8 things that Microsoft needs to fix in Windows Phone 8 right now

With the release of BlackBerry 10 this week, Microsoft has even more fresh blood for competition in the smartphone business. While one could argue that it is still Android or iOS that Microsoft is up against, the picture painted for spring 2013 is one of stiff competition and a fight for the third spot.

Windows Phone 8 has made great strides in making Redmond’s mobile OS much better than its predecessor, most importantly with the new NT kernel which will allow Microsoft to grow the OS. Having said that, there is a lot of room for improvement and we’re not just talking about touch-up features either but core aspects that need to be addressed.

Below is a list of 8 things we think Microsoft needs to fix in order for Windows Phone to really take off. We’re confident Microsoft already knows about these and in fact may have solutions in the pipeline. At least that's the hope.

Before we start we should note that Microsoft is rumored to be revealing some new features coming to Windows Phone 8 next month in Barcelona.

Traditionally Microsoft has a rather large presence at the mobile-focused conference and their absence from CES in January sets up Microsoft to gain back some momentum in the press.  We’re not 100% sure Microsoft will divulge an updated OS but we’re anticipating.

Now on to the list...

#1 Notification Center

Android, iOS and especially BlackBerry 10 all have notification centers, allowing users to have a unified single area to check the status of various apps and services. On Windows Phone, Live Tiles were supposed to be that but in reality, it’s not that simple.  Whether it’s an optional blinking LED or making use of the left-area of the Start screen, Microsoft needs a simple and elegant solution here. Check out this great design concept from our forums

Rumor has it they wanted this for the release of Windows Phone 8 but simply ran out of time. Fair enough. But it better be there in the next update or it will continue to dog the platform. 


#2 Universal Search

Likewise, this feature was rumored to be coming in either Windows Phone 7.5 ‘Tango’ or Windows Phone 8, yet this function mysteriously never arrived. It seems simple enough: Hit the Bing search key to make inquiries on the web as well as within the device. Search email, SMS, within apps, documents, etc.

It’s not a radical idea and other competing OSs already have this on board. In fact, Windows 8 has a nifty search feature, allowing you to dynamically search through various apps. It’s way overdue on Windows Phone.


#3 Instagram

Yes, we hate writing about it as much as you probably loathe reading it, but the fact is until this hipster service is on Windows Phone, it will absolutely prevent people from switching. We’ve had random conversations with Best Buy and AT&T employees and even a waitress who’ve all said the same thing: until this popular photo sharing app is on Windows Phone, it will always be a deal-killer.

For the record, Microsoft and Nokia know how important this is and we don’t think it’s from lack of trying that it’s not there. But there’s more to this than just throwing money at the Facebook company and while we don’t know the details, we’re sure there are talks of some sort going on.

Regardless, it needs to be here yesterday.


#4 ‘X’ to Close Apps

This one is so simple and yet Microsoft has yet to do it. In the card view of multitasking apps, just give us an ‘X’ to tap out an app.

C’mon Microsoft, the paradigm already exists with multiple Tabs in Internet Explorer—just extend it to apps.  It’s simple to do and it will make many folks happy (even if it is arguably unnecessary).


#5 Better Xbox Gaming

We’ve been beating this horse for a while now (see our continuing series) but it does need to be mentioned again. Xbox gaming on Windows Phone since day one has been underwhelming.

Integration with Kinect? Never materialized. Synchronous game play with Xbox 360? Never happened. A centerpiece game like Halo to really pull people in? Nope, not yet.

It is embarrassing that Microsoft has not been able to fully leverage the Xbox 360 with Windows Phone in 2012 or 2013 and it needs to be fixed.

Just look at the video above of Microsoft’s Eric Rudder demonstrating the gaming potential between PC, Xbox and Windows Phone and the game ‘Indiana Jones’. We covered that story back in March 2010.—nearly three years ago--need we say more?


#6 Folders

Yup, here’s one that iOS and Android have given into and now have solutions for: folders. The idea being that some of us may have multiple media apps that we want grouped together, or a bunch of pins we want rounded up in a quick access folder. It’s a simple thing and becomes increasingly necessary as people add more apps, pins and tiles to their devices. Windows 8 makes use of “grouping” and Windows Phone needs to as well.


#7 Independent volume and profiles

Smartphones are called as much because they are supposed to be smart meaning we shouldn’t have to do certain tasks. Having our phones switch audio and notification profiles for home, work, movie theaters, etc. goes back to Windows Mobile and apps like PhoneAlarm. Why do they not exist on Windows Phone?

