back to article Elop's choice: Microsoft and Nokia take a bruising

Stephen Elop's decision to make Windows Phone the Nokia smartphone operating system of choice could be rationalized, even defended, right up until the point where Microsoft's new phone platform bricked Samsung Omina 7 phones. Suddenly, and without any real explanation, Windows Phone 7 couldn't be updated on 10 per cent of phones …

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Silver badge

dumb

"right up until the point where Microsoft's new phone platform bricked Samsung Omina 7 phones."

except that it didn't.

Nice try.

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FAIL

Your right

it's wasn't just Samsung Omina 7 phones, it was HTC phones too...

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Anonymous Coward

Its all about perspective.

If bricking means they won't reboot unless you take the battery out and put it back in then they were bricked.

Not the normal definition of bricking, but allowed because the writer here wants to make the point that, because some Samsung phones with specific firmware revisions would not upgrade (and even though there were no problems with LG phones) Nokia made the wrong decision and should have become an Android seller.

This is position is correct because it would probably have meant that Microsoft would effectively have been out of the phone market (~75% android market share) and anything that hurts Microsoft is good right? Even if it reduces competition.

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Re: dumb

Cheers for getting in quickly to point this out. First the phones weren't bricked; removal of the power source (i.e. the battery) was enough to reset the problem and make the phones useful again. Secondly, many of us with the Samsung Omnia 7 were able to apply the update without a problem.

Articles that make general statements should be held accountable for their innacuracies or attempts to 'spin' the truth. Reality is vast majority of Omnia 7 users haven't had a problem with the update, and Microsoft merely took the precaution of withdrawing the update so that these reports could be investigated properly and the actual cause determined.

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Silver badge

Ha. So many hopes quashed.

Wasn't this the WinMo release supposed to make us forget the sorry mess that the previous incarnations were?

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Anonymous Coward

Couple random comments

You know, I just occurred to me that for various reasons, smartphones need far more updates than "regular phones", but for various reasons, micros~1 needs even more than that, just to function without getting rooted at all steps of the way. So, yeah.

The major difference with iphone is that the iphone comes with a data plan. Even in traditionally much more sim lock freed Europe, there's very few iphones without a data plan. This allows them to leverage that fact, and being apple, they ruthlessly do. Nokia probably should basically insist that redmond make available updates any way at all. It's more work to make sure any delivery is good delivery, but they practically have no choice. Neither nokia nor redmond nor any other other manufacturers really have room to try and pull an apple here. The Danger product might've attained such a position, but we all knew how that fairy tale ended.

As to standards, well, redmond basically doesn't do those. Even the whole ooxml farce was an 11th hour excercise to try block odf from gaining traction. I find it interesting that it was osi that came up with the initiative to start developing ODF into an open standard and apparently _didn't ask micros~1_ for that dance. They tried to ignore that, but decided they couldn't after all, then did what any self-respecting bully would. And they did get away with it, even if the product is a complete dud. At least at our office everyone knows to refuse .docx from clients and ask for a non-x version of same.

It's not surprising ie9 is another excercise in catching up again. I notice a lot of "when it's there, it'll be great!" astroturf again, which frankly tires me out. Their installed base is still largely either corporates with an enterprise-y policy (hope they've learned something from ie6, but probably not), or the people that just take whatever comes standard with their system, preferrably what looks most like what they had previously. And you can't really blame the latter. What really should be the case is that browsers are indifferentiable on html features, but for a myriad reasons aren't, that in turn being a bad thing for interop.

Would be interesting to take an inventory to see how OSI survived after the generous helping of astroturf that redmond used to shoo their fasttracked-in-from-ecma standard-without-any-conformant-implementation through. Given that a lot of new members turned out to be shills with no interested in standards in general, "not very well" would be my guess, but I haven't kept up.

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FAIL

Mark my words

Mr Elop & Mr Ollila will be out by the end of 2012. WinNokia is going to be such an epic fail that when the shares are junk and tens of thousands of jobs have vanished even the until then calm Finns will lose their patience and demand blood.

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Grenade

Re: Mark my words

Yes - because Nokia wasn't already heading down the road to failure already with Symbian...

