129 posts • joined Tuesday 4th August 2009 15:01 GMT
Re: It's so clearly a turd - Windows for control freaks?
@AC - Facepalm. You clearly have no IT experience at all. Your responses place so much obligation on the users to take pro-active steps to achieve the desired ends that - in your model - you would basically have to spend your entire working day doing user support instead of, you know, actual useful stuff.
Moreover, the desktop isn't dying in corporate IT. ipads look great in marketing, but when people want to sit down and work, there's nothing like a desktop, and the ipad doesn't come close. Nobody - including Apple - has abandoned their desktop market, because people still need real computers to do their work.
Re: It's so clearly a turd
Way to add value with an insightful comment there.
Face facts: even if it is a fail of Vista-proportions it will still comfortably out-sell every iteration of OSX ever made, just like Vista did. And that's a huge "if". Try using Win8 on a tablet (EP121), and it's actually pretty good. It "fingerizes" most stuff allowing quick access on the go, but when I sit down at a desk, I can use a keyboard and mouse & the full versions of Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Office, etc.
Some analyst said, "Nokia's problem is that Microsoft appears to have stood still. A year-and-a-half after Windows Phone 7's debut, it has changed little. In effect, the gap in features between Windows Phone and Android or the iPhone has widened and not shrunk as Nokia needed it to."
So that must be true then. And of course, sensible tech journalists just swallow that sort of statement whole, and don't even think about actually looking at the list of key features that are available in iOS and Android but not WP7 or comparing said list to the same list 18 months ago... I mean, it's obvious that WP7 still doesn't things like copy & paste, or multi-tasking, or NFC. You know, the really important stuff that iOS and Android both have...
"smartphone developers will begin to drift away" ... Of course that statement is totally backed up by the facts. Adding 3,000 new apps to the WP7 marketplace in the last 2 weeks (http://wp7applist.com/en-US/stats/) certainly sounds like evidence that the developers are drifting away in droves... Frankly, the fact that the number of registered developers for WP7 has more than doubled in the last 6 months is irrelevant, and is totally the sort of thing that both analysts and journalists should pay no heed to.
"missing many low-level features from Symbian such as no alarm when the device is off, no charging when device is off, no custom ringtones etc."
This is just untrue - the Lumia 800 alarms and charging both work just fine when the device is off.
As for ringtones, there is a perfectly clear set of instructions as to how to set up a custom ringtone here: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/howto/wp7/start/create-ringtones.aspx
"There are no reasonable reasons why IE9 shouldn't be engineered to work on XP, and Microsoft ending extended support is also a marketing decision."
... where to begin... OK, first up, there is a perfectly valid reason that IE9 shouldn't be made to work on XP - IE9 is designed to use elements of the OS and hardware to augment browsing, but XP just wasn't designed to run on modern hardware, which makes it harder for IE9 to work with. Plus, XP hasn't had a service pack in about 3 years. Security-wise, it is going to get harder and harder to justify spending resources on securing XP vulns AND Vista/7 vulns. Designing IE9 to support XP is simply not a good use of time or money.
Second, Microsoft is in business to make money (unlike Apple, Google and Mozilla, who are clearly all just here to fill our lives with candyfloss and joy... obviously...). From a money-making perspective, it is perfectly reasonable of them to decide which of their products they will let you use with which other products. Apple does it too, and does it to a far greater degree (that's not an anti-Apple dig, just an observation).
Third, it is perfectly valid for a company to stop extended support for a product that will be 2 (possibly 3) versions and FOURTEEN YEARS old by the time they drop it - particularly in the software world.
Technically, a peerage means becoming a Lord, whereas a knighthood is just an honour with the right to use the title "Sir" before your name. Both have, as you rightly point out, become political favours these days...
The relevance of Jobs not being British is that under US law, you can't use foreign titles (so although Bill Gates has a knighthood, he cannot refer to himself as "Sir Bill Gates" in the US.)
The reason Elop is still there is that the majority (by value) of Nokia shareholders wanted the MS deal to go through, *in spite of* the short term pain they knew it was going to cause (you can clearly see this from the fact that the 'Plan B' received no real shareholder backing at all). The shareholders were realistic enough to realise that redeveloping Symbian was a non-starter due to cost and delays & Meego is not yet ready for the mass-market; they knew the dangers of going with Android, so they picked WP7. Thus, they haven't fired Elop because he is doing *exactly* what the majority (by value, again) of Nokia's shareholders wanted. The real question is whether they wanted the right thing - and we won't know that until Nokia actually releases some WP7 phones...
Exactly! "Bricked" is not what happened to these phones at all. Which begs the question, what kind of reality-denying idiot down-voted your post?!
...the limeys can give knighthoods to anyone they want...
...like, for example, Sir Bill Gates (pictured here with Halo because the "Bill Gates Getting Knighted" Icon is not available on El Reg forums... yet).
"so why can symbian users take out memory card, plug to pc and see its contents or even disk check it?"
