Who built that button? Now you know.

Who built that button? Now you know.

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The Microsoft News Center today offers a fun peek behind the curtain at some of the people responsible for what Slate’s Farhad Manjoo recently called “the best-looking smartphone operating system in the industry,” cornering four members of the Windows Phone engineering team for an eclectic, wide-Members of the Windows Phone Engineering "Shell" Team. Clockwise from top left: Ricardo Espinoza, Sue Loh, Josh Phillips, and James Drageranging Q&A on happiness, superpowers, and building Windows Phone 7.5.

Even non-geeks should find it interesting.

The group—James Drage, Ricardo Espinoza, Josh Phillips, and Sue Loh—are part of engineering’s Shell Team. As its name suggests, the Shell Team is responsible for constructing the phone’s award-winning interface: the stuff you see and touch on the screen. They take the vision of the phone’s designers, translate it into the language of machines, and bring it to life.

One of the best things about the job? The “Mom factor”.

Explains Drage: “You can show your Mom exactly what you’re working on, and she’ll get it.”

113 Comments
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  • Phone update still doesn't appear to be delivering to the USA, but it is listed on the Windows Phone site.

    www.microsoft.com/.../update-history.aspx

  • ...and on the odd chance that it lets me post this, here's where my soon-to-be-expanding library of custom phone sounds can be found!

    soundcloud.com/.../ring-tones-that-dont-suck

  • Okay, so it looks like if you use the phrase "ring tone" as a single word, your post will disappear forever.  Neat trick, huh?  

    Anyway, here's what I've been trying to post here for about a week - I made this T-Mobile remix a couple years ago.  It started out as a practical joke on a friend, but wound up being a pretty awesome (oops, I almost said it!)  I particularly like using it since I'm not a T-Mobile customer.  It's like a little inside joke between me and me.

    Here's a link to check it out, and if you like it, just hit the download button above the player!

    soundcloud.com/.../dj-mike-brady-and-now-you-t-mo

  • FYI - I've made a bunch of cool ring tones, but every time I post about them, the post vanishes...  (testing)

  • What is "The Springboard Series Blog"???

  • I saw that about the patch, but my Focus still says I'm up to date.  I even tried the Zune trick to force it, but apparently it was a device or carrier-specific update.  Darn.

  • @Suba - I actually do have "I'm A WP7" but I always forget to do anything with it!  :)  Will fire it up again and dig a little deeper...

    @All - Looks like a new update is starting to make the rounds, fixing, among other things, the disappearing keyboard issue!  I had hoped this blog would be updated with news about it, but since it isn't, here's the link:

    www.wpcentral.com/new-windows-phone-os-update-rolling-out-addresses-keyboard-problems-and-more

  • Hawk
    61 Posts

    @ScubaDog...that's what I thought, it was activated once you have X amount of apps installed.  So I tried removing some of the apps I didn't use anymore but the Jumplist remains.  I know have only 42 apps installed.  I guess once it's activated it's locked in.  Thanks for the info!

  • @John, that's called a "Jumplist" and it appears after you have, if memory serves, 45 apps installed.  Microsoft figured it created more chaos than assistance to have it appear with fewer apps.  Believe me, it didn't take me long at all to hit the threshold to activate the Jumplist.

  • @djmikebrady, have you tried the "I'm a WP7!" app?  It sort of a hub all by itself, but it pulls together a LOT of the more prominant Windows Phone sites into a neat package.  Give it a try!

  • Hawk
    61 Posts

    Question...after installing an App, I now have my App screen (the screen that will list all Apps from top to bottom) showing an Alphabetical letter above each group that starts with that letter.  For example, there's an 'a' above all my Apps that begin with the letter 'a'.  There's a 'b' above all the Apps that begin with the letter 'b' and so on.  When tap on the letter, it brings up the # a b c d....x y z screen just like it does when you search for People.  If I then tap on 'n' for example, it takes me directly to the apps that begin with the letter 'n'.

    My wife's Focus with Mango does NOT have this feature and I don't see how to turn it ON or OFF.  Like I said, mine started after installing an app.  Is this a new Mango feature that's just not documented anywhere?  Can this be turned off?  Very annoying!!!  Thanks

  • @Rodney - yeah, on the phone...  I usually check here from my phone on the train (pretty much the only times of my day when I'm not supposed to be doing something more important!) and this post takes a LONG time to navigate around!  An app would be nice, but not really compelling unless it has HOME and END functionality...

  • <begn rant> Omigosh, @nbendiamin, I wish I could mass-text/post/email everyone in the world: FLASH IS DEAD!!!! GET THE FLIP OVER IT!!!!   I'm sorry, but anyone who still depends of flash is foolish.  Even YouTube now puts stuff out in HTML5.  I don't care how many websites you throw as examples, every single one of those websites needs to update to HTML5 or simply DIE.  Flash is tired, old, crappy, bloated, battery-devouring garbage.  Okay?<end rant>

    sigh.  Seriously, if there's a website you can't live without (really?) that still relies on flash, send them emails demanding they modernize or lose customers.

  • @ djmike

    I don't know if you are talking about scrolling when on your phone, but we were told a official windows phone blog app was in the pipeline. This wad communicated by a moderator before the mango update. Where is it??????? But, that would still need a "back to top or bottom" or a skip up or down button as well as the website

  • Ever since YouTube updated their mobile site for compatibility with HTML5 I have been able to play pretty much all videos. Now, not being able to play files like mpg4 is annoying, but I think that it's up to MS to incorporate that. MIE9 needs to play more file types, but we don't want flash because it robs resources. HTML5 is the future of web and apps.

  • No, there won't be a Flash Player for Windows Phones. To be exact there won't be any new Flash Player versions for ANY mobile devices in the future as Adobe abandoned development in favor of HTML5. Therefore it is likely that (aside from security updates) the recent release of Flash for Android 4.0 was Adobe's last release.

  • It's been awhile since the last update on the blog, just a question; are we going to be expecting a flash player update? If so, when, if not, (i know it sounds selfish...) why? I am loving my Windows Phone and will proudly use it against any other OS.

  • @djmike.. Yes yes, I love it. Keep them coming.... My father in law got a Focus Flash Saturday, and today it got stolen. Luckily he has insurance. It's kind of funny because when I heard it got stolen it kind of made me happy just to think, that WP is so good that someone would want to steal one. Lol!!!

  • Speaking of apps, and the amount of big name apps that are very useful, I think WP has a long way to go. Besides the top 50 apps that iOS and Android has, there are those apps that are specific to certain interest, and some of those are temporary apps that iOS and sometimes Android get that for the past year have skipped over Windows Phone. For example, when it's time for voting on Fox shows like "The Voice" or "American Idol" they release apps. Almost any reputable company has a app for the iPhone, like my bank, Fort Worth Community Credit Union. Now there are tons of independent credit unions who have apps for A&A, and that's just one example. Its not about WP having all the top apps or quality equivalents, its about having a app for almost every company, network, popular show, radio station, municipality, large organization, pretty much anybody that has a website has a app nowadays. Trust me WP has a long way to go before our marketplace is as magical as the app store. I hate to admit it but we just do not have anywhere near the selection. It's about the unpopular popular apps, because getting the very popular apps is easy. It's hard to get apps that MS doesn't know about that are used by only hundreds. That's why when we try to impress iPhone users with WP having the popular apps they are like,,,"you guys just don't get it" ... Well, I get it now, so I don't blame them when they say "WP has no apps" Compared to there great selection, WP really doesn't. And, don't be fooled into thinking that if we have 50,000 they have just another 450,000 crapy apps, no, they have some really great apps that I can't wait to get my hands on.

    On the other side, when WP does get these apps they will be even better! And I'm sure they will come as soon as adoption increases.

  • @Rodney - I know you love hearing this, so I gotta tell you...  A guy I've never seen on the train got on one stop after me, sat across from me, and pulled out - you guessed it - a WP7 phone!  Guess that satisfies this week's new sighting!

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @Nikhil Mahajan,

    Eh, I was tired when I wrote it.  It's probably missing a few things in a few places.  The just of it basically is that modern cameras are designed to "collect" tons of light (so good dark pictures are taken).  Mechanical aperatures are then used to limit light  By varying the diameter of the aperature you let in varying amounts of light.  Cameraphones (as I understand their design) lack said aperatures.  They do use fancy computer chips to control how much light is "collected", but this isn't as effective as an actual mechanical aperature.  (There's also the problem of lens size, which compounds things.)  In order to take a picture then, all a cameraphone can really do in low light situations (besides take a too dark photo) is extend exposure time, which often results in blurred photos. (It's hard to hold a camera perfectly still for even 1/250th of a second)  So they're at a huge disadvantage, and likely will always be.

