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Joe Belfiore
169

Joe Belfiore just wrapped up his Reddit AMA, here are the highlights

Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore just wrapped up his first AMA on Reddit. It’s an informal Q&A session with folks in that belong to the Windows Phone section of Reddit. He shared a lot of insight about the current state of Windows Phone. Joe also gave us glimpses into the future. We learned that an official file manager was coming to Windows Phone 8.1 sometime during this month (and even got a first look at it!), we learned that Microsoft is courting Snapchat, we learned about big updates coming to Skype and Facebook and so much more.

Below we’ve pulled out all the info that Joe shared from his AMA. Just sit back and read all his answers right here.

Joe Belfiore on the feature gap between Windows Phone and iOS/Android:

"As you folks know, MS' mobile strategy had a big reset back in 2009 when we changed our model for WP7. At the time, the iPhone had shipped with a new approach to mobile-- touch enabled, big screen, and new functionality.

To react to this we had to implement a new system -- a new UI, a whole bunch of apps we hadn't built ourselves (interestingly: the old "Windows Mobile" that MSFT shipped didn't even have a dialer-- it had to be built separately by each OEM!)... And there was a LOT of work to get the same set of features built.

So... I'd say we've acknowledged plenty of times over the past few years that we've had features missing relative to iOS or Android. Some of this was intentional decisions to be focused-- we did NOT focus on Enterprise/Corporate at first-- but then we did.

I'd say with WP8.1 the feature gap is ALMOST completely closed. As mobile is much more mature now, it's less likely that ANY platform will have ALL the features of its competition -- and that's what makes one platform fit certain people better." (Source)

Joe Belfiore on why the enthusiast program (Preview for Developers) took so long to come out:

"We sure as heck try not to break promises. The thing that's tricky is WHAT YOU PROMISE.. And it's amazing how much the internet gives things a "life".

Last summer we said we'd enable developers to get updates separately from the carrier-approval process. It took us longer than we would have liked to roll -- this out... but the reason for that was a combination of work we had to do to implement the program AND the fact that the updates we were shipping early in the year wouldn't have had as much value for existing phones.

We knew we had BIGGER updates coming later-- the Update 3 last year not only had some solid features in it for everyone (rotation lock, driving mode, storage sense updates) but also carried Update 2 with it. BY THEN it really mattered to get it out. Plus we knew 8.1 was coming, so we wanted the system up and running.

In this case I'd say it took us longer, but I wouldn't say it was a "broken promise" (though I can see how people felt that way for some months)." (Source)

On whether or not Windows Phone is a second-class citizen within Microsoft:

"Microsoft DOES NOT treat WP as a second class citizen! We have a very senior, well-funded team that has amazing support from our senior leadership and from other groups.

What does happen time to time is that teams who are working on cross platform work make prioritization decisions (or are limited by the nature of WP itself) such that features show up on other platforms first -- we are a company about devices AND SERVICES and when you think about something like Skype it's important that they remain compelling and competitive on other platforms as well.

As a general rule, we work with teams to make sure WP users aren't lacking in benefits... and all the teams here are getting better and better at this... Skype now has WP-specific benefits, the Remote Desktop client is out, etc." (Source)

What’s Microsoft doing to improve apps that have been ‘ditched’ after being launched (Flickr) and what are they doing to improve their own apps (Skype)?

"There's no silver bullet here... Apps, like most things in software development, are a marathon, not a sprint. And I'm not claiming we've nailed it - as you point out, there is more work to do. Fundamentally, the ISVs who write these apps are making business decisions about how they can make the most money-- and as WP has grown, and as MS has invested time & money in the apps, and as the platform has gotten better/stronger... more and more apps have shown up.

So -- sitting in 3rd place, it's tougher for us to get the apps-- but I do think that we've made great progress in the last couple of years. We're not resting on our laurels. We (and not just we.. I) are visiting ISVs, looking for ideas that can help them grow their volume and user engagement, providing them with funding and development help - and in some cases we are even using our own team/devs to write apps ourselves.

You're seeing these results through both well-known apps SHOWING UP (Instagram last year) as well as higher average user ratings per app on the store - we look at ALL sides of the issue. Right now we're MOSTLY focused on continuing to GET the key apps-- although lately with more of these present, we've shifted a bit towards improving the current ones.

You mentioned Skype and FB -- on Skype, we have new version in development that our team (and me) have been using and it certainly helps with performance-- we'll keep going-- and on Facebook, we've been working with FB on an update to that app too, targeted for the June timeframe - this update brings improvements to performance, having full-width photos in the newsfeed, and seeing photos & comments at the same time." (Source)

What feature do you think will make people choose Windows Phone over competing platforms?                                                                   

"Right now, it's not ONE FEATURE. It's the way the whole system is designed and what it's about. We think WP is the MOST PERSONAL SMARTPHONE– and that’s a combo of features, starting with live tiles and now Cortana makes it even more personal. This is kind of a mantra for the team-- we're serious about this. We're balancing a unique, attractive visual appearance with letting the user customize it a ton. We really want your phone to feel like your "fingerprint" ... better than any other phone." (Source)

Will Cortana come to Windows 8?

"Nothing specific to announce, but Cortana herself is always telling us she's a fan of PCs herself." (Source)

Will Cortana ever be able to toggle actions (such as turning off Wi-Fi when you leave a place)?

"You can turn Wi-Fi on/off by speaking in the developer preview now, but cool suggestion to do this automatically based on location." (Source)

Why are games listed in the main app list in 8.1? Will this change in a future update?

"This was a close call for us –- this kind of situation happens a lot in design... I call it a "45/55 thing". In this case, we made the change (to the "55" :) because we found through usability testing quite clearly that NEW USERS to our platform sometimes had a hard time finding games.. so we chose to optimize for these new users. It’s reasonable to suggest having an option for this in the future... something we’ll explore." (Source)

Star Wars or Star Trek?

"Star Wars. Sorry fribbley." (Source)

How long can Google continue not developing official apps for Windows Phone?

"We think we’ve developed an awesome platform with Windows Phone, and definitely look forward to welcoming Google’s apps on it. We have these apps high on our "want list" so it's something we've invested in (ahem, YouTube) and are absolutely willing to continue investing in.

Unfortunately, the apps are Google's and I can't say when they will act. Only our friends in Mountain View know timing.

You should ping them! (Often!)" (Source)

There’s currently a long time lag between announcing a new phone/OS and having the product actually available. Is Microsoft doing anything to address this?

"The time-lag thing is tricky. It depends on: - what LEAKS. (We can't prevent these, and they make people start looking for stuff that may be a ways off). - When we ANNOUNCE. We have to balance early announcements (better for ISVs to get apps ready on the new platform) against waiting to announce close to availability (more fun for end users because you hear about something and then, poof, it's ready to go. Also -- done right, this can help sales because people will hear excitement and then head to a store and find a phone ready to buy.)

We are trying to strike this balance in a better way -- with WP8.1, the announce was aimed at devs and just days later we had the developer preview in everyone’s hands, so the MOST motivated users (and there are a LOT of you!) can get the software quickly.

We expect to keep our pace of updates similar to what we did last year-- we are pretty proud that we shipped three software updates last year, and we're already working on some cool stuff that I know you'll like.

