back to article Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort

Although Microsoft officially supports Windows 10 Mobile, each update breaks new things – and it has reached comical proportions. Or tragic, if you're still using it. Man shooting himself in the foot overlaid with Windows Phone image That amazing Microsoft software quality, part 97: Windows Phone update kills Outlook, …

  1. AMBxx Silver badge
    Windows

    Shame to see it end like this.

    I went from WP 5 to 6 to 8 to 8.1 to 10. Apart from the 'app gap' 8.1 and 10 were great (especially 8.1). If only MS would just open source the OS, then maybe someone would pick it up. Sadly, I think MS would be embarassed by the code quality.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Shame to see it end like this.

      +1

      I missed 10, but my previous company insisted that the only devices they'd support were Windows "for security", and I actually thought they were quite good.

      Nothing could be worse that the chaos that is ****ing Android. Not only do various system settings jump around in between updates (or worse, just vanish) ... you have to deal with an internet of dickwads who insist on telling you that it works on their combination of handset, operator, and version of Android.

      If you've only known Android, you've got a fairly low bar to vault. But if you've used other - decent OSes - then you just have to wince every few minutes.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        Re: Shame to see it end like this.

        And yet Android is what I switched to, as although it's not a patch on W10M as far as the interface is concerned, it's still a better option the iOS if you want budget phone options and even a vague semblance of control over how things look and what you can do.

        I absolutely will only buy stock Android devices though, preferably those on the AndroidOne program so you have some sort of guarantee of support life cycle.

        I actually switched because my Lumia 925 was barely making it to lunchtime most days before needing a charge, I don't really need all the apps I now have but sometimes they are nice to have.

        1. JimmyPage Silver badge

          Re: Android v. iOS

          Apples and Oranges, really.

          MrsPage has an iPad Pro, which is a lifeline for her poorly vision. So I have a little exposure to Apples fruitiness.

          But - cost aside - I didn't want an iPhone. So Android was the only choice left. Although battery life isn't too bad.

        2. Phil Kingston Silver badge

          Re: Shame to see it end like this.

          Yep the UI is still the best mobile one. There's an Android launcher "Launcher 10" that does a pretty good job of bringing it to Android. But performance can be a bit hit and miss.

        3. cambsukguy

          Re: Shame to see it end like this.

          If you had wanted to stick with WinPho, replacing a 925 with a 950 would have been a quantum leap in performance, and it has a removable battery. I picked up a perfect second-hand one for £70 on eBay to replace my son's 920 (of course still working but ever more difficult for Apps/battery etc. - at least it can be used as a weapon/doorstop/hammer/cutting board).

          Of course, it is WP10 and has few or no Apps, except all the ones most people need of course.

          There are three of us using 950s (and one using a 650) and none of us saw this email problem at all - literally the worst complaint, from a few weeks ago, was that tapping a mail notification did not always go to the mail but just opened the mail client at whatever point it happened to be, annoying but hardly a problem.

          I am not saying it didn't happen, it obviously did for some, I am just wondering about the numbers.

          Having a 950 gives me a about year or so more use and hope that there will be a reasonably-priced Android phone where I can switch off Google services and have a decent camera etc.

          1. Franco Silver badge

            Re: Shame to see it end like this.

            "If you had wanted to stick with WinPho, replacing a 925 with a 950 would have been a quantum leap in performance, and it has a removable battery."

            I had one actually, I won it from windows central and so after using it for about a year I sold it. I got fed up with the constant bugs, and by the time I sold the 950 the 925 was locked at an older version. I'd lost Flip-to-Silence, Agenda view in Outlook (showing events only as opposed to ecvery day showing "No Event Today"), SMS reading with Cortana in the car and it was also the time of the GPS bug as well.

            I tried a few of the Windows Phone launchers for Android, all were a bit buggy for me or expensive to get fully featured. I ended up using the Microsoft Launcher which although doesn't have live tiles etc is pretty clean.

      2. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Shame to see it end like this.

        @JimmyPage

        Microsoft made a phone? Just kidding, I once saw one. It was given by our company to a new hire, he was in our office regularly, glad one of my colleagues took one for the team!

        Android never again! On a trip the the US, I had to purchase a burner phone, as my fruity toy was too old\carrier unsupported. The burner was an ATT Adroid of some shitty flavor, and it wreaked havoc with my google calendars, and a shed load of contacts. Way too many hy-jinx happening under the hood for my liking, crikey! My data plan was eaten in a couple of days, so I was told to turn off some shitty app... then another app complained he needed his friend in order to function. It was a good phone, the OS was a cash sucker and piece of crap...

