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Windows Cellphones Handhelds Operating Systems Technology

Ask Slashdot: What's Your Beef With Windows Phone? 1027

First time accepted submitter occasional_dabbler writes "Reviews by 'commentators' such as this one predict certain doom for both Nokia and Microsoft on the basis of the OS being a failure, yet whenever the Lumia handsets are reviewed in the mainstream press they are often highly praised. Windows phone is an immature OS, certainly, but it does pretty much everything you need in a smartphone, is getting better with each update and it is beautiful. I have a Lumia 800, and now I'm used to how it and the WP OS works I find it a painful process to go back to an Android or iPhone for some obscure app not yet supported on WP. WP gave me the same feeling I got when I bought my first iBook, fired up OS X 10.1 and realized I had just been shifted up a decade. So why so serious? What do Slashdotters who have really tried WP think of it?"
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Ask Slashdot: What's Your Beef With Windows Phone?

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  • uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:01PM (#40324147)

    All those f*ckin' tiles drive me nuts! It's like a kindergardener's art project!

    • Re:uhhh... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:26PM (#40324703)

      All those f*ckin' tiles drive me nuts! It's like a kindergardener's art project!

      This sounds like people's complaints about other helpful lmitiations
      1) single menu at the top, rather than per window
      2) interfaces that must be operable by one mouse button.
      3) white space blocks in python

      Sometimes human interface guidelines are empowering not limiting. And when you get down to something as small as phone, I can see how this matters more and more. The Windows abstractions to tiles and metaphor on a larger sheet you are viewing a slice of make sense to me. The obvious question is how not to get lost on the larger hidden sheet and how to provide quick access without resorting to clumsy menu hierachies is what windows seems to be solving in a nice way. Apple spent a lot of time thinking about it too. What will matter is intutiive and consistent application of guidelines will empower users by giving them strong mental models of how to interact.

      I can't say if I like win phones or not. Haven't had to live with one.

      The main reason I probably won't try is over years I've standardized my needs to macs, so for me it's going to be either an iphone, or disposable phone whose OS won't be important to me.

      • Re:uhhh... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SadButTrue ( 848439 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:42PM (#40325061) Homepage

        Single menu is the perfect example here. It is 100% pure form over function. All it buys is an unadorned display pane. It does this at the cost of always making the menu bar take up the maximum possible space and always positioning it away from where your focus, and usually your cursor, are.

        A pretty good analogy to WP7 maybe?

        • Re:uhhh... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by pthisis ( 27352 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @02:46PM (#40326303) Homepage Journal

          Single menu is the perfect example here. It is 100% pure form over function.

          Quite the opposite, actually; it's not as good-looking as having a menubar in each window, but every UI study I've seen shows it's faster to operate than one-per-window. Yes, it's slightly further away, but that's completely offset by the fact that it's a) in a fixed position, so you don't need to find it to know where to move; and b) it's at a screen edge, so you can simply move the mouse up and left without worrying about overshooting it rather than having to target a specific area (and, apropos of another ongoing topic, you can even open the leftmost menu blind).

          It also saves screen real estate, which is a functional matter for many people.

          I personally think it's ugly enough that I stick with menu-per-window layouts myself, but I don't pretend that's anything other than an aesthetic and what-I'm-accustomed-to decision.

          • Re:uhhh... (Score:5, Informative)

            by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @05:42PM (#40328959) Journal

            , but every UI study I've seen shows it's faster to operate than one-per-window

            Then the UI studies are, frankly absoloute crap. If you've ever tried to use a mac pro with dual 30" cinema displays, you realise that it is an awfully long way from one corner of the screen to the manu bar on the other corner of the other screen.

            It was a great design on a mac classic, where the screen was small. It's a reasonable design on even a mid sized screen. On a large multimonitor setup, it sucks.

        • Re:uhhh... (Score:5, Informative)

          by presidenteloco ( 659168 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @04:25PM (#40327849)

          Fitts' law (often cited as Fitts's law) is a model of human movement primarily used in human–computer interaction and ergonomics that predicts that the time required to rapidly move to a target area is a function of the distance to the target and the size of the target. Fitts's law is used to model the act of pointing, either by physically touching an object with a hand or finger, or virtually, by pointing to an object on a computer monitor using a pointing device. It was proposed by Paul Fitts in 1954.

          (See wikipedia article for equation.)

          From the equation, we see a speed–accuracy trade off associated with pointing, whereby targets that are smaller and/or further away require more time to acquire.

          In a single menu at top of screen, each menu column can be activated by a quick careless mouse/pointer move to the menu word, without the need to use fine motor control to slow the pointer to hit a vertically narrow menu word. At top of screen, the menu word's active region effectively extends arbitrarily up off the top of the screen, so the menu word is a big, easy to hit object on screen. Faster to get to, requires less (ultimately tendon-destroying) fine motor movement to finish the movement. Depending on the app you're using, you might be able to leave the pointer near the single top menu, also helping with Fitts' law optimization of the movement to the control.

          • Re:uhhh... (Score:4, Informative)

            by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Thursday June 14, 2012 @05:39PM (#40328929) Homepage Journal

            Your model is too simple. What tends to happen is the person looks at the menu bar to search for the item they want as they move the mouse, and time taken to look is the limiting factor. Having the menus near the area you are working in is faster. In testing there is no speed benefit to having the menu bar at the edge of the screen because people aim for it with precision as they would aim for any other item on the screen instinctively, rather than ramming the cursor to the top of the screen as you suggest.

