2 issues holding me back from WP
I'll probably wait to see what BB10 looks like before deciding on my next phone, but Windows Phone interests me the most out of the major competitors.
In my research on WP lately I've come up with two main deficiencies that would be a major obstacle to switching.
1) No local sync with Microsoft Outlook. It seems absurd that a phone OS by Microsoft would not be able to talk to Microsoft Outlook but that is the case. Much like how RIM has implemented the Playbook PIM; Outlook users who wish to port their contacts, calendar, etc from the program into their Windows Phone have to route that data through a Hotmail/Live account or similar service such as Gmail. No local syncing with your PC Outlook.
Apple and RIM (at least on phones) both sync to Outlook, a necessity for me.
2) No iTunes sync. I have had a hard time finding specific info on this; apparently mac users can purchase software that will sync iTunes libraries and playlists to Windows Phone, but PC users are out of luck. You can manually transfer non-DRM music into Zune, but it means re-building all your playlists, etc from scratch and maintaining it seperate from your iTunes library. Pretty lame.
Apple (obviously) and RIM both support iTunes music sync. (Although RIM has screwed up playlist ordering in the new Tablet OS 2.0).
I sort of understand the logic; the way things are going you can't just buy a phone, the company wants you to live in their ecosystem on your handset, PC and in the Cloud; but I hate the trend towards denying access to competitors services.
As to no local Outlook sync; I guess they just really want you to keep all that personal info in their servers and use their online services, but it's a dealbreaker for me.
I hope these functions are added to future versions of the OS, I think Windows Phone looks really neat. I also hope that RIM doesn't go down the same path with BB 10.
- 03-20-2012, 02:43 PM #2
I think it is better to sync without needing to use a cable. The cloud is the way of the future.
I am looking forward to getting the Nokia Lumia 900 as my next device.
I do not use iTunes, so that is not an issue for me.
Based on the suggestions on Microsoft's Window's Phone feedback page I'm not the only one who wants direct sync to Outlook. It is the first 3 suggestions under the sync category and in the top 5 overall.
You may be fine with syncing through the cloud, but why not maintain the option of direct sync for those of us who don't want to (or can't) send all our data into someone elses servers? With Apple and RIM both supporting Outlook it's absurd that Microsoft doesn't provide that function on it's own phones.
Anyway, it would be less of an issue if the cloud sync was seamless, but apparently using the 'connector' software for Outlook to port data into a live account it does not maintain all the same fields and will shorten longer names, etc. In other words, it's a PITA.
- CrackBerry Addict
03-20-2012, 11:51 PM #4
- 500 Posts
Mikey-T, I agree with you on these. I have clients, employees, ect personal info I'd rather not dump on MS servers, direct sync between my BlackBerry and Outlook works great, why not have it available? I can't figure out why the Hotmail connector isn't just included as part of Outlook anyhow
I'm not familiar with Zune, I was hoping if I ended up with a Windows phone there would be some easy way to at least convert iTunes over to Zune, I guess that's asking too much too
Anyway, it looks like RIM is going to make BBOS 10 happen, so I won't be jumping ship anytime soon.
The connector is an add-on for Outlook 2003 and 2007 but is built in to Outlook 2010. The functionality is marginal though from what I've read; it is not a full sync. For example, a long company or person's name may end up truncated in the 'Live' contacts; contact pictures do not sync, notes or tasks (I can't remember which - maybe both) don't sync, etc. Also, it is not a true 2 way either, so while adding or changing data in your phone should transfer over to the 'Live' account; it will not necessarily end up back in your PC Outlook. Totally lame.
In fairness with some additional research it looks like Zune will import your non-DRM itunes music and playlists during install if you point it at the iTunes library, so that might be a non issue. Unlike BB DM though I think at that point you're stuck using Zune rather than syncing with iTunes whenever you change or update your music.
So the big thing for me is still the Outlook sync.
- CrackBerry Addict
03-21-2012, 11:07 PM #6
- 500 Posts
Yep, I have been using Outlook with the Hotmail connector to sync my Hotmail account, but not contacts, tasks, calendar or notes, they stay between Outlook and my BlackBerry. It does a decent job syncing Hotmail, sometimes a little slow updating. It would be nice to have a phone that would give me full access to all the folders in Hotmail.
Good to hear iTunes can be swapped over to Zune.
- 03-30-2012, 10:06 AM #7Then I heard a voice of the Lord saying,"Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said,"Here am I. Send me!"--Isaiah 6:8
"Rangers Lead the Way!"
Gambit perhaps I haven't been clear about my iTunes issue. I don't mind using their Zune music player and software if I have to - that seems obvious. What I don't want to have to do is re-build my entire library and playlists. If I can import my DRM-free iTunes music and playlists into Zune (much like RIM imports iTunes libraries into the Blackberry music player) that will work fine.
