back to article Microsoft sets date for Windows Phone 8 unveiling

Microsoft has set the date for the unveiling of its Windows Phone 8 smartphone operating system: October 29, four days after the scheduled Windows 8 launch. phone8invite There are good reasons to link the two together. Microsoft is promising a shared code set between its desktop and smartphone operating systems, allowing …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

Too little too late

The bus as left the station.

8
11
Silver badge

OS launch and practical handset launch two separate issues.

Operating system launch October 29th.

Mobile phones will be in the shops second quarter 2013.

0
7

"although Microsoft will release an upgrade to make Phone 7 handsets look like Phone 8 system"

Lipstick on a pig.

10
6
Silver badge
Coat

Re: "although Microsoft will release an upgrade to make Phone 7 handsets look like Phone 8 system"

Are you sure that's lipstick?

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Grumpy old codgers

I'm not a Windows Phone fan, but I hope it does well. More choice is good for the consumer, and keeps producers on their toes.

16
2
FAIL

Re: Grumpy old codgers

I was used to think the same way but after two years of hearing the same tune.

First it was, Windows Phone 7 will be great, and it wasn't,

then it was, Windows Phone 7.5 will be great, and it wasn't,

and now it's Windows Phone 8 will be great, and it probably won't be.

I have totally lost interest in the Microsoft attempts, and somehow just wish the market split into two main OSes.

Something like 45% iOS and 45% Android, with 10% split between niche OSes, such as BB10, WP8, Jolla, Firefox OS, S30 etc. which could be bringing interesting concepts and/or innovation to the party from time to time.

6
9

Re: Grumpy old codgers

More *good* choice is good for competition and customers. Weak products create no competitive pressure - no pressure on price, no pressure on features and thanks to a broken patent system even a failed competitor can hamstring an entire industry.

WP7 was exceedingly weak competition with warmed over obsolete core technology (WinCE), years behind on base OS features and with a UI many find repellent. Moreover a radically different UI based as much on a licence deal with Apple *requiring it to be different* as any genuine useful ideas.

WP8 may have a stronger kernel and some of the stupider UI choices fixed, it's still well behind on core OS features, still 'different for difference sake' and so desperate to succeed it's pinned everything on cross marketing from Win8. Sounds pretty damn weak to me.

Does anyone honestly believe anything in the WP8 UI is worth stealing (or not already present elsewhere)? That there's anything in the WP8 kernel any competitor needs? That Win8 cross device support (such as it is) is something Apple or Android could even try to compete with given the de facto MS desktop monopoly - and if they can't compete how does that drive customer benefit?

IMHO WP8 is weak competition, not really different enough from either IOS or Android to provoke competition and MS knows it, hence the willingness to wreck Win8 to prop it up. If weak competition somehow succeeds through the usual MS marketing dirty tricks it won't be good for end users.

7
2
HMB

Re: Grumpy old codgers

Shirley you can't be serious?

Windows 8 hasn't even been unveiled and you're talking like it's all done and dusted! Maybe looking at it before judging it might be more prudent?

I see small amounts of ordinary people dipping their toes in the water with Windows Phone. When I ask them what they think of it I've had positive responses. Sure, it might not be your cup of tea, but you don't have to totally rubbish it.

I dismissed it for wifi tethering reasons and went with vanilla android instead, but I found the UI for WinPho 7 a slick experience. IE9 on Windows Phone 7 is compelling.

Windows CE was god awful. Microsoft have come a LONG way in a short time. Don't write them off before you've seen it.

5
4
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Grumpy old codgers: dare I bring up.....

The Kin

The Zune

Say nooooooo more.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Grumpy old codgers

> with a UI many find repellent

It seems to me that the UI was designed to overcome issues that existed in the previous WM series given the limitations that were imposed by using a single tasking OS and a single core design.

Just as MS-DOS developers had to use TSRs to overcome the single tasking limitations of DOS to give some pseudo appearance of multi-tasking, WP7 had the equivalent of TSRs to give 'active tiles' and some illusion of background tasking. Tombstoning also gave the appearance of task switching and avoided any background app using the rather limited CPU time on the hardware dictated by MS.

