IDC reports a 150% YoY change for Windows Phone but is it enough?

The International Data Corporation (IDC) has posted its Q4 2012 global results of smartphone trends and it nicely reflects yesterday’s report from Gartner. The data is both a mix of good news and bad news for Windows Phone, showing that year-over-year (YoY) growth has increased by 150% going from 1.5% market share to 2.6% in late 2012. That’s certainly a positive sign but in the context of the rest of the smartphone race, it’s still a drop in the bucket.

Android and iOS accounted for a massive 91.1% of all smartphone sales, which is quite astonishing. BlackBerry, while still ahead of Windows Phone (3.2% versus 2.6% for Q4) took a drastic drop from last year when it had a more comfortable 8.1% market share.  That’s a -43% fall for the Waterloo company, which of course can be ascribed to holding on to BlackBerry 7 for so long.

Now that BlackBerry 10 is out and shipping, it will be very interesting to see if they can recapture those customers. One thing that is evident, it’s hard to change momentum in one or two quarters, so BlackBerry has its work cut out for them.

Microsoft’s 150% increase is positive news. However at just 2.6% market share for the quarter, it still pales compared to Android (70.1%) and iOS (21%). After all, going from 1 to 2 is a 100% increase but it doesn’t change the fact that 2 is not a high number—it’s all relative.

Having said that we are talking about momentum here and it seems evident that between IDC’s numbers (150% YoY) and Gartner’s (124% YoY) that Windows Phone not only has it, it’s ahead of Android in terms of rate of growth. That’s very good.

Putting aside quarterly results, the yearly report shows that Windows Phone is still only at 2.5% (up from 1.8) and BlackBerry still has a more comfortable lead at 4.5% (down from 10% in 2011). What this shows is Windows Phone had positive growth for most of 2012 but it was the fourth quarter, when Windows Phone 8 was introduced, that things started to really pick up steam.

But will that maintain? That’s the million dollar question. If this was just one good quarter for Microsoft and their market share drops (or even worse, BlackBerry 10 takes off), this could be just a temporary victory. For now though, we’ll take solace that Windows Phone is on the right path. In other words, we’re cautiously optimistic.

Another interesting observation is that Nokia evidently accounted for 76% of all Windows Phone shipments in Q4. That’s fascinating if only because the Lumia 920, their flagship phone, not only suffers from limited carrier availability but limited stock as well.

Despite that fact, by releasing the Lumia 505, 510, 810, 820, 822 and 920, Nokia has shown that their strategy is effective. Those figures don’t even take into account the popular and low-cost Lumia 620, a phone that is expected to boost their impetus in Q1 2013.

