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back to article Microsoft loses grip on Christmas shoppers... despite XBox boost

Microsoft's second quarter results, posted on Thursday, reveal that the software giant struggled in the sexy world of devices during the all-important Christmas shopping period. These are the first numbers indicating how the battle between PCs and smart devices played out over the battleground for consumers' wallets that is …

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The only windows phone that I am tempted by is the 1020 and it's not for the OS.

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Thumb Up

Same here...

I want that camera so badly - but the os is of no practical use.

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Re: Same here...

"but the os is of no practical use."

I don't actually understand what you mean by that. It does many things better than iOS, and performs better than Android.

The practical use of the OS is that it provides you with the best camera-phone on the market. Sure it might be different compared with iOS or Android, but that doesn't make it a bad OS. All the operating systems have their advantages and disadvantages.

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Facepalm

"Windows phone = loser"?

You mean it's like a burning platform?

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Re: Same here...

"but the os is of no practical use."

I don't actually understand what you mean by that. It does many things better than iOS, and performs better than Android.

The practical use of the OS is that it provides you with the best camera-phone on the market.

No. The only practical use of an OS is that it provides users with a way to take advantage of the hardware they purchased to a degree and in a way that they feel happy with their purchase.

Your use of the subjective "better" underscores this point. You feel it is better than iOS and Android for the use cases you have experienced or researched.

But each user's definition of happy is different, requiring flexibility in the system. Smartphones get this flexibility from their app ecosystems. Microsoft's app ecosystem is the smallest. Ergo, it is less flexible, and of less practical value to the varied users out there.

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Re: "Windows phone = loser"?

Until Microsoft have a radical rethink they are going to be floundering until they eventually die.

Windows phone isn't getting the traction (regardless of the hype 250% increase on 10 handsets isn't difficult 250% increase on 10,000,000 handsets is a different thing) . Its the Vista of the mobile world. The Eco system has been built by Apple and Google. What MS should do is ditch surface and win mobile and adopt android (bare with me here folks) and reskin android a bit like Samsung and amazon have done. I don't see the obsession with writing the whole OS when you can skin the bit the consumer sees and comes to love.

They have bought one of the best handset manufacturers in the world - use it to make nice hardware - use the Nokia brand within Europe where it is still remembered fondly. Stop ruining it with windows.

Obviously there isn't going to be Google services but there would be Microsoft services instead (app store etc). So now write all the office apps for android. Release them for free on your hardware and charge in the Google store. Get over the fact Google will take 30%. That way you sell your hardware with free office (the value add) and dont loose the chance to get normal android people into MS products and make money.

Write a MS Android pro version that connects for the corporates and can be controlled via AD etc. This gives corporates a reason to buy Nokia devices.

Best rub of all is most people who have written apps for android can release *easily* on to your platform with little additional cost or effort. And you now get to take advantage of the android market share because companies will already have written for android. So now, you share an Eco system without trying to grow your own market from scratch.

Don't ignore iOS - face facts it has a massive market share that dwafs yours so write a native office for it. Charge decent money for it. Apple users are (according to the surveys) more affluent - and people would pay for office (look how well apples own offerings are doing here)

Until they accept they no longer a monopoly and the market is swimming away from them and that its now MS that are the small fish in a big pond they will never regain respect or a decent share at the middle and top end.

Oh....and change their name - Microsoft - its so 1980's - time for a radical rebrand.

Just my opinion though.....

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Re: WP7Mango

I don't actually understand what you mean by that. It does many things better than iOS, and performs better than Android.

Please, tell me what are these practical advantages you speak of. And before you start spewing out lies, I'll tell you that I had to suffer about 9 months of living with Lumia 920. Then I bought a used Symbian phone.

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Anonymous Coward

@ HollyHopDrive Re: "Windows phone = loser"?

You make a good point. However, as long as Gates & Ballmer are still on the board, the "not invented here" mentality of MS will prevail.

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Practical use? I use it from the office and put the business iPhone that was given to me in a drawer, connected only to forward messages to me.

I have all the apps I need (Im sure there are some dorky 3rd party ones that are barely used) have all my contacts in one place, can get to sky drive or box from home, office, or phone..

My voicemails are texted to me, and I can see when I have texts or not at a glance.

The Camera is a killer app (though yes I know not software) that destroys the competition.

Its the best phone I've ever had and makes Android seem buggy and the iphone seem useless.

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Re: "Windows phone = loser"?

um ?? you DO know that its not AD but Active Sync that the Windows phone ALSO uses. a

And its not controlled by Active directory but probably an MDM setup.

