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  1. veritasf6's Avatar
    I am new to the forums, though not new to the site. I wanted to share my story of belief with you, since I imagine it will closely mirror your own.

    I have been a fan of Windows Phone 7 from the beginning. I was trapped with an iPhone 3GS, under contract, when the first handsets were released, but that did not stop me from convincing my wife, my brother, and his girlfriend to buy Windows phones (two Samsung Focuses and one HTC Trophy; woe be to the Trophy user). I envied their phones on a daily basis, borrowing my wifes Focus whenever I could.

    I was an unofficial evangelist for the brand, touting the benefits of putting people first. And now? Now I am burdened by doubt. I am waiting for Microsoft to give me a reason to believe again.

    My first Windows Phone was an HTC Titan; a beast of a phone that showed off everything that had excited me about the OS. I left the Apple eco-system behind, figuring that the two or three apps that I would most miss would be out for Windows Phone soon enough. I believed that WP7 was booming, after all.

    There are some spectacular features that just made perfect sense. I used the running late feature for a few meetings. I got my social media news from my Me tile, seldom venturing into the official Twitter and Facebook apps. OneNote became my familys list-maker of choice, and I instantly pulled pictures of whiteboards from work onto my desktop through my Skydrive folder as Apple users sat there in awe. Wordaments no-fuss online gaming piqued their interest.

    I read WPCentral every day, followed news of Windows Phone closely on BGR and Engadget, and watched gleefully as Gizmodo shifted from Windows-bashing to Windows-praising. I followed @BenThePCGuy and @WindowsPhone and anxiously awaited their tweets and news. As colleagues switched to Macbook Airs, I stuck with Windows 7 on a big Dell powerhouse. I was a Microsoft guy through and through.

    But now? Now Im losing the faith. Windows Phone 8 is on the horizon, and honestly? It just looks okay. Yes, Wallet is neat, but it isnt going to be a game changer. I am worried that it will be like many other things for Windows Phone: a great idea that is poorly supported.

    You see, after using Windows Phone for a little over a year now, Im starting to see the edges fraying. My Me tile no longer displays comments associated with Facebook posts. My phone crashes and restarts unexpectedly, sometimes when sitting on my bedside table, inactive, at night.

    My phone drops its wireless connection whenever I turn of the screen and takes a solid 8 seconds to pick it back up again; a problem when my phone gets little to no reception in my house (a fault, to be sure, of the hardware, as my wifes Nokia 900 has a strong signal).

    There are times when Wordament cant keep up with my finger as I drag across letters, either through a fault of the screen, the processor, or the app itself.

    And apps are where the wheels have really started to fall off the wagon for me. A job change forced me to reacquaint myself with Apples ecosystem, putting an iPad in my hands for the first time. And the apps for the iPad? They are numerous, they work, and they work well.

    Accuweather launches on my iPad 2 in almost half the time that it takes my phone. Apple apps are updated frequently with new features and functionality. How many times has Angry Birds for Windows Phone received free level updates? My understanding is zero, while Angry Birds updates for iOS and Android are released on a regular basis. And that is far from the only app that is actively maintained only on other platforms.

    This ignores those apps that simple dont exist. I mentioned earlier that there were two or three apps that I left behind when I happily abandoned Apple. None of those apps have found their way over to Windows Phone yet. The Economist is still only available on iOS and Android. TiVo is unavailable. GoToMeeting is unavailable.

    Ill grant that these are semi-obscure apps that serve relatively niche audiences. But there is one more app on my list. Its omission is the most heinous of all. Pandora is unavailable on Windows Phone.

    And after all of this time pushing for Windows Phone, remaining unbowed before the dismissals, criticisms, and out-right laughter, I am starting to wonder if the future really is so bright for Windows Phone.

    I am not the only one. WPCentral brings us the most up-beat news on Windows Phone every day. We all work hard to highlight the best of the OS and its hardware while glossing over its dents and flaws because we see what Windows Phone can become and we want to share our vision and our passion with everyone around us.

    We dont complain when Facebook releases a sweet, built-from-the-ground-up native app for iOS and ignores our operating system because we dont want to offer a deterrent to potential switchers. We dont complain (well, we dont complain that much) when our phones dont receive major OS updates for months after they are released.

