Must ... fight ... bias
Must ... not ... click ... Utterly Terrible
Ok! I will have a look before forming an opinion! <shocked murmuring from the crowd>
But I'm still not buying one.
Back in February, people muttered that Nokia's new CEO Stephen Elop was a Trojan Horse sent to destroy the company and deliver the remains of the chopped up cadaver to Microsoft. Those mutterings continue. But having used Nokia's new Windows phone (here's my review) it doesn't look quite like that. Microsoft's software has given …
"Most" may be a little strong... I'm a 24 year old with an electrical engineering degree and an MBA. I'm all over the Reg. I promoted it pretty heavily too with friends in college, who I think still read it.
I'm not buying one of these phones (my Sprint Galaxy SII is great) but it does look pretty sleek at first glance.
I'm sorry, but I'm gonna have to call that article M$ funded hogwash...
"Microsoft makes Nokia competitive"
the N9 could have done at least as badly as windphone7 is still doing in sales, if it hadn't been declared dead on release by Eslob.
There's one argument for Microshuft I'll agree to: we could use the old monopoly mongers to add some competition to the 2 and a half horse race in smartphone operating systems.
Am I going to make a sacrifice for the team and buy one though? Err no.... sorry....
I'm flattered - since I'm mainly addicted to TheReg because most things here are written with at least a dash of remarkably silly humor :D
And of course, the fact that you guys are large enough to not delete every post you don't like; a quality I find highly admirable and essential. With that same idea of fairness and openness, I don't mind that you can't keep those pro-microsofters on your staff under control ;-)
Seeing how well the N9 was received, image where Nokia could have been if they had not treated Maemo like a research project, but put some real development force on it years ago.
Maemo had lots of features years before others, like the way the address book is integrated in all the services for example.
Yes? The so-called competition is a Sinister Stalking Control Freak. And a convicted monopolist to boot.
Which is not to detract from the splendid effort that is Windows Phone, but on the other hand I would actually like to be able to purchase a phone that actually gave me an alternative to Android and iOS in aspects other than just the UI (like, for instance, a reasonable level of interoperability with my other bits of kit).
So, no. I won't be getting one.
"like, for instance, a reasonable level of interoperability with my other bits of kit"
The WebOS tablets would bluetooth sync with the WebOS phones and allow you to send text messages over your phone from your tablet. It would also broadcast video calls, phone rings, etc.
HP was working with Fossil to create a meta watch. The watch would contain your basic functionality (ie phone antenna, wifi, bluetooth) and all your other devices would sync to it as needed. Everything else then becomes "a device" whether it is the 3.5 inch screen in your pocket, the tablet in your bag, the computer on your desk, or the tv in your living room.
The greatest innovator... and they gave up on the project due to lack of interest. Apple has squashed all invention, all innovation. We'll be stuck with subpar systems because of Apple for years to come.
... alternatively they could embrace (but not extend) a few standards, and then I would not have to tell them what bits of kit I have, since they already comply with quite a few standards...
(and, oh yes, I am also talking about online services that comply to various standards...)
Outside of El Reg fora and their population of Linux enthusiasts (admittedly, I don't visit other IT related fora much), I have yet to hear anyone say anything AT ALL about Linux on phones. Just deal with it, Linux just isn't what *consumers* want, hell, even Android is seen by some as too techy.
Remember OpenMoko? Every Linux fanboi was so busy ejaculating in their pants and posting on every bloody forum they could get their hairy palms on about how great this will be, they forgot to buy the damn thing. And surprise surprise, it tanked.
A vocal minority does not a commercial success make, and Nokia seem to have finally realised this.
(Another flashback: Nokia N95 vs iPhone - oh, the geekdom was rolling on the floor with derisory laughter when the iPhone's spec sheet, about the length of my private member, was compared to the Nokia spec sheet, which was the length of a porn star's trouser Saturn V. Which one sold better, I wonder?)
This is part of the problem with buying products based on some purported philosophy to their development, as opposed to how well they actually, like, work.
Every single time anything about Nokia's WP7 offerings come up, people start raving about the N9. I guarantee you that most of these people have never actually used one, but something in their F/OSS Fan Club contract stipulates that they have to praise it anyway. And sometimes things actually do work out. I liked Maemo and my N900 a lot. I still think it's the best phone I've ever bought.
