back to article Microsoft exec departs after tweet about Nokia phone

A Microsoft manager has left the company after tweeting a less-than-raving review of a forthcoming Nokia handset running the Windows Phone OS. Joe Marini, until recently a principal program manager for web activities on Redmond’s smartphone operating system, is thought to have run afoul of Microsoft’s strict social media …

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Have you actually used one?

To all those who spurt out paragraphs from the usual MS hate script - have you actually had the opportunity to use a WP7 for a week or so? After you get over the lack of 1990's 3d icons etc..., it turns out (from my experience) that the UI and indeed the whole phone experience is actually pretty bloody slick and not that bad at all.

Once you start connecting stuff up with a windows live account etc.., then I'd be surprised if any other platform can demonstrate to me that level of integration and connectivity (e.g XBox/ZunePass/Skydrive etc..). The hub centric approach that WP7 employs actually starts to make sense once you start playing with it - so much so that going back to traditional paradigms on other smartphone OS's leaves you feeling of being short changed.

As a dev, I've also had the opportunity to use the new Mango build for a few weeks now and that just adds a whole raft of new stuff. In particular the People is just absolutely nuts and a great idea (one of many small improvements that taken as a whole give it that rev2 polish).

What I do have a problem with however is Microsoft's complete lack of decent marketing for this platform. Can anyone remeber the last time they saw a WP7 ad on UK TV? Last one I saw was probably Q1 during an XFactor break (disclaimer - I don't watch that shit, just happened to see it during channel hop).

So, at the moment we have a great platform but a completely useless marketing message from Microsoft.

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I personally haven't tried WP7. But I did own a Windows Mobile 6 phone. Which was enough to convince me that I should never, ever again buy a phone with a Microsoft operating system.

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Meh

I don't need to eat a dog turd to know that it is crap...

Hard to know what market MS really is aiming at - don't think they can ever get the street cred/high-end design that Apple has managed to corner, nor will they ever get much traction with the tech-literate crowd, who would much rather have an open platform even if Android isn't really open.

The business crowd maybe? The Blackberry has that fairly well covered, MS will have to do a lot of "integration" with their back-end systems to win that sector, so where is their niche?

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Yep

"have you actually had the opportunity to use a WP7 for a week or so"

Yep. It was shit.

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I think I found your problem...

"Once you start connecting stuff up with a windows live account..." rings an automatic no sale for me. MS controls enough of my IT experience at the OS level, I'm not snorting more of what they sell. Which is the same reason I'm reluctant to use Google+ instead of Facebook. Google get enough of my info from my searches and email account.

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Devil

Kudos to WP7 marketing team

I must admit the WP7 marketing team deserves a lot of praise for maintaining the perception that WP7 is racing with Apple and Android mostly basing on vapourware while the real number say something different. Let's take a leading French carrier called SFR. Right now they have on the offer 39 Android phones, all 10 Apple variants, 5 RIMs and 8 Badas. And how many WP7? Less than Androids for sure but how much? Feel free to make a guess and then check sfr.fr. (produits et offres/telephonie mobile/telephones portables, scroll down) Is there still room for calling it competition?

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WTF?

a strange measure of success

WP7 certainly isn't doing as well as Microsoft hoped and still want us to believe but it's a bit flaky to declare the number of models carried by a single french operator as a measure of the success of a platform. There aren't very many models to choose from for a start. Global market share is what you want. It appears to be in the low single digits (although it's popular in Germany with 7% - over twice the market share that RIM has). Low single digits is pretty dire but I wouldn't call it "not competition".

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7% looks impressing but I have feeling it covers WP7 and WinMo 6 combined as I remember seeing some global stats giving around 3% to every group with some slight advantage for WinMo. I agree that WP7 competes with RIM as well with the likes of Symbian or WebOS. As for this year season Android and Apple are in a different division.

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Actually those figures were WP7 only. Some market research group split the figures out into WinMo and WP7. Google for windows phone 7 market share and you'll see articles citing it with a bit more detail.

Also, correction: I just re-read it; the german 7% isn't more than twice the RIM number, RIM's at 3.9%

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Anonymous Coward

... the problem ...

This marini incident aside, the problem is brand.

People don't associate microsoft with mobile phones, they associate them with windows & office - PC's.

If microsoft want to get a proper foot into the smartphone market, aside from creating an OS that can compete, they need to play down the microsoft brand and play up the Nokia brand.

Nokia, despite it's recent long lived "head wedged up collective arses" moment, is a well known brand - once the champions of the mobile phone market.

The general public, if the product is good and the price is right, will recognise Nokia and give it a shot without hesitation.

They don't recognise microsoft in the mobile space - there's massive brand confusion.

In short, keep the noise about microsoft down, launch it as Nokia, not as 'microsoft & nokia' or 'nokia and microsoft', just plain and simple Nokia.

