Windows Phone 7: a bit flawed

It’s been a week or two since I got my Samsung Omnia 7 device in the mail after my previous phone was stolen from me. I’ve been really excited about Windows Phone 7 and the capabilities and potential it has to offer me as a .NET developer. Sadly, there’s somethings that really annoys me and makes me wonder what they were thinking:

Keyboard layout support – The operating system has been around for quite a while now but it still lacks simple language support. I mean, on Android if there’s a layout missing; all you can do s search the market for it and someone surely has developed a keyboard you can use. On Windows Phone 7 you can’t do that which brings me to another point.

Developing for the platform – I think it’s nice that they’ve chosen to use .NET and Silverlight/XNA but it’s not a nice thing that I as an individual developer has to cash out for a Marketplace account just to be able to unlock my phone and deploy my own applications to it. They should really opt for a more open solution like Android. Since I don’t live in the United States getting a Marketplace account seems like a really tedious process. Awkward.

Marketplace Search –  It’s nice that the marketplace has apps, music and games but there’s no apparent way to search for only one or the other. Search for a poker game and all you get is an old single from Lady Gaga entitled ‘Poker Face’.  It should be easier to be able to search for what you want. If I press the search-button in any of the app/game/music-hub it should bring me to the Application Search or Games Search.

Marketplace / Region locked – Also one thing Microsoft should have learned from Google in the sense that even if I can’t buy applications in my region yet at least let me make an account and get access to the free applications and games. A really poor decision to have it like this. Shame on you.

Customization – Last night I wanted to change my ringtone and notification sounds and I couldn’t. I can change it to some standard tones but I can’t import my own sounds which has been a feature on every phone since I first got one when I was a kid. Like the Angry Video Game Nerd has said oh-so many times before: “What were they thinking!?!?”

Calendar support – Windows Phone lets you add accounts from Google, Windows, Exchange etc but the calendar synchronization is really poorly implemented. It feels like parts of the system is in early beta and rushed out. I have multiple calendars linked on my gmail account but I can’t see any of them because the implementation doesn’t let you see more than your main calendar.

There’s probably some other points there related to development that I haven’t listed but these are my first concerns in regard to the general user experience, and it’s sad to see that such a great OS has some extreme flaws. I hope these things get fixed as soon as possible because it really annoys me. Microsoft should open up the platform a bit more in my opinion.