First reviews of Windows Phone 7 find it lacking

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Early reviews of Microsoft's re-entry into the smartphone operating system market have been impressed with some of Microsoft's user interface decisions, but see the company as having a long way to go to catch up to Apple's iPhone.



Major media outlets and blogs began posting on Wednesday mostly mixed reviews of Microsoft's new mobile operating system, which is set to launch in the U.S. on Nov. 8.



Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal called the interface "novel and attractive," but noted that it was missing several key features, including copy and paste, visual voicemail, third-party app multitasking and video calling. Mossberg points out that Apple and Google, with a several year head start on Microsoft, have had plenty of time to incrementally add features to their mobile operating systems. Microsoft has said that a copy and paste add-on is in the works, but, for now, Mossberg isn't ready to recommend Windows Phone 7 as "on par" with iPhone or Android.



Microsoft is experiencing similar version 1.0 issues as Apple did when it first released the iPhone in 2007. The original iPhone lacked copy and paste and multitasking until the Cupertino, Calif., company added the features in later versions of its iOS software. Video calling was added to the iPhone this summer through the FaceTime standard on the iPhone 4.



Mossberg isn't the only journalist to express doubt about the new Windows handsets. Associated Press technology writer Rachel Metz found Windows Phone 7 "pleasantly easy to use" because of its tight consumer focus, calling it good but not phenomenal. Metz doubts that Microsoft's innovations will be enough to sway consumers, who have been exposed to ads for iPhone and Android for years.



In their reviews, both Metz and Mossberg expressed concern over the dearth of apps in Microsoft's app store, dubbed Marketplace. At the time of review, Marketplace had "just a few hundred apps" listed. Microsoft promises to add "hundreds" of apps every week before the end of the year, but the Redmond, Wash., software giant will be hard-pressed to catch up to Apple's App Store, which boasts over 300,000 apps.



Several blogs were hesitant to recommend Windows Phone 7 because of the features it is missing. In its review, Engadget felt that there were "holes" in the OS and that the OS was "a good year behind market leaders right now." Author Joshua Topolsky noted having trouble with third-party apps, especially news readers, crashing. Windows Phone 7 doesn't exactly have the "fit and finish of a fully realized product," wrote Topolsky.



MobileCrunch was also unable to recommend the Windows Phone 7 in its current state, saying the "a pretty face" is the only thing that WP7 offers over its competition. The reviewer notes a number of positive aspects of Microsoft's new mobile OS, saying "what it does, it does pretty dang well." However, in the end, author Greg Kumparak can't get past the fact that people have been complaining about these missing features on the iPhone and Android for years.



Analysts have characterized the Windows Phone 7 release as a "last-ditch attempt" to regain its footing in the mobile space. Microsoft's Chief Software Architect resigned earlier this week, just a week after the company's unveiling of its Windows Phone 7 lineup was met with a lukewarm response.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 139
    quillzquillz Posts: 209member
    BREAKING NEWS: A brand new platform is not quite yet as good as the far more matured Android and iOS platforms.



    Guess what? iOS 1.x wasn't much to write home about, either. But it got better over time. The same with Android. And the same will be true of Windows Phone 7.
  • Reply 2 of 139
    This is a new venture for Microsoft and they lack the expertise in this category to immediately come on board with a home run. APPLE, RIMM all had the same problem.

    I'm surprised that basics like Visual Voicemail, Cut-Copy-Paste features are not in their smartphone.
  • Reply 3 of 139
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Windows 3.1 wasn't as good as Mac either, but eventually Windows '95 came out. And Lord knows Microsoft have enough money to just keep on going as long as they have to.
  • Reply 4 of 139
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,304member
    Not a good start for Microsoft



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quillz View Post


    BREAKING NEWS: A brand new platform is not quite yet as good as the far more matured Android and iOS platforms.



    Guess what? iOS 1.x wasn't much to write home about, either.



    Yeah, but this isn't 2007 any more. The iPhone and Android have been on the scene for years now.



    You can't come out to where your competitors were years ago, you have to come out ahead of them. That MS could release a phone without copy and paste in 2010 (late 2010 at that!) just boggles...
  • Reply 5 of 139
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    Not surprisingly, the article puts a slant on the reviews which is not entirely accurate. The reviews have generally been positive, with Mossberg's being the most negative (big surprise there), while noticing the absence of some features in the current release.



    For example, the Appleinsider article implies that Engadget did not particularly like WP7, and would not recommend it.



