No one can deny that Microsoft is one of the most successful software company in the world. The Redmond multinational technology company is best known for Windows line of operating systems, the Xbox gaming console and the now recent Surface tablet lineup. The review today is about their dwindling line of Windows Phone business, which had so much promise but simply failed to deliver. Potential can not be eaten, and “almost” doesn’t count. It’s either you deliver or you go home high and dry. The points outlined below are pertinent issues galling a multitude of users all over the world, and to say that they played key role for Windows Phones survival would be understatement.
The appalling quagmire Microsoft finds itself in can’t be blamed on anyone other than the company itself. The feedback hub where users are supposed to post their experiences is a mere placebo. Microsoft is apparently working tirelessly to see that Windows Phones fail. And it is succeeding! Poor Microsoft!
Yes! The updates! I know what you’re thinking. But hear me out. With every update, a host of applications are usually not supported in the new update and end up being sidelined, or scrapped out completely. For instance, what was the rationale for Microsoft dropping out radio app? Is it too complex to code? And even the third party radio apps do not allow one to use the phone’s loud speaker. MixIt radio is long gone. Lumia drive simply failed to deliver. And now one has to use Edge browser to read pdf documents (and the experience is yuck!) The likes of Adobe reader are no longer well integrated in the OS. With every update the steps for accessing the sim applications menu become convoluted, and once you manage to find them you can’t pin them to the start screen. “People” no longer support social media like Twitter and Facebook. Skype is now even much better in Android. The list is endless. I hope you’re catching the drift. One can even be afraid of updating their phones since you never know if your favourite app is going to come back. The recent Creators update for Windows 10 mobile came with a plethora of issues. These include random reboots, unresponsive Cortana, connectivity issues Mail that just won’t sync among other issues. Now the internet is awash with how to solve these problems, because Microsoft didn’t do its homework.
Microsoft’s decision that one must have access to internet connection to make backups do not sale, at least not to the majority of people who don’t have access to free WiFi connection. These are hard times, data costs money. Woe unto you if decide to factory reset with no free WiFi. It doesn’t make sense to, say, backup more than 40Gb of apps online! It’s even more expensive. 40Gb to upload online and again download more than the same amount after hard resetting. Come on Microsoft! Just add a backup option to sd card. Jeeze!
And for the same reason I find it disheartening that one can not still make backup of contacts to sim card. Whatever is preventing Microsoft from adding “export to sim card” option is a clear indication of the pathetic platform they stand on.
Setting default apps
This is a pipe dream in Windows phones. You simply can’t easily set your default app, not even web browsers. There is one of the Settings app that purport to change default browser. But no matter how many browsers you install, it never seem to find them. Custome alert tones needs improvement. And when opening pdf documents, it becomes bothersome to be reminded everytime to pick an app to do that. You can’t set a default app for opening pdf files.
Cortana, the helper that never was!
The main problem here is the fact that you have to be connected to the internet to use Cortana. Even doing local activities like trying to open music or make a phone call requires one to be online. This smells fishy, as if Microsoft is spying on its users! Sshh..!
If you don’t have a PC or a ringtone maker app you simply can’t set a custom ringtone, period! This is so mediocre I don’t even have words to express it. Just get over it and move on…
Mass storage mode
What I really miss about this is the fact that I can’t connect my phone as a USB mass storage device to my TV. I can’t watch movies stored on the sd card via a TV set. The only thing you’re able to achieve is to watch photographs. Sometimes if you download a large file which the phone doesn’t support, you have to connect to a PC to see it. And in some cases you still can’t see the file. Does this mode makes the phone vulnerable? If yes then do something about it. Even old Nokia phones were better at this.
“Device is charging slowly”
If you’ve never seen the above message on you Windows phone then you’re the lucky few. And I also know what you’re thinking. I know very all about usb ports and their power output. After updating to Windows 10 mobile, sometimes charging your device is just another issue to contend with. I remember trying to charge a Windows phone at home, at work even using solar panels with the same result. Mind you I have used different chargers, original included, and the phone would erratically report that the device is charging slowly. Why did I never experience this while still using Windows 8.1?
Lack of apps
Before purchasing your first Windows phone you maybe warned that Microsoft store is just empty. Once I comforted myself that I don’t need that many apps on my phone. Boy was I wrong! Couldn’t get even new apps developed by my bank. Is like being lonely amongst the crowd.
In a nutshell Windows Mobile is broken. It’s half baked. And I don’t see it getting fully baked either. The idea behind it was great, but it failed to deliver. One thing you can take to the bank is that people will always complain whenever new major updates arrive. And I don’t see Microsoft supporting Lumia phones for long. It’s a lost cause. Now Nokia is back. And were still watching.
On a scale of one to five, I give Windows Mobile a score of 2.