Category Archives: Windows Phone

To the Windows Phone team

Todd Brix posted some self-congratulatory nonsense on the windows phone team weblog page.  I’m pretty sure he’s completely disconnected from reality, and he definitely needs to be called out on it.  This was posted as a reply, and it’s going here too.

Yeah I don’t know if I’d go bragging about all that.  You guys missed TONS of huge opportunities, spent another year ignoring critical features, and people are starting to see the platforms get MORE fragmented.

As “abm” said, number editing and seamless third party dialing are missing, and a seamless NFC experience is missing too.  Here are some more:

No phones with keyboards.  That would be great if your target market were twelve year olds browsing instagram, but most of us are power users and business professionals.  Having a bluetooth keyboard would be a borderline acceptable stand-in, but that was removed in WP7 and hasn’t come back. 

Removing device backups.  You can back up a WP7.8 device (though you have to use a hack, which should have clued us in on the team’s negative foresight), but there’s no way to do it to a WP8 device.  If you complain about it on the forums, MSFTs will say that there’s text and photo sync!, but there are two huge problems with that.  First, there’s no way to verify that, you just have to hope that the stuff is actually getting backed up and hope it comes back when you set up your phone again.  Second, it doesn’t back up app settings, start screen layout, and most OS settings.  You know, the things that people actually want to back up.

Excessive lockdown on devices.  We can’t change the boot loader, we can’t install software that can do many useful things, apps can’t communicate with each other on the device, apps can’t interact directly with the OS, and apps can’t pull most data from the OS.  Sure, a few of the excuses about security are reasonable, but there’s no reason the user can’t authorize permissions to allow things like seamless NFC activation or sending/receiving SMS.

Users can’t install downloaded XAPs.  What’s the point of downloading them then?  Sure like the one phone that takes an SD card can make use of that.  Why can’t I do it from skydrive?

Now about the “unifcation”… are you completely disconnected from reality?  WP and tablet/desktop windows are almost completely disconnected. 

IE in metro is pretty neat.  It has tab, favorites, and credential sync across devices and it’s integrated with the desktop favorites and credential stores.  That’s pretty useful.  IE on WP shares nothing but the name. 

Your team is letting Nokia make disruptive cusomtizations to firmware for their phones.  The maps app is somewhere between crippled and blocked on new lumias, for example, and there are rumors that the task switcher close functionality is significantly changed after installing lumia black.

Skype on WP shares only a name and login with the desktop.  IMs viewed on one device don’t get marked on the other.

You want some unification?  How about integrating the SMS experience.  I should be able to get a text on any WP device and be able to get a notification, view, and reply to it on my desktop, metro interface, or skydrive page.  I should be able to build an app to put that functionality in, too.  IE favorites and credentials should sync across devices seamlessly. 

So how about you guys open your eyes, stop patting yourselves on the back, and actually build some of this unification that you think you have?