Likewise, let’s finally give users the ability to control the ringer volume independent of system/game volume, same with an easier way of going ‘silent’.

#8 Fix Xbox Music and Video

The whole three-screens-and-a-cloud vision only works if your media can truly transcend devices. Microsoft hit the reset button on their media services with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 and while there are to be expected growing pains, they really need to get that system on track. With the amount of DRM errors for music and the inability to watch Xbox Videos on our phones, it’s a real hindrance.


Hope for 2013

So those are our Top Eight major things Microsoft needs to sort out. Is that an exhaustive list? Certainly not.

Other features like the ability to force-check app updates, fix YouTube (perhaps out of Microsoft’s hands), a more powerful email client or even making Windows 8 gestures and Tile functionality overlap with Windows Phone to give users the same experience are all up for grabs.

Like we said, we’re sure hoping that Microsoft addresses all or some of these in the near-term, specifically in Barcelona. We have a feeling that they are and for the platform’s sake, they better. BlackBerry is now breathing down our necks and Android and iOS are so far ahead in the market it’s borderline scary.

Microsoft has a solid foundation with Windows Phone 8. Let’s see them quickly build on it.


Reader comments

8 things that Microsoft needs to fix in Windows Phone 8 right now



the comment system on this site is broken in general. Like when you post a reply, all you see on the new page is the comment you replied to. Not yours, no one elses.
The WP-Central site is - sadly - not really a show off in terms of webdesign / programming.

Lol, where ya been? Haven't seen you in a while. Oh by the way, I make 6 figures a month for playing Pac man. . .

KatharineLutz, how have you been? So glad you are able to stay home for work, it will give you the opportunity to concentrate on applying ointment to that nasty rash in your genital region. How is that working out for you?

What they need to fix is getting there phones in stock. I didn't mind waiting a week for my Lumia 920 which 2 months ago wasn't along time but now my mom was at Verizon ready to get Lumia 822 but it was out of stock. I wouldn't mind waiting, but im not like every other customer. My mom ended up getting a lower budget android phone. Kills me to hear this.

Have her exchange it in the allotted time Window. 
I feel your pain.  My Dad Texted me today and he was thinkign of getting the Galaxy note.  I asked if he got it and he said he was goign to get an iPhone 5.  EEEEEEEeeeeeeeee.........  I wanted to suggest he check out the Lumia 920 (I previously offered him my HTC Arrive) but I said screw it. :p  loving my L920 BTW.

OMG! Why didn't she wait?? Android?? Noooo.. Please, please get her to exchange it before its to late!! Show her what your phone can do!! Nooooooooo!

Nooooo! Don't say that!! Please, please, PLEASE get her to switch,, Hurry before its tooooo late!!! Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!... Lol! But for real,, do it!

Show her the number of apps in Android Play Store and in Microsoft App store, she probably will make her decision without any second thoughts... :-)

You seriously would be shocked at how many people don't give a fuc:| about how many apps either app store has.. For example, my mom has a Samsung Focus and her start screen looks exactly the way it did when I configured it. She likes it because she has what she needs.. As most users will like WP because it really does have the apps you want and need. Nobody is going to install 700,000 apps dumb ass!

agreed. App store... How many fart sound, shotgun sound, crappy launchers, etc... does one need. 700,000 apps and only 500 of them actually worth anything.

and no more than 50 of them are actually useful for the average user..
I only use about 20 apps.. that's it!
I don't get why people are so obssessed about the numbers.
It's the quality that counts..

I agree, it is quality that counts. I have dozens of quality applications that I use on a daily basis on both my iPad 4 and iPhone. The iOS platform offers far and away the most comprehensive list of quality, heavily support, applications and games. Many of which are even exclusive.
I had a Nokia Lumia 900 for a short time last year, loved the device, and for the most part the experience that was offered by the phone and OS. However; the pain started to become unbearable once I realized that I was missing applications like a real photo editor, instagram, my banking application, Poker Stars, a really great camera application, Real Racing 2 HD, Infinity Blade ... or any killer game at all really.
I want the Windows OS to get the support it deserves, and I am on the brink of going back to it, but I just don't want the struggle that I had last year, and it doesn't look like it has changed a whole lot.

