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back to article BlackBerry: Aaah, Microsoft, we meet again.. for another deathmatch

What is it with technology giants plonking award-winning pop vixens into top jobs to tout their new gear? Are they a mere distraction or underrated business executives? RIM, sorry, BlackBerry made Grammy-winning singer Alicia Keys its global creative director for its BlackBerry OS 10 launch along with two new mobes. According …

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Devil

What does Baron Harkonnen want with Alicia Key's head??

Very bad images spring to mind.

> If you want a lesion in history, look to the decline and fall of Novell, Borland and Palm.

A lesson should do, no need to increase scar tissue mass.

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FAIL

No offence but

This is a very basic misunderstanding of English. If there is a race between, say, me and my brother and Usain Bolt comes along, is he not " in absolute good shape in order to be a very strong third runner," in that race?

It doesn't mean he will come third or that he expects to come third - it means Ballmer saw the smartphone race for major market share as coming down to iOS, Android and one other system (in his belief, Win Pho 8). Being the third contestant != coming third.

I'm not debating the pros or cons of the various systems nor the likelihood of Ballmer's expectations coming true, I'm just tired of people misinterpreting what he said as statement that he thinks MS will come third (and frankly, from what I know about Ballmer, do you really believe he would think that, regardless?)

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Re: No offence but

Why would Ballmer want WP8 to be "a very strong third ecosystem"? Because there's already a first and second...

If he thought that WP8 stood a chance of being the Bolt of mobile operating systems and surprising everyone coming first I'm sure he would have said, he's not exactly the shy and retiring type.

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@bolccg Re: "do you really believe he would think that, regardless?"

No, and if he did he most certainly would not say it out loud. However "Commentard space" is a rough place rather like the business world it self. You will often see commentards posting on any thread that covers the Surface that SB said that they were going to sell millions. He did not. He said that he thought that they would sell "a few million" (I quote him verbatim). That however does not stop the usual suspects "misunderstanding" what he said.

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Actual smartphone OS sales figures Q3 2012

[Place]) [Q3 sales] [Q3 market share] [Q2 market share] [OS]

1) 121.2M 70.7% 66.9% Android

2) 26.9M 15.7% 17.0% iOS

3) 7.4M 4.3% 5.1% Blackberry

4) 5.2M 3.0% 2.7% bada

5) 3.4M 2.0% 3.3% Symbian

6) 3.3M 1.9% 3.0% Windows

*) 4.0M 2.3 %1.1% others

Source: TomiAhonen

The Q4 figures are not complete and they are by manufacturer, not OS. Slightly oversimplified: iOS=Apple, RIM=Blackberry, (Symbian+Windows)=Nokia, (Android+Bada+Others)=(Everyone else).

1) ~63.7M 28.9% Samsung

2) 47.8M 21.7% Apple

3) ~20M 9.1% Huawei

4) 12.5M 5.7% ZTE

5≈) ~10.5M 4.8% Sony

..... 9.8M 4.5% Lenovo

7) 8.6M 3.9% LG

8) 7.0M 3.2% HTC

9) 6.9M 3.1% RIM

10≈) 6.6M 3% Nokia

........ 6.6M 3% Yulong/Coolpad

Android is selling, and the manufactures have no good reason to stop selling what their customers are buying. It is possible that the manufactures will fall out with Google. They have already fallen out with Microsoft, they are not getting their hands on iOS, so the obvious candidate to replace Android is Tizen/Jolla/(The next name for Linux on a phone). Pretend this actually happens and the Android market share gets split into Android + 2 Linux distributions. There is still enough market share for all three to beat iOS, and put Windows down two places.

I think iOS is staying in the top three despite Apple's claims in court that they need injunctions to prevent their customers going elsewhere.

Next up we have Blackberry. Microsoft might like to think they are a top three contender, but they are not in even fourth place. Their battle is not against Blackberry yet.

Bada is Samsung's other OS. I think they are keeping it in case Google starts charging for Android. Its obvious competitor is Tizen. Samsung might decide to keep only one of those two, but they can afford to maintain both. Windows would have to gain market share to beat one of these. In reality, Tizen will go on sale in 2013, and Windows could easily drop one position.

Nokia have set fire to Symbian. I am amazed that Elop did not find a way to push sales down another 100K in Q3 so Windows could come 5th. He did restrict manufacture and sales of Maemo. Without that strange choice, Windows would have been 7th. Maemo is dead, but the developers have banded together after being shoved out of Nokia. Maemo will become Jolla and could become another competitor for Windows.

