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* Posts by Mark .

1852 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Dog bites man: Apple's Macs trounce all Windows PCs in customer love

Mark .
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Re: Hmmm...

I'm honestly curious - what did you hate about Windows 8 so much, that you switched OS? The differences between 7 and 8 are far smaller than the differences between either and OS X. Moreover, OS X involves launching apps via clicking on big icons, and not AFAIK via a hierarchical menu.

The start menu can be put back to Windows 7 with a simple free utility (something that's you can't do for OS X). The full screen tablet-style apps can be ignored if you don't want them. Applications from Windows 7 and before continue to work in the same way - I found the transition far smaller than between XP and 7.

I'm sure that OS X is okay, but it's also okay with Windows too - comparing is just opinion.

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I have a Clevo laptop and Samsung laptop with Windows 8 and 7, and they both work fine, and never have any problems. I'd only use an Apple PC if I had to. Moreover, I see other people having problems with Apple PCs. That's my anecdotal evidence.

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Mark .
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Re: Margin of error?

I also wonder what it would look like if we took cost into account - perhaps it's more that people are more satisfied with more expensive PCs, and people buying Apple products are more likely to be spending more. And what's it comparing anyway - Windows vs OS X, or different makes of PCs? People can run other OSs on PCs, and run Windows on Apple PCs, last time I looked.

(That and the RDF that means its users see no wrong. I love my Android phone, and would much prefer it over IOS. But does the fact that I might still give some honest criticisms of Android, whilst an IOS user claims even a dumb phone with no apps or 3G is a revolution, mean my opinion doesn't count, and IOS is better? These surveys penalise platforms where users are more honest.)

Interesting to see the comment about Apple PC sales doing no better - I've argued that if the doom and gloom about PCs dying really does happen (which I'm sceptical of - a new market growing doesn't mean another dies), Apple are just as much as risk, especially since they do best in the sector of ultra-portable laptops, and they seem to have nothing in the way of touchscreens or hybrids.

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Everyone's waving their 5-inchers: BlackBerry outs new supersized Z30

Mark .
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True, Nokia does seem to be having significant growth recently at the low end.

Though I find it curious that 2.7m phones in 90 days for a new platform is seen as a failure by the media for BB, yet 1m phones in 76 days was hailed as a runaway success for a certain fruit company in 2007. Apple's sales only grew over the years, partly because as new devices came out, their older phones were then sold at lower prices. Similarly, BB's strategy could work long term - even if for now their new platform is high end, that will seep down to the lower end with time.

On the other hand, Apple and BB may lose out long term, if the low end becomes the main area of growth, and it's already dominated by Android and WP.

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Re: There is a better indicator that 5 inchers have come of age

Though what phones do your wife's jeans accommodate? It will be curious to see if the clothing industry finally realises women might want to use technology too, without having to carry them in their hands all the time...

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PPI, a rubbish stat

"It retains the same screen resolution as the 4.2-inch Z10's 1280 x 768 resolution, meaning the Z30's display density of 295 pixels per inch will be lower than the Z10's 356."

And when I upgraded from my 20" HD TV to my 42" HD TV, the density went much lower. But wait, like everyone else, I don't care - I prefer watching on a bigger screen, and as long as the resolution is the same or higher, I haven't lost out.

Perhaps one might argue that 1280x768 is low compared to the now standard Full HD on Android phones, or one might argue it's good enough, but pixel density is often not a good metric - just because the density has reduced doesn't make it worse. Just because you can make up a metric like (pixels/size) doesn't make it a useful one. If anything, for those wanting bigger displays (be it phones or TVs), the metric (pixels*size) is better than (pixels/size). We only hear about this statistic from manufacturers because it's a way to claim a device is "better".

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Jolla Sailfish OS to support Android hardware, apps

Mark .
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Re: What would be the point of Sailfish?

I've never seen an advert on my Android phone (well, of course there are adverts on web pages and in 3rd party applications, but that applies to all platforms). I think more choices is a good thing, so look forward to Sailfish (if we end up in a world where the only alternative is IOS, that is not a good thing), but I don't understand this common criticism of Google using Android for ads.

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Nokia quiz: Do you know what a phablet is?

Mark .
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"Samsung's Galaxy Note is credited with taking the device beyond the gadget nerd niche – they’re surprisingly popular with women"

Astonishing, it's almost as if there's a segment of the population that carries a bag with them most the time, so therefore isn't restricted to "what fits in my pocket".

