Jun 22, 2011

My Love Letter to Microsoft re: Cross-platform functionality in Canada.


Originally posted here: http://bit.ly/ju0U5F
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Can't find a forum on the WP7 or the Zune websites, so sorry to post this here. Figured it would be ok, since various Microsoft departments must communicate with each other quite well right?

Bought a WP7 phone recently. Have two 360 consoles, and 3 PC's running Windows 7. 
Was really looking forward to the standardization of media across all platforms. 
Then I found out a couple things. 

1. No Zune Pass in Canada. 
2. Zune is incapable of searching for, and subscribing to podcasts through it's marketplace in Canada. 
3. No ability to update podcasts wirelessly on the road through Zune,.

What!?

How can something iTunes has been doing for years simply not be possible through Zune across an entire country?

This, for me, is the core functionality of the entire platform. 

I can understand why the Zune Pass may be on hold. I know Microsoft doesn't have total control over all the silly copyright issues at play, and that it takes some time to sort out. (though Netflix seemed to get it all squared away.)

But the lack of podcast functionality is beyond comprehension. I have been able to manually enter RSS feeds to subscribe to podcasts that way, but there's far lighter freeware programs out there that would do that. I was looking forward to the browsing features of iTunes, and the social aspects of Zune. None of that is available, and I'm very quickly running out of patience. 

I resisted moving to an iPhone, while all my friends did. I also resisted adopting the Android platform, which was very attractive as I use a lot of Google's apps. Instead, I limped along with my Windows Mobile 6 phone for two years after my contract expired, because I was so certain WP7 would integrate so well with every other piece of Microsoft hardware in my house. I even held on a bit longer after the WP7 launch, thinking that, "these guys will get the functionality worked out... it's just a matter of months."

No such luck. It looks like all the warnings of my friends are beginning to come true. My questions to a Zune support staff resulted only in the answer: "We have no information on any of this."

It's really unfortunate. It's doubtful there are more loyal Microsoft customers out there than me. But even my patience have their limits. I have a few months remaining on my Xbox Live subscription, and if the three items above aren't remedied by the time it expires, I'll feel like I gave WP7 and Zune the best chance that could be expected. I'll exercise the ability in my carrier contract to swap my WP7 out mid-term for another platform. I won't renew my Xbox Live subscription, and I'll start investing in another platform entirely. 

Haven't really felt this way since Sega released the 32X, Saturn and Dreamcast within months of each other, without any thought to how these devices would work together. 

Really hope you guys can pull the platform off, and make it a success. It really does have so much potential, with cross-platform functionality at it's core. 

Consumers, of course, can only be expected to endure so much. 
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