Windows Phone 8 Volume

Microsoft focusing on increasing Windows Phone volume with GDR2; features coming later

One area where it’s always difficult to please your audience is in regards to technology. Between hardware and software advancements you have a public who not only yearns but demands frequent updates for their devices. Some of it is rational and some of it resembles the tantrums of children. But somewhere in between, there is the truth.

Microsoft is in a precarious situation with Windows Phone as they have a lot of so-called 'chicken versus egg' problems to solve. For instance, they need more mainstream apps. But in order to get more apps, they have to have enough devices in user’s hands to convince developers to get on board with Windows Phone. But how can you convince people to buy your phone if you don’t have the apps (either real or perceived)?

With Windows Phone 8 build 10327 (GDR2), Microsoft is pushing out their second minor update for their new operating system this year (the first was GDR1 aka Portico). The concern for a lot of current users is GDR2 doesn’t really bring much to the table in terms of new features. Sure FM radio and an improved Xbox Music library are nice to have, but it’s far from the dozens of features people are demanding on Microsoft’s UserVoice forum.

The GDR2/GDR3 gambit—grow device availability

Part of the problem is also a misunderstanding of Microsoft’s strategy: GDR2 is less about new features and more about enabling new hardware.  Same thing with the GDR3 release, expected around October, empowering next generation Qualcomm chipsets and 1080P displays.

More specifically, devices like the Nokia Lumia 1020 are built around GDR2. Sure, current Windows Phones will benefit from GDR2 but the Lumia 1020 needs it. Things like “dual capture” were not possible before within the OS, but Nokia wanted it badly in order to bring their 41MP vision to Windows Phone. As a result, Microsoft had to devote development resources to make that happen. In fact, a lot of the camera ability is a result of the Microsoft-Nokia partnership e.g. setting the default camera app.

This is one reason why Nokia is happy with the Microsoft deal, because they can focus on building great hardware while Microsoft worries about the OS.

That’s not to say everything is great between the two companies, as recent comments by Nokia vice president Bryan Biniak to the International Business Times suggest. Biniak publicly criticized Microsoft for dragging its feet on getting big name apps to Windows Phone. While Redmond seems content on getting apps on a schedule, Nokia is more about the right now. As Biniak states:

“To give you a reason to switch, I need to make sure the apps that you care about on your device are not only on our phones, but are better. I also need to provide you unique experiences that you can't get on your other devices."

“We are trying to evolve the cultural thinking [at Microsoft] to say 'time is of the essence.' Waiting until the end of your fiscal year when you need to close your targets, doesn't do us any good when I have phones to sell today."

Nokia gets it, but evidently Microsoft is still adapting. Still, as a whole, the two companies are working together and shaping the ecosystem based around what Nokia and the other OEMs want. Think LTE, think low-cost devices. Windows Phone was shockingly not going to get LTE support until Windows Phone 8 and Nokia is clearly eating up the entry-level handset market with the Lumia 520, Lumia 620 and Lumia 625. Both of those changes in strategy are partner-influence in action.

More boats for more passengers

It should now be clear that Microsoft’s strategy in 2013 is about enabling more hardware options for their OEMs partners. More chipsets, more display options, deeper level access to the OS plumbing, etc. The idea is to flood the market with many levels of devices, from mid-range to high end “wow” gadgets like the Lumia 1020 to what actually sells en masse, the Lumia 520.

Is the strategy working? At least one analyst thinks so. Dominic Sunnebo, over at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech notes in today’s market report:

“While flagship Windows handsets such as the Nokia 925 and HTC 8X grab the headlines, it is the low and mid-range models, such as the Nokia Lumia 520 and 620, which are quietly driving its momentum. It is vital for Windows to be seen as a mainstream alternative to Android and iOS rather than a niche platform. Selling large volumes of lower end smartphones is a good way of getting Windows seen in the hands of potential customers’ friends and family, convincing them there isn’t a risk in choosing the operating system. The majority of people are trend followers, not trend setters, so Windows needs to get as many smartphones to market as quickly as possible.”

Microsoft’s corporate vice president and manager for Windows Phone Program, Joe Belfiore, admitted as much when responding to a recent complaint on Twitter about the company not moving fast enough with OS updates:

“Different people want lots of different things.  Most of you want apps like Instagram…for that we need to increase volume.”

Ding ding. While it has always been speculated the reason Instagram won’t release an app is due to low Windows Phone market share, it now appears to be confirmed. Microsoft needs to get more phones in more people’s hands if they want those apps.

That’s why Microsoft is devoting so much to GDR2 and GDR3, seemingly paying more attention to their OEM partners than current customer demands (we say “seemingly” because we know Microsoft does care, but priorities, folks).

The tradeoff

Lumia 520

And that’s just it: In order for Microsoft to focus on enabling new hardware and radical innovations like the Lumia 1020, they had to take their resources away from straight up “feature updates” akin to what Windows Phone 7.5 Mango did earlier, packing 500 new functions or improvements.

Mind you, we’re not trying to justify their strategy, but merely explain it as we see it for a better understanding.

Windows Phone 8.1 Blue appears to be the big overhaul of the OS, where new features and functionality to bring it closer to Windows 8.1 desktop will become evident. Things like syncing of Accent color across devices, more location services, actionable notifications for developers, notification center and more are all being considered for that update due in early 2014.

So what's better: Have Blue's features on fewer handsets earlier or Windows Phone Blue on more devices, but later? That's an interesting question.

But why not do both, you say? We’re not privy to how Microsoft operates, their budget nor how their strategy meetings progress, but it seems to us from observers on the outside that like most organizations, they have limits on resources preventing them from doing everything at once.

Clearly some market research firms, like Kantar, see the benefit of going for entry-level devices before Apple gets in there (see our earlier editorial “Nokia well positioned for approaching smartphone price wars as costs plummet”). Others though will disagree, noting that Microsoft should beef up the OS and that will sell devices.

Microsoft does have a lot of problems to solve with Windows Phone. The user base is rightly getting frustrated with the lack of frequent feature-packed OS updates, the delays from carriers approving those updates and the seemingly far off Windows Phone 8.1 Blue update. It also gives a lot of ammo to critics and detractors. Will Microsoft prevail? We hope so, but some recent market share numbers suggest they still have a long way to go.


Reader comments

Microsoft focusing on increasing Windows Phone volume with GDR2; features coming later



"Things like “dual capture” were not possible before within the OS, but Nokia wanted it badly in order to bring their 41MP vision to Windows Phone. As a result, Microsoft had to devote development resources to make that happen. In fact, a lot of the camera ability is a result of the Microsoft-Nokia partnership e.g. setting the default camera app."

