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back to article Windows Phone may be cheaper than Android - Inq boss

Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola has obliged one operator to look more closely at Windows Mobile. So says Inq boss Frank Meehan, who runs the Hutchison-owned handset company. He has a very interesting reason, which might surprise some of you. Inq puts its own UI on Android, as seen here with the Cloud Touch Meehan …

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Facepalm

So....

....if the problem is the copywrit drivers in the wireless stack, which are part of the OS install bundle, why not sell an OS-free phone with just an OS loader (think FreeDOS for phones) and then let the customer download and install Android? You could even supply a post-install app that sets up the phone to work with the required network. Since the customer has downlaoded the OS and installed it, the stack issue is now the customer's and the patent troll has to go sue each customer individually.

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Facepalm

That's a brilliant proposition!

"Buy our phone! It won't work at all out of the box so you'll have to spend some quality time figuring out wtf to do to get it working. Then you may be sued by a large corporation. Hey wait, no, don't buy that iPhone it's for noobs!"

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WTF?

Err

Do you really expect the average consumer to do this, when they're used to the "Just press power" experience of pretty much every other phone on the market?

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Why not? Woked for Steve Jobs.

You can't use an iphone without setting it up in itunes first. What's the difference?

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Linux

Quality time... reminds me:

I recently caved in and bought a new brandname laptop for family use. It had bundled Windows7 like they all do, but I still wasted a lot of "quality time"waiting for the dang thing to configure, register and update itself after first boot (in fact several of them, as updating almost anything on Windows, even this modern version, requires reboots, unlike Linux).

In fact, I am pretty sure I could have installed and updated a modern Linux distribution on it in the time it took for the bundled Windows7 to get its act together...

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Re: Why not? Woked for Steve Jobs.

True - and it is annoying. But at least if you do enough you know how far you have to go before you can stop.

The annoying thing is just how bloody long Windows takes to load the drivers. And it does it fresh for every iPhone. Takes longer to load the driver than to click the button or 2 in iTunes to make the phone come alive.

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@ Graham

In the case of the iPhone, its just an activation. You're not having to mess about selecting a stack to download and install.

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Yeah...

Cuz the whole 'install the OS yourself' route has worked so well for Linux thus far.

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Pint

we all wish for that...

But look at the old lines people are still thinking along:

"WindPho 7 maybe cheaper than Android" so what? nobody is buying the stupid phones. Nobody who didn't want to be in Apple's locked down ghetto wants to be in Microsoft's locked down ghetto instead.

Some even think Android is successful just by being cheaper... I bought my phone for better hardware, my Samsung GSII phone is plain better than the iPhone 4. And iOS, like all Apple software lacks features and options.

And if there had been an iOS or WindPho7 and a real Linux version of the same phone, I would have picked Linux, but as it was, Android was the closest thing to what I'd prefer. Its very customizable and pretty nice to use.

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FAIL

True or bluff?

Bluff. Announcement made for publicity.

The cost of Ubuntu, with all those software stacks, is so great I'm not even considering it for an old PC I found. Not.

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

Your old PC != a mobile phone.

Your old PC's wireless connection != a mobile phone's wireless.

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True

I reckon it's true. By the time you've employed people to build, customise and test Android you could have just installed a build of WP7 for which you would only really need a test team.

If Android OEMs all used standard Android without their own GUI then Android would be cheaper. But they don't, they develop their own UI to "differentiate" themselves from the crowd.

This is another reason why WP7 hasn't taken off massively, the hardware spec limits the design of the phone and the interface can't be customised (other than by having their own service tile). OEMs just can't find a way of making their phone seem hugely better than a rivals offering.

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Probably true

But true or not, I can guarantee one thing. The moment Google made the Motorola announcement every other manufacturer will have drawn up a Windows Phone contingency strategy. No matter the raw feature list of Android, Windows phone offers a slick UI and Microsoft know how to provide great developer tools. I think Google have thrown a huge lifeline to MS - just when they were looking down and out for the count.

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FAIL

Errm no

Why would anyone start a Windows Phone 7 strategy, as it's a doomed mobile OS, destined to always be a "Bada".. a poor mans Android and iOS.

