WindowsPhone 7.5 Mango is so GOOD

Now that a confirmation of the NDA situation seems to be in place, let me shout from the top of the rooftop.


Oh my goodness, WindowsPhone 7.5 Mango is SO GOOD.

  1. Lock screen – now also shows music controls so you can fast-forward/back/stop playing current song without unlocking the screen.
  2. Messaging – includes in addition to SMS, also Facebook and MSN Live messenger, you can also voice to text if you are driving
  3. Mailboxes – linked mailboxes, threaded mail messages
  4. Me – also includes Facebook notifications built in, also very handy to check replies to your Facebook or catch up on MSN messenger.
  5. Zune – live podcast subscriptions over the air, this one is odd – you still seem to need to subscribe via Zune software, but once you’ve added a podcast you can download new episodes over the air to the phone.  Needs work – I can see big buttons for subscribe and settings – they are normally little picture icon buttons.
  6. IE9 – holy it’s fast
  7. Office – Skydrive and Office 365, WindowsPhone can always open and edit Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote), but now that they are all integrated with the cloud services this is awesome.  Lists, tasks in O365 also appears in the Office tab.
  8. Background agents – available but nothing uses it yet
  9. Live tiles – now with even more information (on the back) and most of the ones on your home screen are just bursting with more information.  But it’s still cute.
  10. Multi-tasking.  It’s there, you don’t even know its there.
  11. Bing search – visual, voice and location.  Location Scout actually has useful Australian local content.  Amazing.
  12. Battery saver mode, actually the phone seems to be a lot better at handing battery.  I had a full charge from last night, and by the end of the day after decent use (no games though), it was still half a bar.
  13. Voice turn by turn directions.
  14. Camera – quick tab of screen to auto-focus and take picture
  15. Power down – now there’s a cute confirmation screen when you try to turn the phone off.  On my HTC it was easy to accidentally bump the power button and discover my phone’s turned off.
  16. People groups – when you add people to the default “Family” group, it automatically suggested contacts that has my surname (not common), and my wife, who didn’t share my surname.


Wish list

  1. Still can’t take bloody screenshots from the phone :-(
  2. When you are in a contextual hub, hitting the search button needs to be more intelligent. 
    1. In People hub, search people
    2. In office hub, search documents
    3. In Me hub, search people or text
    4. In Zune, search music in collection, swipe to market place
    5. In Mail, search mail

We Love Windows Phone - I really do

This is an emotional blog.  But also a blog of acceptance since I found peace at the end. 



I'm a long time listener of the Windows Weekly podcast, and of Paul Thurrott's writings.  I loved his insights into Microsoft, and shared his views on how well this little company called Microsoft is doing, or not doing, in the market place.

After all, like Paul, I've bet on this company, I like their work, I love their products, even when I don't necessarily like everybody in the company.



I've been following the development of the Windows Phone 7 for a while.  I have previously owned a Windows Mobile SmartPhone, before switching to an iPhone.  The iPhone was an experience in showing me what a modern SmartPhone "should be".  And an eye opener in why Microsoft needed to respond.  I believe they took a gamble, and took their time to get their product right.  Windows Phone 7 was fresh, it was new, they had to burn bridges and not support any upgrade path from Windows Mobile.  The Enterprise features were lacking, but hey, this is a brave move to relaunch and redefine a product, and make their stand.

I solute Microsoft's bravery.  It's not everyday a company as big as Microsoft can step back and say, we're going to stop development of Windows Mobile, and restart the platform to remain competitive.

I want Microsoft to be like this.  Aggressive.  Take Risks.  Redefine.  Relentless in a competitive market.  It's like the old days under Bill Gates.

Because if Microsoft don't step in, a fruit company will redefine the future of mobile (and probably all) computing.  Honestly, if you think Microsoft being a monopoly is bad for the PC market.  Can you imagine if it this other fruit company having a monopoly? 



I own a Windows Phone 7.  Let me be clear and say that I absolutely adore this device.  I want to get my wife one.  I got it on day 2 of the Australian launch.  I called 4 Telstra shops.  I switched telco providers from Optus. 

I can honestly say it is a better phone than my iPhone 3.  I also think I will probably not go back to another iPhone product.  (Disclaimer: unless, both Microsoft and Google stops making phones… then may be I have no choice?)

Like Paul, I watched the device launch to great fanfare and praise.

Sure, it has lots of little annoying problems.  Lots and lots of them.  But I can overlook all of it.  Windows Phone 7 was a risky move.  So it is also in many ways a brand new v1 product.  I can overlook all the little bugs.  I'm sure Microsoft will patch it within a month.

Or two.  Or three.  Surely in Jan, no may be before the World Mobile Congress in Feb?  Ah Steve Ballmer says March.

6 months, Microsoft.  You are killing me, you are killing one of your biggest fan.  I had thought by now I would have already converted all my family and friends to Windows Phone 7 by now.  But now I sat on the edge, waiting for my own update.  I can't recommend this product to anyone.  Not with a clear conscience.


Acceptance, and looking forward

This story will finish soon, and it doesn't end on a sour note. 

The thing that finally made me happy, wasn't a news from Microsoft.  It wasn't something that Paul said.  It wasn't even the Nokia-Microsoft announcement.

It was this, an excellently fan-made video by Brandon Foy:


Firstly, YES!  This cool phone is my phone!  It is adorable.  It's awesome.  I love my phone!  I listen to podcasts like Windows Weekly.  The browser (even though based on IE6) is awesome and renders anything I throw at it.  The XBox live games are awesome.  The marketplace has most of the Apps I want.  I read Kindle on it.  I take pictures (8 megapixel goodness with flash and auto focus).  I scroll and glance at my live tiles.  I tweet and check-in with four square.  I love the Metro UI.  I take notes on OneNote and it puts them in the cloud for me.  It takes my contacts and links them.  It talks to all my mail on G-Mail, Hotmail and Exchange.  It integrates with my Facebook, Flickr.  BingMaps takes me to places that I want to go, just like Google Maps once did on my iPhone. 


It doesn't have all the apps but it has everything I need.  I switched off my iPhone 6 months ago, and you know, I have never once turned it back on.  That phone was my life, and now I live without it.


Secondly, you know, I'm not alone, there are other people out there that love this phone.  Yes we're all waiting impatiently for Microsoft's first big update.  But we go on, and we love our little Windows Phone 7.

I was in a Microsoft SharePoint conference recently and at one point it was asked if anyone in the room had a Windows Phone - I proudly throw up my hand along with only a few others.  One lady in the front exclaimed: "I actually quite like my phone."  I didn't know your name, but you know what I wanted to say?  And I will say this here, publicly.


Me too!  Me too!  I love my Windows Phone 7.


I am a Microsoft partner.  The Windows Phone SDK is wide open to me.  I have written Windows Mobile applications before, and I know Silverlight back to front.  You know, if there's something missing in the phone, may be it's time to stop whinging and complaining about it, and just write a damn app to do it.

Microsoft will have to be as agile as they can, because the market demands them to be.  They do have a long way to catch up.  But as long as they remain relentless, I will stay with this platform.

So thus, I found my peace.  I hope others finds it soon as well.  Good luck Paul. 


By the way, if you haven't seen my cool phone yet, check out the YouTube video.  It's that awesome!