Windows Phone and carriers
Carriers are the biggest hurdle in Windows Phone evolution. Microsoft's mistake is to break a deal with these carrier goons.
USSD message pulling support from
the GSM carriers. Like I am a non-US citizen and I am a prepaid subscriber of my GSM carrier. My carrier sends a bill notification at the end of each call (something called stage-2 of USSD in GSM networks)...
So I bought an unlocked ATT handset called HTC 7 Surround from Canada in Jan 2011 and brought it to Asia. Now my old 1994 Alcatel mobile device can show that USSD bill notification and every single handset I know of can show all kinds of USSD notifications and menus... but the new Microsoft Windows Phone device can't? Even Windows Mobile devices can show that... HTC cannot make the mistake, Microsoft cannot miss the GSM's RAW feature.. so it turned out to be Mr. AT&T who will decide the fate of my phone and control all the devices even if they are sold unlocked-off-contract (or payg -> pay as you go).
Secondly, with Windows Phone Mango update they introduced internet-sharing feature which ATT decided to block on my capable OS and capable hardware. I contacted HTC if my device is capable of internet-sharing, they confirmed it does and asked me to request ATT to unlock the feature. That's how it transpired:
Thank you for your reply regarding Internet sharing on your HTC Surround device from AT&T. I will be more than happy to assist you further with that information.
Windows Phone 7 devices that were launched with the Windows 7.5 (Mango) software have Internet sharing capability. Two HTC devices included in this category are the HTC Radar and the HTC Titan. However, Windows Phone 7 phones that received Windows 7.5 in a software update, e.g., the HTC Surround and the HTC HD7, require a further update to enable this capability.
Please also note that in the case of carrier-branded phones, the update must come through the respective carrier.
We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. Thank you for being part of the HTC community.
After that I posted a request on AT&T forums in May 2012, and its like talking to deaf ears. No reply what so ever!
Now think why would they send me an update? 1) I am not their subscriber. 2) (even if I was their subscriber) I have a first generation device, whereas they are looking at 3rd generation in next few months (if you don't count Tango devices a separate generation). If, however, I pay them for a new handset (say HTC Titan 2), then it's a different story.
Microsoft certainly can make 7.5 customers much happier, but unlocking all the block features of Mango in 7.8 (internet-sharing etc.) along with the new start screen (which is confirmed) and Internet Explorer 10 (which I personally believe would be the last thing Microsoft will skip for 7.8 update)!