For the same reason that you can do that with a windows mobile (i.e. pre-WP7 phone) - namely, the OS manufacturer let you do it. BUT that presents a huge problem in a modern phone OS (particularly one that stores apps on a memory card), because if there is one thing developers hate, it's people sharing their apps for free. If WP7 let you swap out cards as you saw fit, then it would be difficult to stop people from doing this. So, in order to assure developers that this would not be a problem with WP7, MS decided to utilise the "secure" part of the "secure digital" name. You can insert any MicroSDHC card into a WP7, and it will format it and secure it, after which it will work fine with that phone, but you won't be able to use the card in any other machine.
From a consumer's point of view, it's not ideal, but it's difficult to see how else to keep developers happy. Unhappy developers would leave, leading to unhappy consumers in the long run. Consequently, Nokia's (and MS's) choice looks like the right one for the long haul.
My post was mostly aimed at your answer to your own question "what's in it for Nokia?" (and the suggestion that there is no customization in WP7).
I pretty much agree that there are similarities between the WP7 market and the laptop market... just like there are similarities between Android and the laptop market.
Sure, as long as you only read comments on internet forums and never ever actually look at the phones themselves, then that opinion will remain valid... on the other hand, WP7 phones have:
- large screens (HTC 7) or smaller ones (Trophy)
- choice of memory capacity (it's just a standard MicroSDHC card, but unfortunately if you buy the phone from an operator they will make that choice for you, although you can always upgrade it yourself... if you own a Torx T6 screwdriver...)
- Standard cameras (Optimus 7) or 8mp + Xenon flash (Mozart - which also has Dolby speakers)
- Metal bodies (Mozart) or plastic ones (Trophy)
- landscape keyboards (HTC 7 Pro) or portrait keyboards (Venue Pro)
Admittedly that's not as broad a range as you'd get on Android at present, but compare it to the first generation of any other phone OS:
- Android had just one option (G1).
- WebOS had two (I think?)
- iOS... just kidding. There has only ever been one option there.
- Blackberry... OK, I'll be honest, I don't think I even remember the first generation of Blackberries... anyone?
The point you appear to have missed (and lots of people have missed it, so you're not alone) is that MS didn't "lock down" the hardware, as you put it. They simply wrote a *MINIMUM* spec level - to stop OEMs using crappy parts (which most people would see as a good thing). But MS only wrote one set of hardware drivers, and none of the OEMs bothered to write their own (which is understandble, given the unproven nature of the OS, but also explains why WP7s all use the same processor). The reason your conclusion about Nokia is erroneous is that if Nokia can be bothered to write its own drivers, it can use any hardware it likes. Thus, the "race-to-the-bottom" scenario, while dangerous, is easily avoidable if Nokia make an effort. If they don't, then they deserve to fail.
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"It's not really a "tablet" experience, it's a "Windows on a touch screen" experience"
I'd more or less agree with that - but it's also precisely why I choose a Windows tablet over an iPad. I've been using Windows tablets since the tc1100 (still use that one even though it's now like 8 years old...). The reason is simple: I want a machine that lets me:
1) use REAL software (I'm into art/web design, so my list is: painter, photoshop, dreamweaver, illustrator, Likno etc.); and
2) lets me draw with pressure sensitivity.
The so-called "drawing" tools for the iPad are OK... ish... if you're not that bothered about using serious drawing software, but the lack of true pressure sensitivity means that the iPad is a non-starter for those who take their art seriously (TO THE HATERS: before you jump on this post, I am not saying that the iPad can't be used to make some pretty decent artwork - I am saying that for higher-range functions, like pressure sensitivity and the ability to run advanced graphics programs, it is simply an inferior tool).
If you want a media consumption/web-browsing tablet, then the iPad is almost certainly the best bet. If you want actual productivity (particularly when it comes to artwork) get a windows tablet. If you're a massive machead and can't stomach handing over your cash to Steve (the other one) then go to axiotron.com. You'll see.
It comes down to choice.
@ Chris Thomas Alpha
"unless it starts to take share away from the others, which is practically impossible because the other juggernauts are not going to stand around and let that happen."
...err, mate, that's illogical: one of those "juggernauts" (Apple/iOS) was powerless to stop the other (Google/Android) from entering the market and taking significant market share. A company can't stop others from entering the market (particularly in the EU, owing to Art. 82 EC). At best, Apple and Google (and their OEMs) can make better phones/OSs and hope that MS/Nokia can't keep up. In 2-3 years, we will know whether they were successful, but at this point it is waaaay too early to tell.
I'm guessing that the screen and keyboard cost so much that they didn't have money or space left for more storage inside?
Guess again. As I explained above, the storage on each phone was pretty much chosen in every case by the carrier, *not* the OEM, who merely installed a bog-standard MicroSDHC card to meet the carrier's requests. If you want to expand the memory yourself, you can (you just need a torx T6 and a larger MicroSD card).
"In fact, in that case unless Microsoft relaxes its grip on WP7 definition Nokia is clearly _WORSE_ off. It now not just has to compete with LG, HTC and Samsung on price but it is not allowed to have a different phone to do so."