Both Active sync, AD, and Exchange all work beautifully.

Also the Windows phone has an MDM feature built in with SCCM.. Also with Lync.

Thanks for trying to pretend that you know how the enterprise works... it was a nice try.

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@HollyHopDrive Re: "Windows phone = loser"?

Not bad ideas HHD, but I doubt Microsoft would do it as they'd feel it'd be admitting defeat.

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Re: "Windows phone = loser"?

"Oh....and change their name - Microsoft - its so 1980's - time for a radical rebrand."

No way that'd turn out well with their branding history:

"We need something catchy and edgy, but familiar, something that links to out best successes, like Win XP and Xbox."

Two years later:

"Ladies and gentlemen, businesses of the world, today the Microsoft era of old passes, and we reinvent ourselves for a new Future. From this day forward, we stride across the world as a mighty colossus of business, a paragon of innovation and technological prowess the world will know as... "

<Orchestral Fanfare, Balloons and doves released over the city as two hundred show jets zoom over the conference in dazzling aerobatics>...

"BRAND X!"

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Re: "Windows phone = loser"?

Never happen. Picking someone else's OS over their own would be complete suicide for Microsoft, it's like the CEO of Ford driving around in a Fiat 500.

I'll be going for the 1020 on my next upgrade, or the functional equivalent at the time as I am thoroughly sick of Android. Every update reduces my battery life, the last update means I can barely get a full day out of a full charge while not touching it all day. It came loaded up with crapware (both from Google and HTC) that I am simply not permitted to remove AND this crapware keeps starting itself somehow. I've never used Twitter and have no use for it, but every time I go to the task manager. the Twitter app is there sucking my battery and CPU, and that is just one example of this.

I've no guarantee that WinPho will be any better, but it's either that or iOS and Apple are even worse than Google.

This is really the wrong place for an anti-Android rant, but MS articles are normally filled with pro-Linux rants so being off topic isn't unprecedented.

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Re: "Windows phone = loser"?

You do have a guarantee that WP will be better, at least in the battery-draining department. Apps are tombstoned (something many do not like but noticeably improves battery life).

Nothing runs except apps that you explicitly let run. It is very easy to block apps from background execution. Those that you do let run only do things when they need to.

The OS only lets apps have a go at their live tiles (widgets) twice per hour, apps cannot abuse this privilege.

The result? I have wireless charging so hardly ever get close to draining my phone but I leave WiFi on always (auto-search off though), Bluetooth on always, Mobile data on always, GPS on always. Only the NFC device is off (almost no need for it). This means I can stream my music, transfer a photo to someone, connect to internet at home (and work etc.) immediately and transparently meaning less hassle and faster download.

A regular day leaves my phone at about 40 - 50% remaining at the end. A long day using foot navigation with camera and video when touristing can drain it more than is safe (for checking trains for the journey home) but this is no surprise - I carry a battery booster and relax.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Same here...

Your phraseology (Sure it might be...) sounds very American to me - you wouldn't perchance be in thrall to the Dark Lord "Steve" Baldemort, would you? You comment sounds half way to an advertisement rather than a genuine comment. Please try harder next time.

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Re: Same here...

I would never go to a phone that is run by an OS with so little customization options its pathetic to think people would go for a phone just because of the camera after using Android for years

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Windows phone = loser"?

Put your work experience in that and email it to Microsoft and you could be the next Steve ballmer

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LDS
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Re: Same here...

DId you mean "its OS won't make me sexy among my friends"?

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You wrote:"My voicemails are texted to me".

How exactly is this a winpho specific feature and exactly how well would it work with non English voice messages?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Same here... @Steve Knox 17:24

"Your use of the subjective "better" underscores this point. You feel it is better than iOS and Android for the use cases you have experienced or researched."

And iOS and Android fans do the same. If you actually want a balanced view you're on the wrong site's forums.

"Microsoft's app ecosystem is the smallest. Ergo, it is less flexible, and of less practical value to the varied users out there."

I'd have to say that's a flawed conclusion. If it's got what people want despite being the smallest, then no more flexibility is required and it's of just as much practical value. "I want something that isn't Microsoft" isn't really a valid consideration when comparing app availability, in case you're wondering.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Same here... @AC 23:47

"Your phraseology (Sure it might be...) sounds very American to me - you wouldn't perchance be in thrall to the Dark Lord "Steve" Baldemort, would you? You comment sounds half way to an advertisement rather than a genuine comment. Please try harder next time."