So Windows was in 6th place in Q3, probably remained static in a growing market in Q4, might beat Symbian in 2013 but is likely to be overtaken by at least one other. Ballmer can say "good shape in order to be a very strong third ecosystem in the smart phone world" as much has he likes, but 5th is a realistic hope and 7th is just as likely.

Back to the article: I liked Max Guevara and Susan Storm, but neither could convince me to want a Windows phone. I had to ask wakipedia who Alicia Keys is, but that does not matter because I am a penguin and will wait for Tizen/Jolla/Whatever before I make a purchase decision.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Actual smartphone OS sales figures Q3 2012

Many people buy smart-phones but have no need for them or know how to use them.

I have bought phones in the past because I liked the style of the flip phone and it just happened to run Symbian S60. A lot of the low cost phones are running Android but the reason people are buying the phones are because of price and not whether they particularly like or need the Android OS.

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Anonymous Coward

People don't need them? So what?

The battle for smartphone OS market share has very little to do with which OS is "better", or who makes the OS, or whether the consumer "needs" it. Regardless of what Microsoft might wish reality to be, if mobile phone manufacturers manage to convince consumers to buy their phones running Android, those are sales that are lost to Microsoft. And any modern phone is running some OS or another, whether you call it a smartphone or not.

iPhone buyers rarely care that their phone is running iOS; rather that it's shiny, that it (still) has some prestige associated with it, and that it does what they've been told they need to do with a smartphone. Buyers of phones running Android mostly don't know or care what OS their phones are running, and often are buying the phones with much more utilitarian goals in mind. Microsoft wants to run in the former space, but can't really compete with "shiny" and Apple prestige. Being neither fish nor fowl, they're clearly struggling to find someone in the consumer market to give them the time of day.

Microsoft used to be competitive in the enterprise market, but RIM overtook them there. And since Microsoft doesn't seem to paying much attention to that (shrinking) niche, Blackberry has a good shot at holding onto it and even growing it. In this age of BYOD, you'd think that Microsoft would try to provide features in Windows Phone that would allow it to integrate into Windows enterprise infrastructure in ways that iOS, Android, and Blackberry can't; but so far they seem to be missing the plot there, too.

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Mushroom

Re: Actual smartphone OS sales figures Q3 2012

A nice lot of Guff, but Q3 was before the launch of WP8.

Windows Phone is already the #3 vendors by sales:

http://wmpoweruser.com/windows-phone-on-track-for-a-7-million-sales-in-q4-2012/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People don't need them? So what?

AC, Windows Phone already integrates directly into enterprise infrastructures like Exchange and can be managed via SCCM.

Microsoft recently launched initiatives around this with Avanade and a number of others.

Blackberry is dying a slow death in the enterprise due to having to pay the tax for it's network and the cost of the extra servers and licences required....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Actual smartphone OS sales figures Q3 2012

OK, so WP8 was #3 by sales in Q4. But it has a ways to go before it reaches #3 in market share. And that was before the launch of BB10, so *nobody* was buying Blackberries. This article is about what happens now that Blackberry has released *their* new OS.

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Cut the "Give MS a chance" bollocks

There are many people thinking that Microsoft should be given a chance to prove themselves with W8 and catch up.

These people forget that W8 is not Microsoft's entry into this market place. MS have been making smart phone OSs since 2001 (ie. almost 12 years).

That is double the time Apple has been in the business and and nearly triple the time Google has been in the business.

Microsoft does not need time to be competitive, it needs to race with other intellectually disabled companies.

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Re: People don't need them? So what?

@AC 19:29 GMT - "AC, Windows Phone already integrates directly into enterprise infrastructures like Exchange and can be managed via SCCM."

And Blackberry can run some Android apps.

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Meh

Most tech mags and reviews are West based

You should remember that Blackberry and Nokia are big in well defined overseas non-Western markets, predominantly Indochina and Africa. Our needs are different. I don't include HSBC-CA in this advanced group as I was informed I would need MS Internet Explorer to use my account - they don't do Firefox, Opera, Chrome or anything.

Whilst handset bonking might be growing in popularity in the West, we are only just getting plastic with embedded chips. A HSBC subsidiary has foisted it's crapware 'SecureKey' on to it's subsidiary and they have all sorts of 'issues'. How do you educate an agrarian population out in the sticks?

Battery life is of prime interest as if you are toiling away in the back 100 (acres/hectares) you want something that has a long life. Ditto Africa where payments/transfers are a major business business/ daily life need.

