From the Forums: Hot threads and Windows Phone shortcomings

WP Central

This week's hottest thread really isn't just one hot thread but rather a collection of related threads covering one topic: Windows Phone and its shortcomings.

Some of these so-called deficiencies could be bigger than Windows Phone itself or at least that is what some think. In this thread "Why WP isn't as popular as it should be"  forum member baileystein, who sells Windows Phoneshas a unique perspective on all of this and shares it with us.

Curious as to what he and others have to say? Read on past the break to get their views.

"Let me start off by saying one thing. I sell Windows Phones and have a pretty good idea "how" to sell them and what catches peoples attention. I keep getting the notion that people think the Windows Phone is bad, has touch screen issues, freezes constantly, etc. I simply say back, "You've been misinformed, have you ever tried an android?". We'll end that there, I'm not a fanboy, I just love the Windows Phone. So why isn't it as popular as it should be? There are several reasons which I have came up with and if anybody would like to add to this list, FEEL FREE!"

The author of that post then lists quite a few reasons to back up his claim and they're worth the read. Head to that thread here to get the rest. 

What does all this mean for Windows Phone in the long term? This bring us to our next thread "Beauty is as beauty does (n't)... " where forum member Pocket_Fuzz spends some time comparing Windows Phone shortcomings to a feature phone he is using:

"Recent job hours reductions forced me off my WP7 Arrive as a smartphone to just a PDA and back to the Feature Phone Sanyo scp8400. What has come to light is that I DO prefer custom alert tones for DIFFERENT notices which come through fine on the Sanyo, but as we all know are NOT available on WP! Hmmm, but Android does, and so does iOS now. I cannot exchange the great pix and videos from my Arrive to my Netbook or my laptop unless I have ZUNE AND a Wi FI connection - not always available when I am in the field. WHY isn't Bluetooth file exchange turned on? But hmmm, Android does bluetooth file exchange. My WP7 phone ( and most of the ones out there) don't even utilize a micro SD card - so cannot simply swap a card to change files! But the Sanyo feature phone has a swappable micro SD card! As do most Android phones."

Pocket Fuzz lists even more reasons in that post which do raise some valid points. Of course Microsoft can only do so much and many of the features in Windows Phone are the ones that many use on a regular basis. Bluetooth transfers, while nice, don't work so hot for 8 or 16MP photos that can span up to 4MB in size. Still, some of his other complaints do ring true for many of you. Finish reading Pocket Fuzz's post here.

While we try to make sense off all this we have to ask are these really weak points of the Windows Phone OS or is Windows Phone just a different way of thinking?

Forum member jabtano brings this all together in his thread "Why WP7 could still fail". In short, he thinks that not only are these shortcoming going to aid in the failure of Windows Phone but that even the name Windows Phone will cause its failure. That combined with Microsoft's presumed inability to adapt will not allow Microsoft and Windows Phone to be competitive in the mobile market.

"Why WP7 could fail. We all know that the OS is smooth. though it's not for everyone. The point here is this. Windows on my PC/Laptop/Tablet is ok but my phone should be cool it's with me, out and about. Frankly there is nothing cool in "windows name" the reason why Xbox is so popular because it's not called windows games. Now that I have the name out of the way lets really get down to the nuts and bolts. when WP7 was launched it was so with missing key features that really turned on MS. people didn't even want to look at it no C&P, no multitasking..ect.. Microsoft the worlds biggest software company is there own worst enemy."

Jabtano goes on about how Microsoft is not doing all they can and while many express this viewpoint, the fact of the matter is software development can only go so fast. Had Microsoft tried to release a "feature complete" OS, it would have not come out till 2012 (and that's being generous). Seeing as critics were calling it "too late" in 2010 we could only imagine how they would have reacted if Microsoft waited even longer. Fact of the matter is, when you're not a software engineer nor managing developers, it's easy to criticize since you can ignore reality.

We think the big question is will Windows Phone fail? What about these shortcomings of the Operating System are they flaws at all or are they just a different way of thinking?  Can Microsoft adapt fast enough to keep up with the competition? What about Microsoft's track record on updates?

In the history of Windows Phone we have seen Microsoft do some amazing things like releasing Mango (a major OS upgrade with 500 new features) to the majority of Windows Phones in a very short time. Microsoft even got LTE into Mango phones despite the fact that LTE wasn't scheduled to be available until Apollo.

But has Microsoft done enough to sway the masses? It's all a lot to digest and there is much more in the forum discussions, so let us hear what you think.

