How Microsoft can save Xbox games for Windows Phone: Part 2

The recent extended release drought of Xbox games for Windows Phone has prompted both game developers and players alike to question Microsoft’s commitment to Xbox Live support for its own mobile OS. For their part, Microsoft kinda-sorta reaffirmed their dedication to mobile Xbox games, and the long in-development Skulls of the Shogun finally debuts this week. Perhaps the drought has ended and Xbox Windows Phone games will blossom anew once more.

Still, all those weeks without new games didn’t happen by random chance. There are myriad underlying problems at fault, from outdated policies to poor portfolio management to a combination of apathy and ambivalence from some divisions within the platform holder itself. To anyone with an ounce of understanding of the mobile games industry, it looks bad - and it is bad. But Microsoft can still save Xbox games for Windows Phone.

We’ve already taken a critical eye towards the Xbox Live certification policies for mobile games in the first installment of this multipart series. Today we continue with a look at why Xbox games matter to Windows Phone and the missing support of popular game engines. Remember, these suggestions come from a standpoint of love and the desire to see the Xbox brand on Windows Phone grow and succeed.

Xbox Live is important to the future of Windows Phone.

Xbox Live features for Windows Phone

A few of the key Xbox Live features for Windows Phone

Most of the suggestions in this series will seem like common sense to gamers and developers alike. But the first two suggestions of this article are actually open to debate. Specifically, these disagreements will stem from the fact that not everyone buys into the Xbox Live ecosystem – particularly people who don’t own an Xbox 360. In fact, I’m positive that several people in Microsoft’s own Windows Phone and Business Development divisions fail to see the value of the Xbox brand to Windows Phone. But Xbox features do matter, and I’ll tell you why.

The Xbox 360 is Microsoft’s most successful gaming venture; Xbox its strongest brand. At some point before the Windows Phone 7 launch, Microsoft decided to tie their new smartphone platform into that successful brand. This presents numerous advantages like a built-in audience of console owners to sell to, a brand that game developers already understand and respect, and the possibilities of connectivity between the various Xbox platforms.

Now, many 360 owners haven’t jumped onboard with Windows Phone yet for a number of reasons such as the lack of big-name Microsoft properties and exclusives – both of which I’ll address in my next article. But despite a host of missteps large enough to fill at least three editorials, one group of gamers has embraced Windows Phone in a big way: people who enjoy Xbox Live Achievements. Whatever the quality of the Xbox Windows Phone games so far, they all provide exclusive Achievements to unlock. The Achievement hunting subculture is probably the most loyal group of Windows Phone gamers - and the one most displeased by the recent release drought.

Any way you slice it, Xbox games have been a selling point for Windows Phone since the 2010 launch. But as time passed, leadership has shifted within practically every Windows Phone-related division, resulting in the current crisis of identity and support for mobile Xbox Live.

Big games should release as Xbox titles, not indie games.

Three stellar candidates for Xbox Live status

On Xbox 360, there is a clear separation between XBLA and indie games. A major developer or publisher would never consider releasing their game without the Xbox branding. The advantages are plentiful: better visibility, a perception of higher quality, and access to Xbox Live features like Achievements and Leaderboards.

Windows Phone has the same basic division between Xbox and non-Xbox games, the latter of which carries the ‘indie’ connotation. Why then should major game makers like Disney (Where’s My Water?, Where’s Perry?) and Rebellion (Dredd vs. Zombies) publish their games without the Xbox branding? Heck, Disney actually announced an Xbox game - Toy Story Mania that failed to materialize on Windows Phone (it eventually showed up on Xbox 360). Don’t these developers know that many gamers prefer Xbox games?

Actually, Disney and Rebellion probably considered releasing their titles as Xbox games but decided it was too much trouble. Part One of this editorial explained some of the numerous Xbox Live certification hurdles that mobile developers face. The key here is that Microsoft needs to maintain that image of the best or hottest games bearing the Xbox name and doling out delicious Achievements.

