Microsoft has promised to deliver big news Tuesday regarding its Windows Phone 7 smartphone platform, and the company will be kicking things off at 10 a.m. in TriBeCa in New York City. But WP7 has had a rocky start so far. Can Microsoft really deliver?
Microsoft first introduced WP7 in February 2010. The platform officially launched worldwide in October 2010. The first crop of devices was very good, but not quite a match for the headlining Android smartphones available from most carriers. It didn't help that WP7 only launched on AT&T and T-Mobile at first. Sprint didn't pick up any WP7 handsets until earlier this year, and Verizon is releasing its first WP7 smartphone this week.
We all love some Windows Phone here at Trigon. Heck, we even have one engineer with one! Sure, the rest have iPhones, but you get the idea.
Windows Phone is revolutionary in that it didn't follow the design principals of the iPhone OS, much like Android has. It's completely different, built from the ground up. It had its beginnings with the Zune OS, and has blossomed into something much more. However, that's not to say the Phone hasn't seen some hardships. Whether it be carrier support, or lack thereof, the launch has been rocky with only spacial updates.
It could be that Microsoft underestimated how things would go when you have to push updates to no less than 10 phones that are on different carriers. Apple has done well with their fleet of phones, one a year, and updates go out quite smoothly.
The above linked article goes onto list some items that they hope to have in the next version of the OS, like pinned emails, better IT admin controls, and possibly phones from Nokia. The more phone manufacturers Windows partners with, the more trouble it would spell for smoothly rolled out updates.
We at Trigon would love to see Windows Phone succeed, because in the end, a Microsoft Phone product is going to be the easiest to maintain in the enterprise. Hopefully.
Gartner predicts that Nokia will push Windows Phone well into the mid-tier of its portfolio by the end of 2012, driving the platform to be the third largest in the worldwide ranking by 2013. Gartner has revised its forecast of Windows Phone’s market share upward, solely by virtue of Microsoft’s alliance with Nokia. Although this is an honorable performance it is considerably less than what Symbian had achieve [sic] in the past underlying the upward battle that Nokia has to face.
Furthermore, Microsofts loudest champion on the Internet, Paul Thurrott takes issue with this proclaimation:
According to the numbers, Windows Phone, which today has sold fewer than 3 million phones worldwide, will somehow (well, not “somehow,” via its partnership with Nokia) account for almost 20 percent of the market in 2015 … or 216 million units.
Mull over that figure for a moment. 216 million units.
I was early to get onto the Windows Phone 7 bandwagon ages ago with the Zune HD. However, the phone seemingly hasn't caught on with the smartphone audience as customers are still running in droves to get iPhones and Androids. It certainly doesn't help when Microsoft had promised easy upgrade processes with no carrier interference only to no encounter a slew of issues. It's such a mess they actually had to make a chart where you could check the status of your phones update. Ouch.
If Windows Phone 7 is going to success at this point, it's going to be because of their partnership with Nokia. I'm wary of Garnters claim of passing the iPhone's marketshare in a few years, but, whatever floats your boat and gets pageviews, I suppose. Competition is good, but let's not just go crazy here, Gartner.
The Windows Phone series should be booming in the enterprise market, where the Windows Mobile series was previously. Instead the iPhone is taking over with no end in sight. Let's get cracking here, Ballmer. If you'd like to know how WP7 can help your small business, Trigon can help, friends.
- By Andrew, "Lewis", Levin
Part 2 of our Windows Phone 7 Review!
Battery Life - This phone is big and WP7 has a lot going on. This results in subpar battery life. Granted, it’s not horrible, but it’s just OK. The battery drains pretty quickly and even with moderate use it will definitely need to be put on the charger towards the end of the day. For me though, this isn't a huge setback because I can use car charger during to the day keep the charge up, but it is annoying to have to worry about the phone dying more than I had to before.
Service/Coverage - Overall, T-Mobile's coverage areas aren't as good as other carriers. I noticed that switching from ATT, a lot of areas where I had 3G, I now am on the Edge network. But again, just like the battery life, it doesn't impact me much because I rarely absolutely require specific coverage and speeds at specific times. I also use the phone on WiFi in the areas I am in the most, which mitigates the coverage issues. However, this would be very annoying if the time came when I was trying to access, let’s say some media content, but was restricted to an older network.
Marketplace - I put this as a con, but it will eventually become a pro. The Marketplace is obviously pretty small at the moment, but that is only due to how new it is. It grows exponentially daily, so I don't expect application availability to be an issue for very long.
Maps - You can't save your locations without pinning them to the main screen. If I have 15 saved locations, I do want to have to 15 additional items on my main screen. There are of course other apps which you can use for navigation, but the built in maps app needs to be able to store locations within it. Other than that though, the map application is good.
Overall, I really like WP7 and there are so many other features I haven't even gotten into yet. The cons I can deal with and overtime they will eventually go away. For a first release, the think Microsoft (and its hardware partners) definitely hit a homerun. With Trigon's usage and review of the phone, you can continue to rely on us for being on the cutting edge of the newest technology that can make your job that much easier.
