1. TechFreak1's Avatar
    In light of Jason Ward's article here: https://www.windowscentral.com/after...ace-its-mobile

    I wanted to share how Microsoft could gain me back as prosumer, gamer and an enthusiast. Not an advocate, why?

    I will detail below.

    First of all, a little background about myself so people can understand my experience is not necessarily the norm for many people.

    This is going to be a very, very long post even in condensed form. As there is no way for me to simplify anything further than what I am detailing here. If I got into detail I would end up typing a novel longer then all the widely known LOTR books together. All The flaws, advantages, potential avenues of Windows, Windows Mobile and the consumer sector cannot be simplified into small bite sized paragraphs.

    Especially the flaws of Windows Phone and now Windows Mobile as well as the consumer retrenchment.

    But it's not about that nor this a doom and gloom post, this is about my personal experience as some would say a prosumer and enthusiast.

    NB: I am going to be brutally honest and some may find my language ahem a little salty. Because there is no way to convey my experience and emotions without expressing them in such a manner. Plus, Microsoft needs to understand consumers are not just numbers in a report or spreadsheet we are people. With complex emotions, psychological attachments and ambitious aspirations.

    No company can thrive without customers.

    History

    As a Windows mobile user from the days of Windows Mobile 6.x although I have had used other Windows Mobile devices prior to that on and off. However, my daily drivers were Windows Mobile 6.x devices and the most memorable smartphone was my trust HTC Touch Pro 2 which I brought off eBay - it was a Verizon model as EU phones lacked the 3.5 headphone jack.

    My other notable smartphone was Blackberry Bold 9700 and other blackberry models but I used the blackberry bold 9700 the longest out of all of them. I lost that due to it taking a swim in coca cola in my coat pocket lol and the screen was beyond economical repair. Data was recovered using the zip lock bag and rice trick - it stayed in that bag for several months.

    I have worked in many roles spanning years covering Sales, Lettings, Marketing, Administration, Property Management, Basic IT support – I say basic as in the grand scheme of things it is very basic anything beyond that goes into Server support and what not.

    Why I left the real estate industry, is a topic for another post. Let's just say as a people person and a INFJ, the greed and misdirectional practises disgusted me to the core. As the entire industry is primarily tainted by individuals driven by nothing but profit as opposed to the wellbeing of the tenants and clients (which is why in the UK people don't really like estate agents). The industry frowns on tenant retention as the real estate agencies make less money through renewals and more money with a high turnover of tenants every 8 months. That is the gist of the rental side of the industry - pure profit. Plus, the big brands have isolated property management departments where there is no face to a name except the sales and lettings staff.



    Throughout this time, I have always used a smartphone to work on the go. To date I have 15 email accounts (it allows me to compartmentalise my life and isolate stress points as well as being productive), at one point I had so many that I lost count. So yes, my experience revolves around solely using a smartphone to work on the go.

    My experience with 920 was really awesome bar the idiotic configuration of the email app - attaching something would open the photohub and you could share only one document at a time - until we started getting file managers. This was worked around using OneDrive share links.

    Having office was amazing, I could type out a contract and edit it on the fly whilst on the commute. It allowed me incorporate client requests whilst I was on the phone and email them the amended portions of contracts (using screenshots - you don't send contracts in word documents!) for approval.

    Windows Phone 8.x allowed me to collaborative via rooms and be more productive. The only niggle that could not work around was carrying a separate PDA for drawing floor plans, I used to be able to use my touch pro 2 to do that as it had a stylus.

    The qwerty keyboard allowed me to do my portfolio work whilst I was in college on the go as the touch pro 2 also had office.

    In short, I was completely sold and invested in the Windows Mobile ecosystem from an early age. The ability to flash roms to the touch pro 2 was a bonus and being able to add static IP addresses to my phone allowed me to perform basic diagnostic checks on wireless connections (you don't run anything or change router settings wirelessly - easiest way to mess up a router's chipset and cause it to well.. just give up entirely).

    Fast forward to present day.

