Windows Phone 7 First Impressions

I got the unlocked Samsung Focus that I bought on eBay last week. I've been playing with it for the past couple days. Here are some first impressions:

– The hardware is great. The device is very similar to the Nexus S I use. Great screen, very light, good screen size, feels great in my hands.

– The UI is slick. Very intuitive. It takes no time at all to figure out how to get around the OS. The home screen in particular works very well.

– The Facebook integration is excellent. If you are a serious Facebook user, this phone is for you.

– The way the contact book is totally integrated with Facebook shows that the Windows Phone 7 team gets that the contact book can be the unification point for all of our social graphs. However, it is more of a proof of concept right now because Facebook is the only integrated social network on Windows Phone 7. If they integrated a dozen or so of the most popular social services, we'd see this vision in full force. I hope they do that and do it soon.

– The explorer browser is a disappointment. It is not nearly as good as the Android and Safari browsers. And I hear we are getting a full Chrome browser in the Honeycomb version of Android. Microsoft needs to up its mobile browser game if it wants Windows Phone 7 to be competitive with iOS and Android.

– Windows Phone 7 offers gmail support in the mail app. But I have a hard time using any mail app other than the gmail app on Android which fully supports priority inbox and a host of other power user features. This for me is a very big deal. For others, maybe not so much.

– The marketplace requires a windows live login. I have one of those but it's a bit fubared because I've used it for my son's Xbox and there is some kind of parental controls setting that makes it impossible for me to download apps onto my Samsung Force. I found a support thread that explains the problem and how to fix it, but I could not make it work.  And I am worried about messing up my son's Xbox profile. So I have not been able to download any apps onto the phone. It's a frustrating experience and I'm not entirely sure why Microsoft needs a Windows Live login to allow me to download apps onto the phone anyway.

– There's an Xbox Live app on the home screen. My son saw this and lit up. I didn't play around with it, but the idea of a seamless experience between the Xbox and the mobile phone is interesting.

The bottom line is I don't think this phone is for me, but it has a bunch of features that make it a compelling phone. I think I am going to give it to my son. Facebook and Xbox are his two most important networks and this phone apparently supports both of them very well.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. chris dixon

    windows live login etc feels like a lot of “strategy tax”. they need to let the mobile team work in a different state or country and do whatever they want, independent of microsoft’s larger goals a la clay christensen.

    1. Brent Daugherty

      I agree. Trying to bring along windows live and IE to an otherwise innovative device is not going to help them compete with iOS and Android.

    2. fredwilson

      i’m on the phone with windows phone 7/zune supportthey can’t fix my windows live passworld/parental controls issuethey tell me to set up a new onebut my son’s xbox live profile is connected to this so i don’t want to do thatoy, it is more than a strategy tax, it is a customer tax

      1. Aaron Klein

        Did you say “phone support”??Well that’s one point of differentiation!

    3. andyswan

      Much like they did with Xbox, no?

    4. DGentry

      There may be some strategy tax left, but it seems like a lot less than the Microsoft of old. For example, the Facebook integration: the Microsoft of old would have trumpeted Outlook and Exchange integration, to the point of excluding anything else.

    5. ShanaC

      I happen to think it is a brilliant strategy tax. Think of the data coming out of those logins.

  2. Sebastian Wain

    Fred, be a contrarian with yourself: MSFT P/E = 11.77Social Network & Services Neutrality is an issue that applies to iPhones too (Google Maps, Google Search). Android came preloaded with Google services but you can install new software without practical limitations.I think Internet Explorer must die and surely there are heavy fights inside Microsoft about it, But seems like the big echelon doesn’t understand the issue because they don’t use browsers in a hardcore way…Also, Windows Live feels like a Web 1.4 world.You forgot the lack of copy&paste, a very annoying issue being fixed in next releases.And it’s important to analyze the tools for development, remember Developers, Developers, Developers, something that Google doesn’t understand and where Apple (xcode) is behind Microsoft.Anyway, this is a new start for Microsoft, we need to see how it grows in two years. But the strategy seems very correct.

