Disappointed with Windows Phone 7


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Simon-

I picked up an LG Optimus 7 for a bargain and thought I would give WP7 a chance coming from an Android/iOS background.

Firstly, I updated to Mango straight away.

The UI is very snazzy, I like the transition effects very much, and a lot of the tasks are context sensitive and intuitive. I like this very much.

Also I added my Gmail & Google Apps accounts and it set it up as ActiveSync accounts automatically rather than IMAP, which is a nice touch, not treating Google's email services as second class citizens on the device (Exactly the same support as Exchange).

Very impressed so far, I put it though a couple of days of real world usage.

Addresses in the location field in my calendar do not hyperlink to Bing maps, I have to copy and paste.

There is no function to copy Calendar appointments, if I need to create a similar event I have to key it all in again.

Calendar has no Weekly view.

People loads up with all the Facebook friends so hard to find phone contacts, I eventually found the setting for this to Filter the Facebook friends out.

Mail does not show Unread count on tile, only unread since you last checked (not configurable to change what it counts)

Bing Maps are useless for directions in my city (Melbourne, Australia). I used an example address and it directed me to go in the complete opposite direction to where the address is, then take the tollway back across to get back on track. It would have taken the same amount of time to get to the tollway entrance from the starting point than it would have to go direct to the tollway exit. It is like it wants me to spend extra money on Tollways unnecessarily.

The search button is not context aware and always does a Bing search regardless where you are (Might as well call it the Bing button)

Bing does not search recent news like Google does.

I can not change the default search engine (Android/iOS allows this) if I am not happy with Bing

Marketplace says that the Google Search App is not available for my device/carrier/country (I can't work out which one and why, maybe this is a Google issue, I don't know)

The Marketplace is dismal - there is no app ecosystem supporting the platform any more than a feature phone. There are hardly any free apps, even very basic apps costs money - there are no freebies. Everything which is free already exists on iOS/Android. Why would I bother with WP7 if I can already get the apps on what I already have.

One app I downloaded told me that the App was no longer free once I installed it and that I had to buy it, even though I had never had a chance to use it yet. That is the developer's faults, but the reviews were no prominent on the main page of the app to warn me of this and there was no report button to report this bogus app.

I think it is fine for people who have basic needs (do not rely on the Calendar as much as I do) or people who have never had a Smart Phone before to even know what Android/iOS is like (or are just a Microsoft Fanatic) but for me, it is just eye candy lacking substance.

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Muhammad Farrukh
I think it is fine for people who have basic needs (do not rely on the Calendar as much as I do) or people who have never had a Smart Phone before to even know what Android/iOS is like (or are just a Microsoft Fanatic) but for me, it is just eye candy lacking substance.

I disagree. Completely.

You do raise some points, but I think this one ^^ here is plain stupid and wrong.

I have shown Windows Phone to a lot of my firends. Android users, iOS users, Symbian users, low-end phone owners, BlackBerry users, and with the exception of one Android user, all of them liked it instantly.

Some of them are power users. They require much more features than just basic ones. Two of them asked me to buy them a Windows Phone instantly. While others took their time, but eventually bought it.

Windows Phone is still a new OS, so its obvious that it has low number of apps. However, there is a quality in the Marketplace which you can't ignore.

Sure Android has tons of Apps but the quality is low. iOS has both the quantity and quality. Windows Phone will get there. But it takes time to acheive everything. Can't be done overnight.

And Bing works much better than Google, at least for me. The way it is integrated feels and works great (Y)

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Joshie

I can not change the default search engine (Android/iOS allows this) if I am not happy with Bing

Oh really? Android allows this? Because I'm pretty sure it doesn't. Unless you mean in a web browser, which is then up to the developer of said browser. The general search button, however, is tied to Google with no apparent way to change it (as of Ice Cream Sandwich).