            The single menu bar also has a major disadvantage - it combines system menus, application menus, system icons, notifications and the clock. The first two in particular are placed together on the left, not clearly separated. Having individual menu bars keeps everything neatly grouped.

            Actually there is one other big disadvantage with a single bar. When you are not focused on an application you can't see its menus. I usually have a few apps on screen at once and it would be really annoying to have to select one before being able to see its menu, let alone select an item from it.

          • Re:uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @06:58PM (#40329669)

            In a single menu at top of screen, each menu column can be activated by a quick careless mouse/pointer move to the menu word, without the need to use fine motor control to slow the pointer to hit a vertically narrow menu word.

            Firstly, while that's all it requires. That's not how it's actually used. Most people don't generally 'carelessly throw the mouse up' and slam it into the top of the screen, even if they know they can.

            Secondly, screens can get pretty big, and people use multiple montiros. I'm typing right now into a textbox that is some 50" away from the upper left corner of my main monitor. What might make some sense on a 13" laptop doesn't make the same amount of sense on a pair of 30" monitors.

            Thirdly, your application of Fitts' law is only one way. What happens AFTER I select a menu item? Odds are I need to come back to where I was. In my case, that's another 50" trip onto my 2nd montor, and unlike the menu bar the target position for the cursor in this text box isn't slammed down against a screen edge artificially increasing its 'size'.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think the tiles are great and extremely easy to navigate (especially quickly). The live tiles in particular give me information w/o the need to even startup the app. As the Geico lizard said "click-boom-bam" and I'm done using my phone and on to something else. For the record, I'm using WP7.5 Mango on a 4 year old HTC HD2 it wasn't designed for and can get things done a lot faster on that phone than most of my friends can on their iPhone 4S (not to mention the pictures look a hell of a lot better). The

  • by Dunega ( 901960 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:01PM (#40324157)

    So there is irrational rabid hate for it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:05PM (#40324223)

      Slashdot might have an obsession over N900 linux brickphones and 20-year-old Microsoft crimes, but Windows Phone is a total failure on the consumer level. People would rather buy Motorola Droids even though the adverts feature ninjas and giant robots.

      My theory is the Windows brand is heavily associated with your shitty XP work computer, and nobody wants that crap in their pocket.

    • by bmcage ( 785177 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:06PM (#40324233)
      I mainly hate the fact they cut of part of the text, and leave a black bar to right, giving an un-symmetric feel on the commercials.

      Yes, I get my info from the commercials. If I don't like those, why would I try it in a shop. I think that is rational,

      • by SpryGuy ( 206254 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:12PM (#40324347)

        But it's not really rational.

        WP7 is an odd duck because it has to be used to be appreciated. Static photos in ads or quick passive clips on TV aren't enough to really get you to understand what's going on with the phone.

        It also takes a little bit of time to learn, because it's not just a copy of what already exists everywhere, it's got a definitely new design and philosophy... an interesting and modern one, imho.

        But the small investment you make to "get it" seems worth it to me for the most part.

        • Are you serious? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:53PM (#40325325) Journal

          You sound like a classic apologist. The summary of this article already happily states that Windows 7.5 is still a immature OS... version 7.5

          You say "it takes a little bit of time to learn". Apologists speak for "it is unintuitive as hell but finally after hours of trying, you managed to get it to turn on".

          The entire problem with the MS phones is that the fanboys are trying to win the rest over with the same bullshit they have been trying for a dozen or more versions of MS attempts at a mobile OS. If the bullshit hasn't changed a bit, why should we believe the product has?

          Lets review, Windows 7.5, the only mobile OS to be single core only. The only mobile OS to be restricted to a single resolution. The list goes on and on. The only people who like it are MS fanboys, reviews are not positive, at best they are "not as bad as expected". The fact is that MS has been producing phones that cost a premium but just can't compete. You can argue whether quad cores are needed or not but charging the same price for a single core is just not on. iPhone does retina displays, MS stays way way way behind in the pixel race.

          It ain't cutting edge and it ain't cheap. So why buy it? Because it is MS? As others have said, MS is a negative brand, people AVOID MS if they can because they hate the moments they can't. There are some that are 100% MS and they like it because it stops them having to learn anything else. But the sales are to low to conclude it is just geek prejudice against MS. The sales figures are so low the opposite might well be true, only those with a prejudice against anything NOT MS are buying it.

          • Re:Are you serious? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @05:09PM (#40328567)

            I'll bet a lot of people are like my wife: she had a secretarial office job for many years, and of course this meant using Windows (95/98 to begin with, later XP) and Office and dealing with all kinds of bugginess, crashes, etc. These days, it doesn't matter what you tell her about MS products, she remembers all the pain and misery she had with their shitware (esp. Win95/98). She also started out using WordPerfect which she liked, but then all the offices switched to Word and that for a long time was very substandard.

            So just like you said, the "Microsoft" and "Windows" brands have negative value in her mind.

            Now, for the younger crowd, they generally like stuff that's "hip" and "cool". Well, I don't think I need to elaborate how much MS misses that mark, while Apple hits a bullseye there.

            Honestly, I don't think it matters how good or bad WP7 OS really is in technical terms; their brand is so bad that they could make the best mobile OS possibly conceived and it simply won't sell.