    1. mukesh76

      I believe people complain more about copy & paste than using it. I have owned iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4. Now I use Samsung Focus. I hardly used copy+paste when iPhone added the feature, and not missing on Samsung Focus yet.

      1. Sebastian Wain

        I couldn’t use the iPhone fully without copy&paste, it’s incredible how we can argue about it! it’s completely nosense, I used copy&paste in the Palm and the Apple Newton included that!Also, not having copy&paste has many implications on limitations for developers.

      2. fredwilson

        i need it occasionallymostly for phone numbers and addresses

  3. Fernando Gutierrez

    I think that we may see some fragmentation in the mobile OS market due to something you mention in your post: integration with your favoured services. Most of us spend a big part of our online time (btw, what does being online mean now that we are always connected?) with certain services, so getting the phone that fully gets them makes a lot of sense.I’ve recently quitted my Blackberry, and full integration with Google services was what made me choose a Nexus S. I had felt attracted towards iOS, but a few nicer apps and a way cooler UI can’t compete with the things I can do now with my Gmail and GApps accounts. And I can see that a phone thought with Facebook in mind is way better that any great app iOS or Android developers can design.The war in not only in the smartphones field. If Google wants Android to win it should get more people to depend on Google services, Android phones will come after that. Maybe the same is true for MS and Facebook.

  4. andyswan

    I’m going to keep saying it: $MSFT has made an extremely important pivot, very nicely.They are out to own the living room and mobile. They’re willing to partner to get there. They are late to a good product in mobile, but with a proper focus on being “contextually contacts-centric”, they CAN get there. They’re early on the living room via the trojan horse known as the xbox, that everyone from 14-29 trusts and loves.Fred’s MSFT-thaw, and Google’s “Hey YOU’RE CHEATING!” hissy fit are two pretty solid data points that MSFT is moving beyond the $500 CD-rom box.The massive profit stream and $40b in the bank that Charlie hates so much is confirmation to me that if this pivot is real, they CAN WIN over time.I think some of that facebook shareholder exposure is treating them well. I wouldn’t be shocked to see MSFT acquisitions start to pick up over the next couple of years.

    1. awaldstein

      AndyI agree with the boldness of the pivot and I see them finally not being to late to play in the consumer game at least from the xbox perspective.But I’m not a believer that they have a real shot at the living room which in the big picture isn’t owned by the sub-3o year old.Could be wrong but I just don’t see their DNA as core to the mass market consumer. Mobile I can see more. Bridging the divide between the couch and the TV, not as optimistic

      1. Sebastian Wain

        Historically Microsoft has patience and cash, failures and hype don’t harm Microsoft, they have a lot of them.

        1. awaldstein

          True…and historically they have tried to buy their way into a series of markets.I’m optimistic about the ‘pivot’ as Andy calls it. I’m just not a believer that they have their hearts on the pulse of the mass market.

          1. Dave W Baldwin

            What is good is you can do multiple pivots regarding the terrain set forth. Insofar as Micro goes, can some excitement happen where it becomes a more proactive company on the innovative side?

          2. awaldstein


          3. CJ

            To be truthful, I don’t think anyone has the pulse of the mass market at the moment. Look at Googletv or Appletv, neither is mass market or selling the number of units that they would want. The xbox is cool but until it’s a thin client that operates with a remote only, it’s still a game machine to anyone over 40. It’s odd that the HTPC never took off, it’s perfect for this sort of thing. A tablet type interface on a box that can stream tv from the cloud, get netflix, game and function as a computer, usable with only a remote just seems like a cinch for this space.

          4. awaldstein

            Hi MalcolmI’m not certain the anything is a ‘cynch’ for this space actually.I agree that neither GoogleTV or AppleTV is a winner as yet and the game is early.But it will take more than specs and execution to win the living room and the home. Apple is the strongest mass market consumer brand today. That may not seal the deal but it is huge chip that they will play as they figure out the home strategy.Honestly so far, I don’t really consider Google a player in this space at all.Apple does a lot of odd and very locked down infrastructure things, don’t really get social, but they do get the mass market. And that really well. Not an unsurmountable plus but no small advantage.Of course, with leadership of Apple unclear, everything could change and the field get leveled by the end of the next product cycle.

