back to article The Microsoft mobile reboot needs rebooting

Late last year, plagued by a falling mobile market share, Microsoft "rebooted" its Windows mobile franchise with the launch of Windows Phone 7. Reviewers loved the smartphone operating system. The gadget press lapped it up. Even hardened skeptics felt some love for Microsoft they had forgotten they could feel. But five months …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Photo chips

    Are they similar to potato chips? Or... crisps?

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge


    Well, at least they are consistent.

  3. Stephen Hunt

    Win7 mobile

    I waited for Windows 7 mobile before buying a phone, then bought an Android. Rightly or wrongly I perceive W7M as too closed - too like Apple. Not what I was expecting from Microsoft.

    I do most of my coding in .Net so was hoping to easily jump to this platform, but the closedness made me choose to learn Java (which is pretty simple for any other .Netters out there) instead of be locked in.

    1. Aaron 10

      And now...

      ...Google's gone closed-source on their latest OS. Should have gone with an Openmoko.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        @Aaron 10

        Google would argue they're only temporarily closed source, but even if the Android source code is never published again, it'd still be the only one of the offerings from Microsoft, Apple and Google to allow anyone to install any application from any source. They also score points against Microsoft for the breadth of the SDK - Java in the VM or C (or anything else GCC can do) directly on the processor. Microsoft are allowing .NET managed code only. Don't expect Angry Birds too quickly and probably don't expect a port of the Unreal Engine at all.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    WP7 works fine for me, not a problem at all and im running it on a "unsupported" device, the HD2. and i have to say i love it, when my HD2 needs retired, ill be looking for a HD7 or its equivelent thanks.

    Sooooo, i wonder what the issue is here, it is slightly enoying about the update situation but the fact remains, until mango, there really isnt any updates that are absolutely needed, and mango hasnt missed its reported release date so again, not really an issue at the moment.

    copy and paste is slight enoying once in a blue moon when you actually need it however.

    1. Monty Burns

      Wouldn't bother with a HD7 if I were you ....

      The HD2 has been proven to be faster, go check out the vids on XDA-Devs.

      I'm getting fed up with phones. Win7 does everything I need and does it well but I can't get a landscape slider with a big screen (4+). Hurry up Nokia and cure this problem for me....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        your right, im on that forum a lot, im actually more likely to buy another HD2 if mine dies, they are getting much cheaper! my thoughts on the HD7 are that, essentially, they share the same hardware, except several small differences, screen, battery controler bootloader etc, so im hoping that some smart chap is able to get the HD7 ironed out a bit more, forinstance, most issues with the HD2 are minor and would probably be fixed if we had the HD7 hardware, so the HD2 WP7 ROM on a HD7 would be quite useful.....perhaps! although saying that the HD2 WP7 ROM isnt from the HD7 anway so who knows how that would work.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          RE: HD7

          HTC such a funny company, isn't it? The HD2, HD7 and Desire HD are essentially the same hardware (probably to cut R&D-costs). They didn't even bother to give the "newer" models bigger batteries (the Achilles heel o/t HD2). And yet they deny users to interchange OS's between them.

          HTC is just like Samsung flooding the market with the same crap in a new jacket and new OS. They should have made the HD2 truly OS-independant and charge additionally for the extra OS's you wanted to have. This would have reduced hardware costs even more and create additional revenue from OS sales. Hell, they should even sell Touchflo/Sense/whatever-UI as a separate product (generating even more income). Not to mention that the HD2 would have blown away ALL competition by becoming a truly universal smartphone.

          As it is, it's all bollocks.

  5. Don Mitchell

    Beating a dead horse

    Come on guys, have you ever reported anything positive about Microsoft. You clearly 1) hate this company like lots of people do, and 2) don't really know that much more than anyone else about them. Why bother?

    1. IndianaJ


      that people who hate MS just don't know enough about them? I suspect knowing too much is the real issue here.

      1. Geoff Mackenzie

        Also, as a Linux zealot ...

        ... I'd like to add that El Reg has a blatant pro-Microsoft bias, often going so far as to be reasonable and balanced, and focus on a product's practical usefulness rather than its ideological purity.

    2. Bilgepipe
      Gates Horns

      Crap Products

      Doesn't matter how much you know or don't know about Microsoft, their products are still big fat steaming piles of farm-fresh manure.

      Personally at this point I don't give them the benefit of any doubt, because they can't release anything that doesn't suck in one way or another, be it through reliability, stability or just plain stupid design (Windows "Virtual Store" folders - designed by a moron(tm)).

  6. Manu T

    Not surprised at all...

    Funny thing is that "the other phone underdog" has the least troublesome update policy of them all. Or at least you hear the least of of it anyway. And no I'm not talking about Bada ;-)

  7. mraak


    The day I purchased my iPhone 4 there was a WP7 in the store and I saw it for the first time then. While clerks were prepping my invoice and contracts I went to play with it. I really wanted to like it, but my gut feeling told me what's going to happen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You probably wouldnt have liked WP7 on a short few min trial, i was a heavy WM then android user, and id say it took about 2 weeks before i fell in love with it, not because it wasnt any good, but because my expectations were very different, and over a period of time i realised that actually, no i dont need to mod the crap out of it, it works great as it is.

