Microsoft is working on a FaceTime competitor for Windows Phone [Update]

Microsoft had a solid CES appearance with the announcement of many new key products. But sometimes it’s not what’s said at the main events but in side conversations that can provide a peek into the upcoming products from the company.

At a high profile event, a key WP7 employee delivered, in an off comment fashion, a few tips about where the platform may be headed. One feature that was discussed was that Microsoft is working on a FaceTime type like application for Windows Phone platform.

The application is expected to be bundled into Microsoft’s Live services so that it can be propagated onto many devices and platforms. When the question was posed about why they would not just use Skype , the response was that the  FaceTime competitor will reach beyond the hand of Skype.

The news does not come as a major surprise as the idea is certainly plausible as Microsoft continues to fill out the feature set of the Windows Phone. The employee would not commit if the FaceTime like application would land on WP7 or WP8. It was hinted at, but not confirmed, that WP8 requirements may include a front facing camera.

[Update] To add further evidence to the chat application, @justinangel and @tomhounsell sent us the pic posted above from the Microsoft.Phone.Media.Extended.dll. The evidence clearly shows that Microsoft is working towards a front facing camera application for the platform.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Nintendo 3DS battery to last as little as three hours

Next Story

Microsoft looking to bring Kinect and WP7 closer together

91 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Extremely good idea: Every company should come up with its own standard, with no way to use video calls between different platforms.

.Neo said,
Extremely good idea: Every company should come up with its own standard, with no way to use video calls between different platforms.
What I meant to say was why didnt Apple use an existing standard that already has a much larger marketshare, instead of creating their own that seems to have no advantage over the competition and try to get people to change over to it.

Video calling has been around for years I don't get why when people talk about it they seem to think Apple invented it. I have used Facetime a few times and the quality is really poor and takes forever to connect to the other user.

It is a real shame there is not an open standard that all these companies can use so it doesn't matter what device you have you can contact any other phone with video calling abilities.

I've used FaceTime on my 7mb/s line, and the quality is not great. Sure it's workable, but average quality at best. Later that day I video called someone on a PC from my Xbox 360 using my kinect as my webcam, and it was crystal clear, brilliant quality, why did Apple have to go and make their own standard, it makes no sense for the whole world to change themselves to adopt Apples still closed format.

As I said before, my ancient video phone could call any phone that had that capability, why didn't they use that format for video calls? It can clearly reach the largest audience, or if not that, Microsofts format, which can reach most of the consumer PC's and the Xbox 360's. Lets not forget the the Market of iOS devices that support FaceTime is still tiny in comparison, made slightly larger by releasing the client for Mac, but still, its only roughly 8% of the computer Market share.

I hate the people who scream that the world should change for Apple, its the same people who scream that the Internet should all change for Apple, because of Flash's lousy performance on Mac. When it works brilliantly on Windows, and from what I hear, Linux. Maybe if Apple had helped Adobe like Microsoft did, Flash wouldn't suck on Mac. But no, I see people saying "Its all up to Adobe! Apple shouldn't have to help, Adobe are lazy!"

Perhaps I spend too much time on Mac Rumors.... Ok rant over.

Forgive me on this, but Microsoft hasn't even completely mastered voice communication, my XBOX 360 can talk to my windows live friends, I have a Microphone hooked up to my XBOX controller, Windows Live Messenger supports voice chat, yet, I am forced to type to my Windows Live friends. I want to see the XBOX let me voice call my WLM friends before a Windows Phone can facetime...

What a waste of time and energy. Microsoft should focus there efforts on other things.

Facetime sucks for iPhone because it's only on WiFi. People do yourself a favor and install Skype on your Android's and iPhone's. That will be the dominant app of choice for video calling on Smartphones by the summer time.

Well, just plain stupid. For once Apple used open standards so that Facetime could be adopted by other companies, and what do other companies? Develep their own ****....

Well done, Microsoft, really well done. Maybe it's time to start using your brain...

Islander said,
Well, just plain stupid. For once Apple used open standards so that Facetime could be adopted by other companies, and what do other companies? Develep their own ****....

Well done, Microsoft, really well done. Maybe it's time to start using your brain...


Well what was wrong with the standard already around in phones? My old phone from the early 2000's could video call any phone that could video call too. But Apple had to make their own standard.

If Microsoft make it so that WP7 can call MSN Messenger, it'll be able to video pretty much every PC and Xbox 360 in the world, and dwarf Apples Video Call marketshare.

Benjy91 said,
Well what was wrong with the standard already around in phones? My old phone from the early 2000's could video call any phone that could video call too. But Apple had to make their own standard.

If Microsoft make it so that WP7 can call MSN Messenger, it'll be able to video pretty much every PC and Xbox 360 in the world, and dwarf Apples Video Call marketshare.

There never was a standard before. All devices used something unique. Apple was the first to create a standard for video calling by opening it up to others. Not to mention it's very good in terms of quality vs bandwidth. Microsoft should embrace their "enemy" here and allow WP7 devices to call iOS devices. Imagine seeing a headline saying you can FaceTime call between WP7, iPhones and Androids? That would be fantastic. Especially since its free to customers.

Also Microsoft's services will hardly dwarf Apple's. You're looking at close to 200 million devices capable (between macs, ipods, iphones and soon ipads) Besides how would you call an xbox? There's no camera or mic standard on any of them. Same with PCs, most don't have webcams or mics.

