back to article Microsoft polishes Windows Phone 7

Steve Ballmer took the opportunity of his MWC keynote to tell people what Windows Phone 7 will be like this time next year, and remind them how great it already is. Despite already being great, Windows Phone 7 will see some upgrades later this year - multitasking, of a sort, and lots of Sky Drive integration along with IE9 and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    And they want us to buy this?

    After infiltrating Nokia and destroying everything that was good about them?

    Steve, go fuck yourself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Despite a thumbs up given

      I don't think you can blame Balmer for Nokia's suicide

    2. nadsack
      Jobs Halo haters so predictable..

      Infiltrating :LOL..

      The nokia guys probably begged them to put wp7 on. I mean lets face facts, Symbian was a dead OS anyway. You have to admit that even if you hate MS with a passion.

      I think alot of people here haven't even picked up a wp7 phone to even play with it. Once you do you will realise how pathetic Symbian became and why it was killed. Symbian had potential when nokia picked it up but frankly Nokia has shown it is not an OS developer leaving the OS undeveloped with no encouragement for developer support compounding the problem.

      Best move Nokia made was giving up Symbian. Now I'm sure they'll go with WP7 and maybe later put in android but they can finally get back to doing what they are great at. Engineering the hardware of a fantastic mobile phone and leaving the OS development to people who are competent and have it as a core business.

      1. Davidoff

        Symbian is great

        I can't see why Symbian is outdated: it was designed for low ressource consumption and does true multitasking and cut&paste for ages. Since it has been designed for low ressource consumption (unlike WM/WP7, Android or iOS!) can do with a slower CPU than what would be necessary for WP7, iOS or Android. And while 1GHz may look more impressive than 600MHz, one thing that should be remembered is that the clock rate heavily affects power consumption and thus battery lifetime. That's why Symbian phones operate much longer on a battery charge than comparable smartphones with WP7 or Android, or even the iPhones.

        The only thing that is outdated with Symbian is the GUI (Nokia in its ignorance decided to uplift the button-centric S60 GUI to touch operation when there already were GUIs like UIQ which have been designed for touchscreens and which would have provided a much better starting point for a modern user interface), but that is not unfixable. The reason why nothing happened is purely down to Nokia's soviet-style management. In such an environment progress will always be slow and minimal at best, no matter if the OS is Symbian, MeeGo, Android or WP7.

        Really, if you think that killing Symbian for a platform that means unified software, GUI and hardware and which in 2011 still lacks basic things like cut&paste and multitasking actually is a good thing then you're truly delusional. There is a reason why until very recently Symbian was the dominant smartphone OS.

        1. Shakje


          Let's be honest, 90% of people who buy a phone might be vaguely interested in battery life, will have some interest in the camera, but you know what? You give someone a phone that's shiny and easy to use and they'll be sold on it. Under the hood Symbian is a pretty good OS, but things like Ovi, a dire, DIRE touch-screen GUI which was hopelessly bolted on at the last minute, and slowness in the UI (which, given the slimline nature of Symbian is unforgivable) meant that people were being put off buying Nokia phones. Do you think it would matter if they released another version of Symbian? Or do you think that if someone has a really bad experience with an OS, or even a manufacturer, they'll go back that easily?

          "Really, if you think that killing Symbian for a platform that means unified software, GUI and hardware and which in 2011 still lacks basic things like cut&paste and multitasking actually is a good thing then you're truly delusional."

          You know what, I kind of agree with you. WP7 is generally a really good OS though, I've played around with it and it's easy to use and reasonably intuitive. While we're talking about delusional, you're actually arguing the case for an OS which doesn't orientate the screen 4 ways from the accelerometer, forcing you to remember which 2 ways up you can use it.

          For the record, I'm an MS fb, but I do have an iPhone, because it does what I need it to and (yup) it's shiny and easy to use. If there had been a W7 Nokia out I would probably have gone for it, simply because I love their phone cameras.

          1. Robert E A Harvey
            Gates Horns

            Back story

            My wife has bought me various toys at Christmas time. The palm V was brilliant, life changing. I was able to debug NMEA navigation systems with the RS232 port, connect to sun servers with telnet & vnc & get my cix mail with a modem. Brilliant, simple, never went wrong.

            She bought me a linux pda once, for which no updates ever came, So next time she bought me a windows phone/pda from HP, thinking that M$ could be relied on if it didn't work. Guess what.?

            Then I got a windows phone to take to Korea. ver 6 Garbage, absolute garbage. Then I got bought a newer one with GPS, and never got that to accept my address book, or send sms. or run any gps software.

