior from the WP7 device in order to move on....this would explain why, if the error hits at one step, it bricks the phone but, if it hits at another step it allows you to reboot the phone to it's pre-update status with no loss...but no update. It's not lost on me, however, that M$ claimed that in approx. 3 days they'd re-launch the update since the knew what the problem was. So, that means either the problem wasn't fixed or the carriers are, once again, thumbing their noses at M$ and us customers and blocking the update.
nk109, you can add phone numbers and just choose one of the other options, like Home2 or Work2. While it is a little puzzling (only a LITTLE to me) why there's not a Mobile2, you can, in fact, send text messages to any of the number you have for that contact--if that number is capable of receiving text. I've done many times (more folks use a cell phone exclusively as their "home" phone, so that's what I enter it in for their contact). I never understood why people would need to carry two cells, but then I'm a Lean/Six Sigma kinda guy. Anyway, although I have a few different email addresses, I have them ALL synced at the Windows Live account so that I only worry about ONE set of contacts. Go into your Hotmail account, on the far right choose the drop-list and select Options. You'll see the ability to send/receive from multiple accounts there----don't waste time doing it from the phone, do at Hotmail. All my addresses deliver there and all of the emails then come to my phone when it polls Live. Piece of cake.
So are the Samsung owners going to get the pre-update or not? I hope this isn't a sign of things to come. I don't want a fragmented OS like android. Hopefully they will figure this out soon and start rolling the updates.
Here's what I don't understand about the pre-update. Aaron says that MS has identified two factors that caused the updates to fail - lack of space on the hard drive of the computer running the Zune software to make a backup of the phone and a bad network connection to the Internet to download the update itself. Both of these PC related issues and should affect any Windows Phone regardless of the phone's manufacturer. Why has Microsoft halted the update for Samsung phones only?
Nice idea, more phone makers should be this open
Very interesting stuff. I am glad that the WP7 team is so devoted to this. I expect WP7 will offer amazing user experience by the end of the year but nevertheless it's worth beeing a 'pioneer' and watching WP7 grow.
Knowing that current issues will be fixed soon and features added, my concern mainly lies with the People hub. I think there could be a greater and better organization of contacts: such as allowing a single contact to have more than 1 mobile phone (currently impossible, you have to delete 1 to put the other or use a different category, which would then take away the ability to sms for instance), syncing with various email accounts without creating multiple contacts (or linked contacts - perhaps better to let the user decide whether to merge the info into 1 contact or not) and so on. In a sense, it would be comforting to have a certain degree of freedom in some operations that now happen automatically
Soonerfan, there's actually NO requirement at ALL for a passcode. Access to the files on the SkyDrive, however, is controlled by your account and password. I'm assuming you're referring to the fact that WP7 currently only ALLOWS a 4-numeric-digit password to be set for locking your phone (unlike PocketPC/Windows Mobile, which allowed full complex alphanumeric & character passwording). If that's the case, then, yes, WP7 is the weakest link in the security chain. I'll bet, though, that most users do not have any sort of password on their desktop unless they happen to be more conscious of the need (I use complex passwords over 10 characters). Judging by the typical answers that Microsoft has come out with so far as to why they chose to implement certain features (or not) the way they did, it was probably "intentional to make it convenient for users to unlock their phones quickly one-handed" or something like that. Of course, the truth is that's quite ridiculous since PocketPCs/Windows Mobile devices could have either a simple OR a complex password and be as secure as the user wanted. Good security is almost never "convenient", so most of us "get it" that we sacrifice a certain degree of comfort over securing our information. I've not seen any hints, though, that this issue is even on their radar.
Guys, Liked the podcast. There's always a lot of good info presented. But, when you were talking about Skydrive integration with the Windows Phone it got me to thinking. It seems to me that the nature of documents kept in Skydrive would required more security than a 4 digit numeric passcode. If your phone was lost or stolen the finder could access any document in your Skydrive simply by guessing your 4 digit passcode to unlock the phone. So, the Skydrive access on your phone should be able to have additional safeguards to prevent this kind of thing from happening. Thanks.
I am excited to get my first WP7 on the 20th of March but am a little disappointed that I can't buy apps on Zune before I own it. Every time that I hear about a cool app I look it up but I can't buy it. I could buy apps on iTunes before i got my iPone and it allowed me to hit the ground running. Any reason why?
MSavic13, you already have that feature a number of ways. First, email. Second, OneNote (if you have that on your desktop). Third, Mesh. I don't think you've gotten your head fully around the cloud paradigm. Stop thinking of linear connections between PC and WP7 devices (or any other device, for that matter). Think "the cloud is my nexus". More and more apps are becoming web-based, which means there is a quickly growing trend toward information generation happening elsewhere than your PC. Now, I'm old-school enough and mistrusting of Microsoft, Google, Apple and the rest regarding data warehousing enough to say I still want at least the choice of my own redundancy and independence. This, naturally, would be expressed in sync'd copies of certain files (ANY file and type I choose) on my desktop and/or WP7 device. The nature of my job affords me a pretty good ability to argue the case against complete submission to the cloud, no matter who is housing it. Having said that, though, I'm fully on board with how Microsoft (and others) are moving, which looks something like this: You can generate or alter content on any device and establish whether or not that content should be available ubiquitously. Once you determine it's exposure it's "home port" will be the cloud, so that the moment you use a device with your cloud credentials attached you can immediately access that content ANYWHERE. The Mango update is going to dramatically expand the bi-directional sync of other file types (obviously the rest of Office documents....I can't seem to get a direct answer on whether or not ALL file types can be sync'd--they absolutely SHOULD be). What this means is that you'll no longer have to "save to phone" documents that are in your SkyDrive. Right now I have Mesh installed on my PC so that ANY file I keep in the sync'd folder is automatically sync'd to a folder in my SkyDrive. I can access that folder via my WP7 browsers (I have the Metro Browser installed, too), open an Office document there and then do a "save to phone". I can also paste Office documents onto a OneNote page at my desktop and open it on my Focus and do a "save to phone". The Mango update will make most of that unnecessary..
