Weekend Read: What Microsoft Screwed Up in WP8; And What Needs to be Fixed

| February 2, 2013 | 61 Replies

DSC01507The guys over at have published a pretty interesting article about the honest shortcomings of WP8; and what features/things need to be added/fixed for it to be taken seriously; and honestly I agree with every item on that list (plus a few of my own). Here’re a couple of points they made; but be sure to check out the full list over HERE:

  • Lack of Notification Center: I remember during Mango release, I was constantly on twitter chatting with MS devs and asking them for a notification center and they gave the standard reply that you will still get if you ask the Redmond folks “Live tile IS the notification center – you get all the updates and information / notification on your homescreen”. Fair enough but am I supposed to sit blankly at the screen every second of the day or wait 30 minutes for a tile to be updated or better yet wait for a push notification to come and decide to pick between a sip of coffee or clicking on the notification before it goes to a never to be discovered black hole? The answer is simple: Get us a notification center immediately. This is 2013 and the supposed no.3 mobile ecosystem doesn’t have a notification center boggles me and there are reports suggesting that Microsoft is working on one so hopefully we’ll see it soon. What is intriguing to me is how Microsoft will bring notification center into the UX. Right now, w/o the notification center – just like wp7 – I am not paying for push notification applications and my WhatsApp and Facebook application is sorta useless when I get a lot of notifications so it’s kinda pointless at this moment. What about apps on pinned on screen? What about notifications for those apps? Yeah, no two thoughts on need of Notification Center hopefully.

  • Me Tile: Me Tile was probably last updated when Windows 95 was released. Not really but I don’t even understand why there’s this amazing utility is sitting on my homescreen  that I use all the time isn’t being updated to it’s full potential. I am a heavy twitter user and there’s no auto “Reply to all” for tweets (this should be by default btw and would be done in matter of minutes but who cares, right?) which means I have to go to a twitter client and do it. This destroys the purpose of the Me tile twitter integration mechanism. Another thing that I would love is auto complete and of course, a favorite button on the application which is probably the least time consuming task and if you think it doesn’t matter – then let me tell you, it’s the small things that matter and this statement will become even more important when Google and Apple release their new OS this year. There’s no escape but to make both large level and small level changes. Second problem with Me tile is the lack of friend tagging during check in. So basic but not implemented. I have to open the Facebook app for it which is great but then again – half baked and mostly useless. I know Me tile is for glancing at notifications but it should do more than just that. It has incredible potential, it’s fast and I would love to see MS upgrade it in next version.

  • The upgrade:– So I upgraded from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8 last week and the upgrade was pretty good as expected but there was one critical problem : my installed apps. Just like every other OS all your app purchases and installed apps are linked to your account so when you switch devices you can fetch your applications and use on your new device – as simple as that. Windows Phone does that too but with a little twist that made me give up using this feature. WP8 doesn’t allow you (still) to download and install all the applications at once so instead you have to go to every single one of them and click on the download button on the website. Extremely frustrating and I didn’t bother with it after some time. This needs to be fixed.

  • The elusive search button: Okay, this is where my fellow rabid MS and WP fanboys are going to rip me apart but let me be honest about it. Bing sucks. It’s decent for media queries but it’s just bad when compared to Google results. Microsoft should offer a choice to bind search key to a search engine of user’s choice. I know it’s a bad Bing business decision but I am confident it will be a great decision from consumer point of view and consequently for WP. Search button could be a bit more useful, it’s a big darn button on your phone, right? I know some of you have been asking for it since ages but a lot of people apparently like Bing so giving users an option shouldn’t be a bad thing. Search button can also be used for universal search (long press search button for universal search?)  which is another BIG feature missing from Windows Phone 8.

You can check out the full article here:

But while we’re on the subject here are a couple more of items that I think Microsoft dropped the ball on:

1- Voice dictation, where is it? Ever other OS (including the newly launched BB10) has it; why don’t we? Android has gone a step further and given us offline dictation; while all we have is the the option to dictate text messages (which BTW cuts off halfway through every sentence).

