back to article Windows Phone 8: What Nokia and Microsoft must do

Next week, we're expected to get a sneak preview of Nokia devices based on Windows Phone 8 at a special publicity event in New York. Here's a view on what Microsoft and Nokia need to deliver - based on something a bit unusual: the user experience. I find there's a yawning empty chasm in consumer technology coverage. You can …

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  1. Mark C Casey

    OpenGL

    If MS/Nokia want things like games on windows phone then they will have to support OpenGL.

    I've seen posters on other forums post silly things like "but they have direct3d and windows", that's all very nice. But the big mobile games aren't made to work on windows, they're made to work on the iphone and android phones. Which use OpenGL.

    No sane developer/publisher is going to go through the major porting headache and major money/time investment over to winphone unless the market and money is there. And it most certainly is not.

    MS would be very smart to support OpenGL, but they won't because of their obsession with MS only tech. And that, is why wp8 will continue wp7's failure.

    1. Robert Grant

      Re: OpenGL

      Good point, although it's cool that UE3 is coming to WP8. This I guess will at least mean that big ]-budget game engines are likely to follow suit, along with their associated games.

      And nice article; probably the best analysis of WP that El Reg has done. Personally I like the look of the Lumias (especially the 800: white body, black front, light WP theme looks lovely and modern) but I get that it's not everyone's COT.

    2. Mike Manship
      Holmes

      Re: OpenGL

      This is actually a good point and its not only OpenGL its the entire closed philosophy of these propriety systems.

      When are they going to get the message that what people actually want is choice and not get things shoved down their throats.

      MS thinking should be more like porting Direct3D to other platforms, to add to the choice and let it compete on its own merits.

      And this is the true power of Android, when I look for an App I get several to choose from, granted a lot of them are sh!t but its improving all the time.

      The my way or the highway method just doesn't cut it any more, take note Apple.

    3. Tegne
      Boffin

      Re: OpenGL

      Qt Support wouldn't go amiss either - There's a lot of Qt devs out there with nothing much to do at the moment.

    4. JDX Gold badge

      Re: OpenGL

      Yes but PC (and XBox) games makers use MS tech all the time and now suddenly the same tech works on phones too. So it's not all one-sided.

      1. Mark C Casey

        Re: OpenGL

        I've seen the same argument made on other forums.

        The reality is that porting games made for controllers to touch screen devices and vice versa does not work.

        They're totally different and again, just because devs are familiar with MS tech does not mean they'll suddenly start making games for WP7/8.

        Look at it from their perspective; "I can spend lots of time and money making a game for a platform that has less than one percent of the market and it won't be easilly portable to the two dominant platforms which covers 90% of the market because of the MS specific tech (read: direct3d etc). Or I can make my game using OpenGL for the two dominant platforms, guaranteeing I make money."

        It's a no-brainer, MS are shooting themselves in the foot. They simply are not in the dominant position like they are on the desktop. They cannot expect devs to write games specific to their tech. The money simply isn't there. Game devs and companies are not run by idiots, they'll look at the numbers.

        It's the angry birds syndrome, they publically said it isn't worth the effort to port their games. Hell, the only reason they eventually changed their mind is because MS gave them money to port it. MS cannot afford to give every single game dev money to port their games over. The shareholders would have a fit.

        1. Mark .

          Re: OpenGL

          It's not all about market share though - there was a developer bandwagon to support Iphones, even in all the years that it was 3rd, 4th, or 5th place, with tiny market share. Even now, with Android nearing 70%, and Iphone around 16%, we see more developer support for Apple (which is sad). Symbian rarely got support, despite being number one until 2011, then still outselling Iphone for another 6 months until the WP switch, and still probably having a larger installed userbase. Not that this means therefore MS will get support - but it isn't simply about market share.

          Whilst I'd love to see OpenGL on WP simply because choice and openess is good, it's not clear to me it's the right decision for them. Whilst WP is harmed by it, they are probably looking at the longer term of the Windows platform as a whole. The idea that Direct X would become the dominant API on computers once seemed mad - the API was a mess, OpenGL was open, industry people like Carmack supported OpenGL, and why would you limit yourself to only Windows for no apparent benefit? Yet look what happened.

          Also consider that any competent developer can support DirectX and OpenGL. Remember that the far bigger challenge right now is that mobile platforms use entirely different languages (modified-Java for Android, C# for WP, C++/Qt for Symbian, Objective C for Iphone). So if you're rewriting your entire game anyway, the use of a different API seems secondary to that. Ironically, using C# is one of the few ways to get something that runs on Android and IOS (thanks to Mono), which of course is WP's native language. And many games will use 3rd party libraries/engines, so MS will instead focus on getting them to support DirectX, then it's a non-issue.

    5. Zarniw00p
      FAIL

      Re: OpenGL and other stuff

      Isn't Open GL on a slow death, most games these days are DirectX which WP8 supports, so why bung in support for a technology that's going the way of the dodo? As for the article, it's abundantly clear that the author hates the platform with a passion, with about 5% of positives and the rest is just a continual rant. I switched from the iPhone after Saint Jobs the Hallowed spaketh to me and enlightened me to the fact that the iPhone 4 was perfect and that I, as a mere left handed pleb was holding it wrong. Admittedly, there are several rough edges but on the whole WP makes iOS and Android look Jurassic in comparison. Mr Author, you stick to your device with it's neat little rows of icons looking like a Windows 3 desktop or World of Warcraft bag inventory and I will take your article with the salt it was meant to be taken with :-)

      1. Mark C Casey

        Re: OpenGL and other stuff

        Err... No.

        OpenGL is used on every platform. So, the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, all Android phones, IOS devices (iphone/ipad), Mac OS X.. heck even Windows via the gpu makers has OpenGL support.

