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back to article Phone 7: Another Vista or another XP?

We've been playing with a Windows Phone 7 device for a week or so now, and have been surprisingly impressed with the detail, though sadly disappointed with the bigger picture. Microsoft has put a lot into Windows Phone 7, and plans to spend a fortune developing it, but while the interface and functionality has a host of …

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Paris Hilton

Microsoft has spent a great deal of time....

"Microsoft has spent a great deal of time making sure its baby gets everyone's attention"

They sure have.....a FB 'friend' who works for MS change his status to ......really loves the new Windows Phone 7.

(Yawn) More astro turfing?!

Although an 'IT guru, take everything literally' friend added a comment giving his view on the subject, which I think the young and hip would call 'pwnd' :)

Paris, because I wonder if you can get an app for her on the Win7fone??

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Bronze badge

Ick

There is nothing worse than someone blindly advertising for their employer.

I have a friends who works for Rackspace. I swear if I hear the word "fanatical" again, I will go "fanatical" on them.

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Thumb Up

...except...

Having owned one of these phones for about 24 hours now, I'm not altogether convinced that he is simply advertising for his employer. The phone (HTC Mozart) really is fantastic.

The UI is awesome, buttery-smooth everywhere. And unlike the static icons approach, the active tiles feel much more fluid and alive to use.

The games are excellent (seriously, go to a phone store and ask to play a demo of The Harvest).

ZunePass gives you access to a vast catalogue of music, for a very low price (I own two ipods and I honestly can't think of a use of either of them any more). Email, texting, facebook etc. are all excellent.

Office is pretty good too, although I haven't used it much yet.

(and no, I don't work for MS or HTC - I just really appreciate a good phone when I find one).

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Grenade

It's so last year...

Amazing. They copied all the bad bits from Apple but failed to notice Apple having to free up IOS4 a little to keep up with Android. Gotta love that lockin. So that's all the dozen or so Zune users sorted.

The dynamic data in 'tiles' is hardly a new idea, my Android phone is quite happily showing all sorts of fun stuff on its home screens - from the 1x1 icon battery status widget to the nearly full screen Jorte calendar widget with a months calendar on display, passing through my Rugby RSS feed and SMS displays. So at least they stole one good bit from Android, but didn't do it very well.

And is that a fugly interface or what?

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Lockin all over the world

Just wanted to say that really...

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FAIL

Title

The thing that gets me is the shear ugliness of their "start" screen. A HUGE swath of screen space is wasted because of a tiny right-arrow near the top of the screen. Such a waste! At least put a VERTICAL tile or something there. Perhaps like a vertical stock ticker! There's a thought. And I hope that ugly grey background can be set to a custom wallpaper.

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Go

yes really

Yes really, there are more than 3000 applications at launch and I can see all the big uk players, tesco, bbc, telegraph. I think will take me a while to check all these apps out.

The interface is at par with iphone that's for sure. It's extremely smooth, nothing like andoid. I went to check it out today and it's really good. Interface is different I think, it is quite simplistic you can say but makes sense. Iphone is good but 40% have one in london I think, so that's my next phone just don't know the model. It's got excellent features, I agree that some things are not there, but cut and paste is coming in january and am sure microsoft have the bucks to make it even better. The storage shortcoming can be a problem, but syncs free with the internet and can save anything you want there. Upgrades will make more improvements. Zune and Xbox is unique to this phone.

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Stop

They don't get it, that's all

It appears to be a worrying trend: Microsoft appears to be copying what someone else did rather than having any confidence in themselves and providing any real innovation or design leadership.

The restrictions look like they're a slavish attempt to copy what Apple have done, but not what they're doing now.

Likewise, their retail stores are s'posed to be locating themselves across from Apple's stores, including a renamed genius bar.

The early developer releases of Vista even had Apple icons in them.

This is starting to feel like the lovelorn babysitter who goes mad and dresses in the wife's clothing in a sad attempt to get the husband to notice her.

Cutting her bonus isn't enough, I think we need to check her into a facility and hope they cure her for the baby's (shareholders') sake.

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Hardly a new trend...