Name calling and a suggestion of shilling. Could you rummage around for something original before asking someone else to try harder?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Same here... @Bladeforce 01:33

"I would never go to a phone that is run by an OS with so little customization options its pathetic to think people would go for a phone just because of the camera after using Android for years"

I like the way the virtual keyboard on my Win mobile has punctuation marks. That might be something for you to put under "pros" if you ever want to do a comparison :P

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Same here...

I actually used my phone more with iOS and Windows Phone than I do with my Android phone.

There were just better apps and the Nokia Music app on Windows Phone was very useful.

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Anonymous Coward

The camera's not that great either. Much of the footage is still faked to make it look better than it actually is, and Microsoft still play their media bribery tricks to over exaggerate it's capabilities.

Better off with a high end Xperia, just as good camera, better OS.

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Re: Same here...

The good thing about a rooted and bootloader unlocked Android phone is that it can be almost anything you want it to be.

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Anonymous Coward

Not sure how you can be downvoted for saying what you find to be good about your Windows Phone... But remember you are dealing with teenage iPhone users here.

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Re: "Windows phone = loser"?

"Until they accept they no longer a monopoly and the market is swimming away from them and that its now MS that are the small fish in a big pond they will never regain respect or a decent share at the middle and top end."

If I were to search for a definition of Microsoft's woes I could not better that sentence.

Way back when CP/M was king, and PC-DOS was a POS that survived solely because IBM put its weight behind it, Microsoft was a lean unethical marketing company, hungry for financial success and able to use aggressive marketing tactics in a world infested my naive techies, such as myself.

But that was decades ago.. Having achieved a de facto monopoly of operating systems in the desktop arena, Microsoft entirely forgot how it had done that thing, and its failure to diversify away from that market apart from the X box marks both the secret of its success and its ultimate likelihood of failure.

It hasn't got the creative genius of an apple, the dedicated engineering expertise to churn out volume low cost hardware,, nor the courage to abandon its 'windows;' brand and embrace android.

Nor yet the courage that Apple showed when OS-X was introduced, based firmly on a *nix core. A move which invalidated all of its legacy OS9 software at a stroke.

Now it has found a market in which it was not the early mover, but late to the game. It cannot respond, because it has none of the tools to respond with. Its tools are those of a dominant organisation crushing inferior competition, not those to do battle with a superiors and established player, like android or IOS.

Users don't want desktop PCS much any more. Tablets don't do word processing or spreadsheets - the applications that arguably drove the PC onto the corporate desktop. Dedicated consoles drive the games. And the internet IS the operating system now. A browser and a mail client and a half a dozen other net enabled apps don't care what operating system they have. The internet protocols become the new API for app develoepers, not the operatings system.

Linux and android are free of license by and large, adequate to the job in hand, so who needs Microsoft?

A dwindling number of corporate desktops that actually do more than read data and add a very small content to it.

And how long before the applications they run are 'cloud services' rather than loadable pieces of software? at which point the desktop workstation operating system also becomes supremely irrelevant?

Or the code writers start to get together and say 'well actually, if we pick a single Linux distribution, and port our applications to that we can still make money out of the application, even if Microsoft doesn't'?

Windows has long been an operating system nobody really WANTED, it was just that they had no choice if they wanted to write word documents and power point shows, or use a spreadsheet...or run some heavyweight desktop application.

Now increasingly they don't want any of these things, they have realised that not only do they not really want Windows, they don't actually need it either.

The moment a PC vendor or a big apps company breaks ranks and offers a Linux version either a basic workstation or of Corel, Photoshop, Quark, Autocad, Solidworks*...is the moment that Microsoft's whole existing business model really starts to collapse, not just decline.

Because inertia and the 'de facto office suite' are simply not enough to justify spending money with Microsoft when Linux is cheaper and Libre Office is arguably as good as, if not better.

*these merely being examples of heavyweight apps that the author knows need windows or OS-X to run on. Readers will know of others.

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Love the spin - all other news agencies are reporting it as much better earnings for Microsoft..

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Anonymous Coward

The issues is the future

Yes - earnings are up. But what the money guys look at is where those earnings are coming from, or not.

The enterprise and xbox are pulling in money.

The future products (phone/tablets) are dead horses as well has the home PC market.

That means the future (and that is what investors care about) does not look so good.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The issues is the future

There's a difference between slow growth or decline and a dead market.

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Re: The issues is the future

but haven't the "money guys" also been asking about how Microsoft looks like a failure compared to Apple(iPhone)? I think with all the losses each quarter with Bing and the phone/tablet area the perception with the money people and public is that Microsoft is a big old crusty company with a great revenue stream from their 20 year old franchise, Windows, but with no ability to move beyond that.

