Windows Phone director of development bets $1,000 on Windows Phone 7

By Tom Warren, on 25th Jul 11 7:36 am with 89 Comments

Brandon Watson, Senior Director of Windows Phone 7 development at Microsoft is betting big on Windows Phone.

Watson is attempting to woo users of Android who have become irritated with their device experience. The developer evangelist reached out to Scott Adams, author of popular comic strip Dilbert. Manan Kakkar of Techie-Buzz.com spotted Watson’s offer in the comments section of Adam’s blog:

“Scott -

My name is Brandon Watson and I am responsible for the developer platform on Windows Phone. Since your readership has a high probability of cross over with our developer base, how about I make you a deal with one of the phones we reserve for developers. Take Windows Phone for a spin. I’ll send you a developer phone with the new Mango OS on it. Give it an honest run, and if you don’t love it more than either of your iPhone or Android experiences, I’ll make a $1000 donation to the charity of your choice. You can’t really lose on this deal.

Do we have 500K apps? No. Do we have 25K, growing as fast as iPhone did, and 2x as fast as Android? Yes. Do developers love the dev environment? Uh huh. Do we have the only phone that puts people and communications first? You bet. If Androids dream of electronic iSheep, people dream about people – and that’s what you will get with Windows Phone. Keep in constant contact with those most important to you with Live Tiles, groups, messaging threads, and native Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And no special instructions on how to hold the phone to make calls. Oh, and the battery lasts a long time.

I can be reached at ThePhone [at] microsoft. You can call me if you want – 425-985-5568. Windows Phone devs will tell you that’s the right contact info, because it’s shared with every one of them.

I hope you take me up on this one…there’s no reason to hate your phone.”

Watson also extended his challenge to CNET reporter Molly Wood over Twitter. Wood reported issues with her Droid X and Watson stepped in to offer a Windows Phone device. This isn’t unusual however. Watson, known for his passionate developer interaction, shared his office number with Twitter followers in May. Watson oversees Microsoft’s Windows Phone developer experience and is responsible for the tools and application platform that developers hook into. The Microsoft worker invited Windows Phone 7 developers to call him to discuss Windows Phone development.

Watson explained to WinRumors in an email that instances of people hating their Android devices aren’t rare. “More of these keep showing up,” he said. Watson’s developer and end user focus is impressive one more. Microsoft is currently planning to launch a Release Candidate (RC) build of the Windows Phone Mango tools on August 22. The software maker will also accept Mango based applications at the same time. Microsoft is expected to launch the final version of Windows Phone Mango in the September or October time frame.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    I could do with a new phone… but i like android. 

    • Anonymous

      And the award for most pointless comment goes to…

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      You obviously don’t get the point… which is you can’t just switch to WP7 from Android and not miss a single feature. 

    • Pinna

      Missing features – for example?

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      too many to list in a comment. Google it

    • Pinna

      http://zapp5.staticworld.net/reviews/graphics/208491-os_smackdown_chartlarge_original.png

      - dont know if copy paste was pre-mango, but i think so
      - visual voicemail/video calling, maybe when there are phones with front camera

      Mango Update adds:
      - multitasking for third party apps
      - html5
      - threaded email
      - some other improvements, too many to list

      *please correct me if i’m wrong*

      well tethering is still missing, unified inbox (i don’t need it, so i don’t care), universal search (whats this?)

    • Pinna

      http://zapp5.staticworld.net/reviews/graphics/208491-os_smackdown_chartlarge_original.png

      - dont know if copy paste was pre-mango, but i think so
      - visual voicemail/video calling, maybe when there are phones with front camera

      Mango Update adds:
      - multitasking for third party apps
      - html5
      - threaded email
      - some other improvements, too many to list

      *please correct me if i’m wrong*

      well tethering is still missing, unified inbox (i don’t need it, so i don’t care), universal search (whats this?)

    • Anonymous

      You get linked inbox with mango aswell. The only thing I’m missing post-mango is thethering

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1670567011 Mike Pietrorazio

      And automatic Turn-by-Turn Navigation. At least so far… Fingers crossed for final Mango release.

    • OMG55

      If you have a samsung focus, tething has been available basically since launch…see this article
      http://www.pcworld.com/article/210394/samsung_focus_hack_enables_windows_phone_7_tethering.html

      The tethering feature appears to have been a manufacturers choice on weather to exclude or include

    • Anonymous

      I’m on the LG because of the dlna

    • http://twitter.com/Pieter_Kroon Pieter Kroon

      This char is very old, it was made back at the initial launch of Windows Phone 7, before NoDo and obviously before Mango. Quite some X’s will go to V when Mango releases and some had gone to V’s with the NoDo release. They need to make a new chart…

    • CandidCalum

      Mango’s linked inbox feature works better than a unified inbox would. It is essentially a unified inbox. Universal search would be nice, as would tethering. I don’t see how anyone could class universal search as important because they can just go into a hub if they’d like to search for something which doesn’t take much time. Likewise, I don’t think tethering should be classed as important unless the user is travelling a lot on vehicles or to places where there is no Internet connection (which isn’t a popular use case). Microsoft have to add the most popular features first; they’ve already added copy/paste, multitasking, and more sooner than their competitors did with their operating systems.

