Microsoft focusing on increasing Windows Phone volume with GDR2; features coming later

One area where it’s always difficult to please your audience is in regards to technology. Between hardware and software advancements you have a public who not only yearns but demands frequent updates for their devices. Some of it is rational and some of it resembles the tantrums of children. But somewhere in between, there is the truth.

Microsoft is in a precarious situation with Windows Phone as they have a lot of so-called 'chicken versus egg' problems to solve. For instance, they need more mainstream apps. But in order to get more apps, they have to have enough devices in user’s hands to convince developers to get on board with Windows Phone. But how can you convince people to buy your phone if you don’t have the apps (either real or perceived)?

With Windows Phone 8 build 10327 (GDR2), Microsoft is pushing out their second minor update for their new operating system this year (the first was GDR1 aka Portico). The concern for a lot of current users is GDR2 doesn’t really bring much to the table in terms of new features. Sure FM radio and an improved Xbox Music library are nice to have, but it’s far from the dozens of features people are demanding on Microsoft’s UserVoice forum.

The GDR2/GDR3 gambit—grow device availability

Part of the problem is also a misunderstanding of Microsoft’s strategy: GDR2 is less about new features and more about enabling new hardware.  Same thing with the GDR3 release, expected around October, empowering next generation Qualcomm chipsets and 1080P displays.

More specifically, devices like the Nokia Lumia 1020 are built around GDR2. Sure, current Windows Phones will benefit from GDR2 but the Lumia 1020 needs it. Things like “dual capture” were not possible before within the OS, but Nokia wanted it badly in order to bring their 41MP vision to Windows Phone. As a result, Microsoft had to devote development resources to make that happen. In fact, a lot of the camera ability is a result of the Microsoft-Nokia partnership e.g. setting the default camera app.

This is one reason why Nokia is happy with the Microsoft deal, because they can focus on building great hardware while Microsoft worries about the OS.

That’s not to say everything is great between the two companies, as recent comments by Nokia vice president Bryan Biniak to the International Business Times suggest. Biniak publicly criticized Microsoft for dragging its feet on getting big name apps to Windows Phone. While Redmond seems content on getting apps on a schedule, Nokia is more about the right now. As Biniak states:

“To give you a reason to switch, I need to make sure the apps that you care about on your device are not only on our phones, but are better. I also need to provide you unique experiences that you can't get on your other devices."“We are trying to evolve the cultural thinking [at Microsoft] to say 'time is of the essence.' Waiting until the end of your fiscal year when you need to close your targets, doesn't do us any good when I have phones to sell today."

Nokia gets it, but evidently Microsoft is still adapting. Still, as a whole, the two companies are working together and shaping the ecosystem based around what Nokia and the other OEMs want. Think LTE, think low-cost devices. Windows Phone was shockingly not going to get LTE support until Windows Phone 8 and Nokia is clearly eating up the entry-level handset market with the Lumia 520, Lumia 620 and Lumia 625. Both of those changes in strategy are partner-influence in action.

More boats for more passengers

It should now be clear that Microsoft’s strategy in 2013 is about enabling more hardware options for their OEMs partners. More chipsets, more display options, deeper level access to the OS plumbing, etc. The idea is to flood the market with many levels of devices, from mid-range to high end “wow” gadgets like the Lumia 1020 to what actually sells en masse, the Lumia 520.

Is the strategy working? At least one analyst thinks so. Dominic Sunnebo, over at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech notes in today’s market report:

“While flagship Windows handsets such as the Nokia 925 and HTC 8X grab the headlines, it is the low and mid-range models, such as the Nokia Lumia 520 and 620, which are quietly driving its momentum. It is vital for Windows to be seen as a mainstream alternative to Android and iOS rather than a niche platform. Selling large volumes of lower end smartphones is a good way of getting Windows seen in the hands of potential customers’ friends and family, convincing them there isn’t a risk in choosing the operating system. The majority of people are trend followers, not trend setters, so Windows needs to get as many smartphones to market as quickly as possible.”

Microsoft’s corporate vice president and manager for Windows Phone Program, Joe Belfiore, admitted as much when responding to a recent complaint on Twitter about the company not moving fast enough with OS updates:

“Different people want lots of different things.  Most of you want apps like Instagram…for that we need to increase volume.”

Ding ding. While it has always been speculated the reason Instagram won’t release an app is due to low Windows Phone market share, it now appears to be confirmed. Microsoft needs to get more phones in more people’s hands if they want those apps.

That’s why Microsoft is devoting so much to GDR2 and GDR3, seemingly paying more attention to their OEM partners than current customer demands (we say “seemingly” because we know Microsoft does care, but priorities, folks).

The tradeoff

Lumia 520

And that’s just it: In order for Microsoft to focus on enabling new hardware and radical innovations like the Lumia 1020, they had to take their resources away from straight up “feature updates” akin to what Windows Phone 7.5 Mango did earlier, packing 500 new functions or improvements.

Mind you, we’re not trying to justify their strategy, but merely explain it as we see it for a better understanding.

Windows Phone 8.1 Blue appears to be the big overhaul of the OS, where new features and functionality to bring it closer to Windows 8.1 desktop will become evident. Things like syncing of Accent color across devices, more location services, actionable notifications for developers, notification center and more are all being considered for that update due in early 2014.

So what's better: Have Blue's features on fewer handsets earlier or Windows Phone Blue on more devices, but later? That's an interesting question.

But why not do both, you say? We’re not privy to how Microsoft operates, their budget nor how their strategy meetings progress, but it seems to us from observers on the outside that like most organizations, they have limits on resources preventing them from doing everything at once.

Clearly some market research firms, like Kantar, see the benefit of going for entry-level devices before Apple gets in there (see our earlier editorial “Nokia well positioned for approaching smartphone price wars as costs plummet”). Others though will disagree, noting that Microsoft should beef up the OS and that will sell devices.

Microsoft does have a lot of problems to solve with Windows Phone. The user base is rightly getting frustrated with the lack of frequent feature-packed OS updates, the delays from carriers approving those updates and the seemingly far off Windows Phone 8.1 Blue update. It also gives a lot of ammo to critics and detractors. Will Microsoft prevail? We hope so, but some recent market share numbers suggest they still have a long way to go.

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.

