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Why did I move away from Windows Phone-Windows 10 Mobile? 35 reasons!

Aug 18

Written by:
Thursday, August 18, 2016 8:00 PM  RssIcon

I used to be a HUGE Windows Phone supporter! Huge. GINORMOUS! I changed jobs so that I could continue learning XAML to help me with WP! But lately the message is clear. It’s dead Jim. It’s dead.

Back in early 2009, I bought into Microsoft “NEW” mobile strategyMicrosoft “NEW” mobile strategy. It wasn’t going to materialize for another year, but that didn’t matter. I loved it and thought it was GLORIOUS! Unfortunately the buying public didn’t agree with me. Many years later, I’ve made the hard decision to bail. Here are 35 reasons why!

Why did I move away from Windows 10 Mobile? Oh let me count the ways?

  1. Terry Myerson's saying mobile not Microsoft's priority this year
    • This REALLY started me thinking about it
    • If it's not Microsoft's priority, why should it be mine?
      • Ok, really, I want an answer from Microsoft!
  2. Satya Nadella's ambivalence towards Windows 10 Mobile
    • Simply put, Nadella's lumping w10m in with iPhone and Android with his "Cloud First, Mobile First" priorities, even then, his OWN platform comes third
    • If he's not going to give it special treatment, uh, why should I? Especially if Android has a dominating market share?!
  3. Microsoft thinks having Hololens, Surface Hub and IoT support are going to increase Lumia\mobile sales
    • Microsoft brags about one billions devices and includes these in their numbers
    • I don't believe this is the true view of the landscape
      • SurfaceHub is arguably just a big screen desktop, so I WOULD EXPECT UWPs to work on them without issue!
      • Hololens is not released to the consumer, and won't be for another four years, AND is THREE THOUSAND dollars for a developer-only edition AND also takes special coding to account for the 3D aspects
      • Lumia phone market share is only dropping (currently it's about 1.1%)
      • IoT devices are advertised to run Windows 10, therefore UWP apps, but these arguably an extremely special market segment and not one for the majority of users
  4. My own 550 has ALWAYS had a problem with Cortana
    1. it's simply useless on my phone, IF it responds to me, it's never gotten anything right, FAR cry from WP8
  5. Maps has more than once completely screwed up and although "technically" guided me to the "right" place, arriving on the delivery side of the Montreal airport doesn't quite count as "Arriving at your destination"
    • Why YES I DID expect to goto the terminal entrance!
  6. Wifi now is in the habit of NOT automatically reconnecting when at work or at home, very strange
    • Its happened enough that I've noticed my carrier usage goes up and eventually it costs me MONEY! Not cool, NOT COOL!
    • Its NOW happening about once every other day, YES 3 or 4 times a week, often enough to become a bother for me to reboot the phone
    • The only way to reconnect it now is to reboot the phone, unacceptable
  7. Microsoft Edge (browser) on the phone is very buggy
    • LOTS of times the page SAYS it's done loading, but page is only half displayed, sometimes, about 50% it'll completely render and the other half…..nothing, just…..stops there, causes me to refresh and all over again
    • Progress indicator at bottom is COMPLETELY useless, it just increases until about 90% THEN tries to predict how much is left and slows progress down.
    • Why oh WHY does going to a new tab, re-load the whole web page? Causes single page apps to completely screw up, or cause you to hit <More news articles> again and again, useless!
  8. Apps are slowly dying, they either stop loading, stop downloading new data, GPF on downloading data, don't display anything on front page, or just outright dying
    • BBC Top Gear app is last example, other news sites died on me too like CBC.
    • Not being excited about poking around the Marketplace is a sign in itself for me, it's not fun when you just assume "that company" doesn't have the app there.
  9. The phone is ever so slowly just becoming a very small tablet to run browser
    1. low app numbers and the few that are there are dying, which in itself is not necessarily a good thing
    2. this is akin to friends who bought the Blackberry Playbook, eventually they just become tablets for browsers, then dead stops, the ultimate demise of hardware
  10. Microsoft bought Xamarin and is now giving it away, nice, so it's throwing its oomph behind android and iphone (except iphone requires buying a mac to deploy to iTunes and a $99 dev license)
