I really wanted to like the Windows 7 phone…

I like a lot of things about the WP7 phone… the way it integrates the things I care about into one home screen instead of making me dig through a half-dozen apps individually is a big step up from the iPhone.

Never mind that Microsoft is (as usual) so late to the party that people have already invested $$$ in their iPhone apps (it will be hard to walk away from my turn-by-turn GPS app that I bought a few months ago), no, the real problem is that the WP7 doesn’t integrate with other Microsoft technologies very well.

The real killer: there’s no direct Outlook support for WP7. Can you believe it? I have Microsoft’s premier Office utility app and their premier device, and they don’t talk to each other.

I know, you can sync contacts with email accounts, but guess what? I have several email accounts (who doesn’t?) and most of the contacts in those accounts are folks that I don’t need on my phone.

What I really want is to be able to tell my WP7 device that that special list of contacts that I’ve put so much time over the years in keeping up-to-date, that list right there in Outlook, that’s the one I want as my contacts in my WP7. Not my entire Facebook directory. Not every random email user whom I’ve ever interacted with.

Unfortunately, WP7 doesn’t support that. Not even close. So, believe it or not, I’m keeping my iPhone for now. Because iTunes, bless their little heart, despite all its faults, does. And believe it or not, for that one reason alone, I can’t use my Windows Phone.

I see that there’s a WP7 update coming out soon. I see no mention of Outlook integration. I see myself keeping my iPhone for a while. I see my WP7 phone collecting dust on my desk.

Maybe next time, Microsoft?

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2 Responses to I really wanted to like the Windows 7 phone…

  1. Bruce Morgan says:

    If you don’t want Facebook contacts in your list, it can be turned off.

    Yu can turn off Contacts syncing for Outlook and a few other accounts. You may be able to do that for the other mail accounts.

  2. We like the direction Wallet is heading here, as it combines the best ideas from iOS and Android’s options. To further improve the experience, we’d love to see Microsoft include some sort of Google Now-like ability where the phone is capable of learning your interests and needs based on what you’ve previously looked at, but this is at least a start. WP8’s NFC support is useful for mobile payments, but it doesn’t stop there. The platform also allows you to use this technology to share videos, music, contact information and IE10 links between phones and other devices. Maps, sadly, cannot be shared (although you can at least send a map of your current location via MMS now, as an alternative). NFC transfers work best when done from one WP8 device to another, but there are some transactions technically possible between WP8 and Android; contacts push to Android phones easily enough, but we couldn’t seem to transfer URL links the same way. Photos and music aren’t compatible due to differences in the platforms — they simply appear in the form of inaccessible tags. Attempts to go the opposite way and transfer files to WP8 from an Android device failed. While we’re happy to see support for NFC, it looks as though our dreams of a true cross-platform solution have yet to be realized.

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