back to article Windows 10 for phones: Stepping towards the One True Windows

Microsoft has released an early preview of Windows Phone 10, and we put it through its paces on a Lumia 630, one of just a few supported devices. In the official announcement, Director of Program Management Gabe Aul does not refer to Windows Phone 10, but rather “Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones”. It's all part of …

  1. Alan Bourke

    Is IE still cack on it?

    I miss Chrome.

    1. Dave Horn

      Re: Is IE still cack on it?

      IE on mobile devices (Windows Phone 8 and upwards) seems comparable to Chrome and Safari for speed and compatibility. The Metro version of IE that shipped with Windows 8 is still one of the nicest touch browsers around.

      1. Alan Bourke

        Re: Is IE still cack on it?

        Speed-wise it's OK, the problem on Windows Phone 8.1 is:

        The mechanism for opening tabs is extremely unintuitive.

        It loses state very easily if you switch to another app.

        A lot of sites don't understand which browser it is and so serve a desktop version that spasms wildly as the browser tries to render it, or they can tell it's some sort of mobile and then offer an iOS/Android app, or you just get a white screen.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Is IE still cack on it?

          Tap the tab button then "+" is "extremely unuintitive"?

          Nor I never find it "losing state". Also I usually ask the desktop version of each site and it doesn't look it "spams wildly". Did you use any Windows Phone past WM 6.5?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is IE still cack on it?

          Losing State - that is dependent on how much memory you have on the particular device and how much memory has actually been consumed in the meantime.

          I think. I remember the 620 losing state but the 735 doesn't seem to so often.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Is IE still cack on it?

            IE?

            Microsoft's default browser across devices will be their own 'Spartan', with a version of IE continued for compatibility. Spartan has been described as being Chrome-like.

          2. Andy Nugent

            Re: Is IE still cack on it?

            My 1020 does it all the time, e.g. reading a long article, read a message, switch back to browser and it's re-loading and I'm at the top of the page.

            I assumed the 1020 had a fairly good spec despite being fairly old?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is IE still cack on it?

      "I miss Chrome."

      The Borg misses having all your personal data too...

  2. Arctic fox
    Windows

    I have a Lumia 630 on the way so that I can take a look at this for myself.

    One useful tip from another such review is to make sure that the 630 is fully updated as far as its WinPhone 8.1 persona is concerned. Not doing so can, apparently, lead to a painfully slow and rather laggy update process when installing 10.

  3. 0laf Silver badge

    Some interesting things - the blue dot arrow thingy could address one of my big annoyances with text editing on touch devices.

    Winph8 is a far better OS than desktop 8.1 which is a mess on top of good foundations. I think I'd need a spare phone to try this on before committing my main device to it.

    I'd be quite annoyed if MS's drive for universal apps made for universally crap apps. Universal apps will need to be flexible so they have a best fit for whatever device they are on. It'll be no use if they come to the phone with desktop input style. That's just back to what makes the W8 interface crappy.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Request for a test of the Music player?

    Is that still pants? (actually it is ok, just I get irritated with the 'Latest Bands' thingummy being updated even though I have not signed up for xbox music)

    What I would reeeeally like to know is the rumour of finally FLAC native support being available actually true? I would be very grateful if you could test this...

    Also the email app - how does it improve? If at all?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Although I'm an Apple fanboi...

    ...I have to say, Windows Phone is looking pretty nice. At work we now have cheapo Nokias running 8.1 (Denim?) and there are some really nice touches: add words to dictionary from keyboard suggestions, downloads of maps to use offline, tiles - which I'm finding a lot more useful than I thought, and the interface is very clean. So, so much better than the BlackBerries we used to have.

    Having the send email button just below the keyboard isn't a great UI mind you, and some of the explanatory UI text is rather patronising.

    But on balance, looking good Microsoft. Interesting times ahead.

  6. theOtherJT

    I'd be quite annoyed if MS's drive for universal apps made for universally crap apps.

    It's a danger to be sure.

    What it mostly demonstrates tho is the importance of separating the UI from the underlying actions, even when writing pretty basic apps. What they really need to be doing is promoting a Windows 10 API that defines how you write an abstraction layer. You write one back end, and then as many front ends as are required for different classes of device that just call your back end code.

    It should be obvious to everyone that an interface for a 5" display with touch controls and an interface for a 24" display with a mouse+keyboard just _have_ to be different. "Write once run anywhere" isn't magic. Give us good tools to make crafting the UI easy on multiple devices and as long as the back end code compiles for all device classes we should be laughing.

  7. imanidiot Silver badge

    So... what then?

    Not enough changes to really put this a level above the failure of Win8?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So... what then?

      "Not enough changes to really put this a level above the failure of Win8?"