Xero said,
There never was a standard before. All devices used something unique. Apple was the first to create a standard for video calling by opening it up to others. Not to mention it's very good in terms of quality vs bandwidth. Microsoft should embrace their "enemy" here and allow WP7 devices to call iOS devices. Imagine seeing a headline saying you can FaceTime call between WP7, iPhones and Androids? That would be fantastic. Especially since its free to customers.

Also Microsoft's services will hardly dwarf Apple's. You're looking at close to 200 million devices capable (between macs, ipods, iphones and soon ipads) Besides how would you call an xbox? There's no camera or mic standard on any of them. Same with PCs, most don't have webcams or mics.


Um I believe you're wrong. Part of the UMTS specification deals with video calls, which is why phones from like the early 2000s could video call other phones (regardless of make) and people could see each other.

All Apple did was create their own limited version, make up a fancy name and market it as something revolutionary.

As for Microsoft services not being able to dwarf Apple's, what are you smoking? If they integrate it with Windows Live that's over 500 million users. If they stick with the UMTS spec, that's even more users. Or they could do both.

Islander said,
Well, just plain stupid. For once Apple used open standards so that Facetime could be adopted by other companies, and what do other companies? Develep their own ****....

Well done, Microsoft, really well done. Maybe it's time to start using your brain...


I agree. This is annoying, and since WP is in minority compared to iPhones, Microsoft is likely to suffer for this decision. Going FaceTime, they'd have the whole iPhone 4 + iPad 2 + Mac market to communicate with. Of course not an as big pull to WP that way, but surely a more usable feature. Marketshare is critical when it comes to communications, so make use of the opportunity, Microsoft! Even if WP would gain a marketshare similar to iPhone in the future, it would still be smaller than that you would reach with FaceTime. Annoying.

/- Razorfold said,

Um I believe you're wrong. Part of the UMTS specification deals with video calls, which is why phones from like the early 2000s could video call other phones (regardless of make) and people could see each other.

All Apple did was create their own limited version, make up a fancy name and market it as something revolutionary.

As for Microsoft services not being able to dwarf Apple's, what are you smoking? If they integrate it with Windows Live that's over 500 million users. If they stick with the UMTS spec, that's even more users. Or they could do both.

Don't forget the Microsoft-Facebook love. They get Facebook on with this in their 500mil users, add that to Microsoft's users (live, VideoKinect, business users lync) and they have a very large preinstalled userbase.

/- Razorfold said,

Um I believe you're wrong. Part of the UMTS specification deals with video calls, which is why phones from like the early 2000s could video call other phones (regardless of make) and people could see each other.

All Apple did was create their own limited version, make up a fancy name and market it as something revolutionary.

As for Microsoft services not being able to dwarf Apple's, what are you smoking? If they integrate it with Windows Live that's over 500 million users. If they stick with the UMTS spec, that's even more users. Or they could do both.


Maybe, I've been wrong before. I do know that video calls before "apple's fancy one" were pretty brutal. Whether that was a restriction of the network or the standard used, I can't say. What I can say is FaceTime is remarkably good. In some cases better than iChat on the Mac. At least in terms of image quality and lag.

I never said Microsoft had less users, I said their market for this service doesn't compete. I don't know what you've been smoking, but the majority of it's users don't have webcams and mics. Not to mention no WP7 device has front facing camera. So let's see. No one with a WP7 device can use it (so far) and most of its Windows Live users don't even have the equipment to utilize this service. Apple on the other hand has had webcams in all of their computers for nearly a decade and in 10's of millions of portable devices already support it.

Xero said,
I never said Microsoft had less users, I said their market for this service doesn't compete. I don't know what you've been smoking, but the majority of it's users don't have webcams and mics. Not to mention no WP7 device has front facing camera. So let's see. No one with a WP7 device can use it (so far) and most of its Windows Live users don't even have the equipment to utilize this service. Apple on the other hand has had webcams in all of their computers for nearly a decade and in 10's of millions of portable devices already support it.

Let's see. Only the latest iPhone / iPod touches have a front facing cameras (none of the old models do). The iPad doesn't have one yet. And Macbook Pros / iMacs have one. So that's already a drop in numbers since I don't think everyone who owns an iPhone / iPod has the latest model).

Now lets compare that to Microsoft. The next version of WP (if what this article says is true) will have front facing cameras. Almost every laptop / netbook made since god knows when have had a camera in them. Logitech, Microsoft and a bunch of other companies have been making popular external webcams for years now. With the Xbox MS can use Kinect as a potential webcam (not sure about this, so I could be wrong) and thats another 8 million (and rapidly growing) number to add.

So unless you can prove that most of the 500+ million people who use Windows Live don't have a webcam, stop talking out of your ass.

Xero said,
There never was a standard before. All devices used something unique. Apple was the first to create a standard for video calling by opening it up to others. Not to mention it's very good in terms of quality vs bandwidth. Microsoft should embrace their "enemy" here and allow WP7 devices to call iOS devices. Imagine seeing a headline saying you can FaceTime call between WP7, iPhones and Androids? That would be fantastic. Especially since its free to customers.

Also Microsoft's services will hardly dwarf Apple's. You're looking at close to 200 million devices capable (between macs, ipods, iphones and soon ipads) Besides how would you call an xbox? There's no camera or mic standard on any of them. Same with PCs, most don't have webcams or mics.

Most Laptops have a webcam built in, Every single Xbox ships with a headset for voice, Kinect can be used as a webcam, if people dont want a Kinect, you can purchase the Xbox Live vision Camera for cheap.