Source: IDC

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • As long as there is decent momentum, that's what really counts.  I don't think Microsoft, Nokia or anyone else expected for Windows Phone to garner a 10% market share overnight. At least I know more people who own Windows Phones than had my other favorite phone... the Palm Pre.
  • No, as long as it's profitable. You could be the largest single company in your industry, GM, and still go bankrupt.
  • I really hope Samsung throws their full weight behind Windows Phone sometime soon.  Despite what people here say, the ATIV S was a great looking device and would have appealed to a lot of people.  Also, I feel Samsung is the only one right now that is actually going toe to toe with Apple when it comes to marketing.
  • I love my Ativ S
  • I also love my Samsung ATIV S over all WP8 devices so far! I could not go less than 4.8" 720p display and a phone with no micoSD card, having a phone with a battery less than 2300mAh is crazy to me!
  • Since the Ativ S last no longer than any other WP 8 device it must mean 2300mAh is needed to power the display - nothing more.
  • Why would they when they are doing so well with Android? WP's best hope is Nokia and to a lesser extent HTC. Or Surface phone...
  • A little over 2 years ago, I moved from an iPhone to a Samsung Focus. Just replaced that with a glossy white 920. I love the phone, but there are still "holes" in the app list. There are also missing features, but I still love the OS design.
    So what does this have to do with these numbers? I don't think that MS can gain any significant market share if they are only after people that will put up with the current limitations. Are they in this for the long run? If so, they had better start accelerating the pace of fixes and new features. Google and Apple aren't going to wait for them. The ball is absolutely in MS's court. If they play to win, then they definitely still have a shot.
    As it is, they are just doing well enough to hang on and I fear that my next phone will have to be one of the others.
  • +1
  • I mostly agree with you, but hope yet MS can ramp things up and fill in the app and feature gap. They have already thrown billions into mobile, I don't expect that to change, they literally cannot afford to fail in this space, it's the future.
    I think one of the most exciting things about these OS's (iOS, Android, WP even BB) is the frequent app updates you get through the respective stores. I think if MS could bring that excitment to the core OS it'd give them a unique and exciting feature none of the competition have. iOS is annual, Android likewise when/if your device is lucky enough to be updated. Imagine if WP had quarterly releases and more frequent releases for core apps/functions. I think it'd make using the OS way more fun, always new things to explore and try. I'm not sure about the feasibility of that, but I think it'd be a unique selling point and be a good talking point that should give them a big boost.
    Whether that happens or not, I find the OS the nicest by far and unless iOS or Android make some major changes I don't see myself leaving WP for a long time.
  • Your statements contradict themselves. If MSFT is into WP for the long run they don't need to be in a hurry. As the platform gains momentun developers will come to them. Also, its not MSFT that has the pressure on them. Its the Google's and Apple's of the world. They are the ones with everything to loose and little to gain.
  • Sure the numbers are small compared to the top 2 but that's to be expected.  The key here is to see more growth in 2013 and edge closer to taking  a good chunk and 3rd place.  If they keep going this way at some point they'll hit a point where there are enough users that we get more of a snowball effect and we see a real boost in market share.  I think the tipping point is around the 5% mark.
  • I'm starting to have the same feeling about WP8 that I did about WebOS.  With WebOS, the problems were mostly hardware - but they persisted.  With WP8, the problems are mostly software.  There are a lot of issues that should have been worked out by now and when they are "worked out" - like the 7.8 update, the complaints still roll in.  Some things are taking too long to fix, like an adequate music replacement for Zune.
    I'm going to stick with it because I really don't like Android and I don't want to be tied to Apple anymore than I already am.  But that sinking feeling is happening
  • I agree with you on the software issues.  The WP team keeps dropping the ball by over promissing and under delivering.  I love what they first created back with WP7, but I'm starting to agree with Thurott that it might be time to hand Windows Phone to a big boy team (actual Windows core team).  Sometimes I wonder whether or not MS realizes how crazy important phone is.
    With that being said, I wouldn't worry about it going the way of WebOS.  Under Palm, it failed because Palm didn't have other divisions to fall back onto like MS does (Office, Windows, Server, etc...).  Under HP it was just a distraction from their real business (seriously, did HP think they would compete with their own OS ecosystem???).  MS has to make WP a success and they have the resources to stick it out in the long term.
  • I think it would have been fine at HP if Apotheker wasn't in charge.  He literally just killed it off.