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~Johnny
The Marketplace is dismal - there is no app ecosystem supporting the platform any more than a feature phone. There are hardly any free apps, even very basic apps costs money - there are no freebies. Everything which is free already exists on iOS/Android. Why would I bother with WP7 if I can already get the apps on what I already have.

There are plenty of free apps for nearly everything you'd want to do - you just have to go out and search for them. Microsoft do have a habit of promoting paid for apps, but that's only because they make a cut of money of of them which they don't for free apps. All the free apps are there though... including a Google Maps client if you're not happy with Bing maps.

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pack34

@OP

You bring up some good points with the calender. For appointments I often create them using or modifying them using hotmail or Outlook. I feel that this is an opportunity for MS to make improvements and with the apparent business focus of the next version of the OS, I suspect that we'll see something like this. After all, their employees are dogfooding the phones so they should have come across this issue as well.

For contacts, the best way to go about it is to use the jump lists and pop to the person you want. To make this faster I'm crossing my fingers for a universal search by hoding down the search button.

With maps, MS has penned a partnership with Nokia involving their maps so you should be seeing something better with the next update as well.

If you really hate Bing then there's always the option of pinning google's website to the start screen. Bing is integrated into the OS so I don't see them allowing you to change what the search button goes to any time soon.

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Roger H.

Oh really? Android allows this? Because I'm pretty sure it doesn't. Unless you mean in a web browser, which is then up to the developer of said browser. The general search button, however, is tied to Google with no apparent way to change it (as of Ice Cream Sandwich).

You can change default search in the browser unless it's a CyanogenMod thing (don't think so). You can go to browser - settings - Advanced - Set search engine and your choices are: Google, Yahoo, Bing.

Obviously you can't change the search widget default search as it's a Google search widget. You can add Bing or any other than you rather instead. Now on ICS it's kinda baked in but still....

As for Windows Phone, i sorta felt the sameway as the OP. I used it for a month and liked it (loved Zune stuff!) but man it just felt like so many things i'm used to from Android was just missing. Then again i'm more of a tech user so maybe that's why but still.

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mad_onion

There's no denying it's missing stuff. It just comes down to whether you need the stuff that's missing. I don't so I would rather have the Windows Phone experience.

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123456789A

I agree the calendar could use some advanced features and the mail counter should be configurable. I'd strongly disagree with what you said about the Marketplace though. While I think they could do a better job of organizing it and weeding out junk apps and filtering out apps in languages I can't read, there are some great apps on the platform. Overall, much higher quality than what I saw on Android. It's a new platform, you will have to give it time to gain more traction though.

I'm not sure about the search engine setting though. I heard you can change it, but Bing works fine in the US so I never tried.

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articuno1au

Addresses in the location field in my calendar do not hyperlink to Bing maps, I have to copy and paste.

There is no function to copy Calendar appointments, if I need to create a similar event I have to key it all in again.

Calendar has no Weekly view.

People loads up with all the Facebook friends so hard to find phone contacts, I eventually found the setting for this to Filter the Facebook friends out.

Mail does not show Unread count on tile, only unread since you last checked (not configurable to change what it counts)

Bing Maps are useless for directions in my city (Melbourne, Australia). I used an example address and it directed me to go in the complete opposite direction to where the address is, then take the tollway back across to get back on track. It would have taken the same amount of time to get to the tollway entrance from the starting point than it would have to go direct to the tollway exit. It is like it wants me to spend extra money on Tollways unnecessarily.

The search button is not context aware and always does a Bing search regardless where you are (Might as well call it the Bing button)

Bing does not search recent news like Google does.

I can not change the default search engine (Android/iOS allows this) if I am not happy with Bing

Marketplace says that the Google Search App is not available for my device/carrier/country (I can't work out which one and why, maybe this is a Google issue, I don't know)

The Marketplace is dismal - there is no app ecosystem supporting the platform any more than a feature phone. There are hardly any free apps, even very basic apps costs money - there are no freebies. Everything which is free already exists on iOS/Android. Why would I bother with WP7 if I can already get the apps on what I already have.