Nokia talked about not being able to differentiate themselves with Android, and then picked an OS that can't be customised!!! Fucking idiots...

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Worse still...

They dropped the one thing that would have really differentiated them. Twice.

Still hugging my n900. Poor thing feels so abandoned even months later.

Wouldn't surprise me if a few of these manufacturers are investigating the possibility of MeeGo now.

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Re: Erm no

My assertion is based on many years experience Directing software integration projects for the TV Industry. Readers can down-vote all they like, and I can be satisfied in the knowledge I'm right. The other handset manufacturers will have renewed interest in MS guaranteed. Google buying Motorola will have immediately generated immense distrust and they will be looking for a contingency strategy. I saw the same thing happen in the TV industry the moment an OS came into an ownership relationship with a hardware vendor the first response was without fail for all the other hardware vendors outside the special relationship to start looking at alternatives. It's actually very simple logic but the decision is driven far more by strategy and business concerns than identified preference for one or other platform than most people outside these businesses will realise.

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WTF?

Given Google's new patent portfolio

which is larger than Apple and Microsoft's combined, You would have to be an idiot to somehow think Windows Phone 7 would be a better bet than Android, especially given that it's got no apps or userbase.

Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 (mango) are a dying OS, and the only people saying otherwise are Microsoft and Nokia who depend on it not to be.

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Go

Once again with feeling

The point's been made several times already, but again: several experts, including one cited by Mr Orlowski in a previous article, have expressed significant doubt concerning the viability of Moto's patents to protect Android against litigation.

Hence the reasoning behind Mr Meehan's statement.

To discount WinMo 7 at this stage, with brand power and resources of Nokia and Microsoft behind it, takes extraordinary confidence - what's your reasoning?

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WTF?

FUD

The "expert" you mean, has failed again and again his predictions. His "analysis" are so wrong it isn't funny. His articles can safely be discounted as nothing more than anti-google FUD, and have been blown to bits several times by Groklaw and others.

Do you want to really know what are some of the patents? Just look here - http://phandroid.com/2011/08/22/of-motorola-mobilitys-17000-and-7500-pending-patents-18-will-be-key-to-protecting-android/ - and tell me again, with a straight face, how these patents don't help.

This article is another in a series of anti-google tirades by Mr. Orlowski which sorely miss any content.

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Stop

Do you know of these experts personally?

Or do you simply trust that if someone from El-Reg says they are an expert, then it must be true.

The only fact I know is that every Android licence shares are on the up since Google bought the Motorola patents. That's a MUCH more credible cite than some random "gun for hire" expert that nobody has ever heard of from the internet.

The reasoning WinMo7 is discounted is simply because it's shit. I have used one it's not even close to Android 1.5, it's got a severe lack of apps, and developers are thin on the ground. The only people praising it are those that are being offered incentives to praise it from Microsoft (lavish launch parties, free phones etc).

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FAIL

And

1. Who says that Google will use Motos patents to protect it's partners anyway? What Google say and do are two different things.

2. No one seems to have addressed the small matter that if these patents are so good, why is Moto getting sued anyway?

3. And if it does have an existing library, surely that has existing deals with the likes of Apple et al. So what does it benefit Google in the long run if patents are already being monetised?

4. WTF has anyone spent $12bn for patents! It's cheaper just to pay royalites than $12bn. Seriously. Google's will be paying a bonus to its shareholders soon if they keep this up - and we all know what that means!

Keep thinking there is something very clever behind this takeover, but for the life of me, I can't touch on it. Dumbest purchase in IT history ever.

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Mushroom

Pardon, old chap?

"The reasoning WinMo7 is discounted is simply because it's shit. I have used one it's not even close to Android 1.5,"

Don't misunderstand me, my phone's a Desire Z - very happy with Android, like the os very much. However, WP7 worse than the 1.5 iteration of Android? That kind of brain-dead teenage fanboism does nobody any service and simply makes you look like an ignorant expletive. If you cannot post anything other than that kind of spew, do us all a favour and vanish.

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Re: And

"2. No one seems to have addressed the small matter that if these patents are so good, why is Moto getting sued anyway?"