    1. SO?! Who's going to do any UWPs when you can JUST do Xamarin?
    2. Xamarin is a whole other blog series, but my main dysfunction with xamarin is requirement to make multiple forms\pages\Uis, why can't I just do ONE xaml ui to describe a page, then xamarin just figures it out when I compile for the clients I'm deploying on, yes, this is complicated, yes it's hard, but that’s what I have tools for, don't force me to do it, cause my comeback is, why would I bother with xamarin, I'll just go native!
  11. Microsoft gives out more "…just wait til next year" promises (ie Surface phone in 2017), sounds an awful lot like the 550\950\950XL announcements last year, and we know how THAT went in the winter (hint, NOT well).
    • Since originally writing this bullet, Intel has cancelled the mobile Atom chip, WHAT is MS going to do now for the Surface Phone brains?
  12. When was the last time you saw Microsoft bragging about the number of UWP apps on the marketplace?
    1. Yeah, never eh?
  13. When was the last time YOU installed a UWP app? And LOVED it?
    1. The last time I installed a useful UWP was AutoTrader, problems quickly came up though when I couldn't use saved searches, arguably that is the ISVs fault, BUT it's still not a nice UX for UWPs
  14. When was the last time you SAW someone with a Windows phone?
    • I went to a Microsoft conference in Montreal and I didn't see ONE Lumia (except mine) and that INCLUDES MVP presenters!
    • In fact I saw MORE people with Microsoft Bands than I saw Lumia phones, that's bordering on pathetic (I apologize, was that too judgmental?)
  15. MS seems to be MORE interested in Xbox games than UWPs on their own mobile platform, just observations from Windows Central posts lately
    1. I'm not a gamer, so flaunting Xbox and IoT and Surface Hub as fantastic windows client devices as attractive features……I'm not buying it, there just wont be enough of them to count for me
    2. I'm a business application developer, I make LOB apps, people buy those line of business apps (LOBs), arguably THAT’S where Microsoft is going to see the bulk of their Windows revenue come from
    3. Sure some revenue will come from xbox, but not the major to sustain payrolls, rent, electricity bills and cell phone bills
  16. I'm seeing MORE announcements about apps NOT going UWP than I am about company's making UWP apps, not a good trend
  17. I'm seeing developer conferences with MUCH more html5\javascript content than I am UWP content this year,
    • This included Build 2016!
    • Try it out yourself, check out a local dev conference in your town, do you see any UWP sessions? What about android? HTML5? Javascript? React? Angular? CSS? thought so.
  18. Email counters are haphazardly updated on the start screen and on the smart tile
    1. I’m sick and tired of email notifications not working as advertised
      1. they worked in wp7 and wp8, why did you break them in w10m?
    2. lock screen, start tile, notification center #s reported always stale
    3. OFTEN, ie daily, I'll open up my company email and low'n'behold I have new emails, but there was nothing on the notification\start page
    4. what happened to my Smart tiles and glance'n'go?
    5. Quite often, they are just stale, out of date and just wrong
    6. They are essentially untrustworthy
  19. Tired of having to "fallback" to the browser to goto a company's website cause they don't have the WP mobile app
    1. Microsoft likes to say the app store numbers aren’t important, well, you talk to the average Joe, AND THEY DO!
    2. Figure it out! If your buying public says it does, sticking your head in the sand isn’t helping your cause!
  20. I’m tired of Microsoft employees\MVPs correcting me when I say Windows Phone and they tell me it's Windows Mobile
    1. Ok, TECHNICALLY there IS a difference, but to the Joe-Blow Public, it's all the same thing, and ignoring that only proves Microsoft is out of touch with the people with the money!
    2. Even look at my references at the bottom, LOTS of trade rags are using the old “Windows Phone” moniker
    3. The main reason for this is Microsoft’s OWN marketing department changing with the wind
  21. Microsoft just doesn't care about phones being released late
    1. This happened with WP7 (Focus), WP8 (1020) and Windows 10 Mobile (950, 950XL and 550) and Surface Phone (yes, a year and a half AFTER your last flagship, is late)
    2. I'm not sure what bothers me more, that it didn't even make a ripple in the trade rags or that Microsoft said nothing about it in the news, NOTHING! No acknowledgement, no reasons, no excuses, nothing.
