back to article So, who here LURVES Windows Phone? Put your hands up, Brits

Nokia's cheap Lumia handsets helped Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system to a nearly nine per cent share of the UK market - but for all the Finns' efforts, the Lumia is still a rounding error in the United States. The data comes from a Kantar Worldpanel poll of buyers globally in the second calendar quarter of 2013; the …

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Better than the alternatives

Especially if you are a hard-line Apple and Android refusenik like I am. Would not let either of those anywhere near my personal data.

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My hand's not up.

I deeply, honestly, heartfeltly (is that a word?), despise and loathe my Windows Phone, an HTC Radar. There's nothing wrong with the phone itself, it's solid, but the OS (WinPhone 7.5) is stunningly bad. Half the screens can't be rotated, some screens (e.g. the Contacts screen) doesn't fit in the 4" display so edges are, the interface is not consistent (e.g. there's four different Enter-icons, used in different ways), it can not be customized at all, it is full of bloatware which can not be uninstalled, and the only way to access the phone from another devices is via the worst, most insultingly poorly designed and misfeatured, piece of software I've ever had inflicted on me since getting my first ZX Spectrum in 1983: Zune.

I hear some of these problems (notably Zune) have been fixed in WinPhone 8, but personally I would sooner listen to a Justin Bieber sings dubsteb versions of classical polkas-marathon, with cracked speakers, than ever get a new Windows Phone.

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Re: My hand's not up.

Bloatware that can't be uninstalled seems to be a mobile phone problem generally, not specific to Windows. On Android at least it's the hardware manufacturers and carriers that install it, it isn't part of the OS. As they all do it and there's no alternative, and their customer service systems are set up to ignore complaints like that, I don't suppose it will ever change.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My hand's not up.

TBF - Talking about windows phone 7.5 when 8 is out is like complaining about Gingerbread when Ice cream Sandwich is out.

As for bloatware, mine came with Nectar and Groupon and a few others. They uninstalled fairly easily. Going through it seems only apps like Calculator, Explorer and the like can't be uninstalled. Whether this is a carrier thing or not, I dunno. I sourced this one from Car Phone Warehouse and it was a PAYG model, which I junked the sim on on a different carrier.

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Silver badge

Re: My hand's not up.

Bloatware that can't be uninstalled seems to be a mobile phone problem generally, not specific to Windows.

That's true enough.

On Android at least it's the hardware manufacturers and carriers that install it, it isn't part of the OS.

That doesn't make it any less annoying, though. At least on Android -- from Ice Cream Sarnie onwards -- you can Hide any unwanted and not-uninstallable apps so that you don't see them again (and, perhaps more impotantly, so that you don't get pestered to update them with new versions that use up memory).

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Bloatware (@spiny norman)

One of the advantages Apple have in being the monopoly hardware supplier is no bloatware and hence consistency. I often think this is underrated as one of the factors that make their users loyal.

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I always found WP to be the least bloatware laden of any of the handsets. The only things that don't seem to be uninstallable are the phone, messaging, music, games, contacts, calender and settings apps. Compare that to ios where your stuck with stocks, bookshelf, newstand etc.

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Gav
Unhappy

Re: My hand's not up.

"the worst, most insultingly poorly designed and misfeatured, piece of software I've ever had inflicted on me since getting my first ZX Spectrum in 1983: Zune"

You've never tried using Samsung Kies, have you? Same function as Zune, a whole new level of suck. I refuse to believe Zune can possibly be worse Kies. It's not physically possible.

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WTF?

Re: My hand's not up.

TBF - Talking about windows phone 7.5 when 8 is out is like complaining about Gingerbread when Ice cream Sandwich is out.

Most active android devices are still Gingerbread, according to Google.

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WTF?

Re: My hand's not up.

On Android there is plenty of alternative...

Nexus phones?

Custom roms?

Phones from other manufacturers who install less or no bloatware?

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Re: My hand's not up.

Oh, I doubt Kies is worse. You see, besides enforcing DRM and being a filter making sure nothing horrible, like a file with an extension it doesn't recognize, ever reaches the phone, Zune uses Metro with SIMULATED TOUCH INTERFACE. When I first downloaded the 250 MB slug and fired it up, I was greeted by two icons. I moved my pointer towards one of the icons - and it jumped away. I moved my mouse pointer to the other icon - and it, too, jumped away. I was supposed to drag the screen ("simulated touch interface") with the pointer, not move the pointer.