But I have used both Windows Phone and the N9, extensively, and I have to say, honestly, Windows Phone is a much better experience. Not surprisingly, like many Linuxian projects, the N9 feels like it was put together by (and for) hobbyists, not professionals. For a lot of people, that's cool. For a mass-market product, WP7 makes much, much more sense.
That's not to say that WP7 is flawless, or that Nokia (and Microsoft) doesn't have a lot of work to do if they want to make it work. But in terms of making something that the average person would actually want to use, MeeGo was a nonstarter. Great hardware, overhyped software. So it was Windows Phone or Symbian.
This would be "damned if you do, damned if you don't" except that Windows Phone, for a new OS, is pretty dynamite. Even before the Mango update, it has better user satisfaction scores than Android -- twice as high as RIM. User awareness is low, but a product with high satisfaction and low awareness is a lot better for Nokia to work with than a product (like Symbian) that everybody's heard of and nobody likes.
Personally speaking I am a lot more interested in some "purported philosophy" for their intended usage, since I plan to *use* the chuffing thing (or not as the case may be).
iPhone "purported philosophy": you are only allowed to do what we let you. And you must use iTunes.
Android "purported philosophy": you are only allowed to do what we let you. And we are going to aggressively mine your personal data.
Windows Phone "Purported philosophy": you are only allowed to do what we let you. And you must use Zune, Office and Skydrive. Buy more Windows. Buy now. Because nothing that you've already got will work with this (the 'you' in this case is particularly me, some fan of Windows is likely to have all of those things, but I'm not getting them), oh and based on our previous behaviour you can expect us to aggresively mine your personal data and sell it to the highest bidder.
You know, I would really like to be able to get hold of phone that was entirely agnostic about whatever other kit and services I use. One that just worked because it adhered to standards, and did not need to know what kind of other stuff I've got, or stalk me for personally identifying information.
I particularly do not want Zune desktop or iTunes in order to be able to get media on and off my phone.
So yes Windows Phone has a fancy shmancy UI, and the People Hub looks very useful. But. Unless I ditch my existing investments, or compromise their utility, it's not a whole lot of use to me.
And get guess what. My current phone implements some standards nicely. SyncML, Bluetooth, DLNA, USB-media, USB-on-the-go, HDMI, WebDAV, etc. Unfortunately the UI is a bit of a sow's ear, and somewhere it has developed a nasty memory leak which means I need to restart it a couple of times a week, so I should be looking for a next gen replacement...
Strangely Android actually appears to be the least evil option in terms the compromises I have to make in order use it (and given that Google is already aggressively mining my personal data anyway, there is no actual net increase in evil done to me).
"Windows Phone is not only one of the most original pieces of design Microsoft has done – perhaps the best – it has executed it really well. This is a strong candidate for the best piece of technology Microsoft has ever produced."
Talk about damning with faint praise... You couldn't say it causes rapture on contact? And what about how much more attractive it makes the holder to members of their preferred gender - couldn't squeeze that in?
Maybe I'm missing it. Was the entire article written in a sarcastic tone as a spoof to other reviews?
The "sheer novelty of having a nice smartphone with 'NOKIA' imprinted on it" came with the Nokia N9, which is a properly designed phone by Nokia's chief designer with "a coherent design story" and not a hack like the L800. Have Nokia UK take its finger off its botttom and ship you an N9, if they can't be bothered to supply all the UK buyers with a proper phone.
No gaudy colours? Check.
Proper Nokia reception, call quality, and battery life? Check.
OS design melding with the OS design? Check.
They may be elsewhere, but even after Verizon got the iPhone and Trophy, in my area they both are advertising Android phones exclusively. Nokia is right to get phones into the hands of sales staff and consumers. Microsoft should have really pushed on this hard a long time ago.
@Tony Smith: I am most definitely not in the 20-something demographic that Nokia's ads are targeting, yet have found the WP7 OS to be a very functional and useful system.
One thing I certainly agree on from the article is that Nokia will have to step up and exceed the competition. They won't get any slack down the road. I found it surprising that the much-touted Zeiss optics still don't do better than most and are outshined by the iPhone 4S.
It's important to note that you can just run the people app as a local app (personally I sync mine with an Exchange server at home) but that's all it needs to be. You don't have to use facebook, twitter, linkedin, google or Windows live, it's nice to have the option though. You can also hide contacts that you don't wish to see.
Not that this will make any difference to the nay sayers, whose flaming keyboards are already being warmed up for another MS slagging.