        OpenGL was withering on the vines a few years back but is now in quite a resurgence. Heck, even the new 3d web standard (WebGL) is based on OpenGL. It won't be long before that really takes off. (look at some of the newer 3d game demos showing off webgl in Firefox and Chrome.. some really amazing stuff)

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OpenGL

      Your observation is no longer relevant, with Unity (http://www.wpcentral.com/unity-coming-windows-phone-8-they-tell-us-why) and Unreal (http://wmpoweruser.com/nvidia-and-epic-demos-unreal-engine-3-on-windows-8-and-windows-rt/) allowing simple ports of Android and iOS games to WP8.

    7. Don Mitchell

      Re: OpenGL

      They do need to support OpenGL. There's a long weird history that Microsoft needs to forget and move on. OpenGL was not doing well in the late 1990s, because SGI was holding it to a model based on their hardware's functionality, functionality that could not scale up to what we see on PC games today. Direct3D (which was not just designed by MS, but also nVidia and ATI) was a much needed innovation with its vertex and pixel shaders and triangle meshes. Immediately, the hardware vendors added all the Direct3D functionality to OpenGL, via its extension mechanism. Probably both Microsoft and SGI were annoyed by this, but today OpenGL and Direct3D essentially do the same things. So it was never really the lock-in that Microsoft might have hoped for.

    8. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: OpenGL

      Xbox is the leading current generation console, and PCs are also a leading gaming platform - both of which rely on Direct-X for 99% of games. There is no need for MS to support Open GL. they are already on top of the graphics market with Direct-X.

      If those games makers want a share of the soon to be massive Windows Tablet market, then they will have to write for Direct-X - and this is regardless of how well Windows phone does.

    9. N13L5
      Pint

      I thought 30 years of M$ was more than enough

      Why would this writer bother to give advice to Microsoft? If you have great advice, you should not offer it..

      Remember? Microsoft wants to copy Apple's walled ghetto. Its all about Tollbooths for them.

      Do humans need to be walled in, after many years of being able to choose what they want to do with the computing products they purchased?

      I say continue your boykott as before...

      Microsoft won't wise up under Ballmer, and Elop isn't even worth a lopsided grin.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    What's a Nokia?

    And what's a Windows Phone?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: What's a Nokia?

      what's an arse...

    2. Zarniw00p
      FAIL

      Re: What's a Nokia?

      Who are you? (see the white font after this text).....

  3. Ryan Clark

    WP user

    I have had an HTC WP for 18 months and I hate the search button too. I would also like a quick way to turn off sounds and vibrations (there might be something I am missing there though), and it needs much more storage capacity or ideally SD card expandability, but overall it is the best phone I have had.

    This was a work phone and we are just about to change again, I hope there is a WP8 phone with a sliding keyboard as I have now and have had several phones in that format.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: WP user

      Not sure about vibration but with sounds, every time you change the volume a "ring+vibrate" text appears on the top right. Tap it to toggle the ringer.

      1. Can't think of anything witty...

        Re: WP user

        A quick test on my Omnia7 shows that it's a bit hit and miss. if you have vibration alert off in the settings then that icon in the top right toggles ring / silent. if vibrate is on, then it toggles ring+vibrate or vibrate.

        What would be ideal would be to make that button a triple state one... i.e. Ring+Vibrate, Vibrate, Silent (assuming that most people most of the time wouldn't want a ring only option on there.)

        Back on topic and for what it is worth i think that WP7 is pretty good and i'm interested to see what else is coming in WP8 - i think that SD card support and more bluetooth functionality are already in there, lets hope there are a few more interesting features too.

        it would be good to have a few other systems doing well, not just iOS and Android.

  4. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Holmes

    That Bing button...

    Oh, so so true... Annoying when you hit it while composing a message. Doubly so when play(test)ing games - especially that due to the location of the headphone socket, I find that the only way to comfortably use the Lumia 800 in landscape mode is with the hardware buttons on the left, thus putting the bing button uncomfortably close to where most virtual sticks are located, and I've got "fat thumbs"...

    ... on the plus side, it doesn't half help give my tombstoning code a workout! But as a player, it's so damn irritating. If search is not relevant for an app, it should at least be possible to switch it off.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: That Bing button...

      I've never accidentally pressed it that I can recall, but this is my first smartphone so maybe I learned good habits of not touching the screen from the get go?

    2. Michael B.

      Physical buttons rule!

      I have the 710 which has physical buttons instead of the capacitive strip and they are almost impossible to hit accidentally.

      1. Mint Sauce
        Thumb Up

        Re: Physical buttons rule!

        Indeed. I''m glad I have the 710 - I see none of the lag the article complains about, and have no issues with unintended button pressing. The main gripe for me is locked down contact management - no I don't want to see _all_ my fb/linkedin contact's birthdays on my calendar thanks. Plus, max 20 contacts in a group!?! WTF? And Zune on the PC blows goats of course.

    3. Zarniw00p
      FAIL

      Re: That Bing button...

      You must have "Porkinson's" fingers bud, I have zero trouble at all

  5. Tegne
    Childcatcher

    The camera could be the key

    Year after year it's the same story. Nokia: Amazing cameras, crappy unsupported o/s. If next weeks model announcement has a camera comparable to the N8's (or even 1/2 what the 808 can do) I'll be right there with my chequebook in hand. If they don't my Aging N8 will be replaced by something Androidy. If they do get a decent camera they should do a marketing campaign showing the typical iPhone/Android night out, duckface blurrycam shots uploaded to Facebook versus the awesome Nokia equivalents. That may get the young ones to notice.

    1. Zarniw00p

      Re: The camera could be the key

      Pureview is a coming. See bit.ly/SkjsFv

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: The camera could be the key

        > Pureview is a coming

        The prices have not been announced yet, were you expecting a Pureview phone to be $50 ?