OK, you clearly don't understand how MS released WP7 to the OEMs. They allowed the OEMs to make phones however they saw fit, subject to *MINIMUM* specs. They did not prevent OEMs from differentiating to make a better phone, they just prevented them from using crappy parts. How is that a bad thing? The only reason that the phones use largely similar hardware is that MS wrote hardware drivers for what it considered to be the most feasible hardware setup, and no OEM bothered to write its own drivers for anything else (which is understandable, given the fact that WP7 was entirely unreleased when the current crop of phones were being designed). So if Nokia can be bothered to write its own drivers (and given that WP7 is going to be its primary smartphone OS, it had better be prepared to do that) then your assertion that they would be worse off is utterly without foundation.
I agree with your second point - that Nokia are going to end up in a WP7 shark pool, rather than an Android one, but the point is that the WP7 pool is still defining itself. If Nokia had picked Android, it would have YEARS of Android development to catch up on, whereas by picking WP7, it has less than 6 months of development to catch up on... and yet, your argument appears to be that Nokia would be better off joining a market where the competition has an R&D lead of several years, rather than several months... seriously?
"So going with WP7 is in the realm of Dumb, Dumber, the Dumbest."
Right, 'cos Ballmer and Elop (both millionaires in their own right who made their fortunes through their own work) are "dumber" than you, a commenter on an internet forum. Brilliant deduction.
"Choosing a platform that explicitly disallows you to customise..."
As noted aove, you have clearly misunderstood MS's arrangement with the OEMs. The only thing stopping an OEM from customizing and going above & beyond the minimum hardware spec is its willingness to write its own drivers. In any case, we've seen a fair amount of customization already - there are WP7 phones with massive screens (HD7) and smaller ones (Trophy), ones with standard cameras (Omnia 7) and ones with 8mp & Xenon flash (Mozart - which also has Dolby surround speakers) phones with no keyboards (all of the above) phones with landscape keyboards (HTC 7 Pro) and phones with portrait keyboards (Dell Venue Pro). That's a lot of customization for the fist release of any platform. Sure, it's less customization than Android *currently* has, but how much customization did the first iteration of Android have? None. One model. How much does Apple have? None. One model.
Next time it might be an idea to, you know, actually have some facts at your disposal before you post.
A lot of fandroids trot out the numbers on Google activations as though it is comparable to other OSs, but it isn't, for the simple reason that Microsoft, Apple, RIM, HP, etc. all make money on each copy of their OS that gets activated, whereas Google loses money on each copy (because the OS is free to the manufacturer, and the cost of the servers etc. - as well as the R&D on the OS - is definitely not free to Google).
"clearly Android would have been the perfect fit" - this statement betrays the fact that you really don't understand market economics at all. Android on Nokia would probably have been a good thing from the consumer's perspective. But it would be a disaster from Nokia's perspective, because it would force them to fight Samsung and HTC on territory in which both of those manufacturers already have an entrenched user-base. If you think it through, carriers would have a hard time pricing an Android Nokia and differently from an Android Samsung. Sure, the build quality, camera, etc. on the Nokia might be better, but phones that do essentially the same thing tend to cost the same amount, and it would be difficult for Nokia to persuade consumers to think otherwise. Hence, entering into the Android market inevitably becomes a race to the bottom, and margins get squeezed.
WP7 offers Nokia a way out. Certainly it's not a perfect way out from the perspective of either the customer or Nokia, but it offers them a very good OS (compare the numbers on customer satisfaction between WP7 and Android & you'll see WP7 is way higher). The fact that no other manufacturer dominates the WP7 landscape means Nokia can (if it acts fast) differentiate itself on the basis of the things it is good at (hardware design, top-notch cameras).
This explains why (as the article states), when the dust settles and the sense of betrayal subsides, analysts accept that WP7 was really the only viable option that Nokia really had.
WP7 uses a standard MicroSDHC card for its memory. Most manufacturers put the MicroSDHC card inside the case, in a slot that is pretty much hidden from the average user (I'm speaking as an owner of an HTC WP7, so I can't speak for Dell). They did this because carriers in different countries wanted to set the amount of memory and the price, according to what they thought would sell. So the last step before dealing up the case and sending the phone to the carrier was to add whatever memory the carrier wanted (essentially, either 16gb or 8gb).
However, the slot is accessible if you're prepared to attack your phone with a Torx screwdriver, and the memory itself is just a bog standard MicroSDHC card (i.e. no soldering irons needed). If you do open it up, you'll void the warranty, but you can upgrade the phone's memory to 32gb (though I don't recommend using anything less than a class 6 card or it'll get really slow). There's a pretty good walkthough example here:
The trouble with Nokia making Android phones...
...is that Smasung and HTC have been in that game a lot longer, and have an established user-base. For Nokia to compete against HTC and Smasung on their home turf would be economic suicide. WP7, on the other hand, is only a couple of months old (and already has a larger marketplace than Android had at this point in its own development). No manufacturer has a particularly well-established user base yet, so Nokia has a really good opportunity to make its own mark.
From Nokia's perspective, it makes sense to pick the OS ecosystem that they can best compete in - and Android simply isn't it; not because of any failings in Android, but because there are too many players who are too well established in the Android ecosystem.