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: Shame to see it end like this.

          @chivo243 "the OS was a cash sucker and piece of crap"

          You purchased a cheap locked phone with the carriers crap apps and you blame the OS?

          Crappy carrier apps have always been an issue and why I refuse to buy from a carrier any longer (Last time I purchased one was a pre Android Samsung slider phone and some stupid app started charging me £3 a month even though I hit cancel and left the app the moment I launched it), its probably the only thing apart from resale value I would recommend an Apple device for.

          1. chivo243 Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Shame to see it end like this.

            @Captain Scarlet

            They were google apps! Not like I had a choice on vacation...

            1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

              Re: Shame to see it end like this.

              @chivo243 - Never had Google's own Apps mess with my Emails, Calendars or Contacts, had HTC's apps on a now ancient HTC Desire HD from Orange screw around with my Calendar and Contacts (Adding pointless meta data for things trying to be helpful like linking contacts between phone contacts and email contacts). Not had the issue with Motorola or Blackberry Android handsets. I also assume you only allowed the phone to update on Wifi (As every app seems to get updated at least once a week).

              Anyway if you don't like Android you can always buy a cheap second hand iPhone.

              1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Shame to see it end like this.

                Correction: Got my last carrier phone completly wrong, HTC Desire HD from Orange where I got charged £3 from some traffic app, not the Samsung Slider phone which only had some basic Orange apps on.

          2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Shame to see it end like this.

            BYOD deal that simply can't be beaten (Unless this year pulls something special out of the hat in the run up to Christmas). I'm buying unlocked in future far easier on my pocket.

      3. katrinab Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Shame to see it end like this.

        "then you just have to *wince* every few minutes"

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Shame to see it end like this.

        "Nothing could be worse that the chaos that is ****ing Android. Not only do various system settings jump around in between updates (or worse, just vanish)"

        That's one of the things I most hate about Windows. The Control Panel is ALWAYS changed with each new version of Windows. Now they have two different control panels!!

    2. NLCSGRV

      Re: Shame to see it end like this.

      Agreed. The UX on WP 8.1 in particular was quite good, and I'd say slightly superior to that on Apple products and considerably so when compared against Android. Even if MS could find someone to buy the OS, even if highly unlikely, it would be preferable to the current laughable situation.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Shame to see it end like this.

        I'm glad I never upgraded from 8 to 10. Not something I'd say about my desktop!

        When the upgrade came out Orlowski said it wasn't quite as nice, and still had bugs. Bit like when 8 replaced 7. I didn't update then, and never got round to it. I was expecting the lack of apps to force me to, but I suspect apps were getting such infrequent updates that by the time it came to dropping 8 - they just said "sod it" and dropped support for Windows Phone altogether.

        Didn't have that many apps to start with anyway...

        It's a shame. It's my favourite OS. But my Mum took one for the team, as she wanted a better grandchildren camera. I'd put her on WP because she likes simple, but didn't want to pay for an iPhone. She's picked a Huawei P20 Lite. And it's a bloody good phone at £230 - with close to stock Android - but still took hours to set up as Huawei had hidden all the Google apps in order to try and get you using theirs. Android seems much improved since my last use, but setting it up is a right ballache.

        I suppose it's like Facebook's privacy settings. Designed to be hidden away and complicated so most people won't bother - but if you've got the time you can at least imporove things from standing naked in public to only Google having a camera stuck into you underwear...

      2. cambsukguy

        Re: Shame to see it end like this.

        My view was that allowing the project to run most Android Apps on WinPho would have allowed the platform to still exist.

        This would have allowed the few (MS) Apps to be used for real work like email, office, browsing, maps etc. but also supported running the myriad Android Apps people must have.

        MS could have curated the 'best', well-written Apps and put them in their own store, used MS services instead of Google and gained traction there too.

        Their customer base would have been all those people who wanted to stick with WinPho and Google-haters in general, along with iPhones-cost-too-much folks and Android-is-a-basket-case people too.

        Why did they cancel it? Because it was felt it would stop people developing for WinPho - well, that has already happened so why not just finished the project so that the phones could remain extant and the UX paradigm for touch etc. at least still had a reason to exist.

        1. TVU Silver badge

          Re: Shame to see it end like this.

          "Why did they cancel it? Because it was felt it would stop people developing for WinPho - well, that has already happened so why not just finished the project so that the phones could remain extant and the UX paradigm for touch etc. at least still had a reason to exist"

          Well, that decision worked out well in the end for them, didn't it? D'oh!

