1039 posts • joined Friday 19th June 2009 15:36 GMT
Android clones? Did you mistype "WP clones"?
WP7 'clones' I can understand, Microsoft have the spec so locked down almost all manufacturers can change is the size and colour of the casing. Over in Android land there's so much device differentiation no discussion can avoid the 'fragmentation' bogeyman!
If Nokia wanted to differentiate their devices they picked the wrong OS and wrong OS partner. If they really have ninja hardware skills they could own the Android market. Owning the WP niche hardly compares.
Re: Would this be an accurate summary of events?
...just wondering where they're going to get the 'lucrative smartphone business' from?
Re: My 2p worth
Oh yes, the Americans love their all American Samsung phones... oh, my mistake.
The US market is hard to break into because as a market it's totally broken with no real competition between carriers, no real way to bypass them for phone sales and public attitudes to mobile years behind the rest of the world. Having an American hardware/OS partner matters less than having an American carrier on your side. And they're agnostic about where they get their wholesale devices, beyond the problems having cell systems incompatible with the rest of the world cause. Having systems incompatible with each other they like, that just traps customers.
Also, in case you forgot, Google is an American company. If having an American partner mattered so much they might as well have gone with Google. Instead of fighting for the mass market they decided to be the biggest fish in a very small pool and wait for it to grow. Problem is they can't throw enough subsidies at users to make that happen and still survive, meanwhile Microsoft can just wait to pick off the IP.
Most of us saw this coming when Elop announced the WP strategy. Nice that Orlowski finally caught up.
Re: what happened?
When did we stop being disappointed when the new toy turns out to be a turkey?
Re: I thought I'd have a look around
Memories are short aren't they? I remember when Google launched and word of mouth spread like wildfire across the net. There were at least a dozen search engines bookmarked in my browser and I'd switched to aggregated results from many of them in a desperate attempt to get relevant results.
Google wiped out AltaVista in less than a year just by being better, with nothing but pure search available. I can't even remember the names of any other search services now. The legions of SEO services, the continual gaming of Pagerank has seriously damaged Googles search quality, a better search could still do to Google what Google did to Altavista. That is after all the entire point of vertical search engines, limit the scope so you can afford to do it better. Yet few of them even try to be better.
Bing fails because they aren't trying to be better at search, they aren't trying to be better at services. They're deliberately trying to build a sticky web to trap users, copying the integration Google evolved but skipping on the quality of each component.
Re: Monopoly vs Racket
It believe it's wrong to suggest the EU are 'eager' to do anything here, they're pretty conspicuously giving Google several opportunities to nix this. Their problem is an organised campaign to force them to act which I'd call it a conspiracy if it weren't being done in the open.
An unholy alliance of sleazy failed 'vertical search' companies who've spent years trying to game Google search without success and arch competitor Microsoft (and no doubt some I've forgotten|not noticed) compiled 400 pages of allegations and dumped them on the EU. Hard to do nothing faced with that but the EU have tried hard, presenting just 4 concerns last month to Google, 1 of which appears to be false (or if I'm feeling charitable is a mistake, a contractual restriction from a *different* Google 'product' where it's actually defensible).
Microsoft are in a difficult position, Bing is just successful enough no-one would take their complaint seriously, so they're hovering in the background padding the complaint. The other scum are really complaining that 'Search Engine Optimisation' isn't working for them, what they really want is PageRank crippled so SEO does work or bypassed so they don't even need SEO.
I'd love to know how many of them genuinely believe they have good products that would succeed in a PageRank free free for all. Instead of sinking completely without trace, without even Google to find them with.
Beginning to look like they're trying very hard to get Google to provide an excuse to do nothing, some offer that has no material effect. If nothing else they must be aware of just how expensive checking if there's any unfair behaviour in the ranking system will be.
If comment seen elsewhere is true, at least some of the supposed contractual strongarm claims are simply false, probably made up by the vertical search scum agitating for this. Very easy to say "we don't do that now and won't start doing it".
