Windows Phone 7

As I finally migrate my entire contact database (after some serious cleaning up) from Outlook and into Google Contacts, I am sitting here thinking that Microsoft may be getting its mojo back.

I'm done with their productivity suite. I left Outlook mail for gmail a few years ago. Left Outlook calendar for google calendar shortly thereafter. I've left Excel and Word for Google Docs (mostly) and now my contacts are headed to Google too. Then I will be once and for all done with the twin beasts called Outlook and Exchange.

But I am starting to consider other Microsoft products. We've got two xboxes in our home and a Kinnect is coming soon. I've been using Bing more and more. And now I am about to get a Windows Phone 7 device. It was a comment on this blog that got me to do that (I also love their ads).

Windows phone 7 comment

I'm totally into my Samsung built Nexus S so I just found an unlocked Samsung Focus on eBay and it is coming my way. I'll use it for the next few weeks and then pass it around our office for others to try out.

Windows phone 7
I'll be curious to see how well Windows Phone 7 supports the google productivity suite. If Microsoft really wants to be a player in mobile, they have to ditcch the idea that everything revovles around their productivity suite which more and more people are leaving for the google apps.

But I am totally taken with the idea that the contact book on your mobile device should be the central organizing principal and all the social apps/nets you have should plug into that. So I'm going to give Windows Phone 7 a spin. I'll let you know how it goes.


Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    You got me thinking more and more about this Contact list integration. There’s definitely some birds of a feather there. I’m going to play with a Windows 7 today.How about trying the Galaxy Tab as well? Is it still on your testing list? And RIM’s PlayBook eventually?

    1. fredwilson

      we are getting a galaxy tablet for our office waiting area to sit nextto the iPadnot sure about playbooki feel about RIM the way I feel about Outlook and Exchangeso glad to be rid of that beast

      1. Sebastian Wain

        RIM moving to the QNX OS may be a good bet. QNX is an [old] advanced operating system, very responsive.Remember that Microsoft excel in development tools, and Silverlight and .NET are very advanced technologies, being C# and excelent programming language.In my opinion the error with Microsoft and their new phone is using Internet Explorer… a bad mobile browser can be a force against them. And copying the lack of copy&paste from the early iPhone days is not a good idea.Also for gaming, using the same framework for desktop/xbox/mobile (XNA) is a good play.Anyway, I don’t think you can compare Google spreadsheet with Microsoft Excel. Did you try the live version of Excel using Silverlight (if I remember well)? The experience is better than Google spreadsheet but… not html5.Regarding HTML5, the first thing I try (with windows mobile 7 too) is the support of WYSIWYG mode in their browser (contentEditable, designMode) that give you the possibility to edit texts in a rich way. And neither Windows Mobile or Android or iPhone support it yet.

        1. fredwilson

          i don’t do hardcore spreadsheets

          1. Jim Kerr

            This is generally a problem with a lot of tech reviews. The user presents his or her opinion of a device/OS/platform within the context of how he or she uses them. With tech commentators, these are very often edge cases and atypical of more common experience.I can’t imagine many companies would move to Google Docs from office if the spreadsheet functionality is weak. I’m curious about your comment that more and more people are leaving Office for Google Docs. Where did you see that statistic? I don’t dispute it, I’m more curious as to the degree of that trend. I flew back from Montreal to Dallas yesterday, and every single laptop in first class was using Outlook.

          2. Fernando Gutierrez

            I don’t think that completely leaving MS Office is so common, but I do think that more and more people use GDocs (or similar products) with an increasing frequency. It’s not enough for some things (heavy use), but it can better for others (collaboration). Maybe that doesn’t mean that most of us are going to stop buying Office licenses in the short term, but it should worry MS.

          3. Sebastian Wain

            I use both, but… it doesn’t worry Microsoft.What I see on Internet are naive analysis of Microsoft position.Microsoft position is incredibly strong, when a big company invest heavily in Microsoft Office it means Office architecture and interoperability between the different application at a level that nobody offers, not simple reading of e-mails. The Microsoft technologies has a lot of flaws too, but they give a whole vision of interoperability and de-facto standards.Just need to look at the balance sheet of MSFT.

          4. Jose Reyes

            For basic spreadsheets – google is fine – but you cant compare Excel, especially the new versions 2007 and 2010 to google – No comparison. Excel blows away google – if you need to analyze data or do anything more than SUM up some numbers – Excel is King. I will say this – I have noticed in the past 2 years MSFT is getting its MOJO back. Windows 7 and OFFICE 2010 are a delight to use, very usable, intuitive etc…. the new version of Excel is actually making my life easier!

      2. kenberger

        I adore the Tab, mostly due to its perfect (for my use) 7″ size, which allows me to have it on me almost all the time. Verizon is about to release a 4G LTE version.A powerful thing is that another 7″ w/ decent specs is being sold for $150 Walgreens had one for $99 the cheapies start to get good, it will radically change app dev emphasis.

        1. davidgeller

          A lot of the tablets coming out are 7″ to keep cost down. But, that also reduces the battery capacity because of physical size limitations. So, 4G tablets will have the same problem current 4G cell phones have in terms of operating life.Apple has done some brilliant supply-chain acrobatics to bring their products in at their current price points. We may see a slew of competitors but none of them will approach Apple in terms of profitability. And profitability is directly tied to long-term sustainability.