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Is it another burning platform?

    Seems MS are good at doing that.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Is it another burning platform?

      I think it's actually a burnt platform. At least that describes the remaining users.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Care

    >> Dying OS abandoned by carers

    I think the mistake here is thinking that Microsoft has anyone who actually cares about their products at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Care

      They already make Billions from "shoddy" products so why bother fixing them .. It's not like they have any competitors, at least on the same scale...

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Care

        They obviously do on mobile, that's why they've got nowhere.

  4. LDS Silver badge

    "The goal is to make the OS team work more like lean startups"

    What managers don't understand is startups usually release relatively simple products - maybe with a big idea behind, but still in a relatively simple form - as soon as they become more and more complex, the "startup" approach doesn't work anymore. The Wright Brothers could build their planes in their bicycles workshop, Boeing now evidently need something different.

    1. John 104

      Re: "The goal is to make the OS team work more like lean startups"

      The goal is to make the users the beta testers. It is pretty common in software these days. Save a cost by shoving untested code on your user base and see what happens. This was pretty evident when 10 came out and they announced that they were pretty much doing that.

      You see it in games as well. "Early release", "Beta Release", etc. People lap it up to get games sooner. Maybe it works in that model, but for a user who relies on their operating system for productivity, not so much.

      I'm a Windows Server admin and have been since the NT 4 days. However, when the October update killed my home laptop (HP with Skylake chipset) over an effing keyboard driver, that was the last straw. Mint installed and working great. Eventually the whole house will be converted and I'll get some good exposure to the other platform.

      I'll continue to learn and use/support Windows at work, because it pays well. But for personal use I'm done with spying operating systems, lack of proper testing, and lousy responses from the companies that make them. Microsoft, looking at you.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "The goal is to make the OS team work more like lean startups"

        "The goal is to make the users the beta testers."

        If you do that you've got to take note of what the beta testers say. That applies irrespective of who the beta testers are.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "The goal is to make the users the beta testers"

        And that's another mistake - startup rarely deliver products that becomes instantly something a lot of people rely on for their everyday work, so they can deliver early and fix later, if their idea is really game changer and deliver something unavailable before, most early adopter will bear some rough edges.

        While mature and successful product (for any meaning of successful, being on most desktop/laptop count as success) becomes tools which people need to rely upon - and there aren't only larger companies which can use enterprise licenses and patch deployment tools, there are lot of smaller one and professionals using the Pro (and sometimes even Home) versions. And nothing delivered lately justify the lack of reliability - there's no game changer feature.

        Thereby the whole MS approach to Windows is something built on a pile of bullshit, and a total lack of understanding about how to develop and maintain such kind of product - just aping a different model which apply successful to wholly different products only.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "The goal is to make the users the beta testers"

          Thereby the whole MS approach to Windows is something built on a pile of bullshit, and a total lack of understanding

          I wish. Their financial results suggest there's no negative consequences from their shoddy software and exploitative business model. Microsoft are the modern day IBM, and second raters rightly conclude that nobody ever got fired for buying crapware.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: "The goal is to make the users the beta testers"

            "I wish. Their financial results suggest there's no negative consequences from their shoddy software and exploitative business model. Microsoft are the modern day IBM, and second raters rightly conclude that nobody ever got fired for buying crapware."

            Yes, it's called vendor lock-in. Few businesses know of alternatives, never mind being prepared to spend the dosh to move to an alternative. And of course, so much software is Windows only, you really don't get the choice of OS anyway. Why would MS care in that situation?

      3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        @ John 104

        "You see it in games as well. "Early release", "Beta Release", etc. People lap it up to get games sooner."

        Sorry but I feel you're missing the point. Early Access is not to get the game sooner, it's to participate in the elaboration of the game. It's your chance to have input in the game in its creative stage.

        When it's well done, that is, and not used as a shoddy excuse to foist a turd upon unsuspecting users, make a few promises, then leave and never make another update again.

        But when done right, it can create a gem of a game.

      4. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: "The goal is to make the OS team work more like lean startups"

        @John 104 - "The goal is to make the users the betaalpha testers."

        FTFY

        "The compiler gave no errors, it's perfect code."

        FTFM

  5. Locky Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Florence Nightingale

    The definitive hottie from history #thebugle

  6. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I don't even know why they are doing any sort of 'feature updates' on a phone platform with about 20 users left. Just fix any security holes and then concentrate on making Windows 10 work properly on the platforms where people still actually use it.