          5. CJ

            Apple has a great brand but don’t forget that they don’t corner markets, they make huge profit off of low adoption rates. I don’t think they have the culture to win that area, they can certainly innovate in it but their products will be niche that cost $1 to make and sell for $1k to 5% of the market.The reason I think the HTPC is the best thing in the category is the utility. I mean, in the end an 360 is just a HTPC with custom front-end software. It can be whatever you want it to be and it’s the easiest thing to make and with the strives in components, a dual Core Tegra2 could run a pretty sweet HTPC.

          6. awaldstein

            true…butI would turn it around and state that Apple creates markets (pod,pad, phone).But certainly they don’t own them post birth.Re:HTPC…I don’t think this is a hardware war. This a new interface and new extension of behavior. Leaning forward to control via a computer is not the answer anymore than leaning back and just streaming.Vision (with luck of course) is the answer.Boxee has the best one from my persective.Been pleasure discussing.

          7. CJ

            I was gonna mention the Apple = birth of markets thing so we’re not far on that one. LOL I know it’s not hardware, I don’t mean to say that an HTPC would be best because of that but more because the infrastructure of a PC can adapt multiple UI’s and that would be awesome for what we’re talking about. As it stands we’re heading towards an age where singular devices are an abundance rather than one device that does every function. Maybe it works, maybe not, but my htpc does almost everything that these devices do and at a fraction of the cost.

      2. andyswan

        I hear ya. Very valid counterpoint.The thing I like is that I believe that between 25 and 35 is where people begin to make their first big living room “settlement”. The kids that are 19-29 now will be in prime range just a few years from now….and it will not be “innovative” at all for them to see the Xbox (via Kinect?) as THE device that powers their entertainment…family gaming or NFLX or otherwise.I might be wrong here….it’s a major battle with a lot of players. I just like what I think I see MSFT trying to do. Admittedly, I also like the fact that so many others have already begun planning for MSFT’s funeral.

        1. awaldstein

          I agree.The Trojan horse leverage of the xbox is really compelling. Leveraging a product, a generation or a distribution channel can work but not always though. Never as logical as it sounds.The battle for the living room is the main event of this decade. Probably will be more than one winner here when the dust finally settles.I’m using and betting on two horses. Apple with all of its issues has made a huge leap with AirPlay, combined with really inexpensive tech support on the phone and in store. Just did an experiment streaming a bunch of episodes of The Sopranos over a six week period at home, across a bunch of devices and on the road.Honestly though the vision that is most right is Boxee for me. With access to content and compatibility with iTunes media, the Boxee Box has a real shot.I’m going to look harder at Microsoft now. Thanks.

        2. Dave W Baldwin

          You are on the money with this. It is great that a host of products changing the gameboard like this can be understood by the middle age and place the innovator into the front seat with the teenagers.

        3. ShanaC

          The kinect is amazing – but what of it? They are not making it essential in a “Minority report interface” sort of way. They haven’t opened up and wowed us with gesture. And that is where the money is.

      3. John Hinnegan

        I see it the other way around entirely. … and then wrote a lengthy reply, so it’s here.

        1. awaldstein

          Well done…please see my comment on your blog.

    2. Morgan Warstler

      Ya know this gets to a very, very important point.If you ask anyone to describe MSFT’s approach to XBOX – it is to be the new cable box. And I completely support the vision of Mediaroom in this regard.But, the truly killer MSFT play would be a thick client based on X-Box and a thin client based on Facebook to compete with Google TV.It would instantly trounce / own the entire space of social television – and force them to think about the Identity as more important than from the platform.Meaning a FB TV client has to work seamlessly with Android and iPhones as remotes, just like X-Box, but it forces them to to give FB the chance to become central to X-Box – I say a good thing.Here’s my example: Fred’s worried about screwing up his son’s X-Box profile, on a device that he says gets FB near perfect. Why waste time with profiles? Cede the space to FB, make a tighter partnership, and run a thin client platform (for TV and phones) based on it.