One app I downloaded told me that the App was no longer free once I installed it and that I had to buy it, even though I had never had a chance to use it yet. That is the developer's faults, but the reviews were no prominent on the main page of the app to warn me of this and there was no report button to report this bogus app.

I think it is fine for people who have basic needs (do not rely on the Calendar as much as I do) or people who have never had a Smart Phone before to even know what Android/iOS is like (or are just a Microsoft Fanatic) but for me, it is just eye candy lacking substance.

From the top:

That functionality is coming in the next major update named Tango. I agree it's somewhat annoying.

You can make events recurring, but if you have a similar event, it's kinda pointless to copy it :\ Either way, this one's a bit of a personal one.

This is indeed true, no weekly view, but you can obtain a monthly view that does much the same thing. Again a personal one (which doesn't make it wrong) but not a killer >.<

This is very annoying. I was going to tell you how to do it, but you already did. I don't use Facebook, so I didn't get this one so much :p

The email tile assumes you are aware you chose not to read certain emails :\

This one I kinda of agree with. It has some quirks, however so does Google Maps. This is my answer to it: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-au/apps/b452aafb-a683-e011-986b-78e7d1fa76f8 To date it hasn't let me down and it uses Bing maps. I don't think you can hold this against the OS though, quirks are in every GPS system.

VERY ANNOYING that search button. I whole heartedly agree with you here.

I cannot comment on this. I suspect this is to do with our market locale (I'm Brisbane). I know it's possible to enable, but the enabling is likely outside of the scope of this conversation :\

News to me on this one. Apple can only change because Microsoft managed to make a deal with them, before that it was Google all the way.

No idea /le shrug.

This point is just point blank stupid. You choose an OS for it's features, the apps will come in their own ways. You don't change phones for a specific app.. That said, if you find you don't like the market place on your phone, you can try the web market (as above) or, Market -> Applications -> All (or category) -> Side swipe to "Free". Just a different approach. You can't expect it to be identical to iOS.

The reviews are available by swiping to the side. I do however agree that there should be a report button.

I work in IT. I manage my entire life off my phone and sync it to outlook so it appears on my Laptop/Desktop and can be accessed with my tablet. It might not work for you, but that doesn't make it a bad OS or the people that use it fanboys..

@OP

You bring up some good points with the calender. For appointments I often create them using or modifying them using hotmail or Outlook. I feel that this is an opportunity for MS to make improvements and with the apparent business focus of the next version of the OS, I suspect that we'll see something like this. After all, their employees are dogfooding the phones so they should have come across this issue as well.

For contacts, the best way to go about it is to use the jump lists and pop to the person you want. To make this faster I'm crossing my fingers for a universal search by hoding down the search button.

With maps, MS has penned a partnership with Nokia involving their maps so you should be seeing something better with the next update as well.

If you really hate Bing then there's always the option of pinning google's website to the start screen. Bing is integrated into the OS so I don't see them allowing you to change what the search button goes to any time soon.

Indeed.

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Osiris

Having used it since launch I agree calendar on phone could be better (but has everything you need when doing calendar via outlook/web).

Yes bing search in Australia is pretty damn useless and I would love to be able to configure that search button

No denying theres plenty more free apps on iOS which I think do tend to be of better quality but as someone else mentioned with a bit of searching you can usually find a free app for what you want.

Platforms not perfect but I think you've exxagerated some issues and some just arent major and you can list flaws in every platform at the end of the day though if its not suiting your needs its not suiting your needs and its great that we have a choice of 3+ key platforms :)

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TDT

You CAN change the search provider, but it requires some registry editing. Check on XDA, there's a topic for this.