"...a worrying trend: Microsoft appears to be copying what someone else did rather than having any confidence in themselves and providing any real innovation or design leadership"

Worrying trend? Sounds like business as usual. MS' big successes have come from reproducing other companies' innovations. Their big failures from trying to innovate themselves.

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Law
Gates Halo

really?

"It's extremely smooth, nothing like andoid"

On my snapdragon android phone the menu's and transitions are smooth, and I'd seen my old iPhone 3g stagger a few times going through transitions before...

The new htc wp7 phone looks good tho - I like the xbox Live integration too, if I wasn't 6 months into a 2 year contract I'd be rushing out giving it a whirl in the shops. Personally external storage shouldn't be an issue if they come with 16gb of memory - although it would suck not to have the storage show up as an ext drive, as that feature made my pen drive obsolete with android.

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Silver badge

in a year or two Windows Phone 7 could be a very impressive platform

In a year or two, all their customers will have jumped ship to Android and nobody will care.

Apple could get away with having their version 1 iPhone a flop because they were creating a new market. Microsoft can't get away with it because there is now too much competition.

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Nah

It's pretty...but clunky. UI looks "strange" - I'd prefer my UI to be onscreen at all times, and just the data should "scroll". Agree with author - some stuff is confusing, or simply counter-intuiative.

There are some clever touches though, and the interface is smooth enough. You can tell they've actually put a bit of effort into this.

But I'm not sold. The bar has been raised, and if this was launched with or before iphone v1, they'd be onto something. But it's not enough for today's market.

Is it vista or xp? Vista in my opinion. Lets hope SP1 is a bit more "windows 7".

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Is this a fair summary?

"Has some nice shiny things, looks like it could be as restricted as an iPhone, and is behind the curve. In two years Win7 will have caught up with 2010, and thus still be behind the curve."

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It'll get there

The problem I see with the device is it's like a patient who has just had brain surgery. The patient might be better off from the surgery, the doctor might assure you they'll make huge progress in time. But for the time the patient is woozy, glassy eyed and is sporting a partially shaved head and stitches.

Windows Phone 7 is an obvious improvement on 6.5, but so much was removed to make it better that it's just not ready yet. I really would not like to plonk down a large amount of money for something which has such obvious shortcomings no matter what eye candy the think might have.

Features like multitasking apps, cut & paste, as well as phone openness ARE important. I appreciate that MS probably had to shelve some things for time, but they have to come. Additionally, Microsoft appears to think that to play the game they have to follow Apple's tune and it's not the case at all. Ditch the crappy Zune software and ditch the attitude that 3rd party apps are 2nd class citizens.

I hope Windows Phone remembers that when it starts to regain some of its faculties. Otherwise it will find itself stuck in division 2 competing with Bada, WebOS and other fringe players for the scraps that Android and iOS don't consume.

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Won't mount as an USB?

One of the biggest downsides of buying into the Apple empire is the fat, bloated toad which is iTunes. Insisting on the use of Zune in the same capacity is a massive mistake in my opinion - you are not going to out-Apple Apple in the walled garden approach.

Some interesting approaches Microsoft, but I think you are barking up the wrong tree and targeting a converted market. A shame really, more competition in the mobile OS market is always good.

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and no removable memory either - Microsoft reckons it complicates things

Another Apple walled garden approach. MS seems to be very jealous of Apples garden.

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I'm with you

Locked to Zune? WHY???? iTunes is pretty much the worst thing about Apple. I wouldn't even have an iPod if I hadn't won one simpy because of that limitation.

I always sort of liked Mobile 6.5 - despite the horrible slowness and clunkyness it was at least familiar to navigate and open enough to largely do what you wanted to.

I was kind of looking forward to Mobile 7, but to find it's locked down in this way and MS are going for not sharing their toys except for "friends" of theirs... why would I buy into that? If that's what I wanted I'd buy an iPhone.

Oh well, Android here I come I guess.

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Terminator

To put it mildly

"MS seems to be very jealous of Apples garden."

It wasn't all that long ago that Microsoft "invested" in Apple. At the time, it was a $100M or so price tag to avoid Apple's demise and Microsoft's being pronounced a monopoly and quickly torn apart. At this rate, Jobs could be deciding whether to bail out Microsoft some years from now.

