back to article WP7 vs Android: a struggle for supremacy

Microsoft may be pandering to carriers by backing away from controlled updates, but predictable user experience is the best way to win fans from fragmented Android. Google can no longer dismiss criticisms of OS strategy from majors such as Netflix. For all its flaws, one attraction of Google‘s "carrier-lite" sales model for the …

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The joys of open source

We're finally seeing on a grand scale what's been preventing Linux taking a serious hold in the desktop PC market for years. Everyone has different ideas of what a device should how, how it should behave, how it should look.

So long as you agree with your phone manufacturer (or your Linux distribution) you'll be fine. If you want to do something a bit different, prepare for a struggle, incompatibilities or just having to accept it won't work.

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I wouldn't go that far

The failure is not with Android, the failure is with the carriers. They haven't twigged that they world has changed and that they are now just dumb-pipes to the real value (e.g. Facbook or whatever). They still they apply all this "value-add" bullcrap (what you get on every PC and uninstall immediately) and make the rod for their own backs.

If they had stuck closely to Android core, none of this would be a problem. People would use their phones more, push more data, increase their profits. The iPhone is a prime example of this, no variance in OS or hardware and it works. MS is being slightly less prescriptive, but not by much.

WinMo7 is, IMHO, inferior to 'Droid in just about every measure and a dinosaur compared to iOS. But it looks like it might succeed, which is a shame. Once more true innovation and freedom has been dashed on the rock of old business models.

Maybe Google will grow a pair and bring on the Nexus Two. It only takes them to sing-up one decent carrier to break the backs of the others. Or set-up their own network.

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Everyone is out of step except out Johnny

If the carriers are such failures, how come none of them has gone out of business?

They must be doing something right!

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"really tight and clean and very Microsoft"

<sings> "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things is not the same..."

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WTF?

Sam who?

Windows? .... Win who? Oh microsoft ... I don't own anything that runs their crappy software.

Samsung? ...... Sam who? Oh right ... that shitty TV manufacturer ... yeha I sold all their crappy shit at a garage sale.

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Welcome

Fragmentation is choice

Fragmentation = choice. Choice for carriers, choice for users, the proliferation and winnowing of platforms that makes for rapid evolution and optimum fit for the end customer. Yes, Rovio having seen 7M Android downloads sees enough of a market for older Android handsets to custom build their app for that platform - but not for Windows Phone 7 yet. What that says is that supporting fragmentation on a popular and rapidly evolving platform is profitable at least some of the time. They have hinted at a for-pay Android version rather than ad-supported soon - and there seems to be demand for it. BTW, Angry Birds is at 35M units downloaded or sold so far across all platforms, not 7M. It's a runaway hit.

Nothing has changed with Samsung and WP7. Oh, I'm sure there's been some back-channel executive talk about licensing, partnering, and how to talk up products you're trying to sell. No doubt someone reminded them that they've got a lot of exposure in dead inventory if the market for it doesn't build to some nominal sustainable level. They're still not going to build more WP7 units than they expect people to buy. There's been some chatter about sales numbers and WP7, but nothing the last few weeks that rises to more than idle speculation and vague rumor. Anecdotes at best. Maybe it means nothing. To me it suggests disappointment. After all: if the thing were moving millions of units I'm confident SteveB would be crowing in front of every camera that would hold still. We'll know soon enough when the quarterly reports come out or with the monthly mobile web share numbers.

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not really surprising

Samsung has always had close ties with MS regarding WM phones. They had some of the best WM phones around (omnia/pro/2 et al). Their android phones have been ok but nothing ground breaking - HTC is where the masses go for android.

That being said, MS will only sell big volumes to unlocked markets - why should orange or vodaphone sell a subsidised phone that will self update for years? General joe public wont pay £300 for a phone AND a £20 contract when a shiney HTC can be had for £30 for free* (*over 24 months of course)

I'm sure there are 1.6 android phones still being sold right now.

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Headmaster

@Danny 14

You said: "MS will only sell big volumes to unlocked markets - why should orange or vodaphone sell a subsidised phone that will self update for years? General joe public wont pay £300 for a phone AND a £20 contract when a shiney HTC can be had for £30 for free* (*over 24 months of course)"

...but your comment in no way reflects the facts: Orange sells Andoid and WP7 on the same contract tarriffs, both starting from free. (I can't speak for other operators).