Not to mention Windows Live messenger is one of the most used IM's in the world. So yea, Im pretty sure they'd dwarf Apples Marketshare, even with the iPods, iPhones and the Facetime Beta on Macs.

/- Razorfold said,

Let's see. Only the latest iPhone / iPod touches have a front facing cameras (none of the old models do). The iPad doesn't have one yet. And Macbook Pros / iMacs have one. So that's already a drop in numbers since I don't think everyone who owns an iPhone / iPod has the latest model).

Now lets compare that to Microsoft. The next version of WP (if what this article says is true) will have front facing cameras. Almost every laptop / netbook made since god knows when have had a camera in them. Logitech, Microsoft and a bunch of other companies have been making popular external webcams for years now. With the Xbox MS can use Kinect as a potential webcam (not sure about this, so I could be wrong) and thats another 8 million (and rapidly growing) number to add.

So unless you can prove that most of the 500+ million people who use Windows Live don't have a webcam, stop talking out of your ass.


Apple sells more iPods/iPhones/iPads in 1 quarter than Microsoft has sold Xbox 360s in total. All Macs have cameras, including the basic MacBooks and MacBook Airs. Macs had built in cameras years before it became a standard on laptops (which it seems to be today) Also just because there have been hundreds if not thousands of webcams over the years, most people don't buy one. The difference is, for many years and even today, it's an optional upgrade. Apple on the other hand, forced it into all of their machines thus making it a standard across their devices.

And Razor let's keep it civilized here. No one is talking out of their asses, this isn't Ace Ventura! I can't prove most users aren't capable just the same as you can't prove they are. What I can prove is the bulk of pc users tend to purchase cheaper machines. Just look at sales statistics from any major oem. Hell go to Best Buy and see what machines people buy. Most go for the "hot deals" These people don't go out of their way and spend more money on extra add-ons. So while MSN and Microsoft services in general have a massive user base, very little will fully support a unified video chat service.

We're straying to far from the argument here. Even if Microsoft used FaceTime those same users wouldn't be capable of using it. My point was Apple has millions devices already capable of video chat and growing at a rate no one can compete with. If Microsoft used it they would instantly have a massive market regardless what hardware Windows Live users have. I'm an Apple user and I use MSN every day. I'd love to be able to do a video call with someone on MSN, a WP7 device or Android for that matter. Limiting it to specific devices is a recipe for failure (although bbm seems to be doing well) Apple opened it up in hopes others will adopt it for this very reason.

Apple sells more iPods/iPhones/iPads in 1 quarter than Microsoft has sold Xbox 360s in total. All Macs have cameras, including the basic MacBooks and MacBook Airs. Macs had built in cameras years before it became a standard on laptops (which it seems to be today)
And not all of those iPods, iPhones and iPads have cameras in them either...

---

Just going to point out something for you.

You want Microsoft (a DIRECT competitor to Apple) to support a proprietary video chat (yes the license for Facetime is proprietary still not open) on their products? So you want them to completely re-write their WLM video chat so it supports Facetime...you want them to code a FaceTime client for Windows (since one doesn't exist) and you want them to make one for WP7.

How exactly do you think businesses work? If Apple wanted to really promote Facetime they can easily code a WP7 app for it (when they get a front facing camer), they can easily code a windows application for it...but they haven't, and you're expecting a competitor to do that. Maybe next you'll say Microsoft should start selling Mac OS X for Apple too.

And why should they? They have a userbase that is larger than Apple's (I don't care what you see, pure numbers don't lie, and every single laptop that I see everyday at my school or at airports all have webcams in them) and they have a set of services that can integrate everything together.

If Microsoft successfully manages to pull off WL video chat integration the potential userbase will be more than anything you can hope for with Facetime. If Apple wants some of that userbase, they can go ahead and code a Facetime client that isn't limited to only WiFi. Or they could make Facetime open, because it still isn't.

My point was Apple has millions devices already capable of video chat and growing at a rate no one can compete with.

They do? Then why has iOS' marketshare dropped 10% since this time last year? Why are Android devices outselling Apple ones? Sure there are more phones/devices running Android on multiple carriers than iOS..but nobody stopped Apple from licensing out iOS...they made the choice not to, and that's their problem. Not Google's, not Microsoft's.

Alright, lets try and make this short and sweet so we don't keep going on and on

1. You're right, not all of them, but the iPhone and iPod touch make up the majority and they do. iPad soon will.

2. Competitors or not, this will boost sales for both of companies and benefit consumers greatly. Not everyone has the same type of phone (and thats a good thing) However people should be able to communicate between devices with more than just voice/text.

3. No, I meant support it within its default applications, both on the phone and desktop. They will most likely have to re-write something regardless if they opt for an in-house solution or Apple's. This isn't about Microsoft selling Apple products or vice versa. It's about Microsoft products talking to Apple products. Just because their competitors doesn't mean their customers have to hate each other! Apple has a great foundation with FaceTime. Microsoft supporting it would only make it that much better. FaceTime is for us, not Apple or Microsoft. As users we want to communicate with as many people as possible, not a select few. Apple, Google, Microsoft everyone should use the same standard. If Microsoft makes their own, then Google will likely follow. Thus alienating users by only allowing video chat with users who own the same phone (or software). FaceTime is great regardless if who came up with it. It's finished, a done deal. Microsoft and Google don't have anything in place yet. Why make something proprietary when there's something universal thats great? What can they possibly offer? Not much room for advancement in video chat. Unless they wanna give us Star Wars holographic chats (yes please!)