If increased visibility isn’t enough to convince Disney and company to stick with Xbox Live, then offer them some incentives. Money spent to make sure Where’s My Water? bears the Xbox name on its Live tile will pay off in the form of maintaining the Xbox brand’s image and keeping gamers who prefer Xbox features happy.

Windows Phone needs game engines...

Unity and Scaleform tech demo

A game demo created with Unity and Autodesk Scaleform

Game engines are software suites and tools that facilitate the creation of videogames by developers. These tools provide a variety of functions that are responsible for the game’s graphics, physics, artificial intelligence, user interface, and much more. Engines make the creation and porting of games between platforms much faster and easier for developers.

Windows Phone 7 lost out on every popular game and middleware engine under the sun due to its lack of native code support (the ability for software code to interact directly with the hardware). As a result, games that rely on those engines like Epic’s Infinity Blade series couldn’t be ported to Windows Phone without drastic recoding. The lack of multiplatform engine support and the relatively underpowered Windows Phone 7 hardware kept us from receiving ports of many graphically intensive games.

Windows Phone 8 thankfully does support native code, although a fully native app doesn’t have access to many managed code APIs necessary for Xbox Live certification. More importantly, this time out Microsoft has managed to secure a number of important game engines for Windows Phone 8 such as Unity (the most popular smartphone game engine), Havok, and Autodesk Scaleform.

As far as we know, only Autodesk Scaleform is actually ready yet, owing mostly to the woefully late release of the Windows Phone 8 SDK. That means we’re a fair ways off from reaping those engines’ benefits, but at least Microsoft is making an effort.

…Particularly Unreal Engine 3.

Infinity Blade II for iOS

Infinity Blade II gets its pretty looks from the Unreal Engine.

Still, one all-important engine remains unannounced: the Unreal Engine from Epic Games. Why does it matter? For one thing, a vast number of console games use Unreal Engine 3, including Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, Borderlands 2, Mass Effect 3, Mortal Kombat (2011), and Wreckateer. Securing Unreal Engine 3 would make mobile adaptations of console games much easier than before (including the iOS title Batman: Arkham City Lockdown). Heck, the Microsoft-published physics game Wreckateer would be perfect for Windows Phone.

More to the point, the Unreal Engine’s ubiquity means that practically any developer who’s made a console game in the last five years already knows how to use it. As more developers leave the increasingly AAA-focused console space for mobile game development, the availability of a versatile and familiar engine could easily impact those developers’ choice of supporting Windows Phone. Also, Autodesk Scaleform already integrates with Unreal Engine 3, so why not give Scaleform the freedom to do its thing?

Possibly the most important reason for bringing Unreal Engine to Windows Phone is Chair Entertainment, a subsidiary of Epic. Chair is the developer behind the bestselling Infinity Blade series on iOS. Before they can bring Infinity Blade II  to Microsoft’s mobile platform, we’ve got to have the Unreal Engine that powers it. Chair would also be perfect for a mobile Gears of War game, now wouldn’t they?

Epic announced their engine’s Windows 8 and RT support back in August, though that support hasn’t gone live yet. Microsoft and Epic are rumored to be in talks over bringing the engine to Windows Phone 8, but those talks should have successfully concluded months ago. Even if they suddenly announced support tomorrow, it would likely be months before that support went live.

Remember, the still-not-ready Unity, Havok, and Scaleform Mobile SDK were all announced between August and October. Once Unreal Engine’s hypothetical Windows Phone 8 support is ready, it will take months (if not longer) for Xbox games that make use of it to actually reach the market. Please, Microsoft: ink that deal and get Chair Entertainment onboard while Xbox Live development on Windows Phone 8 is still halfway viable.

Still more to come!