Given these limitations, an active home screen was designed to be where most users would leave their phones so that they could keep up with twits, facebook friends and emails. Apps were to be transient things that interfered with the purpose of the phone. Microsoft considers that the OS _is_ the computer and that everything has to revolve around that.

With a small screen and limited functional requirements that is almost a useful viewpoint. The UI could have been done in other ways, such as is done by Android and iOS but that would require actual multi-tasking, and other ways of overcoming problems when one task uses too much CPU time (eg with multi-core CPUs).

The problem that MS has is they have almost no presence in mobile, and it has been falling. Even last quarter showed a reduction in market share. It's only mobile UI is that of WP7. It has to use that because it would take years to develop yet another. (it could revert to WM6.5 UI and relive the 90s). But the UI is designed around using full screen (on 480x800 what else would be useful), single-tasking (with TSR like 'active tiles'), and simple graphics with clean fonts (on 480x320 and 800x480 of course).

Translating this to desktops and even to tablets and laptops which run from 1200x800 to 1980x1080, and have multi-core CPUs, and beyond makes no sense to those used to multiple windows and widgets.

MS-DOS, TSRs, Windows 1 tiled windows, WP7 UI all made sense given the limitations where they were used. Now Microsoft has no option but to impose that on all Windows because they have no other for mobile and need to make all users 'familiar' with it so that they will think of it as normal.

5
0

Re: Grumpy old codgers

"Does anyone honestly believe anything in the WP8 UI is worth stealing"

Actually, yes. That's why it's won more design awards than any other phone OS. Of course if you're naïve enough to believe that Apple got the phone UI perfect in v1 and that nothing can possibly ever be better (hence all the shameless rip-off Android UIs), that's all fine and dandy, but those of us that have actually used Windows Phone are well aware of the things it does better.

5
3
Silver badge

First it was, Windows Phone 7 will be great, and it wasn't,

I got heavily downvoted for suggesting that WP7 should not be cut any slack because I suggested it was not a brand-new OS but, err, the 7th iteration.

Now it is a commonplace that it is just WinCE rebadged.

I got suckered into WM6 on a phone, that never worked and never got fixed. Ditto WM6.5 . Had I been fool enough to believe the hype over WP7 they would have done it to me again. There is no good reason to trust WP8.

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Microsoft have come a LONG way in a short time

>Microsoft have come a LONG way in a short time

short time? short?

Windows Embedded Compact (as it was then) was launched in 1996, and only received the most desultory support ever since. One PLC maker had to wait 3 years for a fix to the networking that condemned their touch panels to a daily reboot to keep working.

>Windows CE was god awful.

was? is! a lot of people are stuck with it on embedded systems, with no sign of a future.

It's also why HP purchased Palm. (Hmm, just had a thought. Was it pressure from M$ that caused that to go so badly?)

3
0
JDX
Gold badge

Re: Microsoft have come a LONG way in a short time

Yawn WP7.5 UI is pretty nice. I've got a phone using it AND an iOS device so I am actually entitled to compare unlike most here (Android I cannot comment on as I never used anything newer than 2.x)

2
3
WTF?

Re: Grumpy old codgers

HMB,

Your post was readable and your point acceptable until you said

"IE9 on Windows Phone & is compelling".

You've lost all credibility right there i am afraid. Internet explorer is the work of the devil on any plateform.

2
2
HMB

Re: Grumpy old codgers

@Philippe

I've had to code websites for IE6, so before I start, I want you to understand that I know your pain.

However... times have changed...

If Microsoft bought up the codebase to firefox and renamed the product "Internet Explorer", just hypothetically, would your head explode?

I know Microsoft have a shady history with Internet Explorer, but I've paid a lot of attention to the latest cutting edge CSS3 and HTML5 and IE9 has some of the finest, highest quality implementations of things I've seen. You only have to look through Microsoft's IE Test drive site to see examples of where they've really thought about how to do a good job.