WP8 is about quality not quantity. I've only ever had Android devices until a week ago when the wonderful lumia 920 came into my life. Yes there are hundreds of thousands of Android apps, but how many of them are actually any good, and how many can you have on your device at an one time. The whole apps argument is pretty lame, although I do agree that perhaos there are some key apps missing from WP8.

Hold on there for one more thing he very obviously dismissed.
It's a HUGE one and I don't just understand for the life of me, why in the hell anyone could ever, ever, EVER skip this as o e of the top 8; XBOX MUSIC SYNC APP(or Zune style sync software).
Why would this not be mentioned? All those reading this, I want to know how your XBM experience is on your wp8? Mine is non existing because Ms dropped the huge music (disco) ball on us.

I have both a win7 and win8 phone. I also have a win 8 laptop, a surface RT, a Xbox 360. I use Xbox music everyday on all devices. I have no sync issues. The newly updated "windows phone app" lets you manage (add, delete) music and video. The Xbox music app itself is how you configure syncing. Yes, its confusing with multiple devices, but playing with all the sync options i found what works best for me. For example. I have the laptop as the "source of truth". The phones and surface are secondary. The laptop i have the "sync to other devices" off, As I don't want to fill up my phones or surface. And from surface/phones I have "sync to other devices..." downloaded turned on. This will then sync from phone to laptop. Seriously. I understand everyone's frustration with the sync, but I spent over 10 hours testing every scenario on each device until I nailed it. If anyone needs my exact how to. Just ask.

Maybe I'm not using it right? But when I download a song to my phone my computer no longer gets that song added to its music library like it did on Zune. I tried enabling the option to download music to my computer that I had/have on other devices but Xbox music downloads all my music. Even non DRM music and makes it DRM protected. Point me to a way to fix my issues iamoniweban. On top of that I still download music on my Zune player, because the Xbox music app on win8 sucks, and I still can't sync that music to my phone.

On phone: make sure the cloud sync is set to on. From pc Xbox music app, set the two cloud setting to on. I am also assuming your referring to the Xbox music pass service when you download a song. Another tip, nothing will sync to the device until the device is activated, this is done by downloading a song the first time from the device. Let me know if this works. If not I will help.

I have the same issue, I download a song on my phone using music pass and I can not get it onto my win 8 PC.  I expected as its cloud synched that it would auto download next time I logged onto my PC, but no.  I have all those options ticked you mentioned, still no joy.

YEs i am aware of the sync to cloud, but as i stated before, it downloads ALL my musc (including non DRM music) as licenced music, and at a lower quality. Most of my music that isn't from zune/xbox music is 320 kbs (or what ever) and xbox music just redowloads it as a lower quality file.

And that right there, spending 10hrs just figuring out how to get it to work IS the issue.

Why would any of us have to go through that. Zune was uber simple yo use. It automatically displayed album cover, and organized every song as its on the album. Sync.was drag and drop, you knew exactly what is going into your device regardless if the album or song was dl from iTunes or ripped from cd.

Wow. That was a huge help. Part of the problems I think is that alot of settings are "hidden" in the charms bar. Its not easy to find it remember its there.

100% agree!!!!!  IMO, Xbox Music should have been #1 or #2 on the list! (Behind only to Notifications Hub.)
Xbox Music is HORRIBLE, SOOOOO many problems!  I think many of the problems come from the sync app.

I liked Zune PC app, but it felt from time to time heavy. For now i'm happy to sync my music using Windows Media Player in Windows 8 Pro. Works perfectly. And the ability to browse WP8's storage along with doing sync is super+ :D
For music sync feature, I miss the wireless sync feature from WP7.x with Zune.
// chall3ng3r //

Yup, gotta talk to customer service again as I try to re download albums I've paid for due to DRM issues, and getting charged again.

I was looking for this too. Zune needs to be brought back as the XBox Music sync center. I am upgrading to WIN 8 pretty soon but I would love for my Win Phone 8 device to sync to my current Win 7 computer.

Yeah they're good suggestions with the omission of the 5min screen timeout limit. Which is a security risk because I like to have my phone on all the time when it is docked in my car!!!! I press the power button when I want my phone locked! So since it auto locks I have to set my password time to around 15mins so when I am driving I don't have to type in my passcode all over again just to do more on my phone! Its crazy and no one complains of this feature it is the most of annoying to me of all other features! Because it is a no brainer to just give me an option to turn off the screen timeout!!! So frustrationing the worst part about it is that the feature was in the open devkit that leaked out before the phone...