    We accept that our current hardware is being obsoleted despite our recent purchases and contract-locked phones because we want Windows Phone to succeed. We cheer for @Nokia when the Lumia 920s camera wipes the floor with the iPhone and Galaxy S III even though few of us will get to use it ourselves.

    We suck it up, we put on our best foot forward, and we tell our friends again why they should pass on the iPhone 5 and try something new.

    We have been evangelists for this platform for a long time. That can wear on a person. Now I hesitate before making my recommendation, and I wonder, quite honestly, if my next phone will be a Windows Phone.

    I am waiting for Microsoft to give me a reason to believe again.
    10-01-2012 04:03 PM
  2. a5cent's Avatar
    Ouch, I can feel your pain.

    I'll go out on a limb and suggest the reason WP8 isn't making an impression on you is because you haven't really seen WP8 yet. All we've seen is hardware, and although it is often what we argue the most over, hardware is only a small part of what makes a smartphone.

    Come end of October, Microsoft and WP8 need to impress us. Until then I would say: "hold the line at all costs!" ;)

    However, no matter what is presented, the app situation will remain as it is until WP8 reaches second place in market and mind share. That is unfortunate, as it seems to be your main issue. Until then, WP8 supporters will need to make due with late ports of trending apps and almost no apps from local companies and municipalities. There is no denying it.

    In terms of recommendations I think we need to be realistic. People new to smartphones that don't use any of Apple's services should definitely check out WP8. If someone just wants a cheap smartphone (which traditionally meant android), then recommending low-end WP8 or even WP7 (Lumia 610) devices should be a no-brainer. Although we tend to focus on high-end devices here at wpcentral, WP's ability to run really well on low-end hardware is much more likely to be the deciding factor in growing market share (just as low-end devices have been the deciding factor for Android)!

    So, even if you end up with iOS 6 yourself, many you know are still likely to fall into the category of those for whom a WP device is the best match.

    One way or another, wait to find out what WP8 really has to offer... so far nobody can be sure, and from you description I'm guessing tight integration between W8, WP8 and W8 RT might be something that piques your interest.
    Last edited by a5cent; 10-02-2012 at 12:06 AM. Reason: Spelling
    veritasf6 likes this.
    10-01-2012 11:09 PM
  3. X0LARIUM's Avatar
    OK firstly, excellent post. Not bickering about the number of apps just for the sake of it and I like that. You have valid reasons to question the platform unlike many here.

    Secondly, I would like to ask you a simple question. Lets say MS fails to convince you. Then what are your options?

    You have iPhone 5 and/or Android. Correct?

    iPhone's ecosystem is redundant now. Its stuck in a rut. It looks exactly like it looked back in when it was launched. And now being in the hands of a marketing guy as opposed to a creative mind, I have very little hope for it.

    Then comes, Android. I can say pretty nasty stuff about this OS, but I will try yo stick to the point. Apps? Millions of 'em!
    App Updates? Every week! Compatibility? Yes yes..of course...
    Does it stutter on a quad/dual core processor? **** yeah!
    Does it have tweaks? Enough to keep you busy for weeks, ignoring your personal and professional life...almost turning you into a misanthrope.

    And then there is Windows Phone 8.
    Sitting pretty in a rock solid shell of the Lumia, horse power of a dual core, it seamlessly helps you connect all aspects of your life into one.
    Apps? There are many that are at par with other platforms. The ones you've mentioned though, very honestly I've never heard of, but all I can say is, if its big app, there is no way MS will ignore it.
    And app updates are seldom? That's cause there is nothing to improve..its coded in a near-perfect way.

    And, like a5cent said, we still know extremely little about WP8. We "think" we know it all, but we don't.

    Believe in this system man, its the future.

    Sent from my RaZr HD.
    veritasf6 likes this.
    10-02-2012 12:08 AM
  4. baseballbert's Avatar
    I hope you're right. I really like using my lumia at night, then remember, oh yeah, have to use my 4S for this app (Square, TwoSpoke.com where I'm a mod), them i use the MLB AtBat app, and it is nowhere near as feature rich as the iOS version.

