Much like how technically the number of applications in the Marketplace doesn't really matter (though you can glean some info from it), how well Microsoft did or did not do on Monday, in terms of raw sales, seems to be a moot a point in the long run. Unless of course you're looking to ask rhetorical questions for major publications. Such was the case yesterday where lots of headlines were phrased "Was the launch a bust?" "Did it underwhelm?" "Is it really a huge success?" etc.
Fact is, we don't know, they don't know and no one will know for awhile. This is understood by everyone. Citing anonymous sources who claim to know that "40,000" devices were sold was passed around as evidence, trumpeting headlines despite not knowing the authenticity of the claim. It's the equivalent of journalist trolling (the use of "?" is always a sure sign). Sure, there were very few lines if any. Sure it was a Monday (launches do better on Fridays) and we now know that stock was quite low (here and here), not even lasting the day at a lot of AT&T and T-Mobile stores (we heard reports of anywhere from 2 to 12 Samsung Focuses per retail outlet).
Did anyone really expect iPhone like masses to appear? No. The only thing to consider is that Microsoft is in this for the long run. This is day #1 of what will be a multi-year process. Two things to remember about Microsoft: they have lots of money and they are suborn when committed to entering a market. Lets revisit this six months from now where adoption rates will be better understood, where the OS has had a chance to build public awareness and real figures make their rounds, shall we? Yes, it's fun to speculate, but everyone in this business knows one day tells you very little e.g. the Palm Pre sold very well for Sprint its first day, fast forward one year and they're sold to HP.
One of the challenges of buying a new Windows Phone is finding accessories for it. Most notably, finding a case that fits. Whether you've purchased the new HTC HD7, Samsung Focus or the HTC Surround more than likely the case for your older Windows Phone is going to be too small. One case style that seems to work the best are those fitted for the HTC HD2.
I choose the Samsung Focus for my Windows Phone and have been using the SPE Top Case for the HD2. The Focus fits nicely in the case with just enough wiggle room to make placement and removal easy. The case itself is well built and I like the brown leather.
SPE makes another case that works well with the HTC Surroud, the SPE Side Case for the HD2. The Surround fit in the side case nicely and the case was comfortable to wear. While the Focus fit the Side Case, due to the thinner form factor, the Focus bounced around alot in the case.
The new Dickey Side Case for the HD2 worked well but some may not like the Velcro closure or belt loop (as opposed to a belt clip). Then there's always the Golla Cases that have plenty of room to carry your Windows Phone, a few credit cards and cash.
So one of the "big" apps released today was iHeartRadio, which basically allows you to stream via internet radio stations from around the U.S. Perfect for you folks who travel and need your talk radio fix, or like to have some background radio while you work.
The app is free, though there is a premium area for some high-profile talk radio. Overall it feels pretty solid. The graphics have some banding, which could be easily fixed with a different background and the selection is decent, but not as great as internet radio. Well worth the download though if radio is your thing.
The Samsung Focus comes with 8GB NAND memory whereas the HTC HD7 comes with 8GB NAND (presumably) and an 8GB microSD card. Of course the Focus can be upgraded by adding a microSD card, but it does not come with one. The theory has it that the HD7 will probably perform slower due to the memory card and indeed, in our tests, this is the case.
Overall, the Focus feels faster in everyday tasks, navigating the UI and of course loading Need for Speed Undercover, in comparison to the HD7. But, that may be due to the Focus not having an SD card. Either way, the difference is obvious in this video.
Although just getting a Dell Venue Pro seems hard enough these days, getting to its storage card may even be harder. That's assuming it even has one.
In one of the first shots of the device without a battery cover, there's nary a SD card in sight. Granted, it could be buried below somewhere, requiring you to break out some mini-screwdrivers, but this is no Samsung Focus, which has the slot readily accessible. Of course, with that recent warning from Microsoft to AT&T, you may want to hold off anyways.
The device is reported to come in two varieties: 8GB and 16GB, so at least there's that option. Still, for those looking for a 40GB Venue Pro, you may be out of luck or have a lot of work ahead of you.
Update: Over at wmpoweruser, it was shown that indeed the Dell Venue Pro does have a microSD card, so upgrades are a go, if you want to risk it.
