WindowsPhone Angst


Just over a year ago I became an ex-WindowsPhone user. Right now I am using a Nokia 7 Plus as my daily phone. A pure Android version, crapware free, Android One, but with the Microsoft Launcher and Edge browser. It’s pretty much customised with Microsoft services. However, I hate it. I hate IOS too. It seems an interface of icons changed little since Steve Jobs launched the iphone and started the icon grid, home screen and home button paradigm. That’s probably why I used a WindowsPhone for so long – a fresh and imaginative UI that was somehow Windows in a modern world. 

I thought I was over WindowsPhone angst. The slow mysterious death of WindowsPhone. Killed by neglect but with bursts of hope as Microsoft occasionally launched something new or let a rumour run for a while. Microsoft communication via the blog is notoriously opaque. That’s why you need other bloggers as intermediaries to decipher the cryptic nature of a Microsoft press statement. The new Microsoft was supposed to be about empathy. Yet the death of WindowsPhone was curiously direct and insensitive. A tweet as an answer to one question – Joe Belfriore said it’s dead and I like my Samsung. 

The last week or so had the return of WindowsPhone angst. The re-announcement of the previous end of life announcement to make sure bloggers could write some clickbait. WindowsPhone was declared dead again. It’s new death covered on Windows Weekly.

For one sudden moment of madness I looked at ebay to price a Lumia 950xl. I didn’t click. I am emotionally disturbed by the death not mad. 

Occasionally the muscle memory tries to click the dedicated camera button of the new Nokia I have but I suddenly realise that was a feature of my old Nokia WindowsPhone. I sometimes look for the additional “lenses” in the camera app. I also get annoyed that my calendar app doesn’t exist and I use the considerably more fiddly Outlook mobile app. 

However, the good news is that Microsoft is saving itself for the next wave. It is AI, ambient computing, intelligent edge. Fortunately when I moved to Android I integrated Cortana into my phone for the new promised future. My personal assistant from WindowsPhone transitioned to my Android device. I waited for the home speaker system to complete the world of ambient computing. 

This week also formally announced the death of Cortana and the ambitions for ambient computing.

At least I didn’t buy a Zune (US only), Band, and I migrated to Spotify when the writing was on the wall……

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