@Phil Hare 2, Wibble
@Phil Hare 2 - "Here I was thinking it was listening to and watching media from wherever I damn well please."
Yeah, that's not the point, tho, is it? You can "listen to and watch media from wherever you please" on WP7 just as easily as you can on Android (e.g. when you install Zune, it auto-detects all your movies and music, and imports playlists from iTunes etc. and if you get stuff from other sources later, Zune can find that too). It's just that the Zune Pass makes getting new media a much smoother (not to mention cheaper, assuming your content is legit) experience.
@Wibble ...funny how you're always reading and commenting on WP7 stories, despite the fact that you don't own one... just sayin'.
...where to begin?... You see, one of the things that Android phones sorely lack is a proper integrated music/video service. iOS has iTunes, WP7 has Zune, Android has a mess. Sure, you can torrent stuff, use Double Twist, use Amazon MP3, etc. but it's a disjointed hassle. Now try using Zune. For £7.50 a month, you get all the music you can shake a stick at, and you get 10 songs to keep. To put that in perspective, those same 10 songs on iTunes would cost £7.90, and you'd get nothing extra. With Zune, I just download whole albums, listen to them as many times as I like, and if I decide after a while that I actually only like a few of the songs, I can bin the rest 'cos they didn't cost me anything to start with. And if I want more, I just go to the marketplace, and drag and drop a couple more albums onto the phone icon... It's that easy.
Secondly, as you should be aware by now, there is no fragmentation with WP7, and no waiting around while your manufacturer decides whether it is going to bother releasing the new OS upgrades to you. If you buy a WP7 phone, you know that it is going to have access to Microsoft's updates when they're released - because the manufacturer of a WP7 device doesn't need to customize the OS, whereas the Android manufacturer needs to add custom drivers etc. and do its own testing to make sure the update doesn't brick their phones.
Thirdly, when you buy Android, there is no minimum spec for manufacturers, which means that there are some very cheap Android phones out there, but also some very crappy ones (resistive touchscreens and 2mp cameras, etc). When you buy WP7, you know that the minimum spec is very decent (capacitive screen, 5mp camera, etc.). (incidentally, it is also possible to replace the built-in memory on a WP7 phone, it just requires a Torx screwdriver set... but hey, it's easier than trying to upgrade the memory on an iPhone...)
I could also go on about the advantages of xbox live integration, and the fact that the WP7 app ecosystem is waaaaay more advanced than Android was after 3 months, but I'll stop there, because you can see the point. There are just some things that WP7 does better than Android, and for some of us, those things are what matters.
Are there advantages that Android has over WP7? Of course (tethering, USB storage, etc. could be very handy). BUT, do those advantages outweigh the deficiencies of Android? Nope. A simple look at the stats will tell you that customer satisfaction ratings for each OS will tell you that WP7 users are a lot happier with their devices.
...not sure about that, but it's not like MS only wrote one set of drivers - OEMs can obviously still select the size of the screen, camera type & quality (e.g. the Mozart has a xenon flash at 8mp, whereas others have an LED flash and 5mp), amount of on-board memory (up to 32Gb is doable, apparently) presence of a physical keyboard (or not) etc. as well as non-driver related things like the style & quality of the phone's case.
AFAIK, Just about the only thing I think the OEMs don't choose (at the moment) is the processor, which has to be a Snapdragon (though it seems future releases will support a broader range of processors).
The real shame is that the OEMs didn't go all-out, though their lack of faith in WP7 at this stage is sorta understandable.
"Severly scarred by operator customisations"... I know what you mean, but have you actually used one? I have a WP7 on Orange (though it's a Mozart rather than an Optimus) and any Orange apps I don't like get booted off the "Start" screen in a jiffy (they'll stay in the list of apps in case I ever need them - it turns out the Orange Wednesdays app is actually kinda nifty). Similarly, you can change the Orange default colour scheme (though the Orange apps will remain their original colour).
... the bottom line is, WP7 was designed so that any network operator or OEM add-ons (e.g. the HTC hub) can be retained by the user if they're useful, but can't "force" themselves onto the user's Start screen if he doesn't want them there. Hence "scar" is probably the wrong word. "Creased" is mre like it.
Article states: "Microsoft has kept such a tight rein on the specification for each handset running its reborn operating system that there isn’t really a great deal of room for manufacturers to manœuvre."
That's not true at all - MS set a *minimum* set of standards, which manufacturers are free to exceed if they wish.
You said: "MS will only sell big volumes to unlocked markets - why should orange or vodaphone sell a subsidised phone that will self update for years? General joe public wont pay £300 for a phone AND a £20 contract when a shiney HTC can be had for £30 for free* (*over 24 months of course)"
...but your comment in no way reflects the facts: Orange sells Andoid and WP7 on the same contract tarriffs, both starting from free. (I can't speak for other operators).
Yeah, most judges would probably see through that one... (though I'm sure many would appreciate the pun).
A simpler solution would be to keep making the dolls, and just sell them in any jurisidction that doesn't recognise image rights (such as the UK). That said, the Apple logo that the doll is standing on would still present a trade marks snag...