I have been enjoying listening to you guys on the podcast since the begining. Since I will be getting my first WP7 devices here shortly ( I am on Sprint so be getting 2 of the HTC Arrive on March 20th). I was wondering if you guys could address a couple of Usage Scenarios that I think I am probably going to encounter and I don't think are unique to just me. My wife and I are getting phones on release day and we are looking to get our pre-teens phones later in the year based on our experience. I also still use my Zune HD religously. Is there any chance that the Zune Pass will get a Family Subscription any time soon. I know the XBox has these ability but I think alot of Zune Pass households have multiple users\devices and could benifit from it. Also are there any plans to implement or integrate some type of parental controls for the devices. I would like to place some basic restrictions on the kids' devices to prevent "accidental" in-app purchases. I also would like to use some basic filtering of what music\tv\videos can be downloaded with the Zune Pass. This is already implemented in a number of your existing products and we use the "Family Safety" to control alot of the "Live Services" apps (messenger, web traffic, etc...) on our windows machines already. So it would seem to me to be a natural evolution of the products to incorporate the phones. This would certainly be a leg up on other platforms that don't have the breadth of services available for integration would help fill out the current ecosystem.
Thanks for any advice you can give,
I would love for an update to have a "Send to Windows Phone" button for Office 2010. It would be awesome to have, or a quick free tool for Office that links Windows Phone 7 well. I love my phone, I wish it worked with Windows 7 more well.
Great job guys. Two questions if you don’t mind. I was one of the winners of the WP7 giveaway on how WP7 is great for families.
Thank you again for choosing my post, but I haven't heard from anyone so I was just inquiring, sorry.
Second, I'm looking for a WP7 remote desktop PC app but I’m hesitant and am not sure which one I should trust. I you can recommend one or if there is any way I can access my PC already using Microsoft product please explain how.
One more thing is there any way you can join SkyDrive and Zune software together in Zune on the PC. I believe an all in one stop would be very helpful.
Thanks again for keeping me informed.
How come my previous comments are not showing up here? I had hoped that my issues would find a resolution here. You don't even let me post them here :-(
What a shame, my previous comment could not be posted in IE9 and I had to switch to FireFox for this. And I was talking about IE9's slickness and speed in my FB post 2 days ago.
To jblobner: Don't ask Microsoft, ask AT&T. They are the ones blocking the update. If you pay attention to...well, just about any Windows Phone-centric site...you'll pick up the most carriers were, in fact, blocking the update. I've already sent nasty-grams to AT&T demanding they get off their high-horse and stop blocking updates. I bought the phone, it's not theirs, and they have no right to block updates from a consumer perspective. Stop blaming Microsoft for something that's not their fault.
Not sure if you mean with Bing or in the market place? If it’s the market place they said the nodo update in March is going to address this (but they also said in a recent podcast "marketplace search" app is doing this already). If you mean Bing i have had a pretty good experience with it so you may give more info so they can address this. As for the camera that have said in a recent podcast they said they hear the complaints about the camera settings (resetting) and that it was originally done as decision to help the end user with function. But after hearing everyone they are taking a look at this which again is something I am happy to hear as the other os don’t even care what the end users want. But for the stability issues you may want to work with the wp7 support twitter group as I am not having anything like that and I am using a uncertified memory card with my phone (I only say that b/c most of the forums that I see with this issue is because of a slow/bad memory cards…).
Don't get me wrong the phone is great, but MS needs to fix some basic functionality. I am not talking cut & paste, but basic search and camera functions and stability issues.
when its complete? how can they tell you a date when they are still working to correct it. And as for "transparency"...They told you there was a problem, what the issues were, and that they are working to correct it (ty ms as the other os dont even do that). they said the working version will be part of the update in march (nodo with copy and paste) so just be patient and let them make sure its done right and not rushed out (although as i have had multiple os samsung phones with update issues so i dont know that its a ms problem). I am also a samsung focus owner and cant wait for the "nodo" update (not for copy and paste but for improved loading in games; all through really want mango for ie9 and multi taking [really wish they would allow ppl to beta test it); but why act like that when you are complaining about an update that adds no ui enduser features? btw love my phone thx
Simple question... when is the update coming for the Focus? Where's the transparency...Microsoft?
any suggestions where to get replacement wp7 headphones? tried calling samsung, att, and search all over internet but we havent had any luck? all the ones with 3 buttons have them in the wrong order and dont work with the phone?
Liked the podcast - excited at what 2011 is bringing to WP7...However in the spirit of transparency, would have been nice to touch on the Samsung issues - or provide an update.
On a similar note - any chance you can get an update on where MS are at wrt certified WP7 expansion cards. Was hoping to use the March backup/upgrade process to also move my phone (a Focus) up to a 40GB unit!
Finally - I know I ask the hard questions - but I really love WP7 and I want it be the best it can (just check the anythingbutipod Windows Phone forums to see how much I advocate WP7!). So last question - you touched on International difficulties for delivering the WP7 services/experience....
How can it be that I have an active Amazon US account, registered to an Australian Credit Card and Delivery Address and buy various items (books, DVD's Blurays etc) and yet I cannot download the WP7 Amazon App. WTF ? Seriously, Amazon are silent on the matter - can MS please at least respond on this one? The silence of the tweets/emails is getting to me over this specific query :(