My Quantum had the 15/30/never options and the L900 only has the 5 minute limit. Long time peeve of mine after going to the Lumia. And this also causes the Wifi to disconnect after 5 minutes which is also annoying and wasn't addressed with 7.8..

You do realize this is because of the screen type, right? AMOLED screens will get burn in if left on the same screen for an extended period of time... LCD ones don't. Hence the time limit options...

That is a good point, I have not realized that. Unfortunately this option is also missing on my Lumia 620 with a LCD display :(

I dunno. Instagram?  WGAFF...
Fix the things that actualy make the device hard to use.  Notifications, that's huge.  Seperate volume controls, that's big (but not sooo big).  I rather be able to scrub through audio.
But the absolute most aweful, unworkable thing about WP is email.  It is absolutely atrocious.  It is 2013.  How is it that I can't edit email contents before forwarding or replying?  How is it that I can only attach images from my email?  How is it that I can't forward or reply to a message from an account other than the one it came into?  How is it that there are no formatting options for my text input...I can't even add a bulleted list or bold something!  And how on earth can it possibly be that when I tap the tile and go into mail, even for a split second, the counter goes back to 0 and there is no count of how many unread messages are left.
I use my phone for my job, Microsoft.  But you make it very, very hard to do so.
(Indeed, I am hard pressed to think of one single thing other than background GPS that WP8 actually does better than WP7.  Certainly, the W8 kernel is a disaster, really unstable on both PCs and phones.  And the PDF situation?  A nightmare.  And while it was the same as now on Mango, when I bought my old (then NoDo) Windows phone I coud edit .DOC files...no more!  And nexbus.com worked like a charm in WP7...no more!)

Likewise, the calender function is so PRIMITIVE and it's a TOTAL JOKE!
The month view is useless!
The day view is confusing without clear distinction between days!
And the other calender functions for recurring appointments etc is not available, c'mon these features are already on outlook, so why is it not implemented in WP8?
How to make this phone competitive for business use?
I had high hopes after reading the reviews for this phone, but having it for 2 months now, I am regretting my decision!

The calender is the most important app for me and it is more the absolutely basic. You never can see, if two appointments match or not.
But since they did not update the calender on outlook.com and the little teaser or no teaser (for a notivication center) we saw today, I have some hopes, that they will provide us with something big at the MWC in Barcelona.

Yeah, the email and notifications situation actually makes me look more seriously at the new BlackBerry 10 phones.  

I'm currently using a BlackBerry z10 (borrowed from a friend) and I have to say the BlackBerry 10 software is very nice to use and very productivity focused. It's a nice change from my 8x. I will be going back to it next week. Although they have the same problem that WP8 has...lack of top apps.(although WP8) is getting better. I wouldn't be surprised if BlackBerry draws more customers if Microsoft does not deliver with the next major update. Btw, on my z10 I have instagram (side loaded of course) and it works fine...step it up Microsoft.

came over from crackberry, have had a z10 for a month and i agree generally with your observations. 
i will keep monitoring WP, since microsoft's cloud/online services (outlook, skydrive, office etc) are top notch, whereas blackberry's are,well, umm....

Agreed, I would rank this above all of the items in the article.  Near trivial to implement at the OS level, but unfortunately it seems those in power are among the group that just doesn't understand this.  Apple and Google understand though, as do some WP app authors.

Totally!! I dont understand why microsft came up with little updates?? They cd hv brought all dese things in the package!! :/

Here's the crazy thing (and I've said this before):
Rotation lock used to be in WP7. It was in the final pre-release OS, build 7003. Much like "Find On Page" it was removed for absolutely no real reason at all and never put back. I'd venture to say it's actually still in the OS, just hidden away. I have no idea why MS wouldn't just reenable the functionality. Like tgr42 said, it would be trivial.

What I do is rotate device to landscape, then rotate device so it's upside down. This then allows me to read the phone when I'm lying down.

Ya I always wonder why they took that away.
It should be a basic, global feature. We have to make one for our app UC Browser so our user can browser web pages  while lying on bed...

Thank you. I also see this as way up there on the "easy to do and no excuses for not having it list"! :) I am absolutely sure it was not mentioned because everyone is thinking well obviously they are going to have this in all the GDR2 and GDR3 updates so no reason to mention it...well it is a no-brainer and that is why it needs to be mentioned all the time, everyday without fail. MS is very capable of being completely ignorant over very long periods of time in some of the simplest areas.