I think the money guys will continue watching them quarter by quarter but with each passing quarter they look like a pure enterprise player. And you know, they did a complete reorganization around being a device company so how does that help keep things clear for anyone?

So with the consumer products failing(except XBox), internet failing(Bing) and consumer PC showing double digit shrinkage every quarter they don't look like a great investment. If they shed all that and stuck to the enterprise space they would show huge profits(+$2-$3 billion annually). There are lots of questions.

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Pint

Re: The issues is the future

Quite right...this is a good analysis of the figures produced with sound questioning. I kind of shiver when I see all the acolytes or those with vested interest fawning over any company's glossed over financials. Time people became objective and freed their minds of crap...

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Re: The issues is the future

And not only are they apart from the Xbox a pure enterprise player, but enterprises themselves are moving away from desktops a lot too, with portable devices and cloud servers offering the corporate platforms.

I make a point when i go into a bank, or an office, to notice not what operating system the back office are using, but what they are doing with it. spreadsheets, word processing, the odd custom application that is dedicated to their business usually written for windows, BUT which could actually be written for javascript/HTML just as easily against a web interfaced server... or even delivered as a full 'cloud' service.

I note that old bastion of the PC, Sage accounts, now offers an online package...

Oh it wont be rapid collapse, just the death of a thousand cuts..And the tablet/smart phone revolution has put the idea in the minds of everybody who isn't especially tech savvy that there is a world beyond MIcrosoft, and when you come to sell a desktop system based on Linux, you will merely have to say 'oh, its the same as Android really' and suddenly everyone will relax...

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Meh

How many sales of Windows Phone

have been driven by corporates (like mine) that have a "Windows Only" policy ?

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Windows

Re: How many sales of Windows Phone

> "Windows Only" policy ?

You surely mean "Retarded CTO only policy ?"

or

"We are happy to pay the full list price for MS software and services" policy?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How many sales of Windows Phone

Many companies have an "only Windows as endpoint device" policy because Windows has good endpoint management and they feel that making a single choice for an OS makes things easier. Similarly many companies have "Only Solaris as UNIX OS" policy or only DB/2 as RDBMS.

If you think that's either retarded or the same as not beating up MS for volume discounts, you really don't understand much about running IT services in a large company.

To sum it up: More endpoint OSes and devices = more complexity in management, therefore more costly management.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How many sales of Windows Phone

Is there something wrong with sales which are driven by a "we're only going to use X" policy? Are they somehow not worth as much as sales by an individual?

Incidentally sales to an individual are usually "I'm only going to use X" sales, because very few people buy more than one phone.

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Re: How many sales of Windows Phone

>good endpoint management ?

You have the only endpoint management tool that supports OS's from one SINGLE vendor only and you call that good ? I think YOU have no clue, with all due respect.

One vendor only for X is retarded, of course, it is "I put all my eggs into one basket, plus I pay the high price for said eggs each and every time" ... I am not talking volume licensing, I am talking Server OS licenses, CALS, server software licenses ... I have been to companies like yours, I am sure you have the same password for all administrator accounts throughout your datacenter (like enterprise admin for win, sys on oracle, root on UNIX ...) - been there, seen that, tooo many times. You certainly even say it out loud as you attempt to type it the third time in a row, with a 3rd party vendor consultant in the same room. The password is either your company name or the name of your most successful product, with some vowels replaced by numbers.

>More endpoint OSes and devices = more complexity in management, therefore more costly management.

That is ONLY the case because you use the wrong tool for "endpoint management", as I said earlier.

You know what, I am sure they are looking for window cleaners in your area ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How many sales of Windows Phone

At the company I work for server OSes are volume. We have thousands upon thousands of them from Z down to commodity x86.

You also fail to recognise that management software is not the be all and end all in a device. Multiple devices require multiple skill sets to manage and trouble shoot, from helpdesk up to 3rd line support and your design teams multiple skills cost more and reduce efficiency.

I doubt that someone like you would get through the door at the company I work for, more for the attitude problem and the arrogant "I know everything, everyone else is wrong".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How many sales of Windows Phone

What you say is only partially true.

I run the entire IT department for a company of around 150 people.

We used to be a windows only shop (aside from a UNIX system to run our business software).

I have since introduced Linux quite successfully on the server side and am looking to eventually replace some desktops.

The main reason is Microsoft licensing. It's a headache to deal with. By the time I get around to getting approval from management, filling forms for purchasing licences and waiting for products to arrive, I will have already installed a Linux server, the application, and had my prototype ready. I also don't have to worry about keeping count and record of licences.