But this is all academic, of course, because the product itself is utterly pointless.
That is one possibility. Another possibility, is that some publicity-grabbing journalist thought, "I know, let's ride the tide of anti-MS feeling in the media and grab a few thousand extra readers, by making up some numbers that tell the iOS and Android fanbois exactly what they want to hear."
The trouble is, we don't know which possibility is true, and that makes the figures completely unreliable. Give us the data and we'll believe the story. Until then, take a peek at the (much more balanced) article at Ars Technica (via Wired):
"It's easy to sell out when you don't buy in many units"
Your comment is partially true, and it would be relevant to this discussion, except that we don't actually know how many units were available in the first place (unless we are all supposed to place our faith in this "anonymous source"). So until someone in the know releases some actual hard numbers, I am going to suggest that people reserve their judgement (though obviously the usual crowd of El Reg trolls won't do that...).
But it's also partially untrue - it's only "easy" to sell out if there is real demand for the product. If nobody wants it, then whether you have a limited supply or not is irrelevant. The point here is that clearly more people want WP7 phones than there are WP7 phones available.
Just my 2p.
Ah, wibble, you again!
I see you (yet again) have no actual merit to your comments, so you have taken to making up insulting names for WP7. You are the drollest troll I know.
When you have time, you might want to consider the actual merits of the OS you are commenting on, such as:
- Platform advantages,
- Hardware choice,
- Available software,
- Music licensing model,
Make a bit of an effort to, you know, say something relevant next time. For all of us. Cheers.
Dude, check your facts:
- Xbox360 outsold the Wii and the PS3 in the last quarter. Hence, not turd, rather: Market leader.
- Kinect - by the time it went on sale in the UK, it had already sold out in most high street retailers' pre-order system. No figure yet for the few days since release. Either way, serious non-turd.
- Internet explorer is still the most widely used browser in the world.
- Zune - well, ZunePass is pretty popular (it's certainly a better deal than iTunes, since it offers all-you-can-eat music at a really low price). The Zune hardware was never released in the UK, so I can't comment.
- Vista/ME - What is the point of commenting on old versions of windows? Does no tech company have past errors? Does Apple not have the Pippin and the Newton (which both crashed and burned)? Does Google not have Wave and Buzz (ditto, and much more recent too)?
Bottom line - Microsoft is sitting on a massive pile of cash, and has released a phone OS that is sold out in lots of countries, in the first few weeks after its launch. You are a commentor on an internet chatroom, offering them product strategy advice. Do you have ANY idea how absurd that looks?
Yeah... anonymous sources are always on the money. They told us a bunch of stuff that turned out to be true in the past... oh no, wait, that was named, credible sources. Anonymous source means "our source wasn't credible enough for us to put his name in, so we printed what he said anyway in the hope of attracting some publicity".
Since it's pretty clear that retailers have sold out of the top WP7 phones (e.g. try ordering the HTC Mozart in the UK, or the HD7 in the US (not sure if it's sold out in the UK too)) it seems unlikely that the true numbers are anything like that low (unless the networks woefully underestimated demand).
EIther way, it's hardly a comment on the success of the OS. As Wired pointed out in an article earlier today, if you look at the numbers from the original Android launch (c. 100,000 devices on the first weekend (i.e. 2 days) 40,000 in one day really isn't very far behind...
Wibble, the trouble is, you're so convinced of your own rightness that you're not prepared to let little things like the facts get in your way (I note that you were wrong about the number of available phones, not that you acknowledge that fact, of course...). Instead, you childishly make up insulting names for products you dislike. Way to set an example.
Now I'm not going to just slate your choice of the iPhone 4. I've used one, it's not bad, but it has drawbacks. In my opinion, the following are particularly relevant:
- The first massive advantage of WP7 over iOS is that you get your choice of hardware. For example, the iPhone 4 had a 5Mpg LED flash camera (i.e. the bare minimum) whereas the HTC Mozart has 8Mpg Xnenon flash. You will probably say you don't care, but the point is, you don't get a choice with iOS - you just get whatever his Jobsness decides to give you. Alternatively, if you want a physical keyboard, there are WP7 phones with those - but on iOS? Not a chance. If you want a bigger screen, WP7 goes up to the HD7's massive 4.3" - but on iOS? "Thou shalt take thine 3.5" and thou shalt be thankful for it! So sayeth the Jobs." In your other posts on this article, you rant about things that are missing from WP7, but the above choices are all missing from iOS - hypocrite much?
- The second massive advantage of WP7 is Zune Pass. I *really* cannot stress this enough. With iTunes, I could listen to a preview of the song I wanted, but it wouldn't really leave me with a feeling for how the album sounded all together. For that information I would have to pay iTunes so that I could listen to the whole album - which is pretty much a gamble. With Zune Pass, I pay £7.50 per month (and I get to keep 10 DRM-free songs a month - which would cost £7.90 on iTunes for those same 10 songs) and it's this simple:
1) Plug the phone into my computer;
2) Open the Zune software and browse the Marketplace;
3) Drag and drop any music I want onto the phone (songs, albums, podcasts, whatever) onto the phone & it plays flawlessly and costs nothing extra.