    Here is the summary of the Engadget review, which paints a very different picture.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Engadget


    In our original preview, we said that Windows Phone 7 didn't quite feel like a complete smartphone OS yet. We'd like to come back and report that it finally has the fit and finish of a fully realized product, but that isn't exactly the case. Don't get us wrong: there's a lot to like or even love in WP7. Microsoft has done an outstanding job with lots of aspects of this UI, particularly when it comes to navigation and ease of use -- but there are holes here as well. It still feels like the company is a good year behind market leaders right now, and though it's clear the folks in Redmond are doing everything they can to get this platform up to snuff, it's also clear that they're not there yet.



    But that isn't -- and shouldn't be -- a deterrent to taking a close look at the handsets being offered. Microsoft isn't walking away from Windows Phone 7 anytime soon, and the company has created an incredibly promising base set of features to build off of. With terrific Zune and Xbox Live integration, a fast and smart method of getting around the OS, great Office and email experiences, and a genuinely beautiful and useful user interface, Microsoft has definitely laid the foundation for the next several years of its mobile play. Now it's time to get the upper floors finished.



  • Reply 6 of 139
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,304member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    And Lord knows Microsoft have enough money to just keep on going as long as they have to.



    Really? Just how long can MS both piss away profits on unsuccessful venters and milk their cash cows without expanding them?



    MS isn't going to fold up tomorrow, but they don't have unlimited time or resources either...
  • Reply 7 of 139
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    AnandTech has a great in-depth write up on WP7 and a few handsets they?ve tested.
    Except for iE lacking in a major way and the appearance of oversized text I really like what MS has done and the results they have achieved. Impressed, really. I hope Apple can copy some of the minimalist aspects for their next version of iOS.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quillz View Post


    Guess what? iOS 1.x wasn't much to write home about, either. But it got better over time. The same with Android. And the same will be true of Windows Phone 7.



    Really? I am sure iPhone OS 1.0 was written about quite a lot. In fact, it was so popular and revolutionary that MS made the Zune to compete with the iPod Touch, BB created a a touch-based OS, Android realized that chasing WM6 and BB OS was no longer the tail they had to chase, and Nokia, Moto and many other HW vendors found themselves faltering when the world realized that they the problem with smartphones wasn?t the HW, but the software. No, iPhone OS was quite revolutionary for when it was first demoed and released. It was a desktop OS shrunk and rethought for a new I/O.
  • Reply 8 of 139
    Actually I will disagree there...if you don't mind. iOS 1.0 CHANGED THE ENTIRE MOBILE PHONE BUSINESS. It created the feature set that every other manufacturer is killing themselves to recreate.



    Not much to write home about? Really? Do you remember what 'smartphone' software and the user experience was before the iPhone? Horrible and more horrible.That copy and paste came later as an update is a meaningless bit of trivia. Just go back and look at what other phones were doing. You know, all the other touch screen phones at the time...(silence)



    Got better over time? Geez, if you think so.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quillz View Post


    BREAKING NEWS: A brand new platform is not quite yet as good as the far more matured Android and iOS platforms.



    Guess what? iOS 1.x wasn't much to write home about, either. But it got better over time. The same with Android. And the same will be true of Windows Phone 7.



  • Reply 9 of 139
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    AnandTech has a great in-depth write up on WP7 and a few handsets they’ve tested.
    Except for iE lacking in a major way and the appearance of oversized text I really like what MS has done and the results they have achieved. Impressed, really. I hope Apple can copy some of the minimalist aspects for their next version of iOS.



    Yes, AnandTech did like WP7, and was quite positive. They are a good, relatively unbiased site for information.

    I found this statement from the site quite telling.



    [/QUOTE]Windows Phone 7 is a significant departure from anything Microsoft has ever done in the past, from a UI standpoint that is. In my opinion it’s more beautiful than anything else on the market today - including Apple’s iOS. That’s a big statement for anyone to make about Microsoft, a company that has tried so very hard to prevent Apple’s increasing market share but always seemed to be at least one step behind in the user experience department. The Windows Phone 7 user experience is a big enough step forward to not only build a lot of faith in Microsoft’s mobile strategy, but also to give hope that future versions of the Xbox and desktop Windows OSes may be just as impressive.[/QUOTE]







    So far, I like what I see. The reviews of the beta Zune sync app look promising but it will only let you sync music, movies, TV and photos, so its utility is somewhat limited.
  • Reply 10 of 139
    Who is going to buy a Windows phone, when Windows carries a 90% corporate IT/institutional computing place in peoples minds?



