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back to article What is the Nokia Secret Plan if Windows 8 isn't Windows gr8?

Nokia’s new chairman says the company has an alternative strategy prepared, in case Microsoft’s new version of Windows Phone doesn’t live up to expectations. Except he won’t say what it is. Risto Siilasmaa made the comments last week to Finnish broadcaster YLE. Analysts have been getting nervous for some time, and Microsoft has …

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"What third-party developers are supposed to do is not clear. Will all today's applications break? Will there be a legacy runtime?"

Uh, what? Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8? Do you have information which suggests otherwise or are you trying to cause trouble?

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Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

1. What good is that for Lumia owners if the converse isn't true?

2. With Microsoft's track record, why would anyone believe that until it is released?

Until the announcement that made the Lumia obsolete, many people were saying that WP8 would be available for them. I'm sure some claimed that information came from Microsoft.

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Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

Not sure what the big deal is either. Apps targeted at ICS or Jellybean don't run on 2.3 either, which has what, 50% share of the Android estate?

Oh wait, this is Microsoft, and Google is, like, soooo perfect innit.

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What good is that for Lumia owners if the converse isn't true?

Newer iOS apps don't run on older phones either. Even newer Mac apps don't run on older Macs. This isn't anything new.

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Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

"What good is that for Lumia owners if the converse isn't true?"

The availability of WP8 doesn't stop people making WP7 apps. Until WP8 has a market share significantly bigger than WP7 expect most new apps to be WP7 based unless they actually require the new features.

"Until the announcement that made the Lumia obsolete, many people were saying that WP8 would be available for them"

Then many people wern't paying attention, MS said a long time ago that that WP8 would probably not be on existing hardware due to performance reasons. I've never seen anything official saying otherwise.

The only things in WP8 which I'd particularly like in my lumia 710 is the new start screen, which is coming in 7.8, and better background multitasking for things like tracker apps (which I don't really see why they couldn't put into WP7, although I'm not holding my breath).

Personally I feel the mistake was trying to build 'flagship' products based on WP7, I bought the 710 because it was cheap, lovely to use and has awesome UI performance compared to cheap androids. Paying 3x as much for a slightly different case and camera was always a bit dumb. WP8 by contrast supports multi-core, NFC, removable storage, higher res etc and is more suited to a high end phone.

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Anonymous Coward

Did they?

I though they had said they would recompile all the WP7.x apps in the store so that they would run under the new, and totally different, kernel in WP8.

Having to recompile and target two kernels/operating systems is a lot different from apps just running without any work.

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Anonymous Coward

Clueless

For the second time in a few years Microsoft has come out and said their current phone OS is dead and they are starting over.

So Apple and Android move forward by evolution, MS moves forward by extinction - kill of the current platform and start over - maybe this time it will sell..

This means just about every Win Phone developer stopped any effort on the dead platform and is concentrating on learning the new platform - again.

And while Apple and Android move forward there is more then a big enough customer base to support continuing development on the older release - and the changes are not so drastic as MS approach so multi release development is possible.

How many Win phone developers are going to chase the almost non existent Win7.x base?

I sure hope you are not in charge of marketing or product development somewhere - you really do not have a clue how the real word works.

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Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

Point is something doesn't run on 4.0 that ran on 2.3 android and people complain but HTC just go, "Here is our new phone, but it, it is the Variation X."

Nokia only have the Lumia, they no longer have the fanbase to immediatly hook up to their new phone. Because they have lied and shafted them so often in the past (me included with the N900)

There isn't the app alternatives in winpho 7, the development culture of people changing their apps to suit the next gen because it is new and not very liked.

The Nokia plan is based on one phone that seems to be a reasonable phone, but there is no rapid evolution or development of new phones, they seem content with peddling the same limited spec of a phone.

What is interesting is that the massive upgrade in hardware requirements kind of kills off lumia and all those people on previous forums of the samsung galaxy saying you didn't need quad core. Well windows 8 seems to be wanting more and more power to work.

So the lumia by default will become old and tired needing Nokia to come out with the next gen' of it.

Like every other phone maker. Galaxy 1,2,3 the HTC desire, incredible, sensation and the iphone 1-4.

Elop just needs to make that new Nokia phone and do what everyone else does to the blogosphere, offer the next model and apologise. Automatically putting him one step up from Jobs who never apologised. Hey he could even just slag off all those that put money into his product, worked for Jobs and Schmidt.