If I download 20 albums, and only 5 turn out to be any good, that's no problem - it didn't cost me anything, and I can simply delete the 15 I don't like and download another 20 albums, to see what they're like. And so on. This is the future of music consumption, and iTunes simply doesn't offer anything that even vaguely competes.
- I could go on about the joys of Sharepoint, proper Exchange integration, Xbox Live and the usefulness of dynamic tiles, but I get the distinct impression that you would probably ignore all of those advanatages as well, in order to maintain your myopic world view
Mine's the one with the manual in the pocket 'cos, you know, I actually like to check my facts sometimes...
Ok, seriously Wibble, your myopic hatred of WP7 for no apparent reason is really starting to grate, and you need to check your facts.
You said: "No. Not until it's in general availability and 'real' people have 'real' experience using it."
Err.. it IS in general avalability, and 'real' people have 'real' experience of using it (unless you think we're all stuck in the Matrix imagining all of this... :p ). Before you post your ill-informed comments, do some research: you can go down to your local Orange/Vodafone/O2 store and ask to use a WP7 phone (unless - as El Reg recently reported - they've already sold out... but don't worry - they'll be getting more).
You said: "We don't know how reliable it is (fanboi shill opinions don't count)"
So basically, anyone who uses WP7 and has something positive to say about it is a fanboi and their opinions don't count? Way to express an open mind!!
For what it's worth, I have owned an HTC Mozart for a little over 2 weeks, and these are my answers to your questions:
- "what it's like to live with;" Pretty good - build quality is excellent, no 'creaks', no light leakage, no loose bits if shake it. Unibody aluminium is obviously a good thing. The screen is beautiful and bright. Call quality is solid. The UI is super-fluid and very easy to use. Zune Pass has now completely replaced my reliance on iTunes (to the extent that I have given away one of my two iPods, as I really no longer have any use for it).
- "how long the battery lasts;" obviously it depends on what you use it for. Average use for me is some browsing the web while listening to podcasts on the way to/from the office, some calls, some games and some texts and emails each day, and I have yet to see it get down below half-way (I tend to charge it overnight). I love the fact that you can play 3d games *while* listening to music or podcasts (with no apparent lag) but it does reduce the battery life quite a bit if you do that.
- "if the missing features are really painful to live without;" I honestly haven't had a scenario yet where I needed cut & paste (mostly because the integration of contacts is superb, and pulls in your existing SIM contacts, facebook and email contacts and matches them up, so you don't end up with four entries for the same person - and you can merge contacts if you do happen to find any duplicates). Flash isn't a big deal for me, since I rarely feel the need to watch skateboarding dogs on my phone, so I can't really comment... but Adobe have announced that flash is coming, so by the time I do get that skateboarding dog itch, I'm sure they'll have it covered.
- "if the 'new' features are of any real use;" OH YEAH! I really cannot stress enough how awesome ZunePass is. As I said above, I literally have no use for my iPods any more. It is dirt cheap - for £7.50 per month, you get all-you-can-eat music, and 10 DRM-free songs to keep forever. Those same 10 songs on iTunes would cost £7.90 and you would get literally nothing extra. Secondly, as set out above, the contacts integration is brilliant. Exchange & Office connectivity is top notch (as you would expect, from MS, really). Xbox live is also brilliant (although I don't actually own an Xbox... yet).
- "being Microsoft, how much it crashes..." Surprisingly (and I say this as a guy who has owned several previous Windows Mobile phones, and who has also had to fix my wife's iPhone on more than one occasion) it has not crashed once in all the time I have owned it.
Personally (as I explained in an earlier post) I think it's the best phone I've ever used. If you have any more questions, do let me know.
Mine's the one with the troll-seeking missiles in the pockets.
You get fans (typically people who want a platform to succeed) promoting phones before their release all the time. Just look at the comments on any one of the dozens of iPhone or Android related articles on El Reg in the lead-up to a product launch and you will see this. So complaining about this issue in relation to WP7 alone is a bit hypocritical.
"The breathless adulation that comes through in many of the articles and a lot of the comments just doesn't right true."
I assume you mean "ring true"? In any case, I seriously recommend that you try actually using one and then see whether the comments are true or not before you claim that they are untrue. Personally, I have an HTC Mozart and I really cannot recommend it highly enough - it is without a doubt the best phone I've ever used. Don't get me wrong, there are some phones with better individual features - I'd love an AMOLED screen from a Samsung, the camera from the N8 and about 32Gb of memory - but even without those things, the Mozart is a brilliant phone. You can read my previous comments regarding ZunePass and Xbox Live for examples of why this is the case in respect of the software, and the hardware is both beautiful and functional. For me, the major selling points were:
Biggest advantage over the iPhone: Choice - you can pick the hardware that suits you best.
Biggest advantage over Android: Updates come direct from MS (no waiting about for a manufacturer to fiddle with the updates for a few months before you get them). Also, no Android phone can compete with ZunePass.