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FAIL

I just had to download the activesync replacement

...so I could charge my ancient WinMob work phone on my Windows 7 machine. They all but gave me a "genuine" body cavity search to do that.

So if work hands me one of these new 7 devices I have to install Zune... Just to charge my f'ing phone?

Are they trying to be the anti-RIM? They might as well put up a billboard saying "we don't want any serious business users"

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Troll

(MS) Software to charge your phone?

All phones that charge via USB can ALSO charge via a wall-socket charger (even using the same cable if the charger has a USB connection)... Do you have to install ActiveSync on a wall-socket charger before your phone will recognise it? Do you have to install ActiveSync on your car before using a car phone charger?

Stop trolling fail troll.

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Anonymous Coward

Already done it...

Jobs and Woz essentially help Bill, Paul and Steve avoid liquidation in the 70's...

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Unhappy

It Is A USB Scam

OP is correct, even old Motorola RAZRs worked this way. You can charge any micro USB RAZR from a wall socket but I couldn't charge my KRZR on a work PC that could charge a RAZR without getting KRZR driver software on the PC despite the same wall charger working for either. And they tend to bundle the software with the cable so they can charge $29 for a micro USB cable you already have or can buy online for $5. The claim is that the drivers on the PC actually regulate the charge and prevent overcharging - but I'm not sure I believe it.

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Paris Hilton

nice review what about phone 7's advert serving functions?

i notice nothing was said about phone 7's multiple ways to serve adverts to you, you know those little things that annoy people and invade privacy?? like the capablity for in-application adverts?

are there any easy to use privacy functions? to limit data being shared without permission to advertisers?

i assume due to the numerous restrictions on what software can do there will no option for programs like no script, flash block etc to protect owners from unscrupulous websites trying to gather personal information??

is there any way like the iphone advertisers can read any unique id on the phone to help identify the owner

these are questions that need answering before people part with hard cash for one of these little trinkets

i also notice "with applications heavily integrated and tied (or locked) to cloud services from Microsoft and its partners" which translated means they want your data where they can see it

anything interesting in the privacy section of the EULA regarding cloud services and how the data could be used?

sorry for being synical, just how i have become after years of being abused by the likes of apple, google and microsoft when it comes to my data and privacy

paris , because she knows when she is being shafted by the big boys

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Silver badge

6 of one ...

... half dozen of the other. And all equally unpalatable.

I'll stick to my ten year old Nokia 5185, TYVM. It makes phone calls, and it receives phone calls. Both of which are pretty much all I need or want a phone to do,

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Troll

There's always one...

And what do you need or want a smartphone to do?

Or are you simply not interested in smartphones?

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Not interested.

I have real portable computers. I have real digital cameras. I have real portable music.

And I have a real phone. It has a strong transmitter, and a sensitive receiver. The Sonoma Valley here in Northern California is well known for it's "dead zones", where cell phones don't work. My old Nokia works just fine in these areas.

I'll buy a so-called "smart" phone when I can carry on a conversation starting in Yountville, up the Oakville Grade, to Trinity, and down Cavedale to Sonoma, without once dropping the call. My old Nokia is up to the job. Is your "smart" phone? Do you still think it's all that "smart"?

I'm an old UNIX[tm] hack ... many small tools, all of which do one thing well. All I want a phone to be is a phone.

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Anonymous Coward

My problem is

That I want a camera. I want to be able to play some music. I want GPS.

Seems that I then have the rest of the crap that goes with a "smart phone" forced on me, whether I like it or not.

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Silver badge

@Thad: Let's analyze your "problem" ...

"That I want a camera."

The hydra with a plastic lens (or lenses) and yellow "flash" isn't exactly what I'd call a useful camera, consumer.

"I want to be able to play some music."

The compressed crap that comes out of that hydra is hardly music, consumer. Especially when you listen to it with ear-buds.

"I want GPS."

Why? Don't they teach Orienteering anymore? Enjoy your goat-track in Yorkshire and subsequent cliff, consumer.

