Microsoft on lack of frequent updates: We’re listening, more to come this year

Joe Belfiore

There’s been a common complaint from the Windows Phone community the past few months around a seemingly lack of urgency with Microsoft to release updates. Windows Phone 8 launched at the end of last October and since then we haven’t had much in terms of OS updates. Right now GDR2 is beginning to roll out for a few of you, but other than that not much. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore recently took to the Windows Phone UserVoice to address some of that criticism.

For those who don’t spend every waking moment online: UserVoice is service that companies can utilize to engage customers. The most common application is to create a forum type setup where users can help provide feedback to the company. In this particular case, the Windows Phone UserVoice is where a lot of your fellow comrades go to provide Microsoft with feedback and ideas for future versions of Windows Phone. You can sort threads through a variety of ways, for example by hot ideas, top, new, the status, and categories. One particular thread was trending in the hot section, so Joe Belfiore stepped in.

It was titled “We need Microsoft to listen to our ideas and DO something”, this was the content inside:

“Ok, we're here after a year of WP8. We're about to get the GDR2 update and we're still not getting anything from the TOP ideas of this forum.

Sometimes I'm wondering Microsoft is listening or not. Or they just simply try to convince us to buy the phone and then leave us here.

GDR2 is just a small update, I see no actual features with high demand from customer on this update.

Things need to changed, OR, we'll leave this OS. Do something, Microsoft, before it's too late.

Who's with me, please vote!”

Quite a strong post right? Well it caught the attention of the community and was accumulating a lot of replies and votes that helped accelerate it to the top of the hot category. In those replies was one from Joe Belfiore addressing the main thread and the hundreds of replies within. Here’s what he said:

“We're definitely here and paying attention to what you folks are asking for... keep in mind the trick for us is balancing things that make EXISTING devices better for you, our enthusiast users, versus things that create new devices to sell to a broader audience. A lot of the work in GDR2 was around enabling new devices-- like the Lumia 1020, devices on Sprint, etc. so that we could keep growing the size of the WP ecosystem. We need to grow the number of people using WP so we get ISVs writing the apps, we get better/more accessories built, etc.

Of course this takes time and energy, but we still do intend to improve the user experience for you via new features. There's some in GDR 2 (eg. DataSense broadly available, FM Radio) there's more coming later this year, and still more after that.

Don't worry - we are listening to you folks!”

He brings up a very valid point and should help bring a few of us off our high horses. It was something we noticed yesterday in the comments for the leaked (and now confirmed) specs for the Lumia 625. Microsoft and Nokia have to find the balance between satisfying two extremes in the market –The tech nerds (you, me, and everyone most likely reading this site) and the rest of the world.

Microsoft and Windows Phone are still in a distant third place when it comes to mobile platforms. So we need to ask what should be higher on the priority list. Satisfying the needs of a few or the needs of many? And right now Joe seems to have answered that for Microsoft. They’re placing a higher priority on growing the ecosystem right now versus implementing ideas that appeal to a vocal minority. And honestly that’s probably the right thing to do. Building up a large user base for developers will be benefit us all and have a positive impact on the platform that lasts longer than simply adding the ability to control media and ringtone volume separately (as much as we all want that!).  

You shouldn’t write off Windows Phone if you’re into technology. Joe goes onto promise future updates coming this year. And he’s right. While they won’t go on record, we know that GDR3 is coming sometime in the fall followed by Windows Phone Blue (8.1) early next year. The biggest thing that GDR3 will bring to the table is support for higher resolution displays – like those 1080p ones are frenemies over at Android Central get to play with.

So what do you guys think? Do you sympathize with Microsoft being in a tough position to find the balance between growing the ecosystem/platform versus adding new features every week? Or should they just suck it up and double down? Sound off with your thoughts below, because today we all get to play armchair analysts.

Source: Windows Phone UserVoice, Via: Neowin


Reader comments

Microsoft on lack of frequent updates: We’re listening, more to come this year



Can't you do the force update trick... IIRC you check for updates on Zune but disconnect at the right moment before it checks your phone model or whatnot... That's what I did for my old HTC arrive.

Nope, because the scumlords at ATT never flipped the switch to make them available on the update servers.

Before you come to that conclusion, especially in a manner in which you're delivering it as something MS is doing wrong, you need to find out if that is even possible in the US.

Apple did it 'cause Apple puts convenience of its users above else, MS can't do this because they don't give a s*it about their users. They just feed us with stupid promises like that infamous "enthusiast program". Yea you can suck your empty promises MS, I don't give a f*ck about ya anymore.