Though the flipside is that women's trousers seem to be crippled with ridiculously small pockets, and I know women who don't like relying on handbags complaining about the size of smartphones these days - though maybe it's the pocket sizes that need to increase.

As for "phablet", we only got into this mess with the recent media redefinition of "tablet" to only mean something big - historically, a tablet is any handheld device that isn't a phone (including say, Nokia's earlier N-series tablets, before they became smartphones with the N900). Tablets and phones are really the same thing, available in a range of sizes, with the minor difference of the phone functionality. A 4" non-phone computing device is a tablet. A 7" Asus Fonepad is a smartphone.

But instead we have this nonsense of labelling small things as "smartphone", big things as "tablets", and then throwing a wobbly because there isn't a word for things that are in between, leading some to make the fallacy of claiming "it's too small for a tablet" or "it's too big for a phone", when it's the terminology that's at fault (it's like complaining that a medium-height person is too small for a tall person, and too big for a short person, and maybe we should start calling them "shall" or "tort").

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Nokia's 41Mp Lumia 1020 'launches' in UK - but hoi polloi must wait

Mark .
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Re: Remember when Nokia announced it was dropping series 60 operating system...

Yeah, they only went on to sell about another 120 million Symbian phones, a mere 15 times what the iphone ever sold.

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TWO can play this 64-bit mobile game, says Samsung, crossly

Mark .
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But it's not like the ipads are pushing the RAM limits of 32-bit now, so if RAM is so important and you're expecting them to whip out a 4GB device, why don't they have 3GB devices out now? An ipad mini is on 0.5GB, compared to the Nexus 7's 2GB. If this news is important because it could allow more RAM, why isn't there the praise and media hype for the devices already shipping with 2-3GBs today, I wonder?

They might put it in their tablets or laptops in future, but it's just as true that we'll see 64-bit on Android devices when they ship with more RAM.

It would be interesting if they try a switch to ARM, but they have the same problems of breaking compatibility that MS has had - and with the increased battery of Haswell, and the upcoming increased performance of low cost Bay Trail, one can already get 64-bit with Intel just fine. Indeed, I was wondering whether the existing Intel Atom CPUs are 64-bit - surely there have already been Android phones and tablets that have 64-bit CPUs, namely the x86 ones? Again it's a bit irrelevant with 32-bit software and lower amounts of RAM, but that's true of the iphone too.

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Mark .
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Doesn't Samsung make the iphone CPUs, anyway? Someone that isn't Apple. And it's ARM who design them. I'm sure the Android manufacturers will add 64-bit CPUs when it's required - they're going to be the devices hitting 4GB RAM long before the iphone devices.

Obviously 64-bit is a useful next step, but it hardly matters if one company is first a few months early, when none of the devices are taking advantage of it. If in a few years' time, Apple devices are all on 4-8GB, with Android crippled at less than that, it will be a problem - but there's no evidence this will happen. Why aren't Apple being criticised now, when their devices have far less RAM than the competition? (My Nexus 7 has 2GB RAM compared to the Ipad Mini's 512MB.)

I don't see what there is to brag about - what about first phone with 1GB RAM, or 2GB RAM, or Full HD screen? Android devices get a hardware "first" with every release, but it's simply not news. Meanwhile, we have an iphone "first" that happens once every 6 years, and it's treated as revolutionary.

"but Samsung is dependent on Google to push Android along and the world's biggest advertising agency has shown no inclination to go that way."

So with 3GB devices already here, Google have no plans to move to 64-bit? I doubt it. They just don't make a big fuss about it, that's all.

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iPhone 5S: Apple, you're BORING us to DEATH (And you too, Samsung)

Mark .
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Re: Video/Movie Industry still needs a

"At the very least I could see a market for a device that wraps all the various online video services behind one front end/account. So the user doesnt have to care which service has licenced which series of the show, or which sequal to the movie franchise."

You mean TV Catchup? Already done, in the UK.

Plus Smart TVs already offer various online video services behind one front end, as well as other devices. Plus I'm not sure how what you suggest solves anything - if I find that a TV series is available for Apple, but not other service, then that's still no better than the situation of today, you've just added yet another company to the mix, except worse, one that historically results in other services getting locked out - consider how in 2005, I could get apps that work with any phone, now it's still a struggle to get support for anything but the minority of iphone users.

The big problem I find is how it's all DRMed to only work with any device or OS that I want (or might want in future). Despite physical media supposedly dying out, buying a DVD and ripping it still seems to be the best solution. If the TV/film industry start giving unDRMed stuff to sell through one company, then I'm not going to praise that company, I'm going to wonder why they are showing favouritism, and didn't do this before for all companies.