Anyone else think that if this OS had been released by any other company, then there would be a little less of the pro (in both senses) posters here, upvoting any positive comment/fud, and downvoting everything else?
Remember who has been repeatedly caught doing astroturf campaigns... And desperately needs some support for a phone OS which is shaping to be a failure at the level of Bob or Clippy - and was apparently designed by the same team.
It does not matter what the reviewers say, the MS lovers (or Haters) - what matters is what the consumers say and they it doesn't take to much intelligence (or do you need to be a "Android using Computer Scientist") to understand what they said.
They don't want it.
I know - just wait till _______ . I think that'sMicrosoft's marketing campaign. "we know our phones are not as good as the other phones on the market, but just wait till_____!"
The other night I say an add for an HTC phone. I don't recall the add mentioning "Windows" once. Maybe that is the secret to selling this thing. Keep the OS a secret.
It seems to me, that a phone, which in the near term has 8.5 billion reasons that guarantee the integration of Skype(tm), is hardly something that a carrier would be especially joyous about.
I know iPhone (tm) has it's face talk (?) and I am sure the other mobile phone OSs have something too, but Skype is pretty ubiquitous and it is not a good way to sell carrier minutes.
Microsoft are copying apple with the walled garden approach. you can't write apparel that might mean undercutting microsoft, you can't make web browsers for windows phone (opera mini an mobile have been cancelled due to MS rules).. and any content only works via Microsoft.
its all sounding very applelike, from a company Just as evil.
out of the 3, Google at least give me stuff for my info. the others take it for free. font be fooled that apple or microsoft font know just as much about you.
I'm glad you pointed-out that the People app isn't really a new idea, since my N900 has something very similar. But that's the whole point about the mysteries of marketing, isn't it? Bill Gates was trying to shove tablet PCs down our throats years before the iPad. There were UIQ touchscreen smartphones years before the iPhone. As far back as the seventies, I remember Yamaha bringing out a bike with a "revolutionary" square-four engine, but some grey-haired old duffer then remembers that a British company had tried something similar about a hundred years previously. It's all very, very strange.
I pre-ordered mine on Three.
Had the fortune to play around with it before hand at the London event. Pretty slick and the design is original - even if the pink version is a little too gaudy! At least Nokia isn't following the Sammy/HTC/LG clones.
Although everyone here automatically hates Windows Phone (MS), everyone knows that the OS is probably the best thing MS have come up with for years. At least they didn't copy iOS (a la Android).
Kudos to MS for their optimisation: Android needs dual-core to have OS features functioning this slick without any lag.
"Although everyone here automatically hates Windows Phone (MS), everyone knows that the OS is probably the best thing MS have come up with for years. At least they didn't copy iOS (a la Android)."
By all unbiased accounts, Android was under development prior to Google's purchase before iOS was announced, leaked or seen. We can speculate which came first, but the evidence points toward Android being in development longer.
Does noone else see a problem with integrating phones to specific services?
A few years ago it would have been myspace or bebo integration, now facebook and twitter but what about a few years from now?
Someone needs to develop open APIs for such services to use, so that its possible to integrate new services without a huge amount of work.
Phones such as these are primarily used for two-three years on the outside.
Those specific services you mention usually last longer. By the time a new one becomes popular enough, your device will probably be quite old. That's the way consumerism works baby!
It's up to the so-called-services to develop the API's, not Microsoft (or Nokia or W3C).
If and when such a service comes into being and becomes popular enough, the push of its users will force the phone builders to integrate them. Then it only becomes a question of a Windows Update (or an OTA update for that specific Android device, or a new point release of iOS, or whatever).
So, it's not a big deal. Use them or don't use them. As long as there is a way around them.
It's more important that a smartphone such as this to support more of the existing technologies easily (such as - will this integrate with my Google account? What about Flickr or Dropbox? - What about all the IM services I'm embroiled in (yahoo!, googletalk, messenger, etc)? - that sort of thing)
Android is quite messier, but sorting this sort of thing is easier -because it's more flexible. iOS excludes most of them, so each usually get an independent app with very limited integration. Judgement is still out on WP.
Haven't used WinPhone 7 but by all accounts it looks excellent. Tried Android and iOS and much prefer iOS. It is uniform across devices, it works well, you don't need to root it to fix bugs as updates are rolled out centrally, the app store is simple to use and just works. There is a huge opportunity for MS here especially as Android is so obviously a 'me too' iOS immitation, while WinPhone really seems to have had a lot more thought put into it.