4. Let's not get into sales stats. That brings out the worst in everyone. Some say Android is growing faster, some say iOS. Let's just say both are growing faster than Microsoft's offerings?

2. Competitors or not, this will boost sales for both of companies and benefit consumers greatly. Not everyone has the same type of phone (and thats a good thing) However people should be able to communicate between devices with more than just voice/text.
They already can. It's called UMTS video calling. It's called Skype. It's called Qik. Should I go on?

3. No, I meant support it within its default applications, both on the phone and desktop. They will most likely have to re-write something regardless if they opt for an in-house solution or Apple's. This isn't about Microsoft selling Apple products or vice versa. It's about Microsoft products talking to Apple products. Just because their competitors doesn't mean their customers have to hate each other! Apple has a great foundation with FaceTime. Microsoft supporting it would only make it that much better. FaceTime is for us, not Apple or Microsoft. As users we want to communicate with as many people as possible, not a select few. Apple, Google, Microsoft everyone should use the same standard. If Microsoft makes their own, then Google will likely follow. Thus alienating users by only allowing video chat with users who own the same phone (or software).
Tell Apple to open up FaceTime then. Or tell Apple to follow some of the standards that already exist (like UMTS video calling) rather than copying something and making up fancy names (DLNA vs. AirPlay). Or tell Apple to license WL or another format (which they very well could have done, but nope they had to go create another one).

FaceTime is great regardless if who came up with it. It's finished, a done deal. Microsoft and Google don't have anything in place yet.
Yeh ok, keep sipping your koolaid.

See now why do you gotta say something like that lol. Don't make things so personal, we're just having a chat, not attacking each other. Tell me though, what could they possible add that would make it better than FaceTime? Video chat is pretty simple. Good video, good audio, and good transfer. What else is there? I'm curious what you think Microsoft (or anyone else) could bring to the table.

FaceTime is open btw, that was actually the whole point of this and it.

Xero said,
See now why do you gotta say something like that lol. Don't make things so personal, we're just having a chat, not attacking each other. Tell me though, what could they possible add that would make it better than FaceTime? Video chat is pretty simple. Good video, good audio, and good transfer. What else is there? I'm curious what you think Microsoft (or anyone else) could bring to the table.
So why did Apple have to go create another one?

FaceTime is open btw, that was actually the whole point of this and it.
Is it?
License: Proprietary

Apple SAID they will make it an Open Standard sometime in the future, but they haven't yet. And:
Apple understands the success of WebKit, but it's not yet clear that it's ready to give away software to competitors when it doesn't absolutely have to. That might result in a variety of implementations of FaceTime-compatible devices that all have various bugs that impede interoperability. Of course, such a situation might benefit Apple, too, making it the primary vendor of reliable FaceTime phones.

Fair enough, I was going by what El Jobso said on stage in June when he revealed it. Haven't bothered to follow through with it. Shame on Apple than if they haven't yet opened it up. Locking it down doesn't benefit them. However you didn't answer me. What benefit is there with developing another standard? You seem to be arguing that its better for Microsoft to develop their own than use another's.

Xero said,
What benefit is there with developing another standard? You seem to be arguing that its better for Microsoft to develop their own than use another's.
What benefit is there to Microsoft for using FaceTime when they have their own format and their own services to integrate with?

Sure you can say that if Microsoft ports everything over to FaceTime they can reach all the iOS users, but what about the extra cost in licensing it? The extra costs in changing everything over to FT?

Imo it's far more beneficial for MS to use UMTS video calling for phone to phone calls (since that will work with almost every 3G phone ever made) and also allow WL for those who want to use that. Skype / Qik can then be later added in via their own respective apps.

Heh, I like how you managed to avoid answering it twice. I don't think there are enough words in the english language to change your mind so I'll stop trying. Next time we do this we need to have a beer in hand. It'll make the whole thing more pleasant

Xero said,
Heh, I like how you managed to avoid answering it twice. I don't think there are enough words in the english language to change your mind so I'll stop trying. Next time we do this we need to have a beer in hand. It'll make the whole thing more pleasant
You still haven't managed to tell me why its beneficial for Microsoft to use FaceTime when they already have a perfectly valid video format.

If the iPhone doesn't support WL or UMTS video calling its not Microsoft's fault. So tell me what benefit was there for Apple to make their own format?

Oh I get it. If Apple makes their own format like they've already done twice in the past (Airplay and FaceTime) then everything is good. But if Microsoft do it, then they're the devil and a bunch of idiots. Gotcha.

Alright, last one. We both have better things to do than argue about something that doesn't even exist yet. I'll even let you have the last word!

The benefit is Apple's already very large and rapidly growing install base. Apple will not support another format. So if Microsoft or anyone else wants access to their users, this is how they do it. FaceTime is very good, it's not like they'd need to lower their standards to use it.

Apple is special, they like to do everything themselves (not that I agree) In this case however, they have developed something and are going to allow others to use it too. Considering how popular Apple is and not likely to slow down (we can argue over that statement later) It would make sense to use their standard than to develop another. Especially since embracing it doesn't hurt either company. It only benefits the users of both platforms. Think Valve's Steam. Mac and PC users can play the same games. This is very good. Creating their own closed system out of spite seems silly. No one is the devil, no one is stupid. It just seems unnecessary.