As I expected: the Nokia innovation is is a double-edged sword: this can slowing down the WP development...

About GDR3 and Blue, remember: the more updates more carriers block them, or at least set back. I prefer that all current devices "jump" GDR3 and thus operators will more susceptible to test the Blue faster and consequently the release faster too.

"The user base is rightly getting frustrated.."
Are we really "the user base?" Most people grabbing a phone at Ye Olde Mom & Pop's corner phone mart are not thinking about this. They simply want a device that does the job. However, they do listen to the snot-nosed kid down the block who tells them one platform does it all while another is missing the Holy Grail of apps and therefore doesn't even work.
I am sick to death of the Instagram saga. Meanwhile, other devs are abandoning the platform, not because something hasn't sold, but I believe due to politics and likely disinformation. We, my friends, are not the userbase as such. We are a slice of dedicated fanboys, enthusiasts and first adopters. Grandma and grandpa could not care less about QuadCore, MicroSD, NFC or even Bluetooth. They want to send group email jokes, get calls from the bridge club (will that bridge NEVER get built) and watch cutie kitty videos.
Someone put it succinctly this week, maybe Paul Thurrott. He said sadly most users would rather make a  good photo look like a cheap Polaroid and slap it onto Instagram than worry about having the finest camera on any current smartphone. So while we argue about how soon 1020 resolution and 5" screens are coming, most folks just want something to throw in their bag at the cheapest price and the lowest learning curve. Forget that 90% of them wll never dig deep into what Android may allow them to do with their OS. The reason for the different UI slapped on top of that is to give said user the simplest and flashiest way to get to the most often used (and sellable) features. The same is true os WP8.x. If they never get past opening email and using the messaging, the real core of users will never get past the 2-4 recommended apps the sales guy dangled in front of them.
One vulture to the next: "Patience my ass. I'm gonna kill something."

I have really enjoyed this article. Very well written Daniel. I know why I have this tile pinned to my start screen!

Daniel this is going to be a bloodfest with the comments. Great article though even though it a tough pill to swallow. I just dont want a fragmented platform with WP8 like android and hearing some newer phones have the update and my phone is waiting thats why i left.

Why not both, indeed?!
If they decouple the hubs and settings from the core OS (or at least modularize them for updatability via Store), then they can satisfy both needs... update frequently in between OS updates AND save OS core/hardware updates for those GDR releases. Less carrier involvement in the software side is a good thing for all of us, and this allows them to bypass carriers for the software app side of things.
That said, I understand and appreciate the strategy, but they need to do a better job of explaining that strategy, and they need to throw us bones now and again too... and not little things like FM radio.

I just want my music to work again. I bought my phone so I didn't have to carry both Zune and a phone around, but guess what I'm doing? Carrying both around. Data plans in Canada are so staunch and expensive, and phone service is so terrible, its impossible to listen to cloud or streaming music out on the road.

Well I've been building my library in Zune since it came out. First off, none I my playlists will sync. Second, all my music magically duplicates on the phone. I've spent hours on the phone with Xbox music support, and they still haven't given me an answer. I'll buy tracks from the phone and download them just to get the DRM message, and can't play the songs I just purchased. Ever since the switch to Xbox music, I can't play any music on my wp8.

It's Microsoft--they've become IBM.  If Microsoft wants WP to be successful, they need to go all-in and do more better and faster than their competitors.  To pick a single priority is short-sighted and suicidal.  Their complacentcy is showing in their products and they're playing catch-up in all of the areas that are important right now--phones and tablets.
I like my Windows phones, Surface Pro, etc... but will can't help noticing they competition has nice, if not nicer products.  Time to step it up, Microsoft!

No, I don't think it's right to say "nicer" products. However, I think it IS RIGHT to say that single priority focus is short-sighted. They need to strike a balance, and they have the talent and resources available to them to have both feature and functionality updates coming faster. It's like they say on Spaceballs... "What are you preparing for? You're always preparing-- JUST GO!" That's what Microsoft needs to do... they have a plan, they have a strategy... ENGAGE!

I think the game plan for WP 8.0 looked something like this:

1. Port WP7.5 to the new kernel with some new features, but essentially just feature parity for the launch of WP8.0.

2. Minor updates through the first year of WP 8.0 are to fix major bugs (other storage) and smooth out feature parity (FM radio) and continue incremental advances (1080p support)

3. After 1 year, bring major updates to the platform in the form of Windows Phone 8.1

Things to keep in mind is that the resources at MS are probably at least partially distracted by nagging things from WP 7.5 and 7.8, which was only released earlier this year. I love WP as much as the next fanboy, but it is still a young platform.

I agree. That's likely the exact strategy indeed, and quite frankly I think it was a mistake to even waste resources on WP7.8.
I know that many people on 7.x phones disagree, and rightly so because of being stuck on contracts, but it would have been better, because they'd have a smaller number of pissed off users than what they have with the past and current generation phones not getting what is needed.

I appreciate the article, and I appreciate what MS is saying.  However, many of the improvements and bugs that users are requesting and reporting are quite minor.  I honestly believe that if they added two developers that could make much faster progress on the user voice list.
Seriously, how hard is it to add Orientation Lock?  Custom ring tones (I don't care about them, but it's a common complaint)?  Even something a little bigger like volume profiles?  How long could these things possibly take?
How hard is it to fix the bug that doesn't properly detect the anamorphic video flag that is in video files and display them correctly wihtout distorting the image.  Every other video player I have had in the last 10 years has no trouble with these files... this is likely a two line code fix, just passing a parameter correctly, but MS appears not to give a shit and it will just be in there forever.  
Hire a couple devs, set them loose on the User Voice site.  Let them tackle the easy ones first... fix the few bugs that are listed, implement some minor features that people have been begging for.  There is no reason to exclusively dedicate all resources to these hardware support issues.  I agree, they are of paramount importance, but you can't ignore your existing users in the meantime.  There will ALWAYS be new types of hardware that needs to be supported.  You simply HAVE to do both to be competitive... no excuses.  At least until your feature set is comparable... then you can rest on your laurels for a short time.  But we are pretty far from being there.

It's actually custom SMS, you can do custom ring tones.  However I agree with the rest.

It's unfortunate that we don't have a good insight into these things. They appear simple from our point of view, especially when all the other platforms have them already, not to mention feature phones.
The issue appears to be with the OS somewhere.