Was waiting for Nokia phones to take a look but bit disappointed they missed a few tricks that would have given them a huge edge over Apple:
- expandable memory via SD card
- removable battery
Also not sure if there is any route to load software outside of a 'walled garden'. Making it simple for companies to deploy their own software on the phone, as well as good integration with MS Office and Exchange, would make it a killer phone for business.
There is a official app that allows you to unlock your windows phone. It's called chevron. On another note, today I was comparing my htc mozart screen windows phone general functionality with my friend's iphone 3GS. Internet was much faster than my friend's but probably the netwrok to blame to a degree. But I was really surprised my screen looked so much more vivid and bright. He didn't get some setting on as far as he knows and no screen protection. I thought the iphone 4 screen was good but maybe not!
I'm glad to hear that they are going to focus on getting units into shops. I think that is one of the best techniques that Apple used in launching the iPhone... get people to use it and see for themselves. Dummy units are useless now... i really don't think that the size and shape of a phone is anything like as important as the software at this point.
Before slating the system give it a try. if nothing else, i think that MS deserve a little credit for doing something different. WP7 is a pretty good system... it's not without a couple of shortcomings but it feels like a different way of using a phone. compared to all the clutter on the iPhones of friends the tiles look really rather fresh.
It feels like someone has had a good think about what phones are used for and worked from there. A friend just got an iPhone 4s and was happy when he found and downloaded the linkedIN app. Afraid that all i could think was "you had to find an app for that? Isn't it just part of the phone?"
So you are wondering why the 'linkedIn' app was not part of the phone.
Just ask youself this.
Why should it be part of the phone?
Having owned and iPhone 3gs and not an HTC sensation, I have to say the iPhone is better. Minimal apps but easy to add. The HTC, lots of apps that are frigging useless to be but I can't remove unless I root the phone.
Now which is best? Still want every phone shipped with only your fav apps? What about mine? What? they don't match 100%.
Think about the real world and the millions of non techy users who don't give a toss about LinkedIn.
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the point is that it isn't an app as such.
Its a setting in a submenu. You can add as many accounts to the phone as you like, from any of the supported services. and because of the way that this is integrated, should a new service become popular then you don't need to add an app - you just get an option added and it integrates into the existing model. But if you don't use it, then you'll never really see it.
so when i got my phone, i went to settings > account > add and chose from what was availible. at launch, this was gmail, hotmail, facebook and outlook / exchange (plus "other") (from memory). so you add in those accounts and when you want to find out what bob is up to you click on bob and see all of his feeds in one place.
When i upgraded to Mango, it added linkedIN as an account type. so, back to settings, put in my username and password and hey presto, bob's linkedIN feed appears along with his other ones. i think that this is the difference between WP7 and other systems... WP7 organises news feed by person and not by the source of the data. which makes sense if you want to find out what bob is up to, but doesn't make sense if you are facebook. it's an interesting take on the way to do this kind of functionality whch reflects the motivations of the software developer in question.
so there is no app as such. Sure MS still need to decide which services to include, but there is no bloat there as such - certainly not like there would be if they shipped the phone with 10 different social media clients - it's just different account options.
Downloadable apps for everything (the Apple model) is not the only way. Think Different, as was once said....
1) Obviously, there is a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes to get all this data into the same place. but you aren't really aware of it and that is kinda how it should be.
2) this is probably not the first phone system that can do this (insert reference to random android app here) but it is the first that i have used.
3) there are a load of filtering options to give you some granularity over what is updated where and when, and you can still see everything in one place if you want
4) no, not every single possible network will be on here. but you are still able to download seperate apps for those more niche ones, giving you the same functionality as on other phones. shoud they ever become mainstream, then maybe they get integrated. this makes it pretty easy for non-techy users.
5) yes, i know the iPhone does a lot out of the box, but a lot of functionality is added by apps. PLUS i know that this is not unique to the iPhone, with app stores for all phones adding features
6) Maybe this approach isn't for everyone and there is nothing wrong with questioning either the current "standard" or a new way. Try some stuff and see what you like.
and why does everything look different between the Apps? The Metro interface is really pleasant to work with and makes a huge difference in the user experience in my opinion. I am still a pretty hard critic on the startup experience of WinPhone7, but once up it is my favorite mobile OS.
