Windows Phone Radio - 40

Windows Phone Radio - 40

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Hey friends! Windows Phone Radio is on the airways! We had a brief hiatus but are back in the studio to talk about the HTC Windows Phone lineup, the recent release of the Zune Software client 4.8 along with some jibber jabber. Thank you for supporting Windows Phone Radio, have a great weekend! You can find Windows Phone Radio in the Zune Marketplace, iTunes and streaming direct here.

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  • Hey Brian,

    Been using (and loving) my HTC Arrive since the day it came out... Love the podcast, love almost everything about WP7!

    Until last week when I got authorized at my new job for a health care company, to connect my phone to the Exchange ActiveSync server.  

    And it failed.

    My employer, like many in this field, require device encryption.  WP7 apparently doesn't, though iOS and Android do.  After evangelizing about my awesome WP7, and then finding that it's not compatible with our Microsoft Exchange email system, my love for the platform has taken a serious hit.  

    Please tell me this is being addressed in an upcoming update??

  • Oh, but, @Rodney E. Jones, having a device with special game controllers is such a niche, gimmicky thing.  Seriously, staying away from niche branches like that, what would be some examples of differentiation that doesn't exist now would you think might have a decent market?  I've been looking at the ridiculous number of Android devices and you really can't say there's any differentiation.  I define differentiation as an actual feature or physical design that can't be found in competitive devices.  For example, a dual screen or three microphones or light for a FFC.  I don't count scale of an existing feature to be differentiation.  For example, one device having 8GB of memory versus one having 32GB isn't something I'd classify as differentiation, just scale.  Of course, I'll admit I'd jump at the 32GB device over the 8GB.  Having a microSD slot would be differentiation (which is why I have the Focus).  Having a higher res screen--while desireable--isn't something I'd call differentiation.  Your game controllers, of course, would fit the category.  Having a keyboard versus not is another.  Notice the OS supports it, but it's not a requirement.

    Like I said, making sure the OS is written so  that developers don't have to write TO specific things is the best way to avoid fragmentation.  If the OS handles the scaling internally, then I see it as a hands-down win for WP7.  Right now Android developers have to write to the specific OS AND to some of the specific features, such as screen res.  That's one of the many things that makes Android suck in my book.  It plagued the Windows Mobile world, too (not to mention different processors).  But, as I see it, as soon as you have such wildly different devices that developers are forced to write to the device, you can kiss it goodbye.

  • vieya
    44 Posts

    You guys need to roll out with faster updates and more of the requested features ASAP. You guys are not working fast enough. But most importantly you need a better marketing campaign and marketing department. Me-Series is way to focus on the person using windows phone not the phone itself. On top of that they use Apple products for computers and music players. Bad bad bad.

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @Rodney E. Jones

    First, L, not i, L.  I have no idea why people insist that I my name must involve one capital letter that makes 0 sense.  Apparently I'm crazy ;).

    Now then: Aha! I see your point now.  Perhaps.  I haven't gotten much hands on with the Xperia, how do the control buttons work (i.e. "well") I'm assuming they just overide any touch screen controls on an app?  Wikipedia tells me that the games have to be played through a Playstation hub of sorts, my guess is that only certain games will work for that.  (You'll still be able to play all the android games I suppose, but the PS games won't work.)  For a company like Sony with a library of old games to quickly port (this is perhaps just an android emulator for the PS go?) it makes sense.  MS needs developers though who would be willing to develop programs that work on only some phones.

    It's a workable idea certainly.  The question is, is there a market for it?  Remember the Surround?  I owned one, the reviews summed it up pretty well.  The added bulk of a slide out speaker was a dissapointment because it wasn't as useful as a keyboard.  One wonders if the same could be said for a slide out controller.  Time will tell.

    @Scuba2011

    You win again!  It's still fragmentation in my mind, just the minor inevitable form.  Hardware will always progress, and the key is balancing looking forward with software and looking back.  So far WP7 is doing the best job of that IMHO.  My second guess is that 2-2.5 years is the rough cycle on phones, so as long as MS keeps the minimum specs up for new devices, the box containing "fowards" and "Backwards" needn't be too big.  Andriod (sans minimum specs!) has a huge problem with this (arguably solved by differing versions of the software on the market, however I think this only makes things worse.)  Apple solved it by merely collapsing "future" and "Backwards" to "Now" and having only one device on the market at a time.  (Although the rush to sell of 3GS phones may have hurt them in that regards.  I saw a guy buing a 3GS when my wife was getting her iphone 4 last december.  He's going to be angry that iOS 5 benefits him less than was sold to him at the store.)