  • Noted. I wonder what other goodies lurk in this update.
  • Is the WP team understaffed? Are they treated differently (than the Windows and XBox teams) because they are less profitable? Looks like the WP team can't justify more resources to work on a. feature updates and b. enabling new HW simultaneously. Hope the recent reorg changes things for the better.
  • I always thought the Windows Phone team was a subset of the Windows team. I.E., when Windows (desktop) needs more work on it than normal they take from the Windows Phone team or something like that (kind of like Apple does with the Mac OSX Team and iOS). At least, that's how I imagined it.
  • I don't think that was the case. Both teams had different execs reporting to Steve. Now, after the reorg, they're all under one roof.
  • Actually no WP team is not understaffed, the GDR Teams are! You have to keep in mind that most of the WP Staff is working on WP8.1 full time, while the rest of those are working in smaller Teams on the GDR updates AFAIK.
    PS: I didnt read the Article so lets read. :)!
    I for one hope MS realsies the mistakes they are making and everyone is pointing out to them and fixes the upgrade pathto something that attracts people to WP8 not encourages them to look at a different OS.
  • Sorry for stealing your comment but.
    WP7 was trying to catch up with features.
    Now WP8 is trying to catch up with features and then story will continue with WP9.
    Im not sure what MS is thinking, i wish Nokia and other OEMs would have more impact on MS speed, creativity.
  • i disagree to a certain point
    WP7 was the begining -> WP8 was the feature catchup -> GDRs are spec catch up -> Blue reach 90% feature parity +what we have that others don't (eg: live tiles, buttery smooth, updates that generally don't destroy your phones performance, etc...)
  • WP8 has less functionality than 7! In 7 I had an FM radio, Zune, wireless syncing, and a Web browser that could load Now I have none of those things. Indeed, there hasn't been a major update since NoDo that was unequivocally an up/grade/. I find it astonishing that in many ways my Arrive was a more capable phone than my 920 is (in bright light, it even took better pictures!). MS seriously need to get off their duffs and fix this OS. They can start by opening it up so that developers can write functional apps.
  • Will GDR2 fix the Live tile issues?
    Other than my email, calendar, phone (messages and missed calls), and text tiles the "live tiles" do not work 99%of the time. The forums show many others with same complaint. I love the idea, but MS needs to fix this if they want to use it as a selling point and something that differentiates them from other operating systems.
    Is anyone else frustrated with MS not addressing this?
  • u will have to wait for GDR2 comes out to find out, i wouldn't know (i haven't seen the live tile issue though so i can't speak on that part)
  • Yes I agree the non real time update (or in a lot of cases, anytime actually) of tiles is very frustrating and a huge time waster. How can I glance and go, when I have to second guess the tile and open the app to get the updated info. This includes the WPcentral app/tile. On my Nokia 920.
  • Exactly my thinking
  • I had the live tile issues ever since I did a soft reset. I tried all of the suggestions in the forums and other websites. Nothing worked, until I finally did a hard reset. (But while doing the hard reset, the phone got stuck at the "gears" screen. I tried several tricks mentioned online for this issue, but they didn't work and I finally went to my nearest Microsoft store to reset the phone for me. That worked.) Now my live tiles work perfectly. I love my 920 once again.
  • Wasn't that a teal pain reinstalling all the apps and customizing all the apps? We shouldn't need to wipe the phone to fix. I've been trying to avoid that. :-(
  • I have Lumia 920, Amazing Weather HD will never update the live tile, there are issues with background tasks for sure, it is not reliable. And i agree that windows phone 8 was not an upgrade, may be an upgrade at Kernel level, but feature wise it is backwords, syncing music is a disaster.
  • Agreed. Music handling is terrible and a feature I hope they really work on. I still can't believe how hard it is to make a simple playlist
  • WP8 was a core kernel change which a lot of time/work went into so they lost feature momentum there and from the sound of it, GDR1/2/3 are still catching the NT kernel up on older features (some new) while Blue will finally bring a lot more of the stuff we have been asking for throughout the WP lifecycle.  I'm ok with the lull in big new features if we see payoff on the backend with more synergy with Windows 8.1, Skype, Skydrive, etc...
  • I agree that WP8 was a core kernel change which took much effort, but I think MS has enough capital and should have enough personell to take care of several issues at the same time.    Growing their market share is very important, but as is keeping their current customers happy.   Oftentimes we are the evangelicals for the OS, if we are not happy, we won't be talking to our friends and co-workers about WP.
  • ^^This. Microsoft keeps acting like they're a small mom and pop shop. They have hundreds of programmers that could easily knock this stuff out. Why do we not have a notification screen? Why are most live tiles poorly functional? This is unforgivable for a company desperate to remain relevant in mobile.
  • You can't grow marketshare easily if people have to, in many ways, downgrade to move to your platform.
  • That's rather succinct Bloobed, I agree.  Of course anyone who's looked into purchasing a WP phone would likely realize that the platform may not have all the applications that iOS or Android would, but for god's sake why should the OS have the same volume for ringing as it does for music or customizable notifications?
  • That's it right there, well put.
  • It seems to me that Windows Phone is moving about as slow as when Blackberry was moving before 10. I'm all in with Windows, but it seems they're marketing and communications and resources is not being prioritized since it's moving pretty slow with updates and all that. I don't know what Microsoft is doing, but I see why it seems like Nokia is doing all the work and Samsung & HTC half-ass their phones for WP.
  • People say windows phone is playing catch up. While I think there playing another ball game. I have been an IOS and android user, and while I like both of them, windows phone just has the look and feel that I like. The keyboard, ecosystem, the consistency of the UI, and the Lumia 920 and nokias dedication to providing to there customers.
  • Microsoft would rather do one than both. And their budget is possibly a limiting factor. I think the report is right along these lines, but Microsoft need to get a grip and needs to get back to basics, they're the richest company on earth, the highest software developer, and windows phone is in the marketplace. Invest as much as required to rework the OS and upgrade the features together. Then market the hell out of it. Otherwise, what is the point in continuing in the industry? If they don't gain serious momentum soon, then all the money invested thus far, in WM7, then WP7 and now WP8, may as well be burnt as the limited budget will hold back future popularity of the OS and thus hold back revenue. Bill Gates never got to where he was without serious investment, loss-making, giving windows away for free etc, first rule of business is you speculate to, the current strategy is clearly not working as desired, so imho, its do or die time for windows phone over the next 12-18 months, either they go for it big time, or they wind the project down, either way they're going to lose a lot of money over the whole affair, so you may as well lose it today for long term gain, than not save it today but throw all the previous investment down the drain.
  • Amen
  • Eh?
    MS never gave Windows away. Bill Gates is no longer running the company.
    Windows Phone isn't losing money, it just doesn't make as much money as the Android patent payments :)
    Ballmer has just totally re-orged the company for speed.
    Microsoft are in this for the long haul. They seem to be pretty certain RIM/BB will fail, and lose the enterprise (and I can tell you lots of BB houses are moving to WP in my sector)
    They do appear to be frustratingly slow, but I suspect they are also waiting for iOS 7 and its non-eventfullness to blow over before telling the world what it has to offer. I really hope custom tones, better calendar, notification centre, better Xbox Music app, proper DEEP skype integration and proper DEEP Xbox live messaging (and working live tiles for once) all come to the platform. Or I may find myself moving to iOS (I'd never move to Android, its horrible)
  • Hwangeruk, whilst i admire you positivity with regards microsofts management of the wp platform, and i live in hope, its just the same old story I've been reading for years and years. We were meant to have everything you mention as part of ep8, none of it materialised, they heavily promoted skype integration, and yet, its absolutely woeful! Microsofts own company!! The response always seems to be... "the next update will be the gamechanger for wp". In truth, the only gamechanger in the history of WP, was the deal with Nokia. Nothing else has wowwed enough, or changed the course of history. If Microsoft are in it for the long term, invest heavily right now, not in three years time when the platform is dying an slow and painful death and your biggest jewel, Nokia, has been forced to open up to the competition. Blackberry is irrelevant within the future of smartphones, a number of the lingering bb enterprise customers will undoubtedly be attracted to the wp platform, but most have already, and will continue, to jump ship to iOS. Its nice to desire the enterprise sector, but for now Microsoft need to be working on all bases, not just fannying around at the sides playing hermits, whilst the competition starts to catch up with what's good about wp, and even surpass it in some areas. Lets face it, since mango, the new start screen aside, nothing huge, no real change etc, has come through in terms of usability within the GUI. WP users are all to quick to level that argument against the iOS interface, but the truth is, iOS has a lot more features that wp users are crying out fir and Microsoft are intent on ignoring them, and iOS whilst on the back foot to android now, is leaps and bounds ahead of windows phone in terms of mindshare etc... Missing features do nothing but annoy users, and updates that appear to add nothing (to the average consumer) are irritating to say the least, when your friend with his droid/iOS device has been checking their notification centre for the past few years. I have a 620 atm, potentially looking at a 1020 when they release in the uk, come from a 710 etc... But for me, if Microsoft are still fannying about this time next years, playing catch up but not actually doing aything about it, ill be off to iOS. And i hate apple, but wp needs to either put up or shut up its been far too long now. The excuse "its still a new platform" wore out a couple of years back!
  • maybe that is the problem,Bill Gates no longer runs Microsoft
  • I think so. There's little of the love of technology that seemed to spur on Gates (or the equivalent love of product that Jobs had) - WP is just seen as another market to enter, and they'll do just enough to get them to the point where the graphs of effort and profit intersect, and then they'll stay there until some competitor prompts them to do better.
    See also: IE6 until Firefox, WM6 until iOS, Xbox One original plans until PS4, etc etc. Except in moments that rarely last, and generally exist while a product is Ballmer-free, this is what happens. It always feels as though they're trying to make cash cows, and not just great products.
    Windows 7, WP7&8 user.
  • Improvements on the security for both GSM and Qualcomm based CDMA networks on the US side, as required by the FCC.  It also becomes Qualcomm CDMA compliant in order to gain attraction from CDMA carriers outside of China (China Mobile CDMA code will only be used in China from this point forward).
  • So my Lumia 620 is transforming to a megaphone. As if it wasn't loud enough.. :P
  • Different kind of volume, did you read the article?
  • Did you not see his smiley? He was clearly joking.
  • One smiley does not a clear joke make.
  • It does, but since people interpret things differently there is no point in explaining it. Or Why people interpret it differently or why people use one smiley and not a few dozen - as that also could be misconstrued aswell lol.
  • Maybe I needed a smiley on my last comment to indicate that it also was a joke. ;-)
  • Yoda, that you?
  • lol :)
  • Doubling the maximum from 30 to 60.
  • Phew, I'm not the only one! I misinterpreted the article title as the sound volume too! :D
  • Wonderfully written - great article Daniel!
  • Truly so, I enjoy the longer articles cuz there's more info but more to speculate and discus!
  • agreed, great article :)
  • +1!
  • +1020, especially the confirmation why Instagram won't life a finger. But heck we have several great apps from third party devs - I'd rather support them than some egoistic company but wait... then again by using their service you still support that egoistic company!.. ah well.. can't win that argument lol.
  • Microsoft needs to closely with Nokia and realize that pushing the envelope has to be Job 1.
  • Push it real good!
  • LMAO @ Push it real good.
  • Has anyone ever been as far as to want to go like?
  • Very well written article Daniel. As an insider, there is a lot that I can't say on a public forum but would really, really like to say (even notwithstanding "the opinions expressed..." caveats). As such, it's very nice when someone like yourself puts voice to those same thoughts, especially in a concise and common sense way.
  • Appreciated, thanks!
  • I was thinking the same thing :)
  • Insider? lucky Bast**d! :P
  • Knowing some of the stuff ending up on the cuting room floor (shortly) before WP8 was released makes one wonder though.
    Watching the keynnote on the 2012 WP devcon now is almost like watching a 'what could have been'. So much mentioned there simply never made it in or was so watered down it was not even funny. One of the biggest ones was how OTA would free you from carrier dependencies.. That now turn out to be one of the biggest jokes of them all together with the claim made that developing apps between W8/WP8/RTwould basically be a matter of a different setting on the compiler.
  • This is just stupid. Does Microsoft have TWO developers working on WP?
    We're not talking about pie-in-the-sky features that the unreasonable public demands, basic dumbphone/media device stuff is missing! How on earth does one intend to attract audiences with a screamingly subpar software offering? It looks like Microsoft thinks that promises are enough. Just you wait, we'll rewrite the OS to another kernel and then all the cool stuff is going to happen. Just you wait, we'll gather a critical-mass level of device support, then the cool stuff is going to happen. Well, guess what? Nobody cares to wait that long! In the mean time, Google's EAS/CalDAV curfew is running out and in two days I can't sync my calendar to Google. The deadline extension was known for six months! But no, the GDR2 will arrive "any week now".
    But no, sir Steve-Jobs-Wannabe-Joe feeds us more promises and prances around preaching meaningless blabber about "shut-up-and-ship mode", timely updates, that there are enough "apps" to go around...
    Sorry to say this, but I feel mighty stupid for buying into all these great promises and "potential". Not sure if I have the patience to wait for the next "cool stuff" deadline in "the first half of 2014".
  • I think it's more complicated than this. Windows Phone believe it or not is often not criticized for lack of features. Read any recent reviews from major tech sites and you'll be hard pressed to find lack of features a frequent complaint.  Also, while MS does have a lot of money, it's not all about throwing dollars at the problem. Clearly you need to hire talented people and have a manageable team. Either way, not being a part of the process, I'm remiss to condemn it too much as I'm just an outsider looking in. Everyone I've spoken with who develops on the WP team says they are hard at work and have a lot of things coming.
  • First of, really nice article Daniel, truly well written, with a nice  point of view. 
    I peronally think that windows phone doesn't lack a lot of stuff, but my problem is particulary GDR2, for one reason, and one reason only, and that is new google protocol support.
    Support for AciveSync is nearly over, and the update is not on everyones phone, which in practice is not a big problem you can sync to outlook and all, but it shows a lack od responsobility from MS, because it's been a long time coming, they knew about it, yet they did nothing. 
  • Im relatively new to wp8 but not to the cell phone industry Ms has been makin promise like this since the old windows mobile Samsung code when I sold metro pcs and I hate to be so negative but Ms money is not in wp8 but in windows hardware and Xbox. it took about a week before Xbox changed its DRM policies only a week of complains and wham there makin big changes well never see that kind of response on wp8 but I guess we have to accept that .worst case wp8 does not deliver .the program gets axed the worlds not over we will still have iPhones and androids but im sure Xbox will live for ever so I'll live ....sadly
  • The problem is that this is the same story we've heard since 2007.    It seems like the wheels came off after WinMo 6.5.   I can't actually think of a single instance since 2007 where WinMo/WP has taken a major leap forward without an additional "wait until the next release for features X, Y, Z).
    2010 - WP7 Release.   "Tango" and "Mango" fixes with major upgrades coming....Fall 2011 - WP7 "Mango" release - "Apollo" coming with major upgrades..Fall 2012 - WP8 Release.   Wait until WP Blue/9 for major upgrades....
    Not to bash on Microsoft as I love the WP O/S, but they need some help with thier marketing and setting expectations for their customers.   I feel kind of silly to have recommended WP8 to a few friends who want to know why certain apps aren't available, or why the alarm, music, and ringer have to be the same volume.   Regardless of the validity of many industry/customer complaints, MSFT does a fairly poor job of communications, regardless of the high quality of the O/S. 
    And where are the ads for WP?    Why does every store rep (ATT/VZ) I speak with steer me away from WP and to Android/iOS.   Last time I was a BBY I heard that song and dance, pulled out my WP8, and they said "Wow I didn't realize it was like that, and that you could do X, Y,Z with it".    Again, these problems easily solved by MSFT.    Some of us are brand evangalists and want to help, but find it difficult due to lack of support by MSFT on many levels.