I'm pretty sure that Microsoft and Google would love it if they could push out updates without the Carrier's input.
The only reason Apple has this is because Apple will skip a carrier if Apple doesn't get the role of extreme overlord of its OS. The carrier's still, at this point, need iOS (many tech blogs have discussed why a carrier hosting the iPhone is a burden, and yet they still desperately need it).
Meanwhile, carrier's don't really need Android or Windows Phone devices. There are so many Androids on the market, if they can't make a deal on a device, they just turn around and another deal is awaiting them. Likewise, Windows Phone is still trying to get a good foothold in the market, so it's weak and vulnerable.
I don't think any manufactures are very fond of carriers getting final say in software updates, and the carriers being allowed to add their logos and crapware to devices, but it's the sad reality, it's the only way a carrier will allow a device to sell.
Perhaps in the future, when the manufacturers get more power, they'll get more say, but for now, Apple has all the good playing cards, so everyone else is left at the mercy of the carriers.

Then Microsoft should release update for country that not depend on carrier faster. currently, even in country like Indonesia or Malaysia or any similar country that almost all device is unlocked, OEM directly sell to user. but we still need to wait 2-4 months after official release by microsoft. (happen last time with portico).

Then the customers in the countries that tech media covered more closely (USA) will get pissed off that they get theirs later, demand to the carriers, and carriers decide to stop the problem right from the source (tell Microsoft to stop giving early updates)

one of the reasons Microsoft can't do it is because Microsoft doesn't make there own phones like apple does. So at the end of the day Microsoft doesn't get to decide who gets what update, the carrier does. Now if Microsoft released its own phone like apple then they would be in total control

My wife would have kept her Quantum. She liked it more than the 8X she has after switching carriers. "Too big" "Doesn't have a keyboard" "Flimsy feeling" were her issues with it.

I'm with her on the keyboard. I would dump my 928 in a heartbeat for a keyboard phone. (Didn't get the Quantum myself because the keyboard was too small for the slabs of ham I call hands)

I had an 8X for a minute, flimsy is not a word I would use to describe it. It's thin yes, and has some build quality issues but the phone is as sturdy as any slab could be.

The Quantum, the best WP to ever be released, will not receive the update, unfortunately. However, you can find information here in the forums on how to go get it.

The Quantum I gave to my friend to use had 7.8. I just plugged it in and it installed. The latest version came too. I just hate how 7.8 felt so laggy.

Thinking about doing that with my 920 for the 1020. Can't decide though, don't know to do that or just wait it out and buy something off contract this time next year. Ahhhhhhh first world problems!!!

I will buy the 1020 on contract and given its high price ,its likely it will still sell at or around 400 a year or so from now if in pristine condition. At which point I'd pony up the difference for another flagship Lumia. 1st world solutions!!

That's the nasty carrier problem we face at work. If/when WPs ecosystem grows to a respectable size then MS can push for updates to go out with less pushback from the carriers.

A pity indeed. I've tried force update and 7 Eighter several times, no luck. I've already lost patience. Samsung's not answering the rabid fans too when are we getting the update. We're already on the the second half of the year and WP 8.1 might come Q4 and yet, we can't even get the update. Samsung's reps keep on changing their tune. People are really mad.
I wanted to get Lumia 920 back then, but when it arrived in my country (Philippines); rumor about the kick@ss 1020 surfaces so I was like do I have to invest on 1020 instead? It's launching this July but who knows when it will arrive to my country again, it's really diasappointing. Hopefully Nokia will realize to not have a simultaneuos release but fast track all these things to catch up with competitng OS.
LOL, my post became a bit out of topic but all I'm pointing out is it's a domino effect. Delayed OS update > delayed device release etc etc. Anyway, carry on. :)

honestly, 7.8 doesn't add much value to 7.5. however, the trick to using the 7eighter tool is the section about choosing the language packs that are installed on your device. I had more language packs on my hd7 than the tool, so i selected all of the ones available on the tool. anyway, smooth install. retained all of my data including SMS.

dude you have to realized.. phones released here in the usa are totally different in another country...for example the 1020 has the new lte chip which the philippines dont have,and phones here in the usa are subsidised by carrier,in the philippines most of people use prepaid ryt?? be patient or buy it off contract..goodluck dude..

Samsung was my first WP, but I learned my lesson fast! They're holding back WP updates so you can get frustrated and hopefully purchase one of their beloved GS devices. I hope you simply dump them and chose Nokia or HTC for WP!!

I am giving WP 8 one more year just tired of simple things that annoy me. I have been a strong supporter since the 900. I was not even mad when they switched to WP 8. My biggest issue is notifications the tiles simply do not work except the OS tiles like email, calendar (which is joke in terms of usability). Don't even get me started on other storage I have 12 gb stuck in it no idea what it is. I can't download new map updates or even download big games. I had to delete the maps which I use almost every day, to make space for some apps and files. My work gave a choice of iPhone or galaxy s3, even though I took s3 my daily phone is 920. If major changes don't come to notifications and other issues there is no way I can stay with WP 8.