On HARDWARE -- it's trickier. Up until now (welcome Nokia!) it was different companies doing this work, and they had to sync their schedules with ours. We do think that for first party phones, the acquisition will help with time to market... and you've seen us already announce new phones at the same time as announcing the software. I can't comment on any new phones that might be coming-- but of course Nokia and other partners have a bunch of stuff in progress.

Last -- we're doing plenty to help HW partners get devices to market faster in general. At build, we showed some phone prototypes for India and China that partners took only a few months to get running.

Overall, we feel like we have made some progress in getting to a higher velocity, but we know we have more we can do, and I think you will see us continue to accelerate where we can." (Source)

On whether or not Snapchat is coming to Windows Phone.

"Yep, talking/" (Source)

Are there any plans to give Xbox Music the love and support needed to bring it back to par to what Zune was capable of even before the advent of the Windows Phone 7?

"Music is a good topic for this AMA... lots of interest!

There's a balancing act we're trying to effectively walk here... (1) We have a super-valuable audience of subscribers who've been with us since Zune, and who value subscription, etc... And at the same time (2) we're selling the significant volume of phones to people who are NOT Xbox Music (Zune) subscribers and (based on needing to pay a monthly fee) aren't likely to become subscribers. They use music "simply".

SO ... we're trying to build an experience that runs cross device on your PC, your Xbox, your Phone-- in a service-oriented way (think: cloud collection)... but simultaneously work for the hordes of people who manually sync content using the shell or iTunes. Getting both of these right has been challenging.

We moved away from the PC Zune client in the interest of serving the broadest phone-buying audience in the way they already knew. We learned that many people who ALREADY USED iTunes or the shell viewed learning a new Zune client as a "speed bump" in the way of getting going on a new phone. So, we changed the structure to appeal better to those people.

The new experience in WP8.1 Dev Preview will get us to one system that works GREAT for "ordinary side loaders" (it works with the Windows Shell) AND for people who use multiple devices and are more "cloud-oriented". It’s re-architected to handle both of these well-- and in particular we're shipping it as an app on the phone and have committed to regular updates which will make a BIG difference over the next few months. You've seen one already and more are on the way.

Upcoming in the app: you'll see performance improvements (we hear you!), better stability, UI improvements (some of you have been asking for a "swipe" to change tracks), etc. etc. Do take a "months" time view of this, as there's plenty of stuff in the pipeline." (Source)

Any plan that Windows team will bring ALL the basic apps to Windows Phone such as Alarm and Sound Recorder anytime soon?

"We'll do more ourselves-- but while WE are always working on various apps, I would also encourage you to work with the /r/windowsphone subreddit because I know there are devs on here who are looking for ideas of what apps to build.

We love seeing the community add-value here too!" (Source)

Windows Phone 8.1 is really cool, but is still has a few flaws and needs fixing. Thoughts?

"Developer preview is NOT final... There’s client-side software fixes we're still making, when UPDATES go out to existing phones they will come with "BSP" (low-level phone firmware) updates from the OEMs... and the Services (Cortana) are continually getting improved. SO... when you get an official update or buy a new phone, it'll be more polished than what you folks have now.

In terms of timing... no specific dates to mention, and keep in mind that the software updates will vary by phone and carrier. Do keep in mind our history last year with updates to get a sense of how we think about this.

In terms of the specific issues you hit -- the dev preview has gone very well from our POV, with hundreds of thousands of "devs" having downloaded it so far (smile), and we’ve been closely monitoring feedback on the platform, features like Cortana, action center, etc.

And since you mentioned this, it's a good opportunity to mention our UserVoice site –windowsphone.uservoice.com. The team uses this site A TON to help structure and prioritize feedback on what customers want to see in the product. Yes, I read it myself and I FREQUENTLY send links to people on the team when I need help winning an argument. One of my favorite stories from a previous release about how we use UserVoice was how you can now configure the button in the browser address bar to do what you want – e.g. favorites or tabs. Everyone who voted on that feature, THANK YOU for making your voice heard." (Source)

What is the most outlandish/futuristic idea you guys have ever wanted to implement, but technology is a limiting factor?

"Well, speaking for what I PERSONALLY would most like us to implement... a small phone that will fit in my small pockets... But that has HUGE screen size.

Maybe like this... http://gifsoup.com/view/3168675/laia-hologram.html" (Source)

Does your team realize the downside of limiting Cortana to the US for the beta?

"Cortana in other countries: We’re definitely working to bring Cortana to other countries. She tells us she’d like to travel. We've already announced that when we launch V1 after Beta, we'll be in China and the UK as well as the US. We're also hoping to get other English-speaking countries (e.g. Canada, Australia) out relatively quickly as well. The challenge in doing this is we want the Cortana experience to be EXCELLENT for everyone -– and this involves not ONLY delivering great voice recognition for all the different languages, but also making sure that we have a great regional experience with local content so she doesn’t feel like an American!

In the meantime, we're thrilled that people are trying it out in other countries and we use that data to train the system. It's helpful to get accents and hear other queries, and we can detect WHERE these are coming from to help improve the experience later." (Source)

Why is the Settings screen still an unordered mess, in 8.1?

"Yeah, I agree this could be better -- it's something we intend to address in the future. For now, we’ve tried to organize it by the most frequently used setting. But we realize that's tricky because people are SO DIFFERENT in what they care most about. Action Center's configurable buttons helps with that-- and btw, we hear many of you asking for extra buttons (e.g. cell on/off) in Action Center and I'm optimistic we'll be able to oblige... but no promises here." (Source)

Why is the local phone search via the Search button dependent on an internet connection?

"Although we do always put you in the ‘web’ pivot when you do a search, you can swipe over to see results from your phone – even when you are offline." (Source)

Why is the touch target for closing the action center so small?

"Hadn’t heard this issue below… as a tip, you can also hit the back button to close the action center." (Source)

When will the Store search have any kind of filtering?

"Good feedback... We’re always thinking about new ways to make our apps more discoverable and generally add the things people are asking for most." (Source)

Any plans for a file manager in Windows Phone?

"YES! We are doing a File Manager for WP8.1! I know a LOT of you are looking for this (thanks for the tweets, I've read them all). In fact, I've been running a build of it on two of my phones for the last week or so and it's getting to pretty good shape." (Source)

Are there any "Easter egg" on Win 8.1 that most people don't know?

"Hmm... Easter eggs... Related to an AMA... maybe you should ask Cortana if SHE'D ever do an AMA." (Source)

We seem to be on a feature backtrack with our updates. 8.0 lost radio, 8.1 killed music, Me integration, Photo Hub integration, and Windows Phone pales in comparison to our syncing options we had with Zune. What's the reason for this?

"Let's talk Radio first... FM Radio wasn't in the initial launch of 8.0 because it wasn't finished when we made the base-level OS change to the Windows NT core... so it came in the first update. From your POV as a WP7.5 user, it "disappeared" (yes) and then came back. From our POV, we swapped out the kernel and didn't finish this part of the work for a few months. This aspect is one of the tougher parts about software development, we sometimes have to make tradeoffs in terms of features and time as a result of technical change that has benefits that are WAY less visible to users.