2- A proper music player- one of the idiotic changes in WP8 from WP7 is the music player for some reason now it decides NOT to remember your player preference (mainly to shuffle playlists); meaning every-time I have to select shuffle when i start a new playlist, it’s 2013; why isn’t there a :set as default”

4- A true voice assistant- let’s face it, Microsoft tell me is a JOKE; it’s nothing in the league of Siri; and I blame MSFT. Why not buy Ask ziggy and implement into the system like any normal person would.

3-A new Killer feature- It hurts me to say this but WP no longer has a killer feature, Android has Google Now, amongst some other cool OEM customization  Apple has Apps and reliability. WP had the “the people hub” as an awesome feature; but it’s no longer unique, BB have done the same except made it look a million times nicer (and more functional). Instead of adding something killer in WP8 it seems the engineers spent their time fine tuning some stuff no-one has ever used (and probably won’t)- rather than finding a way to make it cool again,



Category: Lumia, Nokia, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.
  • Silthice

    Let me add another one is to fast forward a movie using a bar instead of holding the next button….

  • patata

    Are you serious about people hub beeing unique? It might be ok for those who only use facebook, twitter and wlm, but for everything else the N9 and even the N900 is the better choice. MS should allow to add any social network / messenger of my choice and not only those 3. Same about search engines

    • jiipee

      A nice addition to N9 would have been to have the feed behind a contact as well. Ie having emails, tweets etc filtered behind a person a bit like in the feed view.

      • Sammy


        That’s an idea worth communicating to the Sailfish(Jolla) community.

        • Jiipee

          I could have a check eg, if the TMO question/idea list has it.

          Im quite sure that this was planned to be in Meltemi. If they had the target to have most data in one database, this would have been relatively easy to accomplish.

      • rustyknight17

        BB10 has that , just saying ..

  • nokia

    si por fin lo sabia bing es una mierda

  • nokia

    if you knew End Bing sucks

  • viktor von d.

    they’ve been busy putting wp on the nt kernel. that’s why they didn’t add anything and the os was released so late. they slaved on it till the last possible minute, changing things under the hood.things need to change now. and i hope nokia makes some damn changes to the os like they said they have the right to. i don’t mean ui changes, but add features and shit. they own nearly 80% of the wp pie. they should act like it and start making changes based on their own needs

    wp central has an article on this too

    • arts

      Lets see what Microsoft does next. Will the next update be a incremental one? Or new features will be introduced? I hope all will be revealed on mwc.

    • rustyknight17

      At the risk of repeating myself , MS and Nokia simply don`t have the luxury of time . One dangerous competitor has already been released ( BB10 ) and others r coming …

  • search button as it works now is a joke and also I agree with every word you wrote.

    • migo

      It was actually kind of decent in 7.0, but someone high up at MS meddled to make it all Bing. Now if MS could integrate Bing as the branded desktop search in Windows 8, then they could actually keep it Bing branded and have a useful universal search.

  • yoyo

    @Aliqudsi: I hope you are joking? Don’t you know that resizable tiles are the killer feature WP8? Don’t you remember Joe Belfiore talking an entire hour about that amazing feature during the launch of Lumia WP8? :/

    But you are right and even MS knows it. But the thing is, I really don’t feel/believe that MS is trying to push the boundaries of WP8 with killer features. Like Joe Belfiore said; MS is trying to tick all the boxes. Boxes which where created by other OSs.

    • yoyo

      BTW; Nokia is actually the one who is doing killer features for WP8 at the moment…

      • Noki

        yeah maps 🙂

      • v.s.i

        So true. And that’s why I’m starting to grow increasingly impatient for the MS contract to end. WTF MS, no FM radio, no HDMI, USB OTG, 1080p, sleeping screen, gesture unlock? Then I must be downright dreaming about an FM transmitter right?

        I’ll tell you what. Place a notification centre (with at least N9-like functionality), make that search button trigger multitasking view and change its logo, put an RGB led under the Windows logo so that it glows in the system theme, allow at least a custom camera UI, implement said HW + SW features and give Nokia at least some more credit when it comes to your piss-poor market performance.

        Or let Nokia fork the source code and build their own WP OS. Maybe they do know how to build a better one, after all.

        • v.s.i

          Oh and while you’re at it, give manufacturers the possibility to use on-screen buttons. 🙂 And I wanted to write, ‘place a notification centre left of the live tiles and allow loop scrolling’.