            That said, I have tried a WP7 phone briefly at a T-mobile store. It seemed easy enough to use, but there was nothing to get very excited about, the app support sucks, and worst of all, it was butt-ugly as hell. I'm sorry, that whole colored tile scheme is just ugly. And unlike Android, WP7 doesn't let you or the handset maker or the carrier customize things in any way, so you're stuck with the butt-ugly aesthetics that MS provides. MS has a long, long history of making butt-ugly things; just look at WinXP. With Android, the mfgrs get to put their own themes and front-ends on it, so an HTC phone doesn't look that much like a Samsung phone. And of course, as others have pointed out, the hardware specs for the WP7 phones suck: no multicore, low-res screen, etc. With a 2-year contract, you can get a far more nicely specced Android phone for free these days.

        • by s73v3r ( 963317 ) <> on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:56PM (#40325389)

          Why would I put in that investment when I can't see any more benefit over the Android phone I already use, which I don't have to put an investment into?

          Further, the software ecosystem of WP7 is extremely poor compared to Android and iOS.

      • by glassware ( 195317 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @02:24PM (#40325953) Homepage Journal

        Agreed. The designer in me goes nuts every time I see text artificially clipped on the right hand edge of the screen. It's just terrible; I hate feeling like the UI designer wrote text for the page and forgot to shrink it to fit in the width provided.

        Subjectively, the Windows Phone UI always gives me the feeling that I'm "missing something". I always feel like there's something else I should see, but can't, because it's hidden or on another page. I never know quite where to go to get to something. The fact that tiles are freely arrangeable, and that they don't cover all features on the phone, means that I always feel like the tile screen is a "shortcut" to some magical better user interface that exists somewhere else at the bottom of the phone.

        Contrast this to the iPhone UI. I know that every single thing in the iPhone is an "App". I know that I can see all the apps by going to the home screen and scrolling left or right. I know that if I lose track of something, that's how I can find it. Even if it's annoying to have to switch from one app to another, I never have to worry about how to get to something. The value of that reassurance is greater to me than the slowdown it causes.

        On the contrary side, the Xbox Live UI is the opposite of the Windows Phone UI. No text is cut off; I never look at the screen and see distorted text or menus. Every single thing is a tile; I know if I scroll left or right I can see all of them. I would bet that over time the WinPhone will have the same UI approaches.

    • by Mr Z ( 6791 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:10PM (#40324307) Homepage Journal
      I'm sure there's at least some rational hate too.
      • by Dunega ( 901960 )

        You're probably right, I was mostly making a snarky response to the usual lame question at the end of a summary anyway. :) At least it got a decent conversation going.

    • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:15PM (#40324413)

      Probably some, but not all. The premise of the post is cloying. Not all of the reviews have been positive at all. The OS has any number of deficiencies, as noted by a number of professional (rather than blogging) reviewers:

      1) Not very well-designed user interface; often primitive when compared to iOS and Android Honeycomb, even BBOS

      2) Highly unevolved app market place; much perceived incompatibility with applications on mobile websites

      3) Potentially shorter battery life

      4) Fewer free apps

      5) Uses Bing rather than Google (or Apple) services; Bing is seen as inferior, right or wrong (I'm neutral)

      Some of it's irrational perception, some of it's that Microsoft responded to iOS and Android very slowly; it's taken a seeming lifetime (for the computerbiz) for them to even bring them to market. Worse, they're also seen tied to Nokia's phones, which while very nice phones, aren't popular in the smartphone arena because of Nokia's steadfast support of dying OS platforms. So the post itself isn't very astute and draws a conclusion that trolls responses, IMHO.

    • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:17PM (#40324447) Journal

      The rabies seems to have spread to the entire rest of the planet, too. 98 percent of smartphone buyers seem to "irrationally" not want Windows Phone phones whether they're slashdotters or not and despite the glowing reviews and spontaneous euphoria it induces in blog post commenters.

      I'm a big slashdot fan, but it's not that influential.

      • by wynterwynd ( 265580 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @02:41PM (#40326217)

        The rabies seems to have spread to the entire rest of the planet, too. 98 percent of smartphone buyers seem to "irrationally" not want Windows Phone phones whether they're slashdotters or not and despite the glowing reviews and spontaneous euphoria it induces in blog post commenters.

        I believe this is mainly due to the entrenched market of Apple/Google OS phones. They were here first, there are more apps for them, their methodology and UI is ingrained in the minds of the 98% of smartphone buyers, who by now are likely on their 2nd or possibly even 3rd smartphone. People are used to them, they like them fine, they've integrated the way they work into their lives.

        I think the newest iteration of the Windows Phone OS is great - the Zune, despite its flaws, had an excellent and intuitive interface and WP7 draws on that. I think it could've been a real competitor if it hadn't come out 2 years too late to make a splash. The old iteration of Windows Phone OS was absolutely horrible and tried to bring a desktop experience to the phone, which clearly isn't needed. The new version is fantastic by comparison, particularly for the non-technical user - it's easy to use, has a clean and elegant UI, and works smoothly and efficiently. Reputation and lack of saturation are all that's keeping the casual user market small - it's also hurting their app market which just drives it down further.

        I think that WP7 might not be for most of the /. crowd, since it's more about broadened functionality than form or ease of use for many of us - we're all used to complex and responsive interfaces that maximize data/options while minimizing "helper" functions. Hence the trend towards Android devices. Also Micro$oft Raargh Smash.

