I’ve been thinking about doing a regular post to briefly cover some of the weeks Windows Phone news but was a little worried about starting something that I couldn’t keep up with.  Anyone that listens to me on TDL Mobile or Ian talking about me on The Digital Lifestyle Show knows that I’m a big enthusiast when it comes to Windows Phone so I decided I’d start these posts and do my very best to make it a weekly event.  Just to emphasise that I won’t be covering every news story but just to touch on some of the bigger subjects I feel worth commenting on.

I’d like to start off the first post with a small rewind back to 27th September when the Windows Phone “Mango” update begins rolling out on 10 devices across 60 carriers.  This meant that “Mango” was available to 98% of phones which compared to the “NoDo” update was a massive turnaround.  Although initially they were only going to notify 10% of devices which again given the problems faced with “NoDo” was a sensible decision.  6 days later in a post on the Windows Phone 7.5 update status this was increased to 50% and on the 19th October it was announced that Windows Phone 7.5 now available more broadly.  This is good news as it shows that with the rollout of “Mango” they are able to service the Windows Phone operating system without major problems.  The disappointing news is that the Samsung Omnia 7 is still waiting on almost all the networks and that is something that must be addressed.

Unfortunately there do seem to be some post “Mango” issues with Microsoft investigating disappearing keyboard bug in Windows Phone 7.5 and I am personally experiencing that issue.  I had thought this was due to me having “Mango” without the Omnia 7 specific drivers (due to them not being available yet) but it seems that isn’t the case.  The strange thing is that I can go quite a while without this happening so maybe it is related to some background tasks (it now seems there is a workaround to this issue).  This is one area that I still have concerns about in terms of how quickly Microsoft can get bug fixes through carrier testing and out to devices.

A major selling point of Windows Phone is the integration with Xbox through the Game Hub although so far that hasn’t gone beyond gaining achievement points, being able to modify your avatar, view what friends are up to or send them messages.  I’d really like to see some games that bridge the gap between the Xbox 360 console and Windows Phone.  It looks like that might be coming thanks to an application that will show the real-time map for the game you are playing on the phone.  This is really exciting and I’d like to see this extending beyond the Halo franchise into other FPS games; Call of Duty MW3 or Battlefield 3 for example.

I am always saying that Windows Phone needs to be seen, and more importantly used, in order for people to consider it as their smartphone.  This week Microsoft and it’s partners finally started advertising first with a new TV advertising campaign and a full page advert in London newspaper.  It is good to see the devices getting advertised and hopefully it will reach the point where stores actually have hardware people can play with, and sales people that push them, because Ian Dixon is a great example of what happens when people use Windows Phone although Ian also highlights why Microsoft still has some way to go.

Ahead of Nokia World on 26th and 27th October the level of information leaking before the event seems to be increasing with some nice pictures of the Nokia 800/SeaRay which is expected to be one of their first Windows Phone devices.  This weekend Nokia also started showing a number of teaser spots during advert breaks on UK television which should help to get people curious to find out more.  I personally think this devices looks amazing but I’m disappointed it only has a 3.7 inch screen.  Since having my HD2 running Windows Mobile (4.3 inch screen) and now the Omnia 7 running Windows Phone (4 inch screen) I really wouldn’t want to go back to a smaller device.  I can only hope that the rumoured Nokia Ace turns out to be real.  There is one thing that is certain and that is for Nokia the release of their first Windows Phones can’t come soon enough.

It was nice to see Joe Belfiore marking the one year anniversary of Windows Phone devices being available from carriers.  I had alrady said Happy 1st Birthday Windows Phone on the day of the press event that had been held earlier in the month on the 11th October 2010.

I think that is enough for the first post, which is already longer than I had anticipated, so come back next week to see if I manage two weeks in a row.  Please do comment on the post or better yet contact the TDL Mobile team.  If you have suggestions for improving Windows Phone why not tell them yourself?

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