  • @Rodney - Hey, I'm only able to subscribe to you.. Unable to friend you... Don't know if there's anything I'm doing incorrectly.. Visited your profile and I can only say subscribe.. Will post my own profile link here shortly.. Or will try and make the album link public..

    @tsrblke - Well, your comment on photography was something which I honestly found rather hard to understand.. I've never really used a 'proper' camera before. So I read it once and then re-read it twice/thrice just to try and understand what you were saying! However, I agree with the gist which you summarised rather neatly at the end... (Smart)phone cams "still" can't replace point & shoots..

    @Scuba - You've summarised what to expect in 2012 well.. And I am eagerly looking forward to the WP8. I'm also going to (in a few days, if time permits) download the Windows 8 developer preview and play with it. Hope it will be a good experience..

    And regarding converting an iPhone user to WP, well at this rate MS will have to start paying you some kind of commission... Ha ha.. On a serious note, that's good news. If Word Of Mouth can achieve such results, I'd think (by extrapolation) that the more we guys 'market it' to our friends, relatives & acquaintances, the more the likelihood they'll buy a WP in the future! :) I just wish all our efforts could be scaled somehow... Shown to a wider audience. What say?

  • This post (or rather, the 90 comments on it) made me realize we definitely need a better way to scroll down long pages...  With WebOS and Android, when you scroll, you get the little grabber box on the right side, which you can use to scroll WAY down quickly.  Sadly, with WP7, I have to keep swiping the screen up, one screen at a time, for several minutes (ok, maybe not but it FEELS like it) before I can read the latest comments... and then it's back up to the top to reply...  (which is why I just waited to get to my desk to complain about it)

    And this is where I'm really hoping there's a simple method of doing this that I just don't know about... who's ready to make me feel like a noob again?  :)

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    Double rainbow posts!

    Let me just say, we're less than 12 hours away from the Iowa Cauc....wait, this is the wrong blog for that, and that's my other internet ego.

    Right Tech, I'm here about tech.  (It's hard to keep all the interations of tsrblke in check ;) )

    CES is just a mere week away, and we're promised much WP7 fun there (New Nokia and Samsung high end devices the Ace and...erg...something).  Who else can't wait.

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @Rodney and Nikhil,

    Let me preface this with: I'm no expert in photography. I took one class in college, got a B+, but I do throw myself into all my hobbies with a keen scientific eye.  My understanding of the problems with Cell phone cameras in general (and this probably extends to a certain extent to small form factor cameras as well) is no so much that the camera itself blows, but rather the lack of a good physical focusing mechanims mechanism at all and poor (or in some cases no) mechanical aperature do injustice to the photographs, especially in low light situations.  Take your basic film SLR from 30 years ago.  It contains all of these, a fairly robust mechanical focus and typically an aperature capable of 4 or more stops (each stop allowing in half the light of the stop above it).  The latter matters more than the former in this case.  In the daytime I would take most of my pictures at around f/16, somtimes f/32 in bright light surrounded by light colored or reflective objects. Rarely F/8.  Inside I didn't do much photography in general, I may have dropped to f/5.6 for a bit.  My camera was capable of f/1.4 (or maybe it was f/2.8 it's been a while) (en.wikipedia.org/.../F-number).

    Let's take my normal photographic situation. It may be important to note that the building I shot it weren't "low light" by any stretch of the imagination, they had lots of windows.  In any case, if I go from outside (f/16) to my inside shot (f/5.6) that's an 8X change in light (assuming all other conditions remain roughly the same, from F/16->f/11/->f/8->f/5.6)  I normally shot at 1ms shutter speed, sometimes 2ms, but we'll use the fastest right now.  To get my picture properly composed I'd have to go to 8ms (1/125 of a sec)  Yikes!  At that point you're in what could be called the blur range (below 1/250sec, photographs have a tendency to begin to blur because of problems with stability.)  If I had been using a 2ms starting point....well you see.

    Now this isn't likely to be fixed in any quick manner unless we invent really really tiny mechanical aperatures that are inexpensive since smart phones are kinda stuck for space.  It's also why I carry a cheap point and shoot if I'm going somewhere I might want to take pictures (like PAX) because even a cheap $50 point and shoot has a decent aperature and a mechanical focusing mechanism that's fairly decent.

    One option to fix this would be to try to mess with the settings on the phone (the important one in question here would be ISO, turning it up gets a more sensitive film) except that these are all really just "fake" settings.  (obviously there's no film, and you can't make the chip more sensitive than it's best abilities, although I guess you could make it worse if you wanted a longer exposure....) My guess is in low light situations, "Auto" does a good job of doing the best it can, since it can't take in any more light via aperature, and it can't actually use a faster film, it has to increase the exposure (or take a dark picture) and both of these lead to bad photographs.

    TL;DR: Cell phone cameras won't be as good as even cheap point and shots in low light for a while.

  • Hey, wait a minute,@tsrblke....are you insinuating that I'm embarrassing?  LOL.  Sorry, couldn't resist.

    And, yes, I cannot stress enough for WP7 users the following mantra: When in doubt, press and hold!  It's the new right-click!

    And, I just downloaded the new app "Ask Ziggy".  I have to say, so far, it's filling in the voice command gap in TellMe quite nicely.  I think it might even give Siri a run for its money.  So far, it's only version 1.0, but you can ask all the silly little questions you can with Siri, you can generate text messages AND Facebook entries, you can call people as well.  So far, the two things that still give Siri the edge are that you can't set a calendar entry or set an alarm.  If they add those two things, then I think we will have closed that particular gap.  Be warned, though, like Siri, it's cloud-based, so peformance will completely hinge upon your connection (I'm sure you've all heard about the frequent Siri outages).  Oh, one last thing....it's apparently Australian because in settings you can choose between two voices---Bloke or Sheila ;)

    Well done!

  • @Kenny, first, I won't be changing my name.  I originally was on here as ScubaDog2008 (the year I got certified as a scuba instructor), but for some reason the account got bulloxed up, so I created a new one with 2011.  I'll stick with this one, pending unforeseen circumstances.  And, right you are on our "relationship".  While I'm unabashedly an WP7 fan and definitely a despiser of Apple & Google, I think if everyone looks back at my posts in all the threads they can see I do call out MS when it's appropriate.  Also, those who deal with me face to face can tell you that I'm at least fair enough with the other platforms to find out what the potential user wants from the device and I recommend appropriately.  I think I'm pretty fair on the strengths each has, but I'm also quite up front that there are things some call strengths on a platform that I call weaknesses (and vice versa).  At this point, the differences between the platforms have boiled down to less about apps (now that the Marketplace has 50,000 apps, there are only a precious few significant ones still missing, and they're supposedly on their way), and more about a much more subjective line of comparision.  Apple has the plethora of devices and attachments.  Slutdroid has the ultimate in customization and, arguably, the most bleeding edge hardware (and, I'd contend, it NEEDS it).  WP7 has the integrated access to the services most people use and unique interface (and soon to have a more consistent meme across all hardware platforms).  Apple owns cradle to grave, hence is rigid in its hardware and variation.  Slutdroid owns none of it and allows virtually complete freedom to do whatever you want with the device.  WP7 is in between the two, with the degree of rigidity necessary to maintain a consistent user experience and less fragmentation and chaos but not completely lacking in hardware variation.  So, as it should be, it now comes down to user experience.  I think 2012 will see a pretty solid leveling of the playing field.  I don't expect iPhone 5 to be all that groundshaking in hardware update (it will probably be closer to the high-end Google devices).  And, if rumors persist, we'll see similar with WP8 (or Apollo or whatever it will be called).

    BTW, I was able to convince another iPhone user to switch to WP7.  And she absolutely is gushing over it. =P

  • @ Nikhill

    Yeah, please friend me. www.facebook.com/rodneyej

  • @Rodney - For a user, who will not explore and keep the settings to auto, it's not very good to be honest. For medium light, it's decent enough. As I mentioned before, when settings are set to auto, it uses the flash. In low light, play around with the settings, like Focus Mode, whether it's for a close up or not (macro), Scene and Contrast.. It then does a OK kind of job. But, of course it won't snap a pic like a 'proper' cam would.