In fact, lots of settings can be altered via those tweaks, but it's quite risky. Knowing that Tango and Appolo will bring lots of new features (many that former Android users are missing now), I am patient and I really got used to my Omnia 7. Before this I had a Samsung Galaxy SL (i9003) for more than a year, but I wouldn't go back to Android. I guess it all comes down to the type of user that buys the phone: you're either a power user that likes to customize the phone down to the last detail, so you go with Android, or you're a normal user that wants a stable, fluid and beautiful OS on the phone, so you go with WP7. Personally, I'm both, but I got really bored with Android, can't explain why...

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Bertch

The calendar needs the option to make custom reoccurring appointments for sure. For example can't do Tuesday / Thursday for 3 weeks. Have to do them separately and can't set an end date. My work around for this was to do it properly through the calendar in Windows Live Mail and then re-sync.

The search button was like that before Mango, however they changed it because some apps used it and some didn't so you never knew where it was going to take you. Also now that it searches using app information it works pretty good. Ie search for a movie and the IMDB app will show up in the results along with the movie's website and the IMDB site and the Wikipedia page.

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Simon-

Also, to clarify, the Calendar is extremely important to me. I run a business as an IT consultant and I have other people add appointments into my Calendar directly, including the address so that I can find where to go just by clicking on it in the appointment. The phone numbers in the appointment automatically link up to the phone dialer in WP7 as it does in Android.

I also need to be able to copy an appointment from one Calendar to another Calendar, which I use when I need to put a copy of the appointment (with a few minor changes) directly into somebody else's Calendar. Using free/busy and Invitees doesn't provide the exact functionality I need on this one.

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HawkMan

The fact that a windows phone les me just use the phone, wile android the majority of my time with the phone is tweaking, adjusting, seeing up, and messing around with stuff to getting work Asia should, or as I want it....

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Owen W

As someone who really liked Windows Phone initially, but just didn't see it develop over a year and eventually switched to the iPhone I get what you're saying. There is so much potential, and it's really pretty, but it just can't do everything yet. The thing that drove me over the edge was the lack of notification center. If I miss something, how do I know?! Small things like that drove me over the edge. Microsoft reps are always saying "it'll come in future" or "soon" but their release cycle is abysmal.

I'm glad I switched away, for now. The iPhone 4S is brilliant. I'd like to switch back, but the OS needs to mature a bit to be honest.

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still1

The problem is when friends show you a WP7 they dont tell you these problems and a user would end up buying it and later disappointed about the purchase..

I am glad i didnt buy WP7 but i thought about it.

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Anthonyd

The problem is when friends show you a WP7 they dont tell you these problems and a user would end up buying it and later disappointed about the purchase..

Because those aren't really problem as said on the previous comments and WP users aren't like iPhone users who feel that they HAVE TO show their iPhone as an advertiser would do.

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BigGiantHead

A few things about Windows Phone that I find very irritating:

I wish it had better support for Google Contacts (or at least contacts with custom fields). Being an Android user, all my contacts are backed up there and most are customized. WP7 couldn't sync the majority of them. Mobile 1, mobile 2, Work 1 etc really doesn't cut it these days.

As the poster above states, the lack of a notifications menu.

WiFi goes to sleep when the phone is locked; no syncing occurs. This is a baffling inclusion. Have a bunch of apps to update? Make sure your phone isn't locked, or the updates will just stall.

Unreliable multitasking. Sometimes just checking a mail will kill an app.

No independent volume controls.

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~Johnny

The problem is when friends show you a WP7 they dont tell you these problems and a user would end up buying it and later disappointed about the purchase..

I am glad i didnt buy WP7 but i thought about it.

People could quite easily come up with lists like this for any phone OS. It just depends on what your very specific usage requirements and scenarios are. People who want to show off their phones are usually happy because it fits in quite well with their usage scenarios :p

Unreliable multitasking. Sometimes just checking a mail will kill an app.

That is the specific apps problem - or it should be. Developers have to recompile applications with the Mango SDK to take advantage of multitasking, and there's quite a number on the marketplace that haven't been touch since they were initially put up. There's enough RAM in there to comfortably have 5 Mango capable apps alive...

