I want to like Windows Phone. I really, really do. Live tiles seem like they’d be exactly what I want out of a notification system. The overall design reminds me of my XBox, which is always a great way to get me interested. Not to mention the killer app for me, that camera.
Because of these reasons, I decided to give the Windows Phone another look. After all, last time I had decided Windows Phone wasn’t a viable option was 2011 after the Mango update had been released. So, I went over to the new Microsoft Store that just opened near me and played with one of the Nokia phones that are available on Verizon. After playing around with it for about ten minutes, I realized Windows Phone is still not an option for me.
- App Selection – I’d hoped that in two years the Windows Phone App Store would have improved. It has, but not enough. There are several big name apps still missing. No Instagram. No Pinterest. No Chrome (syncing is important to me). Some of the apps you have that are critical to me, like Spotify, have horrible reviews. I can’t get a phone that doesn’t have the big name apps I’ve come to expect from Android and iOS.
- Games – In my opinion, XBox is the best thing Microsoft has going for it (even though the XBox One fiasco seemed bent on changing that). So I was hoping the Windows Phone would be a gaming phone. But it’s not any more so than my iPhone. There are some big name exclusives, like Halo Spartan Assault, but not enough to push me towards Windows Phone.
- Confusing Platforms – When I buy a mobile device, I want the phone and tablet to be in the same ecosystem. I want to know, for the most part, my apps will work the both devices. Sure, there are some exceptions (some games are iPad specific, and won’t play on my phone). But the platforms you have are confusing. There’s Windows Phone, which is its own OS. There’s Surface RT which only runs RT versions of apps, and apps sold in the Windows Store. And lastly, there’s Surface Pro which is “practically” the same as Windows on the desktop. I’m just confused now.
- What Does it Have Again? – When I was doing research for this post, I learned a lot about Windows Phone that I wouldn’t have otherwise. When I searched for Spotify in the app store on the phone, I couldn’t find Spotify. But it’s listed as available on the app store site. I thought I had to pay a yearly fee for productivity software, until I did some extensive searching for the pricing and found out it’s included. Most people aren’t going to try this hard. They just want to know what comes with the phone.
- Our History – I’ve trusted you before Microsoft, and I’ve been hurt. Remember Zune? It was a really good MP3 player. It had streaming music. It had a good interface. But, you abandoned it. I watched as Apple continued to improve the iPod and release updates as my Zune became stagnant. I can’t help but fear you’ll eventually abandon Windows Phone as well.
I want to love the Windows Phone. I long for having my PC, phone, tablet, and set-top box to all play together. I want them all to be in the same ecosystem. I already have a Windows PC and set-top box (let’s face it, the XBox is a good set-top box in addition to being a game system). My contract is up for a new phone. But you just haven’t come far enough in two years. I just don’t think I can commit to you for two years. You still have some growing up to do.