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Megaphone

REAL competition is GOOD for freedom

There are at various fundamental problems that Microsoft faces. However, I am convinced that the largest is that real competition drives technological evolution. It's not just that Microsoft doesn't like real competition, but that they don't seem capable of understanding it at a gut level. Their responses to competition have mostly been advertising to try to convince the customers that Microsoft wants to offer some superficial level of choice and (more so in the past) predatory practices to destroy the largest perceived threats to their various monopolies.

Given choice, I do NOT choose Microsoft. I value my freedom and I want REAL choices with real significance for my life--and lots of people feel the same way.

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The way I read this is:

"In order to succeed in the market, you must either be so large as to be capable of pissing everyone off and getting away with it, or willing to screw the end user in the face for the dubious benefit of the carriers' egos."

That’s depressing.

Dear all carriers and telcos the world over,

Shut the fnord up and be dumb pipes already. I don’t want you to “value add” anything to any of my equipment. FLING MY BLOODY BITS. I’ll decide what to use on my end. IF you can’t make enough money doing that, then please go out of business so someone with better business sense can take up the job.

Signed,

The entire world.

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This

With bells on.

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FAIL

Problem: Windows Phone 7 is failing

How Microsoft decides to get its OS updates out is a mute point, as it is now obvious that Windows Phone 7 has failed.

Lackluster sales. Even now, carriers are trying to clear stock by giving the phones away for "free" (with a 2 year contract).

When the Windows Phone 7 platform gets cancelled, there will be no updates. Microsoft has the much bigger problem of how to keep its mobile business afloat at all.

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Anonymous Coward

"..really tight and clean and very Microsoft"

This is exactly what's required -- to illustrate the importance of this sort of action, could the author give some illuminating examples of other times Microsoft has acted in this manner, and how 'very Microsoft' can mean such good things for consumers.

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

If people are so stupid to have their telecom provider finance them their handset, they have to bite in the lemon they bought. Others finance the thingy themselves and get timely updates the same way they get updates for Ubuntu.

Tell that to Motorola. I bought a Milestone when they were first released after hearing good things and the fact it wasn't tied to any carrier. I paid full price for it (about £400 from expansys) and have been waiting for months for an update to Froyo which was originally expected in February this year. The only information that is being given out is that they push the expected delivery date further and further back.

Can't fault the hardware, I still love this phone, but paying upfront for it is no guarantee that you will get the updates. Next time I will go for a subsidised handset as if enough people complain about an issue to the carrier, they will put pressure on the manufacturer to get it sorted and they have more clout than an individual because of their buying power.

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like GM

One of the former bosses that used to run GM in the 1980s said "There is never a problem in the car business so big that it can't be solved by making better cars". (They then went on to make crap ones)

If Microsoft make a better phone than Rim and Google, it will sell in boatloads. If they don't, it won't.

Microsoft have promised a better phone than WP6.x . Remains to be seen if they built a chevvette or a quattro.

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Not really 'down to Android's open source nature'

Saying that Android fragmentation is 'down to Android's open source nature' isn't really accurate. From two ends, if you like.

One, as you correctly noted, Windows Mobile had fragmentation issues just as bad, or worse; was WinMo open source? Heh. no. Of course not. The source doesn't need to be open for handset manufacturers and networks to make significant modifications to the operating system.

Two, partly the problem is that Android really isn't open enough. It's 'open source' in its licensing but it's not developed in the way most open source advocates would suggest you organize a project, or the way most successful open source projects are developed. It's developed entirely in private by Google, who then dump the code for the latest version over the wall, forget about it, and move on to developing the next version in private. There's virtually zero interaction with 'the community' (either users, or handset manufacturers and networks); there's no mailing lists where Google developers hang out, there's a bug reporting system which is mostly utterly ignored by Google, they accept almost no external contributions and use as few non-Google-developed components as possible. It's open source, Jim, but not as we know it. If it was more of a typically collaborative open source project, third parties could get their changes upstream and wouldn't need to implement them as branches for their own purposes.