      1. andyswan

        Totally agree. I was trying to figure out how to say that. Msft is one fbplay away from a massive blow…. between their investment in fb an whatfreds saying about mobile…. i can see it happening.Thank you.

        1. Morgan Warstler

          Fred are you listening? Tell Avner, MSFT needs a thin client based on FB.Have you sold a company to MSFT yet?

          1. fredwilson

            nope. not in 25 years in the VC business

      2. fredwilson

        because there are millions of xbox profiles out there

    3. ShanaC

      While they are definitely pivoting, I am a having a hard time seeing where.Basically, they opened the door to lots of potential opportunities -the phone, the kinect. But their base is documents. Unless the current cloud version of Microsoft office is that fab, they are going to be hurt badly in the coming years because kinect + phone has nothing to do with office. If Office dies away, then who knows what will happen.

    4. Guest

      Apple has 60 billion dollars and Google has 35, not sure how having 40 billion dollars will help Microsoft.

    5. Guest

      and Apple and Google are not Nintendo and Sony. It is one thing to beat Nintendo and Sony, but another to beat two of the most innovative companies.

  5. William Mougayar

    Yup, Windows Live login is such an old Microsoft antic.Onward and forward to the Gingerbread Android 2.3 on a Tablet. I’m hearing it rocks as a Tablet OS. Should be interesting to see how it compares to iPad 2/iOS 4.2 which is around the corner.

    1. Aaron Klein

      As said elsewhere, how is this different from needing a Google account on Android or an Apple account on iOS?I now have a BlackBerry ID for their app store but BlackBerry is still the one open smartphone where you don’t need one. You can download and install apps through the browser (and tether the phone). The carriers can’t stop you and BlackBerry doesn’t try.Sure wish they’d adopt Android as the underlying OS. I’d be a BlackBerry user for life.

      1. William Mougayar

        There’s something about Live ID that’s not friendly, unforgiving and annoying. See Fred’s comment as well.

        1. Aaron Klein

          I’ve had the same problem before with a Live ID locking into an underage status. It definitely could use some work in that regard.I just don’t see why the concept of an ID is a Microsoft antic.

          1. Mark Essel

            They’ve perfected making it hard to use 🙂

          2. William Mougayar

            Exactly, Mark.Same as OpenID which seems to be faltering for the same reasons. Do we need that much rigor to get into our apps?

          3. Mark Essel

            I offer wonder why I have to type in a gratuitous password to update software or make a purchase, how about scan my thumbprint and/or voice and fall back to a password.

  6. Aviah Laor

    It’s not you, it’s me 🙂

  7. Colin Bowern

    Samsung’s support is also sadly lacking when it comes to unlocked phones. Apparently unlocking your phone voids the warranty.!/Samsu

  8. stuffbuff1

    I played with the WP7 at the Microsoft pre-launch party and was quite impressed. I was also excited to hear the rumors that Nokia might partner with WP7, but after reading your review, I think I’ll stick with my rooted Android phone. I think the phone still has potential, but it is too early too tell.

  9. jbrinkman

    How is the requirement for the Windows Live account any different from the requirement to have a Google account to activate Android Phones? The Live ID is used for XBOX, Mail, Picture Sharing, Contact List, OneNote, Zune and Marketplace. Given all these interaction points, it only makes sense to have that entered one time upfront, just as it makes sense for Android to do the same thing.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, but my windows live account is messed up because of parental controls on my son’s xbox and the windows live/zune support can’t fix it. they told me to get a new windows live password which i guess is the right answer but then i lose the benefit of having all these services integrated

      1. TedHoward

        I think Joe was referring just to this text when pointing out that Android and iPhone phones also require logins to download apps: “not entirely sure why Microsoft needs a Windows Live login to allow me to download apps onto the phone anyway.”Agreed that Xbox & Zune can cause odd Live ID issues.

        1. fredwilson

          the interesting thing is the android requires your gmail login right away. you can use the win 7 phone without it until you want to download an app. that’s what was odd to me.