Microsoft's Bing today launched their visual search tool for WP& apps, allowing you to peruse the selection via any web browser. This kind of a cool thing if you're not at your home PC and want to look up some info about apps for Windows Phone 7or want to send a link to someone. about a particular program.
What we're hoping for next here at WPCentral: Send to phone. Android has this through the AppBrain system and hopefully Microsoft has taken note.
Looks like AT&T and Microsoft aren't reading from the same playbook, but are now.
While ample evidence suggests AT&T had no problem with the end user adding extra memory (see here and here), it looks like the giant is now back stepping a bit. In a post yesterday from Paul Thurrott and confirmed by one of our readers at an AT&T store, the employees are now telling customers do not upgrade the microSD card on the device.
In short, there appears to be a problem with reliability when using non-approved memory. Microsoft is fixing this and it will come out in some OTA update, presumably that one in January that is rumored. The good news is this whole use it/don't use it approach to memory may end once Microsoft sorts out the problem on their end.
For now, we say: take the risk if you know the implications. If your device starts crashing, or having performance issues, well...take out the card and start anew. You're adults, you can figure this out.
So last night on CBS, the new series (of an old series) Hawaii Five-O had a snazzy Windows Phone 7 placement. At about 18 minutes in to the show, two of the characters are in a museum. The male character suggests that the art piece was an original Clifton Bowles, the female doesn't believe him (they never do, amirite?), so he tells her to "Bing it!".
The female lead then pulls out an LG Optimus 7 and proceeds to Bing the gentleman's name. After this the show evidently went to commercial, where not one but reportedly two ads appeared. Not bad Microsoft, not bad.
Things I learned: Hawaii Five-O has a lot of pretty girls in it and I'm glad I'm vegetarian.
As supplies on the Samsung Focus and HTC Surround were flying off AT&T's shelves today, it appears that the LG Quantum will soon be joining the action.
AT&T is now accepting pre-orders for the LG Quantum with a expected ship date of November 15th with all orders processed on a first come, first served basis. Pricing is consistent with the other Windows Phones, $199.99 with contractual discounts or $499.99 out of contract. Of course you could also just pre-order it from LetsTalk for $99 and save yourself a bundle.
So, if you're holding out for a Windows Phone 7 device that has a side-sliding keyboard... now's your chance.
And now it looks like the HD7 is on "backorder" as well (see Samsung Focus). According to TmoNews, when you try to place an order through Tmobile's website, you get the above message. A quick call to customer care results in the same message with the caveat that they don't know when it will be back in stock.
For now at least, you can still get it through Amazon Wireless, which being $50 less is a better deal anyways. Although funny thing, my HD7 order still hasn't shipped from Amazon, so who knows what's up.
Guess this isa big day, as Slingplayer is now available too in the Windows Phone Marketplace. The app, first demoed a few weeks ago (see the video after the break, if you need to convince yourself), promised resolution "4 times that of previous Windows Mobile devices" which sounds impressive.
The downside is the price, which we all knew was coming: $29.99. That's not unusual for Sling but it's still a bit pricey for an app for TV. But hey, you need it, you now got it. Hit us up in comments and let us know how it works!
Just in time for the U.S. launch, Halo Waypoint is finally released in the Marketplace. Though not even close to being a game (it's a game companion for you Halo nerds), it's a least a start. Plus we're sure there's a few of you wanting this little guy.
With reports of stores only have as many as 12 and as little as 2 devices on hand, we guess it's no surprise that they sold out so quick. Not to mention, 43% of you said the Focus was going to be your phone today, blowing away the the HD7 (16%) and the Venue Pro with a whopping 26%, not bad considering how hard it's to find that one.
We've known for sometime now that the Samsung Focus has an easily accessible microSD card slot. While Microsoft has been cautious, AT&T has voiced no opposition to using an expansion card and even Samsung points it out in the packaging material. But this expansion slot acts differently than what we are used to with Windows Phones.
Simply sliding in the microSD card into the expansion slot won't do the trick and apparently not all microSD cards will work. If you are going to use microSD card, we highly recommend you install it early. The reason being is that in order for the Focus to recognize the extra memory, you have to perform a hard reset on the phone.
Read more after the break on changing your microSD card!