The art of stalling

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What do corporate management types do when they know that their employees or customers are dissatisfied with their with decisions? They send out surveys. This is used to give the impression that they are looking into the problem, but most of the time, it is just a public relations move. Many of you who have worked in a corporate environment can attest to this.

That is my opinion of the current survey from Windows Phone which I filled by the way. Microsoft already knows what they need to do. To me, the survey is just a ploy to make it look like they are doing something. A good percentage of our readers disagreed with Paul Thurrott and I on the speed at which Microsoft should be pushing out Windows Phone updates. I still stand by my stance. If you have the chance, take the time to listen to the latest Windows Weekly  podcast #192 to understand Mr. Thurrott’s frustrations. He outlines his reasons in the first 30 minutes.

If we forget about the updates and obvious lack of execution for a moment, the difference in experience by WP7 users from one country to another various widely. Our readers from outside the US have often complained about lacking access to various features available stateside and rightfully so. From Mr. Thurrott’s latest post

On a recent episode of Windows Weekly, I noted that I was considering making a table depicting all of the countries in which Windows Phone was available on one axis, and all of the possible online services on the other, and that I would then check off which features were available where…. It must be crazy, I figured.

Well it is crazy.

Andrew Birch took up the challenge and actually made the table. And … oh my. What a freaking disaster this is.If you were wondering about one of the top reasons people don’t trust Microsoft to provide a compelling, consistent user experience, look no further than Andrew’s post, where there are actually two tables, one for Zune Marketplace features (App Market, Zune Pass, Music Market, Podcast Market, TV Market, Movie Rentals, and Movie Purchases) and one for Xbox LIVE, Bing and other services (Local Search, Traffic, Voice Search, Xbox LIVE, and clickable phone numbers and addresses). It’s pretty pathetic. Unless of course you live in the US.

Xbox Live, Bing Local & Other Windows Phone 7 Features

Bing Local Search Bing Traffic Bing Voice Search Xbox Live Clickable Phone Numbers/Addresses
Australia x x
Canada x x x
France x
Germany x
Italy x
Mexico x
Singapore x
Spain x
United Kingdom x x
United States x x x x x
Austria *
Belgium *
Hong Kong x
India *
Ireland x
New Zealand x
Switzerland *
Netherlands** *

The table provides damning evidence that shows Microsoft needs to step up in order to give Windows Phone 7 (In-depth review) a chance at making a headway in the highly competitive, and rapidly moving mobile space. To even make matters worse, Andrew goes on to say

There are also a series of countries where Windows Phone 7 is apparently available in stores (and advertised on Microsoft’s websites for those countries) where they apparently do not have access to any services, not even the ability to buy third party apps, (emphasis mine) which is very disturbing. They include the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Malaysia, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden and Taiwan. The phone is only available in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian so that’s the only possible languages that the phone can use in any of those extra countries, even if the majority of the public doesn’t use that language.

Surveys will not make these problems go away. While you are it Windows Phone team, how about you stop hiding behind blog posts and tweets and formally address your loyal fan base’s concerns without PR jargon for once?

Via Windowsphonesecrets,

More about the topics: bing, update, xbox live, zune marketplace