Flickr Postcards Demo - this is a demo that does a good job of showing what I mean. It's standards based and Chrome STILL* has issues with it. IE9 does it very well. Aliasing artefacts, resolution loss on css scaling transforms, inconsistent font rendering & incorrect Z-Order are just some of the problems this page can cause in big browsers.

On a phone I found IE9 very, very smooth to use and everything worked well.

*I think the page has been up for a couple of years or so now.

2
1
Coat

Re: won more design awards than any other phone OS

So, its won more design awards than the UI of phones people actually buy instead?

That, ladies & Gentlemen, boys & girls, tells you everything about 'design awards' that you will ever need to know

2
0
HMB

Re: Microsoft have come a LONG way in a short time

@Robert E A Harvey

"short time? short?"

Windows Mobile 6.5 was still hideous in 2009. Windows Phone 7 in 2010 was a huge improvement. Ergo, long space in short time.

"Windows CE was god awful.

was? is! a lot of people are stuck with it on embedded systems, with no sign of a future."

In the context of phone use I think what I said was fair. How many people are "stuck" with Windows Mobile on their contract phone?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Microsoft have come a LONG way in a short time

> Windows Phone 7 in 2010 was a huge improvement.

> Windows CE was god awful.

WP7 was still CE, which is why it was still awful.

http://wmpoweruser.com/microsoft-finally-confirms-windows-phone-7-runs-on-windows-ce-7/

2
0
Bronze badge
Facepalm

The wheel turns 'round and 'round again...

there have been persistent rumors that Redmond might have its own handset on display

And so the world goes on its natural way, as Microsoft gets ready to screw yet another "partner" who made the fatal mistake of tying its fortunes to Redmond's goodwill.

Really, who'd think this could end any other way?

RIP Nokia, should have found your balls and gone it alone (or adopted Android) rather than outsourcing your future to MS.

5
4
JDX
Gold badge

Re: The wheel turns 'round and 'round again...

You don't even know it's not Nokia making the own-brand phone.

2
1
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Re: The wheel turns 'round and 'round again...

You don't even know it's not Nokia making the own-brand phone.

Yes, you're right.

And if Nokia has sunk so deep that manufacturing hardware to brands other than its own looks like a good idea, then it's as good as dead.

Which kind of proves my point.

0
0
Windows

Price Price Price

Here on dear old El Reg we look at the detail & even slug that out in the comments most consumers will just look at the headline features & the price.

IF they are right and the popular press is not too negative it will sell and sell well.

Nice & shining and yes it does Facebook & text...

1
1
Bronze badge
Devil

Re: Price Price Price

Problem is, many in the press have already decided Microsoft's mobile offerings will fail, and don't look forward to changing their opinions regardless of the facts – not when talking up disaster is this much fun.

It's not that I think they're wrong – Windows 8 could crash, burn and leave a hole in the ground for all that I care – but even if Windows 8 really is good, it won't be easy to clean up all the bad rep Microsoft got since they canned Windows Mobile 6.5.

So good luck to Redmond and their victims partners, they'll be sure to need it.

0
0
Go

Am I the only one...

...looking forward to the release of WP8? I'm a current iP4 user. Love the phone, contract up in less than 6 months time but fancy a change because something about the iP5 doesn't catch my eye. Doesn't seem as well built as the iP4 and the mapgate stuff annoys me.

I'm a huge supporter of Apple products, but the iP5 for me feels like a start a small downhill course. Especially the disappointment of iOS6.

I'll wait until I get my hands on a WP8 device (especially the Nokia Lumia 920) before I make my mind up. Android is a no, no. Blackberry is a maybe depending if they can get their arse into gear with BB10. Big shame WP7/7.5 users are left in the dust, but maybe WP8 can move on from the old WinCE crap.

4
1
HMB

Re: Am I the only one...

Genuinely interested....

Why not Android? I do hope the fandroids haven't turned you off it :)

I think Windows Phone 8 could be very interesting, looking forward to finding out more about it.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Am I the only one...