Im content. Take the time. Make it right. I like the reliability of my phone! Don't rush things. I use my phone for work.

i love my 920 and i want them to get things right when they release updates.  But when you are playing from a trailing position you have to move faster to catch up.  In this case, slow and steady does not win the race.  Expecially when technology is moving at its current pace.  MS is just as big if not bigger than google and apple so there is no excuse for releasing a phone that is not on par with features and specs as others.  Its like a superpower losing an arms race cause they cant understand spec&features matter and they dont know "time is of the essense."

Well Daniel that's great. Here is the rub though. Microsoft has, in essence, decided to prioritise Mexicans with 510s and 620s over me, the early adopting 920 user. Me and my xbox music subscription, my disposable income for marketplace apps and games and music.
Its decided that it wants to get devices into the hands of people who text and call and not much else. That's fine. So if I have to wait for improved Xbox music UI, a video store, notification centre, a decent Bluetooth stack, a stable os and even something as simple as separate music and ringer volume because they want Juan to buy a phone. Cool
I only took a years contract. And Im not waiting for 2014 for the phone I should have had in 2013. So whilst they chase Juans Peso, Ill be jumping platforms. They wont make as much money from him as they will from me. Hope it works out for them. Great call

Wow, your comment is almost beyond offensive and stupid that it's barely worthy of a response, however...
YES, it is definitely important to prioritize low end market devices, and that's not to say "Mexicans" but anyone on tight budgets across the globe. We're not all a bunch of rich American snobs that can afford to pay $600 on a phone and break 2-yr contracts to upgrade annually. I'm an IT guy, so I upgrade because I want to and can afford it... but I have many family and friends who can't or just don't want to do it. Want to get your feet wet? That'll be $600! Umm, no thanks! Want to get your feet wet? That'll be $150! Hmm, wow, okay, I'll try that and if it's good I'll get the better version later!

Offensive? Oh terribly sorry. A im not a fat American, im a gym going Portuguese guy. B, you're arguing that a successful business strategy is to chase the dollar/peso/dinar of the person who wants a cheap phone and isn't even massively fussed about the OS? Ur definitely an IT guy,not a lot of common sense. Ask apple if that's how they did it. Numbnut

Its easy to convince 1000 people to spend £1 than 1 to spend £1000. As a developer I don't care if you make money out of Xbox Music. I want to know how many handsets are out in wild for my fart app.

Awesome bro. Problem is i don't give a flying stuff about you as a developer. Im leaving and taking my money to another platform. And a 520 user with all their cash (they must be good at spending, thats why they brought such a nice phone) and all that endless amount of memory (oh wait) will buy a tonne of such pointless fart apps. The users with the money to plow into the ecosystem (wireless charging pads, subscriptions etc) are being mugged off and the grannies who don't even use data because they don't have Facebook, are being coveted. Seriously, you guys are a special sort of special aren't you

One more thought. Essentially what you are advocating is that Windows Phone 8 is the tool to capture iphone 3gs users. Or people who went out and out and purchased a Samsung Galaxy Ace. Running Gingerbread. If you think that's where the action is, pray tell oh wise one, why didn't Apple Google stop there? Why keep the game moving forward when its perfectly fine to just ne a little shit

But what does that do to customer loyalty? You're just repeating the same thing over and over in other countries... I for one am getting irritated around this bullshit explanations we're seeing. They need to double down on development and get the features out there and stop screwing around

I wonder how much resources W8 is stealing. W8 is a brilliant product but with similar problems. MSFT is schizophrenic

So one question, I have the L925 from TMOBILE. I read in this article that one of the features of GDR2 is volume (loudness) but why is it that when I receive a call I cannot hear the other person? I mean, I can hear them but faintly. I did not have this issue with my Arrive as it was loud and clear to hear the other person. I can hear them fine with a headset on but not with the phones voice speaker (at the top) as the "Speakerphone" works great when activated.
I just dont know if anyone else is having this issue. Could I have a defective phone?

I definately feel stupid, upon a second review I see that... LOL.
Sorry, though you may not believe it I DID READ the article, I dont know why my brain spazzed out and went to the other end with updates instead of device quantity... may have read it wrong. Again, apologies because I do like this article.
In another note though, since you do have the L925 (international) and we are already in this discussion, are you having any issues with your call volume?

The volume buttons can increase or decrease the volume during calls, which is separate from the general volume control. Is it possible that you might have accidently changed that?

I have been using WP since SPRINT finally began to carry the Arrive, I was at the store that Sunday when it came out. I know the diffence between the in-call volume settings and the regular phone setting volume (10 for the call volume loudness and 30 for system volume) but my Arrive seems to have a greater call volume. My issue is that I have it set to 10 and can hardly hear the other caller, but if I put it on speakerphone while on a call, the sound comes through fine. It is only when the device is used as an actual phone (with it pressed to my ear even at full volume which is 10) I can hardly hear anyone on the other end.
I have read that this has occured on the L920 for some people and wanted to check if this occured due to an issue with the device or due to the carrier. 

Thanks for that tip. I went to T-Mobile after work yesterday and had them check the call quality. They agreed the phone was not acting right and just gave me a new one. Whats crazy is now, even where I did not have-as-much-to-any reception, I am now getting LTE access!!! Freaking awesome!
Thanks @netstatinfo for this as I had not even though about exchanging the phone yet since I thought it was a T-Mobile issue (been with Sprint for years and did not know what to expect from another carrier).

Microsoft keeps asking supporters of Windows Phone to wait for basic features for years. On the positive side, it shows just how good the basic UI is that users are willing to put up with the lack of advancement. On the negative side, as soon as they announced "no significant features" until 2014 (if they bother to follow through), I knew I was holding my last Windows Phone. Like many, I think, I was amazed that Windows Phone 8 added essentially nothing to Windows Phone 7, and because of that don't expect much from the fabled "blue" update that should have released this summer if they wanted customers to continue believing in the platform.

Nicely written, intelligent article Daniel but it does seem that (just a bit) WPCentral is becoming the PR department that MS wishes it could have. You seem to have become the person that placates the unwashed masses on behalf of Microsoft and i'm not sure that is your role. Hey if you are happy then all good and you probably don't see it that way anyhow.
I agree with some of what you say but the facts remain - Microsoft MUST try harder and MUST show progress even if thats not the most efficient way to progress it is what the current client base demands. Until you have happy customers promoting the product to friends and family you have to work harder than required finding new clients.
I love my Windows phones, on my 4th or 5th but even I accept that it has more holes than swiss cheese.