    After pushing Windows Mobile updates as a service which introduced bugs after bugs after bugs after bugs after bugs after bugs in PRODUCTION BUILDS, the consumer retrenchment and it's far reaching consequences, the complete and utter annihilation of the reliability of Windows Mobile 10.x. The mind-numbing flip flopping with Skype and struggling to add basic features. The current bug where marking yourself away on the desktop and you being set as "appearing offline" on the phone client - has put a massive downer on my personal relationships. People think I am avoiding them or not wanting to message them when they are online as you cannot see who is away or busy on your contact list either.

    Then add on the issues brought on by Windows as a Service on laptops and PCs. My trusty HP ProBook 4730s no longer works properly thanks to a corrupt ACPI driver forced through Windows Update.

    The out of memory errors until recently made it impossible for me to use my PC. At launch Windows 10 was perfect, my desktop was running faster and more efficiently same with my laptop. But something happened and it went downhill, my money is on when the massive staff reduction happened and the windows team did not have the dedicated testers and it's troubleshooting channels anymore. (Which is why I was not active on the forums for awhile and I was unwilling to do constant hardresets on my L930 as I couldn't afford any downtime).

    They began to rely on telemetry and insiders for this - that is I would say it went downhill.

    Xbox on the other hand bar the removal of gestures has been pretty solid. But I am PC gamer first, console gamer second.

    So after almost a year of issues on my laptop and PC, the lack of focus on the consumer sector resulting in loss of developers and corporations investing in Windows Mobile and windows ecosystem.

    To top it all off, as apps began to leave the Windows ecosystem my friends, family and former colleagues blamed ME not Microsoft. For the subpar and crappy experience, they had to endure with Windows Mobile 10.x and Windows Phone 8.x.

    Because I was the one who got them into the Windows mobile ecosystem.

    To that extent I stopped watching all of Microsoft live streams, I used to set time aside to watch them live. Because I lost my trust and most importantly respect for Microsoft after being treated no less than dirt.

    Microsoft may not see that way but telemetry does not take into the psychological aspects or mindsets of users. Therefore, it is completely moronic to rely on telemetry.

    Case in point, they are removing features because less people use them - based on telemetry the handy search button that functioned as a bar code scanner and everything else in between became a basic QR scanner before being replaced by becoming a dedicated launch key for Cortana.

    Another example, the beautiful photo hub was butchered to increase efficiency - they saw people go into the albums first after opening the photohub. What telemetry does not show is the smile on people’s faces when the open the photo hub and be reminded on a magical moment they set as one of their favourites. Secondly the photohub was near instant when it came to adding a recent image in Windows Phone 8.x. Now it takes anywhere between 10 seconds to three days or more to add an image. Yes, you read that right. THREE DAYS OR MORE.

    A hard reset is not a solution. Imagine removing and re-adding the authenticator app to 15+ email accounts after EVERY SINGLE UPDATE. As it is "recommended to do a hard reset after EVERY SINGLE UPDATE" and not restore.

    What B.S is this?


    The backup system is shambolic at best and users are expected to do that because Microsoft can't invest in more coding hours for code optimisation?
    So, I admit I gave very, very, very honest feedback during the insider programme and as a result Microsoft just cut off all the devices bar a handful. You are supposed to take feedback and improve the product.

    Not use it as an excuse to make a product worse and slap your users in the face.


    So, Microsoft lost me as prosumer, PC user, gamer, advocate and an enthusiast.

    Now you understand in the context and my history how I personally come to this point thus this post.

    But after all that, why you must be thinking why am I still using a windows phone or even in the Microsoft ecosystem?

    Simple answer, the direction of the Xbox division.

    !) With the appointment of Phil Spencer to the SLT, I am once again filled with hope as he and his team understand consumers.

    Such as backwards compatibility and that is a astonishing feat of engineering when you take into account how low end the custom jaguar SOC inside the original xbox one is compared to a PC Part and that is running 360 games in emulation with little to no performance loss.

    Compare the initial Xbox one launch with the current situation - the difference is more than just night and day.

    Then compare that launch with the current direction Microsoft has taken. See the similarities?

    Microsoft almost lost touch with consumers completely and just like in the enterprise sector, Xbox was the foothold in the consumer space. If they continued in the direction as the Xbox launch. Xbox would have been overshadowed despite being a proper multimedia platform. It's features forced Sony to add similar features to the PS4 as at launch the PS4 was bare bones.

