back to article Microsoft fails to turn punters on to WinPho 7

Microsoft and its hardware partners shifted a mere 1.6m Windows Phone 7 handsets during the first three months of 2011. So says market watcher Gartner, which also noted that a total of just under 101m smartphones shipped worldwide in the same period. And compare WinPho 7 shipments to 16.9m iPhones, 13m BlackBerrys and 36.3m …

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Happy

That would be...

1.6 million potential Android users in six months time then...

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Troll

Brilliant! Wonderful!

Can you imagine how glorious it will be in the future when Microsoft are bankrupt and Google own mobile and Apple own the desktop and Sony own gaming?

Three wonderful trustworthy friendly companies instead of mean nasty old "M$".

It's like some kind of a dream...

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Grenade

In reply

Surely Nintendo will own gaming. :P

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FAIL

What? you trust Apple? You living under a rock? and Sony? teheh

bwahah, Apple is worse than M$

worse bug fixing history

worse support

more conniving and controlling

tries to eliminate user's freedom to bolster their own profits

tries to eliminate user upgrades in every area:

(Among many other things, Apple started using proprietary HDD interface, so you can't even upgrade the harddrive in your Apple computer (see earlier The Reg report)

Tries so hard to protect their "we underestimated our user's stupidity" customers from themselves, you're essentially being kept in a cage.

Have you noticed that Apple products are not for creatives anymore, they are for the consumer masses who's comprehension tops out at the toaster level, who try to appear smart and buy some prestige by shelling out for an Apple logo on their stuff.

No, having Apple own the desktop would be an Orwellian Nightmare.

The only thing worse I could imagine would be Larry Ellison "owning the desktop"

Luckily, none of what you said is going to happen.

We actually have a few years of more competition (more advances) coming, especially with the CPU race becoming interesting again, between Arm, Intel, Nvidia and AMD, things are starting to get a little more interesting again...

We do need Apple - grudgingly, they do their part to aid overall competition. So I thank everyone who buys Apple gear, just don't overdo it...

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Linux

The ultimate competition

"Can you imagine how glorious it will be in the future when Microsoft are bankrupt ..." .

Personally I'd much prefer a Microsoft which lives and competes based on using and contributing towards an open source code stack available to everyone else to a dead Microsoft in these markets. Most of the Linux contributions come from major corps these days, such as Intel, IBM, HP, Sony, Google etc, so it's clear that freedom doesn't hurt their bottom lines. At least with Free Software (as in freedom), you can have genuine competition at every point in the stack. So if you don't like the Linux kernel you can have much the same functionality for the same application stack provided by Solaris or BSD. At the desktop layer you can have KDE or Gnome, or Unity etc. At the applications layer you can have Firefox or Konqueror or Chrome browsers, and there is competion for mail clients and office software and amongst server programs etc. Then at the distribution layer, if Ubuntu produces an overbuggy release, Mint and Fedora still work very well thank you. If you don't like Android there is Meego. There are always competitors waiting in the wings within this increasingly valuable ecosystem, and always will be.

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WTF?

Yeah right...

"Personally I'd much prefer a Microsoft which lives and competes based on using and contributing towards an open source code stack available to everyone else..."

Personally I'd like a girlfriend with 44 inch breasts who owns two Lamborghinis, a chain of pubs and a box at Wembley Stadium, but that ain't gonna happen either.

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No surprise...

The main problem with MS is lack of innovation. Better put; innovative thinking. They had Windows XP and so a "look alike" OS had to be put onto the mobile devices (Windows CE). With the taskbar, menu and all. And obviously hardly any options for updates. However; that which works on a PC doesn't have to work on a mobile platform.

Yet that's something they apparently can't comprehend too well.

I'm really pleased with Win7; it really allows me to get stuff done. Yet as much as I enjoy working on Windows 7 I wouldn't dream of getting a Win powered mobile device, esp. given the negative experiences I've had in the past.

I think their main problem is lack of backwards compatibility. Say you bought some software for your current (Windows CE) phone. Guess what? You can now throw it all away because it won't run on the new Win phone any longer.

Is it really that hard to imagine that a lot of people will then start looking for alternatives ?

