back to article Why did Nokia bosses wait so long to pop THAT Lumia tab?

Nokia waited a long, long time before finally launching a tablet last week. The Lumia 2520 unveiled in Abu Dhabi last week is aggressively priced and surprisingly functional. But why the wait? Rumours of a Nokia tablet have been circulating for two years, since CEO Stephen Elop said that Nokia saw an opportunity in the market. …

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong way round

Perhaps Nokia should have acquired Microsoft's struggling Windows Phone and RT operations.

Also - cue the usual flurry of downvotes - doesn't it look as if Elop's strategy is now paying off? Far from Microsoft owing Nokia, Nokia seem to have produced a product which is likely to do better than the Microsoft equivalent.

All we need now is for iFixit to find out that the Nokia tablet is actually repairable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrong way round

As we all know - When Nokia do badly, it's incompetent management, when they do well, it's inspired engineering...

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Re: "likely to do better than the Microsoft equivalent"

...so aiming low.

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Re: Wrong way round

I never subscribed to the ridiculous Elop conspiracy theories that are so popular round these parts, but I did think he was displaying a marked lack of imagination. "Hmm, we need an OS. I know! How about my old employers'?" I liked Maemo and loved Series 80 and thought Symbian was unfairly maligned, and Windows Mobile was utter shite, so I was front of the queue to slag Elop off.

Then I got a Lumia. And I love it.

In retrospect, I simply think that Elop, having been inside Microsoft, had seen early prototypes of Windows Phone and knew just how damn good it was going to be. Can't fault his decision, frankly.

Hey, we can be downvoted together.

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Re: Wrong way round

I think they were told to hold off because MS though they might still get some independent OEMs to produce them, but once it was 100% clear (even to MS) that every one else was dumping them as fast as they could their pet OEM got the order to launch.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrong way round

I think it was many things. It was surely an OS that Nokia could have a lot of influence on.

While Android OEMs think they have influence on Android they don't. Google does what it wants and if the Android OEMs don't like it they customise the OS.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrong way round

"Perhaps Nokia should have acquired Microsoft's struggling Windows Phone and RT operations."

Surely, "Rapidly growing....operations." - Windows Phone hit over 10% UK market share last quarter, and Surface doubled it's sales. Hardly surprising it is costing them lots of dosh to enter such competitive markets, but the game plan seems to be going very well...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrong way round

"While Android OEMs think they have influence on Android they don't. Google does what it wants and if the Android OEMs don't like it they customise the OS."

So you have a choice:

1. Go with Windows, which for the most part allows no customization of the operating system.(maybe custom skins?)

or

2. Go with Android, which Google might make changes to, but if you don't like it you can always modify it to fit your needs.

Hmmm

Currently I have 4 desktops and 2 laptops running windows. 1 pi so that is Raspbian,. One local server running CentOS and 3 remote servers running CentOS. 1 half dead mac (so old cant run FF). And probably enough parts to built 5 comps, I build as I need.

Therefor, have had a bit of experience all around. Not exactly an fAndroid, but do think its better then Windows on phones, and hell of a lot better then iOS.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrong way round

Windows Phone is doing quite well thanks to Nokia. 8.8M Lumias were sold last quarter, up from 7.4M in Q2 and 5.6M in Q1.

So already ~ 35 million a year and growing market share very rapidly....

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Re: Wrong way round

> Windows Phone hit over 10% UK market share last quarter,

... when the models sold at a loss. It was estimated that prices needed to be 15% higher just to break even on direct costs.

> and Surface doubled it's sales.

... when they dropped the price $150 and took a $900million loss on a now obsolete model.

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Re: Wrong way round

> Windows Phone is doing quite well thanks to Nokia. 8.8M Lumias were sold last quarter, up from 7.4M in Q2 and 5.6M in Q1.

> So already ~ 35 million a year and growing market share very rapidly....

You may note the trend in those growth figures:

5.6 -> 7.4 +1.8

7.4 -> 8.8 +1.4

8.8 -> ?? +1.0 ?

Apple sold 33.6million phones last quarter. At the growth rate in those figures it will take several years to get to close to that number.