I guess I'll stick to my 7.8 L800 for now (although the 620 is very tempting..). These sound like viable points but I'd like to add one:

YES. There's no excuse for devices this powerful not to have gapless at this point. The music experience on WP8 has far and away been my biggest disappointment. Absolutely nothing - NOTHING - has been improved since 7.5, and quite a lot has actually gotten worse. The new app is slower and buggier, the new artist image format mean even more artists leave blank grey backgrounds, and of course there is the whole clusterfuck with the lack of a proper sync app. Rebrand and resupport the Zune desktop client!!!!!!!!!

Everything is worse on WP8 than on 7, excepting background GPS, speech-to-text, and the Start Screen.
WP8 is a huge step backward.

I'm with u on the audio playback, I'm old 1st Gen iPod with a spinning Harddrive could do this, it wasn't even a smartphone.

They did have gapless until somewhere around tango. I only realized it was gone recently actually but I did have gapless on my Samsung Focus S and HTC 7 Pro until recently.

Still using my Fascinate (PowerAmp) for music and MX for video. Also, allow us to scrub streaming media and local music!

Yes!!! Gapless playback is the single most important missing feature!


I don't notice any gaps when I listen to music even when streaming. Seems that every song runs into the next

Those would pretty much be my top 8 as well.  But this articled could have been titled things to fix in Windows 7 right now.

> #7 Independent volume and profiles
I swear if this is not introduced with WP 8.5, I am leaving the paltform, I am 100% serious.
I am sick and tired of changing my volume for the bluetooth headphones, games, etc.

My phone does remember its volume when connected to different Bluetooth devices or headphone or normal speaker.
But yes no different switches.
Even wm 5 had it

It's only independant when the Bluetooth A2DP device is connected.  You can't adjust the volume for Bluetooth devices when they are not connected.

It is simple. MS thinks it is not a bug, it is a feature. Having seperate controls would confuse users. I beg to disagree, and my mother, who has a WP 7.5 devices, constantly curses about it. It is a huge annoyance for her and everyone trying to contact her. Now her LG phone is dying (again...), and the Nokia 520 looks appealing. She is also used to WP, so that's a plus. But there is no way we'd buy another phone that does NOT have seperate volume controls. No way.
If her current phone can't be repaired it will thus be Android.

I'm not going to leave the platform, but this is definitely my number 1 feature on want in the next update.

I'm going to add a 9th especially for Xbox Music subscribers. Hey Windows Phone team please make making playlists and syncing your songs to the cloud alot easier. Music experience must be top notch
10th for the hell of it. Skype needs to be #1 for messaging it should be as user firendly and easy as iMessage is on iPhone.

Yes. I have to reinstall Skype every other day to keep receiving notifications. That's the only thing I can find to fix it and it happens on every phone I've tested.

+1 on the Skype integration. When WP8 was being talked about and the whole Microsoft buying Skype thing we all thought it was going to be amazing and squash Facetime. It has to evolve to become what iMessage and Facetime are for iOS and it has to work flawlessly on multiple platforms in order to one-up the competition.

Either they won't read it or won't do anything. Some of these complaints have been since pre-Mango. If they didn't care then, why would they care now? Either that, or they are that worried about making sure to keep a grasp on people, they are purposefully leaving out much desired functions. It is a pretty typical business move. Don't play all your cards and promise these features in future updates. That people who like the OS, but get frustrated with the lack in functionality hang on, even if it is just small bread crumbs with each update. Pretty much like what WP8 is. Bread crumbs. If you want to argue that it wasn't...I kindly suggest you ask yourself why this article would have been written if the update brought the features we wanted.

Did you see the most sought for request, Arabic language! Very little when it came to the most important and useable things. So who's to blame, us!

1 & 3 is a must. Especially 3. I cant believe that something that has been in windows for years hasn't made it to wp8. The multitasking view begs for it, come on, iOS and now BB10 use it.

Personally, I'd be satisfied with a quick way to make a call to a specific contact. Right now you have to enter the People app, swipe a few times to all (if it first displays their social updates), then search. I really miss on the old school WM6 where you could just start typing and select a contact. There's no equivalent tile I can put on the home screen that would allow me to just start typing and up pops contacts. Basically all i need is a shortcut tile to the search field in "All" in the People hub. 

Try the app: Rapdailer
Allows you to just start typing and find contacts. I use it everyday. But you cant view missed calls. So now ive put a tiny icon next to the Rapdailer Tile (wp 7.8)

I know I have seen some apps that make that easier.  Take a look in the store.  I guess you mean beyond people you would want to pin to start which allows you to call in two taps.

