“We’re not just delivering our new operating system but also new software supplied by individual handset makers,”
Microsoft as begun rolling out the version 7.5 "Mango" update to its Phone 7 OS – but only 10 per cent of the user base will be getting it at first. Redmond is staggering the launch, with those 10 per cent of customers getting the update this Tuesday, and another 15 per cent within the next two weeks. In all, 98 per cent of …
1) can I have my own ringtone?
2) can I have my own SMS alert tone?
iOS still fails on both these basic requirements (solved it by jailbreaking long ago)... I would just like to know if MS is being as anal as Apple?
It's funny, every phone I had before my iPhone 3G allowed me to easily customise these super basic things, bizzare!
You can have your own ringtones but the method is like a sick joke. You must:
1. Crop your audio file yourself
2. Add it to your Zune library and put it in a Zune folder
3. Right click > Edit the file to change the genre to 'Ringtone'
4. Sync the device
That's a super crappy UX. Disclosure: I love my WP7 and can't wait for Mango. I just think the development of this particular feature must have bypassed any kind of sanity check. They gave it to a developer who made a proof-of-concept system and someone ticked the 'feature complete' box.
I've got my WiFi tablet and my WiFi laptop and quite frankly the reason I didn't by an iPhone was because Android offered the promise of free WiFi tether from my existing data bundle (that I am paying for). This was before Apple cottoned on how important it was and added it to the iPhone for free.
Microsoft, if I can't easily get my hands on a WiFi tethering Windows Phone it's a deal breaker. I love the sound of the voice recognition and the option to read out incoming texts with the control over bluetooth, hell I want IE9, but none of it will matter if you leave my gadgets without My Mobile WiFi.
(No I don't want mobile wifi in a separate device I have to remember to charge and take with me everywhere, or in several stupid 3G SIMs all on separate contracts. I want it in my phone!)
"There are, however, plenty of other features that can be used only if the network operators let you. The most desirable, enabling the phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to five users, is likely to come at a hefty fee from many providers."
I seem to recall that relatively recently the US carriers started to threaten customers who did this with various penalties if they did not buy a plan that included a fee for this facility. Currently I believe that Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all charge for tethering in one way or the other and customers risk punishment if they tether without permission.
From Sprints terms and conditions:
"Except with Phone-as-Modem plans, you may not use a phone (including a Bluetooth phone) as a modem in connection with a computer, PDA, or similar device. We reserve the right to deny or terminate service without notice for any misuse or any use that adversely affects network performance."
This has nothing to do with whether you run iOS, Android or WP7, the carriers are just being their usual selves - nothing to do with Redmond, Cupertino or Mountain View on this occasion.
An addendum to my previous post. It appears that all *new* phones released 'with* mango will be capable of tethering if (in common with iPhones and Android mobs) the carrier permits it. It is only currently existing WP7s that (at the present) that will not be able to use that facility.
This is an odd spin on it... a bunch of folks clamoring for the already announced features and responding to each other that "it's in there." I guess that's one way to call out the feature set without being too obvious a spambot. Subtlety's a nice touch.
Ah, Late summer in Redmond is a happy-sad time. This is the time of year that each Volista gets placed in his "bucket" for the prior year. There are five buckets and each is roughly a fifth of their merry crew. Do well, currently a 1 or 2, and you're well rewarded with bonuses. The middle of the pack gets a little gravy too, but are on notice that they need to step it up. The 4's are in career peril and cannot transfer from the toxic group that finds them unuseful. And our sad last quintile? Some of them receive their news in the presence of HR and are marched promptly off the premises. A few have a few months to put their affairs in order first. The remainder are on career rehab unlikely to last the year. It's a forced curve, meaning that even if they hired only Nobel Laureats who gave their all 90 hours a week for a year, even then a quintile is voted off. Think of it as your thanks from the company that for some (probably political) reason, eventually you'll be labelled "good attrition". Apparently there's a "Young Up Microsoft" campaign rolling now that makes retirement from there unlikely even if you play this game well. But on product launch, to stay true to my Title, there is almost always a development team "reorganization" that scatters the team, best and poorest, throughout the company to prove themselves anew or find themselves the sacrificial lambs next fall. Must be a great place to work.
I'm really looking forward to the outstanding levels of fail to be brought forth in the coming months from this thing. Typical statistical samples survey a few thousands, but by tracking Facebook new users we can get a sample in the millions per week range, as Panglozz (not me) does. If you care to, follow along here: http://j.mp/gl6Fom+ You will find on "Share of New Users" tab, in columns F and G, Windows Phone native client and Windows Phone Facebook client respectively.
Last week's numbers show 0.5 and 0.4 percent and trending down. You will find these numbers in line with credible reports, but out of sync with IDC and Gartner, and they track weekly with instant updates each week so you can see in near-real-time how it's working out. Know future article content in advance! Will this be the version of Windows Phone that finally turns it around and rockets one of these numbers above 2 percent? Or will this much-heralded version suffer the same fate as the similarly trumpeted prior two? Stay tuned.
I heard a From Our Own Correspondent a while back about Indian Army peacekeepers in Congo. One soldier the correspondent had encountered obviously had concerns about the people, but what I remember was what that he thought it was amazing there were so many mangos around and no-one was making mango chutney.
I plugged my phone in to sync it up last night and it offered me an update. Actually it was two updates, one which (judging by version numbers) presumably prepared the phone for Mango and the actual Mango update.
There is no great difference that I've initially noticed, the screen does seem slightly better, the icons are slightly crisper and there is more depth to images. There are a number of minor UI tweakes all of which are nice. IE has a nicer address bar, now in both landscape and portrate mode. "People" now has groups and the camera app will stamp your GPS location into the photo, if you want.
Anyway, it still works and it seems ok, I also keep finding new things, nothing has annoyed me - yet!
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