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back to article Nokia's Elopocalypse two years on: Has Microsoft kept its side of the bargain?

It's two years since the "Elopocalypse". This week in 2011 Nokia's new CEO Stephen Elop set Europe's biggest technology company off in a radical new direction. Nokia would license its flagship phone software from Microsoft, rather than develop its own, set fire to three of its own mobile platforms, and eventually shed thousands …

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Hmmm

I just bought a Lumia 820 last weekend and I'm quite pleased with it so far. The interface is fast and responsive. and the phone itself has a pleasing solidity that's been lacking in my previous handsets. More applications need to take advantage of the Live Tile feature though. I understand Live tile is supposed to function in a similar fashion to widgets in Android but aside from providing shortcuts, they don't seem to offer much else. I'm still getting used to the phone so I might have missed something.

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Stop

Re: Hmmm

Stick a 32GB class 10 SD into it and sync some music to it and watch it all go to fuck, probably requiring a factory reset to get into some state of normality. I suffered that on several occasions with both a Samsung and Sandisk micro SD, and that occurred with both with the shipped and the 'portico' update.

The whole Xbox music thing is an utter mess and completely unfit for purpose. The syncing applications are a load of shit. The micro SDcard support doesn't work with commodity class 10 cards and every now and again the mobile baseband will hang causing texts and calls not to get through. All documented issues on the Nokia support forums too, so definitely not an isolated case of bad hardware.

Those are the main reasons why I sold my 820, that and of course the complete lack of app traction.

The OS simply isn't ready. It needs a lot more work to bring it up to standard. It's been rushed, it feels rushed and it acts rushed. Which is a pity, because I was waiting for it a long time to replace my WP7 device.

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Re: Hmmm

Live tiles haven't really worked so far. At least as a user of Win Pho 7. Because apps weren't really multi-tasking, they weren't really allowed to do the clever stuff. So, for example, my weather app would update its live tile when I looked at it, but it never seemed to manage to do it again until I ran the app again. Whereas what could be simpler than a weather app that shows you the picture of today's forecast? Not that iOS can do it either... The people hub could keep changing, showing bits of photos, but only if you were plugged into Facebook and got your phone filled up with all the pointless Facebook chatter. No, I really don't care how much of a melon-farmer you've just been...

Sadly the only thing that really seemed to work well on the live tiles was badges. Which is no better than what iOS can do, and massively worse than Android's brilliant widgets. Although, none of the non-techies I know have managed to customise their widgets very much, so maybe it's not the huge advantage it ought to be? Many things frustrated me when I was on Android, but the ability to customise the phone to perfection is something I missed on Win Phone. I've just taken delivery of a work iPhone 5, and as a phone it's a step back from WP7. My trusty £130 Lumia 710 is sadly going out to pasture. As a mobile computer the iPhone is superior, but then it does cost 4 times as much...

One thing I've noticed that should worry MS and Nokia is how prominent the new Blackberries are in the phone shops. They're getting pushed in a way Windows Phone and Nokia's Lumias never did. Does this mean the phone companies are going to push Blackberry as the 3rd way (to keep Google and Apple honest)? They never seemed to have their hearts in pushing Windows Phone...

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Thumb Up

Re: Hmmm

I too have a Lumia, as do all my friends, we totally love them, they are the best phones we ever bought, we couldn't wait to sign up to all the fantastic Microsoft subscription services like Xbox Live, Zune Pass etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

The Lumias are great. And none of the Malware or reliability and performance issues of Android.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

Thants because the Sandisk SD cards have a big problem - Amazon have had thousands returned. Get a Samsung - works fine for me....No issues at all.

Xbox music is also great - just stream whatever you want whenever you want - no need to worry about 'if it is in your collection' etc.

The phone itself automatically syncs everything to Skydrive without issue.

All in all a very polished experience.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

"I too have a Lumia, as do all my friends...."

You really must remember to use the joke icon !

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Re: Hmmm

Thants because the Sandisk SD cards have a big problem - Amazon have had thousands returned. Get a Samsung - works fine for me....No issues at all.

Do you have a source for this, because it sounds a bit as though you are trying to shift the blame - he said he also tried a Samsung SD card which also went to fuck, so it doesn't sound like it's a card specific issue (and I've not heard of any problems with Sandisk cards from Amazon).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

Just read the feedback on Amazon....

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@Microsoft 5636771

"1 post • joined Thursday 14th February 2013 12:28 GMT"

I think someone with a sense of humour is having a complicated joke here...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

Just read the feedback on Amazon....

So no source then, otherwise I'm sure you'd have provided a direct link.

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Happy

"make its phone OS its priority number one (and two and three)"

They can't. If they really want one overarching platform they need to unify Windows 8, Win RT, and WP. But as the Win RT is tanking, Windows 8 is getting slated, and the priority for WP is probably featuring matching BB10 instead of making nice APIs I can imagine internally management are like a rabbit trapped in front of the headlights and don't really know where to go from here.