  • @ tsrbike

    Yeah we certainly don't want to have to much fragmentation. Maybe we just need more differentiation on the hardware side. Take the Sony Expedia play with it's game control style hardware buttons for example. It can be done while not abandoning the WP basic principles. Remember, these guys are engineers. It's there job to make it happen and we should expect no less from a platform that we are backing and investing in. We aren't the ones that are going to profit millions from the success of WP so our suggestions should account for something.

    Nevertheless, good points and thanks for the perspective!

  • BTW, I had the distinct pleasure of rebuilding my wife's iPhone 4.  She was doing her regular sync routine and suddenly the phone rebooted and came up in "recovery mode", looping continuously.  iTunes no longer recognized the version of OS or the device name.  When I tried to tell iTunes to DO a restore all I got were "unknown errors".  After four hours of tracking down bits & pieces and finding a way to trick iTunes into letting me actually reload the OS, I finally got her device restored.  Even given the challenges with the maturing update process on WP7 I never had this much trouble with the Focus.

    I hate Apple.  Microsoft, you need to seriously trounce them.

  • I don't think fragmentation will be necessary.  The FFC is the example, I believe.  Everyone will be able to run Mango.  But not all new phones (and certainly not the first gen) will have FFCs, yet the same Mango will go on each.  Gyros are the same thing.  The approach has to remain similar to the way Windows desktop works.  The platform works across a huge variety of hardware specs without you having to purchase a different version of Windows.

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @Rodney E. Jones

    Interesting ideas.  For the most part I actually like them, except for a few things.  I understand the hardware differentials your going for, (especially in regards to the Office Phone, Zune Phone, Large Screen IE/Video phone).  But there are certian things that I think won't work.

    Part of the appeal of the WP7 platform is the variety of phones yet the unity of the OS and apps, all apps work on all phones.  This is in contrast to iPhone (no phone variety) and Android (app fragmentation).  Adding a "social media phone" with extended social media capabilities may be problematic.  An Xbox phone is completely out (IMHO) since the only factors you could add to it to make it beneficial would be better processing power to plan new games (i.e. app fragmentation).  (Side note, a bigger screeen could be added, but this would fail to differentiate it from the aformentioned IE/Video phone.)

    Now I should be clear, some fragmentation is going to be necessary, in part because the addition of things like front facing cameras.  HOWEVER, I expect this to be handled different than say android (where apps just completely fail to even load and/or install on phones they don't work on.)  For example, when the inevitable skype app arrives on WP7, I expect it to work on all phones, I just don't expect video chat on phones sans front facing cameras.  We are already seeing how this will work with the forthcoming gryroscopes.  Apps will work on all phones (utilizing the new API) they'll just work better on apps with gyroscopes, when a gyroscope comes in handy.  (Apps that only use accelerometer only won't be affected at all).

    (FWIW, a Zune phone with some form of HD output would rock.)

  • Back to the original discussion.

    As far as hardware and phone features are concerned my Idea is to have different phones that focus on certain strengths of WP. Some examples are:

    "Xbox phone" where the hardware and software are seriously Xbox driven

    "Zune phone" where Zune is the focus. With great mobile audio and options

    "Internet Explorer" phone with a large  screen and  extra features surrounding the browser

    "App centric phone" with special apps preinstalled and extra features

    "Microsoft Office phone" with a professional version of the latest Office software, largest screen with physical keys

    "Social Centric phone" advanced Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, live, email, and messaging capabilities

    These would be specialty phones with maybe two of each available. And in keeping with Microsoft's equality rules to keep the experience whole for all users there will still be the standard OS phones.

    My thought is that it would  not create fragmentation issues, like, android, with just a few specialty phones on the market  and would increase sales

  • Argh, you're right.  I was clearly not awake yet to make that kind of typo.  And while I wouldn't be surprised to see the overseas carriers start rolling at the end of the month, I think you're right about not seeing serious rollout until Oct.

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @ ScubaDog2011

    You mean Fall 2011, right.  Otherwise I credit MS for also inventing a time machine.

    My best guess is Mid October, but that's just a guess.  Mostly because they'll want to have it out in time for carriers to push it for the Christmas Phone season.

  • @rij, the only thing known right now, based on what Microsoft has announced, is "Fall 2001".  The  OEMs and carriers have it right now and are doing their own testing and adding whatever bloatware they intend to add before giving it back to Microsoft for final certification.  Once Microsoft blesses it Mango will be staged based on each carrier's schedule.