          1. TedHoward

            I recall having that ‘surprise’ as well. It’s definitely odd.

          2. ShanaC

            It may be a better plan long term. My dad has an android phone with very few apps on it. There is a whole group of people who may not want apps to start out with

      2. Robert Hylton

        I think the vision behind a Live ID is that your son would have his own. In our family everyone has a separate Live ID (and gmail, etc) because it truly does define your future digital identity and even parental controls should be based on these separate accounts.Great to hear your feedback – sounds quite interesting…

  10. john

    You are right this phone is for calling, messanging, email, office, gaming with great ported games from xbox with integration (even supports playing a game over wifi at the same time with a player in xbox). Greate music and video experience and tight facebook integration, altought the facebook app isa tad more complete.

  11. Morgan Warstler

    This should be on a T-shirt you sell for charity:” I am worried about messing up my son’s Xbox profile.”- Fred Wilson

    1. fredwilson

      very funny. when you run tech support for a family, stuff like that matters a lot

      1. Morgan Warstler

        I agree 100%. Pressing the wrong button for a 4yr old’s profile on Pixie Hollow carries very serious consequences.

  12. ryan singer

    I think I followed you up until you mentioned the windows live login. You should just create one for yourself so you can have full access and find out more. Obviously the parental control is working! I havven’t looked for parental control on Android. Is there any? I’m going to find out parental control; sounds like I might be getting my 2 boys Windows phones when they’re older too.

    1. fredwilson

      i can create one for myself and i will. but i still have this problem if i am going to give it to my son.

  13. Darwin

    Windows Phone 7 is a joke and Microsfot isn’t close to doing anything with it or XBox tie in. Every smartphone already does FB integration btw. The XBox “integration” app does nothing useful that anyone cares about.

    1. MobileGuy

      Look before you type…FB integration is better on WP7 than any other mobile platform (because it’s not an app – it’s built in). The XBox integration is not an app, it’s full integration – your avatar lives on your phone, you can interact w/it, and the games you play on XBox live. Number of studios have already announced WP7 game tie-ins so you can continue playing on WP7 after you finish on XBox.

  14. Marc Michel

    The more interesting question to me is whether MSFT’s mobile product is good enough to vault them back on top of the operating system heap. They have built their entire business over the last 30 years by being number one in operating systems for the desktop and leveraging that position to distribute all their other products. Today they are number 5 in mobile after Apple, Android, Blackberry, and Symbian. It would seem to be that as more and more of us move off the desktop and laptop to phone and tablet, that this will leave MSFT in a very precarious position to compete going forward. How long will it be before, the tablet is all I need and I stop buying laptops. In my view, MSFT had better launch a super cool tablet with all the MSFT Office and IE functionality that I am used to using today.

  15. Braithwaite99

    Aside from the UI/UX of today’s mobile technology, just imagine where we were just a few years ago in 1994. Simply blows my mind!

  16. MattCope

    I’m surprised we haven’t seen a MSFT brand rep comment yet…

    1. mukesh76

      How about Corp VP for Windows Phone commenting? The comment right above this from Joe.

  17. Rsanchez1990

    I wish you had talked more about the xbox live integration.

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t have it working due to my windows live password problems. i will keep trying but my call to windows live 7 support this morning was downright depressing

      1. Saad

        Whats preventing you from signing up to a new account? This is crazy its like not it suing the google market because you do not have a gmail account…:(

        1. fredwilson

          of course i can do that but then i lose the connection to all of the other services that are powered by my existing password. i’d rather get my current password fixed

