Windows Phone Mango update – Eldar Murtazin did it again !

There is lot of well known mobile device blogs out there, but there’s only three I read almost each day of the week : Engadget, Paul Thurrot’s Windows supersite & Eldar Murtazin’s Mobile-Review.

Paul talks about Microsoft products days and night, and he is a real passionate Guy. He will scream when things are wrong (WP7 NoDo updates with Samsung smartphones for example…) and he shows his enthusiasm when he feels this way. He doesn’t play politics like Eldar Murtazin. M. Eldar has an impressive knowledge of the market and pretend to provide a factual focus but he never miss an occasion to bash Nokia and Microsoft.

In one of his last ‘Spillikins ‘ issue (#121, you can read it here : ), he talks about Mango, to explain the reader that it’s only a small upgrade that solves anything. Let’s see ?

“but it was duly named 7.1 because despite Microsoft claiming 500 new features have been added to the OS the update still cannot be considered an actual intermediate OS version.”
The 7.1 ‘name’ has been given for the developers usage only. Numbers doesn’t mean anything : Windows 2000 was 5.0, and Windows XP – which vas very different from a user point of view – was 5.1… All we know today is that Mango will probably be called Windows Phone instead of Windows Phone 7.1, as Windows 8 should have a different commercial name. What matters is what’s inside.

“The announcement of Windows Phone 7.1 Mango coming this fall has caused quite a a stir among Windows Phone fans. The expectations are sky high though most of the downsides of the first OS version will be still there”
Let’s make the tour of the main complains regarding Windows Phone 7 :

  • Full third-party multitasking? Included in Mango.
  • Twitter integration? Included (as is LinkedIn by the way). Remember that iOS won’t support facebook until …iOS 5.
  • GPS software? Included.
  • Brilliant but incomplete interfaces? Fixed with more than 500 new features !
  • User ring-tones? Included.
  • Rich APIs for developers? Available since may for free.
  • Wifi hotspots and hidden networks support? Included.
  • Universal search? Included.
  • Lack of unified email inbox and threaded emails? Included, Mango ,offers goes way beyond competition.
  • Conversation view for email? Included.
  • Improved Office apps? Included.
  • Afull HTML5 web browser? Included.
  • Custom ringtones? Included.
  • Integrated instant messaging? Included for Facebook and Windows Live Messenger, no need of an app.


The list goes On and On. What is missing ? Nothing important anymore, with is not the case in the current Windows Phone 7 version.

And aside new features you can already use on iOS and Android, Mango goes way beyond with innovative functionality like unified conversations through different mediums (SMS / MMS / emails / Faceboo…), Bing Vision (augmented reality), deep cloud integration without Office / Xbox Live / Zune, etc.

“I am a regular WP7 user and I also use Android, iOS and other platforms and I am used to seeing the system tray all the time – it contains crucial info about the reception quality, Wi-Fi indication and many other important stuff. On all the other platforms you this information is always in front of you while in WP7 you have to pull the screen down to see it and after a while it really gets on your nerves.”
In WP7 you see the system tray when you need to : if there’s some network issue it is visible, same thing when you have low battery left. Why would you need to pollute your screen with information when you don’t need it ? Because you have bad habits from older systems which aren’t smart enough? His answer is a Geek answer.

“The main screen in WP7 is organized in tiles unlike to the Android desktop. But even in the first OS version it displayed way too much information and you always had to scroll through it and the more apps you install the less handy it gets. The common list occupies a lot of space and you either have to scroll through a giant list or type in the name of the app you need.”
This is the only point I agree with, and I already sent my feedback and solution to Microsoft regarding this issue. As Mango is far from being Gold yet, it may be something that could come later. We only knew very few of the 500 new features.

“When you have just a handful of applications installed the tile menu works fine but as the number of tiles grows the menu just turns into a mess.”
This is where it seems Eldar missed the system Logic. With WP7 the user doesn’t need to waste some time to organize programs and shortcut between different grids filled with icons and folder …the system does it by itself ! The games are available automatically in the Game Hub, the music related app are in the Music+Video Hub, Photos apps are visible when you manipulate your photos… Why would the user need to waste some time to do something the system already does automatically ?

“I find funny the optimism of WP7 fans who believe that by fall 2011 the other mobile platforms will not receive serious updates like, for example, iOS 5.x or another Android version. Such speculations are naive and, unfortunately, WP 7.1 is already loses the competition to the existing platforms.”
Apple : iOS 5 will NOT change everything for iPhone users. They will add a Facebook native support (incredible feature in 2011, right ?), cloud solutions (already existing in WP7) and
Google : the big G desperately tries to finalize Andoid 3.1 – i.e. Android Honeycomb finally usable with slow but tolerable performance if you don’t compare to an iPad – then to unify it for tablet and phones. They can’t change and fix every mistakes they made since they bought ‘Android’ years ago. Android is an ugly, chaotic system based on vintage concepts. Google web services works great, but it’s not enough, and after 2012 the system will go down year after year.
It is way better to change when you have millions of users than when you do a clean fresh start as Microsoft with Windows Phone 7. You just need guts to do it.

His conclusion was : “Instead of conclusion I want to repeat my central idea – WP 7.1 is a step in the right direction. So far WP is losing the competition and the question is – how fast can MS catch up? I think that five years would be the right guess.”
I do not agree. Windows Phone Mango provides the best mobile experience ever. Windows Phone today is like the iPhone in 2007 : love it or hate but it’s different and it leads to the future of smartphones. The Metro user interface used in Windows Phone (and in Windows 8 very soon) is innovative but almost underexploited in WP7. Now it really shines.


Thank you for reading.

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone