Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

Summary: Windows Phone may finally start seeing some real adoption in 2012, but even if it doesn't it is my personal preferred platform and you will see more regular Windows Phone Wednesday articles this year.

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I haven't written a Windows Phone Wednesday article since September 2011, primarily because I couldn't find a new Mango-powered phone for T-Mobile that really interested me and I wanted to try out some other new phones. I have since purchased the iPhone 4S on Verizon, Samsung Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ version, Nokia N9, and more. Last week I wrote the reasons I chose the HTC Radar 4G and it is now my primary phone on T-Mobile USA. While the Galaxy Nexus has greater specs and the Nokia N9 with MeeGo a slick UI, the HTC Radar 4G lets me get things done quickly and I am clearly a major fan of Windows Phone.

CES 2012

Windows Phone was a major focus at CES this year with the fantastic Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II showing their stuff. The WP Marketplace now has over 50,000 apps and reached this level faster than iOS or Android in the past. I have ALWAYS said that Windows Phone is a platform you need to try to appreciate since it is NOTHING like the old Windows Mobile OS from Microsoft and it seems that people are finally taking my advice and trying out the devices. It helps when companies like Nokia, HTC, Samsung, and carriers launch Windows Phone devices for less than $100, some even for free.

Must-Have Games

Microsoft is kicking off 2012 with a Must-Have Games promotion that will start with five new games. I was just asked if I wanted to check out these games and should be getting a device loaded with them to write about here on the blog later this week. The five games coming over a five week period include:

  1. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
  2. Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp
  3. BulletAsylum
  4. Chickens Can't Fly
  5. Splinter Cell Conviction

I am looking forward to checking these games out, particularly Chickens Can't Fly and Splinter Cell.

UPDATE: Here are the details on these 5 games that will start appearing in the Marketplace next week on 1 February.

  1. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit | Electronic Arts | February 1 | $4.99 Feel the rush of the escape and the thrill of the takedown! Outrun the law as a Racer in supercars such as the Pagani Zonda Cinque — or stop racers cold as a Cop in high-speed police interceptors such as the Lamborghini Reventon. Enabled for Xbox LIVE, experience pulse-pounding action as you make the escape or make the bust with “Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit” on Windows Phone. Drive up to 20 precision-performance cars in adrenaline-fueled showdown across 24 day-and-night tracks. Take it to the limit in 48 total Cop and Racer Career Events, collect bounty, and rise to the top of the ranks.
  2. BulletAsylum | Microsoft Studios | February 8 | $2.99 Do you like bullets? How about explosions? Are you tired of having to wait ENTIRE SECONDS between seeing bullets explode things? Annihilate invaders with a wall of firepower in this insane arcade shooter. “BulletAsylum” delivers over-the-top action, melding classic gameplay with next-generation visuals and mechanics. With an insane amount of firepower at your fingertips, vibrant graphics and an all-you-can-shoot buffet of alien hordes to destroy, “BulletAsylum” will blow you away!
  3. Chickens Can’t Fly | Microsoft Studios | February 15 | $2.99 Join the ranks of our scientists and see what chickens are capable of! Conduct experiments throughout four laboratories and answer questions such as: Is there life after the butcher? Are chickens afraid of ghosts? Does a frozen chicken get dizzy? Countless hours of fun await you: fall down an experimental pit, avoid obstacles, use power-ups and power-downs, gather corn, and make it through to the end. Use the skills you learn to get a high score in Survival Mode and show off to your friends on the Xbox LIVE and global leaderboards.
  4. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction | Gameloft | February 22 | $4.99 The benchmark of action stealth games on console is available for the first time on Windows Phone. Unleash the ferocious skills of renegade agent Sam Fisher, a highly skilled Special Forces operative, and fight a corrupted secret agency to get your daughter back. Follow a trail of intrigue that leads from Iraq to a high-security building in Washington, D.C. Run, jump, fight and shoot using a handgun, a shotgun, an AK-47 assault rifle and a bazooka, or maintain stealth by improvising with nearby objects. You are now a renegade spy agent; you don’t follow any orders except for your own rules of engagement.
  5. Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp | Microsoft Studios February 29 | $2.99 Wage war on a tiny scale in “Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp,” which brings the fun and addictive shooting gallery mini-games from “Toy Soldiers: Cold War” for Xbox 360 to your Windows Phone. Defend house and home against swarms of houseflies when a flyswatter puts you in the role of a pint-sized anti-aircraft gunner. Thread the needle in the super-addicting game where you simply try to guide your missile through rotating holes. In addition, earn bragging rights in “Toy Soldiers: Cold War” for Xbox 360 through an integrated mobile leaderboard.