  • THANK YOU WES D. Yes, there's a list of features that MS should be VERY aware of that needed some sort of prioritizing and "why the alarm, music, and ringer have to be the same volume" is certainly in the top five. Another I would suggest is REALLY resolving the "Other" Storage issue. We will see if GDR 2 has really done that for many people. I also agree that MS has a significant problem with communicating with their customers.
  • Hi Daniel, we know that there are a lot of awesome features lined up in GDR3 an WP8.1. Now the question is not what is going to come but when it is going to be available. Timing is very important.
    As a layman who doesn't understand the software development, I'm just wondering why should we have a GDR3 and a WP8.1 update. Why can't they come as one single update during this fall?
    I agree that WP8 can run smoothly with a dual core processors. But, think of the possibilities the quad core could bring in. That will give the OEMs an upper hand in developing products like phablets for which the market is still open.
  • Good point.. My buddy Mike B. has a nephew who is on the WP Team, and although he couldn't say anything specific his nephew did say that WP8.1 will blow us away... I've know Mike, as a WP fan, for awhile now, and he wouldn't lie about this.
  • If you have the money then buy the nexus 4 or wtvr android you want and leave and see how windows phone plays while you wait and save your WP device somewhere. Good? Good
  • Do you not have your phone set up with Google yet? That only applies to new devices. Existing EAS accounts are still supported.
  • Yeah, well, that's mighty comforting the next time I do my factory reset to remedy the famous "other" storage...
  • It is, as it would only cause and issue if you opened a new google account and tried to sync it. I would also remind you that google are the duchebags that are moving the goal posts. Its not MS fault google are ballsacks.
  • Last paragraph +1. Love the terminology.
  • +1
  • Although not a power user like some here, I get your point.  For me I'm ok with the # of Apps already in the Marker Place and the OS as it does what I need it to do.  However, I do get it that todays' youth is tomorrow's professionals, and we need to get those folks on board sooner rather than latter.   I'm not sure what's so great about Instagram for example, but hey, business is business and I for one find a little happiness knowing that what people want can some times still break/make a company/business succeed...not counting wallstreet...that's an entirely diff monster we still have to deal with.
    But yes, MS needs to committ now, we know right now there must be lots of turnmoil within the walls at MS due to all the staff changes, but just like my old captain used to say: "son, get your sh#^* together and do your Job, if every soldier stopped firing 'cause his buddy just got shot we'd all be speaking german".  It still baffles my mind that first we lost Zune and then we couldn't even get something even descent looking for WP8.  I always felt that if Microsoft's marketing team was half as good as the Zune team was at theirs we'd be in business right now.  Here's to Windows phone not going the Dreamcast route. 
  • There is nothing great about instagram. Its a "pictures only" version of Facebook. Alot of stuff I saw had tags not even related to the image itself, like a guy standing on a bridge tagged as batman.....was not wearing a costume. Just hipsters being hipsters. Not sure why facebook wasn't good enough to post pictures, or tumblr/flickr/etc.
  • Excellent Dreamcast reference and ever so fitting.
  • "Today's youth are tomorrow's professionals." How frightening is that?....
  • One of Windows Phone's biggest problems is i think a very bad marketing job, in Belgium i do not even see 1 add on tv about a Windows Phone ..... That's really sad ... Nokia needs a better marketing team, like Samsung has, i know Nokia can't spend that much money like Samsung does but if Microsoft would provide the money they would sell a lott more device's ... That new Lumia 625 video on Youtube on Nokia's channel is an awesome example of how they should market the Lumia's on tv ..... great device, great design, great background music that make's teenagers go crazy etc .... 
    Best regards!
  • Yes, I believe marketing could be much better,, although it is light years ahead of what it used to be... Nevertheless, it still has a lot of room for improvement.
  • I really hope that your buddy his nephew is right about the fact that Windows Phone 8.1 will blown us away, i really can't wait for that .... Makes me go crazy becouse of the wait but at the other side it makes me excited :) 
    Best regards! 
  • I have no idea why it's so bad. They should be able to afford the best advertising agency many can buy. Can anybody inform us on the strategy /rationale behind MS' WP advertising campaign?
  • Great read. Thanks for writing this.
  • Without the features the devices are unable to perform the tasks people will expect when buying the hardware. And how will people feel when they buy the latest whiz bang WP with quad cores and HD screens and they find they cant even edit a playlist or watch any Xbox video movies on their new screen. Sounds like a backwards strategy which so far has not worked at all.
  • Exactly, once the honeymoon period wears off you start to really notice these missing semi-basic "features" which becomes frustrating. But we waited this long for features and fixes; what's another couple months? Right?
  • HA! Your funny ;)
  • If MS really takes 10 months to add dual-capture support to their OS or add support for Sprint, they should just fold up shop and hire another company to write their code.
    No, they have had plenty of time to add features to WP8 but they have chosen not to. They are pushing ALL features for a future update. Why? Probably because the update is too radical to split into earlier releases. It's all or nothing. It sounds a lot like what they did going from WP7 to WP8 but hopefully this update will be truly new instead of a rewrite of the same functionality from 2010.
  • that's my point exactly.  Let Nokia take over the entire development. 
  • I agree.  Nokia seems to be running the WP shows. Without them, my Nokia 810 would be my last WP.
    Sometime I wish Stephen Elop is the big guy in MS.  He's doing a great job in Nokia.
  • It would not at all surprise me if he will be 'the next big guy' in MSFT. And I am very serious here. I often get the impression he is being groomed for the big seat in Seattle..
  • support for sprint? like really...? u realize it's sprint that's holding things up not the tech right? aside from that, dual capture is not exactly easy to code to begin with, plus there is always a design phase then QA and working with other partners such as Qualcomm and Nokia to figure out the in and outs to get it going
  • Are you saying that adding support for dual capture and support for Sprint hardware is a reasonable amount of work for the Windows Phone team to have accomplished in the last 10 months? You think that filled their plate?
  • pretty sure I didnt say thats the only thing they did, u did that, may be you should try and actually understand what they mean when they say they are trying to make more hardware work on it or just go learn to program and apply for a job at MS if you think you can work that much faster
  • I think we underestimate the complexity behind the features we enjoy and take for granted on Smartphones. Apple took years before they implemented "cut, copy and paste" on iOS.  Android took years to get to 10% market share.  WP has yet to reach its heyday. That day will come.
  • Interesting. Daniel, tell me how does Microsoft intend to address questions asked by potential customers like - "can I manage ringtones individually? or can I see notification list? or can i have folder options? "etc etc...
    so it does look like MS's strategy is to just put a huge pile of devices at all price points and hope customer would pick one of them.
    Are apps the only question potential customers are asking? or is that the main question?
    Just wondering.
  • Well, for this "can I manage ringtones individually?" you can of course do that already, but I think you mean alerts, fair enough. While I think that's a valid complaint, my *guess* is market research shows those aren't the top things people are looking for in a smartphone. Right now, the main driver of smartphones appears to be apps and services, followed next by price (as market analysts have been pointing out lately). No one will switch to Windows Phone if an app they rely on is missing. Custom SMS messages? While nice, I don't think it's a deal killer for many, though I could be wrong. It's not a question of if they should do X but rather the order in which they do them. The thing is, as soon as you have an order/priority list, you're going to tick off some people who's feature is pushed down. It's a tough business. Could they do it better? Possibly, but it's hard for me to say without being on the inside.
  • thanks Daniel. Fair enough. As long as they have some market research that backs their decision, I'm cool with it. Yeah, I meant alerts. Thanks for reading my mind.
  • The way to resolve app situation is to consolidate the UI and app ecosystems from 3 to 2 (and to aim for 1). MS has a terrible strategy there.
    GDR2/3 enable high end not low end, they don't enable any volume whatsoever. I agree polish features are not what is keeping people from buying new devices however whatever market research or development strategy they are employing is obviously wrong judging from results
  • Custom SMS and lack of independent ringer volume (some way to set it to solid 100% with no risk in loosing incoming calls despide the disadvantages) ARE deal killers for many.
    It is a way for average Joe to make his mind on OS capabilities: "Your "smartphone" OS cannot do such a simple things? It must be really-really primitive". And minimalistic live tiles only adding value to this suggestion.
    These are point in OS where developers are largerly overidealising their customers and usage cases for their smartphones. Plainly saing they a missing points.
  • hahahaha
    Average Joe cares about power user features like custom sms and independent volumes, calls it a smartphone OS and primitive when buying a phone. That's funny. People care about the hot new apps, a few cool selling points, if they can afford it, if it's fast, and if it doesn't keep losing connection. Most likely in that order. Now - after they have the phone they may notice some things missing if they had a up to date phone before. I doubt they would return it over something so small. My cousin is still using an OG Evo and I don't believe that has independent volume levels. it's better to discuss what should come next and not hyperbole with "OMG MS IS FAILING SO FAST" nonsense all over your keyboard.
  • Almost every dumbphone on earth has ringer volume independent to music volume. You can try it on your OG Evo(never heard of it) and write here the results. Sms tones may be a "power" feature, but it is OLD, so everybody had learned to use it and there are many people who can set sms tones, but have no clue about all the "mobile apps" and "apps market" stuff. So there we have two features that will suffer downgrades while going to WP from 50$ phone. This is not god.
    I am not talking about the existing wp users, is is about percieved OS capabilities for those who consider the way to go (android, wp, or ios) When you hear such basic things are missing will you even try to dig deeper? Many would not, they have no time.
  • While I understand what you are trying to say and really like the article I also really see a problem if they don't get moving on feature updates. There simply are functions missing that all other major systems have.
    e.g. how should I suggest windows phone when it's the only OS that can't connect to many secure WiFi protocols. And the fact that MS might get a fix out (in 2014) sure doesn't help.
    On one hand I'm sure it's great getting new customers on board and enabling newer devices to be built, but to have people recommend the system to new users involves making the current users happy too and not throwing them out (wp7) or suggesting great new features that take years to come (wp8).
  • Oh Microsoft, I understand what and why your doing updates the way you are, but I'm on the bring features to sell phones not high end hardware bandwagon. The 1020's camera is great and all, but not that many people are going to buy that compared to cheaper phones which features sell. Oh and thanks for the informative article WPcentral!
  • And just like the article stated, there is work required to even get to that low end point. Which is what Microsoft have been focusing on instead of new features.
  • The issue I have with Microsoft is that they don't appear to know how to leverage their resources and strength. Making the necessary adjustments to enable lower-cost hardware from OEM partners should've happened much sooner. I've been saying since WP7.5 that the lower end prepaid/pay-as-you-go market needed to be attacked vigorously. Android has had that market to itself and leveraged it to keep their marketshare figures higher. The Lumia 520/521 has proven that people are responding to an offering for these markets.
    I also disagree with those who say that Microsoft shouldn't pay for apps for their platform. I would have launched a 10 million dollar campaign to drive the absolute best apps & games and built an unmatched exclusive stable of games. Couple that with targeting the lower end of the market and the results i have no doubt would have been a lot better.
    Now the deal with Best Buy in the U.S. can be substantial as they get to control the narrative to customers but they have to focus on that. I would've hired former Apple exec Ron Johnson to head up that initiative.
  • Developers, that are not interested in WP, will take your 10milllion gladly ... to make better android apps.
  • Being a blue 8X owner, I cracked up at the picture. Well played. Well played....
  • Same here!!!
  • The marketshare will not radically increase as long as major features, like notification center or even custome sms\notification tones are missing! If you had an old Nokia 3210 back in the late 90's, you know even these antique phones are capable of custome sms tones :D if you tell this someone who is new to WP, he is never goeing to buy one...
  • "The marketshare will not radically increase as long as major features, like notification center or even custome sms\notification tones are missing!"
    I'm not convinced that's the reason why Windows Phones aren't selling, not that I don't see the importance of those features for the platform.
  • it's not only about the missing features, its also about the badly implemented ones.
    And if you're a google-service user, you get discriminated for useing those.
    And trying to force me to use M$-services "only" is not the way you should treat your customers.
    If you let me choose a new phone now i would'nt buy a WP again.
    I could develop in C# on all other plattforms too, all major features are there already and if you want something "special" you can do it your self.
    At the moment i do'nt see any advantage of a WP, and if they're not getting their ass up soon - i'll switch plattforms when my contract runs out.
  • Do you really want to make us believe that Google is not forcing their customers to user their Services? srsly? are you kidding or just dumb? guess how Google makes Money...
  • Shure they want you to use their services, but you don't have to, in order to take full advantage of the features.... if its not supported by android directly, there are a buttload of nice, tightly implemented 3rd party alternatives you can use to achieve your goal.
    And stop offending me, just because you've got anoter opinion.
  • Would you mind listing the basic hygiene features that Windows Phone forces you to use a Microsoft account for, and how this differs to Android? Back up your argument a little?
  • *hint* Google is being the dick here, not MS, I think you are becoming a puppet for google unknowingly....
  • Hello Daniel, maybe those are not the reasons why WP are not selling, but are basic features that should have from the beginning. If I'm a developer and I'm designing a new OS, there are basic options that should be included to prevent customers do not feel that with your previous OS had more and better features.
    I think Microsoft thought they could handle WP8 as W8 and forgot basic features required of all mobile, even to update the OS, this is not a PC, I do not want Windows Vista on my Lumia920...
  • Seems to be easier for Microsoft to write off almost a billion dollars on products than, you know actually give the customer what they want  now.
  • For the average user/consumer, and some power users, its all about the apps. Plain and simple.
  • Who is developing the apps we love on WP?
    Its the indie developers, geeks, and power users.
    And if you don't get these ppl. on your plattform, or make them stick to your plattform,
    because its missing major features, you wont get the apps.
  • Once upon a time, Android was a laughing stock to most 1st party developers. Who developed the apps then? Indie devs. Then when there were enough, people saw that they could still do what they wanted to some extent on Android, so they switched. Then once enough people switched, the 1st party devs woke up and took Android seriously.
  • We will never break that cycle no market apps no users no market market share no apps.... Should I go on????????
  • if they have so few resources that they had to "pull them off for radical things like toe 1020"  Then it is GLARINGLY OBVIOUS that Windows Phone is just a hobby for them and Nokia needs a plan B now.  Plan B should be buying WIndows Phone OS from Microsoft and just developing it themselves. 
  • If Microsoft is already catering to Nokias hardware needs then why would Nokia bother buying WP?
  • I fart in their general direction, their mother is a hamster and their father smells of elderberries. 
  • What an odd fellow.
  • I guess you are missing the MP reference.
  • Not sure why everyone thinks MS is so slow to update. Do Google or Apple push big feature updates more than once a year? Nope!
  • That is true, but they don't lack some features. 
  • Why would they when they already have the features?
  • I mean, for some people that wish to switch it might be like, oh I miss this, I miss that, I don't want windows phone. 
    I personally don't have problems with WP8, I really love, and the only thing I miss is multiple volume profiles, like the ones on Symbian. 
  • Apple took a few years to get their core feature set together:
  • No, but they already have significant market share. Microsoft actually NEEDS to be more competitive if they want to steal away some of that market share. They can't get away with doing what Apple and Google are doing. They need to take more risks, or they'll get left in the dust.
  • Google used to do twice a year. They still two but one of those has been watered down. The other one remains bigger. They moved quickly in the beginning. MS is not catching up, its falling behind, the gap is *increasing*. WP7 was very compeitive in 2010, ok in 2011 with Mango and ok again in 2012 with WP8. Now it seems archaic against 4.3 and iOS7 (the UI might be polarising, the added features that catch up to Android are welcome). Not to mention the update situation. I get updates within one week on my Nexus and iOS devices. Within 1 quarter on Samsung flagships. My WP7.5 devices never got an update to 8