I purposefully left the determination of whether it is the right or wrong approach up to you guys. All we're doing is setting the stage explaining the strategy and for that, I sleep easy knowing I'm not bending over backwards to defend them ;)

Hey dan thanks for replying. I know you are the good guys, I watch the podcasts (hint hint) and read every article on here. I just worry that sometimes you seem too easy on MS. I agree with you mostly but they do need a nudge every so often...

Time will tell, but I agree that it's crucial to expand the user base for WP8 and devices like the 52x and 62x do exactly that. What's more, since the entry level WP8 devices function so well, users should migrate to more expensive WP8 devices over time.

This is where I think Microsoft has it right while Blackberry has it wrong. The volume, and potential, for a viable third choice to Apple and Android lies in low and mid range devices that function well. WP8 has no future if it exists only on more expensive devices.

Although im quite worry about WP development, but hey...belfiore has a lot of experience especially from his windows xp era...he made windows xp as successful as we know today. I just trust in him and just give them some time.

The thing MSFT does not seem to get is that many of the basic features people want are ESPECIALLY important for emerging markets and Nokia strongholds like India. Stuff like Different ringtones, custom alert tones, profiles, dual SIM, USSD support, offline sync and more of this is what would drive sales in these regions even more.
It would seem that either MSFT is clueless here or OEMs like Nokia, who have a long and broad experience in these areas, should bang on the door even louder. If Nokia would somehow be able (or enabled) to make their Lumia line work with Nokia Suite for offline sync that would be a HUGE deal and an instant sale to many, MANY people.
Personally I am perfectly happy with wireless sync but a serious boatload of people would like to see this change, again especially in the emerging markets and historical Nokia strongholds. MSFT seems to think people will get over it, I think they are wrong and are missing a humongous marketshare because of this.

DualSIM could be addressed in GDR 3, because the Snapdragon S4 doesn't support dualSIM. But the new SOCs like the 400, 600 and 800 will do, as far as I know. Let's hope for little improvements on the specifications (not only 1080p screens and quad core SOC).
Personally I hope they put their time into a very well managed scheduler for quad core SOCs as well as a better battery management (including that Windows 8 SDK energy management for developers), that WP will profit very well from it...not as bad as the Android counterparts.

All in all I think we're doing fine, among my friends and family, it went from "that's a strange phone", to "that's actually really cool, and your enthusiasm is exhilarating. I want one of those!".

nokia is right , microsoft is wrong, most of the things on the list individually arent that big, notifications, they are still thinking like a pc software company, and not a phone os, or app driven company. if some of the thing are ready, release it, you dont have to wait till next year to release some thing that was ready last year, remember the notification was in the works with the last major upgrade but didnt make the cut, why hold it hostage? Microsoft had win mobile, then win 7, not to mention the are duh, microsoft why should they be playing catch up to anyone, android hasn't been out that long, but they are ahead, apple started after ms, and they are ahead? Not trying to bitch but microsoft should have a now attitude, period. Microsofts new motto should be Now! Everything they are doing now is just to catch up, so they are a coming soon company, and why should any oem risk such on a coming soon company that year or so later is still saying coming soon?

This is horse shit. They seriously need to do both. I've said this before, Microsoft is putting Windows Phone on too low of a priority. They are going to lose customers and OEM's if things don't start to change.

After last year's 7.8 fiasco I expected Windows 8.1 this July to wash the sour taste of leaving 1st gen devices for the cemetary. Mini updates like the GDR2 should have been released in April so Nokia is right in this case.

While I do understand the reasoning behind MS decision with GDR2, couldn't they at least add one or 2 major features that are missing to appease us.

Nice article... But excuses are not going to help...i have been a WP user for last 3 years... I am tired of adjusting the limitation of the is and do waiting for apps, games and features... None of them is happening at the rate other platforms are doing... I'm glad to recommend Nokia to others but I always say it to them tat the apps are less... Which makes my friends not to buy cos s4 and iPhone have them... Few months Is fine...but yearsss is frustrating.. I am planning to give up WP... I'm a big fan... But MS don't respect tat... I have seen many WP users are so fond of the platform but they would soon get tired..

When I first looked at the article I thought they was talking about the volume in which how loud the phone will go. Compared to Android, windows phone volume is very low or maybe its my samsung

Let me tell you kids a little story. Its 2011. My dad has a Samsung feature phone, my girlfriend has a blackberry and my mum had.. God knows what that thing was. I had an iphone and was evangelising away like a typical iphoner. They were all resistant. Too flash for my dad, he didn't need the apps. Too complicated for my mum, she needed buttons. And too 'cool' for my gf. She didn't want to be a sheep like me. I went on and on and on, and, sure enough they all have iPhones now. Moral of the story? Us fanboys are the sales people. We bring people on board. We convince them to do what were doing. So we can get that little tickle in our perineum when other people acknowledge we were right all along. We are vitally important to get the buzz out and get traction.

Microsoft just seem to have decided we aren't important, not as important as going straight to people like my mum and trying to get her to buy a phone. Except, they don't know how to talk to her and I do.
Ignore the fanboys. Wonder why you're not selling loads of phones.


Um, why don't they do both together? Why isn't GDR3 enabling 1080p screens NOW so that the Lumia 1020 could use it? a 41 megapixel camera means people will want a 1080p screen to view those pictures on. Even if the difference to the human eye is minimal, psychologically people will want the best screen technology to go with the best camera. Why is it taking a YEAR to add such technology to the OS, when it should have been present from the launch of WP8? Its not like they didn't know it was coming? Why did they bother adding kids corner, which nobody uses (dont know many who will trust a child with a £550 phone) but still not improve basic smartphone functionality like updating their music player to include basic functionality like easily creating and editing a playlist. THAT is the sort of thing most people use and its still not here. I love the lumias and bought both the 800 and 920 within a week of launch after owning a htc desire, but im becoming increasingly frustrated with Microsoft. I can honestly say that the biggest decision to buy was the Nokia design and hardwear, not the os, especially that the live tiles are not truly live, and are less live than android widgets!

"lack of frequent feature-packed OS updates, the delays from carriers approving those updates"
I don't mind waiting for updates from Microsoft, what pisses me off the most is then having those updates delayed or refused by the carriers. Microsoft needs to do the updates on its own and not bow down to carrier pressure and their stupid useless testing of the updates. Microsoft should test the updates and push them out without any hinderance from anyone else.
Still waiting for WP7.8 on my Sansung Focus on ATT!!!
If this carrier update blocking continues with WP8 and WP8.1 I might do the unthinkable and start looking at alternatives, I have stopped recomending WP from the day ATT refused to release WP7.8 on my old Focus. And until Microsoft takes control of the update process there is no point in recomending WP8 either, I guess the big test will come with the release of WP8.1.

