A short disclaimer first: I'm quite experienced iPhone and Android user, I understand the concept of mobile phone as a window to the cloud and I think I know Windows quite well. For my girlfriend Lumia 800 is her first smartphone, she knows nothing about the cloud and is a very average Windows user, so no X-Box, no Zune, no MSN and other Microsoft hardware and services experience. So I must say it was quite a hard task to update her and her computer just for the usage of the phone.
First task I had to do, was importing the contacts from her old phone, a Nokia 6230i to the shiny new Lumia. Saving contacts on a SIM-card and using it in the new phone does not work, because the new phone needs a Micro-SIM card. So I installed Nokia Suite and could import the contacts via Bluetooth. But exporting from Nokia Suite to Lumia with Bluetooth is not supported. Lumia has an option "Import contacts" which should connect via Bluetooth to the old phone and get the contacts, but for some reason it just didn't work, the phones found each other, but then the transmission just stopped. So I googled a bit and found out that it should be possible to export the contacts from the Nokia Suite into a file in proprietary format, but there are programs which can convert these contacts into CSV, which can be imported into Microsoft cloud. But for some reason the Export->Save menu entry in Nokia Suite was greyed out and I had no idea why. So I could not find any but manual way to get in the contacts into the brand new Lumia.
Second task was the creation of Windows Live ID. Why is it not possible to create one with the phone? You have to know, where to go (www.live.de) and have to fill out a large form with all your personal data. Microsoft wants to know much more about you, than Google or Apple. And why is all this "live" service so slow? Does Microsoft know something about AJAX? All the time new pages come up, the page addresses are changing, the UI is unpleasant compared to iCloud or Googlemail. Is it really necessary to show ads here, does Microsoft really need the money? And how is it possible that Microsoft shows an ad that all his online stuff is supported by iPhone5? I really had to check the news, if I missed something, but 4 months after introducing 4S, Microsoft was still toо lazy to update its ads.
Next task was to update the Windows Phone OS with Mango Update. You have to know, that you need Zune software for that, which is not included in Windows Vista. So after iPhone cut the cord, Windows Phone is the last of the major phone OSes which needs computer for OS-updates. After downloading Zune, I had to register again, again on PC, again large form with my personal data and now I had to invent a community name of my phone, which seems to be an online name for whatever service as well. Only letters and numbers are allowed, no "-", no "_", no "." Of course all readable and meaningful names are already taken, it took me 4 times to find a name, which is still available. I still don't know why I need it. Finally I downloaded the update (I'm not even sure, which one is it, there was no version of the update communicated). Can somebody tell me, how I can put some photos, which Zune found on my computer on the phone? Music was no problem, but photos seem to be more complicated. Did I say that the Zune app looks really ugly and violates all Windows UI-guidelines?
So after creation of all these accounts I wanted to use Nokia Maps. Again you have to register, this time for Nokia! Jesus, why is it so complicated to use ONE name for all the services! With iPhone and Android you have to register ONCE and all the services work.
Now couple of words about the software. The start screen is nice, but the second screen with all the apps is already overcrowded, so how it will become with all the apps? Ever thought about multiple columns and maybe subdirectories? Talking about preferences, is it possible to install an individual ring-tone? If yes, how, it is not obvious. At least it is quite simple to change the colour of the icons. When I set-up the email I could not find if the POP-mails will be left on server or deleted, there is no setting about it, so I assume (hope) they will be left on server. I'm already excited to see if my girlfriend will be able to connect to the company Exchange, which was the main reason why she got a Windows Phone. And typing of the virtual keyboard is quite hard, at least my girlfriend always hits the button or the link, which is just below the desired one.
Now let's go to the shop and see all the promised software. There are not too many apps for explicitly German users, there is "Die Bahn" app, but no app for the public transport timetables. Yes, I know that Nokia Maps provides me shortest ways using public transport, something where Google still has to learn, but Nokia Maps doesn't know anything about the time tables.
So after setting up the phone, which took me about two days, I have to say, that for an average Windows user it is close to impossible to setup the phone with all the services. Four years ago the software was OK, but compared with todays standards set by iPhone and Android, Microsoft has to polish, polish, polish. Not only the software on the phone, but also the cloud. Otherwise Microsoft will never catch-up with the other two mobile players, no matter how much money it has. I think the problem which faces Microsoft is a self-made one. Microsoft had a department for online-services, for phones, for games. In the past these departments were working separately from each other, every one had their own customers, no interoperability was required. But this has changed now, online-services, phone and games have converged into one package, but the departments are not. Therefore they still have own profiles for customers, though it is always the same person using one device. This topic Microsoft has to address.