It becomes increasingly hard to work out where the control point in handset design is. Once we all thought it was the hardware, then it was the operating system, and just as we start to think that it’s the service layers above the operating system, then it’s all in the network, an finally Apple comes along and tells us it’s the …
Windows in 1981-4?
"That’s about where we are on the development curve, where the PC was in around 1981 through 1984 with the popularization and stabilization of Microsoft Windows."
I don't remember Windows turning up on the scene before 1985, 1991-94 would be more accurate.
A lot of assumptions
There seems to be a lot of assumptions in this article. There is no really evidence to suggest that Windows Mobile has failed; most of the best Smartphones are running either Windows Mobile, BlackBerry or Symbian. From what I can see Windows Mobile is doing very well.
There would appear to be key weakness in the strategy here. Google do data over and above everything else. The thing all mobile devices have in common is that data is expensive. Data is also largely pretty slow on most devices - even on 3G my phone is painful to surf the web with. But getting back to the cost. The quickest way to become unpopular is to ramp up someones phone bill on data connections largely saturated with Google's adverts. I can't see how this will ever be popular. Data transfer is expensive, mobiles have tiny screens and tiny amounts of processing power and pummelling them with adverts will just piss users off no end.
You might point to the mobile networks offering the all-you-can-eat tariffs but this is fundamentally flawed. First, if your mobile company's bandwidth is being swamped with Google's adverts they're going to get pissed off with what's effectively subsidising Google. They can't be expected to pay for the data traffic that Google profit from. Conversely if Google do some deal with the mobile networks (and Christ knows how you do this) you then are put in an even worse position; if it becomes financially advantageous for both companies to be making money from mobile advertising they have all the more reason to bombard you with it. Poor users have all most no means of filtering this shite out, mobile clients are tiny and have no ad blocking software.
The problem I think is perhaps more basic. We're bloating data with crap from Google in trying to sell you something when you click on a link or read an email or text. The data is getting bigger, the data you're actually interested in is probably disproportionately smaller than the shite Google is trying to send you. Bloating data would seem to be totally antithetical to mobile use.
We also should be putting the breaks on the commercialisation of data where Google makes money from data it didn't originate. They want to monetise every aspect of mobile communication rather than users getting a modest bill for services they've used. In offsetting your cost for mobile services you're just passing them to someone else. Clearly there is already too much advertising encroaching on your personal space - I don't want Google or their "services" on my phone, thanks.
around 1981-1984 ?!?
"That’s about where we are on the development curve, where the PC was in around 1981 through 1984 with the popularization and stabilization of Microsoft Windows"
Considering that the 1.0 version of windows was launched in November 1985, those dates are hardly accurate. Maybe you wanted to say 1991 through 1994, with windows 3.0 and windows 3.1
When did WM "largely fail"?
Since when did Windows Mobile "largely fail"? Samsung, Motorola and LG all make Windows Mobile devices. Yes, it has not set the world on fire like the iPhone, but it has grown consistently each year. In fact, its Microsoft's fastest growing devision. Its far from another MSN.
Dont let Symbian's 70% market share fool you. Nokia has more than 50% of the smartphone market share, and Nokia and Symbian (are they also largely failed?) are synonymous - without Nokia Symbian would ship about the same number of devices as WM. And Nokia could be go Linux anytime now.
WM is solidly embedded in the business world, and is not going away anytime soon.
SAA, not SSA
SAA = Systems Application Architecture
<< During 1987 IBM introduces Systems Application Architecture, which is designed to make application programs look and work in the same manner across the entire range of the company's personal computing systems, midrange processors and System/370 processors. >>
This followed the widely adopted SNA (Systems Network Architecture) of the 1970s.
What are the rules?
"But it can take some imagination. What are the rules deciding who can know where you are physically. What are the rules about who can know what it is you are up to right now and how much more difficult will these be to manage than PC applications. What are the rules to be about allowing advertising a location sense, along with some understanding of who is viewing the adverts?"
