First Person: With this phone, I thee wed…

First Person: With this phone, I thee wed…

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A Windows Phone HTC HD7 played a supporting role in the recent wedding of Rachel McMurray-Branscombe, 24, of Eureka, CA. Here’s the story in her own words (photo: ©Rebecca Calvo Photography).

Photo courtesy of ©Rebecca Calvo Photography

The wedding was in a little white chapel, up against a mountain, near the ocean. We wanted a simple, elegant wedding that represented us. We went through all the different weddings we’d seen—do we want to mix the sand? light a unity candle?—but we decided that wasn’t really us. So we cut out all the things that weren’t really us, and wrote our own vows.

My phone is the thing I always have on me, so when I needed to write my vows I used Office on my phone. Whenever I thought of something I wanted to add, I could just jot it down. When it came to the day of, I thought maybe I should write it on a piece of paper. Then the minister said, “Why not just read it off your phone?”

My husband didn’t know I was going to read off my phone. He said his vows off paper, and when it was my turn I looked at the pastor and she pulled out my phone and handed it to me. Everyone laughed—it made it a little more lighthearted, so we weren’t bawling.

My husband laughed, because I’m on my phone all the time, and he’s on his. So I’m sure he wished he had thought of it. Now the vows are saved on my phone, and every time I want to go back and read them, I can. Meanwhile, his piece of paper is floating around somewhere—I don’t even know where it is.

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  • I thought WP7 was supposed to get us out of our screens and back into our lives

  • People are beginning to update their phones! WP-Central has people singing up just to post that they are downloading it now. This update is boosting the amount of subscribers to WP related websites quickly!

  • Also, This blog has been idle for a little to long. Does anybody think the team is up to something???

  • @BuckeyeTico .....I think the new slogan and the new Windows Phone website is just where we should have been at launch time last year. As I have always said, this past year we early adopters have been the beta testers for the new platform. I think that has been MS plan, and now that they have the feedback that they need they can go on and push the platform like they really want to. They knew that WP7 was good and figured that after a little feedback it could be great! You have to be really tactical in this market, with Apple and Google on top, and plan things with the future in mind.... Whatever the thinking is it's working and now we consumers, developers and Microsoft can kick back and enjoy the devices, but for at least a moment. But, lets not forget come Monday it's time to go back to work!

    As far as we are concerned the clock starts now for the next update,  and it's already been ticking for Team WP. What's Next???

  • @ ScubaDog - LOL, you got me all figured out...

  • I suspect @BuckeyeTico's tongue was firmly in cheek.  I have to admit that I chuckled when I saw that was Microsoft's new slogan.  Don't get me wrong, it perfectly fits how the OS itself is designed---around the people and not the apps (that apps are, and will continue to be, de-emphasized compared to how they should seamlessly serve information to the user).  But it is a far cry from what many users perceive as their responsivenes TO the people (pronounced "communication").  Yes, they're getting better.  Yes, Mango is completely awesome (except to those of you who really should be Android users).  But Microsoft needs a MUCH better marketing strategy than that.  All that said, BRING ON THE MANGO!

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts


    It's in the vein of their old "Phone to save us from our Phones" ads honestly.  And I'm ok with that.  Part of the appeal of a Windows Phone is that it's glance and go philosophy makes it easy to use.  I don't use facebook (fight the facebook!) but I can certainly see the appeal of integrating your phone into your facebook account.  Eliminating the need for a "facebook app" by streaming directly into things you already use (Photo hub, people title) just makes sense IMHO.

  • Then, what do you guys think about the new Windows Phone motto: "Put people first"?


    Check out the new online marketplace, and the all new WP website. It has some new and very useful features!

  • Everyone will get Mango.  Everyone.  The only way you wouldn't would be if you A) declined the update when Zune says it's available or B) your device is in a state that prevents the update from working.  Now, several tweets have just come out, including from Brandon Watson, that developers with the Beta version will not have to drop back to NoDo as was previously advertised prior to the Betas coming out.  The MS Engineering folks have come up with a one-two punch of updates that will reprovision those units so that the Mango update will work.  However, the unknown piece is whether or not this will work with those who have the Beta but didn't get it via the normal developer channel....even more doubtful is whether or not those who got the RTM version, which was NEVER released to developers, will be able to avoid dropping back.  I have my backups, so I'm going to hold out for a day or two to see if other AT&T folks start receiving Mango.  If they do, then I'll go ahead and bite the bullet and drop back to NoDo so I can get the update.