    • Anonymous

      LOL, WP7 is terrible just look at that comparison chart, it has no features and it’s UI is bad so no one bothers with it.

      Then they added copy/paste and it’s a terrible implementation too, you can’t select a single character, only words.

      Multitasking is terribly implemented, can only run 5 applications…

      WP7 is just bad.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NUFSW77GEE77LT5BVULXE5TJPY Jed N. Hubic

      Uh…so you come to a site that covers products you dislike, just to post in the comments? l o s e r

    • OMG55

      Don’t be stupid. Why would I want to select on character? Don’t say incase of misspelling, because WP7 has the best auto-correcting on the market. And I could change there letter/vowel qicker the copying and pasting it…..STU

    • tim.griffiths

      Why would you want to select a single letter? That’s basically the dumbest use of copy/paste, if you wan’t a single letter then just type it!

    • JD

      The 5 apps that Mango “Runs” aren’t a representation of the apps that are really running in the background. That feature is a task switcher. WP7 manages the resources of the phone more intelligently so that you don’t have to micro-manage your phone. One of the developers posted on their blog that the reason they only allowed the task switcher to go as far back as five and not close those apps was so that users wouldn’t feel pressured to constantly close and open apps. There is the ability to look at all of the apps running and disable them withing settings, but the task switcher is not meant for the multi-tasking you are thinking of. 

    • Anonymous

       How about it tombstoning applications after 3 minutes of idling and them needing time to resume again?

    • JD

      The 5 apps that Mango “Runs” aren’t a representation of the apps that are really running in the background. That feature is a task switcher. WP7 manages the resources of the phone more intelligently so that you don’t have to micro-manage your phone. One of the developers posted on their blog that the reason they only allowed the task switcher to go as far back as five and not close those apps was so that users wouldn’t feel pressured to constantly close and open apps. There is the ability to look at all of the apps running and disable them withing settings, but the task switcher is not meant for the multi-tasking you are thinking of. 

    • OMG55

      Tethering is not missing on the Samsun Focus. There was a hack on the internet that allows you to get to that portion of the phone the 2-3rd week in came out. It is just was supposably a lock/hidden feature; again it is available….I use it myself.

    • CandidCalum

      You can’t make such an accusation and then not back it up. Name 10 then. You don’t have to name them all; just name 10 to give us an idea of what you mean because I’ve not been aware of anything important or even useful missing in Mango that is in Android.

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      Look below on that image… coming soon doesn’t mean it has them already.

    • CandidCalum

      Of course not. But I’m specifically talking about Mango because that is what will be released when the majority of us are after new phones. It’s also much more relevant than NoDo because it is being released very soon. It makes sense to think about getting a phone with Mango on it now because there isn’t much longer to wait.

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      Of course… I’m not saying WP7 is bad. The UI is the best on the market, and I’m sure updates will add more features, just like Mango will, but it’s not a phone I would buy on a 2 year contract lets say.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JRMATIFGVC2Z43XKSN7YHSHM4U DLF

      Missing features is completely subjective. Some features I could care less whether they’re missing or not. 

    • http://twitter.com/Pieter_Kroon Pieter Kroon

      There is one feature I’m missing, which is not really a feature, but an App… WhatsApp… Mango gives possibilities to release this App for Windows Phone, but I’m still missing it at this moment…

    • Marijn

      Have you tried Kik messenger? Works fine on my trophy

    • http://twitter.com/Pieter_Kroon Pieter Kroon

      The problem with Kik messenger is that none of my friends use it :) 

    • Anonymous

      I honestly don’t know what kind of response (if any) you were expecting that’s all.If you like Android, and you want a new phone, why don’t you just get an Android phone?

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      I will… when my contract ends in 11 months

    • Anonymous

      so then get an android and stop trolling, you dont like wp7, article about wp7, so your comments are pointless and then idiotic. better just say

      “oh i like android, because this article its about windows phone so i dont care about it even though i havent used it, but i have to come and troll because i need attention”

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      You need to look up troll on the internet… by all means I don’t hate WP7. I love its UI but apart from that its missing apps it should have and some just general stuff from android I got use to over the past year. Now go and call someone else a troll who actually is a troll. A troll doesn’t take time to reply!