    1. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      s/10/7/

      FTFY

      Windows 8 was designed for mobile and forced on unwilling desktop users; Then MS gave up on mobile...

  7. 0laf Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Sad

    I liked Winho (typo but I like it) 8.1 a lot. It worked for me and I found it very easy to use.

    I've since had an Apple (over rated but it does indeed "just work") and now an Android (mostly works, great hardware but generally a fucking mess).

    I still use the old WinHo 8.1 as a sat nav in an old car. Lovely solid little thing that Nokia 920 was.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surprised?

    As soon as MS announced the official end of any meaningful support for phone bar security updates, punctuated by mr gates smiling with his android phone (last year already?) it was pretty clear this would eventually happen. I’m surprised it’s held together this long. Sad because I really liked my windows phones. Maybe these security updates really work, take away any interactive online abilities and leave just the phone and it’s pretty secure.

    1. 0laf Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Surprised?

      Windows Phones were always pretty secure. Partly becasue it was actually quite a well designed and robust OS under the cover and partly because no one ever bothered to try to hack it.

  9. colinb

    plan of action

    back of shed,

    single bullet,

    spade, quicklime,

    shallow grave,

    R.I.P

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: plan of action

      Is it time for the 'IT?' Tombstone Icon to be refreshed and have either 'Win X' or Bill's Borg face on it?

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: plan of action

      We talking about the phone or all of M$ here?

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Coat

        Can't bury all of MS with a spade. You'd need at least a backhoe and a fleet of trucks to cart away all the dirt.

    3. the Jim bloke Bronze badge

      Re: plan of action

      Accounts have reviewed your action plan.

      The single bullet is outside of budget, as is the bag of quicklime.

      -Back of shed, OK but somebody elses shed.

      single bullet,

      spade,Revised plan is to use spade to bludgeon to near proximity of death (close enough-good enough). quicklime,Urinate.

      shallow grave,Walk away... whistling (optional)

      R.I.P

      Deny ever knowing them

  10. bed

    Hmmm...

    The other half has a Nokia 1020 (winho 8.1) with 64Gb storage. The 1020 is the one with a 40Mp camera - Huawei are just catching up. It has had the screen and battery replaced and, hopefully, will last a wee while yet as prizing the device away from the other half would not be worth the grief. Maybe I should lay a Lumia 950 in stock as a backup. I have yet to see a suitable Android app as a substitute for Winho mail and calendar - even MS Outlook on Android, which when I last looked could not display a month's calendar view. OK some of the Android apps are quite nifty, but none seem life threatening essential.

    1. Steve Gill

      Re: Hmmm...

      If you do get a 950 make sure you get an extended battery - with the OS 'updates' the standard battery on a 950 will struggle to make it through 2 days normal use

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm...

        ...the standard battery on a 950 will struggle to make it through 2 days normal use

        It's still quite telling (and rather amusing) that Windows 10 Mobile users measure battery time in days, while [Other OS] users continue to measure it in hours.

        1. Steve Gill

          Re: Hmmm...

          The better half gets 3 days use from her Blackberry keyone. Can't understand why anyone would think a phone that doesn't last a full working day on a charge is any use.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmm...

        The 950 battery struggles to get through 2 hours use FTFY

        Good phone and camera, though. I'm a fan of Windows Phone 8.1, 10 mobile less so. When one of their products fails, Microsoft are real good at punishing their customers

        1. Steve Gill

          Re: Hmmm...

          Nope, I meant it with the two days on a new standard battery (not one with 3 years of use already). Moved to a double capacity battery and get 4 days normal use, 2 days of heavy use out of it.

          Still can't find a replacement phone with as good a camera, decent battery life and such well integrated productivity software as winpho 10 and nothing comes close to winpho 8.1 yet.

  11. Alex Read

    what an insult to all actual lean startups though

  12. Tromos

    "...none can be spared to ensure there's any quality to the end-of-life care for the doomed platform."

    And the situation is even more bleak for the mobile version.

  13. IGnatius T Foobar !

    We Want The Desktop

    Seriously, Microsoft ... your "touch first" experiment has failed. Everyone knows it. Now can we PLEASE get Windows back to the point where it is optimized for computers with upright screens, keyboards and mice ... you know, the machines where 99.999% of Windows installations are?

  14. JassMan Silver badge

    Loads of bitching about all the big OSes here

    If you can program, if you can speak a foreign language, if you have a natural ability to find those bugs that everyone else seems to have missed... why not help UBPorts on the UTouch project, or help the Halium project to make all these different undocumented bits of hardware work in the same way. Even a small donation to either project would help them produce a viable alternative phone.