If noone else will, maybe I can?

It's called "not giving up without a fight". From what I've read (IANAL and all that), the Moto patents may have some merit. The Apple patents may or may not have merit, but that doesn't stop Apple from trying to hit at Moto as hard as they can. Apple hopes that if they lose, then Moto will *also* lose a patent fight and that makes it easier to negotiate an agreement and lessen the impact of their own loss.

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FAIL

Microsoft's mouthpeice

Last year Microsoft told everyone to hate Sony. This year Microsoft have refocused on mobile and have simply told the media to cancel the last order and tell all your readers to hate Google.

That is really how fucked up the internet is, the men with the most money can tell sites like this what to tell everyone through the power of advertising budgets.

Anyone that can't work this out frankly is a utter moron. Nobody at El-Reg works for free, where do you think the money to pay the wages comes from.....

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Thumb Down

Ad hominem?

A classic "Microshill" rant/accusation. You do not like an article and your response is to accuse the author(s) of, in practice, being on the take. El Reg can be accused of a great deal (indeed it is fun to do so) but if you haven't noticed that they take the piss here out of Big Corp regularly (whether it is Apple, Google, Intel or, yes, Microsoft) then you have not followed El Reg very closely.

Indeed if you used the old grey matter a bit then you would realise that a site like Reg which addresses IT professionals (and in that way attracts their advertising revenue) would realise that the very *last* tone they would wish to adopt would be one that appeared to favour one of the big boys in the industry. Why is that? Because IT pros tend to be a fairly cynical bunch and El Reg would loose all credibility with their audience and their capacity to attract that audience is the source of their ad-revenue. If a significant section of the sites regulars became convinced that Reg was brown-nosing BigCorp their click-rate (and thereby their revenue) would go down the kahzi. See how easy it is when one tries to do a bit of joined up thinking instead of howling?

The only thing one can conclude from *your* posting is that you have a *very* protective/strange relationship to your choice of phone and your playstation.

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Coat

Not saying you're wrong, but ...

"That is really how fucked up the internet is, the men with the most money can tell sites like this what to tell everyone through the power of advertising budgets."

This is different from other media ... how? It's always been this way.

Mine's the one with Mencken's "Newspaper Days" in the pocket.

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Have you used WP7?

I only know two people who have tried WP7, both of them hated it and thought that the Android of the time was orders of magnitude better.

However I don't know which version of Android they were comparing to.

Personally, I've only used WM6.2 and 6.5.

However, both of these are so hideously, despicably awful that I would need some quite extraordinary evidence to believe that Microsoft can even come close to a workable mobile phone OS.

- An equivalent would be "Pretend I've only seen Windows 2.0, now convince me to buy Windows 7"

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Fair play

You're right, I took some of this on face value. Bit more research shows that the situation is at least ambiguous and at best, Moto's patents could provide serious protection in some areas. I'll do my research before posting in future.

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@FUD

>and tell me again, with a straight face, how these patents don't help.

If they're already licensed to the competition, they won't help.

You only get to take someone to court if they use your patent without your agreement, which may or may not be free.

So (for example), HTC may well have a license with Moto to create phones that use a sensor to disable touch-sensitive controls when the phone is held up to the face and that license is probably not limited by the OS installed on the phone.

If Nokia go after Moto or Google for infringement of a patent but have already licensed all the relevant patents from Moto for their own devices, then Moto don't have any leverage and will have to duke it out in court.

I know that may not be what you want but it's how it *is* and downvoting everyone with a more realistic view won't change that.

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FAIL

Windows Phone

Is it really that hard for someone who runs a mobile phone manufacturer to learn its "Windows Phone" and not "Windows Mobile" anymore! Geez...

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WTF?

Huh?!?

The title says Windows Phone. The quote from Meehan says Windows Mobile. Windows Phone and Windows Mobile are not the same thing. Which is it?

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Paris Hilton

eerie..

We posted pretty much the same thing at the exact same time! Great minds...

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Headmaster

Great minds think alike ...

And fools seldom differ...

Always worth remembering how that saying ends.

No comment on the above really. Just saying.

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WTF?