Deal of the Week

I remember back in the good old days when we would regularly pay $10 to $15 for apps and so when I see these high quality Xbox LIVE games available for $2.99 to $6.99 I think it is a heck of a steal. I wanted to remind you all that Microsoft generally has a weekly deal on Xbox LIVE games that knocks $1 or $2 off the regular price. For example, last week you could purchase Flight Control for just $1.99. Keep an eye out for these weekly deals.

Xbox Companion

Do you have an Xbox at home to go with your Windows Phone device? If so, you should try the Xbox Companion app that lets you use your phone to search for media and control it, similar to a remote control, with your Windows Phone device.

Free Xbox LIVE games

My middle daughter fell in love with Windows Phone during some trials a few months ago and I picked up an unlocked Samsung Focus for her that she can't put down. The great thing is that there are several free Xbox LIVE games available so you don't need to spend lots of money getting some fun games, that include:

  • Bug Village
  • Breeze
  • Shuffle Party
  • Sudoku
  • Minesweeper
  • Flowerz

What types of coverage would you like to see here in a future edition of Windows Phone Wednesday?

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Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Nokia, Operating Systems, Software, Telcos, Windows

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  • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

    I love Windows Phone too, unfortunately most users don't feel so comfortable because they believe that it's like Windows desktop.

    In Mexico there was only one carry that was selling 2 LG model, this year they don't offer anymore :(
    BRomeroT@...
    • RE: they believe that it's like Windows desktop.

      @BRomeroT@...

      You are right on that. Some think it is just like the Old Windows Mobile phones. I am currently an iPhone user and I was very Skeptical about WP7.x when it was first being discussed and released but I have to say that after having the opportunity to use it on some friends phones and some of the users I support at work I am pretty impressed. It's fast and easy to use on more modest hardware than any Android Phone. I have several friends and users that have Android Phones and while some love it I have many that complain about.

      To me iOS is stale and at my next upgrade I am seriously considering WP7
      bobiroc
      • WP8 is where I'd get on board probably

        Following the typical "version 3" pattern for Msft products.
        LBiege
      • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

        @LBiege

        Well depending on when that is released that is when I will change over. I know several that are locked in contracts with Android Phones and some with iPhones that have expressed that they cannot wait until their contract is up so they can at least think about switching. Most people I talk to like WP7.x because it is easy to use and I find Android can be complicated because it seems each phone can be slightly different where WP7.x is uniform across the board when it comes to OS functionality.
        bobiroc
      • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

        @bobiroc

        As Matt said you truely have to use WP7.5 to appreciate what it brings to the table. I personally find it to be the best mobile OS to date due to its ease of use, speed and the metro UI is fresh and captivating. Live Tiles on my home screen blow away anything IOS and Android has. I like what MS is doing by saving us from our phones. I can get to information faster than any of my friends because the way MS has integrated search, mail and social networking. Hands down WP is the best and unless you've tried it don't bother convincing me otherwise.
        Rob.sharp
    • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

      @BRomeroT@... Worse, it's like Vtech toy laptop desktop! I won't go near it! I don't care how well it works if I can't stand to LOOK at it.
      YMMV
      rphunter42
      • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

        @rphunter42
        and a screen full of static app icons is somehow more beautiful? Not sure I understand that theory, but hey its your eyes so you can dictate to them what you want to believe! As I have said lately, the iphone is grandma's phone now! The only people here at my work asking for an iphone is the old ladies! I think I will take the future with the Zune software and WP7. compare them side-by-side with iTunes and the iPhone and you will see what I mean! Old and stale about sums it up good!
        OhTheHumanity
      • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

        @rphunter42 Hmmm, a troll
        Zarniw00p
    • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

      @BRomeroT@... I have said this before. The most important thing to me is syncing my calendar and contacts to Outlook. I do not have Exchange and I don't want to put all that information in the Cloud. I even created a Windows Live account and synced to that to see how it would work. I still have 3 or 4 reminders coming over for 1 appointment. I also have a cheaper data plan which serves my purposes. I had WM phones for years. I waited for Mango to see if Microsoft would address this issue. They did not and I moved to an iphone. It is hard to believe that I had to go to Apple to sync with Outlook. I was a diehard Windows user and I really wanted to continue. But Microsoft lost me. I am not the only one.
      elvisfan0108
      • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