      Latest figures show a 26% share of the UK enterprise market for Windows Phone. That's only a couple of percentage points behind Apple, and Nokia / Microsoft were the 4th largest phone vendor by devices shipped in Europe last year. Window phone hasn't exactly wiped the floor with the competition but I wouldn't say it's been a failure.

      1. Andy Nugent

        Re: So... what then?

        Does that "4th largest phone vendor by devices shipped in Europe" include all the £20+ Nokia feature phones, which don't really have anything to do with Windows Phone?

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: So... what then?

          yes it does include those. On top of that, I've not really heard of anyone who bought a windows phone because of Windows Phone (usual argument: It's much cheaper). And I've heard few users of said windows phone who really like it over android.

          1. Robert Grant

            Re: So... what then?

            Much, much prefer it over Android, and always have. Ditto my wife, who loved it so much she used to bore people to death showing my phone (until she got one too) to people at parties because she loved the design so much.

            But she is an architect, so she cottoned on to the whole flat thing a bit quicker than Jony. Bless him.

          2. Cornholio

            Re: So... what then?

            "And I've heard few users of said windows phone who really like it over android."

            I've had various Android devices, from an old Orange San Fransisco to a rather more recent Nexus 7.

            I find Windows Phone to be far more intuitive. There are some things about Android that I prefer, but not enough to make me go back there.

  8. CaptainBanjax

    Do you feel that highlander?

    Its the quickening!

    There can only be one...etc.

    Oh my coat? Thanks?

    1. Tim Jenkins

      Re: Do you feel that highlander?

      'One Windows' always brings to mind a different movie (/book/radio-series/animation/game/lego)

      Ash fitog durbatulûk, ash fitog gimbatul,

      ash fitog thrakatulûk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "If the operating system is being rebuilt though, a shortage of new features is no surprise...

    ... The priority is to get the platform right."

    That´s what they said with Windows Phone 7 -> Windows Phone 8... Have we actually got any further in the past two years apart from re-arranging the notification centre while the platform sinks?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elephant dead?

    I know a slew of regular users who have left Window's phone for the exact same reason...Ads. Apparently no one writes a review without actively ignoring this "feature" for some (all?) phones. If it can't be addressed, then any review seems like propaganda from a stock holder.

    Should users that have left be impressed by a working calendar and calculator? Come on. Write a review that will get users back, not patch notes written by a shareholder. The active ignorance of common denominators is a large part of why Windows is in the situation they are currently in.

    1. Hellcat

      Re: Elephant dead?

      People are leaving Windows phone because of adverts? Which ones are them?

    2. Andy Nugent

      Re: Elephant dead?

      What ads are on Windows Phones that don't also appear on other phones? I've never noticed any other than the usual in-app adverts in free apps.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Elephant dead?

        I read your guy's reply and just borrowed one a minute ago to see why everyone is complaining, and it appears they are correct. To be honest, these are free apps, but the only free app on the phone im holding that doesnt have ads is VLC. I didn't know to look for VLC, but the person is actually aware that this is the only app that doesn't have them (that can't be good). I don't use WinPhone, but it appears ads are mandatory...?

        This phone has been turned into a VLC player only, so I'm not sure if this is up to date. But all Ads appear at the bottom as if they are standardized this way, so it becomes a borderline issue if you notice them, or train your eyes to ignore them. It appears no one wants to take the time to ignore them, which I get.

        Well, everything does seem very clear and swift (although i have no idea where shit is at), too bad there is an ad in everything (and on the same spot). Android and iOS do have ads in most free apps, but not like this. Is this really not an issue with the Windows phone users you know? To me, it's very obtrusive compared to the others, however the rest is WAY more swift than I thought, potential for sure.

        1. Hellcat

          Re: Elephant dead?

          I'm struggling to find an app with adverts in it. I have a couple which do, but the majority do not. I don't notice the adverts and typically they're not as in your face as my Android, which were often pop-up full screen links just when you're about to click something...

          I don't begrudge the developers the ad revenue, and if it's a good app I'll pay the £1 or so for the without advers version.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elephant dead?

      And perhaps ad's are being slung by malware on the users phone. You know, the kind that affects ALL web browsers?

      More than likely though, it's free Windows apps slinging them JUST LIKE FREE ANDROID or APPLE APPS DO.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evolution vs Revolution

    I see MS biggest problem is every few years there is a revolution, the old OS is thrown out and new one takes over.

    Apple and android tend to evolve. That way the user base is using a platform they are familiar with.

    Plus users start to wonder why MS has to keep starting over and maybe they should wait for the "final" version.

  12. Munkstar

    I am very happy with 8.1 on my Nokia 735 thanks. The iPad mini is almost back working correctly since its upgrade to 8. It could be argued the Android option of only the latest devices having the latest software 'works' .... untill your old apps become incompatible!

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