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Mark .
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Re: Quite a feat?

I agree - and let's have a closer look at those 2008 to 2010 additions:

2008: 3G and apps - both things available even in low cost feature phones from 2004-2005. (Whilst they got a lot more people writing software for their devices than anyone else, it's not clear that's due to any innovation - rather it was due to them getting far more hype, and the competition ignored by the media.)

2009: um? I think they might have added MMS and copy/paste at some point around then.

2010: finally with some form of multitasking, the first version that reasonably qualifies as a smartphone. The resolution was high for its time, and these days it's barely improved, and way behind the competition, so that reasonably qualifies as something that used to be good, that now isn't. But it's also worth noting that the resolution was terrible pre-2010 also (only 480x320 IIRC, compared to say Symbian's 640x360).

I guess these are still important additions, but as you say it was nonetheless a case of playing catchup.

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Mark .
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Re: Hey...there's PLENTY more to come.

Indeed - and it's surely Nokia who are in second place for phones, Apple are third place. (Or soon to be MS - it will amuse me that at least for a while, Microsoft will be selling more phones than Apple, albeit most of them non-WP.)

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Psst.. Wanna Android all-in-one PC? We have the chip tech, says Intel

Mark .
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Re: What makes them think....

Though that's why I prefer using a PC (in laptop form) than a tablet - using a tablet with a keyboard or stand can only really be done at a desk, and it's simply not as convenient to lay on my lap.

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But how does "play media files across the network" get outdated in terms of the hardware? If it's powerful enough to do it today, I don't need to upgrade it.

And if something new comes along (like Chromecast), I'm still free to plug it into my Smart TV too.

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Intel uncloaks micro-microchip assault with Quark SoCs

Mark .
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"For Intel, the coming years will be critical as the company tries to step from the crumbling PC platform into the rising mobile device world."

So, was this article written on a phone?

I love my Nexus 7, but typing on it is a right pain, and I usually switch to my laptop (which can be as mobile as some of the big 10" or more tablets out there). (And if anyone's going to say, well I can take my tablet and attach it to a stand and keyboard - well sorry, how is that then not a Personal Computer anyway?)

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New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'

Mark .
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Re: Cheap? Just underwhelming

If I wanted a phone to do phoney things, why are you talking about fingerprints and cameras? I'd get a dirt cheap Microsoft Nokia S30 or S40 phone, and enjoy the several days of battery life.

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Re: Affordability my arse

Sadly true. Odd that the "but it sells well" never works for the sales on Windows (including 8), or Symbian which was the number one until 2011, and outsold iphone even after then; or indeed Android's overwhelming 75-80% market share today. Plus the metric for whatever sells well will always be twisted (e.g., iphone was a success after one million sales, yet selling millions is a failure for Surface, and the best selling smartphone of all time, the 2009 Nokia 5230 with 150 million sales, is completely ignored).

Note that Google Play now leads in apps - I believe they were first to reach the one million milestone.

Did it ever lead in hardware design? It had some up points (e.g., first with a GPU), but also some down points (e.g., rubbish resolution compared to the competition back in 2007-2009, and first version didn't even support 3G). The Android and even WP flagship hardware now soar passed it, and have done since around the S2, I would say.

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Mark .
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Re: Affordability my arse

Indeed (plus Samsung at least have been doing a range of colours for their phones too). It's interesting to note that one of the biggest criticisms now for WP is that MS are slow in getting support for full HD.

Full HD - 1920x1080.

Meanwhile, the "retina" display has yet to reach the 720p HD that Android phones were doing almost two years ago.

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Mark .
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Re: Affordability my arse

The odd thing about 64-bit is that with the small amounts of RAM that iphones have compared to the competition (does this still have 1GB?), at the moment this seems pointless. OTOH, with Android phones now reaching 3GB, it won't be long before they need 64-bit to make use of more. But then, I suspect that Samsung et al will quietly switch to 64-bit when it's actually required, rather than trying to grab a headline on some spec. (The first 64-bit tablet was presumably the Surface Pro, or perhaps some other Windows one, but I don't see the Register praising that point.)

Fingerprints and motion processors are gimmicks. Nothing wrong with gimmicks - but it seems like the S4 announcement had about 20 of them, rather than 2.

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Apple prepares to unleash iPhone 5S, 5C for the GREAT BRAWL OF CHINA

Mark .
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Re: Cheaper Option?!?!

