Thurrot defends himself against Microsoft, stance on Windows Phone 7

Paul Thurrott has been both a big vocal supporter and critic of Windows Phone 7, revealing key information but also giving the company "tough love", holding them to a higher standard. In turn, even some players at Microsoft are evidently getting weary of his "rants" against them, with some of them publicly "throwing him under the bus".

Here, in an excerpt for his weekly podcast, Thurrott defends himself and to be honest, we can't blame him too much--we just know that Microsoft is a lumbering juggernaut when they need to be sprite, so most of what has transpired lately is of little surprise to us. Still, we get what he's trying to say and it is meant with good intentions--he wants and more importantly thinks the platform can be a huge success.

What do you guys think? Sound off in comments.

Source: TwitTv Full Version/lokitious (YouTube); via wmpoweruser

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

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.

31 Comments
  • Thurott is a blogger. He needs to generate clicks. Keeping that in mind, I've always tolerated his periodic rants and his predictable writing. (Has he ever written a post without referring to Microsoft as "the software giant or behemoth?) Yet now his obsession about this "blocking" matter is rapidly sending him down to Adrian Kingsley-Hughes levels of mediocrity.I would point out that Microsoft has already made two updates to WP7. They've released a CDMA version of the phone as promised and have released the NoDo update to some newly released handsets. So it is not correct to say they haven't made updates to the OS. What they haven't yet done is successfully push that update out to existing customers. And we all think we know the reason why: the problem with the Samsung phones. As a Samsung owner, I am willing to give them the time to find the answer to this.
  • i dont know, sometimes you cant be afraid to tell the emperor he has no clothes on. I havent received my Arrive yet but I cant wait to have an informed opinion on this.
  • I believe he is mostly correct.I believe fans of WP7 and even fans of other phones see WP7 has great potential. There is a failure to launch mentality that is happening with WP7. They have a great idea with poor deployment strategy.As a company, I don't know if they are chasing too much in too many directions.They are FINALY getting some good ads on TV but has taken a long time. They should have had updates by now, but it is taking a long time. Hell, given how smooth Windows 7 has been, they should have had a tablet OS with a metro-like UI already in the pipelineNot sure where the problem resides, but everything is taking way too long. It is as if there is no Focus.In general, it is taking way too long for everything and while was launched was acceptable, many feature are short of the mark.
  • WP7 was my first smartphone and being 22 thats quite late on to get one. I thought I would give WP7 a go because my expectations of a smartphone were not set and I like exploring new technology.I am a big (and humble) advocate of Microsoft and I have to agree with what Paul says. For a platform that is so far behind, I was under the impression that the updates would be coming quickly. 2 updates in a year to provide functionality that my previous brick of a phone had (i.e. Custom ringtones) is frankly pathetic. Microsoft, you NEED to invest to get these updates out faster. Otherwise I know that when my 18 month contract is up, i'll be switching to iDroid. Others will too.I love the phone and the foundations so far but I wouldn't sleep outside waiting for my house to be built.
  • The underlying message I read on the net and hear from other WP7 users is that people want more. Whether it's because "core features" are missing or they're just excited for what's coming next, people really want to see WP7 grow. MS needs to be careful about timelines and only give dates (even quarters) that they can hit. Nothing leaves a bad taste like missed dates. I really hope we see more than 2 updates (nodo & mango) this year. But at the same time, I've had my Focus now for a few months and I'm really happy with it. The things that are missing just aren't deal breakers for me. A year down the road though - if the platform is still pretty much the same, it's harder to stay enthusiastic about the OS. I just love the OS and want to see more.
  • I've been listening to WW for at least 2 years, prob 3, so I'm used to Paul's rants. It could be said that he's making this about himself or over-dramatizing for traffic but I agree with most of what he said. I can't fault him too much for taking it personally because on the Windows Phone podcast, a Microsoft employee referred to Paul's reporting of blocking updates as "mythology" and "inaccurate". Ouch. In the process of debunking the mythology, they only got into semantics and pr speak and didn't prove Paul wrong. I do think it's slightly disengenuous of Paul to claim that he doesn't see why MS can't do updates the same way as Apple. Carrier negotiations aside, Apple builds their own hardware. Also, even though their update process is ostensibly ideal, users of past-gen iPhones have had their devices negatively affected by updates, iirc. Of course, none of these things is an excuse for Microsoft's inability to deliver an update. And as Paul said, it's not so much about the feature and bug fizes that NoDo brings - it's about the tone that's being set, the miscommunication and the many others features that need to be added. It's about MS squandering the goodwill of their early adopters (and even some tech journalists who were impressed with the OS and its approach to mobile computing at launch) and seeming to show that they still "just don't (or can't) get it".