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Re: Android apps have forward and backward compatibility

Spearchucker Jones: "Apps targeted at ICS or Jellybean don't run on 2.3 either!"

...there are vanishingly small numbers of apps targeting ICS (and surprisingly many that don't even require Android 2.x). And guess what, they will run perfectly happily until you try to actually call a specific ICS feature and its trivial to either catch the exception or check the platform before triggering one.

My app compiles against 1.6, targets 1.5+, modifies it's behaviour for changed OS behaviour on 4.03+. Because I'm lazy I simply removed the 1 code line not supported in 1.5 rather than handle it at runtime. I fully expect the same apk to carry on running on Jelly Bean and Android 5.

The WP7/WP8 compatibility is strictly one way and even that depends on recompilation, how well that works only Microsoft know.

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Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

Considering I can run Win95 games on Win7 MS are pretty good at maintaining backwards compatibility.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

Having totally missed the point try looking at it this way - how many apps sold today will run on a system that only can run Win 95?

Zero?

That is how many apps that will be sold next year for the (extremely small) Win Phone 7.x base.

MS killed the platform to try again - that is how much they value their current customers..

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Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

> Considering I can run Win95 games on Win7

More relevant is: could you run WM6.5 apps on WP7 ?

And BTW, does that mean you have been wasting your life playing computer games for 17 years now ?

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Re: ICS/Jellybean apps

Actually, (and I'm just starting to experiment with android development) it appears that google supplies a support library that allows apps built against the latest APIs to work on platforms all the way back to ~1.6

Not much of an issue there then really.

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WTF?

Then it's a proper Nokia device

I'm not sure if you know this, but Nokia is a telephone producer. I developed software along with Nokia for MANY telephones and often times, not even the developers could upgrade the OS without a JTAG cable and solder points.

Microsoft never said that Windows 8 Phone would run on all existing hardware. They said it's pretty much a whole new OS from the ground up designed for multi-core processors.

Nokia has been pretty consistent for years making sure that if there was a new feature... like a new ring tone (intentional exaggeration) you would need to buy a new phone.

Nokia's business model (been on the inside) has always been, get this one shipped, make the next one. I still am utterly amazed there are still that many people stupid enough to keep falling for this over and over again.

In case you don't know, Nokia is Suomi for "hahaha SUCKER!!!!"

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Re: Win7 cant even run all XP games

James 47:"Considering I can run Win95 games on Win7 MS are pretty good at maintaining backwards compatibility."

Considering how many XP games won't run on Win7 or run so badly it's not worth doing, MS aren't as good as you think.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Clueless

Perhaps prematurely killing Symbian and ignoring the N9's success wasn't such a good idea after all, eh Nokia?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

"What is interesting is that the massive upgrade in hardware requirements kind of kills off lumia and all those people on previous forums of the samsung galaxy saying you didn't need quad core. Well windows 8 seems to be wanting more and more power to work."

Actually there have been Lumia 900's spotted with WP8-developper. So technically it IS possible to run WP8 on that hardware. Microsoft just need some fairytale to get customers dumb their perfectly good 1-year old phones for "the next best thing". And it seems advancement in cpu and gpu power is that fairytale.

I've been screwed over with WM6.1 and WM6.5 so MSFT won't get my money no more. I don't forget and I don't forgive. That man's new charity business is funded with my (and billions of others) money.

The problem is that an innocent company (Nokia) is in the fireline. Between MSFT-greed and customers rage and disgruntlement.

But Mr. Gates would propably call it: collateral damage.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

"Considering I can run Win95 games on Win7 MS are pretty good at maintaining backwards compatibility."

You mean: "Considering I can run SOME Win95 games on Win7..."

I tried carmageddon II. It wouldn't run same as Pro-pinball The web.

Anyway, Windows Phone 8 is NOT the same as Windows 8. It "shares" the same code. But don't expect to run that doom.exe on that phone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

"Apps targeted at ICS or Jellybean don't run on 2.3 either, which has what, 50% share of the Android estate?"

But some (flagship-)phones WILL get the upgrade to ICS e.g. Sony XPeria NXT-range (if they don't come with ICS already). The Lumia's WON'T get the WP8 upgrade so it doesn't matter if WP7-apps will run on WP8. It's the WP8-apps we're worried about.