Of course, some third parties - for a while, anyway - would choose not to, as they still see branching as a way to gain competitive advantage. But they generally figure out that that's pretty dumb if you give them a few years of trying to maintain it.

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FAIL

Can't rely on useless cell carriers for handset OS updates

The carriers cannot be arsed to provide updates to their customers. Once the thieving tossers have taken the money and locked the customer into an 18 / 24 month contract they have no further interest in the customer experience. There is no real competition in the market, the very small number of operators all understand that price or service level competition is only in the interest of the consumer, not the corporate cash machine that is the mobile operator.

I had an HTC handset running winmo6 on Vodafone for several years. There were basic problems with winmo6 including Americans not understanding the concept of a network SMS message to notify the user of things like voicemail. This was patched after only about 6 months of user protest to Microsoft, did Vodatossers provide the update (or any of the other stability, speed or functionality updates from MS and HTC) to customers? Did they feck.

The only customers who got any updates were those with large corporate deals who could threaten not to buy any more Vodashite handsets unless their users were given fixes that the OEM had published months or years before.

Retail consumers were stuck with either going to court on the premise that the devices were unfit for the purpose for which they were sold or navigating the maze of websites and tools that allowed them to break into the phone and upload their own ROM image from the many out on the Internet. Of course as soon as Microshaft realised that the operators were not interested in providing a "service" to any existing customers they decided to try and charge end users to upgrade the OS to a working version and proceeded to get all RIAA on the ROM sites.

Lesson here Microsoft, if you want to engage directly with the customer and build any sort of experience or loyalty you need to properly Apple the mobile operators. They are a legacy business that is desparately trying to stave off the day all the customers realise that they are a replaceable commodity. They will screw your customers and most likely your customer will end up shouting "fecking Microsoft" at their phone not "bloody AT&T" when it falls over for the 10th time that day because it is still on ROM version 1.0.0 when 6.3.2 is the current shipping version.

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Anonymous Coward

Cellcos Vs Vendors......

I think its high time the cellcos drop their obsession with platforms and start driving their relationship with their end customers through the application model. As we've seen with the recent Vodafone 360 debacle, cellcos trying to customise platforms, even at the look and feel level simply creates a negative user experience.

What Apple does, and what Microsoft to some degree is now planning to emulate is the way to go, along with cellco specific applications. This would create a better end user experience albeit at the a cost to the cellcos of having to develop applications across platforms.

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Microsoft and smartphones

The one issue omitted from the article on Microsoft mobile 7 "strategy" is that no matter what shenanigans Microsoft might engage in to sell more smartphones, the severe lack of reliability and good security in their phones can never make up for any Gee-Whiz! presentations and marketing ploys.

Of course there will always be Microsofties who buy their mobile products no matter what, but one can only hope such simple mindedness is vanishing and that most astute consumers now realize the availability of much "superior" alternatives to the crap they bore until now.

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Grenade

Huh?!?

Most of us are happy with the security provided by Windows Phone 7 -

SHA*, AES, application isolation and isolated storage, up to 256-bit SSL, Also central policy management through Exchange Active Sync, Unified Access Gateway interoprability and rights management. I'm sure that's not exhaustive.

So which WP7 device is unreliable? And which one has bad security? And... what do you call "good security"? Does your phone have to double as an HSM? Does is have to have an optical data diode? Or maybe you need to generate Verisign OTPs?

Just checking.

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Anonymous Coward

Cellcos messing everything up

Ideal for consumers is the PC model--you can buy a PC from anybody and run any operating system you want on it (Windows, Linux, etc.).

Likewise cell phone hardware should be standardized enough that you can buy one from any vendor and run any OS on it. Maybe not any OS, but at least whatever version you want of the OS it's designed for.

The major roadblock to this model are the dictatorial cell phone companies. It would be nice if those got broken up by the gov't in the US and replaced with a public cell phone network.

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Stop

Angry birds issues aren't due to OS version fragmentation...

...They're due to hardware limitations.

The handhelds listed in the Rovio list of unsupported devices are all budget phones and lack the GPU power to run the game smoothly. Saying that the issues are due to OS version fragmentation is akin to saying that Bioshock won't run on my intel IGP laptop because it's running Vista instead of Win7 - it has nothing to do with the OS version and everything to do with the hardware.