Th abysmal showing by Apple simply underlines that one fits all doesn't work. China needs multiple SIMs, one handset I picked up there has the capacity for FOUR hot SIMs.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Most tech mags and reviews are West based

Has any operator ever stocked a multi-SIM phone in a major market?

Serious question.

I carry two phones because I need concurrently active connections to different operators (don't ask why, I just do). I have looked at dual-SIM phones and those I saw were pretty primitive. Sadly, I don't think we will see the latest "shiny" from any player with dual-SIM being subsidised by carriers, it's not in their interests, and the handset manufacturers won't make main-stream devices multi-SIM because that would jeopardise their carrier relationhips.

Paris: guess...

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Boffin

Re: Most tech mags and reviews are West based

Why would you ever need 4 active sim cards at once? Serious question. I can see the benefits of 2 in situations of bad carrier overlap, but 4? Really?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Most tech mags and reviews are West based

"... need 4 active sim cards at once"

OK. You need to have a limited fantasy not to see it, so here goes.

I have a friend, who travels all over Asia for his job. A week here, a week there. He hits 10 or more countries throughout the year. No one wants a contract in 10 countries and no-one wants to pay roaming charges (look up what they cost sometime). The solution is PAYG (or similarly cheap) cards in each country. That's why carriers don't like them! They want you to roam - where both carriers make out like bandits.

The OP was right. Most westerners and western journalists, and Americans in particular, are so totally clueless how the other 6.5 billion people live it is ridiculous.

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WTF?

Re: Indochina

I'd like to send this letter to the Prussian consulate in Siam by aeromail. Am I too late for the 4:30 autogyro?

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Re: Philip Lewis

-1 for a very tasteless joke.

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Linux

The Mother

Microsoft is first and foremost a software company, with a very large bank account and have no absolute requirement to succeed.

Rim Blackberry is a Phone manufactuer, with a comparitively minor bank account, who will end up closing its doors if it doesn't succeed.

I put my money on Blackberry as "Necessity is the mother of invention".

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Mushroom

Re: The Mother

I put my money on Microsoft as they have an Eco system like Apple and to an extent Google. Blackberry simply don't.

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Re: The Mother

@Vogon

I agree that MS and Apple's eco system are capable of succeeding where most cannot.

Blackberry do already have an established userbase though and they also have the backing of business, government and institutions that require a minimum of security.

Blackberry are not a newcomer, although they have lost out to the public at large, and I believe that they should enforce their existing strong points before branching out into shaky territory. Neither Apple, MS or Google have "secure" services, this if anything is definately a BB stronghold, If they can re-succeed within the business market they will continue to survive.

If they can't hold on to the business market though, they will sign their own deaths. This would be unfortunate because it keeps the others on their toes, which is good for us the consumer.

I would like to see them open up BES in order that other platforms can easilly connect...

It is definately not going to be a smooth ride for them though.

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Windows

Re: The Mother

"Microsoft is first and foremost a software company"

Don't you watch the quarterly reports? Microsoft is a "devices and services" company now. The CEO said so.

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Happy

Re: The Mother

Lol, that description is so vague that they could be reponsable for making the next Lunar Space Rocket and also for providing the cleaning service that goes with it....

[Must admit, reading MS quarterly reports is not one of my pasttimes.......]

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Headmaster

Re: The Mother

@Khaptain

I seem to recall you stating that you're a native Francophone, so slack is required on spelling. However..

"definately" is an abomination, one you probably picked up from illiterate Anglophones on the internet.

It's "definitely", root word "finite". Pas difficile, parce que c'est comme "fini".

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Re: The Mother

Cher Dogged,

Mea culpa, je vous présente mes sincères excuses.

( PS : I am not actually a Francophone, it's just that French is the language I use at work - El Reg is about the only thing that I actually read in English nowadays - Except for the usual admin stuff - I have now reinstalled ieSpell - Hangs head down a walks away slowly)

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WTF?

Re: The Mother

Windows Phone 8 has what...? Eco-wha...???

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WTF?

"Before Apple and Google's Android rocked up with games and 69p apps, the smartphone existed as a serious business device for serious business types. That market was owned by RIM and any suits denied a BlackBerry on expenses got stuck with a Windows Mobile phone instead."

The pre-iPhone smartphone market (and indeed, a large amount of the post-iPhone smartphone market until the rise of Android) was owned by Nokia.

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Anonymous Coward

@hypnotist

indeed, until Elop decided that 120m+ phones a year wasn't worth building upon.

