Microsoft's mobile operating systems hit by Wi-Fi problems and random re-boots

By Graeme Burton
19 Nov 2012 View Comments
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Microsoft's new mobile operating systems have been affected by a series of glitches that has had users complaining online – and some returning their devices to retailers and mobile telecoms companies for a refund.

The most serious problems have affected the smartphones running Windows Phone 8. Some users have complained about their new Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X phones either randomly rebooting or freezing regularly, a problem only resolved by a "cold" reset that completely wipes the phone and necessitates a lengthy restoration process.

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"I managed to convince my wife to get an HTC 8X on O2 instead of shelling out the ridiculous [Apple] iPhone 5 costs. She had it for a week and we took it back on Saturday for a refund as the software was completely unstable, consisting of reboots at random, unreliable network contact, people hub not working correctly, none of the accounts sync'ing (they all keep saying "syncing" in settings) and the messenger hub booting back to the home screen," wrote one complainant

The problems with the Nokia Lumia smartphones may be related to Bluetooth connectivity, given the number of freezes that users say have occurred coincidentally with the use of Bluetooth headsets and in-car Bluetooth connections. Other users, though, have pointed the finger of blame at the built-in Facebook app.

The issue of random reboots is currently the top issue in the forums of the Windows Phone Central website for the HTC 8x, while top of the list for the Nokia Lumia 920 includes threads on 'whose returned their Nokia Lumia 920', a bug checklist, and a poll on all the issues users have found with the Nokia phone. Almost one-third of respondents have suggested that they are having problems.

Other users have complained of rapid battery drain, even with location services and near-field communication (NFC) switched off.

Other problems Surfacing... 

At the same time, Microsoft's new Surface tablet computers have been plagued by Wi-Fi connectivity problems, which means that the device is unable to identify any nearby Wi-Fi services and, therefore, unable to connect to the internet.

That problem is easily resolved by switching the device off and on, but has been the cause of much frustration by early adopters, some of whom have also complained of splitting down the sides of the "touch cover", the slimline keyboard that users can buy for £100 extra. Computing's review copy, too, seems to suffer from intermittent keyboard interface problems.

However, other users have commended its robustness. One owner, whose Surface was run over by a car at 60mph, claimed that his tablet survived in working order after the accident. "...to my surprise, there is not a single scratch nor crack in the screen...

"I hit the power button, and never was I so happy to see the start screen of the Surface! It had survived! I was expecting to see glass everywhere and components laying in the street... I would love to see what an iPad looks like after getting run over by a car going 60 mph!" he wrote online.

The Surface is made from a magnesium alloy, which is lighter but tougher than aluminium, with the screen fronted by Gorilla Glass, made by Corning. 

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