That’s it for this installment, boys and girls. We’ve got a third part coming later this week or early next week with even more varied recommendations. Do you agree with my suggestions for saving Xbox games for Windows Phone? Please voice your opinions in the comments below and tweet this article to anyone who might benefit from it.

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • Honestly, in general, they need to take it more seriously and treat the WIndows Phone as access to their answer to a stand alone PSP and/or Nintendo DS
  • That's what i thought would happen. Like also explained above it could not happen with WP7, but now the basics should be there for WP8. 
    There seems to be more and more of bad news concerning WP8 imo and developement speed that's just not acceptable in this smartphone business. They really need to take this more serious and not threat it like any other Microsoft business that gets tried out for 2-5 years and then thrown to the bin. 
    WP8 as OS needs to move faster and not go backwards like Xbox Music did to WP. 
  • Jetpack Joyride is on Windows 8.  Where is it on Windows Phone 8?  I was hoping there would be uniformity.  Also, once I purchase an app for Windows 8 it ould be nice not to have to purchase it again on WIndows Phone 8.
  • IT HAS been announced for Windows Phone:
  • it was announced a very long time ago and is past due. In fact several titles were to be released beginning in the holiday. People should be inpatient and express concern to the developers, ms, etc
  • It truly is sad, when MS can't even deliver those few games they promised.
  • If a game had the Xbox branding, I would definitely be more apt to buy it.
  • I agree. I've yet to buy any apps on my Lumia 920, but I will be buying Skulls of the Shogun tomorrow, if there is a favorable reaction to its release (or there is a demo).
  • I'll agree in part. If a game had Xbox branding, I'd be more likely to hear about it. If I never hear about it, I'll never try it, and definitely never buy it. I'm not about to go sifting through the rest of the stuff.
  • Put actual games on it not the bullshit mobile games
  • Like halo, gears of war, etc. Not those crap games that have the Xbox title, which is sad (AHEM toy soldiers). I want those amazing Gameloft games!
  • Hell yeah me too
  • I'm starting to wonder if the reason for ms not releasing any games for a long time is due to pulling all their resources to concentrate on upcoming updates for wp8 including games? Idk, just a thought.
  • Updates for games that aren't here?
    Unless you mean something like they've been working on getting the Unreal Engine going and already have some developers working on games for it.
  • Even so MS is big enough to have resources for all aspects of WP IF they take it seriously! The problem is that I don't think MS really care that much... they are so sure that they WILL succeed eventually so they don't go all in... how stupid the are!
  • I'm just hoping this isn't a deal where we once again have to wait til the next version of WP. Not that I'm losing my mind over the lack of games (I sort of just play the same games over and over again like Angry Birds). I just remember alot of "Wait til WP8" for alot of things people were waiting for. And I am not suggesting that it was ever said anywhere that this situation or any would be solved with WP9. And I know this stuff doesn't happen over night. 
  • Next version. If they fail with wp8 there will not be a next.
  • I think the whole thing is confusing. I have to pay to play multi on my Xbox but not on my phone. Why? Shoguns will test the three screens theory, but we are missing more. Xbox as a brand is getting tarnished because of Music and Video. Its just a big ugh at the lack of direction and leadership at MS and games are only one part. Silly thing is, as a phone I still wouldn't switch...but I know what it could be.
  • You don't have to pay for online multiplayer in PC and phone games because that payment model wouldn't work in those markets. They were too well established before Microsoft pushed into them with Xbox-branded games.
  • Then I shouldn't pay for my console either (I don't mind paying, that isn't the point, I've had Live for over 9 years). Inconsistency was my point. Even though everything is Xbox, made by ms, mostly looks the same (as in Modern), it just all doesn't fit quite right. It's like a knock off puzzle, all the pieces are there, you can make out the final picture, but you can't put it together.
