The Weekly Wrap: Dilbert digs us, Bing’s new app, more on turn-by-turn gaming

The Weekly Wrap: Dilbert digs us, Bing’s new app, more on turn-by-turn gaming

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Here’s a quick recap of my favorite posts of the week. Have a great weekend!

The results are in: Dilbert digs Windows Phone

imageRemember the Windows Phone 7 Challenge? To refresh: We gave a Windows Phone to CNET’s Molly Woods and Dilbert creator Scott Adams, both of whom had publically expressed disenchantment with their current smartphones. They agreed to give Windows Phone a whirl. If they didn’t like it, we’d donate $1000 to the charity of their choice. Yesterday, Adams posted his final thoughts. “The Windows interface is intuitive, simple, and has a liveliness that I find appealing,” he wrote on his blog. While the cartoonist had some quibbles with all the phones he tried (hey, nobody’s perfect), he concluded: “If you want a smartphone that is easy to use, performs well, has a good battery life, and doesn’t frustrate you, the Windows phone is the best choice of the three options I tested.” Read it here.

Bing introduces “We’re In”

Bing yesterday launched a handy new social app in the U.S. Marketplace called We’re In. The app “makes organizing get-togethers, carpooling and trying to find people in a crowd a breeze.” The app shows you where your friends are, making it easier to know when to cut the cake or order the first round. The team is working on versions for other smartphone platforms, too. Download it from Marketplace


PocketNow’s latest picks

Here’s a new app roundup from the folks over at PocketNow. Like I mentioned last week, these videos are great for those who have trouble keeping up with all the new apps that hit the Marketplace. The video covers 5 apps, dwelling on each for a mere 30 seconds. Take a gander.

Back-to-school for moms
I recently combed through Marketplace for apps to help students heading off to college. But what if you’re a parent who is planning everything for your children’s back-to-school needs? Mommy blogger Jennifer from The Dirty T-Shirt recently talked about how she uses her Windows Phone to tame the busy back-to-school season. Her selection of apps is different, and I especially like the way she uses pinning to get things done. Read it here.

And finally….

Gamers probably saw the Xbox LIVE news posted here this week: 14 new titles and some new Xbox LIVE features on the way for Windows Phone. Well, the hardworking crew over at GeekWire got curious enough about one item teased in the post—a new feature called Fast Async—to write a follow up on it. We’re not saying too much about this right now, but as you’ll see Todd Bishop did manage to wring a few more details out of us. Check out his post.

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  • WP7 is the best phone OS out there just now BUT you guys REALLY need to get your finger out, WP7 has been out for a year now, and you need to plug the software gaps. Get it working with Skydrive seamlessly, add Audiobook support update Zune to let you fully interact with the phone from the PC along the lines that Nokia's OVI suite lets you and given that WP7 is more successful in non US markets than it is in the US use your head and get things out worldwide. If the independent devs can release their apps worldwide you guys surely can too. We're living in an agile software development world today where your competitors are releasing new features to their products weekly if you want WP7 to succeed you need to be aggressive like in the Netscape / IE days and release killer features frequently. Yearly updates just won't cut it.

  • frankete
    11 Posts

    @itsTosse 100% with you. And please MS, dont let mobile operators to update phone when they want.

    Still 7008....

  • Could we please get a comment from you guys? And NOT just the normal BS about you guys are working as hard as you can and things are going forward and so on. You are just trying to tell us something "good" without actually answering our questions. We want to know WHY Apple and Google is having no problem with this, and you guys are obviosly having a LOT of problems with it. Why is that? And are you guys even considering making Bing-stuff and lots of other things available worldwide? At all? Don't you understand the importance of these things and how your actions affect your customers and even fanboys? If you guys don't give us an answer, then that is telling me that you guys actually don't what to say that would defend your cause. Or simply that you don't care. I understand that with Mango a lot changes of the current issues, but in the big picture this is worthless unless you guys HEAR US and REACT to our calls out to you.

  • Hard to hear, that all the good stuff is US ONLY!!!! We need these great apps for the rest of the world, too. Why don't you release that in Europe, too? No "Localscout", no "We're in", no full "Bing Vison" functionality and many more... Bing is still Beta in Germany, why? I would use Bing much more often, if it fully supports all the cool stuff and Windows Phone would be even more attractive to other users.

  • Here we go again.. a 'US only' app !!!

  • vincent_g
    19 Posts

    Please really consider international market. WP7 Mango has added support for more languages, now it's time to focus on bring complete features to international market as well. If not, Mango will lose momentum .. again..

  • The We're In app looks pretty cool.

  • rlintw
    13 Posts

    It's great that Dilbert likes WinPhone, and I admire Brandon's effort here with Scott Adams and Molly whats-her-face, but for future challenges perhaps there could be one simple requirement: that the "celebrity" has to at least learn how the phone works before they make their judgement. That way we can avoid future silly critcisms like Molly's about how she couldn't get SkyDrive to work.

  • I dropped my Samsung Focus and cracked the screen first day of college. :( UGH. It was only from waist height too. They wont take it and fix it either. Now I'm stuck on a two year contract with a severely damaged phone :'(

  • frankete
    11 Posts

    @itsTosse now think what more can i add to your post if OMNIA7 USERS IN SPAIN WITH TELEFONICA STILL ARE ON 7008 UPDATE. 7008????? when the hell will arrive mango???? 2015???

    MS this isn't the way......