    Because they are building a FOSS phone, you can be sure it won't be sending all your personal to Google/Apple/your chosen carrier. If you don't like the apps they provide, build your own.

    If you want to get involved, it is best if you have an old Nexus4, 5 or 5X but they also need intrepid people with other hardware to report back on how far you get making it run.

  15. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    kinda open

    The ever so sad thing here is, despite being released by the same behemoth that overloads their desktop OS with a shedload of unwanted App Crap (tm), the MSWin phone still seemed less locked-down than Apple's fortified fortress garden, and Google's attempts to build an equally armored fortress on the opposing hill.

    Maybe we should start porting ReactOS to abandoned WinPhones...

  16. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Childcatcher

    Wait!

    Didn't the majority of patients DIE in those Crimean field hospitals?.......Florence Nightingale not withstanding?

  17. Arachnoid
    Mushroom

    Blackberry

    Well someone had to mention it.This so reminds me of the " secure" operating system that took a nose dive for lack of viable investment in user experience and usability.

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Blackberry

      BB10 UX was great - everything just worked and most of it just a swipe away.

      I was sorry when I just couldn't get enough 3rd party apps still running to justify keeping it - banking, local transport and messaging

  18. Bob Dole (tm)
    Trollface

    >You'd have thought that with a near-trillion dollar market cap and 131,000 employees across the world, that one person, even an intern or trainee, could have been tasked with trying out new Store client updates on an actual Windows phone? Just one?"

    Um, I hate to break it to you but the update was coded by that one intern....

  19. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Foreshadowing?

    Could these problems be a canary in the mine for W10 itself? As Slurp loses interest in a product it seems the quality nose dives. The less Slurp cares the worse the dive.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Must have been a regional thing.

    Running a Lumia 950 here (in Oz). No issues at all*. I still know of a few other hold-outs (950, 950, 950 XL, 930), and no issues with any of those either.

    Yes, we're still getting updates, but none of us are in the "insider" scheme.

    *OK, there is one major issue. The battery is gradually dying, and that's a terminal problem.

    I'm going to have to choose soon: Apple or Android. I don't want either, but the Andromeda unicorn hasn't shown up, so I'll have to toss a coin eventually.

    1. Steve Gill

      Re: Must have been a regional thing.

      If I could suggest an upgrade to the Mugen Power 6200mah battery for your Lumia 950 is a lot cheaper than a new phone

      1. cambsukguy

        Re: Must have been a regional thing.

        Or just a new battery, I bought an original one for £9 on eBay.

  21. steviebuk Silver badge

    Won't change.......

    ....while SatNav is making the shareholders money. That is the problem. He's ruining MS's reputation with the QA by firing loads of people when he started. And he's so hell bent on moving everything to the cloud and eventually, sadly, trying to make Windows 10 a streaming OS (which will end up forcing lots of people to Linux I suspect) he's killing quality. But while he still makes the big shareholders money, they don't care.

  22. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    Nostalgia...

    Steve Litchfield??? There's a name I haven't heard since my Psion CIX days...

  23. gryff

    Kong Ming

    Once upon a time, in a corner of China, there was a mythical group of phone testers called KONG MING.

    Software teams would send their software to Kong Ming and Kong Ming would find timing errors and functional errors and feature errors and stability errors and generally test the sh*t out of your mobile phone software. You could even send them software and ask them to reproduce issues. By return you'd get a comprehensive bug report and the choice of improving your product quality.

    (Not all teams improved their software..)

    Then Nokia sold the whole lot to Microsoft, who fired them. The End.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    windows mobile was the most basic of all the mobile user interfaces. any simpler - ui wise - and u're in coloured blocks and abacus territory.

    that they could fuck that up is truly remarkable. really, how do you fuckup basic ui elements like text boxes and radio buttons? they come in any standard html toolkit ffs.

  25. JuJuBalt

    It's interns running a lot of important ms tech nowadays

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What might have been

    Microsoft could have taken the high road and not treated customer data as "the product" like Facebook and Google. The Nokia Camera could have ruled the roost. "seamless" integration from desktop to laptop to tablet to phone...

    Instead, more distrust for ANY Microsoft hardware product. More "hate" for Microsoft updates (should be called designed breakages). I don't want to learn another API or yet another UI. Maybe when my unsupported Lumia 950XL becomes unusable there will be viable ( as in business usable), Linux based or other open source offerings. I'm only slightly more happy with Apple than I am with Andriod.

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