"Seems that I then have the rest of the crap that goes with a "smart phone" forced on me, whether I like it or not."

That word "forced", I don't think it means what you think it means, consumer.

From my perspective, your real problem is that you are a consumer who has bought into a line of bullshit that multi-national marketing companies, which only exist to make the share-holders happy, has managed to sell you as a supposed "individual". Enjoy your bliss.

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WTF?

Jake, stop being a nob

You don't have all the answers and sound like a petulant, ignorant fool. The simple fact is that I do not want to carry around a dedicated camera for the odd opportunist photo of friends being silly, nor a music player for the stroll to work, a sat nav for visiting client sites, a games console for the odd moment I'm waiting for my girlfriend to try something on in a shop plus the plethora of other funky things I do with my Android phone every day.

Of course convergent devices aren't as good as stand alone, but it's about convenience and compromising some quality for that. Considering that, the quality I get is more than adequate anyway

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@T-Unit

Paraphrased: "I need to be entertained, even for small values of entertainment, and I'm willing to give a multi-national corporation a portion of my paycheck for that cartoonish take on reality."

Satnav, though, I have no idea about ... Why do you need it for visiting client sites? I've been visiting clients (on six continents, no less) for forty years, with no need of satnav. I've been given half a dozen of these thingies as gifts over the last couple years ... all of 'em are in the same box on the top shelf of the closet that my wife's "tried but rejected" so-called "smart" phones reside in.

But whatever. Enjoy your bliss, consumer.

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Anonymous Coward

Dear me...

Jake, you are a supercilious twit. End of.

""That I want a camera."

The hydra with a plastic lens (or lenses) and yellow "flash" isn't exactly what I'd call a useful camera, consumer." - For most needs, it's fine, supercilious twit.

""I want to be able to play some music."

The compressed crap that comes out of that hydra is hardly music, consumer. Especially when you listen to it with ear-buds." - So do you only listen to live music then, supercilious twit?

""I want GPS."

Why? Don't they teach Orienteering anymore? Enjoy your goat-track in Yorkshire and subsequent cliff, consumer." - Maps are bulky, cumbersome and tend not to work in the dark, and unless you've got an up-to-date *set* of expensive OS maps, that particular deadtreeware has the same issues as GPS, supercilious twit. Of course if you're stupid enough to blindly follow either, evolution will kick in...

"From my perspective, your real problem is that you are a consumer who has bought into a line of bullshit that multi-national marketing companies, which only exist to make the share-holders happy, has managed to sell you as a supposed "individual". Enjoy your bliss." - Why name the brand of you phone of choice then, you supercilious luddite...

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Flame

Obvious troll is obvious

Thanks for the kicks!

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@Terry Ellis

I'm not trolling. I'm stating a strong personal opinion. Although I must admit that my lizard hind brain is tickled by the emotional reactions :-)

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Law
Unhappy

I very almost gave in and ranted at you...

.... but then I realised it was pointless to even try... well played sir... well played... *closes laptop, goes to bed*

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Consumer?

Surely the title 'consumer' is more appropriate for the fellow who spends way more cash on high specced cameras, music players, portable computers, and totes them about everywhere, rather than someone who just keeps a simple smartphone on them. What do you do, run around with a Batman utility belt on?

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Re: Subtilior

Where, exactly, did I claim to have all my hardware about my person at all times?

There is a time & place for me to break out the CF-39 back on my Hasselblad, but that time and place is never directly related to my telephone ... When I want to take digital snapshots, I generally use one of our eight year old Canon A-series cameras, that's what they were designed for.

Likewise, when I want to make or receive a phone call, I use my old Nokia.

All-singing, all-dancing Hydras are a good way to drop your entire basket of eggs ... But if you feel it's a good idea to purchase a "256-piece tool kit" from your local mega-mart for $25, instead of spending $135 on the eight individual tools that you actually need from a more reputable manufacturer ... Well, who am I to tell you that you are wrong, consumer?

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wisdom doesn't come with age?

could you please comment to the subject of article? if we're reading the comments is because WE are interested. If YOU are not interested bugger off.

