How could Microsoft do this to us, again!
Since the Windows Phone Summit earlier this week and the announcement that current WP7 devices will not be receiving an update to WP8, there have been a lot of angry people out there, swearing off Microsoft forever (again), calling anyone who purchased a WP7 device these past several months suckers, and even implying that anyone who would consider purchasing a WP7 device now must assuredly have a diminished IQ to think such a thing.
While change can sometimes be a good thing, I have never embraced it. Especially change simply for the sake of change, which I interpret as different, but not necessarily better. True, innovative change is a different story, but manufacturers seldom reach that mark.
Let me share a story with you.
In early 2010 I was sporting an HTC Fuze. I always had a love/hate relationship with Windows Mobile, going back to my first PocketPC. It worked, but was painful to use on a daily basis, with its slowdowns and lockups. But I persisted and tweaked the hell out of it to make it better. I think Doug Simmons referred to this as Stockholm Syndrome, and admitted he was probably right. At about the same time Microsoft introduced Windows Phone in February 2010, my brother, my best friend, passed away unexpectedly. Having lost my life’s savings in a failed business 8 months earlier, this was another change I was not prepared for. After coming out of my funk a few weeks later, and realizing that I was going to be doing a lot of traveling back and forth between my home (NJ) and my brother’s home (FL) to help the family shut down his very successful tax accounting practice, I decided it was time for a new phone. The Fuze was still working, but the smaller screen made it increasingly difficult for my aging eyes, and I wanted something newer and a bit more robust. I read plenty about the upcoming Windows Phone, but was turned off by the locked down nature of the OS, and decided that I would skip at least the first generation of WP, and hoped that Microsoft would come to their senses in a year or two. And after all the changes in my life over the past year, I was not ready for another.
So I quickly snatched up an HTC Tilt 2 on eBay for under $200. After tweaking the hell out of that phone, I got it working to my satisfaction. Yeah, I still needed to soft reset once or twice a day, but it was more effective for my needs at the time than the Fuze. The more I read about Windows Phone, the more I disliked the direction Microsoft was taking. I was all in to Microsoft since Windows 3.0, but I thought with WP7 they were making a big mistake. Fearing that I might be stuck with WM6.5 for at least a year or two, I went out and bought a second Tilt 2 as a backup off eBay, again for under $200. Remember, I don’t like change very much and needed some added security. Then, as would have been expected since WM was reaching E.O.L., in late July AT&T was offering the Tilt 2 on contract for $0.01. I was eligible for an early upgrade, and was certain that I was not going near that fruity tile, yet-to-be released WP7. So I got a third Tilt 2. More security, less change. Yes, I knew that WM was reaching “End of Life” status, but that didn’t matter to me. Hell, I think the phone only got one update as it was, so updates didn’t matter that much. And the phone did most everything I needed it to do. Some of it poorly, but I still got it done.
In September 2010, I moved to Florida to start my life over. Another change that I was not looking forwarded to, but did my best to view it as a glass half full. Aside from the Tilt 2s noted above, I had purchased my last three phones at an AT&T store in Florida from a good friend of my brother’s, during Holiday and other visits. So on November 8th – WP Launch Day, still out of work, I took a ride over to visit James and see for myself all this hoopla about Windows Phone and the OS I had all but sworn off. I spent more than an hour that morning playing with the Focus and Surround, amazed at how fluid the OS worked. On the short drive home I started to rationalize how much better this phone would be for me than the Tilt 2 on my hip, even though it was locked down and was missing some essentials. Remember, I despise change simply for the sake of change. But this was different. After a quick lunch and another hour of pondering I was back at the AT&T Store working out the specifics with James for a Surround. It was $499 off contract (remember, I got that Tilt 2 in July for $0.01 and blew my upgrade, ’cause I would never buy a Gen 1 WP), but I got some kind of Loyalty discount (probably most of James’s commission) and walked out on Launch Day with a $399 Surround. One of only two in the store that day. BTW, I immediately put two of my Tilt 2’s (I always keep one phone as a backup) up on eBay and cleared just enough to pay for the Surround.
