Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:00 PM
There are a lot of things to like about Windows Phone 7 - the refreshing UI, the speed, the unique people centric approach to information - and Microsoft has what may be a winner on their hands. But then...there's the other stuff. Some of it will be handled in the rumoured forthcoming update, like multitasking and copy & paste functionality. Others have no apparent timeline, like actually accessing the marketplace.
See, the thing is, Microsoft and its partners have rolled out Windows Phone 7 pretty much worldwide, but only 17 countries so far have any access to the marketplace, and the limits of that access differs between countries. Now you can argue that distribution agreements and intellectual property concerns will obviously impact how much and how fast Marketplace gets rolled out globally. But the end consumer doesn't see that - you buy a brand new spanking smartphone, and then find out you have no access to 3rd party programs. Or you can buy music...but not videos. Not a great way to get early adopters excited about a new product. Worse, the same thing applies to app developers.
There are ways to get around these limitations, but the consequences are kinda drastic - once you choose a country for your Windows Live or Hotmail account, that's it, it can't be changed. And associating your account with a credit card from a country at odds with the country you've registered with means you might not be able to make payments i.e. no apps or music for you, laddie. If you're desperate enough to register an account that gives the US as your country (and somehow find a US credit card account at the same time), and Microsoft eventually does roll out Marketplace to your own country, getting into your local marketplace means having to trash that account and open a new one...and incidentally, requiring you to hard reset your phone.
So right now, I'm a little upset with Microsoft, and I don't see a resolution as yet.
If on the other hand, you're willing to jump through a few hoops to get marketplace functioning fully and properly on your WP7 phone, never mind the consequences, here's a couple of methods for you:
- Member geological1 at the xdadevelopers forum details how to get a non-US based phone (a Canadian one to be exact) to act like a US-based one.
- Marauderz at marauderzstuff.com details another workaround that at least gives access to free apps.
If any other reader has a better solution, I'm all ears. But until MS gets their act together, WP7 might start losing momentum in quite a few markets, including very ironically Taiwan and South Korea, home of HTC, Samsung and LG.