I own one of the phones listed, and have installed a custom FroYo firmware even though my carrier and the handset manufacturer only offer 1.6, and Angry Birds _does_ run, but it's a very slow and unsatisfying experience because the hardware just isn't up to the job.

I'm not suggesting that fragmentation isn't an issue on Android (otherwise I wouldn't have been forced to use hacked firmware, after all) just that the Rovio example is a bad one. Better to talk about the features of the newer versions of the OS (e.g tethering) that the older versions lack.

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HMB
Stop

Actually, my Nexus One update was delayed by Vodafone's vetting process.

"For all its flaws, one attraction of Google‘s "carrier-lite" sales model for the Nexus One was that it freed users from the whim of the operator or handset maker when waiting for software updates" -

This is not true. I own a Nexus One in the UK and despite being assured when I bought the phone that Vodafone had none of their dirty mits in the software, it turned out that European Nexus One's (IE all the Vodafone ones) had a variant in the software/firmware revision. We even heard from Vodafone themselves that the software was held up while they reviewed it. I was pretty pissed off personally as I felt that I had been sold the phone falsely, but was somewhat relieved when nothing was altered in 2.2 from the Google stock. It did make me and other Nexus One customers wonder what took Vodafone so long to approve the new firmware. We were definitely kept waiting though, maybe 1 or 2 months behind the generic US release.

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Big Brother

Weak arguments...

"Netflix and Rovio say otherwise, and Google needs to address the issue before it suffers the ultimate humiliation of losing out to Microsoft. ®"

The first one is about DRM - I consider this a good one.

The other one is a non-argument since the so-called "fragmentation" is about the device hardware and OS capabilities.

Device hardware: does anybody complain not being able of running "Call Of Duty" on some ix586 machine? Following the author's logic this is about platform fragmentation...

About OS capabilities: first devices were coming out with Android 1.5, 1.6 (and weak CPU). Does anybody complain about being unable to run "Call of Duty" on a 6 CPU AMD and DOS installed? Following author's logic this is not about OS capabilities, this is about platform fragmentation...

Just my 2 cents

Alex

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Angry Birds vs Ilomilo

I think a great example of this is the ilomilo game on WP7 vs Angry Birds on Android.

On a fairly modern handset the simple Angry Birds experience taxes my Android to a grinding halt.

On my WP7 device however the rich and very visual ilomilo app (check it out on Xbox if you don't have a WP7 yet) is smooth and seamless

Netflix (yes, I'm in the US) is a beauty to behold

Microsoft have actually come out with a pretty damn good platform with WP7 and hopefully if they can get the update story sorted out, and get some point releases out of the door quickly before Apple and Google fight back this is gong to be a credible player... Nokia and RIM need to really leift their game to stay competitive in the smartphone arena

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Go

Old Hardware != Fragmentation

D'oh!

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Happy

Fence sitter! Where is the insight? FFS grow a pair.

Bloody hell you must be a small player... if you are that scared of all the majors that you cant say anything straight.

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WTF?

shock and surprise

I used one of the windows ce phones and I hated it, ever since then, each improvement has been like a car crash, looks awful, clunky and slow.

my mate sat in front of me and put down his phone and to be honest I never saw it was a windows phone, just that it was a HTC, I picked it up and it was really iphone like, although it felt a bit more solid and a nicer screen.

I opened it up, holy crap, WM7!!!

now normally I'd have that recoil reaction which would be like, run away!! or run for the hills! or some kind of combination, but I thought ok, lets see what microsoft has done this time, to be honest, I thought, lets have a laugh.....

opened it up from the lock screen, big icons, ok, scrolled about, wow, smooth, opened an app, cool flip like animation, typed something, nice keyboard, very fast, very responsive, apps are quick to open, quick to change, screen is gorgeous, played about a bit.

you know what....I think it might be the first microsoft phone I would WANT to buy, seriously, I really came away from that table thinking that I was impressed and actually I really didn't want to feel like that, you know you get a bit confused, it's microsoft right? so why do I like it???

but I really did like it and I felt it was smooth, fast, sleek, responsive, I mean, WTF?? I should hate it right?

please guys, take a reasonable attitude, go down to carphone warehouse and try the HTC trophy, just try it with an open mind, I swear you will be impressed, at least initially, perhaps over time it wanes a bit, but to be honest, android is the same, but my android is slow, clunky, unresponsive, etc, but then again it's a hero so it's only 520-something Mhz so I suppose we should expect that it's slow.

