Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 1st Feb 2013 18:25 UTC
Windows A few days ago, Microsoft released the long-awaited Windows Phone 7.8 update for all those users who will be stuck on Windows Phone 7 forever because there's no upgrade path to Windows Phone 8 other than buying a new phone. Now that it's here, what, exactly, does WP7.8 to the table?
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Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Fri 1st Feb 2013 19:01 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

Here's where I vent:

- Microsoft's handling of the Windows Phone 7 to Window Phone 8 situation is terrible. In fact, the entire development cycle of WP8 was haphazard and riddled with compromises and broken dreams.

- Microsoft purposely misled WP7 consumers by claiming that WP8 was incompatible. Anyone with software engineering chops knows that to immediately be bullshit. It takes a non trivial effort, sure, but it is my opinion that it was outweighed by the benefits.

- The Windows Phone SDK Platform team are DevDiv-istas and it shows in their design. Windows 8 is a thoughtful OS and developer platform. Windows Phone is a cobbled together platform which is only good if you compare it to other terrible platforms.

Microsoft isn't a cash strapped start up, they don't have to cut corners. Its time they start investing the proper resources into Windows Phone.

Silverlight may have been good enough in 2010, but it is 2013. Look at the WP8 SDK, its still Silverlight. The fact that besides the NT Kernel shift and a handful of new APIs, the platform received no significant improvement, is intolerable.

- You're spot on about the single project for WP7/WP8. Since Microsoft did not invest in bringing the WP8 SDK to feature parity with Windows 8, the least they could've done is make it simple to conditionally define differences in one single application platform.

There is no reason I should have to maintain two project solutions, submit two applications, manage two lines of communication, etc for apps that share > 95% common code.

- The porting of WinRT is a token gesture to WP8. Its useless without the WinRT based XAML stack. The only use case for it is when doing C++ DirectX Games, but not really (see below)

- The way you do DX and XAML interop is different for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 DESPITE them both using the Windows Runtime under the cover. Whoever made this f--king decision needs to be fired.

- The fact that they didn't make Roaming Cloud Storage across WP8 and Win8 (its excellent in Win8) is again a huge miss. Heads need to roll. Ditto for HttpClient. A majority of the code differences come down to HttpClient (which is excellent on Win8) and HttpWebRequest/WebClient on WP8.

- The sorry excuse for a bandaid that is the PCL (Portable Class Libraries). I don't want to use a black magic hack to get my code to be portable across the XAML stacks. I want there to not be so many XAML stacks. Fix the root cause not the symptoms.

- Windows Phone 7.8 is an example of everything that is wrong with Microsoft. It is a bone that was thrown to early adopters, but it's the smallest one imaginable. It almost feels like they did enough to make most people shut up. What they consider enough really isn't enough.

- Xbox Music is a mess on every platform. Whoever f--king screwed this up should be summarily terminated from Microsoft. This entire team is incompetent. It is slow, glitchy, and incomplete. Do NOT replace existing working solutions with broken crappy ones.

I think I've spoken for long enough. Microsoft needs to realize that this isn't a market they lead. This isn't something they can afford to leave to chance. They can't let internal company politics relegate Windows Phone to a second class citizen state within the company. There needs to be some accountability for why there has not been more significant traction in this amount of time.

Nokia, god bless them, has been helping Microsoft and Windows Phone tread water for about a year now. Unfortunately, treading water is the same as drowning when mobile is such a crucial part of their strategy moving forward.

They owe it to the OEMs that have invested significant time into the platform to be doing their absolute best to foster growth. I don't believe this is happening right now.

I often defend Windows Phone and especially Nokia because I think they get a bad rap and people tend to exaggerate their shortcomings and hope for their demise irrationally, however, I am a realist and I do not blindly make excuses for someone who does not deserve them.

This isn't 2010 anymore. They need to get their act together.

Edited 2013-02-01 19:05 UTC

Reply Score: 19

RE: Comment by Nelson
by bentoo on Fri 1st Feb 2013 19:38 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

I dont know. I'm happy I get an update on a two year old phone (even if it isn't substantiative). Now if I had bought the phone in the past six months I probably wouldn't feel the same way.

(Sorry was supposed to be a comment on the origional article not Nelsons dev related comment.)

Edited 2013-02-01 19:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Fri 1st Feb 2013 22:57 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Lumia 900 is less than a year old, and the Lumia line is the most successful in sales.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by leos on Fri 1st Feb 2013 23:03 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

I dont know. I'm happy I get an update on a two year old phone (even if it isn't substantiative). Now if I had bought the phone in the past six months I probably wouldn't feel the same way.


This is called battered Android user syndrome. For them, any update is better than the status quo, even if it is totally useless.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE: Comment by Nelson
by elzurawka on Fri 1st Feb 2013 19:41 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
elzurawka Member since:
2005-07-08

I find it odd that Thom has such a crush on Windows Phone 8. While it does do a lot of new things in different ways, different isn't always good. The way they have done the Metro interface on the phones is not at all appealing to me.

