Outside of C9 I never read anything about this OS. In fact I didn't read anything about it on launch day, it was pretty devastating, now all I read is negative reviews, serious bugs, or people "switching back to [Android/iOS]."
I was just on an independent mobile phone seller's web-site and they have dedicated buttons for the iPhone and Android. If you want to find the Windows phone you have to go looking, and it is literally at the bottom of the list of OS's under Blackberry (and this is NOT alphabetical).
I don't actually own a W7Phone but oddly it is in my best interest for it to do well since I have a vested interest in the .Net framework and by extension the mobile .Net framework (and C#).
I didn't buy one since it was as expensive as an iPhone but with a five year old features book, bad UI, and poor/inconsistent hardware. The Android was cheap and "good enough." I'd still like an iPhone, the UI and UX are simply excellent.
I'm not sure what Microsoft can do at this stage. In fact I'm not sure what Microsoft has been doing between launch and today. The entire product feels as if it doesn't have Microsoft's backing and now they want to leave it out to dry up and die in the sun.
The mistake most people like us make is to listen to tech "blogs" about what the general population thinks. We live in the ADD generation and people complain if they don't get everything now. The phone has been out 4 months and people are complaining because things are not happening fast enough. It took longer than that for iPhone and Android (especially Android) to catch on. I also notice that there are tons of Android trolls that go around and post negative things about the phone even though they have never touched one.
All I know is my non-geek girlfriend bought one and loves it. She doesn't care about what updates are coming or how it compares to other phones out there. She just cares that it does what she wants and does it well. I love my phone as well and I have used every other type of phone out there (iPhone, Android, WM, even old flip phones). It is the best one I have used yet.
Microsoft paid certain developers to port their mobile apps to W7P, they even gave developers who were simply making new mobile apps money, and told others they were out of luck. Then they paid Nokia 1 billion dollars to abandon QT and MeeGo for Microsoft.
Why would any mobile developer touch this platform free of charge when Microsoft has consistently shown that they will do anything for market share.
I am on the partners mailing list and I have seen no cash offers for development.
So F that.
"hey, I'm going to be the sucker that develops for your unpopular platform for free, just because I am that gullible"
- no thanks to that.
They're constantly waving them around in the new Hawaii 5.0 and they were using them in Bones the other day. Advertising via product placement may seem more subtle, but it's supposedly a lot more effective.
@ManipUni: I still really like the UI, personally, and most reviews have agreed. I definitely prefer it to the iPod touch. The iPod has more features and way more (and better) third-party apps, no question.
As for why you haven't heard much about it lately, for better or worse they are on an annual refresh schedule and the developer promotion for this year's iteration hasn't really started yet (it will start at MIX).
You can not go one commercial break in the USA without at least one (maybe two) WP7 commercials. They are clearly spending a metric ton of money on marketing.
I'm not surprised it's not doing well. Marketing is not enough to sell a product, you actually have to sell something compelling. And really I think the entire OS is a giant ball of fail, there is no "nice" way to put it. I'm sure you've heard the arguments already so I won't bother repeating them.
That's not to say Microsoft can't fix the platform's deficiencies, but so far they are proven themselves to be somewhat incompetent. Good luck fixing "that" problem.
I'm not buying that you're a software developer who can't afford an iPhone. Troll alert.
WP7 is a great achievement and a great platform but relative to the competition and the saturated market it's too little too late. Microsoft needed to put out something that begged users to want it ("iPhone? WTF?!?!?! Gimme some of that Windows Phone!"). Instead they put out an iPhone also-ran that only the tech heads would know what a great platform it can be. IMO the only bright spot is that Microsoft has deep pockets and can afford to spend the next couple of years building out the ecosystem. Maybe in a few years they will have something that's compelling enough above and beyond the phone.
This is what I see in MS Partner emails:
"Dear First Name,
There has never been a better time to develop for Windows Phone 7. With the added customer base of Sprint & Verizon CDMA networks coming soon, developers have a great opportunity to build apps with broader reach in a growing market. "Coming to CDMA is another milestone," said IDC's director of applications software development, Al Hilwa. He added that Microsoft is "about to reach 9,000 apps in the store, which puts them in good stead." We invite you to join the 28,000+* developers building on the Windows Phone 7 platform and create apps for millions of WP7 users around the world. The Windows Phone 7 Developer Program is here to provide everything you need to develop and market a WP7 app. The program offers no-cost development tools, code samples, step-by-step guidance, and marketing benefits to help drive your sales"
This is what I need to see before I buy a Windows 7 phone and start developing for it.
"We realize you may have seen other development teams receive a large sum of cash from Microsoft platform evangalism to port to our platform, and we know that you saw us dump 1+ billion into Nokia to sell off QT and abandon MeeGo. Now your company will also cash in on our spending spree.
Here is X all cash offer for a full team to develop Y W7P application, including cash deposit, and cash payments as milestones are reached. We realize that you have to do payroll, and that you can't otherwise risk it on this unpopular platform so we will compensate all partners accordingly and fairly to accept the risk of doing business with us on this platform."
That's what I would like to see, and I am not seeing that.
Dead? 10,000 apps is pretty good given how long the phone's been available... It's far from over, folks. Remember when XBox shipped? People thought we were crazy (and too far behind the staus quo already saturating the gaming console market...). Today? XBox is rocking and rolling the marketplace...