        Apple strikes more of a balance, with lots of options but more streamlined and rigidly controlled user experience. Anyone who loves their iPhone but doesn't really buy all that many apps and thinks that it's sometimes "too complicated", should probably look into a Windows phone.

        Right now I think all that's holding MS back is their past, the OS is really great but they're late to the party and have a bad rep. I would consider Windows Phone if it had wider app support, but at this stage in the game that isn't very likely. I don't, however, ever want or need Metro on my desktop - prepare for the next flop in Win 8, MS.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:17PM (#40324455)

      So there is irrational rabid hate for it.

      30+ years of experience with Microsoft underlies that "hatred" that you so cavalierly dismiss as "irrational."

      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me for decades and I must be a certified Microsoft specialist.

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:19PM (#40324509) Journal
      Or it could be from Microsoft and this is Slashdot AND there is rational dislike for it.

      Lack of apps.
      Difficulty of porting apps from other phones
      Horrible networking APIs
      Not open
      From a company with a history of screwing people
      Prefer a simple feature phone.
      "Windows phone is an immature OS"

      Any of these are valid reasons to not like the phone. They might not be good enough reasons for YOU, but they are for a lot of people. But I guess you got an opportunity to hate slashdotters?
      • Let's not forget the fact that nowadays, what really makes a phone useful is not the "as shipped" factory experience, but the applications.

        If you want developers, you need to have either:
        1) A well established market ecosystem that makes developers want to jump in, even if there are barriers to entry in the market (Apple iOS)
        2) Ridiculously low barriers to entry for a new developer that wants to start producing work for your ecosystem (Android)

        Microsoft doesn't have either - They have barriers of entry on par with iOS for developers, but they don't have the market share/ecosystem to entice developers. Not only that, but they seem to enjoy screwing over what loyal developers they may have - []

        After decades of Microsoft shenanigans on the desktop, and no evidence of them stopping those shenanigans with mobile - who is going to choose to develop for Windows Phone?

        Let's not forget the severe platform limitations WP provides - even now that Skype is owned by Microsoft, Skype on WP7 is horrifically crippled compared to Android and iOS simply due to WP7's fundamental platform limitations. That's impressive considering how bad it is on Android (It's #1 on my battery-draining-apps shitlist.)

    • by Slime-dogg ( 120473 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:26PM (#40324685) Journal

      Having been around /. for a very long time, now, it seems like there's definite opportunity to educate.

      • Slashdot started as a community based upon ideological freedom. There was always commentary about the importance of openness. It wasn't even crazy like RMS tends to be. The editors were not Microsoft fans, and made no secret of it.
      • Microsoft had a tendency to steal IP. It was referred to as "embracing, extending, and extinguishing." If they tried it now, they'd probably get sued into oblivion.
      • Microsoft hated open source software, especially stuff written under the GPL.
      • Windows 2000 and XP were laden with security issues, which were not present in the alternatives. Due to these issues, many of us had jobs.
      • Due to those issues, we also had to help aunts & mothers with their computers.
      • Microsoft made a popular desktop operating system, and used that popularity to leverage OEMs in forcing new product to only have Windows installs.
      • Slashdot was one of the most prolific followers of the Microsoft antitrust trial, and it was a serious letdown when they were punished with a slap on the wrist.

      For a while now, Microsoft has been trying to "clean up" its image, but for anyone who's been around here for any amount of time will remember why they've needed to in the first place. History isn't a cheery place, and it makes no sense to try to look at it with rose tinted glasses. Steve Ballmer is still around, Gates still has influence, and the company hasn't really changed much. The software it has produced has increased in quality over time, but there are economic reasons for that.

      The distaste for Microsoft is most definitely rational.

    • by oever ( 233119 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:34PM (#40324873) Homepage

      Here's some irrational hate for you based on my use of a Lumia 800 Nokia gave me for free.
      1) i cannot write software for it without a license to develop, because the phone is locked down
      2) once i write something for it, it cannot share that code with my friends even if they also had a windows phone, because the phone is locked down
      3) the phone cannot work as a usb drive, it is locked down and can only sync data via closed protocols or closed applications
      4) the battery drains very quickly, this is just a problem for this model
      5) there is no decent browser on the phone, it has internet explorer that does not handle many of the basic things a browser should do like implement createElementNS()
      6) i cannot write c++ code for this phone, this phone need C#, or javascript or maybe some other CIL based programming language
      7) this phone is product of a company with a very bad track record which uses the profits of its other monopolies to bully itself into this market
      8) because windows phones are so locked down, like apple devices are, they are the bringing about the end of digital freedoms for consumers
      9) the phone is riddles with licence agreement and dialogs that want you to give away all your data. for example, the first time you run Internet Explorer on Windows Phone, it will ask you: "Do you want to share you browser history with Microsoft so we can [...]? {YES) (CANCEL)." The use of 'CANCEL" implies that IE wont start, thus bullying people into clicking YES.

      As a Free Software and more generally digital freedoms advocate, many of the problems I have with windows phone, I also have with iOS, which is shiny and has a nice UI but also a horrible lock in model and many features that cannot be modified.

      I have been using a Nokia E75, a N900 and an N950 as phones and they are all pretty nice, but not perfect, but neither are any of the closed alternatives. For any future phone I might buy, I will go with openness primarily. That means the phone should be able to run an open version of Android, Mer, maybe Tizen or the Mozilla phone operating system.