Let’s take the social integration in 8.1 as another good example of tradeoffs that some of you don't see without an explanation. When we had Facebook and other SNs deeply integrated into the OS code, it was very challenging (and we got a LOT of feedback from customers about this) on two counts (1) because we were missing a number of desired features –- like being able to "Like" a photo and (2) because it limited our ability to do great international support for the key social networks around the world. As you've seen on other questions here, when we end up doing something that doesn’t work worldwide, that causes users pain too. There’s an old phrase that’s been used at Microsoft for a long time about how creating big software projects is like ordering pizza for a million people.. and there’s a lot of truth to that.

So after a few releases of getting feedback that people LOVE the UX being integrated but are frustrated by the limitations… we decided to go with the app-powered model for social integration in 8.1. This approach empowers the individual services as well as individual devs. Now new social networks can be added at ANY TIME via an app update, and thus a lot of people around the world will get a feature they've missed entirely. Furthermore, by linking to the app, we have a mechanism for "deep users" to get access to "deeper features" in a nice, natural way.

I’m not saying we got it perfect out of the gate – but there are real advantages to the app-powered model in the long run. Besides what I mentioned above, it will get better over time as the apps get updated. For example I mentioned in another reply that we’re working with Facebook on an update to the fb app that improves performance, and that’s in turn going to make the social integration experience better. We’re working with others developers on this too.

I would encourage ALL developers to look at this integration as an opportunity – and work with us together to make it better. Give us feedback, write integrated apps, use integrated apps, give developers feedback, etc. etc. etc. Let’s make it happen together.

On PHOTO HUB ... we changed the design because we got actual telemetry data on what people ACTUALLY CLICKED. By far, the most clicks when people opened Photo Hub were to go to the camera roll -- and only .5% of clicks were to a 3rd party app. The re-design in WP8.1 addresses this, putting the FREQUENT task right up front and making the other tasks generally available but in a different place." (Source)

How are you working with other division (Office, OneDrive, Xbox team and so on) on their hub/application on Windows Phone?

"We spend a TON of time with people from other divisions.

I have regular 1-1 meetings with my counterparts in Office, Skype, and Xbox. Our teams have a standing process at every milestone for jointly reviewing our work, and we use each other’s products deeply.

The environment at Microsoft has been great for us to get better and better at this... And although we sure have room to improve, it's a place that I think has become a strength." (Source)

Windows Phone is so awesome, but the carriers in Canada make it hard to be a fan here. Will Microsoft please start selling Lumia Windows Phones unlocked on their online store? Apple and Google both give us this option.

"Carrier Exclusive phones...in the US and Canada, the carriers value having exclusive phones because they are reasonably looking for any angle to get people to sign up for a long term contract. They are really selling contracts, and their method is to attract with a phone that they promote aggressively. As part of this model, they expect to and DO spend a LOT of money on marketing. When their business works this way, it's very hard for a hw maker to NOT participate because you'd be competing against the money that the carriers themselves would spend on marketing and against the work they'd do to sell other phones against yours in their stores.

We understand this creates a dilemma for end-users... you want to buy a phone but it's not on the carrier you're already signed up with. Well, that's precisely the effect the carriers are trying to create, they want you to switch. :)

In the higher-volume ecosystems, you have seen this dynamic change... iPhones and Samsung phones are typically the same device across carriers. I expect as WP usage grows and along with that as broader end-user demand begins to ALREADY EXIST in the market, the need for carriers to spend money educating people will diminish and the phones are likely to be more broadly available.

SO... in the meantime... try expansys.com or zones.com to buy unlocked phones." (Source)

How can Windows Phone be faster?

"The MAIN thing that will affect this perception is whether the apps you use have implemented "Fast Resume". This was a new thing in WP8 (I think -- can't remember if that was the release we added it in) and an ISV has to "flag" their app to support it. This might involve testing and in a few apps it involves more work than just testing. SO ... ping the ISVs if you're feeling that apps come up slow. MOST PEOPLE don't say this.

A lot of people ask about TRANSITIONS and they assume the transitions "add time" to getting to the app. We've worked hard to make that NOT THE CASE. What we've done is made the transitions happen "while the app is loading" so they give you something to see that fills the time but does NOT slow it down. (OK, maybe a tiny, imperceptible bit.) We would NOT NOT NOT gratuitously make millions of people wait longer to show a turnstile... we show you the turnstile while you'd be waiting anyway." (Source)

The way windows phone currently “multitasks” is inelegant and quite frankly, bad. (Apologies if my terminology is not 100% accurate). Thoughts?

"Multitasking. This is the classic "balance-striking" design challenge. What we've tried to do here is (1) make sure that REGULAR USERS (think: less sophisticated, don't tweak their phones that much) get GREAT AND PREDICTABLE BATTERY LIFE while (2) Apps can do powerful things for everyone (and especially for power users).

The biggest killer of battery life is typically an app that's got some kind of runaway process. Usually this would be a bug if it happens-- and it could happen in any app. Thus to accomplish (1), you restrict apps to "runaway" and try to do as much on their behalf as you can.

Now, with that as background, know that we've GREATLY EXPANDED the multitasking features in apps with every release, and we'll continue to do that. As app developers are doing more stuff and as we learn about the gaps in our system, we try to enhance. I can appreciate you folks-- generally power users-- hitting the limits of this approach and asking for more... and we hear you.

On your TOMBSTONING question-- honestly I can't answer that myself, but I'll pass it on. When we switched the activation model, we chose to make the APP decide so the APP could be sure to effectively manage its own activation. Our intent is that users get apps with "instant resume", but this is a case where we have to trust the ISV to get things right-- kind of like the general topic above." (Source)

Why is Cortana completely useless without location turned on?

"It comes down to this: we want to provide a COMPLETE EXPERIENCE for Cortana, and we want that complete experience to be PREDICTABLY present and not vary too much. If you hear about something she does, we want it to be true on YOUR PHONE, in YOUR COUNTRY.

Cortana builds rich inferences by rationalizing across lots of different signals and content that you give her permission to access. For instance, by having access to your location, within a few days Cortana figures out where you live and where you work and starts giving you commute inferences based on when you leave to go to work or come home from work. Without location a bunch of the important end-to-end scenarios wouldn't work or key questions couldn't be answered-- e.g. what’s the traffic like to home/work, remind me when I get at a location to do something, show me great Caribbean restaurants in Seattle, etc.

Our current view is that without location Cortana would "feel limited" and we don’t want to create a fragmented experience where some things will work and some things won’t depending on whether you give us access to location. Part of this is that she's entirely new and we want her to develop a GREAT reputation, compared favorably to the competition. Over time, we might make her more flexible so that we can accomplish BREADTH... but right now the focus is on consistent quality." (Source)

Joe, you’re a very admirable presenter with a laid back style. How do you prepare for these presentations?

"Luckily, I've grown more laid back as I've matured…"

Joe Belfiore Hair

Source: r/windowsphone

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Comments

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ZackTheNever says:

Noooo :'( he didn't answer my question. All i wanted was for him to give insight on my app.

Judge_Daniel says:

Yeah. He was very thorough, but didn't answer nearly as many questions as an average AMA. It seemed like he was typing from his phone or maybe a Surface Touch Keyboard or something. I was a little disappointed, but still pleased--like most of my Windows Phone experiences, haha.

sandcastler says:

I'd say he wanted to give complete (or as thorough as possible) answers to as many as he could instead of empty lines or not thought out responses to many more....

What is not complete and thorough are good answers that used the word ' focus ' in them... The need to focus on one thing or another is fine for a small company with limited funding and resources... BUT NOT FOR A HUGE COMPANY WITH DEEP POCKETS AND ABILITY TO HIRE SCORES OF DEVELOPERS SUCH AS MICROSOFT... Here's how it should've went... ' Feature parity with iOS and Android, how long will it take us to get there? Such and such years/months... How much will it cost? Such and such amounts... How many developers/divisions do we need to handle the workload? Such and such... Alright, I want to double down, what do we need of each to get us there in half the time?

ZackTheNever says:

True...will you tell me what you think of my app?

ZackTheNever says:

It's called Bass_Tuner, look it up in store.

Too many with that name, link to yours?

If it is to detect the pitch of the guitar, I would say unique and it deserves attention. If that is not it, then I don't know which one is yours.

Overall, I am not the desired audience, but my brother-in-law is, yet he uses an Android-based phone.

twentythreee says:

Well, that's what every developer wants to hear óÒ

kenzibit says:

And Email file attachments...anyway this AMA has been a sucessful one.

Tafsern says:

Glad he didn't, so he had total focus on the IMPORTANT questions.

ZackTheNever says:

That's very rude... Even though I asked a personal question, doesn't mm mean the whole event is ruined.

I asked him to send me a Nokia Lumia 930 :3

ZackTheNever says:

Lol he wouldn't give it free haha

SwimSwim says:

Awesome. Love it when companies do stuff like this.

FAHMI BASSEM says:

Joe you had changed your style so much.
Sorry for my English

sd173 says:

What'll happen to those file manager apps when there's an actual official file manager built into WP?

Xellsama says:

Have better interface and more functions?

troylytle says:

It won't be built in. So it will still be your choice.

sd173 says:

Oh. I was assuming that it would be built in but I guess it does make more sense for it to be an app since Cortana is also an app.

spaulagain says:

They're pretty much doing away with built in apps because the limit updates to only when the OS is updated. By making it a seperate app, they can send updates as often as they want. Much like they did with the Music app.

I'm so glad they are releasing an office file manager. These third party ones feel so half baked and forced. Not to mention poor UIs. The offical one looks amazing.

sandcastler says:

Glad to see he repsonded to my XBM/Zune question. I miss seeing how many time I listened to artists/songs/albums. 

Here is one way to go about it:

- Go to http://xboxmusic.uservoice.com/

- Search if your desired feature request already exists.

- If so, vote it up and share the link here and tell others why should they vote for it.

- Otherwise, create an account and be the one to submit that feature request.

 

This link would be a future reference, which you can use on any forum discussion, in any AMA discussion and blog comments etc. And its a great way of convincing and keep reminding devs. Priority is usually evaluated based on the vote count.

 

~ Vote for me and I'll set you free ..

ymcpa says:

Why are the 2 choices on the XBOX music.uservoice site Google and facebook? Where is the choice for using the Microsoft account? Again Microsoft treating its own products as second class citizens.

UserVoice is a feedback platform and its not own by Microsoft. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UserVoice

Head on to http://feedback.uservoice.com/ to give them feedback on integrating Microsoft Account.

twentythreee says:

You can login by just entering your mail + name. I guess that's simple enough (and you don't have to misuse another shitty social account).

JNate says:

Ow I sooo miss that too! Making a playlist simply out of the ones you listen the most. Or discover interesting tracks you never thought you had but were never played before.

garak0410 says:

I'll be patient on XBOX Music...for me, I want more than 1000 per playlist and the shuffling algorithm fixed when shuffling playlists. Both are huge for me...

juanitoriv says:

Dude, seriously, you have playlists that are 1,000+ songs? Why?? That's like 2± DAYS of music continuously. Why would one need a playlist that large? Not judging, but I don't get it. I have 5x that, but.......

Novron says:

Do you exercise regularly? It's nice to have a month long workout playlist which doesn't repeat.

hwangeruk says:

if you assume 3 mins per song (thats a low average)

And 1 hour in the gym per day, thats 50 days. Most people dont go every day, some break days, some only week days. Some people go in lunch, and average only 40 actual gym minutes.

So, I'd say your logic is flawed.

Besides, don't you subscibe to Xbox or download Songza and stream stuff while you work out? :/

Anyway, I agree a playlist fo 1000+ songs is so at the extreme of normal useage thats like Joe analogy of Pizza for 1 million users, and 1 guy wanting his pizza made of gold. Nonsense idea.

iyae says:

Remove the corny Christmas music from your collection (seriously, people exist that listen to that? That's so corny its not even funny) and problem solved

WPmunkey says:

I do. But 200 songs was plenty for me. This 100 song long shuffle list is too short

mwdavis84 says:

Sure, I keep like 20 GB of music on my phone, including full albums. I usually don't want to listen to the rifraff that fills out an album, so I keep a "master" playlist of "good" songs that I put on shuffle. It has grown quite large over the years.

Also, the radio feature in XBox Music is pathetic, it's much worse than Smart DJ on WP 8, which is much worse than Smart DJ on WP 7.5, so it's not like I have a decent Microsoft-sourced option for generating a playlist anymore. I've basically got Pandora or the master playlist....it's sad how much they've broken music.

garak0410 says:

I have an 80's playlist that is about 1300 songs in Zune...for XBOX Music, I had to split them up into two and then play them as NOW PLAYING. The new phone XBOX Music app just selects a few artists at a time from that list and plays 4-10 songs by them in a row before doing the same with another artist until it reaches another one and then same thing again.

I would just shuffle my clould collection but Christmas Music creeps in and doesn't mix well this time of year. Can I remove Christmas Music from my collection but yet the clould playlist still play them from the XBOX Music Store?

WixosTrix says:

Yes! When you add songs to a playlist they are not automatically added to you collection anymore. You can add all the Christmas music to a playlist, delete the music, and they'll remain on the list for you t be able to stream. You can even download the list for offline without it adding them to your collection. There is a folder labeled "Subscription Cache" in your music folder where it downloads too.

NightWatch71 says:

Shuffling feature doesn't work at all. If you start on the same song and choose shuffle, it always creates the same list. I mean I know that you can't get true random but this is just lazy.

xxxneoxxx says:

Some better playback options would be great too.. What about a decent equaliser? Hell, i would hire the entire Poweramp team, and let them work pn the box music app, together with the current xbox music team. Have the current techies train the poweramp team, and have the poweramps team develop the awesome equaliser and playback features for WP. Poweramps for Android is so amazing, if MS would deliver similar options from withing the Xbox music app, it would win the audiophile community over in a minute.

scdkad says:

I would like just higher volume output. 3 different sets of headphones I tried on my 1520 and still not loud enough for me.

I'm with you man. I'm currently in the process of switching my playlist collection from Spotify to Xbox Music and I can't tell you how many 1000+ playlists I have! (I like to make collections of all the new music I find in bi-monthly playlists and it often exceeds 1000 songs) 

SeraphX2 says:

But just based on comments in the AMA, you can easily see how other smartphones are getting improvements faster than is. While making us second class citizens may not be their intent, it's what it at least feels like when our apps are months behind theirs; especially the Microsoft apps. Third-party is excusable, but not their own. And if their own people are working faster on the other platforms' apps faster than the teams for WP, them maybe they should reallocate resources. People will continue to buy iPhone and Android if they are consistently getting apps (like Office) that are a few months ahead. You have to give people a reason to switch to your ecosystem if you ever expect to gain more market share. You have to make your products more unique, not less attractive.

