1. snowwake8's Avatar
    While I can't say I've been with Windows from the beginning. I can say I've been with Windows since the big changes started. I bought an HTC 8x right when they came out. Upgraded my laptop to windows 8 as soon as it was released, and a few months later bought my first tablet. A Surface RT. I got rid of anything Google and went all in with Microsoft. I changed my email from Gmail to Outlook. I started using Bing as my default search engine, and I started using OneDrive (Sky Drive at the time). Needless to say I put it all on the red and went all in.

    Now, almost 2 years later here are my honest and true thoughts on where we've been, where we are headed, and what Microsoft missed a long the way. Before beginning I want you to know I have no plans to leave Microsoft and I am rooting for Microsoft to continue its rise in fame and support. With that, I'll begin.

    First and foremost I'll get to the biggest negative of them all. Mobile app development. Maybe I'm missing something but you would think one of the richest companies in the world could woo developers a little better, and faster. Because in the mobile industry time is very relevant. As the sole employee at my work using windows devices I've done my share of promoting and recommending other employees switch. My biggest rebuttal is "I could never leave iPhone now. I've spent too much on apps and music.". So it really bothers me when I go into a Verizon store pretending to be dumb and shopping (yes I really do this on occasion) looking for a phone and they tell me the Windows platform is cool but they don't have any of the good apps. And a lot are 3rd party.

    There's a new generation of kids getting first time phones and getting them on a Windows phone without previously owning a phone is much easier than convincing them to switch after they've spent $200 on apps and music. Microsoft needs to step up and do whatever it takes to get GOOD apps comparable to iPhone and android. Not just something that "works".

    The Facebook app is clearly two or more years behind in development of iPhones app. Instagram Beta was huge when it came to Windows but how long has it been in beta without even an update. Probably a year. Vine, Snap Chat, YouTube, all 3rd party apps. And the people selling your phones at the retail level are telling potential customers this. These apps don't even touch the surface of what Microsoft is doing and building here. But people will never know because of something as stupid as a 3rd party Snap Chat app. Seriously fix it.

    Social apps are and will continue to grow and be the number one driving force in the mobile field for years to come. Even more important than business functionality, which I might add Microsoft owns the market on. Now don't think because I brought these particular apps up that I am a 17 year old kid. I'm a 32 year old professional and I use office, OneDrive, etc. for business. But I like the social apps too. And there are many more like me out there. As long as Microsoft can't compare on this most basic level they will continue to be beaten by their two main competitors. It's just a fact.

    With that said, why isn't Microsoft making an effort to fix this? As of this writing the Facebook app has a rating of 2.9 on the windows phone store. That's horrendous and unacceptable. If I were working at Microsoft I would not sleep until that was fixed.

    Ok, enough about apps. I think you get my point. Onto Microsoft Office. Microsoft OWNS the software market. Nothing compares to the office suite and it is used everywhere. This is one of Microsoft's biggest selling feature when buying Microsoft phones and tablets. Microsoft 365 is absolutely genius. And I can use it on my phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop (yes I still have one of those). With OneDrive being built into their OS software it's becoming even better. I now do not even use a hard drive on my computers. All of my work documents are on the OneDrive. I primarily use the OneDrive on my laptop for work and I find it to be effortless and easy to save and pull up word and excel documents. I also use it personally on my tablet and Windows Phone for pictures and videos. And with the announcement that office 365 users will get 1tb of data I will be using it even more.

    Since I first switched to Microsoft only I have upgraded from my HTC 8X to the Lumia 928 and also purchased a Surface Pro 2 (unfortunately 2 months before the 3 came out) which I'm still kicking myself in the pants for. So, back to the OneDrive. My one gripe is this. I save a video I made on my Lumia 928 and then when I go back to play it, it buffers horribly. I have a 55mbps internet speed at home and should have no problem pulling up a video saved to my OneDrive and watch it. I have found the OneDrive apps to be useless for this whether it be on my Windows Phone or my Surface Pro 2. The only way I have found it to work and buffer correctly is by going to OneDrive.live.com and watching it from there. This needs to be fixed. Especially if you plan on giving 365 users 1tb of data as that will become a huge selling point to people who like taking videos. Other than that. OneDrive is amazing.