  • I don't pay for Netflix on the desktop or phone but do on my Xbox. Their ecosystem is wonky. I hope the next Xbox is Windows RT without the desktop so ms doesn't have make and manage apps, Skype will run chat, no need for a fee on Live. Fix Music and Video, make it true three screens, then we will boom. Otherwise we will be treading water. For another year and that is after E3, when rumor becomes truth and creators take the time to create. Oh and as I replied to someone else, Xbox as a game denomination is different than Xbox Live as a multiplayer service, which alphajax or wordsment or battleship don't make any mention of.
  • Like now with that Skulls of the Shogun game. On PC and phone, multiplayer, Live aspects are free, on the console do I need Gold? Consistency is very important. Well, that's the end of my rant for the week.
  • Giving up a great source of revenue for no practical reason isn't a smart move, especially for a publicly traded company.
  • Agreed, unless we're talking about Microsoft's revenue from iOS games. That needs to end.
  • One Phrase - Bye Bye Brains of Microsoft !!!!
  • It seems as obvious as it can get: translate Halo Wars, the RTS, to a WP8 game. They need to quit messing around and get motivated. MS can get millions of new customers simply due to games on Windows Phone, if they'd it. It seems like they lack direction in the phone space. They made an awesome OS, now time to get busy and fulfill its potential.
  • Here here, like Advance Wars.
  • What they lack is BRAINS! MS decision makers are too overpaid, they are just sitting on their asses counting Money!
  • I would love to be able to purchase one game in the windows store for WP8 and W8 and the save game be saved via sky drive so I can play the most recent save from what ever device I am at. 
    Why do I have to purchase say angry birds twice and not have them linked? Maybe have a price structure for buy on WP8 for 1.99 buy for both WP8 and W8 for 2.99. 
  • Agreed.
    Furthermoe, multiscreen should be better, so that the savegames are the same nomattet if you play Angry birds on WP8, win8 or xbox console. - thats what MS had a vision about and why I jumped the WP8 wagon, but WP8 is just as synced Windows8 as iPhone 5 = no sync at all.
    I really love my Lumia 920, but it is not for the sync or games :/
  • I'd love to hear Phil Spencer (Microsoft Studios) and Marc Whitten (Xbox Live) respond to these criticisms. I hold them mostly responsible for Xbox Live's poor execution on mobile.
  • Forward the article to them. I have enjoyed passing around the articles. :)
  • Me too. The whole multiplatform thing should be the feature that ties customers to the ecosystem. I have so many friends look at my phone in awe. I ask if they want to swap their iphone, they say no, because they are already invested in to the Apple ecosystem. One chap I know, with zero money worries, says it is not worth him changing because he has spent £150 on apps. My response was to ask how many of them he uses... He responded by saying "virtually none". This same guy has over 50 xbox games on his shelf. He has never traded one in. They need to tie up the multiplatform and get guys like my friend spending at the store. He would doubtless shell out a boatload on apps if there was some incentive for him to jump to Windows Phone.
  • I definitely find myself more likely to purchase games with Xbox branding. I am not a big gamer, but for some reason, to me, I like the ability for achievements and the branding.
  • Nice read...but you left out the steps entitled "Have Microsoft Get Their Heads Out of Their Ass's" and "Tell Microsoft To Stop Spending Time On iOS and Android, That Could Otherwise be Used On WP8"
  • Whatever makes you money right...
  • With all those billions, chronic mismanagement is what will do WP in, pathetic.
  • I think XBox branding should have a seperate Live branding as well. When i think of xbox it should really have a friends network or mutiplayer mode. Otherwise what's the difference between xbox games and regular games on the WP phone? achievements arent anything special and could be done with or with out the xbox branding.
  • Very true, Xbox is the console with achievements, Live is the service with friends and multiplayer.
  • Nope. Xbox is a brand covering all the entertainment hardware and services. The console is called Xbox 360.
  • Well now it is, but that's what I meant, the 360. Now Xbox just means games with achievements, on my phone anyway.
  • What the %$*& happened to we are going to have all the best gaming engines etc that was advertised pre-wp8????
  • They got lost with all of those Kinect features/capabilities that we were told about.
