I have to say that my patience with Windows Phone is wearing off. There are two reasons for this. The first is the lack of real progress on the application front. The second is the feeling of abandonment surrounding the Nokia Lumia 900 (or more broadly, Microsoft’s inability to even get a minor update like Windows Phone 7.8 fully rolled out).
Back in April and June of 2012 I wrote blog entries bemoaning the lack of real world apps on Windows Phone. I won’t remake those arguments, so I suggest you read those pieces to understand my frustration. The bottom line here is that Windows Phone does not help me manage my life nearly as well as an iPhone (or Android-based phone) would. It is 11 months since I wrote that first blog entry and as far as I can tell NONE of the real world interaction apps I was missing have appeared on Windows Phone. And I include both WP7.x and Windows Phone 8, so it isn’t that moving to a WP8 device would help.
The second issue is less important, but actually related to the first. Microsoft “screwed the pooch” on the rollout of Windows Phone 7.8. It is now March and AT&T still hasn’t offered me the update for my Lumia 900. Well, right now I think updates are on hold while Microsoft fixes a bug with Live Tiles. But every day that goes by I care less and less about the update. Basically, thanks for the cosmetic improvements but if and when 7.8 actually comes to my Lumia 900 it won’t make the device measurably more useful to me. Microsoft has managed to turn WP7.8 from something intended to mollify WP7 device owners into something that rubs their nose in the lack of upgradeability of devices they acquired less than a year ago.
The reason I feel these two issues are related is simple. If WP8 solved my app problem I’d be salivating over WP8 devices and forget all about the WP7/WP8 transition. Instead I just view WP8 devices as more major cosmetic improvements that don’t get me even 1% of the way towards closing the usefulness gap with the iPhone. They aren’t giving me what I really need, and thus any momentary lust for new technology is overwhelmed by the fact that I’ll shell out $500+ of my own money and after a few weeks of technological masturbation be just as unsatisfied as I am today.
So next month, when I would normally do my mid-contract upgrade, I’m not sure what to do. One thing is clear, the certainty that I’ll be getting a new Windows Phone is gone. I just don’t see the compelling value proposition.