          1. joebelfiore

            HI fred.. I work on the Windows Phone team at Microsoft.Couple of things…- with Windows Live ID, it’s really generally best to have *your own*. there are a lot of things we do with that ID… parental controls, email account, buying apps, uploading photos, Friends on Xbox Live, etc. If your son is old enough to play Xbox on his own such that you want to enable parental controls– then I’d really recommend having one account for you and one for him. Else you’re bound to have this problem. You wouldn’t share an email account with him, would you?You basically have two choices… (1) decide you “like” the one you already have and want to keep it. In that case, create a new one for him and associate the Xbox gamertag to the new Windows Live ID. Then indicate that “your own” ID is over 13… voila, evrything will work. OR (2) decide you want to “let him keep it” … then get a new one and reset your phone to use the new one.- In terms of the question of “requiring it at sign-in” — we originally had the Windows Live ID required when first using the phone, but that was a turn-off for many people. As a result, we let you defer– then you can make calls, send texts, do facebook, take photos, connect to Gmail .. and when you WANT to buy an app or do Xbox or upload photos… THEN we ask you to provide a Windows Live ID. We think this is friendlier and more approachable than requiring it upfront.Glad you like many aspects of the phone… bet your son will too!

          2. ShanaC

            Thank you for stopping by!

          3. fredwilson

            hi Joecan you have someone help me fix my windows live ID problems?i tried phone support and the women was incapable of helping mei need someone who actually understands how these passwords work andhow to untangle the shared password between me and my son

          4. Ryan Hoge

            Hi Fred-Check your USV email for a mail on getting you help with your Live ID issue.

          5. fredwilson

            my mail is highly filteredi will need to do a searchany idea who sent it?

          6. Ryan Hoge

            it was from eric fleischman. you can always email me as well.

          7. Dave

            I’m in the same boat as fred with one exception. I am the parent account, my kids have there own.Tried your steps, they don’t work. The Zune/LiveID/WP7 phone support is utterly unhelpful; I received the same guidance from them that fred got. New LiveID, etc.The Live ecosystem is apparently brittle, spread across multiple teams and databases that seemingly don’t talk to each other.This type of thing, left unresolved, because a deal-breaker for a phone in short order.

          8. fredwilson

            it is hard to communicate how bad this is. thank you for sharing yourissues. makes me feel better.

      2. CJ

        Every call I have with MS ends that way.

  18. paulocesar

    Whoa, lot’s of MS fanboys on the comments… Strange, I thought there weren’t anymore by these times…

  19. Jeffrey Cox

    Hi Fred – Thanks for the blog. I’m a return reader – not sure where along the way I stopped.Food for thought for you; have you tried the Palm Pre? I absolutely love mine and I believe does everything you like about the W7 phone, and, takes care of your objections. I suspect you would love what it does for business productivity, as well as the tie in to social media.

    1. fredwilson

      do they have strong apps for all the major social platforms?

      1. CJ

        The biggest drawback to the Pre is the hardware itself. It feels cheap in comparison to an iPhone or Galaxy S class phone. The screen is small and it just doesn’t feel ‘serious’.That said, WebOS is pretty awesome. I used it for a bit more than a year and miss a lot of it compared to Android. WebOS has Synergy which I go into further down and the absolute best multitasking and notifications systems that I’ve ever used on a mobile device.When I was using it (6 months ago) the apps were good but not great, though when you couple it with the superior multitasking, it was a potent combination. IMHO it’s as close as you can get to working on a PC while on a phone.Now Synergy is the feature that you’re interested in the most I think and one of the features that sold me on WebOS in the beginning. It’s the WebOS contact management system and oddly enough they were actually the first to market with integrating outside services into your address book to form one authoritative record though almost no one knows that. They currently support Gmail, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Facebook, Aol and few others natively as well as opened up an API to allow anyone to create a synergy service that syncs with the rest of your phone’s social graph (your term but I think it fits) on the phone. They’ve also extended the functionality from contacts to the calendar and messaging.Where they lag on this feature is the actual social aspect in terms of pulling in FB statuses or Twitter posts. But if you don’t want that functionality, just a sorta bible of your contacts compiled from their respective services, you can’t get anything better on a mobile OS.It served me well for a year, the real reason I switched to Android was hardware, I loved and still love the WebOS experience. Blackberry loved it so much that their new Playbook tablet’s UI is an almost complete duplicate of it.Sorry for the length – I could write a book on the topic. LOL

        1. fredwilson

          you should at least write a post on iti’m afraid webOS is not going to make it or i would seriously consider it