Nice use of the troll icon. Anyone notice how any post that's not rabidly anti-MS gets down-voted?
At 12:43 GMT, Jim Coleman simply posted that he hadn't experienced a crash on his WP7 phone and 4 people down-voted his comment. Seriously, El Reg readers, what gives? Do you just really hate Jim? Do you WANT phone operating systems to crash?
Even if you're a fanboi/fandroid, you surely see it as a good thing that MS is bringing some competition to the market, to spur your supplier of choice into offering a better device? (Well, maybe not... Some of you are probably just haters).
"Only two phones available?"
Err.. in the UK alone, HTC provides 3 phones - the Mozart (Orange) the HD7 (O2) and the Trophy (Vodafone). In the US, there's also the Surround (not sure about the carrier). So that's at least 3, potentially 4 HTC WP7 phones if they bring the Surround over here. And then there's Samsung, Dell, Acer etc. who are bringing their phones to the party too...
As for calling the software a dog, have you even tried using it? ZunePass alone makes Android look old and tired. Your post really just makes you look like an ill-informed hater.
"constantly locking up"
...you do realise that when you turn it off and turn it on again, the screen-lock activates, right?
Seriously though, I've had an HTC Mozart fro almost 2 weeks now and it has yet to suffer a single issue with the WP7 OS. It is a truly awesome phone, and while I would love it even more if it had more memory, I haven't found the 8Gb to be too restrictive (yet).
For everyone else, my thoughts on the WP7 experience so far are:
Zune Pass is truly awesome (seriously, it's as simple as: (1) plug in phone (2) find song or artist in Marketplace (3) drag & drop song, album, podcast, or entire artist's collection straight onto your phone. You get 10 songs per month to keep, and the subscription costs £7.50 per month. The same 10 songs on iTunes cost £7.90, and all you would get would be those 10 songs.) I cannot say this enough: ZUNE PASS IS THE FUTURE OF MUSIC CONSUMPTION.
Xbox live is also excellent. If you're unsure, go in-store and play a demo of "The Harvest".
I have let a bunch of my friends have a go at using it, and the worst thing anyone has said is that it is "on a par with the iPhone."
@Carol Orlowski - "Lots of Coming Soons in there"
Thanks. I'll notify the OED that "lots" now means "two".
On a more serious note, if openness is your top priority then of course WP7 was never going to be your thing - so calling these phones "a joke" because they don't meet a spec that you already knew they weren't designed to meet is a little disingenuous (Fandroid much?). The Desire is a good phone (I'll admit I like HTC's products - they have made my last 5 phones) but, like all Android phones, it falls short in some key areas when compared to WP7:
First, WP7 + Zune Pass = all-you-can-eat music at a very reasonable price (£7.50 per month). It means I can see an album I like, and just drag-and-drop the whole thing to phone icon in the Zune software and hey presto - it downloads for no extra price and plays on my phone for as long as I have Zune Pass. If I want to keep it forever, I can buy it for the same amount as it would cost on iTunes, or I can use up the 10 free songs each month (and those same 10 songs would cost £7.90 on iTunes - which is more than the price of the ZunePass subscription). Alternatively, if I get bored of the album in a week, no big deal, since it didn't cost me anything extra anyway. This is the future of music consumption - and no Android phone (or iOS device, for that matter) offers anything that can compete with this.
Second, when Google releases Android updates, you could be waiting months for your manufacturer to mess about with its own customisations before it's finally ready to release that update for your phone (or, if you have a Sony Ericsson, probably never); whereas with WP7, all OS updates come direct from MS, with zero manufacturer interference. As soon as it's ready, your WP7 gets it.
Third, the Xbox live tie-in is superb - you say you went into a store; you should have asked to play a demo of "The Harvest". It's a really excellent implementation of smooth, detailed 3D graphics on a phone (a friend who does advertising work for Nokia was blown away by it). In addition, if you're a developer, the XNA/Silverlight SDK means you can use almost all of the same code for a game on the Xbox that you would use on WP7 (and a PC if you like).
I'm not saying I would never use it - but for most people it's a very minor issue. I use my phone to play games, listen to music, surf the net, send emails & texts (and yes, call people). It's been almost a week since I got my WP7 phone and I have yet to feel the need for copy & paste (but, as you say, there are examples of when it would be nice to have, and I'm sure it would be irritating not to have it when you need it). It's by no means a perfect phone OS, but copy & paste is hardly the determining factor in the success of an OS, because most people who buy this kind of phone don't need it so frequently that it affects their choice of smartphone - it really didn't hurt Apple at all to not have that feature in the first 3 (?) iterations of the iPhone, and MS is fixing it waaay faster than that.
I can answer some (but probably not all) of your questions.
The OS itself is a breath of fresh air. It's a lot more fluid and "alive" (for want of a better word) than either iOS or Android. When considering whether you like how it looks, you really need to use it, rather than looking at internet pics/videos. It's very responsive and really rather intuitive. After a day I felt like I knew how to do everything.