        Also, decent cameras with zoom lenses and running Android with phone features are starting to arrive and these may make Pureview just another hybrid camera/phone, possibly an expensive one.

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: The camera could be the key

        > Pureview is a coming

        I still don't understand why Panasonic LUMIX has not sued Nokia over the LUMIA name. It is sure to confuse when Nokia make devices that are more like cameras. Panasonic make phones too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The camera could be the key

          As an owner of a lumix i never recall a single time i tried to dial home on it.

      3. Zarniw00p

        Re: The camera could be the key

        Looks like the Lumia 920 has been leaked and yes it has a PureView camera. See the Verge's article http://t.co/FUOyL9Ag

      4. Manu T

        Re: The camera could be the key

        only upto 20mpixels!

        Normal phones deliver 13Mpixels for their 2013 line~up so what's the big deal!

        And it could well be a fucking 16 Mpixel camera "pureviewed" down to 4 or 8 Mpixels for all they care.

        Which is still good for WP "current" 2012 lineup.

        It's a scam to stop sales of iPhones and Android devices through confusion. Ppl will hold and hence don't yet buy that phone they would have had if it wasn't for Nokia's magical WP8 device. Which will fail like the previous models failed. F U Nokia, YOU OWE ME A LUMIA 800 OR 499 EURO!

        1. John 62

          marketing & bragging vs reality

          You can say to your mates that your 13Mpixel camera on your phone is better than his Pureview pumping out 4 to 8Mpixel images, but the reality may be somewhat different. More megapixels does not always a better picture make.

    2. Manu T

      Re: The camera could be the key

      You dumb-ass. Nokia NEVER gonna get MY money again. They screwed me with the lumia 800 and they can rot in hell for all I care.

      Nokia is a scam! They fool you into buying an expensive phone (500 euros), make it as fragile as possible so it DEFINITELY breaks down, charge exhaustive repair fees (so you decline to get it repaired) and gone is +500 euro´s in their pockets!

      This is called extortion!

  6. Simonbuk

    another Poorly researched poorly written Nokia / MS bashing article

    i have both the iphone 4s and nokia 900, my iphone 4s is now used as an ipod ...the iphone is a great media devise, but the 900 is a better phone..

    Lumia 900s network (2g,3g,H) is far superior to that of the iphone, i get signal (tested) where my iphone couldn’t. The battery life last ALL day ie at least 18hours with multi push email accounts and media usage. Call quality is also a big lumia 900 strength, far better than the iphone..

    I dont agree that the fast switch on the lumia is overly slow, perhaps you were using an old SW version or like many apps have not bee updated to support it.. However in general i do agree with you but Ms has confirmed TRUE MT is coming..

    every morning i get looks of interest with my 900, similar to the iphone 3gs i had it stand out fomr the crowd much the same as the iphone USED too...

    theres much more to a smartphone than spec and tech and what stopped the present lumia range from selling well was being not being able to upgrade to WP8, not the that the fast switch doenst work.. :))

    both android and IOS have MANY contraints but people live with them...

    1. Zarniw00p
      Thumb Up

      Re: another Poorly researched poorly written Nokia / MS bashing article

      I think the author was beaten up by a MS bouncer as a kid and now has a personal vendetor against anything MS :-)

      1. Dana W
        Happy

        Re: another Poorly researched poorly written Nokia / MS bashing article

        Perhaps you mean vendetta? Maybe he was beaten up by a Microsoft OS? Most of us were at some point or another in our youth.

        But most of us grew up and moved to something better.

        1. Mark .

          Re: another Poorly researched poorly written Nokia / MS bashing article

          Most people don't use an MS OS? News to me. Don't get me wrong, I dual boot Ubuntu, and on phones have run Symbian and now Android. But I'm aware of what OS most people run, and I think Windows these days is as good as any other - personally I prefer Windows 7 to Ubuntu, though each have their pluses and minuses. And I do hope you're not suggesting it's better to run the other mainstream desktop OS, that involves paying money to a patent troll - sorry, with the recent Samsung news, it's no longer cool in geek circles to be running OS X over Windows. Only on Linux or something can you claim to be running something different :)

      2. Manu T

        Re: another Poorly researched poorly written Nokia / MS bashing article

        No but i was ROBBED by Nokia and NOW has a personal vendetta at Nokia!

        I want Nokia GONE! I will personally convince everybody who comes into contact with me to AVOID nokia as the plague. I have EVIDENCE of their business tactics and will not rest until they are gone!

        I will post this antiñokia propaganda as much as I can until Nokia correct their fault (either pay me back the 499 euro or get me my Lumia 800 FULLY repaired!)

    2. Wibble
      Headmaster

      Re: another Poorly researched poorly written Nokia / MS bashing article

      You're entitled to your opinions.

      I thought it was a great article by Andrew. It really did read as if he'd lived with the phones for a while and came up with some very interesting and valid conclusions. It's nice to see an article that stands out from the crowd.

      Microsoft have a massive hill -- of their own making -- to climb. This is just the start of some very interesting times for all Smartphone producers.

      1. whatlandline
        Thumb Up

        Re: another Poorly researched poorly written Nokia / MS bashing article

        True, true. I have been scouring mobile device websites to find a useful review of Windows Phone - one that will help me decide on purchasing a new Nokia/Windows Phone 8 vs. getting an iPhone 5 or the copycat Android. Almost all reviews focus on the hardware and only superficially on the user experience. The experience that results from using the phone for more than a couple of hours.

        Andrew's review brings up extremely relevant issues. He gets behind the simple "Contacts" are great in WP to laying out exactly what is good and what is bad. Even to the extent of pointing out how managing the contacts on Live can be cumbersome.

        Excellent article. Enormously useful. This is the kind of review that I would pay for.