Xero said,

The benefit is Apple's already very large and rapidly growing install base. Apple will not support another format. So if Microsoft or anyone else wants access to their users, this is how they do it. FaceTime is very good, it's not like they'd need to lower their standards to use it.

Let's break it down shall we?

UMTS video calling is supported by:
- Symbian (greatest smartphone OS marketshare)
- Android (fastest growing smartphone OS)
- A lot of dumb phones that have a front facing camera
(possibly even Palm, RIM but I'm not sure about those)

WL video calling supported by:
- 500+ million users

Facetime supported by:
- Only Apple and their, what you claim, 200 million users.

Hm, which looks like a better option? The one that has more supported handsets and users, or the one that's limited to Apple's products? So maybe it should be Apple that supports another format, and not the other way around.

/- Razorfold said,
Tell Apple to open up FaceTime then. Or tell Apple to follow some of the standards that already exist (like UMTS video calling) []

FaceTime is open. And as far as I can see, UMTS video calling costs money, and a lot of money (actually one minute of video calling is about 10 times more expensive than a normal call). FaceTime is free. Maybe you all have too much money, but I don't.

Islander said,

FaceTime is open. And as far as I can see, UMTS video calling costs money, and a lot of money (actually one minute of video calling is about 10 times more expensive than a normal call). FaceTime is free. Maybe you all have too much money, but I don't.

If you bothered reading the bunch of replies above you'll see that Facetime is not open, at least not yet.

And as for facetime being free, well no **** it only runs on WiFi? And if UMTS video calling over 3g is too expensive for you there's other options like Skype, Qik etc...still see absolutely no reason to use FaceTime.

Xero said,
Alright, last one. We both have better things to do than argue about something that doesn't even exist yet. I'll even let you have the last word!
There is no benefit to Microsoft to work with Apple to use a supposedly open standard that is not open at all. It only makes Apple look better and it causes them pain to get it out of Apple.

I completely agree that there should be one universal standard. Now that Apple has proven that they are unwilling to remove their choke-hold on the standard, it is clear to me, as an iPhone 4 owner that owned three bad Samsung Focus' in a row (had to return them due to faulty hardware, but I loved the software) before going back, that Apple does not deserve that power, nor is it in anyones (except Apple) best interest to have them in that position.

At this point, Apple can support Microsoft's or Google's standard (though I don't think Google has a true standard yet, rather a bunch of different approaches). I assume once another real standard comes out, then Apple will release theirs silently and then tout the openness of the FaceTime standard.

the andyman said,
"Microsoft had a solid CES appearance with the announcement of many new key products."

You're kidding, right?


LOL, I also reacted on that sentence. Especially the tablet-related stuff were a disappointment to me (let's discuss features, not architecture support - this is the CES for christ sake), and then there wasn't much of anything else big.

I hope they will go a step further and integrate 3D video chat into this system. Sharp is already building glasses-free 3D screens for phones. A 3D FaceTime could be really successful, IMO.

If they could tie it into the existing Windows Live Messenger along with the existing Video Kinect on Xbox 360 AND had Tile Notification of incoming calls it would be great - someone could video call a person on their phone from their PC or Xbox 360. The key is keeping people present on the system so that people want to talk to their friends. It works on Xbox Live with millions on it, it can work for WP7, too.

...why?

Isn't the video call market already fragmented enough? I was angry enough when Apple did it, and they have a market share big enough to actually pull it off. And they made FaceTime an open standard. If Microsoft actually used that standard, they would still be able to escape Skype, *and* sell a feature that's compatible with a phone that has a huge market share.

If they introduce their own... well, everyone's going to download the Skype app anyway.

Simon said,
...why?

Isn't the video call market already fragmented enough? I was angry enough when Apple did it, and they have a market share big enough to actually pull it off. And they made FaceTime an open standard. If Microsoft actually used that standard, they would still be able to escape Skype, *and* sell a feature that's compatible with a phone that has a huge market share.

If they introduce their own... well, everyone's going to download the Skype app anyway.


I agree, it would be pretty nice if MS just used that standard. I think they'd actually be helped by it, since iPhones are more common than WP's.

Northgrove said,

I agree, it would be pretty nice if MS just used that standard. I think they'd actually be helped by it, since iPhones are more common than WP's.

Not really. If MS use their own Windows Live Messenger / Video Kinect video chat standard, it will yield an even greater market and allows video calling not just between phones, but with PCs and Xboxs too.

pikablu0530 said,

Not really. If MS use their own Windows Live Messenger / Video Kinect video chat standard, it will yield an even greater market and allows video calling not just between phones, but with PCs and Xboxs too.
That is good and all if you own a WP7 device that supports that feature and considering how few of them out there, I don't think it would matter how many devices it could interconnect with to be honest, as it's still only be a small percentage of mobile users that can make use of it.

Only reason Apple is getting away with it is because they have a much larger percentage of the mobile market (compared to MS) but even then, they have their own problems (can only interconnect with Macs, which have small percentage of desktop PC market). Either way they are both segregating the market, which is bad. Well that is my 2 cents take with a grain of salt.

Simon said,
And they made FaceTime an open standard. If Microsoft actually used that standard, they would still be able to escape Skype, *and* sell a feature that's compatible with a phone that has a huge market share.
Do not be fooled. Apple has not released it as an open standard. They told everyone they would back in June 2010, but they apparently lied. It is not anywhere to be found.

Link it to WL Messenger and then we can have video chats with folks on XBox using Kinect. its all coming together innit?