  • Apotheker made a lot of bad moves for HP, the Palm acquisition being one of them.  Ultimately he wanted to move HP away from PC's and become another IBM.  Just because it worked for IBM doesn't mean it will work for HP.  In the long term, I just don't see how HP could have really run with WebOS against the ecosystems of Apple, Google, and Microsoft.  RIM is in the same boat but at least they had their enterprise stronghold to keep them afloat a little longer.
  • Mark Hurd was in charge of HP when they bought Palm. Apotheker was the one who canned it, which was a a bad decision. I still think HP could have made WebOS work, after all Apple came from nowhere to rule mobile, why couldn't HP? WebOS had a lot of potential and it was early enough that Android wasn't yet entrenched. If they'd pushed they could have made it a success, all it really need was decent app support.
  • The same can be said for nokia's MeeGo/Maemo .. considering Nokia's influance, MeeGo probably had a better chance than WebOS.
  • What.. get Mark Russinovich on it ? I think Microsoft's best personel is working on Windows Azure, which is very important as well.. but I agree, they need to send some reinforcements to the WP team.
    Also, the Windows NT core probably needs a bit better hardware in order to fully shine. Bigger battery and a bit more RAM would be nice.. 3500 mAh batteries would be ideal for a phone like the Ativ S and the 920. Also, there is still a lot of work to be done on the radio/networking stack.. its not the most efficient out there.
    The rest is cosmetic..
  • I agree, feel the same way.
  • Seems to me that momentum will slow if they don't keep pushing advertising, etc... I have not seen a Windows Phone 8 commercial since early January.  I never see WP8 devices advertised in retail newspaper ads, retail store front (web) pages, etc... like you do iOS and Android devices. Seems to me the marketing has dried up which will casue platform sales to dry up as well.  I hope that is not the case.
  • I don't know where you live but in Phoenix, and the array of cable stations here, AT&T ads for the Nokia line are probably the second most common for any device or platform on the air. Even VZW has been regularly advertising the red 822 for Valentine's Day. I don't know whether advertising the 822 is a good thing though since I own one and consider it to be a piece of useless junk....
  • Stephen - what makes your 822 a piece of useless junk? I own a white 822. Got it the day it was released by VZW. Great call quality. One Exchange account, 3 POP3 accounts, and an AOL account...all working great.Texting works fine for the little bit of texting I need. Bluetooth to my Jambox and to my headset works great. I have around 6500 tracks of music. My DT-910 wireless charging stand came in a couple days ago. My wireless charging back came in yesterday. I'm currently listing to my music via my Jambox connected to my 822 via bluetooth while the 822 is on the wireless charging stand. With SkyDrive installed on my laptop, my W8 tablet, and my 822, I'm able to access all my critical business documents from any device, anywhere. I have Office Pro Plus 2010 installed on my laptop. Office Pro Plus 2013 is installed on my tablet. My 822 can open (and edit) my Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents.
    I can go a day and a half on one charge. Most phone calls are very short and don't really impact battery life.
    I'm not a gamer so I cannot address any gaming issues.
    So, again, what makes your 822 a piece of useless junk? Seriously.
  • I see WP8 ads in most of the major TV spots like Walking Dead, NBA Games, etc. I think I've seen a WP8 commercial almost every day.
  • Is it just me or has anyone else noticed a bit of a windows phone/Nokia marketing boost lately.. I seem to be seeing the jessica alba and gwen Stefani commercials alot more ofter and on more channels... I dont see the will arnett one at all anymore tho. Donno if it all meens anything tho
  • I see them during primetime all the time at the least 2-4 over a 45 minute on TBS and NBC.
  • Maybe its just my market (Philadelphia), but Windows Phone TV ads have been pretty constant since its debut. Have they been good ads is another matter. Maybe you just notice Alba and Stefani more? That is the reason they hire these people.
  • Have been seeing the Gwen Stefanie commercial here in Denver a lot lately..
  • Its all going to come down to compelling hardware and getting the last remaining apps on board (read Instagram). Look to Nokia to take the lead and Microsoft to finally push the OS in an aggressive, meaningful and inventive way. I think 10% is the magic mark where everything will start to gain some serious traction.
  • I think you are right about 10%.  At that point, OEM's become more serious about trying to compete for the WP market.  I can't help but feel the reason we don't see a massive push for the ATIV S is because Samsung calculated that the WP pie is too small to seriously bother trying to get a slice.  Not to mention LG and Sony could jump in at that point.
  • A lot of us were hoping for 10% after 2 years and 2 years was last October.
    Missing apps (I am not missing any personally), missing features, slow to get updates out or not at all, live tile issues-I don't know where this OS is going..but I'm sticking with it.
  • This is such a long race. Windows Phone is in it for the long haul.
  • I personally believe, Nokia in particular needs to hit hard with a super high-end phone in the U.S. and Microsoft and Nokia market the hell out of it. And stop being last with every damn thing! Also, where are the games at for the phones? The Halos, Gears Of War, Forzas...... If they can make them for the phone it could be a game changer.