    Now we have confirmed news that London is finally getting a Microsoft store, I am hoping this is just one of many. A physical store was one of the key points in gaining back consumer trust and mindshare.

    2) My next point, reinstate the Xbox entertainment division so Phil and his team can explore more avenues to develop more gaming franchises. Give him room to grow the Xbox development studios and stop hamstringing the developers for the sake of short term profits.

    Games need a lot of coding hours to develop and by reducing staff, Microsoft not only kills off potential franchises but they lose talented developers. *Cough* Mass effect andromeda *cough* is a prime example what happens when you lose talent and focus on profits. It backfires spectacularly.

    In terms of Hardware, by axing the talented engineers Microsoft got with the D & S acquisition they lost tremendous amount skill, talent and ideas to their competitors as result Microsoft will be leap frogged in every single way. Due to their tendency to over-react and shelf amazing products before they have a chance to succeed.

    Case in point, Ari Partinen. one of the co-creators of Pureview works at Apple and it's not farfetched to imagine his team and Prime Sense working together - the same team that developed the original Kinect. Microsoft had Juha Alarkhu, one of the master minds behind pureview but let him go (he moved over after the Nokia D&S Acquisition). (There are no words to describe my feelings about that decision, it would include more than just derogatory, salty language).

    Imagine two level facial authentication, using the iris scanner and similar processes as Apple’s front facing facial recognition (Microsoft has the tech in Kinect 2.0). A finger printer scanner will add the third level, the pin a fail over 4th level and the MSA password + two factor authentication as a failover 5th level.

    Combining all that there is no way anyone will be able to gain access to your Windows phone without you knowing it.

    3)Invest heavily in the consumer space and admit a mistake was made when it comes to retrenching from the consumer space. Initially I thought they were going back to the drawing board and focusing a branched pathway. But when it became apparent they are going to focus on enterprise only. I was utterly disgusted as it meant we users would end up in a two-ecosystem race where both parties are still using icons...

    Icons! 30 years on and we'd still be using icons at this rate. I have had enough of using Icons for more almost two decades lol.

    Despite saying they will build phones if no one else builds them.

    Walk the walk and not just talk the talk - to regain trust one must do as they say.

    Not say something and do the exact opposite whilst hitting your users with a sledgehammer in the most vulnerable parts of a person's anatomy.

    Because Microsoft, that is exactly what you did.


    4) Allow the phones that could run the creators update without a hitch in the insider programme to officially update to the creator’s update / feature 2 release. This will go some way in getting fan confidence back towards Microsoft.

    5) Bring back hubs and stand your darn ground, develop APIs that allow services to easily integrate with these hubs as well as using the modularity of the andromeda o/s to allow hubs to be updated easily without requiring a o/s level update.

    The easiest method would be to develop a service hook, the services hook into that hub and the aforesaid hub populates the information where it needs to go. So, when Facebook updates their back end, all that is needed is an update to the service hook.

    Therefore, removing the needs for O/S level updates.

    This hook will allow other system apps such as the people hub and me hub to hook into it and third-party apps will hook into these system apps as normal via permissions. True modularity.

    Users will still have the option in using the services apps as well. Win-Win-Win scenario.

    The process would occur like this -> Facebook installed and creates relevant files -> hook attaches to APP -> hook populates relevant feeds & core apps. Instead of relying on developers to add the hook to their apps.

    This method is much simpler, efficient and removes the situation like the backup system. Where it's on the developers to add the hook to attach to OneDrive to create cloud backups. Resulting where hardly any apps make use of this feature.

    6) Overhaul the backup feature so that it backs up everything to cloud or msd card or onto a PC. Take some pointers from the older blackberry management suites.

    7) Bring back zune-esque features. I didn't say bring back Zune but Zune-sque features suchas wirelessly syncing music using geofencing and time stamping (where the phone can work out where it is - if it's at one point during in the day for 8 hours then user must be at work. If it's at one point for more than 14 hours it must be at home etc). This can be done in conjunction with find my phone - where the phone updates its location at set times or the periodically if that option is enabled.