    My 920 is still on GDR1 (GDR2 phones were launched 2.5 months ago and released in market almost 2 months ago).
    By objective updating track records (WP7-7.1-7.5-7.8 & 8-GDR1-GDR2) both Nexus and iPhone seem waay ahead and Samsung flagships on par.
  • AAPL is king of providing the latest features to previous generation devices.   Thus someone with a 4s and 5s are running very similar code and features.   Then they deprecate their oldest devices (no iOs upg for 3 Y/O devices).   This keeps their customer base happy, but not obsoleting their devices prematurely while providing a hardware upgrade to those who desire it.   MSFT used to do this (WiMo5/6/6.5).  
  • I just have to agree with Mr. Rubino though. The overall market share is more important than us "rich" Americans that want to be on the cutting edge. Competing for peoples techno-hearts feature for feature with Android and iOS won't be easy, especially when carrier sales-people don't know anything about or care about Windows Phone. Gain market share, push a larger variety of devices to a larger audience, including cheap ones that will far outperform similarly priced Android devices, market share will grow, developers will come. Once that's polished, they can cram in features we all dream of. It seems we all forget MS is involved in much more than mobile. Their software still runs over 90% of computers in the world. Of course they want to break into mobile in a big way, but they can't sacrifice what they already have.
  • Good article.
    Still, I think they should have at least taken the time to implement a calender which isn't just a joke in all the time since 2010. Or real IMAP folder support. Just basic features, I'm not even talking about fancy stuff like screen rotation lock or notification centres.
  • What's wrong with the IMAP folders?
  • I call B.S. It is ridiculous at which rate Google has added features and merged their tablet and phone OS with honeycomb and gingerbread joined. Meanwhile MS has one approved chipset and enabled fm radio which I'm sure they had code for from the WP7 days and fixed the "Other" storage bug. The latter isn't even completely fixed. What ate these new low-end phones that are gonna get us the volume necessary to attract the big name apps going to do, when 6 out of their 8gb of internal memory is used up and they can't install apps onto their SD ? Complain and abandon the platform. All we gave to do is be better than android in low end and this glaring problem is still nagging the platform rendering some phones useless. I'm a little frustrated to say the least... This situation needs to improve - in a hurry.
  • Though i can see where you are coming from, I think its hard to compare Microsoft and Google in this situation. Microsoft has to adhere with many OEM's where Google just thinks 'fuck 'em'. The result being the huge fragmentation with Android. Imagine Windows would be as fragmented. Businesses would be buying Macs
  • The Biniak comment ab "giving you a reason to switch" is exactly the point. People want the apps they love, and they want the best version of those apps.
  • This seemed more like Microsoft pr trying to explain why their os is improving very very slowly than any reasoned justification. How is it that both Google and Apple are able to cram a lot of new features into their respective os:es a lot faster than Ms? Especially since Android has to work with a lot more variety of devices than win phone. So I am calling bullshit on these constant excuses.When you are last it does not help explaining why you are not as good as the others.
  • Google doesn't really care about the devices, they just do what they want and if the devices aren't compatible then it's up to the manufacturer to fix or limit the feature. Apple has only a few devices to test on. Microsoft has to do right by the OEMs, and achieve high stability and low fragmentation across many devices.
  • I had high hopes for 2013, and I have been thoroughly pleased.. I have even higher hopes for WP in 2014... Say I'm crazy, but I think well hit the 300,000 app mark before the end of next year...
  • Alot of these comments seem out of touch. I think Nokia has got it right saying we need all the apps and we need them now.
  • Well, I never said that its all about the apps, but the reality is that substantially more official apps will help to bring more credibility to our platform.
  • The problem is that MSFT management doesn't communicate with customers.   You seem to understand as well as I do that the number of apps means nothing.   43 of the top 50 apps, while accurate, doesn't resonate with the customer base.
    I prefer to do everything possible in the browser, but to a public that has been conditioned that they "need an app for that" it won't fly.
  • The number of apps is irrelevant (up to a point). What counts more is the number of GOOD apps. And WP is severely lacking in that department unfortunately. Most apps (even the better ones) are barely better than glorified web pages.
    And the (seemingly) artificial and stupid restrictions Microsoft has applied to the app developers combined with the smaller userbase means that there's even less incentive for the developers to sweat over WP apps.
  • First of all,, apps are only one aspect of things I think WP will improve on in 2014.. Second, while its true that app count isn't the defining point of how robust an ecosystem is,, I'm looking at what's going to most likely be included in another 100k apps being added to the marketplace.. The reality is that within that number there will be more banking apps, popular/fad apps, useful enterprise apps, games, and utilities.. The amount of official apps will greatly increase as well.. So, while you look at 300k apps, and say the number doesn't matter, I see the extra functionality, and credibility, that it will bring to the platform.. I've graduated from that early WP way of thinking, and so has Microkia..
  • I had high hopes in 2011, even higher hopes in 2012, then like they say, the higher you are, the harder you fall.  I switched to an HTC One in May, and the experience has been, and is, bittersweet.  First, despite all the articles and comments I'd read about how "beautiful" Android 4.x is, I don't see a whole lot of difference from 2.1 that I had before joining the WP Nation.  THAT was disappointing.  HOWEVER...  I now have all the hot apps, which is fun.  I can now connect to my corporate Exchange server, while all of my co-workers with WP8 still can't.  Our server requires device and SD Card encryption - not sure why MS can't get their phones to comply with their email server...  I dearly miss the WP interface though, and am 100% honest when I say that I hope in 2 MORE years, MS has gotten their act together. 
    I have a nephew who works on the WP team, and he has assured me that 8.1 Blue will blow me away.  He won't break any NDA with me, so I don't have a clue what is actually coming, but unless it finally gets the attention of (1) the public and (2) developers, I don't see much changing here.  So my high hopes from 2012 are currently very low, having been replaced by High Cynicism and a longing for delivery on the promises of years past.
  • Hey mike❕❕
    See, that's just it right there... WP needs to improve on the enterprise side seriously❕... With that said,, everyone sure has a different expectation, and use, for a smartphone.. I respect your choice, which you've been threatening for years, because you have more serious needs than the average smartphone user... I hope I, and your nephew, are right about this coming year, and what to expect from WP... It would be nice to have you back at some point..
  • I've been pointing this GDR thing out in the forums for some time now. The features won't come until WP8.1 and that's been known for some time. It would appear all the newer users are the ones confused by the MS system. That and the dates keep being pushed out.
    Saying that though there are a lot missing on the OS that in my opinion should ahve been there in the first place. Simple tihngs like attachements in reply email, document attachments via email. Sound profiles, custom sms tones. Stuff like that. I don't get why these things are missing in the first place.
    Sure there's lots of flashy things that would be nice but in reality I would have just been happy with some of the basics.
  • Indeed.
  • Besides custom message alerts, separate volume and orientation lock (which I find it kind of ironic the next word prediction on the WP 8 keyboard didn't even suggest "lock" after the word "orientation" haha), the one missing thing that always baffled me in WP is the lack of a decent call log. Not being able to see the times and durations of calls...say I made/received 3 calls from someone in a day. How long did the second call last? Not a freaking clue, and no way to find out...that's something that should have been there from the beginning.
  • Those word predictions are crowd sourced, so maybe it's an indication of how many people actually talk about it? ;-)
  • Perhaps lol. Its not a feature I can say I have ever used or found myself wanting personally, but it seems an oft-bitched-about feature on WPC, especially from users who have switched from iOS or Android. It just made me smile a little when I had to type the whole word "lock" because it didn't come up at all...
  • Great article, I can't wait for wp8.1 I feel that windows phone will eventually surpass ios and become a top competitor with android.
  • Personally, I don't think Windows Phone can survive another 7.5/7.8 debacle. If the platform is to survive, every WP8 phone needs to see every upgrade that will drop over the next 18 months. With many of the carriers implementing JUMP! like options, screwing around with updates can actually cause MS to bleed users a lot faster. If you tell me I can't get an upgrade that will essentially determine my ability to viably remain in the ecosystem and you don't have a suitable replacement coming down the pipeline on my carrier, its more likely I will drop the platform than remain loyal based on promises.
  • I concur.
  • Apple releases feature updates every year. WP8 came out last October. It hasn't even been a year yet. Why are people complaining so much? I fail to see why MSFT should be treated with different expectations than other competitors.
  • Because there's also a WP7? And bevor that Windows Mobile 6?
  • Because WP7.5 was missing a lot of features that many people wanted. And that was two years ago. Since then not a single one of the top ten requested features has made it to WP7.8 or WP8 and we are told not to expect anything until early next year. That is two and a half years of not getting a single top-requested feature on a platform that is already missing many features of it's competitors, past and present.
    Actually, high-res screens were probably a top requested feature in 2011, so we did get that.
  • Ridiculous that they are so constrained that there is no one to assign for basid features like rotation lock, customisable notification sounds, independent volume controls etc.
    The existing userbase is screaming that they're being left unsatisfied and they want to focus on new customers.
    Take a hint, first create a complete competitive OS. This strategy doesn't make logical sense since GDR2 doesn't enable any volume sellers, neither will GDR3. Nokia nailed the low end already. Both GDR2/3 enable high end experiences which should have been enabled from the start with switch to NT. EVERYONE knew 1080p and multi core support beyond 2 cores would be needed somewhere down the line. Why is RT has support for things like BT4.0 when WP doesn't. The massive lie was the one OS thing for developers. The "ONE OS" was meant to help app ecosystem and speed up updates. Yet 2013 is the year of disappointing updates. The core reason as a developer is that while Apple and Google have 2 OS platforms each. MS has three. They lie to your face by saying "one OS spanning 3 screens". They have 3 different *current* UI paradigms on different sized screens.
    The WP UI
    The Metro UI (Windows 8 and WinRT)
    The Desktop UI (Windows 8) They also have 3 different app ecosystems
    The WP apps
    The RT/8 Metro apps
    Desktop apps No other company follows this nonsense. They are either leveraging their efforts in mobile or desktop (mostly mobile). MS has a nonsensical tablet strategy with their only chance of success coming from........Intel (and when Intel enables ARM like tablets with Bay Trail which can run full Windows, full Office and not be compromised in thinness and battery life). MS is going to obviously do the stupidest thing possible again this year and release an RT and a Haswell tablet.
    Hopefully Nokia releases a Windows 8 Bay Trail tablet and rescues the Tablet ecosystem. It should give Nokia some breathing cash too
  • This must be what they are spending all their time doing, they have to clean up this mess.
  • It is indeed the case that they are trying to unify the APIs behind the scenes. However, why CREATE the mess in the first place. RT was entirely unnecessay. If they wanted an OS with a TOUCH UI running on ARM processors, there already was one: Windows Phone. Should have scaled that up and scaled Windows 8 onto Atom. Why RT? Also the transition should have been a one off with a clean break (so either completed with Apollo or delayed till your could do it in one swift go). 
  • How is this different from Apple? 3 UI paradigms: Desktop, iPad, iPhone. While iPad is similar to iPhone it's still different.
    4 ecosystems: iPhone/iTouch, iPad, Desktop app store, standard desktop software
  • No Apple has only 2 1. iOS with adustments to UI for iPad but largely the same code and same APIs.
    2. Desktop (the store and the desktop apps are not different, delivered in different ways but not different unlike Metro apps and Desktop apps on Windows 8). Some developers change the Store apps slightly to comply with regulations but its the exact same codebase with less than 1% change. MS has different code and different APIs across the 3 app ecosystems. MS vs Apple is 3 vs 2 ecosystems.
    Google arguably has only one: Android which scales across everything. Chrome OS is a second OS but that's web based, you don't have to "target" it. Basically WP is unlike RT/Metro which is entirely unlike Desktop. 
    iPad and iPhone are infact almost the same (indeed they both run iOS)
    OS X is just one ecosystem.    
  • To clarify, I'm speaking as a developer not user. RT and Windows might look similar to you and iPhone and iPad might look different. That is a user perspective. As a hypothetical developer of the next big hit 'Candy Birds Ninja Run' (lets assume its an app and not a game). To target Google's Phones and Tablets:
    I code once for Phone and Tablet and slight adjustments is all I make.
    I publish and target one ecosystem to get my app in front of people To target Apple's Phones and Tablets:
    I code once for Phone and Tablet and adjust the UI for the tablet (90% of the code is the same, in fact almost 100% of the core code is the same, only the UI is adjusted)
    I publish again to one single unified iOS ecosystem To target MS's Phones and Tablets:
    I have to code for WP, I cannot reuse the UI for tablets. I cannot reuse most of the code (the API calls and everything are different, the way the OS works with the hardware is different, the way it grants me access to features is different)
    I have to publish for WP. I then have to code for RT (ARM). Different code. Different UI. Can recycle minimal code.
    I have to Publish in RT store separately I then have to recompile and rejig it for Metro (x86/64). Different processor. Same UI. Almost exactly same code I then have to code entirely separately for desktop. Different code. Different UI.
    Publish it separately again. Infact, MS has 3.5 ecosystems, not just 3 WP - ARM Touch
    RT - ARM Touch
    Windows 8 Metro - x86/64 Touch
    Windows 8 Desktop - X86/64 Mouse and KB WP, Metro have separate stores and Desktop is separate again. It's nothing like Apple and certainly nothing like Google.
  • I'm also speaking as a developer. One who is nearing release with a large-scale app for both WP and RT, based on local-network restful API calls and media consumption. I currently have 90% code reuse between UI and codebehind, because I am doing things the right way and building all the business logic in shared libraries and making the XAML UI automatically adapt to screen size. Sure I will have to publish twice, and the app I'm building doesn't suit Desktop (so I've skipped that) but going by your description above you're doing it wrong. And in your Apple description you completely missed publishing for OSX.
  • I din't miss OS X. I was merely clarifying that iOS is a single ecosystem across iPad and iPhone. I did mention earlier Apple has 2 ecosystems. OS X is that other one. But it has nothing in common with iOS and doesn't pretend to. It's possible for your app you are able to reuse a lot of the code. That is not unusual. But it isn't case for all apps either. If every category is included, code re-use is rather minimal as I indicated. May I enquire what kind of app you are building? (if that is not confidential).
    You still would have had to make modifications to certain bits and parts of your code beyond just UI layout. This will likely be the case until at least 2014. This has not been the case for Android or iOS since 2011. The devil is in the details and implementation. If it truly was so easy to to build WinRT apps across WP8/Windows RT/Windows 8, every developer would publish across all 3 to get maximum exposure. That simply isn't happening. The *potential* synergies are not being realised. You are infact dealing with two different sets of APIs. RT is useless since it is Touch UI/ARM architecture, the same as WP but without any ecosystem or competitive advantage. To make matters worse, its APIs are actually better than WPs. So which one should supplant the other? Clearly they need to merge. RT was DOA from the very beginning. WP8 wasn't done the way it should have been. It should have been everything RT was from an under the hood standpoint and this idealised WP8 (or call it 8.1 or Blue or indeed RT) and full Windows 8 should be the 2 ecosystems.
  • The discussions here are enlightening:
    MS is close to the one ecosystem promise. But it implemented it in a half assed way in late 2012 when it should have achieved it in one swift conversion. Now we have a painful transition of about 24 months instead and perhaps 2 clean breaks. Clearly the way forward is for Windows RT to move down and replace WP (from a developer perspective). From a user perspective, it will look and behave just as current WP does..
  • Exactly, WP7.8/WP8/WRT/W8/XBOX ecosystems mess is the biggest jokes in Microsoft's history and I'm pretty sure it's the biggest mess in computer history too. It's fucking ridiculous. Microsoft must be extremely dumb to have done something like this.