  • rij
    1 Posts

    Hi, when is the official release for Windows Phone 7 Mango in Europe / Sweden?

  • Is anybody aware that Pink Floyd's music has been stripped from Zune and  the marketplace ?.This is terrible news considering I procrastinated on downloading the songs I want.. No Funkadelic is available either. What's up with Space Rockers and royalty disputes.

    Microsoft, do what it takes to get these guys, and others, on board, and use this for a marketing strategy against iTunes and the iPhone.

  • Well, well, this should be interesting.  Apple has released iOS5 to carriers for testing.  Let's see if Apple rolls their update before Microsoft does.

  • KR
    503 Posts

    Now it doesn't matter whenever Microsoft decide to release Mango,because I am selling my HD7 on Friday.it was a pleasure being a Microsoft fan boy for so many years and also a early adopter of WP.

    May be see you again on some generation 2 handsets

  • @ justd80010

    Mango phones have not been released yet, so don't choose just yet. The HTC Trophy you saw was a NoDo first gen phone at best. Most of us are still waiting to get our hands on Mango, and we already have a WP7 Device, so don't be to disappointed. You want to Wait a month or so until the second Gen. Mango hardware is released.

    But, you are right. These first generation phones have been horribly marketed. Probably makes Apple and Google laugh. The Mango 7.5 devices better hit hard and heavy to make up for the launch. Right now I consider WP7.0 a beta test that MS has covertly done on me. Although I have enjoyed the test I hope MS, and it's partners, have something up their sleeves.

  • @tsrblke, I totally agree the best marketing of WP7 involves the hands-on.  And, as others have mentioned, it's a tough sell even then to break someone free of their current smartphone.  I think the quickest avenue for grabbing market share will be the folks with feature phones---and I think I might have convinced two such people this weekend.  It was just an absolute shock to me that the Best Buy we were in suggested WP7 over Android or iPhone.  Perhaps it was BECAUSE my friends had feature phones....but the fact that the salesperson told them "this phone really is the best of all worlds" just floored me.  I mean, I totally agree with him, but, wow.

    <no blunt instrument was involved in the posting of this message>  ;)

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @justd80010,

    To be entirely fair though, when gingerbread comes out you'll have to go into a store, ask about phones that actually have it, hope the sales people can remember which ones have the upgrade and then look at it.

    I'll concede that being lost in a sea of android phones causes WP7 to suffer, but you've set up a bit of a strawman.

    I will also say that Best buy is never a good indicator of anything.  Cell phone sales there are a nightmare.  As you said, they had a sea of android phones.  I still think (IMHO!) that it's the carriers were the gains are most likely to be made.

  • Just got home from the mall and Best Buy, wanted to check out some Mango phones from MS. Verizon only has the HTC Trophy on display at their mall Kiosk - I didn't see any WP7 phones at the Sprint store (my carrier) so I took a drive over to Best buy, they too have a SINGLE WP7 device on display, the HTC Trophy, lost in a sea of Android powered phones. MS isn't doing a very good job with this I must admit. I couldn't try one of these phones out if I wanted to. Why isn't MS promoting this product more effectively and robustly, why aren't they leaning on OEM's to produce more devices, why don't those devices have dedicated space on retailer sales floors like the Iphone does. At Best Buy the first thing you see when you walk into the phone section is a giant Iphone 4 display, set apart before you get to the Android world of 70 or 80 different handsets from seemingly 6-8 different manufacturers. But not WP7 - there it sits, surrounded by Android phones, completely unassuming and unremarkable. My contract expires early next year, if I don't have an opportunity by then to try Mango handsets that are as varied and easy to find and therefore purchase as an Android phone, I may end up sticking with Android, and I've been looking into WP7 since they were released last year. I'm exactly the kind of buyer MS should have a lock on. If MS loses people like me then my opinion is this mobile platform is much more likely to fail than it would be otherwise. Plain and simple, it's really too hard to find this device and people don't buy gadgets they can't play with simply based on blogs saying how cool and easy it is to use. MS seems to understand that with PC's. Plenty of hands on opportunities at Best Buy for those devices. But it's like WP7 is being marketed by an entirely different comany altogether... a company that's more interested in buzz from the software nerd set that sales to actual end users. That's too bad, I really would like to switch. But after today's disappointing experience Android Gingerbread and all it's dozens of devices is looking a whole lot more attactive now.