        • incognito

          No, they shouldn’t let Nokia fork the source and build their own WP OS – we have been told time and again that Nokia is completely incompetent when writing software, especially on the system level, which is why they had to throw away most of their software and embrace Microsoft’s solution.

          Are you saying that such notions were pure FADs?

          • v.s.i

            To be honest, I actually believe Nokia’s engineers were and still are pretty clever. They have always had more or less far-reaching views as far as technology is concerned. Look at the innovations that have been brewing in the R&D labs for years such as Series 90 in 2003, Maemo in 2005, PureView, the flexible display phone, graphene and sh*t loads of standard-essential patents.

            What the problem was is the management system, which got increasingly bloated and arrogant and as such prevented meaningful communication between teams. Had there been concerted, unhindered efforts in 2005 or even 2007, as I’ve said before, we would today be rightfully enjoying our Harmattan-powered smartphones with 41 MP PureView, Nokia Maps, Sleeping Screen etc etc* and a more adaptable OS (which BTW was easier to port Android and iOS games to, OpenGL vs DirectX).

            * AND that damned white notification LED, I just love how you almost can’t tell where it is when off 😀

            • Noki

              OMG I agree with you :D, But things were geting way better in nokia, and then Elop nuked everything, and transferred its future to a company that surfers from the same problems that nokia did, but worse is no were as pressed as Nokia was to solve them.

              In Microsoft they also believe they can do no wrong, in MS they also have a management system, which got increasingly bloated and arrogant. “windows 8 does not sell because manufactures suck”.

              I will grant that for that last 2 quarters it as become to late for nokia to do anything else than hope for the best and some miracle, but I don’t think that will append.

              Nokia might survive as a dumb phone manufacturer and grow from there in the future, but I believe the WP experiment is one of the worse examples of management incompetence ever.

            • rustyknight17


        • migo

          Letting Nokia fork it would be the worst idea of all. Other than that, I half agree with you.

  • Ronald

    A Notification Centre like on the N9 would be just fine. I always thought WP8 would have had more of an Nokia influence.

  • pathetic

    I feel sorry for WP users my N9 has none of these problems it is simply perfect .
    BB10 is amazing and definitely superior to this crap platform (WP). nokia is dead again by their own ideas. how fu*cked up is that?.
    you all still believe in Elop and his bulls*hit ?
    He should go now ! and apologize to all users for the shi*t he did.
    I get too angry when i think what the N9 could have been if this fu**cker had not murdered meego

    • shallow ocean shoal

      Everybody agrees N9 is great, but it ain’t an ecosystem dude! You understand the difference right? One single great phone is not enough to compete, really.

      • pathetic

        ” But It Is not an ecosystem , dude! ” .
        I make you a question why is not an ecosystem ?
        why do not you ask to Elop ?
        he prevented the creation of an ecosystem around MeeGo .
        the N9 would not be the only phone that would be sold , also the N950 , and a tablet . everything was ready for the N9 was a great success. dalvik ( ACL ) is a great example Calligra and more applications that were locked in a state of development , thanks to Elop and his announcement of murdering MeeGo

        • Noki

          i think this ecosystem stuf is all BS any way, far more important is how compatible is it with other systems, how much will work will it be for team under app Z to port it to platform a b and c. Will it require a complete rewrite or are segments of my application portable.
          The n9 was for more compatible will the rest of the landscape than what WP is.

          • pathetic

            And I can say that developers will feel more attracted to MeeGo; Microsoft on the other hand scares away the developers.
            Nokia had a large community of developers behind MeeGo, ( ) and what nokia did? spit in their faces.
            I ‘m surprised that even with the crap that Nokia has made to this community , they continue developing applications for the N9 , excellent applications.
            Wazapp is better than the official app for Windows Phone , even better than the android and iOS
            Soundwave is great!
            CuteTube is amazing !
            Emumaster is the best emulator ever created for any platform .
            Qtweak , is like a thousand applications in one
            Filecase , a file manager with all services cloud storage in one.
            HomeScreenSetting , another Swiss army knife .
            Rocket , Fmobi .
            and I can go on, there are many quality applications . that’s the power of community .
            that’s the power that nokia let go .
            that power is that android has , and that ‘s why android is the best selling system these days.

