Since the end of October 2010 the new smartphone os by Microsoft, AKA Windows Phone 7 is available. Five months have passed and some interesting results are peeping out. The marketplace just passed 11 thousands apps available, Nokia has signed an agreement with Microsoft for creating devices that will soon be available in Europe (by the end of 2011 and first half 2012). The first update “NoDo” is out on these days carrying some basic functionalities that maybe should have been delivered from day one.
The next interesting update, codename “Mango” is due to arrive by the end of 2011. By the same time periods also due the public beta of Windows 8. This is expected to be a revolutionary upgrade of Windows in the very key aspects such as ARM chips support (and of course x86 processors as usual). It is said that Windows 8 will use the Windows Phone 7 kernel in order to streamline the compatibility among devices such as smartphones and tablet-pcs. So, if we consider the Windows 8 Beta and Windows Phone 7 “Mango” release timelines, the kernel should –and could- be already compiled (it happened before with Windows Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7: Vista just tuned in with other products by delivering the SP1).
What is Microsoft (or, better, the WP7 team altogether) doing wrong?
Evaluating the feedback I personally received, here are 3 major feeble points, in my opinion:
1. Certification process made with Carriers for every single update.
2. Lack of substantial transparency with customers
1. Certification process
The certification process for the Windows Phone 7 updates is just a disaster. I’ve never seen before such a frustration in receiving an update whatsoever. I can’t get why Apple releases a new firmware in the wild just to update even an icon set, teasing customers, without responding to anyone, while Microsoft needs to discuss every single patch they decide to include in any update. Who decided that Carriers should have been involved in this process so deeply to substantially block any update? I guess the responsible of that should be fired immediately but just keep in mind that customers do not need major releases to love a platform. A bunch of small and frequent updates without any carrier interference should suffice to get more love from costumers. Apple goes on always producing patches and fixes for wrong updates while customers silently agree.
WP7 team is highly exposed, from twitter to platform blogs, but during crisis periods no one answers or just clarifies with enough honesty. Announcing a specific and unique release date for general availability should be sufficient.
I have the idea that so often geeks and followers are left alone into the news-eaters arena while we all are waiting for some MS Miracle by plugging and unplugging the device to the Zune software to see magically appear the so-long-waited update. I suggest to get
more affordable beta-testers for each nation if you are trapped in the “Samsung Syndrome”.
Bing US is just ok but here in Italy is a complete disaster. “Our” Bing is tied to the old Live Search engine and in everyday use it always happens that if you search “tomatoes” it returns “chips and salads”. If I change the display language into English (us) I have far more better results but why on earth is this supposed to be a customer problem? Why Bing Italy is still under beta mode and doesn’t offer vocal search on WP7 just as US devices do? It’s so weird that Bing goes on progressing on other platforms while WP7 seems to be kep apart. At this time I have no feeling to support anymore this platform. I won’t change it just because Android is really horrible and iOS forces you to upgrade the device every 6-9 months. I simply leave my device to its destiny wishing good luck to Microsoft.