    Well, if you're on Facebook or can maybe share an email, I'll share the album I described earlier and you can judge for yourself :)

    In that album, I deliberately tried out Auto mode, Macro mode, Sports mode and Night mode. Along with Flash On/Off...

  • @ Nikhill

    How's the camera in low light situations? Anything less than medium high - high light and my focus takes horrible pics.

  • @jtagscott - Just look at this thread, mate... If there's one thing that I've benefited from this community, it is that I can just put my thoughts out here... Be they positive, negative, plain old whining.. whatever! And I get a lot of excellent tips and suggestions from some great folks who've used WP for long and know what they're on about (I esp. mean you - Rodney, Scuba, tsrblke, Kenny, Tony.. thank you!)

    You are free to do the same.. And lets see if we can plead and plead MS so that WP gets marketed more!

    @All - Oh! One more thing... The camera's not too shabby ..a previous comment of mine might've conveyed that impression. However, I'm just back from a (very very) short trip to the Western Ghats (west coast of India, specifically Maharashtra state) that's absolutely scenic and breathtaking in terms of natural beauty, and offers plenty of photographing opportunities..

    I've no (at best, limited) knowledge of photography and yet have managed to get some decent snaps. I put it down to the camera and the software doing it's job... Really satisfied!

    Which gets me to my question.. Does anyone know of a good panorama app for clicking photos in panoramic mode.. My Lumia does not seem to have this inbuilt... And while MS has an iPhone app called PhotoSynth for this, I could not find the same app for WP! Unbelievable! Ignoring their own, are they now?

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @jtagscott

    Glad to hear we beat you into submission! ;)

    We're here to help at any time. Just hijack a thread, I doubt Stroh will care.

    Meanwhile, a few simple tips! Make sure you're fully upgraded (Current versions are on the Update Central page).  Also remember "Press and Hold" will sometimes reveal magic commands! I forget that a lot.  So if you can't find something you think should be there, press and hold will often reveal it.

  • @ Rodney E. Jones, djmikebrady, tsrblke, Kenny Rawlins  

    Thanks so much to all who replied! I'm sold! I'm gonna embrace my new WP and make it mine. That means I'm gonna be around here for awhile. So I may take you up on your offers for ?'s and tips. But for now I'm gonna spend the next few days or week or so getting to know my new little buddy. (The WP, that is). Thanks again & talk to ya'll soon.

    P.S.- I'm in on the t-shirt thing too!

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @ Nikhil Mahajan

    Aye! I hear you, I came from a dumbphone as well, and was constantly forgetting my charger because "phones should last longer than this."  Now I'm much more used to it.  I just charge ever night or every other night.  My wife's focus S though seem to go on forever....

    @jtagscott

    Welcome, pull up a chair and stay a while. In some ways this blog is like going to a bar and listening to people argue about their favorite sports team (I've always imagined we'd sound like a group of old cigar smoking guys ;) ).  We can be kind, harsh, humourous, sad, the whole range really.  But we're always looking for more people to join up.  Ask us anything, we'll tell you (often even if it's embarassing.)

    Speaking of embarssing, Scuba makes a good point about all the cool features of this phone.  Do you like music?  If so, than I can not reccomend the Zune Pass enough.  The integration across the ecosystem is what sets it apart from any other similar service.  And while I do lament the loss of the 10 "keep" tracks/month, I'm actually scaling my pass back from that because my Wife loved it so much she got one too (we got tired of guest syncing her phone) and she hasn't even begun to play with Smart DJ yet.

    All of that being said, the embarassing thing is more of a cautionary tale, be care with those Xbox live gold family packs ;).  I've accidently promoted my wife out of it (in a desperite attempt to fix random glitiches on her windows phone) added my brother as a seperate gold account (although support tells me that's how it works, you get a free 1 month trial before the person adds), failed to properly accept the ToS's across the ecosystem for days (with humorous results) and a few other things.  The size of the MS ecosystem is the blessing and the curse!

  • @ jtagscott  >>Hey, make sure you go over to WindowsPhone.com and get set up on the "MY Phone" section of the site.. that is if you haven't already of course. This site will help you get the most out of your phone, and show you all of those hidden features.

    Remember some of the highlighted parts of the ecosystem are Skydrive, Zune, Xbox, Office, and so on. There is a Skydrive and Xbox companion app available in the marketplace as well. If you search for ''Microsoft'' in the marketplace these apps will pop up, including other official apps for your phone. Have fun!

    Here is the link to WindowsPhone.com  www.windowsphone.com/.../my

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @jtagscott,

    Welcome to the windows phone family,and one of the greatest thing is that we're very fair and realistic here,and we don't let our fanatism for windows phone and Microsoft blind us.i want to reassure you that you didn't just make a bold choice by choosing windows phone,but also the best choice.u might miss certain features depending on which phone u had before,but it wouldn't matter,because of the amazing new features and new ways windows phone accomplishes its tasks.

    @Nikhil Mahajan,

    Unfortunately you can't change the white back in the office hub and in documents.i guess it has to do with the idea that documents happen to be virtual paper documents which are traditionally ink prints on white paper.hopefully Microsoft finds a better way to control screen brightness for the office hub.

    @Scubadog2011

    its funny how at times we might appear two war enemies but at times appear as best friends forever.lol.btw is your name going to change to 2012.lol

  • @jtagscott and djmikebrady

    Actually the 710 will be hitting in a few weeks! But never the less, you just got the most kick ass phone, even if MS refuses to advertise it. Hopefully you can join in out efforts to get MS to give us some WP t-shirts....

  • @jtagscott - Welcome aboard!!  Glad you're liking your Trophy!  It gets some flack from the die-hard hardware fans, but the fact of the matter is, it's a solid phone, and has very high customer satisfaction ratings on Amazon and other resellers.  

    That being said, about the only reason I'd say to hang on to your receipt, is that Nokia's brand new 710 is heading to Verizon in a few months...  In all honesty though, it's not an earth shattering upgrade from what you've got, and I'm sure its release date is well past your 30 day window.  So with that in mind, dive right in and ask as many questions as you want!  There are several great, smart people on here that answer all kinds of questions - at the very least, you'll have a much better picture of where you stand in this big smartphone universe after a few days of hanging out here!

    Oh, and Happy New Year to all! :)

  • @Kenny Rawlins - Regarding continuous usage of screen while reading... If the screen being on is the main reason why the battery gets drained, is there a way to turn the Office background black? Because, right now the backgorund is white, and the text black (or whatever color you've set it to). I think one good way is to reduce the brightness manually through settings to low. However, I did not find a dramatic improvement in the battery life.

    @tsrblke - Welcome back, then! Well, it's my first smartphone. My earlier (dumb)phone gave me a minimum 2-2.5 days battery life. So I did not realise that this reduction in battery life is 'not bad'... I'm still getting to know and learn about my Lumia 800...

    @All - I'm willing to buy a WP T-shirt as well!

    Another idea that might be good is to post videos of us WP fans going on & on about the things we like about WP...

    But leave the responsibility of popularising the video (aka making it viral) to MS folk... They've much better means than us.. Maybe that can help... Who knows?

  • Thank goodness for this blog!  I was close to bailing on my new WP because I was chided by family and friends for picking it over the other 2 options. I didn't do a lot of research but I figured these new smartphones are like little computers and who's better at computers than Microsoft. I thought it was an easy decision until my Android and Apple friends said I had just made an awful decision."You don' want that". "There's no apps". 'They don't even advertise it".  "It's gonna flop"',  they said! Well, they had me scared! I used it for a day, and, even though I liked it, I came home and almost boxed it up to send back. But, then I thought twice, and decided to not make a rash decision, and do some research.

    I wanted to find something to give me confidence to keep the thing! Is it still gonna be around before my contract is up? What about the disparity in the amount of apps? Why don't I see it advertised? Etc. After going to the WP website and reading some of the posts on this blog (I see that most everyone who posts is pretty positive about WP) I now have a little more confidence about keeping my HTC Trophy. Although. I feel like I'm taking a bit of a chance. Kinda like back in the early 80's, that I'm picking a Betamax over a VHS vcr. I only have a limited time to return it. But, as it stands right now I'm gonna gamble on the Windows Phone and see what happens!