        Thank you, Andrew. I look forward to an equally indepth update when the new Nokia WP8 phones launch.

    3. Circadian
      Stop

      Re: another Poorly researched poorly written Nokia / MS bashing article

      Don't you just hate Microsoft shills? They are so stupid that they don't even recognise when an author is actually attempting to boost the company they spin for. AO has long been a supporter of competition, and, as explicitly mentioned in the article, an *actual* user of the device in question. So go ahead Simonbuk and Zarniw00p (gah, don't you hate it when someone takes a Hitchhiker reference as a handle and turns out to be a complete turd?), keep attacking a journo who is at the very least is fair to your product - you might just succeed in turning him into an MS-hater.

  7. SpitefulGOD

    Lol OpenGL? Why when they have a backlog of tens of thousands of DirectX games ready to be ported now that DirectX is available in WP8

  8. Simonbuk

    live tiles and pit to start

    how you can call the live tiles useless is beyond my, they are FAr superia to what IOS provide and to me a better option to android widgets..

    Pin to start is fantastic, it allows me to lauch what i want easily, my document i use regulalry are pinned to my shome screen , i dont need to open office or ibook then find/select it...

    i dont see your issues with contacts, mine works perfectly well once again far better the iphone and gmail..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: live tiles and pin to start

      Indeed. It's as simple as going into your weather app and pinning your home location to the screen.

      Or in my case I pin home automation devices (using Grasshopper) to my start screen so I can turn the TV on and off or activate other scenes.

      With iOS I would have to open the app, wait for it to read the state of my devices, scroll through a list and then click an icon. There was no way to check the state of an item without opening the app.

      iOS and Android are just glorified app launchers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Windows

        @AC

        Agreed on the live tiles; in contrary to what the author claims these really have an added value. But obviously if you're not going to use applications which make good use of it you won't be able to see it.

        WeatherMaster for example also allows you to pin your current GPS location to the start screen, which is how I use it. So even if I spent the night somewhere else; the next morning I can still see what kind of weather it is around me, merely by looking at my startscreen.

        1. Simon R. Bone
          Happy

          Re: @AC

          er..... rather than looking at your Windows phone can't you just look out of a "window" for that?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @AC

            Yes, it's the weather forecast, which often differs from what's currently happening...

        2. Anonymous Dutch Coward
          Coat

          Looking at the weather: @ShelLuser

          Ah, the joys of modern technology - see what kind of weather it is around you by looking at a screen instead of outside ;)

        3. Andy ORourke
          Joke

          Re: @AC

          I can see what kind of weather is around me by looking OUT of a window

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC

          I tend to look out the window.

          But i take your point. Whilst i use android now, i do miss my windows phone and live tiles feel nicer than widgets. A good "s3 like" windows phone 8 which must have vpn, wifi and bt tethering, sd card, data throttles, true multitasking would see me back on windows phone.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: live tiles and pit to start

      I agree, live tiles are one of the most useful features of the UI, I use them all the time. I can tell the weather at a glance, where I am (ie: name of the local town), how many mails are pending, if Linkedin has any link requests, etc. etc. etc. Even pretty useless things like an image from the last album I listened to on the phone are a nice touch.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: live tiles and pit to start

        "I agree, live tiles are one of the most useful features of the UI, I use them all the time."

        Oh for god's sake. Live tiles are no more than single coloured small rectangular widgets. They give it another name but the functions are the same.

        "I can tell the weather at a glance, where I am (ie: name of the local town), how many mails are pending, if Linkedin has any link requests, etc. etc. etc. Even pretty useless things like an image from the last album I listened to on the phone are a nice touch."

        So does the homescreen widgets on my NOKIA 701 SYMBIAN phone! And the Android widgets on others HTC One X , SGSIII or any other Android phone for that matter.

        You guys are so brainwashed by MSFT propganda that you really believe that WP is so special. It's not! It's crippled, it looks ridiculous (especially on amoled screens) and has half the functionality that windows mobile 6.1 has (that ancient predecessor of it). It sucks!

        No full bluetooth, no proper multitasking, it's a pain in the ass to put a distinctive ringtone on... I can go on for days. It's a bloody disgrace that Microsoft DARE to SELL this piece of crap or even call it an OS!

        In its present form it's only usable by facebook geeks and then only its contact manager (all the rest is crap).

    3. Fuzz

      Re: live tiles and pit to start

      The problem with the live tiles is that most developers haven't found a decent use for them.

      I have one app that has a decent live tile, the unofficial giffgaff app gives you your balance and remaining airtime on the front screen of your phone.

      Most of the other apps I've seen with live tiles either don't work properly, or they don't give you enough information. The weather tiles are an obvious example they all show you the current weather in your current location. As pointed out I know the current weather in my current location because I'm there. If they could find a way of displaying future weather for my current location in an easily readable way it would make more sense.

      I think the live tiles will improve a lot when Windows 8 comes out and there are more options for the size of tile, there just isn't enough space on the current tiles to show a useful amount of information.

    4. MikeHuk
      Thumb Down

      Re: live tiles and pit to start

      Android phones have been doing this from year one, on my HTC Desire I have all my most used apps pinned to my start screen as icons against my nice chosen background instead of those ugly tiles.