      3. uno

        The executive class loves the iPad because their goal is to minimize all work and maximize time for making decisions, smoozing clients and partners, and playing golf.iPad is great for read emails, reading content, having dashboard type report summaries pushed up to the iPad, and perfect to respond with simplistic emails such as “approved” “please schedule a meeting” “good work people” ect..For example, the iPad was everywhere at Davos last week.Watch for some not so smart executives try to push iPads down to all their employees that are paid to do the real work.

  2. Guest

    A straightforward a

  3. RichardF

    Microsoft just need to ensure that their software integrates with Google Apps. Many corporate users won’t know or care whether the back end is exchange or google. Microsoft’s productivity suite is still way better than the google equivalent imo.

    1. JLM

      The other thing about MS Office is that it does what a business needs to have done. And it is the core business of MS.If a business needs to use MS Office capabilities at a bit higher level — extensive pivot tables of public info pivotted into spreadsheets, perhaps through Access, as an example — the muscle is there to get it done.I find the Google apps to be a bit weak for anything that is even mildly complex.Plus I like the support. Right now, it is difficult to imagine how much better it “needs” to get.

      1. RichardF

        exactly JLM, I think that’s one of the reasons why so many large companies have stayed with XP – they are using legacy versions of Office because there is not much reason to upgrade. A 10 year old copy of excel still does the job for many people.

        1. JLM

          I just recently upgraded my office, home and laptop to MS Office 2010. I could not be happier after the typical learning curve.It is difficult to detect the sentiment that MS is anything other than on a tear these days given the number of units shipped.

      2. PhilipSugar

        “Plus I like the support”Google would be a KILLER if they had somebody that really wanted to do the “down and dirty” tasks of dealing with the consumer/customer/business. Could you imagine if they hired Tony and Alfred from Zappos????At their profitability and their desirability (to work for). They could have a 20,0000 person support staff (in the U.S.), 20 times the size of Zappos and not even put a dent in their earnings per share.They would dwarf Groupons sales staff, make Apple stores seem quaint, and just really straight out hurt a bunch of enterprise companies like Microsoft.

        1. Austin Clements

          Exactly what I’ve been thinking! Hopefully the new executive structure there will come with a top down focus on client servicing. The disparity between the innovation that goes on in that company and the level of support provided to users services blows my mind.Anybody who has ever read a Google support/help page would agree.

          1. RichardF

            too true

      3. uno

        “Plus I like the support”Bingo.

    2. Fernando Gutierrez

      Yes, I’ve done huge things with Excel that I can’t dream of doing with GDocs. But I’ve also done some collaborating spreadsheets and docs in GDocs that would have been a nightmare of emails and versions with MS. I want the best of both worlds together.

    3. uno

      Mircosoft DOES ENSURE that Google Apps integrates with Microsoft.It is Google’s incentive to ENSURE that Microsoft apps integrate with Google and they have not done a great job of that. Reflects poor technology product management skills in my opinion.

      1. RichardF

        my experience of opening open format documents in Office has not been a good one, without 3rd party plug ins.I agree with you that Google do not support their products well at all.

    4. Donna Brewington White

      Hey Richard — are you on Twitter? — wanted to tell you something about the book you recommended. Don ‘t see contact info on your blog — love your “About”

      1. RichardF

        Thanks Donna, @rsforster Was it difficult to get hold of? I’m guessing it might even be out of print.

  4. Charlie Wood

    Whichever phone you choose, make sure you have a backup solution for your contacts list that captures all of the data stored by Google. It can get deleted or corrupted, and the backups made by your PC-to-phone software typically don’t let you keep multiple versions and restore to arbitrary snapshots.We make, and I recommend, Spanning Backup (,Charlie

  5. William Mougayar

    A straightforward feature would be for the Twitter mobile client app to suggest following people from your contact list.Another thought for LinkedIn or Facebook to do the same. The reverse is possible today with LinkedIn.Social CRM might have a chance to succeed if tied strongly to mobile. All the current implementations I’ve seen so far lack substance because they are tied to social chatter & gestures instead of social graphs and influence.

  6. Tom Labus

    What was the logic of not being able to attach a GOOG Doc to gmail? If it’s just not be like MFST, then they should reconsider. Doing a separate mail to sent a doc is not very effective.There’s always a lot anti MSFT always out there but it would seem that Windows Phone 7 presents opportunity without tons of competition for developers.

  7. Jan Schultink

    Looking forward to your feedback re. the Windows 7 phone.PowerPoint will be the one Office application that is here to stay I predict:- Gmail beats outlook easily (search, multi-device access)- Word gets used less and less (who uses serious Word processing features anymore except for book editors)- Excel (most “back of the envelopes” can be done in any software), there still will be demand for serious models / pivot tables etc. But I do mostly back of the envelopes.But presentations/PowerPoint have taken over from Word as the main document production tool. People know the user interface. Presentation/graphics design requires local client processing power. Looks/compatibility/on-screen is important. Tools like Prezi or slide rocket or Google Presentations are trying to make an in-road, but I do not think they will succeed.