Regardless, I'm not braking up with Windows Phone, not just yet. I am a very proud Samsung Focus user. I love the phone, the camera and the expandable storage, no qualms on that.
And I'm proud that I was able to convert some of my siblings on using Windows Phone. But this kind of love (with the OS and device) should be rewarded properly, hence, give us an update. We already got tired with Samsung Support reps, they keep on changing answers everyday as to whern do we really get an update. It doesn't matter if they say January 2014, that's fine with me, but they should walk the talk. The rep goes like, oh you'll be getting the update by June, then come June, they said they really don't know. Why can't they give us a firm roll-out. Was it that complicated?

If you're using a Lumia 920, you can easily use the Storage Check app to remove the temp files in your "other" storage.  It's in the Settings -> System -> Storage Check (near the bottom of the list).  It is nice because it tells you which apps are taking up storage in "other" as well as how much is taken by temp files and lets you delete the temp files.  It took my temp files from 9 GB down to 700 MB (large, but still acceptable on a 32 GB device).
I'm not sure what's wrong with your 3rd party live tiles.  I have lots of 3rd party apps with tiles that work fine.  On a daily basis, I use Simple Calendar, LINE, Twitter, Row, and Weather Flow and they work great and update fine.  Don't get me wrong, I understand the need for a notification center as well, but I don't know why your tiles wouldn't be working...

The next person that say's Storage Check is a fix for this I'm gonna hunt down n strangle lol its NOT a fix! It does f#ck all!!! Yesterday it took a "massive" 2mb out of temp n I don't believe u wen u say it went from 9gb to 700mb coz I had 20gb n was lucky to get 300mb back!

Thanks for jumping down my throat dude.  I was just trying to be helpful to the poster above.  Sorry, Storage Check is not working for you.  You can go bite someone's head off who works for Microsoft or Nokia (which is not me).  I was just trying to be helpful, which you certainly aren't.  Do you have 20 GB actually in temp or do you have 20 GB in "Other"?

It doesn't matter if you know why his tiles won't update, the fact of the matter is the live tiles don't update on numerous devices which you should know if you read the forums. WP users are tired of dealing with having to do hard resets in order to get the live tiles to update.Not to mention the infamous wheels of death MS has yet to address.

I have a friend who started with the focus and then upgraded to the 920... and he's pretty much called it quits on WP oS. He's going to jump ship & all he's waiting for is on the Moto X (smh). I tried to tell him about the 1020's 41 mp goodness but he's had it with the platform. His biggest complaint was lack of support by developers and all the great apps he's missing out by staying.
I can't blame him... There's so much potential on the WP oS.

Your just gonna argue your point so dont worry what apps are missing just know that his friend can't find what he wants on wp

I totally agree, I'm a huge fan of Microsoft and WP8, I even used to own a Samsung windows mobile 6.I've been patient for a very long time and I still don't have the features nor the apps that I need when everyone else around me are happy with their android and iphone devices. I'm giving WP8 one more year or till WP blue 8.1 is released to see what features they will include, if WP blue 8.1 doesn't have what I need then I'm switching to android.

leo9212, if you need so much storage space, why didn't you bought the Samsung Ativ S ? I have one with 16GB + 64GB external storage! It gives to me the ability to use 14,68GB + 59,02GB for everything I need!

PS: I'm 17 years old, I have lots of apps, games, music, videos and even CoPilot Live with the 3D and Europe maps pack and I use only 8GB of internal storage and 10GB of external storage...

That's not the point. I can buy a WP 8 phone with external storage but I really like Nokia and their designs the point is even though I have 32 gigs as advertised I can't even use half of it

It's called compromise. You end up doing it to some extent with damn near every product you ever buy

I feel your pain but I'm sure that these problems will be solved at the most by early next year with gdr3 update. With regards to the other storage issue. Why don't you just use Nokia's app ?

The Nokia Storage app doesn't remove other storage only temporary memory, and doing a factory reset on the Lumia 920 breaks windows thus killing the phone

That stinks about your other storage. I personally have never had over 1gb in other storage. Have you thought about a reset, I know nobody wants to I've had to do it 4 times now due to my phone messing up but it may be worth it to get your storage in check.

I'm guessing (hoping) you have a Lumia, if so there's a storage app to free up that 12gigs. I recently seen a third party app too for non-Lumias' search on ya own tho

Tried everything to fix the storage issue. Even did factory reset twice but everytime the other storage fill up fast. Nokia storage actually helped before I was at 18 gb other storage unbelievable. It took it down to 13 and now 12.

