It's Microsoft's World, and I'm just living in it
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Moving away from using Windows phones

April 12, 2016 23:31 by ckincincy

Two weeks ago I went to the Microsoft Build conference.  This was a week after Microsoft pissed me off with their announcment that most of the 8.1 phones would not be getting Windows 10, including 4 of the 5 phones in my house (the 5th is a 950, and designed for the OS... though it s a crappy experience as it is).  So I went in pretty frustrated as it was.

During the build conference I might have heard one mention of the Windows phone from a speaker.  Mostly we heard of Android and iOS and how we can develop for those platforms.

The Hub at the conference had booths for so many Microsoft technologies.  Not.A.Single.One for Windows Phone.  Unbelievable, inexcusable.

It is now obvious to me, Microsoft does not have a focus on their mobile phones.  I should have known the number of senior workers for Microsoft that talk about their iPhone on social media is great.  I would even bet most of the high level execuitives do as well.  I always justified my purchasing of Windows Phones as supporting the mother ship.. but not even the mother ships employees do.

For years I have posted on this site my experience with Windows phone.  I jumped on the bandwagon with 7.0 and from 7.8 to 8.0.. you had to buy new phones, so I did.  For me and my family.  The sales pitch for the past year is that all the 8.1 phones would get 10, but out of the blue that was changed.  I will not buy another round of phones to get the new operation system.

I'm putting my money where my mouth is.  Last week I purchased an iPhone 6s for my son to replace his 925.  Tonight I bought a Samsung Galaxy S7 for my wife to replace her 1020.

Gabe, I'm done.

March 18, 2016 13:30 by ckincincy

Hey Gabe,
You don't know me.  You may never meet me in spite of me being a huge Microsoft supporter.  I'll be at the build conference in a few weeks and the ignite conference in September. 

I have supported Microsoft devices for a while now in spite of getting beat down in the end.  When it comes to phones I have 3 teenagers and they all have cell phones, my fourth child is on the verge of getting his very own phone.  I never let them (or my wife) get an Android phone or an iPhone because I wanted to support the mother ship (as I call Microsoft).

Surface RT -> Support dropped almost immediately.
Surface Pro 3 -> Have one for work, was a sales pitch to get me hired.  Now several people have those or SP4 in the company.
SurfaceBook -> Yep, I have one... expensive model too. 
Windows Phone 7 -> Several models (I have teenagers and a wife, never would buy them Droid or Apple phones).  Updates to 7.0 -> 7.1 -> 7.5 went mostly smooth though I did have to use some of the hacks out there to get it timely.  Then came 7.8.. you just left many models in the dust (I used the hack app available at the time to upgrade, but not everybody is me).  Then you dropped that phone because you revamped with 8.0 and I mostly understood, hardware took a big turn and the 7.x models really could not support the new OS.
Windows Phone 8 -> Again, several models.  By this point all of my teens have their own phone and so does my wife.  Actually loved it, bought some HTC models and such and then bought a lot of Nokia models when they came out (920/925/1020/1520) and loved those.  Then came the work toward Windows 10.. so app developers dropped like flies.  Lost the Chase app which I loved using.  Didn't get other apps that others would get on Droid or iOS.    Looked forward to those phones (as they are all plenty spec heavy) getting Windows 10 and FINALLY getting apps... then yesterday happen.

For Microsoft to again screw my wallet I am done.  I told my wife this morning, when you're ready for a new phone.. you get what you want.  Be it an iPhone or a Samsung (I'll still point her to the best model to get).  She won't choose the Windows phone on her own, why would she.. so she can't get more apps?  As I upgrade the rest of the phones in my house I'm sure my children will pick iPhones and that is what they'll get.  I'm done being a sucker for Microsoft.  I wanted Windows Mobile to succeed (even got my employer to buy me a Windows phone.. I'm one of two people in the whole fortune 500 company with a Windows phone supplied by the company, eveybody else has an iPhone).

As I was fuming about this I wondered, what could Microsoft do?  Through the years I've heard of Microsoft paying companies to develop apps for their phone.  How about you give back to your loyal customers... give away phones to those loyal customers and keep them.  I won't buy another Windows phone at this point.  No need to, even Microsoft develops apps for iOS and Android before they do Windows Phone. 

One frustrated customer,


Visual Voicemail on Windows Phone

January 12, 2013 00:19 by ckincincy

Many years ago I had an iPhone 3G.  One of the few things I liked about iOS was visual voicemail.  A few days ago I thought I’d see what was out there and found a nice solution.

Step 1
Check your voicemail, write down any information you don’t want to lose.  You will lose your existing voicemail messages.

Step 2
imageGo to YouMail.com and create an account.  It will send you a text message with a 4 digit code, write this down.  This is your new voicemail pin.


Step 3
Follow their directions to change your voicemail provider from your cell phone company to YouMail.com.  For Verizon you dial *713478966996.

Step 4
Login to YouMail.com and change your pin number. (My Account –> My Information –> Account Security –> Change Your Pin). I recommend a long pin number.  You’ll rarely need this.. but be sure to save this code somewhere.  I use a password manager for mine.

Step 5
Change the website to require your pin (My Account –> My Phones)

Step 6
Go to Settings –> Swipe over to “Applications” –> Select Phone –> Change the voicemail number to 347-896-6000 (this makes the voicemail icon on your phone call that number instead of the default carrier based one).

Step 7
Call the voicemail and set your greeting preferences.  YouMail.com has some options there, learn the system and put it how you prefer. 

Step 8
MagikMailInstall MagikMail.  There are two versions, a free ad supported version and a $2 ad free version

I shared some Tweets with the developer and asked if they preferred purchasing the product, so they get $2 right now… or use the ad free version so they get money over time.  They said buying the app is preferred.

Open the application and enter your phone number and your long pin. 

You’ll want to pin this app to the start screen so you have easy access to your voicemail.

You are good to go!

WP8Rage - Can I upgrade my HTC8 to WP7?

December 8, 2012 20:57 by ckincincy

Earlier this week Microsoft decided to promote a “DroidRage” hash tag for people to complain about their Droid.

Earlier this week I got a Windows Phone 8.  Never before have I seen such a huge step backwards.

In Windows Phone 7 I had software I hated in Zune, but it at least did the minimum.  Made it possible to manage playlist, made it possible to subscribe to podcast not in the Market Place, and gave you control over what syncs to your phone without having to do it manually.  If I rated songs as a broken heart, my Zune software would not sync it with my phone. 

What do I get with Windows Phone 8?  I was expecting the Windows 8 desktop OS to work great with my Windows Phone 8, boy was I wrong.

There is a Market Place application which is worthless and there is a “Preview” application that just gives me nothing more than what I see when I navigate to the phone via the Windows explorer.

Now to be honest, that was enough to frustrate me greatly.. but I just keep noticing things I don’t have on my phone.

In WP7 I had an FM radio, great when I wanted to just listen to the radio and not use my precious data.  Or if I was at a gym and wanted to listen to one of their TV’s synced to an FM station.  Guess what is missing from my phone, even though the hardware apparently supports a FM Radio.

Today I was going to my son’s basketball game.  I decided to open up the map software to use the built in turn by turn directions.  Only to find out that to use this I have to use the VZ Navigator, which is a monthly bill add on from Verizon.

If Windows Phone had even 20% of the market saturation of the iPhone there would have been whole teams fired for what they have done to this phone. 

The updates to this phone in the future better fix this, or I’ll not be buying another Windows Phone again and when a company starts losing fan boys like me it does not bode will for a usable product.  I couldn’t, in good conscience recommend Windows Phone 8 to anybody today.