  • To the first poster (someone in WA), there is no ad on his Windows Phone Secret blog. He put up the blog as a way to keep the Windows Phone 7 user up to date, little did he realize there would not be much to update since Microsoft has yet to update the phone since the release it last year back in October so before you go accusing him of click generating check your fact. Also he is a pundit that is his job, it's nice to hear MS supporter that is not constantly apologize for all the company failing (like you are doing).I am not sure how anyone can even excuse Microsoft of how they handling the platform. They are so far behind and they act as if what they are doing is good enough to compete. They want us early adoptors to evangelized the phone but yet give us no reason to do so since the phone launch.
  • Whoa! I did not apologize for Microsoft in my post, so please don't attribute that behavior to me. I am 100 percent in agreement with those WP users who have asked, begged, cajoled, for more transparency about updates. My points, which I thought were clearly made were:1. Thurott's rants drive clicks. Yes, his Secrets blog is ad free, but his rants manage to get posted to his main website. The fact that he feels the need to defend himself speaks volumes too. 2. Microsoft has twice updated the WP7 OS since launch. What they have failed to do is push updates to existing users and we think we know at least part of the reason why. This is where the increased transparency would really be helpful to users, and to Microsoft as well. I still hope they'll figure that out.
  • Not to be a Paul Thurrott cheerleader, but...1. I believe this is what people with big vocabularies call an "ad hominen" attack. You don't say that he's wrong you just cast aspersions upon his motivations. "He's a blogger," so what? Consumer Reports wants to sell magazines, that doesn't instantly invalidate their reviews. It should also be pointed out that you also felt the need to defend yourself, I think all it says is that you thought someone spoke wrong about you.2. Your argument is, at best, disingenuous as Paul doesn't argue that updates for WP7 don't EXIST, his whole argument is that NoDo has existed since around Christmas but still hasn't reached an existing phone. In fact, that's pretty much EXACTLY what you're saying. Your argument isn't so much disingenous as it is an agreement.
  • I was very excited about the Windows Phone when it came out, but Microsoft's inability to deliver the updates that are needed has just about completely turned me off of the platform. Can't wait to see what the iPhone 5 is about and then see that Microsoft still hasn't delivered the update that would be competition against the previous Apple generation. It's the Zune all over again. Sigh...
  • I also tend to agree with Paul Thurrott, although I will say that the constant going back and forth between him and MS is getting a little old. From a loyal WM user for many years and a early consumer user of WP7, I want this OS to succeed! I was sitting around with my old Fuze until the new update shipped and overall I am not dissapointed. However, there are more and more little things that I wish I could do with the platform that should be fixed.The disservice MS is doing to its customers is the lack of true transparency. Arguing semantics about the word "blocking" is doing nothing to help its customers. If someone is slowing the update process down then it should be MS role to smooth out the wrinkles quickly. Not push it back another month for some customers.
  • Microsoft has a great product out and I believe they know they are beginning to take a hit with the nodo update and they are very aware of how bad that looks for them. So when Paul comes out criticizing them for this failure they feel compelled to respond.The problem I have is that instead of restating the obvious, which is to say that things have not gone to plan, and then state why it happened and whats being done about it, they go on the attack against a long standing ally and supporter who is criticizing what cannot be refuted. The other issue I have is Microsofts strategy of providing one small update and then going as long as 9 months with nothing. Not only will this strategy not catch you up, but it will create a situation where you continue to fall further behind, and that is a fail.Android and Apple have established what people now expect from updates: frequent smaller updates that keep the platform moving forward. Microsoft must do more than match that, they must have frequent updates with more content because they are way behind.Granted they are trying to add features to an OS that must also be compatible with external services like Xbox Live games, Office, Zune and Windows Live so it's not as easy. But that just means your planning must be well thought out, coordination must be tight and execution must involve a larger army of workers spread over more departments to successfully pull off.Microsoft, you will not endear your legions of supports by criticizing those that call out your problems. Fix the problems, quicken the pace and amount of features in the updates and you will earn the respect and praise you seek.