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Megaphone

Don't Judge WP7 by its Predecessor, Windows Mobile

If you find WIndows 7 to be useful on the desktop, you might be surprised if you gave Windows Phone 7 a chance, especially after the myriad of new features being added in the fall to all Windows Phones. WIndows Phone was rebooted and specifically with a focus on removing all of the previous annoyances of Windows Mobile. SInce Windows Mobile was feature-rich, though unstable and largely disliked, we're talking about taking the strengths of Microsoft's experience with a mobile operating system for over a decade and a half now and combining the good parts of that with a new mindset of what the consumer (that's you) wants out of a phone - and I think they've delivered AND are in it to win it, determined to continue drastically improving on what they've already accompllished with the new phone OS.

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Innovation

M$ is plenty innovative. What about Blinky(tm)? Or the Ribbon UI?

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Title

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed a pattern around here lately?

techSage, you joined The Register today and yet you have already replied 5 times to a single post, each time desperately trying to persuade us that MS has turned the corner with WinPho and all will be well.

This has definitely happened several times now with names I've never seen before trying to shout down any dissenting view by posting multiple replies to a single thread. I thought astroturfers were supposed to be intelligent and subtle in their manipulations. I mean at least make an effort, please....

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Happy

Starting from the pit lane

Microsoft brought a Porsche Boxster to a Ferrari race...that started 2 hours ago.

Chances of catching the leaders? Nil.

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FAIL

Wrong Turn

Except that the Ferrari drivers were doing donuts on the track the whole time thinking they were so cool.

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Gates Horns

How did they get the 2CV engine

...into the Boxster shell?

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Thumb Down

Symbian doesn't exist?

Given that the quoted figures leave 27 million phones unaccounted for, does this mean there is some sort of dark matter?

Can we look forward to future election results being reported on the reg without mention of the second largest party?

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Silver badge

What Jess said..

Where are the Symbian figures? Nokia are still selling shitloads of Symbian smartphones in comparison to WinPho, yet you failed to give any figures.

I want to know if Nokia are killing Symbian for even less market share!

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Stop

Symbian 2011 Q1 Numbers:

Well Nokia shipped 24.3 million smartphones in Q1 2011, more than any other handset manufacturer and if we take of the number of Meamo handsets thats...24.3 million Symbian phones.

Numbers from IDC - http://mobile.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/12858_IDC_smartphone_shipment_figure.php

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Killing Symbian?

Try....

http://www.yle.fi/uutiset/news/2011/05/gartner_nokias_market_share_still_falling_2606139.html

"The pecking order among operating systems was significantly different during the first three months of this year than it was one year previously. In 2010 Symbian held pole position with 44.2% of sales, followed by Android with 9.6%. During the first quarter of this year, Android had 36%, followed by Symbian with 27.4%,

Microsoft's share was 3.6%, down from 6.8% "

Then decide.

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In 2010 Symbian held pole position with 44.2% of sales,

And, in Gartner mode myself, I predict that in 2014 MicroNokia will have 5% of smartphone sales, and less than 25% of dumbphone sales. And in 2016 Redmond will shut down or sell the corpse of Nokia to Samsung.

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Joke

temporary blip

Just you wait until Nokia start churning'em out and there's a WinPho7-only version of Skype then it'll be a whole diff'rent ballgame. Either that or the chairs will be flying in Redmond.

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Alien

yet i can't watch

yet i can't watch tv shows like bones or castle with seeing how super fabulous the crappy winpho7 is? this weeks castle episode had the lead take a picture and email it with beautiful close ups of him sending via outlook. wtf?! i was sending pics via email from my nokia n70 6 years ago. could have done it on my 3650 before that but the images were crap and data too expensive.

how much are they spending to advertise this crap again?

and as for nokia helping their sales numbers? nokia hasn't been able to write good software for 3-4 years. people aren't going to hand in their current symbian devices and replace it with winpho7 in any great number. most people i knew with symbian had gone symbian because they didn't want a winmobile device.

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@moylan

Probably nowhere near as much as Cupertino's fruit-based marketing department are spending plugging their wares on virtually everything that comes out of Hollywood

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Anonymous Coward

RE: yet i can't watch

Actually I bought a Nokia Symbian phone because they're the only ones that can record phone-calls.

