TWiT TVs Leo Laporte to take the Windows Phone Challenge

Today on Windows Weekly (ep 227), Brandon Watson joined Paul Thurrott, ZDnet's Mary Jo Foley and co-host Leo Laporte for an interesting and frank discussion on Windows Phone and the Mango update.

Laporte, who is an admitted Android devotee, was offered by Brandon to step up and take the Windows Phone challenge--essentially using nothing but a Windows Phone running 7.5 Mango for two-weeks to see if it changes his opinion. Laporte agreed to the challenge, leaving a little wiggle room for the iPhone 5, as obviously he has his reviewer duties first.

Although it would be great to see Laporte completely change over to Windows Phone, even Watson knows that can be difficult--so just having positive feedback would be a win for him and his team (see Molly Wood's response to the Challenge, a result Watson was happy with due to her admitted Android allegiance).

Will Laporte be convinced? He's a pretty level-headed guy and even if he's not 100% sold on Windows Phone, we think his opinion would certainly be informative and interesting. On the other hand, maybe he'll pull a Scott Adams and be more than impressed. Stay tuned...

Source: Windows Weekly (

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.

  • Thought he is an Apple guy. I sometime listen to his radio show on the weekend. He praised Apple pretty religiously.
  • That's what Watson said, but Laporte said he's an Android guy now on the show and was quite adamant about it, hence why I wrote it in ;-)
  • I think he was being somewhat sarcastic. Or maybe because he's in the middle of trying out an Android device for review. So for right now, he has to live as an Android guy.I've always heard him as an Apple guy.
  • I watch his podcasts like TWiT and Windows Weekly regularly and for about a year he's been an android guy. Of particular note, he also has a Focus on contract so I'm not sure why this is a particularly good person to add to the challenge. He has said he likes the Focus in the past and while I don't recall him ever using the beta of Mango, I think its a foregone conclusion that he will come out liking it.
  • Leo used to be a huge Apple fan, but he switched over to Google/Android ever since Apple banned him from attending their keynotes.
  • Did that really happen?Ok. Then maybe what I just wrote above is wrong. lol
  • What's that all about??
  • He decided to start broadcasting live from one of the Apple keynotes by turning his MacBook around and using the webcam. He had the screen of his laptop facing Steve Jobs the entire time he was on stage. Apple obviously didn't like what he was doing and has never invited Leo or TWIT back to another Apple event since. This happened almost 2 years ago. Since then Leo has dumped his iPhone and uses Android phones exclusively. He does have an iPad tablet which he likes much more than Android tablets. To be fair, at least Leo does a Windows Weekly show. Most people from his neck of the woods would be happy just covering Google and Apple and pretending like Microsoft isn't one of the big 3.
  • The story is true. But TWiT has managed to get people in to the Apple shows to give live reporting.Leo actually changed to an Android phone before the event in question. He really doesn't give any hard feelings towards Apple... at lest publicly.Leo is a good guy but he gets carried away on the Macbreak Weekly by his Apple fellows. They say stupid things and Leo looses some of his objectability. But that is probably because he is an Apple guy from the beginning.
  • I have been watching, and listening 2 him for close 2 15+ years, and I agree, he has always been extremely devoted 2 the church of Apple.
  • First of all Leo is not a level headed person, he sometimes "tries" to seem that way for the sake of his appearance but he is a hardcore fanboy, and you can easily see it everytime he makes an underhanded comment about Windows, Windows Phone, Microsoft etc. Even when he "attempts" to compliment one of those things it's a "good for them!" type response that you would give to your dog because it pee'd on your hardfloor instead of the carpet. The worst is when he plays it off that he is leveled headed by saying something like "well look how I was against X even though I like X, see I'm level headed!" (obviously the wording is exaggerated...)Actually strike that. The worst is despite his tech status having such a huge ignorance/lack of knowledge on even simple tech. All it does is serve to add misinformation too those who follow him and then spread that misinformation further.I'm sure this comes off as me just being massively anti Leo, which is funny because I used to be a HUGE fan of him and his shows, but slowly and slowly I become repulsed by it all, to the point that now every time I try to watch a show I sit there staring at the screen wondering why I'm still watching it. The only reason I could be brought to watch any Twit show now is because of the people not Leo, like Tom Merritt.Anyway, now that we're clear that he's not level headed, I still think it's a poor idea to be doing these challenges without Mango hardware. Now matter how wonderful WP7.5 is, and it really is, people like him are going to try compare the hardware to current other hardware, like the iPhone 5, which given the gen 1 hardware is basically 2 years old (the SOC, etc, not the physical device) will look woefully out of date, despite how well it runs Windows Phone 7.5. Leo will pick on the small stuff of WP7.5 and glance over the bigger better parts that don't exist in any other platform. I'm sure apps will be one of the complaints, saying "Well it doesn't have this, X app..." etc. Which to a point is a issue with Windows Phone as the marketplace grows, but doesn't actually destroy the platform, because X app has yet been added.I really do hope that Leo is able to see the wonders of Windows Phone and leave his misconceptions behind, but I highly doubt he will. **** I would be ecstatic if I was proven wrong, it would be a great boon to have someone of Leo's influence promoting it personally, but Leo giving a half assed I like it, but won't really help the platform at all.