            That's getting on for a thousand quid of our money down the toilet on Redmond's earlier efforts, partly because there were no working alternatives. Why should I take yet another punt, especially when their trading practices are so consumer-unfriendly? And when I do now have a choice?

      2. Andy ORourke

        You almost think.....

        that people read the reviews, check out the hardware & software then make sensible, reasoned comments. Go on, you are new here arent you :-)

      3. Anonymous Coward

        Oh Jesus. I just didn't know whether to laugh or cry ...

        "leaving the OS development to people who are competent and have it as a core business"

        face, meet palm ...

        You just have to be fucking kidding.

        Or a troll.

    3. Giles Jones Gold badge

      You have to laugh

      Good old Microsoft, wowing audiences with up and coming technology that you can already buy elsewhere.

      Except that the up and coming Microsoft version will be cheaper and more accessible. Except it won't be because Microsoft has uncharacteristically prevented any low end handsets by setting minimum requirements very high. It is less accessible in that you have to buy a phone to get it and there are less models.

      So compared to their strengths in the desktop market it's clear to see that there's an uphill struggle for Microsoft ahead.

      It's not that it's a bad OS, it's just about three years too late.

    4. Bear Features

      infiltrating? lol

      Because Symbian really had it going on LOL

  2. Robert E A Harvey
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft polishes Windows Phone 7

    "Turd, meet Cherry Blossom".

    1. N2 Silver badge


      Lipstick on a pig

  3. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

    Now, Can I Have A C++ API ?

    Not ? Oh, I'll take that 150 Euro Bada phone from Aldi then.

  4. Bilgepipe


    "It's a nice idea, though how, and if, that translates into products is harder to understand."

    I heard one of the first games will be Super Chair Tosser. The title kills two birds with one stone.

    "Windows Phone 7. It's great, it really is. Honest."

    1. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule
      Thumb Up

      @Bilgepipe: Yay !

      You made my, errm, evening.

  5. Steve Evans


    Playing audio in the background? How very Symbian 2004...

    Mines the one with the new Android phone in the pocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Because my WP7 already plays audio in the background...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ballmer is starting to sound like a teenager

    What do you mean, "starting to?"

    he's been acting like a teenager for years.

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Yeah, but

      Look at him.

      He's not about to get a girlfriend anytime soon, which means we're stuck with him stropping around our (metaphorical) houses for a while yet.

      I will laugh if he goes EMO, though.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Ahahaha - best line EVAR!

    "Ballmer is starting to sound like a teenager who's just discovered a life-changing movie, convinced that if everyone could see what he can see they too would discover just how perfect the platform is, and immediately abandon any previous loyalty."

    That sums up my impression of the situation pretty well.

  8. blodwyn

    How does he keep a straight face?

    So in 2012 it will have caught up to 2009? And that's how great it is? Oh and by the way Steve, copying what others have been doing for years is not innovation.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Steve, go fuck yourself."....

    ...with a nokia phone, as that is all they'll be good for.

  10. Shonko Kid

    "...but integration is reserved for Microsoft's own developers."


    They seriously think that's the way to woo developers? Who do they think they are? Apple?!?

  11. Quxy

    "Despite already being great"?

    ...he said, with his tongue firmly in his cheek...

    Erm, right?

  12. Erno Aho

    What does WP7 have that others don't have?

    I could list quite a lot of things missing from WP7 that all it's competitors have. For example:

    But does anyone know any WP7 killer feature that others don't have?

    1. A handle is required

      It's killer feature is that...'s not made by Apple.

    2. pepper

      our favorite colour

      Must be bluescreens. Just so you really can get the windows feeling!

  13. Simon Buttress

    Re: And they want us to buy this?

    I'd say nokia were doing a damn good job of destroying everything that was good about themselves way before Microsoft got involved.

  14. ahayes


    It's a polished turd!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      polishing a turd

      Rub on it all day long, you still can't make it shine.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      As a Pole...

      ...I strongly resent and protest associating me or my fellow countrymen with this piece of crap.

  15. Average-Developer
    Dead Vulture

    It is still big chunck of bad coded code.

    If you saw the source of WM CE. I think you would never ever buy this phone.

    But, how to bake from this "(cannot chose the baddest word)" the 30% share smartphone market phone.

    It is real hustle.....

    Microsoft and Nokia.


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh look...

    It's already started - loads of people who've never used a WinPhone 7 device and hate MS commenting like they're industry anylists.

    1. Avatar of They
      Thumb Down

      I've used a WP7 phone.