Buy an Xbox One, get a free Windows Whone. Buy a PC laptop or desktop, get a free Windows Phone. Buy a Surface, get a free Windows Phone. Do that starting in the fall or when GDR2 releases, or when the Xbox One releases, whichever is 1st. Run that promotion for 6 months through march of next year (roughly) That will cover the Xbox One early adopters, it will cover the holiday season, it will cover the release of the new Surface tablets and it will cover the release of GDR2 which will bring larger devices and higher res displays.
Honestly, it wouldn't hurt them much, take every phone that they currently offer for 100.00 or less on contract (across all carriers) and take every phone that is less than 150.00 to buy outright and offer them free with 1 of those purchases. Maybe not everyone who buys those items wants a WP, that's fine, they will sell them on ebay or wherever to people who do want them. Run that for 6 months, Put another 50 million phones in the hands of consumers and now you've got the momentum and press coverage you really need.
On a side note, my Father is 1 of those that has been holding out because of 1 app. It has been driving me nuts, I could never imagine choosing a platform because of 1 app but tons of people do, and he was 1 of them. Wouldn't go with WP without the Xfinity app. Thankfully it finally came out, he will be joing us in WP land soon. Just in the nick of time too because it was just making me go insane that he wouldn't come over because of the 1 app. I think I aged a year everytime he said it.

If Nokia now need not worry about the OS like you say, why did they bring out Amber? Exactly to fill in the basic missing parts MS are not implementing. So Nokia are back at making smartphone OS's, not just the Asha platform.

Windows Phone is Microsoft future....desktop market will decline. Microsoft need to go all out or she will become obsolete like IBM and Kodak. We dont want that to happen. 

Microsoft needs to devote more resources to WP8. This whole "priority" is just causing them to lose the momentum that has been gained this year. Focus on and support Nokia. Forget hardware support for everyone and their grandma's vendor. Having too many vendors is not a good thing. It slows your down. If you look at the blogs, everyone loves Nokia but hates Microsoft. Adding more vendors will not take away the "HATE MICROSOFT" aspect of the equation. I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't see this simple truth.
Microsoft is a multiple billion dollar company that can hire an army of engineers to work all sides of the equation at the same. Failing to due so will only result in Microsoft and its partners getting run over by Android and iOS.
Whatever Microsoft's reasons, telling consumers to wait more after one year into it's release is a bad strategic move.

I think it's comically how everyone here is a corporate strategist.
Why Microsoft hasn't hired any of you to replace Balmer I'll never know.

Another pointless article... Yes we get it that features will come or will be enabled - this is the same storyline that BlackBerry is trying to sell those who bough a bb10 device.

By the way those features are already on iPhone or an Android device, so not really getting anything new or exciting for the gdr 2 update that's not on other platforms.

If I sound frustrated, well I am. I bought a l920 and planning on buying the 1020 but hell I feel I'm being suckered in on "coming soon" features that takes forever to get release.

Well, if you get a 1020 you'll already have GDR2.
No features that aren't on the other platforms? Does iPhone have an FM radio? No,no it doesn't.
If you read the article, it also explains that GDR2 isn't really about new features, it's design to enable new hardware (like stuff the 1020 needed) and tweaking existing features. As the article says GDR3 will also have hardware as it's main focus (multicores, higher screen resolution.
You'll have to wait until "blue" to get new OS features and updates. Or just go buy one of those "other platforms".

Who gives a flying eff about FM radio.  Is this Zune 2.0?  Was FM radio a feature everyone is clamoring for?  I think not.  
How hard is it for MS to give us a few features with GDR2 that every user/fan id asking for over on the UserVoice Forum?  I agree with Daniel there is a balance of placating exisiting users and adding new customers but it's obvious that MS doesn't understand the the speed and urgency of mobile environment.  By the time blue comes out they will still be behind at least a year on features the competition offers.   And Joe will stand on stage and tell you that such and such feature just wasn't able to be included in this update because they didn't have enough time but it will be included in the next year's update.  My patience with MS is waning.

Personally I see no reason for custom messaging tones to be a deal breaker.  It doesn't matter if it's a chime, or a Dragonforce guitar solo.  It's annoying, and I don't want to be alerted when your best friend has messaged you.  Notification center?  I can take a look through my home screen, and see what was updated.  I tend to group my apps by type, so I can just generally scroll through, and I am all caught up.  What I would love to see is more control over my volume.  While I like my alarm to blare, I don't like my games to do the same.  
What I'd like to see the most is a break away from carrier approval.  Just give me the updates.  I've yet to find a reason as to why I shouldn't get GDR (pick a number) or any of the firmware.  I'm looking at you TMO. 

So to get a notification from Facebook, you just look at your tile? I'd say 98% never show up on my FB tile.
Do you use ESPN? There notifications pop up and are gone forever, no number on the tile.
Do you ever play games that get notifications like Words with Friends? I suppose you pin every game to to the start screen.
Have you ever got a notification on your live tile from Skype? I haven't.
Ever seen a notification on your tile from Instance? I've never seen one of those either.
Ever seen a breaking news notification show on a news app tile? I haven't, unless its the top story at the moment - but that's not exactly the same.
Windows Phone needs a notification center, as is evident when they addressed it being absent from the beginning.
Frankly, I'm not that concerned with separate volume controls, it's never been a issue for me.
Everyone has their own opinions and needs, and Microsoft cannot please everyone immediately.

I disagree with the focus on MS isn't doing enough. Face it. It took Nokia 1 yr to give us the 900 which was really a recycled Symbian design. They both are to blame.

Microsoft dominates the desktop OS market, and the desktop web-browser market.
They really should be using that fact to leverage these other companies to develop apps for WP.
I mean, basically say this, but tweak the language from the lawyers so it is not technically black mail "want your website to run properly on the 2 billion windows desktops? well, we want an app on our phone OS".

Guys, I think Microsoft is doing fine. They are building the foundation of WP so that they delivery an optimum performance. It takes time to build WP core because it also has to work flawlessly with Windows OS.
Think of it as building a house. You want to get the foundation right so that the house can withstand a tornado, a hurricane, or an earthquake.
It doesn’t matter if your house is nicely decorated if it can’t withstand a storm. They are building a future proof OS. Once they are done with the foundation, it is easier to decorate the house however they want to. It’s very easy to decorate a house, but it’s hard to build one right. In this case, it will be very easy for Microsoft to add all the features they want once they are done working on the WP foundation.
Performance is Solid
Security is Solid
Networking is in the work
Features are in the work
WP phone wouldn’t be anything without building a strong foundation on performance and security. The experience is the same of all devices. The same cannot be said for Android.