Android and iOS (and to a lesser extent Blackberry) were eating Nokia's market share and other than becoming a tiny niche player in the smart phone market and watching the non-smart phone market shrink, a choice was made to try a new strategy.

The Android strategy would have left them with a straight hardware battle against Samsung/HTC/etc that they would be unlikely to win or win in sufficient volume to survive as the large company they are today.

iOS and Blackberry aren't sharing their OS's so they weren't viable choices.

Windows Mobile has the potential to be a rival (MS as a company have historically been good at developer relations AND they have useful business software tie-ins for the third-party development will be required to make WinMobile a success to compete with the iOS/Andorid application markets) and at least it isn't the same dead horse that Nokia have been flogging for years in the hope that it would suddenly be able to compete.

If it does fail, WinNokia will fail as much for what it started out as for what it tried to become.

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Black Helicopters

Simply not true

Believe it or not the Ovi Store is big in China and India and with Qt was starting to get around in Europe. Symbian/MeeGo had a future as OS that let people have control of their data. But I guess the Bilderberg club has decided that phone OS should force people to put their data on the bloody cloud, where it can be accessed/manipulated by world governments. It's not like the police have never planted evidence before, now is it?

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Anonymous Coward

Symbian vs WM

"Yes - because Nokia wasn't already heading down the road to failure already with Symbian..."

It'll take a a few years fo Symbian to catch up on technical and usability issues.

It'll take WM a few years to catch up on technical and usability issues, but Nokia won't be in control of it.

Sure that's worth wiping nearly 25% off of the share price?

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Paris Hilton

How has Elop survived the value loss?

I continue to be amazed that major and minor Nokia shareholders haven't yet made the kind of fuss that would get Elop kicked out his CEO's office due to the simply huge loss in value that they've experienced from his announcement of the pair-up with Microsoft.

Looking at Nokia's (NOA3.DE - Yahoo's UK Finance chart) share price today compared with 9 February immediately before the announcement, the loss has been about 24.8%. When you combine that with the (admittedly sunk-cost) value thrown away with the effective dumping of Symbian (estimated at a value of $50Bn on it's own), MeeGo & Qt, the scale of the loss in shareholder value is just staggering.

Paris because like her I just don't understand...

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Megaphone

And the worst is yet to come

The sales of Symbian phones will decline due to phone shop assistants telling punters that Symbian is dead and that their best bet is Android. Interesting to see what happens mid-year after Q1 & Q2 results. My guess is that Mr Elop will not spend much time in Finland although it's pathetic to see the new VPs after the musical chairs game, they are the same clueless yes men that have ruined Nokia...

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Headmaster

@swareInTheNews

The reason Elop is still there is that the majority (by value) of Nokia shareholders wanted the MS deal to go through, *in spite of* the short term pain they knew it was going to cause (you can clearly see this from the fact that the 'Plan B' received no real shareholder backing at all). The shareholders were realistic enough to realise that redeveloping Symbian was a non-starter due to cost and delays & Meego is not yet ready for the mass-market; they knew the dangers of going with Android, so they picked WP7. Thus, they haven't fired Elop because he is doing *exactly* what the majority (by value, again) of Nokia's shareholders wanted. The real question is whether they wanted the right thing - and we won't know that until Nokia actually releases some WP7 phones...

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Silver badge

I am not interested in a WP7 phone personally......

......given that I own a Desire Z and am very happy with it. However in the interests of objectivity I have to say that on the basis of the evidence so far (total 5% of WP7 phones actually bricked, all Samsung, and all of them confined to two models I believe?) one could equally well argue that it is all Samsung's fault for being unable to build according to laid down specs. It is after all rather a coincidence that the problem should in fact be confined to a couple of phones from one manufacturer is it not? One could also point out that this is not the first upgrade from an OS builder that has gone wrong for a certain percentage of owners - hmm?

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FAIL

Yeh right

IE 9, not something that's "IE-like"

Who wants to bet it will actually be something lame called IE Mobile?

