Skip to main content

Two Months On, How's Life Without Windows 10 Mobile?


Two months ago I caved in and abandoned Windows 10 as my smartphone platform. The stream of disappearing apps was becoming a flood and buyers were disappearing which was only going to worsen the situation. Meanwhile Microsoft was doing the minimum possible to keep the platform running - presumably in deference to close partner HP's newly launched Elite X3.

So after two months on the Xperia XZ what conclusions have I reached? Well as a core platform Windows 10 Mobile is still a top notch contender. The core platform is far from being enough and the failure to court developers has been a massive failure on Microsoft's part for so long now it's part of IT folklore.

There's something to be said about being able to go to the Play Store and access any application you could possibly want. 

The list of apps I have access to now is illuminating: my bank, my children's school, Air New Zealand, Qatar Airways, Emirates, the remote control app for my camera, IFTTT, NZ's civil defence app, the Nissan Connect app for my car, Pricespy, Pinterest, Pushbullet, my carrier's app.

Those are just the apps I use on a regular basis. Every one removes a mobile pain point.

What have I given up in exchange? I would have suggested Windows 10 Mobile's Live Tiles as the big differentiator, but given how few third parties are actually supporting them it isn't a big selling point.

Continuum? Android has that covered with DisplayLink support, and whilst there's no secondary display feature at least all Android apps will work on the big screen.

No, the only real downside to leaving Windows Mobile is the loss of Cortana and the wonderful job Microsoft has done of making it a truly useful personal assistant. Why won't Apple or Google allow their phones to be set to read new text messages over bluetooth? In the car this is just the most useful thing ever. Just one example of the thought Microsoft put into its assistant that doesn't become apparent until you go past the usual assistant test of asking a set of pointless questions.

Cortana gets things right. We're most likely to talk to our phones when we're in the car, its a huge safety feature in that environment. 

It's the only place I'm feeling the loss of Windows on my phone and that in itself speaks to how far Microsoft let its mobile platform fans down.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…