Anyone remember what an ipod shuffle is?

Exactly.

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Mark .
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Re: Does this mean

Whatever the exact prices, it's still already the case that Apple already sell cheaper phones, because of the older models going at lower prices (e.g., iphone 4 now on £15/month contract), and it's not clear that releasing several models will change that. All it'll do is make it more obvious that iphones can be cheap products, as well as making it even harder for developers, after years of "It's better that there's only one model to develop for".

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Google Nexus 7 2013: Fondledroids, THE 7-inch slab has arrived

Mark .
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Re: Best Tablet in the World?

I suspect the idiot tag is more because of the way they have to evangelise and astroturf at every opportunity, revise history, pretend everyone is following their one loved company even when the other companies were making such products years earlier, come up with bizarre hand-picked methods to compare tech products (like rate of depreciation), and accuse other products of cringing at the eye, when they're the one using a product with a tacky light-up fridge-magnet corporate logo stuck on the back.

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Mark .
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Re: Narrowness

Yes it's such a shame that there's only one model of Android tablet to choose from.

Oh wait, there isn't. If you want 4:3, you can buy an Android one of those too.

If the Kindle application isn't as good as the IOS version, that's Amazon to blame, for putting the minority of Apple users ahead of the 80% of Android users. Complain to them. Personally I use FBReader, which allows me to categorise/sort my content in various ways.

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Mark .
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Re: It's cheap...

You're right that I can tell that the cost will be decent just by looking at it - it hasn't got a light-up fruit logo on the back.

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Mark .
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Re: USB OTG

Unfortunately the 2nd generation Nexus 7 is affected by some bug that stops this working (at least for Nexus Media Importer) - see http://nexususb.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/android-4.html . My Galaxy Nexus works fine with it, but my 2013 Nexus 7 doesn't, even with my trying the workaround several times. Hopefully this will be fixed - but given Google's dislike of anything to do with external storage, who knows...

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Mark .
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Re: iPad Mini 2 - The screen on the current Mini is awful...

I agree about its poor specs (I suspect a lot of people buying it think they're getting the specs of a full price/size ipad for "less" money - Samsung have done a similar trick with the S3/S4 Mini phones, which are actually lower spec, with many people not realising). Though just to comment on:

"as well as proper tablet versions of apps"

But what's a proper "tablet" version? It's more a question of devices of different sizes, but the problem is now that all of the IOS apps for "tablets" were designed for a 10" tablet, so it's wrong to assume that they magically work on an 8" device as well too. I mean, why does a 10"-designed UI work fine on 8", but a 5"-designed UI not work well on 7"?

Android has been designed to work with a range of four different sizes, with developers aware of there being hundreds of devices, for years. Whilst a model of "specifically design for one or two models" can work better, it blows up when they they try to generalise that to having more different models.

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Mark .
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Re: iPad Mini 2

And a way lower resolution and DPI, and half the RAM (all more in line with last year's budget Android tablets), and fewer apps (as well as the problem that most apps have either been designed for either a 3.5" or 10" device, not 8" - what was once the advantage of specifically designed UIs for two sizes of devices now becomes a disadvantage as they move to a greater number of sizes).

It was very slightly thinner, and lighter, but the 2nd generation Nexus fixes those issues (and is now lighter than the ipad mini), as well as making the specs even further even the lead.

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BING! Microsoft plants Xbox Music flagpoles in Android and iOS

Mark .
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Re: Admission of Windows Phone failure

By this logic, Google is admitting 80%-share Android is a failure, because it's releasing software for IOS. And I guess Windows x86 must be a failure too, due to MS releasing software like Office for other platforms. Heaven forbid a company be a bit more open.

Never understood why WP's 5% is a "failure" whilst OS X's 6% is seen as a duopoly alongside Windows anyway (especially when that's after many more years of trying, and ridiculous amounts of product placement in almost every US TV show).

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Amazon DENIES launch of iPhone-killing freebie smartphone

Mark .
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Re: Free = very locked down?

Depends - if a free or dirt cheap phone is selling like hot cakes, then I'm sure that an increasing number of people will put their Android applications onto Amazon's store too.

(Of course, there'll always be the companies that have no clue as to what has the largest share - the ones that even today cater for only iphones, for example - but that's a problem plaguing all other platforms, Android included.)

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It's the software, stupid: Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch bags big apps

Mark .
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But that's only slightly better than my book!