    1. ShanaC

      for non collaborative documents, word still is better. I’m still surprised by how frustrating it is to deal with margines and to have so few font choices in GDocs. And it is always the little things that matter when presenting a document. Google is still a little bit too much GTD to apppreciate the human side of this

  8. scottythebody

    After CES, a lot of people are wondering if Balmer’s gone crazy. He has, in essence, announced that Win 7 phone is dead and will be replaced by “mainstream Windows”. I’m afraid that Microsoft’s management team has one awesome ability, and that is to kill innovation by trying to extend Windows everywhere.

    1. uno

      Almost correct.Microsoft does not kill innovation until an innovative product gets serious revenue potential and then they put the competition into the blender.Example, Microsoft is not too worried about FaceBook. If Facebook email starts gets large traction then Microsoft will turn on the grinders.

  9. Jan Schultink

    A second comment re. Google contacts. It is striking to see that the world does not have a good solution for one good contact application. Google contact is the natural home of contacts, but it is still incredibly hard to sync with salesforce and other CRM applications. Plaxo/LinkedIn/facebookGist are all places where people update their contact details but it is hard to capture this in a clean way in the address book.I am waiting for Google to become the world’s white/yellow pages and offering an up to date address book without duplicates and out-of-date contact details.If not, maybe a startup can fill the gap.At the moment a combination of Gmail, Batchbook CRM, and Plaxo is the best I can get. Far from perfect

    1. William Mougayar

      100% agreed. I was thinking same. The high end enterprise CRM’s are too complicated and expensive, and the SMBs (Batchbook, etc.) are just OK.There is a need for a new, from the ground-up mobile contact app that totally integrated with social, social graphs, etc.

      1. Jan Schultink

        Big company CRM is built to be a tool to micro-manage sales forces (please call this guy, follow up on this lead). They do not focus on data quality and integration.

    2. uno

      Jan, back in the U.S.S.R they had a good global contact solution. You registered yourself by law with the local communist party office and then they keep all your friends and business contacts for you on your behalf.Only 1/2 joking.

      1. Ben

        Heh. In America you contact goverment. In Russia, government contacts YOU !

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          hmmmm….gov contacted me for jury duty….

      2. Jan Schultink

        That’s funny

    3. Dave W Baldwin

      There is a way to do as you wish. There will be the more expensive (development side) which will happen and/or a newer tech way that gets the job done for less.

  10. Sean Dague

    The Android phones with HTC’s Sense UI do quite a bit of this already. From the contact list you are show Facebook updates, Tweets, Flickr images, Emails, and Texts from each person’s account page.Yes, this isn’t a core part of the OS, but it was done as a replacement component (well a set of them).

    1. ShanaC

      They need to push what they are doing some more. I’m not as happy as I could be with the widget situation

  11. Patrick

    I’d get a windows phone just to better utilize my Zune pass (…. The number of available artists plus the 10 mp3s per month is a great deal. I just wish I could push the play counts into more easily than using something like Zenses. Microsoft has a way to go with Zune social.

  12. Tereza

    How’s the app situation?

  13. Tereza

    How’s the app situation?

  14. ShanaC

    I still wonder if we are attacking the right problem. At some point Social Media Land will stablize from sheer exhaustion – then what do you want your phone to be like beyond a social machine.I keep thinking the phone is an unarticulated more

    1. Tom Labus

      Maybe we’ll go back to making calls.

      1. ShanaC

        I should mention I am an advocate of a bare bones phone with only the ability to call and text (maybe email too) that is hooked up to the cloud. Mostly because I think it would be useful in the future when we have some more social limitations around phones (webbrowsing, bad at dinner parties and bars) but we still need a lot of the basic communication features of a phone.Always remember: What is old is what is new again. I feel like parts of the internet and social media are a throwback to party lines in terms of the end result

        1. Tom Labus

          Facebook is AOL 2011

          1. ShanaC

            We’ve forgotten how big AOL was. And Facebook will probably have a betterad platform

        2. davidgeller

          My two favorite pre-smartphone phones of all time: Motorola Startac and Motorola Razr.

          1. ShanaC

            You know, I had a friend in high school who could pull apart his startac and put it back together.There are real reasons why people liked those phones…

  15. MattCope

    I’ve always wondered – in your line of work, are all these gadgets you get to buy for research tax deductible in any way?I’m only half kidding.

  16. andyswan

    My pitch to the MSFT board, for allowing me to boot Ballmer.1. Tell any technology people working on productivity products that their product is complete. That’s it.2. Their new job is to start making apps cross-compatible to Xbox and Win mobile. And yes, you will be competing with 16 year olds from Little Rock.3. Outlook folks, throw Fred Wilson a bone and develop THE contacts app of contacts apps. Think of it in terms of GPS enabled. The bet would be that people call/email/text a unique small group of contacts that varies by where they are at, what platform they’re on (mobile or xbox living room) and what speed their traveling. Learn it and surface it.4. Xbox and Mobile develop a seamless app-store and open dev environment.Own the living room + own the phone in one seamless experience = Win.This is an opportunity that MSFT CAN WIN.

    1. andyswan

      They’re not their. Edit on disqus a bit FUBAR.

    2. PhilipSugar

      Well said.And dictate that Windows is not allowed to be put on any device other than a PC.

      1. uno

        Huh? I run windows on my macbook. What other types of device are you looking to run Windows on?Your TV? Microsoft tried that in the 90s, market was not there yet.

    3. fredwilson

      you are hiredi particularly like that part about “throw fred wilson a bone” ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Mark Essel

        Andy KNOWS how to make a sale :D. It’s certainly part of his complex strategy.Win.

  17. kidmercury

    microsoft is back, people!!! it’s time to think different.

  18. George A.

    I am a big fan of Google and the android apps integration. Contact/Calendar sync between the phone and apps is steller, way beyond apple. I trust MSFT to concede this about as much would expect apple to open iTunes to other platforms. Curious to see how your trial goes.I spend about half the day in excel, and frankly excel is the stranglehold that MSFT has on me. I am surprised that you can run your business on google apps as the spreadsheet function is so weak.It is the only reason I have an XP image on my mac…oh I dream about the day when the tyranny ends… as it looks now, I will be running Excel 2003 till they pry it from my cold dead hands…

  19. paramendra


  20. LIAD

    I’m still too scarred to even consider dating a MSFT mobile device again after the harrowing relationship I had with one of their decrepit stylus-infected PDA’s many years ago.The menu system and the sadist who designed it still give me nightmares.

    1. fredwilson

      i am doing this with a slight bit of trepidation for similar reasonsbut i have to know what the landscape looks like

    2. Rahul Deodhar

      The old Windows OS was a nightmare. The PDA was converted into a PC with everything miniaturized. So I had a similar view but MS managed to surprise me.The interface I tried on HTC was snappy and intuitive.

  21. kovshenin

    I think Google’s no better than Microsoft with their suits. Microsoft has Office, Exchange, Dynamics, etc. Google has Apps, Gmail, Calendar and of course the Apps Marketplace. Android phones are tied to Google Accounts, while Microsoft Phones work with Windows Live IDs (at least prior to WP7, because I haven’t played with that yet)… While Apple and Nokia still believe that you can “sync your contacts to your PC/Mac” #omgOh, and did you say Bing?Cheers! Waiting for your feedback on the WP7!

  22. Usctrojan98

    Just to set your expectations re: google services integration into windows phone… Don’t expect the web browser to do things iOS and android browsers can support. Instead, rely on the native apps like People (contacts), calendar and exchange/IMAP email to hook into the core google services. I have done that and am extremely satisfied how it works. I have really no need to stay on the desktop, all in the cloud.The beauty of windows phone, like I am sure other platforms, is the ability to link contacts from various places into a super-contact. So i could have someone’s personal email address stored on gmail, their work email on my work google apps account and their facebook information in the facebook account but windows phone will allow me to see them as one super-contact so I can email them at various places, call them on different phone and post to their wall directly from that one contact. Talk about efficiencies.

  23. Michael Cash

    I personally need to do my research on the new Windows phone, but from what people are saying it might just be an awesome tool.