WiFi goes to sleep when the phone is locked; no syncing occurs. This is a baffling inclusion. Have a bunch of apps to update? Make sure your phone isn't locked, or the updates will just stall.

For power saving reasons, the WiFi only runs for a short time every half hour when the phone is locked - and no big data downloads unless you're plugged into a charger. Microsoft in designing Windows Phone wanted to make that users didn't question why a big percentage of their battery was missing after they'd left their phone locked for a few hours, so there's some pretty strict power saving things in there. You get the benefit of extended uptime, though obviously there's a few fringe cases where it's a negative. Depends what you'd rather have - making sure apps aren't rampantly using your power when your phone is locked, or being able to do that. (Though granted I understand they could have the option to turn the WiFi off after the download, but they are really power strict so it's not likely >.<)

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still1

Because those aren't really problem as said on the previous comments and WP users aren't like iPhone users who feel that they HAVE TO show their iPhone as an advertiser would do.

You will be amazed!!! Lot my friends do!!! check out the first reply in this topic.

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Lachlan

"Bing does not search recent news like Google does".

It does if what your searching has alot of news surrounding it and just shows up in the results..

"I can not change the default search engine (Android/iOS allows this) if I am not happy with Bing"

You can change the home page of the website.. or you can pin google on your homescreen.. its pretty much the same

"Marketplace says that the Google Search App is not available for my device/carrier/country (I can't work out which one and why, maybe this is a Google issue, I don't know)"

It is google.. they choose where their app shows up.. its because they dont want to support windows phone very much and try to kill it while it has small market share..

"The Marketplace is dismal"

I totally disagree.. I find the xbox live marketplace to be superior then that of android. I had the transformer prime and could not tell what games were good and which ones sucked.. atleast i know which games with work with my phone..

"One app I downloaded told me that the App was no longer free once I installed it and that I had to buy it, even though I had never had a chance to use it yet. That is the developer's faults, but the reviews were no prominent on the main page of the app to warn me of this and there was no report button to report this bogus app."

thats ridiculous.. you must have downloaded a trial version which WP7 has and android does not.. I love that I can test out apps without fully purchasing them..

The problem is when friends show you a WP7 they dont tell you these problems and a user would end up buying it and later disappointed about the purchase..

I am glad i didnt buy WP7 but i thought about it.

i begged my friends with Iphones to let me test it for the antenna problem but they did not even want to know if their phone had a problem.. I showed them that is why they always dropped calls but they got offended that their glorious steve jobs had failed them.. iphone owners are truely sad in my eyes

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BigGiantHead

For power saving reasons, the WiFi only runs for a short time every half hour when the phone is locked - and no big data downloads unless you're plugged into a charger. Microsoft in designing Windows Phone wanted to make that users didn't question why a big percentage of their battery was missing after they'd left their phone locked for a few hours, so there's some pretty strict power saving things in there. You get the benefit of extended uptime, though obviously there's a few fringe cases where it's a negative. Depends what you'd rather have - making sure apps aren't rampantly using your power when your phone is locked, or being able to do that. (Though granted I understand they could have the option to turn the WiFi off after the download, but they are really power strict so it's not likely >.<)

Sure I'd rather have extended battery. :)

When it comes to saving battery by restricting syncing/updating live tiles/social networking stuff over wifi to fixed intervals, it is sound policy.

However, app updates are (IMO) an important background task. The OS should be smart enough to recognize that the update process is running and make allowances for it. Especially as the user has to manually initiate the update. To me, if this is done over wi-fi, it would appear that the user is well aware of the update (and probably the effect on the battery, though I wouldn't bet money on this :D )

Having the option would be a plus.

Another negative is the US-centric approach to Bing. If I use my Indian Live ID, I lose Scout and Music recognition. I don't much use the former, but the latter is a must have. For this reason, I use a US-based Live ID, which sometimes has issues when purchasing apps.