UnnDunn says:

It really just isn't that simple. For example, they can't just "reallocate resources" if the resources don't exist (iOS developers can't just step over and do Windows Phone dev, for starters).

And lets be honest; there are probably more OneNote users on iOS than there are on Windows Phone at this point. The OneNote team has to go where their customers are.

SeraphX2 says:

Then you get rid of iOS developers and hire new WP developers. If they continue to push out superior products on systems other than their own, then no one will ever feel the need to move over to WP. If no one sees the need to move, then market share will never increase. MS doesn't have to go to iPhone and Android. Office has thrived without there being mobile versions until now. Mobile doesn't make or break Office, but Office can easily make or break WP. You're logic is fine the other way around, but doesn't help when yo are also trying to promote your own hardware. I didn't say don't make them. I meant give priority to the people that fully support your ecosystem.

UnnDunn says:

Again, it isn't that simple. You can't just fire your iOS guys and hire Windows Phone guys. There has to be a clear business case and long-term planning behind it.

Even Google often introduces features to the IOS versions of their apps before the Android versions.

Bottom line: companies like Microsoft have to consider all the factors when making decisions like this. Yes, they are trying to promote the Windows Phone platform. But they are also trying to promote Office, OneDrive, Outlook and a whole host of other services to people who don't have Windows Phones. It does them no good to artificially gimp those apps on other platforms just to make the Windows Phone versions look better, especially when there are competing apps on those platforms.

hwangeruk says:

Apart from Office. What else (in this long list :/) that is on IOS or Android that isn't on WP?

Marco Gomes1 says:

And users will go where the best services are. So, where does that leave windows phone?! Why should anyone drop their iPhone and buy a windows phone then?!

I think the main problem like was mentioned in the article was that they're an devices AND SERVICES company. It's their job to present the best services to whatever device it's on. Of course it would make sense to help out your own team first, but you can't just abandon where the majority of your users are. Lol @ the guy who said fire the iOS developers like really?

SilverSee says:

Here's the thing I think most people don't appreciate: in many cases feature parity has been gated because proper APIs have been unavailable on Windows Phone. Windows Phone, like it or not, has been a platform undergoing radical evolution under the covers. Not only has the entire kernel of the OS been swapped, but several API frameworks have been introduced that didn't even exist under WP7. These changes have accelerated recently as Microsoft is building more convergence between Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Now that Windows Phone shares so many framework features with Windows (itself still undergoing rapid evolution) and has reached a certain level of maturity, I think the delta on first party apps at least will shorten.

It's the same reason Office Touch is out for iPad and not Surface. WinRT, like Windows Phone, just hasn't had the API maturity... But this is rapidly becoming less of an issue.

Xellsama says:

He answered my question! It feels like going to a concert and getting a high-five from the musician!

sandcastler says:

Or the drummer throwing his drumsticks and you caught 'em. 

kevC4D says:

Joe is lame for saying Star Wars.

ZackTheNever says:

Lol star wars is boss

sd173 says:

Correct, this one is.

kevC4D says:

The way I see it.. Doctor Who and Farscape > all other scifi > star wars

sd173 says:

I sense a disturbance in the force...

Novron says:

Doctor Plothole? I like the personalities but the plotlines are the biggest eye rollers in scifi. By the way...
Firefly rules all.

kevC4D says:

Doctor Who doesn't have that many plot holes, maybe you just can't follow it. Lucas is terrible with bad writing and plot holes.

But yes, Firefly is also up on the top of the good. I should have included that.

Novron says:

Can't follow it? Let's see, he reboots the universe without him in it. What would happen? Darleks stomp Timelords. Who isn't there to stop it. Everything he's stopped in his previous lives would have happened and Earth would have been taken over in the 60's or 70's. But no, he jumps back in with the equivalent of handclaps and faeries getting wings then he's back in the universe in 2010's. If he was around all that time doing all those good things, the universe is still broke. He didn't accomplish anything. Just one of a hundred gaping holes. It's not hard to follow, you just have to ignore the cavern in the plot.

kevC4D says:

If you cannot understand it then im not going to explain it. This isnt even the right place for this kind of discussion and i dont have the time to get into it.

kevC4D says:

Now that i have a free second or two.... *even though this isn't the place for this dicussion...

He rebooted an 'exact copy' of the universe, with him trapped outside of it. Which is different than him never existing. (sometiems you just have to pay attention to what's actually happening)

And also, “The universe is big, its vast and complicated, and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles. And that's the theory. Nine hundred years, never seen one yet, but this would do me.”  So, you know.. it's all Timey Wimey and stuff. :)

On the other hand Jedi have god like powers. They can run super fast and nock robots over with their minds.... Untill the plot doesn't want it, then they become stupid usless humans with no abilitys at all.

But at the end of the day, just stop complaining about details and just enjoy the show. I mostly don't like Star Wars because the writing is predictable and lame. The robots act like drag queens (no offense to drag queens). Characters like little Anakin, Jar Jar & others are simply stupid and annoying.

SeraphX2 says:

Firefly is more cowboys that happen to be in space than actual SciFi.

UnnDunn says:

The whole Reavers storyline was good Sci-Fi, I thought.

kevC4D says:

First, Science Fiction doesn't necessarily have to take place in space. Second, you're dissing a show because it's not about space itself. Hate to tell you this, but space is quite boring. The only things that actually ever happen in space is all the stuff that just happen to take place there.

WPmunkey says:

I love coming to WP Central comments to have a good laugh. You guys sure didn't disappoint today!

Novron says:

Star Wars doesn't have ship captains who cry or need freaking emotional counselors on their bridge.

garak0410 says:

I love Star Trek but I had to laugh at that... :)

True. Instead, they get strangled if they screw up

kevC4D says:

Yeah, but to be fair, star wars wasn't really about the captians at all. And luke had daddy issues, his dad was a psychotic cult follower, the emperor had a god complex, Han that he was god's gift to the universe... Maybe they needed a Counselor.

hwangeruk says:

I find your lack of faith disturbing

kevC4D says:

Faith is rubbish.

hs k says:

Unless she is a hot ass Latino or a black girl.

schlubadub says:

Have you even watched Star Wars?

hwangeruk says:

LOL kevC4D not the sharpest tool in the box are you. Its a Star Wars reference you plank :)

kevC4D says:

You're kidding! Seriously? Do you really need to point that stupid reference out? And speaking of tools... Nevermind, I'm not going to lower myself to your level and start insulting you.

schlubadub says:

Star Trek is like "Lawyers in Space". 90% of each episode discussing and contemplating with the rest the actual interesting part. I always wished they were 30 min episodes so they'd stop stretching out the story with more pointless pontificating. The movie reboots are great though.

jhoff80 says:

I hope the rest of the Windows Phone team takes a really close look at the questions there, because there's a ton of good feedback listed that didn't get addressed.  Obviously I don't mean that they have to answer everything, but they really should take it into consideration for future updates.

sd173 says:

That is pretty much also explaining the entire situation of WP User Voice.

kingkoopa09 says:

Where are the zunehd apps u promised to port - AudioSURF tilt

twaffles says:

Those may be other companies, not Microsoft.

astroXP says:

Oh boy, I though no one else remembered those apps! I miss the BBQ Battle game!