Mind. Blown.

A billion dollar company had, in a central piece of software in a strategically important product, reproduced the functionality of the old Magistr virus/joke from 2001, and somehow thought this was a good idea.

That was the moment when I realized that there were no longer any grown-ups in charge at Microsoft, or at least no sober ones.

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WTF?

There's no alternative...

This might be true for Windows Phones.

It's not true for Android. Just google for it.

/Zane

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My Lumia 620's great, and my wife is getting along *very* well with her HTC Windows Phone 8X.

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Yesterday my Galaxy S3 spent several hours downloading an update to AllShareCast Dongle, which I don't need and don't want but can't uninstall without rooting. Meanwhile, something I would like - a fix to the bugs in Bluetooth and the Google app process that keeps crashing - never arrives. A Windows phone is actually starting to look quite attractive.

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My wife has a Windows phone (Lumia 800 with v7.8). She loves it, says it is the best phone she has had, I had a play with it, and it's not bad, I imagine WP8 is a bit better than 7.8.

I would be tempted to switch, if I hadn't already bought apps for another platform.

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@GarethPN

"I would be tempted to switch, if I hadn't already bought apps for another platform."

An interesting observation. I wonder how many users of iOS/Android feel the same. If I had spent a serious amount on iOS apps I'd be reticent to switch away from iOS to any other OS for the same reason. As Apple was in there first in a big way, I wonder how Google has managed to overtake. Is it because it was hitting people who didn't have an iPhone already, or was there some "buy App X on iOS and you get it on Android too" licensing? Not owning either, and having little interest in such things, I wouldn't know.

But, the thinking for MSFT could be that it cuts a deal with developers to say that if a user bought (say) Angry Birds for iOS they could use the same license to download it to WindowsPhone, cancelling the iOS license. MSFT could pay the devs a subsidy for a while until it had a critical mass of users, which should encourage some positive feedback loop.

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Re: @GarethPN

This is certainly a factor when people choose to upgrade their phone. 2 years ago I had an iPhone 3GS which was great when I first got it, I bought a fair amount of Apps which were a mixture of cheapo 69p ones and some more expensive ones such as CoPilot SatNav. However I quickly got bored with the iOS and wanted more customisation options so I jailbreaked and installed a few tweaks. I still wasn't entirely happy however and wanted a bigger screen so when it came time to upgrade I weighed up the investment I had made in iOS Apps against jumping to a new platform. I concluded that apart from the SatNav and a couple of other apps I wasn't too bothered about the others. I estimated it would cost about £25-30 to re-purchase those apps for another platform which I was willing to do so I jumped to Android. As it happened I was able to transfer my CoPilot map licenses across to my android phone, which I wasn't expecting, as they are registered against a CoPilot account and not the phone/platform so I only ended up having to pay about £5-10 to re-purchase a few apps on android.

My wife on the other hand loved her 3GS so has just upgraded to an iPhone 4S as she has invested heavily in a lot of apps, mainly games to keep the kids occupied, she's not bothered about customisation so it made sense for her to stick with what she knew and had bought into. I expect for most 'casual' users of iPhones this would be the same.

If App developers made it easy to transfer app licences from one platform to another then I expect a lot more people would at least consider switching platforms but I guess the likes of Apple, Google and Microsoft would want to discourage this for precisely the same reason!

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Re: @GarethPN

The problem with this is you'd actually need to cut a deal with Apple and Google (who run the stores which track licencing) plus the developers - the chances are Apple/Google would refuse and even if they didnt it would be massively complex to implment and manage.

A far simpler option would be for MS to bundle say £5 of store credit with each phone (keyed to something like the IMEI for a one time activiation into an MS account). That said I'm not sure this would make much difference to the average buyer.

I might have spent £50 on apps via Google over the last couple of years - but as they've mostly been £2-£3 purchases of games I've looked on them as mostly a disposable spend. Yes I still have the licence but I dont really play the game much when its finished - with maybe a couple of exceptions.

The "sticky" apps for me at least tend to be free and linked to a cloud service.