Dave Blake
  • I've been thinking about why Microsoft is seemingly so hated while Google and Apple are so loved and I came to the conclusion that Microsoft's biggest issue with image is that they became a large company before it was cool to like tech. So for this current generation Apple could continually find ways to rip them off, and Google can continue to data mine them and that's ok. But Microsoft will never be good enough because they're old and only tech people can use their products.
    The hole in this might be Xbox's success, but I think to some extent it has merit.
  • I think you have a good point... Microsoft is seen not only AS a big corporation (and it's not trendy to like big corporations), but also as a supporter of big corporations. They're seen as "suits". The irony, of course, is that Apple and Google are both big corporations too, but they came into power bringing "cool" tech to the people not the companies. It's all smoke and mirrors, though. The reality is they are good entertainers... they put on a flashy show with lots of gimmicks, and they tell you what you want to hear. People are shallow and conceited, so they believe what they hear even when it's a lie. They ignore the harsh realities that Apple builds their stuff in Chinese sweatshops and Google is out to steal all your personal data in order to shove ads down your throat. Anyway, I think Microsoft still, ultimately wins... because over time people do grow up and want something serious. But for now, it's undeniable that everyone loves looking at the hot cheerleaders... not the nerdy kids.
  • I like to.give people more credit than what they are given on this site by some. I think my wife, who uses an iPhone 4, is well aware that Apple is a huge corporation as is Microsoft. And I imagine most people are aware as well. I also don't know if MS is hated by your everyday consumer as, was pointed out in article, many dont even know about WP period. Also, people are gonna buy and use what they want. Its just the bottom line.
  • I can appreciate the concerns expressed in various critiques offered by forum members. I went to visit my tax professional today. He noticed my Titan. This what the guy with a masters degree said: "wow, that's a big screen. Its got to be easy for you to read. I need a phone that I can see w
  • Its a repeat, but I'll say it: Bluetooth file transfer & wireless device integration. Mass storage mode. SD card integration. WEB PAGE COMPRESSION. Larger font... Zune should've been pre-installed in Windows 7 to be successful.
  • My old eyes". So I would suggest most of the concerns really matter to a small percentage of the market MS is after.
  • The grass is always greener on the other side!
  • Windows phone has loads of potential but the market is saturated with so many android phones and the somewhat impression that if you don't have a iPhone you "are not with the times", hopefully with at&t and now Verizon will begin pushing it more. I see at&t using the 710 as a four pack family plan BOOM good looking.
  • You can only boast soo long until the painfully obvious and superficial,"not yets" start coming.
    1.) Words with Friends
    2.) Draw Something
    3.) Instagram
    4.) Pandora
    5.) Mass storage
    6.) 1080p Usually by number 3, people are like, "and for that reason, I'm out.". It sucks that we're the tragically hip phone people that everyone has to download different type apps to play with us. MS should've threw money at devs to get the big apps ported to us first, so instead of "not yets", we could've hit the floor running with "you bets".
  • Exactly this, the only reason more of my friends don't gave wp7 is for the fad apps, they even acknowledge that they won't care in a few months. It's a less techie (and more accessible) tech frontier for many. It makes them feel high-tech and with the times.
  • Only points 1 and 2 really matter. As social devices, having the latest fad game is important. However, Pandora is garbage compared to last FM or at the very least equal with. Instagram is easily surpassed by other photo editing apps on wp7 and as a social network it isnt worth dropping all of wp7 built in networking features. I agree to some extent about removable sdcard storage but as a techie I had no problem swapping in a 32gb sdcard into my arrive for plenty of storage. Plus there are very few people that use even more than 25% of their phones storage (I work as a TC for sprint and see 20 phones a day). I like removable storage, but most people are idiots. I hear at least 10-15 people a week call their sdcard a SIM card. Do you really think these morons would list mass storage as a factor? Hell even iPhone has no mass storage and 95% of iPhone customers buy the 16gb version instead of 32 or 64. All in all that point is moot. As for video recording anyone with an actual need to record will have a dedicated video camera because the focus speed and optics are pretty shit on any phone. I can show you tons of HD videos from iPhone 4s and galaxy sii that are still awful because of how terrible the optics perform.
  • This is definitely a huge part of it. Apps are the lifeforce of mobile devices and Facebook is the driving force behind these apps. People usually discover these apps on Facebook, get hooked and then want them on mobile.
    When I log into Facebook all my friends, some who work at Microsoft are all playing IOS only games either through Facebook apps or the Iphone/Ipad, posting Instagram photos etc. You can't get any better marketing than that. Or anti marketing either : (.
  • Yes the apps you mentioned aren't on Windows Phone but we have similar ones that are also on Android and ios.
    1) We may not have Words with Friends but we have Words by Post (not as good of a name but the game is the same).
    2) We don't have Draw Soemthing but we do have Duudle.
    3) We may not have an Instagram and Pandora apps from the companies but there are some from other publishers that are just as good. 