The total market is also increasing so while Nokia's number increase the growth in market share is much less, and only over the last 3 quarters, yes it is back up to 3.5%:

"""For the past 5 quarters Nokia has fit comfortably inside this narrow window - 3.7%, 3.0%, 2.9%, 3.2% and now 3.5%. If you want to be an optimist, you say we've hit the bottom and Nokia is now 'rising'. The realist points out that just 18 months ago - yes 6 quarters ago, Nokia's market share was 6.7% and just 2 years ago it was 14.0%."""

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrong way round

"... when the models sold at a loss. It was estimated that prices needed to be 15% higher just to break even on direct costs."

Wrong - Nokia's recent Q3 results show that margin in the Devices division was minus 3% last quarter. So bearing in mind large fixed costs such as R&D, advertising, etc. they only need to sell a few more devices to be profitable at the CURRENT pricing levels....And they are therefore clearly already selling at well over the intrinsic cost of the devices....

"... when they dropped the price $150 and took a $900million loss on a now obsolete model."

Whatever they did, it's the end result that counts - and they are quickly growing market share....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrong way round

"You may note the trend in those growth figures:

5.6 -> 7.4 +1.8

7.4 -> 8.8 +1.4

8.8 -> ?? +1.0 ?"

You might want to note:

5.6m - 8.8m = + 57% growth in just 3 quarters.....So lets say the next 6 quarters are similar - that takes us to 13.8m and then 21.7m a quarter in Q1 2015. And that's just Nokia - other manufacturers will look to leverage a growing market opportunity.

Apple's market share is also declining....

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Re: Wrong way round

> 5.6m - 8.8m = + 57% growth in just 3 quarters.

And if you take the last 5 quarters there has been a drop. Even taking 4 quarters (year on year) shows much less growth.

The only reason there is sometimes recovery in the general trend downwards is because the cheap end of the Lumias are being sold at a loss - and effectively they are not even paying the WP licence fees.

> other manufacturers will look to leverage a growing market opportunity.

Not when Microsoft is a direct competitor they won't. How many OEMs are clamoring to share the losses on XBox ?

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Anonymous Coward

Oh dear

"When Microsoft finally completes the acquisition of Nokia’s 32,000-strong mobile unit it will boast 120,000 staff in all." At which point it will layoff the most capable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At which point it will layoff the most capable.

Otherwise known as "the troublemakers". (You know, the ones who know enough about stuff to be able to say "That won't work". No manager wants to hear that!)

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Rubbish name, doesn't differentiate from the phone at all.

But great product, I'm up for one.

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Anonymous Coward

> Thanks largely to Nokia, RT is looking less of a basket case and something with a bit of potential

That's not how I see it - my wife, who is starting an Open University course, just wants something she can browse Facebook, browse the web (presumably to plagiarise), then type that plagiarised material up in Word/Office on. I bought her an original Surface with keyboard cover and she loves it - more portable than a laptop, way better battery life, and can do all she needs for her studies.

Relatively specific use case, sure, but there was usefulness in RT long before Nokia was around, you just had to look for it.

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Relatively specific use case, sure, but there was usefulness in RT long before Nokia was around, you just had to look for it.

Did you pay the original price? I think the point is that the original RT was too expensive for consumers and too weak (no Excel macros, no Outlook) for professionals.

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Surface does not make sense

1) RT is windows with its legs broke; why bother

2) Useless without a table, that stupid flip out support, no good while on the couch.

3) Surface or Ultra book; Ultra better value, storage, power and wins hands down.

4) Too pricey; make it £100-300 and it "MIGHT" sell, £700 is laughable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surface does not make sense

The IPad does not make sense

1) iOS is OSX with its legs broke; why bother

2) Useless without a table, that stupid flip out support, no good while on the couch.

3) iPad or Mac Book Air; Air better value, storage, power and wins hands down.

4) Too pricey; make it £100-300 and it "MIGHT" sell, £700 is laughable.

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Re: Surface does not make sense

> The IPad does not make sense

The point you miss is that the iPad used the same OS as the iPhone.

The iPad was NEVER a risk to anyone who purchased one. If it was a flop and became a niche product, it didn't matter, because it would still run iPhone softare.

The iPhone didn't start as a smart phone, but as an iPod music player that could also make phone calls. It was several revisions before it became a smart phone.

