back to article Woz says Windows Phone 'sets the mark' for mobile UI

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has again voiced support for Cupertino's rivals, this time professing his admiration for Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. He believes is "sets the mark for user interface". The outspoken innovator and educator spoke of the four handsets he was carrying at the time, during a podcast with A New …

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Looks aren't everything...

Okay, the interface is an important feature, but WP7 needs a few more tweaks before it can even approach iOS/Android in functionality.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Looks aren't everything...

You definitely need to clarify this comment. Like what exactly?

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Facepalm

Make your mind up man!

That is all.

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jai
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Re: Make your mind up man!

i think he has, that's why he's carrying two iPhones

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Make your mind up man!

Yes! 'Cause one can't do the job!

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Anonymous Coward

Meh.

He just doesn't like Android. That is all.

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Stop

Re: Meh.

This article here says different.

I'd go with what some commentard wrote above, he clearly can't make up his mind.

I would guess that which phone is his favourite has something to do with what day it is, or possibly what shirt he has on.

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Flame

Once again ... it's the APPS

or lack thereof. There isn't a week goes by when I notice a new app which I might like, but which isn't available for WM7 ....

No matter haw good WM7 is, they really should read the history of Betamax. (Readers under 40 might have to look that one up)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Once again ... it's the APPS

exactly, but why is that? I personally think its entirely about the platform. I think developers dont want to commit to WM7 because microsoft is still so non-commital to all of its development platforms. If the silverlight based WM7 apps have a future then microsoft needs to let everyone know about it. Right now, both desktop, phone and probably in the future tablet developers dont know what platform microsoft are going to favour tomorrow after being stung putting effort into learning WPF, Silverlight and all the related technolgoes along the way only to be left wondering why they bothered when microsoft announces something new yet again at the next conference.

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JDX
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Re: Once again ... it's the APPS

I don't know it is all about the apps. Email and web-browsing would be my two main needs for a smart-phone. We've already started to see that as HTML5 matures, a whole class of native apps become unneeded... and in many cases I'd rather view the real site on my phone than the cobbled-together app anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Once again ... it's the APPS

but it is all about the apps. Since day one, my bugbear has been the lack of a call recording facility (there was a paid-fo app for WinPhone6.5) which would be invaluable for helping to minute conference calls. When I mentioned this to a friend who has an android phone, he located 8 within seconds.

Oh, and the bluetooth stack on WP7 is shite too. You can't actually send *anything* via BT. So I have to read out contacts to share them.

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Re: Once again ... it's the APPS

Android has very few apps too compared to the iphone when it launched. But Microsoft has record of sucking in the mobile phone area, they released something that tries too hard to be cool and launched with fewer features than the other phones.

Why would you develop something for it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Once again ... it's the APPS

I agree. However, 95% of all apps are a total pile 'o shite.

Banking, Train times, Ticketing, and apps of the ilk are useful. Farting cats, flash lights that merely light the screen, poxy games and the same are just rubbish! I don’t need a thousand million email clients, or task managers, file explorers, etc……

Say Bye Bye to the novelty value after a few weeks.

A smaller number of quality apps is what I want.

Most plebs are happy with the shite and choose iPhone/Droid.

Woz is right Winphone 7.5 sets the bar for UI use.

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Anonymous Coward

Agreed, but...

I personally agree with Steve on the aesthetics of Windows Phone.

However while Novia are silent whether Lumia 900 WP7 is a dead end once WP8 is announced in the Summer, hard to get over enthusiastic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Agreed, but...

To lose one OS (Symbian), Mr Elop, may be regarded as a bold business move. To lose both looks like carelessness.

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Always a good idea

to praise the competition which will have no effect on your bottom line in preference to the one that's wupping it.

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Meh

Woz misses out the word-

"skid".

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It does look nice

There is no denying that Windows Phone looks nice. All the whooshing of buttons and little visual hints is very attractive. It's also user friendly and makes a good first impression.

Sadly the UI is pretty primitive in other respects. For example UI customization boils down to being able to set a screensaver wallpaper and reorder the tiles. There are no screens to organize content, or shortcuts, or interactive widgets (some tiles do display info but not interactively), or background images, or screensavers, or ability to replace or augment parts of the UI.

This feeling of Windows Phone not being quite there extend throughout the UI. Little annoyances or missing functionality throughout. I doubt someone who has never used a smart phone before would notice it but anyone on iOS or Android surely would.

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Holmes

Perhaps he has different phones for different uses

all held in a utility belt around his more than ample waist.

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Anonymous Coward

Usability is king.

Who cares how pretty somehting is.