    5. Circadian
      Joke

      Re: live tiles and pit to start

      I didn't notice a "posted from my Nokia", but if it was, then the keyboard input system must be fairly rubbish (going by the number of typos in such a short post)

  9. Arctic fox
    Happy

    "magazine-layout' design of..... ."Notro""

    Why not call it the "Clint"-UI. You know, "The UI with no name". All right, I know I ought to be ashamed of that joke. On a somewhat more serious note Andrew I have to say that after have lived with an LG E900 for the last half year (I have a pair of sims answering to the same number, one's in this one and the other in my Desire Z) I largely agree with what you say about the os itself. Do I find it impossible to live with? No, not at all but that does not change the impression one has of the os as a somewhat unfinished work in its current iteration. As far as the current Nokia range being able to compete on the hardware front with the likes of the Galaxy series or the iPhones, that is due also to the hardware restrictions that MS built WP 7.5 on. It is not just the rather short time to market that has been available to Nokia with the current members of the Lumia family. With the coming WP8 phones Nokia will be in a position to do their side of the job, the question is of course: Have Microsoft done theirs?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    Win 8

    It all depends on whether Windows 8 will be a hit. At the IFA, so many Win8 devices are showing that I fear consumers will simply lose interest because they all start to look alike. Over the past few days, I can't even remember how many Win 8 tablets with clip-on keyboards I'v seen. With so many variations, it's hard to get excited about a single one, unlike the iPad of which there is only one (alright, tow, if you include the older model).

    If consumers feel that Windows on a tablet is a good idea, and the concept takes off, then Nokia might be able to hitch their wagon to this upsurge.

    Your statement that "A market leader can rapidly lose the affections of the public" might be true, but I hardly expect Apple to lose their 'cool' appeal; they've been doing it for over ten years now. Unlike many of their competitors, they actually seem to have a plan, and follow through on it. Dell and HP are just reactionary, always have been. Samsung couldn't design themselves out of a wet, white with fruity logo paper bag, and why should they?

    Nokia's strength has always been based on a different model: sell a lot of cheap phones. Even their advanced gear was predicated on a solid bottom line based on dumb-phones, despite their bragging about having had an iPad and iPhone in their labs for years. If they relied on cutting edge tech, then they would have released it.

    The game is being played now in an area where Nokia has very little expertise: computing. Microsoft wants to get in on this game, and they need Nokia right now because no-one else will touch them with a 10 foot S-Pen (please don't speak if you're going to mention the new WinPho8 Samsung models).

    So what is Nokia to do? Frankly, in terms of software they're shackled to a company that has always been slow to react. In the past that was never a problem, but Apple and Google are moving so quickly now they need to be very focussed in order to catch up, and I don't see Microsoft doing just that.

    On the other hand, if Win8 turns out to be a bit of a Vista, it's bon voyage and walk the plank for Mr. Ballmer. This will lead to a leadership crisis within MS. Sinofsky will most likely take over, but apart from continuing guaranteed cash cows, what exactly has he done? So, if they shop around for a new CEO it will take at least six months (maybe they should hire Elop, that would be a coup...), and even then the strategy will change. Which is a long way of saying, if Win8 fails, Nokia can loof forward to another year of nothing with regards to WinPho.

    If I were in charge of Nokia, I'd say "fuck it" and build lots and lots and lots of small devices that all communicate together. Make the smartphone obsolete. Do deals with every large public service company in Europe and Asia (screw the Americans). Small camera's for your home, gardering tools (register Ph values, humidity &c), build an army of small devices people can throw at anything for next to no money. That's the model that made Nokia big, and as far as I can see it's the only model that will help them get back to their former glory.

    Anyway, that's just the way I see and I'm sure the real picture is completely different, I just thought I'd vent my two cents.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Win 8

      "build an army of small devices people can throw at anything for next to no money."

      That's actually a good idea. It's an empty niche and an open market.

      But it would also require innovation. And - as you said - corporates everywhere are reactive, not imaginative.

      Even Apple is just spinning out old stuff with a few tweaks rather than the cool new stuff of the Jobs era.

      Tech at the moment is basically a merry-go-round of mediocrity. Everyone is falling over themselves to copy the iPhone and iPad, which are themselves badly limited and a drag on innovation.

      Apple sort of gets the UX idea, even though it often fucks it up with bugs and limitations - like poor call quality, and a vile 'secure' file system.

      RIM/BB got it by accident with messaging, then lost it.

      No one else seems to at all. MS certainly don't. They never did - which didn't matter when the world was run by Windows. But it's not any more.

      Everything Connected could be a big new shiny. But I don't see it happening while everyone is still hypnotised by Steve's ghost.

      Sad - not just in terms of lost products, but in terms of lost jobs, contracts, and income opportunities.

      1. Mark .

        Re: Win 8

        Interesting that you ignore Android in your list of how things are. Personally I'm happy with my Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Decent OS, powerful hardware, and open rather than locked down and closed. And no, it isn't copying the Iphones, as you claim.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Win 8

        Nokia got it with MeeGo. Then Elop arrived...

    2. Mark .

      Re: Win 8

      Don't most laptops look alike? Or most tablets? Or most phones? I'm not sure why having a single model makes it more exciting - for the media maybe, but in terms of sales, we've seen Symbian and now Android be the number one, not Iphone.

      "advanced gear was predicated on a solid bottom line based on dumb-phones, despite their bragging about having had an iPad and iPhone in their labs for years."

      Er, in their labs? You do realise Nokia have had smartphones for years before Apple came to the market late. Nokia make things from the lowest end dumbphone to high end smartphones. (Also note that few phones are actually dumbphones - even so-called feature phones are smartphones with a different marketing name - even low end phones have done Internet and apps since 2004, these days they have touchscreens, Wifi, and everything else smartphones have.)

      "The game is being played now in an area where Nokia has very little expertise: computing."

      Dumb phones died out years ago, and phones have been computers for around ten years. Until 2011, Nokia's Symbian was the number one "smartphone" platform.

      The question is whether WP can live up to that. But it's wrong to say Nokia have little expertise in mobile computing.

      "please don't speak if you're going to mention the new WinPho8 Samsung models"

      Please don't speak if I'm going to mention a fact that counters your claim? If you knew it to be false, why claim it?

      I have no idea how WP will turn out with Nokia - it is indeed a risky move - and personally I'm happy with Android now. But the way you talk of Nokia doesn't match up with their actual immensely successful history. Indeed, the big problems they face now is that WP may not give them the immense success they've had in mobile computing previously.