The Outlook issue is still on the table though. If it was a seamless sync through Live I could live with it, but by all accounts it is not. Longer contact names can be truncated, contact pictures do not sync, there are issues with duplicates in both contacts and calendar, some fields are not included, etc. Now as you know I've never used it myself but this is what I'm getting from reading on WP forums and support pages.
I agree Windows Phone looks really neat, but as a heavy Outlook user I'm getting better functionality out of my Blackberry than I can get from WP right now.
- 07-09-2012, 09:04 PM #9
I recently checked out a couple WP7.5 phones at AT&T (Lumia 900, I think, and one other) and was shocked when the sales guy said that Outlook notes don't sync to Windows phones and that he has downloaded an app for his notes. That's a WP dealbreaker for me since I use Outlook notes a lot and I love that they (and all of Outlook) syncs perfectly with my Bold. I still don't know why a MS phone product wouldn't sync perfectly with their flagship organizer product. I actually posted a question on CB about it to try to clarify it that's actually true since it seemed unbelievable, but I got no responses. Such an oversight seems like total idocy to me (if it's actually true), so I'll be interested to learn whether WP8 addresses it.
One additional feature I think I would miss with any non-BB device is the lack of an LED indicator. Sure is nice having the phone tell me when something has arrived rather than the thought of having to manually check it all the time.
- 07-11-2012, 09:41 AM #11
Much like you I'm sitting on the fence. I'm desperately in need of a new phone, have been waiting for BB10, but no way I can wait until Jan. or later. WP is the only other option for me.
I've moved all my music to Windows Media Player some time ago, and I'm quite happy I did. I have a PC in the house running Media Center, and can access that content from any PC, or DNLA enabled device in the house. Adding my phone to this list will be great !!
As for mail, I'm confused.... How is your mail hosted ? Is it a pop account ? I thought as long as your mail supported active sync, you were OK with WP. (maybe I need to read up on this a little more). I've been using skydrive for a few months now, and I've been very happy with it. 25 GB of free storage, automatically sync'd with no user intervention is working great for me, and I access to the files ANYWHERE !
IF I decide to move to WP, I'll move my mail to Office 365, not sure if that's an option for you, but I have several clients using it, and for the price, it's a great service.
The issue isn't retreiving mail, it's the fact that I am a heavy Outlook user and not all of Outlook's functions are compatible with WP, and I don't want to be dependent on a web-based email client like 365. I often work offline in the field and I need the functionality that the full version of Outlook gives me.
Plus I don't want to depend on having all my data in the cloud.
- 07-11-2012, 01:07 PM #13
- 07-11-2012, 07:36 PM #14
Mikey, just to clarify.... Office 365 has a web based portal yes, however by most it is used WITH outlook. Add the account to your outlook and your good to go. and yes you will have remote access as well. As for data being "in the cloud" I'm not sure what you're mail setup is now, but chances are it's sitting on a server somewhere. You cache a copy on your local PC in a PST or an OST file.... nothing will change with office 365. Couple catches though, 1) I believe you need at least outlook 2007. 2) If you plan on using it with your BB, you need to be on an enterprise plan "E plan" then you can activate the BB cloud service(free) for full synchronization with your phone. If you use a "P plan" you'll only be able to sync mail to your BB, no contacts or calender. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial, give it a shot ! feel free to PM me if you have any questions, I've set it up for a few clients now, it really works quite nice. As for the WP integration, I can't speak to that yet.... have only worked with BB, Android and iPhone with office 365, I would imagine it would quite well though, esp. once WP8 is launched.
Yes we are in the same boat lol. I'm thinking of grabbing a cheap lumia 710 for now, see how I like WP, then decide what to do once the reviews are out for WP8 and BB10
I'll miss my BBM though Lets hope RIM come out with a bb7 promo that offers a heavily discounted BB10 once they come out
That sounds interesting fanatical, I'll maybe check it out some more if I decide to get serious about a WinPhone. I don't need it with my blackberry since I can do direct sync to Outlook, which is what I'm really looking for in any phone.
- 02-16-2013, 11:19 PM #18
I realize this is an old thread, but it's interesting and rather disappointing to me (and evidently to plenty of others, too, judging by the multiple threads in the BB10 forum) that after such a long wait we only come to find that BB10 doesn't offer sync with Outlook via USB cable and that Outlook sync is only possible through the Outlook.com connector option which has a number of deficiencies. I'm not sure if it's a glaring oversight on BB's part or if it was their intention to try to move everyone to cloud-based operations, but for me it unfortunately removes one more way that BB was a differentiated and better mobile platform for me than other options.
So Windows Phone has added iTunes compatibility, and Blackberry has dropped Outlook sync. My next phone is looking less and less like a BB10 device.
I don't understand the Outlook issue. At least with Microsoft it makes some business sense; they have a cloud service and they want you to use it. With Blackberry, they are saying to use their device effectively you HAVE to use a cloud service, but they don't offer one outside of BES, so go route all your personal info through a third party.
- 02-17-2013, 02:54 PM #20