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @ScubaDog,

    The most surprising thing to me in that post is you doing Street ministry! (I kid! I kid! Put down the blunt object!)

    Seriously though, the meat of your post doesn't surprise me based on what I've seen.  If you put a WP7 in the hands of someone who isn't blinded by the iPhone cool factor, they seem to love it and they'll sell it.  I'm walking proof of that.  (I have 1 WP7 phone sale to my name, and I don't even work in sales anywhere.  I'm a Grad assistant at a university).

    The hardest part is of course seperating anyone from their current phone.  That biggest hurdle to getting people to try a new phone is the setup time it takes to make a phone "yours" (heck, even moving from a surround to a focus was a bit of a chore*).  Combine that with the well described app holes and it's a recipe for trouble.  I'm no marketing genius, but this is where I'd make heavy use of the MVPs.  If they're anything like the Zune MVPs I've come across, they'll know the tech almost as good as the Developers!  Plus they're passionate about the tech.  And they're in more locations than Seattle ;).  Armed with knowhow of the comparable apps between systems and the phone in general, they could shorten the customization time for people and get phones into the hands of those who are selling them.  (e.g. "No words with friends on WP7 yet, but Words by post is great and on all 3 platforms!").

    But my familiarity with the program is at best tangential, so that may not be in the offering anyway.  I know what you can't do is rely on BestBuy, AT&T, Verizion, whoever to push them on their own.  They've got other concerns (like selling huge data plans or AT&T wireless radio) which may conflict with some of the things in WP7.

    *There's nothing you can do about this, especially moving from one platform to another (i.e. android to WP7) customizing a new device just takes time.)

  • King
    32 Posts

    Another nice podcast guys. The new HTC phones look amazing. I like the design of the "radar" but its specs seem rather last Gen to me :S the Titan is very nice though. I convinced a friend of mine to get an HD7 at launch and he loves it so if the titan makes its way to T-mobile USA he will be first in line. I'm eager to see the other new devices though. I was disappointed Samsung didn't show anything wp7 at IFA but I hope and pray that there new device is galaxy S II like (In specs and design). And though I'm on ATT I really hope sprint and Verizon get more than one phone. I have a friend on sprint and ever since she heard the next iPhone might be on sprint she's been holding out so i hope a couple mango devices make it that way to rival the iPhone.

    Also its good to know that alot has and is being done to make Zune better and the whole experience from start to finish better. Speaking of Zune, i hope you guys do more in future updates with the social aspects of Zune. Sharing music, finding like minded listeners etc. I think that aspect should definitely make its way into the people hubs and the music and videos hub.

    Sorry Matt didn't get oprahs spot. Honest i think he'd be much better off taking Ellens spot when she leaves ;-) S/o to mike. We love you too. And Brian if you read this can i please get an x-mini speaker???

    Thx to the whole team for all the work you guys put into this awesome podcast and this awesome ecosystem of phones and software

  • ScubaDog
    141 Posts

    Okay, folks, I just had to share this.  I'm up in Dallas for the weekend doing some street ministry work and we popped into one of the Best Buy stores up here.  A friend of mine, who currently uses a feature phone, decided to look into smartphones.  Much to my surprise, the sales person was pushing the Windows Phone 7 as being the best of all worlds!  I have no idea if that was due to any campaign on Microsoft's part or if the sales person just happened to be a WP7 user, but I was very happy to see it.

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @vieya

    in case you are not aware,Windows phone is not going to support flash someday,because according to microsoft it is resource consuming and insecured so if you really want htat i guess you should start thinking of going android

    Microsoft is going the iphone way,but with a little bit more choice and flexibility

  • Leigh
    89 Posts

    I like the idea of a family Zune pass.   I was thinking that too.  That's a good one, and right in line of "Family friendly" like we want to be.   It also lines up very nicely with the XBOX Live family pass (which I have).

    Wouldn't a family Zune pass by "awesome" to introduce around chistmas time, for around 1.5x what a single pass is.

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @jschroedl,

    Like I said, I use one WLID, so YMMV.  But, there is hope for you to test it.  Zune is also tied to a WLID and you can right click on your Username up in the Upper right of the Zune Client and sign into a new ID (I only have one WLID, so I haven't tested it.)  But since we know Zune supports multiple devices, and mutiple accounts it should be fine doing both at the same time.  (You'll probably want to turn off autosign in.)  Someone has to have done it this way!

