Over half wouldn’t buy WinMo without third-party interfaces


Over half wouldnt buy WinMo without third party interfaces Today marks the launch of the iPhone 3GS. It’s faster, it’s got a better camera, digital compass, video recording, greater storage capacity and better battery life. You can get further details on our sister-site – iPhoneBANG – but the launch of yet another iPhone made us look again at our monster Coolsmartphone Survey. Over 700 people gave their opinions on the Windows Mobile versions of iPhone features such as self-updating, app-stores and user interfaces.

During the last few years many control panels and skins have appeared to try and make Windows Mobile easier and more finger friendly to use. The likes of Spb Mobile Shell, PointUI Home and the HTC TouchFLO system have saught to sweep the legacy Windows Mobile “Today” screen and menu system under the carpet. From our results it seems that without these interfaces a whopping 56.5% of you would no longer be using Windows Mobile. Over half of you said that the user interface was the biggest reason for buying a WinMo phone.

Microsoft launched their answer to the iPhone App Store recently, and we found out that Windows Marketplace is not available to 6.1 owners. Well over half of you (59.4%) said that you felt unloved as a Windows Mobile 6.1 owner and that you’d like a version too. 40% of respondants also stated that an in-built updater tool was “Very Important” whilst a further 35.8% said it was important.

Read on for further details on this. I’ve always stated that HTC especially have been responsible for selling more handsets purely because of their TouchFLO interface and these results seem to confirm that.


Question – Without the input of control panels and GUI’s from the likes of HTC (TouchFLO) and SPB (Mobile Shell), do you think you’d still be using Windows Mobile?



Over half wouldnt buy WinMo without third party interfaces

We also had several people wanting to leave their comments on this. We’ve included all of them below…