    X-Box integration? Appeals only to a portion of the serious gaming audience. And is that enough to make you buy a phone?



    Blackberry already has a huge presence in corporate IT. Android wants to be everything for everybody. Apple sells what Apple sells. WEB/OS from HP is back in the wild soon.



    The market is not there. Even when they start to give them away, or go two for 1. Between BB, Android and Apple (and WEB/OS) there is no one outside of Microsoft headquarters who cares about a Windows Phone...I can't see what they can do to change this. Innovation is not one of Microsofts strengths. They DO have strengths, but innovation is not one of them. Consumer electronics is not one of them. Mobile platforms has NOT been one of them. So other than giving them away in some form (in other words using all their money to try and buy market - dropping price, paying people to use them) what part of Microsoft's DNA will allow this product to become anything but a 'me-to'?



    This is a serious issue for Microsoft. It's a huge problem that they have no expertise that allows them to develop a unique product. They have used overwhelming size to dominate the clone PC market, and face it, their systems were bought not by people who loved them, but by large corporate entities because of millions of 'Microsoft certified' single guys out there who supported and maintained the systems.



    I'm being a bit snarky, but the issue Microsoft faces is a big one.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Windows 3.1 wasn't as good as Mac either, but eventually Windows '95 came out. And Lord knows Microsoft have enough money to just keep on going as long as they have to.



  • Reply 11 of 139
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by grking View Post


    Yes, AnandTech did like WP7, and was quite positive. They are a good, relatively unbiased site for information.



    So far, I like what I see. The reviews of the beta Zune sync app look promising but it will only let you sync music, movies, TV and photos, so its utility is somewhat limited.



    1) They do seem to miss some points that I think they and their readers don?t easily consider as value or costly. For instance, they recently reviewed the 13? MBP as a Windows machine. The reviewer raved about the construction, the battery life, the display (which is worlds above any other notebook they tested), the Nvidia 320M, the keyboard and a lot of other little aspects of the device, but in the end it was pooh-poohed as being costly because it has a C2D in it even though the C2D+320M likely costs more than the Core-i3+IntelHD, and it was said that because other vendors can put a Core-i3+dGPU in the same footprint that Apple should be able to as well, while ignoring the total internal space and battery reduction that would ensue. Personally, I wouldn?t have bought my 13? MBP if they had gone with a new CPU but used the crappy IntelHD or reduced the battery life to add an extra chip. I have plenty of CPU power, it?s the other components that have been lacking. So, I don?t think they see the biggest picture at times, just the old-school hobbyist philosophy where space and power wasn?t an issue.



    2) They had issues with the OS X sync software. I assume that will get resolved pretty quickly.
  • Reply 12 of 139
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mark Fearing View Post


    Who is going to buy a Windows phone, when Windows carries a 90% corporate IT/institutional computing place in peoples minds?



    X-Box integration? Appeals only to a portion of the serious gaming audience. And is that enough to make you buy a phone?



    Blackberry already has a huge presence in corporate IT. Android wants to be everything for everybody. Apple sells what Apple sells. WEB/OS from HP is back in the wild soon.



    The market is not there. Even when they start to give them away, or go two for 1. Between BB, Android and Apple (and WEB/OS) there is no one outside of Microsoft headquarters who cares about a Windows Phone...I can't see what they can do to change this. Innovation is not one of Microsofts strengths. They DO have strengths, but innovation is not one of them. Consumer electronics is not one of them. Mobile platforms has NOT been one of them. So other than giving them away in some form (in other words using all their money to try and buy market - dropping price, paying people to use them) what part of Microsoft's DNA will allow this product to become anything but a 'me-to'?



    This is a serious issue for Microsoft. It's a huge problem that they have no expertise that allows them to develop a unique product. They have used overwhelming size to dominate the clone PC market, and face it, their systems were bought not by people who loved them, but by large corporate entities because of millions of 'Microsoft certified' single guys out there who supported and maintained the systems.



    I'm being a bit snarky, but the issue Microsoft faces is a big one.



    except that every review out there says that the UI is innovative, different, easy to use and fast. A large percentage of people still view MS through the lens of M$, and all the rest of the pejorative terms (not entirely without cause). However, this might be a mistake, because all of the indications are that MS is slowly changing its course. We shall see what happens.
  • Reply 13 of 139
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    Really? Just how long can MS both piss away profits on unsuccessful venters and milk their cash cows without expanding them?



    MS isn't going to fold up tomorrow, but they don't have unlimited time or resources either...