    Let's talk about Bing.com. It's fantastic. I haven't gone back to Google at all nor have I had any desire to. With the bing rewards program it should be bringing new people in all the time. I remember seeing the bing it on challenge being advertised directly against Google. But why did this stop? Microsoft should be advertising about Bing Rewards. Who doesn't like free stuff? Especially for doing something they are already doing. Who doesn't want a free months subscription to Xbox Live gold. Who doesn't want a gift certificate for coffee? Advertise the crap out of that feature and put together some good commercials and get more people on Bing. I don't see Microsoft's effort.

    When Windows 8 came out for the laptop and desktop it was received with very mixed reviews. Eventually everyone will be forced to use Windows 8 as older computers die off and people upgrade. They will eventually love it and with touch screens becoming more and more popular it will help a lot. Which is what Windows 8 is obviously tailored for. The upgrade to 8.1 brought some relief to people as they now find the desktop mode a little bit easier. All is fine on the computer OS and eventually people will grow to love it and get through the frustration period. Not a big deal here.

    Right now Microsoft is pushing the Surface Pro 3 and telling people it will replace your laptop, which it most definitely will. I agree with the effort they are making to push the device but I think they need to be pushing other products just as more, if not more. Like I said earlier, keep advertising the benefits of Bing. Make it well known 1tb of data is coming to the new office 365 for free with your subscription. You have deep pockets, use them as a tool to advertise better to the masses.

    Xbox One and Xbox 360. No gripes. Simply stunning and amazing. Being able to connect with Xbox glass is awesome as well. That's all I need to say on this subject.

    Now, back to the elephant in the room. The Windows Phone. I've been on 8.1 via the developer program for 2 months now. It saved me from any small thought hidden in the back of my head bout leaving windows. This summer, as it rolls out, is going to save, let me repeat, SAVE massive amounts of people from leaving Windows when their phone contracts are up. The Windows phone 8.1 brought in all of the features it was missing to keep on pace with iPhone and Google.

    Now, I am not a professional in this field and I don't know how the cell phone companies and OS companies relationships work. But when I went into a Verizon store last week not one employee even knew about 8.1. That is sad. Why are there not commercials advertising the 8.1 windows phone? People should be so excited about it they should be lining up to buy it when it comes out because of its awesomeness. If people can line up for an iPhone update which basically is the same thing just "newer" then there should be no problem for Microsoft to put an advertising campaign together to get people excited about this. Sell people on Cortana. It's an easy sell! Right now, when I bring up Cortana to friends they laugh and say "oh Microsoft is copying Siri.". Which is entirely untrue.

    Cortana does so much more then Siri. It is as close to a personal assistant you can get right now. Google has something like Cortana but still, Cortana in all of her beauty is going to become the Queen bee. That is, if people can find out what she is. Why aren't there advertising campaigns showing people about her? Pumping people up for their very own real personal assistant. No one who isn't following Windows has no Idea about her. This should be a no brainer and I think it's going to make Microsoft's growth so much slower because they aren't telling people about the awesome things that are happening.

    From what I've seen people are going to be hearing about it from current users who are going to be getting the upgrades and the people at AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc. The people who are selling your phones. Your Microsoft Stores are amazing but they will never be able to compete with the cell phone carriers stores regarding mobile phone sales. I think it is so important for the employees of these stores to be educated on what is happening with Windows Phones. Now, again, I don't know how it works. But I know in retail companies have reps that go to the stores and educate the salesman on their product. I would assume something similar would be happening at cell phone stores as well. But I don't know for certain. But literally weeks before the 8.1 rolls out to all the Windows 8 phones and not one employee knows about it and its awesome features. That is just sad! I ended up spending a half hour in the store showing off Cortana and Windows 8 and by the end of it they were all excited for the update. And I am just a guy off the street with a passion for Windows success.