Probably because of people like you. Any story about a mobile OS be it iOS, WP or anything else and there's a bunch of fandroids posting lots of crap about Android and how everything should use Android, how Android is the best, how Android lets you do what you want, how you install a version of Android that some bloke you don't know on a forum built for you.

I've actually heard about people being employed by Google to just post negative comments on anything non-Android and I can believe it.

Don't you get it? some people just don't want the same thing as the masses. We don't all want to drive a Ford or a Vauhall, no matter how many buttons it has.

3
5

Re: Am I the only one...

As an blackberry user (ish I use an android backup phone for the fun stuff) just I got used to the keyboard on the bb for fast calendar input

I sold me HTC one x to get the moto razr maxx

I am actually typeing this on nokia 800 (tempory) now for the most part it is good every thing is smooth running, but key apps need work (Facebook eBay twitter, even your own the register app need fixing as you can't reply on top of reply on the win phone app and if an currant reply is to long it gets cut off with empty space ) offer issue that still needs fixing is the browser messing with text size (that bug has been there from day one wp7 was released ) it happen on this page now 2-3 of the posts text size is like font size 2 there is no opera mini for wp7 as well

Do not see how wp8 is going to fix apps that are not getting any love (if they are even on the market in the first place)

1
0

Re: Am I the only one...

No.

I posted similar elsewhere also, but here seems more appropriate

My iPhone 4 became so unreliable last week, I needed a new handset immediately - and bought one of the Lumia 800's at their new knockdown price (running WinPhone 7.5).

It's incredibly good. Especially for £150!

1
2
Thumb Up

Re: Am I the only one...

Nope, your not alone... Ive had iphones since the 3g came out and im sick and tired of the things... they are so commonplace, so samey and well, there is nothing overly new about them... not that id want to spend money on anyway!

Im waiting to get my hands on a 920 as that really seems to be a little different... I have a couple of people that have WM7.5 phones and they love the tiles and im getting used to them on Win8 preview.

Ive tried android - I have an android tab, whilst I like it, it feels like every Linux distro ive tried - unfinished...

Roll on the release... If only I could get a pre order in!!!!

1
3
Anonymous Coward

Meh

Windows Phone is a dead platform...

Perhaps it's a public flogging that's occurring at the end of October?

3
5

We're due new phones at work and we've had a poll round the office to see who wants to go iPhone 5 or Windows Phone. Can't use Android because of security and it's pish for enterprise. It's split, but so far the vast majority are leaning towards Windows 8 because we like the OS, like the integration and we think the Nokia and HTC phones offer something different. I still think Nokia has absolutely made the right choice of going with MS, technology is cyclical and more people are turning away from Apple.

3
4
Go

Trying not to sound too much like an apologist here...

But I'm hoping WP8 turns out to be decent. I've been on Android for the last 5 years, and it's been constantly improving - I doubt I'd move away from it in the future, and plan on getting the next nexus - but having an extra hat in the ring is always nice to see; not to mention one that has the combined might (perhaps not the best word... "legacy?" "history?" "dusty old trophy cabinet?") of Nokia and MS behind it.

I've no doubt that WP8 will have it's flaws like any other new OS, but having spent some time with a friend's WP7, the UI is definately slick and user friendly - I'd say it would sit somewhere between Android and iOS in terms of customisability (although that's a pretty massive gap to put yourself in, TBH) and the same in terms of user friendliness. Live tiles are functional, they present information you want to see - the UI takes getting used to, but I sincerely doubt WP8 is deserving of being written off before it hits the shop floor.

Looking forward to the reviews.

2
1
Silver badge

Re: Trying not to sound too much like an apologist here...

Why does someone who likes an WP8 have to explain that they're not an apologist? People can like what they like - the world can take it. ;)

3
2
Silver badge
Gimp

Re: Trying not to sound too much like an apologist here...

h4rm0ny - evidently that downvoter you got can't take it. I'd make a snide remark about them obviously being a die-hard fanboy of some other platform, but it's too easy.

2
0

Service pack #2

Usually Microsoft's latest OS takes a couple of service packs before they get it right. With WP8, it's such a dramatic change internally I expect that there are going to be quite a few teething problems.