  24. sigmaalgebra

    Limited time, special offer! For only $1 a run, try the Wappingers Falls ice covered, steep, downhill, high speed bobsled track, AKA my driveway!Seems to me, from the discussions here at and elsewhere, for the next step in “Building Better Social Graphs” and “Is The Mobile Phone Our Social Net?” the main problem is the ubiquity at the relevant Internet or cloud sites of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) instead of a programmable interface.So, on our side, the *client* side, we are stuck with manual methods instead of software.That is, for anyone willing to spend most of a day clicking on GUIs, screen scraping, clipboard pasting, getting all their *contact* data from cloud sites is easy enough. Then just spend another half day *curating* that data (hopefully using something more efficient than Notepad or Excel). Then spend another half day clicking on GUIs to upload that data to various cloud data sources.With this approach, the actual cloud data rate used is under the old 110 bits per second Teletype rate! Semi-great: Use some 50 Mbps broadband connection at less than 110 bits per second! Should we laugh or cry?Really big, huge, clumsy bummer. At the average hourly rate of posters, we’re already talking a new car, maybe a new supercharged Corvette.For this next step, it’s this bummer we’re trying to avoid, right? So, we want some software to do this work, right?Writing software to do clicks on GUIs is also a bummer; at a given site in the cloud, occasionally such software can work for a few days!For a solution, a suitable programmable interface does not have to be anything as elaborate as an *application programmer interface* (API).Actually, the API approach would be a big mistake because each *cloud* site would likely have its own API. Then what? Each application (*ap*) would have to use all the APIs which would be a bloatware bummer awash in debugging challenges. And, even when the ap worked, it would be behind as soon as another cloud data source had a new API.So, what to do? Sure: Get all the cloud site programmers and managers in one big room, lock the door, and let them out only when they all agree. While waiting to do that, here’s another approach:Publish an *open* XML schema for a file of contact data.Make this schema an *object oriented* data definition (much like the intention of the OSI/ISO standards for anyone who wasted time on that work) so that (1) a new version of the schema inherits the previous schema and (2) programs that can read data from a file according to the previous schema can still read the corresponding data from a file with the new schema. So, the schemata can evolve; old aps continue to work as before; and only need to upgrade an ap if want something in the new schema that is not in the old. Actually, for the first-cut here, this *architecture* is likely overkill and should work well enough for maybe a decade.So, just publish the XML schema.Then publicize it.Then hope some cloud site implements it and some ap uses it.Then have some ap use the Outlook API to pull contact data from Outlook and put it in a file in the schema.Then try to embarrass all the other cloud sites also to make contact data available in a file according to the schema, the file available for download by simple means, say, for each user, a URL (with appropriate security) or maybe just old http://FTP.Then have an ap that can take a list of cloud sites, from each get the user’s contact data by downloading a file in the schema, and *collate* all the files into one, according to the schema, for *curating*. Given the resulting curated file, have the ap upload the file to each relevant site.So, the only software needed is file download, file upload, and manipulating data in files of the schema. Then everything particular to a cloud site is gone except, for a user, the FTP or file up/download URLs.If want to put the data from a file in the schema back into Outlook, Excel, whatever, then there can be an ap for that.But mostly from now on just keep the master copy of contact data in the file of the schema. And each user can have, backup, curate, etc. their own master contact list.So, that’s the first-cut — just clean up the situation for *contact lists*. Then the *social graph* is just a *contact list*.For a later cut, will want to know more about what each *link* in a social graph means. Then will want some aps that make use of these *meanings* or, maybe, estimate (part of *social search*) the *meanings*. Yes, a first-cut for storing that data will be some *entity, attribute, relationship* (EAR) model implemented maybe on a relational data base.Then why bring Windows to phones? Overkill? Maybe for now. But microprocessor lithography line widths are already on the way down to 11`nanometers (think about 110 atomic diameters) so that soon enough Windows won’t be overkill. Then for the relational data base, Microsoft can have a copy of SQL Server on each phone to handle the EAR for the *social graphs*. Gee, an electron – positron phone battery anyone?Uh, broadly for software being able to do more, including for *social graphs*, *social media*, *social search*, and more, in part we want software to move closer to *meaning*. Do this with natural language processing, *semantic nets*, etc.? Maybe, but those are not the only ways! One key for more? Sure, some math!

    1. Dale Allyn

      I made a similar statement (a sentence or two) a few days ago here, suggesting a large open source database solution for consolidating one’s social graphs into one usable app. with an intuitive UI. It would be a very cool project if it grew legs.

    2. fredwilson

      dutchess county! such a nice part of NY state

  25. DevStar

    “hey have to ditcch the idea that everything revovles around their productivity suite which more and more people are leaving for the google apps.”This seems like a really odd recommendation. Office is selling at breakneck pace still today (literally faster than ever). And it has hundreds of millions of users. Wouldn’t you focus on your accelerating hundreds of millions of users and nail that experience before allocating too many resources on an experience you don’t control and that is an order of magnitude smaller (and also gives you no revenue).And, given Google has their own phone OS, wouldn’t you want to emphasize your strengths, rather than try to go heads up with what Google will almost certainly be better at?Would you tell Apple that they have to ditch the idea that everything revolves around iTunes as more people are leaving for Zune/Xbox marketplace?

    1. uno

      Google does NOT have their own phone OS. It is simply a Unix/Linux phone.They are doing a good job branding it so people think Google has an OS but when you lie to the consumer if eventually comes back to bite…and I suspect that will happen with Android.

  26. Andrew Warner

    Small typo:ditcch

  27. dlibby00

    Fred, not sure if you have seen these or not but there are a couple of Android Home Screen alternatives that strike a more social graph pose. Slide screen and NetFront Life come to mind…And there have been at least a few attempts made at duplicating the Windows Phone 7 experience on Android:…I have a Nexus S as well but have not yet taken the plunge with an alternate home screen. Considering what I was used to on my G1 Gingerbread’s launcher has been a pleasure to use, but something like NetFront Life might coax me away.Would be interested in hearing what people’s experience with these launchers has been…

  28. Nate Quigley

    I played with one at AT&T store this weekend and I was impressed with the overall interestingness of the UX. It’s good looking, fast, up-to-date. I wanted one. Zune’s problem wasn’t UX. Maybe its legacy will be a WP7 that will remind people that there are still a lot of smart people at MS. At my first company (Eleven Technology, backed by Highland, sold to TRMB) we did mobile enterprise software built on Pocket PC platform. Sales, delivery, merch guys for Pepsi, P&G, etc… Just like the name implied, it was very much just lift the Windows paradigm and stick it on a smaller device. UXs (including ours) weren’t very good. The first Windows Phone stuff was exactly the same. A Pocket PC with a radio.The WP7 I played with felt 100% different…. it was Zune with a radio. Made me think about how hard it is to really dream up something entirely different, but how easy it is to riff and evolve off a breakthrough. Would MS ever have gotten to WP7 from where they were without iPhone?And what’s a phone going to look/feel/behave like in 5 years? How will we break past the iPhone paradigm to something totally new?

    1. uno

      “Would MS ever have gotten to WP7 from where they were without iPhone?”Does it matter?In 5 years – there will phones everywhere – you may not need to carry a seperate device.