    Games, six of one half dozen of the other. I don't mind playing games using the iphone as my entertainer device.

    I love wp but it still feels like the recipe is cooking and needs to be refines. I don't expect overnight iOS like success, just a chipping away to get some Devs noticing that wp is worthwhile.

    WP is a little confined IMHO at the moment, and hopefully that breakout will finally take place in a few weeks.

    It just seems like all of us early adopters have been saying "just wait until we get SeeDo," and it was ok. Then it was "Mango is going to blow up WP," and it fizzled. Not because of the OS or hardware, but because ms' mktg dept doesn't seem to get it. Now that could've been lets not get people worked up over 7.5 because we know 8 is coming in the fall.

    Now wp8 is on the way and I feel like it will be one more instance of getting closer, but not quite, and then there will be more waiting for the "the next big thing" if i may from WP.

    They don't have that long I a leash. Especially if BB10 has any legs to stand on.

    Att's rolling thunder campaign seemed to be a light drizzle at best. So, I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop, but not as excited as I was.

    But honestly, MS can just as easily hire the same caliber ad agencies that apple and Samsung have. I don't get it, why don't they so that?

    They've got a great product, and people would really like it if they knew about it and played with it for a few days.
    10-02-2012 01:34 AM
  5. mmacleodbrown's Avatar
    Does it stutter on a quad/dual core processor? **** yeah!
    Im sorry, but that is just not true. Im not sticking up for android but having owned a SG3 and a One X both running jellybean with 'project butter' they really are buttery smooth and so responsive.


    Having said that, Im still switching as this platform is the future ;)
    1jaxstate1 likes this.
    10-02-2012 04:02 AM
  6. ScRePt's Avatar
    Well, I am too a new user to the forums but frequent reader of the site.
    First off, great post, thoughtful and not trolling.

    This OS needs "evangelists" on the programming level. Not-wanna-be-a-WP apps should be cloned heavily by people, putting the "unofficial" label on the title. This would shut some mouths and give some boost, even as a work around. Linux does this for years. Mac does this for yeeeeeeeeeears.

    Coding an existing app is far more easier than first thought. Open-sourcing it also means constant extension and "food" for the next guy to clone sth else.
    MS has by far the most newbie-friendly development environment and would probably embrace the concept.
    10-02-2012 04:04 AM
  7. veritasf6's Avatar
    @XENOPHOS I agree; my other options are far from ideal. You tinker, wrestle, and struggle with an Android phone. At face value that seems like a slight, but I don't intend it that way. I did the same thing back in the day, fighting to convince various video cards and sound cards to cooperate with Windows 95 and Windows XP, experimenting with drivers and finally molding my PCs into exactly what I wanted them to be. An Android phone offers the same experience: the ability to make it do exactly what you want in exchange for the need to work to make it happen.

    As a younger man I would have leapt at an Android phone, but I'm older now. I have a daughter, a full-time job, and a house. My free time is limited, and I no longer want to spend it tinkering with my tech. I want my tech to work.

    iOS offers that very thing. It works (well, ignoring Maps). It is the phone that I recommend to my parents because they'll be able to understand it and won't be able to break it. It has thoughtful features built-in, like "Do Not Disturb" (I will sing the praises of Windows Phone 8 if it includes similar functionality). Apple's walled garden offers a shiny, smooth, and no-fuss experience, so long as you don't want to do anything too interesting.

    That closed eco-system is what gets me. Apps should not be silos. Social isn't a Facebook app and a Twitter app and a LinkedIn app. Social is my interactions with my friends, regardless of the ecosystem. When every app operates independently of one another the potential for really cool things is drastically reduced. I may not be willing to tinker and toy with my technology these days, but I still want it to be amazing.

    So you're right, XENOPHOS; I don't really have anywhere else to go. I still want to be excited, though. And Microsoft's phone OS hasn't sparked that excitement in me since it first announced Windows Phone. And without the excitement inspiring my passion and amateur evangelicalism, I am starting to see, more and more, the blemishes that we have all accepted and glossed over in our excitement, and it makes me worry.