Cortana integrated into my PC will be a million times better than Google Now in a browser. Yes Please.

anon8814234 says:

well it felt that he was holding back alot...cant complain there is too much to be revealed this year..

jkercado says:

I never got the answer about Bluetooth keyboard support. :-\

juanitoriv says:

I wouldn't want to use a BT keyboard on my phone. I just don't get why one would. Why carry around a keyboard when you can have a Win8.1 tablet instead? Although I do think that MS would profit from WinRT & WP integration. Especially on 5.5"+ devices, but different animal for a different day.

hwangeruk says:

> I do think that MS would profit from WinRT & WP integration

RT and WP merging is on MS's roadmap. You need to come to this site more often and read the stories, and not just look at the pictures :/

 

juanitoriv says:

Why the smug face? I know its coming. I've known that for many months. Why would you make such a baseless accusation? Was merely implying that if I had a "phablet", I would want a fuller user experience.

link68759 says:

Wait, how is the WP multi tasking "frankly bad"?

Typical reddit...

UnnDunn says:

The main problem is that it is unpredictable for users and complicated for developers. It operates on the same basic principles as multitasking on iOS (apps suspended when hidden, with a selection of system-managed background processes that apps can hook into when necessary), but for whatever reason, Apple's implementation just feels better to users.

link68759 says:

Complicated for devs maybe, but unpredictable? Not so. IOS copied the multitask screen verbatim even...

The suspending and tombstoning is all intuitive and good.

The only problem is that live tiles can only update every so often- which doesn't lend itself so well to certain implementations (monitoring battery level for example). However, IOS has no equivalent to this. WP has significantly more multi tasking freedom than IOS- the only thing you can say is that you prefer android's unlimited battery hogging model as opposed to the interval update system of WP.

There are very few things that actually suffer under WP multi task limits- devs have just enough freedom to make things work, and it promotes creative, elegant solutions that are still battery efficient.

UnnDunn says:

Unpredictable for users because you often don't know how long it takes before a suspended app is completely killed, and the app switcher is not much help in that regard. So when you tap on an app's tile, you don't know whether you're resuming the app or launching a brand new instance.

And because it's complicated to implement, a lot of devs don't get it right, leading to unpredictable behavior on resume.

link68759 says:

I'd argue "unpredictable behavior on resume" is completely the fault of devs.

"you often don't know how long it takes before a suspended app is completely killed"

Never, actually. If a developer implements it correctly (or desires this behavior), the app's state will persist across reboots, so the only unpredictable thing here is whether the developer chose to/knew how to.

Marco Gomes1 says:

You obviously have never seen a galaxy note 3.

link68759 says:

Yes, building bigger and bigger batteries is totally the answer

sd173 says:

Yay! Joe chooses star wars!

True. The multitasking thing. It's quite bad.

Planblover08 says:

Great QA session. Really cool and honest guy. Weird that he speaks as if Cortana is a real person Tho. :-P

thaman04 says:

Joe's awesome.  It takes a lot of patience and good positive attitude to handle the crap shot at him from the keyboard warriors out there.

twaffles says:

Obviously Joe's secret to presenting is the hair.

hs k says:

Yeah, his awesomely awesome wavy hair, that distracts everyone!

Nothing about Xbox for WP (just read the questions).
Awful, but Joe is a good guy.

mjfadaway says:

Well it doesn't look like carrier exclusivity will be going away anytime soon. 

Nevermind. Looks as if some tough questions were asked, but they had a screenwr picking tje pop flies for him. Real nice.... This is why nothing is getting fixed or addressed.Was unable to be involves or follow because of work. Wad the issue pressed with him as to who is responsible for the Xbox Music/Video mess on both Windows 8/RT and Windows Phone? Did anyone ask why they don't listen to what we are complaining about instead of fixing stuff no one is even mentioning? Or did we just loft him softballs?

willied says:

I honestly don't see why it's so hard for them to have Zune support. Clearly many people are desperate for it, so just give it to us.

busyman96 says:

I've never had a Windows Phone 7, but the current PC companion app is sub par and rudimentary. The modern version, even more so, is abysmal.

sd173 says:

"(ahem, YouTube)"
lawl

DJRedLine says:

So has anyone asked cortana if she would do an AMA? I can't as I'm in UK and on an 8x

oditius says:

I did, but it just gave me references to Joe's AMA..

adamjolin says:

Joe is a pretty cool dude, and a good ambassador for windows phone

Anything on WhatsApp update?

BCH says:

I thought Joe's answer was kind of lame re: Xbox Music on Windows Phone.  He said that they are trying to serve two groups:  (a) subscribers (like me) and (b) loaders who are familiar with iTunes, but who don't want to learn another client.

The problem is that Microsoft had both of these things covered with Zune and WinPhone7. Instead of building on that, they went backward during the past 2 years and managed to degrade the experience for both types of users.  Transferring music via PC, whether by desktop or metro app, is a miserable, laggy experience that usually results in missing or duplicated tracks and missing/incorrect album art.  While the Windows 8.1 (PC) Music app has improved vastly in the last 6 months, the Windows Phone 8.1 app is possibly the laggiest, unusuable app published for the platform.

I like Joe, but his team really needs to deliver huge in the next couple of months.

mrdeezus says:

FUCKIN YES THIS THIS.....

joeonsunset says:

Don't get too ahead of yourself. The Windows 8 app has been out forever and STILL is pretty. freaking. horrible. Doesn't bode well for the promises of improvement on WP (think "months" he said, before expecting something half-decent.)

Why is it that MS doesn't think that an AMAZING music experience is paramount in both Windows and Windows Phone? It's just crazy.

Viktar H says:

Windows 8 had been out for 20 months.

That's all sad.

Joel DSO says:

very nice to read, gives a lot of insight into how things function at MS about the only thing I would have asked that wasn't was "will there be a way for messaging apps to integrate into the messaging hub the way face book chat used to?"
I love that a very prominent guy like him takes the time to interact so personally with end-users

benners76 says:

Awesome job putting this together... You guy rock!!!

mrdeezus says:

Unfortunately, no specific questions about specific features coming to the music app. Ama was a waste of time.

MyNL822 says:

"maybe you should ask Cortana if SHE'D ever do an AMA." she actually answered: Whoever comes up with an answere first should say it out loud.

Sean D. says:

Make this a "sticky" and point people to it every time they make of the cuff comments about MS's lack of commitment to WP. 

Winnabe says:

Wow, you just stole my words. I just made it a sticky for myself. :)

Winnabe says:

Well actually, this was hell of a read, and I am going to bookmark this page so I can get back to read this as often as possible to remind myself that MS is really serious about what they are doing and how proud I am to be a WP user. :)

lubbalots says:

I'm in too deep to back out. I get so much pleasure with WP. It's the most elegant UI out there. I'd come too it over and over again.

Winnabe says:

Same feelings mate, same feelings. I came in for Nokia, but I stay for WP. For as long as it takes.