If the GDR3/Blue update is as big as Mango was, I'll gladly deal with GDR2 and hold out till GDR3's release. At the least, this article and Joe Belfiore's answers DO clarify a lot! So I can understand, but we also know that Microsoft does have a task in front of them and they can't please everyone either!

GDR3 & "Blue" are separate updates. Not sure if you already know that, it just seems like you lumped them together in your comment.

I wonder if anyone actually read the article?
Maybe they couldn't read it with all the tears in their eyes, because as usual there is a lot of uninformed crying in here.

What many failed to understand in their commentaries and attitudes is that Microsoft came into the mobile platforms marketplace late in the day when both Apple and Google had pretty much carved out the territory for themselves in nearly equal halves. All things considered, I would agree with the writer that Microsoft has done pretty good in the mobile market place within the short timeframe. The important thing is that by the numbers, it's growing albeit incrementally but growth nonethless, not by any means shrinking as wome would have us believe.

To snatch the third position from Blackberry that came out well before Microsoft is no mean feat in my humble opinion, considering the fact that Blackberry was once the frontrunner in smart phone devices marathon before Apple suddenly showed up from behind and upstaged it with the i-Phone and the IPAD. Apple's success in the mobile platform has a lot to do with lack of effective challenge from other vendors at a time Microsoft was not even in the picture as yet, who were slow in responding, having initially all but written off mobile computing before Apple found the sweet spot.

And contrary to the death wish from certain hostile quarters on Windows, there is no question in my mind that Microsoft is in it to win it and the data is already trending that way with more and more vendors coming on board and carriers dumping IOS for Windows. In the end, I see only Android and Windows getting to the finish line with IOS falling by the way side, or at best limping to the finish line. And the reason for this is simple: IOS is a closed shop that admits none other than just developers unlike Android and Windows with multiple device vendors churning out quality, first rate mobile devices comparable to Apple's and sometimes even better.

It's hard for a single player like Apple to take on multiple players that power the Android and Windows platforms, respectively. As the numbers are beginning to show, Apple's reign in the mobile platorms is beginning to wane. Having been overtaken by Android in smartphones, Windows will not be far behind in all of the categories of the mobile devices. It's only a matter of time. And the combination of both Microsoft and Nokia is, quite frankly, hard to beat in the long run. 

We're at the beginnings of the making of a giant mobile platform with a product range and reach that only Android could take on and that's if, and a big if, Samsung stays with Android. If it quits Android as it's being speculated, to lauch its own mobile OS, that will be it for Android, because Samsung is the heart of Android OS at the moment.  I'm hanging in there with Windows with it's unbeatable unified ecosystem and enterprise hugging features. That's the platorm to beat in the near future, and I'm there for the long haul like the smart stock investor, not a fly by client who goes with the wind (no offense intended). And why not,  what have I got nothing to lose? An app or two? Yeah, I can handle that! Not a bad trade off with other gains the platform  offers, and that's not even forever for crying out loud! I don't understand all the cries.

I think you are underestimating the "coolness" factor of Apple. They are a hype machine and their name is golden. All they have to do is come out with a new phone and tell everyone how great it is (whether it is or not) and isheople will eat it up.

If Samsung leave Android for their own 0S then they will be where WP is today, playing catch up on App numbers. Developing OS features takes more time then people think. Apple took over 4 years to include a To-Do list.

You said (in a probably speculative tone from your part):
But why not do both, you say? We’re not privy to how Microsoft operates, their budget nor how their strategy meetings progress, but it seems to us from observers on the outside that like most organizations, they have limits on resources preventing them from doing everything at once.
I couldn't help but chuckle after I read this....I mean..for a company that might have "limited" manpower resources...don't you find it pretty strange it can afford to send $900 million down the drain? =D

Microsoft is very *clumsy* with the WP8 OS. First of all, they have null support for Indian users (Xbox Music Pass unavailable, buying apps really troublesome, Xbox Music Store unavailable, etc.). And not just in India, I believe this is the case in many other countries outside the US. People are dying for features and Microsoft is busy writing codes to implement better camera features like on the 1020. As a result progress is hampered on the OS part for months. When 1020 is launched, they prepare for other phones...progress hampered again. Updates are delayed and people get annoyed. Some leave the OS while others prepare to. By the time MS actually does something fruitful it loses a major part of the customers. So basically the cycle will go on forever - on one hand they attract 100 customers, on the other hand 99 customers leave. Result? Almost nil progress.

Instead of throwing ur sarcasm around, y dont u suggest otherwise if u think ms stratewgy is correct.

Excellent article thanks.  As a Windows 8, Widnows 8 RT and Windows Phone user, the closer linking of the platiforms to ensure that everything that is important to me is always available is essential.  No other mobile platform comes close and Micorsoft needs to stay committed to its path to ensure that it and its customers reap the benefits moving forward.

WP8 took its sweet time to be released, it arrived late and killed the Lumia 920 first with the delay and with bugs for the almost 3 months until protico solved it a little bit, actually my phone only stopped having freezes issues until an update i installed one month ago. 
I think the strategy is idiotic because to get devices in people's hands in volume, you need features. basic ones... like I don't know a seperate volume rocker for apps? at least for music? anyone? 

Microsoft are just drugging people hoping they would just wait for updates a little bit longer, this will not happen, in the coming month you'll see Twitter exploding with updates demands even after GDR2 gets released.

Ugh, GDR2 should have been here already for all platforms. If GDR3 comes out so shortly after, followed by 8.1, why the long wait between the 920's launch and now?

sorry, but there is no excuse. ms needs to wake up NOW!

- they have to deliver faster!
- decouple core os from apps (like in windows 8)
- bypass carriers at least for simple feature updates like rotation lock (why has to carrier testing for that?! do you need oem testing for windows (security) updates or windows modern app updates?!)
- most requested features need very, very little developing time (e.g. disable haptic feedback, even week view in calendar).
- so, if they're facing a lack of developer they have to hire new ones or bull from other ms departments. mobile success is key!!!! they are millions of (externals) developers out there.
- wp is lacking features since its introduction and even with wp8 almost no new features where introduced. people dont care about the underlying architecture (switch to windows core), they care about apps and functionality.
- how cares about datasense and kids corner?!? focus on things that matter (in reviews and for new and existing customers)
- this volume vs feature pr won't work. they have to deliver both quickly!

i love ms and wp. but the people that have been in charge there (at least for wp) shouldn't be in charge any longer. look how fast other companies are moving. just once again: MICROSOFT, WAKE UP NOW!!!