    It helps to know that I'm not the only Windows Phone enthusiast feeling this. I want Microsoft to wow us again. I'm ready to be wowed. Late October cannot come soon enough.
    X0LARIUM likes this.
    10-02-2012 09:20 AM
  8. SnailUK's Avatar
    That closed eco-system is what gets me.
    How is WP any different to iOS?

    WP is basically a budget iOS.

    The walls may not have barbed wire on them, but WP is still one big walled garden.
    10-02-2012 09:39 AM
  9. ImmortalWarrior's Avatar
    Well, there is a lot of discussion going on in here. Allow me to chime in with my 2 cents.

    I see one major obstacle for the platform, and I feel that this obstacle is going to be removed in the near future. Market penetration.

    Yes, there are things missing from the OS. Technically, this is revision 2 of WP OS. Though that is no excuse for missing features compared to current 4th revision Android phones and 6th revision iOS, it does give me enough justification to give them the benefit of the doubt until more is added. Much of these are simply minor annoyances anyways.

    The market penetration is important because it solves the biggest problem of the OS. If few people are using the devices, developers do not have incentive to port apps over, or to create new ones. Simple as that. The more people toting Windows Phones, the more value a company gets back on their investment in a mobile app.

    Here is why I'm not concerned. Windows 8.

    Everyone will see and use Windows 8 at some point in the near future. It's going to happen. Windows is everywhere in business for one reason. It works with almost everything. Windows makes capable server software, file sharing, media streaming, enterprise (active directory!) and much more. A business can do almost anything with a Windows backbone. Yes Linux (which I love btw and used to great extent in many workplaces) has its strengths, as does Mac OS, but the versatility of Windows in a business is unquestionable. Couple that with the much improved Windows 7 and you have a strong ecosystem with front end PCs that are very easy to use.

    Also, Windows 8 is inexpensive. The full purchase price (after the discount period) is 60-70 dollars cheaper than it used to be. This is good and will serve to help push the system out there.

    With this, we are going to see an influx of very capable tablets and the Windows Phones. The "metro" interface is going to be seen everywhere. This makes people aware of it as Windows. People are now going to see Windows Phones and say "hey I recognize that". It's going to get awareness on a scale that WP7 has not seen before. With this, developers will come and we will see those gaps in the marketplace filled.

    Then we are going to have the enthusiast program that allows us to get updates immediately from Microsoft for our phones. We should see faster and more frequent updates because of this. It might even push the carriers a bit to get their asses in gear releasing updates as people use this feature.

    I'm confident that, moving forward, we will see big improvements. The catalyst for this is going to be riding the wave of Windows 8.


    Just as a side note: I ultimately don't care much for the games in the ecosystem. I have a PC that I use for gaming, I rarely want to break out a game on a mobile phone and usually dislike the experience when I do. The music streaming (pandora etc) is simply not economical for anyone in Canada. The amount of vaseline I would need to purchase to sooth the a** raping I would get for data use would cost me a fortune alone. Kind of sad that 36 million people can't feasibly use streaming as an option. I really dislike when people say "just use the cloud" when it comes to discussions about the available storage on Windows Phone devices. It just can't work here, data costs too f**king much.
    mmacleodbrown and a5cent like this.
    10-02-2012 10:21 AM
  10. mmacleodbrown's Avatar
    Immortalwarrior

    Im curious - do you not get data packages over there, buy a fixed amount of data a month? Or is that still too expensive?
    10-02-2012 11:31 AM
  11. a5cent's Avatar
    How is WP any different to iOS?

    The walls may not have barbed wire on them, but WP is still one big walled garden.
    I can't really know how you define the term 'walled garden', but I suspect you are missing a few key points:

    a) Hardware

    With the exception of the SoC, WP8 manufacturers have the freedom to build any type of phone they desire. Anyone can build a WP8 device, using any components they want (excluding the SoC). That sounds pretty open to me.

    Microsoft's restrictions on the choice of SoC aren't tyrannical, but a very clever quality assurance policy. Hardware standardization makes it easier for developers to offer high quality apps and provide an identical user experience for all customers. Android developers can offer no such guarantee, as they can make no assumptions about device performance. This is a good tradeoff between hardware choices and software quality.