I had tried Shrink Storage, that app needs to be restarted after clean temporary files, it is not clean all temporarily files, the same with Storage Cleaner, not clean all temporary files.

If you haven't received the update, it is more of an issue with the OEM/carrier, than with Microsoft.  You don't see people upset at Google when an HTC device doesn't receive an Android update. 

Google didn't tell everyone they'd be getting updates.  Microsoft pitched the phone as an OS with regular updates, and ones that would get to your phone, an OS that was not fractured.
And what we have is an OS that is fractured.
Personally, i regret buying a WP8 greatly.

Actually google did promise updates for 18 months per OEM and device. In Fact HTC, and other oems have broken the "so called contract" with google to support its devices for 18 months. Case in point, the HTC One X as an example.

The updates or more specificaly, lack thereof, is a Microsoft issue they, in their allmighty wisdom, decided to give the carriers the power to block updates, so they are the ones at fault.
After executing updates for Windows for decades it is beyond belief that they could screw it so much for WP.
Its as if your Internet provider had the ability to block Windows updates for you, no one would accept that so why are people ok with carriers blocking updates, the carriers are nothing more than service providers providing you with a link to the 'network' just as internet service providers do for you PCs.

Why are you blaming MS, but giving a pass to the carriers? Have you actually researched this, or just decided to complain?

I decided to manually update to 7.8 by finding the update packages online and installing them. Otherwise I would be in the same boat.

The update for HD7 is available though. I got 7.8 via Telstra 4 weeks after release. It's AT&T that's screwing them

Exactly, I am waiting for 7.8 update on my Samsung Focus (ATT) as well, and STILL NOTHING. Microsoft can go screw themselves with empty promises about later this year, early next year for 8.1; yeah right.....will be lucky if we see GDR3 and 8.1 by August next year from ATT and their crap support and blocking of WP updates.
Until Microsoft makes all updates compulsary and takes control of the release completely, they and WP are going to fail.

Why are you still on a Samsung Focus? If your reason is because of a contract, the upcoming $99 Nokia, you have no excuse. There is no reason why MS needs to be supporting your old OS.

What about the FIX for the "Other storage" issue?
Its really annoying. Its curretly occupied 3GB in my 820.

or add "Install apps and games on the SD support" at least.
The storage is also killing me on my L820, i don't care about 1080p resolution (i have a HD TV for that) or data sense or any other features like that.
I managed to install Halo SA (from SD card) by removing 7 games (including Asphalt 7) from my phone, otherwise i was low in storage space.

it's killing me too up to the point that I sold my Lumia 820 and upgraded to Lumia 920. I can live with normal 8mp camera but it's PITA to delete several games before installing large game then install them back just so you can have sufficient storage. not to mention that I already reset my phone twice before realizing the other storage issue is caused by auto uploading photos to skydrive.

…auto uploading photos to SkyDrive...  that is a big part of the problem, but not the only problem.  I believe just installing apps leads to the growth of the other storage.  My got up to over 10GB on my Lumia 822 (16GB internal, but at least I have a micro-SD).  I ended up doing a factory reset. After re-installing about 2GB of apps, I went down from 12GB free to about 8 GB. 

What's with the complaints about the "other" storage?I had a 620 & now I have the 820, and never had problems with that storage.On both it grabbed around 1.4Gb and stayed there for months.That "Storage check" works pretty well keeping it under control.

What isn't a problem for you, is a problem for many of us.  
So, that would be what the complaints are about.  I'm at 3.2 on Other on an 8 gb phone.  Is over a third of my storage dedicated to Other worth complaining about?  Very much so.
Storage Check is useless to me.  It clears up maybe .3 gb and most of that is from clearling IE history

I bought a game about a month ago. I still can't install it. If that's not a huge problem for a phone, I don't know what is.

People don't realize exactly how much of that Other Storage is being occupied by the number of apps and the app data that is consuming a major amount of memory. I've noticed that since WP8 is based on the NT kernel, each app that is installed usually uncompress from a 2 to 4 Mb file into a 40 to 60 Mb file, and that is not including app data. Of course there is something wrong with the Other Storage, but with the shrink storage app and Nokias and Htc's storage check app with ability to delete temporary files, will really help tremendously. Keep an eye on how much app data one uses, its more than you think.

I had tried Shrink Storage, that app needs to be restarted after clean temporary files, it is not clean all temporarily files, the same with Storage Cleaner, not clean all temporary files.

Yes, the fact that they are just leaving this one out there waving in the wind is just mind boggling.  I refuse to recommend WP to people when they may very well be back in two months with no storage.
And then to compound the issue, no way to save game progress is a real killer.  "We can reset your phone but all those Angry Birds levels you've spent 30 hours on to try and complete the achievements are out the window.  Sorry dude."
Microsoft should feel 100 times as embarressed and ashamed of themselves as I feel for them.  Unfortunately, they don't seem to give a shit on this one.

