I want to like Windows Phone. Scratch that, I want to love it. The UI is right up my alley, it feels slick, integrated, consistent and very pleasant to use. My problem, however, is that I bought in early.
I was an original Windows Phone 7 user, and although it was early days, I'd come from Windows Mobile 6.1 attracted by the lure of a [M|m]odern interface and an altogether more up to date experience. I really liked my Samsung Omnia 7, it looked great, felt good and the SAMOLED display popped with eye-searing colour, provided by Windows Phone's Metro interface.
However, Windows Phone 7 was merely a flashy front end on top of a CE back end, not something I had an issue with given I'd come from, and enjoyed, Windows Mobile, but Microsoft clearly had other ideas. It was more or less a UI beta for what would become Windows Phone 8
It would never receive native apps or super in-depth development because the core of the OS was soon to be ripped out and replaced by NT, and they knew it, there are Microsoft photos of NT running on handsets prior to Windows Phone 7's release. I believe it suffered greatly as a result of the split effort. WP7 also lacked many large apps and others it got long after other platforms, some of which it never got but WP8 since has, which also didn't help. It supported a limited number of chipsets, indeed the entire launch lineup were more or less identical in spec, and it didn't even support removable SD cards. Then the day came that Microsoft said that Windows Phone 7 devices could not be upgraded to Windows Phone 8. Call me naive for investing in the platform as early as I did, but I didn't expect them to just dump it for the next new shiny thing. I expected a solid development effort racing to put Windows Phone on par with the other platforms, but it never came. A little update here, the addition of copy/paste there, dribbling out bit by bit, but never quite satisfying. That left me feeling a little sour, believing I'd be missing out on what Windows Phone *should* have been from day one.
However, I've since often attempted to overlook that and give Windows Phone 8 the shot it likely deserves as a standalone product, aside from my feelings of Microsoft's behaviour and my mistake in showing my support. The problem I have with this, though, is not just that my trust has been damaged, but Windows Phone 8 hasn't had those headline features I expect it to have already. No USB OtG, no video out connectors, many software features absent or late to the party, and still some apps simply not there.
Perhaps I expect too much from my phone, I use Android very much like I would use a computer, I expect it to be flexible enough to serve any purpose I require it for, a digital multi-tool if you will. Given Android's massive app pool, connectivity options and ability to run applications which require deeper integration with the hardware, it's perfectly capable of doing this, but Windows Phone, despite being based on Windows NT and replacing its considerably more powerful grandfather, Windows Mobile, still can't offer me that power.
I do, genuinely, desperately, want Windows Phone to be that platform which provides me everything I need, everything I want, I know they can do it, they have the tools, they have the base to work from, they have the money, they're Microsoft! So why aren't they? Why is Windows Phone still lagging? Why are they not pushing it like a soon-to-be proud new mother pushing out a fat git of a child which will soon be paraded around and gleefully thrust in the face of anybody with eyeballs? These are the answers I need answering before I adopt Windows Phone again. I need to see it doing what I need now, not next month, not next year, not "it's maybe coming at some point perhaps if we can be arsed".
My eyes will be firmly on Windows Phone 10, an operating system which I fully expect to address these and other issues and show us all why Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 were worthwhile stepping stones. Because if it doesn't, I'll be questioning why I ever bothered in the first place - if they haven't got it right in all this time, I'm not convinced they ever will.