  • Come Monday it's back to work! The team is going to pic up where they left off, working on the next update. I can hear it now..it's 9:10am tomorrow morning... " what were we talking about? Oh yeah,, you were wondering how we are going to get Tango out to Focus Vs1.4 users" .....lol, just joking... Sorry for that, but I thought it was kind of funny.

  • Conny
    60 Posts

    I'd definitely buy a WP t-shirt. Or a hoodie *cough*!!!

    That said, I wish all of you a Happy New Year. I can't wait to see what 2012 has in store for my family here at home, as well for my extended WP family. (That includes you Nokia <3). All the best from us to you!

    Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.

    Benjamin Franklin

  • @Vieya

    Sorry to ask, but are you a WP user, or are you thinking of getting one soon? After 35 post those questions seem kind of funny. I'm not sure if you have some ulterior motive, or if you are just looking for facts only.

  • @vieya - Sadly, that's a no on both questions.  I'm really hoping they fix them both soon, ESPECIALLY the Exchange encryption.  I work for a healthcare organization, and thanks to the privacy laws, our exchange servers require full device encryption.  Nothing kills me quite like the iphones connecting happily to our MICROSOFT mail server, while my MICROSOFT phone is locked out...

  • vieya
    44 Posts

    Does windows phone support encrypted Exchange storage or will it anytime soon?

  • vieya
    44 Posts

    Does windows phone 7 have USB mass storage, file explorer or a slot for SD cards?

  • KR
    503 Posts

    So the countdown for the official end of 2011 has begun

    WHERE THE HELL IS THE SKYPE APP??????

  • @ Mike Brady

    Ha! Not helping mike...lol

  • T-shirts! T-shirts! T-shirts!......Today I have recruited yet another WinPhoner. My father in law is the proud owner of a brand new Focus Flash! He was about to get the Samsung captive until my wife called me in for insight on how it differs from the Android Captivate. Once I told her to push the whole MS ecosystem on him it was a done deal. Now, he is in his 60's so what does that tell you? What's sad is that they were at the att store and had to call me about the pros and cons of both Android and WP. What tha fu??? I wonder how many other people from around his generation would be interested in WP once they found out about the benefits of the MS ecosystem...What a no-brainer right?

    We need some better advertising guys, because sales staff are clueless. We could also use some...T-shirts! T-shirts! T-shirts!... I think I deserve one today.

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @Rodney E,

    I'll second you on the t-shirt idea,I'm even open to buying a windows phone T-shirt.

  • @Rodney - your requests for T-Shirts reminded me of this article... :)

    blog.seattlepi.com/.../microsoft-gives-lousy-t-shirts-to-windows-phone-7-jailbreakers

  • How about we earn points based on how much we post on the blog? Maybe 500 post could equal a WP tshirt. After reaching a desired amount of points we would be able to redeem them for a promotional code that would be sent by email. The code would be redeemable for WP merchandise over at the Bing Rewards centre, which would be further advertising for that program.

    Speaking of Bing Rewards, if you guys would simply just put some WP t-shirts, and other WP branded items, in there, that would work to. I have about 1000 points waiting for a WP shirt, but only Bing t-shirts are available. Michael, can you guys please get with the Bing team about this?

  • !! This is some serious feedback !!  Although it's mostly negative, it's mainly constructive criticism.

    I hope you "the WP team" are reading this stuff! This if free market research for you guys, and it's very, very valuable. All we ask in return is for some cool WP t-shirt's, which would be free advertising for you guys. WP can't loose! Seriously, please find a way to get us some decent quality t-shirts, like the ones you supplied to the promoters at the night out parties. I'm serious! Please? A red one for me, hehe ;)

    Who else out there wants a WP t-shirt?

  • Actually, @Kenny, I agree with you.  If I were king of Microsoft for a day the first thing I would have done would have been to call the phone a METRO.  That's the user experience--and the best one in existence, no matter what anyone says--and that's what's being pushed on all other platforms, Windows and otherwise.  So.  There you have it.  It's far too late now to change it, but I think it would have done much better if we were buying a Metrophone.

  • @Rodney---totally agree that the other carriers need to step up.  It's just plain ignorant for any of them to not snap up new WP7 device or two.  Ignorant, I tell you!  And, as for how long it will before LTE gets in my area.....WE'RE ON THE FRICKIN' BORDER, mijo!  I suspect the drug cartels have scared off the technicians (secured border, my great nanny's fanny!).  Seriously, though, we only got 3G here a little over a year ago.  I was really hoping the merger with T-Mobile was going to work out so the infrastructure would grow quicker.  Stupid flippin' government got in the way.  AGAIN.

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    Jeez, I take 1 week off the blog for vacation and miss half the freaken comments.

    So I'll tackle these in entirely random order, and possibly not even consistantly!

    First, on battery life, Screen screen screen.  Especially if you have an OLED set to white background.  (Well any screen set to white background, but since OLED benefits from black you'll notice it more.)  FWIW, 2 hours continuous screen time (plus a few calls) and only dumping about 40% of your battery is not that bad.

    On low end devices.  While I don't agree with Android's crappy stategy, it unforuntately has to be dealt with.  By this I mean that the average consumer walks into a store and says "Grunt, smartphone, grunt" and the sales people walk them through the options.  I have no numbers to back this up (MS probably does), but I bet a significant portion of the *non-iphone enthused* crowd gravitate towards the devices with the lowest sticker price.  Another significant group want killer specs (even if those specs don't translate to performance increases, as a comparision to computers it's like buying a 6-Core, hyperthreading processor to run Office) so they can show off their killer specs.  (I'm not even going to touch the iSheep crowd in this discussion.)  Now android has the benefit of being able to appeal to both of these camps.  The cost for that though is pretty significant fragmenation. (Actually this is only the cost of Google's implimentaiton of Android, which I'll get to in a moment).  MS has the ability (and the deep pockets) to mitigate fragmentation on the large scale while still offering a broad spectrum of phones to market.  (e.g. all apps will work on all phones, except those that don't actually have the specific hardware, i.e. FFC, to accomplish what the app actually does, i.e. video chat.  Compare this to Android where Skype may not actually run on al FFC equipped phones, I'm looking at you Samsung Infuze!)  Thus MS can operate in both regions of google's market and (in theory) play up the android fragmenation problem as a huge con.  (Yes, it's more of a continuuum than a simple set of two camps, but grant me generalizations for now.)

    Speaking of which, MS, where the hell is my payment for handing over tons of ad campaigns to you?  (Oh wait, my fanboi-dom has netted me 3 phones now, admittedly one broke, but still 3).  In that case why aren't you using these golden nuggets!

    Anyway, on to Android and Google's "Don't be evil" philosophy.  I've come to the conclusion that the list of reasons Google released android as an Open Source OS (OSOS? Anyway...) is short.  Possibly as little as two. 1) They didn't want to invest time selling a phone OS (and has MS has proven, it does take time, plus they have 0 contacts whereas MS presumably had a Roladex left over from WinMo.) Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, release it as Open source allowed them to claim "See, we love developers and we're not evil!" while at the same time, driving marketshare towards their real cash cows, Gmail, Search, and (of course that which ties them) adsense.  (I'm told this is called Dumping?)  Because Google is Teflon (or as Raymond Chen said: the "cute two-year-old girl with curly blond hair") they get away with what is almost something straight out of the Nietzschian handbook of morality.....

    I think that catches me up?  Did I forget anything?

  • The thing about LTE is that It's not whether I care about it, or how much you use it, or if it's popular right now, It's that Verizon and ATT are GOING TO MAKE IT a feature that MOST people who are looking for a smartphone want. It's inevitable! You know, what's going to always hold Windows Phone back from being competitive is the mind set that it doesn't need this or that because all this "we're different" BS. That theory is not going to sell phones because Apple and Google, soon BB, aren't going to stop moving forward and take the "we don't need that" approach, that sadly many WP users have resorted to. I think it's kind of pathetic to be like "if I cant have it then it's not necessary" Sounds kind of trivial and immature to me. Sorry, but it just does... I understand, and am sympathetic that some feature are not available to all users, or it may take longer for some to take advantage of new features, but I have to look at WP as a Global OS that is being developed to please the needs of everyone.