      Is there anything positive about Windows Phone? Not really. It is not that much different or better than the alternatives. It has a home screen, you can put widgets on it, it has an app store. Nothing revolutionary there.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:44PM (#40325093) Homepage Journal

      When I bought my first smartphone, I did it because it was a phone that had a file system. you could upload native programs to it for free, it also ran j2me programs, but the main thing I got it and not a plain j2me candybar which had appeared the same year was the native programs - along with native programs it had multitasking, real multitasking. it was amazing, it was an internet connected PERSONAL COMPUTER IN YOUR POCKET, it was fucking amazing, could hang on chats 24/7(with a 100mbyte dataplan which was also fucking amazing since then it was the first time you could have mobile data which wasn't billed by the minute). it was almost a decade ago - and now when someone asks me about plenty of things if they'd be feasible for a port to windows phone I have to answer no. it's fucking ridiculous since the one thing that wasn't wrong with the previous windows mobiles was how open they were for coding.

      oh and about calling it a x-phone, or zune-phone or whatfuckingever.. they sort of tried it with kin already. the real problem for us hc smartphone geeks is that you can't for example code a phone answering machine into it, as far as being "smart" it's exactly as smart as those j2me candybars we've had for a decade. MS went more Apple than Apple with windows phone - that's what's fucking wrong with it. partially it's because they whipped it up together in a hurry(just think about it, the work needed to produce windows phone is like 1/20th of the work that was done for android 2.0, they even just lifted metro straight from zune, even if their pr department by now has totally forgotten that zune even existed while uploading .xap's with Zune for windows to their phones, they didn't need to think any of the ui elements to scale to different dpi's and resolutions, they didn't need to write api's for exposing components..), partially because they just thought that being dicks to 3rd party devs who wish to extend it's smart_phoning_ capabilities is the right thing to do(no need to worry so much about malware when the programs are castrated so much that you just can't do anything "malwarey" even if you wanted on purpose).

      (and no, it currently doesn't have real multitasking, the bg tasks etc don't count due to various limitations as full multitasking - if you'll ask what you can't do with it then I'll answer you this: go read the docs and fuck you, shill).

    • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @02:48PM (#40326345) Homepage Journal

      I had no idea that 98% of all smartphone users were on /.!

      There's nothing irrational about it. You can only serve your guests chocolate covered dog turds so many times before they stop coming over. Then when you go to their house with a plate, telling them there's only a little dog turd in that batch and you expect to be upgrading to a turd free recipe any day now, don't be surprised when you are shown the door.

    • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:04PM (#40326623) Homepage
      Hate yes. Irrational no.

      Other replies have mentioned Microsoft's products.

      I'll mention their business practices. If you lived through the late 80's and all of the 90's and early 2000's then you saw firsthand. The litany of ways Microsoft has treated others very badly is far too long to recite here. The dirty and slimy tricks. The lies. The FUD. It goes on and on.

      If someone repeatedly tries to destroy things related to your livelihood then you might have an emotional reaction to that. The hate is not entirely unjustified.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:01PM (#40324159)

    When Nokia effectively became a Microsoft subsidiary, they killed off all their linux-based cell phones. If that's not enough to enrage an average slashdotter, I don't know what is.
    It's about as bad as when automotive bought up streetcar lines to destroy them and replace them with buses.

    • Nokia is also circling down the drain. There are many articles today detailing their cutbacks and business losses. In order to ensure Windows Phone will not be an utter failure, I would not be surprised to see Microsoft buy Nokia. A bankruptcy for Nokia would be very bad PR for Windows Phone.
  • Finish it already. (Score:5, Informative)

    by boshi ( 612264 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:01PM (#40324161) Homepage
    We can't keep waiting for 'the next version' of windows phone to fix the problems with the OS. It needs the multitasking fixed on major apps, it needs the scrolling bugs fixed. It needs a lot of minor things fixed that have been problems for years now.
    People like a phone OS for what it can do, not what the next update promises to bring. Then there is the issue of Apollo even being able to run on current hardware.
    • by 1s44c ( 552956 )

      People have been waiting for the next version to fix their problems since windows 3 came out.

      After all these years why should MS change tactics and actually fix things?

    • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:37PM (#40324961) Homepage

      I'll probably get modded down for this, but the same could be said for Linux, particularly on the desktop. Yet Slashdotters don't hate Linux in spite of all the half-finished applications and constant promises that fixes to long standing bugs are "just around the corner," do they?

      Seems a bit hypocritical to complain about about this same issue when it comes to a Microsoft product.

      • by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Thursday June 14, 2012 @02:52PM (#40326389) Homepage Journal
        At least Linux didn't cost me $300 and come with a 2 year contract.
      • by strikethree ( 811449 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @04:58PM (#40328419) Journal

        I do have mod points and I *could* mod you down... but for what? I see no intentional trolling but I do see a lack of clear thought. Let me help you:

        As an anonymous coward already said, you are paying for the shit on the phone. There is a certain expectation when it comes to paying for things. Concerning Linux and associated software, not having certain functionality does indeed push me away from using a particular piece of software... but I am paying nothing. Why should I whine or cry about it? This is probably where someone might see you as trolling because you are oblivious to the types of expectations based on the type of transaction. Oh well.

        I may as well take this moment to answer the question posed by the "article".

