pixldncr pixldncr

Niner since 2008


  • Countdown to MIX11: Joe Belfiore Talks Phone

    ok, first...I like WP7.  I've got two WP7 phones and like them both.  The OS seems like a pretty good v 1.0 product, but wierd things happen all of the time when I attempt to start an app and don't have good network connectivity...most of the time, the app just abruptly exits without displaying any error messages telling me why the app has terminated...I'd suggest a bit more rigorous testing process prior to enabling an app to go live in the Marketplace.

    Regarding the current WP7 update process that will soon be forgotten about, you guys are really screwing the pooch on this one.  However, I'm seeing the update process as a symptom of a much larger problem at Microsoft.  There does not seem to be any ONE person in change who is capable of making WP7 a success for Microsoft.  Two examples:

    1. when I joined the developer program, I spent almost a week attempting to get the darn registration form to allow me to submit my developer information...turns out that your javascript page validation code had a bug in it that only happened when a developer filled out the form the way in which I was attempting to fill in the form.  The problem was that there was no one who supported the registration process...Microsoft assumed that it worked, and all problems with the process were to be submitted to the "forums", oh...wait...for...it...to access the forums, you needed to be a registered developer...go figure.  I called the support line and they verified the problem (they re-created the problem) that I was having and that I was blocked from getting to the forums (so that I could get help with the registration process)...but there was nothing the phone support person could do to help me (he was a very nice guy who was very sympathetic, but I was not looking for a shoulder to cry upon).  I finally examined the page source for the registration form (yep, forgot that I was a developer for a few days), found the error in the javascript page validation code and filled in the form in a way that would not trip the validation bug.  What is the point?  The point is that there was no one on the WP7 team at Microsoft who stepped up and was empowered to solve my problem for me.

    2. seems like the same thing is taking place in the "update" process.  In the incredibly sketchy video with the two Microsoft shill hosts, Joe says, "hey, my team did it's job, and we did a great job"...now, it's in someone else's hands to make sure that the updates make it onto our phones.  Ok, who's the responsible person that we should be communicating with if it's not Joe?  Also, come on, a VP who gets to say, "hey, it's not my team's problem...we did our job".  That certainly does NOT sound like one of the top 10%'ers to me (isn't that what you guys at Micrsoft call the top performers who get promoted to jobs like Vice President of WP7 development?)!

    So, is Microsoft going to do a better job once the Nokia relationship starts rolling?  I'm skeptical, based on an attempt I made recently to join the Nokia Developer LaunchPad program.  Silly Nokia...they announced that anyone in the LaunchPad program would be getting a couple of new Nokia phones (one Symbian C7 phone, and one WP7 phone once they become available)...and guess what, they got over 2000 new LaunchPad registrations over the next couple of days.  It turns out that the regular LaunchPad registration rate was one or two a day prior to their "free phone" announcement.  Oops.  Oh yeah, and the guy that processes the LaunchPad applications was "on holiday" for the week, so no applications were being approved.  I got an email (sent to all those waiting for Launchpad approval) on this topic last week (been waiting over three weeks now for LaunchPad approval) from a VP at Nokia, telling us that we are important to Nokia and that we need to please be patient with Nokia while they get our applications processed...so, again, what's the point?  Another big company, without a responsible person in charge who is able to take the bull by the horns and actually make "the right thing happen" in a timely manner.  Has Nokia ever thought of having someone (or maybe 3 or 4 someone's) help out the poor chap who is doing the Launchpad approvals?

    Why bring up Nokia?  Just pointing out that just because a powerful company named Microsoft pays another powerful company named Nokia $1,000,000,000 (ok, from what I hear it's slightly more than $1Billion over the next 5 years, but let's not quibble the minor millions) to start offering Nokia based WP7's...if Microsoft (and Nokia) cannot get their act together, especially for their developers...Will We Continue to spend our precious time and money making WP7 apps?  OR, will we rather spend our time and money making iPhone apps, making Android apps, making Palm/HP apps, making Meego (oops, that would be a mistake) apps...you get the picture?

    When you are playing catch-up, you have to play better (and consistently work harder) than your competitors...even if the problem falls in an area typically outside of your current job description.  And, from my limited perspective, you guys are lacking the cohesive leadership to make up for taking the last couple of seasons off from our favorite sport...great people without great leadership will not get you to the "winning" area (gotta love Charlie Sheen for the whole series of "winning" quotes).

    Wow, I cannot believe how worked up you guys have been making me for the past couple of months.  So, what can you do for me?  I think I'm your pretty average wanna-be WP7 developer (I've got a couple of WP7 apps currently in development) and here's what I think would be great:

    1. a developer installable flash image of WP7 for all of my "registered" WP7 phones. These images should be upgradable and downgradable at my whim, whenever I wish to re-image my phone(s).  This would be a great help for testing my apps when user's submit bug reports that only seem to happen on a specific device or with a specific version of the OS (moving forward).

    2. a list of WP7 resources (PEOPLE) with whom I can perform 1-on-1 communications at will who can actually solve my problems or who have direct access to the folks at Microsoft (and the carriers) who can solve my problems...all at NO COST TO ME.  There should be no "man behind the curtain"...get rid of the curtains and come out in the open to help us or to fess up to your failures.

    3. a much better price on developer phones and early access to the new WP7 phones as they come out.

    4. see a common thread?  give us a better developer experience and for low, low prices.  Yes, that means that Microsoft (and Nokia) need to make this a "strategic" direction and put significantly more resources to work in making WP7 a success for us all...make the WP7 development process an area in which you spend as much on developers (not just the top 100 developers) as you spend on those really cute WP7 television advertisements.

    If you made it this far and would like to talk in person, feel free to contact me at pixldncr@hotmail.com.