Well, I think I'll decide on who can see where I am physically and what I'm up to thank you so very much. As for the rules about "allowing advertising a location sense", my rules will be they can piss off. On my mobile phone contract (will Google be subsidising the cost of voice calls?) I got a pda for free and I pay a measly extra £7 per month for a (sensible) unlimited data tariff. Why would I trade that in to be bombarded by advertising?
Also, as a satisfied WM user I think to say it has largely failed is complete shite. For one thing, WM has far more third party apps available than the iPhone, and I don't even have to risk MS bricking it just so I can install them (or change networks for that matter).
intercourse the intercoursing adverts!
I don't know what the rules of engagement for unsolicited telemarketing calls on cellular phones in the UK are, but in the last 6 months, I've received about a dozen calls from people trying to sell me something. That pisses me off and I usually do my best to be as graphic and offensive as I can, to get them to hang up (I really don't care about the cost of the call as it's provided as a tool by my employer, so I never see the bill).
But I'll be damned if I want to own a cellular device, be it a phone or a pda, that carpet bombs me with advertisements.
It's bad enough that the bastards screw with commercial television by increasing the volume of commercials, which really sucks on those cold winter days, when I'm watching golf and trying to nap. But now this?
And with the big rush to outsource customer service call centers in India, like the pinheads from Tracfone, I can pretty much state quite factually, that if I am ever given a cell phone that forces me to put up with advertisements, I swear I will hunt down the board members of Google and psychologically torture them, by planting those tiny song playing circuits, normally reserved for greeting cards, in their corporate offices.
It's things like this that make me appreciate the mad genius of Ted Kazinski (AKA the Unibomber).
Crap article, some good replies
The article is badly researched, badly reasoned and poorly written.
El Reg's Andrew Orlowski has often critiqued the platform approach which has failed so miserably for Palm and caused such trouble for Psion.
@ Smell my finger: I can indeed imagine advertising funded tariffs much along the lines of commercial television or the browser searches. This is probably how Google will offer its services as a network provider, virtual or otherwise. Discerning users are a tiny minority of phone users if you look at the money made on premium SMS and ringtones. The networks are desperate to make money out of their expensive data networks and Google sponsored services might be just what the accountant ordered. As you point out this will only take off if there is enough bandwidth available so at least HSDPA.
@ bws: unsolicited telemarketing aka cold calling is illegal in the UK. The ICSTIS is the regulatory body. Don't waste your time giving the people who call you a earache likely as not it's either a call centre or shelf-stacking. Note the name of the company and report them to ICSTIS and your phone company who can block any calls that don't provide an MSISDN.
Lessons in computer history.
Wow, I had no idea. I did not know that Microsoft invented the multi-tasking OS, the graphical user interface, and single handedly popularized the Operating System with Windows -- all circa 1981!
I also didn't know that IBM invented the concept of a common look-and-feel for all applications on a system, in 1987 no less. And just in time too: it must have been hell trying to figure out all those different and inconsistent widgets on the Apple Lisa and Macintosh, the Xerox Alto, and even on those early machines running Windows .05, popularized back in the early 1980s. I heard that when Doug Engelbart copied the idea of the mouse from Bill Gates, he couldn't even tell where he was clicking on! Thank goodness for IBM and SAA.
I guess I should have retrieved the latest revision of Computing History from the Truthiness repository, in order to keep up to date. Damn those concrete, hard-written, books!
When did WM fail?
About every 3 hours in my experience.
It is slow, clumsy, has poor memory management, applications that won't really work as advertised, and the phone support is close to appalling.
Actually, ICSTIS has rebranded itself to (wait for it) 'PhonePayPlus'...
The reason being that they thought ICSTIS sounded a bit like a disease!
Impact of Nokia Acquisition of NAVTEQ
Good article, although some of this is already being decided, like location sharing rules. With A-GPS (primarily in US and APAC) the carriers own the location server, and define when the lat/lon is released, according to end-users preferences.
I wrote about this upcoming battle between Google and Nokia, and the major role location will play here: http://www.symbianone.com/content/view/4884/.
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