    8) Create a secure framework for infotainment systems and mandate all car manufactures follow this framework before driverless cars become the norm. Car manufactures are notorious when it comes to patching vehicles. There are major vulnerabilities in a lot of infotainment systems where hackers can take control of a vehicle and cause havoc.

    By doing this you gain more trust and confidence from consumers that you, Microsoft take people's lives seriously. This is a major PR win. Which is where mapping would have come into play... that deal to let go of Mapping should have not happened in the first place. As it leaves room for introduction of security vulnerabilities through transitional hacking or malintent.

    9) Reintroduce the Surface Mini running Windows 10 pro (for those who want to run win32 applications) and Windows 10 S that can upgrade to pro. This would be a major win for students. As someone who is transitioning to a scientific industry, it would really make my life so much easier. As I need to take a mountain tonne of notes and I always run out of pen ink by the second or third lecture. As someone who is versed in minute taking, that has left me isolated when it comes to sharing notes. Not everyone can take minutes. (Minute taking involves losing most vowels and keeping the basic essence of a word such as writing would become wrtng or wrtg. Scripts would scrps etc).

    10) a phone the same size as the HP Elite X3 running W10 Arm with N trig stylus support and a high-end camera (no gimping on the other specs either). This will allow a Segway towards the era or ultra-mobile PCs.


    Instead of relying on Carriers to sell these devices, sell them unlocked direct to consumers through your stores AND carrier partners. Utilise a Nano sim, msd card, e-sim technology for dual sim connectivity for future proofing. This will show to consumers what direction you are taking and bring back confidence that they will not be left in the dark when e-sims back mainstream.

    11) Allow Xbox to be able to stream to phones for mobile gaming via LAN and when 5g makes it possible for mobile gaming via cellular connection then enable that too. Xbox controller attachment to phones are a given at this point.

    12) Bring Microsoft pay to more markets and utilise the secure sim, secure element on phone, secure e-sim technology. This way you immediately bolster the user base that can use Microsoft pay out of the gate. Again, bringing back trust from Consumers that Microsoft is doing something for all their costumers not the just the select few that brought the latest handsets.

    13) Bring Bing rewards to more markets, this will allow Bing usage to increase drastically and win more consumer mindshare.

    Most importantly, stop removing features based on telemetry!

    That's just me and how I feel Microsoft could win me back as a prosumer, gamer and enthusiast but they will have a long way to go in winning me back as an advocate.

    What about you guys?
    Last edited by TechFreak1; 09-22-2017 at 10:37 PM. Reason: Spelling.
    09-22-2017 12:50 PM
  2. Jason Angle's Avatar
    That might be the most comprehensive list I have seen on any Mobile Nations thread. Mine is a lot easier, not a gamer, but a techie that uses Linux and Windows a lot (yes I am BASHING all over my SP). For the Mobile, I am hanging on to the 950XL, honestly at this point because I am to cheap to drop another $800 on a top end device ($1150 for iPhoneX... not happening). Things I want to see:
    UWP marketed, enforced, encouraged, rewarded (developers need rewarded, not me, I just want them to expand that market)
    A Surface Ultramobile (Phone replacement)
    MSFT Wallet, yes you nailed it, get some serious banks involved and PayPal

    I like your ideas on the hook updates exampled by Facebook, but remember that sometimes the core O/S changes that will directly effect the entire environment, so O/S level updates will never go away. But your thinking could work if everything ran inside it's own VM of sorts (not that we have processing power to back this mobile yet).
    Laura Knotek and TechFreak1 like this.
    09-24-2017 02:15 AM
  3. TechFreak1's Avatar
    That might be the most comprehensive list I have seen on any Mobile Nations thread. Mine is a lot easier, not a gamer, but a techie that uses Linux and Windows a lot (yes I am BASHING all over my SP). For the Mobile, I am hanging on to the 950XL, honestly at this point because I am to cheap to drop another $800 on a top end device ($1150 for iPhoneX... not happening). Things I want to see:
    UWP marketed, enforced, encouraged, rewarded (developers need rewarded, not me, I just want them to expand that market)
    A Surface Ultramobile (Phone replacement)
    MSFT Wallet, yes you nailed it, get some serious banks involved and PayPal

    I like your ideas on the hook updates exampled by Facebook, but remember that sometimes the core O/S changes that will directly effect the entire environment, so O/S level updates will never go away. But your thinking could work if everything ran inside it's own VM of sorts (not that we have processing power to back this mobile yet).
    Thanks and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    In regards to the VM environment, good points.