In Europe you could make video calls like 5-6 years ago... no one used it... whats the big deal....

FacePalm

Zaic said,
....

FacePalm

It's the myopic view of corporate marketing I like to call the "Me too syndrome".
Whereby the only way to compete in the eyes of the mass consumer without spending on consumer education is to have feature parity.
This way when potential customers say my product can do this! Companies can answer back, me too!.

Besides, with newer faster networks, people believe we'll want to look at one another.
Frankly, I would rather text, then I don't even have to hear you, let alone look at you.

dotf said,
Frankly, I would rather text, then I don't even have to hear you, let alone look at you.

Why have any social interaction at all? Just lock yourself in your room and barricade all doors and windows.

Zaic said,
In Europe you could make video calls like 5-6 years ago... no one used it... whats the big deal....

FacePalm

Because it pretty much failed. Video calling then was on phones now that are useless, plus it got charged as a call. Networks still list it, I believe O2 charge 30p a minute But FaceTime and all that are on 'Smart Phones' that are designed for it. Plus it acts as Data so in theory is cheaper. As over WiFi it's fre, and when it's on 3G as long as you have a Data Plan then fine.

Zaic said,
In Europe you could make video calls like 5-6 years ago... no one used it... whats the big deal....

FacePalm

You could in the USA too. The big deal is that people don't notice crap until Apple puts a logo on it, calls it magical, and tells the people they invented it...

.Neo said,

Why have any social interaction at all? Just lock yourself in your room and barricade all doors and windows.

Almost exactly where I am, sans barricades.

I hope a front-facing camera is not going to be a min req for WP8, otherwise I'd have to buy a new smartphone again when WP8 launches.

Jarrichvdv said,
I hope a front-facing camera is not going to be a min req for WP8, otherwise I'd have to buy a new smartphone again when WP8 launches.

I suspect you might be disappointed. My guess is hardware requirements will be the bar by which they determine new major releases. i.e. Every major version increment needs new hardware.

That's just speculation but still ... its not hard to envisage is it?

jamiet said,

I suspect you might be disappointed. My guess is hardware requirements will be the bar by which they determine new major releases. i.e. Every major version increment needs new hardware.

That's just speculation but still ... its not hard to envisage is it?


I doubt it. You will probably get the update, but wouldn't be able to video chat.

day2die said,

I doubt it. You will probably get the update, but wouldn't be able to video chat.

OK, so maybe you won't be able to use all new features without getting new hardware but it'll still be backward compatible. The point is that I suspect major version increments will be synonymous with new hardware requirements.

Jarrichvdv said,
I hope a front-facing camera is not going to be a min req for WP8, otherwise I'd have to buy a new smartphone again when WP8 launches.

I'm pretty sure that's how they're going to do it. Otherwise they'll just confuse their users.

Will be nice a phone made by microsoft, all current windows phones are horrible in design and have ****ty quality materials.

Ryan. said,
Will be nice a phone made by microsoft, all current windows phones are horrible in design and have ****ty quality materials.

you never seen or held any of them have you...

HawkMan said,

you never seen or held any of them have you...


Can't say I'm too impressed with the current WP7 hardware either.

HawkMan said,

you never seen or held any of them have you...

I had a Samsung Omnia and I have a HD7: the former was just flimsy plastic, the second is a renamed HD2, it does not even have a bigger battery.

Fritzly said,

I had a Samsung Omnia and I have a HD7: the former was just flimsy plastic, the second is a renamed HD2, it does not even have a bigger battery.

You should see the Samsung Omnia 7 then. It has solid metal backing but at the same time still one of the lighter phones.

pikablu0530 said,

You should see the Samsung Omnia 7 then. It has solid metal backing but at the same time still one of the lighter phones.

Have you seen the Dell Venup Pro? Its defiitely worth checking out.

NPGMBR said,

Have you seen the Dell Venup Pro? Its defiitely worth checking out.


Satisfied focus owner here. Sure it's plastic, but I have expanded storage to 22GB (formatted)and it feels just right in my hand. I was a Galaxy S Vibrant owner before that and an Omnia owner before that.

The Focus is a quality product, and has all the SuperAMOLED beauty of Galaxy S with none of the Android/Samsung woes.

Oh and it works pretty sweet as a phone too. Love the intelligent use of light and proximity sensors.

Edited by deadonthefloor, Jan 11 2011, 3:44am :

Ryan. said,
Will be nice a phone made by microsoft, all current windows phones are horrible in design and have ****ty quality materials.

You in the US don't have the Omnia 7, but with SUPER AMOLED and a gorgeous design, it's really worth checking out !

Ryan. said,
Will be nice a phone made by microsoft, all current windows phones are horrible in design and have ****ty quality materials.

I have had an LG Optimus 7 for week now and the quality of the materials is the best of the few other WP7 phones I've seen. The back plate is made of brushed aluminum and the phone feels sturdy and gives an impression of a premium product.

My only complaint as of now is that the power/unlock button is too small and somehow out of reach sometimes when you are using only one hand.

I wonder if just because the minimum specs don't specify a front facing camera, if that means you cannot put one in and develop an app for it.

jimmyfal said,
I wonder if just because the minimum specs don't specify a front facing camera, if that means you cannot put one in and develop an app for it.

It's on the spec as optional. No one really care about front facing webcam before Apple release FaceTime. HTC Touch Pro (which run Windows Mobile) has a front facing camera, yet nobody use it.