  • Its interesting, I always through Xbox Live on Windows Phone would help bring better and more interesting games to Widnows Phone. But I actually think as it is at the moment, if there was no Xbox Live on windows phone, and it was just a games hub, the game market place on the phone would be better off as a whole.
  • I believe this series is not only justified, but obligatory. Microsoft needs to step up its Windows Phone support through not only OS development, but through ecosystem development as well. I have a feeling that all of this leadership shifting at MSFT has really retarded the advancement of this platform.
  • Microsoft has a habit of sucking people in on ideas that other take a long time to happen or don't happen at all. What happen to Sonic episode 2 with its ability to pause the game and continue on the Xbox. Microsoft does not take Xbox on Windows phone or Windows phone seriously. The lack of app support says alot. Having developers jump through hoops, not having SDK ready.. Its unacceptable.
  • I agree with most of the article but this all goes back to the first thing I think as I agree dredd vs zombies should be xbl its a great game microsoft should make the cert process very simple and just make sure the game is worthy of xbox branding (the 3 mentioned I agree with) if its from a large or major publisher by all means xbox brand it that goes for w8/rt as well as there is quite a few games I see there that should be given that treatment
  • Exclusives matter. When Halo Waypoint was a Windows Phone exclusive I saw with my own eyes kids going into a T-Mobile store to check it out. Then Microsoft Studios gutted that incentive by releasing it on iOS and Android.
  • So true. We'll definitely touch on that in Part 3. :)
  • Microsoft Studios, being an expensive game developer/publisher, doesn't care much about a platform with <5% marketshare. The WP Team's marketing bugdet is to low to buy favours from expensive developers, hence they have to order crap games from the likes of Glu. It all makes sense if you think of MS divisions as seperate companies, doesn't it?
  • I'm going to make a simple request, make this last, Xbox Games is genius and please let the app tile change colour to match theme
  • Yes! For office and OneNote as well!
  • They need to figure out how to put Halo, or Destiny!, as a mobile version-thing. Like, maybe a Destiny RTS on WP that affects the campaign in the shooter!.
  • You said it, "still halfway viable" we are in a crucial time here. Unfortunately, with the Xbox Live game drought in addition to the overall app drought/loss on WP8, I fear we we are teetering back to obscurity.
  • Maybe the problem is that Xbox console guys don't care as much about mobile gaming they don't even have a mobile gaming device Sony and Nintendo care about that and have been making devices for years so the phone guys probably never sat down and realistically plan everything out they just threw Xbox live on the windows phone thinking it will sell more phones so basically they are working from behind and nothing good will be coming from Xbox into maybe the 720 is out which is sad as a gamer I want Xbox live on my phone to be amazing
  • And to be quite honest, I feel like this is the elephant in the room that no one wants to address. I frequent a lot of gaming sites. I am not gonna suggest the folks who contribute to these sites (comment sections, bloggers) are the consensus for all gamers. But you look at some of their reactions to mobile gaming and many just don't respect it enough as a valid form of gaming 
  • I'm sure they are dragging their feet because all of this will change with their new system, hopefully this year.
  • There's no evidence to support that. They wouldn't postpone a strong commitment to WP until the next Xbox console launch. We'd see that support right now.
  • and the soonest we will offically hear ANYTHING about the "720" (aka: next xbox) is at E3 and that is not till summer time. If they even say anything about it...
  • If we get a two platform system. Xbox is one with Windows' Modern side and store WP8 is the handheld. Makes sense that the store will be same as it will share purchases. That makes sense because of the Xbox Surface. WP will get more play as Xbox/Windows does.
  • I love reading these posts & comments. I really want to see Microsoft's reponse to this. I never understood why Where's my Perry/Water or Dredds vs Zombie are not XBLA.
    I cannot wait for part 3 & news about Temple Run :/
  • Maybe with the upcomming Xbox they plan to bridge the gap between phone, PC and console given that they share the same kernel