Hmmm This is NOT the final version ... So GREAT!

oditius says:

I use to love how all I had to do was to place my phone next to my laptop, with the phone on charge. And it would sync automatically. I wish that feature would come back.

joeonsunset says:

I appreciated some of these answers and it dulled my rage some percentage. But basically Joe said nothing to explain the design incoherence in the new features and apps, and that is a big and scary issue to me. It's the kind of thing that creeps, and then you end up looking like Android. It's even scarier because MS always spent so much energy telling us how pixel-perfect design was paramount, and they executed on that promise. So, it feels like this must be the result of a significant shift away from giving a crap about design. Also, I think the lack of good design will lower satisfaction with the new built-in apps in subtle ways... Because not only do they do less, they are also less enjoyable and delightful to use. That goes a long way, as WP has proved for years now. Anyway...

He used weird excuse to explain why Music is so bad (people found Zune daunting.... Wait, so what? How about just make the app better, more beautiful, graceful, and do more stuff like Zune used to?... Just don't require it for syncing.)

To explain why Photos is boring, ugly and does less... he said no one used the links to other apps in the hub. HUH?? Does that mean you had to make the experience more boring and less enriched? You could still use parallax backgrounds, do something beautiful with favorites, SUPPORT PHOTO TAGGING, etc etc.

On the overall app-central social debacle, he didn't address whether people-photos were ever coming back (we shouldn't even have to ask, really, this was a big WP feature)... About the well-loved, highly-touted "old" integrated model he said: People absolutely loved it........ But It took more work to maintain and international users were frustrated when we didn't support international social networks, so, we dumped it outright. Now good luck with the iOS/Android model we replaced it with. He sortof admits its not great, but his only path to improvement is that the apps will improve. Not reassuring. On iOS/Android yea, the apps will improve and fast. On our end? Lets take a bet to see how long it takes before WP Facebook adds back in our ability to tag friends photos. And lets bet on whether you'll EVER be able to do that as a direct deep link from the photo itself. On your mark, get set, go...

Also: WTF FOR NOT ANSWERING THE CURSOR QUESTION. The new cursor is hell.

Sean D. says:

Alright, I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but I personally believe that FB was removed and handled was more on FB than microsoft. FB is really, REALLY pushing their brand. And when you look at what they attempted to do with their own phone, that paper app thing, and that now on other OS's they are making their messenger a separate app... no reason to do that other than to try and somehow monetize it. They are pushing their "brand" all over mobile, especially since that phone failed and shit the bed so miserably. And even when they put that out everything they were advertising WAS Windows Phone.

Music is not my issue so I have no words for Zune changing other than the move to using the XBox name to associate with all things entertainment. But to change the entire experience was bad IMO. Could have kept it the exact same and changed the name... just like when they switched from SkyDrive to OneDrive. :-/
I will say that I stumble across so many dumb-ass complaints about this and all of them go in different directions... there's no way they will "please" everyone.

Photo hub... I'm with you. Hate it now. And I've never used that term with anything WP-related. I do not like things being app-centric. To m it means now more than ever we are at the mercy of the same developers that haven't put much effort into the OS to begin with. Apps have never been my problem... now I feel like I don't have a choice. If they really want to show people the possibilities of the app, and social tie-ins then it would be wise to start with their own Skype, group me, yammer Link and Socl (yeah, who uses it??) as examples of what can and should be done. Because as of right now I can't picture how it's going to work, and work well. I don't see FB doing anything WP specific because they gotta make sure shit is in line with the rest of their apps.

joeonsunset says:

I hear you but the whole "can't please everyone" thing is like what Joe B. would say to explain throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It's like, hey, fine, don't please everyone. But do you have to kill the baby?!?!?

Music. The music hub was great, except for features. No one complained about the design! The only design complaints came in when they dropped design (live tile dropping artist in WP8). the complaints were: add feature x! we need feature y!

So instead of doing that, they trash that well-designed app and bring us this ugly non-WP-worthy thing. Then, they barely even add the features people we asking for in the first place! Yes, the explanation is: We wanted to make it an app, so we could update it faster. Well, yeah, uh, you're gonna need to! Cuz you have a LOT of updating to do.

And it doesn't bode well that they don't appear to have even, like, employed a designer in laying out the app. Uservoice suggestions don't go far in that regard.... Uservoice is for feature suggestions... Which they *should already have done in the first place.* where is the part where they start with a great foundation?

Copy this comment for the Podcast, Photos, and Calendar apps. (ugh. Calendar. Add features to make users happy, punish them for asking by making it slow and ugly.)

Viktar H says:

Thats totally my thoughts.

ALL new apps are ugly and tastless, non-WP-worthy.

Looks like they lost their last Metro-UI-designer (he probably left for google).

joeonsunset says:

Yup, I figure it was all the Zune folks. Now design standards are back to amateur.

There is a lot of design talent out there, obviously if the powers that be cared about it at all, they could fix this situation. It is not like coding Cortana after all...

Viktar H says:

Amateurish design is the main drawback in Andriod for me. From now it is "available" on WP :[

They better fix it fast, cause Cortana won't be available in my country in coming years, and "quiet hours" and offline maps and so on.

And all this is available on droid, plus 2G-3G switch :| and Xperia SP is WAY faster then my L820 on similar hardware (starting, switching apps, accesing settings, managing and syncing media) :|

With 8.1 I don't see ANY selling points for WP now.

ahigherlevel says:

My question was not answered either and I was really hoping for some insight:

There's much anticipation on what WP 8.1 will bring to the table, but what interests me the most is why I haven't heard much about this specific issue at all. Within Storage Check in the Settings menu, my "Other” storage subcategory keeps growing and growing to the point where it is now almost 10 gb! I have researched the internet with much hope of finding an alternative to this continual Low Phone Space frustration without having to hard reset my device and re-install everything EVERYTIME. No one seems to have an exact answer for an immediate fix, which inevitably brings me to you with this question: Will Storage Sense in WP 8.1 (or whatever handles memory, specifically the "Other” Storage) be able to clear/manage/reduce the amount of space that it accumulates and stores? Because the other large subcategories have that option. Cheers. Keep up the great work guys :)

I like Joe.

However he totally sidestepped the question about Microsoft selling unlocked WP on their Official website similar to Google and Apple without a contract.

That's what Microsoft needs because I'm never going to AT&T.

Good stuff, but if WP was REALLY personal than I wouldn't have a goddamned facebook icon stinking up my people tile. Eyesore from hell.

bawboh86 says:

Joe, you’re a very admirable presenter with a laid back style. How do you prepare for these presentations?

"Luckily, I've grown more laid back as I've matured…"

Or, you know, he's high as a kite when he's on stage (look at how much he's squinting >_<). I'd do the same, if I were in his shoes, mind you. 

ariez84 says:

My question is why Share option is so limited (except for the camera roll). Any other albums the share is severely limited, and its so frustrating.

herbertsnow says:

Thanks for this, it saves me from going on that reddit site. I can't stand reddit.

ianberg says:

Reddit seems to suck in lots of people but I've never understood its appeal either. I gave Baconit a try for awhile too. I must be immune to its temptations...

herbertsnow says:

I was a reddit poster for over two years. I deleted my accound a few months ago, I just got sick of the group think stupidity on that site.