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Gates Horns

I tried it, didn't like it

O2 has a generous returns policy so I decided that it was a good idea to give the HTC HD7 a try. It's certainly nice hardware but I'm most likely going to return it before the end of the returns period.

What annoys me most is search lockdown. For some reason they've allowed O2 to lock the search provider in IE to Yahoo of all things. In most places in the OS clicking the search button will bring up Bing as expected, but if you're in the browser up pops Yahoo! WTF? Apple would never allow an operator to mess with search defaults.

The OS feels slow too with apps taking longer to load than on my 3GS despite significantly faster software. Also if you lock the screen the app takes a few seconds to resume when you unlock the screen again which is quite annoying. The iPhone left the app running when the screen is locked even before the multitasking upgrade and Android would never have the problem.

Most apps don't really seem to fit into any hubs so what seems like a good idea really just results in a bunch of oversized icons.

So thanks O2 for the generous returns policy, it meant I could take the chance to try out the phone myself, as MS don't have a good record here I certainly wouldn't have taken the chance otherwise. As I like the hardware, I think I'll next take a look at a HTC Desire HD.

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Very interesting and....

...thought provoking article. Not sure I agree that MS is doing more than merely stroking the cellcos. The company is well aware that even owners of Android kit (like myself, Wildfire and very pleased with it as far as the os and hardware - for the price - are concerned) who are very pleased with their mob are piss tired of the very long delays in upgrading. Especially if you paid full price buying sim-free - then you really are at the back of the queue. I think MS will want to avoid that marketing downside if they in any way can.

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Fragmentation less of an issue than security?

Whilst I don't doubt Android fragmentation (varied hardware & software specification) is an issue for app developers, hardware is *always* going to change over time. The underlying OS is more likely to stabilise I'd guess, although the UI might evolve and cause problems for app devs.

I think a far bigger problem for Android is that security updates don't get to end-users handsets in a timely fashion... if at all. As a result, there's a risk of Android phones becoming the security disaster-area that has historically been Windows. So I think that Google should really require that OEMs/Carriers that wish to bundle Google software *must* supply security updates in a reasonable time-frame. I think that is a reasonable requirement and shouldn't cause them any problems since security updates should not change functionality.

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Over-expansion

Android is buggy and unstable in an inconsistent way. It's starting to remind me of Windows 98! If you're lucky it works fine, but if you're not then it'll never be stable on your device.Too many handset manufacturers have jumped on the Android bandwagon without making sure that the OS is going to work reliably on their hardware. Updates take so long to come out and often don't seem to help, and so buying an Android handset is a bit like playing Russia roulette. Unless Android 3 is a marked improvement I'll not be getting an Android device for my next phone. iPhone is out of the question as I'm not prepared to go with the vertical monopoly of iTunes etc, and I'm still not convinced MS can build an OS of any kind that doesn't get occasionally crippled by bad updates.

MeeGo on Nokia? A combination of Nokia's superior hardware and ex-PalmOS superior OS design could be the way to go!

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Gates Halo

a real threat

Android sales - 30%

Blackberry - 20%

ios/Symbian - 7%

MS - 2%

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WP7

If Microsoft panders to the handset makers then WP7 loses a big advantage. The operators or handset makers should not restrict or withhold updates.

With Android you have the situation where the handset maker can decide not to give you an update, forcing you to get another handset or install community firmware.

One big advantage of the iPhone is you get updates a few times a year and a few big updates. WP7 appeared to be offering this as well.

I really don't understand the handset makers, their job is to produce hardware for the software. Perhaps if they spend more effort on the hardware then it would look better? this is the best way to innovate, not produce ugly hardware with confusing software front ends.