    What choice do they have though? Whereas in the past, people did all their computing on a PC, now they have 2 or 3 computing devices, and use the one best matched to the task. If MS fail at this, it means resigning themselves to being desktop only, which means being much smaller fry than they have been in the past.



    No, I think they will just keep spending like there's no tomorrow to ensure they get *some* chunk of the phone/tablet space.
  • Reply 14 of 139
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    1) They do seem to miss some points that I think they and their readers don?t easily consider as value or costly. For instance, they recently reviewed the 13? MBP as a Windows machine. The reviewer raved about the construction, the battery life, the display (which is worlds above any other notebook they tested), the Nvidia 320M, the keyboard and a lot of other little aspects of the device, but in the end it was pooh-poohed as being costly because it has a C2D in it even though the C2D+320M likely costs more than the Core-i3+IntelHD, and it was said that because other vendors can put a Core-i3+dGPU in the same footprint that Apple should be able to as well, while ignoring the total internal space and battery reduction that would ensue. Personally, I wouldn?t have bought my 13? MBP if they had gone with a new CPU but used the crappy IntelHD or reduced the battery life to add an extra chip. I have plenty of CPU power, it?s the other components that have been lacking. So, I don?t think they see the biggest picture at times, just the old-school hobbyist philosophy where space and power wasn?t an issue.



    2) They had issues with the OS X sync software. I assume that will get resolved pretty quickly.



    The site is not perfect, but it is relatively unbiased in terms of the whole MS - Apple thing. So for example, Thurrot extolling WP7 has to be taken with a grain of salt, as does Mossberg not liking it.



    As to the sync software, it is in private beta so buggy is to be expected. One site said a public Beta would be out on Oct. 24th
  • Reply 14 of 139
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    In their reviews, both Metz and Mossberg expressed concern over the dearth of apps in Window's app store, dubbed Marketplace. At the time of review, Marketplace had "just a few hundred apps" listed. Microsoft promises to add "hundreds" of apps every week before the end of the year, but the Redmond, Wash., software giant will be hard-pressed to catch up to Apple's App Store, which boasts over 300,000 apps.

    ][/url][/c]



    Just made some funny calculation that made me laugh. Lets say they really ad hundreds of apps every week, or lets just assume they ad 300 apps per week. They will need 1000 weeks to catch up. I wonder where Apples App Store will be after 20 Years.
  • Reply 16 of 139
    You know what'd be awesome? If Consumer Reports recommended Windows Phone 7. Because they have their priorities straight
  • Reply 17 of 139
    quillzquillz Posts: 209member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mark Fearing View Post


    Actually I will disagree there...if you don't mind. iOS 1.0 CHANGED THE ENTIRE MOBILE PHONE BUSINESS. It created the feature set that every other manufacturer is killing themselves to recreate.



    Not much to write home about? Really? Do you remember what 'smartphone' software and the user experience was before the iPhone? Horrible and more horrible.That copy and paste came later as an update is a meaningless bit of trivia. Just go back and look at what other phones were doing. You know, all the other touch screen phones at the time...(silence)



    Got better over time? Geez, if you think so.



    You're disagreeing that iOS has improved over the years?
  • Reply 18 of 139
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Really? I am sure iPhone OS 1.0 was written about quite a lot. In fact, it was so popular and revolutionary that MS made the Zune to compete with the iPod Touch, BB created a a touch-based OS, Android realized that chasing WM6 and BB OS was no longer the tail they had to chase, and Nokia, Moto and many other HW vendors found themselves faltering when the world realized that they the problem with smartphones wasn?t the HW, but the software. No, iPhone OS was quite revolutionary for when it was first demoed and released. It was a desktop OS shrunk and rethought for a new I/O.



    What I think he is talking about is multi-tasking and copy and paste for example, or the app store which the reviewers are writing about (somewhere someone wrote that the App store opened with 500 apps, with many of the being of the fart app variety.
  • Reply 19 of 139
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,588member
    I would like to see a review by an xbox 360 gamer as they will probably be the highest percentage of buyers.
  • Reply 20 of 139
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quillz View Post


    BREAKING NEWS: A brand new platform is not quite yet as good as the far more matured Android and iOS platforms.



    Guess what? iOS 1.x wasn't much to write home about, either. But it got better over time. The same with Android. And the same will be true of Windows Phone 7.



    Whatever man! Iphone out the box was a beast with its media ecosystem. Gimme a break. MS is huge and could have incorporated all the obvious bells and whistles already. No excuse when you know what should be done.
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