Come Together ... Microsoft Surface and Windows Phone

imageMicrosoft Surface and Windows Phone teams 

Please talk to each other.

Please seek Application Parity. #App_Parity_Wins


This is a plea for help and an offer to help you. I realize the platforms are not aligned. This is a problem. Please fix it. In the meantime there are a few other things that could use your attention.

People want to help. Let them.

I Want to Believe - Help me to help you!

I want to help. My humble ask … make me a Surface MVP.

Here are a few things that could use some parity and attention:

Calendar – Let ME count the ways

  • This one has driven me crazy since the Windows Phones were launched. Being forced to click thru 1 minute at a time is INSANE!
  • Please, please, please let the user decide how to flip through the minutes on Windows Phone. The current option of clicking through by 1’s was never clever and has never been fun.
  • At least let users click thru by 5’s (see the Surface)
  • Better yet … Let the User Decide
    • Let me count by 1's or 5's or 10's or 15's (or whatever the user decides)
Windows Phone
Adding an Appointment
Windows Phone
Forced to click thru in 1 minute increments (FAIL)
Surface – Calendar Option
image image image

Apps in the AppStore

  • imageFinally, after a 3 month old promise FlipBoard is on the Surface.
  • Now ...Where is it for my Windows Phone?

Facebook --- Thank you for finally including an official with the 8.1 build for the Surface.

  • Ironically, the non-official apps are a little more functional. Notably the “edit” post option works on the non-official apps and NOT on the official Facebook app.

A Few Good Apps

  • Vine is on the Windows Phone, but not the Surface.
  • Instagram is on neither.
  • Zillow is on the Windows Phone, but not the Surface
  • Strava is on neither. I’ve heard it works great on “other” platforms.

These apps are not critical to my business or my needs for every day efforts, but they are nice to have and fun. Perhaps the goal for the Microsoft Mobility team does not include fun. Somehow I think that’s not the case and I’d like to see more commonality with the “other” tablet devices on the market. You know who they are.

App Parity Matters

Comically, I had to switch back and forth between my Surface and Windows Phone to verify whether the apps I mentioned were or were not available on each device. Which I guess really means on each platform. Getting Application Parity across platforms –or- Better yet … getting all devices on the same platform This should be at the top of the list for the mobility team.

AppStore Feature Requests

  • AppStore feature request - Add a "notify me" option for long awaited apps. If “hot apps” aren’t ready for the Windows Phone or Surface … let people “opt-in” to be alerted when they become available.
  • AppStore Feature Request – Make it easier to identify the “official” apps from the vendors. I don’t want to sort through a pile of apps when all I may want is the app made by the vendor. Caveat: The vendor apps are NOT always the best app. (see Facebook comment above)

These are just a few of the things that are preventing me from being able to use the Microsoft Surface or Windows Phone for my every day needs. I’m 100% positive I am not the only one.

I Want to Believe

Help me to help you

If you need evangelists just ask. I've given lots of feedback over the years. You may not always like it, but the harsh realities are that there is a market to be won. I  can only assume Microsoft is in this to win this. To do anything else would run counter to the Microsoft culture.

I Want to Believe - Help me to help you!

My Humble Request (Or Ask … in Microsoft parlance):

Make me a Surface MVP.

I’ll be happy to share what I learn and evangelize the platform. I’m doing it today by choice, but it would be easier with a bit more support from the Microsoft Surface team. Help me to help you!

If you have any questions … you know where to find me.

Note: this is NOT intended as a slam against the Windows Phone team, the Surface team or the Mobility strategy. It’s a call for help. It’s an open offer for my time (and I know many others that will make a similar time commitment) and for my industry expertise to help the Microsoft teams make better products. Products that people talk about, use and recommend to their colleagues. That’s a place Microsoft hasn’t been in a few years … at least in the mobility space. Help Us to Help You!


Jeff is a expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He is an international speaker and writer on the Intersection of People and Process in Social, Mobile and Cloud Computing. Over the past 20 years he has worked with customers and partners to design, develop and deploy solutions around the world. He has worked for Microsoft, FileNet (IBM), K2, Captaris, Open Text, Kofax, Kodak and Winshuttle.

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Karl Schulmeisters said…
Jeff I admire your persistence. As one of the folks who helped write MS DOS, The underlying networking redir stack in all of the early OSes, and evangelized .NET and various MS servers to tens of thousands of customers

I am now really struggling too keep my Microsoft Mojo going. Why? because of the kinds of things you describe.

Microsoft has to fundamentally realize that it cannot continue with its current profit margins if it wants to achieve success with the Surface and Win 8 phones.

It basically has to go into the app market and buy development of tis Apps. As evidence I offer that in its own hometown, Neither Bumbershoot nor the Seattle International Film Festival offer Windows Phone apps. And MSFT cannot be bothered to invest in these showcases.

Microsoft you have to buy appshare. And you have to spend very very big to do so. None of this $15k jump start. You have to buy functional parity. And then you have to buy something unique.

for example. If MSFT set aside say $200 million to set up the xBank. This bank would then join the Visa system and issue Visa cards that use NFC - and which then enable NFC Visa on the Windows Mobile system thereby making Windows Mobile Phone the first phone to really support NFC payments

that's the kind of buyin Microsoft needs to do. It cannot take the view it does on the server side of "We will partner with you if YOU see a business reason to partner wit us"...

Because right now, there is NO GOOD BUSINESS REASON to partner with Microsoft Windows Phone or Microsoft Windows 8 app store as an ISV - none.
Trey Mayer said…
Glad to see the tweet from this post come through my feed. I have a few suggestions to add...on WP8 why cant I share IE Sites to OneNote like I can with Surface? Or better yet..where is the Reading List app for WP8 that was released for the surface? Why does Skype suck so bad on WP8 and Surface? For instance on my Nokia 928 when I use Skype and get back on the surface to finish a conversation all of my threads appear in one chat box. The conversation thread is entirely lost.

I have been on the MSFT boat both professionally and as a consumer for a while but like Karl mentioned..I am also struggling to keep my MSFT mojo going because of the reasons you described. I hope things change when Windows Phone "Blue" 8.1 is released.
Jeff Shuey said…
Thanks for the comment Karl. I am persistent, but Microsoft needs to step up. I agree with your points. Microsoft needs to invest to win. Too often when I look for the Windows Phone app it doesn't exist. No Surprise There. Developers will go where the market is going. Hoping developers will build for the Windows platform is not a viable model for success. Hope is NOT a strategy.

I'm optimistic Microsoft will pay attention and do something. Whether or not they add me as a Surface MVP they need to do something. I will continue to be an advocate ... at least for a while. At some point the Law of Large Numbers will take over and the decision will be made for Microsoft. Without their investment in this space ... beyond what they are doing today ... that decision will not be to their liking.
Jeff Shuey said…
Trey, thanks for the comment. You hit the nail on the head. Where is the App Parity. I want to be able to seamlessly switch between by PC, my tablet and my mobile phone.

There is work to be done. I'm seeing synergies coming from the Microsoft teams. They need to move fast(er). Whether they are willing to admit it or not ... They are already behind the curve.

There are people like us that Want to Believe, but everyone has a breaking point. Let's hope Microsoft can round the curve before that point is reached.