And lets be honest. IF Wp8 comes to market THEN no developper will want to program for WP7 anymore. Not to mention how long will MSFT maintain the WP7 marketplace when WP8 is around? If I remember how quickly MSFT dismissed Windows Mobile 6.5 after Windows Phone came around then I fear the worst. And apparently I'm not the only one with those fears.

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@Paul: Win7 cant even run all XP games

My student projects which were using DX7 on Win 2K still run fine on Win7.

Both at home and at work I never encountered an issue with backwardscompatability on MS unless it's about drivers.

The other day I upgraded a windows 98 based db for a non profit to a Win 7 pc: no problems. (Well I had trouble transfering the software because the win98 pc didn't have an USB port and it's floppy drive was non functional.)

So which games are you talking about actually?

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Re: Android apps have... @Paul Shirley

So you're suggesting that if I keep writing Windows Phone apps, but use the Mango (or even pre-Mango) tools I'll be ok? Because we know these run on Tango and Apollo (Windows 8).

This must be a good strategy right, because that's how you write apps for Android that target everything from version 1.5/6 all the way through to Jellybean.

Jesus, the circular logic Google apologists and fandroids will use to defend their little corner and shovel dirt onto anything that mentions Microsoft is... just crazy.

Paul, you might just save yourself some time by using Phonegap. Your apps will be no less hobbled. And then maybe go learn something from http://thecodelesscode.com/contents.

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Anonymous Coward

Nokia's hardware + Android + Pureview camera, please?

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Anonymous Coward

Or same plus Harmattan. Or choice of either OS to be safe ;)

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Lagging behind

The comment claiming that everyone else "lags some months behind El Reg" on reporting news did make me smile in the light of the fact that The Register was 24 hours behind everyone else on the "Hitchhiker shot while researching 'Kindness of America'" story and a full week behind everyone else on reporting on the sale of MoneySavingExpert.com, and these are by no means isolated incidents.

I'm not saying that you (the author) don't have your finger on the pulse and I'm not knocking the Reg, but it does seem to lag a day or two behind the mainstream media on mainstream tech stories.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh dear, Nokia

You've left your crown jewels in the hands of a man called Risto. Next we'll be told that Plan B is a Palm with hair on it.

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IT Angle

Re: Oh dear, Nokia

Wait, wait, wait....Nokia had a Plan A?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh dear, Nokia

Reminds me of Brian Blessed and the Palm Pilot ;)

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Re: Oh dear, Nokia

Yes indeedy!

It's called the Burning Platform.

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Coat

"Nokia’s new chairman says the company has an alternative strategy prepared, in case Microsoft’s new version of Windows Phone doesn’t live up to expectations. Except he won’t say what it is." -- They will be filing for Bankruptcy, mystery solved!

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OS wars

Maybe some people just want a phone that works well, that has a good contract, and couldn't give a monkeys about what OS it runs.

What about those people?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: OS wars

Ultimately, the contract is down to the telco. As for your other too requirements; they do exist, at a price.

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Re: OS wars

"What about those people?"

The commenters on El Reg downvote those people

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Anonymous Coward

Plan B

Nokia has a joint venture with Siemens, Nokia Siemens Networks, which provides telecommunications network equipment, solutions and services. It also offers Internet services including applications, games, music, maps, media and messaging through its Ovi platform. Those are (unexciting) options. Or it could go back to making footwear, and give Microsoft the boot.

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Anonymous Coward

NSN as Plan B?

Hardly.

Since their purchase of Motorola's mobile network business a couple of years ago, NSN has been hurting too. They're currently halfway through their process of eliminating 17,000 jobs from all parts of the company but mobile broadband.

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>> Nokia has a joint venture with Siemens, Nokia Siemens Networks

a.k.a "the millstone" - quoth the Telegraph on their last round of bad news (including 17,000 layoffs)

Nokia Siemens Networks has only recorded two profitable quarters since it was established in 2007, and is now facing increasing competition from Huawei, the Chinese telecoms company, and Ericsson AB.

Plan B for your parachute failing to open isn't to deploy the sea anchor...

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Joke

Re: Plan B

Or it could be the reason Elop doesn't know the plan yet- only the investors- the plan is to stuff Elop into a giant shoe, put on a catapult, and have the investors scream "You're fired" at the top of their lungs before launching said shoe towards the ocean.