I have 3.25gb other in my Lumia 820.They release games like halo to install but how to install when there is no space.

I do agree with MS's point but thing wouldn't come to this if they were a lot more responsive to the community. When you have a small community then you need to work hard at fostering it and not ignoring it. These guys are the core that will show off their phones to people at work and recommend it.

Communication is key, but as we've seen with the Xbox One debacle, it's not a strong suit for the company right now. 
More than updates to the OS (there's nothing missing that I really want or need) I would like to see MS engage more with their consumers. Relatively speaking the userbase is small enough to start having conversations about the future of the platform and features that will be added.
I can understand the need for secrecy around new/revolutionary features, but they shouldn't have any issues in discussing WP versions of features that exist on other OSs. Heck, they don't even need to provide screenshots, it'd just be nice to see blog posts detailing some of what they're working on.

Somehow we need to get MS to realize that the whole "shut up and ship" theory that they have been operating under does more harm than good.

Yes, you will prevent a few users from being upset when you can't follow through with something that was announced, but the flip side is incredible frustration and the appearance of simply not caring or listening to users.

People are willing to be MUCH more patient waiting for something when they know it's coming than when they have no idea and MS won't comment on it. They will still complain, but that's better than them feeling abandoned and unlistened to.

Exactly. "Shut up and ship" works when you're iterating quickly and your carrier and OEM "partners" are cooperative in quickly getting updates (especially bug fixes) out to users. But when you release 2-3 updates per year, and your "partners" drag their feet at every opportunity for months, it just makes it look like you are either completely mismanaged or could just care less about fixing/improving the product you supposedly support.

So far, no one in my family will switch from an iPhone. Because when I do try and boast that that xbox music is better than itunes, or that TellMe is better than Siri, or that Live Tiles are an answer to a notification center, Bing better than google, etc... - it just comes off as uppity.

Well, I don't know that Tellme is better than Siri, I see quite a gap in user functionality today.

I see Xbox Music as a much closer fight with it and iTunes scoring separate points.

But you're larger point and enthusiasm are right on!

I don't talk about it. I just do things nonchalantly that show how its better. Like take pictures in dimly lit rooms with my 920, show off neat apps like cinemagraph and here maps with live sight, and just show off the dynamic live tiles. Showing is better than telling.

Yeah.  I don't talk about my WP8 because there's really nothing to showoff except for City Lens.  My Android and iPhone friends were amazed when using this app in new places.

if live tiles worked all the time but my instance doesn't update anymore, twiter sometimes, and fb is hit or miss. like ill open it and ill have like 8 notifications and no update on the tile. If live tiles worked I wouldnt be calling for notification center as much but when fb is by microsoft corporation and they can't even get it to work right. that one is a loss but yea i do the same with my friends but the only one that they wow indiscriminatly is definitely citylens from HEREmaps

TellMe is pretty awful. I have to repeat myself 10 times just for it to understand a simple sentence. I haven't used Siri to compare though. It also ties into Bing, which is also pretty awful on WP. Both of those could be because I'm not in the US and apparently they're quite good there as MS typically ignores the rest of the world or only gives us half-arsed versions

Exactly. They've seemed to split their audience up into two silos as if the enthusiasts aren't the ones showing off the phone and bringing in new users.

I usually wait a year to update it anyways. More exciting having a lot of new stuff added at once. I really want custom text tones next.

Yes, can't understand why we can't set custom text tones. I hate the ones that come with the phone. They just come off as "old man" sounding.

Holy **** that used to piss me off I just got used to it but man I wish we could get custom text tones. like things like that it may actually be really difficult but it doesn't seem like it and its one of those basic things that when it isn't included it just makes you scoff

Yeah, but we're behind on simple, basic features some of our feature phones had.. This excuse is simply not good enough... Separate volume controls have been requested for what is years now, and it should've come no later than with the 7.5 update... Try again Joe❕

Bullshit!!! Stuff like those update to support borader spectrum of hardware should have been implemented right from the start.... What did MS expect when they launched WP8, to support only a handful of configurations on hardware side when they are fighting against a mammoth like android? I love Windows Phone for its awesome UI and simplicity but it needs to offer more and fast

Totally agree.  For a company that is way too late to the mobile market and has only a sliver of marketshare they sure doesn't seem to be listening.  I hear countless stories about how sales people at carrier stores refuse to promote WP.  The lack of updates really just gives them more of a reason to not push the brand when they know it is, in some ways, an inferior OS.  Maybe I"m being too hard on them but it would seem that at the very least they could patch things like custom ringtones and independent volume control for music and ringer without waiting for a major update.  

that´s look very easy to implemente.... It cant be THAT hard for Microsoft do this.....

what about the option to click on the upper right corner icon and navigate from silente,vibrate, and vibrate + ring... not rocket Science....really...