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@Giles Jones

"I really don't understand the handset makers, their job is to produce hardware for the software. "

I think that a big part of the problem is that they are very keen on keeping the cellcos happy. Result is that the producers first naff around with the basic os build, then the cellcos naff around with it. Thereafter, depending on which cellco is far enough in bed with the given producer, you _may_ as a contract customer get your upgrade/update. If of course, like me, you have been silly enough to buy sim-free you will slowly discover that hell will be gradually freezing over before the given producer releases to you. If one then takes into account that the producers would _far_ rather you bought a new phone in order to get the next version of the os we can see why this process can end up really pissing customers off. I have a wildfire with 2.1 - I am very pleased with it but when it comes to upgrading to a high end phone next year......? Am I really going to spend four hundred pounds or so to be treated like that? I think not. Not because I am unhappy with the phones or the os per se, I am however _very_ unhappy with the way the "food chain" is organised.

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Back to the future

Joe Belfiore: "Carriers could in fact block updates to sell you a phone. That can happen."

Years ago I bought WinCE devices, only to find that software updates that could apply were blocked or not easy because OEMs wanted to sell me a new device instead.

Few years later I had an iPaq, only to have similar thing happen ... firmware updates that should be easy to apply blocked because Compaq wanted me to buy a new iPaq instead.

Stopped bothering with WinCE derived stuff after that, but friends with Microsoft Mobile phones told me similar tales over the last decade.

Which makes wonder about "could", I think "will" is far more likely.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm confused

Netflix are clearly not complaining about fragmentation - they're complaining that there aren't any DRM facilities at all in vanilla Android and they can only offer their service on any phones at all *because* some have fragmented and added in extra features.

And Roxio? Really? I like angry birds, but it's about as technically complex as worms - it shouldn't really even need accelerated graphics and would probably run okay inside of flash. They have made an obvious mess of coding it for android and are now trying to blame everybody else - if they'd tested it on a single lower-power handset before dumping it on the market they would be just fine.

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Anonymous Coward

Struggle for supremacy ?

Supremecy would be merely a distant dream for MS. After all, even at its best Windows Mobile never even achieved an 8% share of the market and Android is already way past this level being second only to the all-time leader Symbian, with Apple currently in third place.

Yes, it would be a wonderful achievement for MS to surprise us all, but so far it seems unlikely.

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Pint

Carriers don't seem happy being carriers.

They remind me of a colleague who was never happy with the actual job he was employed to do, but was forever trying to get involved in other people's more glamourous jobs (to the detrimental effect of all). Why can carriers not simply provide the service we want them for instead of trying to be all things? Oh yes - same reason that former colleague kept sniffing around everyone else's jobs - money.

But there might be another - and really ironic - factor in the struggle between WP7 and Android. Not one that will apply to everyone, but separating out Android from Google is an Epic struggle for those of us still fighting against Google tracking every single aspect of our lives and who we talk to. I just bought a HTC Desire (SIM free) and still can't stop it plugging in to Facebook and Gmail which appear to be integrated into the system itself. I'll likely take it back tomorrow and try out a WP7 phone instead. The perversity of going to Microsoft from Open Source in order to get more freedom, is not lost on me.

Beer for Microsoft anyway. Competition is good.

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FAIL

Article seems sponsored by MS...

This article makes a lot of factual mistakes and makes up a lot of "facts". WP7 so far is not doing well, so there is no "struggle" with the no. 2 mobile OS. Android fragmentation is simply not such a big issue. Its not like consumers are going to switch their handsets every 2 days to notice and be worried about "Android fragmentation". I am an Android developer, and I can say with confidence that I don't have any big headaches with the platform. It is actually quite nice, and I might say, easier to code for Android. Again, I have 0 worries about Android fragmentation.

Samsung is releasing a large number of WP7 devices next year, because so far it has released none. If you go to the HTC site, you'll find most of the featured devices to be WP7. That is because WP7 is *new* and it does need most of the vendors to release devices for it. It does not mean that Android is in any way losing, because if you care to notice the statistics, Android's going simply up-hill...

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Silver badge
WTF?

Has the author checked the sales numbers?

Only last week one story was entitled "Android out-runs Windows Phone 7 on price comparison site" < http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/26/windows_phone_7_sales/ > puts the lie to todays piece which tries to suggest there is even a fight.