  • WP XBox games are not available everywhere, like in my country. :/
  • Microsoft would draw more windows phone buyers by improving the ecosystem than building 'meet who the ***k I am' advertisement... I feel Microsoft is juggling with too many things at a time...Win8, Tablets and phones...this only delays things, whether it being release of updates, apps or games..
  • Yep MS is too busy trying to maintain their brand image across the other platforms taht they forget about their own OS.
    Lack of intelligent management!
    Which was the company who said that 2 turkeys don't ... Well they were rigt not to be so afraid! 
  • You forget sir, the support to directX apis, which would mean, a hell of a lot of games from windows could be ported too, expecially old titles like unreal, quake, steam games, etc etc...
  • It would be good to have these games as Xbox Live titles, but wouldn't it also drive the price up?
    Everyone I know that owns a Windows Phone, except myself, refuses to pay for apps. Moving certain games to Xbox status sometimes seems to drive the price up a few pounds, it's not acceptable..
  • Not for certain. Many Xbox Windows Phone games cost the same as their iOS versions. Some games cost more, but it generally seems to be the developer's decision to raise the price in order to make up for the smaller Windows Phone market.
  • You're awesome!!
  • Great article Paul!
  • C'mon Microsoft!! Shit or get off the pot. I will not just throw my hard earned money into your ecosystem whilst you just sit there and play with your dingle berries. At least you could make a little effort. You can't have your cake and eat it to. Sad so sad
  • If Microsoft doesn't make as big splash at MWC, I'm going to be sorely disappointed.  The SDK for cross game development has been out for 4 months by that time.  Unity games that share 60-80% of assets should be playable have release dates at MWC.
  • Halo...
  • ⤴⤴This⤴⤴
  • xbox should be havin true multiplayer like a cross console multiplayer for simple games like wordament etc and atleast some wp multiplayer online racing games like raging thunder and others from polarbit
  • microsoft just needs to commit to the platform the way they did with the xbox. they were really determined when the console was debuted, they pushed it so hard to the fact that it now has the no. #1 online services. if they push windows phone the same way the above statement can hold true for it as well.
  • I picked up my 8x with the thoughts that we would get more games than just simple games. I thought the dual core processor of Windows Phone 8 devices can handle the high end games like on iOS. So far I have been disapointed big time.
    Where's my water came out but, no xbox ? WTF ? If you play the game, you see it has achievements in it but, no xbox from a big title like this ? really ? What was Microsoft thinking ?
    A 3d gears of war game with xbox logo on it would be epic, we need games like that, not more simple games and NO MORE PUZZLE games. I want a tittle to say "now this is xbox gaming" and nothing todate has shown this feeling.
    I guess we wait till MWC (a few weeks) to see what Microsoft has planned. It's even crossed my mind to look at iOS because of the games and I hate the iPhone. I just wish Microsoft would get with the program and give us the games and the exclusive titles we want.
  • Microsoft won't be releasing their plans on E3, MWC, CES or any other third party conventions. If they have something to announce, they'll do it on their blogs. And if they have something to show, they will throw their own party, at their own schedule and location. They also made it pretty clear, that they'll be more and more secretive about their plans and won't be revealing stuff years before relase like they did with Kinect for example.
  • WPCentral really needs to get on Microsoft and write articles like this about Xbox music....
    Xbox Music is getting causing more users to leave then the lack of games....
  • I've already let MS know about the articles WPC has done regarding Xbox Music.. MS has let me know that they are aware that very many people are not pleased with Xbox music, and our complaints have been sent to that team... This is why I stay on the WP Blog because you get to talk directly to WP team members, and they respond back.. I've seen more changes to WP through comments on the Blog than anything else. Trust me it works, and we are the ones who MS really listens to when it comes to feedback. I've just posted both of these articles on the blog today.. They will read them and take these thoughts into consideration... I have faith.. As far a Xbox Music for both WP and W8.. All we can do now is sit and wait for a update because MS has received and examined all the feedback they can get on that topic. Go to the Blog right now and voice your opinions, and I will back you up, on the ones I agree on of course.. Lol...