Fast forward to April 2012. While I was still enjoying my Surround and not experiencing any issues, after 17 months I had the new phone itch. I was eligible for an early upgrade as of April 1st and the Lumia 900 was looking mighty nice. Being well informed about all things mobile I was aware that Windows Phone 8 was coming in the Fall. And I was also cognizant of the fact that current WP7 devices might not be able to upgrade to to WP8 because of the new kernel. But I don’t buy phones, or any tech, for what they may be able to do in the future. I buy them for what they can do for me today. With each passing year I grow a little wiser and have learned a thing or two along the way. One is, “life is short”. And another, “don’t put off to tomorrow, what you can do today’”. And a new one, “sometimes change is good”. I don’t know where I will be or what I will be doing in November 2012 when WP8 launches. And guess what, neither do any of you.
I have resigned myself to the fact that I will probably be purchasing a new phone “off contract” between my contract phones every year. That may not work for everyone, but if you budget properly, it is an option. So next March, 10 months before my next early upgrade, I expect to be hankering for a shiny new WP8 and will be waiting for my AT&T store to open the day they release some new mid-cycle phones. Bitching about how Microsoft screwed over current WP7 users is silly. And suggesting you are a dumb ass if you purchase a WP7 phone in the next several months is just ignorant. Don’t recall where a read it, but something like 50% of all current Smartphone users have “never’ downloaded an app. And another 20% have downloaded less than 5. Do you think those 70%, a majority by my count, give a rats ass about a WP8 upgrade. For them, if the phone performs the way they need it to out of the box, that’s all that matters. When Windows Phone 7 was first announced, I resented the fact that Microsoft was ignoring the techies and catering to mainstream users. But over time, I came to understand their goals and objectives. Windows Phone 8 is good for Microsoft, it’s good for mobility, and it’s good for all of us. Windows Mobile, a platform still very much “in use”, was only recently overtaken by WP7. The same will transitional pattern hold true when WP8 is released.
You can pout and stomp your feet all you want about how your recently purchased WP7 is now obsolete (obsolete: 1) no longer in use, 2) superseded by something newer, though possibly still in use), but no one is going to listen. Do you know why? Because change is good, and life is short. Get over it.
Hey, that wouldn’t happen to be my name in a decent article not written by me, would it?
Greetings from Cyprus.
Yes it would. Doing your part to the the economy I assume.
Amen to that, sweet powers!
Nicely put, Jim.
What a rude end to an article that belittles the valid complaints of users who feel duped after signing a 24 month contract on a phone released some 50 days ago. I sure hope you continue to tell people get over it when companies walk over customers instead of doing the right thing, like not launching a product with massive marketing along the lines of “Smartphone beta test is over” when they very knew it was EOL come this fall. Disgraceful.
But you do not speak for me. I will continue to pout and stamp my feet in protest. The least they could do is make sure the bloody Skype app run in the background. Is that too much to ask for?
The way I see it, Microsoft had four choices:
-Tell their OEMs, including Nokia, to not release any devices starting from the point that it was clear there would be no direct upgrade path to WP8, (which I would guess was at least 6 to 8 months ago), and leave consumers wondering.
-Continue releasing devices and leave everyone in the dark, breaking the bad news when WP8 devices launched.
-Continue releasing devices, but tell consumers that there will be no upgrade path to a future, yet to be finalized OS, that will include some new hardware and software features.
-Share the facts about the future of WP7 & WP8 at a public event.
Sorry, but I think Microsoft did the right thing, and I respect them for it.
“What a rude end to an article that belittles the valid complaints of users who feel duped after signing a 24 month contract on a phone released some 50 days ago.”