Just use the voice commands.. "Call Johnny"" its that easy.. Just hold down the start button and say your command..

Maps apps need to access contact addresses. That is a huge detractor for all of the maps apps on the platform.

Allow apps to be installed to the SD card. Barring that, at a very minimum, apps need to be allowed to store certain types of data to the SD card.
I can currently only store 1 Audible audio book on my Lumia 810. I also only have my state installed in Navigon. I tried Nokia Music and the offline mix would only save to the built in memory.

Installing apps to the SD card is a very bad idea for any device, (security, corruption of settings, slow, just to name a couple) The option to save music, videos and everything else is already a feature.

You can't save music from Nokia music and probably any other music app directly. Storing that data as well as maps and audio books is absolutely needed. It would fairly trivial to handle the data not being on the SD card.
In any case, I bought quite a few apps on WP7, but won't be buying any more for WP8 since I am out of space. Maybe if they get the "Other" storage area under control and slim down the OS, but not now.

SkyDrive solves #6 already. Maybe to provide the ability for one file to be in multiple groups, then maybe.

I'm not even sure what you people are talking about. I've never noticed a gap and I listen to music on my phone for eight hours a day at work.

If ýou don't have a clue what gapless playback is then don't comment about it. WP doesn't have it which is very annoyiny.

Let me rephrase, I'm not sure why you people are bitching about it, it's not that big of a deal. I've never even noticed it and I listen to a lot of music on my phone.

When you listen to an album that goes seamlessly from one song to the next (like a live album) there is a slight pause.  Gapless playback means that there is no pause between songs.  If you like to listen to albums (instead of individual songs) it is a critical feature.

Especially annoying if you listen to continuous mixes and live sets. Imagine a DJ pausing for 1 to 3 seconds when switching between tracks. That moment of silence is jarring especially when the next track starts with the last few notes of the previous one.

11) Allow apps to be stored to an SD card.
12) Allow users to get updates from the Microsoft servers, bypassing the carriers.

Yep. But that would mean MS would have to announce the next update is coming at a later timeframe, and then release it to registered "enthusiasts." That one seems to have gone into vaporland.

Yes please apps on SD is a must, I'm sick of having minimal space b/c of apps.
2/ in a perfect world yes but I don't see that happening any time soon :'(

Minimal space? I have over 300 apps installed and 20 gigs of music. Music stored on SD, apps on internal storage. Simple

Abdul, same here!! I have bugger all installed in my 820! But I have 6gb left on my SD card which I want to use for something! Pls ms!

Exactly.  Here's one I'd love for folks to try:

  1. Stream an audio podcast
  2. Recieve a call
  3. See if podcast resumes

Or better yet:

  1. Stream an audio podcast
  2. Wait until it's cached
  3. Pause said podcast
  4. resume it an hour or so later
  5. Watch podcast attempt to redownload FROM THE BEGINNING

It's as if playback doens't support HTTP Resume.  So much for MS looking out for our data caps, and that 40MB max download limit.

If you are streaming the podcast, this is NOT MS issue. Its called stateless connection and is a server client feature that some pod services have. Download the podcast if you need to resume.

I still don't understand why podcasts aren't available in all the markets Windows Phone is in. It's been almost three years for them to sort out any issues there may be.

Honestly the whole functionality on WP8 is good, may need some added functionilties to make it better. But man this OS needs an aesthetic make over and pronto. The look of the OS can get boring at times, and the people behind BB Z10 knew this and I can say the BB 10 OS is very soft to the touch. .
Maybe MS should Start with making the Tiles look 3D or have it look like it's popping out of the screen.

Your opinion is subjective and so are mine, but again sales figure show WP platform isnt take off as they would like and it's pace to mobile dominance is far to non. A sleek and elegant interface is what I think will kick Windows Phone to over drive.

You really want an Android with one of those launchers. Oh and if you stick to WP, buy some apps and make some friends so that your phone doesn't look boring.

I, and many others would, completely disagree with your comment. It's missing apps and a broader ecosystem (i.e. Square CC Reader/Payment System as an example), not the OS aesthetics.

You and I will agree, that yes it will need more apps and a broader ecosystem to have better succuess, but truefully. Think about sales figure, market growth and per usage.
My mom, boss, friends, average folks who use Smart Phones are all iPhone owners. Half of them don't know jack shit about the copy and paste or even load up safari yet they have an iPhone. why you say? well it's because it's nice, easy to the touch, elegant, It's smooth. I seriously think half the people who own iPhones only use it to talk and take pictures and nothing else.
Serioously I hate to use an apple slogan here but really, "Think Different."