  • "What do you guys think? Sound off in comments."What do I think? I think I'm getting tired of reading the same criticisms every time I visit Wpcentral. As the saying goes, "same sh*t, different day." Every mouthpiece that criticizes MS doesn't require an article. Perhaps if the articles were varied and addressed different, legitimate concerns then it would be a different story. However, nearly all of them are the same. Let me sum it up: 1) MS needs to do a better job pushing out updates.. 2) The ecosystem needs to "mature" faster. If I wanted to hear the same complaints over and over I would just read the forums. I go to the main page for interesting content. Instead I spend more time hearing about what the phone can't do instead of what it can. If I went off just what the internet said I'd assume WP7 phones were just small bricks that were only good at occasionally playing music.
  • I agree 100%.
  • yes, bricks that PLAY MUSIC AND RUN GAMES FOR 15-years old TEENAGERS...THOSE WERE WP7-DEVELOPERS INTENTS....word....
  • Most of the writers at WPCentral, including myself, are well over 15 years old and enjoy WP7 games. Xbox Live integration *is* one of the platform's unique selling points. You may not like games, but you shouldn't talk down about them.
  • I guess I blow the 15yr old demographic out of the water.
  • In the end I don't think Microsoft will be able to move WP7 forward at anything but glacial speed. They should spin it off to a separate organization.
  • While I generally agree with Paul, its his overall tone that has alienated me from really listening to much of what he has to say. I understand he blogs for a living, but after awhile the rantstream gets old.Meanwhile, I wish Microsoft would push the updates to all but Samsung. I understand they need to cultivate good relations with the manufacturers. But right now they are aiming to provide a fix for one manufacturer at the expense of the entire platform ecosystem. It's time to cut some losses.
  • The problem with this is that the Focus is the best selling WP7 headset. I'm not sure which would look worse, holding off on the update, or pushing out the update to everything but their most popular device.I'm annoyed either way.
  • Transparency, transparency, transparency!!! Microsoft consistently lets the blogosphere control the story. This might work if you are trying to keep a lid on the next paradigm shift in computing, but when you're simply playing catch-up you need to let your loyal followers know when to expect the features the competion already has.Don't get me wrong, my experience with the phone has been great so far. The most disappointing aspect has been hearing about updates that never, ever came to my phone (HTC HD7) with no timeline as to when I could expect it. I know when my birthday is. I don't get pissed when it doesn't come earlier, but I'm also not wondering if it will ever come. Right now, I'm wondering if I lost the handset lottery.
  • I can't stand this guy. He is the most ill-informed phony I have ever seen in the industry. Can someone please post the clip of the microsoft podcast where they make fun of Thurott for 20 minutes? Now that I want to hear. I'm sorry but this idiot loses all credibility when he refers to the combined NoDo & Mango updates as being incredibly bad for a first year effort. Neither Google nor Apple ever improved their OS in a single year as drastically as WP7 is in it's first year. He claims he's holding MS to a higher standard, oh what a hero as if there is a shortage of tech bloggers who hold MS to an unreasonably high standard. The same people who were fine with Apple taking 3 full years to add copy and paste to iOS will lambaste Microsoft for only delivering copy/paste, multitasking, HTML5, hardware acceleration, CDMA support in the first year! How many years did it take iOS to get CDMA support? 4 years! How can someone champion Apple for having timely updates? Think about how many Y-E-A-R-S it took to get multitasking, copy/paste, CMDA support for the iPhone. And all they had was one hardware SKU to support.This is garbage. I'm sick of it. This guy has been playing this game for so long, I'm glad that Microsoft has finally wised up. Stop dealing with this guy, stop giving him access and feeding the beast. Plus listening to Paul is about as boring as watching paint dry. That Windows Weekly show is unwatchable despite Laporte's best efforts.