      It's shite.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Oh, I see now...

        Thanks for the in-depth analysis.

        1. Rebajas

          How do you know that...?

          How do you know they've never used a WP7 device?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            Well, obviously I don't know for certain, but various comments are factually wrong and others are devoid of anything except bad language and abuse.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Well done Ballmer

    Wow MS well done, you're really catching up to the rest of the class, here's your star. Oh damn, there's no stars on El Reg, well here's a shiny grenade then.

    I'm actually glad they got into the mobile space, we needed entertainment from the real mobile battle and who else but the expert buffoons at Microsoft to give it to us.

    Funniest thing is they might even get the networks to swallow this "being friendly" business.

  18. pan2008

    for all the fandroids

    If you are you dare some comparisons of an Android with a Windows phone 7 then here are some videos...

  19. Kingprawn

    I think it's a good move.

    I hope it goes well for Nokia and MS, after all another big player and, hopefully, good OS and hardware can only be good for driving competition and advances in the mobile arena. I for one welcome that because it'll be me that benefits in the long run.

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Monty Burns

      nail on the head

      ", it always works as describes, never lags and generally just works - None of which I can say about the other platforms."

      Exactly. I've had and Omnia 7 and now WP7 on my HD2, how many times have I had to reboot them? Give you a clue, its less than once a month.

      How many slow downs/lag pauses have I had? NONE.

      No one in there right mind would claim it has all the features of the other OS's BUT what it does, it does VERY well.

      Roll on the first patch.

  21. stim

    Wp7 rulez (i can be a skool kid too!)

    Having had my Samsung Omnia 7 since the official launch on Oxford St back in October, i can honestly say this is the best handset i have ever used!

    It is just brilliant. I've had an iphone 3G in the past too, i also used a 4G again the other day and it really felt 'old' in comparison to this thing. Wp7 is so fluid and works so well as a mobile OS. I do agree people really should use it before bashing it - and i mean use it - like for a month or so, not just a quick 5 mins demo and then write it off...

    i am happy to look at any tech going and really don't like this modern world of slamming everything from certain manufacturers... if it's good, it deserves credit, and this time, despite what many people like to think, Microsoft have definitely produced something truly impressive.

    Can't wait for the future updates and the integration with Nokia is going to be fantastic no doubt, seeing how well they produce hardware.

  22. jim 45

    and no I am not a shill, thank you for asking

    I walked into a store to try a W7 phone, expecting to hate it, and ended up buying it. It's a very nice UI: simple, clean, obvious and readable.

    But MS has always, for reasons that are hard to fathom, allowed their hardware "partners" to turn the product into a steaming pile of pre-installed crapware that takes 5 minutes to boot and never stops tormenting you with inane popups. So let's see what happens. I'm pessimistic about the long term.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Me too

      That's pretty much what happened to me as well.

  23. Jim Coleman
    Gates Halo

    Oh yeah baby

    Great to see WP7 ploughing ahead - with Nokia, the world's largest phone manufacturer, onboard, it now has all the manufacturer support it needs. It's already the smoothest, slickest phone OS on the market and with these coming updates it will become one of the most functional too. IE9 renders HTML5 much faster than Safari, so we'll be seeing rich HTML5 applications running like Olympic sprinters on WP7 and like shackled asthmatics on iOS.

    The implementation of Cut 'n' Paste and Multitasking should shut the whingers up, and it's nice to see that background-running music streaming services will have access to the pop-up media controls accessed via the volume buttons. Twitter integration into the people hub will really make the phone a proper social networking device, and the use of Windows Live, Facebook and Twitter will be completely seemless.

    Nokia sell 100 million phones a year - and that's with a shite OS on board (Symbian). With WP7, the sky's the limit and Nokia know this, as do the carriers who seem very upbeat about it all. I look forward to watching WP7 carve out a decent market share, it's an OS that really deserves its place at the top.

  24. David Gale

    Multitasking - Have people forgotten already?

    Multitasking? Erm didn't Windows Mobile pre WP7 do that anyway? I've been 'playing music in the background' since about 2003 on everything from an XDAIIi on Pocket PC to my current Sony Xperia running WM6.1. I can also suspend apps and return to them as required.

    Perhaps that's why the HPC HD2 is holding its second-user value so well. 1Ghz processor, WM6.5 AND a memory slot! With the XDA developer community already providing as much customisation of the OS as you could possibly want, a few of us realises that, paradoxically, Microsoft invented the open source Mobile OS a long time ago. I'll grant you it's no consumer phone but then WP7 is no business phone either. I WANT a Pocket PC. WP7 just demonstrates that Microsoft couldn't make WM pay!