        WinCE was crap. Windows Mobile 5.5 was crap. I see many difficulties in windows that should not be there... so what exact motivation is there for me to spend my money on a phone operating system written by Microsoft. Honestly, I feel an aversion to using anything Microsoft because of the lack of reliability as perceived by me.

        I have heard rumours that you can leave Windows Server up and running without reboots indefinitely like any *nix type operating system has been able to do since day 1... but every server I have ever dealt with was more reliable if it were rebooted weekly; even though monthly mostly works too.

        On the bright side, it appears that Microsoft spends a lot of money on quality control... I just wish they would spend money on buying the highest quality developers and getting the fucking politics out of the development and design processes.

  • Beef? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:02PM (#40324173)

    What's my beef? My beef?

    I'm a vegetarian you insensitive clod! I only eat apples and blackberrys.

  • by rockout ( 1039072 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:03PM (#40324185)
    I just know that between Android and iPhone, I've got enough alternatives for my next phone choice to be easy (I'd likely be satisfied with either, and would just try to see which is better between the two). Microsoft hasn't made anything in the last 12 years that I'd want to buy instead of their competition, so I suppose just their reputation is enough to keep me away unless I hear they've come up with something truly revolutionary.
  • by Kintanon ( 65528 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:03PM (#40324199) Homepage Journal

    How about the fact that getting a Windows phone to work with an exchange server is slightly more painful than shooting yourself in the dick?

    A small business that is using a self signed certificate might as well cross all windows phones off of their purchasing options forever. And don't tell me, "Oh they should just get a real certificate." because YOU don't get to make that call and neither do I. The client does and they say no.

    iPhone? No Problem. Android? No Problem. Windows Phone? Export certificate from site, email it to yahoo or gmail account FROM a yahoo or gmail account because outlook/exchange refuses to allow you to mail a cert, then import it, reboot the phone, and HOPE that it works. I just got finished dealing with one that didn't work. We renewed the cert, and now the thing is just shitboxed. Can't get it to accept the new cert at all.

    How the fuck hard is it to add a "Accept this certificate anyways?" option...

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:06PM (#40324229)

    So were the junky 4-color IBM PCs that went "beep" instead of producing real music. And the godawful Windows 3.1 of the 90s. Mainstream press opinions mean little to me (especially since they are often bribed to give glowing reviews).

  • by Eponymous Coward ( 6097 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:06PM (#40324239)

    I don't care what the OS is but I do care what apps are available. Microsoft is in the unusual position of having a hard time attracting developers to their platform.

    As an occasional mobile developer, I have limited resources and develop for where the people are. If I want an audience willing to pay, I would target iOS (never have so far). If I want a broad audience, Android. There really isn't anything compelling about Windows Phone to me.

    Microsoft has billions in the bank and I think they could turn this around if they worked out a deal with the carriers to give customers a $10 credit each month for the app store. They could easily afford it because there just aren't that many Windows Phones out there. If those few owners became big spenders though, that could trigger more development on the platform which in turn might attract more users.


  • Not my list but.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Keruo ( 771880 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:07PM (#40324253)
    Not my list, but here's 121 reasons [] why you don't want Windows Phone 7.5
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @02:05PM (#40325589)

      82. Need to be plugged in to wall charger to sync wirelessly (a funny definition of wireless) [hehehehe]
      113. Bing maps need to tap to get voice direction for next turn. [muhahahaha, I imagine the sucker alone in his car]
      115. Compass gives wrong reading in the Southern hemisphere due to bad API in the OS. [MUHAHAHA, a first-world compass]

      And the list is long. I recon 20% of those are valid for iOS. But the rest is quite epic. Compounded with the lack of apps, I think the OP has his answer...

  • by Mr Z ( 6791 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:07PM (#40324255) Homepage Journal

    I remember Maemo 5 [] met with good reviews also. All three fellow N900 users out there, raise your hands...

  • by pavon ( 30274 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:08PM (#40324269)

    There are several aspects of WP7 that I want to like, and on the surface should provide a better experience than other phone, but none of these things live up to their promise. The hubs are a good example.

    From a user interaction point of view, I think the hubs are a really cool idea, and a better way to organize data. But the concept falls flat because there is no way for third parties to create hub "plugins" for other data sources, so you are limited into the ones that come with the system. Because, of this you end up accessing some people/music/pictures/etc through the hubs, and some through individual apps, which really isn't any more convenient than just doing it all through individual apps.

  • by BMOC ( 2478408 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:08PM (#40324281)

    just because of past experience with both on other platforms.

    I want a device that I own and can control what goes on it, what it does, and when it updates. Apple all but openly admits it is a walled-garden, so that's out. Microsoft doesn't control the software available on it's OS' as much, but it still flexes it's muscles too much w.r.t. the standards it uses.

    Android isn't perfect, it isn't the best. But if I get a phone that runs android I know I have some measure of control of my device as a consumer. I have no such promises from Apple or Microsoft.

  • It's locked down (Score:5, Insightful)

    by toadlife ( 301863 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:09PM (#40324291) Journal

    Despite it's outdated UI, I was a fan of Windows Mobile 6.x because of its openness and the resulting flexibility. In locking down WP7 so much, Windows Phone is essentially a "Microsoft iPhone". If I wanted an iPhone, I would just buy an iPhone.