    I want to be competitive and not always be on a Grandma OS, but I love WP and it's class, esthetic and professionalism. Sometimes it seems like MS has convinced us that its acceptable to not be innovative with the hardware and just let the software speak run the show. I'm going to tell you guys that I'm a serious car guy and I like muscle, speed and performance. I also LOVE good craftsmanship, exclusivity, and quality. I will never settle for just aesthetics and comfort because I want the best of both worlds, and anything less just wont do. Scuba was right! the Lumia 800 is a great phone, a very, very nice one, but it just doesn't have enough memory. Luckily, Nokia seems to be moving in the exact direction towards "doing it".. I want WP to be the first to surpass the 60GB mark. Why only 60GB? Why always trail the others. If dual core processors aren't necessary then great, but they have to be on the team because they are in demand. It's that simple! I have a lot of faith that WP will have a broad range of phones to appeal to different peoples budget, but will WP rang from entry level to super phone, or entry level to average. Don't fool yourselves, these second wave WP devices are great, great, great, and I wish I had the Focus S instead of my regular focus, but they are just average devices when looking at what's available as far as hardware is concerned. I bet that anyone of you guys could make a list of 10 new hardware related innovations you have seen in the past 6 months that you would love to see on a WP device... Ask for it please! Never give up. We must push to be the first in new hardware innovation, as well as "bang for the buck". No less will be tolerated any longer because this OS is just to great to not be encased in GOLD!

    It's up to MS, Nokia, HTC, Samsung, ZTE, Fujitsu, LG... and all the providers to make it happen, and it will happen! 2012/2013 will be one of the most glorious years for Windows Phone! Mark my word! I know that some great things are in store very soon, but there's still work to be done. The race will never be won by anyone, which is great for us, but WP needs to be neck and neck with it's competitors, not just "the third OS". Happy New Year to everyone who wants to win with Windows Phone!!!!!

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @Nikhil Mahajan

    I don't think it was office that drained your battery,I think it's the screen since it was continuously on and being used frequently since you were scrolling through pages to read Sherlock Holmes.

  • My turning point on Google was when I got my Android phone... I'd had a google account for years, from blogging with Blogger, and had Google Contacts that sync'd with my Palm Pre.  When I set that up on the Pre, I simply signed in with the same credentials I use to sign into Blogger.

    When I got the Android phone, I went to do the same thing, and it WOULD NOT WORK.  It insisted that I MUST create a gmail account in order to set up the phone.  I had never wanted or needed a gmail account... I own several domains, and am perfectly happy with the email addresses I get through them.  But in order to set up my phone, I suddenly had to create a gmail account, to use the same contact and calendar lists I'd been using on my Pre for the past year.  

    What a relief to find while setting up my WP7 that while I did need a Live account, I didn't need ANOTHER email account.  And it imported my google contacts and calendar perfectly.  

    After years of MS being portrayed as evil in so many ways, they're shining as the MUCH more consumer-friendly company these days...

  • @Scuba - Google's Do No Evil, I certainly Do "Know" Evil, when I see it. And I see Google as the most evil of them big corporations.... Call me biased or whatever... find me a viable alternative for Google (Bing's becoming one :) and I'll stop using Google products altogether.

    @Rodney - Yeah, well pleased with the battery life.

    @All - Well, one quirky thing I noticed... I was traveling this week and had nothing to do... so decided to read Sherlock Holmes (downloaded txt files via Project Gutenberg) on the Lumia. The files opened as Word docs in Office. I read for continuous 2hrs (with maybe 2 calls and a few texts in between). And my battery went from showing me 75% charged to a lowly 30%. Does using Office impact on the battery to such an extent? I'm a bit confused. I'd had excellent network coverage throughout, WiFi was off (I was in a bus). Well, this is not a complaint. It's not as if I will chuck my phone away because of this... I just need to manage my usage a bit better now. This was a surprise I wish hadn't come my way.  If anybody here has faced such a problem before, please comment and guide...

  • KR
    503 Posts

    Just to say goodnight

    I don't really think LTE is a crucial or must have feature,or what will create more attraction for WP,I don't think the average user really cares about that,even me who I'll say a power user don't care about LTE and will not even use it as a characteristic for choosing a phone.heck even a good majority of Android users around me with most of them having LTE enabled phones don't even care

  • KR
    503 Posts

    Amongst all the generation 2 devices,there's a lot of noise around the Lumia which as I said in my previous post is not even the 2nd best WP IMHO,but Nokia markets its device and its brand name,not really the OS,but other OEMs notably Samsung and HTC are more inclined on marketing the OS and hardware,not the user experience or build quality,reason why I think they market more their Android phones since they can sing how many cores the phone has or whatever devil the engine is running and luckily android is already established so they do very little on marketing that side.but they can't really help with windows phone,since it doesn't need all the 16 core processors and whatever to be amazing,it rocks outta the box even on the lowest chassis,but now the OS is not established so for them to market their WPs,they have to start telling people,this is not windows mobile,its windows phone(does those two names sound different?of course no),so how do they do this???they have no hardware to brag about since its useless and highly regulated they don't have an established OS and worst again one that carry's a cursed name which brings back nightmares to some people.they market their brand since they've already tied it with android(go on Samsung.ca) and take a look for yourself and tell me if you classify Samsung as a solely android or as a multiple OS supporter.

  • KR
    503 Posts

    I'm still of the opinion that one of the basic bad things Microsoft did with windows phone is the name,not just the windows brand but also the name as a whole.

    First let me talk about the name as a whole:lets face it,if u get a guy who hasn't heard about of the major mobile OS and present to him the names of the 3 major mobile Os (iOS/iPhone,Android,windows phone) and ask him to select the worst,least catchy name,I bet windows phone will be his pick.tbh,its boring,not catchy,too long and to some point pathetic as a name for a mobile OS and for this case such a wonderful OS which in my opinion is the best,unique stands out and gets things done just perfectly.windows phone is revolutionary and a big appearance starts by a name which creates excitement and makes people drool.lets take the Lumia for example,I was fortunate to try one and in my opinion is alright but not even the 2nd best windows phone out there,but the name is catchy accompanied with a great marketing from Nokia.i'm sure even Nokia knows about the bad name of WP OS reason why their commercials focus on the Nokia branding and what the phone can do while avoiding the OS's name.

    My second point is the windows branding-not a very big problem IMHO but it's not one to ignore.all those who hear about "windows phone" very know about it,the vast minority think its still windows mobile,which we all know was,to put it simple a "mistake",the other little minority haven't even heard of that,and immediately see it horrible to have a PC OS on a phone since they know Windows =PC (makes sense to me).

    i think Windows Phone can really use a better name.

    I might be wrong,but it's just my opinion.I've never taken a marketing course in my life and FTW I'm an economist

    Now Scubadog2011 you can go ahead an lunch an assault on me

  • @ ScubaDog2011

    Dang! No LTE for 3 years? You think so? Why so long?

  • @ ScubaDog201

    You know,,, seeing that I plan on waiting for the 3rd 3.5 or 4th wave of devices, whatever, sometime around this coming holiday season, I would rather see these phones spread out over the other carriers, mainly Verizon, just so some of the other people could enjoy WP without having to switch carriers just yet. Seriously, att needs only one LTE phone right now because of the "Average" demand for LTE. Even one LTE phone on att would be suitable for anybody here in DFW that wants one right now. I really think that MS is trying to use att as their only carrier in the future, like Apple has done in the pass, in order to push out updates in the manner promised, and to simplify business. Maybe one carrier would be best for now. It didn't slow sales of the black eye phone. Now, that's easy for me to say because I'm already on att. Others might feel f*&^%d!

  • Okay, this is exciting news.  AT&T is getting the Nokia Ace, the HTC Radiant and the Samsung Mendel, all LTE WP7 devices!  Now if we could just track down specs on these babies.  I'm hoping for at least one of these to have 32GB or better of storage.  The LTE really isn't a big thing for me since we probably won't see LTE here on the border for the next three years.  But the rest of the possibilities? Hmmmm.

  • @Timgriff84, why don't you use www.windowsphone.com and reinstall them en masse?  It worked great for me.  It immediately began installing all my apps over the air (of course, it works faster with WiFi).  It was no effort at all.

  • Sorry this comment has nothing to do with this blog post but I'd just like to say as much as I love WP7, I'm right in the middle of 2 hours of reinstalling apps after my phone being repared and this seriously sucks. Do you have any idea what is like going through a list of every app you've ever purchased, clicking reinstall on the ones you want, recieving an email on your phone, following the link to the app and re-downloading them.

    What's so hard about having them individually stored on Zune and Syncing them like the iPhone does with iTunes.