    1. Jim Coleman
      Thumb Up

      You fail to understand...

      WP7 already has multitasking, it's just that MS locked that down from 3rd party developers. Now they're going to allow it on a limited basis to apps that need it, such as IM and music streaming apps, and they're adding the interface to allow the switching. They always said they'd start out locked down for safety, then open up as required. Now they're doing that. So don't go all "we've had this for years", WP7 had the capability from the start, it's simply a question of who's allowed to use it. MS's approach is pragmatic.

      1. David Gale


        Are you trying to argue that Windows Mobile didn't have it? We have had this for years. Just because they're opening it up on WP7, doesn't make it a new feature.

        1. Jim Coleman
          Gates Halo


          No I am not implying anything about the old Windows Mobile. The new feature is the task switcher, which is a visual swipe-able screenshot-based system which is actually new. Multitasking is obviously not, nor is it missing from WP7.

          1. David Gale

            That's a graphical interface

            That's a graphical interface on top of existing functionality.

            1. Jim Coleman
              Gates Halo


              Yes it is. What's your point? You seemed to be arguing WP7 didn't have multitasking, but now you're saying it's existing functionality and I've completely lost track of what you're trying to say.

              Multitasking exists in WP7, all MS are doing is allowing certain apps to utilize it, and giving users a nice interface to it. It's not that hard to grasp, and yes it is a step up from what WM6.5 had, because WM6.5 allowed all apps to multitask, which is an exceedingly bad idea and leads to performance and battery drain. Plus WM6.5 did not have a visual interface to the open apps, it just had a task list.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Android shows search via voice..

    ooohhhhhh so last year. WP7 has been doing that since release. I can see these posts been a circular argument

  26. Steve 72

    Time to dust this off then

    Perfect for a Win7 phone.

  27. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    Add some configuration Ballmer you idiot!

    Hotmail had us add every contact we didn't want to go to the spam folder, and there is no way to stop these from being sync'd to the address book in WinPho7.

    Such a simple thing, but it made me choose Android instead.

  28. Mark .

    Re: Symbian is great

    I agree with Davidoff - I love my Symbian phone. Having said that, if Nokia also see Windows Phone as a better platform for future development, then that's fine too.

    I can't help noticing there being two sides: people who love Nokia (and Symbian), hating the move to WP; and people who hate Nokia (and MS), and using this as an opportunity to moan about them yet again.

    Heaven forbid we wait and see how it turns out. It's just an OS.

    Shakje: You can make your claims all you want - but the fact of the matter is that more people are "sold" on Nokia smartphones, than from any other company. Sure, not everyone prefers Symbian, but Davidoff's point is that there is still plenty of good about it. And if you're saying that no one cares about the OS - well that's even more reason why this move to WP shouldn't be a problem, as Nokia will still sell the hardware, and be the market leader.

    "Good old Microsoft, wowing audiences with up and coming technology that you can already buy elsewhere."

    Well, it worked okay for the Iphone...

    1. Magnus_Pym

      phone OS functionality????

      It doesn't matter how good the OS is any more. All the manufactures care about is what the carriers think and all the carriers care about is about is how easy it is to sell apps to the punters.

      Symbian was designed to promote good programming practice for the sake of memory usage and battery life. It's not so easy to work on as some and this is seen as a weak point because it puts off some developers and shrinks the 'marketplace'. It's a damn shame Nokia let it slide.

  29. Christian Berger

    What's the usage scenario?

    Suppose I want to take a picture with the internal camera? I snap the picture, then I want to transfer it to my PC. Does SCP work? Does FTP work? Can I access shared folders? Can I use Bluetooth OBEX? Can I use USB mass storage? Can I remove the SD-card and put it into a reader?

    Unfortunately the answer to all of those is 'no'.

    There's nothing you can actually do with those devices. They are less useful than 'feature phones', but cost a _lot_ more.

    1. pan2008

      of course!

      I would upload directly to my skydrive or facebook (if you use it) so saved for ever and available to anyone you choose. Else go home and access it via Xune, it does the job well but i am sure some more updates will give even more options.

  30. David Simpson 1



    People rave about how updates work with WP7 compared to Android yet no update has arrived yet and the first one claimed is already late.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Hmmmm ...

    Interesting how many pro-MS trolls have turned up on this one.

  32. NoneSuch

    The Gospel according to Ballmer

    "nearly multitasking", wow...

    I am nearly interested...

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