  11. JDX Gold badge

    Tombstoning

    I have the 610, by far the lowest-spec WP7 device. I don't think it's more than 5s for me, unlike the 10s quoted, for any app... even switching back into Nokia Drive. I believe the 610 has a never version of the OS to make it even faster, maybe the writer's phone doesn't have that version?

    btw: to spend £160 and get a decent smartphone with fully functional world-wide sat-nav strikes me as a wonderful deal. This is one of the big bonuses for me although probably iOS will do it soon too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Re: Tombstoning

      I had a Nokia 5800, I loved Nokia Maps (perferred v2 over v3). With a family of Garmin/TomTom users I frequently found it got a lock quicker and gave better directions.

      I've been on Andriod for a while now and discovered Co-Pilot, sure the UK edition costs £25 and the European maps cost anouther £25, but like Nokia Maps v2 it has active traffic (v3 took this out and went "free"). CoPilot is better than current Garmin but only equal to TomTom, it cost me £60 and will port between different andriod phones.

      The only downside is battery life, my Nokia 5800 could spend a month in standby (actually think it lasted 6 weeks recently, left on in a drawer) and would last 4 hours while using Nokia Maps. My Xperia Play lasts 2 days on standby and ~ 3 hours using Co-Pilot.

      I'm sure WP7 phones are great but the poor cropping on text and partial views of the next slide screen drive me bonkers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tombstoning

        I had a Nokia 5800 xpress music, it is what drove me away from Nokia, having been a Nokia only guy for about fifteen years. The phone was plasticy, the resistive touch screen fairly crappy, the software was buggy, crashy and clearly out of date, updates were delivered (actually not delivered) by the telco, the sync didn't work and duplicated events all the time and all this before anyone with any link to MS was running Nokia.

        When I finally got fed up, de-branded the phone (a nightmare in itself) and flashed the new version of the OS, I did get a much better maps program, and it was good, a nice sat-nav and yes, the battery did last a long time. Unfortunately Symbian was not patched often enough, it was not modern enough and just didn't hack it compared to mobile OSes which were appearing on the market. I know people love Symbian and say how great it was, but I just don't see it, in its time it was good, but not at the end.

        1. Mark .

          Re: Tombstoning

          Where as I had a Nokia 5800 and didn't experience any of that...

          Didn't hack it compared to other mobile OSs? Well, I didn't have to wait years for basic features like copy/paste or multitasking... Android meanwhile is fine, but I've yet to do anything on that that I couldn't do on Symbian. They're both good OSes, each with their own pluses and minuses.

          I've no doubt that versions of Symbian on the earlier Nokia 5800 were flaky, but Android was immature in its earlier versions too, and it was years before IOS had all the basic features implemented, that even feature phones already had had for years. One can pick holes in everything.

          (And I'm not speaking as someone who used Symbian years ago - I'm someone who was new to Symbian with the Nokia 5800, in its later popular years.)

          Also from what I hear, Symbian^3 (e.g., Nokia N8 onwards) was substantially improved over the OS in the Nokia 5800.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Boffin

          @AC 15:27

          If you want to go the geek route, try reflashing it with CFW Symbian Anna. It's not really Symbian Anna ported to the 5800 but it does manage to crowbar a lot of the newer features into the 5800. You might find it turns it into a decent second/standby phone.

  12. CaptainHook

    HTC Sense

    Didn't HTC's Sense running on top of Android have all the contact data feeds like 4 years ago? Doesn't seem like thats much of a differentiator.

    I know it was able to pull facebook content into the contact details, use the facebook photo as the contact icon etc.

    I don't really remember that accurately because I turned all that sort of stuff off after a few weeks because I got fed up of the contact photos constantly changing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HTC Sense

      That's not standard Android, but a vendor extension.

      This is all built into the core of Windows Phone and regardless of if you buy a Nokia, HTC, Samsung or other Windows Phone you get all of these features.

      It brings in Twitter, Facebook, Windows Live and all manner of information into one place. You can merge them into one contact if you have people on multiple systems.

      I don't care what Android does unless it is built into the OS as supplied by Google, not Samsung, HTC or someone else.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        An odd position to take

        Personally, I don't care what stock Android, WP, iOS or whatever does or doesn't do.

        I care what my particular phone does. The OS only matters in so far as it determines the pool of available applications.

        To some extent, differentiation between Android phones is a good thing, it means manufacturers can give you a reason beyond mere hardware stats to buy their phone instead of another, thus you have a reason for brand loyalty beyond the label itself.

        WP has a big problem with that - all WP of a given version are of necessity practically identical. So why buy a Nokia over an HTC or Samsung?

        With WP, the only way to differentiate is the raw hardware, which is a far higher unit cost than software changes.

        1. RICHTO Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: An odd position to take

          Not true. Only Nokia will have Pure View Cameras. And Nokias come with NoKia Apps that are either Nokia phone only, or cost money ot buy for other phones. Other WP manufacturers wil no doubt innovate in similar ways.

          All Apple iPhones of a given version ARE identical other than memory. Doesnt seem to be a bar to their success....

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: An odd position to take

            > Only Nokia will have Pure View Cameras.

            Pureview has no features that are unique. Oversampling is used by several high end cameras, and can be done by cheap ones if required. Digital zoom is used on even the cheapest.

            It happens that Nokia developed software that would do this on a Symbian phone and built in adequate processing chips (which were disallowed on WP7 phones by MS dictates).

            There is no reason, beyond contractural or cost, that other phones could not provide similar, or better, features. In fact at least one phone is being built with a zoom lens as found in compact cameras which is likely to provide better image quality than the fixed lens of Pureview.

            And, of course, there is no information on pricing, which may kill the whole product.