Oki, I'm sorry, but if you are comparing IOS interface aesthetics with WP aesthetics you are just tacky. Your Mom as mine have an Iphone because they are the nugatory users.
They trust more than anyone oin the peer to perr inbteraction  and they are the last adopters of any technology, also the ones that would buy most expensive stuff believing it is the best stuff.
Nothing personal but this is the rank they have in marketing theory. Windows Phone does not care about our moms becaus ethey will adopt what we tell them to adopt when is ready for them. Windows have to worry about people in their late 20ties and early thirties that are the earlya dopters thus they have the money to try new technologies, and over all has to worry about teens, late lteens are the tech savy group and the one that will mark the succes of a platfform, if they use it the platform will succed.
It has been shown first with the Iphone and secondly and overall the turn down to Android was teens convincing everyone that it was a cool system. It might sound sad but they are the ones who decided if something is cool or not and then society adapts to it.
Sid this, lets talk about design, in 2007 Iphone came with a new system that at that point was nice and fluid it was well done and easy to use. As they added more features it became more and more difficult, half of the features are hide somewhere, later on they started to add stupid useless features, I don't know any Iphone user that does not have a folder full of crappy useless stuff that never use and they can't erase).
The system became less and less reliable and less and less fluid, stetically did not change or adapt to the new current on the market so it looks old and really tacky, you have to relly on the search buttom because it is actually caothic and impossible to customize to your necessities. Plus Apple skeumorfism, base your digital design in real life objects, like the agenda on IOS, that looks like a real paper agenda is Design Terrorism, something it was already tacky in 2007, but by them we had not other sytems to choose.
As you said most things in design are subjective, but IOS has become objectivelly in the platfform no one wants to get inspired on. I'm writing you from a macbook air, but I work in digital design and really no one in digital design wants to copy that crab. 

I've had most of the platforms out there...if you don't like the look move from the platform...it won't change...its their bedrock look across multiple platforms now...and its sick! Sorry...but of its boring to you then off you go.....however...a larger spectum of colors would be epic...only feedback I'd have on the look

Agreed... Out of all suggestions i read here.along with installing apps to sd card...those 2 suggestions were truly stupid.... The look of the OS is excellent... There is just a huge need for added functionality as the article pointed out...instagram is last on my list.... I'd add deeper Skype integration

They need to fix whatever is wrong with notification delivery. Sometimes notifications come in, in a timely manner. Sometimes it may take 30 minutes. 

I noticed with some of them if you have another device logged  into that service it will hit them first. One example is facebook. If you have it up in a browser window it will come up there first.

I think that's tied in some way to the whole background task system and I agree it needs to be made more stable/robust.  It is the heart of this OS, and is not as reliable as it should be yet.

100% agree with this. My surface RT receives notifications all the time whereas my 920 misses some Messenger and most Facebook notifications.  They seriously need to hire some better testers in the Windows Phone division, sort out all the bugs before adding features.  Stop wasting resources on apps for other platforms, fix your own problems first!

How about an update to Word for WP to turn it from a text editor into a word processor (like the old days of windows mobile)? If they want to compete with business users, this would help.

I agree. Mobile office is way to watered down to do anything productive on the go. It would be great to have an in phone file structure like Wmo to have a file tree structure for when Skydrive isn't accessible (no singnal/airplane mode).
I have tried to work on or edit my office files on Skydrive though my mobile web browser (desktop mode / Lumia 920) and I can only work in Excel (Excel is just in the past week). Other OS's have great 3rd party office software that Microsoft has to beat period. I don't like to be beat out on something that should be native and superior on WP. Don't get me started on multiple file attachments for e-mail. Aaarg.
I love my WP. It is the best OS but as Dan pointed out with his points, there are some glaring holes.

MDboyz, we already know that, but seriously its tedious and a pain the the butt when you want to close only one app! You have to spam the back button, not ideal.

