Windows Phone: So Close to Awesome

Windows Phone: So Close to Awesome

Windows phone 8

Ever since I could remember, I have always found myself rooting for the underdog. My favorite pro basketball team is the Sacramento Kings, if that gives you any idea. When all the kids started bringing iPods to school, I had a Zune. When iPhone’s started taking off I was the only kid at Natomas High with the mysterious new Google phone, the ‘G1′.  All of the kids who had the iPhone would try to compare what they had to my Google phone, which ran on this little known operating system they called ‘Android’. In many ways the iOS was better than Android, but again I like to look at a product not what it is now, but what it can become. Update after update the G1 got better. I remember the update that added turn-by-turn navigation, and not only was it better than any other phone navigation system in the phone market, it was free! Month after month my phone was getting better and by the end of its life cycle had twice the features on it than when I first bought it, and Android was the number one mobile OS on the market.

It was time to move on. Android was no longer the underdog. I set my sights on Windows Phone. After all, I loved my Zune, I loved my Xbox 360, my laptop was always on the most recent Windows Operating system, and this had to be a home run. Unfortunately Windows phone 7 was a step in the right direction, but fell flat on its face. Hardware was out dated quickly, horrible app support and seemingly very little integration with the rest of the Windows ecosystem. Not wanting to abandon ship too early I progressed to the Windows Phone 8.

The Phone I decided to go with was the HTC 8x, the phone I am still using to this very day. I love this phone more than any phone I have had previously. The WP8 Operating system is extremely snappy, quick to navigate, and less app-centric. To this day from a cold start I can open any program or navigate to any feature or app faster than my rival phone comparison person. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is when a friend or family member has an issue with their Android, and It takes me 15 minutes just to find the app with a problem because its always in a different freaking spot!  But I don’t want this to turn into a my phone can beat up your phone piece.. Let me get to the point.

As a huge fan of the Windows Phone platform, I’d be lying if I said there aren’t some major disappointments. These disappointments come from the same place as a parent who is upset with their child. My biggest gripe is with ‘XBOX Music’. XBOX Music is amazing on paper. It’s basically like Spotify, mixed with the ability of having access to your personal music collection and playlists through the cloud. Yes there are similar variations of this from the competition, but with how vast the Microsoft ecosystem is could present amazing advantages. The issue is that you need a paid subscription to utilize XBOX music.. An added fee on top of the annual fee I pay for XBOX Gold?? I need to pay Microsoft even more than I do currently to have access to my own music library or utilize the features of the ecosystem that other people get for free! As of a week or two ago if you have Android or iOS you can download the Spotify app and listen to music for free, with advertisements, but free nonetheless. This is the prime example of Microsoft missing the mark. Instead of burning a billion dollars in NFL advertising, lose a little money giving your users some things to brag about to their friends.

I want to see Windows Phone succeed but at this point they are holding themselves back. I love my phone, but honestly I am getting tired of holding out for Microsoft to connect the dots. The irony is that Windows Phone has been so close to being awesome for such a long time, and they are only holding themselves back.

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