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Silver badge

Re: @GarethPN

If MS had spent their WinPho marketing budget on giving free apps to users, they might have been on to something. I was thinking more like $50 than $5.

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Re: " I wonder how Google has managed to overtake"

Simples:

1: they got into the market while large numbers were upgrading to their 1st smartphone. So no lockin to overcome.

2: a lot of paid apps on iPhone are free on Android, easing the way for iPhone users to switch platform.

3: iPhone defectors can usually afford to rebuy apps.

4: Android could be cheap

Apple artificially limited it's early mover advantage with premium pricing, great for maximising profit, not so good for maximising penetration. That left a lot who could not or would not afford Apple for Google to scoop up.

Those days are long gone now and Microsoft is too late to the party, they now need to build a better product *that people actually desire* or as Nokia is doing go cheap. Desirable to a niche market isn't enough but that's all they seem to have achieved, with idiotic marketing policies contaminating WP with the widespread antipathy the Windows brand has built up.

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Re: @GarethPN

Co-Pilot allows you to transfer the licence from device to device - you deactiveate one and activate the other.... lovely!!

Shame that Co-pilot isn't quite upto Nokia Drive+!

Oh - had my 920 since launch day and love it! I had invested in apps on my iPhone, but decided to make the cut and im well pleased that I did...

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Lumia 800 would've been perfect with a 4" screen, it was my all time favorite until the Lumia 925......actually dissed my HTC One for the 925 after comparing ;)

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Swings and Roundabouts

I oscillate in my view on WinPhone - half the time I hate it, I then try the opposition and realise they're all dogs, just with different fleas (Gordon Gecko, iirc).

In fairness, my Lumia 800 has lasted me trouble free for 18months, it has good call quality, which is what I look for in a phone, the bundled apps are good, and the store now has a reasonable amount of good apps. Will I replace it with another - probably, but not just yet - I'll try and move to a sim-only contract until the 1020 is available...which I'll buy rather than contract.

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Windows Phone

From what I've seen of it, I actually quite like the user interface of the Windows phone - it does seem genuinely new and quite clever.

Unfortunately, it's Microsoft (*), and for that reason alone I simply can not bring myself to buy one.

(*) - ie - it'll crash, it'll be unrealiable, after 6 months it will start grinding to a halt, it will be everything that 'windows' is. I accept that my assessment may well be completely false, but that still won't change my mind, and I suspect I'm not alone in that. MS have screwed-up just too many times.

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Re: Windows Phone

Windows Phone doesn't crash. It's faster and more reliable than Android and iOS. It also doesn't slow down over time, contrary to your claim. The reason why it doesn't behave like you expect it to is because apart from the name, it bears no resemblance to previous versions of Windows.

So, yes your assessment is false. I accept that it won't change your mind, but at least you can drop your false assessment.

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FAIL

Re: Windows Phone

My company has taken a similar approach but for different reasons.

The word is that MS is such a pain to deal with on the PC, we don't want anything to do with them on our phones.

We support, iOS, Android and even BB OS10 in Canada only but no WindowsPhone allowed.

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Happy

Re: Windows Phone

I have to agree, I think my 620 has reset itself a couple of times but nothing regular, literally just that 2 or 3 times in a few months. This was compared to my Android which regularly had even the homescreens crash or freeze, various other weird crashes and resets. Oh and yes, grinding to a halt over time and apps leaving crap all over the memory card when they were deleted. This just seems to... work. It's quite refreshing for a phone to actually work when you pick it up :).

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Linux

Re: Windows Phone

I do not know in which universe do you live, but on mine running Nightly beta builds Android doesn't crash, once on a blue moon I get the odd crap game to stop, but this is the game's fault.

Winphone is a stoneturd meaning that no matter how good the OS is (not great by the way), you can not change anything on it.

The more people can do things unexpected by the vendor the more useful the device is to the user base. Microsoft has chosen to stop unexpected before it is born.

Nokia = Good hardware, too sad it doesn't run an OS people like.

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Re: Windows Phone

So that makes iOS an even BIGGER stoneturd than Windows Phone, because iOS allows you to change much less than what you can change on Windows Phone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows Phone

Ah, the old argument: "My old Windows system is full of crap, slow, crashy, can't really do what I want, etc. etc."... "However this brand new top of the range laptop I've bought to replace it running Mac OS or Linux is super speedy only has the software I want on it and never crashes."

