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[Update: Sprint replaced my HTC phone and solved all of my freeze problems. The jury has reconvened in my head to evaluate Android.]


After I blogged about my bad experience with both iPhone and Android phones, Brandon Watson from Microsoft made this offer, which i have accepted:

--- Start ---

Scott - My name is Brandon Watson and I am responsible for the developer platform on Windows Phone. Since your readership has a high probability of cross over with our developer base, how about I make you a deal with one of the phones we reserve for developers. Take Windows Phone for a spin. I'll send you a developer phone with the new Mango OS on it. Give it an honest run, and if you don't love it more than either of your iPhone or Android experiences, I'll make a $1000 donation to the charity of your choice. You can't really lose on this deal. Do we have 500K apps? No. Do we have 25K, growing as fast as iPhone did, and 2x as fast as Android? Yes. Do developers love the dev environment? Uh huh. Do we have the only phone that puts people and communications first? You bet. If Androids dream of electronic iSheep, people dream about people - and that's what you will get with Windows Phone. Keep in constant contact with those most important to you with Live Tiles, groups, messaging threads, and native Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And no special instructions on how to hold the phone to make calls. Oh, and the battery lasts a long time. I can be reached at ThePhone [at] microsoft. You can call me if you want - [number removed]. Windows Phone devs will tell you that's the right contact info, because it's shared with every one of them. I hope you take me up on this one...there's no reason to hate your phone.

--- End ---

My first thought was that this was a bad idea for Brandon. I make my living wittily criticizing things. But on second thought, all the Windows Phone needs to do is make phone calls, handle email, have battery life that lasts half a day, do a little web browsing without locking up and it will win. I'll give you an update in a few weeks.
 
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Aug 3, 2011
I think the fact that Brandon is reading this blog (definitely one foot into reality) has got to be considered a plus. I have used several smart phones for work, currently an i-phone 3 which I just don't like, and I would be interested in hearing comments from someone who I know will not hold back on his critisms. If Scott pans it, ok, it's off my radar, if he praises it, then maybe I have a look! You could pan Brandon for using the blog to further his business, but at least he's putting his (Microsofts) money where his mouth is. There are ton's of companies twittering & facebooking their products into our faces (I work for one!!), so let's give it a chance - we might learn something (or at least a charity is $1000 richer).
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 1, 2011
I just missed a job interview, for I could not call a taxi (or to postpone the interview) as my HTC just died. Its battery used to have the lifetime of 1/100 gnat, but simply would not turn on at all this time. F u c k smartphones, a simple cell and a computer will do from now on.
 
 
Jul 30, 2011
@risingstarlp, your dumbass comment got a -80 (-83 now) rating because it deserved it!

Phone 7 is 2 years behind Android? I have both and Phone 7 works but Android is still a buggy Beta mess. Turn off WiFi etc...? Well, normal people do not want to fiddle with their phone to get it to work as it should from the start, just use it. But then, people that are happy with Beta software maybe do not mind so much.
 
 
-8 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 28, 2011
Thanks for posting this.
 
 
Jul 28, 2011
Apparently the micronerds (in name only, not in magnitude) are out in force on the comments. My post got a -80 for stating this will not be a bet Brandon wins and MS is behind its competitors. I wonder just how many mailing lists or forwards this link got around windows phone HQ. My estimate is somewhere from 80 to 460 (the current rating of Scott's post)
 
 
+6 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 28, 2011
I'm a very important and busy executive. So busy and important that i am dictating this to my assistant. By proximity he is also busy and important (not so much as me, he wishes), so busy and important that he has his own assistant that he's dictating this to, and so on and so on. As I dictate my important thoughts it's like a little echo running down the office hallway as the number 1 assistant dictates to the... and so on and so on.

To cut to the chase (did I mention I'm busy?) let me say that I need my phone to play Angry Birds.

PS well played brandon.
 
 
Jul 28, 2011
This article has been posted on many Windows Phone blogs and hasn't really gotten much exposure anywhere else. This probably caused the readership base to skew to the Microsoft camp the last couple of days. I know if there's really anything malicious going on here.
 