The sticky bit is ensuring the scumbags don't get to bypass proper ranking of their useless sites.
Re: At least they phone you back
To add further insult, if I somehow manage to get connected in those 1st few seconds, I sit there for 20min or more in a fscking queueing system, racking up 0845 call charges! So far I've not managed to actually talk to a human on the system, it always drops my call some random time 10s of minutes into the wait.
Do have a nice pile of NHS feedback forms they insist on sending me but what's the point of filling them in if I've never met my doctor, 5 years now and never managed to catch him actually in the surgery? His locum spends longer in the bloody surgery.
And they don't phone back here...
Re: There are no folders in metro
Androids home screen folder support will get copied to Metro eventually. Wasting a entire 'tile' worth of space makes no sense on small screen devices but would become more usable on tablets or PC. Will reinforce the absolute space wasting stupidity of Metros tile sizing but too late to fix that.
I don't think it solves all the problems though. Nest folders deeply and that's a lot of extra clicks navigating them, leave them shallow and you're back to running out of screen estate. Only works on Android because they made launch icons small, not screen gobbling monster tiles.
And you've still had to switch context from the classic desktop to use it.
Re: Didn't this happen with Windows 95?
The difference was: a small minority gave kneejerk howls of protest, the majority hated Program Manager with a passion. The exact opposite of Metro vs Start.
...and then the idiots noticed they could still run Program Manager, but didn't bother.
@Alex Walsh: I'm sure the gaming sites will have extreme resolution and AA tests, you're expecting too much from The Reg! They've done just enough to show there's not much difference in fairly typical gaming setups though a 16x AA test would have been informative.
@BenR: the high end gamers buying these cards aren't much worried about the price of the monitor(s), especially not compared to £800-900 for a pair of cards to drive it. Cards that will be updated more frequently than a good monitor and they'll pay for a good monitor because a cheap one can really screw up play.
what were you looking at while you were in the start menu that's so important?
...a tree of program names instead of a flat list? A tree that fits onscreen without scrolling despite having hundreds of assorted things in it...
know little to nothing about supporting Windows 7 is not the fault of Microsoft
It is however Microsofts fault that so many tools got moved or even removed between XP and Win7, for no apparent reason. Change for changes sake. Or more likely change for charging more training fee's sake.
how do the plan to unpiss off developers?
I really can't see devs running eagerly towards this after the Play disaster and it's jumbled mess of competing store fronts, near total lack of content and failed Play hardware. The subsequent Play ICS decision and cancelling any future Play devices has annoyed pretty much everyone.
Dealing with Sony Ericsson was a lot more palatable than dealing with Sony, Ericsson injected some sense and respect for both customers and developers. Something died when Sony took control.
Expect to see this struggle on largely ignored by Android users. Sony choose not to be competitive on price in their store(s), certification is only as good as the OS and device they happened to test on (their own ICS update demonstrates that) and they've made little pretence this is anything but a way to sell the same network services their other devices use. Hard to get excited.
Re: MetroUI gives no chance to Windows8. It's toast already.
It's a certainty Metro will be hacked out of Win8 very quickly unless Microsoft have made extraordinary efforts to prevent it, more than just disabling registry keys. We'll know reality has erupted in Redmond the day they stop trying to block those hacks.
Sit back and enjoy the coming war between Microsoft and hackers. Thrill to how close to disaster Microsoft go before they quietly stop blocking 3rd party attempts to 'fix' Win8 and it's Metro madness.
I'm confident Metro will eventually be excisable (or Win8 will vanish without trace). I want to see some in depth analysis of what new boobytraps are scattered through the core OS and it's desktop front end. Already alarmed at the whole cloud focus and the Live account crap, I really don't want my PC dependent on a connection to Microsoft. Activating XP every time I rebuild causes me enough problems already.
Re: But how did work fare?
@j4rmony:"Note also, he didn't say "crashed"
From the article: "Downloading a file, running an installer and writing an email at the same time ended up with hard crashes"
So yes, he didn't say 'crashed'. 'Crashes'.