      So yeah, if your used to WM or droid or iOS or whatever, dont base your decision on 5 10 min play in the shop, it takes a lot more to realise its true potential.

  8. Levente Szileszky

    Buh-bye, Nokia...

    ...and Stephen "Trojan Horse" Elop, the incompetent beancounter who single-handedly killed it, thanks to a clueless board that gave him the 'root password' to bring it down.

  9. Jay Jaffa
    Jobs Horns

    It's time for Microsoft to move on - the handset and tablet markets are lost

    Microsoft needs years to get a product right - their early successes with Windows we're simply due to a lack of competition and their "time to market" during the '80/'90s, which was better than anyone else. The cost of that reduced development time was lack of quality and flexibility in the underlying codebase - something which is now beginning to deeply erode their stock value and ability to release new products.

    This lack of quality, flexiblity and portability means they have to or at least take every opportunity then can to re-write/re-design from scratch whenever there's a new project in the offing. Win, Win95, WinXP, Win7, etc... erveyone one seemed to be based on a new codebase and design paradigm.

    iOS was built on a better foundation - and it's showing. Gates always feared Jobs - and now we know why. You may as well leave Ballmer in place at this stage - it's too late to rescue this titanic journey into the abyss.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Is it just me

    thinks there's something seriously wrong with Gavin's microphone?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      No, it's not just you

      I've just been into Audacity and levelled the recording, so I can listen to it on my phone speakers.

  11. Saoir


    The week it was launched I wrote here and elsewhere that the overwhelming response i had was that it was just plain UGLY. As UGLY as Sh1t. I haven't changed my mind and have seen one friend who bought it and regretted it.

    Apple brought something that people have now learned to value ... style.

  12. Joel Osborn

    Intro music toooooo loooooooooooong

    That intro to the podcast is way too long, especially with no voice over introduction.

  13. MN

    So confused

    I swear most people complaining have the weirdest expectations. Naturally, we always hear more about the negatives than the positives. See iPhone 4 antenna, for starters.

    I was an early adopter of WP7, and my experience didn't start well, as the phone I received had an unresponsive screen. Luckily I got a quick replacement, and, having moved from WM6.5 to WP7, it was a complete breath of fresh air.

    From an update perspective, I just received the March update today. There are tools out there to force the update, so if you're the sort of person who must have updates immediately, that's an option for you now. For me, the update wasn't urgent - the OS isn't really missing anything that's getting me antsy.

    The idea that it's failing, and needs a complete rethink is sensationalistic journalism at its worst. Developers are making money, the vast majority of phones are working as intended, and the unique selling points of WP7 are still just that.

    I'll concur that there's a lot of work still to do, that it's in danger of falling behind (next update's not due until Q3/4), and it would make me happy if it happened quicker, but the phone itself works as well as I'd hoped - I have no desire to jump ship.

    As it stands, come next April, when my 18-month contract ends, I can see me with a Nokia Windows Phone. If the media stop attempting to destroy it, it doesn't see so unreasonable.

    Frankly, Android is worse from an update perspective, and the only thing that could convince me to move to iPhone would be if they made iTunes vaguely usable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Compared to WM6.x, a turd would be amazing

      Been suffering with that for the last three years - 6.2 and 6.5, and both are awful.

      Our experiences have killed WP7 before it was even announced - corporately we're moving to iOS devices and the first batch went live last year.

      Corporate phone policy does not change quickly and takes a lot of effort to change. Unless Apple do something properly stupid with both the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 6, we'll be buying them for many years to come.

  14. pan2008


    So what's the problem? My mobile is just going through the NoDo update as we speak, I am on orange with a mozart, so what waited for an extra month, at least I know the update will arrive it may not arrive on the day but will arrive at least within the month. This is the second update I got, give Microsoft a break, or put into prospective what you get with Android (no updates). I am sure the next update will be even smoother.

  15. aebe

    I'm loosing faith even after NoDo update

    I've loved WP7, it looks great and is fast. But even after the Nodo Update i got a few days ago (, other than Copy Paste (which can't be used in sent or earlier received text messages), no performance gain on HTC Mozart (it's fast enough though), i miss a good day by day performance. Maps is horrible.

    Consider even switching back to my AWESOME but oldfashioned Nokia E72 - it works great in all situations, lasts forever, makes great photos and brings me to any place in the world with its great Nokia Maps.

    1. Beritknight

      C&P in SMS

      "other than Copy Paste (which can't be used in sent or earlier received text messages),"

      Yes it can, just not on a word-by-word basis. Press and hold on the sent or old SMS and you'll get a context menu. Options should be Delete, Forward and Copy. Tap Copy. Go to the new message section down the bottom and when the keyboard pops up, there will be a paste icon at the top of it. Tap that.