    Finally, Microsoft also ensures all hardware interfaces are based on open standards (NFC, micro USB, etc), which keeps your options for hardware accessories open and affordable. That is the exact opposite of Apple's hardware policy, which tries to lock you into loading up on proprietary accessories, in an effort to make switching from iOS as financially painful as possible.

    b) App distribution

    Typically, the app store is what Android proponents throw the term "walled garden" at. Yes, for iOS and WP you can't just develop an app and distribute it over your personal web-site. Developers must distribute their apps through the app store. However, the benefits of this far outweigh the slight restrictions that nobody but developers experience.

    Distributing apps from a single and centralized location allows Microsoft and Apple to do rudimentary QA testing before unleashing an app on consumers. They can ensure the app conforms to standards, doesn't use unreasonable amounts of RAM and is virus and malware free. If this is what we call a 'walled garden', Android is at a loss for not having one.

    An addition to this, Microsoft is making it very simple for companies to set up private WP8 App Hubs, allowing companies to easily distribute their own apps to their mobile workforce without involving Microsoft at all. Microsoft is making this much easier for companies than Apple ever has, not to mention free. So, in a nutshell:

    Microsoft app distribution policy: give developers as many choices as possible while enforcing some control over quality.

    Apple app distribution policy: give developers as many choices as possible while enforcing some control over quality and also optimizing revenue (apple takes a large chunk of sales revenue for themselves).

    Google app distribution policy: give developers as many choices as possible without enforcing anything (Windows 1990's security situation all over again)

    c) Ecosystem (another generic, meaningless term, but I don't know of a better alternative)

    Microsoft's app store isn't completely without restrictions (a sodomy app would certainly get you into trouble), but within reason Microsoft is open for business. Basically, Microsoft gives companies a platform over which anyone, including any of Microsoft's biggest competitors such as Amazon or Google, may and are encouraged to do business.

    This is not true for iOS, where Apple reserves the right to ban and/or remove anything from the app store on no more than a whim and without necessitating an explanation. For example, Google is worried that Apple won't allow them to publish their upcoming Google maps app for iOS6, and Amazon was forced to remove features and services from some of their iOS apps as Apple wanted to prevent free competition with their iTunes music service... many more such examples exist.

    Conclusion

    I really don't understand where people get the idea WP is a "walled garden". I hope I've convinced you otherwise. Cheers!
    Last edited by a5cent; 11-11-2012 at 09:06 AM. Reason: Spelling
    ImmortalWarrior likes this.
    10-02-2012 12:49 PM
  12. ImmortalWarrior's Avatar
    It's 60 dollars extra for the 6 gig data package from Rogers. The lowest LTE data plan is for like 100mbs and is 15 dollars.

    The one I have is 25 dollars and I get 500mbs of LTE data. Bollocks I say.

    You also need to purchase a call package separately. Those call packages don't all come with "extras" like voice mail and such, and those are usually an extra 10-20 dollars.

    So for an average plan. It's 30 bucks for a calling package, 10 bucks for some extras like voicemail, caller ID etc. Then 25 dollars for 500mbs of data. Plus the 911 and service fees.

    My plan is an older plan with unlimited network calling that they no longer offer, and I pay 88 dollars a month after taxes.

    I get 100 local minutes, +50 bonus anytime minutes for signing the contract 3+ years ago.
    Unlimited local evenings and weekends after 6pm.
    Unlimited local network calling
    500mbs of LTE data (we JUST GOT LTE in waterloo yesterday, though I've been forced to pay for the plan for 5 months since I upgraded to a Lumia 900 from a Focus)
    voicemail (no visual voicemail as it is not supported for windows phones on Rogers)
    caller ID.

    Almost 100 dollars. Lube not included.

    *Note that this plan is a legacy plan that is no longer offered, the new ones are more expensive and only offer a little bit more in terms of minutes. Data is the same as it always was, we never had unlimited data from any carrier. Only Wind offers that now but they have a very limited coverage area in Ontario.
    Last edited by ImmortalWarrior; 10-02-2012 at 12:59 PM.
    10-02-2012 12:50 PM

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