  20. Jason Flick

    I’ve been playing with a window phone 7 for a week now and I agree with much of your views. I think this is a bad sign for android. Apple ha proven closed and tighky integrated hardware equals success. Building apps for android is quickly becoming as difficult as blackberry devices… If it does well then I expect to see a bunch of the other big boys do the sane in the next 5 years.Jason flick YOUiLabs and Flick Software

    1. Fernando Gutierrez

      Building apps for Android is becoming difficult because there are so manydevices and versions. But that will probably happen with Windows Phonesalso. Variety is a weakness and a strength at the same time.

  21. Guest

    Fred, I am curious if you think the next iteration of Windows Mobile will have a shot in the dark of taking on Android or Apple or are they too far behind now? I have heard that this is Microsoft’s first real shot at mobile and that they are laser focused on the issue now, but have a hard time believing they will be able to catch up. Curious if you have any thoughts? Thanks, Adrian Meli

    1. fredwilson

      they’ve built something that is different and well done. i think that gives them a chance. not sure how much of a chance. can’t tell yet. the next version will be telling

  22. ShanaC

    Short question:Would you keep this phone in the long term?Long question:How much over time do you think the browser deficiencies will kill the phone?

    1. fredwilson

      i am not going to make this my primary phone but i think my son may

      1. MobileGuy

        Browser is going to get better – this is just a point in time issue (why is Opera still around? Because there are a whole bunch of deficient browsers shipped at various “points in time” on various devices)

  23. kenberger

    Your experience was pretty much my finding exactly, including the periodic “Windows Moments” where you feel almost trapped.It’s a smart angle they’ve gone for: they know they’re the underdog now, and are aligning most purely with the indefatigable Social trend to try and break out.This is NO Zune. If they decide to concentrate on this and add their muscle, I have no problem expecting this to grab substantial market share in a few years, to many folks’ surprise.

  24. kenberger

    (where’s the dup delete functionality?)

  25. kenberger

    It’s also interesting to hear your conclusion that the phone is most appropriate for your son.I’m reminded of Danger and the Sidekick. I spent substantial time with that company at the beginning (1999-2001), and can assure that they did not at all set out to build a platform that would take off almost exclusively with the urban youth crowd. But given how well the Sidekick excelled at gaming and socializing, that’s exactly what happened.

  26. paramendra


  27. Mudit Garg

    Hi Fred,Interesting Review. I have been using this phone for the last few months and turned in my iPhone for this. For me the biggest saviors were the lock screen, a much better keyboard and the awesome FB integration you talked about.Hope MSFT improves the browser soon!

  28. Leonid S. Knyshov

    Sounds like if I built an app for Gmail with priority inbox enabled, this would be a good phone for you. Someone will do it, likely Google.You can also expect a 3rd-party modern browser (I use Opera when I am in Windows Mobile mode) to augment Microsoft’s anemic browser based on IE7. What were they thinking when they made THAT decision…Microsoft cried wolf on their Live profiles. They were unimportant for a very long time until suddenly they are now center-stage on your phone, Zune, and Xbox. A migration process would help to disambiguate accounts of multiple people linked to one Live account. I have at least a dozen Microsoft services linked to my Live profile as a Microsoft partner that are constantly conflicting with each other. For example, Microsoft uses this technology for its BizSpark program and I also have another company that is my consulting firm with an established partner relationship with Microsoft. The two conflict in some ways that required filing support tickets.My HTC HD2 is finally capable of running Windows Phone 7 so I’ll be spending more time in that environment. It’s fun having a phone that can multi-boot Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Android, and Linux. :)Think of Windows Live as AppleID accounts. As you know, you can’t download apps without an AppleID.I believe that the Kinect -> Xbox 360 -> Windows Phone is a logical chain that is going to result in quite a few sales eventually.Kinect is transcending markets much like Wii did initially but it is connected a far more powerful piece of equipment. Turning the Xbox into a general purpose thin client can be done with a software update.

    1. fredwilson

      great comment. i think you are spot on with everything you say

  29. Rahim

    The xbox and social feed integrations are interesting, but they are exactly what someone earlier called them ‘trojan horses’ – without a compelling browser, users won’t adopt.

  30. Geotoko

    I really wish Disqus had some option that summarizes these long comments you regularly get and split it between Fred’s and the rest. Or give each commenter the option to write a summary of their comment in 140 char or less in the beginning so we can just skim through these.This blog has some awesome posts and commenters, but the sheer volume of the comments is just daunting.

    1. fredwilson

      kind of like stack overflow does with the top answers, right?

      1. Adarsh Pallian

        Exactly! You just get way too many comments – and I’m sure a lot of them are great, but so much fluff at the same time.

  31. adamlewis06

    Think about it in reverise: Before I bought my Focus, I already had purchased a XBox Live subscription and a Zune Pass (the Zune pass is the best money I have EVER spent BTW). When I powered on my Focus for the very first time, it asked me for a LiveID. I used the LiveID that was tied to the XBL and Zune Pass accounts. As soon as the phone booted, I was ready to earn achievements in XBL games and stream unlimited music. I added my Exchange and Facebook accounts, and I was done with phone setup in under 5 minutes! That is why we use LiveID. Oh, and don’t forget about OneNote SkyDrive syncing and one-touch photo uploads. Office mobile will expand on these abilities with SkyDrive in the near future as well. Based on your article, I don’t think you gave the phone a fair shake. You left a lot of stuff out, and I don’t think you were quite ready to write an article about your experience.

    1. fredwilson

      the title of the post is “first impressions”

  32. adamlewis06

    Also, a correction about the Facebook-only social integration: Live supports social updates as well as tying in with other social networks like Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. I don’t have a MySpace, but I do have LinkedIn, and I automatically receive LinkedIn updates through the people hub due to the social integration with Live.

  33. adamlewis06

    One last thing (I sort of promise): The “Find my Phone” feature is enabled via LiveID as well. I used it the other day and it is awesome!!! I ride a motorcycle, and I thought I had left my backpack at the gym containing my Focus and my wallet. I panicked because I had been gone from the gym for hours!Then I remembered the Find My Phone feature of WP7, so I logged into my LiveID and selected Devices. It gave me several options. One of them was to show where my phone was on a map. So, I mapped it. Thankfully, it was at my house with me! Whew! But where?! I’ve looked all over!So, then I move on to the next option: Ring my phone (it will even ring the phone if it is set to vibrate). 10 seconds later, my phone is ringing in the backpack which was laying under my coat downstairs. Yay!Other options: Remotely wipe the phone (extreme) and Remotely lock the phone and, optionally, display a message on the screen. I tried that the other night as well. My wife was downstairs playing on my phone. From my PC upstairs, I remotely locked it with a message that said, “I love you, babe! Now, get off my phone! 🙂 “. The remote lock with message feature is useful so you can provide a phone number or address to let someone know where to contact you in case they found your phone.

  34. obscurelyfamous

    I’d love to see Microsoft execute gaming in a big way with WP7. They’re already doing so much right with Xbox.The iOS market proved that there can be quality, full-featured games on a phone and that they will sell. I’ve bought way more iPhone games than I care to admit.Apple has their Game Center which I never log into. I’m not sure anyone cares about their Game Center accounts. But there are millions of Xbox Live fanatics out there who would love to carry over their Gamerscore to a pocket-sized version of Call of Duty that they can play in between (or during) class.



  35. Aaron Klein

    Front end is what Google does. You need a Google ID to activate an Android.

  36. Fuckoff

    This hasn’t been true since android 2.0

  37. Aaron Klein

    I just activated a Froyo 2.2 phone and it required a Google account, so I’m not sure where you got your information.

  38. Aaron Klein

    I enjoyed playing with it but wasn’t blown away. It was a Droid Eris (so an older model) and the on-screen keyboard was awful.My sense is that Google needs to exercise some control over the platform and institute some standards for how things look and act by default.Windows did that for a good UX on the desktop without compromising openness and leaving users with a totally customizable OS.