Of course, someone will point out how much testing it has gotten, but Vista was heavily tested, too.

3
1
Bronze badge

Re: Service pack #2

So was WP7, and I think mine's frozen only once ever in 18 months. Flawless patch rollouts for me as well.

Can't say I exactly love any of the revealed WP8 phones so far - I think I'd like an expensive hybrid with the best features from each - but WP7 has been an extremely solid companion for 18 months. My wife's a convert; she can't wait to switch to it.

1
1
Silver badge

Paucity of apps?

The Windows store passed the 100,000 apps mark earlier this Summer, I don't know how many duplicates and rip-offs of each other an app market requires, but I don't see how most people can need or use even a hundredth of that number. And that number was just reached with Windows Phone 7. We're about to see Win8 rolling out on the majority of new PCs, Win8 tablets, a big pushing of WP8 by AT&T (and the phones look really good, lots of people will want these). You're even going to be able to deploy apps on Xboxes. So in addition to "paucity of apps" translating to over a hundred thousand already available, there are going to be a tonne of new ones as developers try to get in early.

Also, must the Reg repeat any rumour no matter how ridiculous? First it was the stupid low price of the SurfaceRT which all stemmed from one single anonymous source with no corroboration. Now it's this notion that MS might unveil their own phone hardware. That particular rumour came from someone (anonymous again), saying that MS had considered the possibility of doing this at a later date. But by the time it reaches the Reg it's become something they actually report seriously as MS might unveil one at an event this month. Ridiculous reporting.

1
2

Re: Paucity of apps?

Let's see what the event has to offer. We already know WP8 is coming, the initial uptake of devices is pretty much there for the first push... maybe M$ has a further surprise in store? I won't discount rumours, but it would be a miracle if M$ actually kept it quiet, announced it, and then released it 2 weeks later. But I agree, it's a ridiculous claim just to whip up the WP8 storm surrounding a very lumpy and disappointing iP5 release (regardless of its sales).

M$ must surely understand the principle of dedicated platforms (i.e. XBox), although they've been involved in a very testy gaming market a lot recently.

Maybe WP8 will silence the critics this time. That's my biggest hope so we don't lose Nokia for the eternity. I've always wanted a Nokia phone again and I'm hoping the 920 is up to the challenge.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Paucity of apps?

Good points, it-slayer, but I find it really hard to take seriously anyone who uses 'M$'.

0
0
WTF?

Vitriol

Has anyone here even tried Windows Phone?

My iPhone 4 became so unreliable last week, I needed a new handset immediately - and bought one of the Lumia 800's at their new knockdown price (running WinPhone 7.5)

It's incredibly good to use. Beats the pants off my iPhone and my wife's Galaxy S3 in terms of usability.

3
3
HMB

Re: Vitriol

Hi JustinST,

Don't take it personally! There are some very childish commenters in amongst some fairly adult and intelligent ones.

Anyone who downvotes you for saying you found something good to use, well you don't have to be a genius to work that one out. It wouldn't surprise me if a fair proportion of those people haven't really used the OS either.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Vitriol

It probably beats an iPhone in usability, but if you seriously think it's better than an S3, then I doubt you've actually tried one yourself.

0
0
Thumb Up

The 920 looks good actually...

Apple jumped ahead with a quantum leap in smart-phone usability and build quality. Now the other manufacturers have caught up or exceeded them (still think the iPhone 4 is the best phone to hold) other differentiators will start to have an effect.

I think that's where Nokia can build on its traditional strengths - good reception, great cameras and bullet-proof build quality.

I'm 6 months away from the end of my contact but a 920 may be on the cards.

2
1
FAIL

Re: The 920 looks good actually...

That's assuming Nokia is still around in 6 months.

2
2
Silver badge
Meh

Compatibility...

As long as MS can make good on their promise that WP7.n apps will run on WP8, they've got a fighting chance. However, if they can't, they're stuffed, especially with no SDK apart from the select few and no further development of XNA on the games front.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums