Many of Microsoft’s apps have a much better experience on other mobile platforms (iOS, Android) than Microsoft’s own mobile OS, Windows 10. Reading through tomes of community commentary, it seems this still shocks many people. If I didn’t spend so much time keeping up with this stuff, it would probably shock me, too. Imagine a company that makes its own operating system, but its apps work better on the operating systems of others. Once you get a handle on that – truly concede it – then, it’s much easier to accept that this also applies to Microsoft’s own hardware.
I don’t know the exact numbers, but those that actually chose to purchase a Lumia 950 or Lumia 950XL are highly vocal and will tell you flat-out that they feel like they were duped duped – sold a bill of goods –Panay’ed, if you will. With Windows Hello capability, Continuum, and a stellar camera, the 950 series should’ve been a runaway hit. However, due to a combination of hardware and Windows 10, these smart devices have left many dumbfounded.
Band 2 owners thinking that the combination of Windows 10 and the Lumia 950 series would have provided the best blend for an optimum experience, have found some of the biggest pains. Even Lumia 950/950XL’s running the official Windows 10 release (not an Insider build) are constantly bombarded by things that either work part time or just don’t work at all.
To give you a taste of some of the problems, @marknoble recently put together a summary of his issues that worth reading through, if just to nod your head in recognition and utter a silent ‘Amen’: Cortana on Band 2 can’t reach your Phone. Chatting with @christopherlux today over Twitter, he’s been working directly with Microsoft support get his issues fixed. The last email thread between the two led to a very political response of…
We are happy you use our products, the engineering team is aware of the problem but has no fix, we hope you like your band.
It’s hard to pinpoint what the exact issue is because Microsoft support individuals will only admit there’s a problem but won’t explain it. In fact, they’ll tell you that they are aware of the months-old problem but that there’s no fix on the horizon.
There are those that will tell you that you shouldn’t run Windows 10 mobile if you are a Band 2 owner. They’ll say you should stick with Windows Phone 8.1 and not attempt to become part of the Windows 10 mobile fiasco. Those that have listened to this advice are having great success. And, then there are those iOS and Android users who aren’t facing big issues at all. There are spats and stutters of problems, like multiple notifications, but those are easily fixed. So, it seems once again that Microsoft is more concerned with being a multi-platform player than giving loyal Windows Phone customers the goods they want.
I own a Lumia 950 as a second device for testing. The camera is fantastic, but I can attest to the problems. The smartphone needs reboots constantly. It overheats. Battery life is poor. And, I can’t count on it to supply a trusted connection for my Band 2. I recently shutdown the Lumia 950 and haven’t powered it back on – and like many want to do, probably never will. My Lumia 735 is still a great smartphone and even with Windows 10 installed works better with the Band 2.
Whether unintentionally or not, Microsoft’s move to make Band 2 a cross-platform device has saved the fitness wearable from the same fate as the software company’s mobile platform. It’s obvious that Microsoft is not focused on a smartphone OS now – Terry Myerson said as much recently. But, the company still needs to support those that are stuck in the Microsoft mobile ecosystem with fixes until they have the opportunity to move to another platform.
As many of you know that read my column, I regularly test and review fitness gadgets. Through my journey I’ve found the Microsoft Band to be the most consistently accurate device for runners. So, I’m sold on it. I’d just like to keep using. So, I plan to dig deeper into this issue in the coming weeks and months and make it a mission to figure out the best path to take to keep using the Microsoft Band.
Are you as frustrated by this as every other Band 2 owner trying to be a loyal Microsoft fan? Are you one of those who will be moving to Android or iOS and taking your Band with you?