I work in another area of the high tech industry and I hear my bosses making these same type of complaints, but stuff takes time. It's the, "if one woman can create a baby in nines months, then nine women can produce a baby in one month". It just doesn't work that way. You can only throw so many resources at a project before you just end up with people getting in the way and actually delaying a project rather than speeding it up. Too many people are saying Microsoft should have waited until they had all the "important" features. Well, that's not going to happen; not even for iPhone and Android because there will always be the next new important feature. Would you have preferred Microsoft wait another two or three years before launching the Windows Phone?
I realize it can be frustrating when the phone doesn't have that one feature you'd really like, but are you really willing to give up all the other great things about the Windows Phone simply because it doesn't yet have one feature? Is that one feature that important to give up the goodness of the Windows Phone. If it is, I wonder why you (and I mean you generically; not any one specific person) bought the Windows Phone in the first place.
Keep voicing your opinions and let Microsoft know what you feel is important, but please don't give up on the Windows Phone. It's an awesome OS and the Nokia Phones equal to or better than any Android or iPhone.

Which that GREAT thing you're talking about ?? Huh ?? Except UI, which unique thing WP provides you ??
This doesn't work in consumer world. People have options and they're always ready to jump the ships if you can't deliver.
I don't think implementing separate volume controls or hell even setting custom ringtone is a rocket science. This is clear cut case of negligence from MS part. Such basic things needs to be there from 1st place. It's not even something new or fresh feature of other OS, it's grandpa of every feature.

+925 Just love my new NL925, and it's beautiful and sleek. I used to have an Samsung Galaxy Vibrant had notification and more, but it freezes and lags. What is the use of the phone with all the trimmings if you can't answer a simple telephone calls without freezing.

As a software developer,  I completely agree with this and kudos to you for the Mythical Man-Month reference.  That book should be required reading for any software developer IMHO.  :)

We are not talking about a month, two months, or even 6 months. 
There are BASIC features on my 920 that iOS and Android have had. There are features that just don't work right in the 920. Heck, I can't even get phone numbers on websites to relibably recognize - most of the time I have to memorize them. Live tiles just stopping updating. The phone suddenly becoming a pocket heater and draining all battery in an hour, seperate volume controls and smart volume (remembering your settings for headphones vs bluetooth for instance). 
I could go ON AND ON. The fact is, this is a OS. You CAN have one developer working on something like volume and another one working on disply and another one working on live tiles. MS seems to have no problem pushing out patches for Windows 8 desktop. Let me check my Windows Update history right now... Hrm, 50 updates this month - about half Windows Defender. I tried to count since last december all the updates that were not Windows Defender and I stopped at 150.
MS needs to be delivering feature fixes and updates at LEAST quarterly. Unless 8.1 is the most polished mobile OS in the world to rival both Android and iOS - or even put them to shame - MS is going to lose this battle. Period.
I like the idea behind WP8 and really like Nokia aftering owning a 920 since release, but I will not recommend this OS to anyone. My wife is a huge camera-phone person. She takes more pictures than anyone I know. I would love to get her the new 1020 today, but I will not saddle her with the problems that this OS delivers.
Anyone from MS reading this?? Get of your ass and do something. sheesh.

The power of WP IS that it only supports a handfull of configs. Android needs way to much power to stay flued, because of the support for any config.
MS is doing GREAT with Nokia as main partner and providing phones for several markets. If they want to live, they need to stay on this course.

It's just more excuses, just like WP8. There was almost nothing new over WP7, but it took so long to release because it was a full rewrite and would allow all these synergies between Windows 8 and Windows Phone.
Well, here we are a year later and where are the synergies? What was the point of spending all the time since early 2011 rewriting the OS from scratch without adding new features?
I know sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omlette, but where is the omlette?!?!?

Yeah I agree. I refuse to promote Windows Phone to anybody, it simply doesn't have what the younger generation wants, flexibility and freedom. I use my 920 still, mainly as a backup media device now, but have got an iPhone 5 as my main driver now and am not regretting the switch at all! It's nice to have all the new apps to try out, and not third party apps a year later. I hate Android, although most people in my age range prefer it (more flexibility and freedom), so I didn't even consider going that route. But if Microsoft doesn't change a lot of minor things and a few major ones, soon, they might as well quit or market to old guys who don't know any better.