In previous Windows versions the often broken network layer just broke networking for an unpredictable length of time till. Seems with a OS determined to be online that now intrudes into the rest of the OS.
Re: Was it only me.....
"the ad-hom's against Lewis (and Andrew Orlowski etc.. ) are from mindless ecotards who don't read the article .."
A lot of us are old time Vulture readers fucking annoyed with Lewis and Orlowski hijacking the site for their own personal and deliberately divisive crusades. I want the old 'us against the IT industry' Reg back, I can read biased shit anywhere and it's annoying everywhere it stains the web.
FFS they were both too busy to track the Oracle vs Google case, beyond reprinting whatever Mueller or Naughton were paid to say (Oracle & Microsoft payroll respectively) . One of the most significant lawsuits ever for IT and no research done at all. WTF were they doing? Not their jobs.
Re: Lewis is getting desperate
Ah but, in Lewis's parallel reality the industrial revolution only kicked off in 1940 and quickly became so efficient it no longer affects the planet.
More realistically I suspect he plans on passing his military training on his descendants so they can fight their way to success whatever happens. Survivalists, have to laugh at them (shooting thems not allowed).
Re: Microsoft are playing games. Badly
That 'stating the bleeding obvious'.
Metro is a fullscreen experience. Once you fire up an app you aren't seeing much of Metro any longer, just the chrome from it. And that chrome is very thin, a side effect of the stark simplified styling of Metro itself. So how is that going to hook people on the UI?
They won't be seeing the Metro front end while actively using the machines, particularly in the tablet default 'consumption device' mode. Won't be staring at Metro while not using the device. What is it ordinary folk are supposed to get used to that drives them to seek out Metro?
Renaming 'widget' to 'live tile' didn't magically make them a unique, must have feature and there's not much else to talk about. Several so called vertical UI versions (the fashionable label for Metro) ship for Android and all have failed, people just don't find this approach compelling.
Re: train wreck
It also seems obvious now that one objective of the prereleases was to let techies party on hacking Metro into submission. Then blocking all those exploits.
A significant number of 'average joes' never need to deal with the 'where's my XXXX gone' because they let their techie friend configure their machine before using it in anger. My brother let's me configure his new laptops before he even turns them on, something annoys me enough I turn it off before he knows it was there.
What will save Win8 (if that's possible) is people will find hacks faster than Microsoft can ship updates to block them. At some point it will be possible to configure Metro away and make it stick and a working 'enough' Start menu will get frankensteined onto Win8.
I'd bet on the Nortel patents being part of this (we have few details of the complaint), either directly or as a logical extension of the regulators opinion of that deal.
Before the pool of companies were allowed to buy Nortels patents they had to undertake not to use them offensively, that *is enforceable* and a proper use of competition authorities if they break the spirit of the undertaking - which they have for the Nortel patents.
Even without any binding undertakings Google probably believe the EU authorities may find the same dodge unpalatable. Unfortunately the corporate friendly US authorities have already bent over for their Microsoft masters.
If nothing else it adds to the pressure to nuke this entire troll industry.
Re: "you could copyright the algorithm"
Wrong, you cannot ever copyright ideas, that's what patents are for. Sadly our idiot patent offices seem eager to patent maths (AKA algorithms).
This distinction is explicitly referred to in the judgement, both as the reason APIs aren't copyrightable and to point out this would award patent like monopolies that last far longer than patents - 95 years vs 20 in the US.
Re: not so fast
...and if you'd actually kept up with the case you'd know Oracle has agreed that Alsup will decide the damages on the 9 lines of rangeCheck that actually was in Android and the 8 files that *weren't*. That part of the case is still being scheduled.
And he made it very clear to Oracle several weeks ago that the amount awarded would be approximately $ZERO. Oracle (or more accurately the talking monkeys they hired from BS&F) gambled insanely on turning de minimis infringement into a massive payout. They lost. The maximum likely award was $150,000 before handing Alsup the decision, like I said more than a year ago: Oracle won't cover their legal costs. The judge in fact pointed out to them in court that it would cost them more than they can win in lawyer's time just to argue the point.