Why give up so early? Can we at least have a chance for success? Let's revisit this thread in 18 months. Fair? C
IDK, I only know I have so many free games on XBL on my WP7. And many more new games very day. I have to check regularly from the "ranked free" section. I don't look at new or paid section, too much work (games only). I rare browse apps, I know what I want and download it directly.
A lot of people are still waiting for the NoDo update though. Copy&Paste is kinda big. And it usually takes second gen OS to convince people to buy it. You know, like some people don't buy Win98, they buy Win98 SE (that was me). I was late adopter to WinXP to (I was hating XP kiddy GUI).
Just give it time. At least all the major companies already have apps on WP7, which is important.
@magicalclick: "IDK, I only know I have so many free games on XBL on my WP7. And many more new games very day. I have to check regularly from the "ranked free" section. I don't look at new or paid section, too much work (games only)."
"Nintendo America's President, Reggie Fils-Aime, has said that cheap mobile games are a major threat to the games industry, describing them as being some of the 'biggest risks' to the market."
This is the biggest issue for mobile developers and Microsoft has shown clearly that it doesn't care about the ecosystem. Even less so than Apple or Google.
That's a major difference between W7P and XBox. Microsoft isn't making a cheap SDK so more developers can make money, Microsoft is making a "Yet Another" phone platform, except even more generic than any other and less profitable.
Joe Shmoe Douche Pizza shop owner will pay an indie developer $1000 for an iPhone/Android app. They'll pay NOTHING for a W7P app. At the current rate, they'll NEVER pay any consulting firm to build anything for Windows mobile. And that's a fact.
What built the Android and iPhone app ecosystem was not revenue from sales, but revenue from small shops building branded apps for stores and B2B contracts.
So Microsoft wants all these already small dev teams to pay out of pocket because there is no business there.
I do own a WP7, and I must say I don't really understand all the pessimism about the platform. It needs some work, and needs it fast, but I don't see incompetence, at most masochism (like the fact that you need a little support from IT to get a WP7 to connect to a Microsoft Exchange server running on a self-signed certificate... the iPhone does not. Oops).
It's a good phone, the tools are more than up to scratch and visibility is bound to improve over time, especially once Nokia starts cranking out devices... add that Microsoft has the kind of cash it takes to be stubborn.
I don't think it's time to write an eulogy, yet.
This is a silly question, but here it is anyways. How many devs does Microsoft have working exclusively on the Windows Phone OS and shared libraries? And how does that compare to say how many devs are working something of purportedly equal value, say XBox or even Excel? Or is dev count a stupid metric for assessing liveliness?
I'm personally not going to touch it until there is a version of sql compact that runs on it. But hey, to each their own.
Charles wrote: 10,000 apps is pretty good given how long the phone's been available...
Maybe it is, but shouldn't a device stand on its own? Do you think a premium product on sometimes sketchy hardware is a good recipe for success?
It's far from over, folks. Remember when XBox shipped?
Yes, I remember it being hugely successful right out the gate. I can still remember the buzz about Halo, the cardboard billboards everywhere, and how all the people in the industry were confused because the "PS2 was better!"
But I guess we're talking about different things. The market buzz around both the X-Box and W7P are similar, that I grant, but what I am talking about is actual sales figures. The W7P, last I read holds less than 3% and that was with Microsoft throwing away millions to market it.
If I approach someone on the street and ask them what "Windows 7 Phone is?" Do you think they'd know? It is a horrible product name, by the way, stop putting "Windows" in things. "Windows 7" doesn't help sell the darn thing, it hurts it hugely due to lack of identity.
@Charles: The problem with your comparison to Xbox is that Microsoft Had complete control over the Xbox. They had control over the hardware and the accessories. They even have a certain control over the games that were coming out. So it's no wonder it was a success with the type of control that MS could exhort over the production of the Xbox.
The problem with phones, MS once again took the hands off approach... Sure you've developed a nice looking OS, i've had the pleasure of using my mates Samsung Omnia 7 and it is a gorgeous OS. ANd sure you told the manufacturers you're only allowed to make phones that look like this with these specs, but you're not really producing the phones or the experiences. The problem i see is that you're aiming for a mass market phone with different manufacturers but not allowing the manufacturers to shine.
MWC should of been the place to sing, and MS messed up. There were about 5 different Android phones announced and released soonish after, that I want. Nothing came from MS or it's partners. No new phones. My contracts almost up and I already know which Android i'm going for because I don't want 5 month old hardware. If MS wanted to go down the one phone a year route then you should be doing it alone. When i look at Samsung i expect a new phone every few months.
Xbox is fantastic and most people rave about Zune hardware. Microsoft produces brilliant hardware, and you should be doing that for phones, or you should take the guards off the manufacturers and let them bring out as much hardware as the Android system does.
Windows Phone is doing fine, and here's an anecdote to prove it.
I was going through my list of friends on Xbox Live the other day, out of 42 (many of which are just random people off forums who've added me etc), 6 have achievements from games on Windows Phone. Heck 75% of my flat now have Windows Phone 7, the other 25% is Windows Mobile 6.5.
I think the platform is doing well, just ignore the FUD from the tech blobbers (not a typo).
@daSmirnov: Do you live in a nerd Windows Fanboys flat ?
Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.