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Microsoft to hold meeting about Windows Phone customization

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Microsoft to hold meeting about Windows Phone customization
There has been a lot of talk recently about the possibility that Microsoft let manufacturers start to customize and differentiate the Windows Phone experience in order to create a more diverse and potentially successful platform. You know, like Android. At least that's the manufacturers' theory on the matter. We don't really see it as a necessary option. We think it's more a matter of manufacturers wanting to promote themselves rather than Microsoft's system. 

Still, Microsoft is going to at least have the discussion with manufacturers about the issue. According to Netbooknews, Microsoft is going to have a meeting with Windows Phone OEMs and carrier partners soon, and "Customization and Differentiation options" is going to be one of the topics on the docket. The rest of the plans are all obviously Windows Phone 8 centric with topics giving an overview of Apollo, development capabilities, and release plans. 

Of course, OEMs and carriers will keep pushing for customization, but we'll have to see how much Microsoft will allow if anything. We would still say that there's a little more time to see how Windows Phone develops before going down that road, especially given the potential risks. 

source: Netbooknews via WMPU

28 Comments
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posted on 18 Apr 2012, 21:18 15

1. cripton805 (Posts: 907; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


They should add an On/Off UI type of thing.
Kinda like if you wanted to turn off Moto's Blur, HTC's Sense, etc...

Run skinless windows UI if you wanted.

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 02:30 2

16. alphadouche (banned) (Posts: 3; Member since: 14 Apr 2012)


wp7 failed big time partly due to having only 4 decent color accents....no menu background wallpaper...no flash...no custom sms ringtones.
.
.
why was it so hard for them to realise that people want more than 4 usable color themes? and more than 2 color options for background.....why? i just dont understand
.
.
homebrew developers unlocked these options

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 11:25 1

26. cripton805 (Posts: 907; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


Android and Iphone has 1 color option as far as I know. So, those few options are indeed OPTIONS. Unless you jailbreak or root your phone. I will admit flash is a flaw, but Im pretty sure there might be an app if you want flash. If not, its still a newer device and might be available in the future. The same goes for the custom SMS tones. There might be a way even as stock or might be available after an update or something.

You are being real nitpicky though except for the flash. I wouldnt consider them true flaws, id consider it user preference.

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 03:13 1

18. bloodline (Posts: 686; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


its actually a good idea and gives people a freedom of choice.

I wouldnt be surprised at all if this is how microsoft plays it

posted on 18 Apr 2012, 21:26 1

2. VJo003 (Posts: 316; Member since: 11 Mar 2012)


On/Off UI - HTC Sense?
What u talking about?

posted on 18 Apr 2012, 21:29 5

3. snowgator (Posts: 3159; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


It was an example.

posted on 18 Apr 2012, 21:34 4

4. snowgator (Posts: 3159; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Differentiate how? I am not totally against this, as I just want the platform to improve and survive. But I like there was a "Mango day" where the major overhaul went to all devices and was mostly very successful. Can WP still be WP if there are skins?

Be very interesting to see what comes out of this. Microsoft can not afford to lose manufacturers.

posted on 18 Apr 2012, 21:57 2

5. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5286; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Microsoft can absolutely not afford to lose manufacturers. If they (MS) want to have a credible offering beyond Nokia handsets, they need to figure how to support custom skins. Otherwise, I don't see Sammy or HTC (to name but two manufacturers) making a heavy commitment to WP.

posted on 18 Apr 2012, 22:06 6

6. Forsaken77 (Posts: 542; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


Without customization, all handsets are virtually the same with different cases.

posted on 18 Apr 2012, 22:18 1

7. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1037; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)


Windows phone is so simplistic I find it hard for there to be skins without drastically changing the entire UI. I could see there being optional custom "themes" but not skins. Just look at android: how many people actually like the skins the OEMs put out? I hear almost all complaints about them. Even Sense (a fan favorite) has issues and has become cluttered. Microsoft needs to tread carefully and maintain control with whichever path they choose.

posted on 18 Apr 2012, 23:18 2

8. jlscott777 (Posts: 45; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


I am not for OEM customization but wish Microsoft would make the UI more flexible for the end user to customize, I really do not like the standard metro UI.

posted on 18 Apr 2012, 23:41 1

9. lubba (Posts: 1310; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


No good idea!

posted on 18 Apr 2012, 23:56 1

10. eaxvac (Posts: 328; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)


Damn if any OEMs screwed this up and affect the battery life, no way I will get their device anymore.
Regrets happy Nokia Lumia 900 user

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 00:18

11. nexumus (Posts: 19; Member since: 09 Apr 2012)


The only way I can see this boding well for Windows Phone is if they give you the option on each handset for a "vanilla" experience or to go with the manufacturers.

