More responses to Cliff Saran, who found his SPV - a Windows-powered smartphone - did not pass muster.
I understand your consternation regarding the Orange/Microsoft collaboration resulting in the SPV phone, but I beg to differ regarding its usability.
I have had my SPV for about four months and I find it a very useful tool. It rarely runs slowly, the battery life is much better now it is upgraded and the calendar function is invaluable to me and my job.
The personal digital assistants (XDA from O2, etc) are too large. Nokia phones are not quite good enough yet as they are only just in colour and are primarily for game players, not business people. I feel the SPV meets the middle ground perfectly.
If you need any further proof, get hold of one of the new Samsungs or Ericssons, as advertised by celebrities, and realise what you can't do with them that you can with the SPV. For example, the latest Ericsson phone has no meeting function, does not tell you the time or date of your meeting or sound an alarm.
However, this is not a comparison as the SPV offers much more functionality with an operating system familiar to nearly a billion people worldwide and packages (Outlook, Media Player) familiar to millions of PC users.
I feel the SPV is the forerunner to some potentially fantastic technology and should not be discounted simply because one journalist has some issues.
Go to www.coolsmartphone.com to find out the possible things to do on this mini-marvel.
IT infrastructure analyst, 6 Sigma
The issue you mention with the power button also happens to my SPV. Sometimes more than three attempts are needed to power up the phone. Once the Orange screen appears it can take up to 30 seconds before the Microsoft screen appears, and a further 30 before the phone desktop attempts to load.
The "ultra-slow" mode you mention is also a problem - pressing the menu button and then moving to the second screen of options is a nightmare.
Was the phone launched before it was ready, and will this happen with the next version? Let's hope not.
I am going to try to return my phone to Orange but I doubt the company will replace it because I am on a 12-month contract and usually cannot change the phone until the first 12 months has passed.
Thank you for highlighting this problem in Computer Weekly.
Head of IT, Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr
The Orange SPV is the first Windows-powered smartphone to be released, and overall the feedback Orange and Microsoft have received has been very positive.
Early customer feedback indicated that battery life and performance could be improved and as a direct result, Orange released a software update in February fully addressing these particular issues. Interestingly, more than 70% of existing smartphone users downloaded the software update.
On average, smartphone users visit the internet five times a day and more than 60% have sent and received e-mail on their phone.
We have also received great feedback from users who value the ability to play music, games and access Outlook information on the move, reinforcing the view that smartphone software enables people to do more on their mobile phone than ever before.
Microsoft continually wants to improve its products to meet changing customer demands and smartphone software is no exception. We therefore appreciate the feedback offered by your readers.
Microsoft mobile devices division, EMEA
For the past few weeks I have been speaking to representatives at Microsoft on the failings of the SPV. The fact is, a field service engineer, a mobile sales force, and anyone else who needs a smartphone is looking for one simple criterion - that it works.
The supplier cannot blame poor workmanship on the hardware manufacturer, the software provider or the network operator. Microsoft and Orange need to understand they are selling a device in the UK that is expected to work 100% of the time. If it is failing to achieve this they should do the honourable thing and pull it from the market. I am keen to hear your own experiences of this phone.
Please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing editor (technology) Computer Weekly