Your comment "nokia hasn't been able to write good software for 3-4 years". I disagree. I find Symbian ^3 actually pretty good. It's quite stable (runs faster on my 680MHz C7 than WinMO on my 634MHz Samsung SGH-i900, though the latter has a low-res screen). In fact starting up my navigation software for example is way faster than on my previous Acer Neotouch (1GHz Snapdragon cpu).

I'm pretty happy with Nokia so far.

Anyway from the looks of it. It seems MSFT better use Symbian for their smartphones than the other way around. Also many Nokia high-ranking employess seem to fail that indeed many Symbian users bought Nokia's because they didn't want a WinMo/WinPhone. I also can't see them embracing a Nokia running Windows Phone. I certainly wont.

Funny how a handset maker which sells +24 million handsets is being regarded as a "failure"

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I have noticed that too...

Looks pretty lame to me.

And in one the previous series Castle got... drum rolls... Netflix! On a Windows phone! I cannot believe it.;-)

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Headmaster

"nokia hasn't been able to write good software for 3-4 years"

Actually, they have never been able to write good software, it's just that until Blackberry, then iOS followed by Android came along nobody really noticed, the only competition being, uh, MS Windows Mobile, which was arguably even worse.

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WTF?

Surprised!!!

I was up for a winpho7 phone until Miccy buddied up with Nokia and world+dog saw that this meant any other hardware manufacturer was going to get 2nd rate treatment (read: crap).

If they are going to be half assed then why should they not expect sales to be similar.

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Much as I don't like Microsoft...

...I have to wonder. What are the figures for the first three months of life for all the other Smartphone platforms?

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Hard to compare

Apple and Google were new to the smartphone game when they introduced the iphone and android. Microsoft has been in the smartphone business longer - WP7 is just the successor to WinMo 6.5.

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Thumb Up

Exactly.

Well, we do know that it took Android 6 months to reach 1 million (look it up, people!), so there's part of your answer.

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Alert

Reboot

Think Batman Begins. Better yet, Dark Knight after Batman Begins paved the way. Look out for the Fall/Winter update to Windows Phone and start planning on an exit strategy from whatever phone you're using now, because as someone actually keeping up with what Microsoft is doing instead of sitting on the sidelines poking fun and scratching my itchy parts, I can see what they've actually done so far with Windows Phone and where they're headed with it.

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Anonymous Coward

History

>Apple and Google were new to the smartphone game when they introduced the iphone and android.

Apple's reality distortion field would have it so, but they actually entered the mobile phone market with the E1 [a hybrid Apple/Motorola Smartphone] a couple of years prior to iPhone. Video of SJ launching the E1 from the beeb site below.....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4225496.stm

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Gates Horns

Hahahahaha!

Think Jaws 3. Think U571. Think Plan9 from Outer Space.

Look out for any WinPho 7 updates and plan an exit strategy now.

Or scratch your itchy parts with your WinPho...

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FAIL

More exactly...

Your numbers are completly incorrect. For your information T-Mobile reach the 1 million figure with G1 until March 2009. And only in the USA!

Since the first commercial phone was the HTC Dream in October 2008 go figure...

However you can't compare one million units sold nowadays with one million in the period from October 2008 and March 2009!

What you can compare is the share and in first 6 months Android reach from 0 to more than 6% of the USA market!

And why I mention USA?

Because the Android platform practically hadn't yet arrived to other markets.

Compare this with the 11% figure Windows exhibit in the same period - March 2009...

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Headmaster

"Nokia's support will accelerate Windows Phone's momentum"

Accelerate momentum?

I'm shuddering now from the abuse of physics.

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Headmaster

"In the long term, Nokia's support will accelerate Windows Phone's momentum"

I don't doubt it. But acceleration can have either a + sign or a -sign.

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Everyone Driver Has to Refual at Some Point, MS Took Their Turn Already

Oh, like Apple has now that Android is the new flavor of the week? There's always room for a new flavor. Maybe the next one is Windows Phone. Think about Playstation versus Xbox. And without the usual Sony fanboyism.

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@techSage

How, after essentially spamming this article and downvoting anyone that has anything negative to say about Microsoft or their phone, do you have the chutzpah to call *anyone* else a fanboy? Android, by the way, has butchered RIM, Nokia and WinMob 6 sales. Take your own advice and "look it up"...