  • Too many excuses from MS. That Nokia exec is correct - they have phones to sell right now, and we needed these updates yesterday. Just get it done or go home. MS needs to fix their corporate culture and the corporate reorganization is yet another unimaginative waste of time that will not solve any problems.
  • It's good that Microsoft is "focusing" on the lower end of the market, but I doubt that side of the market is enough to sustain Nokia. Perhaps if Microsoft were making phones themselves, they could do this as they have other businesses than can cover their losses. Nokia doesn't have that . They're already shipping over 40 to 60 million lowend phones per quarter even without the help of Windows Phone. Where they need to hit it the high end of the market where the profit margin is high. 
  • In fact you can apply the reverse 80/20 rule here. Speaking from experience (I used to work at Nokia in sales) their real cash cows are the lower end phones, not the high end flagships. Flagships are to make them look competitive, bring accolades, and experiment with new tech. But the real money is made in the mid to low end.
  • I really like my OS and I want to see it get better and more apps sooner to increase DEV interest 
  • I find it funny that Microsoft has to beg these small outfits like Instagram, 13 people, to develop for Windows Phone.  I bet some of the old timers there would love to squash them like a bug like they did to companies during the 90's.  My how things have changed.
  • I've tried so hard to convince my friends, work colleagues, my teenage son's friends etc that WP is an amazing phone & platform, but the thing that makes them walk away is the word Microsoft! I now tell them about my amazing Nokia Lumia and then they start to listen....
  • I really only need Orientation lock, Custom notification tones and of course the notification center for when you "miss" a toast that does not effect the live tile.
  • What they should do is throw people a bone with the next update. Add the most requested feature. I believe it is probably a notification center. If that takes too much work, then throw in something down the list like orientation lock. Just show people there is progress happening. They should also leak some of the features that are scheduled to be released. We find out things about ios and android months before they are released.
  • agree.
    start screen: notifications sorted by apps.
    notification center: notifications sorted by time.
  • Yeah, It's sort of this kind of thing that brought me to WP to begin with but also while I would look elsewhere when it's time for a new phone. I was a BB user and also owned a playbook. I grew tired of hearing the "update coming soon" thing and then in the case of the PB it never came. It get's old being stuck with a phone for two years and missing some really basic features and then to keep having update schedules continually slip. While android and IOS may not get updates after you buy them,They seem to be far more useable without needing updates. (I have a cheap droid as a second phone that runs gingerbread that frankly has many more basic features then my L820 does. 
    I expect more from Microsoft.
  • On one hand I agree that MS does face a chicken and egg problem, on the other they need to move a brisker pace.
    They collected my money and got a handset on the streets. Their #1 goal is to move more phones, so my concerns are probably much lower on their radar. Keeping carriers happy is probably #2.
    We've had the User Voice forum for quite a while, but that hasn't really gotten us tangible results. Instead of notifications in WP8, we got DataSense. Did anyone vote up DataSense and ask for it to be locked to Verizon for the first 8 months of existence? I didn't think so.
    Unfortunately, no one walks into a store and says, "How's the notification framework on this phone?" So it always comes back to apps. Personally, I can't recommend WP until it has Instagram. I think Instance is great, but I'm not going to tell friends to spend more money on apps that aren't even guarenteed to work in the future.
    But certain lacking features are just mind boggling. They could have easily put "App close in card view" in GDR2. Battery percentage? Disable auto-rotate? Disable haptic on Windows key? It's kind of insane they're not already there, let alone in GDR2.
    At this point I'm more of a Nokia customer than a Microsoft one. I use a Lumia because it's the best camera I can get on a phone. If an iPhone had OIS, I'd probably go back to it.
  • So i'm whining because not having seperate volume controls is a problem for me? That's just dumbassed engineering on a smartphone.
  • Biniak is right. MS doesn't really take WP seriously. That "we need to enable more devices" justification is bullcrap. Yeah, they want to "enable more devices". They want to FILL the market with devices. So what? Do they think THAT will make it grow? Here's the thing: you can have 100 Lumias. If people keep picking them and notice how far behind the OS is when compared to Android and iOS, they won't buy it. You can have plenty of offer...but word of mouth is essential to sell phones. You didn't bought your iPhone because of the specs. You bought it because a friend recommended it. You didn't bought your Xperia Z or S4 because you are absolutely fascinated by the big specs in them. You bought it because you heard good things about them from your friends who have them. What about WP? Honestly, only fanboys will recommend it to their real friends. Even today I was showing a L620 to my personal trainer. He liked the phone (he currently has Android). When I told him all the features missing from the OS (separate volumes, lack of personalization of tones, no notification centre, etc) he immediately stepped back. What MS is achieving with these GDR2 and GDR3 is nothing more than pissing off their current users who see them dragging their feet and more concerned with flooding the market with thousands of variations of the same phones instead of providing a solid and always improving OS. Who can seriously recommend an OS like that to their friends? I'm honestly sick of MS slacking behind. Biniak is absolutely right. And if MS doesn't get their sh*t together with GDR3 and WP9 in 2014, by January 2015 I'm leaving Windows Phone as soon as my L920 warranty expires and moving to iOS or Android (hopefully by that time Nokia will also be releasing their first Android phones after the demise of Symbian and I won't have to leave Nokia which was the reason I moved to WP in the first place)
  • Great article Daniel! I understand the situation but I think a little bit more features on GDR2 would shut up many mouth...
    They must do it with GDR3. Ok new hardware but a little bit more new features for us until 8.1 comes.
  • Rumor has it they may back port some WP8.1 features into GDR3 to help with that situation, so we may get our wish. I can say, the MS team does listen, so it's not falling on deaf ears even if the results are now what you want.
  • I REALLY hope they do so. Sure they have theyr own strategy and with the hardware focus and all. But if they would just throw little feauture enhancements to the users now and then, it would greatly improve the communitys mood. I think it's actually more a psychological problem with the userbase. For example implemention of orientation-lock could be coded in like a day - it's not a very important feature for many users. But it's implemented fast and would be a nice addition in GDR2.
    BTW: Great article, appreciated the read.
  • Will there be any surprises, or just the radio? Don't see how radio puts more devices in customers hands. But hey sounds like s good strategy to me. What he said.
  • I feel like I read a really long post on this same exact thing on Reddit yesterday...
    oh wait
  • Sounds like a really tough situation. People won't come to WP because the apps they want aren't in the store (although I would say there's only a few that I can think of out of the hundreds of thousands of apps), and those app makers won't develop for WP because there's not enough people on the platform. Tough situation.
  • There are some features they really need to get out the door, though. A notification center would go a long way to alleviating some user frustrations and improve the user experience. They could push out a few small updates that add much needed functionality and keep their current users from leaving, while possibly attracting a few more who were holding off because of limitations of the OS compared to their chosen platform.
    WP8 is not a bad platform, but it's barely competitive in its current state. And Microsoft NEEDS to be competitive. They are the underdog.
  • Remarkable how a Notification Centre looks like a Window's Mobile Today Screen.
  • I want to roll around in the grass with all of those phones
  • lol
  • @Daniel, I repeatedly hear how carriers are reluctant to push updates. GDR2 supposedly has been ready for a while and its nowhere in sight for current customer with older wp. While GDR3 is almost ready for RTM. I'm not sure how much of that is true. But if carrier push is whats holding back some of there updates what do you think is a reasonable thing to do. There are still devices that have not received 7.8 like Samsung Focus and I am hoping with wp8 it gets better. Apple has it down, but then I know apple just as one hardware spec (or just one self manufactured product) to worry about. I do think flooding the marketplace with cheap wp devices (before apple comes out with their cheap alternative which wiil happen end of sept or so), could prove be a success just like android. Difference will be that user will have better experience. I would however like Microsoft to show some urgency and try to push the limit.
    Great article by the way. This site has been voice of people and I am hoping Microsoft is ready how people feel here because this is a hard core wp peeps.We all want wp to succeed.
  • GDR2 is complicated by Nokia's Amber firmware update, which will go at the same time. Thing is, GDR2 is ready, Amber is not (for current devices). So that's the hold up. Updates have a better chance of getting through if they're "all in one". Of course HTC and Samsung are still slow getting their updates out as well, but we know from the 8XT that even HTC is toying with the custom camera stuff now as well.
  • Hm.. It sounds like you knew what's behind. Which I doubt. Also, you're talking about very different areas. It's not like when one group works on drivers another cannot work on built-in apps. And this is one of the biggest companies. They could justify the costs. And many things people ask / complain about are not that difficult to fix. So problems seem to be somewhere else.
  • "some of it resembles the tantrum of children"
    He's talking to you.
  • Amount of interest I have in my accent color syncing across my desktop and phone: ~0; amount of interest I have in being able to access my work email from my phone: +174947395950647^9999
  • Let's think of this in terms of the current shift in the phone market which has taken place as of only about month ago (which I'll go into later [teaser!]): Microsoft needs more Windows Phones out there in order to get big apps (hence GDR2/3 which should allow for both better halo phones and cheaper but quality phones); Also, big apps are needed to get more customers interested in Windows Phones.   They could focus on getting the big apps, but the big app devs need users to justify devoting resources to it. Focusing on allowing more devices of varying specifications to be made seems like the safer bet though as it allows for the platform to better compete in the minds of the spec-focused customer -- you know, the person who thinks your 925 is outdated and ignores the fact WP is optimized to run just as well on lesser specs.   Clearly they need the GDR updates to open up the floodgates to all sorts of devices that can allow manufacturers to put out phones that make use of the latest technologies just as much as they need the major apps (which honestly seems to be all Nokia-driven at this point), and it's nearly impossible to decide which is the right approach to go all-in on at once. You could say why not split the focus to do both at the same time, but let's face it: that will delay things even more as with a company this large it's usually better to go all-in on one project then move to the next. Splitting the focus creates what could amount to being a perceived half-speed or half-assed effort.   However -- and I'm going to bring in something out of left field but worth noting into the mix to bring it all together -- carrier programs like T-Mobile's JUMP! might present a bigger challenge to holding onto WP users (specifically). It's one thing to get more phones into people's hands, but if the customer can change phones after just 6 months, you have a potentially major problem: if you haven't gotten enough of the big apps to the platform by the time they could switch, any frustrations they had with WP's ecosystem could directly translate to a shrinking customer base.   It's certainly a mixed bag they have here and I don't think anyone would envy their position. Whether or not these early upgrade programs will hurt them will be seen in 6-12 months when people can begin taking advantage of it.   So if I had to say what they should do, I honestly don't know. On the surface it seems broadening the types of devices available makes sense, but at what cost? It also boils down to this: one way or another, Microsoft cannot afford to lose market share and the wrong choice could be devastating. The truth is that most people are content with an either-or, this-or-that scenerio and if Microsoft messes up I think most customers will be content with going with Androids or iPhones. It's not likely Blackberry or someone else could claim third, but they could and would it even matter? Get enough people frustrated with one 'third' or alternative option and it could sour the bunch to the point where you see third being no bigger than it is now. If that happens, good luck getting new big-name apps or updates to the ones already available.   EDIT:  Just noticed someone else pointed out the possibilities that carrier's early upgrade options could have on the platform. While I wouldn't say it's a total doom scenerio, but there's definitely something to be said about it.
  • Good points, I agree.
  • Well, in fairness, the opposite could be true... I know several people I work with are increasingly frustrated by iPhone, don't use any apps at all other than Facebook and email, and they are constantly impressed by the Lumia 920 and now the 1020 that I've been carrying around. They would upgrade right now if they could afford it.
    So the low end of the spectrum is just as important as the high end in terms of gaining appeal, and if the apps continue to flow the way they have been then awesome, what's the reason to leave?
    Honestly, if anything, it compels the competition on all sides to work that much harder and faster, because customers can (at least in theory) upgrade much sooner and sooner and on a whim of "zomg this phone suckz!" Although, honestly, I don't think people are going to pay double/triple pricing to have the luxury of upgrading sooner. Only the gadget junkies like us.
  • I'd agree, but I believe that's more anecdotal rather than something that reflects the average consumer. Most people put up with the frustrations once they've become comfortable enough with the platform itself.
    The apps flowing is the major problem. They're coming, but they're far from flowing. Yes, some big and essential apps have come out and the landscape looks much better than it did nearly a year ago, but Instagram isn't out, Snapchat isn't out, Vine isn't out (the most likely to come out soon), YouTube isn't out (if ever), on and on. That doesn't even include games. The phone market is increasingly younger and younger, so also by focusing on bringing key apps and games to the platform, you appeal to the younger 'buyer' (or the one who yells at their parents to by them that awesome new phone) who is more fickle than, say, you or I. It sounds kind of crazy to put emphasis on that, but I believe by proxy if you focus on appealing to the younger people who mostly Snapchat and whatever else that drives these other platforms, you'll grow the market share for this one as well.
    And with the early upgrade and paying more just to upgrade sooner, it's very important to note the appeal of programs like JUMP! goes far beyond "gadget junkies" -- I'm not sure about the other carriers, but T-Mobile's $10/mo program doubles as insurance on the phone in case the phone breaks (etc). For what is just insurance, you're looking at $8/mo, so for an extra $2 you have the option to upgrade your phone early. That's appealing to most people who will view that as a nominal price to pay for protection and the ability to upgrade whenever they want without penalty. I opted into the JUMP! program for that reason alone when I got my 925. I wouldn't have normally, but when I held it I was worried that if it fell I would definitely be screwed (despite Nokia's reputation for indestructable phones). I just wanted the insurance but it made sense to have to option to upgrade sooner for just a few bucks more per month just in case another high-end WP device came out in that time (I'm not counting on it at least).
    Side note: my un-cased 925 fell off the side of my standing desk the other day, an approximate 4.5ft drop, and after a bit of cleaning the polycarbonate it was surprisingly near-perfect (the aluminum has very minor but nearly unnoticable damage). Despite it holding up amazingly (but not surprisingly), I'm still glad I got the insurance because that scared the hell out of me.
  • Why is is this post all black with white letters, smart ass answers here . . . . . . . .
  • Great article!
    Just fine tune the OS, its way to many buggs!
  • "Things like “dual capture” were not possible before within the OS, but Nokia wanted it badly in order to bring their 41MP vision to Windows Phone. As a result, Microsoft had to devote development resources to make that happen. In fact, a lot of the camera ability is a result of the Microsoft-Nokia partnership e.g. setting the default camera app." As I expected: the Nokia innovation is is a double-edged sword: this can slowing down the WP development... About GDR3 and Blue, remember: the more updates more carriers block them, or at least set back. I prefer that all current devices "jump" GDR3 and thus operators will more susceptible to test the Blue faster and consequently the release faster too.
  • "The user base is rightly getting frustrated.."
    Are we really "the user base?" Most people grabbing a phone at Ye Olde Mom & Pop's corner phone mart are not thinking about this. They simply want a device that does the job. However, they do listen to the snot-nosed kid down the block who tells them one platform does it all while another is missing the Holy Grail of apps and therefore doesn't even work.
    I am sick to death of the Instagram saga. Meanwhile, other devs are abandoning the platform, not because something hasn't sold, but I believe due to politics and likely disinformation. We, my friends, are not the userbase as such. We are a slice of dedicated fanboys, enthusiasts and first adopters. Grandma and grandpa could not care less about QuadCore, MicroSD, NFC or even Bluetooth. They want to send group email jokes, get calls from the bridge club (will that bridge NEVER get built) and watch cutie kitty videos.