  • @Scuba - you're my new hero!  Your Apple rant is almost word-for-word what i tell people when they ask me about the whole mac vs. PC debate...  And from 2009 til a few months ago, I ran my own tech support company.  I didn't advertise that I worked on apple, because I seriously hate working on them.  But I did a couple jobs for mac owners I know, and before I knew it, I was getting calls ALL THE TIME for mac repair.  And I always responded with the initial statement, "I thought they never had problems?". But you're right, they'll pay through the nose to get their precious beautiful designs worked on...

    @Rodney - I agree... More, fresh ads are due.  This big 2012 push that's been mentioned is going to be very exciting!  And I'll keep you updated on my commuter WP7 sightings... Which just reminded me - yesterday at work, I heard the unmistakable sounds of a WP7 over the wall in the cube farm at work, so it sounds like someone joined the club over Christmas!

    Finally, I got my wife an Arrive for Christmas.  She had been using a Samsung feature phone, and was positive she didn't want or need a smartphone.  After just 4 days, she told me over dinner last night that she didn't think she could go back, and she couldn't believe how easy it was to use.  We have an android tablet, which she has been struggling with since we got it, so her instant love of WP7 is an awesome thing to see!

    ...meanwhile our daughter who has an LG  android phone is still hating it, claiming she'll never buy another LG (even though all of her issues are 100% android) and once again uttered the immortally stupid phrase, "I wish I would have bought a 'Droid'".  I tried again explaining to her that she already had a droid, but as a 19 year old college student, she's learned more from Verizon's ad campaign than I could ever teach her...  Ironically, she has no desire to switch to VZW...  4 days til she goes back to school!  ;)

  • @ Dj mike..  That's what I like to here. I found someone at a graduation party with one, and my friend is thinking about getting the Radar, as he's on TM.  Adoption would rise If more carriers had a decent selection of devices. There are people out there literally begging for a Windows phone, especially in Canada.

    @ Scuba...  Yeah, that's exactly how I feel about Google. Bing is definitely more polished, with the exception of Bing maps for desktop and Mobile. And, Android seems to me like just a continuation of WM, which is sad. It can't possibly continue to be taken seriously on the smartphone front for long in it's current state. I predict it will go the route Nokia did in the US around the mid 2000's. Before long It will probably be considered the cheep, unpopular, alternative to most people who are serious about their purchase. Android will eventually end up being concidered as the premier feature phone OS, which if you think about the numbers it already is.

    @ Nikhil...  That's great about the battery life. Lets see the competition do that. Yet, another great feature that's not being advertised. Isnt it about time for a third wave of commercials here in the US? The few that premiered months back are getting old and scarce. Oh Brother! Again?

  • @Nikhil, you gave me a good laugh with the "Do -no-evil" remark!

  • @Scuba - "I know Nokia certainly isn't going to hold back.".. Damn right! I'm from India, where Nokia is (still) the leader in cellphones (not necessarily smartphones), Everywhere, on any TV channel, I see ads for the Lumia. It gives me great hope! About hating Google/Android.. I agree with you Scuba that Google is a company without morals. Their motto/slogan is supposedly Do No Evil... Well, I guess "No" is silent, for they certainly do lots of evil.

    Capturing WiFi network data in EU countries and blaming it on a developer mistake? C'mon, I'm a software developer myself and this explanation sounds hogwash to me. It raises more questions and problems than Pandora's Box ever could.

    @All - Well, I've an update regarding my Nokia Lumia 800.. On Friday 23 Dec, 2011, exactly a week after I'd got my Lumia, my phone was replaced! The Nokia Priority Store cited "battery issues". Replacement was hassle free and I've no complaints. The battery does really seem to be improved. In an earlier post, I complained about the less than stellar battery life.

    Well, now I use WiFI, GPRS (2G) when WiFi is not available, various apps, IE, Office and I have good news! The battery does last for a very decent 20+ hours when above mentioned usage is high Otherwise, the battery lasts for more than 1.5 days. I'm delighted :)

  • On a happy note, a friend of mine who uses an iPhone 3GS and whose wife did as well just bought her a new Windows Phone 7 for Christmas.  I had told him that if she had a substantial investment in iPhone accessories or apps he probably should just upgrade her to the 4S, but that if not he should seriously consider a WP7.  I let him play with it, see what I could easily do with it, and to my surprise his wife is now a convert.

    I noted on Paul Thurrott's site that Microsoft is supposedly going to kick off a seriously powerful campaign to get Windows Phones out there.  I'm anxious to see if that really materializes.  I know Nokia certainly isn't going to hold back.

  • Actually, I've never liked Google as a search engine.  That was the start for me.  I began using a search engine called Startpage, which kept all my searches completely private (I hate that Google abuses my data blatantly, and I hate that they support immoral causes).  I stopped using them when they got into bed with Google (they are now "enhanced" by Google).  Bing came along and it was horrible at first, but quickly got better.  It works faster and smoother and gave me much better results.  When the first Android devices came out they were trash to begin with and they were really no different than the old Windows Mobile, so I saw zero advantage to moving.  Again, Google is an immoral company as far as I'm concerned, so I had even less inclination to use their products.  And, of course, the fragmentation had already begun and I thought, "Gee, those idiots are so stupid they didn't learn from Microsoft's mistakes?".  I held my breath waiting for WP7 to come out and I was OH, so thankful I did.  At this point, Google just gets into bed with anyone and anything, their support for the ecosystem is crap...and they don't really need to care because they are just a bunch of sluts when it comes to getting OEMs to pump out devices left and right.  There's no consistency, no integrity, etc.  I just hate Google and everything it stands for.

    As for Apple....well, I started back in the day working on both Apples/Macs & PCs (warranty work).  Apple products were historically proprietary, MUCH more expensive and not any more reliable (less, so, I'd argue) than PCs.  The company I worked for made more money off of Apple products per unit because people were stupid enough to pay hand over fist for them.  Of course, eventually, they became less proprietary....but no less expensive.  I've always been able to get a more powerful overall device for less money as a PC than I could a Mac.  And I can get a LOT more applications and games for the PC.  Then there's the whole pompous Steve Jobs telling people that "I don't care what people think they want...I'll TELL them what they want".  Frankly, I don't care how good a product is, if a company takes that attitude with me, I can tell them where they can stick their product.  At this point, Windows Phone wipes the floor with both Slutdroid and iOS, with only a few exceptions that mean absolutely nothing to me.

    So, that's it in a nutshell.

  • Hey Rodney - another day, another new WP7 sighting on the train!  That makes it an almost daily occurance that I see a WP7 user... And I notice a NEW one every week or two.  It's growing!

  • OMG! YOU GUYS GOTTA GO HERE AND VOTE!

    Vote for the Lumia 800 over the Galaxy Nexus!... gizmodo.com/.../vote-for-the-most-important-gadget-of-the-year-round-3

  • @ Scuba

    Hey, I don't care for Android at all either, but I was wondering where your smoldering hatred for Google/Android comes from? What happened?

    People just don't understand how much it killed me that WM was sinking and my only other option was Android, and how good I felt when I first saw the images of "Windows Phone 7 Series" It's been like a fairytale story where there's always a perfect ending. Yes! Yes! I love my WP!.... Man, what if MS gave up altogether? What a nightmare it would have been. A NIGHTMARE YOU HEAR ME!

  • Nice, @Rodney, nice. ;)

    I just saw the alleged "leak" of the Microsoft roadmap for Windows Phone, and I keep seeing more comments about Tango just modifying the OS to be able to use "lower spec" devices.  The opinion that seems to be frequently expressed in the articles is that it's clearly to get Windows Phone to compete against the flood of low-end Android devices.  I just don't get this.  Which the hell is it?  Are people flooding to Slutdroid phones because they're cutting edge or because their cheapo pieces of flotsam?  Android is a slutty operating system that is so open that it is--and can be--used and abused by anyone and any OEM.  It makes little sense to me for Microsoft to try to chase that behavior.  Apple, in stark contrast, has never been about low-end specs.  In fact, to some extent, they haven't even been about cutting edge.  Yet people still flock to get that one-trick pony.  You can't customize it like you can the Slutdroid (I'd argue that customization is the ONLY way to make a Slutdroid useful).  Again, this doesn't seem to dampen the nearly religious following of the iPhone.