  29. kenberger

    Ditching their objective to use the phone to point people back to Office and Win7 sure seems like a hell-freezes-over wish.They even deliberately named the thing based on their current PC OS– is that not a tell (oreos optional)??We exchanged on this a day ago,, when I said Winmo7 is pretty great and you replied that it’s missing apis. I believe that would change in time. But what you can expect is moments where you’re captivated into Windows world. That was my feeling when I demoed the Focus. iPhone is even worse in this regard, but if you’re a dedicated mac user, that medicine’s not quite as bad. I’m sticking to Android as my main phone, and tablet.

  30. Basis

    Once they do their deal with Nokia, they’ll be off to the races.Basis

  31. daryn

    Curious to head your impression of WP7. I played with one for a day, and found it pretty unsatisfying: the UI felt gratuitously designed, and surprisingly more clunky to use than it seems from the ads / demos I’d seen. I don’t use any other versions of windows though, so maybe in that world this is the accepted norm. Wasn’t a fan.The one things WP7 (and older WinMo OS’s) do right, that I wish would be done better on Android and iOS is in making the lock screen actually useful. That’s actually a big one, to be able to pull your phone out and glance at more than just the time without having to unlock, etc. The android widgets are close, iPhone is pretty worthless besides notifications.

    1. fredwilson

      i will blog about ithow’s my old nexus one treating you daryn?

      1. daryn

        I will blog about it :)Short answer: it is a great phone that is everything RIMM should havebecome, but it is missing the joy of use that the iPhone has. I’m stickingwith it for now – and definitely long on android.By the way, I replied with some thoughts last time you asked, but may havegotten lost in the disqus void (I still haven’t figured out exactly why/whenI’ll actually get an email notification from them nowadays).

  32. Nicolas Wittenborn

    But… iPhone?

  33. Borisfowler

    I have worked with Android Phones and Palm Phones. I like Android much better because they have so much more capability. I can do everything on them. Palm has too many limitations.I have not yet worked with the Windows Phone. But I imagine that the multitasking capabilities are unique. I will be exploring different phone options soon.

    1. davidgeller

      The multitasking capabilities of the new Windows Phone are unique because they’re largely absent.

  34. Mike Johnson

    I really hate the design. Others have mentioned how much space it wastes to convey so little data, like that an email is waiting. But I also really don’t like the huge wasted negative space along the side and the wasteful, slow animations that don’t actually *show* anything, they only serve to look good in a demo.But more importantly, I have no faith in Microsoft to work with the software that I actually use, which would be a lot of non-Microsoft products. Would I have to use a Windows machine to sync it? Would it get push gmail? What about GVoice, the developer complains about long approval times? That’s just the start of it.

    1. Thavian

      “Would I have to use a Windows machine to sync it?”>> No. You can use a Mac if you want.Would it get push gmail? >> Yes.What about GVoice, the developer complains about long approval times?”>> I don’t use Google Voice but I’ve seen a LOT of Google Voice apps in the marketplace, several of which are highly rated, so you shouldn’t have any trouble here.Instead of mindlessly assuming Windows Phone 7 is a POS, why don’t you actually read some reviews or go down to the store and play with one before making up your mind? But I guess then you’d run the risk of actually liking what you see and having to admit to yourself that the Microsoft of today is a very different company than the convicted monopolist of 12 years ago…

      1. Mike Johnson

        My point is that I don’t trust them. Maybe they’ve been humbled a bit, but the same people run that company and they’ll go back to their old tricks at the first opportunity.>> No. You can use a Mac if you want.I run Linux, among other things. Or even better, never have need to plug it in to anything but a wall socket.

  35. Kindari O'Connor

    Can you talk more about your experiences with Google’s productivity suite over MS?In my experience, Office tremendously out-performs Google Docs. Office with the included Windows Live gives you everything Google Docs does with an immensely robust feature set I can’t seem to discover in Google’s offering. I say this because I could be wrong – I could just be missing features of Google Docs from inexperience with it.I also seamlessly sync multiple calendars, e-mail accounts, contacts, and rss feeds with office + exchange on multiple computers, the web, and my iPhone.I’ve also been looking at the Windows Phone 7 so I could include my phone in my file sync (Windows Mesh).I don’t understand why people complain MS tries to make you stay in their product family when Apple does the same thing with even more limitations.Am I missing something? I really enjoy the MS product family.

    1. uno

      I agree, If you don’t like Microsoft use OpenDocs but Google docs functionality is still a joke for serious use.I use it sometimes as free online storage to upload my Microsoft Docs and Spreadsheets too when traveling, then I can access them on hotel business center computers and such.

    2. fredwilson

      i am a less is more personi just want super fast search, email in the cloud, and great mobile apps on android

  36. Wills Hapworth

    made a similar digital migration a few months back that made me think about a few things as well (http://darkhorseinvestors.o….i agree, though, there is hope yet.

  37. Kevink

    I played around with my friend’s Windows 7 phone and really liked it. The one thing that I found annoying, which related to what you’ve been saying about one’s contact book being the central organizer of your social graph is that Windows 7, was how it drew contact info from friends. Windows 7 drew a lot of information from facebook, which created 2 issues. The first was people I’m facebook friends with, but not actually friends with, showing up in my contacts. And the second was way too much information I don’t want in my contacts being shown such as relationship status, etc. It definitely made me realize how imperfect the current system for social graphs was.