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Aimed at the wrong market

They need to make Windows Phone 7 attractive to business, and then market it as a business phone. If Microsoft can make WP7 a viable alternative to RIM then they'll sell them by the bucket load.

It may well be worth them investing in building a WM6 virtual machine for the WP7 to allow legacy applications to run.

If they keep marketing it as a consumer device then they've already lost the battle.

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True, But in Due Time (Which Has Already Started)

With the reboot that Microsoft did for Windows Phone, it was important to focus on making a starting with a phone that was fun to use again and then add everything else that everyone wants. They've already begun doing this with support for Sharepoint and Exchange at launch and are continuing it with Visual Voicemail, Office 365 Support, Sykdrive Support, 3rd Party Multitasking, Linked Inboxes (think Universal Inbox w/ a twist), Pinnable Email Folders, Threaded Email, management via System Center, Lync (Microsoft's Unified Communications Platform), Exchange Server email search, enhanced security and information rights management, and support for hidden WiFi networks, Group Messaging and more. That's just the Enterprise oriented features they've already announced or that have been leaked. Once they have these things in place, then it is the right time for them to market to the Enterprise as well and add to all of the other avenues of growth that they are exploiting.

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@Aimed at the wrong market

Precisely.

They're (largely) useless for business because they're aimed at kids with the playschool appearance interface and repeated heavy marketing focus on xbox-live, social networking and everything else that _most_ business users neither need or especially care much for.

To make matters worse, bespoke apps that used to run on the old OS won't run on the new so that quickly shot down a lot of potential business upgrades to WinPho7 in a flash as few businessess want to fork out even more now for existing (legacy) applications to be ported to a new system and in the meantime concurrently run and supporting both old and new versions.

The old WM6 phones were horrible to use and often barely successful as functioning as a phone. Part of this was the daft idea of trying to cram a windows (95/3.1!) interface into a mobile, the unsuitability of the underlying OS to support reliable, smooth telecoms and the awful applications and operator shovelware that tended to push the poor things over the edge. However their MS-centric side of them made them a good choice for businesses... and would probably have been very successful if RIM hadn't already sewn up the market years earlier with good phones which were streets ahead of normal devices and had the centralised configuration and management tools that made deploying and supporting the things almost a pleasure. Almost. Don't forget that most businesses provide phones through their ICT department and the staff there have to deploy and support these things and anything that comes with the tools that makes this process easier is likely to get picked in preference to devices that don't or can't.

Now MS's marketing spin department is trying perform an about turn to shove a playschool user interface at businesses with built in "pocket this", and "pocket that" but are hanpered by the continuing strong marketing push of the device as a "toy".

Notice how most of the marketing for the other smart phone OSes is more targetted, carefully chosen and / or appropriate? Apple's marketing shows the device in potentially useful scenarios that could happen to anyone, business or personal, and covers scenarios from gaming and photos through to useful navigation and information tools and even for the gaming tends to show it in situations other than teen-brat usage. Android's marketing is similar to Apples which given the similar target audience is inevitable and in Europe, at least, RIM's is very solidly business and productivity orientated however this is beginning to change slightly. MS's marketing, on the other hand, is either "toy / games" or "office / outlook" with no real hint of it even being averagely useful or doing anything especially interesting or anything in between.

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WTF?

@techSage

Arg!!! Please, if you're going to be a blatant and obvious MS-marketing drone, at least admit it openly.

All you've done so far is spout MS's marketing rhetoric repeatedly without any real discussion or sense to it. At least pretend to follow the topics and respond to them appropriately without coming up with paragraphs of text lifted straight from MS's marketing resources.

Most of the list of "features" you've come out with are just what MS is currently trying to push / foist / sell (take your pick) to whoever happens to be in their way at the time. It doesn't matter what device or service MS are meant to be promoting at the time, all they do is repeat the push for the current hot marketing items over and over again. It gets tiresome when you're meant to be looking at, for example, sharepoint and you're having lync, office 365 and other junk (*) thrown in your face repeatedly.

* topics of immediate marketing interest, not necessarily what you're interested in at the time.