 
Jul 28, 2011
Hah :D I never even took any notice of the voting on these blogs before, but the jacking is really, really obvious even to a dolt like me :D

How seriously lame do you have to be as a personality to implement such a buffoonish tactic? Not like there's anything riding on it.

Amusing though that there are people sore enough to really, really care :D
 
 
Jul 28, 2011
Voting is rigged on this one.

Scott may like to get some statistics:
1) How many people joined soon after this post
2) How many of those voted in favor of MS.

Your regular readership is lot smarter than what is observed here.
 
 
Jul 27, 2011
Seems like someone is gaming the voting feature - anything for the windows phone has huge support, anyone critical has dozens of votes against. That isn't the normal voting pattern here, as regular readers know.

I thought humilityrock's comment, while snarky, had a point. Is the Windows group really not going to contribute to charity if Scott likes the phone?

Why would anyone say they liked the phone if it takes money away from charity?
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 27, 2011
There are plenty of phones whose battery lasts 15-20 days,
and you can buy them for less than 30 euros.
What's the point of all this chain of posts?
 
 
Jul 27, 2011
@kent4500

Microsoft has addressed most, if not all of your issues in Mango, the upcoming update. With Linked Inbox you can combine and mix and match multiple work and personal email accounts. The threaded mail conversations lets you delete all mails within selected conversations. Not sure if you can select all mails or all conversations at once.

Is your phone updated to NoDo? That update earlier this year came with Copy and paste. Mango makes it more obvious how to paste multiple times. Twitter and LinkedIn are integrated in Mango Messaging Threads per contact or group of contacts. No need for a Twitter app. With these threads you can also integrate Windows Live Messenger and Facebook chat if you want. you can filter by creating groups and/or excluding messaging protocols.

With Mango developers get socket and background tasks support. Skype and Spotify are working on Mango apps, for example. Expect Skype and Lync integration, like Twitter and LinkedIn, in a later update. Windows Phone should have no problem with Exchange contacts. But there's no native sync can't local Outlook contacts.

Finally, I'm wondering, if you have no experience with the iPhone, why wouldn't anyone choose Windows Phone over an iPhone? By the way, no Flash on iOS either ;)
 
 
+28 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 27, 2011
I've had the Verizon Win7 HTC Trophy for a month now and love it. I'm a big fan of Apple's iOS too, but for a phone I prefer the Metro interface. I'll be curious to see what you think.
 
 
Jul 27, 2011
@Kent4500

Your experience was with Win Phone 7.0. What Brandon is offering Scott is a 7.5 (Mango) device). I have agree with you about 7.0 that it just isn't quite what it should be. But spending a month with 7.5 has totally changed my mind because it is a totally different beast. Unless you're running the latest build that was released to developers this morning, you're not running the "native" Twitter client. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn are now part of the OS and Microsoft has done a great job of integrating them all together.

Looks like you have a developers account, so go update your phone and see if you finally like it. I know I do.
 
 
-32 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 27, 2011
I’m a software developer working exclusively in the Microsoft stack. My employer recently issued me a WP7 in order to explore how we can leverage it and our existing knowledge base in .Net, Visual Studio and MS-centric development. I’ve come to this phone from a Blackberry Tour, which I neither loved nor hated. Outside of following industry contacts on Twitter (how I found out about this post) I have no interest in the social functions of my phone. I’ve also never used iPhone or Android.

So, in that context, I have to say I’m very unimpressed and quite disappointed with my Windows Phone 7 “user experience.” For starters, there’s no way to check all emails and delete them at once, i.e. the equivalent of Blackberry’s “delete prior” command. (I’m told this is true also on the iPhone and the Android, but imo that in no way makes it okay .) As a result, I’ve had to throttle the business emails I receive on my phone. The phone’s limitations therefore limit how much I can integrate it into my workday, and this alone means the device has failed. I find overall navigation cumbersome, if not confusing. The lack of robust select, copy and paste is a huge pain. Also: no Flash, no Vimeo, no Pandora, and no Skype, to name a few. And that native Twitter app Brandon Watson speaks of is only just adequate. Other complaints: I had to put all my contacts out on Windows Live in order to transfer them into WP7. Furthermore, I have to maintain them out there with a live connection from the phone, or the phone will delete them. I don’t appreciate being forced to maintain my contacts on the internet. Second, the phone requires various aspects of Zune, such as for desktop integration. Zune?? That’s like releasing the latest hybrid car but saying you have to fit it with salvaged Ford Pinto batteries.