    • Lex

      I respect your choice and Im not condemning you for it. I also dont believe you are being a troll in this instance for voicing preference.

      You are however, deliberately baiting a bunch of geeks with that comment, given the site and the story. If I couldnt also tell you are also secretly loving the arguments I would suggest avoiding such comments in future.

      So carry on and enjoy yourself ;)

      (iPhone user – Android recommender – Mango waiter)

    • CandidCalum

      What apps should it have that it doesn’t, and what general stuff is Mango missing compared to Android?

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      It only has 25k apps… I’m not going to list hundred and thousands of them.

    • CandidCalum

      So you use hundreds and thousands of apps? I highly doubt that. I’m clearly talking about the apps you use or wish to use that are not developed for the Windows Phone platform. My guess is you’ll struggle to name many of them. It’s not about 25k apps vs. 500k apps; it’s about apps the user cares about only, and Windows Phone is only missing one app I care about (The Tesco Clubcard app in the UK). It’s likely the majority of Android’s 500k apps are useless to most users which is why most users don’t full their phone’s storage with apps only, and why most users don’t want every single one of those 500k apps.

    • Anonymous

      I think the biggest challenge of a lower-than-competitor app count that many consumers will notice are apps developed for existing services or product. For instance, I don’t think Starbucks has their giftcard app built for WP7 yet. A number of the services I use for development only have iOS or android apps.

      Will it change? Sure, but just like the iphone and android, you’re going to have to have early adopters that don’t care as much about those things. I got my iPhone the first or second month they came out. Apps weren’t even a factor then and now people whine about their count.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry, but that’s plain BS. No one expects that WP7 will have billion apps from the beginning. They will keep coming eventually.

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      It’s also BS they keep saying its growing faster than other market did… Other markets when they came out it was years ago, there weren’t as many developers so its kind of obvious it would grow faster now that the mobile industry has grown a lot.

    • Anonymous

      As for me, I don’t care about the number of apps and the speed of growth. Each platform started with a large number of fart apps and then, when it proved itself, other serious apps were coming. Old WP7 tools did not give you possibilities to create something really AWESOME, unlike the tools for Mango. As for the developers – I am registered, too. I have no plans to publish anything to the Marketplace. I was just curious what are those tools capable of. I don’t trust those stats and marketing ;)
      A little OT: WP7 must go through all the pains just like his competitors went through. No one can skip it. So it might take a while for WP7 to grow and really compete with the others. It has a lot of potential and will give us a lot of surprises, I am sure. Apps are essential part, but not the most important. At least for me.

    • Anonymous

      It’s not strictly BS to make that claim regarding growth. You have a point about there being more mobile developers nowadays but you’re still ignoring a fact. The WP7 rep is not lying to us.

      Using your logic, a product that sells better in China or India than anywhere else doesn’t really count because more people live in China and India. See how that’s kind of stupid to say?

    • Guest

      Except you can only use C# and now VB.Net. Later they’ll allow native code.

    • http://twitter.com/Wheezle211 Wheezle

      STOP LIKING WHAT I DON’T LIKE

    • http://twitter.com/Wheezle211 Wheezle

      STOP LIKING WHAT I DON’T LIKE

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JRMATIFGVC2Z43XKSN7YHSHM4U DLF

      I actually can, and have.

    • CandidCalum

      Some people can. What is there to miss on Android when you get all of its most important features (but implemented in a better way), some more unique and innovative features, and a much nicer user interface on Windows Phone Mango ?

    • andrewbware

      yes you can…but you do have the problem of gaining more useful and user-friendly features with the switch to WP7 — who wants those?

    • http://twitter.com/mikescandy Michele Scandura

      Ehi, mom, look! A troll!

  • http://twitter.com/JackWilkins0n Jack Wilkinson

    I want to give this nokia wp7 mango a go, hurry up I am hating on my 3 year old blackberry

  • http://www.twitter.com/wixostrix WixosTrix

    OMG I’m totally excited about this.  I watch Buzz Out Loud with Molly Wood on CNET and the last few weeks she has been really knocking her DROID for having her issues and… she’s been considering a Windows Phone more and more… She needs to just do it! lol

    • Et Jay

      This is the best marketing ever for the WP7, in fact they should expand it to anyone and everyone.  If will be far more effective and less expensive as those ineffective “Really” ads they spent a half of billion bucks on and with a really luck we may be up to 2% market share by the end 1012.   Yep paying people to take a window phone, why didn’t think of this earlier?  Pure genius.    

    • MSblog

      Yes, with this deal I will take a 2 dozen WP7 phones, and repeat that order for the next 12 months!