I hate articles that reason with M$. All the M$ want's is the big $ and nothing else, they don't listen to customers.
I have a Linux desktop at work and have a Nokia Windows phone, a very weired combination, I have a Windows Phone only because it is one of the few Native mobile operating systems out there and is supported by Nokia. The only solution for me is Jolla Sailfish, but without the backing of a company like Nokia I am stuck with Windows phone. If they are slow like this, then Nokia will have no options but to buy back Jolla again and continue the Meego ecosystem, I would be glad to move to Jolla.

@danial: you seem to have a good relationship with microsoft. so, do us a favor. when you talk to someone important at microsoft again eg. mr joe belfiore please ask him or her what he thinks how long it takes an average skilled developer to implement those functionalities (top priorities taken from ms user voice):
- battery percentage in status bar (personally hope this will come as an option!)
- week view in calendar
- close apps in app switcher
- shortcut to disable connections like wifi
- blinking led support
- vibrate and (then) ring
- disable auto-rotate

i would say for each of them: between 1 day and 2 weeks. including extensive testing not more than 3 months for sure!


I am not sure this point has been made yet, but I think the true crux of the issue is a lack of openness from Microsoft in regard to future features (something that actually is apparent in Apple, Android and most respective manufacturers as well).
If MS simply announced what features were in development, the public would be a lot calmer about future updates, and more inclined to give the OS some time to develop.
People are aware of the approximate GDR update cycle (something MS should be equally open about), and this creates anticipation. People's expectations are then raised, and then left disappointed when key features are not present.
This leads to customer attrition, and as a guess, I expect MS will lose the most  number of customers after GDR3, when customers who have been with the OS longest - over a year - will be up for contract renewals and consider moving to other OS's (either to allow WP time to mature before trying again at their next contract, or indeed leaving the OS permanently after too many disappointments).
The public doesn't need to know their manpower, operational strategy, or whatever else. Neither should MS or Nokia release information about planned USP's or secret innovative features. But simply, a statement to say commoditised expected features are definitely coming:
- "We will release independent volume controls in 2014"
- "WP8 will get multiple email attachments in an upcoming update";
- or even just  "We are hoping to release a file manager in the future
I really like the WP8 operating system, and completely agree with Daniel's article. However, neither will stop WP8 customers' frustrations - too many features missing on WP8 are now the expectation and not the exception.
Honesty in this case, really would be the best policy.

Well reasoned article that reminded me of why I came over to WP after my first smartphone the Palm Pre. With the Pre all I knew was grids of icons, amazing multi-tasking and homebrew patches and themes. WP was different, and MS even ran ads at the time that said WP freed you from your phone and the constant tweaking of themes and icons. The driving force behind WP for me was always the live tiles and how simple the OS was to use. No tinkering daily, no constant restarts after installing patches, no sluggish OS behavior. All of these are what first time smartphone buyers will look at, and this is the market WP is aiming to capture for the most part. The advanced features are really for existent WP users like me today. Though it's annoying to wait for features, I certainly understand. At least the hardware is great.

8 Reasons why Nokia is UNHAPPY with WP8:
Like WPCentral said, well certainly its half told truth. The actual facts are:
1. Nokia's VP: "If someone doesn't work then we cant be dependent upon them & need to move on our own." referred to MSFT

2. TheVerge on Lumia 1020 Review "A great device hampered by the OS"

3. Its Nokia who mostly gets the worthy apps & games that are Lumia exclusive which not MSFT, HTC, Samsung does

4. Nokia has released more devices than WP features. Since last November, Nokia made 12 devices since announcement of WP8 OS

5. Bryan(Nokia's VP): "It all comes down to the APPS at the end, Regardless of great phones being made we cant ask ppl to switch because the app that they use daily is not available on WP OS why consumers would compromise with their comfort, which is an opportunity missed & phone not sold". Whereas Daniel said Nokia is happy with Nokia-MSFT relation where Nokia can make great Hardware & MSFT worries about OS

6. In fact, Its true that most words used by the WPCentral about MSFT working for 1080p screen & having Quad core processors, sounds valid. But what is this deeper level access to OS, same accent color throughout, I never heard APPLE, ANDROID or even BB mentioning these things as features

7. As Daniel Rubino said: "Nokia is happy because they can focus to built great hardware & MSFT worries about OS "
Ok first Steven Elop himself cant say it directly, so it was an indirect way of lashing out on WP OS features list + all over progress, by making Nokia's VP Bryan say that: "Microsoft needs to realise the essence of time" which clearly are the words of shame for Windows & WP OS

8. Truth is as per the INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES Nokia is DEEPLY worried being tied down to WP OS. As the fact is WP OS is not the 1st, 2nd or even 3rd priorities of MSFT. As MSFT have bigger fishes to fry like: Windows 8, Office, XBox, etc. And now Nokia is worried as they are the only ones who are totally dependent upon MSFT for future.

i wonder why people love this instagram so much, in my country its not a deal breaker, are there no alternatives for WP8 on the store to this app. which does the same job or better?? for Youtube, there are several.
FM radio and FM TRANSMITTER was a deal breaker for me, Deal breaker features and apps differs country by country, 
Another problem is that of carriers, i think they are forcing hardware manufacturers not to put more or enough storage on devices so that users can use cloud/skydrive    - data connection - more cash for them.
Microsoft must tell us which update are they going to address common features found on other platforms which users think every cell phone must have, that are lacking on WP8 e.g. separate volume control, ringtones on SMS etc.
I am happy with howb Nokia treats its customers, they repond, but MS it another story, 
For us who do not depend on carriers for updates, why don't we get them now (unlocked phones bought thru shops like Clove Techn etc)

so in essence we are not getting any new features before 2014, clearly that would be a frustration for existing user base, many of us who bought these phone were giving a chance to this new os, knowing that still features are missing but expecting that they will be taken care of but seems MS has other plans. they've chosen a path (that costs less budget more time) ans this will mean they'll still be playing catchup for a couple of more years.

Ignoring whether it was right or wrong... the easiest observation is that they are resource limited. 
I strongly question why MS is wasting development time producing two metro interfaces (Windows 8 and Windows Phone) when they could be focusing all of their energy on 1.
They need to double the amount of PM's and Dev's on that team. There is no reason there should be resoure overlap between interface updates, feature updates, and system updates.
Hopefully that is what comes out of the recent reorg at MS.