        • rustyknight17

          Yup , there were , according to an MNB article last year by Michael Faro-Tusino , that at the time of Meego`s canning , there were 5 successor Meego phones schelduled for late 2011/ early 2012 release !

  • incognito

    How dare you complain about those minor omissions (if you can call them even omissions, who in the world needs those?) when they dedicated their time to bring you such hugely important and dealbreaking features like the Kid’s Corner, Wallet and My Family?

    Microsoft obviously have their priorities set in order which is why their system is a stellar success. Imagine they actually listened to the public and provided what a bunch of John-don’t-know-anything-Does deemed important? Oh, the horror, they might actually end up with an epic failure of system, you know, like Android…

    • shallow ocean shoal

      Now your argument is that people shouldn’t differentiate? Hypocrite.

      • incognito

        Where did I say that? There is differentiation, and then there is differentiation for the sake of differentiation – and Microsoft has been doing too much of the latter. I mean, Microsoft can start producing bikes, that would differentiate them quite a bit from all other mobile OS developers, but wouldn’t help them with their mobile OS whatsoever.

        There are things we came to expect from a mobile OS that are just missing from Microsoft’s offer and those things are, whether you like it or not, deemed very important by the market. If you don’t believe me, please enlighten me – why is Microsoft utterly unsuccessful with their endeavor in the mobile arena? Why did they have far more success when they actually followed some of the industry’s standards before they performed a salto mortale with their idea of differentiation – iOS-like business model with Android-like device spread / manufacturer support and glaring feature omissions with extremely polarizing Fisher Price-like UI – something nobody was asking for in the first place?

        Again, differentiation for the sake of differentiation obviously doesn’t work. But I’m not worried about Microsoft, what gets on my tits is the fact they’ll drag Nokia under the ice in the process. Much to the delight of the likes such as yourself.

  • thedead1440

    This article is sums up M$’s approach to the mobile market since forever.

    They have always been late to market or come up with half-baked operating systems. It seemed Nokia might have some say in WP but as things are panning out we can see M$ do everything with Nokia’s input severely restricted.

    Nokia’s own OSes had middle-management issues but those engineers in there had talent to get good work going. As CEO Elop’s responsibility is to safeguard Nokia’s interests and while he cut of fat he has gone too far into the bone.

    A core team of the best Espoo has to offer would fix WP into shape well but sadly most of those capable to do so left.

    M$ were aiming for an iOS-esque model for OS and now they are stuck with something that has many issues and lacks a number of things. Did anybody realize once they try to add features like in WP8, they open themselves up to more performance losses as Jay’s post yesterday shows.

    All in all the WP strategy has been quite a mess and is pretty close to being a failure from the commercial point of view for Nokia (if it isn’t already so).

    • JGsmartypants

      It is a failure from a commercial, product bland HR sense (Nokia’s best and most ambitious employees leave to places where they control the OS, leaving Nokia as a hollowed out shell. Which I guess is all Elop thinks Nokia can be…another OEM.

  • rustyknight17

    Yup have to agree , WP8 has major issues that must be fixed NOW , if they expect to compete …
    pathetic , with u !

    • Bob

      Major? No. Room for improvement. Yes.

      • GordonH

        “Major? No. Room for improvement. Yes”
        Why doesn’t the same sensible logic for the Meego OS?

        • rustyknight17

          Yesa major , at least for me , but then , I`m all about the functionality to get stuff done …

  • yemko

    Even if you ask me, all I gat to say is WP with tiles is a pure joke

    • Mark

      Nobody did. 🙂

  • Tero

    For podcasts the default player suggests using the store, and atleast I can’t find any podcasts there. This kind of shit is exactly what makes people angry; it is ALMOST good, but not well enough implemented to not piss users off.

  • anon2

    Ali’, it’s obvious WP isn’t for you. The “killer features” IS the fact that you don’t need to piss-fart around for hours making irrelevant and unnecessary changes to the phones UI.
    In terms of features, are you kidding us ?