  • Except the current regime at Microsoft Studios would just publish those games on iOS and Android soon after.
  • Lol.... I know, right!!!!
  • True, some big name exclusive games would really give the platform an edge (and stop people whining about no Temple Run).
  • Nokia is the only reason WP is sowing any growth.. just imagine how it would look with only HTC and a not so interested Samsung on board, with Nokia going android.. no bueno.
  • Just so long as someone keeps making WPs and MS keeps developing for it I am happy with low market share. I don't use apps much anyway. Using IE suits me just fine.
  • They need fb, instagram, and other big apps that are forcing people to stay on the other os's. These may seem trivial, but if they can't get the top IOS apps on bored people won't stay. SMS is great unless someone needs to use another means to contact you, then it becomes a burden to get just the simple stuff with wp8. Don't get me wrong though, I'm hanging on just cuz I like Xbox music pass and the other great features.
  • MWC will show new WP8.1 coming! Microsoft with WP8.1 should be up to power with Apple iOS6.1 and BB10, Android 4.2 with this update.
  • I like WP, but that comment is too much "Apollo will see them equal iOS", promises, promises. To me though there's really no major feature gaps or anything I miss from Android., but I realise some people may have other needs and opinions.
  • It actually needs another 20-30 months to add most for them to add most of the missing functionality.
  • I know money's tight at Nokia.  But a commercial demonstrating some of the features might go a long way.  MS's advertising still doesn't get it  They just do highly coreographed dance numbers. 
  • The difference in advertising is great. Apple will show one feature in their commercial as if it's the most amazing thing in the world. Android is all male oriented and are generally action driven. Microsoft is all about happy smiling people, very utopian Disneyesq.
    The apple commercials border on condescending, but they do highlight a feature and generally a different feature each time. Android has great production value and really make the hardware seem impressive. Microsoft wants to have the most friendliest device. Now that I know that's Gwen Stefanis phone tell me something cool about it....other than live tiles. Like wouldn't she be a natural for Xbox Music? Its always non offensive, cutesy, non threatening, and make that's the problem. They could borrow from each without changing the perspective. I personally would do things differently.
  • I find Apple commercials extremely annoying, but I admit they are effective.  Right now everybody thinks Apple invented the noise-canceling microphone and nobody else offers one, even though almost everybody does.  Brilliant marketing for their techno-phobe target market.
    Surface commercials tell me nothing about the tablet other than it has a keyboard.  And if I didn't visit these sites I wouldn't know anything useful about the Lumia 920.  Both complete failures from a marketing perspective.
  • Completely agree. And it doesn't matter if all the competitors has a feature if people don't know it - case in point, Samsung's "touch two phones to transfer a video" angle, or basically any Apple iPhone ad ever. If people see it and think THAT manufacturer has this thing, without knowing the others do, that's a sale. Seeing Gwen Stefani call her kids? That's not a feature. That's a reason to change the channel.
    MS has thrown a LOT of advertising dollars down since November, I see ads constantly for Windows Phone (online at Hulu, the networks' websites, YouTube etc, I don't watch TV). But the ads, while keeping the Windows Phone product line in people's minds, do very little to entice new customers, I think. But it's at least encouraging to see MS stand behind their product. If they could only hire a better ad agency!
  • I haven't seen one ad that highlights the Lumia 920's camera. They should hurry because they have a massive advantage with the Lumias camera before someone else catches up. Alot of people would be amazed to learn that a phone has OIS. That's a big deal
  • Why do they develop features they never intend to use in their marketing. If you set out to crush, then crush and say so. Show it. The camera on the 920 should be some well kept secret. How does that benefit anyone?
  • Even if WP goes up 1% each quarter it will make the WP market share around 6.5% at the end of next year which will be pretty decent Imo. That should be the bare minimum Imo. Every little step help and with more carriers on board im sure the market share will get higher
  • Meant the end of this year
  • "growth has increased by 150% going from 1.5% market share to 2.6%"
    I'm no math expert, but I'm pretty sure 1.5% increasing by 150% would be 3.75%.  Similarly, 1% increasing by 50% would be 1.5%.
    So, going from 1.5% to 2.6% is really only a 75% increase, right?
  • The 150% growth is in units sold, not marketshare.
  • You're right.  Thanks!
  • I think as long as the overall market is still growing and WP can outgrow that makret, even if it is just a little bit every quarter they will be fine. If you think that maybe one day WP will plateau at 5% marketshare, but the market is growing 10% or more every year that's still a lot of phones being sold.