  • KR
    503 Posts

    When will carrier unlocked phones get mango??

  • @ tsrblke,........ Oh,OK. Rick Moranis B@^%* A$$

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @Rodney E Jones

    I quote thee!

    "Also,,,, Today at the WP Facebook page the WP team ask "What's the best surprise you've gotten lately?" Is that supposed to be a slightly rhetorical question? Makes me go HummMango?"

    That's what I'm responding to.  I threw in a spaceballs quote for good measure.

  • @ tsrblke .....?? Whaaat.. I'm sorry bro, but I don't know what that's in response to. :)

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @Rodney E. Jones

    The Demo "phone" on is showing Mango now, (I can tell by the new dynamic Me tile) so I'm guessing the answer to "When will then be now?" is "Soon!"

  • Also,,,, Today at the WP Facebook page the WP team ask "What's the best surprise you've gotten lately?" Is that supposed to be a slightly rhetorical question? Makes me go HummMango?


    Hey, I just visited Nokia's US website and while there I was asked to take a short survey. The survey mostly asked me about the effectiveness of the site. I'm sad to say that I couldn't really rate it high, because in my opinion it was very drab, boring, and just made me want to take a nap. In the current websites state I really don't think it's going to help to sell Nokia / W.Phone devices. I Think MS needs to help dem bois out. Sorry I'm from Dallas. And speaking of Dallas, and American people, Keep in mind that this is a Nokia US site. I think most Americans respond better to a live, animated and vibrant website. I'm not trying to kiss a$$, but I think that the design of the Windows Phone website would be perfect for Nokia to emulate. It should have a white background with the phones doing all the work. It should look like a candy store.

    Please go over to  to give your opinion. There's a little box at the top to give your feedback.

  • KR
    503 Posts

    IMHO,I don't see the need for editing docs on my phone,but I use it a lot for viewing documents,like now I don't carry a paper copy of a resume when going for an interview,I just read it off my phone,if the employer needs a copy I just email it.when I'm presenting a paper I make a mini PowerPoint and carry it on my WP as a guide for the presentation.

    And to be honest Office mobile on WP just does the viewing perfect I just want better Mesh/SkyDrive integration or USB file transfer

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @Nikhil Mahajan

    The problem of course is across any platform is that it's very hard to edit a document on a tiny screen with an onscreen keyboard.  Additionally Fonts become a problem, so any mobile system is going to not be able to carry the number of fonts that your computer has.

    When editing this isn't a problem if you're just fixing a typo here and there or adding a word here or there, it becomes a problem if you need to do a resdeign, or change the font of a particular section.  Selection is easier now (tap word, drag markers left and right) but still harder than usign a mouse/keyboard.

    I confess, I'm not a huge fan of trying to do complicated edits in excel, the keyboard just isn't good enough to put in formulas or the like.  Plugging in numbers is "OK" (I use the numpad a lot which obviously doesn't exist on the phone, so I'm clumsy at it) but if I need to add a "=sum(A1:A34)" I just find myself stuggling as I'm jumping back and forth between numbers, letters and symbols.  (Perhaps a physical keyboard would help?  Dunno, I like my phone thin, and I don't do enough heavy typing to make it worth it)

    For reading documents, I haven't found anything better than WP7, I can even see all the document comments (something things like Google apps doesn't do or doesn't do well.)  This is especially important to me where we share collaborative documents (with comments on edits).  It's been a while since I've used word (I haven't been more than 20ft from a computer in some time, and let's face it, given the choice I'll usually just us a PC) so I don't remember the particulars on layout (where comments appear, how revision tracking works), I will get back to you.

    I don't use Powerpoint on the go, so I can't comment on it.

    Of course we'll need to see how Skydrive access in Mango works out.  If it goes well, that may be most important to your needs as you could (in theory) keep all of your documents on Skydrive such that you have them with you wherever you go and your edits are up to date (no managing multiple copies).  Currently to get a document on your phone you have to email it to yourself and save it from the email.  There is no file manager so all documents have to be accessed via the Office app (or pinned to start).  Again, I haven't seen Mango, I dunno how Skydrive is going to work (presumably like Sharepoint does now, but I don't have a sharepoint server.)