Personally, I think FaceTime is just a boasting point that people don't actually use.

All MS has to do is leverage live messenger video services. Being able to talk to friends who have a windows phone, windows pc or xbox 360 with vision or kinect camera would be a complete eco-system of connected devices that no other platform really offers

blahism said,
All MS has to do is leverage live messenger video services. Being able to talk to friends who have a windows phone, windows pc or xbox 360 with vision or kinect camera would be a complete eco-system of connected devices that no other platform really offers

That would be good because they could have a WP7 messenger client that works on all handsets, even those without a front facing camera.

blahism said,
All MS has to do is leverage live messenger video services. Being able to talk to friends who have a windows phone, windows pc or xbox 360 with vision or kinect camera would be a complete eco-system of connected devices that no other platform really offers
Apple sorta already offer that with FaceTime, from what I understand it works with iPhone (4), iPod touch (gen 4) and any iSight equipped Mac (which I might add Apple now renamed as FaceTime camera I think?) and apparently the spec is open to anyone who wants to implement it (not that anyone has?).

To be honest I don't think it's a good idea to have competing video chat services as it's just stupid and bad for the consumer*. They should join forces and make a universal one that works with everything (much like how video calling did back in the day but expand it to video chat enabled devices/PCs). Well that is my 2 cents, take with a grain of salt.

* I mean you wouldn't tolerate it if say voice calling had competing protocols that were not compatible, i.e. if you had an iPhone you could only call other iPhone users or of your using an Android handset and can only call other Android handset users etc, so why should it be any different with video calling? I think if they wanna make it work properly (and be accepted), it needs to be universal.

Edited by Xerxes, Jan 9 2011, 11:59pm :

blahism said,
All MS has to do is leverage live messenger video services. Being able to talk to friends who have a windows phone, windows pc or xbox 360 with vision or kinect camera would be a complete eco-system of connected devices that no other platform really offers

That would be smart.

Xerxes said,
Apple sorta already offer that with FaceTime, from what I understand it works with iPhone (4), iPod touch (gen 4) and any iSight equipped Mac (which I might add Apple now renamed as FaceTime camera I think?) and apparently the spec is open to anyone who wants to implement it (not that anyone has?).

To be honest I don't think it's a good idea to have competing video chat services as it's just stupid and bad for the consumer*. They should join forces and make a universal one that works with everything (much like how video calling did back in the day but expand it to video chat enabled devices/PCs). Well that is my 2 cents, take with a grain of salt.

* I mean you wouldn't tolerate it if say voice calling had competing protocols that were not compatible, i.e. if you had an iPhone you could only call other iPhone users or of your using an Android handset and can only call other Android handset users etc, so why should it be any different with video calling? I think if they wanna make it work properly (and be accepted), it needs to be universal.

Windows Messenger does conform to the messaging standards, including video chat and even uses standard codecs for full 1080p video messaging.

Apple, Skype and others are the ones that continue to refuse to use the standards and standards codecs. They won't even use the basic text messaging standards that were put in place years ago that Windows Messenger and Yahoo and other clients have used for a long time.

As for Apple having a consistent video chat 'sort of' is a big 'sort of'... What Apple currently has is more like 8 years ago when Windows had LiveMeeting and other technologies for Video Chat, with several scattered versions.

Also just a side note, video chat on phones is not new, I had an LG phone about 6 years ago with a camera that flipped facing me and would do video chat - and yes over the cellular network, and without 3G speeds for the data network.

As for all the talk about video chat being bad over 3G or Apple is smart limiting to WiFi, is rather silly unless their technology is crap. All the phone has to do is scale down the video stream quality based on the network, and this can be reduced to something that is about the same data usage as a regular phone call.

Xerxes said,
Apple sorta already offer that with FaceTime, from what I understand it works with iPhone (4), iPod touch (gen 4) and any iSight equipped Mac (which I might add Apple now renamed as FaceTime camera I think?) and apparently the spec is open to anyone who wants to implement it (not that anyone has?)
Apple (via Steve Jobs) did indeed claim that FaceTime would become an Open Specification during the announcement of it back in June, 2010. However, they have yet to release it and they have definitely stifled competition as a result, which forced both Google and Microsoft into the position of rolling their own versions that will not interact with iPhones.

For awhile I assumed that they were trying to roll out the first client on both the Mac and Windows before opening the spec up, but they have yet to open it after making the Mac client while having ample time to push out a Windows client. There really is no excuse anymore.

Xerxes said,
To be honest I don't think it's a good idea to have competing video chat services as it's just stupid and bad for the consumer*. They should join forces and make a universal one that works with everything (much like how video calling did back in the day but expand it to video chat enabled devices/PCs). Well that is my 2 cents, take with a grain of salt.
I completely agree and I currently own an iPhone 4. And it is completely Apple's fault for this dilemma.

Yeah I was about to say, there's currently no phone with a front facing camera, so how would this work?
Are they trying to do what apple do and hold back on features so people will upgrade? Well I don't think people are as keen to do that with the selection of WinMo phones, it's just not the same as the iPhone.

booboo said,
Yeah I was about to say, there's currently no phone with a front facing camera, so how would this work?
Are they trying to do what apple do and hold back on features so people will upgrade? Well I don't think people are as keen to do that with the selection of WinMo phones, it's just not the same as the iPhone.