Personally i think Google should adopt the PC Windows schema. Updates to the OS can come independently of any other application. The manufacturer's UI is the equivalent of the PC desktop can have it's functions supported by the updated OS until the manufacturer extracts the digit and updates his UI.

Likewise with Cellco's. Since the relationship between the Cellco's and manufacturers is a closer one than Google and the Cellco's, they could co-operate in upgrades. The user should, however, have the option of using the 'no frills' Google OS until the manufacturers/Cellco's get their acts together.

Microsoft has too much baggage to garner a mass of support such as Google has. MS abandoned the users of it's earlier OS, there is a permanent 'hate' in a large number of people for MS - all challenges that require energy to overcome.

Google, on the other hand, is coming up big time in the pad/tablet business with many diverse manufacturers adopting the Android OS. This is an arena MS hasn't even got it's nose in the door.

WP7 challengers are way below Android, MS might have attractions for the suits that carry RIM, but RIM has a solid world market. The world is not North America, there are distinct areas where different OS choices are favoured.

And then there is China. Forget your expensive bling phones, other than in BeiJing or ShangHai, the mass of Chinese citizenry want value for money and that likely doesn't include MS. Android is the OS of choice for the Chinese entrepreneurs - not MS.

Google has a little housekeeping to do, then the question posed by the article's title will be redundant.

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Anonymous Coward

Operator issues...

The way I see it there are only two ways to deal with the operators:

1) my prefered method - the Nexus one method No crapware at all. - preferred by all except the operators wonder why? I for one, wish they'd just stick to doing thier job (providing service) without the insesant meddleing in everything else, I cant wait for the day a plain and simple vanilla service provider emerges one who does not waste millions on shitty advertising sponsorship, expensive junk mail and crappy bloatware, that NOONE wants. Please someone adopt the Be* service model. Keep It Simple!

2) operator customisations independant of base OS - meaning the handset can be updated regularly without it affecting the operatior customisation mappings. whilst this would have the support of the Service providors as they would not have to keep updating (wasting money) they may in the end be limited to a set of features that they can tweak, which I'm sure they would not like. - however going further putting the device drivers and handset manufacture customisations into a seperate layer could enable the OS to be updated immediatly a new version is released without having to wait for the manufacturers to customise it all over again.

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"Not only are there multiple and incompatible releases in the market at any one time"

"Not only are there multiple and incompatible releases in the market at any one time"

At this point it's clear the writer doesn't have a clue.

Android is completely backward compatible and most applications support 1.6 and above which makes 92% of Android users.

http://d.android.com/resources/dashboard/platform-versions.html

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WP7

Anyone else read that as Word Perfect 7?

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FAIL

Are you sure?

"Microsoft supporters argue, and enable the firm to differentiate WP7 with its key innovation, its hub-based UI, the first major modern user experience not to emulate the iPhone‘s."

Emulate the iPhone? didnt Nokia/LG/Smasung and even Sony use icon grids?

What exact UI improvements are you referring to?

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Flame

Android Update Nightmare

I love my Android phone but updates are a nightmare - why can't I download updates individually/rather than have to do a reinstall for each major release and if your phone's getting on a bit (say a year old) you can forget about it as the manufacturer has moved on.

if this was Windows each manufacturer PC model would have to wait for it's OS updates - absolute nightmare.

I get the issues around Apple's closed shop but at least everyone gets the updates at around the same time (if you're model is still supported - which often is long after Apple has moved onto the next generation). Even if you have to pay a little for it/it's cheaper than a new phone.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

FAIL

Re: WP7 Development

Thanks for making it obvious that you're not a WP7 developer! Complete FUD, if you wanted to appear to have some credibility then you could have at least based some of your claims on partial truths. Instead you've made up utter BS in an attempt to discredit WP7. Nice going dude!

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nah mate

I would definitely prefer developers to have some confirmed identity. Do you prefer instead some gang members loading some application on android market place that does something useful like currency conversion but in the background siphons your personall information to some servers in siberia, makes some fake calls to 0090 numbers and drains down your battery?

As for what platform is easier to develop do some search on the internet and find a credible source that says it’s easier on Android. There are few that claim the opposite. I prefer Visual Studio any time of the day.

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