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FAIL

Business phone

I agree, I was sold a HTC Pro 7 as a business phone, I have over 1000 contacts and cant even search my contacts by business/company, if you could do the search on win 6.5, why have they taken a step backwards

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FAIL

Got it wrong

WinMo6.x was a business phone, WinPho7 is a consumer phone.

When they released the new OS they stopped making 6.5 devices and pissed off a lot of businesses who run custom apps which will not work on 7. It was a dumb move.

How do I know this? The 200 WinMo6.5 handsets in the cupboard behind me that were snapped up the week production ended. I would not be surprised to hear 6.5 is outselling 7.

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I'd be interested in a W7 phone

I used to have an iPhone, then I got an Android phone. Although Android is more open, the user experience infuriates me at times (lock screen doesn't respond, screen never wakes back up), and the UI is less than polished.

So I'm seriously considering making my next phone W7 or WebOS. Neither are quite as open as Android, but they're more open than iPhone. All I need now is for Nokia to actually make a phone (always liked their hardware, hated the software) and for HP to maybe try and make WebOS more of contender. Wishful thinking, I know...

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FAIL

Gartner, haha

Just a few years ago (2004 or 2007 i believe), Gartner predicted that by 2010 windows mobile would totally dominate the mobile market...

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FAIL

They're disappearing from the shelves

Having failed in the market it's hard to see how the presence of Nokia Windows Phones will make a difference. All the vendors that sell phones are pretty much scared off the product already. They only have so much shelf space and it's better to stock things people might want.

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Gates Halo

The pace of change is usually more stately

Here Android just marched right in and ripped the heart of of everybody except Apple. From 9.6 percent to 36 percent in one year? That's unheard of.

If WP7's growth rate were accelerating this might not have been a bad start. But it's not. It's clearly tapering off in a market that's growing. Look for the tab "cumulative growth chart" on the graph here: http://j.mp/gl6Fom

Before you draw any comparisons to Android's start, Android didn't have a history of 6 prior versions in the market. It didn't have established relationships with every cellular carrier and consumer electronics store on Earth. It didn't have a committed half-billion dollar marketing budget. And yet here it is on top of global smartphone OS distributions, just by being wonderful.

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re: The pace of change is usually more stately

sure, with the (false) pretence of being open.

Well, it's at least more open for telecoms and manufacturers to tamper with the devices and lock users in. A fact made worse that once you moved everything from your local stored outlook/PIM to the Google cloud, there isn't any going back (without too much hassle). Not to mention Android gives these companies the same lock-in capabilities that Apple has with iOS but instead of the OS-developer being in control (in Apple's case), THEY are in control. Plus licenses are cheaper (because part of the OS is open source). So you can make a ridiculously cheap crappy chinese device without the "with Google"-banner and away you go. Selling to punters who wouldn't buy a smartphone previously and who are buying one now using a tiny portion of its features. just look at the best selling (cheap) android phones, they're the slow ugly ones.

Android is fighting on 2 fronts. User lock-in through telecom/manufacturer-control and price.

No wonder that every jack-shit produces Android phones. They're cheap to produce and quick to sell.

You're comment "Android didn't have a history of 6 prior versions in the market". It weren't exactly 6 versions but I do remember 3 version at one time on the market (1.6, 2.1 & 2.2) Sometimes even in one manufacturer's catalogue.

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6.5

I actually like the win 7phone, I find it a lot easier to use then the android i had. And I can believe that 6.5, is still selling coming from a bussiness angel MS dropped the ball with the EAS client on the phone, were it does not implement all the features required for a lot of company users (encryption ). But then that's the same with apple, android etc to leaving win 6.5 stll required by business, or they have to use a blackberry .

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re: 6.5

I do agree that WinPho7 is pretty easy to use and fairly polished in use, it's just that it looks so awful and toy / plasticy especially compared to the polish that is available on iPhones and, to a lesser degree, Android phones.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

Up until about a week before I got my WP7 I would never have thought that I'd get an MS phone, and I generally like MS' software. I tried it out and really liked the UI, not the prettiest, but very functional. When I got it home, my partner, a non-techie Andriod user, said how ugly it looked and that she wouldn't have bothered. After a week of playing about with it when she thought I wasn't looking, she now says that she still thinks the UI looks ugly, but it's way more easy to use and consistent that her 'droid.

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