The email client is (as you would expect from MS) excellent for functionality. The internal search function is a good example (updates results in real time as you type, which saves you typing a long string of words if there are going to be no results). What is surprising (for MS) is that it is very easy to set up and very slick (smoother and quicker than my wife's iPhone 3GS by some margin). Same goes for texting - and the soft keyboard is on a par with the iPhone. Minor bugbear is that you need to treat each email account separately - no idea if they will fix that.
Office is also pretty good (SharePoint is one obvious benefit) but it's not going to be a phone that you use for creating complex documents (at least, not in the short term). SkyDrive integration is obviously good for users like me with lots of documents.
The browser, (despite being IE-based) is actually pretty good. Smooth pinch & zoom, short load times and nice scrolling. The "rotate to landscape" function is also very similar to the iPhone. On the whole, I would say the browser experience is easily on a par with the iPhone. Downsides: no flash yet (Adobe say it's coming) and AFAIK, it remains to be seen whether MS will allow rival browsers.
Just my 2p.
Couldn't agree more. Zune is a far superior music service to iTunes.
- Zune Pass (annual subscription) costs £7.50 per month, allows you full access (in an all-you-can-eat model) to more music than you can shake a stick at, and lets you permanently keep 10 tracks a month. It's so satisfying to find an album in the Zune Marketplace, and just drag it to my Phone, and let it download the whole thing to my phone for no extra cost.
- On iTunes, those same 10 tracks would cost £7.90, and you would get nothing extra at all...
Yeah, lots of people misunderstood this one - MS only required the manufacturers to meet a *minimum* set of standards. If the manufacturers want to exceed those standards, they are free to do so (so, for example, the minimum camera spec is 5MP with an LED flash, but HTC put an 8MP Xenon flash camera on the Mozart; the minimum storage spec is 8Gb, but some WP7 phones have 16Gb; You don't have to have a physical keyboard, but some do).
So many ill-informed haters.
Flash is coming - http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/25/adobe-confirms-flash-player-10-1-is-coming-to-blackberry-window/ (And since the iPhone will never have it at all, and it doesn't appear to have harmed Apple's sales, it seems like a pretty petty point.)
Copy and paste is coming - http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/11/copy-and-paste-coming-to-windows-phone-7-in-early-2011/ (And what on earth are you doing on your phone that requires frequent use of copy-and-paste anyway?)
The "no multitasking" line is nonsense - I am able to listen to music while playing 3d games like "The Harvest" with no trouble at all (it milks the battery, but it's easily doable). What else do you want multitasking for? The only possible use I would have for multitasking on a phone would be having Spotify/LastFM run in the background - but on WP7 it makes next to no difference because ZunePass gives you free* access to all the music you can shake a stick at anyway...
(*obviously you pay a subscription, but the annual pass works out at only around £7.50 per month, and you get to keep 10 songs a month, which works out at about the same price as buying those 10 songs on iTunes in the first place...)
The Omnia 7 looks great but...
I went into the Orange store on Oxford Street on WP7 launch day intending to buy this phone, but before laying down the cash, I thought I might as well take a look at the competition. I played with the Omnia 7 and the HTC Mozart and within 5 minutes I had changed my mind, ignored the Omnia 7 and bought the Mozart (even though it worked out to be a bit more expensive). That's not to say that the Omnia 7 is a bad phone (it isn't - and that screen is gorgeous) but the Mozart feels so much nicer in the hand, and has a pretty excellent 8mp camera with Xenon flash to boot. Also, in the flesh, the SLCD on the Mozart really isn't that far behind the AMOLED on the Omnia 7.
I've now owned the Mozart for about 5 days and I'd have to say I'm a pretty happy user. Killer feature: Zune Pass (obviously you'd get that on the Omnia 7 too though...). It's an all-you-can-eat model, it's fast, and it beats the heck out of iTunes (at this point I am struggling to think of a compelling reason not to sell my two iPods on ebay)... Just my 2p.
The reason I will be buying the HP Slate is simple: active digitizer. This is the first* slate form factor tablet with BOTH capacitive multitouch AND pressure-sensitive stylus input. This gives the user the choice of browsing the web with their fingers (a la iPad) or drawing in photoshop using proper pressure-sensitive shading (something the iPad can't come close to offering).
Incidentally, I still use an HP TC1100 on a daily basis, which is essentially the fat grandma of the Slate (minus the capacitive screen).
* (apart from the Motion j3500 which is "ruggedized", weighs like half a tonne and costs twice as much)
Having owned one of these phones for about 24 hours now, I'm not altogether convinced that he is simply advertising for his employer. The phone (HTC Mozart) really is fantastic.
The UI is awesome, buttery-smooth everywhere. And unlike the static icons approach, the active tiles feel much more fluid and alive to use.
The games are excellent (seriously, go to a phone store and ask to play a demo of The Harvest).
ZunePass gives you access to a vast catalogue of music, for a very low price (I own two ipods and I honestly can't think of a use of either of them any more). Email, texting, facebook etc. are all excellent.
Office is pretty good too, although I haven't used it much yet.
(and no, I don't work for MS or HTC - I just really appreciate a good phone when I find one).
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