In my July blog post (Why I’m Betting on Windows Phone), I shared my history as a Windows Phone user and continued confidence in its future. As a user of their phone/mobile OS for around 10 years, I was dumbstruck by the new Lumia phones: they’re not available or compatible with Verizon.
The news was confounding to me. Why in this day and age wouldn’t Microsoft at least release an unlocked phone with both GSM and CDMA capabilities? Some have speculated it’s Microsoft’s fault—others have placed blame on Verizon. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle. At the end of the day, it’s customers like me who lose out.
The news felt almost like a bad break-up — “It’s not you, it’s me. We should see other people.” I even considered switching to AT&T to salvage the relationship. Unfortunately, the final decision came down to coverage. My neighbors have had bad luck with AT&T, and I have numerous relatives who live in rural areas where AT&T coverage is poor. If I’m going to pay for a phone, I want it to work.
So I swallowed my pride as a Windows Phone user and joined the dark side. After about two months with an iPhone 6S, I must say it’s growing on me. With the wealth of available apps, I can now deposit checks by photo, play the latest games, scan business cards into my Nutshell CRM, integrate with my home security/automation systems, and more easily consume and share information (Medium, Buffer, and local news apps). It’s also tremendously delightful to order Starbucks and jump the 8AM line or pay without pulling a card out of my wallet.
That said, I miss the user experience of Windows Phone. It felt more uniform and streamlined. I also really miss the live-tiles (displaying more information than just a number of alerts) and people hubs (combining all the ways of contacting a person into one entry for them). And for some reason, the iPhone won’t automatically read text messages in my car with the Bluetooth connection – my Windows Phone would.
I’m still hopeful that Microsoft will make some efforts towards getting their latest devices available on all carriers. But every day that passes is another day I lock myself deeper into Apple’s app ecosystem. And as more apps become a part of my daily life, it presents a greater barrier if I were to return to using a Windows Phone. And I’m sure I am not the only one.
I’ll have another decision to make in a year or two, but I still wonder: Microsoft, do you want me back?