  22. Microsoft's emphasis on Continuum like it's the panacea of all their mobile woes!
    1. something I don't see myself paying money for
    2. using it just isn’t that important to me
    3. Isn’t Microsoft selling the Surface and the Surface Book? Don’t they want people buying those?
    4. Yes, sure it's cool, but not a reason to spend a grand on a Lumia 950 plus the continuum dock and then the cables, this isn’t a cheap laptop
    5. People touting this as the "differentiator", sure ok, it's a way to set WP apart, great, but it's not the reason I'm going to go out and spend one thousand dollars on a smart phone
    6. I will go out and spend a grand on a phone that has applications! Just fix the right problems, stop chasing ghosts!
  23. Calendar resets way to often too be useful for me
    1. this drives me nuts when I open a completely empty calendar, then ten seconds later, it starts populating, one calendar by every so slowly another calendar
    2. When games GPF, it's just embarrassing, when LOB apps go south, that's when I get upset
    3. the calendar app is my main reason d’etre for the phone, without a trustworthy calendar, it’s just an expensive game platform, or email reader
  24. Microsoft seems to think releasing their applications on Android and iOS before their own platform is a great idea
    1. WTF? You're only serving to tell your OWN device owners, they're second class citizens
    2. I actually counted the Microsoft created apps on the iphone, android and WP marketplaces, and there was pretty much app parity back in the winter, I was VERY surprised about this
    3. If there is roughly the same number of apps, why do I care to BUY a Windows Phone? No really, I would like an answer!
  25. I'm just tired, exhausted really, of hearing how Microsoft if refocusing, retrenching their efforts and we need to give them 1/2/3 more years
    1. This has been going on since Wp7 was announced in 2009, wp8, Windows 10 last year, and now AGAIN?
    2. How many kicks at the can DO YOU NEED?
    3. There's an expression "they are throwing diarrhea on the wall and seeing what sticks"
      1. mental note, NOTHINGS STICKING, it’s all slipping and sliding DOWN the wall and smelling up the floor
    4. I'm tired of “trying things”
      1. here's an idea, pull a Chen, cut the cord, swallow the 8billion Nokia purchase, throw all those resources behind xamarin, build ONE converter for ALL xaml files so when I compile and deploy it works across all mobiles, isn't that you want anyways? To support all mobile platforms?
  26. Xamarin is not a perfect solution neither now, let's not kid ourselves!
    1. http://www.whitneyland.com/2013/05/why-i-dont-recommend-xamarin-for-mobile-development.html
    2. http://www.estaun.net/blog/some-thoughts-after-almost-a-year-of-real-xamarin-use/
  27. Microsoft talks about Ink as a fantastic new revolutionary idea, its been around for AGES, specifically 1992
    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_for_Pen_Computing
  28. Microsoft has a habit of having a break between major phone releases, then having a BIG OS upgrade and requiring new phone hardware. As a case in point, Microsoft said the 1020 WOULD be upgradeable to Win 10 Mobile, BUT long after release, they said, NOPE! So with current phones, chances are PRETTY good they'll be obsoleted.
  29. More than once lately I've syncd email only to have it take forever and then after giving up, returning to phone see the “something went wrong” message
  30. Why cant I use my computer to look at marketplace and install apps?
    1. I could with wp8! This is a big step backwards
  31. MS just announced CAN not part of focus countries for mobile
    1. really? Really? REALLY?
  32. A few times start screen has hung on resuming, only workaround is restart phone
  33. I hate how swipe keyboard cannot learn my corrections as I make them, and therefore continues to make "mistakes" as I type and continually "correct" it's mistakes, not my mistakes now
    1. after 2/3/4 times, it’s NOT my mistake anymore!
  34. I continue to be surprised when I get texts because the "ringer" never rings for me when new ones come in.
  35. At Build 2016 recently stated, to the WORLD, Windows 10 will be running on 10 BILLION (yes, BILLION) devices in 2 to 3 years
    1. What’s that noise you hear in the background?  OH YEAH! That’s Microsoft back peddling!
    2. Sorry, you missed it? Here it is again.
    3. Maybe they have excuses….uh, reasons, BUT what I’m taking away from this, EVERYTHING they say now, I have to take with a HUGE grain of salt. Gone are the days I can just blindly take what Microsoft says as the gospel