If RT is a flop, you are left with a web browser. It does not run WP software. Even if it did WP isn't really much of a success.

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Re: Surface does not make sense

> RT is windows with its legs broke ... £700 is laughable.

That's not the price of the RT version, though, is it?

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Re: Surface does not make sense

I think the point about the iPad and the iPhone is that they had that certain special je-ne-sais-quoi that made people want to buy them despite the fact that they're just not that good -- and they're certainly way overpriced.

Now, personally speaking, what I mainly use my laptop for is recording and mixing music, so I don't need a Surface RT or a 2520 because I need my device to run Ableton Live, and I don't need a Surface Pro because I need a bigger screen. I can get a laptop that is better suited to my needs and less than half the price of a Surface Pro. But, despite having weighed up the pros and cons and made that decision, I still really really want a Surface Pro, and, if I had the spare money (i.e. no kids) I'd have got one by now. For me at least, it has that je-ne-sais-quoi. I think this 2520 does too. The question is, am I alone, or are there enough others like me to make a viable market?

Mind you, if someone releases an RT version of a decent DAW, sold.

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Silver badge

"Is it a consumer product that can do a bit of Outlook? Or is it a mobile Office product that can do a bit of multimedia?"

I'm not sure why a tablet has to be pigeonholed as either a 'work' device or a 'play' device. The original idea with these personal computer thingies was that they could do a whole bunch of stuff, and tablets are really just another form factor of a personal computer.

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Nokia saves another MS OS?

It's a measure of the quality of Nokia' hardware (and customer goodwill that is still out there) that they are dragging first Windows Phone and now RT into the mainstream. Personally, I like WP, and like the look of RT, but it's fair to say that neither has a future without Nokia.

On RT, it has always been talked about in terms of what it isn't rather than what it is, what it doesn't do rather than what it does. So many people criticise it because you can't run full Windows applications - that's always mentioned - while that's been the tablet paradigm since the iPad was first introduced. The lack of apps on the platform is also trotted out, albeit with more justification, but if you look at what it does actually have, you find a competent and fully featured tablet OS. The Nokia hardware is just a bonus.

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Re: Nokia saves another MS OS?

> talked about in terms of what it isn't rather than what it is, what it doesn't do rather than what it does.

That is because everyone knows what 'Windows' does. If they had called it SurfOS there would be no problem, but calling it 'Windows something' meant that expectations were well above its capabilities.

Even Office RT is well below what people expect in 'Office'.

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Re: Nokia saves another MS OS?

The problem is Microsoft made a point of never clarifying the difference between RT and Pro in any promotion aimed at the buying public. They didn't really do it for more knowledgeable audiences. Even worse they flat out lied about platform convergence to the developer audience, claimed convergence that still hasn't happened.

None of us had gagging orders stopping us pointing out what Microsoft deliberately avoided and you can only blame Microsoft for creating that information vacuum. The general public still don't know what they're getting if they choose Surface and bundling that bastardised version of Office on RT just adds to the confusion.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nokia saves another MS OS?

Two things:

1) Why do lots of people complain that Office is far too complicated and no-one uses even a tiny fraction of the functionality, but at the same time that Office on RT isn't nearly functional enough?

2) Why do (usually the same) people think that potential MS Windows RT users will be confused by it not running standard Windows applications when they're perfectly happy that Apple users aren't confused by iOS running on iPhones etc and the fact that their iMac runs Mac OS and can't run iOS apps.

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Re: Nokia saves another MS OS?

for point 2: Because it's called "Windows". *I* would expect it to run windows applications. If it does not, it's inaccurately described.

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Re: Nokia saves another MS OS?

I picked up a Surface RT (original model) on a fire sale and a touch keyboard. I like the hardware, yes, even the keyboard and kickstand. However, it does feel limiting compared to my iPad and ASUS Transformer. I think MS would do better to open up the "desktop" mode for developers to make apps instead of just the metro (or whatever it's called now) UI mode.

RT doesn't "do" much. RT has a small app-store and a cut-down version of Office. MS Office is the only thing it does that Android & iOS can't, even there there is non-MS Office apps available.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nokia saves another MS OS?