I still find it amusing that my £29 Nook has 800MHz CPU with 256MB RAM, and 16GB of storage. I mean, the idea that the future would have watches and phones that were actually mobile computers with high spec wouldn't have surprised me, especially at hundreds of pounds, indeed, that was what we were expecting the future to be. But 256MB RAM in something that's dedicated at one function, to read books?

It's like saying in 2030, a £20 toaster will have 256GB of RAM and an 80-core processor.

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Samsung stakes claim to smartwatch market with Galaxy Gear

Mark .
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I agree, though it's still too high for Apple - they don't get a free pass. In particular, I think it's good for Samsung to make this move first - the media can't claim $300 is too high, and then turn around and ignore the issue when Apple release a $600 watch.

And whilst it is too high for me (and there look to be cheaper alternatives already), I think it's worth noting that new technology always starts high. So sales won't be as high, but they'll be making profits off the early adopters. Later on, price will fall, sales will increase.

(Hardly anyone bought the first iphone either, instead there was growth over the years, despite what the Apple history revisionists claim.)

Another stumbling block for me is only working with some of the Galaxy phones. Whilst not a problem for Samsung (I expect an Apple watch will only work with iphones, a smaller market than the number of Galaxies out there), I'd like something that at least works with any Android phone. I hope the Google watch rumours turn out to be true - Google will likely make it work for all Android devices, and give us a price without trying to make a profit.

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Give us a break: Next Android version to be called 'KitKat'

Mark .
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Re: I would have been very surprised if either company had objected.

If Nestle aren't getting any money from it, surely one can still boycott them even if you're buying an Android device?

True it might seem annoying that they be given publicity, but one doesn't have to refer to Android Kitkat, you can just say Android, or specify Android 4.4. (This isn't quite as nuts as "sponsored by itunes festival", where there isn't any name to refer to the festival by AFAIK other than the product placement name.)

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iPhone rises, Android slips in US, UK

Mark .
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Re: I wonder if it's straightforward role reversal

I agree. Also note how it's just two countries - even if one platform is overall doing far better, there are bound to be fluctuations in some countries where it doesn't always do better. It's typical that reporters handpick the ones that make Apple look best.

There's also the problem that percentages are a poor comparison in a growing market - we need to look at absolute numbers. Android sales have likely still increased, and it can even be the case that the increase could be higher than iphone in absolute numbers, even if the market share has dropped (this did occur with Symbian at some points, e.g., around 2009).

I was also confused by "Still, the iPhone growth is surprising, considering that iPhone sales have historically stalled in the period leading up to the release of a new Cupertinian handset " - given that this is year-on-year comparison, and therefore the same excuse would have applied to last year too. We have this same excuse every year, how the next iphone will be the one to dominate, honest. We're still waiting. Meanwhile, the likes of Samsung have solid high sales all year round.

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Mark .
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Any? That's like saying people aren't switching to Android, they're switching to Samsung, or they aren't switching to IOS. How many average people even know what Android or IOS is?

I don't see why low cost is seen as a negative - surely if one company delivers a product people want at a lower cost than the competition, that's success. There are plenty of cheap Android and iphone phones anyway.

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Re: Peak Register

The same thing was true of Symbian - although the share was falling in the late 2000s, the numbers were still increasing, in fact at a faster rate than iphones in absolute numbers.

And actually, I suspect that the same thing is all that's happening here with Android. Percentages are counter-intuitive - it could even be the case that Android has risen faster (in absolute numbers) than iphone, even if Apple's share increases whilst Android's falls!

"But many Android phones have been bought by users who have no interest in a smart-phone per se. They would have bought a feature phone"

But this is also true of people buying cheaper iphones - as you say yourself, Apple have already long been in the lower end of the market, by selling older models at lower price (I recently saw the ancient iphone 4 going for £15/month).

But yes, the smartphone "growth" has really only been that phones that used to be called "feature" are now called "smart" (and the distinction is completely arbitrary anyway) - it's not clear there has been really that much growth, or change in spending patterns.

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Microsoft - do you really think you can take on Google with Nokia?

Mark .
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Whilst Google may well be in a better situation, I'm not sure I agree with your reasoning. Google are pushing people into their cloud products far more so than MS. And MS's products, including Office, are cross-platform too (I have One Note and Sky Drive for my Android phone, no different to WP; they've released for Macs for years).

"Home computing is with tablets and smartphones because they are simple to use."