What do you mean by spam the back button?
Press and hold the back button to get to the task list.  Select the app that you want to close, then press back to close it.  I don't see anything wrong with that.  With the 'X' to close the app, you still have to get into the task list, to select that app also, then click on 'X' to close it.  Both are still two steps.

i believe u got it wrong here, they mean the X button to be placed on the cards once u hold on back button, less steps when u want to close multiple apps

Try going to internet explorer and surf for a bit. Everytime you hit the back button it just goes to the previous page. Will not close the app until you've gone all the way back to the page you started on. Holding back then having an immediate way of closing it would def be handy. I know its not like this for all apps but there are enough it'd be worth it in my opinion.

So true.  When I'm ready to exit IE, I just hit 'Tabs' and x out all of the tabs so that I can get out of IE quicker.  Hitting back takes too long, and I'm sure the vibra on the back button contributes to my battery drain.

hmm don't really care for folders but just came up with a cool idea for them. Make it like the people title, but instead cycling your contacts it cycling the icons of the apps in that folder.

That's exactly how jaxbot from windows phone hacker had made his folders (for dev unlocked phones) and it worked and looked awesome. Had it on my Radar & 900.

The music app definitely needs help. How about the ability to create playlists, or add to playlists... Other than just "now playing". Also, whatever happened to the ratings on my music? I rated thousands of files over the years for a reason, and the phone can't even use them.

Wow - missed some big ones.  I need Adobe Acrobat a lot more than Instagram.  And how about the inability to play voice mails from many phone systems?  Does folders cover off the Other Storage problem?  Good if it does - that's huge.

OTHER needs to be fixed before anything.  Other is making my phone terrible.  It is a leviathan that grows daily without changes to the phone, currently occupying over 50% of the phone's usable space on a 16GB 8x.  
Pdf is an important but distant second.  

That "OTHER" is a mixture of apps and app data that they for some reason decided was the samething as docs and such, so they just decided to put it all in one pot called "OTHER". If you have a lot of apps that stor data (ie: games like Angry Birds, PvsZ, Arcane, etc...) you're going to blow through your storage and it will only show up as  OTHER in Zune or WP8 app, whatever it is you are using. They definately need to rewrite that to give you a better break down of usage.

I don't have a lot of apps.  Storage just dissapears.  I install 100 MB of files, remove them, and I lose 90MB of space.  I do nothing, space leaks out.  I installed maps that took 200MB.  I started to run out of space and removed them and got back 30MB.  
There is no way to purge it without doing a hard reset of the phone.  There are hundreds of complaints about the issue.  This is on MS, not me.  

HD Video out. Can I please attach more than just pics & vids in email. I need to be able to send/receive pdf's and other file types from my PC & load to my pc. Just a better file management system. My $0.02.....

You can attach several other items such as any office doc. From with the doc you want to attach, press menu then share.

Very true, and I did know that. Just that my phone is my primary/only internet source, other than WiFi like at the laundry or McDonald's. I'm on the waiting list for DSL in my current area, and only get 2G, (0.12mb) down... Yay. :( I need to send dwg's, tiff's, midi, etc... I would just really enjoy a bit more usage. A sandbox where these files can be placed and accessed for transfer. Don't want to open them on my phone.

Just sayin......

Daniel I love your articles, but I know you don't like me. A shame..because I could make some worthwhile contributions to this website. Especially now that my company laid off my entire department

Agree with most.  They can utilize more icons on the top bar where wifi icon, battery icon are.  So much room for more notifications. 
Hopefully they add full notifications to the me tile that would be the best, one hub to rule them all.  Let us see a portion of the text, twitter update, fb update, email up to certain character amount, click to go to their respective apps. 
Also, the live tile should shuffle between most recent notifications.  For example, if there is a text and my message icon is in large tile size, i can only see the last text, perhaps shuffle the last 3 -5 texts every 5 seconds if it is left unread. 
More streamlined way to add contacts easier. 
Allow to attach videos from the email app instead of having to go to the photos hub and sharing.  Should be able to do it both ways.  Attaching multiple files at once would be nice, dont think that is possible  now.
Rotation lock
universal search i agree with
PUrchasing and watching videos straight on your phone.  Sync up with other devices. 
One more thing, integrating skype fully into the OS without an APP.  Skype messenger on your messaging app fully features, skype video calling option in your phone app similar to facetime on ios.  Skype and WP8 OS needs to be one, no seperate app.  Integrate AAALLLLL!
I think these would be pretty important. 

Speaking of Apps where is Pandora we are supposed to have all of 2013 without ads but it won't matter if we don't get the app until September!

That's right, Pandora was supposed to come in January.  But at least we have Metro and Graffiti radio, which are acceptable substitutes.  I really like Graffiti Radio.