    I agree with the comenters before that MS definitely has the resources to stick it out in the long run. They themselves reiterated that they don't see the smartphone business a sprint but rather a marathon. The next point to consider is the current situation in the Android market. Samsung currently holds 50% of that. That won't last. Additionally every other smartphone maker building Android devices is bleeding money. There are very few OEMs that actually profit from that business and as soon as this isn't an option anymore, the will concider either to focus on other platforms, or ditch their smartphone business entirely. Either way the Andoid share takes a hit.
    Again, i agree completely with the comenters before, who mentioned that WP lacks on the software side. Especially updates and maintenance. A lot of time goes by before fixes are made and updates are distributed. Competitor platforms do have an edge in that area. I used to have an iPhone and you can fault Apple for a lot of things. But they fixed their bugs and just kept rolling out thoses updates. MS has to learn from that. 
  • We need 20% market share, not 3%. We are missing apps and better hardware.
  • Your not gonna get 20% in 1 year. That a minimum of 2 years to get that much Imo unless Microsoft goes overboard with advertisement which they won't.
  • Remember WP has been out since October 2010..
  • Marketshare is just that ... share of the market. press (and ergo public) is sort fixated on the marketshare % without defining the size of the market and the number of people using the thing in the world.
    If they have 3% of a smartphone market that has only 10 million users, that's 300,000 Windows Phone customers. And that sucks.
    If they have 3% of a smartphone market that has 1 billion users, that 30 million Windows Phone customers and a lot of people that use the platform.
    I'm making the numbers up but you see what I mean? This is why I think it's moronic when analysts and public speculate that there can only be two platforms? By what criteria? If enough people are on the platforms, an opportunity exists. And given the sheer volume of Smartphones in the world, I don't see why there can't be three ... or even four ... that have sizeable bases!
  • Its still growth.
  • I think MSFT/Nokia need to create simple tv commercials, similar to Apple which highlight 1 feature per add and then run it on every network during primetime to increase public awareness and in turn market share, I know that in Australia there is little to no TV advertising for #WP8 or Lumia. Features to highlight... camera button, wireless charging, super sensitive touch screen, single post to multiple social networks, live tiles, Xbox music pass, Xbox live gaming, SkyDrive backup for photos, kids corner, etc, etc.
  • Why you want market share ? if  market share is under 5% than you have something rare in your pocket .
    Just kidding :)
    But for me it's a pro thing :D
  • There is some security in knowing that not only has Microsoft stated they are in it for the long haul, but they have the resources to do so.  Having said that, at 1-2% market share, WP8 won't take off unless a buzz is developed.  How to develop the buzz is the $64K question.  I suspect if the market share can get to 10%, the likelihood of a buzz developing is greatly enhanced.  It might be awfully tough sledding to get to 10%.
  • Microsoft needs to innovate in the best way they can, by hooking WP8 strongly into everything else they're successful with. Mainly Windows, Office and Xbox. The fact that WP8 doesn't have a built in RDP client or even one from MS to download, no real network management tools and less than good Xbox games support shows they have a lot of things they could improve that would help them beyond just playing app-match with other platforms. 
  • Actually,  this year will be key because right now with Apple and Android at 91% then it will be interesting to see if WP can break out of the "other" category with Symbian, Blackberry.  MS and WP8 need to grow another 50-75% to get to 4 or 5% by the end of the year.  Also, it will be very enlightening to see whether Blackberry can stop sliding down with release of BB 10.  I think MS has lost a huge opportunity (2.5 years worth) by not overtaking Blackberry yet.  WP8 and BB10 market share by end of 2013 will be very telling (or not, as they could both remain niche players at <5% share each).
  • Despite all the promise of 7.5, I don't think carriers or customers have taken any notice of WP until the 920 came out. That phone still isn't available in a lot of markets & carriers so I think getting up to it's current level is doing well and shows just how much people want something other than Android or iOS. I think with the 920 and 620 at both ends of the spectrum growth should excellarate.
    I think the threat of BB is overlooked by a lot of WP fans. BB still has a good rep with a lot of common people and despite the slump in marketshare still sells way more phones than WP even with the old BB7. Now there's a BB10 that can almost compete with the iPhone in stores I expect their growth to increase even faster than WPs. But I still reckon by the end of the year it'll be something like:-
    iOS: 20%
    Android: 60%
    WP: 10%
    BB: 10%.
  • Windows needs an explosion of apps to keep this momentum I know they can do it
  • Get to 20% I'm happy being the cell phone hipster. Just enough to get the apps, but not enough to be hated.