    Honestly, I don't have the faintest idea if Tango and low-end devices will capture any marketshare.  To hear many of the people on these blogs you'd think that the only chance Windows Phone has is to go completely high-end (which will mean uber-high prices, too).  On top of that, there is absolutely no substantive information on what's in store for Windows Phone 8...we don't know if it will still be the WinCE core or if it will be some version of the core from Windows 8 (tablet).  Oh, we've heard rumors as to a feature or two, but nothing about what the heart of it will be.

    The things I have reasonable confidence in are:

    The Metro UI plus the Hub concept of integration are easily the best user experience.  Period.  And the greatest secret.

    Metro in Windows 8 coupled with the Metro flavor of XBox will go a long way to influence the interface meme of more customers.

    The Windows 8 tablets will probably turn out to be the viable alternative to the iPad because it will give the touch interface people expect from the iPad but have nearly all the functionality they wanted to carry over from their desktops.

    Things that I hope for are (pronounced "pipedream"):

    Google continues down the path Microsoft went and ends up in so much trouble that it gets seriously damaged.

    Slutdroid gets so fractured that people experience the same frustration us Windows Mobile users experienced back in the day and a backlash ensues.

    Google/Slutdroid collapses, sells off what's still viable, and disappears as a company altogether.

    Anyway, here's to an interesting 2012.

  • @ Scuba

    Now, wasn't that fun??? Kind of like a "needle in the arm" after so long.. Ahhhhhhhh lol! Don't you just love spen..up the keyboard dropped down, damnit.. As I was saying, don't you just love spending time speculating about WP?

  • WOW, @Rodney, I'd hate to have a life so empty that I live for something to complain about, LOL!!!!  All seriousness aside, though, neither ZTE nor Fujitsu interest me at this point.  None of the current Lumias interest me.  A potential 32GB Lumia 900 DOES interest me, particularly if it's anywhere between a 4.0 and 4.7 inch screen.  In fact, any next gen device that has 32GB or greater of storage and bigger screen has my attention.  As much as the Focus S and Titan are excellent devices, the anemic storage turns me off....well, THAT and the fact that I still have many months left on my 2yr contract.  As for original Focus tethering, since that is strictly a carrier-dependent feature, I've only heard rumors that AT&T will not be extending that update for us...I think that's their enticement to get folks to upgrade to the Focus S or Titan.  And, on the disappearing keyboard front, I'm betting Tango will see the fix for that.  I see the issue every once in awhile but it's not serious enough for me to be concerned.

  • I hate these long intermissions. I want to bi#$h about something!.... How about some news about LG or LTE or Verizon or sprint or something. Even some more insider story's would be ok. Whatever happened to the Focus and tethering? What about the disappearing keyboard issue? Am I the only one having this problem? What's ZTE up to? It sure would be nice if Fugitsu made a phone for the US! Did anybody see those new 800's in white, yellow and magenta? Maybe those are the 900. Why? Why won't somebody chat with me :(

  • I'm guessing the relative silence on the blogs is due to everyone enjoying the holiday downtime.  But, for lack of a more recent (or relevant) blog entry to drop this on, I'll bring up the recent news about Android's Majel voice interaction system.  Apparently Google is stepping up the game and going after Siri.  So, I wonder what Microsoft has in store for TellMe.  I've said this before, that I do NOT want a HAL 9000 experience but prefer the Star Trek experience.  With Google's announcement of really beefing up Majel (for the uninitiated, a reference to Majel Barrett Roddenbery, who was the voice of the computers on all Star Trek series) it seems SOMEone gets it (we'll have to see if the execution is as good as the expectation).  As good as TellMe is, and as much as I do use it, I wonder when we'll see it expanded to compete (my guess is not until Apollo).

  • Hey?? Where is that Blog app that we were told about several months ago? 5 or 6 apps were released by MS, including the suggestion box app for WP, so is this a indication of a possible release of a blog app?

  • Mahesh
    1 Posts

    Ok listen. If MS needs to sell WP to one sixth of the worlds population - the Indians, it should allow media (photo, song, video) transfer over bluetooth (seriously we do share on bluetooth a lot) and

    default search engine setting in IE (to set it to Google, Sorry, but Bing is simply unknown here)

    Actually this is also Indian TV channel showing as drawbacks. See this episode (its in Hindi): www.youtube.com/watch

    I think Lumia will find hard to get sold sue to such reviews.

  • The Executive Caddy app, normally $29, is FREE for the holidays. Better jump on it.

  • @ Enmoredo & Nikhil

    There is a lot of WP products, like shirts and mugs available. I think everyone who buys a WPD should get a credit at this site..  www.cafepress.com/imawp7.. This is mostly ImaWP7 stuff, but it will work.

    I was really disappointed that I could not get a WP tshirt at the night out party. Even those promoters got one and they probably don't even use WP devices. It's sad that people like me would proudly wear WP gear, but the promoters who got the shirts for free wouldn't be seen in public with one on. I bet all of that WP gear from the party's is sitting in the bottom of their drawers only to be used as work clothes. Micheal, we need some gear! Can you ask your boys what can be done?

  • I wish MS would come up with a live WP7 shirt where I can wear on Fridays...

  • @All, I agree with you all, WP is a very good smartphone and is also capable, I am just quite sad to know that in our country which is the Philippines, it was not really being pushed. I always go out and visit cell phone stores only to find 1 unit available which is the LG Optimus (I used HTC 7 Mozart) ...I feel the need for more advertisement and marketing and one of the thing that I do for now is to wear the shirt which I also designed and was distributed when the USER-TRIAL for the Mozart has ended, I am one of the winners though.   It was really hard for store staffs to understand the beauty of WP and I almost like need to explain and sometimes demonstrate my unit just for them to see it.  Even HTC has stopped selling their WP units on our local store which also saddens me.  

    I wish MS and other WP OEMs would push the product well and should train their salespeople about what WP can do better than its competitor.  Furthermore, the Philippines is a very huge market for smartphones and I don't want to be always greeted by someone saying "Sir, this our latest Android dessert."  People here in the Philippines does not need to be businessmen all the time and they not need another Blackberry cranks and iOS encryption, majority of mobile phone users and even tablets and netbook or ultrabooks uses their gadgets for socialization, lifestyle and some jobs that requires less technicaility so much to say that a full-pledge computer is always around.

    Every now and then, I'd like to see MS WP and OEM take an aggresive marketing effort. On my part, on a Friday, I regularly  wear my shirt that bear WP7.

  • @Rodney & Scuba -   Yes I agree that NFC (if all parties agree to a common cross-platform standard) may be the future.... However, Bluetooth, as Rodney says, is now. And I'm stuck when a non-smartphone, non-cloud accessing friend (or person) wants to share stuff with me. It's a very circuitous route to transfer stuff.

    About marketing - This blog feaured people actually using Windows Phone. Whatever happened to that? Well, if they want someone and are not able to find a suitable candidate, well... I'm in. And I'm sure you guys would be willing to post reviews as well. A lot of the reviews previously posted, stressed how they used apps on WP to solve their problems, or make life easier in general.

    Maybe if asked, I'd like to stress what the phone itself is all about (based on what I observed). Also, I'd like to stress on how the softwares that came pre-loaded (like Office, esp. OneNote & Zune) are excellent. And are mostly what I need.

    C'mon, I'd like to call on MS to make full use of us fanboys... Especially, the ones like you (Rodney &Scuba) who're now probably using WP for a long time now. I don't know much about marketing, butI've always thought that showing authentic ads or posting reviews or maybe something on facebook which our friends might see will help improve awareness regarding WP.

    Oh, and Rodney, you seem a really creative type! I certainly CAN'T t think of ideas all day! :) However, I agree that MS needs to really push hard and advertise. I heard that in India, Nokia is planning to paint the sides of public transport buses blue (and advertise the Lumia). That's the kind of stuff I approve of. Mass marketing in an instant.

  • @ Scuba & Nikhil

    Actually, Scuba has a point. NFC is the future of short range file transfer. I forgot about that. But, right now there are more peripheral devices that support Bluetooth than NFC, so if you're looking for functionality now then Bluetooth it is. Plus, Nikhil just got his phone and MS still needs to serve the needs of users with current devices, kind of like how Samsung Focus owners want tethering. BTFT should be implemented until NFC is prevalent, but I personally want NFC in my next device because there are more possibilities with it.