  13. ACx

    What that about not having a TV at home? I haven't used a for years and now see more TV shows than ever before. In my life TVs are old hat and perhaps if the "journalists" at the reg still think TV is some sort of funky new essential, then, oh dear..... again.

  14. zooooooom
    Happy

    market support for multiple platforms

    The desktop ecosystem is happy with two platforms win and apple - linux never breaks in in a meaningful way.

    The server market is happy with two platforms win and UNIX (of which linux is increasingly dominant, and the world would hapily see see other flavours die)

    The HPC market is happy with one platform

    The embedded systems market is happy with two platforms.

    So why is there any compelling reason to think that the phone market will be comfortable with three? Thats not a comment on the quality of WP, its a comment that MS missed the boat bigtime. It had its chance back in the days before IOS or Android, but only managed to churn out an extremely clunky beast, which evolved at the pace of a snail and upgrading a phone to a new relase was pretty hard.

    I don't think anything MS can do can make this ship comeback and reload no matter how good and shiny it is, any more than I could have brought out a PC operating system in 2000 and thought I could displace Windows.

    1. garyc2011

      Re: market support for multiple platforms

      "So why is there any compelling reason to think that the phone market will be comfortable with three? "

      Totally agree, visit any of the WinPhan sites and they will cite how good it is for the consumer to have a "third ecosystem", and how much we need it.

      But there is always a deathly silence when I point out the desktop OS situation....seems fine to have effectively one player there.

      Personally Apple and Google are driving innovation just fine, no need for Microsoft's 3rd rate software here.

      When MS *did* have a market share with WM, just look at the rubbish they churned out, they actually treated customers with contempt, who wants to go back to that.

      1. Mark .

        Re: market support for multiple platforms

        So why didn't that argument work against everyone raving about Iphones - when it was 3rd place, or 4th or even 5th...

    2. Mark .

      Re: market support for multiple platforms

      "So why is there any compelling reason to think that the phone market will be comfortable with three?"

      Well we've had far more than three. It was Symbian and Android until Nokia dropped Symbian for WP (Symbian number one to 2011, then Android since then). Were you there saying the same thing of Iphone, when it was Symbian and Android? (or "comfortable with four", since BlackBerry also outsold Iphone until recently.)

      Evidently the market is fine with three, or even more - although yes, I do wonder if there is some underlying mechanism in the market by which having one main dominant OS, and one niche one around 10-15%, with everyone else far smaller, is some kind of stable long term solution. Nokia have made the switch from Symbian to WP putting themselves significantly out of the picture for now. Apple have the advantage that they'll carry on pushing their own closed systems no matter what, where as other companies are happy to switch to whatever other random OS. But it will be interesting to see what happens in the 5"-10" tablet range, between Windows x86/RT and Android.

    3. Mark .

      Re: market support for multiple platforms

      Another problem with this argument is that there are still more than two - the difference between "smart" and "feature" phone is arbitrary (vaguely, "feature" is for low end, but with low end Symbian, Android phones etc, that distinction is blurred; feature phones have also always run apps since their introduction in the early 2000s, so the issue of "ecosystem" still applies).

      So the stats only cover those counted by the ill-defined category of smartphones. There are still lots of people using other OSs like S40, enough to make these larger than Iphone, and probably comparable to Android, if not larger.

      If there are any mechanisms in the market that means two platforms is an ideal stable solution, I don't see how any of those can "know" what we choose to label a smartphone or not. So the reality is that we're still in a state where there are several platforms on the market, all with significant share. I guess in practice the low end will eventually be sucked up by Android as technology advances, especially as Nokia have ditched their plans for a next generation low end smartphone OS to replace S40 ("Meltemi"), but we're not there yet, and it certainly won't be Apple hoovering up the low end.

  15. Joerg
    FAIL

    "social interaction" "different" ..what?

    Windows8 on desktop, tablet and smartphones just plain sucks. The MetroUI (ModernUI crap) is just a shame, the most childish retarded unusable UI ever created.

    1. Zarniw00p
      FAIL

      Re: "social interaction" "different" ..what?

      You mean it's a little bit like your post??? You seem very bitter and twisted, is that just a mask for unbriddled jealousy?

    2. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: "social interaction" "different" ..what?

      So it will sell hundreds of millions. The Sun Newspaper is crap, childish and for the retarded, yet it is #1....

      Microsoft have invented something that even the most stupid consumer can cope with pressing their fingers on....

      For those that want more, it's only 1 click back to desktop mode.....

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: "social interaction" "different" ..what?

        > Microsoft have invented something that even the most stupid consumer can cope with pressing their fingers on....

        If even an idiot can use it, then only an idiot would want to.

  16. NHS IT guy
    Meh

    Swings and roundabouts

    I've had a Nokia Lumia 800 as my second phone for about 3 months now. I like it and am disappointed by it in equal measure:

    MY PROS:

    - I love the industrial design, I've not had any issues with the "sharp edges" - man up.

    - The ClearBlack screen is sensational, so vibrant

    - The OS is attractive and fresh, a welcome change from iOS on my iPhone 4

    - The OS is responsive, again in contrast to my laggy iPhone 4.

    - The People Hub is inspired

    MY CONS:

    - The battery life is shocking, I've barely used it today but it's at about 70%

    - The MarketPlace is very immature and MS don't seem to control it, allowing junk/nonsense apps

    - The keyboard isn't as intelligent as my iPhone, not even remotely.

    - Despite being "Carl Zeiss Tessar" the camera is frankly sh*te

    - The fact we won't be upgraded to WP8 is insane, it's a year old.

    The phone is nice, but it's let down by an immature marketplace, dodgy keyboard and an offensive upgrade decision. I don't regret getting the Lumia 800 but I'd be hard pushed to recommend a MS phone to anyone else.

