After many months of my Nokia Lumia Windows Phone, I am frustrated

OK I have been diligent in using this phone, I really want MSFT to have a competitive offering in the phone space, it would be good for me as a customer and good for the region.

But I am starting to get frustrated, and looking forward very much to my next phone.

* Back button versus Home button. If you enter an app from the Home screen, it is a fresh new copy, always. If you enter from the back button, you come back where you were. So suppose you are drafting an email, go to the browser to grab a url to stuff in the email. If you get back to email via the homescreen, your in-process message is gone. F^&k. You have to go back using the back button. Stupid. Annoying. Bites me every freaking day, several times. Apps should remember where they were.
* The bottom row buttons become unresponsive once a day — the home, back, search buttons. No amount of pressing helps. Reboot. This is extra special if you were composing something, jumped to the browser to get a url, and then can’t get back. Grrr.
* Prominence of the Bing button. Way too easy to hit unintentionally, I constantly bring up the Bing page which I never want. It is not that I hate Bing, it is just that I can easily search from the browser address bar and I don’t need a big freaking button that is too easy to hit on the device.
* Spontaneous TellMe invocation. No idea why but at least once a day, the voice reco dialog pops up. Often when I set the phone down at night and plug it in — about 10 seconds after setting it down, TellMe pops up. No idea why. Voice reco blows (on all phones) and I never need this feature.
* Tabbed browsing. Something is wrong with it, it is way less intuitive than with the iphone, I don’t understand when tabs are created or reused. I end up never using tabs.

Very soon, this phone is headed for retirement. What will I get next? Well I will wait to see the purported September iPhone refresh and make a decision then. The Nokia hardware is solid and I like it, but I don’t feel great about the overall experience, and I’m still pissed that this device has been orphaned by MSFT. I could go Android as well, the Android user in the family is very happy.

Tough week for Microsoft OEM partners, mixed for users

Microsoft had a busy week running over OEMs:

* “Microsoft Surface”:http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en/us/default.aspx seems like a very interesting product, the announcement did the job of generating buzz (and probably stalling enterprise iPad purchases, which was likely a key factor in announcing this early), and it was a move MSFT had to make — the existing OEM model has been getting killed by the superior Apple integrated design, retail, and support experience. So the right move by MSFT, but they threw over 25 year relationships with OEMs to make it happen. It will be fascinating to see how OEMs respond — goaded to create even better Windows products, run to Android, other? I wonder if MSFT will license all the nice keyboard and cover technology to OEMs if they want to build Surface-like machines.
* “Windows 8 not coming to existing Windows Phones”:http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57456655-94/no-windows-phone-8-upgrade-for-current-devices/. No new news here, Microsoft just confirmed they are abandoning existing Windows Phone devices. Sure they are backporting some of the UI features, but I don’t expect any new significant app to ever appear for the existing Windows Phones, and that sucks. As a user, I will certainly walk away from the device as soon as it makes sense (likely iPhone 5 time). And how must Nokia feel after pinning their corporate strategy to Windows Phone — there is no way Lumia sales improve on this news.
* And of course Nokia is now on deck. MSFT just demonstrated a willingness to dump 25 year relationships to achieve MSFT’s goals. How patient will MSFT be with Nokia? Not very.

When I joined MSFT in the 80s, MSFT was selling its LAN products through 3Com and other OEMs, and MSFT blew up those relationships when they didn’t pan out. Right move for MSFT, tough on 3Com. In the early 90s, the IBM relationship played out the same way. Again the right move for MSFT. And these current moves seem right for MSFT.

As a user I’m pretty unhappy about the phone situation and I will probably dump my Windows Phone, but I am pretty happy about competition in the tablet space, it will result in better choices for all of us.

UPDATE: “DF points”:http://daringfireball.net/2012/06/surface_between_rock_and_hardware_place to “this excellent article on asymco”:http://www.asymco.com/2012/06/20/who-will-be-microsofts-tim-cook/ which digs into the numbers for msft behind the decision to bypass the oems.

Law of Constant Headphone Frustration

I love the fact that my Beats earbuds never tangle in my pocket due to their ribbon cable design. Ok they tangle a little but like one millionth the tangle frustration of typical buds.

20110728-070538.jpg

But dammit, the in-ear gel plugs pop off constantly and get lost.

Speculation: the tangling of the cord actually protects and secures the removable gel plugs. Mathematicians, get on this one. (Or alternatively – the gel plugs actually attract the cable and encourage tangling, this seems less likely.)

And if so, then earbuds actually conform to a universal law. The sum of tangle frustration and lost plug frustration is constant. The greater the tangling, the less likely you are to lose the plugs. The more plugs you lose, the less tangling you get.