Do you see why there may be some observation bias in saying that the problem is Windows?

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Silver badge

Re: Windows Phone

Windows Phone doesn't crash. It's faster and more reliable than Android and iOS. It also doesn't slow down over time…

Unbiased truths here from the guy named after the OS running on his phone.

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Boffin

Re: Windows Phone doesn't crash

I had a Lumia with WP7.5 for 3 months and a Mozart 7 for 4 months. In that period both devices froze a handful of times - each resulting in an automatic reboot. I don't know if WP8 is more stable as I couldn't care less. I lost interest in WP when MSFT announced WP7 phones wouldn't be supported by WP8. MSFT = another SONY so forget it.

The telling statistic from the article is that Nokia accounts for 85% of all WP sales. So Nokia = WP? With Nokia going down the shitter I guess that's where WP will end up as well.

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Meh

Re: Windows Phone

Mine universe has a planet called earth and lots of people on it, sun rises in the morning, it's dark at night. Does that help identify it?

Seriously, a comment was made regarding stability and I stated my experiences, what is the problem with that? My Android phone runs CM9 and I know it's a little underpowered on the ram front and I experience those issues. My Nexus 7 is more stable, but it has more grunt and more memory. It does however still slowly over time grind to a halt even if I stop as much of the background crap as possible. This includes the lock screen taking forever to get itself together and the home screens to become usable. It's not all the time, it does take some time before this happens, but happen it does. I have not seen this with W8 phone. Your experiences with Android may be different, good for you, but we are also different people and use our devices differently. Just as when I bought into Android I wanted to hear many peoples view to see the range of experiences and get a feel for it, similarly with W8phone its useful to know what problems people are or are not experiencing. Unfortunately I don't see just calling it a stoneturd and bad OS adding much to my understanding of the issues with W8 or what it is that you specifically need or want to do that you cannot. Personally, I don't have any issues with the way the launcher works and don't feel the need to get upset I can't change it - how it is works for me. Is there particular functionality its missing for you? Or do you just want to be able to change it because "you can".

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Windows Phone

@Tom 38

"Unbiased truths here from the guy named after the OS running on his phone."

Nope - my Nokia Lumia 925 runs Windows Phone 8, not Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango)

They are in fact totally different. Windows Phone 7.5 was based on the Windows CE Kernel. Windows Phone 8 is based on the NT Kernel.

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Anonymous Coward

don't do it

it's shockingly bad

terrible battery life on the 920

bing everywhere. ffs bing! the ecosystem is poisionous.

apps forsaken by everyone, no revenue for those poor WP devs

http://community.bingads.microsoft.com/ads/en/publisher/f/63/p/76747/121130.aspx#121130

it just needs to die. nokia needs a different approach, as the market rejects WP.

put them in the same hole with all the surface pros, rts, zunes, etc

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Stop

Re: don't do it

Eadon, that you?

My 920's battery lasts me two days if I don't thrash it, well over a day even if I do. Well up there with most modern smartphones.

Bing is the default on the search button, but it's easy to change in-browser searching to Google.

Sure, some apps aren't making money, some are. It's undoubtedly a smaller market, but then again it's easier to stand out in a smaller market if you're good enough. I would agree that not all apps are that great though, there are some buggy or incomplete versions of some apps that are more mature on other platforms.

The market isn't rejecting WP, it's rejecting BB - WP is growing in most markets, some of them quite strongly, albeit growth is next to non-existent in the US which keeps drinking the iPhone Kool-Aid

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Anonymous Coward

Re: don't do it

"nokia needs a different approach, as the market rejects WP."

Erm - but Lumia sales are growing by over 30% a quarter....And they havnt even launched their flagship 41MP phone properly yet...

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I have an old HTC 7 Pro. Yeah, its heavy, yeah the battery drains quickly when on t'internet, but I like having a full keyboard.

Apps wise, it could be better, but as WinPhone gets better market penetration, this will improve.

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Silver badge

Good sales in UK and France?