I find iOS looks nice, but it's simplicity comes at a price - usability.

I personally dislike WP7 looks, but again, it fails even bigger at usability, it's totally useless in real life.

Android has always been very usable, but looked crappy at times in it's pure form, (HTC Sense improved things greatly IMHO), but un Android 4,0, not only is Android still by far the most usable OS, it's also the smartest looking.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Usability is king.

No idea why you get a downvote, as you're on the mark. The "novelty" of the tiles wears off soon after you realize that it is just a glorified featurephone - lacking in apps, flexibility, and usability.

Tell me again how to transfer a photo or send a contact to another phone without using my data cap?

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FAIL

Re: Usability is king.

It was probably the daft statement about WP being useless in real life.

It's excellent in real life. I've had all three OS's, and flavour after flavour after version after version of Android and I still go back to my WP phone with a sigh of relief. What I need is there at a glance, and the hubs pull together so much data from different sources that I can catch up on almost everyone with barely the slightest of effort.

iPhones are OK, but every time I use one I feel like I'm using a toy. There's something very....Mattel...in the feeling.

Android is all over the place, although I admit I am impressed by ICS (except it's REALLY F-ing stupid name). However, every device I've tried it on for more than a few days has become jittery. The 'widgets' never seem to space to where I want them to, nor fit the area I actually want.

App-wise, there really isn't a winner for me...but then I openly admit that I have very little use for much beyond what I expect from the device in the first place (where WP does win) and maybe a few game trials (because phone games usually become completely dull after a few goes).

WP's biggest weakness is the simple missing bits from the OS. It's a pain to set a ringtone, you can't have your own wallpaper in the background...little bits I expect that I could have on devices years ago.

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Thumb Up

Re: Usability is king.

This echoes my thoughts almost exactly. I used to have an Android (2.2), but strongly disliked how slow it quickly became and how badly it managed internal vs. SD card storage. Also, I found the look of the OS highly unattractive compared to the competition. I never wanted an iPhone because I'm difficult.

I got a Nokia Lumia 800 mostly because it was really smooth even compared to dual core Androids, and it looked damn sexy. My colleagues thought their new Androids were smooth until they played with the Lumia for a second.

I stayed because after 4 months it's still LOVELY to use (particularly love the curved screen) and every week I'm surprised by the app availability. My expectations were low, but the free Nokia suite of apps is great, there are new major 2K games such as Civilization, and all the time I'm seeing companies start to advertise their apps as available on iPhone, Android AND WP7. As a music player, it lasts all day and seems to have good sounds quality.

Yes there are some odd things still missing such as tethering :(, the ability to change MMS settings, some bluetooth strangeness being three.

I see it as a competitor to non-power Android users rather than Apple fans (as they are more locked into the ecosystem and/or want a status symbol). There are an awful lot of android users who just want a smartphone that works and isn't too expensive. WP7 is a much better (normal) user experience than Android.

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Windows

Re: Usability is king.

I have a Lumia 900 and I'm pretty sure I can use Tethering.

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Anonymous Coward

Who cares how pretty something is?

Anyone with taste does. And clearly you do to an extent, as the rest of your comment shows.

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Coat

Re: Usability is king.

Usability is King. I agree.

But that would depend on the user.

I favor Android for its configurability, open file system etc. It may not be choice for everybody, but it is for me.

My girlfriend likes her iphone, she doesn't want to configure anything. She has a large number of apps on many screens, she actually uses a select few (being the itchy tinkerer, I did sort them for her according to usage patterns and app types though).

But WP7 is better for mom, because she doesn't think in terms of apps, but in terms of Tasks. WP7 is the only system built around the idea of tasks. And she doesn't care about the number of apps either - all she wants is simplicity, large text, email, sms, occasional websearch and GPS. Oh and photos, of course.

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Paris Hilton

"I would recommend it over my Android phones [even though] it doesn't yet have the breadth of apps."

Woz has Android and iPhones plus I suspect he has a Windows Nokia now as well. He says it looks nice which is accurate. Recommending it over another brand even though it has limited functionality escapes me though. Unless you are buying a phone purely to accessories outfits.

Paris, cuz she can accessorize a no pants Nokia with any mini-skirt.

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Clear Motivation

I bet he recommends Windows Nokia purely to decrease Androids market share.

But then I don't think he'll succeed.

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Anonymous Coward

It may look nice - but it's a bit late to the party. I imagine it will be more competition to Android than iOS as I don;t believe many of the people who end up with Android care so much - i.e. they are just getting a 'smart' phone but don't care if it's Samsung, HTC, Android / whatever - it's just better than their Nokia candy bar.