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Samsung+Android own the Smartphone market?

"Windows Phone and Blackberry need to crack a market owned by Samsung and Android, which are selling the most because they are popular"

I think Apple could give you a few hundred million reasons why the smartphone market is NOT owned by Samsung & Android. Should surely read "...market owned by Apple & Android"?

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Anonymous Coward

@Lord Elpuss and the article

Should surely read "...market owned by Apple & and a plethora of companies selling Android based handsets"?

Apple = Company

Android = OS

OS != Comapny

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Re: @Lord Elpuss and the article

So perhaps iOS and Android is perhaps a better description - but as iOS is strictly an Apple product, saying Apple & Android is (just about) excusable.

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Actually, it is Samsung, Apple, then everyone else.

See Tomi Ahonen's blog post from last Thursday:

http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/01/q4-results-and-other-notes-from-smartphone-bloodbath-lg-lenovo-etc.html

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Thumb Up

Re: Actually, it is Samsung, Apple, then everyone else.

Interesting article, thanks for the link!

I missed the story that RIM dropped their name and is now "Blackberry". Rearranging the deck chairs, anyone?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Lord Elpuss and the article

intentionally misunderstood methinks.

Apple v. Samsung v Google v LG v HTC v Nokia ...

Geddit?

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Apparently WinPho 8 phones are being returned in large numbers

I had dinner recently with a manager from one of the big UK mobile companies and I asked about how well WinPho 8 was selling. He said that they are being returned in large numbers - I asked why and he said the reason was that they were slowing up over weeks to the extent that customers were returning them. I should have asked for some more details but we had other stuff to catch up on so that's all I heard. I can't find much on the web about this - but there are lots of reports of ongoing bugginess and problems with WinPho 8 phones - and maybe the update has caused problems as well.

http://wmpoweruser.com/any-issues-after-the-nokia-lumia-920-windows-phone-8-update/

Also, I had to spend days in mobile phone shops recently and asked a business consultant about the WinPho 8 phones. He said they don't even want to sell the HTC WinPho 8's due to problems with them - would not want to sell one even if asked. He did say he wanted to get a WinPho 8 phone himself but I smelt an attempt to sell one to me - so it may be that they've been offered significant bonuses to shift them.

So, I think the decider will be this - if BlackBerry OS 10 is rock solid and does not have WinPho 8 type problems such as:

* Random restarts/shutdowns/starts

* Poor WiFi - seen that myself - my friends WinPho 8 phone couldn't even see the WiFi networks my Android could.

* Fluctuating screen brightness

* Faulty proximity sensor

* Bluetooth issues

then BB10 has a chance. Also, it's about the interface. On Android (don't have iPhone) I can set different screen up with different apps - and can choose between nice widgets on the display. WinPho 8 seems stuck with a really basic tiles setup which only allows for one 'screen' - and no widgets. I don't know what BB10 has to offer but if it is a better interface then that would help it.

Finally, it's about Long Term Support. If BB can assure business users that BB10 will be supported for a long term then this would help it. MS have bad form in this area what with WinPho 7 etc. What's to say that if Windows 8 bombs as badly as Vista that MS won't drop WinPho 8 in preference to a Windows Phone version which is a partner to Windows 9.

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Anonymous Coward

Agreed.

In the desktop computing space, the only market that has any respect for Microsoft is the business office. With RIM stumbling, Microsoft had an opportunity in Windows Phone 8 to overtake Blackberry by getting taken seriously in the enterprise market. But all Ballmer can see is "shiny", and he wants to compete with Apple in a space where consumers' perception of Windows ranges from neutral to actively hostile, without offering anything that they can't get from the iPhone (the safe choice). Since they can't compete with Android on cost, WTF is Ballmer's strategy, anyway?

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Re: Agreed.

Thanks.

I've just had a look on Youtube and BB10 is looking very good indeed - sorta like Android on steroids - but hopefully still simple enough to use.

This is probably a big opportunity for Blackberry. It's not my area but I would have thought that Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) would be a good choice for enterprise to add on to their Exchange servers. That way they can have enterprise level email, messaging, security etc on a phone that their staff are going to like.

The fact that BES also connects to Groupwise and Google Apps makes it quite a contender. And Groupwise can run on Linux as well which cuts out MS altogether - this is must be what worries MS. If enterprises decide to go with Blackberry for their company phones then they will look long and hard at what to run BES on - and realise that there is competition in this space and that they don't have to choose MS.

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Pirate

Captain Blackberry sez..

