Windows Phone Sucks
By on December 26th, 2012

I am sorry for the title of this blog post. I wanted to say something like “Windows Phone 8: A Windows Phone Lover’s Take” or “Why Windows Phone 8 needs updates quickly” or something, but realized that what I really wanted to say was what the title says. In a series of posts, I will try to explain why I came to such a drastic conclusion.

But first, some background. In case you didn’t know from reading my posts here and elsewhere, I am a fan of Windows Phone. I have owned and exclusively used Windows Phone virtually 100% since the day it was launched back in 2010. I like many of the in-built features of the OS enough that despite the maturity of iOS, I am not going to switch to the iPhone.

Recently we have also seen some prominent tech writers say how they love Windows Phone and how they are switching, or almost switching, to use it exclusively in place of iPhone.

(See the other posts related to this one – Windows Phone 8 Platform/OS Issues, Windows Phone 8 Internet Explorer Issues, Windows Phone 8 Xbox Music+Video Issues.)

There is no doubt that Windows Phone 8, with its Windows 8 internals and fantastic high-end hardware like the Nokia Lumia 920 and the HTC Windows Phone 8X can compete well with iOS and Android. However, as an existing Windows Phone user I am seeing many issues with the platform/OS, ecosystem and features (or lack thereof).

Here and in related blog posts, I attempt to list some of those issues I have noticed after using my new Lumia 920 for about three weeks.

Platform/OS issues: In a separate post I discuss the issues that I feel need to be addressed within the platform/OS.

Internet Explorer: In a separate blog post I look at several issues with Internet Explorer on Windows Phone.

Xbox Music+Video: In a separate blog post I go into some of the issues I have had with the Music and Video apps on Windows Phone.

Other smaller items in the system, which are important to note regardless:

Me tile – The Me tile works very well for seeing notifications (replies to tweets, Facebook notifications, etc.) and for quick posting and check-ins. However, it has been missing notifications for direct messages and native retweets since launch. These are missing from Windows Phone 8 as well.

Facebook messaging – Windows Phone has had Facebook chat incorporated since the beginning. They also added the ability to send messages even if the other person is offline. What is missing though is the ability to send/receive group messages. I use Facebook messages a lot, and mostly for group messaging. If there were a feature to send/receive group messages, it would make me miss the Facebook Messages iOS app a little less.

Auto-upload pictures/video – With Windows Phone 8, we finally see the ability to automatically upload full-resolution pictures and videos to the cloud. This is great and understandably, there is a limitation that the highest quality pictures, as well as all videos, are only uploaded when the phone is connected to WiFi. What I am seeing is, after taking pictures and videos outside where there is no WiFi, when I return home and the phone reconnects to WiFi, the pending uploads don’t automatically start uploading. I have to force them to upload by essentially restarting the phone. I am sure this is not the intended functionality, so it seems like a bug, but it is an issue to me nevertheless.

All the issues I have mentioned in this series are fixable via software updates. Also, with Windows Phone 8 we have seen that Microsoft is willing to apply smaller, perhaps more frequent, updates. However, as I mentioned earlier, it does not look like the Windows Phone updates are truly universally deployed (yet), like Windows Updates. As a result, my unbranded Nokia Lumia 920 will suffer through the random restart bug for two months while I know that those with AT&T and Rogers have seen the updates already. This is extremely frustrating.

Windows Phone 8 is still only a couple of months old. I think Microsoft knows fully well that this is their chance to wrest some semblance of respect in the new mobile-focused era. Limiting updates, or being slow in applying these bug fixes, will be shooting themselves in their feet. They simply cannot afford to make another mistake like that. Here’s hoping that we see many more updates, and a simplification of the update deployment so it gets closer to, if not the same as, iOS update deployment.

First, let’s hope that they are working furiously on some of the glaringly missing features, as well as features which have been taken away from Windows Phone 7, and then hope that these get updated as small update packages which get applied frequently till the OS is “complete”.

Let me know your thoughts about Windows Phone 8 in the comments.

(See the other posts related to this one – Windows Phone 8 Platform/OS Issues, Windows Phone 8 Internet Explorer Issues, Windows Phone 8 Xbox Music+Video Issues.)

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Product Reviewed: Windows Phone 8

Review By: Romit Mehta
My peeves with Windows Phone 8 after using a Nokia Lumia 920 for three weeks.
Rated: 4/5
Author: Romit Mehta Google Profile for Romit Mehta
Romit writes about mobile news and gadgets, and is currently a Windows Phone owner (Nokia Lumia 920). Find him on twitter @TheRomit. Personal site is http://romitmehta.com.

Romit Mehta has written and can be contacted at romit@techie-buzz.com.
  • http://twitter.com/TheWinPhan Sean Johnson

    I’m also a long time Windows Phone owner. I can appreciate many of your viewpoints and have heard some of those same issues reflected in the WP community, I even share a couple of them as well. I agree that these are changes that need to be addressed, hopefully sooner than later. I would like to draw attention to something many people are failing to acknowledge through this entire WP8 release process. Microsoft is in a tough position. On one hand, Microsoft wants to release an incredible product that can compete with the more mature platforms iPhone and Android, needing to have superior hardware and software to bridge the marketshare gap. On the other hand, Microsoft has one of the most impatient and overly critical communities, who demand the best and NOW! That is tough to balance, which to me seems to be what they are attempting to do. Release a product earlier than should have been to appease media and current WP base, all the while churning out updates to fill in what was intended initially but unachievable due to us, the community. It’s not an easy position to be in but I respect their approach and applaud their current efforts. Good piece, I will keep reading your series!

    • TheRomit

      Thanks, and I kinda understand your point. The community is small but extremely demanding and very vocal. Microsoft is late to the party, very late. I expect them to iterate as quickly as Android did when it was launched, trying to catch up with iOS. There may be issues along the way, maybe missing features, but if they iterate rapidly, those will be moot. They need to get parity first, but also leapfrog over the rival platforms so they can get more market share.

  • http://sanatgersappa.tumblr.com/ Sanat Gersappa

    Nice piece. Re: your last para, I would have been more hopeful if they had got the OS update process down-pat, but they seem to have screwed up there as well. And they don’t exactly have the luxury of unlimited time.

    • TheRomit

      Thanks! Yea, I am going to wait and see how their next update rolls out. This one is the first being delivered to WP8, so I can forgive and ignore. If the next one does not roll out more globally, it would be end of the road for me. :-(

  • http://www.facebook.com/noelle.dalton Noelle Dalton

    As a computer consultant & owning my own repair shop I can tell you by the experience of my clients that Win Phone is the biggest piece of shit going the 1st problem is that its windows over the past cpl months Ive seen windows phones come in with the FBI virus & various other programs that will hijack your phone to the point where it is unusable I have a galaxy S3 totally love android & am an avid Linux user thanks to Ubuntu there have been a lot of really great spin offs out there that make Linux accessible to the common person Like Zorin & Linux Mint why should I buy an operating system when I can get it for free its totally customizable thanks to add ons like compiz fusion & emerald as well as 1000′s of free software that will do just about everything Office does & more so screw windows Ubuntu phone is on the way

 
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