And then, they'd just elect one of the investors as CEO. Hopefully one that's far more competent than Elop.

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Trollface

"Back to the burning platform, the lifeboats are sinking!"

:D

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Actually let people buy the N9 and the Pureview 808?

I know more people interested in those than a Lumia. (And that was before MS announced they were obsolete.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Actually let people buy the N9 and the Pureview 808?

Damn straight.

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Facepalm

3rd Ecosystem?

A point lots of people seem to conveniently forget is that the top three ecosystems only 18 months ago were:

1. Nokia/Symbian

2. Apple

3. Android

Now the Symbian position was almost certainly not sustainable because it was horrible to develop for, but there was also a nice migration route: Symbian -> Qt (with something else underneath. Like Meego, Maemo, Meltemi or even Symbian, but which nobody but the core OS and toolkit developers needed to worry about).

Nokia themselves destroyed the possibility of there being a 3rd ecosystem that they could participate in.

Windows Phone might one day be the third ecosystem, providing it can get past Bada, and doesn't get clobbered by Tizen, Firefox mobile, or more likely some Android derivative from China, but Nokia will have flushed themselves down the toilet long before then.

There is also the very high risk that Nokia will take Windows Phone down the toilet with them: the other phone manufacturers will look at the experience of the worlds largest phone manufacturer deciding to switch to Windows phone and then imploding within 18 months, and conclude they don't want to touch WP with a barge pole.

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I think the new plan is...

... based from news I read elsewhere, the plan might be to sue Google over patents under (presumably) Microsoft's background puppeteering instructions.

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Re: I think the new plan is...

Yep. I can see that happening too - Nokia as the new SCO.

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Re: I think the new plan is...

I don't know why they haven't done this before. Remember, Nokia get money from >Apple< with their patents.

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Meh

Re: I think the new plan is...

Yup, that's what I've been waiting to see - Nokia, armed with a portfolio of patents that actually do have some substance, from the late 90s and early 00s, decide to take the nucleur option and destroy the industry on their way down.

I think it's a pretty real possibility that (because they're failing as an actual producer) they'll decide at some point to let the lawyers take the leash and make everyone else's life as hard as they possibly can. Except MS, of course.

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Anonymous Coward

capability

Elop has fired so many talented people in his lust to snuggle deeper into Ballmer's lap that they've not got a huge number of options ahead of them. This is the problem when you outsource; you can do so much less yourself when you find you need to. So sadly a plan B is likely to involve yet more outsourcery.

I would love them to revive Meego (as my N9 is just brilliant) but without the intellgent people left who made it in the first place I doubt they can. it is one of the traversities of the modern age that Elop was allowed to enact such a catastrophic strategy in the worst way possible.

Don't forget you can email stephen.elop@nokia.com with suggestions, he answers his emails but don't expect anything but hubris in his replies.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: capability

Yes he fired a lot but made up for it by hiring and promoting a few of his MS cronies. Plan A by the board is to get acquired by MS, they only care about lining their pockets, and could care less about their workers.

After spending years and tens of millions on Meego, then killing it in its third trimester, then doing the same to Meltimi, spells conspricy to be aquired by MS or incompetent leadership. They have chosen yet a third plan B and have wisely chosen it to fail even quicker then the past two.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: capability

I'm just as helpful too - you can also contact me any time on bob.vistakin@microsoft.com.

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They're doomed!

I love Nokia, I think their reliable and functional devices did more than most to popularise mobile phones, but I think they're time is nigh.

Tying with Microsoft was always a risky strategy, and the decisions the Microsoft have had have alienated a rapidly declining userbase, and I don't see anything that can help, no Plan B.

Their returns for the next few months are liable to be close to zero - who, unless they get a free phone upgrade promise, will get a current generation phone that will be close to obselete and non-upgradeable, so the already threadbare bottom line will be below sustainable levels.

It's a shame, it really is.

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Trollface

Re: They're doomed!

"Their returns for the next few months are liable to be close to zero"

I think they'll be ecstatic if their returns are good enough to be close to zero!

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Re: They're doomed!

"but I think they're time is nigh"

An unusual use of an incorrect "they're" instead of "their" rather than the more usual other way round.

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