When i heard about Windows phone 8 before release I thought it would support things like AD integration, which would allow business to easy adopt it.

I have recently found out that the phones do not even offer support for EAP-TLS when connecting to wireless networks, and it's not a feature which they have defined for future releases. How can this phone be taken seriously in the business world, when it can't even support the basic requirements of most businesses. I never thought I would see the day when Microsoft is trying to catchup with Apple when it comes to offering a business friendly device...

Windows Phone 8 will suffer the same fate as Windows Phone 7. When version 9 comes up, you will have an expensive device which cannot be upgraded, and is missing key features. It may be a decent consumer phone, but it is by no means ready for business.

_EL

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by bentoo on Fri 1st Feb 2013 20:00 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

Windows Phone 8 will suffer the same fate as Windows Phone 7. When version 9 comes up, you will have an expensive device which cannot be upgraded, and is missing key features.


Really no different than any Android phone then. I mean, how many made the jump from GB to ICS or to JB? Look how many haven't even made the incremental step from 4.1 to 4.2.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by jnemesh on Fri 1st Feb 2013 20:12 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
jnemesh Member since:
2008-04-08

Very misleading comparing phone OS updates to desktop OS updates. If I have a 2 year old PC, I wont get a new OS for free (unless I am smart and running Linux!), but I CAN run the new OS! Not true of WP7 devices! You can not hack it to run WP8, no matter what. Other Android phones that didn't get official upgrades can be upgraded if you know what you are doing...my 2 1/2 year old Sprint Epic has Jelly Bean loaded on it, even though it never got that as an "official" upgrade. Are these phones out of beta yet?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by tkeith on Fri 1st Feb 2013 19:49 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
tkeith Member since:
2010-09-01

Funny there hasn't been more coverage on this. I almost forgot what Microsoft did to their WP7 users. Android gets so much bad press from fragmentation, but at least there are reasons for that.(custom skins, varied phone specs, manufacturers/carriers in charge of updates, ect)

But really Microsoft isn't really obligated to push major releases to old devices. You don't get a free upgrade on the desktop version of Windows, why it is expected on mobile? My only guess is that we kept hearing how much better Microsoft's update strategy was.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Fri 1st Feb 2013 23:16 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

There are a lot of technical issues that would stop anyone from wanting to upgrade. It's the same as the issues with upgrading Galaxy S to 4.0 and inability for Nexus One type devices to get a 4.0 at all.

At the time of development some assumptions were made, that did not have any grounds in reality. For Android and WP7 it's the unified storage space(iPhone had it from the beginning). You would have to go through a very error prone and dangerous procedure that requires expert level knowledge to upgrade SGS and any WP7 device(not to mention the requirements to upgrade Nexus One type device)

In short blame here is for short-sighted approach to creating future proof requirements for devices, not malice or inability to execute.

Reply Parent Score: 2

tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

The reason that Microsoft has so many XAML stacks is simple. Each division wants its own XAML stack. Remember that Microsoft's divisions are practically independent companies.

So that's why Microsoft ended up with three versions of XAML. (1) The DevDiv version, called WPF. (2) The Windows 8 version, called WinRT. (3) The Windows Phone 8 version, which is not-exactly-WinRT.

Plus, you have two deprecated XAMLs. (4) The second DevDiv version, called Silverlight. (5) The Windows Phone 7 version, based on Silverlight.

--

This isn't even scratching the surface. Microsoft has *four* Ribbons, *two* Visual C++ runtime libraries, *three* online storage solutions, *two* email/calendar servers, and *three* instant-messaging products.

In most cases, it's because the products live in different divisions. Basically, each division within Microsoft wants to be its own Microsoft.

Reply Parent Score: 9

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Dude this really starts to resemble Nokia mobile Api on QT fiasco ( before Quick).

Reply Parent Score: 3

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I can all be summed up in - Microsoft's NIH syndrome problem.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by cdude on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 09:36 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

When reading that comprehensive list I got reminded of "The Two Forces at Microsoft" from http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/APIWar.html

The article was written when Vista was in development. It hits the central problem Microsoft had and still has since then.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by ronaldst on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 14:23 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

It's sad.

What's even more sad is how the email app on Mango is way better than the hack job that's included in Windows 8. The Windows 8 team has terrible app designers. It's beyond me why do these apps have less functionality because they're codified in Metro UI.

I still feel dirty about Auto-Hide Panels.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 20:14 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

My feelings on the app bar are mixed:

My own findings show that a majority of people can actually find and use the app bar setting in my apps, but there is a shrinking minority of people who cannot.

I provide little hints around my app (auto showing the app bar during some situations) which help guide them, but there still is an education problem surrounding it.

I think this is the same for any OS feature in the past though. Its hard to get people to use things the way you envision them. Microsoft provided the same type of statistics for the Start Menu during Windows 7's engineering cycle.

Reply Parent Score: 3