I’ll tell you what Sayon. If you truly feel that way, go buy an Android device. I hate to tell you this, but you aren’t going to fare much if any better on Android. If you don’t believe that, look at the numbers that show that less than 10% of Android phones were updated to ICS. I guess you could say that’s better than Microsoft’s 0%, but try and tell that to someone who bought an Android and didn’t get upgraded. Apple is a little better, but it still has features and updates that don’t come to the previous phone.
Though I kind of skimmed through fast, believe this: I firmly believe Jim is 100% spot on nail on the head correct with this and not because it gives me some sense of affirmation about what I said along time ago many times that he is beginning to agree with but because Jim just demonstrated a capability which is rare among phone brand enthusiasts to un-dig his heels from his general corner in the tug of war ring and consider that the contrarian opinion may actually have merit to it, and then to go ahead and write about it, knowingly walking into some heat as he has.
Also I think he’s correct because some of his points are in alignment with what makes sense for Microsoft and consumers at large.
Whatever — good piece Jim, more articles like this please, keep ’em edgy big guy. Condolences on your pal and may your struggles ease up some.
If someone who is a mobile phone enthusiast, reads blogs like this and doesn’t understand the fact that its physically impossible to deliver the update to current Windows Phone owners I have to challenge the notion that they pay attention.
As a current WP7.5 device owner I am happy with my daily experience and can continue happily using the device for the next 120-150 days by which time my first year of the contract I signed with AT&T will be up and i’ll pay an extra upgrade fee to get my new phone early.
Nokia is continuing to add great apps to their Lumia series and so the experience will just continue to get better and better. Its like the saying that you shouldn’t focus on the possibilities and drag down your satisfaction of something you already have.
I don’t get it… Apple is allowed to do stuff like this but Microsoft isn’t? MS took a page out of Apple’s playbook and now people don’t like it. When Apple does it it’s ok though? I don’t get it…
Sorry, dont agree one bit. Personally I have a Lumia 900, moved to at&t to get it, and normally buy my phones off contract so I am not bothered one bit that my 900 wont get the full WP8 upgrade as I knew better hardware will also be supported in the new OS and I wanted that. But no matter how you want to put it, this is MS abandoning its userbase once again, and in todays world where the competition can deliver updates to its most recent devices this situation will compare poorly for MS and especially Nokia who has bet the farm on WP.
And yes, I agree the techinical reasons are sound, but why would you recommend WP to anyone today when something better is just months away? And this is not the typical ” you can wait forever for something better” situation as clearly WP7 wont be anything close to WP8.
It will be interesting to see what happens but no one can complain if WP sales fall off a cliff from here on till WP8 launches and Nokia finds itself in deeper and deeper financial trouble.
Great piece Jim. Like Murani said, if you’re going to be a phone enthusiast, at least pay attention. I was a Tilt2 owner, and it made perfect sense to me that it wouldn’t be upgradable to WP7; I got an HD7. At the time Apollo rumors were starting, and I was deciding whether to upgrade to the Titan, I simply looked back at history. I’m now waiting for WP8, HD7 in hand.
Judging by how Windows Mobile took a steady decline toward uselessness starting shortly after WM6.5, I’d say this next “bigger number failure” should not be a huge surprise. Maybe it’s “smooth” and “cute”, but what’s the point if it’s useless?
I don’t know how far my experience reflects that of a majority of other WP users, but I’d say that I’m ‘merely’ disappointed in the announcement. I’m not pained by it.
All along I was looking toward Windows 8 as the target for my next round of gadget purchases. It turned out that I couldn’t wait that long for a new phone, so I got a Titan. Of course, I was hoping that it would be upgraded to WP8, but knew that there was a possibility it wouldn’t. I was disappointed when that possibility was confirmed as actuality, but was neither surprised nor outraged. WP 7.8 will be enough to last me until I catch the second wave of WP8 devices–which is my preferred time to buy, anyway.