Lundon44 says:

Was happy to see someone grill him about the Canadian market. I for one live in Toronto, CA and it gets exhausting after 4 yrs of being mocked by friends and colleagues for being the only WP user and just as exhausted of trying to explain to strangers my phone is not Android or some weird looking iPhone. Sadly, that question wasn't directly answered so I'll assume I'll be continuing to buy unlocked WP devices for the next 5 yrs.

I was in the mix on that one, but agree that he didn't really offer an actual answer. 

I too have to justify my purchase all the time to people. I've had multiple issues with carriers trying to sway the decision away from Windows phone purchases (once myself and 3 times while phone shopping with friends). 

That said, another friend is convincing his management to move to WP for their executives and plan to import 17 Lumia 1520s, so there IS a market, as long as there is marketing and some kind of push to get carriers to actaully promote the phone. 

I think this has more to do with Canadian carriers trying to prolong the death of Blackberry than anything else...

Lundon44 says:

It's funny you mention his management because I attempted to get our company to make the switch from the obsolete BlackBerry to WP. I actually did a pretty decent job of selling it's features and advantages but in the end we went with the whole "bring your own device" plan.
However, outside of my company I personally have gotten 8 people in the last 4 yrs to make the switch to WP and all have loved it. Both my parents are on it, a few close friends and an ex girlfriend. My closest friend is very interested in my 1520 but he's more curious for the 930. But I already know chances are low Canada will offer I and if we do it will be months after the US. The Canadian company I bought my unlocked 1520 was out of stock almost everyday on it for other Canadians wanting their hands on it. He pocketed a ton of money that Rogers could have had if they had taken a chance on it. But want to hear the answer their executives gave me on why they didn't carey it in the end? It was too big.

Yeah the biggest issue people I know have is that there is simply no availability. One friend would have got one but couldn't because Fido doesn't carry anything high end (he and his wife went to iPhones), another buddy went with the Galaxy Note because an equivilent isn't being sold here, and a guy a work with, who changes phones all the time, won't move over because there aren't enough refreshes here. I have converted my mom and am in the process of doing so with my mother-in-law (she's on Fido as well, but isn't a power user). My wife doesn't like the live tiles (what do I see in her, right?). 

Point is, I know people who are interested but there's little availability (carriers) and conseqently less options (handsets). This is why I think MS should offer whatever (phones/Lumias) carriers don't pick up unlocked as direct sales and let them see what sales they're missing when people start to BYOD to get rates and activation. 

ianberg says:

I joined Windows Phone world when a local Rogers dealer would only offer me a Lumia 710 when I requested a touchscreen phone that didn't require a data plan nor 2 or 3 year contract. It's rare to see any WP device out in the real world here in Canada. I don't bother justifying the WP7 other than to say I only pay $21 per month for my phone service and when I need to surf the web on my phone, I just go to places with free wifi.

lubbalots says:

I initially thought Joe was going "AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE" when this news appeared. But found it also means "ask me anything". Silly me.

onysi says:

American Music Award.

Davestrada says:

Someone suggest him to use an iPhone or android so he would have an idea about multitasking and approaching the touch feature in a screen, Apple is still the best at it. I love my Nokia Lumia 920 anyway and first would switch to iPhone than the other.

colinkiama says:

He has used an iPhone already. He was testing out ios7 earlier this year.

Bob101910 says:

I was hoping he would have said they are trying to get devs to release more XBL games.

armyvet66629 says:

My comment was "will you guys quit asking him stupid questions". Karma rating of plus 4 so far lol

pcmeditech says:

Although I understand why WP concentrate almost solely on the residential market (competing with competitors) I would like to see more corporate/business app integration. Developing more apps for integration with Azure, Yammer, Dynamics, Server 2012, Hybrid Cloud, Lync. On a personal note I miss being able to share the WP Central posts from within the App to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook at the same time.

ianberg says:

Yes, awesome point and I'd add Sharepoint, Office 365 and Onedrive for Business to the list! Windows Phone's future itself might be at stake on whether or not it's better than Android and iPhone for Microsoft's own enterprise mobile services and apps. 

Osmosics says:

OMG!! How long is this item?? Think I have to go on vacation for 2 weeks to read it!! ;-)

irsyadhhs says:

I love joe's old hair style. It's simply freshly awesome lol.

coip says:

Nobody called him out on the crappy support for Xbox gaming on WP? What a missed opportunity. #SaveXboxWP

y2kern says:

The biggest problem i have with wp is that wp is treated as a second class citizen in Microsoft.
Joe confirmed this even though he denies it , he acknowledges features for their own skype etc come out on other platforms first,
So what is the real benefit of having a windows phone. Joe does not seem to get it. Its like his priorities are in a mess. WP needs apps and games as soon as possible
The constant drop in market share is an indicator that something is wrong. And yet still he does not give us the kind of responses we are looking for.
We need apps and games in a timely fashion, if this does not happen wp will always be last, bottom line, google never release apps for iphone before android neither does apple. WP will continue to sink in north America because of this

Ruufus says:

Star Wars or Star Trek?  No win question.

Faklur says:

I wonder if wp has fastlane on the next update :)

rculver9056 says:

I thought this was cool. Got a lot of questions answered.
Now watch a Apple rush to get Siri to the desktop before Microsoft get Cortana there lol. The fuckers will probably patent it as well

sau0008 says:

I wish if devs could bring live till effect on wp8.1 updates.eg. You would be able to stop nd play music by tapping on the live tile. It would be awesome feature to have it on wp and bring this feature for other apps. Hope if it is possible to do it :)

ianberg says:

Why not let the user control the order of things within the Settings app? Wouldn't that solve the complaint that it's hard to use?

Leo Schatz says:

I appreciate Joe taking the time out of his busy day for this session.  Microsoft is definately heading in the right direction with the Windows Phone platform and I am excited to see what they come up with next.  Being a fan of Halo since the first game lauched back in 2002, when I first started thinking about a personal assistant for the Windows Phone platform the name Cortana obviously was the only one to come to mind.  Seeing as how I wanted  for that to happen so badly, I figured that it most certainly would not, but as you have all seen...  This of course is only one 'feature' to some, so I understand how something like Cortana may not be as important to some as others. 

Anyways, after using the 8.1 developer preview since it launched, it is obvious that Microsoft has been paying very close attention to 'wants' from it's user base and is trying very hard to accomodate.  If you are fluent in the rest of the Microsoft eco system, you will also see this 'crowd pleaser' mentality spread across other platforms as well,  such as Office 365  and Windows 8.  Things are changing based on our feedback, so this is an exciting time to be a Microsoft enthusiast.

 

Thanks!

onysi says:

I have my own AMA coming up tonight. Find me on reddit and ill answer anything about windows phone 8.1

I would have asked, and should have asked, why can't there be a fever pitch frieze for a Windows Phone relases like there is for an I-Phone? 

It is too bad that when the I phone 6 comes out, it will sell more units in one day that all Windows phones combined sold in the past year and thus the Windows phone market share will either shrink or stay stagnant. 

The media will cover then event too.  Show images of people waiting in line for days to get it.  If any Windows phone comes out, there is no coverage.  I guess because there is never a line of people that goes for blocks and blocks to get the new Windows phone. 

ltjordan24 says:

  I wish I had been able to attend. It looks like it was very insightful.