  • I'm not happy to say so but I agree with most of the other comments when it comes to Bing. I can understand that due to licensing issues it might not be possible to provide the Zune Musicstore and Zunepass everywhere. I can understand that due to licensing some games are not available globally. I even could understand that voice recognition was not available in german spoken countries due to its current state (although it's said to be improving itself) but I can't understand why Bing time and time again has trouble with other countries.

    Bing on the Desktop is nearly useless outside the US/UK and has been so for years. And everything in Windows Phone connected to Bing has this problem. Be it Bing Maps which wouldn't let me navigate unless I told it I was from Germany so I could navigate in Austria (so the Data seems to be there), be it Bing Audio (which is not available in Austria), be it Bing Vision (which is castrated so it can't scan barcodes (except for the 2D and MS-Tag-kind) - why on earth is that - I would understand that it can't recognize book covers, etc. due to missing data), be it local search (which also brings back results if i tell the phone I'm from the US - although not too many results)).

    At last there were 2 games last week that were developed by Microsoft and I guess sponsored by the Bing team, which were released US only and to put it simply - that is just plain stupid as those games work the same in every country as they don't need any backend data.

    So please, please, pretty please send the Bing team a note that they really should work on going global because unless they start they won't ever be able to compete with Google outside the US.

  • I agree with itsTosse and abm - if you really want to succeed with WP7 then it's time to go global! The US alone won't let you win.

  • abm
    268 Posts

    Is MS still a GLOBAL SOFTWARE GAINT? Really? Apple Stores can be found in almost every European & Asian countries, while MS stores are NOT! (Even those UnDriods... they are available in every corner of the world with official distributors and they have NO concept of US ONLY stuff.) We can't get Zune, can't subscribe to any service which has regional or MS-store bindings and then, every other app being released for WP7 is US only! Besides, there are some petty games in wp7 marketplace which are released for the US citizens only... Even BING itself got limited or very little services when you change your location outside US!! To become a trend-changer, MS needs to get out of the region specific bs and consider entertaining ALL USERS around the globe at once. Meanings, BING, Zune AND WP7 team should adapt the strategy of MS WindOS, MS Office, BizTalk, Windows Live (yada yada) teams to release the product Globally all at the same time!! Similarly, the updates release should be made available all over at once.

    P.S. For the love of {anything you like}, please make MS Store, and Marketplace available in every country and get used to the idea of releasing every product at broader scale!

  • This is great news. It is. For people IN THE US!! ONCE AGAIN you are proving that everyone outside the US doesn't matter to you. I am SO worried that Microsoft don't comprehend how dangerous this situation and this way of thinking and acting is. And I am generally "_the_ biggest Microsoft fan around my area. You are actually telling us that we don't matter. You only care about the people in the US. Why? Why are you guys thinking this way? When you own "fanbys" beggins to question you, you should SERIOUSELY stop for a second and THINK about how you are choosing to do things. I just don't understand. This is so sad, so so sad. Apple is going for 600 km/h, Android for 1000 km/h and you guys are moving 2 km/h. And at the same time Apple and Google in most cases makes every app and features available everywhere. You ALWAYS prioritize the US. WHY??? It's not even the biggest market!! The US have like a little over 300 million people!! What about the other 6,6 BILLION people OUTSIDE the US? Don't you think it's a good idea to prioritize them?? It's SO sad. WP7 is such a great phone, if you would just make every feature available worldwide. I'm really looking forward to Mango and everything, but it's so annoying that even not with that update are you going to make the features available worldwide. Shure, SOME of them, like marketplace and Xbox LIVE. But what about the other features? When are we going to se them worldwide? Are we ever going to? I really, REALLY DO hope that you UNDERSTAND the importance of this. And that you FIX this in the next update. Whatever the update may be called. Tango or whatever. And NO, we CANNOT wait 6 months for you guys to fix this. In six months everyone outside the US is so sick and tired of you guys only prioritizing the US that we are selling our phones. Even your fanboys are. Because we are so disappointed in you. I really don't think you guys/Microsoft understand the consequenses of this way of thinking. You are showing us how you are thinking, how you are prioritizing and how you guys are doing things. I and can tell you, if you continue this for much longer, you can just throw you entire mobile phone department in the trash. And would be SO sad. Because WP7 has SO much potensial!! So PLEASE, HEAR US! AND CARE!!!!

  • Sheeds
    205 Posts


    Tnx for managing our expactations re: the Bing App being US only.  I agree 100% with arrow22 - are non-US markets at least owed some explanation of why it is US only and whether there are intentions for it to ever be released outside the US?


  • arrow22
    50 Posts

    Mike, I do appreciate your posts which are always enthusiastic and informative, but before you bring in more "US Only" news, could you provide a reason for the restrictions? At the very least some indication of things to come for the rest of the world?

    It's hard to understand from a consumer perspective why international WP7 users get left out while Google and Apple seem to be able to offer all their services at an international scale almost every time.

    As an aside, I am running Mango RTM and am still seeing a broken Bing Maps experience. Will this ever be addressed? The lack of explanation on US only features, or features that seem to only work in the US leaves us feeling kind of neglected! Is there any international testing?

    I wiil agree with Scott Adams however, WP7 DOES have an incredibly intuitive and beautiful interface. I am not giving up yet!

  • Entegy
    42 Posts

    You need to focus on getting out apps like We're In for regions other than the U.S. before focusing your attention on bringing it to other platforms. I know a marketing/licensing team is different from a development team, but the average consumer won't see that.