1:10 actual users?
Here, I still have more than 4 Skype accounts (my wife also has a couple), still using none of them. It was just easier to create a new one than remember the old details. Abandoned before Microsoft gave me an excuse ;)
Looks like 1:10 real to abandoned accounts is about right, given you need to log in to receive calls and plenty of those 40mil are Skype phones. The moment we got Google Talk working for video calls Skype was superfluous, even the landline phones & mobile can natively run SIP.
On Android the heavy lifting like rendering and media playback is in native code that Intel will have simply compiled to native x86. The Dalvik VM will also be written in native x86. Most of the time the emulator won't be doing anything.
It's only when ARM native support libs ship with apps the emulator will get used. They're typically demanding apps - games for instance. Quality of the emulator will only matter when it most needs to be good. If they got it wrong Atom phones will condemn themselves to the low end where Intel simply cant compete on price with ARM.
Looking forward to seeing real test results on the emulator. Split feelings though, much as I despise Intel an effective emulation will make life much simpler for app devs, who wont need to ship native x86 support with apps.
Re: Much as I really hate to defend Metro.......
How do you see the live tiles with a fullscreen app covering the entire screen?
Which would be a fair point if Microsoft hadn't laced Win8 with tripwires to fire up Metro mode with common actions. FFS they deliberately disabled the register hacks that let us lock it into desktop mode, they really are intent on tricking or forcing everyone to get used to Metro as the primary interface.
If it were good they wouldn't need compulsion, desktop would wither on its own.
Yes, even Metro dualtasking is often worse than useless. When I have Eclipse running in debug mode it barely squeezes enough information onscreen in fullscreen 2048x1152 mode.
If I need an external target window open (typically the Android emulator) I want that window stealing the absolute minimum screen area from Eclipse, not some arbitrary large Microsoft decided fraction. If I put it on a 2nd monitor I don't want Metro's piss poor multimonitor support getting in the way either or having to squash or replace the apps pinned there already.
That's just dualtasking. Before I got a smartphone I'd leave just enough of the email client exposed to track incoming mail, put an IM client in a tiny window in a corner, a browser tracking something else and still have plenty of space for several working windows. Now I use the smartphone as a 3rd monitor handling all that crap, maybe Metro is really about getting everyone to work that way as a way to sell Win8 devices ;)
"cheaper to stick to a 12 month plan": WTF?
"works out far cheaper to stick to a 12 month plan than it does over a two year stretch"
WTF? That only works if you don't bother using it for the next 12 months. For a 24 month period the Vodaphone 12month contract is the most expensive of all! Hapless users could presumably switch to SIM only for the 2nd 12 months but how many remember to do that and you didn't include that calculation anyway.
Might as well point out if you just buy the phone contract free and never turn it on it's even cheaper!
Bad enough the mobile industry has customers unable to calculate the real price of anything, now the Reg is helping spread the bollocks.
As long as Xbox360 lives most PC games will support DX9 whatever Microsoft tries.
Win7 broke enough games that it's debatable whether it drove adoption more than discouraged it amongst gamers. Win8 deliberately created incompatibility with existing game libraries would be incredibly risky.
Thinking that Windows 8 will make a large number of users leave iOS & Android for WP7 (or even Win8) is just as insane as Microsoft apparently expecting Windows 8 to be a commercial success.
There, fixed it.
Never lose sight of what this is about: bludgeoning their way into the mobile and pad markets using their desktop monopoly. Won't it be fun if Metro on the desktop is so annoying it loses them tablet and mobile sales?
"The 'positive' [for Windows] ones only post in response to your crap."
That's a reflection of how irrelevant the Reg is. The paid shills are too busy actively monitoring influential sites like SlashDot and getting a remarkable number of 1st posts in. Sometimes managing 100's of words in mere seconds... no funny business going on there ;)
The Reg has to make do with amateurs pushing the party li[n]e.
