MS acknowledges that other phones can smoke WP

After the Smoked by Windows Phone chaos (which resulted in Sahas finally receiving her reward), The Verge gained access to Microsoft’s employee guide on how to defeat other phones in the contest.

In Microsoft’s guide, they warn employees that Android phones have “widgets that can, if properly configured, display the weather and other information in real time.” This is identical to Windows Phone’s live tiles, and provides the same ease-of-access to live information, which levels the playing field between WP7 and Android for the weather contest. Microsoft continues to discuss how other phones could win in the other contests, but let’s discuss something more important…


How can Windows Phone improve?

From what I see in this contest, every single smartphone is nearly as fast as the other. It truly comes down to milliseconds (or disabling a lock screen in one scenario). Since Microsoft knows where its competitors can match or beat Windows Phone, they hopefully will focus on these weaknesses in the future!

  1. Allow the user to disable the lockscreen – I and many other users do not have passwords on our phones. A lock screen is truly a waste of a swipe every single time you want to use your phone. Your homescreen has all the information the lock screen has and MORE. Why not get your users to the content faster, and keep the “chrome” out of the way? Phones don’t pocket dial people anymore thanks to the intelligent use of proximity sensors.
  2. Make the Facebook picture upload instant – Currently on Windows Phone, when you go to upload a picture, there’s a 2-3 second data upload where the phone says “Uploading to Facebook…”. Instead, Microsoft could make this instant, and do the picture upload in the background. This would make the experience faster and get the user on with their life.
  3. Add more features to the Facebook integration – I heard about one contest where the MS employee asked the contestant to update their Facebook cover photo. Either the MS employee misspoke, or the contestant heard incorrectly, but Windows Phone completely lacks the ability to update your timeline cover photo. If Microsoft is going to tout that everything is integrated in Windows Phone, they better integrate *everything*.
  4. Make apps start faster – I was quite shocked when I compared the loading speeds of common apps like Engadget and Twitter to my friend’s iPhone and Android devices. The apps I looked at all loaded incredibly faster. I dread opening the Facebook app since it is so slow (but it’s necessary since Windows Phone’s integration lacks numerous things). Developers may be partially to blame, but Microsoft can certainly help improve loading speeds.


The rest of Microsoft’s Smoked by WP guide…

Also, the iPhone’s “very fast camera” and similar Facebook upload feature is considered a “serious contender in this category” of the contest. Even the measly HTC Status was highlighted by Microsoft for its “camera that switches on even faster than Windows Phone” and its “built in pocket-to-post feature”.

Finally, Microsoft acknowledges that third-party Android apps can be configured to post to Facebook and Twitter at the same time, exactly like how WP7 can. From my own research, Seesmic even has a shortcut for posting to all your social networks, which could definitely give Android the advantage.

What’s something that WP7 can almost certainly win at? Updating a profile picture to multiple social networks.