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Re: "make its phone OS its priority number one (and two and three)"

Unify? Phones are a fundamentally different form factor from desktops. What works in phones, does not work on the desktop in an usable way, and vice versa. (But of course they can share a lot of low-level code underneath; I have understood this is already the case with WP8, and the same way Android and the Linux desktop distributions share the same kernel code).

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Re: "make its phone OS its priority number one (and two and three)"

"What works in phones, does not work on the desktop in an usable way"

That depends on what you mean by "what works" - if the UI, then yes, you're right. If you mean the technology stack then no. And that second one is where Microsoft should be focusing.

All three platforms (W8, WinRT, WP7 and WP8) use a declarative language (XAML) on top of an object-oriented framework (either the Windows Runtime or the .NET Framework). The languages across all platforms are C++, C#, F#, Visual Basic.NET. All there now use DirectX instead of GDI.

So XAML and languages tick the box already. What's up in the air is whether consolidating the Windows Runtime with the .NET Framework is the way to go, or unambiguously separate them into current (Windows Runtime) and legacy (.NET Framework).

XAML is the ace in the hole though - it lets you quickly skin a new presentation layer on top of an existing application and data layer, which is !almost! portable between Presentation Foundation on the desktop, Windows Runtime and Windows Phone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "make its phone OS its priority number one (and two and three)"

They are already unified. They all run the same kernel....

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Re: "make its phone OS its priority number one (and two and three)"

It's the almost part which means its not unified. You can take any technology/language/framework and one of them will be slightly different on one of the three platforms, it'll be there but you're not allowed to use it, or it'll be missing (e.g. see here).

They did a lot of behind the scenes work for WP8 but people complained that there were few visible changes from WP7. They're only about half-way there but they've got to concentrate on features instead of technology for WP8 if they don't want it to bomb.

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Re: "make its phone OS its priority number one (and two and three)"

>XAML is the ace in the hole though

Funny I have heard a lot of devs say WPF and Xaml is a giant step back from Winforms.

Here is a good article explaining why.

http://loyc-etc.blogspot.com/2011/07/why-wpf-sucks.html

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Re: "make its phone OS its priority number one (and two and three)"

Bla, bla..

What matter is the consistent API. If you don't have the same, consistent API across all platforms, you can't claim they are any compatible. Only XAML is not enough, especially because he mobile and desktop UIs are by definition different and expressing both in XAML makes no difference.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "make its phone OS its priority number one (and two and three)"

Careful. You said 'C++'. Transferable skill.

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Anonymous Coward

Still Hope for Nokia

If it adopts a platform agnostic approach.

Imagine offering, WIndows 8, Android and other platforms on its hardware. will be a surefire winner due to its quality assurance and supply side management/logisitcs pedigree.

IF possible, even revive Meego, Maego, Symbian, whatever.

This could be its last chance saloon moment and could make out to be the the biggest turnaround in its corporate history.

HTC does, Samsung does it, Huawei and LG do it, Why cant Nokia make multiple platform handsets? And if ego is the problme due to Elop at the helm, get rid of him and get someone with an open mind, having no hangups about Microsoft sugar daddy.

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Re: Still Hope for Nokia

I'd bet dollars to salmiakki that one of the requirements of Nokia's "favoured partner" agreement with Microsoft is that they remain bound tightly to WinPho for the duration of the agreement. Any move to platform agnosticism will likely result in Microsoft withdrawing their regular support payments, and probably an increase in the WinPho licensing fees as well (or at least a "warning" that they may "have to").

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JDX
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Re: Still Hope for Nokia

The article made the point that Nokia focusing on WinPho is what makes the ahndsets good. If they have to fragment their resources -which are now rather limited - they might turn out half-baked products on both sides.

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Life Support Payments

"Any move to platform agnosticism will likely result in Microsoft withdrawing their regular support payments."

If MSFT did that, NOKIA would be dead. MSFT is turning NOKIA into a heroin addict where the heroin is MSFT subsidies. The more this goes on, the more "going cold turkey" is no longer an option. At that point, NOKIA will have no choice but to become an operating division of MSFT.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Still Hope for Nokia

The licensing fees on all 10 of the Lumia handsets they have managed to sell to real punters?

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Windows

Re: Still Hope for Nokia

"I'd bet dollars to salmiakki..."

Oh, ta. I promised my daughter a couple of packs of salmiakki. Forgot. Ta muchly for the reminder...

(Salmiakki is a Finnish candy, based on licorice, that has the same effect on non-Finnish girls as eating garlic before a first date, farting during it, or requesting (same date) the Karaoke Lapland singing style of Joiku - which to me is the sound you would make if your toenails were being pulled out, one-by-one)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Still Hope for Nokia - "Android requires far fewer resources to run" - WTF?