Bro u are a dramatic lol b..... I had and iPhone 5 and sold it to get my Lumia 925 , what can u do on ios that I can't do here oh wait install 3 million apps , pls ios 7 is a pure copy of wp8 by the end of the year WP will have all the apps we need .

Well, one thing I can do on my aged iOS iPhone4 is I can plug in my headphones and click on the in-line controller and the phone will start playing whatever I last played, months and months after (I rarely use my old iPhone, my 920 is my main device).

On WP8, stop playing a song, an audiobook, a podcast for a few minutes and forget easily starting up again.

Or maybe it is the fact that my iPhone remembers the volume settings for various configurations. Such as the speakerphone volume, ringer volume, headphone volume, bluetooth volume. I have one volume on my WP8.

Or maybe, and try this yourself, an amazing amount of phone numbers and addresses on websites don't work as links to call or look up on WP8 that works great on iOS.

Or maybe you just want to use a device you bought only to find out that Android and iOS are the only operating systems supported because MS can't get the marketshare to bring in developers - and by never fixing the issues they have, they aren't winning us over fast enough.

I really dislike Apple, and I don't love iOS - but I could fill PAGES with what you can do on iOS that you can't do on WP8 at this time. I really hope that MS gets their act in gear. I like the OS, it just feels like I am using a beta phone these days - one where I never get a patch.

Really need just a few things, more sound & alert controls, notification center and VPN support and I will be happy.

The people complaining may be a minority, but the real numbers are those who complain and don't know about uservoice.

And the REAL real numbers are those who are never heard because these shortcomings mean they just don't buy Windows Phones in the first place.

Very true.
They are selling new phone with THE SAME mistakes and lacks that WE, the current users, are complaining for ages. They never listen and uservoice loos like a place were they play good ("we are listening") but in fact they never listen (or like one user said "I think the Mobile Guru is a Bot").
Stop with the bullshit MS.

So you and a million others mention this... Have you tried cleaning it up with storage check or other apps out there? I cleaned up 6GB easily.

I think some of these features that are highly sought after by "techies" prevent them from making recommendations to friends and family, which limits growth. But I do agree that whatever needs to be done to attract companies to get out apps sooner is very important. Hearing people complain about not having fantasy sports, songpop, candy crush, etc. is annoying and it keeps them from adopting the platform or gets them to leave.

I agree. But the best way to achieve that is to grow the platform to make it worth the effort for developers to release apps on it.

Agreed, I could never recommend WP8 at my office simply because it won't read voicemail WAV files. Come on, MS, this is a bug that would take one developer one day to fix and you've sat on it for a year.

I feel like they'd really catch the headlines if they focused on the cool consumer features rather than focus so much on all these price points. Yes in some countries, those 620s, 625s, and 520s look like gold nuggets... But in more developed countries with 1st world problems, we want features and specs and glamour and glitz. I'm just fine with the way windows phone is as many of you fellow WP fans are, but we would be lying to ourselves if we said certain IMPORTANT (xbox music, other memory, etc) issues didnt need to be fixed.

i can see why nokia is taking this route though, for example, Cisco used to be the largest network device seller, but DLink took over that title a few years ago by focusing on third world countries where Cisco neglected for the longest time, now replace Cisco with Samsung and DLink with Nokia then you might see why it's not always just about first world areas
(i don't know who is number 1 between Cisco and DLink now though... that news was like 5 years ago)

Why do you see budget phones as only having potential in developing countries...? Or did I read that wrong? Obviously they have to push the budget phones as these are the big sellers, make the most money and reach the most people.

Maybe because in America at least, phones are heavy subsidized down to "budget phone" prices. Any budget phones would and should only be sold on carriers OTHER than the top 4. That would be like Cricket, MetroPCS, and backwudz cell companies for ppl in upper PA and the wilderness of Utah.

I live in a developed country and only allocated enough in my budget for a "budget phone". As do many many others. I was looking at the price much more than the specs - as do most people, regardless of where they live.
If you look at specs before price, then you my friend, have both more money than sense and are in a tiny minority of mobile phone owners. Congratulations.

I'm curious as to what monetary amount you consider to be a budget phone. The Lumia 920 was $100 last year when it came out. Are you saying you only want a phone under $100? I dont think I'm in the minority. And I'm pretty sure I have good sense. I do ample research before I purchase that $100 phone to ensure it last me the 18 months I have it for my needs. Getting a phone with no flash (520) or lacking a high res screen (625) would be extremely discouraging tk me, especially considering I would pay MORE for the 520 than the 920 in America due to me having to buy it unsubsidized.

You are paying more because you pay more each month on your contract.
People on a real budget are on pay as you go or on T-Mobile. I bought my phones and went on new plans with T-Mobile. I pay 115 a month for three phones all with internet and two with tethering. I am using a Nokia 521.

