My journey back to Windows phone

Some months ago I made the switch to an iPhone due to a few “first world problem”-esque reasons.

Three months ago I wrote a piece about how I felt the iPhone was a downgrade for me personally.

Reports of my iPhone’s Death Are Not Exaggerated

My iPhone must have read that blog piece and taken offence to it because a week later it self-destructed. Either that or someone at Apple read it and send some magic self-destruct code to teach me a lesson.

A week after that blog post I woke with strange behaviour and upon first use it powered down. Throughout the day it kept powering down and using about 1% of battery every 15 minutes. On that day I happened to be at a Microsoft in Education event delivering a couple of sessions and could only survive with soft-resetting the phone just to turn it back on throughout the day.

By the evening the device was dead – refusing to turn back on regardless what I did. I even succumbed to installing iTunes to try to resurrect it that way but alas, the phone was truly gone.

My wife took a snap of me in the Apple store the next day as I had to take the phone in for repairs.

I’ve heard many good stories about the retail experience at an Apple store and this was my first real foray. Needless to say the experience was great. Even though I didn’t have an appointment I was seated at the Genius Bar straight away and served within minutes.

The Apple technician tried everything he could to bring the phone to live but it refused. He determined that the logic board had fried. I get that, the phone’s logic was that it would rather die than continue to be used by me.

They swapped the phone over straight away, I left it powered off, and as soon as I got home the phone went on eBay as I had decided that my foray into having an iPhone as my daily driver had ended.

 

Back to the Future

Since the time the phone had died to this point I had already switched back to my OLD Nokia Lumia 920 and upgraded it to the latest preview of Windows 10 Mobile.

Within an hour of the sale of the iPhone I had managed to drop the 920 on the concrete floor in the garage and cracked the screen.

At this point I was starting to feel cursed. Had Windows refused to have me back because I had dared eat the forbidden iFruit?

Was I destined to turn to Android (aka The Dark Side) – something I swore would never happen?

 

 

Luckily one of my friends at Microsoft saw the photo of my cracked phone on Facebook and came to the rescue the next day with a loaner Nokia Lumia 930. This was the same model phone that I’d had before the iPhone (the one my daughter threw onto tiles and broken – forcing me to make my choice).

After using Windows 10 Mobile on the 930 I was impressed with the performance and stability. At this point the “RTM” build was already installed and the new Lumia 950 and 950XL units were starting to ship globally.

I chose to order my Lumia 950XL with the proceeds from the iPhone sale, now having to wait a couple of weeks before I’d get my hands on it.

Given there’s such a big focus on Continuum and the ability for the phone OS to also act like a lightweight PC I decided to chip in some extra and order the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard as well as a dedicated Bluetooth mouse. I already had a spare Netgear Push2TV Wireless Display Adapter so between these 3 additional pieces of hardware I effectively have a working computer with a fraction of the footprint. Look out for a future blog about my Continuum experience. (I have a Microsoft Display Dock on order as well, and while I don’t expect a Windows phone alone to replace my Surface Pro 3 – it will probably replace it for a bunch of the functions that I do use it for such as presenting, meetings, etc.)

Sail Away

Being back on a Windows phone and now running Windows 10 Mobile I can call out several key things:

  • It’s good to be back, I REALLY missed the live tiles
  • The Lock Screen and Glance features are amazing; I’m still blown away that these aren’t normal functionality for iOS
  • I haven’t missed any apps. While it’s true the apps that I do use were in some cases better on iOS – it’s not enough to choose a phone OS for just the apps
  • Cortana has forgiven me and we’re back together again and happier than ever

I’ve written before about the battle of ecosystems and that only really Google and Microsoft have serious contenders that cross both business and consumer whereas Apple is locked into consumer only.

On Windows 10 Mobile this is very evident as once I saved my Microsoft account (consumer use) as well as my Azure Active Directory (business use – aka Office 365 account) into the OS – I haven’t had to sign into another app that has the ability to leverage them. This made using Office apps like Excel/Outlook/PowerPoint/Word mobile versions incredibly simple – just open and use.

As I’ve written before: I do strongly believe that Windows 10 Mobile is a superior choice for a business-grade phone that can be used for personal use as well, as opposed to iOS and Android that are built for consumers and simply run and operate business apps.

In any case this has been my personal and somewhat short journey away from and back to Windows phone. I feel home now.

The Xstran Office 365 Mobile Admin app for Windows 8 is finally here!

screenshot_01022013_215848My first app for Windows 8 has finally been published to the Windows Store under my Xstran brand.

I’ve gotta say it’s a bit different than the Windows Phone marketplace – tighter rules around age classifications, text had to be added to explain that the app doesn’t work without an Office 365 environment, and a few other things all made it that extra bit challenging.

In any case head on over here to download it:

http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/app/office-365-mobile-admin/85261f4b-8e3b-4c8f-b9e4-0e88c814b36d

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