        @elvisfan0108
        Well not sure who your email provider is, but its not Outlook. Almost every email service under the sun offers syncing with their service over the air. I guess Microsoft could have included a feature that about 1% would even use, but really syncing with Outlook is pretty old school and very ineffective with getting email on your phone. In an instant on society, things like syncing with Outlook are quickly going away. Sorry you missed out and bought grandma's phone, but from the sounds of it, it may be the perfect fit for you!
        OhTheHumanity
      • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

        @OhTheHumanity Not sure why you would take the time to sound so snarky when you don't know what you are talking about. @elvisfan0108 is referring to the ability to sync DATA directly between a smartphone and a user's computer. USB cable or Wi-Fi, it doesn't matter. The crux of the issue is being able to securely move your contacts, DATA, tasks and work files directly between your primary computer and your smartphone without needing an internet connection and big data plan. <br><br>I'm not sure where your data source is for your 1% claim. There are millions of us that spent the money on MS Office and WinMo smartphones due to the tight integration of DATA syncing between them. There are millions of us who expected MS to continue with that strength while also offering a new way to sync DATA when we aren't near our computer. I'm glad that those millions of us are now irrelevant since the thousands of you(s) are happy with a crippled feature set. <br><br>"...email on a phone..." Who would want to write and respond to business emails on a 4.3" screen? Who in their right mind wants to do lots of emails on a tiny phone screen? I'm sure that @OhTheHumanity will be happy with giant thumbs doing all your email on that tiny screen. Me? Ive got a nice ergonomic keyboard and a 22" monitor to do email. I use Outlook to download my email, from my own domain, using a SSL connection. I do what I need to while also using Outlook to maintain my contacts, Calendar and other things. I update my WinMo 6.5 device directly, not caring about an Internet connection or data plan. Phones are for texting, computers are for email.<br><br>It appears that you have only lightweight smartphone needs and are happy depending on a fast internet pipe and paying data charges so that your phone and your computer can communicate. Just think of the joy you'll experience when you move a 100mb PPT file using your data plan. Even though many corporate email systems still filter out Hotmail, your business will be taken very (very!) seriously by using Hotmail/Live/Gmail/Yahoo from your WP7. Although for you, I think that the biggest selling point is that Zune (being the huge success it was) is the interface that allows you to directly move those cool videos and music onto your WP7. That is why you chose the WP7 right, pretty tiles and videos? <br><br>"The Cloud" should not be about uploading your DATA and media onto 3rd party servers. It is a lot easier to find and hack one database of a million users than to find and hack a million different users. Enjoy being in that fat target database. MS cant even reliably update their WP7, good luck depending on MS for their "Cloud". The cloud should be about access to your DATA and media whenever and wherever you are. There is a big difference between the two ideas.
        EasierPC07
  • Really? WP is dying

    According to the #'s from Gartner.

    iOS is increasing, Android is increasing and RIM is holding relatively steady. Windows Phone is tanking and it's a good thing as it's a nasty, ugly UI and use paradigm.
    itguy10
    • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

      @itguy10
      I find it to be refreshing. All the others look dull to me. I don't care about sales numbers, that's for the suits to worry about.
      lippidp
      • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

        @lippidp "I don't care about sales numbers..."

        You should care. if (your product here) fails to sell, there won't be any new models to upgrade to when the time comes. Then you will have to buy something dull.
        levinson
    • Which Gartner are you talking about?

      @itguy10 You mean the same Gartner that said Windows Phone will be the #2 mobile OS by 2015?
      dazzlingd
    • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

      @itguy10
      funny how I feel that YOU think its dying. Or should I say you HOPE that it is dying because you feel threatened by Windows Phone somehow. Personally I have had many people ask me about my phone and they like the looks of it. Had 2 people just the other day ask me what phone I had and wanted to know more about it. Just sayin, I will go with personal experience over what you say here as you probably never even used a Windows Phone at this point!
      OhTheHumanity
    • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

      @itguy10 Why are you allowed to post your anti Microsoft drivel on ZDNET. You should be banned for life!
      Stephen-B
      • @Rick_Kl

        "You should be banned for life!"

        Like you were?
        toddybottom_z
      • RE: Windows Phone Wednesday: Back to WP as primary platform on T-Mobile

        toddybottom_z I was never banned, as I only recently found this website. Are you having problems with being banned? Or are you really a Microsoft hating troll.

        I should have listened, as they told me there were people like you on here. Posing as the faithful, but in reality, just Microsoft haters.
        Stephen-B
    • And yet we sense the fear in your words.

      @itguy10
      Oddly enoygh, we have had a few personel here at work dispose of their Android phones, instead purchasing both Windows Phones, and iPhones.

      I can now understand why all the graphs show Android in a declining spiral.
      :|
      Tim Cook