Err, well Android would be cheaper if...

the likes of HTC etc didn't have to pay Microsoft protection money for every handset.

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FAT32

You breaks the law you pays the price.

If they stop using FAT32 as the device's filesystem then they'll avoid the M$ patent tax.

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Cutting FAT32 would be a problem

Assuming I've not fallen for mere trolling, one of the things vocal Android proponents like is being able to plug their phone into the computer and manually copy music, movies, etc to it. FAT32 is really the only filing system that makes that easy and realistic across pretty much every USB sporting computer out there.

That being said, given that they use FAT32, properly following the DCIM spec would be nice. It's a bit pointless using a non-free standard and then improperly implementing a free standard on top of it.

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FAT32

"If they stop using FAT32..."

I am surprised none of them has taken this route and used a different file system. The file system in use is only significant if volumes are to be mounted on another system - and there are ways to get around that issue.

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Anonymous Coward

re FAT32

I tend to agree - FAT32 needn't be required on a phone, if the manufacturers don't want to write a filesystem for windows (perfectly doable - there was a FAT32 for NT4, Veritas briefly produced VxFS, there are others, not that mature though.) they can just write an application that speaks to the phone, but supports drag'n'drop from the desktop of the host machine. This keeps the much liked drag'n'drop, but also allows the phone to be freed from FAT32.

Maintaining a requirement for FAT32 is just lazy in my opinion.

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Re: FAT32

No Android phone uses FAT32 internally AFAIK. The real game-breaker are the flash cards: SD, miniSD, etc. All of them are formated using FAT32 (and the biggest using exFAT).

People often remove those cards and connect them directly to computers using USB readers.

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Re: FAT32

I'm sure some Android hacker out there has compiled a version that reformats the SD card to EXT2 so that they can remove the FAT32 driver, but I'm equally sure that such an idea would never catch on. Removing FAT32 presents a huge inconvienence to Windows users. If you inconvienence Windows users you may just as well not bother trying to sell your product. You might be able to give it away to Linux geeks at that point, but where's the profit in that?

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Devil

They used to call that a protection racket.

They say that Microsoft Mobile saves people from lawsuits against Android? You mean the ones Microsoft keeps filing?

I can see it now.

That's a nice little smartphone you have there, be a pity of something was to, you know, HAPPEN to it. Use our OS and we can promise you that no nasty lawyers will come by and mess up its pretty face, you don't want that, its bad for business........

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Paris Hilton

So...

"Windows Phone may be cheaper than Android - Inq boss"

...but will it crash and be as buggy as all the other MS offerings?

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Re: So...

Funny you should ask that. My HD7 that I've owned since Christmast 2010 froze for the first time on Saturday. The freeze lasted about two seconds on the search screen. That's the first time I've had any lag on it.

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Re: So...

Absolutely.

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WTF?

"no immediate alternative they can jump to"?

Er, yes there is, Windows Phone 7. Wasn't that the whole point he was making?

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OEM Customisation

INQ's whole thing is customisation, giving existing platforms (BREW, Android) a major makeover with a kind of urban hipster colour scheme and functional specialisation, like Facebook integration. They will not be able to do that with Windows Phone 7. MS specifically prohibit all but the most trivial of OEM customisations. This INQ boss must surely know that so why is he saying this? Is it just linkbait for INQ which, to be fair, hasn't had a lot of press of late?

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FAIL

Just the one?

"Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola has obliged one operator to look more closely at Windows Mobile"

What a trend!

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Holmes

You gets what you pays for...

When you go with the lowest bidder, you usually get the lowest quality as well.

Sherlock, cuz it is elementary.

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Linux

That explains it...

...and I always wondered why my Debian Linux servers worked for months without restart and Windows Server 2008R2 needed to be restarted every Patch Tuesday.

Oh wait...

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Bronze badge

Really? Might want to tell Dell then...

When it came to buying a server for home, I looked at HP, IBM and Dell. Not only did Dell beat the others on price (by a lot), but in my experience, they'll bend over backwards to keep you happy.

And of course, this box is running a free virtualisation system based on Debian Linux. Far better result than using Hyper-V...

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