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Why I left Windows Phone

So yesterday I got my Samsung Galaxy S3. It is a great phone, but I felt kind of bummed out because the device I replaced was my HTC Trophy, a Windows phone. This ended my 1 year plus use of the Windows Phone OS and sent me back to Android once again. Why? There were a few reasons for this, I just wanted to name a few.

1. Hardware - Anyone who jumped in on Windows Phone's only offering to Verizon customers at the time knew that the hardware was below par of most Android devices offered at the time. Lack of SD card and display made it a mediocre choice, but the new OS was intriguing enough to draw me in. I had an Xperia Play (another disappointing phone Sony)  and decided to trade it for my Trophy. Though the screen and camera were not on par with Sony's offering, I really wanted to give it a try. Being a Zune HD user made the transition pretty easy & the interface was beautiful. Again, hardware was lacking, but driven by an innovating OS. New hardware specs are pretty much on par with recent Android devices, but that cannot make up for....

2. Software - I found my Trophy had a few hiccups once in a while. Nothing too bad, but apps would sometimes force close or not even open at all. There was a single upgrade that could not be done OTA, but had to be hooked up to Zune to download and install. This was not too much of a issue at first, but why no OTA over at least WiFi? It would come to be a non issue since the Trophy was the bastard child of Verizon, put in a room somewhere; forgotten about and left to just sit there with no updates whatsoever. After a while, I got frustrated and turned to XDA for custom builds. One was a 7.8 build which made the OS slightly more appealing, but still had OS issues with apps. Speaking of.....

3. Apps & Marketplace - This was the major flaw with WP. No apps. Sure there were a few offerings, but nothing compared to iOS or Android. I know WP is newer to the market and had claimed a huge increase in apps, but from what I could see, nothing worth bragging about. One example was Draw Something. This game had come and gone, gone even further, and then was given life on WP, well sort of given life. It was buggy, crashed constantly, and finding someone to play with was hardly worth the effort. Other games like Mini Squadron and Final Fantasy ran perfect and provided a lot of entertainment. Oh, Physibricks was also a great one! Other apps were nothing more than web page conversions. The entire time I used my phone I only had good experiences with the Engadget app (when using 3G, WiFi was slower for some reason) and the Zune software, which was the best integrated music software ever imo. Songs loaded fast and the huge marketplace made it easy to get any song you wanted. This is the one feature I really loved about WP. I could be somewhere, hear a song, hit the search button and select music. Not only would it find the song, it would take me to the market to download it though my ZunePass. Spotify, Pandora, IHeartRadio, none of these services could hold a match to Zune Pass on WP. This is the only thing I will miss on Android, well, until Xbox music has it App up and running, and if it is as nice as its WP counterpart.

Microsoft, you want to sell devices, then invest in the developers like you did with Xbox. You got Nokia which was an awesome start, but you knew the market you were getting into and knew what your competitors had out there. You should have gone in stronger than this. Offer developers 100% of their profits, 1 year of  Xbox music free with new device, $0.99 app submit fee, free development software, big incentives for developers to bring apps over from other OS's, $2.99 for Angry Birds?, bring more of your Xbox live titles to mobile,  and tap your home developers (XDA!) to see what you could do to bring customers. Start off big and work with handset developers and get their involvement. Its not too late to get things fixed, but to get me to come back to Windows phone and some others to leave iOS and Android, you need to get better fast or go the route of Kin.

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Re: Why I left Windows Phone

To each their own.  Good luck.

My wife just left Android for an 8x.  I've had 3 android phones in a row and will be going to W8 once my contract is up.  IMO, the problem isn't the software.  I believe the UI and OS is just as good, if not better than the others.  My beef is with the hardware.  It's almost as if the manufacturers want W8 to fail so they keep releasing it on a pathetic platform.

I understand the business model in covering all your price points, but enough of the low-end options.  The 8x is the only flagship phone on Verizon now, and it could easily be mid-tier (hardware wise) if another manufacture put out something that's considered leading edge NOW.

And the constant points about "weak apps" is just relative.  How many apps in each market place are good?  Android has what, 500K apps?  How many are garbage?  I bet 80% or more.  Same goes for Apple and even Microsoft.  But still, if 80% of apps are garbage (they are), that leaves about 25K W8 apps that are decent or better.  HOW MANY DO YOU NEED?  There isn't a single app that my wife used on android that she can't find on W8.

Re: Why I left Windows Phone

You are right, to each their own.

I agree, the UI and the OS are good, but lacking in what is offered by the other two major OS's. Each one has their good and bad, but some more than others. You are right about low end options. I do like the 8X a lot, but after using other hardware besides HTC, I decided to give Samsung a try. The new WP8 hardware has started to look a lot more appealing, even in more ways than the normal Android offerings, but performance is still on par with what handset creators have been pushing on Android 6 months earlier.Dual Core processor, good GPU, MicroSD card slot, 4G, HD display. These are stats you could find in most Android devices a year ago. Now, does Windows phone need to surpass these stats? Not really, but its nice to have a somewhat future proof device that won't be obsolete 3-6 months after you get it with no chances of updating (WP7 users feel me on this). Microsoft set a standard HW requirement for WP7 and guess what, hardware manufactures stuck with it. Why? Because MS didn't allow a lot of the features that other phones had, weak strategy. Don't release behind the curve software if its not on par with your competition because you get behind the curve hardware to run it.

Weak apps is a definite description I still stand by. MS made a huge deal about app requirements and efforts to get developers to create apps that fit well into the WP7 environment. I saw very little of this if any. Even top name apps are buggy at best (ESPN, CNN, LinkedIn). I've used these apps on iOS and Android and the quality far exceeds those on WP. I don't need a lot of apps, just ones that are useful and functional for my everyday personal and professional use. If I can't depend of developers of major apps to provide high quality apps for a high quality OS, then what is the use? I can tell you there were many productive apps on my Android phones that I could not find on WP. Now, this could be because of WP7/8 app compatibility, but could not be sure.

Again, I wish I could had been more excited about WP8, but from my WP7 use, I could not trust entering into a 2 year contract with another unproven OS. I hope WP8 has majorly improved over its predecessor so I will be able to go back to a MS product, but until then, I'd feel better investing in a proven OS.