To this day, I can’t recommend Windows Phones to any business user and it’s the same reason as it was the day the platform was released. If you use your phone for work, you care about phone calls, emails and the ability to view attachments on your phone in a pinch – that’s probably the core things you do. Unfortunately, email is more than just viewing emails as they arrive. Three years ago I listed the following complaints about Windows Phone email:

  • There’s a default font for email. You can’t change that. So if I’m out of the office and sending an email from my phone it’s obvious since the font is something like Curly Cue 12
  • If I want to forward an email it’s an all or nothing affair. I can’t edit that email. If you’ve ever had a chain of emails you know how often you want to redact a few lines before circulating it. No deal without a copy and paste job to try to get around it.
  • You can’t email Adobes. OK you can forward an email with an Adobe attached to it but you can’t ‘reply all’ and attach an Adobe saved on your phone and you can’t start a new email and attach a locally saved Adobe. This hits a wall with the inability to alter text within emails as I just noted.
  • Attachments are a mess in general. The same ‘Adobe’ issue is present in Office files. If I want to attach a Word, Excel or PowerPoint file I can’t ‘reply all’ and attach it. If you hit the ‘attach’ button that means you’re sending a picture. The only option is to start a fresh email but you need to go into the Office hub and start with the file and share it from there. So you can’t attach two office files and you can’t just reply to a chain of emails so if there was a chain you need to copy the recipients, go to the Office hub and then start from there. It’s very unnecessary, messy and often insufficient
  • Want to jump onto your VPN and grab a file to view or email around? Yeah not happening. There are some apps that let you remote desktop but that’s not an ideal solution. VPN should be standard
  • This is only slightly on point but if you’re on a call and an email comes in, you get those three ‘dings’ with the third being the loudest and most annoying. Really, I’m trying to talk on the phone – no need to make me take my ear off the phone because an obnoxious incoming emails sound is constantly pinging me, a few seconds for each email
  • The inability to forward contact information or open and save vcards. We now have some third party apps to send contact information but this has to be native

OK so vcards are no longer an issue. The rest haven’t been addressed. This has been going on for years. As a business user, I’m forced to remote into my desktop to actually deal with attachments. I can’t recommend anyone use this platform when such a simple and routine function can’t be performed. And nothing in the released details of Denim appear to address this. I’m pretty fed up with it at this point and I can’t imagine that people within Microsoft are using Windows Phones and not running into this wall all day .  Come on Joe Belfiore – get this done already.



  1. Or sucks that the native email doesn’t do everything we’d like however I should mention that Metromail does allow you to reply with attachments without doing the copy paste workaround. Just because MS doesn’t leverage the file picker abilities introduced in cyan doesn’t mean other developers haven’t.

  2. Alright, I’m going to give Metro Mail a shot.
    True on the rest of the formatting. It wouldn’t take much to highlight and tap/hold to bring up formatting options for text. The platform has been around long enough that mail should have been updated significantly by now.

  3. Point 1 – I disagree, but I’ve changed my default font in outlook to use Segoe UI instead of Calibri. I think it’s a clean font. Nothing like the Curly Cue you refer to.

    Point 2 – Yes not being able to edit an email chain is crazy.

    Point 3 – I’ll admit not being able to attach docs (word, excel, pdf) is annoying, until my company instituted the latest version of sharepoint, which I’ve now gotten used to just sharing a link to the document rather than sending the actual doc. When I get an attachment in an email I get mad now, since that uses space on my inbox, and I’m only allowed 400MB on the exchange server, so I’m having to archive quite often, it sucks…though some people I know only get 30MB of space, they have to archive every week, it’s crazy people, stop sending docs, files or anything else in an email. THAT’S WHAT FILESHARES ARE FOR!

    Point 4 – See point 3 response

    Point 5 – See point 3 response

    Point 6 – Have you thought about turning off the sound and just have it vibrate? I get enough emails throughout the day, having the vibrate is bad enough, think I’d throw my phone across the room if I had the email tone on too.

    Point 7 – as you mentioned solved, though it would be nice to be able to edit the vcard before sending.

    • How did you change your font? All mails I send are in Calibri from my phone. From my PC they’re in Times New Roman (obviously I can change this but I can’t change it on my phone).
      Yes, I can turn off my sounds but that shouldn’t be on me…I don’t keep my phone in my pocket all the time so I leave the sounds on, even if they’re not loud. A simple option to mute or reduce sounds while a call is taking place seems basic enough.

      • My apologies, I haven’t changed the font on the phone, just in outlook, which after sending myself an email from my phone realize that while the fonts look very close, the phone is using Calibri 11. Outlook defaults to this, but I have changed it to use Segoe UI 10.

  4. I agree with all of your points. I’ve been using this OS since back in the day with Windows CE and Windows Mobile.

    To add to your point, when I send a message from my phone, I want the recipient to think it came from Outlook on the desktop. I hate that my signature is a different font and doesn’t include color (similar to my sig in MS Outlook.)

    I’ve also been putting in requests to MS for years now to give us the ability to have a second signature for replies. I hate that everytime I reply to a message I have to go back and delete my standard signature.

    Anyway, that’s my 2 cents.

  5. Yep on the forwards. Too many times I’ve put off a forward b/c can’t edit it and then forget to deal w it later on the desktop. The workaround is copy the text then start new email. Pain.

    • VPN on WP just lets you redirect your connection. Of course it doesn’t work for me because the authentication methods are limited but lets ignore that. You can’t use that connection to actually connect to your office files (since file explorer is still a myth on WP). You’re better off with Remote Desktop or Teamviewer but then you’re back to sending emails from your PC and not your phone.

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