It's also a question of - do I really want to get stitched up by Microsoft in the long term by keeping on buying their software? If I spend a little time and effort I could easily use Open source software to do what is necessary.

BTW - I also replaced a large number of desktops with LibreOffice, so only some ego users and the management team are using Office2013. we have saved ourselves a fortune and more importantly protected our future, as it looks like MS are pushing users towards office365 which for us would be very destructive on our profit margins.

One last note - I will be donating a sum of money to Libreoffice - thanks to them I have saved the company a fortune not just this year but potentially forever! If we had gone the Office365(gives me the shudders just thinking about it) route we would have had to fork out about £15K every year which we never had to do previously.

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Enterprise Market ?

The enterprise market is driven by the XP upgrades and thus Windows Server upgrades more than anything else I would guess. But I think that will slow pretty soon.

I like the idea of them burning cash on dead-before-arrival devices ... MS have lost the cool, Nokia has cool in phone, but they dumped that brand name ... they should probably call it Nokia Phone iso Windows Phone, nobody wants a BSOD on their handset.

When will the IT industry switch to open platforms, which mean no lockin, ever supported platforms and formats? I think it is only a matter of time, since, as I already wrote, they changed the only thing that was keeping them in the enterprise, a well known ui.

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Facepalm

Still!

Surely the vast profits from Bing! will see them through?

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Holmes

And still I have yet to see a Windows phone in the wild

Seriously - is there some kind of prize for the first actual one I find?

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Re: And still I have yet to see a Windows phone in the wild

Then you need to step out of the garden shed.

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Linux

Re: And still I have yet to see a Windows phone in the wild

It's not funny anymore.

I want to see someone using one to make sure all this talk of any kind of market share isn't just some big online conspiracy. 90% of people I meet, from work, to just observing them in the gym, on the train etc use Android, 9% iPhones and the rest are scraps like BB and legacy (there's a difference?)

I have to be honest and admit I saw some in the Tesco in-store mobile shop last week.

All on the shelves.

Unsold.

With no one interested in them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And still I have yet to see a Windows phone in the wild

Bob, if you've not seen any in the wild you should open your eyes a bit more. A year or two ago, I would have accepted someone saying they'd not seen one, but now while they're not that common they're certainly common enough.

I was at a gig before Christmas, from the back you could see everyone who was trying to take photos with phones, of about thirty odd phones at least three or four were Windows Phones.

Then again, you seem to be bizarrely interested in them, it's practically all you comment about, you seem to be so desperate to hate them that I would have thought by now that you would have a few of your own just to work out how bad they really are. What's wrong? Frightened you might like it?

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Linux

Re: And still I have yet to see a Windows phone in the wild

I teach in a very posh Independent school where all the kids have every gadget going. Just a few years ago it was Blackberries everywhere along with a lot of iPhones and a tiny amount of Android devices beloved of the Geeks (like me!)

Now, never see a Blackberry and they seem to be close to 50:50 Android to iPhone. Despite being a Geek myself who loves looking and playing with all the gadgets they turn up with I can honestly say non of the kids has yet come in with a MS phone. Perhaps there are some about, but non I've seen.

I'm a Fandroid through and through and am disappointed to see that when it comes to tablets, its about 95% (or more!) iPad with little else about.

I also run a Computer Geek club at school and although most of the kids have been bought up on and use Windows, they mostly treat Win 8 as a sad joke and laugh at those with it on their laptops.

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Re: And still I have yet to see a Windows phone in the wild

Someone in our office has one. He uses it as a telephone only though, and I have no idea why he doesn't just get the cheapest Nokia dumb phone.

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Re: And still I have yet to see a Windows phone in the wild

I went to a concert the other day and didnt see one windows phone, yet i saw an equal amount of android and iphones. NOT ONE, its laughable how bad the fanboys twist the pathetic sales to their liking. Aint seen a surface of any kind either as a matter of fact

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Re: And still I have yet to see a Windows phone in the wild

I am a former WinPhone user. I finally had enough and dumped my old Samsung Omnia in favor of an iPhone. I've seen fewer and fewer WinPhones over the three+ years since I dumped mine. So far this year I have seen 0.000 WinPhones in the wild. And, no, I didn't see very many (under a half dozen, I think, I didn't keep count) last year. I _have_ seen WinPhones in cellphone stores, usually being ignored.

Surfaces, now, those I've seen. I know three people who have Surfaces. One curses the day he got it. One loves it. One is about midway between. I've seen a few other Surfaces around. Not very many, though, the total number of Surfaces in the wild is dwarfed by the number of iPads and Android tablets.

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