    Microsoft. I am calling you out. You need to make all of these beautiful things you are doing known. You should have people going into Verizon stores asking about Windows 8.1. You can control that. You can make that happen. And I challenge you to do so. Not just challenge. I think you have to do it. Do it for the kid who's been waiting anxiously to turn 16 because that was when his parents agreed he could get his/her own cell phone. Do it for the older individual who is still holding onto a flip phone and reluctant to change. Do it for the trendy tech guru who is always looking for something new but continues to buy an iPhone because the coolest new feature is a thumb scanning unlock on the phone. And most importantly, do it for us. Your loyal customers and advocates who want Microsoft Windows Phones to succeed. We deserve it.

    And now for my personal want list. The future. Obviously better apps on Windows phones. You claim you have what 48 or 49 of the top 50 apps in the world available on the windows store. That's all fine and dandy but they are not as good as iPhones. Fork up the cash. Either build your own GOOD Facebook app or pay Facebook to do so. Just get it done. People notice these things. Fix the app issue. It will drive sales!

    Second, I would LOVE for Cortana to be on the surface and the Windows 8 OS in general. This might and probably is already in the works but what good is a personal assistant if she is stuck in one place?

    Third. The swipe feature on Windows Phone 8.1 is fantastic. Please bring it to the surface. I know you want people to buy the keyboards. Which I own and will continue to use. But for the times when it's not convenient to use the keyboard the swipe functionality would be great.

    Fourth. Here maps are good. But not nearly as good as Google. Which I understand may be practically impossible to beat. They do own the map market. But you can do better then what you are currently doing. If I ever cheat on Windows it is when I am at my laptop and I find myself going to maps.Google.com instead of maps.bing.com. I know Nokia invested a lot of money into building their (now your) map system. It needs to be fine tuned. Take some employees. Have them play with maps.Google.com and maps.bing.com and its easy to see in just the general functionality that Google is more user friendly. I'm not saying you need to go out and take a picture of every street or highway in the world like Google. But put some effort into making it more user friendly. This isn't a hard fix. Just some common sense features in the functionality.

    Fifth. Keep up the good work and keep bringing us awesome stuff. I am more excited about Microsoft's future today than I ever have been. Truly bringing together phone, tablet, laptop, gaming console, into one is remarkable. I love searching the web on my phone, then jumping to my laptop at work and being able to pull up my browser from my phone on my laptop. These things are great! The hundreds upon hundreds of little thing like this are what is going to make people fall in love with Windows all over again. You guys are on your way. But seriously, I hope someone at Microsoft reads this. I am an average person who uses a little bit of everything and I know there are many more out there like me. Thanks for reading. I'd love and welcome any feedback in the comments and would love to start a discussion about my thoughts, and what you think as well.

    Thanks
    06-29-2014 05:32 AM
  2. emperor_skull's Avatar
    You're soooo right, just wish they work on this
    snowwake8 likes this.
    06-29-2014 06:02 AM
  3. UncleGrandpa's Avatar
    I think brand loyalty whether its apple, Google, or Microsoft...is trending downward. Its now a "what have you done for me lately" world, and when you're late to the party, you better have the hottest date in the room.
    Torcher Death likes this.
    06-29-2014 06:17 AM
  4. gapost's Avatar
    Excellent advise. Hope they take some of it and do it.
    snowwake8 likes this.
    06-29-2014 06:18 AM
  5. snowwake8's Avatar
    I've noticed I left out the built in Skype functionality which is really a great feature! Also the new support with Cortana connectivity with Skype is fantastic as well. Oh, and Microsoft OneNote built within OneDrive is also a fantastic software program that works seamlessly through all of my devices without ever having to click on a save button.
    06-29-2014 08:29 AM
  6. snowwake8's Avatar
    I agree. I hope they fix these things. I'm sure there are lots of new things in the works but leaving some of these old things hanging in the wings kind of sucks...
    06-29-2014 11:01 PM
  7. amitnahar's Avatar
    But first fix the crappy Xbox music app.
    Sent from my Lumia.
    James8561 likes this.
    06-29-2014 11:55 PM
  8. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Please see this thread.
    BobLobIaw likes this.
    06-29-2014 11:59 PM

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