Did you actually read the article?

Pretty much the first thing Andrew said was how surprised people were at the performance. It's well known amongst the non-haters that WP7 and WP8 are actually far *less* demanding on the hardware than Android.

I like Android (I use both Android and WP7.8), but in my own tests you need about double the cores to get Android to behave as fluidly as WP. Project Butter helps hide it, and Android isn't at all sluggish anyway on decent hardware, but you *do* need more cores (and memory) to match WP.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Still Hope for Nokia

And because Android requires far fewer resources to run, then it could be made into a lighter, more powerful phone with a smaller battery and improved battery life.

You ass, you made me spit coffee.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Still Hope for Nokia

Android requires MORE resources to run. Windows Phones are consistently faster than Android handsets on similar CPUs. Also Windows Phones can work well with less RAM than most Android devices require.

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Wet dreams of an Android fanboi

"Nokia are now enslaved to MS. But if they did make an Android, I'm pretty sure their know-how would be enough, plus Google would doubtless help them make their product a polished experience."

Yeah, sure. Apparently Nokia tried that, and Google told them that the only thing Google cares is Google. But sure, it's not enough that every phone manufacturer except Samsung rakes in huge losses with that shitware, in your opinion Nokia should have invested in the same crap as well.

"I would definitely buy a Nokia Android (especially if Nokie ditched that snake Elop), but there's not a chance in Hell I'd buy a Nokia with Windows Phone 8 on it, even if it was a good OS, due to the evil-doing of killing off Meego, Symbian etc. Contrary to myth, they were actually in a very good state before Elop came along."

No, they weren't. Had you paid any attention what happened in the industry outside of Android, you would have noticed that even the latest Symbian variant (Belle) from 2012 was still an ugly and bug-ridden mess (I still have a N8, so I do know what a pile of shit Nokia has turned it into). MeeGo was mismanaged from the start, long before Elop came to Nokia, in the Nokia typical incompetence in everything software.

"And because Android requires far fewer resources to run, then it could be made into a lighter, more powerful phone with a smaller battery and improved battery life."

What a idiot statement. Android phones are the smartphones with the shortest battery life on earth, even iPhones last longer. And you have to be really really thick to ignore that even quadcore Androids with 1+GB of RAM run like shit (and drain power and burn their users in the process) while WP 7.5 runs perfectly smooth on a lame single core and with 512MB RAM.

"But sadly, Nokia are already another MS partner that got crushed under the brontosaurus foot of MS. If they hypothetically divorce MS, then they might have a chance at another roll of the dice, like Blackberry, based on their brand."

Oh yeah, because Blackberry is doing so well, right? I mean, it's not that they are in a far worse situation than Nokia has ever been, or that large customers are still dropping them even after they brought out their new Z10. But yeah, why should Nokia make money with Windows Phones when they could actually continue to rake in huge losses like Blackberry does.

Idiot fanbois.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Still Hope for Nokia

Most of the "know how" Nokia possessed has been fired.

To destroy an engineering company, you start by firing the engineers as a cost saving measure.

Nokia is toast, despite the Asha range being quite spiffy at the low end and selling well. In the end, they die.

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Facepalm

Re: ELOP FAIL

Yes, because watching a smartphone OS, any of them, crash and die can only mean more choices for the customer, right? Because if Win Phone fails, we can always go back to Symbian (nope), Palm OS (guess not), Psion (I wish!) or Meego as alternatives to Android or iOS. Perhaps you'll be cheering loudly if BB10 bites the bullet too?

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Mushroom

Re: ELOP FAIL

Oh, what the hell, let's do this.

The Win Pho 7 and Win Pho 8 are to the iPhone and Android what the Zune was to the iPod.

Excellent devices crippled by an utter lack of marketing and interest from the manufacturer? Hmm. If you say so.

(Incidentally, post a valid criticism of the Zune beyond market share, if you can. And remember that market share applies to linux and desktop Windows as well, you hypocrite).

That these phone operating systems would fail was beyond all reasonable doubt. [citation needed]

So when taking a deep risk, it's best to have a Plan B, but Nokia has no Plan B. At least not officially. There is no hope for a recovery of MS in the mobile market as that market is maturing now [citation needed] and the existing players are controlling it,[citation needed] Apple at the prestige end (more or less) - (unlikely since iPhones are everywhere so hardly "presige") - and Android has the rest wrapped up - in the USA, everywhere else is wide open - with Blackberry providing the 3rd place alternative - because any more than one alternative would be a CRIME AGAINST GOD right?