As with everything Microsoft, they promise the world, get the hype wagon into overdrive, and then ride the wave of hype that covers the real disappointment (Kinect ring any bells?)

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Bronze badge

what about android

My mrs has an android phone (a Samsung, actually). It stops being able to find wireless from time to time. It's a known issue, but no fix from Google or Samsung. The recommended fixes (recommended online, Samsung just shrugs when I call them) are rooting your phone (using third party software which does not work or bricks your phone), installing a command line app and manually deleting a particular file. Since the process cobbled together by amateurs does not work, I end up having to factory reset it every couple of weeks.

Android is free and has nice features. But it's buggy as hell, has unique issues it seems on each different device, and when something goes wrong the phone manufacturer just tells you 'Google - free - sorry'. Google doesn't provide any support and the forums they do have are a mess and any fixes require you to be experienced with command line and linux, which is not really going to work for 99% of users who just want to pick something up that works.

And so you're left with a phone that doesn't work properly and no one willing to take ownership of the problem.

I am pretty sure if I bought a Nokia with MS o/s on it, that such problems would be sorted and would not require me to download buggy homemade software and run obscure command line commands.

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Anonymous Coward

A valid point

and a real shame to see that google and samsung are dropping the ball. IMO this has nothing to do with the s/w being "free", but plain refusal to make sure the software works as advertised. Google doesn't have that excuse because far from everything in android is actually free and moreover they put the thing together and are (if indirectly) gaining from it so they can bloody well fix their bugs, and Samsung doesn't have that excuse because they ship product with it. Neither is a collective of free agents where everybody can join in and fix bugs, basically leaving no options to get anything fixed. And thus the ball is back in their court.

I'm not quite so sure as you appear to be though that in microkia's to-be-released wp7 phones this will magically be better. Especially seeing the quality of symbian and micros~1's track record. We'll just have to hold everyone to basic "but does it work?" and "but does it manage to not crash?" standards.

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Anonymous Coward

Forgot to add:

Android not being the panacea of stability either should indeed leave a nice niche or rather more probably a lot of room for a better system. But so far people put up with it rather than run off to iOS, bada, or whatever else you might find for various reasons. Symbian is (IMUninformedO) reasonably stable but is getting ditched for other reasons. So the room is likely there. Whether microkia will be able to fill the hole, though, is something else again. The track record signs point to murky at best.

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FAIL

Bricked?

No.. failed to update. Not the same as bricked.

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Alert

@Dirk Vandenheuvel

Exactly! "Bricked" is not what happened to these phones at all. Which begs the question, what kind of reality-denying idiot down-voted your post?!

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Gates Horns

"right up until the point where Microsoft's new phone platform bricked"

And of course, no other phone OS has EVER had update failures.

Oh wait.... silly me.... of course, I forgot the RULES.

Rule 1) Anything that goes wrong at MS is uniquely bad, and proof that the company can't possibly last much longer without killing itself and everyone who has ever dealt with them.

Rule 2) Anything that goes wrong at Google is merely a blip in their path to global domination of every market in the world except those that Apple wants.

Rule 3) Anything that goes wrong at Apple DIDN'T HAPPEN.

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WTF?

Wait, what?

>Imagine if a Windows Update wouldn't update 10 per cent of the Windows PCs out there.

Isn't that what happens? Every time any commercial OS gets updated you'll find a significant percentage of machines fail because you can't possibly hope to test every single combination of software on every single installed machine.

Even with commercial server farms where configuration is tightly controlled and OS updates are tested before deployment you still get the occasional failure.

Far too much molehill==mountain here.

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FAIL

Setting the record straight

According to Microsoft's figures, 90% of updates worked, 10% didn't. Of those, the vast majority failed because of lack of disk space on the PC or a failed internet connection. Microsoft stated on answers.microsoft.com that 0.05% of updates actually resulted in a bricked phone, i.e. 99.5% didn't.

So your "10% of phones bricked" should read "0.05% of phones bricked" so you are being a tad inaccurate in your reporting, El Regio.

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Thumb Up

Whoops

I meant 0.5%, not 0.05, sorry. (Before anyone else points it out)

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Ogg?