      If you only really wanted the first line of the sent SMS or something you can then use the normal tap a word and drag to select more words process to highlight all the unwanted text and tap delete.

  16. Levente Szileszky

    Chalk up another sunk product to Joe Belfiore, VP...

    ...seriously, he is the quintessential utterly incompetent MS manager: he sunk the once-promising Windows Media Center into complete irrelevance then he moved on and turned Zune into a no-show, no-percentage product on the market and now he's working hard to destroy MS' last chance in the mobile entertainment space.

    Keep up the good work, Joe - not those pesky, crybaby users but you know how to do it, right?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Chalk up another sunk product to Joe Belfiore, VP

      Perhaps MSFT should ask Elop to return and leave Nokia alone instead of sinking that ship too.

  17. IT specialist

    Microsoft gets another crack at mobile: WINDOWS 8

    Microsoft will make Windows 8 run on ARM-based phones. MS gets another shot at mobile.

    Pity the fools who bought Windows Phone 7, which failed, and will be replaced next year. Your handsets will not run Windows 8. 'Mango' is your final update.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    I blame


    Pure and simple.

  19. Ocular Sinister

    Windows upgrades are good?

    I have to disagree with MJ - Windows upgrades, patches and installs have always been a nightmare and one area where Linux (and AFAIK OS X) have a clear lead. My OpenSuSE machines update themselves seamlessly once a week using a single update service that updates *everything*. My Windows box at work has update services for Adobe, Java, MS Office and Windows itself. OpenOffice and Firefox use update services built into the app itself. Coupled with the shocking state of Window's package dependency management (more commonly known as DLL-Hell) and the lack of a centralized Application Store leaves Windows way behind the competition in this area.

    It seem WP7 has many of the same problems, but at least they have an app store now. Heck, that's only ten years after the competition!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Where to start?

      Your OpenSuSE only updates everything becuase you are using FOSS - If you install something a simple as Opera, it won't be updated. The only piece of non-FOSS that I know which updates from a repo is Flash, and that is becuase it's free.

      As for DLL hell - you haven't used a Windows system in nearly ten years, have you?

      WP7 only failed to update on 10% of one model of phone for one of the two updates available, that is hardly proof of massive problems.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Strange then...

        that my OpenSUSE updates Opera automatically.

        Do you know wat you are talking about ?

      2. Anomalous Cowturd

        Re: Where to start?

        > If you install something as simple as Opera, it won't be updated.

        Try adding to your list of repos and I think you'll find that it does auto-update.


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Opera was a bad example (and if it's in a repo for Fedora, I'll be using that - I didn't know you could get it that way), but the point stands: COTS software is 99.9% of the time, not updateable via a repo.

  20. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Better name...

    ...for these phones would be Frog2011.

    "Reboot" "Reboot" "Reboot"

    Happy with my Nokia 5230 still.

  21. CypherCookie

    how much wood can a wood chuck chuck..... during a windows mobile 7 update?

    The answer a lot! I finally received my cut n paste functionality last night! however it took nearly 2 hours to update the phone! @_@

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    android updates

    Doesn't sound too bad, my wife got a new motorola anroid phone a few months ago and a month later motorola decided they weren't going to do an upgrade to 2.2 after all, so no luck there. Frankly failing to support a product less than a year old means she'll never buy motorola again.

    1. Manu T

      RE: android updates

      Got a similar thing with Samsung. Unfortunatly my Samsung Omnia had still 6 months waranty when my bluetooth broke down. Samsung declared it out of warranty (suposeldy users abuse while the phone had been used in a protective krussel leather pouch all it's life). As I mentioned to the retail-shop that there wasn't even a speck of usage to be seen on it's screen and casing.

      At first i refused to take the phone with me. I had 6 months warranty and expected Samsung to honor that warranty.To no avail. I took it home unrepaired. :-(

      My dad uses that phone now. It's not repaired but it still works as a phone except for the broken bluetooth. WIFI still works, GPS inside works just bluetooth is dead. Weird isn't it.

      Anyway, another shop sold me the successor to that phone I had. Which I returned after discovering that the most important feature that i required from the previous model didn't work on the brand new kid-on-the-block. I decided NEVER to buy a Samsung product again.

      In fact I have even persuaded other ppl to neglect Samsung products as well. My Mom bought an LG TV instead of a similar priced Samsung model. My collegue bought a Nokia C3 instead o/t similar priced Samsung phone. And I had my eye on the LG Optimus 2X myself.

      Of course this has nothing to do with OS manufacturer. Both Samsung phones had the then Windows mobile OS which I was content with. Though I never gotten any OS update from Samsung anyway. The same with an Acer Neotouch which I also used to have. In fact the only phones that I owned previously that I gotten official updates for where Sony-Ericsson dumbphones (K750i and K550i).

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