Looks like Orange has been doing a good job then (can't be O2 or Vodafone as the Lumias are virtually invisible here in Germany). Probably still not sufficient volume for Nokia to be really happy but it's a start. Of course, if the majority really are the low margin phones then Nokia is not going to be able to survive, though the ODM actually making the phones might.

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I put my hand up!!!

I have a Nokia Lumia 925 and it's pretty awesome actually, especially the camera. I've got rid of my point-and-shoot camera now because it's no longer needed.

I do like the Windows Phone 8 operating system. It's a big improvement over WP7.5 or WP7.8 which I had on my Nokia Lumia 800. I have all the apps I need and thoroughly enjoy using the phone. Most of my family have Nokia Lumias too.

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Anonymous Coward

Not reality.

Looking at what people are using on the street, it's 1 in 100.

What Kantar Worldpanel is, is a SURVEY, not based on ACTUAL sales. Who wants to guess they stood outside Phones4U (who seem really desperate of late to shift Windows Phone failures).

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Erm.

My arms are staying down.

I'll only put my hand up for kinky sex.

/get coat

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Anonymous Coward

"fastest growing BS"

Obligatory XKCD : http://xkcd.com/1102/

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Linux

Re: "fastest growing BS"

Totally.

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I like mine.

I've been using a Lumia 800 for just shy of 18 months and I'm pretty happy with it. Some minor niggles aside (marketplace is unfriendly rubbish interface-wise, having a better task manager and a notification centre would be nice) it does everything I want it to: good call quality, passable battery, great maps functionality and a friendly interface.

I'm open-minded about what I'll go for next. I quite like the look of the HTC One, but I was burned by the Desire before - I hated Sense, the handset was ugly and the battery life was appalling. I'll have a play with one and if I don't get on with it I'll go for a 920 or a 925.

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Happy

My Dell WinPhone is indestructible

Came with WinPhone 7.0, got better with 7.5 auto-update, and looks fine with 7.8. Been dropped several times over two years, but curved glass/case ensured no breakage.. best £100 phone I’ve had.

The one niggle is the internet tethering, that has to use USB (because Dell went for the first chipset).. Next time, I’m going back to Nokia

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Decisions..

A neighbour of ours got one of the new Luminas recently (925 I think) and absolutely loves it. She's your "joe public" type of user, not a geek, but being in her mid-30s technology literate. She's used iOS, a variety of Android phones, and says this is her favourite so far.

After using it myself for a bit, I have to say I do like the Windows 8 mobile OS a lot. It's clean, quick, stylish, and if I wasn't holding out for the iPhone 5S to replace my knackered iPhone 4, then the Lumina would probably be the phone I'd get.

I can't be arsed to spend hours tinkering around with configuration on a phone, I have desktop machines to do that with, and although I own an Android device I've never really found the OS my cup of tea or "fun" to use.

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Let me see....

Here is my Nexus 4 and what do I use most -

Gmail

Outlook Mail

Calendar

IMDB

BBC News

News 360

Twitter (Occasionally)

Tapatalk

Flipboard

Wi-Fi Analyzer

Maps

Thats from around 125 apps I have installed (all the usual suspects but no Angry Birds or Temple Run) some others are used occasionally. I bet I'm pretty common in my usage pattern. No I really don't need 2 million apps. Especially when 90% of the usage worldwide is from probably around 20 of them.

I will trim the apps down to the minimum soon, maybe when I get round to slapping Key Lime Pie on it.

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Thumb Up

They're OK for some stuff

During a company wide phone refresh I was provided with a wide choice of phones spanning the middle tier of handsets from Sony, Samsung and Nokia. Whilst many went for the Galaxys because of the three they have the most 'cachet', a few others went for the Xperia as it had the nicest looking (on paper) screen. All very shallow choices. Very few went for the Lumia (820 in this instance), but I did.

We use exchange at work, the only thing I really want to be any good that I will be using daily (other than actual phone calls) in exchange sync, calendars, mails, and handling mail attachments with occasional potential for editing word docs etc. Regardless of which phone has the best apps, which has the cleverest features for doing ridiculous things with photos and music etc, when this is your primary use case, there seems no reason for anything other than an MS OS on your handset when you are an MS shop at work. As a result, I love it for what I use it for, and it's a nice tight focussed device once you remove all the Nokia crapware, even though I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole as a personal phone.

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