    It seems you're complaining that Windows Phone doesn't have the original apps.  WIth the games I can kind of see why because my friend wanted to play Words with Friends and I told her to download Words by Post so we could play together, she didn't mind it but I can see others thinking "I don't want to download another game just to play with my friend who has Windows Phone".  Its a lame thought because apps are so small but its kind I'd let it pass.  The Pandora and Instagram comment I can't because we do have Pandora and Instagram apps, I use them and they're good apps.  Just because they're not from the original developers doesn't mean they're not worth mentioning.  Look at Foursquare, Windows phone has a Foursquare app and a knockoff 4th and Mayor. 4th and Mayor not only has more reviews but has a higher rating than the oringinal Foursquare app.
    4)I do agree I'd like to have mass storage and 1080p but I'm pretty sure that will come in Windows Phone 8. 
  • Yeah, I hate the cost of the apple products as much as I hate frequent android updates and the hanging problem as much as I hate the windows branding since it sounds too techie and boring. I loved apple since they were a revolution in the smartphone industry. I loved the androids since they killed many monopolies like Symbian in Asia. Plus they brought the smartphone functionality to the masses. Phones became targeting smart individuals instead of handing a smartphone to the hands of bunch of rich kids WP7 is lovely since it shakes the monarchs a little. The Mango update was yumm. Built in Office, with integrated Facebook, twitter, etc was mindblowing. The keyboard and its facility to copy paste anything anywhere was superb. Now I could surf faster with IE9,stay connected with FB & twitter faster, text fastest than anyone on the planet. Only real thing I missed was an ability to transfer stuff via Bluetooth. Colours might be limited but I got so much extra for free. I don't need 159 apps that send Morse codes or can fart and scream better than each other so I was happy with all I had. Even less than 20009 apps never bothered me. My phone Not just had the specs of a smartphone but had a smart heart as well. It has a identity. Its a WINDOWS phone. Things I missed are the ability to easily customize ring tones. Period.
  • I personally agree only on the matter of apps there are alot of people who like the windows name I just think people hate change because the windows phone is so radically different no one wants to learn anything new lol but on another I'm happy to report no one I know wants to challenge me on my lumia :D
  • I think Ryan Seacrest was a mistake. I wish Elop would just come out and say he singlehandedly blames Seacrest for Nokia's worrying Q1 profits.
  • My only real grievance with Windows Phone is the carriers' lack of support (slow update releases and slow adoption of phone models) and the inability to customize ringtones (easily) and notifications (at all). Aside from that, my phone does everything I need it to do and everything I want to do. I know I'm not an average consumer though. I'm not into all the trendy fad apps like Instagram and Pandora. I put my music on my phone and play what I like... not what Pandora says I should like (and I spare my battery and data plan in the process).
  • here here!
  • Last fm is better than Pandora anyway, but I agree. I have about 25gb of my favorite music on my WP. I do like the less cluttered app store, and I hope ms takes an approach similar to apple in terms of app quality. That said I won't be upset when the trendy apps make their way to WP I just don't feel I'm missing out on much without them.
  • That is for a select few and, I hope, not the majority of people. I, for one, could care less about the first three. The only thing I truly miss is the ability to add an SD card for mass storage. However, even that is not a breaking point for me personally.
    I think the shortcoming of the WP7 is their marketing. MS is relying too heavily on the OEM to market the beauty and simplicity of the OS to their consumers.
    Apple is beating the shit out of the Siri functionality and Android is harping on their "fast and agile" phones (yeah right). We get "you were a beta tester".
    Where are the key points of the OS?
    They are on point when it comes to marketing "the beauty of the web", Window 7 or Xbox. This is why the Zune didn't do as well as it should have.
  • My post was in response to CongaScribe. I'm a dumbass! :P
  • I am a physician & some of the core medical apps are non existent on WP. This is a major problem. No epocrates, medscape, MKSAP etc. All these essential apps are available on the iPhone & android. I am a diehard WP fan but my professional function is being severely hampered by this paucity of apps, & i am seriously considering jumping ship. Healthcare industry is big business & is one of the biggest consumers of technology, especially mobile tech. Social & entertainment apps & games are all good but MS should seriously start to woo developers of professional, including medical apps if they r to succeed.
  • I agree. My wife is a nurse and this is the only reason we got her an Android phone instead of a WP. Its still a hard sell to smaller, niche developers. I wish I could get the Strava cycing app for WP. I contacted the company and they are not interested right now in pursuing it. The major apps are fine, its all the little highly custom apps where the marketplace is still weak. 
  • Agreed. The focused pro apps are lacking.
  • Windows name should not be changed. Windows Vista did more damage to the name than Mobile and look at 7 and 8 today. I suggest putting everything under the Windows 8 name so if phone sales aren't that high it will get overshadowed with high PC and tablet sales
  • I thought I would miss the SD card coming from Android, but I haven't. I still have plenty of space on my Lumia 900 and transferring files to other devices/computers is pretty easy with Skydrive, photobucket, etc.  So far, so good. 
  • So bottom line is that everyone hates Windows Phone and it will fail.