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Woz sez one phone better than another phone. Then forgets which one was better and says something else, probably due to smoking plants.

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Linux

Come on guys...

Naturally, this guy would normally be in the Android camp. Especially with his tendencies to probably enjoy freedom/control over devices. Only have to read the Steve Jobs book to see that Woz wanted to share his designs and allow tweakers to bolt on stuff. Steve obviously changed his perspective on that.

That's probably why Woz is much more open to opinion rather than sticking with a pure Apple bias.

WP7 desperately needs a huge marketing push. Something the adopters of WP7 aren't offering currently.

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Unhappy

No-one sensible has listened to Woz...

For about 20 years now, surely?

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Meh

Re: No-one sensible has listened to Woz...

Nah, 'cos we're all listening to you now, apparently.

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Pint

"The enemy of my enemy"

...is my friend.

Still, even though I am biased I also think that the Windows Phone has quite some potential yet is heavily under appreciated. Understandable, but I still think its also a shame because a lot of this hostility stems from prejudice ("its windows so can't be good") or Microsoft's own (IMO:) dumb moves (its incompatible with previous versions of Window mobile; so if people are looking for a new phone they might have to cough up cash again to purchase new software).

Especially the latter is important; because if people weren't too thrilled about Windows Mobile then chances are of course very high that they'll move to other platforms since they will have to get a new set of applications "one way or the other".

But apart from that I think Windows Phone has quite some potential. The easy to use interface for starters, but also some of its features. For example; it stops using data from the mobile network as soon as it detects that its roaming. Of course you can turn this off if you want to; but by default it protects the user from receiving huge phone bills once they get back home (something which seems to happen every vacation period).

Or what to think about the option which turns the smartphone into a "internet enabled" cellphone? A battery saving feature which stops the phone from slurping data from the Internet, thus reducing the load of the battery. You can have this automatically turned on as soon as the battery level reaches 20%, so that you can continue to use your phone for a longer period after reaching this point. Just for the record: it stops the phone from automatically slurping data, but it doesn't stop you from doing so. So you can still access the Internet or tell it to retrieve new e-mails.

Another very important feature for me is the option to combine e-mail accounts. So I have 2 inbox icons sitting on my start screen: one for private and one for business use. Both of them form a combination of a regular pop3 account as well as a Hotmail ("Live") account (the latter is automatically used to send confirmations whenever I setup meetings or such in my phone's agenda).

All of that isn't possible with other phones as far as I know.

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Linux

Re: "The enemy of my enemy"

"All of that isn't possible with other phones as far as I know."

Androids have battery saving features.

You can prevent mobile data roaming.

You can have multiple email accounts in the email app, not to mention the dedicated gmail app.

Someone from the IOS camp would need to comment on the iPhones abilities in this department, but, I assume it will be similar if not the same.

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His specialty is code not visual design so who cares if he likes it. It's still awful.

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Anonymous Coward

His speciality was code 25 years ago.

I don't know why we should care now. I wouldn't listen to Clive Sinclair's opinion on a phone either.

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WP7 - some good bits, but still lacking in many areas

Having had a WP7 since April last year, I feel well placed to comment on it's good points and shortcomings.

I like simplicity of design, and what's there is interesting, I think MS have done some good work with the UI - as long as you don't feel the need to tinker with it too much! Generally, what's there, works well, and the way almost any app can hook into the live tiles is pretty cool.

Zune works really well.

Apps-wise, it's getting there, but given the market share, it's always going to be the poor relation to iOS and Android - why would developers spend their time, effort, money on developing for market of, say, <10m when there could be more than 10 times as many users of the 2 largest smartphone OS's? And even when there are apps released, they are sometimes lacking in feature, unbelievably so in the case of Skype (they're now owned by MS, yet it lacks background calling as available on iOS/Android, and even a rival VoIP app Tango can do this). I got my better half an Android phone, and use hers for missing apps (things like Kobo, Money Magpie, etc)!!!

Over the last year, the main problem as I see it is that MS set certain expectations, and these just aren't being met.

Flash support was talked about months before the initial release of WP7:

http://wmpoweruser.com/adobe-and-microsoft-working-closely-together-on-bringing-flash-10-1-to-wp7/

and it never came. All the things users might reasonably expected from WM6.5 were (shockingly) dropped:

Removable storage

More extensive Bluetooth profiles

Turn-by-turn BING Maps navigation

And now, there's a huge amount of uncertainty over the future of even the latest releases, in terms of whether they'll be upgradeable to Apollo. I can see this putting off potential Lumia 900 users.

A year and a half after release, and it still feels like an incomplete system.

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