Some people may prefer tablets, but as much as I love my Nexus 7, I still prefer using a laptop. Simpler to use with its keyboard, touchpad and larger screen. And I like just laying it on my lap, rather than have to hold it. And typing on a touchscreen is unbearable. Whilst a few people may use phones at all, I don't find it better. I think the biggest advantage tablets will have for their prevalence is having a far lower cost than laptops. But despite being around for years, we've yet to see the death of laptops - if everyone preferred them, why aren't they already using them, in place of laptops rather than in addition?

For all the people I know buying phones and tablets, they seem to be getting these gadgets as additional devices.

"I'm not saying PCs will disappear, nor am I saying Microsoft will, just that until today, people only had PCs to surf the web, go on YouTube and write their emails/tweets/sms."

People used PCs to write SMSs?

Also remember though, up until the mid-2000s, people weren't doing things like Facebook, Youtube etc at all. There was actually only a relatively small window of time where both people were buying technology to do these things, and when laptops and desktops were the only choice.

So yes, we may find the market size drops a bit - perhaps as much as say 50% of the set of people who only use a computer to browse Facebook/Youtube no longer need a PC. But you'll still have the people who prefer laptops; and you'll also have all the reasons that existed before the mid-2000s for why people had PCs - such as for word processing, printing, games (not all of which translate well to tablets), working from home. I find it odd that on forums where people seem to hate the idea that Windows 8 "only works with tablets" (even though it isn't true), also seems to have the prevalent view that laptops are dead, and we should be doing everything with small phones and tablets.

Also the laptops vs tablet argument is starting to become irrelevant, with tablets that are convertibles and full blown PCs. Did we have these debates about the death of the desktop, because laptops were appearing?

Long term I think Android will be far more prevalent than anything else, because it will be more suited for an increasing number of devices that become computerised (TVs, cars, home appliances, etc). But even though my British Gas boiler now connects to my wifi network, that doesn't mean I'm going to throw my laptop away to do computing on the boiler or fridge-freezer.

I'd also add that Apple would have more to lose if people switch from laptops to tablets, as the strongest market for Macs is in the ultra-portable segment, competing directly with tablets.

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Mark .
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Re: Will WindowsPhone become Nokia-only?

I dare not even read the BBC coverage to see how terrible it is - I remember for years how they completely ignored the number one smartphone platform Symbian, instead raving on about iphones the entire time. As someone else notes in these comments, it's a sad day for Europe too (I believe Nokia was Europe's number one technology company, and Symbian was of course a Europe-developed OS), but it's hard to blame Microsoft when the European media would rather celebrate only US tech all this time.

Interesting question that you ask - the flipside is, I was wondering if the Nokia software like maps would be made available to other WP phones.

I agree about market share - Apple were doing fine for years with iphone on just 5-10% (not to mention that translated to a smaller number back then in absolute numbers), and still do fine with Mac OS at 6%, after all. http://allaboutwindowsphone.com/news/item/18284_Kantar_data_shows_Windows_Phon.php shows that it is growing.

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Re: One Crucial Thing MS Didn't Get

And then there was the guy who said he wanted to destroy the most successful version of Linux, using software patents to do so - look what happened to him...

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Mark .
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"Since Google has become the business juggernaut it is today, no one has beaten it at anything significant yet."

Although MS doesn't lose on all the comparisons - ChromeOS is a long way to taking on Windows's 91% share; and how do Office and Google Docs compare?

I mean, I think it is interesting to note that things are lining up with lots of common products between MS and Google, but whilst MS lose hopelessly on some (e.g., Search), they are ahead on others. Clearly, MS does beat Google on desktop/laptop OS market share.

Not that it has to matter for us. I use Windows and Android; I use One Note and Sky Drive on my Android devices, and Chrome and Google search, maps on Windows. Just don't try to lock me into one company (or "ecosystem", as the marketing types would say).

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Microsoft buys Nokia's mobile business

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I wonder what happens to the non-Windows Phone parts of Nokia - their lower end phones? Admittedly WP is increasingly moving into the low end, but it still can't replace a £20 phone yet, plus some prefer the traditional phones with long battery life and physical keypads.

I hope Nokia's own online store (which still serves the massive Symbian and S40 userbase) won't be dismantled quite yet...

Will the Nokia branding remain? I hope so - MS would be foolish to drop it.

It will also be interesting to see if Nokia's software (Maps etc) which have been added to the Lumia phones will be made part of the standard WP package, and offered to other manufacturers.

"It's certainly not an easy problem to solve when the two other ecosystem players are so dominant."