    Someone put it succinctly this week, maybe Paul Thurrott. He said sadly most users would rather make a  good photo look like a cheap Polaroid and slap it onto Instagram than worry about having the finest camera on any current smartphone. So while we argue about how soon 1020 resolution and 5" screens are coming, most folks just want something to throw in their bag at the cheapest price and the lowest learning curve. Forget that 90% of them wll never dig deep into what Android may allow them to do with their OS. The reason for the different UI slapped on top of that is to give said user the simplest and flashiest way to get to the most often used (and sellable) features. The same is true os WP8.x. If they never get past opening email and using the messaging, the real core of users will never get past the 2-4 recommended apps the sales guy dangled in front of them.
    One vulture to the next: "Patience my ass. I'm gonna kill something."
  • Nice. Very nice. I like this
  • I have really enjoyed this article. Very well written Daniel. I know why I have this tile pinned to my start screen!
  • Daniel this is going to be a bloodfest with the comments. Great article though even though it a tough pill to swallow. I just dont want a fragmented platform with WP8 like android and hearing some newer phones have the update and my phone is waiting thats why i left.
  • Why not both, indeed?!
    If they decouple the hubs and settings from the core OS (or at least modularize them for updatability via Store), then they can satisfy both needs... update frequently in between OS updates AND save OS core/hardware updates for those GDR releases. Less carrier involvement in the software side is a good thing for all of us, and this allows them to bypass carriers for the software app side of things.
    That said, I understand and appreciate the strategy, but they need to do a better job of explaining that strategy, and they need to throw us bones now and again too... and not little things like FM radio.
  • I just want my music to work again. I bought my phone so I didn't have to carry both Zune and a phone around, but guess what I'm doing? Carrying both around. Data plans in Canada are so staunch and expensive, and phone service is so terrible, its impossible to listen to cloud or streaming music out on the road.
  • Uh, what can't you do today that you need to do?
    I put all my music on my phone without issue...
  • Well I've been building my library in Zune since it came out. First off, none I my playlists will sync. Second, all my music magically duplicates on the phone. I've spent hours on the phone with Xbox music support, and they still haven't given me an answer. I'll buy tracks from the phone and download them just to get the DRM message, and can't play the songs I just purchased. Ever since the switch to Xbox music, I can't play any music on my wp8.
  • It's Microsoft--they've become IBM.  If Microsoft wants WP to be successful, they need to go all-in and do more better and faster than their competitors.  To pick a single priority is short-sighted and suicidal.  Their complacentcy is showing in their products and they're playing catch-up in all of the areas that are important right now--phones and tablets.
    I like my Windows phones, Surface Pro, etc... but will can't help noticing they competition has nice, if not nicer products.  Time to step it up, Microsoft!
  • No, I don't think it's right to say "nicer" products. However, I think it IS RIGHT to say that single priority focus is short-sighted. They need to strike a balance, and they have the talent and resources available to them to have both feature and functionality updates coming faster. It's like they say on Spaceballs... "What are you preparing for? You're always preparing-- JUST GO!" That's what Microsoft needs to do... they have a plan, they have a strategy... ENGAGE!
  • I really don't care about Instagram. Microsoft should improve the platform and good to go.
  • I think the game plan for WP 8.0 looked something like this: 1. Port WP7.5 to the new kernel with some new features, but essentially just feature parity for the launch of WP8.0. 2. Minor updates through the first year of WP 8.0 are to fix major bugs (other storage) and smooth out feature parity (FM radio) and continue incremental advances (1080p support) 3. After 1 year, bring major updates to the platform in the form of Windows Phone 8.1 Things to keep in mind is that the resources at MS are probably at least partially distracted by nagging things from WP 7.5 and 7.8, which was only released earlier this year. I love WP as much as the next fanboy, but it is still a young platform.
  • I agree. That's likely the exact strategy indeed, and quite frankly I think it was a mistake to even waste resources on WP7.8.
    I know that many people on 7.x phones disagree, and rightly so because of being stuck on contracts, but it would have been better, because they'd have a smaller number of pissed off users than what they have with the past and current generation phones not getting what is needed.
  • why is gdr2 and gdr3 separate releases?
  • Because this isn't Sparta! This is the game of thrones.
  • Stalling tactic. To me, it seems obvious.
  • I appreciate the article, and I appreciate what MS is saying.  However, many of the improvements and bugs that users are requesting and reporting are quite minor.  I honestly believe that if they added two developers that could make much faster progress on the user voice list.
    Seriously, how hard is it to add Orientation Lock?  Custom ring tones (I don't care about them, but it's a common complaint)?  Even something a little bigger like volume profiles?  How long could these things possibly take?
    How hard is it to fix the bug that doesn't properly detect the anamorphic video flag that is in video files and display them correctly wihtout distorting the image.  Every other video player I have had in the last 10 years has no trouble with these files... this is likely a two line code fix, just passing a parameter correctly, but MS appears not to give a shit and it will just be in there forever.  
    Hire a couple devs, set them loose on the User Voice site.  Let them tackle the easy ones first... fix the few bugs that are listed, implement some minor features that people have been begging for.  There is no reason to exclusively dedicate all resources to these hardware support issues.  I agree, they are of paramount importance, but you can't ignore your existing users in the meantime.  There will ALWAYS be new types of hardware that needs to be supported.  You simply HAVE to do both to be competitive... no excuses.  At least until your feature set is comparable... then you can rest on your laurels for a short time.  But we are pretty far from being there.
  • It's actually custom SMS, you can do custom ring tones.  However I agree with the rest. It's unfortunate that we don't have a good insight into these things. They appear simple from our point of view, especially when all the other platforms have them already, not to mention feature phones.
    The issue appears to be with the OS somewhere.
  • This is a great piece of writing Daniel.
  • Im content. Take the time. Make it right. I like the reliability of my phone! Don't rush things. I use my phone for work.
  • i love my 920 and i want them to get things right when they release updates.  But when you are playing from a trailing position you have to move faster to catch up.  In this case, slow and steady does not win the race.  Expecially when technology is moving at its current pace.  MS is just as big if not bigger than google and apple so there is no excuse for releasing a phone that is not on par with features and specs as others.  Its like a superpower losing an arms race cause they cant understand spec&features matter and they dont know "time is of the essense."
  • I had heard this in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013...
  • +1, WP seems slow however is developing and growing faster than any other mobile OS
  • Well Daniel that's great. Here is the rub though. Microsoft has, in essence, decided to prioritise Mexicans with 510s and 620s over me, the early adopting 920 user. Me and my xbox music subscription, my disposable income for marketplace apps and games and music.
    Its decided that it wants to get devices into the hands of people who text and call and not much else. That's fine. So if I have to wait for improved Xbox music UI, a video store, notification centre, a decent Bluetooth stack, a stable os and even something as simple as separate music and ringer volume because they want Juan to buy a phone. Cool
    I only took a years contract. And Im not waiting for 2014 for the phone I should have had in 2013. So whilst they chase Juans Peso, Ill be jumping platforms. They wont make as much money from him as they will from me. Hope it works out for them. Great call
  • Its hard to not feel left out.
  • Wow, your comment is almost beyond offensive and stupid that it's barely worthy of a response, however...
    YES, it is definitely important to prioritize low end market devices, and that's not to say "Mexicans" but anyone on tight budgets across the globe. We're not all a bunch of rich American snobs that can afford to pay $600 on a phone and break 2-yr contracts to upgrade annually. I'm an IT guy, so I upgrade because I want to and can afford it... but I have many family and friends who can't or just don't want to do it. Want to get your feet wet? That'll be $600! Umm, no thanks! Want to get your feet wet? That'll be $150! Hmm, wow, okay, I'll try that and if it's good I'll get the better version later!
  • Offensive? Oh terribly sorry. A im not a fat American, im a gym going Portuguese guy. B, you're arguing that a successful business strategy is to chase the dollar/peso/dinar of the person who wants a cheap phone and isn't even massively fussed about the OS? Ur definitely an IT guy,not a lot of common sense. Ask apple if that's how they did it. Numbnut
  • Its easy to convince 1000 people to spend £1 than 1 to spend £1000. As a developer I don't care if you make money out of Xbox Music. I want to know how many handsets are out in wild for my fart app.
  • Awesome bro. Problem is i don't give a flying stuff about you as a developer. Im leaving and taking my money to another platform. And a 520 user with all their cash (they must be good at spending, thats why they brought such a nice phone) and all that endless amount of memory (oh wait) will buy a tonne of such pointless fart apps. The users with the money to plow into the ecosystem (wireless charging pads, subscriptions etc) are being mugged off and the grannies who don't even use data because they don't have Facebook, are being coveted. Seriously, you guys are a special sort of special aren't you
  • One more thought. Essentially what you are advocating is that Windows Phone 8 is the tool to capture iphone 3gs users. Or people who went out and out and purchased a Samsung Galaxy Ace. Running Gingerbread. If you think that's where the action is, pray tell oh wise one, why didn't Apple Google stop there? Why keep the game moving forward when its perfectly fine to just ne a little shit
  • But what does that do to customer loyalty? You're just repeating the same thing over and over in other countries... I for one am getting irritated around this bullshit explanations we're seeing. They need to double down on development and get the features out there and stop screwing around
  • I wonder how much resources W8 is stealing. W8 is a brilliant product but with similar problems. MSFT is schizophrenic
  • So one question, I have the L925 from TMOBILE. I read in this article that one of the features of GDR2 is volume (loudness) but why is it that when I receive a call I cannot hear the other person? I mean, I can hear them but faintly. I did not have this issue with my Arrive as it was loud and clear to hear the other person. I can hear them fine with a headset on but not with the phones voice speaker (at the top) as the "Speakerphone" works great when activated.
    I just dont know if anyone else is having this issue. Could I have a defective phone?
  • lol, volume as in quantity, not audio. Did you read the article?
  • I definately feel stupid, upon a second review I see that... LOL.
    Sorry, though you may not believe it I DID READ the article, I dont know why my brain spazzed out and went to the other end with updates instead of device quantity... may have read it wrong. Again, apologies because I do like this article.
    In another note though, since you do have the L925 (international) and we are already in this discussion, are you having any issues with your call volume?
  • The volume buttons can increase or decrease the volume during calls, which is separate from the general volume control. Is it possible that you might have accidently changed that?
  • I have been using WP since SPRINT finally began to carry the Arrive, I was at the store that Sunday when it came out. I know the diffence between the in-call volume settings and the regular phone setting volume (10 for the call volume loudness and 30 for system volume) but my Arrive seems to have a greater call volume. My issue is that I have it set to 10 and can hardly hear the other caller, but if I put it on speakerphone while on a call, the sound comes through fine. It is only when the device is used as an actual phone (with it pressed to my ear even at full volume which is 10) I can hardly hear anyone on the other end.
    I have read that this has occured on the L920 for some people and wanted to check if this occured due to an issue with the device or due to the carrier. 
  • I had that issue on my L920 and had it replaced, all is fine now!  If that helps!?
  • Thanks for that tip. I went to T-Mobile after work yesterday and had them check the call quality. They agreed the phone was not acting right and just gave me a new one. Whats crazy is now, even where I did not have-as-much-to-any reception, I am now getting LTE access!!! Freaking awesome!
    Thanks @netstatinfo for this as I had not even though about exchanging the phone yet since I thought it was a T-Mobile issue (been with Sprint for years and did not know what to expect from another carrier).
  • NP, Glad eveything worked out! cheers!
  • Microsoft keeps asking supporters of Windows Phone to wait for basic features for years. On the positive side, it shows just how good the basic UI is that users are willing to put up with the lack of advancement. On the negative side, as soon as they announced "no significant features" until 2014 (if they bother to follow through), I knew I was holding my last Windows Phone. Like many, I think, I was amazed that Windows Phone 8 added essentially nothing to Windows Phone 7, and because of that don't expect much from the fabled "blue" update that should have released this summer if they wanted customers to continue believing in the platform.
  • Or how much Apple styled fans we become. Of to church are we? :-)
  • +1
  • Nicely written, intelligent article Daniel but it does seem that (just a bit) WPCentral is becoming the PR department that MS wishes it could have. You seem to have become the person that placates the unwashed masses on behalf of Microsoft and i'm not sure that is your role. Hey if you are happy then all good and you probably don't see it that way anyhow.
    I agree with some of what you say but the facts remain - Microsoft MUST try harder and MUST show progress even if thats not the most efficient way to progress it is what the current client base demands. Until you have happy customers promoting the product to friends and family you have to work harder than required finding new clients.
    I love my Windows phones, on my 4th or 5th but even I accept that it has more holes than swiss cheese.
  • I purposefully left the determination of whether it is the right or wrong approach up to you guys. All we're doing is setting the stage explaining the strategy and for that, I sleep easy knowing I'm not bending over backwards to defend them ;)
  • Hey dan thanks for replying. I know you are the good guys, I watch the podcasts (hint hint) and read every article on here. I just worry that sometimes you seem too easy on MS. I agree with you mostly but they do need a nudge every so often...
  • Time will tell, but I agree that it's crucial to expand the user base for WP8 and devices like the 52x and 62x do exactly that. What's more, since the entry level WP8 devices function so well, users should migrate to more expensive WP8 devices over time. This is where I think Microsoft has it right while Blackberry has it wrong. The volume, and potential, for a viable third choice to Apple and Android lies in low and mid range devices that function well. WP8 has no future if it exists only on more expensive devices.
  • Although im quite worry about WP development, but hey...belfiore has a lot of experience especially from his windows xp era...he made windows xp as successful as we know today. I just trust in him and just give them some time.
  • Excellent, in depth article ! More of this, please.
  • The thing MSFT does not seem to get is that many of the basic features people want are ESPECIALLY important for emerging markets and Nokia strongholds like India. Stuff like Different ringtones, custom alert tones, profiles, dual SIM, USSD support, offline sync and more of this is what would drive sales in these regions even more.
    It would seem that either MSFT is clueless here or OEMs like Nokia, who have a long and broad experience in these areas, should bang on the door even louder. If Nokia would somehow be able (or enabled) to make their Lumia line work with Nokia Suite for offline sync that would be a HUGE deal and an instant sale to many, MANY people.
    Personally I am perfectly happy with wireless sync but a serious boatload of people would like to see this change, again especially in the emerging markets and historical Nokia strongholds. MSFT seems to think people will get over it, I think they are wrong and are missing a humongous marketshare because of this.
  • DualSIM could be addressed in GDR 3, because the Snapdragon S4 doesn't support dualSIM. But the new SOCs like the 400, 600 and 800 will do, as far as I know. Let's hope for little improvements on the specifications (not only 1080p screens and quad core SOC).
    Personally I hope they put their time into a very well managed scheduler for quad core SOCs as well as a better battery management (including that Windows 8 SDK energy management for developers), that WP will profit very well from it...not as bad as the Android counterparts.
  • All in all I think we're doing fine, among my friends and family, it went from "that's a strange phone", to "that's actually really cool, and your enthusiasm is exhilarating. I want one of those!".