    Redesigning the UI to be touch friendly, while keeping the openness of Windows mobile 6.x would have kept me interested.

    Android sucks in its own special ways, but at least I have the flexibility to mold it into the tool that I want.

  • by phonewebcam ( 446772 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:13PM (#40324371) Homepage

    Gosh. Next you'll be saying they have their own search engine, and not merely throwing up some script kiddie wrapper around Googles [].

  • I've used all 3 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by no_opinion ( 148098 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:16PM (#40324439)

    I agree - it looks and works great. To me, it feels like a phone OS designed with the small form-factor in mind, rather than a porting of a "desktop icon" metaphor to a smaller screen. The home screen is designed to expose a number of things you want to do/see without requiring to navigate anywhere or launch an app. Simple things like the way the buttons feel and animate make the experience better. I find it both more enjoyable to use than Android and iPhone, and also snappier (using a Samsung phone, haven't used the Nokia). The main thing it lacks at the moment is the breadth of apps, but it's getting there. My normal phone is Android, but when I'm due for an update I'm likely to switch to WP.

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:17PM (#40324463)

    i've had an iphone since 2009
    i have thousands of apps for it, even though i don't use them all
    there are some really crazy apps for iOS that do things no one imagined a few years ago
    iOS is well past cool upgrades and is now on the improving usability every year cycle
    Windows Phone is way behind
    a lot less app support
    its not cheaper
    Why switch? what is it going to do better than iOS?

  • by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:17PM (#40324469)

    The WP7 OS is decent enough to use. But that's not the total phone experience.

    To total phone experience varies a lot from person to person. But people want choice and the WP7 app store is still relatively barren compared to the mountains of refuse in google play or itunes. It's true you don't need the vast majority of the stuff in the competing stores (or even most of what's on the WP7 store) but why pick and OS without whatever app you like or that will likely miss out on it.

    WP7 is a dead man walking. You know it. Nokia knows it. Everyone knows. WP8 is the real prize. But if I need a phone today I'm not waiting around. Especially since we have no idea if WP8 will actually be any good to use. And once I get into the non MS ecosystem I'd need to invest money to switch, and need to wait for a contract to expire.

    There's no premium WP hardware. There's mid range, and low to mid range. And calling the 900 mid range in an era of quad core phones is being generous. All else being equal if the best phone on the market is a Galaxy SIII why would I buy a single core competitor? Especially if I have 700 or 800 dollars to spend on a phone.

    People still think it's 1995 and that windows is a bug riddles mess. Because if don't know how to take care of your computer it will be a trainwreck and you don't learn you live with outdated biases.

    If you want simple easy to understand you get an iphone. You pay a premium for a degree of uniformity. If you want a low end smartphone or a high end smartphone you buy android. If you know how to hack your phone and don't mind flashing roms and so on, you get an android. Where does that leave MS in the marketplace? If you have to wait for a *carrier* to approve an update to your phone then you aren't a happy customer. If you don't understand technology an iPhone doesn't have that problem, if you understand how to install a nightly ROM build android phones are at least better than waiting on the carriers. With a windows phone you're stuck waiting on the carrier, which is simply unacceptable, unless you pay the 99 dollar developer licence.

    Microsoft is late to this party. Very late. Unless they can pull a magic Xbox integration plan or something awesome that ties into the desktop (your phone can remote desktop right microsoft? Right? ugh...) they have a hard time asking users to switch. My calendaring is all through google now, so I'd have to move that over. I have invested however much money in google's app store for apps I can't easily port over. There aren't any 'killer apps' for WP7 exclusively.

    There's a viable strategy there. Microsoft just isn't executing, and they can't rely on momentum to keep them going. That however, could change, and especially in the business environment integration with their corporate products could really help. b

  • My experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lilfields ( 961485 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:18PM (#40324479) Homepage
    I have been using Windows Phone for a good 6 months now, and I really do feel backward when using people's iPhones. That being said iPhone has the ecosystem that I am envious of, if a friend is playing a game, very often WP doesn't have it (yet.) So that's very frustrating. I think a lot of people just go with the platforms their friends have, the tile system is a bit jarring for those not familiar with it, and it could be improved a lot (sometimes Metro is just -too- simplistic.) However, once you are used to the system, it's a lot more intuitive than iOS. People complain about the tiles, but when using friends phones they have a sea of icons that honestly just hurt my eyes to scroll through. A lot of people think the WP list system is the wrong approach, but tapping on a letter jumps you to the program you want.

    WP's biggest flaw is that it is so late to the game, if you walk into an AT&T store, expect to have an iPhone pushed on you, if you walk into a Verizon store, expect an Android device to be pushed on you. Microsoft made the mistake of not getting in bed with one of the major carriers. Google & Verizon/Apple & AT&T have a lot of power over the purchases of potential WP users. I've walked into Verizon stores with the -only- WP device being treated like the step child, and AT&T stores have had WP booths with the phones all powered down. It's pathetic. Old habits die hard. I do think all 3 of the OSes are very good in their own right, but why WP is lagging sort of baffles me, I'd expect it to at least have some interest among youth looking for Xbox Live integration. The Lumia phones are gorgeous, but honestly on the wrong carrier....Verizon should have been the Lumia's focus. AT&T's is pretty saturated with iPhone. Microsoft shot themselves in the foot with their half-assed Kin device on Verizon.

    So, my basic answer is carriers, carriers, carriers, even more so than developers.
  • We like progress.