    Also Nikhil, I'm with you on the fact that WP needs to be marketed much better. I can't stress this point enough....Why is it that in a current issue of popular science I saw 2 iPhone ads, and never one for WP? I think WP needs a special fold out advertisement section in all of the popular magazines for 3 months straight. The ads should be interactive, and come with a "I love WP" sticker so that people will most likely be drawn to participate. I can think of ideas all day, that would work, Why is this so hard for these guys?

  • I just don't see BT going much of anywhere, so why bank on it?  I think NFC is going to be the short-range com of choice.  BT will still have it's place (for a while) in the form of earpieces and car stereos & such.  But I think NFC will eclipse it.

  • Thank You everyone who responded to my post. I am not much of a social guy & am overwhelmed by the responses (to make things clear, I expected none, would've been surprised & happy to get one! :)

    Will try my best to respond to each-

    @Rodney - Yes, indeed. It is my first WP. In fact, it's my first smartphone. And if they keep making it like they've made this one, Nokia & MS together can prove a win-win! :) Hope you get to see a demo somewhere out close to you (in the US, if I am not mistaken). They've built a good phone.

    @tsrblke - I've never owned an Apple product, so really no worries on the Itunes front there. However, do keep me posted if you find a decent enough converter. I'll do likewise.

    In fact, I'm doing so immediately. Try out MS' very own Expression Encoder... I don't know why they keep this quiet.  It's a fantastic converter for mpgs, AVIs too I guess. In the meantime, I'll keep begging MS to give full compatibility with almost any god-forsaken file format for music/video out there! MS... Please, please, please...

    @Scuba - Well, Front Facing Camera (for me)... umm, I'm not too fussed it's not there. In India, even broadband connectivity, as compared to US/Europe/Other, will work like a dial-up.. Forget 3G, too costly. So if there's rarely ever going to be any video chat, FFC is not of much use.

    Cloud vs Bluetooth - As I mentioned earlier, I am an Indian, living in India. Internet speeds are slow. So, using the cloud to, say, transfer (via cloud) an entire album of maybe a jungle trip which lasted 7 days, comprising (conservatively) 150-200 photos is SLOOOOW. Instead, I can just pick out the best ones (still comfortably above 50), just mark them, and transfer them all in one go via bluetooth. That too, to a person who doesn't own a smartphone, does not have access to the cloud, but certainly has bluetooth... Ah, the joy of giving... and taking :) Missing it, seriously.

    Regarding Music - My earlier phone was an ancient N73 (again Nokia). It converted all my MP3s to AAC. Damn! Now I'm stuck, as I did not take a backup. Which is why I'd love a converter, or even better, hope that Zune updates adds the compatibility... :)

    @Tony Dedrick - I guess your use case, where you and your wife exchange photos over bluetooth, is a valid & perfectly good example of how bluetooth file transfer makes things easier.

    @All - The one thing most everyone who knows a thing or two about smartphones have commented on the fact how different the OS UI looks. Everybody's like - "Wow, they haven't copied Apple!" & the newbies to smartphones are like - "What's this? Is this Android/Symbian ?"

    One request to MS folk - Hype the hell out of Live Tiles... It screams UNIQUE! And I guess people will love it... Just by pinning people to your home screen and putting up a good photo, brings up great memories... :)

    And market WP more.. very few people in India are AWARE that MS has an OS for phones... forget BUYING one.

  • Bluetooth file transfer is a feature. Windows Phone needs to be feature rich to be competitive. I would welcome any feature that's available for the user as long as it doesn't conflict with, or degrade the UX. Even though I mostly likely wouldn't use BTFT very much, I would be happy to see it, and any other feature, come to WP. It would be nice if the devices came with 32 and 64gb of storage so that we didn't have to worry about how large the operating system is, and have to pick and choose between features. I think Mango alone takes up almost 1/8 of the storage on my focus.

  • @Scuba

    Not everyone uses cloud storage. Some might not use the same storage. Many might not have access to one on their phone and even if so, who knows what their data plan allows them to do. I know I have the lower end data plan. So I have to be more conscientious on whether I am near a wi-fi spot or not when I use certain services. But most phones, whether smartphones or standard phones most likely have Bluetooth. I know I transfer lots of photos via BT with my wife. And when I was working at photo lab, it was quick and easy to link up to one of the photo kiosk's BT connection and print photos from my phone. I don't know if these are the concerns of Nikhil. But at least I think BT transfer has some use

  • @ Nikhil Mahajan, I'm glad you love the Lumia 800.  While I agree it's a great looking phone, it's a shame they rushed it out the door without the front facing camera.  With that said, I'll add my comments to yours:

    1. Agreed

    2. Agreed

    3. Agreed

    4. True for every Windows Phone 7 device, because it's integrated to the user experience of the OS

    5. True for every Windows Phone 7 device (same reason)

    6. True for MOST Windows Phone 7 devices (I've heard a few complaints for certain devices, but LOVE it on my Focus)

    7. True for every Windows Phone 7 device

    On you down-side comments:

    1.  I don't understand why transfer anything via BT.  I use the cloud.

    2. No opinion or suggestion...I use .wma or .mp3 exclusively

    3. That's what happens when a company rushes something out the door.  Still, apparently the battery isn't so much the issue as it is an issue with the firmware recognizing that condition of battery.

    4. Several people have remarked that the Lumia camera is not anywhere close the previous standard Nokia set for its built-in phones.

    I see the Lumia as a mid-market device.  I'm looking forward to the rumored Lumia 900 to really be the hero device.

  • We just lost the hope of Matthew Miller @ ZDNet, One of the biggest Windows Phone supporters who regularly writes about how Windows Phone deserves to be successful because it's great. Well, after loosing two debates Matthew  finally gave in and admitted that 2012 will see WP moving forward, but not shaking up the Smartphone world to much, mainly because of poor marketing, and MS's image. Although he thinks Windows Phone will eventually do "OK" he says it's going to be a long ride. Most who commented after the article blame this on marketing, and the marketing department, and marketing, and advertising and awareness, and also marketing. I agree,,,,, but it is sad to see Matthew so pessimistic about WP in 2012. I have never heard him admit anything bad, or say anything negative until now, and it's really depressing coming from him.... Even with the Focus Flash, and the HTC/ T Mobile commercials, I seriously doubt that they have made to big of an impact, compared to the very high quality and amount of Apple commercials everyday all day. I guess Apple has more $$ to do that kind of thing. "sigh" I will keep praying, and hopefully CES will be the answer.

    This is Matthews posting...

    www.zdnet.com/.../7093

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @ Nikhil Mahajan

    Zune used to come with a converter to move your itunes stuff to Zune, I have no idea where it went, but I'm search some searching on the zune.net site could find it.

  • @ Nikhil

    That's great you got a 800. I would love to see this phone in person. Is this your first WP? I thought you had one all this time.

  • Got my Nokia Lumia 800... Thank you MS & Nokia, for delivering such a great experience... Things working just about perfect...

    OVERALL -

    1. One of the sleekest phones out there.

    2. Grabs attention, instantly.

    3. Leaves people impressed. :)

    4. Skydrive sync works beautiful! :)

    5. Social network sync is great as well

    6. Typing is an absolute pleasure on this phone. Well done MS folk..

    7. The UX is unbelievably smooth, buttery smooth. (The reviewers were right... It's essential to use hyperboles).

    Points I noticed (I've mentioned in previous posts, that I live in India) -

    1. Bluetooth file transfer is sorely missed, especially for sharing pictures and documents.

    2. It seems Zune does not recognise & play AAC & 3GP files.. That's not a big problem, it's just hard finding a good FREE converter (Most Indians are definitely price conscious about ANYTHING :)

    3. Nokia has come out & accepted there are a few battery problems.. This is my 3rd full day using the phone. Past two days, the battery has lasted a less than stellar 18 hrs. Usage is conservative. 5-10 calls, 5-10 texts, 1-2 emails, NO Facebook syncing, WIFI switched off, GPRS switched off. Waiting for an update that fixes this. Will hold the verdict for the battery, for now.

    4. Camera is good, but zoom is, er, not exactly the best. Also, when camera settings left to auto (as most people will), use of flash when not absolutely necessary is sometimes a bit perplexing.

    However, it's great to see a phone that serves up a great UX. Completely happy with it (so far :).

    Will keep posting updates, as my usage regularises.. and I discover the pleasures (& the irritants) involved in using this phone.

  • Clarissat
    38 Posts

    One of the best things about the job? www.epayebay.com/canada-goose-c-233.html