Other reports suggest thevlicence terms forbid deploying desktop apps. Too lazy to check which it is but I did grab the ISO for the last release in case I ever need to hack something together.
Realistically I'll probably just use any convenient scripting tool at hand if that happens. Even Java...
Re: copying for interoperability is fair use
I think this is Googles weakest defence. Interoperability exceptions were meant to prevent product lockin, by letting programmers create interoperable programs and components end users rights are protected. In Android the interoperability with the Java stack is partial and more about leveraging programmers experience than preventing lockin (or lock out).
Alsup asked questions that suggest he's not convinced by the argument. Although it ultimately didn't convince the jury Oracles incessant whining about 'fragmenting Java' has some truth - if you don't supply the whole environment how can you claim interoperability as a defence?
I expect when Alsup finally rules it won't be the blanket 'APIs aren't copyrightable' most expect. A precedent that confirms this as a matter of fact for a jury decide seems plausible.
The arithmetic's not quite that simple. Googles lowest licence offer was $30mil+other goodies, if Sun had asked for 50 or possibly even $100mil for the terms Google wanted they'd have got it.
Google would save money (not needing Dalvik, not having to subset Harmony) but would still end up paying as much to overlay Android over J2SE as over Harmony. J2SE is better for smartphones than ME but still not mobile ready. The major advantage would be launching with a mature, optimising JVM. Well, they launched quickly enough anyway and the poor initial Dalvik performance hasn't hurt sales visibly. I think the cost/benefit totals closer than you think, but that's just an opinion ;)
The price of a licence you can't buy is irrelevant though. We now know the price of the terms Google *needed* was $7.4bil+ in a bidding war to buy Sun. About $6bil of that for Java IP it appears is worth much less following this trip to court!
"I suspect it would have been cheaper to settle"
The licence Sun wanted to offer was worthless for Android, far from saving Google time and money it would have crippled Android - they'd have ended up rewriting most of it in some other language and just bolting a worthless Java module in.
...but let's pretend they could have got a licence worth having. Given the amount Google offered Sun for the licence they wanted that's probably more than they spent on this case. In BS&Fs previous copyright crusade (SCO vs IMB,HP,Linux) they successfully ran up huge discovery costs for IBM, that didn't happen this time. A combination of there being less to discover in a younger product/company and not having an idiot judge prepared to impose ridiculous burdens on the defendant. And perhaps having learned from BS&Fs previous outrageous abuse of process ;)
Re: Probaby not too important from Oracle's point of view
""Before this trial started, it had already become crystal clear that the copyright part of the case was going to be the important one, not the patents"
By the time the *trial* started it had become obvious the patent case was already lost, with 5 already invalidated, 1 provisionally invalid, 1 remaining. Those 7 patents were the 7 strongest cherry picked from the 50 odd patents Oracle started with. Given the blatant bullshit Oracle had its experts spew in the patent phase they had to know they were fscked. BS so wrong it made the bollocks Google also issued actually look correct.
So of course the copyright addon became the significant issue, the patent case fell apart.
But remember: the copyright claims were promoted largely *because* the patent claim evaporated long before reaching trial. No deliberate choice, no actual confidence outside BS&F the claims were valid, just reaction to a collapsing case.
Based on past observation David Boies brought it ready made (it's the SCO casework) and the patent claims were then little more than an excuse to dive into Google internal documents trying to fake up infringement. Infringement they couldn't even fabricate this time, unlike their careful rearrangement of Linux source code in the SCO debacle.
This started when Steve Jobs issued threats of a cabal of patent holders preparing to sue Android into oblivion. Whether Larry Ellison was part of that conspiracy or just jumped on the bandwagon hardly matters. They decided to hit Google+Android and didn't let the facts interfere with the plan.