There's only one dominant smartphone platform that I'm aware of (there used to be two, but Nokia ditched Symbian a couple of years ago). What's the other one? One dominant with nearly 80% share, and then two or three minor ones. Seriously - I find it funny that Apple always gets counted as "dominant" at 15%, and the line is conveniently always drawn below Apple. Consider that WP's share is comparable to Mac OS's 6% share on PCs, yet people still count Mac OS as one of the two "dominant" platforms. Talking of goalpost moving:

"Surface has flopped."

One million sales is a runaway success for Apple, but several million is a flop for MS? Sorry - whatever you think of the Surface, it isn't a flop. It isn't a runaway success either (just as Apple's releases aren't). Yet more goalpost-moving to favour Apple every time. I don't care about the Surface, but let's not twist the facts inconsistently to suit an agenda.

Unless it's okay for me to go around calling the iphone a flop based on its early sales.

Still, I suppose we should be glad the author isn't labelleling the 100 million selling Windows 8 a flop, as some claimed it was...

X Box is also another example of a good selling product, so it isn't just Windows and Office.

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Nokia drives cars into the clouds: Hear HERE, you're here, hear?

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Re: while Google Maps can leave you lost in the wilderness when the signal disappears.

Please, show me - how do I cache offline maps on Google maps, a country or continent at a time? So far, I can only work out how to save a limited number of small city-sized areas at a time. And given that the latest Google maps update removed the option, and offline maps are only now available via a secret "easter eggs" style control, I think most people need to be shown how to use it, not just Nokia.

Perhaps someone can show Google how to do offline maps properly, like Nokia were doing 7 years ago.

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Cognitive Networks to bring creepy awareness to LG's smart TVs

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There are no ads being fed to me on my smart TV. On the contrary, being able to play video across the network means no ads compared to broadcast TV that has them all the time. Or I could just plug in a hard disk and have it work as a PVR, avoiding ads that way.

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Re: I don't understand something here...

If these features are now standard, does it matter if you're not using it?

I mean, I don't use SCART input on my TV, but it's a bit like saying "I can't find any TVs without SCART inputs". I've never used the firewire on my laptop either. Or does the presence of the features cause a problem?

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Web showered in golden iPhone 5S vid glory - but is it all a DISTRACTION?

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Re: @AC 28th August 2013 14:07 but Apple will probably wait ..

So what makes that different to any other company? I have an mp3 player that's great. I prefer Windows and the Linux distribution's looks to OS X "big row of icons" fisher-price appearance - but really this is a matter of opinion. If you mean in the past, then classic MacOS started off as a horrendous black and white affair.

Colour of computers is also a matter of opinion - I prefer platforms therefore that let me choose from a large range of computers, rather than one that limits me to "gray". It also seems an odd criticism, considering how tacky the light up fridge magnet logo looks like.

PDAs, smartphones, media players were all "tablets", that were light to use. The ones which were heavy were full blown PCs, which the ipad is not. We do now have such full blown PCs in tablet form, but it's not from Apple.

The iphone wasn't a smartphone, or even a feature phone, since it didn't run apps. I've found Symbian, Android, and feature phones all easy to use. "Sexy" is not a word I personally use for hardware - again you are appealing to opinion. I've loved the look of entirely black devices from Nokia and Samsung. Better than something covered in a noticable corporate logo, which doesn't scream "sexy" to me.

"if they were rubbish they would not sell the amounts they do"

But hang on - you base your argument on the competition being rubbish, and Apple being the first to produce something better. But how do you explain the amounts sold for Windows, or how many other smartphones were being sold in 2007 by Nokia etc?

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Mark .
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Re: but Apple will probably wait ..

"Touch-screen smartphones and proper tablets (not just a computer stuck in a touchscreen unit)? Siri? iTunes?"

Touch-screen - nope (though if you said multitouch, you'd be right). They didn't popularise it either (the most successful smartphone of all time is from 2009, and a touchscreen - it wasn't made by Apple, but by Nokia).

Proper tablets - by which you mean smartphones rather than computers in a touchscreen. Well, they already existed for years - most notably, smartphones. There were also "media players" which had larger screens and did Internet, videos, apps (including ones that run Android in 2009). In the early 2000s, we had PDAs. Tablets that weren't "computers in a touchscreen unit" existed for years, we just called them by a different name, and originally, "tablet PC" was only used for PCs. That's not being first, that's playing with dictionary definitions.

Siri? A trademark for voice recognition that existed for years on other platforms. And even Siri itself wasn't invented by Apple, but bought out.