  • Yeah, Leo is definitely not a big fan of Microsoft or Facebook at all. At least he gives them the time of day though, which is more than a lot of people that call themselves tech journalists do. He's pretty open minded compared to most Apple/Google lovers in the industry. Leo has always been very complimentary of Xbox 360 and Kinect, though those were never seen as direct competitors to Google/Apple/Linux.
  • giving fanboys WP7 to test - even with RTM Mango - is foolish. Mainstream people... yes... tekkie bloggers... no.At least wait until the 2nd generation "mango enabled" devices appear (front facing camera, gyro, 1.5Ghz, etc.) so they wont rattle off a list of complaints starting with 1 year old hardware.Come on.
  • Episode 227 was recorded 22nd... its ep 228
  • I long stopped listening to any of the TWiT network.They spend 90% of their shows talking about their "valley" relationships rather than the tech or gadget or app of the week.Same thing is starting to happen to GiantBomb too. They drink their own juice and think we "care" about their interrelationships - which mostly I don't - I just want to hear from people who have had the time to fiddle with stuff I haven't had time or money to get hold of. Boring show now. Molly Wood or Brian on Buzz Report - now you're talking :)
  • I like twit. The best podcast though is ubuntu uk podcast imho
  • Leo? this guy is a **** APPLE, APPLE, APPLE if apple took a **** he would say it was the best **** every. please really I take whatever he says with a gran of salt just like Molly whatever her name is what whatever she is suppose to be.
  • I'm pretty sure this is going to be an easy win for Brandon. Leo has had a WP7 phone since it came out. He admitted a few episodes ago that he doesn't have a Mango phone, but I think he will make a fair assessment. The only problem may be that he is admittedly a fandroid (the only thing he doesn't prefer Apple over) whereas the other challenges were issued to people complaining about their Androids.
  • MS should stop chasing these biased "journalists" and start advertising to actual potential customers. And fixing rubbish like the poor navigation.
  • I agree. They should use celebreties instead.
  • There are three reasons for why this is a bad time to do this for Microsoft. - Facebook: Leo does not look Facebook, he's moved over to G+. - Spotify: He seems to love Spotify aswell, but with Zune Pass I guess this shouldn't be too big of a problem unless he uses the social part of Spotify, which I doubt. - Audible: No support on WP yet.
  • He's not necessarily in the can for anyone, really. He, like many intelligent users, gravitates toward the device that most appropriately satisfies his need. He loves the MacBook Air, although he has acknowledged the Lenovo Ultrabooks make a good stab at the Air. He has also acknowledged some aspects of WP7 that are attractive, but feels that it's best market is the first-time smartphone buyers who AREN'T geeky. He makes no bones about being an Android SMARTPHONE fan, while also being a iPad fan. Again, he's fair, and acknowledges strengths of Android tablets, but doesn't see them making a dent in the iPad for the very reasons he also likes the iPad.Here's the thing with Leo---he's a true geek and LOVES being able to tweak and customize his most personal devices. Android is the only platform that allows that level of chaos, and he enjoys the chaos (my phrasing, not his). I would imagine that he'll have pretty good reviews of Mango and MIGHT even say it could compete with iPhone, but for the geeks, hackers and "I must make the phone MINE" crowd, he'll likely say Android is still the preferred platform.
  • He's going to go to get iPhone 5, and realize he's an Apple guy. I'm putting my money that he'll have the same comments as Molly Wood (from CNET).
  • I watched that episode yesterday afternoon, and have been watching Windows Weekly for about 3 years now. Leo has never been a Microsoft fan, but as mentioned above, I give him credit for giving them the time of day. Arguably, it could just be for the money since Windows Weekly is one of his best-performing shows on TWiT.Regardless, I think Leo was already surprised at Windows Phone 7.5 just from what he was seeing on his Focus. Paul and Mary Jo had him trying out the Zune experience, and he seemed quite impressed by the UI, especially the album art on the lock screen. I imagine it's tough in a reviewer's world where everyone talks Apple and Google all day long to spend a reasonable amount of time with Windows Phone exclusively. But now that he's a part of the challenge, I think Leo may have some second thoughts. Probably not enough to make him give up his primary phone running Android, but at least enough that he may recommend Windows Phone to people who would otherwise buy an iPhone. Windows Phone 7.5 is feature-complete and polished to the point that I can easily see it competing for "non-techies" and the social media-obsessed who would normally opt for an iPhone. It's just a matter of showing them the advantages and letting them experience it for themselves.
  • TWIT has become the Apple Podcast. They got rid of the old timers and now have people like "O Doctah" and some other folks that just don't have anything too interesting to say. They all show up with their Uber Expensive Mac-Crud and all sit around talking about how Apple, Apple, Apple, and the latest Apple rumor, and how Steve Jobs is a Genius. 3 years ago, I would have bought a TWIT brick. Now, I am just over them. I was listening to Tech News Today, but that makes you listen to Sarah Lane. After listening to her for 45 minutes, I now can see why Kevin Rose left her.Wow. I guess I am a little bitter about what was once a never miss thing!