Believe it or not there are a few consumers out there who actually DONT like customization and just want it as is.

Its like people who go to rent an apartment. There are those who want furnished, just to be done with it, and those who want unfurnished to add their own touch.

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 00:44 1

12. Luuthian (Posts: 184; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


If MS wants to stay closed in its software it needs to start developing its own hardware, much like Apple. Problem is, MS has never done that outside of the 360 and it likely is apprehensive about doing so.

At the rate Windows Phone is moving, it will NEVER become a third player in the market. Computer companies like using Windows because they can attach their personal brand to the software. Currently, they can't do that to Windows Phone. So the outcry of the manufacturers shouldn't have been that big of a surprise.

Giv manufacturers what they want or die. That's basically the decision they face. If Wp7 can't scratch the markets surface, WP8 certainly won't when it looks 100% the same.

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 01:17

13. mariosraptor (Posts: 98; Member since: 15 Mar 2012)


i really like my lumia as it is. and it is different than any other WP7, it has NOKIA written on it.
if i want a sense ui or touch wiz i'll buy again an android phone.
microsoft should keep this clean and lean.
if there some kind of an extorsion from OEM's then f**k em and tell them not to come back.

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 01:24

14. lubba (Posts: 1310; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


I fear if MS says yes, oems beside Nokia will destroy what makes a WP a WP. I fear they will turn it to an iPhone clone. Just like Android is an iPhone clone.

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 02:29 1

15. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


yes, they copied iPhone and added widgets, microsd, multitasking, mass storage, free to install, copy, better lockscreens, complete customization and more more more, ....

if Apple did this their system would be still in beta, like it looks even now (iPad charging time 20 hours when plaing 3D games!!!) ;-)

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 03:05

17. digitalw (Posts: 46; Member since: 20 Dec 2011)


I agree that to some extent Microsoft should allow customisation of their OS but.. isn;t that aginst the Nokia-Microsoft contract!? Isn't NOKIA the one that have exclusive customisation options!?

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 03:15

19. bloodline (Posts: 686; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Everyone wants to be like android POW

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 10:21

24. Schmao (Posts: 302; Member since: 05 Jul 2009)


If you are a coach, and you realize that a coach of an opposing team is using a very effective way of training - superior to yours- , why wouldn't you do something similar.

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 03:20

20. s1ebee (Posts: 20; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)


I remember a few months back there was a story right here on PA about the customization options for WP... To allow customizing without damaging the ecosystem, the writer suggested themes. For instance, a background picture and custom live tiles for your favorite football team, this could be bundled together with custom apps. I thought this was the perfect solution to add at least some customization for those that want it, without the need for those hideous nokia skins that cropped up about a month ago, you could even go a step further and create theme generating apps, for those that want to be even more individual.

I currently own a Nokia Lumia 800, and i'm not sure if i would even want a background on my homescreen. The thing that sets WP apart, design wise, especially on the Nokia handsets (with clear black display) is when it used with the black background option, it looks genuinely impressive. As soon as you start putting background pictures and stuff on there, it would just begin to look cluttered IMO. So for me, as much as i can say i would like a bit more customization, I'm just not sure what it is that I would change. I don't want a skin over the operating system like Sense for WP. If I wanted sense i'd just get an Android phone

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 09:50

21. good2great (Posts: 1035; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


DONT DO IT MS!!!! lol

the black/white option for background is cool...

but they should at least allow you to color each tile whatever you want... more like the tiles in windows 8 tablet demos...

all that skin and theme talk is stupid... why should they mimic android?

be confident in your product MS!!!

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 10:17 2

23. Schmao (Posts: 302; Member since: 05 Jul 2009)


It is not mimicking android. Btw, whats wrong with thishttp://wmpoweruser.com/customized-wallpaper-for-windows-phone-7-concept/

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 10:38

25. good2great (Posts: 1035; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


wow that actually looks pretty good... +1

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 18:36

28. s1ebee (Posts: 20; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)


that does look pretty good to be fair

posted on 19 Apr 2012, 10:15

22. Schmao (Posts: 302; Member since: 05 Jul 2009)


I think a lot of people are missing the point here. The point of customization is to give the users an OPTION. No one is forcing you to put up wallpapers or be stuck with a manufacturers UI, they are just giving you the choice. Like how Windows Mobile had sense. I think it was pretty well made for its day, and if you didn't like it you could turn it off and enjoy stock WM6.X.

Case in point, choice is a good thing, whether or not your like the other option, at least you have it.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 11:50

27. nexumus (Posts: 19; Member since: 09 Apr 2012)


Actually Schmao most consumers don't want choice. Albeit most consumers aren't very bright either. They don't want choice, we want you're marketing team to tell us yours is the best, period. And if we as consumers tell you we want something else, you say "no you don't."

Hence, apple.

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