    Fortunately software is extremely malleable so I am sure Microsoft can pull it off.

    After all they pulled off Xbox One backwards compatibility emulation and now Windows 10 on ARM also through emulation.

    Although there has been talk of Intel and a consortium leveraging legal cases in regards to said mmulation to prevent it from seeing the light of day. I doubt they will have a leg to stand on as Microsoft could easily turn around and work with AMD more closely therefore increasing efficiency + power management of AMD's new CPU line up.

    By the same vein, Nvidia also stands to benefit from the Qualcomm Partnership as Nvidia's Tegra line up uses ARM. So it stands to reason you could see Windows 10 Hardware running on Tegra chips and for the budget conscious hardware - Mediatek ARM Chips some point in the future. As I indicated there is so much growth potential in the consumer space.

    Enterprise space not so much.
    Laura Knotek and Guytronic like this.
    09-24-2017 01:53 PM
  4. Jason Angle's Avatar
    Intel's little Twitter battle with Microsoft talking about emulation is all the more smoke that you will probably see in that argument. Don't see AMD being a factor though, but Intel wouldn't bite the hand that feeds them that hard. Sure there will or is a deal in the works to avoid unsightly battles. The percentage of the market that Windows on ARM is going to take away from Intel is going to be small at the onset. Intel is setting to make gains with the 9th generation into the power levels that would be feasible on a mobile device as well if Moore's Law holds for another cycle or two before hitting the limits.

    The only thing about emulation, it is taxing, pulling a core or two off the primary to run a secondary machine, that will cause heat, even in low temp SoCs and battery concerns. Sure that the engineers are already aware of that but it will be interesting to see how it works out.
    TechFreak1 likes this.
    09-24-2017 11:13 PM
  5. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Intel's little Twitter battle with Microsoft talking about emulation is all the more smoke that you will probably see in that argument. Don't see AMD being a factor though, but Intel wouldn't bite the hand that feeds them that hard. Sure there will or is a deal in the works to avoid unsightly battles. The percentage of the market that Windows on ARM is going to take away from Intel is going to be small at the onset. Intel is setting to make gains with the 9th generation into the power levels that would be feasible on a mobile device as well if Moore's Law holds for another cycle or two before hitting the limits.

    The only thing about emulation, it is taxing, pulling a core or two off the primary to run a secondary machine, that will cause heat, even in low temp SoCs and battery concerns. Sure that the engineers are already aware of that but it will be interesting to see how it works out.

    Indeed, Intel won't be doing anything rash especially since Windows is the only platform that fuels their Processor sales and their profits.

    In regards to power draw, I'm sure Intel can pull it off if they really wanted to - as over the past years they haven't really bothered since they had a monopoly.

    So Windows 10 on ARM is also good news on that front - it has lit a fire under intels fit and got them moving because if they don't do something about it. The world will transition to ARM because of all ways on connectivity + superior battery life compared to intels current offerings.

    In regards to the emulation, there is a awesome video about that, here is a W10 on ARM - Snapdragon 835 utilising BIG.little.


    It remains to be seen however how emulation will perform in a smartphone form factor where there is a limited power budget and less space for heat dissipation. Personally I think Continuum is the missing link here as a smartphones screen does not have many pixels to push compared to a 40" 1080p TV for example. The heat dissipation can be handled using a dock that uses active cooling to remove heat.
    Guytronic and Laura Knotek like this.
    09-25-2017 09:49 PM
  6. dgr_874's Avatar
    Definitely agree on the potential for Phil Spencer now that he is way up there in the Microsoft Hierarchy. I think an argument could be made that he saved the Xbox brand after the clusterflop that the original launch had been.
    TechFreak1 likes this.
    09-26-2017 01:14 PM

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