1 The GUI is very important and I want it to be user customizable and offer a slick interface. Customization and tweaking is one of the main reasons for buying a WinMo phone over some of the others
2 SPB Mobile Shell is all I need
3 Even with hten the underlieing device wasn’t up to supporting it.
4 No with WM6.1 – Yes with WM6.5
5 I might still use windows mobile but ease of use is VERY important. I love SPB Shell 3 and would dearly miss having a good GUI. Windows Mobile is the most powerfull and versitile mobile OS but the GUI for the most part sucks.
6 Using a stylus has become very dated now
7 I like using/customizing my own screens
8 Yes, but the standard interface is archaic and the new interfaces in WM6.5 and 7 don’t look much better
9 a combination is fine
10 went for extra features but other gui does make things more bearable
11 WM GUI is very dated FLO and SPB are good attempts to modernise.
12 Yes, I like the features available. The TouchFLO interface makes using the phone LOADS better! Its just a shame the MS OS crashes soooo often!
13 No, WinMo developement doesn’t seem to reflect what the user/customer wants!
14 The standard WinMo interface isn’t bad enough to put me off, but the others are an added bonus.
15 If it wasn’t for HTC and others the UI would be starting to feel seriously out of date
16 Yes, but I still want and use Mobile Shell or TF3
17 Yes, but I would not be as happy :-)
18 The standard display is acceptable for now but is looking increasingly dated
19 the ui wasnt the reason i choosed win mobile, it was the freedom, flexibility and ammount of different applications i could run. However a good ui is very important
20 User interface is important, but if it was THAT important I wouldn’t be able to put up with touchflo :)
21 I just want a small candy-bar WinMo Standard phone
22 Yes – but I’d be complaining about it
23 I dont currently use winmo at the moment
24 The original Microsoft functionality is not enough anyway and therefore i look for other apps to do what microsoft should do in the first place.
25 Only coz I can run other applications on my phone rather than carry another device
26 I use mobile shell and touch flo but I wouldnt mind if they didnt exist
27 Yes – but not happy about it
28 No – I love the functionality of winmo but it looks terrible and is so outdated
29 These interfaces are nice’ish but just slow the device down.
30 I’d still use WM for the applications but Touchflow and SPB make the devices a lot more useable
31 iPhone
32 Yes – However, The ease of customisation is important to me
33 I have got used to WinMO over the years. Hate the Nokia interface now.
34 Yes need to be able to install programs so the GUI becomes less important
35 It used to be enought but not any more. WinMo 6.1 ia barely any different to WinMo 2003 SE.
36 I’d probably have been too tempted by the competition
37 Yes – but the TouchFLO interface has made it much easier to use
38 No – I’m only remaining with Windows Mobile until iPhone Video 3G with Video Calling arrives.
39 have used win mo for years but would have stopped if not for touch flo
40 I choose WM for its synergy with my laptop appls; but installed custom ROM and gui because the stock WM offering is too “clunky”
41 Now use iPhone!
42 I would probably still be using it, but I would be much more likely to choose a non-WM phone as my next purchase
43 I have always been prepared to “put up with” WM’s foibles in order to get the good bits of WM.
44 i look for function over form, and if i can get function with good form, even better. a balance has to be made.
45 Probably, yes, but if there were a choice of handsets with and without OEM GUIs, I’d choose one with
46 touch flo was good in its day but lots of other platforms now a lot lot better
47 if i didnt have it already have touchflo it wouldnt be an issue, but i donthink i would go back to the basic windows interface
48 hard question. The interface is what lets winmo down. if there was a better alternative id stop using winmo.
49 I would still use it but would look for something to go on top of the standard UI
50 No – If I was after a great user interface above all else then I’d have an iPhone/Android phone. But the add on GUI makes it bearable
51 yes but wont be satisfied
52 have moved to iphone and love it!
53 I would use a PDA without the phone connectivity and perhaps would move towards other OS.
54 I’m nolonger using windows mobile
55 Yes – but reluctantly
56 yes for applications
57 If WM7 isn’t the finger friendly improvement it must be, Yes. If it is as revolutionary as MS are making out then No.
58 more than likely. half the fun of a windows mobile is the ‘hacking’
59 yes, but only because of its core functionality. either way it would be pretty rubbish without TF3d
60 Yes – because Mobile Shell 3 allows me to pretend I have an IPhone whilst keeping all my WM apps.
61 Increasingly, despite having been a WM user for several years, I’m looking for a better UI. HTC TouchFlo has improved the WM experience massively and without it I would be more tempted (though I’m loathed to say it) by the iPhone.
62 I look for a great interface, htc touch flow is not much better then standard windows mobile.
63 It was good enough – pre-emptive dialling alone for a while. However, it’s not anymore.
64 The interface is important as it make the phone usable, but flexibility of choice is the main reason for my use of a WinMo phone
65 I would still make do with it, becasue I’m a loyal WM user and have used worse interfaces with previous versions on WM. But thing like TouchFLO make take WM into another league
66 the basic system should just work
67 Yes – but it would be painful or costly (3rd party add ins)
68 WM Still has a wide variety of Apps that are not available or as versatile on other systems inc iphone.
69 HTC Touch Flo 3D was an improvement but in the end all the frustration of an out of date OS and slow no responsive non finger friendly windows mobile put the nail in the coffin.
70 I like that my Vario III has a lot of buttons, going against the latest trends, because I can quick launch what I want therefore bypassing the need for nice GUI, without those buttons I would need a better GUI
71 No, I use WM because of TomTom & SPB/Touchflo
72 I do think that a great interface (TF3D) is a definite requirement, but I also want the technical capabilities that WinMo has hover other devices. So tough call…
73 I was an avid winmo fan and the htc touch was the best choice for me with the touch flo!
74 Yes, reluctantly
75 Further improvements are needed to make Winmo more finger friendly
76 I use WM Standard



We then asked you about the new Windows Mobile Marketplace. This is set to be Microsoft’s answer to the iPhone App Store, but people using WinMo 6.1 (which is a LOT of people) won’t be able to use it, so we asked…

Windows Mobile Marketplace is coming to all 6.5 handsets, but it’s not available for 6.1 owners. What’s your opinion of this decision?