So, some of these 34 problems are due to Microsoft’s mobile strategy, some are bugs that have been allowed to fester and continue to live, and some are just dumbass and ignorant decisions. Yes, I’ve taken time to do this analysis. I had invested quite a bit of energy and money into WP since Steve Ballmer announced WP7 in Barcelona in 2009. And I can’t help but feel upset for Nadella just completely not caring for his OWN platform, instead choosing to just let it atrophy away.

Now, I’m not saying I’m gone forever. I MIGHT get back into MS mobile again. I might buy another Windows 10 Mobile…or what ever name they change it to next year (yeah, their marketing naming patterns, strategies have MUCH to be desired) but it will take a lot. I’m guessing, at the least, it would take

  • a growing market penetration percentage
    • 5% just isn’t enough to make me spend $750 on a new phone AND start learning a new programming and UX paradigm
    • realistically, THIS time, if I jump, it’ll have to be moving rapidly into double digits and having momentum to continue!
  • having a phone that’s NOT over a thousand dollars
    • Yeah, yeah, I know these things take a lot of HARD work and a lot of research and development and expensive gold and precious metals and….and….and…..It still HAS to be less than a GRAND! Come on, if you CAN’T make a cell phone under a grand, make sure it comes with KEYS and a V6 motor! (can you sense the sarcasm dripping there, take a hint, don’t overprice the phone!)
  • having a MUCH better marketplace\store story than what is coming out in the news lately! Disappointing what other ISV had to put up with!

So what’s the deal now then? Well, I’ve already ditched my Lumia 550 for a Nexus 5X. I’m learning Typescript, React, HTML5, CSS, Office365 Add-ins, more Visual Studio, TFS, Azure and just generally all around web stuff! I predicted Microsoft would lose the Metro…..Modern…..Universal…..UWP battle as soon as they released the two Nokia X phones. People, including MS employees, said I was being “short sighted.” I might have been SHORT sighted, but I had the long game in mind. Unfortunately NOW, the long game I predicted is coming true. Devs HAVE moved away from xaml\UWPs and just don’t care anymore. Microsoft makes announcements, but who’s listening?

Now that’s off my chest, it’s time to grab a coffee and get coding!

 

Resources

ZDNet: Mary Jo Foley: Why I broke up with Windows Phone: It's not me, it's you

ZDNet: Ed Bott: Why have I given up on Windows Phone? Blame Verizon 

The Verge: Tom Warren: I’ve given up on Windows Phone

dev diaries: The Rise and Not Enough Rise of One of the Most Beloved Windows 10 Apps: AppRaisin Year-1 Postmortem and What’s Next

MSPowerUser: Kantar: Windows Phone users are moving en-masse to Android handsets

Windows Hive: Moving Away From Windows Phone: Is This The Story of Most of the tech Savvies?

Mobile Lifestyle: I too have jumped ship from Windows Phone

Windows 10 Update: Even Europe Is Moving Away From Windows Phone

The Verge: Did Microsoft just give up on Windows Phone?

9TO5Mac: Microsoft gives up on consumer phones, claims Windows Phones down but not out

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2 comment(s) so far...


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Re: Why did I move away from Windows Phone-Windows 10 Mobile? 35 reasons!

Here's a another GREAT blog about why MS failed at mobile. Long but fantastic inside look.
medium.com/@christianhern/the-war-microsoft-should-have-won-65d836aa2358#.kknjwvqnw

By Peter Henry on   Thursday, August 18, 2016 3:53 PM
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Re: Why did I move away from Windows Phone-Windows 10 Mobile? 35 reasons!

Another item I forgot to mention was the SD card in my 550. I REALLY HATED the performance of accessing anything on the media. I didn't follow conventional wisdom of installing the SD right off the bat. Party because I wanted to know what perf was before and after, but also, I didn't receive the SD card in the mail by the time I got the phone, so excitement was greater than need to wait. SO! I did learn, accessing photos, videos, even data for games and apps slowed down, and for how I FELT, I thought it slowed things down WAY TOOOOOOOOO much for my licking. That's my opinion, maybe there's other times specifications out there, but next time I'll be buying a phone that I don't have to expand with SD memory.

By Peter Henry on   Friday, August 19, 2016 12:11 PM

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