    As for your Contract problem, not much I can offer there, except maybe see about selling your android?  I always try to keep a phone longer than the contract lasts and when I was on my parents plan (5 phonets total) there was always an upgrade floating around somewhere.  You might try smooth talking Verizon?  Tell them if you have to wait anyway, you'll just leave when your contract is up ;).

  • This is off subject but is anyone aware of the WP/Ford Sync issues people are having? People are saying their phones aren't as compatible with Microsoft's own Sync software, that Ford MC uses in vehicles, than iPhone or Android. Something about music indexing? I don't have all the facts, but I would think WP would not only work perfectly with other MS products, but get some extra functionality.

    Also WP should be all over those Ford Sync commercials. Just think of the sales boost. What do yall think?

  • Sheeds
    205 Posts

    Thanks for upping another podcast.  With things likely to get even more busy over the coming time to BUILD and the 15th (?!?), and with all this Marketing push of blogs and videos on Mango...please keep the podcasts coming!

    Oh - and a favour for here, help out an Aussie WP7 Dev with his Beta program for his 2 new Word Games:

    http://t.co/4TO8cOJ or www.wpdownunder.com

    Thanks :)

    Sheeds.

    WPDownUnder.com

  • jschroedl
    24 Posts

    @tsrblke

    Thanks for the great writeup. That does make me feel a bit better about the prospect of multiple WP's in the household.  They would definitely be separate WLID's but you intrigue me with the thought of sharing one. Would probably violate license for Zune Pass if we did that though.

    Yes, we got Android in March w/ two yr renewal and they say pay full retail to move to Windows Phone. gah. We're long-time customers too. boo on Verizon.

    @Jskel1 too, let's hope they hear this feed back. Zune Family Pass, Zune Family Pass, c'mon people...

    Would still love to hear they guys muse about ZFP and multiple phones and best ways to move from other phones.

  • vieya
    44 Posts

    Time for new zune HD/ zune player need update to software in the zune player/HD

  • vieya
    44 Posts

    Bring more windows phones to sprint and verizon but mostly sprint since that's the network I'm on.

    Please have a update soon again tango 1 with new features? before the end of the year please. Or a smaller update mango 2 I don't know but we need flash support and other sorts of features to catch up quick. More phones to sprint <3

  • Jskel1
    6 Posts

    @jschroedl

    I have thought about the Family Pass as well. I hope the Zune team picks up on this.

    Some of the apps would also be nice to have on multiple phones for one low fee. :)

  • Will definitely listen on my way to work. Less jiber jiber jiber jiber please. More facts less feminine chater, more Mathematics, escape emotion, iron, men on the moon, fuel, burning river, horse power, top fuel, gigs, terabytes! Armageddon! Sorry.. Hope its a good show guys. Keep up the great work.

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @Jschroedl

    $429 to drop android?  AT&T lets me get new phones every now and then for cheaper than that. Are you at the very begining of your contract?

    As for multiple phones, I can't speak to having multiple people on the Zune, but I do have a Zune and 2 windows phones hooked into my software. (I don't use the surround anymore, but I never deleted it from the software).  It handles it pretty well, each phone gets it's own little icon down in the zune software (When you click on the phone logo it pops up with the choice to chose what phone your currently working with). So you can even manage what synch with what device.

    That being said, all of my devices run off the same Windows Live ID, so I really can't speak to how having devices running off different live ID's will work.  I think the Zune software supports multiple accounts (if you use multiple logons on the PC, but I'm not entirely sure.

    There is no Zune family pass (Sadly!) I suppose if you wanted to use the same WLID for each phone (and thus have the same gamertag for Xbox and such) you could (in theory) share a Zunepass, but I'm not sure how well that would work in practicality sharing a GT and hotmail account. (FWIW, Zune pass songs are syncable on 5 devices.  The same goes for WP7 apps.) I guess if you didn't use hotmail for anything and didn't mind sharing an Xbox GT....(Also, IANAL, so I don't know if this violates the EULA or anything like that.)

  • jschroedl
    24 Posts

    Another good podcast. Thanks guys.  So nice to hear from Michael Stroh again! :)

    My wife loves my HTC Trophy and wants to replace her Android.  When she eventually does get a WP, can you guys talk about the good/bad/ugly of having more than one WP in a household (with one family PC). Is Zune okay with muitiple phones? Is there a Family Zune Pass? I'll buy the pass if we can share it.

    I'd be happy to report on the experience if you're willing to give her a Trophy :) $429 to drop Android (we have a plan in place) is way too much. Any tips for moving someone to WP off of Android -- others in the family have the same issue..