    1. A flawless Mail client out of the box
    2. Office Hub (Lync, Onenote, and Sharepoint are invaluable features for some)
    3. Turn-by-turn-voice guided OFFLINE NAVIGATION
    4. kid’s Corner
    5. A smooth user interface that doesn’t lag
    6. Proper ecosystem integration between your PC, Tablet and Phone (granted it still has a long way to go)
    7. One of the best web browsing experiences currently available on any smartphone
    8. People Hub (which you rightly pointed out)
    9. “Point, Shoot, Share”
    10. Rooms and Groups

    These are 10 features I’ve rattled off the top of my head.

    WP8 isn’t perfect, not by a long shot, but having experienced the other ecosystems it is definitely not as bad as it’s made out to be.

    • rim

      1 are you saying others don’t have that? BB10 has that way better.
      2 for some is correct
      3 correct but hardly Microsoft credit and soon not exclusively.
      4 Bb10 has that but in a true useful way.
      5 so does everybody else on recent enough hardware
      7 if not mistaken it has one of the worst scores in html5….btw Bb10 has the best and still has flash.
      8 9 10. Depends if you like that sort of implementation but most platforms have something like that.

      • rustyknight17

        Must agree !

    • indigo

      4. kid’s Corner

      Really, has anyone EVER used this? Even parents?

    • tom

      It’s very funny, when you wrote about “Proper ecosystem integration between your PC, Tablet and Phone “. When I use my android or symbian phone I can connect directly to my computer or my NAS server. It’s impossible in WP. I’m talking about NAS with smb, computers with WinXP and Win7. WP is example of the worst implementation of the ecosystem integration I ever seen (ios is also piece of shit, but most apps integrates with dropbox)

  • Bob

    These are not show stoppers, and only minor quibbles in my opinion. If this is the worst of it then not bad really.

    And there is nothing wrong with Bing search (l get that it is cool/hip to use Google only).

  • DesR85

    I agree with the WP Store part in regards to compatibility between WP7 and 8, but I think either a proper filter or a note at the side indicating WP7 or 8 compatibility should be enough. Not to mention the responsibility of the developers to code the WP7 apps to work on WP8 and vice versa.

    Also agree with the wider availability of features like XBox Live, Music, etc. worldwide and the multitasking part. VPN is understandable, though China is starting to crack down on it recently so for those who are living or working there will be in for a headache if they’re trying to access Facebook, Twitter or other sites barred by the Great Firewall.

    The rest just come across as nitpicking or not really a deal breaker to me, especially FM Radio, lockscreen, etc.

    Aside from that, I really hope that Nokia Drive for both WP7 and 8 allows you to backup your favourites in the cloud when signed in to your Nokia account. Wonder why this wasn’t implemented until now, but I digress as this is Nokia’s issue, not Microsoft.

  • James


  • GordonH

    Question: “Weekend Read: What Microsoft Screwed Up in WP8; And What Needs to be Fixed”

    Answer : Nokia

    • incognito

      You, sir, won the internet today.

  • Android Paid Poster

    Windows Phone OS is a true piece of trash!

  • Pingback: Dear Microsoft: Get off your lazy arse and get Instagram on WP (MS, do developers hate you?) #Rant : My Nokia Blog()

  • Tiago Silva

    Microsoft rebuilt the whole underpinning of the OS. It was all part of the plan. First build a new user experience over the same underpinnings as Windows Mobile 6.5 (because otherwise they’d be totally dead in the market). Then keep the user experience and migrate the underpinnings to something not braindead. Otherwise, WindowsPhone would have launched in mid-2012, not early 2010.

    There wasn’t enough time to improve the userland this time. This means that WP8 is stuck in 2010.

  • Pingback: Windows Phone’s @JoeBelfiore tweets that he’s listening to consumer feedback/complaints for WP8. : My Nokia Blog()

  • Tony Hart

    I’ve got the Lumia 920. I’ve got tons of music video that have been sync over to phone. The flagship phone doesn’t have a video playlist resulting in me having to select videos to play manually. Unlike in music playlist, the video doesn’t play under lock screen so I can’t hear the audio from the music video. Current YouTube download apps that’s available in market place cant download videos into the native wp8 video hub & sync to PC.

    Unlike wp7, there is no dlna app to share content with my smart tv. Although Nokia said the app is coming, it should have been there from day one….

    So much for the integration hype…

  • Pingback: MS Working behind the scenes on WP8.5 : My Nokia Blog()