back to article Nokia, Skype, ARM: Microsoft's big year in review

2011 saw Microsoft place a some big bets to break into new markets: putting Windows on ARM to challenge the iPad, becoming a web telco with the record-breaking $8.5bn purchase of Skype, and an exclusive deal with handset manufacturer Nokia to deliver smart phones using nothing but Windows Phone. Some choices seemed logical: …


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  1. Gio Ciampa

    "download the MP3 or Ogg"

    Not WMA then?

    1. Magnus_Pym

      It's OK. Silverlight will render it.

  2. David Shaw

    well I bought a WinPhoSeven this year

    so MS will definitely be having a great 2012? I bought the WinPhoSeven because it's immune to the 596 bugs/exploits in Symbian, to the handful of bugs/exploits in iOS and Android both, and I didn't know at the time about the killer SMS of dooom.... but anyway , as a 'failed' product my hTc Mozart WinPhoSeven is entirely average as a phone but was insanely cheap!

    roll on WinPhoEight, I'll need a new cheap internet access device or two in 2012

    1. Dave 15

      Probably immune to some of exactly the same attacks, but it certainly isn't immune to all attacks. Given the history of MS then you can pretty much guarantee it will fall foul of many more than your old Symbian devices. As to Android and iOS, when either have been around for more than a couple of months you'll find the hackers have demolished them pretty routinely. I'm afraid its the case that ALL software will have mistakes and therefore they can be hacked/exploited/fail. Popular devices make popular targets. Windows on PC's is far more prevalent than unix or any other OS which is why it is routinely hacked. S60 has sold for over 10 years in very large volumes, despite its recent downfall it has still outsold its competitors making it a subject for hackers. The fact they have found so few exploitable problems is a testimony to how robust it actually is, how very few problems are present in an OS with much more inbuilt protection than the rest.

      To be honest it will be many more years before any of the competition has half a decent a product as the Nokia S60 running on Symbian. Elop was either (a) a fool or (b) a plant from Microsoft. In either case he has been - and continues to be - a disaster for Nokia. Nokia didn't need a new platform, what they needed was some marketing people who had a clue what to do. You can't combat Apple and their freebies to journalists/phonestores/congressmen etc. by doing a 2 minute advert of a blind person videoing a roller coaster.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    there is a good reason to choose Skype

    once LTE networks are up and running in 4-5 years, there will be competition with the regular mobile telcos. There are a lot of unknowns, of course, i.e. how will data traffic be charged (ridiculously expensive to begin with) what will the user experience be with ip switching.

    Perhaps MS are just hedging their bets.

  4. AB

    Risk management

    @David Shaw, you bought a WP7 device to avoid bugs & exploits?

    That's like moving to live in a petrol refinery because the curtains in your house aren't flame-retardant.

    1. David Shaw

      er no.

      I met the Nokia head of product security recently, the actual malware/bug/threats numbers from my post are exactly accurate (really!). Due to it's long and glorious history symbian has accrued nearly six hundred threats, and Apple/Android devices have a handful each - though I'm more suspicious of the Android market process. Windows Phone 7 has to-date around a 1% and declining marketshare, no criminals in their right mind would target such a wimpy cross-section. I admit that should there ever be any attempt to fuzz my device it would rapidly expire in a cloud of outrageous data loss.

      Mr Nokia security said that all phones are more or less safe anyway 'till MS retire XP, the cash cow of the phishing internet, then all hell will break loose in the mobile sector. I do hope to be using something a trifle more hardened by then! if there is anything resilient on the market

      (I just built a legally compliant DIY GSM basestation in 2 days last week for around $1000, it worked rather amazingly, so we're *all* screwed until GSMA deprecate A5 and move to 3G/UMTS @900MHz?)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Did you just wake up one morning and think "I have $1000 more than I need; whatever shall I do?"

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Andus McCoatover

        Legally compliant? OK, where's the ETSI/FCC certification?

        I call "TROLL!"

        Like to see the test results that You submitted.

        Anechoic chamber measurements for emissions?? They're hard to find, let alone book in a week.

        Coding for 2x channel-DSP's and 4x Baseband DSP's?? Hopping synthesisers for both receive and transmit?? testing - took a day per prototype, then modify accordingly, then test again. Some of us slept on the floor of the lab. (myself included) 24/7 to get the testing done. Some hardened souls could work 48 hours without other than a toilet break. Didn't have time, sometimes to even eat. I could do 36 hours before passing out from fatigue was a definite danger.

        Christ, it took a team of 50 over 2 years to do this. I know, I was in the team.

        Sorry squire, the only way you could've possibly done this is to nick transceiver, BBM, TRUE, BCF, etc. from a working cabinet. Then nip over to Nethawk in Oulu, Finland , and nick a BTS/TCSM simulator.

        In short, you're talking slightly muffled. Trousers have that effect.


        1. David Shaw

          Merry trolling!

          have a merry xmas!

          I agree that a few years ago a BTS was a work of art, now, with the resources of a research centre (yes, including an idle anechoic chamber that we can fit a helicopter in) , with a cupboard filled with USRP software defined radios, 14 at the last count, the ones with the standard crappy 64MHz xtal - (we have the 52MHz better xtal on order )

          Seriously, one of our USRP chassis ran OpenBTS on GNURadio perfectly with the stock 64MHz. The hardest part of the setup, funnily, was to find a connector for the US power supply.

          DIY stuff here <>

          SOTA for GSM is now $1k h/w and 2 days typing.

          The USRP presents a GSM air interface to standard GSM handsets and uses a software PBX (Asterisk) to connect calls. OpenBTS consists of a Universal Software Radio Peripheral (plus we used an RFX900 transceiver daughterboard) connected on a USB port of a Debian (BackTrack5) Linux box running Asterisk, GnuRadio and OpenBTS.

          1. Andus McCoatover


            Wasn't trolling, but the "Legal" bit got my gander up. I'd assumed you meant 'certified', '3GPP', and all that malarkey.

            The link you gave is seriously good reading. Thanks for that.

            Remember, I was a GSM designer, having to carry the kit all over the place between VTT, MET-Labs, etc. to get it commercially accepted and approved.

  5. Guillermo Lo Coco

    Today a great percentage use Win, tomorrow Linux (Android, ubuntu, etc..)

    Today a great percentage use Skype, Msn,Y!, Whatsapp, tomorrow XMPP (gTalk, Facebook, etc..)

    Today a great percentage use x86, tomorrow ARM (Tegra, Snapdragon, etc...)

    There good sake, will be no great future for M$.

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