(I resisted the urge to use words like 'leverage', 'monetize' and 'brand loyalty' in this carefully researched post)

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In a world in which you could keep secrets, you might be on to something.

I think Nokia has made such a mess of things that they are pretty much a zombie corp at this point, but if MS were able to launch phones with a non-MS name they'd have a better shot at grabbing market share.

The problem of course is that since this isn't a world where secrets can be kept, even with NDAs, word would get out that MS was secretly funding Project X, and Project X would suddenly be even more sinister than MS because MS was doing it SECRETLY.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple & Secrecey

Maybe this is the next thing that MS is going to try to copy.. Perhaps a little digging would have revealed that Joe no longer works for MS and no longer resides in the US and has no SSN.. he's been disappeared, in an attempt to one up Apple.

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When we are talking about smartphones it's the apps that make the difference

I guess there are quite a few people who buy a smartphone because it's cool, and don't care about apps, but their numbers must be shrinking as their more tech-savvy friends start demonstrating apps to them.

It's hard to imagine how players in this market who woke up too late to what Apple has been doing since 2007 can ever get into a competitive position. Apple have a good OS, very good design capabilities, good build quality, a phone that most people find a pleasure to hold and to use, confidence in what they are about, half a million apps, and many happy developers. The old ways of the phone industry have been so shaken up by Apple that the older players still don't know which way to run - like the proverbial rabbit in the car headlights. The old ways of pumping out plastic tat covered in buttons doesn't wash any more and vendors who don't have good hardware design, a belief in quality, and an thriving ecosystem might as well pack up and go home now.

MS/Nokia have a real uphill struggle in front of them and there is no evidence from their past performance that they will be able to outplay Apple, which, apart from its huge ecosystem, now has significant supply chain and infrastructural advantages. People say Apple products are expensive but that isn't true, one has only to read about the squabbling between Intel and the laptop makers trying to make a competitor the the MacBook Air, and the pricing of the inferior iPad competitors to see that.

We live in interesting times.

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Silver badge

for corporate users, the remote administration, e-mail message signing and AD integration are even more important...

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Coat

I was a Nokia fan

I struggled with the N95 and the N98 when I gave up and got an iPhone. The Nokia hardware was excellent but the software produced such a dreadful user experience that it was a no-brainer. I'm coming to the end of my contract in 6 months and will look closely at the Nokia W7 phones, comparing it with the iPhone 5. While I'm quite happy with the iPhone software the camera on the 3GS is poor and there is no flash. Battery life is not great either.

If the new Nokia phones with W7 cut the mustard then I'll probably switch back.

P.S. Is Angry Birds and Suduko available on W7? This could be a deciding factor :-)

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N98?

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Silver badge
FAIL

Or you could just...

Dust off your HTC Diamond running 6.5.3 and get the Host 1.5 file from xda-developers which is basically the entirety of 'tiles' and will run on any touchscreen windows device. Oh and it took the guy who wrote it about 3 months. Yes, its slick and quick... On 528mhz, and did I mention, free?

The fact that this MS guy has given it an 8 probably means a 3 in everyone else's book, a fact which Ballmer knows full well.

Oh, and when I can connect to a tv two different ways on a winphone, and use a mouse with it, and an external hard drive @ the same time, not to mention have a 2+ day battery life and constant signal... Then and only then can you prise my E7 from my cold dead hands, in the cold dead nursing home (because I will probably be in one by the time it can do all that and be stable too).

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Blimee...

Have you guys done some creative editing, or was his entire criticism "I wish it had a larger screen"?

Apart from that it was glowing report!

I know American's have a reputation amongst us Brits for being a bit too enthusiastic, but surely it hasn't got so bad that "only" giving something an 8 is regarded as a total slating?!

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Silver badge
FAIL

Brand recognition

Ericsson tried that in the 90s - trading on their name while presenting less and less competitive analogue phones. by the time GSM became mainstream they were a has-been

Nokia killed them on price. I'm not sure why - when I moved from Motorola to Nokia phones the performance was worse and the menus sucked.

Now Android and iPhone are killing Nokia, while nokia has been sitting on its thumbs for 5 years.

Windows is a never-been or possibly an also-ran. Nokia teaming up with them will just make them into a 3 legged competitor in a marathon.

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Mushroom

End result?

The moral to the story here is that Microsoft employees, according to company policy, are not allowed to have opinions.

Its little wonder why MS sucks so bad. When you treat your team like this, your team leaves. And getting the new star talent fresh from university? Nope. They're going to flip you the bird. And rightfully so.

There's nothing wrong with Microsoft that a few well place C4 charges couldn't fix.

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Mushroom

It isn't Marini's fault...

Windoze Phone 7 is crap so who cares?

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