"you find a competent and fully featured tablet OS"

Windows RT has another key advantage in being a fundamentally more secure platform design than the competition. IOS has a terrible security record (over 400 vulnerabilities to date) and Android is even worse - being built on Java and Linux which both lead the field in their respective areas with by far the highest security vulnerability counts...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nokia saves another MS OS?

"Because it's called "Windows". *I* would expect it to run windows applications. If it does not, it's inaccurately described."

Then you need educating. Think of it as Windows for ARM. A fully blown OS - not a cut down like IOS or Android - but simply recompiled for ARM. And therefore just like the differentiation between previous 32 and 64 bit Windows versions, or Windows for Alpha, MIPs, etc. - it requires applications compiled for that CPU.....

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Re: Nokia saves another MS OS?

> Then you need educating.

You are correct that 'educating' is needed to distinguish between 'Windows xx' (where xx is 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP, 7, 8, ..) and 'Windows RT' because they are completely different things. One major problem is that Microsoft did not adequately provide that 'education' to the general public who were thus mostly confused. Non-techos do not know the difference between Intel and ARM, to them it is like Intel and AMD.

> Think of it as Windows for ARM. A fully blown OS - not a cut down like IOS or Android - but simply recompiled for ARM.

You are confused, or deliberately lying. Windows RT _is_ cut-down, it doesn't have a complete Win32 desktop environment, there is a cut-down one reserved for Microsoft-only. Even Office RT is cut-down with many features not implemented.

It may well be that both Windows have kernel module source code in common, but that does not imply that all of Windows 8 was recompiled to make Windows RT, some modules were left out, some are incomplete.

> And therefore just like the differentiation between previous 32 and 64 bit Windows versions, or Windows for Alpha, MIPs, etc. - it requires applications compiled for that CPU.....

Actually Windows 64 can run 32 bit applications, Alpha could run x86 applications.

While Windows RT does run apps compiled for 'modern' these are not compiled to ARM _or_ x86 but to WinRT CLR.

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Re: Nokia saves another MS OS?

> 1) Why do lots of people complain that Office is far too complicated and no-one uses even a tiny fraction of the functionality, but at the same time that Office on RT isn't nearly functional enough?

Because they are different people: Office is far too complicated for casual users (consumers), and Office RT isn't functional enough for corporate users.

> 2) Why do (usually the same) people think that potential MS Windows RT users will be confused by it not running standard Windows applications ...

Because 'RT' is just another suffix on Windows like 95, 98, NT, XP, 7, 8; and all those ran standard Windows applications. Why would they call it Windows if it can't run Windows applications ?

Also 'Windows xx' (eg XP, 7) and 'Windows xx Pro' both ran Windows applications. So when faced with 'Surface RT' and 'Surface Pro' both running 'Windows something' why would they expect this to be completely different relationship, especially when the sales staff were clueless too.

> when they're perfectly happy that Apple users aren't confused by iOS running on iPhones etc and the fact that their iMac runs Mac OS and can't run iOS apps.

Because OS/X and iOS are different brands. If Apple had built an OS/X tablet and an iOS tablet and called them both iTablet and the OS OS/X and OS/X-RT (like Microsoft did) then users _would_ have been confused.

Also Apple users were brought up with iPod, iPhone and iPad none of which they expected to be like a desktop.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nokia saves another MS OS?

Citation needed, if you are claiming that Windows on MS tablets has architectural advantages over the competition. Otherwise this could simply be that too few people have them to make them an attack target.

We really need a metric like the transport industry has, like crashes per million miles. Vulnerabilities discovered per year per million compute hours or something.

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Re: Nokia saves another MS OS?

"You are confused, or deliberately lying. Windows RT _is_ cut-down, it doesn't have a complete Win32 desktop environment"

You don't understand what you are talking about. Win32 is a CPU specific API. Pretty much all of the underlying core Windows low level features are available in Windows RT - just via different APIs.

"Even Office RT is cut-down with many features not implemented."

The main feature missing is VBA - again which is largely CPU specific in terms of Add-Ins commonly used, etc...

"While Windows RT does run apps compiled for 'modern' these are not compiled to ARM _or_ x86 but to WinRT CLR."

Sure - but only for Metro Apps - and that's why Metro is the future Microsoft is pushing towards.....Cross platform from single compile, or where this is not possible, this is hidden via the Windows Store that automatically delivers the correct version....