I agree that the “smartphone beta test” campaign (while clever) was misleading for the general public. All along MS’s announced strategy has pointed to Windows/WP 8 as the maturation of its efforts. That’s the point at which I’ll start evaluating the Windows ecosystem without adding asterisks.
Hey Lumia 900 users on contract, stop crying about your free phone. It’s still a great device and it can be used for a long time. I ponied up for a 900 off contract and it’s still a great deal.
Windows Phone 8 should be about a hardware smack down and if it’s what you want you’ll buy one off contract. You’re not a serious Mobile user if you don’t have a “try em all” mentality and that means off contract purchases. Windows Phone is the smoothest and most organized OS out there and it’s about to get much better. IOS is for the Lemmings and Android is definitely for the fools. Yeah I’ve tried them! Hardware is the only thing that justifies anything else but WP, I guess not for long.
Sidenote: I think if you use Android and swear by it, then you should not be allowed to post anything on this site about how Windows Mobile 6.5 sucked! Instead you should forced to say how much you love WM 6.5 and how you love paying MS for your platform.
Good job Jim, you convinced me I was wrong to complain about Microsoft abandoning it’s WP7.X user base. You made some good points.
An informed user has no right to complain, an uninformed user won’t care.
I left WinMo for Android, hoping WP would be able to get me back later with the right device.
However as an informed user, I am less likely to go WP8 now for fear of being left behind later.
JrDeMaskus: Glad I could help. As I noted, life is short. Not planning to take up sky diving or anything quite as challenging. But if I do get broadsided by a pickup truck on my way to work tomorrow, as least I had a chance to own one heck of a Windows Phone. I’m tired of waiting for the next best thing. Enjoy.
JrDeMaskus and Jim,
Since the invention of the computer and the smart phone the name of the game is waiting for the next great thing. My pentium one can’t run Windows XP but I’m not mad. My 1st gen iPhone can’t run half the apps on iTunes either. If you signed a 2yr to get a Mango+ device it’s your fault since we all knew WP8 was on the way by that time. Finally MS does something to address their mobile platform hardware, making it right and people complain. Drop your phone in the lake, then you have justification to buy a new one.
If it’s a budget issue then switch to Android because Big Lots and the Family Dollar always have those on closeout deals.
The point is WP8 is finally what everbody wanted and it’s a big step up. I hate to see anyone miss out on it. In the future be wise and you won’t be disappointed when this happens again, because it will. Breaking News: The WP8 devices will not support the Teleportation App and so on.
@Stan – That’s interesting that you would point out that Android is only for “fools”. As “Catch” would say on the movie “Gone Fishin'”, (referring to fishing lures) “they may call you the idiots for using these lures, but it’s the idiots that ain’t usin’ them that’s the idiots”.
The problem I have with that is that I have “upgraded” from Windows Mobile 6 to Android, and after seeing a few years of “Windows Mobile 7 Series”, I have to say it’s the complete opposite. You are a fool if you think this “Windows Mobile 7” stuff is a “smartphone”. Don’t get me wrong, it has its market with teens or senior citizens who just want a feature phone that kinda browses the web and plays games and is simple to use, but it’s definitely not for power users. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s just not the real Windows Mobile anymore, it’s not even worthy of the title. It’s awful and nobody uses it (I cite its 3.9% marketshare as a prime example).
Personally, when I made my decision, I knew that bouncing tiles, no multitasking, the inability to install programs, the lack of sync, the complete lack of useful software, the lack of support from our carriers, the locked down features, and the inability to even choose a ringtone, among other things would not be for me. I just don’t understand what the hype on this site for it is about. It seems like MobilityDigest has really lost it’s smartphone roots, and I’d like to help bring them back.
Together, we can help get this site back on its feet. Having Windows Mobile 7 is like having a million pound weight sit in a sinking boat, it just doesn’t help the situation.
And continuing to refer to Windows Phone, a completely new OS, as Windows Mobile does?