^^^This pretty much. I am not from America though. Vigor, you seem to mistake the terms "developed country" with "America" sadly. Which are you referring to? Your original comment was about "Developed Countries" vs "Developing countries"...but now you are talking about government policy of the states as if that applies to all of us in developed countries.
Anyways, as jaceot pointed out, you also seem to forget that people on a real budget are not interested in or cannot afford a contract phone. This is mainly the market the budget phones such as the 520 and the new 625 are aimed at. Obviously..or no one would own them.

I dont know what's up for debate here really. I just said that I think the features they're putting off are just as important if not more than trying to focus on all the low end phones. I think people are missing my point, which I just stated above. And instead trying to educate me about markets where low end phones are worthwhile lol. They're preaching to the choir here. I'm simply stating I think fixing the "other storage" issue and fixing xbox music outweighs the rest

And a major country where the 625 might be successfull, like Brazil, we still don't have a Facebook app in portuguese!

I love this site, and check my WPC app many times a day, but I'm really wishing there were a higher editing standard for the articles being pushed out. This one in particular seems as if it wasn't even proof read before being posted.

Also, I would appreciate more criticism on the part of WPC's staff. It seems like everytime Joe B. takes to twitter or a user site the WPC staff follows up with a "Well MS just put us in check for asking too much, and rightly so" article. I love WP8, but I want balanced reporting on the topic. And if we think that not having things like a notification center isn't keeping consumers from adopting the WP platform then we are plainly mistaken.

I can actually agree with that somewhat, I've noticed there isn't enough criticism on Microsoft here, but hey, these guys don't want to end up on someone's bad side.

I think there's enough criticism. There's that one writer who always gets up Microsoft's ass when we don't have an Xbox game per week lol

Grammar police in general forums are one thing, but this is a tech news site. Lack of editing doesn't help garner credibility.

I see typos and grammer boo boos in newspapers, on the BBC news website and all sorts. Does this mean they are any less reliable with my news? No. Does this prove that such things are still written by humans and not some world dominating robot? Yes.

On your second point, I don't really know what you're expecting. I think the level of critisism is just right for what this is. At the end of the day, you're on a site called Windows Phone Central...so right there, you know you will get a certain bias for Windows and their products. What? Do you expect them to make up more critisism for Windows where they have none...? There are plenty of tech sites out there which have an emphasis on non bias, journalistic reporting. This one as far as I can tell has no claim to be, nor would it suit the site's premise. If the writer wants to have a whine about WP, then they will more than likely do so...but such talk wouldn't sit well under the earlier obvious (and welcome) bias the site has.

Criticism in news is shitty news. I disagree with you and enjoy their lack of criticism. You can get your fill of microsoft criticism from the verge. Or this websites comment section. With that said, Microsoft needs to step it up!

We need a "What Microsoft can do to save Windows phone 8" series of articles. Because not having CUSTOM SMS TONES!!!!!!!!!! is just plan ridiculous and silly on Microsoft part. THIS is the biggest oversight in WP8.

How is orientation lock and more sound/alert controls a "nerd" thing? Pretty much anyone who uses their phone as an alarm, and a LOT of non nerds do this, would want their alarm to be a different volume from their ringtone. Stop the BS excuses and start throwing out updates already.

This is exactly the issue, the most basic of features that are not available. I've pushed friends to adopt WP and they are not techies but complain about lack of basic features like volume controls, orientation lock and the simplest of things like being able to create and edit playlists in Xbox music. It's frustrating to see the potential in WP but just watch MS play catch up all the time.

Yep, they tout Xbox music but you cant create or edit playlists and how about attaching anything other than a picture directly to an email instead of having to share from Skydrive? When they havent provided basic features its a bit rich to say they are trying to grow the userbase but refuse to provide the basic features that userbase requires.

Definitely. Much of what's missing is functionality that was standard on most dumb phones 5 years ago. That's pretty inexcusable.

didn't they just add enterprise network support in GDR2? now compare that importance to sound/alert control, i would like both of the things you were asking for, but it's not like one line of code would fix it... i just hope these things come in Windows blue at the latest (GDR3 would be better)

There is no defending Microsoft. They are a multi BILLION dollar company. They pay THOUSANDS of engineers and developers to work on different parts of Windows Phone. How is it possible they can't do both at the same time? Jaxbot was a high school kid and managed to code an orientation lock app for Windows Phone 7. Yet Microsoft doesn't have the resources to do this with WP8 - 10 months after release? WTF?

I've said it and I'll keep on saying it. MS is really dropping the ball because orientation lock was in the pre-release 7003 build of WP7. Which means it's coded and in a branch somewhere the hallows of MS's TFS.