  • nokia is right , microsoft is wrong, most of the things on the list individually arent that big, notifications, they are still thinking like a pc software company, and not a phone os, or app driven company. if some of the thing are ready, release it, you dont have to wait till next year to release some thing that was ready last year, remember the notification was in the works with the last major upgrade but didnt make the cut, why hold it hostage? Microsoft had win mobile, then win 7, not to mention the are duh, microsoft why should they be playing catch up to anyone, android hasn't been out that long, but they are ahead, apple started after ms, and they are ahead? Not trying to bitch but microsoft should have a now attitude, period. Microsofts new motto should be Now! Everything they are doing now is just to catch up, so they are a coming soon company, and why should any oem risk such on a coming soon company that year or so later is still saying coming soon?
  • This is horse shit. They seriously need to do both. I've said this before, Microsoft is putting Windows Phone on too low of a priority. They are going to lose customers and OEM's if things don't start to change.
  • After last year's 7.8 fiasco I expected Windows 8.1 this July to wash the sour taste of leaving 1st gen devices for the cemetary. Mini updates like the GDR2 should have been released in April so Nokia is right in this case.
  • While I do understand the reasoning behind MS decision with GDR2, couldn't they at least add one or 2 major features that are missing to appease us.
  • Nice article... But excuses are not going to help...i have been a WP user for last 3 years... I am tired of adjusting the limitation of the is and do waiting for apps, games and features... None of them is happening at the rate other platforms are doing... I'm glad to recommend Nokia to others but I always say it to them tat the apps are less... Which makes my friends not to buy cos s4 and iPhone have them... Few months Is fine...but yearsss is frustrating.. I am planning to give up WP... I'm a big fan... But MS don't respect tat... I have seen many WP users are so fond of the platform but they would soon get tired..
  • When I first looked at the article I thought they was talking about the volume in which how loud the phone will go. Compared to Android, windows phone volume is very low or maybe its my samsung
  • Let me tell you kids a little story. Its 2011. My dad has a Samsung feature phone, my girlfriend has a blackberry and my mum had.. God knows what that thing was. I had an iphone and was evangelising away like a typical iphoner. They were all resistant. Too flash for my dad, he didn't need the apps. Too complicated for my mum, she needed buttons. And too 'cool' for my gf. She didn't want to be a sheep like me. I went on and on and on, and, sure enough they all have iPhones now. Moral of the story? Us fanboys are the sales people. We bring people on board. We convince them to do what were doing. So we can get that little tickle in our perineum when other people acknowledge we were right all along. We are vitally important to get the buzz out and get traction. Microsoft just seem to have decided we aren't important, not as important as going straight to people like my mum and trying to get her to buy a phone. Except, they don't know how to talk to her and I do.
    Ignore the fanboys. Wonder why you're not selling loads of phones. Thickos
  • Um, why don't they do both together? Why isn't GDR3 enabling 1080p screens NOW so that the Lumia 1020 could use it? a 41 megapixel camera means people will want a 1080p screen to view those pictures on. Even if the difference to the human eye is minimal, psychologically people will want the best screen technology to go with the best camera. Why is it taking a YEAR to add such technology to the OS, when it should have been present from the launch of WP8? Its not like they didn't know it was coming? Why did they bother adding kids corner, which nobody uses (dont know many who will trust a child with a £550 phone) but still not improve basic smartphone functionality like updating their music player to include basic functionality like easily creating and editing a playlist. THAT is the sort of thing most people use and its still not here. I love the lumias and bought both the 800 and 920 within a week of launch after owning a htc desire, but im becoming increasingly frustrated with Microsoft. I can honestly say that the biggest decision to buy was the Nokia design and hardwear, not the os, especially that the live tiles are not truly live, and are less live than android widgets!
  • What about Xbox video content on a wp8? Is that one of those "features" we will still have to wait for?
  • "lack of frequent feature-packed OS updates, the delays from carriers approving those updates"
    I don't mind waiting for updates from Microsoft, what pisses me off the most is then having those updates delayed or refused by the carriers. Microsoft needs to do the updates on its own and not bow down to carrier pressure and their stupid useless testing of the updates. Microsoft should test the updates and push them out without any hinderance from anyone else.
    Still waiting for WP7.8 on my Sansung Focus on ATT!!!
    If this carrier update blocking continues with WP8 and WP8.1 I might do the unthinkable and start looking at alternatives, I have stopped recomending WP from the day ATT refused to release WP7.8 on my old Focus. And until Microsoft takes control of the update process there is no point in recomending WP8 either, I guess the big test will come with the release of WP8.1.
  • Buy an Xbox One, get a free Windows Whone. Buy a PC laptop or desktop, get a free Windows Phone. Buy a Surface, get a free Windows Phone. Do that starting in the fall or when GDR2 releases, or when the Xbox One releases, whichever is 1st. Run that promotion for 6 months through march of next year (roughly) That will cover the Xbox One early adopters, it will cover the holiday season, it will cover the release of the new Surface tablets and it will cover the release of GDR2 which will bring larger devices and higher res displays.
    Honestly, it wouldn't hurt them much, take every phone that they currently offer for 100.00 or less on contract (across all carriers) and take every phone that is less than 150.00 to buy outright and offer them free with 1 of those purchases. Maybe not everyone who buys those items wants a WP, that's fine, they will sell them on ebay or wherever to people who do want them. Run that for 6 months, Put another 50 million phones in the hands of consumers and now you've got the momentum and press coverage you really need.
    On a side note, my Father is 1 of those that has been holding out because of 1 app. It has been driving me nuts, I could never imagine choosing a platform because of 1 app but tons of people do, and he was 1 of them. Wouldn't go with WP without the Xfinity app. Thankfully it finally came out, he will be joing us in WP land soon. Just in the nick of time too because it was just making me go insane that he wouldn't come over because of the 1 app. I think I aged a year everytime he said it.
  • If Nokia now need not worry about the OS like you say, why did they bring out Amber? Exactly to fill in the basic missing parts MS are not implementing. So Nokia are back at making smartphone OS's, not just the Asha platform.
  • Windows Phone is Microsoft future....desktop market will decline. Microsoft need to go all out or she will become obsolete like IBM and Kodak. We dont want that to happen. 
  • Microsoft needs to devote more resources to WP8. This whole "priority" is just causing them to lose the momentum that has been gained this year. Focus on and support Nokia. Forget hardware support for everyone and their grandma's vendor. Having too many vendors is not a good thing. It slows your down. If you look at the blogs, everyone loves Nokia but hates Microsoft. Adding more vendors will not take away the "HATE MICROSOFT" aspect of the equation. I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't see this simple truth.
    Microsoft is a multiple billion dollar company that can hire an army of engineers to work all sides of the equation at the same. Failing to due so will only result in Microsoft and its partners getting run over by Android and iOS.
    Whatever Microsoft's reasons, telling consumers to wait more after one year into it's release is a bad strategic move.
  • I think it's comically how everyone here is a corporate strategist.
    Why Microsoft hasn't hired any of you to replace Balmer I'll never know.
  • Another pointless article... Yes we get it that features will come or will be enabled - this is the same storyline that BlackBerry is trying to sell those who bough a bb10 device. By the way those features are already on iPhone or an Android device, so not really getting anything new or exciting for the gdr 2 update that's not on other platforms. If I sound frustrated, well I am. I bought a l920 and planning on buying the 1020 but hell I feel I'm being suckered in on "coming soon" features that takes forever to get release.
  • Well, if you get a 1020 you'll already have GDR2.
    No features that aren't on the other platforms? Does iPhone have an FM radio? No,no it doesn't.
    If you read the article, it also explains that GDR2 isn't really about new features, it's design to enable new hardware (like stuff the 1020 needed) and tweaking existing features. As the article says GDR3 will also have hardware as it's main focus (multicores, higher screen resolution.
    You'll have to wait until "blue" to get new OS features and updates. Or just go buy one of those "other platforms".
  • Who gives a flying eff about FM radio.  Is this Zune 2.0?  Was FM radio a feature everyone is clamoring for?  I think not.  
    How hard is it for MS to give us a few features with GDR2 that every user/fan id asking for over on the UserVoice Forum?  I agree with Daniel there is a balance of placating exisiting users and adding new customers but it's obvious that MS doesn't understand the the speed and urgency of mobile environment.  By the time blue comes out they will still be behind at least a year on features the competition offers.   And Joe will stand on stage and tell you that such and such feature just wasn't able to be included in this update because they didn't have enough time but it will be included in the next year's update.  My patience with MS is waning.
  • Personally I see no reason for custom messaging tones to be a deal breaker.  It doesn't matter if it's a chime, or a Dragonforce guitar solo.  It's annoying, and I don't want to be alerted when your best friend has messaged you.  Notification center?  I can take a look through my home screen, and see what was updated.  I tend to group my apps by type, so I can just generally scroll through, and I am all caught up.  What I would love to see is more control over my volume.  While I like my alarm to blare, I don't like my games to do the same.  
    What I'd like to see the most is a break away from carrier approval.  Just give me the updates.  I've yet to find a reason as to why I shouldn't get GDR (pick a number) or any of the firmware.  I'm looking at you TMO. 
  • So to get a notification from Facebook, you just look at your tile? I'd say 98% never show up on my FB tile.
    Do you use ESPN? There notifications pop up and are gone forever, no number on the tile.
    Do you ever play games that get notifications like Words with Friends? I suppose you pin every game to to the start screen.
    Have you ever got a notification on your live tile from Skype? I haven't.
    Ever seen a notification on your tile from Instance? I've never seen one of those either.
    Ever seen a breaking news notification show on a news app tile? I haven't, unless its the top story at the moment - but that's not exactly the same.
    Windows Phone needs a notification center, as is evident when they addressed it being absent from the beginning.
    Frankly, I'm not that concerned with separate volume controls, it's never been a issue for me.
    Everyone has their own opinions and needs, and Microsoft cannot please everyone immediately.
  • I disagree with the focus on MS isn't doing enough. Face it. It took Nokia 1 yr to give us the 900 which was really a recycled Symbian design. They both are to blame.
  • Microsoft dominates the desktop OS market, and the desktop web-browser market.
    They really should be using that fact to leverage these other companies to develop apps for WP.
    I mean, basically say this, but tweak the language from the lawyers so it is not technically black mail "want your website to run properly on the 2 billion windows desktops? well, we want an app on our phone OS".
  • Guys, I think Microsoft is doing fine. They are building the foundation of WP so that they delivery an optimum performance. It takes time to build WP core because it also has to work flawlessly with Windows OS.
    Think of it as building a house. You want to get the foundation right so that the house can withstand a tornado, a hurricane, or an earthquake.
    It doesn’t matter if your house is nicely decorated if it can’t withstand a storm. They are building a future proof OS. Once they are done with the foundation, it is easier to decorate the house however they want to. It’s very easy to decorate a house, but it’s hard to build one right. In this case, it will be very easy for Microsoft to add all the features they want once they are done working on the WP foundation.
    Performance is Solid
    Security is Solid
    Networking is in the work
    Features are in the work
    WP phone wouldn’t be anything without building a strong foundation on performance and security. The experience is the same of all devices. The same cannot be said for Android.
  • Agreed! But as for future-proofing, they still have a way to go. But everyone does on some level.
  • If the GDR3/Blue update is as big as Mango was, I'll gladly deal with GDR2 and hold out till GDR3's release. At the least, this article and Joe Belfiore's answers DO clarify a lot! So I can understand, but we also know that Microsoft does have a task in front of them and they can't please everyone either!
  • GDR3 & "Blue" are separate updates. Not sure if you already know that, it just seems like you lumped them together in your comment.
  • I wonder if anyone actually read the article?
    Maybe they couldn't read it with all the tears in their eyes, because as usual there is a lot of uninformed crying in here.
  • What many failed to understand in their commentaries and attitudes is that Microsoft came into the mobile platforms marketplace late in the day when both Apple and Google had pretty much carved out the territory for themselves in nearly equal halves. All things considered, I would agree with the writer that Microsoft has done pretty good in the mobile market place within the short timeframe. The important thing is that by the numbers, it's growing albeit incrementally but growth nonethless, not by any means shrinking as wome would have us believe. To snatch the third position from Blackberry that came out well before Microsoft is no mean feat in my humble opinion, considering the fact that Blackberry was once the frontrunner in smart phone devices marathon before Apple suddenly showed up from behind and upstaged it with the i-Phone and the IPAD. Apple's success in the mobile platform has a lot to do with lack of effective challenge from other vendors at a time Microsoft was not even in the picture as yet, who were slow in responding, having initially all but written off mobile computing before Apple found the sweet spot. And contrary to the death wish from certain hostile quarters on Windows, there is no question in my mind that Microsoft is in it to win it and the data is already trending that way with more and more vendors coming on board and carriers dumping IOS for Windows. In the end, I see only Android and Windows getting to the finish line with IOS falling by the way side, or at best limping to the finish line. And the reason for this is simple: IOS is a closed shop that admits none other than just developers unlike Android and Windows with multiple device vendors churning out quality, first rate mobile devices comparable to Apple's and sometimes even better. It's hard for a single player like Apple to take on multiple players that power the Android and Windows platforms, respectively. As the numbers are beginning to show, Apple's reign in the mobile platorms is beginning to wane. Having been overtaken by Android in smartphones, Windows will not be far behind in all of the categories of the mobile devices. It's only a matter of time. And the combination of both Microsoft and Nokia is, quite frankly, hard to beat in the long run.  We're at the beginnings of the making of a giant mobile platform with a product range and reach that only Android could take on and that's if, and a big if, Samsung stays with Android. If it quits Android as it's being speculated, to lauch its own mobile OS, that will be it for Android, because Samsung is the heart of Android OS at the moment.  I'm hanging in there with Windows with it's unbeatable unified ecosystem and enterprise hugging features. That's the platorm to beat in the near future, and I'm there for the long haul like the smart stock investor, not a fly by client who goes with the wind (no offense intended). And why not,  what have I got nothing to lose? An app or two? Yeah, I can handle that! Not a bad trade off with other gains the platform  offers, and that's not even forever for crying out loud! I don't understand all the cries.
  • I think you are underestimating the "coolness" factor of Apple. They are a hype machine and their name is golden. All they have to do is come out with a new phone and tell everyone how great it is (whether it is or not) and isheople will eat it up.
  • If Samsung leave Android for their own 0S then they will be where WP is today, playing catch up on App numbers. Developing OS features takes more time then people think. Apple took over 4 years to include a To-Do list.
  • Daniel
    You said (in a probably speculative tone from your part):
    But why not do both, you say? We’re not privy to how Microsoft operates, their budget nor how their strategy meetings progress, but it seems to us from observers on the outside that like most organizations, they have limits on resources preventing them from doing everything at once.
    I couldn't help but chuckle after I read this....I mean..for a company that might have "limited" manpower resources...don't you find it pretty strange it can afford to send $900 million down the drain? =D
  • Microsoft is very *clumsy* with the WP8 OS. First of all, they have null support for Indian users (Xbox Music Pass unavailable, buying apps really troublesome, Xbox Music Store unavailable, etc.). And not just in India, I believe this is the case in many other countries outside the US. People are dying for features and Microsoft is busy writing codes to implement better camera features like on the 1020. As a result progress is hampered on the OS part for months. When 1020 is launched, they prepare for other phones...progress hampered again. Updates are delayed and people get annoyed. Some leave the OS while others prepare to. By the time MS actually does something fruitful it loses a major part of the customers. So basically the cycle will go on forever - on one hand they attract 100 customers, on the other hand 99 customers leave. Result? Almost nil progress.
  • Why have they not hired you as CEO? You seem to have it all figured out.