  38. Prakash

    One of the big plusses for the Windows Phone is the ease with which developers can create apps. This is a huge plus when compared to new entrants such as Bada.More apps create more value for the phone.The UI on the phone is great…..

  39. uno

    Also switched to gmail and google docs and then back to Microsoft. Productivity for serious small business daily use is just not there, issues such as poor gmail spellchecker are a big problem, I use google sync to keep gmail / calender sync’d with outlook so I can check on the road if need be, works great.Mobile contacts are easy to sync with outlook so outlook address book is still my base.Google Docs are a joke for any serious use vs a full client side productivity suite. Again, usefull as a fallback when on the road.My long term $$ is on Apple and Mircosoft over Google. Apple is still the top innovator by far and Microsoft is still the top copy and crush competition model.Google corporate culture is too washed out, not clear on what they want to be, too many egg heads with Phds…reminds me a little of Sun Microsystems back in the day….just my general opinion.

    1. fredwilson

      i’ve had the exact opposite experiencegoogle apps, mail, calendar, etc has massively increased my productivityi could never get to inbox zero with outlooki get there at least once a week with gmail

      1. Pradyuman Vig

        Really? I used Google Apps, and immediately switched back to Microsoft… those apps actually do not have as much functionality…

        1. fredwilson

          functionality is overratedsimplicity is underrated

  40. Ben

    While I understand the attraction of having my whole life in the cloud, the legal relationship with Google is somewhat troubling. I have opted for hosted exchange. In this way my contract with the provider is well defined, especially with respect to my privacy. I get my contacts, email and calendar OTA sync just like you Google folks do.The problem is that Google is a marketing company that provides email. My email provider is an email provider that provides email. This is a much more comfortable fit. I know that my email provider is not using my emails for marketing purposes and is not tempted to push the boundaries of our relationship in the way that Google must be tempted to try to optimize revenue. I have legal recourse if they are in breach of contract. The Gmail T’s and C’s are extremely wooly and give Google wide ranging control of your information.I am also not convinced that Google wouldn’t just hand over all our emails to the government if requested for data mining purposes. The ‘if you are innocent you have nothing to fear’ argument is, frankly, chilling to hear being touted around the place.Google makes me uneasy. Hosted exchange is a way to get back control of your information. I have looked at non-MS alternatives to hosted exchange. Zimbra is basically it. It’s very exchange-like, but is open source. It works well and allows contact, mail and calendar sync over Active Sync. offers hosted Zimbra.

    1. fredwilson

      we’ve run hosted exchange for a decadei’m happy to be in a real cloud not a fake one

  41. HowieG

    It is pretty funny how with Microsoft not a headliner anymore how people think they aren’t still a huge massive cash cow with lots of business lines. I switched to Bing when it launched mostly because I hate monopolies but have migrated back to Google. I have a Windows Laptop but really that is all I use from Microsoft these days. Doesn’t mean I am not open to great products by anyone who makes them and technically they can get into any business line they desire. So they will be a dangerous competitor for a long time. Plus they got into Mobile first so maybe they learned some things. Looking forward to your review Fred.

  42. Mike Anderson

    Best of luck with the Windows 7 phone! The Focus is (not great) hardware — screen can’t be beat. I switched two weeks ago and found Win 7 to be clunky and not a fluid user experience.I could write a two pager on the number of aspects about the phone that are pushing me to get a captivate with Android while I wait for iPhone 5.

  43. Guest

    Fred,I founded GoldMine, an early SFA/CRM pioneer. I have a new Startup, Nimble, a SaaS Social Relationship Manager that unifies your contacts, calendars, email & social listening/engagement into a Social relationship manager. Nimble merges all your disparate contacts from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google into one tidy place. We then automatically link all of your direct communications, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, GMAIL and IMAP plus your indirect listening and enable you to respond to all communications and listen and engage in a single place. Now you don’t have to goto 6 different places to communicate. Best of all we synchronize with Google so you can when you read an email in Nimble it’s read in Google and vice versa. When you schedule an appt in Google it’s scheduled in Nimble automatically.By the way, Nimble is free for standalone users. It also works for that family idea we discussed months before.Now that your off Exchange and on Google it’ll be a breeze for your to play with Nimble. I sent a beta key to your email address.Let me know what you think of our new baby.Best, Jon

    1. fredwilson

      thanksi will check it outi’m thinking this should be a mobile app not a web app

  44. Jon Ferrara

    Fred,I founded GoldMine, an early SFA/CRM pioneer. We spoke a year ago when I was just getting started with my new venture Your blog post about moving from Outlook and Exchange to Google Apps and the cloud reminded me that many business people are looking for a middle ground between simple email, calendar contacts, like Google Apps and pricey cloud CRM systems. They want a Google CRM platform.What would Google CRM look like? swimming in the Social River and seeing the immense power of #SocialMedia and recognizing how old school, complex and expensive most of the CRM products were, I decided there was an opportunity for a lightweight easy Social Relationship Manager.My new Startup, Nimble, is a SaaS Social Relationship Manager that unifies contacts, calendars and communications (email & social listening/engagement) into a solution for individuals and teams. Nimble merges all your disparate contacts, communications and streams from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google into one tidy place. Nimble automatically connects all of your direct communications, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, GMAIL and IMAP plus your indirect Social streams. Now you don’t have to go to five different places to manage Social Relationships and communicate.Best of all Nimble automatically synchronizes with Google Mail & Calendar so you can work where and how you want.I’ll send a beta key your way on Monday for you to have a look.Best,JonPS. The backend of Nimble is MongoDB one of the companies in your Union Square Portfolio.