Over half wouldnt buy WinMo without third party interfaces

Again, you wanted to make your feelings clear on this…

1 Probably not the smartest decision, but if it is technically unfeasible for 6.1 I would understand the decision
2 Too little too late
3 They must expect a backlash and a migration from WM to other platforms that support their users.
4 I don’t care as it wont work without crashing anyway
5 Whats windows Marketplace?
6 Theres ALWAYS a way round things like that
7 It doesn’t bother me as I get almost all my software from XDA and other sources anyway. For Windows Phone to recover market share it needs to get marketplace out on as many phones as soon as possible so they really should make it backwardly compatible to WM 6.1 at least.
8 too little, too late
9 This is a bad decision because if I’m forced to buy a new platform I might as well buy one that has a bugless app store such as the Iphones!
10 Windows Mobile Marketplace doesn’t interest me
11 marketplace should be backwards compatible !
12 Msoft should show loyalty to wm users
13 Bought Touch Diamond2 for this reason
14 Upgrade shound be free
15 They should impliment the system to 6.1, 6 and 5 imho.
16 They should upgrade all phones to latest software where possible…..
17 Who cares if the apps are the same price they are now
18 I think this is an absolutely scandulous situation
19 I am creating my own appstore
20 They should have made it backwards-compatable. “Never shoot a customer.”
21 I don’t, frankly, care about gimmicky Applications – the hardware (especially, if it is a Samsung Omnia Pro (with tv and a keyboard)) will always make me buy MS, because faultless synchonisation and a familiar Windows envinronment will always be compelling.
22 i cannot belive it it should be available to all starting from wm 2003
23 6.1 owners are possible cusomers si that is daft to not include them
24 MS dont seem to embrace their loyal customer base enough
25 It’s restricted it’s market severly for easy on implentation
26 I don’t have 6.1 but it would bother me if I did!
27 I think it awful that people have just got a phone like the HTC Touch HD can not officially upgrade to 6.5, thereofre a phone that has only been out around 6 months is out of date.
28 i think this is a bad choice making users of 6.1 feel left out and un inportant in favour of “new customers”
29 its a terrible, horrible decision, if microsoft is not planning to allow 6.1 owners to upgrade, they will upset & lose many customers, even without an upgrade, it should be allowed for people who like their 6.1, a dumb, dumb decision…
30 It’s a store! It should be open to all WinMo users.
31 it’s ridiculous, I am about to buy a touch HD as the only competitor to the iPhone but I will be without 6.5
32 Disgraceful
33 very unhappy do they not want my money?
34 I am a 6.0 owner – totally not feeling the love
35 No problem with it only being available on 6.5+, but more 6.1 to 6.5 upgrades please
36 THIS IS RUBBISH. WHY DO I HAVE TO UPGRADE TO BE ABLE TO BUY LEGIT APPS FOR MY PHONE. IM GOING TO IPHONE ASAP!
37 microsoft shot themselves in the foot. when peeps on xda have made their own. Im not impressed with what they have to offer and the fact its not out yet says alot really. By the time it comes out the hype of marketplace will have gone.I’ll stick to “device update”
38 Bad decision, how many people are still using wm5, 6 and 6.1 and will be for some time. Even if i do upgrade i will never use it because of this small minded decision
39 no longer want to use windows mobile
40 I don’t care, but MS is just showing why they are not number one by limiting the availability of the application.
41 I do not understand such a move. Current market share of WinMo 6.1 and older gives Microsoft an advantage Microsoft does not want to use.
42 Talk about shoot themselves in the foot; Should be backwardly compatible
43 May be enough reason for me to abandon Windows Mobile.
44 I feel a hugely unloved as a Windows Mobile 6.1 owner and wish a version was available for me
45 If it means Apps must be finger friendly, then it’s for the best.
46 makes no odds. thinkabout it, us windows mobile users will only upgrade our existing phones anyway in the form of ROM upgrades.
47 Dont use WinMO anymore…i’m an android lover :)
48 Ridiculous. Another reason why the iPhone is better. App store is backwards compatible with ALL devices.
49 Stupidly delayed FAR too late & arrogant policy as many older apps better than anything available
50 I’ll make it work on 6.1 :)
51 somebody will port it across
52 It just makes no sense at all! Why would Microsoft want to reduce their customer base. I mean almost all official sets right now are 6.1 and its not like all current 6.1 sets will be updated officially to 6.5 so in my opinion thats restricting people who can generate a LOT of business!!
53 This is cheeky as it could possibly get even more customers and help exisiting windows mobile owners use it.
54 Any good software is highlighted in XDA developers and WM fan/news sites so as long as the software runs on 6.1 I don’t mind.
55 I have yet to see anything solid to confirm this to be true. Will it be available via web store? URL already surfaced.
56 Staggeringly stupid decision, Over to Xda devs to sort
57 I’ve used winmo since the SPV, I am discusted with win mo and will be getting the new iphone later this year, good buy Microsoft!
58 the second option, however doubt i would use it with such websites as xda being so good
59 stupid move by MS!!
60 I will wait to see if it is of any use before I feel neglected.



We then asked you about the update feature. It’s always been in Windows Mobile but hasn’t really ever done much. We asked you …



How important is it for you that the phone “self-updates” – i.e. You get a Microsoft Update function similar to Desktop Windows?


Over half wouldnt buy WinMo without third party interfaces

Samsung Omnia II to be announced on June 15th?
myPlayer - Watch ITV Player and iPlayer