  • It's depressing to read articles like these.  I hope things get back on track soon.  I'm skeptical that they will.
  • This goes to show how dumb MS is, they should fire the whole gang! This borders the absurd! MS really needs to grow some balls! To make up they should release many XBOX games fast at limited time discount, and where is Halo which is a SIGNATURE XBOX game!!!! Apperently some MS departments don't even care about WP 8! Im starting to regret jumping on WP 7 and WP 8... I sppent alot on a Nokia Lumia 920 MS, get your stuff together!
  • Like I said.. Do you know how many people would purchase a windowsphone device if MS brought Halo to WP, and actually advertised this on TV??? Its so easy its almost like they don't want to sell WP devices.
  • In XBL supported countries maybe yes. There will be a lot of gamers buy WP devices. But for the rest of the world? Useless as they can't even find them (XBL games) in their marketplace. So, no Halo for those regions, means, not that attractive. Wan't to catch up with Android and iOS, make XBL global, then after that we can talk about it's games.
  • Microsoft should choose a sample and then do some simple math to make better decisions. They're much better than me for this task, but I tried something: picked the latest articles from each WPC's writers and used the number of comments as a measurement of how "popular" a WP subject can be.
    This is what I found (if anyone wants the Excel sheet containing detailed data, I can publish it in SkyDrive):
    - Paul's articles about Xbox on WP have an average of 67,84 comments per article (3rd place, behind Rubino's and Bennet's articles);
    - Articles about Xbox on WP (including Paul's, Edmonds', Sabri's and Ponder's) have an average of 64,68 comments per article;
    - Articles about any other themes have an average of 47 comments per article.
    My sample contains a maximum of 25 articles per writer (Edmonds and Rubino write a lot!), considering those wrote since the end of december/2012. Further and detailed information should consider a bigger sample, of course.
    So... Is Xbox on WP important to current users? I guess it is.
  • I have to say that I'm beginning to get a little fed up with the lack of support.  I'm starting to feel like I've been duped.  I hate Apple and Android and was really looking forward in great things coming from MS this time around.  I know it's my fault for being an early adopter of things but it seems like this has been happening for the last 10 years.  I purchased my chocolate brownie Zune right after release.  I have to say that with the last software update on it, it still works better than any iPod, but MS took my money and moved on.  I researched and waited for WP7 and purchased a 1st gen Samsung Focus as soon as it released.  I never had a single issue out of that phone and never had to restart it at all. I updated it to 7.5 as soon as it hit hoping for all the updates I would need to get up to speed with everyone else.  Wait. what's that?  I was sadly mistaken.  Looks like I would have to wait for WP8 to come close to the other systems.  I purchased a surface RT the week it released.  I understood that it wouldn't run legacy apps but I assumed that with MS's power they would get great apps quickly.  I was wrong.  I still love my surface, but for the price I paid, I expect more apps.  In anticipation of WP8 and my new surface, I decided to spend my Christmas money on an Xbox 360 so I would have the ability to use all 3 to accomplish whatever needed.  I even upped my skydrive.  No matter what I try, surface does not work the way I was promised.  I preordered my yellow lumia 920 only to be plagued with having to wait longer than anyone I know for the yellow to become available. To top it all off after getting my shiny new phone, it requires a soft reset at least 2 times a day. Oh and the 3 devices really don't work together any better than any other ecosystem.  I finally got a replacement phone and love it.  No problems out of it.  I'm very aware that I am partially to blame for trusting in MS, but if they don't get their sh*t together and start supporting me and this platform, I will leave and never look back.  Be Ashamed Microsoft...