"or Ogg Vorbis here"

What is the point of offering an Ogg vorbis file? Isn't MP3 supposed to be a pattent free format several years now? (they expired).

Ogg vorbis is a classic example of GNU's Not Invented Here So I Wont Use It syndrome (similar ro odf and docx, despite docx is an open format). The freetards are using their incessant trolling powers to convince people that Ogg Vorbis is somehow necessary, but basically it's an effort to boost their egos.

Can we go back to the 90s, where nobody cared about the GNU/freetards and simply ignored them?

"micros~1"

Look how uber leet I am, I can mock microsoft! (nobody cares)

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Were the 90s All That, Or, What Do You Mean It's VHS-only?

They offer it in Ogg because some people prefer it in Ogg.

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Anonymous Coward

There's fud in your self-conciously un-leet fud.

ODF actually predates OOXML, and the rationale for ODF is likewise entirely justifiable: The main alternative at the time was undocumented and proprietary. Slagging them for not being the also-ran OOXML alternative is a bit dishonest here.

Look at the timing: Right when the vetted ODF spec was submitted to ISO, micros~1 goes all "oh lookit we go do this standards thing now too you know", a tried and tested "it'll be more grander than the competition... when it'll get there" tactic well-practiced in redmond.

OOXML is an ISO standard without any conformant implementations at the time of ratification --even their own implementations were not conformant with the standard as ratified, at least one is normally a requirement for standards to be ratified--, was pushed through at ISO under openly suspicious pretense, and might still not have any conformant implementations. That's about as useful as kitting out public access facilities with token ring today. Yes, it's a standard. If you want interop with anybody else, though, you'd be entirely deluded to trust your data to that format. All you'll get is grief.

And grief we got: Just compare the reasonably smooth ODF standardisation to the world-wide drama it took OOXML to gain an ISO number, fast-tracking through abuse of a back door and widespread shill deployment and all. I don't think there's been a more contested ballot in ISO's history.

That's not to say gn00 doesn't suffer from NIH. It does. Just like redmond does, though the gradations differ. But we weren't talking about the gn00 crowd here.

Apparently you care enough to try and mock the mocking. So far you're not doing a very good job of it.

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Refuce docx?

"At least at our office everyone knows to refuse .docx from clients and ask for a non-x version of same."

You work for Path-E-Tech don't you? Anyway, if I run into any corporation that treated me, the paying customer, like that, I would never lay foot on their place/site again. Refusing docx just because you don't like Ballmer's face is unprofessional and freetarded.

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Anonymous Coward

So sorry to offend your broken standards fanboi sensibilities.

The point is to get the information across, and often enough that's sample text or graphics, which are preferred in formats like eps or csv or whatnot, depending. The various "office" formats are more of a fallback anyway. We're really quite flexible, but aren't willing to detangle broken and unconforming-to-the-relevant-spec jumbles of data. The non-techs can't and the techs know better than to try.

Since the customer knows best what he'd like the stuff to look like, they can put it in a format that we can read and they can check looks about right. docx gives too much trouble and since everything that produces docx can also produce x-less doc, it's the most expedient way of fixing the failure to get the data across.

If you'd rather trade that couple minutes of open original, save-as-$format, re-send, for us racking up lots of hours on the bill fumbling your broken files, well, we might just oblige you. Probably not though. Obnoxious customers are a drain we can afford to not put up with.

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Gates Horns

What a coincidence

the 10 people that own a WinMo7 phone all post in the same forum...

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Thumb Up

What Nokia did can prove to be a great success story......

I think Nokia has the license to customize WP7 now, which is a good thing. Actually, they claim they'll be working in partnership with MS to that purpose. So, I'm already assuming that the WP7 OS we'll find on Nokia phones will be to some degree different (albait compatible, I really hope) from the one on other hardware producers.

I also think it will be quite likely we'll see other features I can't really understand why are currently missing in WP7, such as thetering and Sync with Outlook.

In other words, I think this degree of exclusivity may be enough to generate that uniqueness that is indeed needed to compete against the iPhone.

Check this to see what other developers have to say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfWFvCJJaNs

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