  • Instead of throwing ur sarcasm around, y dont u suggest otherwise if u think ms stratewgy is correct.
  • Excellent article thanks.  As a Windows 8, Widnows 8 RT and Windows Phone user, the closer linking of the platiforms to ensure that everything that is important to me is always available is essential.  No other mobile platform comes close and Micorsoft needs to stay committed to its path to ensure that it and its customers reap the benefits moving forward.
  • WP8 took its sweet time to be released, it arrived late and killed the Lumia 920 first with the delay and with bugs for the almost 3 months until protico solved it a little bit, actually my phone only stopped having freezes issues until an update i installed one month ago. 
    I think the strategy is idiotic because to get devices in people's hands in volume, you need features. basic ones... like I don't know a seperate volume rocker for apps? at least for music? anyone?  Microsoft are just drugging people hoping they would just wait for updates a little bit longer, this will not happen, in the coming month you'll see Twitter exploding with updates demands even after GDR2 gets released.
  • TL;DR its just excuses, AGAIN.
  • Ugh, GDR2 should have been here already for all platforms. If GDR3 comes out so shortly after, followed by 8.1, why the long wait between the 920's launch and now?
  • sorry, but there is no excuse. ms needs to wake up NOW! - they have to deliver faster!
    - decouple core os from apps (like in windows 8)
    - bypass carriers at least for simple feature updates like rotation lock (why has to carrier testing for that?! do you need oem testing for windows (security) updates or windows modern app updates?!)
    - most requested features need very, very little developing time (e.g. disable haptic feedback, even week view in calendar).
    - so, if they're facing a lack of developer they have to hire new ones or bull from other ms departments. mobile success is key!!!! they are millions of (externals) developers out there.
    - wp is lacking features since its introduction and even with wp8 almost no new features where introduced. people dont care about the underlying architecture (switch to windows core), they care about apps and functionality.
    - how cares about datasense and kids corner?!? focus on things that matter (in reviews and for new and existing customers)
    - this volume vs feature pr won't work. they have to deliver both quickly! i love ms and wp. but the people that have been in charge there (at least for wp) shouldn't be in charge any longer. look how fast other companies are moving. just once again: MICROSOFT, WAKE UP NOW!!!    
  • I hate articles that reason with M$. All the M$ want's is the big $ and nothing else, they don't listen to customers.
    I have a Linux desktop at work and have a Nokia Windows phone, a very weired combination, I have a Windows Phone only because it is one of the few Native mobile operating systems out there and is supported by Nokia. The only solution for me is Jolla Sailfish, but without the backing of a company like Nokia I am stuck with Windows phone. If they are slow like this, then Nokia will have no options but to buy back Jolla again and continue the Meego ecosystem, I would be glad to move to Jolla.
  • @danial: you seem to have a good relationship with microsoft. so, do us a favor. when you talk to someone important at microsoft again eg. mr joe belfiore please ask him or her what he thinks how long it takes an average skilled developer to implement those functionalities (top priorities taken from ms user voice):
    - battery percentage in status bar (personally hope this will come as an option!)
    - week view in calendar
    - close apps in app switcher
    - shortcut to disable connections like wifi
    - blinking led support
    - vibrate and (then) ring
    - disable auto-rotate i would say for each of them: between 1 day and 2 weeks. including extensive testing not more than 3 months for sure! NO MORE EXCUSES MICROSOFT!!!!
  • I am not sure this point has been made yet, but I think the true crux of the issue is a lack of openness from Microsoft in regard to future features (something that actually is apparent in Apple, Android and most respective manufacturers as well).
    If MS simply announced what features were in development, the public would be a lot calmer about future updates, and more inclined to give the OS some time to develop.
    People are aware of the approximate GDR update cycle (something MS should be equally open about), and this creates anticipation. People's expectations are then raised, and then left disappointed when key features are not present.
    This leads to customer attrition, and as a guess, I expect MS will lose the most  number of customers after GDR3, when customers who have been with the OS longest - over a year - will be up for contract renewals and consider moving to other OS's (either to allow WP time to mature before trying again at their next contract, or indeed leaving the OS permanently after too many disappointments).
    The public doesn't need to know their manpower, operational strategy, or whatever else. Neither should MS or Nokia release information about planned USP's or secret innovative features. But simply, a statement to say commoditised expected features are definitely coming:
    - "We will release independent volume controls in 2014"
    - "WP8 will get multiple email attachments in an upcoming update";
    - or even just  "We are hoping to release a file manager in the future
    I really like the WP8 operating system, and completely agree with Daniel's article. However, neither will stop WP8 customers' frustrations - too many features missing on WP8 are now the expectation and not the exception.
    Honesty in this case, really would be the best policy.
  • Yeah, I kinda agree. A bit more transparency, without giving away their entire hand would be a good thing.
  • TBH i don't care what the update contains anymore, i just was to know _when_ it will get to my phone..
  • Well reasoned article that reminded me of why I came over to WP after my first smartphone the Palm Pre. With the Pre all I knew was grids of icons, amazing multi-tasking and homebrew patches and themes. WP was different, and MS even ran ads at the time that said WP freed you from your phone and the constant tweaking of themes and icons. The driving force behind WP for me was always the live tiles and how simple the OS was to use. No tinkering daily, no constant restarts after installing patches, no sluggish OS behavior. All of these are what first time smartphone buyers will look at, and this is the market WP is aiming to capture for the most part. The advanced features are really for existent WP users like me today. Though it's annoying to wait for features, I certainly understand. At least the hardware is great.
  • 8 Reasons why Nokia is UNHAPPY with WP8:
    Like WPCentral said, well certainly its half told truth. The actual facts are:
    1. Nokia's VP: "If someone doesn't work then we cant be dependent upon them & need to move on our own." referred to MSFT 2. TheVerge on Lumia 1020 Review "A great device hampered by the OS" 3. Its Nokia who mostly gets the worthy apps & games that are Lumia exclusive which not MSFT, HTC, Samsung does 4. Nokia has released more devices than WP features. Since last November, Nokia made 12 devices since announcement of WP8 OS 5. Bryan(Nokia's VP): "It all comes down to the APPS at the end, Regardless of great phones being made we cant ask ppl to switch because the app that they use daily is not available on WP OS why consumers would compromise with their comfort, which is an opportunity missed & phone not sold". Whereas Daniel said Nokia is happy with Nokia-MSFT relation where Nokia can make great Hardware & MSFT worries about OS 6. In fact, Its true that most words used by the WPCentral about MSFT working for 1080p screen & having Quad core processors, sounds valid. But what is this deeper level access to OS, same accent color throughout, I never heard APPLE, ANDROID or even BB mentioning these things as features 7. As Daniel Rubino said: "Nokia is happy because they can focus to built great hardware & MSFT worries about OS "
    Ok first Steven Elop himself cant say it directly, so it was an indirect way of lashing out on WP OS features list + all over progress, by making Nokia's VP Bryan say that: "Microsoft needs to realise the essence of time" which clearly are the words of shame for Windows & WP OS 8. Truth is as per the INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES Nokia is DEEPLY worried being tied down to WP OS. As the fact is WP OS is not the 1st, 2nd or even 3rd priorities of MSFT. As MSFT have bigger fishes to fry like: Windows 8, Office, XBox, etc. And now Nokia is worried as they are the only ones who are totally dependent upon MSFT for future.
  • i wonder why people love this instagram so much, in my country its not a deal breaker, are there no alternatives for WP8 on the store to this app. which does the same job or better?? for Youtube, there are several.
    FM radio and FM TRANSMITTER was a deal breaker for me, Deal breaker features and apps differs country by country, 
    Another problem is that of carriers, i think they are forcing hardware manufacturers not to put more or enough storage on devices so that users can use cloud/skydrive    - data connection - more cash for them.
    Microsoft must tell us which update are they going to address common features found on other platforms which users think every cell phone must have, that are lacking on WP8 e.g. separate volume control, ringtones on SMS etc.
    I am happy with howb Nokia treats its customers, they repond, but MS it another story, 
    For us who do not depend on carriers for updates, why don't we get them now (unlocked phones bought thru shops like Clove Techn etc)
  • so in essence we are not getting any new features before 2014, clearly that would be a frustration for existing user base, many of us who bought these phone were giving a chance to this new os, knowing that still features are missing but expecting that they will be taken care of but seems MS has other plans. they've chosen a path (that costs less budget more time) ans this will mean they'll still be playing catchup for a couple of more years.
  • Ignoring whether it was right or wrong... the easiest observation is that they are resource limited. 
    I strongly question why MS is wasting development time producing two metro interfaces (Windows 8 and Windows Phone) when they could be focusing all of their energy on 1.
    They need to double the amount of PM's and Dev's on that team. There is no reason there should be resoure overlap between interface updates, feature updates, and system updates.
    Hopefully that is what comes out of the recent reorg at MS.
  • Look at all thos Nokia phones lol looks like some one gives a shit about us Windows Phone fans :) can't say much for Samsung they still don't have ther shit in any store Iv seen and HTC nice try buy 2little phones ain't gonna cut it
  • I belive that they have to focus on both things ecually since the people holding the phones can really recommend it(Windows Phone) as an update becasue there is always like "It's a good phone but it is missing ...... and some apps".
    The most affective marketing they get is from customers that tell other people to buy it but it's hard to justify buying a WP instead of something from the Android or Apple side because it does not matchup in fetures. If Microsoft updated more regularly (every 2nd month or so)and focused let's say every other update on features and the other on "pipeline work" WP would be a much more attractive platform for customers.
  • I love new updates and features however I want them running fluid and smooth, Microsoft can take their time but in reality OS updates really aren't what the problem with windows phone is. Nokia has done a great job with windows phone, and the additions they have made to it are awesome, sure having 1080 p screens and quad core processors for phones like the 1020 and its huge 41 megapixel awesomeness would be nice, but its not really necessary for windows phone, my Lumia 920 runs just as fast as my HTC ONE and looks just as good picture quality wise
  • The real problem is dev support, they need to have every major app developer working on producing WP apps anything less from the square logo giant is a failure in my eyes
  • Wow.. Article based on Joe Belfiore's reply to my question!! Thanks @wpcentral :')
  • All due respect Dan, but do you know what the flaw in your argument about patience, and availability of resources at Microsoft to devote to feature updates to Windows Phone, versus GDRs for hardware options?
    The flaw is, that we're discussing *Microsoft*, one of the largest publicly held software firms in the world.  Didn't they post revenue at around $50 Billion just recently?  We're not talking about some indie start-up here, working out of somebody's garage.
    They should have unlimited resources for their mobile OS, which should be one of their top priorities.
    If there are limited resources to devote to Windows Phone, then Microsoft has consciously restricted the number of those resources for this area of their business.  It's a business decision to not devote a large amount of resources to this.
  • After having the 920 for a month, I switched backed to Android.  I can be inpatient, especially with a new OS and didn't wanna find 3rd party apps, etc. However, after having my note 2 and HTC One, I started to miss the look, feel, and build quality of my 920 and kept taking my sisters and playing with it!   Android has become blah imo....Mainly because, android has reached its peak!  I also got annoyed with crap apps and having to make sure there was no bloatware attached, etc.  I don't use many apps, but even after installing a few different programs it was old.  I loved the idea of 1020.  It has a great camera, I know I am not a prof. photographer, but its fun!!!  I love it!  The live tile issue has so far been non existent, on my 920 I would get annoyed with the lack of notifcations.  However, this phone is doing the job.  There are only a few things I would truly change; maybe a box that you could make into a folder with apps you want there...say a tile that flipped and was labled "Camera apps"  That would be great, hell maybe it can be done, I just don't know.  Tweak the back button, and add some apps, I can think of maybe 5 apps I want thats it, but it doesn't make or break the OS.  I think, well hope after 8.1 you will see more of a ecosystem, like Apple to start to polish up!  If anything, the 1020 is going to turn heads and change the market at least to how far OS's can push the camera and the apps!  But for now, iOS and android really don't have much they can add imo.  Apple just needs bigger phones imo, and a keyboard like WP....WP is the best keyboard hands down!  Ok sorry for my rant, back to work :)
  • Have you ever used SwiftKey, specifically swipe, or Swipe for that matter. I used to love the WP keyboard until I met that keyboard.
  • Yeah, GDR3 will come in October. Yeah, that'll happen.
  • Eh, I will possibly come back if any of these promises are kept. It is not even big changes that they need to make to the OS, it is small ones that all other OS's have. Notification center (I know..), seperate music profiles, orientation lock....etc. These are so small. I went to Android after my Trophy bellied up and I don't really miss anything. A little lag here and there is annoying, but my Trophy was far from perfect. But basically what MS is telling me is that they will not even have a phone I am even close to interested in until 2014.... I guess the waiting game starts now
  • Great, support new devices. MS needs to polish their OS. I feel like I have been beta testing WP8 fir nearly a year. I got the 920 the day they were available. MS made a big show about timely updates and has failed hugely in the regard. When my next phone upgrade is in, im leaving MS. Which is sad, as I really like Nokia. Of course MS,could pull out of this nose dive, but I doubt it. Im sure im not the only WP8 fan/advocate they are going to lose. It is frustrating how little they seem to get it.
  • Patience is a virtue, Rome wasn't built in a day, would you like some cheese with your whine? How old are Android and IOS compared to WP and how long did it take them to get to where they are at today?
    Seriously people, if you bought a device on release date and then complain there are no bug fixes within a random time frame that you have decided, you get pissed. Just like any piece of tech that comes out there is always bugs, glitches, loopholes etc. Every piece of tech produced in the world isn't "perfect" out of the box...most aren't "perfect" after a year or two. I put perfect in quotes because, as it is well known in the posts on wpcentral, perfect is a relative term and different for every single person. I.e. Feature missing here and here, xyz official app(s) missing, 1080p, 5"+ screen size, quad core or octo core processors, etc etc etc.
    If it's not one thing, it's another...people will always find something to complain about.
    The whole impatience for updates can be chalked up to our "fast food and microwave society"...if we can't get xyz when we want it we go somewhere else to get it.
    Good things come to those who wait....
    *stepping down off my soapbox now*
    Great article as ALWAYS Daniel!!! Thank you!
  • Another article about "why we can't". All users here know what Microsoft should do. They don't need to find out new functionality, just make things work as they used to. We don't need any extras. Just the functionality of windows mobile and a basic phone for 20$. These guys at MS have no other choice. I remember in the begining of iOS it was soooo basic and lacking any features of smartphone. Than came Android lacking of some usability, unstable, laggy, but had some features iOS was missing. I have to mention, that nor Google nor Apple had no expirience in building mobile phone system. Windows Phone is not starting from 0. It had WinCe, windows mobile 6.5, windowsphone7. Plus really developed iOS and Android to look at. Why they created so great unique design, but so limited user unfriendly settings and options. Like WP dev team never used a phone or never seen one ever. Thousands of people shouting for real bascs, and after a year we get an FM radio! As for me it is huuuge WTF. 
    I'm afraid in WP8.1 we will get a customized wallpaper and WP9 will provide us with a built-in flashlight. Thats it!
  • Microsoft is doing the right thing.  The single biggest reason more people don't buy windows phones is because 99% of the phones available to customers are not windows phones.  
    Windows phones are just not visible enough.  If this strategy is going to result in me seeing 7 windows phones on display at my local Telus store, as opposed to just 2 then it will have been the right strategy. 
  • It's easy to say they should be putting more people on this so they can placate the manufacturers as well as existing customers but the more people you have contributing to a code base the higher the likelihood that you are introducing bugs.  I'd rather they produce good quality than try to do too much too fast.