I agree with the posts above that Microsoft does a good job with the developer experience. So I’m hopeful the same will apply to writing apps for the WP7 once. And kudos to Brandon Wilson for putting his reputation and contact info on the line. I hope the developer experience does shine, because that’s what might save this phone –finding niches in corporations, like ours, that can easily leverage an existing skillset and investment in Microsoft technology. Based on my first few weeks with this phone, I have a hard time believing it will succeed on its merits alone, at least for the business user. And as for the consumer market, why would anyone choose it over an iPhone?
 
 
Jul 27, 2011
"make phone calls, handle email, have battery life that lasts half a day, do a little web browsing without locking up and it will win"
Sorry, but that's a massive troll statement. If you've had an iPhone and you couldn't get those things done, then either you had a lemon or you were doing something really stupid. I can't comment on Android because I've never had one, but I would be astonished if it were any different for the simple, basic requirements you list. If it was, then I would again have to assume a random manufacturing defect or user error.
 
 
Jul 27, 2011
Since he is a new user, here are some tips to improve battery runtimes - http://windowsphonereview.com/wp7-tips/improve-battery-life/
 
 
+12 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 27, 2011
Brandon might prefer that you didn't leave his contact info up. Otherwise, this sounds like a great idea! I've heard good things about Windows Phone 7. Can't wait to hear how your explorations go.
 
 
Jul 27, 2011
Good luck with your new free phone :)

According to your criteria I already own that phone, albeit an iPhone 3GS. I'm not interested in phone wars though, just saying. I'd be just as happy with an Android or a WinPhone if it always, always worked. As I've not yet had a need to try one though, I stick with what so far has always, always worked.

Only thing I dislike about it is the annoying "network lost" nag screen.
 
 
Jul 27, 2011
Very cool,

I have had windows phones and windows ce devices since the original HP Jornada with black and white screen. I have always loved them and found them way ahead of the curve. However, when windows 6.5 came out, I had to get it right away and did. I was so sadly disappointed and frustrated. I logged several issues on the Microsoft forums and things, the whole phone had to be rebooted every day to even work. I was so frustrated and disappointed. I would never go to apple because as a developer as well I don't like people telling me what I can or can not do with technology and developing anything for apple is literally horrible. They hate people that develop on their platforms and treat them like crap and make their lives hell.

I did switch to an Android phone and it was light years ahead of Windows Mobile 6.5. I have also been very happy with my Droid phone. I have just started to put my toes in the waters of developing for Android devices and well that is an ok environment but there is no centralized development resources and API and knowledge base. However it is growing. The tools are inferior to Microsoft's as well but they are ok. No one can beat Microsoft's development environment, Visual Studio is just a joy to work in every day and unlike apple again no limits. Developing for Microsoft is fun. I mean heck I created a plug in to the Microsoft Visual Studio that lets me control all my music so I never have to leave the environment to switch songs or podcast or what ever I am doing. Apple would persecute me and hang me up my my toes and skin me for trying to circumvent iTunes in such a way.

I still develop on Microsoft platforms, servers, web desktop etc, and I will say that Microsoft has the developers best interests. I am on the board of one of the .net developer user groups which are hundreds of small groups, 20-30 people that get together monthly and talk about programming on the Microsoft platforms. There are organizations like Ineta and so on that are just specifically for the Microsoft developers. If Google ever gets the developer resources organized the way Microsoft does then there could be trouble. However I don't see that happening any time soon. So yes Microsoft has the developers.

So as a developer working on the Microsoft platform for 15 years with an Android Phone and now and Android Tablet and loving and living in those worlds, I do look forward to this review. I sure to hope Microsoft makes their phone exciting again but Windows Mobile 6.5 left a very bad taste in my mouth so it will be hard for them to win me back. I haven't counted them out but I am not excited yet.
 
 
 
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