Nokia's entire strategy has failed. - making a profit is a huge failure, everyone knows that(?) - It was known to have failed with the Win Pho 7[citation needed] but they repeated the same recipe for disaster with Win Pho 8 - with even more dire consequences[citation needed] I predicted all this on the Reg two years ago you predict it roughly every eighteen minutes, you boring twat - and a few times [correction - a thousand times. However, repeating a lie doesn't make it true. Goebbels was wrong- in the intervening months :-) Truly, my friends, It is not even a hyperbolic exaggeration to point out:

[usual all caps bag of excrement deleted]

I wish you'd fuck off.

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Re: ELOP FAIL

Even though you are being a dick about it, you have a slight point.

The fail is caused by the lack of interest and complacency by MS. They have shipped a half baked, buggy OS and expect it to take off somehow, without getting their finger out to fix the bugs and finish the baking.

I like WP, and I really wanted it to succeed, but MS are being entirely short sighted and blinkered and they need to get in the real world.

They need to fix the outstanding software issues and omissions pronto, because I do wonder how many people who buy a WP8 device return it or sell it on.

Fix the shortcomings with the companion apps (syncing / Xbox music et al). They are useless and horribly buggy.

Push software updates to all devices at once instead of the very obscure way they pushed the portico update to Lumia devices which succeeded in pissing off all the early adopters of unlocked phones.

The whole thing seems very haphazard and unplanned. I wonder if MS even has a roadmap for WP8, or are they blindly bumbling along randomly?

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Mushroom

Re: ELOP FAIL

Mmmmm, pho. I was wondering what to have for lunch, that's an excellent suggestion.

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Meh

Re: ELOP FAIL

"The fail is caused by the lack of interest and complacency by MS. They have shipped a half baked, buggy OS and expect it to take off somehow, without getting their finger out to fix the bugs and finish the baking."

What, like Android and Apple? Everybody ships buggy software and fixes it later, welcome to reality!

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: ELOP FAIL

"Desktop Linux is held back by the MS monopoly"

C'mon, man.

C.

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WTF?

Re: ELOP FAIL

"What, like Android and Apple? Everybody ships buggy software and fixes it later, welcome to reality!"

I think both iOS and Android have more than enough marketshare and a compelling enough ecosystem to get away with a number of bugs / omissions.

MS does not, because it is make or break for WP, so you are *completely* missing the point I was making.

If someone technically minded and knowledgeable like me washes their hands of the platform because of stupid fucking bugs which shouldn't have got through QA then what is the average customer going to do?

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Stop

Re: ELOP FAIL

Umm, Psion is/was not an OS. The OS was EPOC, which morphed into Symbian.

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Flame

Re: ELOP FAIL

:@Eadon - you clearly never used a Zune. Or saw one. Or, especially listened to one.

The interface worked, as a music player. The sound quality was good, genuinely good. As opposed to the iPod which sounds like somebody pissed in the audio jack. Not as good as a Cowon unit but still, really very good.

Desktop linux is held up by

1) Nobody cares about it. Thus is meets your own standards for "should be burned with fire and all those responsible for it and/or who use it should be immediately shot" as seen with Windows Phone. Your logic is that an OS the general public isn't buying is crap, right?

2) Lack of productivity software. This has got better over the years but by that time, nobody cared.

3) Horrible, horrible documentation. The documentation for linux is a paper bag full of vomit coughed up by the Aspberger's Syndrome brigade. It's about as user-friendly as shotgun to the balls. Show a finance director the documentation for desktop linux (and then explain how none of his software will work, none of the people who get paid to do things will be able to do things without buying a metric fuckload of training and the printer will cry in the corner) and see how quickly any office where people actually do work adopts it. Shortly after Satan snowshoes to the office, is the truth of the matter.

As for washing my mouth out with soap? Come to South Wales and try it, you gaping pustulent clunge.

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Facepalm

Re: ELOP FAIL

Take down a telegram, Bob.

To Mr. Eadon, Under, Moss Covered Rock, UnicornLand.

Congrats stop.

Have got it, you don't like Microsoft stop.

No-one cares stop.

Signed The Known World stop.

Oh, and put a P.S.

Please, please, please stop.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ELOP FAIL

Actually the latest Gartner figures show that WP phone sales are still climbing steeply and that they just went over 3% of market share....Whilst it hass taken a long time, they are on course to gain a substantial chunk of the market...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ELOP FAIL

No, desktop Linux is help back by being crap to use and not having the games and the applications that people want....

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FAIL

Re: ELOP FAIL

I would never buy a phone with windoze on it. that would be just asking for trouble, totally agree, nokia used to be OK, must have ditzy management now

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WTF?

Re: ELOP FAIL

Only reasons I still run windoze:

* Black Mesa Source

* Legacy code on MPLAB 8.66

* Portal 2

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Happy

Re: ELOP FAIL

Eadon, keep pointing out the truth. Thankyou.

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