    / - Nothing follows - /

  • by rafial ( 4671 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:22PM (#40324585) Homepage

    I carried a Windows Phone in place of my usual Android device for about 45 days at the start of the year to understand what the experience was like. My take away is that while it is a serviceable OS, it still has many of the shortcoming that the other smartphone platforms have grown out of. Also, it occasionally errs on the side of "pretty graphic design" over usability. I wrote up a full article on my experience here:

  • I love it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:32PM (#40324831)
    I bought a Lumia 900 in April and I absolutely love it. I'm probably very different from most Slashdotters though, in that I don't rabidly hate anything that comes from Microsoft. I use Windows, I have a mail account, I owned a Zune, I own an Xbox, and I don't have a problem with any of these products and services. I'm also a little different from Slashdotters in that I'm forced to use Linux for my day job, rather than being forced to use Windows, so perhaps that feeds my perception.

    But back to windows phone, I suspect the reason I feel so differently about it compared to most Slashdotters is my needs are very different. I don't want to root it, I don't want to hack it, I don't want to tinker with it and mod it; I have plenty of other toys and gadgets I root/hack/mod (including other android devices). I just want a phone that works as advertised and doesn't get in my way. It makes calls (brilliant call quality on the Nokia hardware by the way), takes pictures, connects to all my social networks, connects to all the services I use, and allows me to download apps.

    My choice was really down to two: iPhone or Windows Phone. I ultimately chose windows phone because of Office integration, Xbox integration, large screen, and the UI. iOS is nice and all, but it's starting to feel dated and I like the hubs concept in Windows Phone a lot more. With the latest release of iOS they're adding a lot more integration with services, which is something Windows Phone has had for a while now. Further the gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous Lumia hardware made the choice easy. This phone is really stunning, especially with the OLED display. I don't care that it's low resolution, it looks that amazing.

    I ultimately didn't choose an android phone because of my experience with them in the past. While I never owned owe for my personal phone, I've used models like the Atrix and various tablets for my work. I found the UI gernally inconsistent and laggy, the apps weren't of the best quality comapred to iOS (I should mention I also own an iPod touch and iPad, and my girlfriend own an iPhone which I've used extensively), and the integration with services I use was lacking. In all, there just wasn't anything that "special" about Android if I didn't want to use it as a development device. The hardware variety is nice, but I also get that in Windows Phone. Actually, I view Windows Phone as sort of a middle ground between the totalitarian iPhone and the free-for-all Android. I don't want either, and that's why I think Windows Phone fits me best.
  • by kirkb ( 158552 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:41PM (#40325029) Homepage

    Like the typical left-brained slashdotter, I'm a technologist who values my "geek cred".

    And throughout WP7's life (especially early, but still today) you need to defy logic and judgement and rational thinking just a little too much in order to buy a WinPhone. You needed to pretend that missing features weren't important. You needed to suffer lies and contempt regarding updates. You had to ignore all the productivity and fun and relevance that other smartphone owners were enjoying. You had to tolerate a weak ecosystem. You had to apologize for Microsoft's mis-steps.

    That's just too much.

  • It's fine, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrCrassic ( 994046 ) < minus language> on Thursday June 14, 2012 @02:06PM (#40325593) Journal's laundry list of issues just don't make it attractive when I can easily resolve them by buying a comparably nice phone that runs Android. Yes, the UI is incredible and a huge leap from their previous iteration. Yes, the quality of its applications is significantly better as is the set of phones it currently runs on. However, almost all of the applications I currently use on Android are *still* unavailable and all of the ones that are available pale significantly in comparison to their Android or iPhone partners. A few examples:
    • Yelp: Very popular app I use for finding, mostly, good restaurants to try. Awesome on iPhone and Android. Slow and awkward to use on Windows Mobile, and lack of proper multitasking causes it to lose state every time I use it.
    • Evernote: Very popular app for storing notes and other various pieces of information. I use this religiously, mostly because it's easily accessible from PCs and their Android releases are really, really good. Tons of missing functionality on Windows Phone (no alternative layout options, can't attach anything, at least from the last time I tried)
    • Google Voice: I use this almost extensively to call and text people. It works pretty well on iOS and integrates so deeply in Android one could easily mistake it for being native. Notifications barely work on the third-party clients I've tried on WP and the UX is just not there.
    • Maps: Great native app, but you need a third-party application to get public transit directions (it works somewhat awkwardly last time I tried it) and no GPS-guided voice navigation, which is included with Android and works really, really well.

    Additionally, WP is supremely locked down and jailbreaking is not as simple (or, for some phones, impossible) as it is on Android or iOS. This makes a lot of the things we can do in iPhone and Android impossible in WP. For example, it's possible (and very easy) to backup text messages on iPhone and Android. No way to do this on WP at this time of writing and I don't think they get backed up when you sync with Zune. To worsen matters, WP is *still* vulnerable to a two-year old SMS bug that can make a phone completely inoperable (even after a reboot) when it receives a special text message!

    Finally, you need to use Zune to sync stuff. I personally hate using a huge software package to sync stuff, and while Zune is pretty nice, it's still a huge step backward from not needing anything at all on Android.

    It's not that Windows Phone is bad; it's just that they don't have anything valuable enough for most Android or iPhone users to switch over. It's great for people new to the smartphone world, but that segment of the market has been pretty small for a while now.

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.