I think they'll implement it in the batch WP7.

booboo said,
Yeah I was about to say, there's currently no phone with a front facing camera, so how would this work?
Are they trying to do what apple do and hold back on features so people will upgrade? Well I don't think people are as keen to do that with the selection of WinMo phones, it's just not the same as the iPhone.

WinMo phones? Facetime is a joke right now because of the WiFi/iPhone requirements. I never use it on my iPhone4. I am not sure video phone calls are all that popular. From a computer sure, much more popular.

MS messenger is way easier to use than Skype. I think making it work for the WP7 is a natural fit.

booboo said,
Yeah I was about to say, there's currently no phone with a front facing camera, so how would this work?
It's Microsoft, so it'll be the CB of video chat.

rrode74 said,

WinMo phones? Facetime is a joke right now because of the WiFi/iPhone requirements. I never use it on my iPhone4. I am not sure video phone calls are all that popular. From a computer sure, much more popular.

MS messenger is way easier to use than Skype. I think making it work for the WP7 is a natural fit.

Blame that on the carriers, im suprised Apple was allowed to put out the Skype update. 3G is easily fast enough for facetime, ive been on wifi networks with half the speed of 3G and facetime worked fine.

Ive used FaceTime quite a bit and it's works really well.

rrode74 said,

WinMo phones? Facetime is a joke right now because of the WiFi/iPhone requirements. I never use it on my iPhone4. I am not sure video phone calls are all that popular. From a computer sure, much more popular.

MS messenger is way easier to use than Skype. I think making it work for the WP7 is a natural fit.


I heard that FaceTime is restricted on Wi-Fi only because the 3G network is going to break down as the data traffic is alreay too busy (unlike wired networks, wireless network has its own limited capacity. Again I read this on a forum and I am not very sure).

I used to own a 3G phone with video-call capability few years ago, I never use it. However I find my family often use FaceTime to chat with friends, perhaps the Wi-Fi network is good (fast) enough.

Emperatoor said,
they are working hard on this platform
1-2 years later, wp7 will become just like windows for pc

is that a good or bad thing? and in what way will it become just like windows for pc?

Emperatoor said,
they are working hard on this platform
1-2 years later, wp7 will become just like windows for pc

I'm sorry but I just can't see Windows Phone becoming the dominant player in just two years, if it going to happen which it's unlikely to it's gonna take much longer than that.

Emperatoor said,
they are working hard on this platform
1-2 years later, wp7 will become just like windows for pc

it is a good thing, it is great they are too many os right now, we need a winner to have more share of devices . it helps developers

It will probably take the same amount of time it took Xbox to be a market leader. As long as they keep at it, build features, improve marketplace, they will rise to top. Apple would love to compete with Microsoft rather than Google.

thealexweb said,

I'm sorry but I just can't see Windows Phone becoming the dominant player in just two years, if it going to happen which it's unlikely to it's gonna take much longer than that.

Look at what the Xbox did...

bdsams said,

Look at what the Xbox did...

In terms of sales overall I think the Wii's still ahead, and if the Xbox is somehow ahead it took five years to get there.

thealexweb said,

In terms of sales overall I think the Wii's still ahead, and if the Xbox is somehow ahead it took five years to get there.

But then parents are happier for their kids to play the Wii as it resolves the issue of kids sitting on their arse when gaming. The xBox is far superior to any other console when it comes to online play... even though Live is a lot of money.

Personally as a 31 year old I would sooner play on the xBox with a standard controller. I love some games on the Wii but the games lack replay value. So much so that I am currently using my Wii to run though Wind Waker from the Gamecube!

thealexweb said,

In terms of sales overall I think the Wii's still ahead, and if the Xbox is somehow ahead it took five years to get there.

I'm pretty sure MS sells more software and xbox live subscriptions to account for Wii... nobody really buys extra games for their Wii...

thealexweb said,

In terms of sales overall I think the Wii's still ahead, and if the Xbox is somehow ahead it took five years to get there.


The Wii is hardly a direct competitor, and even considering them as such, XBox sales sre strong. As is attach rate. And XBox is a great example of Microsoft's ability to enter a market and dominate. Especially when they are committed as they are with WP7. Don't count WP7 out...

thealexweb said,

I'm sorry but I just can't see Windows Phone becoming the dominant player in just two years, if it going to happen which it's unlikely to it's gonna take much longer than that.

And you could be right...

People laughed off Windows 3.0, even Lotus and Wordperfect refused to create a Windows version of their products because they saw no future in Windows. In 1993 Novell and Sun laughed off Windows NT. Sony also thought the idea of the XBox was silly and had no significant future.

Microsoft is just a company, but they do have some of the best and brightest and even when they don't slide the industry with a revolution, they are always contributing in ways most people don't realize.

If you look at Android, and its development plans, they changed a lot with the WP7 announcement last year. So even if WP7 sucks, it already impacted the industry.

As for mobile technology, Microsoft was a bit ahead of their time rather than getting into the game late. They were doing low powered tablets and pda technology 12 years ago. The costs were not good then and the power of the processors were not good then, but the software Microsoft designed then is still viable today, and at the heart of WP7 now even.

Even the PocketPC and Windows Mobile phones were a bit much for the time, by not being able to offer the speed or battery power due to hardware limitations of the time. And because of the price and hardware limitations were marketed only to business and technology people, where Apple hit a home run by doing the same thing and marketing it to average phone users.


However, let's hope Google, Apple and others competing with Microsoft aren't so quick to dismiss WP7, Microsoft is good at technology, even if they often fail to bring it to the consumer base themselves.