Yes, they were first to market with itunes, that's because itunes is an Apple product, just like Nokia were first to market with Lumia phones, or MS are first to market with Windows.

"Someone selling a few mp3s online doesn't really count"

Aha, here we have it - Apple were first, except for those who did it before them. If we can discount those who sell less, then we can discount the early iphones, as Apple sold far less phones than several other companies. We can discount MacOS's GUI, as Windows sold far more. And we can discount ipads, when Android tablets are now starting to sell far more. We can also discount the first ipod as it sold poorly compared to the competition (it wasn't until they added support for Windows that it started to sell better).

"And a fully touch-screen phone is /was a pretty bold move."

Not as bold as those doing it in the previous year.

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Mark .
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Re: What's interesting

It's worth noting that Apple have been doing cheaper lower end models for years - the older iphone models. The other day, I saw phones4U advertising ancient iphone 4s (that's 4s, not 4Ss) at £15/month, for example. And this article talks about using a "4S innards", so it's going to be lower spec too.

If there are people who want to "finally" get an iphone, they can already do so. You could probably pick an original iphone out the trash, but quite why anyone would want such an ancient dumb phone in 2013 is beyond me.

So launching a lower end model doesn't change anything. It might mean they can better optimise things that are aimed at a lower end from the start, but the flipside is that it no longer appears to the fools who think they're getting a "high end" phone, because it's a cut down ("cheap plastic"!) model from the start.

"So they will pay twice as much as for a Nexus 4"

On that note, interesting to see the massive price cut on the already excellent value Nexus 4. Just £160 for the 8GB model.

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Moto X teardown shows US manufacturing adds mere $4 to handset costs

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Re: Better than "Designed in California" but "Made in China"

I agree - given that Android and WP are from US companies, most smartphones could be said to be "Designed in the USA" anyway.

What completely loses me though is them running the "Designed in California" on UK TV - why should most UK viewers favour a US product over an Asian one, I wonder (given that's where most the competing electronics companies are - or where they want us to think they're "designed"). In the US, it's appealing to protectionism, but to the UK, it's appealing to racism.

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Why Teflon Ballmer had to go: He couldn't shift crud from Windows 8, Surface

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100 million

"Nobody is forced to use touch, but so many of the design decisions were clearly biased towards touch."

Such as? Honest question. I find it works fine. I can understand some people don't like the new start screen, but that's got nothing to do with touch (and can easily be changed with a free utility). The full screen apps are optional - you can carry on running your old Windows apps same as before. I hated the Windows XP start menu, but I didn't go around claiming it was made for touch, or Windows was therefore a flop. I don't think everything's perfect - there are criticisms are made. But I fail to fathom how it's unusable without touch, or that the diferences were made from touch in the first place.

Some things are done with a right mouse click on the start screen - how does that work with touch? Indeed one of the biggest complains, lack of a start button, makes no sense with touch either - how do I hover my finger over a hotspot? I assume there are different ways to do these operations with a touchscreen. Normally you'd expect a UI made for touch to be requiring buttons, not getting rid of them!

"like the iPhone changed mobiles"

No, it didn't. It couldn't even run apps. It wasn't first with a touchscreen. Did it popularise them? Nope, the most successful smartphone of all time is the 2009 Nokia 5230, with 150 million sales, compared to a few million for the 2007 iphone 1. It had a touchscreen. By platform, Symbian and later Android did far more to popularise touchscreens to the masses.

"In 10 years time maybe we'll all be seeing Windows 8 as a glorious failure that was before its time, but I doubt it."

With 100 million sales, it's already a runaway success, whatever one thinks of it. It's painful how people insist it's a flop - yet the original iphone was regarded as a runaway success with a mere one million sales in 76 days!

The Surface sales don't seem unreasonable either (again compare to the first iphone, or how do they compare to many Android tablets, or the Nexus line of phones until the Nexus 4?) - the mistake seems to have been to make far too many of them. Same with advertising - there's vastly more marketing for Apple than anyone else (e.g., product placement in virtually every US TV show, and also in plenty of adverts). One has to endure an Applevert multiple times a day, compared to an MS advert every few weeks. If there was a mistake, it was getting ripped off if they spent so much money, for so little resultant marketing that I've seen.

And actually, if Windows XP is anything to go by, ironically it will be the Windows critics themselves spinning Windows 8 as a glorious success, claiming how wonderful it is, and that MS are now doomed because of their horrible new Windows 10...

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