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burnblue

Very impressed so far

- Thought you were disappointed

People loads up with all the Facebook friends so hard to find phone contacts, I eventually found the setting for this to Filter the Facebook friends out.

-Finding the filter wasn't hard at all. You want to change something, so you go to settings. Boom.

Mail does not show Unread count on tile, only unread since you last checked (not configurable to change what it counts)

- I would expect this to be the preferred way. The Live Tiles let me know if I have anything new to pay attention to, not that I left 500 unread mails in my box. One thing about WIndows.. they pick the way that most people use something and go with that.

Bing Maps are useless for directions in my city (Melbourne, Australia)

-Sorry

The search button is not context aware and always does a Bing search regardless where you are (Might as well call it the Bing button)

- That's how it used to be. They changed it in Mango to make it consistent. This was an improvement.

Bing does not search recent news like Google does.

-Yes Bing does search recent news. They're often the first results

I can not change the default search engine (Android/iOS allows this) if I am not happy with Bing

You can in the browser (or, the phone maker can). Changing the OS search to something non-Microsoft doesn't make too much sense for them

Marketplace says that the Google Search App is not available for my device/carrier/country

- It's not official from Google. Forget it. There are plenty of apps that will do Google search for you. gMaps is a great Google Maps app

The Marketplace is dismal - there is no app ecosystem supporting the platform any more than a feature phone. There are hardly any free apps, even very basic apps costs money - there are no freebies.

- What? Feature phone? No idea what you are talking about, that is false. You can't say that and expect us to go with it. By the way, most of those trials are essentially a free app.

One app I downloaded told me that the App was no longer free once I installed it and that I had to buy it, even though I had never had a chance to use it yet.

- and this reflects on WIndows Phone how?

I think it is fine for people who have basic needs (do not rely on the Calendar as much as I do) or people who have never had a Smart Phone before to even know what Android/iOS is like (or are just a Microsoft Fanatic) but for me, it is just eye candy lacking substance.

- You have outlined a couple of scenarios that you're used to seeing in one app, the Calendar, and from this you say the OS has no substance. I find that strange. Sure there's no 'clone' button for calendar entries, but how many people do that? Sure, it didn't recognize an address for you but it does this across the OS and I'm pretty sure they've demoed it in the Calendar. How do you know it wasn't just that particular address that wasn't recognized? Sure there's no week view and it seems strange when you realize it, but will that really change your life?

There are many features we desire and would like to see added to the OS, and that is also true of every other OS. I do not believe that WP7 compares unfavorably to iOS or Android. If one mis-manages their expectations then yes, you're opening yourself up for unnecessary disappointment. And it's ok to be disappointed, but to say that WP7 compares to feature phones is unreasonable hyperbole.

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~Johnny

Another negative is the US-centric approach to Bing. If I use my Indian Live ID, I lose Scout and Music recognition. I don't much use the former, but the latter is a must have. For this reason, I use a US-based Live ID, which sometimes has issues when purchasing apps.

I believe you don't have to use a US Live ID, you just have to set the Bing Search language to US in the settings.

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burnblue

As someone who really liked Windows Phone initially, but just didn't see it develop over a year and eventually switched to the iPhone I get what you're saying. There is so much potential, and it's really pretty, but it just can't do everything yet. The thing that drove me over the edge was the lack of notification center. If I miss something, how do I know?! Small things like that drove me over the edge. Microsoft reps are always saying "it'll come in future" or "soon" but their release cycle is abysmal.

I'm glad I switched away, for now. The iPhone 4S is brilliant. I'd like to switch back, but the OS needs to mature a bit to be honest.

Sounds like you bought the iPhone 4S in Fall, before Mango released in Fall. Because "I didn't see it develop in a year" is false, since Mango was released in that time and it surely was a development.

"If I miss something, how do I know"... Live Tiles?

As for the release cycle, do you get more than one iOS major version per year? And the Microsoft interim releases like Nodo are to me more significant that the iOS minor patches.

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