Look at all thos Nokia phones lol looks like some one gives a shit about us Windows Phone fans :) can't say much for Samsung they still don't have ther shit in any store Iv seen and HTC nice try buy 2little phones ain't gonna cut it

I belive that they have to focus on both things ecually since the people holding the phones can really recommend it(Windows Phone) as an update becasue there is always like "It's a good phone but it is missing ...... and some apps".
The most affective marketing they get is from customers that tell other people to buy it but it's hard to justify buying a WP instead of something from the Android or Apple side because it does not matchup in fetures. If Microsoft updated more regularly (every 2nd month or so)and focused let's say every other update on features and the other on "pipeline work" WP would be a much more attractive platform for customers.

I love new updates and features however I want them running fluid and smooth, Microsoft can take their time but in reality OS updates really aren't what the problem with windows phone is. Nokia has done a great job with windows phone, and the additions they have made to it are awesome, sure having 1080 p screens and quad core processors for phones like the 1020 and its huge 41 megapixel awesomeness would be nice, but its not really necessary for windows phone, my Lumia 920 runs just as fast as my HTC ONE and looks just as good picture quality wise

The real problem is dev support, they need to have every major app developer working on producing WP apps anything less from the square logo giant is a failure in my eyes

All due respect Dan, but do you know what the flaw in your argument about patience, and availability of resources at Microsoft to devote to feature updates to Windows Phone, versus GDRs for hardware options?
The flaw is, that we're discussing *Microsoft*, one of the largest publicly held software firms in the world.  Didn't they post revenue at around $50 Billion just recently?  We're not talking about some indie start-up here, working out of somebody's garage.
They should have unlimited resources for their mobile OS, which should be one of their top priorities.
If there are limited resources to devote to Windows Phone, then Microsoft has consciously restricted the number of those resources for this area of their business.  It's a business decision to not devote a large amount of resources to this.

After having the 920 for a month, I switched backed to Android.  I can be inpatient, especially with a new OS and didn't wanna find 3rd party apps, etc. However, after having my note 2 and HTC One, I started to miss the look, feel, and build quality of my 920 and kept taking my sisters and playing with it!   Android has become blah imo....Mainly because, android has reached its peak!  I also got annoyed with crap apps and having to make sure there was no bloatware attached, etc.  I don't use many apps, but even after installing a few different programs it was old.  I loved the idea of 1020.  It has a great camera, I know I am not a prof. photographer, but its fun!!!  I love it!  The live tile issue has so far been non existent, on my 920 I would get annoyed with the lack of notifcations.  However, this phone is doing the job.  There are only a few things I would truly change; maybe a box that you could make into a folder with apps you want there...say a tile that flipped and was labled "Camera apps"  That would be great, hell maybe it can be done, I just don't know.  Tweak the back button, and add some apps, I can think of maybe 5 apps I want thats it, but it doesn't make or break the OS.  I think, well hope after 8.1 you will see more of a ecosystem, like Apple to start to polish up!  If anything, the 1020 is going to turn heads and change the market at least to how far OS's can push the camera and the apps!  But for now, iOS and android really don't have much they can add imo.  Apple just needs bigger phones imo, and a keyboard like WP....WP is the best keyboard hands down!  Ok sorry for my rant, back to work :)

Have you ever used SwiftKey, specifically swipe, or Swipe for that matter. I used to love the WP keyboard until I met that keyboard.

Eh, I will possibly come back if any of these promises are kept. It is not even big changes that they need to make to the OS, it is small ones that all other OS's have. Notification center (I know..), seperate music profiles, orientation lock....etc. These are so small. I went to Android after my Trophy bellied up and I don't really miss anything. A little lag here and there is annoying, but my Trophy was far from perfect. But basically what MS is telling me is that they will not even have a phone I am even close to interested in until 2014.... I guess the waiting game starts now

Great, support new devices.

MS needs to polish their OS. I feel like I have been beta testing WP8 fir nearly a year. I got the 920 the day they were available.

MS made a big show about timely updates and has failed hugely in the regard.

When my next phone upgrade is in, im leaving MS. Which is sad, as I really like Nokia.

Of course MS,could pull out of this nose dive, but I doubt it. Im sure im not the only WP8 fan/advocate they are going to lose.

It is frustrating how little they seem to get it.

Patience is a virtue, Rome wasn't built in a day, would you like some cheese with your whine? How old are Android and IOS compared to WP and how long did it take them to get to where they are at today?
Seriously people, if you bought a device on release date and then complain there are no bug fixes within a random time frame that you have decided, you get pissed. Just like any piece of tech that comes out there is always bugs, glitches, loopholes etc. Every piece of tech produced in the world isn't "perfect" out of the box...most aren't "perfect" after a year or two. I put perfect in quotes because, as it is well known in the posts on wpcentral, perfect is a relative term and different for every single person. I.e. Feature missing here and here, xyz official app(s) missing, 1080p, 5"+ screen size, quad core or octo core processors, etc etc etc.
If it's not one thing, it's another...people will always find something to complain about.
The whole impatience for updates can be chalked up to our "fast food and microwave society"...if we can't get xyz when we want it we go somewhere else to get it.
Good things come to those who wait....
*stepping down off my soapbox now*
Great article as ALWAYS Daniel!!! Thank you!

Another article about "why we can't". All users here know what Microsoft should do. They don't need to find out new functionality, just make things work as they used to. We don't need any extras. Just the functionality of windows mobile and a basic phone for 20$. These guys at MS have no other choice. I remember in the begining of iOS it was soooo basic and lacking any features of smartphone. Than came Android lacking of some usability, unstable, laggy, but had some features iOS was missing. I have to mention, that nor Google nor Apple had no expirience in building mobile phone system. Windows Phone is not starting from 0. It had WinCe, windows mobile 6.5, windowsphone7. Plus really developed iOS and Android to look at. Why they created so great unique design, but so limited user unfriendly settings and options. Like WP dev team never used a phone or never seen one ever. Thousands of people shouting for real bascs, and after a year we get an FM radio! As for me it is huuuge WTF. 
I'm afraid in WP8.1 we will get a customized wallpaper and WP9 will provide us with a built-in flashlight. Thats it!

Microsoft is doing the right thing.  The single biggest reason more people don't buy windows phones is because 99% of the phones available to customers are not windows phones.  
Windows phones are just not visible enough.  If this strategy is going to result in me seeing 7 windows phones on display at my local Telus store, as opposed to just 2 then it will have been the right strategy. 

It's easy to say they should be putting more people on this so they can placate the manufacturers as well as existing customers but the more people you have contributing to a code base the higher the likelihood that you are introducing bugs.  I'd rather they produce good quality than try to do too much too fast.