- by Andrew, "Lewis", Levin
So, I've had the HD7 from T-Mobile for about 3 weeks now, and overall I am very pleased with what Microsoft has developed. WP7 is truly a streamlined mobile operating system which allows you to "get in, and get out." Below I have outlined, in my opinion, some of the pros and cons of the phone.
Size - The 4.3 inch screen makes the phone large, but not cumbersome. At first I was a bit concerned that it was too big and scorned myself for upgrading to something larger. However, it only took a couple days to get used to it and now I really like the large keys and easily readable text. It is still very skinny, so even with the large screen it doesn’t feel bulky.
Speed/Usability - It’s fast. Way faster than my iPhone 3G. It is also very smooth, way smoother than my iPhone 3G. The OS is intuitive and not overloaded. It is simple from a user's perspective, but also very robust. I also really like the back button which will take you back to any area of the phone you were just in, without having to navigate back to the home screen or restore your previous app's session. When you try to quantify the time it takes for additional navigation time, it seems ridiculous to try and justify an extra .2 seconds as taking too long. However, as we have all experienced with computers, .2 seconds and a single extra step is actually very noticeable and can get very frustrating. WP7 does a good job at reducing overall navigation time.
Kickstand - At first I just thought this was a cool idea and never thought I would actually use it. However, while I was hunting last weekend I was able to comfortably watch "The Expendables" while sitting in my tree stand. To my surprise, the kickstand ended up becoming very useful.
Pictures and Video - The 5 MP camera with the dual LED flash and zoom functionality creates sharp and clean pictures. The HD video camera also produces very high quality and movies.
Windows Live Integration - I was never really a Windows Live guy until I got this phone, but now I like it a lot. Integrating with Windows Live allows you to store and manipulate your files, pictures, videos, Zune content, etc all online and sync with your phone. You can also control your phone from the web, performing such actions as a remote wipe, locking the screen or even ringing it in case you lost it in the couch. Microsoft's cloud offerings of Office are also quite impressive. Therefore, since I use Microsoft's products all day, it makes sense for me to embrace these web offerings. I can keep my Office docs, contacts, calendar, personal email, media content, etc. all in a single location, and still access them through my computer, phone or the web.
Office - Office mobile works great on this phone, especially because of the large display. OneNote is especially very handy.
Zune - I never really adopted the Mac culture so adopting Zune as my media access portal was pretty easy. It integrates much better for what I do and how I use a computer.
Search/Voice recognition - It doesn't matter where you are in the phone, you can use voice commands to search the web, call a number, etc. You can also search within an app or the web wherever you are.
With Trigon's usage and review of the phone, you can continue to rely on us for being on the cutting edge of the newest technology that can make your job that much easier.
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of Trigon's Windows Phone 7 review!
Boy Genius Report:
Critics have commented on the lack of specific features like copy & paste and lack of 100s of thousands of applications. And while both are true, copy & paste will be available as an update in a matter of weeks (early 2011) and as for applications, it’s just a matter of time.
This should knock those Apple Fanboys down a peg. Nerds! Wait, I'm one of those Fanboys. Ah!
Even still, this news doesn't knock the "no multi-tasking" critique that the phones will still have to deal with. Essentially, these will be able to multi-task just like the iPhone did at launch. The built-in apps like Mail, Calendar and Zune can do things behind the scenes, just not apps that you download from their Marketplace. Bummer.
The best thing about the iOS 4.0 update was that games and apps can remember where you left off and pop back to life very quickly after long periods of time. It gives the impression that the app has stayed on the entire time, when in reality, it just remembers where you left off. Apple, you tricky fellows.
Word on the street is that one of Trigon's own employees will be purchasing a Windows Phone 7 phone at launch. Are you excited? I'm excited. If anything, this will continue to place Trigon as the premiere Windows technical support team in the Philadelphia area.
Take that, Apple Fanboys like myself!
by Chad Weaver
The reviews are in. This IT support/gadget lover guy is truly impressed with what Microsoft has done with the new windows 7 phones. It is amazing to think that this company might actually “get it” for the first time in a long time, and that it may be what the consumer really wants. I know, you’re saying, “Windows 7 the operating system really seemed to stop the slide away from consumer mistrust and anger. I mean Vista, friends!” I would also like to mention this; has anyone seen a single Mac vs. PC commercial in a long time? Must have done something right there. Take that, Apple!
I have been looking at all the boring presentations and long form reviews. They do complement the fact that these phones really do seem sleek. I was a little worried when I heard Microsoft was going to try to enter the smart phone market again. I mean have you ever used a Windows Mobile device?
It was painful and traumatizing.
It got the job done but it wasn’t really fun getting there at all. To see what they have done here is truly amazing. They’re putting great features in a standard OS where it will be the same experience whether you by Samsung HTC and so on. Integration with Zune? My poor little Zune looks like a relic now. Blackberry needs to look out, if Microsoft offers robust business features RIM is looking more and more like a dinosaur. Well, like the mobile dinosaur that Microsoft used to look like. They just keep pushing the same subpar models and features, hanging on to the “Business” moniker. This might not be an iPhone killer or an Android killer but RIM is on the ropes for sure. I must also say I got into the business of IT support because of Microsoft and it’s really great to see them making waves again. I might even think to try one of their phones out, I don’t know that I would give up my shiny new iPhone but who knows these things are much snazzier then I first thought.
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