"not tried it but somehow know it will feel wrong"
I just reached out toward my closest monitor. Finger got to about 1cm away from the screen surface. Do I really have to try anything more to know touch control on it is not usable and likely to cause severe RSI?
I look forward to the lawsuits when the RSI aspects sink in.
Foundem delusional as usual
When Foundem say "has affirmed Foundem’s complaint," they apparently didn't read the word 'may'. They're also deluded if they think this is going to work out quickly or well for Foundem.
This reads like the EU have nothing concrete yet and want a soft option to avoid having to put real effort in. Google can probably make a meaningless gesture here and carry on with only cosmetic changes. Or force a real inquiry and still walk away largely unaffected.
If Foundem & co believe a flood of work will arrive if only the EU makes it easier to poach Google customers, they haven't understood which shitty end the of market Foundem occupies. Or understood *why* they never show up high in search results, unlike their successful competitors. If I see a vertical search leech in my search results I expect it to be a good one, with results worth looking at. And that ain't a description of these guys.
@ac: "alternate good/bad releases"
The alternate release thing actually started back with Win3.1, after the legally crippled Win2 debacle. It's been pretty damn accurate since then with only a little fudging the release order. Vista fit the pattern far too well but didn't start it.
[Although I personally don't find Win7 much of an improvement on Vista, I find it painful to use every time I have to fix someone's PC install]
Aero vs a pig wearing lipstick
Many of us find Metro fugly, partly because it looks so bloody plain. It's like a visual tranquiliser fighting the stimulant of brash fugly colours. Microsoft have to simplify the desktop UI to a plainer, more metro like style, otherwise users might just choose the prettier desktop version to use over Metro and ruin the whole convergent cross promotional plan.
Maybe they should resurrect the old Win3 look, remembering to disable any window decoration customisation and impose a monochrome look&feel. That might just be enough to drive despairing users to Metro.
Re: Inaccurate and unscientific
In phoneland the only difference between mobile internet and Mobile bb is whether you can tether. It's just product naming.
Deceptive naming but what do you expect from this industry ;-)
Re: No Slide outs?
I expected to miss the slide out keyboard when I upgraded my G1 but so far it's been pretty painless. Once you hit 4" screen size onscreen keyboards start comparing well - in portrait mode I can type as fast with 2 thumbs as on the old hard keyboard. Just annoying how much space it wastes on screen and the bad formatting it provokes on web pages.
I'd still like a slider keyboard but it no longer feels essential.
Re: Are Microsoft implicitly admitting...
...the 1st clue was a couple of weeks back when they revealed the 3rd Win8 build (forget its name, its the corporate version), with 'sideloading' of Metro apps as an extra feature. Yes, Metro is locked down on the desktop as well as the phones.
how many are opt-in commercial use?
My twitter account is strictly receive only, mostly gaming release and sales alerts. Wonder if mine counts as active? If twitter over SMS weren't free on my mobile I'd probably not bother though.
@DrXym: e.g. saying you have 3 new messages
Always makes me laugh when the fans and astroturfers bang on about tiles showing message counts as if that was a good use of so much space. My Xperia doesn't stop at showing a message count on the various mail and sms launch icons, if I put them in a folder it shows the count on the tiny sub-icons on the folder icon. That's 4 possible counter displays in *each single launch icon*.
...leaving more space for widgets with actual information in them ;)
not helped by Googles piss poor software and UI
A few of my family signed up specifically for the video Hangout feature but as I've come to expect from the perpetual beta crapware they shovel out, we couldn't get it to work. That wasted hour+ is likely to be the entire lifetime use of G+ for most of them.
I actually signed up voluntarily before that but remain baffled by the cryptic browser UI in it (and Gmail after decades using real email software). Google really need to hire some user facing programmers and designers. I may be unusual in that ;)
As far as I can tell there is ZERO content posted by friends and family in my G+, the couple of news and announcement feeds actually work better over Twitter. Till todays post I'd forgotten I even had G+ - probably the only benefit to signing up is all the nagging messages infesting Google pages go away!