...damn those scurvy witchcrafts of pie ingredients, portholes, and gears!

A proper pirate needs secure songs of booty, women (not mutually exclusive), and berry wine, not mad seagulls, head decking, and greasy monstrosities...

AAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRR!

;)

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Windows

Don't count the notches so fast

I'll give you Novell. Microsoft hit enterprises really hard to "get the red out" (we actually had a corporate project named that), though it was also partly Novell becoming stagnant and having crappy net drivers that made us WANT to get rid of 'em.

Borland - it seems to me that Philipe Kahn ate Microsoft's lunch for precisely as long as he wanted to, then he went on to something else. I don't think he has any regrets at ALL, more power to him.

Palm - meh, the rise of smartphones in general (especially the rise of Handspring, which out palmed-Palm) was the end of that company. And I don't see microsoft filling that niche in the slightest (well, 5% is a bit slightest), so if they did kill them, they certainly didn't capitalize on it.

Outside of the desktop OS and Office, Microsoft really isn't all that dominant (xboxers, SHUT UP), and both of those aren't a foregone conclusion either. The company does have some chops - while I don't particularly make much use for their server OS, it's actually pretty damn decent, and I don't feel terrible when I have to support one. Windows 7 is a very solid OS (tried 8, gonna skip it like Vista), and office, for all it's interface weirdness, is mostly a masterpiece (especially Excel - no serious competition for people who actually use spreadsheets for a living). These are profitable platforms in the long term - I think they need to stick with those and dump the mobile platform, it's only using up oxygen.

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Paris Hilton

Is this sarcasm?

“When a tech company trots out an ‘official celebrity endorser' you know they are spending their money wisely,”

I can't tell if this is sarcasm or not. This strategy worked very well for Apple with Steve Jobs.

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Re: Is this sarcasm?

and Nespresso!

I don't know what they pay George Clooney, but it works. The coffe's not bad either (which helps), but out of my price range.

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By now...

I'm betting that MS has a worse standing than Blackberry by now.

- BB10 has the FIPS 140-2 certification, so they get to keep US Gov contracts, and have an edge over the fruity phone which lacks this cert, and WinPhone8 possibly lacks this as well, given that WP7 lacks it.

- MS has a thing on abandoning mobile platforms. Just ask anyone who used Windows CE before it "morphed" into WinMo. Or those who developed for WinMo. Then more recently the WinPhone7 OS. By now, betting on WinPhone8 would be like betting on a Pinto not catching fire.

- BB10 had something of a "beta" version in the form of the PlayBook OS. So there are already developers familiar with it.

- BB10's QNX legacy means it has features that no other OS has, like being able to share stuff between same devices (check out PlayBook Confetti)

- As the article mentioned, a pretty large user base still remains hooked to BBM.

So maybe BB does have a chance to overtake MS....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: By now...

"...would be like betting on a Pinto not catching fire."

To be fait, didn't you have to have a crash before they burst into flames?

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Anonymous Coward

BB overtake MS?

Blackberry market share is already *way* ahead of Windows Phone (4.3% vs. 1.9% in Q3). Otherwise, your points are entirely valid (I'll give you an upvote for that), and an opportunity for Blackberry to start catching up with iOS.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BB overtake MS?

WP already overtook BB in sales during Q4 after the launch of Windows Phone 8, and Nokia's roll out to many new markets including China and India

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Anonymous Coward

Re: By now...

Windows Phone 8 is already FIPS 140-2 compliant and is undergoing certification at the moment so no real difference there between WP and BB:

http://www.mobilejaw.com/articles/2012/08/understanding-the-security-changes-in-windows-phone-8/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BB overtake MS?

Yes, Q4 WP sales were much larger than BB in the same quarter. But WP has *not* yet overtaken BB in global market share.

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FIPS certification

"At this point, the on device encryption is not certified, but that is coming – Microsoft has stated that they are looking to get the encryption FIPS certified."

Meanwhile, the WP8 devices can't be sold to Gov't. Even WP7 isn't certified, which speaks a lot of how much MS cares about these certs.

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Re: FIPS certification

WP7 isn't certified because it never had on-device encryption. On first release, MS said "that's in the next update" and kept saying it until WP8.

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Paris Hilton

Celebrities like to rub shoulders with shiny tech?

<--This Post is endorsed by Paris. Or it might have been if I could afford her fees.

Celebrities like to rub shoulders with... money.

Which is why celebrity endorsement is empty crap that doesn't fool anyone with a mental age of over eleven.

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