So far I prefer the industrial design of my iPhone 4, but my Samsung Omnia 7's AMOLED makes everyone drool. A friend of mine has his Nokia Lumia coming in next week, so I am looking forward to seeing what I keep hearing about how amazing it is to hold.
I've had a chance to play with one of the Lumia's and it does look like a very slick phone and OS. There is still a lot of room for improvement, and its not for the heavy users, missing outputs, no tethering but for a "social" smart phone then its a powerful beast.
The independent review is quite balanced and the Lumia comes out of it well.
When Nokia ruled the handset market, everyone had a Nokia, and when the lost one they simply went back and bought another Nokia. Their outlets were everywhere.
Then the cell manufacturers started using our market as a test market - small compact country, 7 carrier choices, 100% coverage, fashion concious and a unique language. Reduced chance of gray market exports.
These days you have to search for a Nokia dealer whereas all your usual suspects have outlets all over, and very competitive pricing.
But we do get a look see at new models before most other countries.
Forget the OS, for me it will be a long long time before I trust Nokia enough to get tied into a long contract for any phone they make. Last time I did that they abandoned the phone before I'd finished my contract, and never admitted the list of faults which were regularly reported all over their own forums.
I ended up buying an HTC Android handset just so I didn't have to use the PoS Nokia I was still paying for. First handset I have ever bought outright, and it was to escape a Nokia.
Says it all really.
Nokia's CEO stated that they were trying to supply phones for the next billion. They had market openings and developers in places like India and China and they've thrown all that away by going with Windows Phone. The delay in getting Windows Phone out there when they could have pushed the Symbian Belle and N9 (MeeGo) phone six months ago to all their markets. This and the Osborne effect on Symbian means Nokia are still on life support.
Does this play in the UK or Europe?
Here in the US, this simply won't cut it, at least among those who know anything about smartphones (or listen to their friends/relatives/co-workers who do). This is terribly underpowered, with last year's processor, last year's screen, etc.
FAIL#1: All that wouldn't be an issue if this went up against the middle-of-the-road Androids and the $100 iPhone, leaving the Lumia 710 for the "free or nearly so" end-user price. Only, half of those middle-of-the-road Androids are 4G LTE phones, and the iPhone.. is an iPhone. And the Lumia 800 is priced, so far, as a top-of-the-line device. It works out to about $585 MSRP. The new Motorola RAZR, with more memory, way better mechanicals (Gorilla glass and Kevlar), LTE, dual core CPU, real GPU, etc. lists for $599. The iPhone 4S starts at $649. Based on specs, no one buys the Nokia.
FAIL#2: So what's Microsoft's natural market? Windows users? Have you MET these people? They're unhappy, and many want to throw their desktop or laptop PC off a cliff. The happy Microsoft users are gamers -- they love the X-Box 360, it's well supported, and even reliable these days. Heck, I like the X-Box 360, and if anything, I'm a PS3 guy. Microsoft's even finally making money there. So why not attract gamers? Only, the Lumia 800 has far lower GPU specs than the ancient (and now "free") iPhone 3GS. No gamer wants one of these.
FAIL#3: The people have already rejected the Zune... why do they want the ZunePhone? This UI looks flashy at first, but I found it tedious after about 45 minutes of playing with. This is a "New Coke" OS... as with New Coke, neophytes like it for a day or two. Once the bill comes, once it gets flaky with others using it, etc. all bets are off. And Microsoft is going to drive people to Win7Phone by pushing this interface onto the desktop? That's likely to make Vista look like a crazy hit, by comparison.
FAIL#4: Isn't this just a slightly revamped N9? What's Nokia been doing the last year? They has the genius move of announcing, last February, that every smartphone they currently made was already obsolete -- a modern refinement of the strategy that worked so well for Adam Osborne's early computer company. They fell below Apple and RIM in world-wide smartphone sales this year, the company that used to own 60% of that market... and didn't even compete in the USA.
Nokia didn't simply go down from 60% since February, of course. They were already falling fast, largely because they didn't think it was necessary to actually compete with the iPhone and then all those Android phones. This looks like Nokia all over again, thinking there's something so special about them, they don't have to actually participate in the mobile wars currently being waged. RIM's done a similar thing, not really competing.. though they did make a pretty nice tablet, if only they had actually finished the tablet OS. You're insane if you plan to bolster your failing smartphone business with a tablet that's only fully useful to that shrinking set of people still using Blackberries.
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