  • As long as WP grows faster than the growth of smartphone userbase, it will continue to gain market share, albeit slowly. As far as Android is concerned, I think huge YoY is already behind it because it has practically saturated even the low-end (maybe especially the low-end) side of the market. The only OS I see as having more than 100% YoY are WP, the new BB10, AND iOS. I say iOS too because so far it sells more to the top-end side of the market. But I am convinced we will see mid-range, even low-end, iPhones in the future - and when those come out, we will see a YoY that will be more than 100%. I am convinced those iPhones are coming because that is the only way for them to grow market share and catch Android.
  • Its a start, especially with this much competition, I'd say were doing great
  • It's not enough, but it's a start and one that many said wouldn't happen. It shows that people are interested and as long as MS keeps innovating and pushing the platform it will grow. I doubt it will ever, at this point at least, reach ios and android levels, but it doesn't have to in order to be a long term success. it's almost to the point that devs are just losing money by not supporting it. A little more growth and it will be there and that's really all it needs. 
  • I wouldn't be surprised to see them lose customers and market share unless they fix some big problems with the OS fast.  I'm maxed out on space on my 16GB 8x with only 2 GB of apps and music because I have a 10GB folder filled with "other" that I can't clear.  MS knows about this and won't acknowledge it or fix it.  The only fix is a hard reset, wiping my apps and data.  I'll leave to go back to the android system, which I loathed, if the problem persists because I want to add stuff to it that I just can't.  The Other folder and lack of a notifications center are going to take a toll, and the problem is going to grow as peoples phones mature and fill up with "other".  Major apps are still lacking and people are going to get tired of waiting.  The music app still stinks and no games have come.  Google is also intentionally trying to destroy the platform, and may succeed. 
    I love the OS, live tiles and how smooth the system is but my phone is becoming a relic if I can't clear Other.  I loved my purchase in November, but I'm no longer bullish on WP8s chances.  There are just too many issues and a lack of institutional support.  
  • I am very curious to see what 2013 brings.  When WP7 came out 3 years ago it took a lot of features away from WinMo and completely changed the way that the WP platform looked and was used.  It scared a lot of people away from the WinMo platform, and was not on particularly good hardware.  But the news was that WP7.5 would fix a lot of things (which it did), and Nokia breathed new life into the hardware which made people at least think twice about moving towards WP.
    But then again WP8 was already hinted at before the Lumia 900/800 was announced, so many people (myself included) were waiting on that release before moving to the platform.  And now WP8 is here, and I have got mine (Lumia 920) and love it, and my only real complaint about the device is the lack of SD card support (and even that is not nearly the problem I thought it would be).  On the OS side of things there is plenty of room for improvement, and getting services like Wallet up and running the way it is suppose to will be a requirement to keeping me as a customer when my contract is up.
    But my point is that up until now there has been plenty of reason to wait for something substantially better to come allong.  Yes, there will always be something better down the road (a 41MP pureview windows phone would be pretty compelling to me), but there are some really good high and medium level products on the market, and nothing coming out in the next few months to give people pause to wait.  This is backed up in the numbers as well considering that WP8, which has only been around a few months, has almost a 50% share of the WP market.  That means that the WP platform did not grow 150% over a year, it means they grew 150% in a matter of 2-3 months!  It is still going to take some time for them to hit a real 10%+ market share, but I think that the WP platform is growing at quite a fast pace.  So long as MS continues to come out with updates to improve on the features and usefulness of the platform then there should be no issue attracting app developers with the growth that the platform is seeing right now.
  • The rate of growth is pretty irrelevant... It's like companies that say their profits are up 100% when it went from 50k to 100k. Then suggest the rate of growth is better than a company that "only went up by 25%" when they're talking 50b to 62.5b. It's good to see WP growing, but we're being smashed in overall numbers
  • im starting to think microsoft is going to fail hardcore with windows phone.   They released it with bugs. and then released an update to the old one with bugs.   what are they thinking. they need to have this stuff flawless before they even THINK about sending it out.   i took my windows phone 8 back because of either software or hardware bugs.. there was just too much wrong with it on launch to justify keeping it.   the internet sharing feature would work for 30 seconds, then it would fail.  and you would have to restart the phone.   then there was crashing, and random rebooting.... on a PHONE.. 
    now they released the 7 update with a bug with tiles.  
    microsoft, people aren't going to be interested in this if you can't squash the bugs.  i took my windows phone 8 back and got an iphone 5.   and it's been awesome.