  • Well, this may come as no surprise to you....but neither Apple nor Google launched 3 years later missing practical and modern features that were already widely available .It doesn't matter if Microsoft has improved it "more" because their still not at parity. Whatever though...steady growth is fine...but it doesn't change reality....
  • Averry...Are you denying the fact copy and paste is new to iPhone? I had it on my Window Mobile phone for years. So iPhone was released missing practical and modern features.
  • I haven't watched/listened to his show yet, but I would like to comment with regards to other comments made here. You all have valid points. I believe MSFT is trying their best to walk the tight rope of having their platform be consistent across all of the devices (in regard to updates), and trying to push out updates as quick as possible. The point though is that MSFT has to move more quickly. If you want to compare their business market and consumer market, they move very fast in the business sector. I think they just don't put enough man power in their consumer/mobile division. Sure, Xbox is turning a profit and their Kinect is a success. I think they put some much emphasis on WP7 that they are letting down the people that have been buying their products. I think one day they will merge all their technologies but because of the fact they are moving at the pace like its 1990's decade, I think they will miss the boat once again. Don't get me wrong, I am a loyal Windows Mobile user and I love using my HTC Fuze. For me I think they got it right because of the PC-like mentality that Windows Mobile had and I think the integration with my PC is top notch. WP7 is still new, I think they are still trying to figure out where to go with it, how it fits in the ecosystem. They have Windows Embedded CE 7, Windows 7 Windows Phone 7, windows Mobile, and so on. They have small set of services integrated to one another but they need to tie their ecosystem a lot tighter while moving at a pace that is in this decade.Edit: I did get a chance to listen to the snippet from his show. He mention how Apple managed to do it right. Apple does only have one device, and two carriers they managed to bypass their control over the update process. MSFT needed to appease the carriers in this respect. If carriers were not "partners" and they were not allowed to block any updates then Windows Phone 7 would be scarce. I think the Achilles heal in MSFT's plan was to allow too much wireless carriers control. They really dont care about the customer at all, as me being on AT&T they treated me like garbage, and i reported one phone rep to AT&T for the rep's treatment to me. The rep talked down to me like I was an idiot meanwhile I am reading their own information off their website and they called me misinformed??! Bottom Line, They don't care about Windows Phone 7 they only care about Android and that is it.
  • Paul is nothing but a TWIT ho, making money off the Microsoft Pros
  • I think he's right on for the most part. Im also frustrated with the lack of updates. In the back of my mind I thought this might happen with MS. Which is why in December I bought the phone w/o extending my AT&T contract and I also kept my iPhone 4. i dont want to reboot my phone when Marketplace is unresponsive anymore. copy/paste? I dont really care. It shouldve come with that right out of the gate. Improved marketplace, multitasking is when I want and it shouldnt be taking this long.
  • i agree with him, M$ is usually good with listen with the customers after a **** up lets see if M$ will step up, ive been saying this the whole time andriod and ios and moving fastttt and they need to keep up, webos might take wp7 spot at number three over the failing blackberry platform, i hope wp7 succeeds and if they want to they need to listen to us and hurry.
  • Blackberry is FAR from failing. Although their marketshare is falling, their overall sales YtY are still rising, and still years ahead of where WP7 and WebOS are.
  • I have read a lot of his comments over the years regarding MS and mostly he is on point, so I have no problems with this vid. As any other source out there, they need to entertain and keep people watching/listening/reading, so he is doing what any other media personality would do, no big deal.As for WP7 rolling out without copy and paste as a normal core feature is bizarre. How do you do that in a modern communications device? I do not understand how he says copy and paste is no big deal, I copy and paste nearly every day using my BlackBerry, it is just handy and supremely useful for me in my business communications.Anyhow, I want MS to do very well with WP7, it looks compelling, but until they have copy and paste, it is like a computer with no internet link: curious but useless.Please MS, get the No-Do out and get fast and nimble with WP7.
  • Not everyone uses their devices the same way. Copy/Paste isn't a big deal to me either -- WP7's data portability subsystems are already very good. Regardless, his point was that the content of the updates are irrelevant when they can't even get the updates out to users' phones in over a three month period. It's been quite frustrating, being a WP7 user and having nothing to look forward to as the update you didn't care about to begin with gets pushed further and further away....