    Personally I wish Windows Live Mesh were better integrated into Skydrive so I could keep offline copies up to date, but that's an entirely different issue.

    Sharepoint would also take care of this problem if your place of employment believes in such things.

  • @tsrblke - Here in India, as you may have heard, the big thing is affordability, hence the most dominant phone that sells is Nokia..  I myself am using a really (really, really, .... )  outdated N73. It's PDF,Doc reading and editing capabilities are poor. In its defence, that was not the phone's main purpose.

    Now in my job, being the most junior member, I am (unfortunately) the one expected to do all the documentation and bring it along for any and all meetings. I would like a phone wherein I can carry all my Docs, PDFs and Excels (oh AND PPTs.. see Office, essentially), primarily read/refer to them (sometimes edit). This phone should satisfy my music & video tastes/needs. I hit upon 3 choices - WP7, iPhone or Android. Let me be honest. I am biased. I don't like Google. Full stop. I use Bing as much as possible. So, it boils down to WP7/iPhone. My heart says WP7, hence the quest for information.

    Phew! Long post.

    @Rodney - I have not proof-read it! Hope it turns out ok... :-)

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @Nikhil Mahajan

    I haven't bothered to read any of those reviews to be honest so I don't know what they say.  Most Engadget stuff tends to be short on details on how well anything works they tend to judge on the mere presence.

    I will say this.  The problem with trying to write a review about office is how each person tends to use it differs creating a different need and thus a unique review.  I'll keep my eye out for an office one.  But I'm sufficiently different (in that I primarily use onenote to actually do things and just need Word, Excel and PP to quickly check things while on the go.)  You may also want to repeat your request in a more trafficked thread (When the "Mango Released" thread goes up, that'll see everyone posting.

    As an aside however, the one thing people don't mention is how well OneNote is integrated in with Office 2010 (I've had less luck with 2k7, but perhaps I'm missing something.)  2010 allows you to log into your web based Notebook and edit it directly on the computer, this is the same notebook your phone is using and the same one on  So when I jot notes on my phone, they appear in all 3 places (I force sync before I close onenote, because I'm not entirely sure how that works, I've had mixed results with it syncing if I just let it go.)

  • @ Michael Stroh,.......How do we identify our favorite post in the blog? On my homepage there is a little box that says I haven't identified any favorites yet, but I can't figure out how to.

  • @Kenny: We're always happy to see you, and the rest of our regular contributors. :-)

  • I should have proof read that.

  • @ Nikhil, ...... Your welcome, and like the say just ask post a question and someone here will always be glad to help you. Also, another good reason to go with WP is that an official app for the WindowsPhone Blog is in the works, making it easier to stay in touch with your new fiends here. I can't wait!

  • @tsrblke - Particulars? Sure thing. The one thing I missed with reviews is that no review I saw really dived deep into Office capabilites on the phone. Reviews on Engadget and others seemed to expect that because it's Microsoft, the entire Office experience should have been available. As such, they seemed to write reviews with a negative bias (as mentioned in earlier post, too much in awe of the iPhone/Android). I'd like to see what Office Mobile offers especially in terms of the reading experience "and" the editing experience. If you (or anyone else :-) could point me to a review that dives deep into Office on WP7/7.5, would be very grateful.


    @Rodney - Misread your post.  You said "download" a manual. I wasn't aware cellphone manufacturers gave away the device manual for download. Have downloaded the manual for HTC HD7. Thanks!

    @Juliette - Misspelled your name earlier. Sorry [Handing out apologies by the dozen now :-) ]

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @Michael Stroh

    No thanks for me =) ??

  • KR
    503 Posts

    How about a way someone used a windows phone for a break up =)

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @ Nikhil Mahajan

    The WP7 youtube channel contains a bunch of How-To Videos, that seem to keep growing.  Obviously it's not every feature, but there be a whole bunch of them.  If there's something you'd like particularlly, I'm sure the community could help you out (i.e. Post away!)