    1. Fernando Gutierrez

      That looks great, just registered for the beta. What do you think are you key advantages over Gist?

    2. CJ

      I worked for a company back in 2000 that made a mint selling Goldmine. It was a small shop in Chicago, did IT support for small/medium sized businesses but mainly they sold Goldmine. The customers seemed to enjoy it very much.

    3. Dave W Baldwin

      Good job and vision!

  45. Carl

    With the Microsoft Bizspark program, anyone with little programming knowledge can build a windows 7 mobile application.Microsoft provides their building tools for free in order to bolster platform growth.

  46. Rebecca Levey

    As a hardcore lifelong Mac girl I never, ever thought I’d love a Windows product. I have been waiting for the iphone to come to Verizon ever since it came out and thought that the announcement last week would be the happiest day of my tech minded life. But, I had been using the HTC HD7 for two weeks prior to that announcement and was shocked to discover I LOVED this phone. (full disclosure here – Microsoft lent me the phone to test and review at CES) Here’s why I love it and have become a fairly annoying fan of the Windows Phone 7. First, the organization of the UI and the use of space. I love the tiles. There’s no other way to say it. They’re clean, easy to organize and super accessible. Being able to “pin” my most used contacts individually to the front page has made all email, phone and text usage super fast and simple. I love not having to go into my contacts or call menus to find the people I communicate with the most. I love the touch keyboard and word prompts and the facebook integration. It just makes sense. The Xbox hub is also fabulous and yes, having my avatar on my phone dancing and jumping around is a total geek thrill that makes me laugh every time. Small things – but they give my phone personality. Something I never really thought about but now totally appreciate. While some people have complained about not having one email inbox for all emails I prefer it. I like glancing down at my phone and seeing which of my accounts have mail instantly. I know which are important and won’t waste my time on emails that aren’t pressing if I don’t have the time. This way I know right up front.And one of my favorite features is that all of pics and video automatically upload to skydrive and/or facebook if I want. Love this feature. I use SkyDrive on my Mac too so I love having my pics already there when I get to my laptop.My big drawbacks are – the twitter app. It’s Twitter. I’m a Hoot Suite junkie and so I’m hoping they develop an app for this phone soon. Also I would like to be able to name my emails -right now they’re gmail 1,2,3 etc. I forget which is which and that’s annoying. Rather be able to label them for my various biz accounts. The biggest drawback is TMobile here in the city. So, now I’m waiting once again for a phone to make it to Verizon!

    1. fredwilson

      that’s great feedback. i’m hoping to have a similar experience

    2. Rahul Deodhar

      Same with me I was blown away by HTC HD7!

    3. Dave Puhrmann

      Rebecca: You can change the name of your accounts by going to Settings > email & accounts > tap on the account you want to change and change the “Account name” (it is the first box in the settings page). When you do that, it will show the name you chose on the tile and in the header when you go into the e-mail account!

      1. Rebecca Levey

        Thanks! That was embarrassingly simple.

  47. Dave W Baldwin

    Good post. As we move through the next 3 years, people are not going to be so worried which graph the update on their friend/coworker came from. Yes, you can go check the wall on Fbook if you so wish, but with limited time the person want the answer now.Also, you have to do this in the mobile arena. My original plans were for the PC, and then it hit regarding mobile.What it comes down to is the organization of data. You make it easy to pull it up for the user, the user will be happy.That applies across the spectrum of categories from the contacts to communities to social games and so on.

  48. Rahul Deodhar

    After this post I thought it was time to revisit the master of software’s recent take of operating system for phone. So I went to a electronics store and I got my hands on HTC device featuring windows 7 phone. My initial experience suggests that windows is getting its act together.For starters, the animation and slide sensitivity are much better than Android though iPhone is still a benchmark. The ease of use in terms of logical arrangement and intuitive options are really good. Ok I know you seem surprised so let me repeat. It IS easy to use and intuitive and is better than Android. Look and feel wise the menu and icons are on par if not better than iPhone. The software seems as responsive during text input and error correction seems better than Android though it has still some distance to go to catch up with iPhone.There are shortcomings related to Windows Phone 7. There is no copy-paste and there are other niggles. I am not recommending windows as yet, but it shows more promise than I dreamed of. I had virtually written off Microsoft in this game but I think MS may be making a comeback. One other reason I am giving Microsoft a benefit of doubt is that it can empower app-developers better than Apple or Android. Microsoft actually invented the current software model and I suppose this mechanism is right up their alley.Some tweaks and I would prefer a windows 7 phone rather than Android. And that itself speaks a lot about Microsoft.

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