"Actually Windows 64 can run 32 bit applications"

But not the other way round which is the point here.

"", Alpha could run x86 applications.""

Not via the OS. Only via a third party emulator - Digital FX!32

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Re: Nokia saves another MS OS?

> Win32 is a CPU specific API.

Yet Alpha and MIPS versions of NT managed to have the Win32 API. It would be useful if you could point out _anything_ in Win32 that is actually 'CPU specific'.

> The main feature missing is VBA - again which is largely CPU specific

VBA is a high level language. Please indicate _anything_ in that language which is 'CPU specific'.

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Re: Nokia saves another MS OS?

"Not via the OS. Only via a third party emulator - Digital FX!32"

To be fair, it FX!32 wasn't an emulator, despite the fact that it did have an X86 emulation component. People can look it up if they want to know what it was, but the run time performance of fully profiled X86 applications on Alpha was pretty damned good, all things considered.

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The Name

Nokia, please stop naming your flagship devices after pin codes. For a glorious moment there, I thought you had realised that easy to remember names were a good idea. Now, I see you have slipped into bad habits again.

Your new device, that you must have spent a fortune designing, is a case in point. Why have you called it the 2520? It sounds like some shite phone you made 10 years ago or something. Nobody will walk into a shop to ask for a '2520', instead they will just ask for an 'iPad 5', because that is easy to remember.

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Re: The Name

Hey, it's easy to remember if you're from the 'gong!

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Re: The Name

"For a glorious moment there, I thought you had realised that easy to remember names were a good idea.

...

they will just ask for an 'iPad 5', because that is easy to remember."

For one dreadful moment Boots the Chemist and time of the month images were swirling around.

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Re: The Name

"For one dreadful moment Boots the Chemist and time of the month images were swirling around."

LOL.

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Anonymous Coward

Elop quite definitely allegedly said "we won't produce a tablet until we've sold our entire inventory of Lumia phones". Now the 10th and final customer has stepped up with a credit card and done the deed, Elop has to deliver on the tablet promise.

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Anonymous Coward

Why did Nokia bosses bother with WindowsRT?

That is the bigger question. Windows phone, Windows RT are both dead, now they have got shot of their tie-in, the Nokia can release phones with Android, as long as they aren't called Lumia....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why did Nokia bosses bother with WindowsRT?

"That is the bigger question. Windows phone, Windows RT are both dead, now they have got shot of their tie-in, the Nokia can release phones with Android, as long as they aren't called Lumia...."

You seem to be very poorly informed - Windows Phone and RT are growing market share rapidly. Windows RT might not be a confirmed success yet, but it's certainly not dead. Windows Phone however is going from strength to strength and will clearly take second place in mobile OS market share by the end of next year if growth continues at the same rate it has for the last year....

And Nokia has a non compete agreement with Microsoft as part of the deal. They can't make any mobile devices for a number of years....And it would be stupid to release anything based on Android - there is no money to be made there, and it's a bloated and insecure OS....

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Uninterested?

More like actively disinterested.

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Only foolish buyers need apply...

This POS will only sell to the very ignorant and the (strangely loyal) MS Fanboys. Anyone who knows ANYTHING about "it's not RT" and it's "it's not Metro" OS knows that the OS is half-baked, as is the Office integration. 8.1 will not help. Its a DOG of an OS, and Microsoft is still beta testing...as they have PUBLICLY STATED that they are considering merging the OS with Windows Phone.

On EVERY OTHER PLATFORM, the same apps you buy for your phone work on your tablet! NOT HERE. Not to mention that developers are actively avoiding the platform, in favor of, you know, platforms that actually SELL! So don't count on getting your favorite apps on this tablet, any time soon, or at all in some cases.

Stay away, stay FAR away.

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Trollface

@ jnemesh - Re: Only foolish buyers need apply...

Lalalalaaala.

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Re: Only foolish buyers need apply...

@jnemesh - >"On EVERY OTHER PLATFORM, the same apps you buy for your phone work on your tablet! NOT HERE."

- because iPads and Android tablets are simply re-sized phones. Windows tablets are full-blown laptops with a different form and different types of input.

>"So don't count on getting your favorite apps on this tablet, any time soon, or at all in some cases."

- what about the software you need to actually get some WORK done?

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