    Meanwhile,  I'm using my phone in a similar (non wedding related) way.  I've been having trouble working on my disseration topic (my mind flits around with too many different possibilities.)  So I've started taking my "inspiration moments" and sticking them in Onenote, (which syncs with my PC) and then orgazing them (either on the phone or the PC) into major topic groups.  This way no more "Geez, what was that great idea I had yesterday."  Of course as I pull out my phone during a presenation to jot something down, I tend to have to explain myself.  (I really just need to update my Netbook to the more Skydrive friendly Office 2k10, I own a liscence for it, I've just been too lazy to install.)

  • @Rodney - Regarding manuals - sure, that's true. However, in all honesty, flipping through manuals "before" buying, really? I'm not sure the guys in the stores would let me "touch" a box, much less see the manual inside.

    As for the youtube reviews, I am devouring them at the moment, however most reviewers seem to compare WP7 with the iPhone, Android et al. Honestly, it spoils the review. Though I don't own one, I've seen and neither been overly impressed/overawed by the iPhone nor by Android.

    Just felt it would be good PR and be "official and authentic", if people from WP7 team actually demo the phone's features. Can't have everything, I guess. :-)

  • @Juilette - [Quote]but we love to hear about how real humans are using their Windows Phones to make their lives easier and more fun [/Quote]

    Real humans?! Wow. I sure hope you are real too. :-)

    Hey, no offence and I am sure looking forward to more examples of how WP7 is proving to be an enabler for people around the world.

  • @ Nikhil

    You could always download a full manual of any device, and YouTube has plenty comprehensive reviews showing just about all of 7.0's features.

  • @Michael - This is a great way to demonstrate the capabilities of Windows Phones. Love it!

    Would it be a bit too much to suggest that it would be great if you guys could demo us each and every feature of windows phone OS (not just new ones in Mango, all of it) via maybe videos/blogs filled with images along with text.

    This would be great IMHO as people like me in India, where WP7 is not really popular, would be able to understand the OS, its capabilities and would be able to make an informed decision before buying.

    On that score, actually the video calling feature previewed on this blog was cool.. more of the same would be great, I say!

  • @Rodney E Jones: Thanks for all your thoughtful comments, here and elsewhere. Glad to have you on the blog.

    @Paras Valecha: Ditto! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and look for more real-people stories in the months ahead.

  • @ Colonel Red: Hahahahaha.

  • Hey, give me a HTC Titan and I might marry it.

  • I'm glad to see people enthusiastic about their Windows Phone.

  • Awesome post. Keep doing this. I love reading how real people use and love their Windows Phones :-)

  • I wonder if Rachel would go for a HTC Titan? Yall should surprise her with one for being a devoted WP7 fan. Yeah, Yeah, and then have her back to give us her take on it. Ok it's settled! Man is she going to flip. I can't wait! ;-)

  • That's a nice story. Yeah, WP7 is the ultimate Post It Note, Rolodex, Black Book, and scratch sheet of paper out there. Although I don't recommend marketing it as "The ultimate scratch sheet of paper" LOL....

    Ya know, that HD7 sure is popular. It's got to be the screen size.

  • Unique wedding vows. Cute:) She was saved by her Window Phone..

    <a href=””>Robert Benwell</a>

  • @vieya -- Nah, I think we'll just devote the Windows Phone Blog entirely to wedding coverage from now on. Maybe we'll throw in a few fashion shows for variety :-)

    Seriously though, we're always working on making the phone better and (hopefully) bringing you all the "hard news" we can, as fast as we can -- but we love to hear about how real humans are using their Windows Phones to make their lives easier and more fun.

  • vieya
    44 Posts

    Good for her and congrats to her wedding. But let's be real. Who cares.

    How about some news on what's next for windows phone or what you guys are working on? How about making Office better on the phones? Making the office experience even better or expand other services of Live over to the phone(etc. etc.) This however is something else.

  • Love all these phone wedding stories!

  • jainesh
    1 Posts

    For my wedding, I was using Maps App to find my wife’s wedding dress. Windows Phone made it easy to find, map, and connect.

  • Just another example of why we need Windows Phone and Office

  • Funny, I used my WP7 to read my speech from when I got married this summer. I also have my wedding playlist on it, along with the guest list, seating plan and spreadsheets for all those wedding bills. WP7 really helped everything go smoothly for me and my wife.