  • http://www.andrew-stockdale.co.uk Andrew Stockdale

    Badass Brandon Watson putting his money where his mouth is. Be interested to know if that’s his cash personally or if it’s MS’s money. Either way, it’s extremely impressive.

    • Anonymous

      If he donated $500 Microsoft would match it and then he could write it off… truth be told. Regardless – it’s a fantastic example of putting your money where your mouth is.

  • Anonymous

    Better start donating, WP7 sucks.

    Android and the iOS camps don’t even mention or bother with WP7, yet the WP7 camp is desperately chasing everyone.

    And BTW, people want a real powerful smartphone, not a glorified social networking feature phone.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, that must be why IOS 5 copies all those features from wp7

    • Anonymous

      There is nothing to copy from WP7

    • tim.griffiths

      So your saying iOS 5 has no new features?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NUFSW77GEE77LT5BVULXE5TJPY Jed N. Hubic

      You are spending way too much time on here. Once again l o s e r

    • ReturningToNokia

      @zicoz and others….Please do not engage Cod3rror…He is a Symbian/Meego fanatic, angry that Nokia chose Windows Phone as the primary OS.  He is trolling and trying to bait.  Ignore and do not respond to Cod3rror…..

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JRMATIFGVC2Z43XKSN7YHSHM4U DLF

      It’s quite obvious you haven’t actually used WP7. Go away.

    • Anonymous

      I have, it’s terrible.

    • http://twitter.com/Pieter_Kroon Pieter Kroon

      Why would Apple and Android cause buzz about another operating system? As soon as Apple or Google shows fear for Windows Phone 7 people will start wondering what is so special about Windows Phone 7 and people will get their attention directed at WP7. It would cause the wrong effect for both Apple and Google. Since almost all publicity is good publicity :) Most people don’t consider Windows Phone 7 because of bad experiences with Windows Mobile in the past. 

    • Anonymous

      I like Microsoft and I like Windows(XP and 7) however WP7 is a bad product.

    • VegaNovus

      You my friend, are an idiot.

    • Anonymous

      You bought WP7 and you have the nerve to call somebody an idiot.

    • Anonymous

      You need to take a long, long look at your life.

    • Anonymous

      You need to take a long, long look at your life.

    • Anonymous

      Ah, retreating to life advices already?

    • CandidCalum

      You really don’t understand marketing it seems. Windows Phone was released around 4 years after the first iPhone, so of course Microsoft are not going to be the market leader, and so of course they will have to engage in clever, honest tactics like this. The fact you refer to it as a “glorified social networking feature phone” implies you actually no nothing about it.

    • Anonymous

      They would not need “clever tactics” if the product was good.

    • CandidCalum

      This further proves you don’t understand the concept of marketing. Every company needs to market their product when they have competitors whether their product is good or not; likewise, the best marketing is clever marketing.

    • Anonymous

       LOL, their clever marketing shows… can’t sell anything.

    • CandidCalum

      I haven’t seen them market Windows Phone very well to consumers yet, only developers and media; that is most likely because they know that they didn’t have a real competitor in terms of features until now. It was still better, but they didn’t have comparable features like multitasking. They now do, so hopefully they will now market it well to consumers.

      This is not desperation. There are plenty of reasons to use Windows Phone over iOS and Android; it is a much better operating system with some great features and the best user experience.

    • tim.griffiths

      You can’t use these tactics unless the product is good. There basically saying write a bad review about us and we’ll give $1000 to charity, unless the product is good and then write a good review or no review.

    • Anonymous

      No one even bothers to write a bad review about WP7, no one bothers with WP7.

    • Renzo

      This troll is mad because he emotionally invested himself in Symbian and now it’s dead.

      Projecting his own negative experiences with Nokia on us WP7 users. That is all.

    • Guest

      Your parents must be very proud to have raised such a pathetic moron.

    • Anonymous

      Your insults bounce off me like ping pong balls.

    • Guest

      Your parents must be very proud to have raised such a pathetic moron.

    • Guest

      Except that Google has written apps for it and Apple has been busy copying several of its features.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LI4DUUVUTM2KZS7XIJBRYIILSQ Matt

    the problem with Winmo is not winning over industry pundits, its training the staff at point of sale to sell the things. That has already been witnessed by countless commentators who have visited places to see what the the Winmo buying experience is like.

    • Guest

      Winmo?

    • Guest

      Winmo?

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      Case in point; it’s not Windows Mobile, it’s Windows Phone 7. Thing is, a lot of people still get that part wrong.  :)

  • Test1ngi23

    I’d switch if someone paid me a $1000!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NUFSW77GEE77LT5BVULXE5TJPY Jed N. Hubic

    In your singular opinion, which is opposite to the majority here. So democratically…l o s e r

  • Mark

    Watson reminds me of the best of what MS used to be and needs to get back to.