I don’t see the issue here. Companies are in it to make money and will do whatever it takes to do such. If this means pushing something that will be obsolete in a few months software-wise they won’t blink twice. The Nokia 900 is still an excellent phone (all faults aside) and will continue to be long after wp8 rolls out.
AlBert- you lack knowledge and obviously never used Windows Phone, tweek away, I don’t need 2! Been there done that. Call yourself a power user too, do you get a button for that. Dollar General is where it’s at. You’re only cool if you owned an HD2. You gotta have loot to root. R U proud of freebie apps. 20,000 copies so take a nap. Mr T said on the A Team TV show “I pity the fool”.
Shadyghost- exactly right!
@stan – “I lack knowledge and obviously never used Windows Phone”, Lol! I guess that’s what all the fanboys say ☺. I guess I can’t ever say I owned an HD2, but that may be because it was only available on the less than robust GSM networks. What are you even saying? LOL! Stereotypical Microsoft fanboy…
AlBerto- I’ve read your posts, just look at the things you say and jump in the long line of Mobile users that don’t know what to do with what their given. Go follow XDA and think you found the solution. The problem is the solution is ever changing and you have no input for that. Sorry about you bad experiences with WM but it has nothing to do with WP. That’s is your confusion. Android tech is old but I admit they have some great equipment splashed in with a bunch of crap. Call me a fanboy, then you haven’t seen my posts around Mango’s release. Fanboys don’t try other platforms, like I have. The point is WP8 is what I’ve been waiting for. The live tiles are awesome and huge potential on a productivity standpoint. The hardware is finally catching up too. Is it perfect? Nothing is. You’ll never know and that’s a shame.
IMO, there are too classes of people on this site, Champions and Complainers and you are the later. Flamethrower! There is a fine line between the two, so I’ll end this before I cross too far.
>>”I’ve … in the long line of Mobile users that don’t know what to do with what their given”
if that’s the case, I’d suggest you learn what to do with what you are given.
>>”The problem is the solution”
The problem cannot be the solution, even if there was a problem, so according to your strange logic, there is no solution to the nonexistent problem, which would be the solution anyway☺. Circular reasoning never completes.
>>”Sorry about you bad experiences with WM but it has nothing to do with WP”
If by “WM”, you mean, “Windows Mobile”, I’d say I actually had a great experience with it, despite your nonsober writings. I guess i don’t really know who you’re talking to. “my confusion”? I’m the writer trying to demystify things for you, LOL! Silly stan. You just keep working with your silly tiles ☺.
>>”You’ll never know and that’s a shame.”
Oh really? What don’t I know? Quite frankly, you haven’t told me anything I didn’t already know, but then again, you didn’t have much anything to say in the first place, atleast that which the average person could understand, but that’s okay because you’ve got me to help…
>>”IMO, there are too classes of people on this site, Champions and Complainers and you are the later. Flamethrower! ”
So if you think there are too many classes of people, why are you classifying people and creating new categories? By your logic, you are doing exactly what you like the least, interestingly enough. I wouldn’t consider myself a “flamethrower”, because I am really actually a nonviolent person and don’t own any powerful weapons like that at the moment, although that is very very offtopic, so there’s no point in bringing it up really…
In the end, you can write all the stuff you want while “hopped up on the q”, but in the end, only the sober internet user can be the champion, and I hope this experience has helped you learn.
I look forward to writing for ya’all again here soon,
Hot damn Jim this thing’s still alive at 26 comments and counting with plenty of flame to go around? Seems you’re getting the hang of how to build traffic, which would be by generating provocative content, not by installing a bunch of stupid SEO wordpress plugins.
Take note, Smith.
@Doug – Yup. This article is quite similar to the time when Windows Mobile users officially decided to either upgrade to Android or throw in the towel and give in, and you can feel by the “vibe” here that there are still some hard feelings from this by how much the market has changed in just two short years.
You are absolutely right, these are the best kinds of articles to get the “discussion juices” flowing, better than any “search engine optimization” ☺.