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Re: Ioan

Dissenting opinions on the subject at hand aren't allowed, in your mind?

Does that mean that I have to purchase whatever the marketards are pushing? That would suck ... I might even have to come out of retirement to afford it all ...

In other words, yes, wisdom does come with age ;-)

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Joke

Following Jake's example...

I'm off now to comment on a website for cancer sufferers about how I don't care about radiotherapy.

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Re: Tony Chandler

There is a rather large difference between real humans suffering, and sheeple buying into whatever the hardware marketards are pushing this month.

Hopefully you accidentally hit the "Joke Alert" icon ... because what you posted wasn't funny, not by any stretch of the imagination.

On the other hand, if you did think it funny ... Well, your commentary was low. Very low.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Tony Chandler

Yes but don't use the 'word' 'sheeple' it sets my teeth on edge. Thanking you.

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Silver badge

Fair enough.

I'll refrain from using "sheeple". However, I have a question ...

Do you have a better over-all descriptive term for any given shaman's congregation?

Keep in mind that almost all shamans, world-wide (even of the hardware/OS variety), refer to the people who keep them with a roof overhead and in bread & butter as "flocks", and think of themselves as "shepherds" ... and most folks associate "congregation" with "religion", and pooh-pooh the religious aspect of the attitude of most fanbois. To me, "sheeple" is a very descriptive term, and an appropriate mutation of the English language.

(Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, this is off-topic, but you brought it up ... I won't reply to this thread anymore, unless I can bring it back on-topic.)

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Fair enough.

It's an incredibly smug catch-all term which gives puns a bad name. It's easy enough to describe people who you think are slavish and mindless with such words as 'mindless' and 'slavish' without resorting to that kind of childishness. Ironically enough, it makes you vulnerable to accusation that you're the kind of person who slavishly and mindlessly follows convention.

Charlie Brooker said it better than I did. Can't find that but ooh look, a relevant xckd!

http://xkcd.com/610/

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Coat

two years?

In two years time, you say?

They've already poured billions into development and advertising, I hardly think even Micrisoft can afford to keep spending money. I know, I know, it's the old adage, Microsoft always gets it right the third time, but even if that were true (and looking at previous versions of WinMo, that hardly seems likely nowadays), two years is a long time in mobile politics, and at the rate in which Apple and Google are trying to out-perform each other, with RIM hanging on for dear life, Microsoft can't afford to wait that long.

If Nokia gets any traction in the market with their new models next year, maybe Microsoft should buy back Elop? Now that'd be a twist...

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Coat

iPhone Catchup: FAIL

So the summary is basically saying: in a couple of years, this will be where Apple were ~3 years ago?

Yeah, thanks, the one with the better phone in the pocket. Which one you say? Oh, they *all* have iPhones?

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Gates Halo

The future is now

No clipboard: Check

Restricted third party background processes: Check

Cannot mount as USB drive: Check

No removable media: Check

Tied into bloated desktop application: Check

Just gotta work on getting rid of 3/4G and it'll be at least as good as the iPhone was 3 years ago.

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actually...

HAS removable media = check

SD cards (where phones allow them) ARE removable should you wish to upgrade them. You swap the memory out, hard reset the phone and hey presto ...... your 32gb card is ready to use! Now just resync and its job done :)

What i didn't see in this review, which makes me question its usefullness, how many times was it rebooted during the week? How many individual program crashes were there? Were there any "slow downs" at all? How about simple things like, can I change the ringtone to anything I like?

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Boffin

@Monty

You may be advised to (Re?)RTFA, specifically the bit which says no external storage by order of the management.

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RTFM or use google for real world examples?

and you may be advised to use google and do some research, i have as I'm half tempted to buy the Dell Venue which has a removable SD card where reviewers HAVE swapped out the cards. All you do is do a hard reset and the phone rebuilds itself using its new card. Job done.

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Paris Hilton

Damn, Monty...

Some people... They are all talking about the frigging iPhone and Win7 phone in these comments. No one cares in this discussion about your or Google's or whomever examples of the myriad phones that have swappable cards. Wake the hell up.

Gee... How hard of reading can someone be?

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