There’s an interesting bit of a story that’s playing out since a developer named Daniel Tuppeny issued a post about how he loves Windows Phone 7 but was considering leaving it. He actually got a call from Brandon Watson and Ben Lower of Microsoft. So you can read it in full, here’s his original post titled “Why I’m Close to Giving Up on Windows Phone 7, as a User and a Developer” and today’s follow up post Windows Phone 7 Part Deux. If nothing else, this shows that Microsoft is listening and taking the time to try to keep developers. Of course, that doesn’t resolve the overarching frustration that Dan and a lot of us are feeling – namely that Windows Phone has a lot of ground to make up and we’re not really hearing much in terms of incremental updates or bug fixes. Here’s some of what Dan says took place on their call though:

– The WP7 launch in the U was acknowledged as limited because of its disconnect from the US

– Error logs exist on WP7 developer phones so that MS can see and retrieve error logs but that doesn’t currently exist on retail phones but MS will now consider adding this to developer unlocked phone

– MS will look into providing a change log/release notes with updates to add to transparency

– And on the big one, updates, he notes that the excuse that big companies move slower is not an excuse

I share Dan’s frustration about a lack of transparency and the speed of releasing updates. On a new product we’d expect to see a lot of updates in the beginning like Android had but sadly we’re talking about Mango which is about 9 months away as being the next update. No bug fixes or incremental updates even though we saw Mango on stage already so that means the next 9 months is tweaking multitasking, app switching, Twitter integration, cloud support and IE9 integration. This doesn’t address the fact that I can’t attach a pdf to an email (I can only forward it which is obscene) or the fact that there are no APIs for the digital compass or access to videos. I don’t want to go into my biggest nits but I bet any WP7 user can count a dozen small nits that they wish were fixed immediately and which don’t take 9 months.

Let’s hope MS gets the memo that everyone else has gotten. We want incremental updates. We want bug fixes. We want to close the gap and not watch the rest of the industry fly by while we dream about what WP7 could be.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Couldn’t agree more, there seems to be a disconnect between the MS campus and the actual users. Not to mention that there seems to be a lot of double talk about such things as carrier blocking. If a carrier can delay “testing” until they feel like it and the OEMs pressure MS to delay while they add “fixes” then that sure seems like they have the ability to block updates. Not to mention the fact that MS was reported to have an extensive test network that supposedly did most of the pre testing for the carrier. All I know is that the iFruit devices seem to have gotten regular updates while we are still on 1.0.

    If MS listens to anything, it should be that they really have to open up about what updates are in the queue and when they are going to be delivered. Pretending that Apple and Google are not ahead in their platform and update mechanism is ridicoulous.

    That being said, while I am frustrated, I still love WP7 and I really want to see it evolve!

  2. if i were Microsoft i’d issue a small update every month and make my users the happiest of all. If that were to happen, Google and Apple would be SERIOUSLY worried

  3. MS may have doomed the platform when they agreed to go through the carriers for updates. Originally they said they would do them directly and the repercussions of that lie are going to haunt wp7 for years. Even if Mango gets to us on time, the whole cycle will be holding back the platform next year. I mean, It is astonishing (and very depressing) that iOS, the platform that is far ahead of wp7 in features and marketshare, will have been updated more often than wp7 by the end of the year. How is it possible that MS is moving sooooo much slower than the guys who are out front? You cannot when a race that way. The worst part is that wp7 is so good and one place where, conceptually anyway, they are out in front of the field. It is the only mobile platform that has actually rethought they form and the fact that they are squandering such boldness doesn’t bode well.

    As for the phone call – claiming that “big companies move slower” is literally insane and frankly the admission does more harm than good. What he’s saying is that it is not going get any better! Terrible job. Also, Brandon, if you haven’t noticed both google and apple has gotten pretty damn big themselves.

  4. Totally agree, some of the things that frustrate me should require only minor tweeks. Like not being able to back up the content on your device like they did with WM (i.e. favorites and text messages online). Unless there is a way to do a full backup in Zune that I have not found. Also frustrating is the fact that the full Zune capability is not on the device (e.g. shuffle, etc.).

    In the end what worries me most is something I heard on one of the podcasts (might have been Paul Thurrot’s Windows Weekly) but they interviewed someone that spoke about updates in general and the comment was the NoDo would be released to everyone, but and I assume they are reffering to Mango (could be the following one as well) still required some consensus about who is paying for the update. This was a while back, but the person called out either the carrier or the OEM as possible candiates. If that is true, neither of them really have any incentive to update you current phone. Just like we saw with WM, the OEM would rather sell you a new phone unless they are forced into it. From the carrier perspective, I really was hoping that AT&T would prove me wrong and truly push this phone hard, but I don’t see any evidence of that happening either. So if no one is pushing the platform ahead, that leaves MS and they just seem to point back to the carriers and OEMs and shrug their shoulders.

  5. Will mango allow us to finally attach files besides photos to emails? i.e., pdfs

    Love this phone, but cannot forward pdf contracts to clients

    deal breaker for me!

    TERRi

  6. @TERRi: Actually, I believe I did hear that mentioned at the MIX11 anouncement but not 100% certain. There are third party apps today that can create and send PDF files (based on images from the camera) but, as you already know, no way to access a PDF file on your device and attached it directly.

    But here are two workarounds, at least till Mango. You can send yourself an email with the PDF attachment and save it to a folder. When you need it, simply open the email and forward to whomever you need to send it to.

    Another option is to use a Dropbox account to store all of your PDF files. If you are not familiar with Dropbox, it creates a folder in My Documents and all you need to do is copy/paste your files into that folder to make them available; online, on your mobile device or on any PC that is synced to your Dropbox account. A 2GB account is free. I use Pocket Files (0.99) on my phone, but there are other choices as well. With Pocket Files you can tap/hold a PDF and select share via email, which will open an email message (in the account of your choice) with a link to the file. You can add to/edit the email, as long as the link remains intact. All the receiving end needs to do is click the link to view/download the PDF file. Yes, an extra step but it works well.

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