    1. Mark .

      Re: Swings and roundabouts

      "The MarketPlace is very immature and MS don't seem to control it, allowing junk/nonsense apps"

      Like Android - but as a developer and user, I think this is a good thing. Better than them banning things they don't like, as Apple do. And I also get infuriated by Nokia's QA, which does more to hinder then help it getting apps distributed for Symbian - on Android, I upload and it's their immediately. (I do love Nokia's automated testing for all their phones, which I wish Google did do - but the manual QA we are better off without.)

      "The keyboard isn't as intelligent as my iPhone, not even remotely."

      Can you replace it? I use Swype on my Nokia 5800 and now on Android, and it's great. The only way to replace a keyboard on Iphones is to run it as a separate application, and then copy/paste the text(!) If WP is like that, that's bad. If you can install different keyboards, I'd say check some out, and don't worry what the default one is like.

      (WP must be bad then, given how atrocious the auto-correct bloopers are that people post for Iphone.)

      "The fact we won't be upgraded to WP8 is insane, it's a year old."

      Well, it's a negative for you, but I don't think it's an insane decision. You're getting all the benefits in 7.8 that will actually work on WP7 class hardware. And I believe that you don't get all the things in a new IOS release, if you have an older Apple phone anyway - it's just that MS are being more honest about it, rather than giving you a "WP8" update with some things disabled.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Swings and roundabouts

        > You're getting all the benefits in 7.8 that will actually work on WP7 class hardware.

        The only things that have been said to be in 7.8 is some minor changes to the UI to bring it in line with TIFKAM. ie different tile sizes and some additional colors.

        > it's just that MS are being more honest about it, rather than giving you a "WP8" update with some things disabled.

        MS are being less honest by pretending that 7.8 is an update that gives any benefits at all.

      2. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Swings and roundabouts

        (WP must be bad then, given how atrocious the auto-correct bloopers are that people post for Iphone.)

        Those autocorrect bloopers you see are almost always not from people typing exactly what they wanted and having the phone correct them, but from typoing one/several letters. The iPhone's autocorrect isn't perfect, and obviously perfect is impossible anyway, but it is surprisingly good.

        It is actually good enough in practice, at least for my particular typos, that when I'm typing I generally go much faster than I could if I was trying to actually hit each letter properly, instead relying on the phone to fix it for me. Sometimes I will type a word that is complete gibberish where I missed EVERY letter in a long word and it gets it right in the end. This is simply a function of the dictionary matching up possibilities with adjacent letters/missed letters/common misspellings, so it is actually easier for it to get longer words right then it is shorter ones, though it depends on what other words you could have made from the particular gibberish.

        I have no idea if it is smart enough to take into account when I'm missing 'h' for example and hit 'n', if I'm hitting right on the 'h' and 'n' border it is more likely to think I meant 'h' or if it just sees 'n' and considers h,j,b,m and space equally as possible alternatives. Given how well it works for me I suspect the former.

        Like I said it's not perfect, but it gets it right most of the time, which is why I just go with it and use the delete key and try again more carefully if I don't get what I want (and yes, sometimes it is rather humorous) Avoiding having my texts immemorialized on an autocorrect humor site is avoided by double checking what I just wrote is what I intended before hitting the send key, which is luckily far enough away that when I'm typing wildly I don't accidentally hit it :)

        My girlfriend observed the same thing as me when she switched from BB to iPhone last fall. She used to fly on that BB keyboard and was skeptical about ever being able to be as fast on the iPhone keyboard, and was pretty frustrated the first couple weeks, but once she started to trust the autocorrect she thinks she's even faster now than she was on her BB.

        I've never seen a single Windows Phone device in the wild, nor played with one in the store, so I have no idea how its autocorrect compares to iPhone's. Apple has had a lot longer to tweak it too, I would guess that iOS 1.0's autocorrect was not as good as today's. It seems better to me between 3.x (my first iPhone was a 3gs) and today, but I don't know if it has been improved significantly or I have been trained by it :)

  17. xenny

    lock-in

    I think that user lock-in is developing fast.

    I've got enough of an investment in apps, either financially for purchased ones, or simply finding/learning a free one that has the functionality I desire, that I'm in no great hurry to change platform.

    In a couple of years the smartphone market has gone from the early personal computer days (you accept you're buying a new platform and apps with every system purchase) to the days of the PC and Mac. You buy a new machine and it runs your existing software better, and adds new capabilities.

    I think RIM and WinMo have missed their chance at a decent market share in the West, and probably in China.

    Africa may be worth a try, but probably isn't that profitable.

    Alternatively, MS/Nokia could establish a lunar base and claim 100% market share :-)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    a hallmark of El Reg and Reg Hardware coverage from pre-history.

    The earliest known examples of the El Reg vulture are to be found in cave paintings

    1. Zarniw00p
      Thumb Up

      Re: a hallmark of El Reg and Reg Hardware coverage from pre-history.

      With iPhones or Andoid devices?

  19. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    "linux never breaks in in a meaningful way"?

    Didn't they call it Android? My bad....

  20. MacroRodent Silver badge
    Windows

    Views from a nontechie user

    Interestingly, a week ago talked about Windows phones with my sister who had exchanged a Samsung for a Lumia 610 (the entry-level WP7 phone that famously does not even run Angry Birds). She was surprisingly positive about it, particularly about the facebook-integrated contacts thing. As she is an artist type, I asked if the visual design with large fonts bothered her. Not at all. She liked the clarity.The points Orlowski complains above mostly did not enter the conversation. Performance of the UI was not a problem. Her main complaint was she cannot plug it into a Mac and get at photos like it was a memory stick, like you can do with just about any other type of phone. Oh and it had some kind of spelling correction mode on for SMS that actually scrambled the messages in amusing ways just as they were sent (possibly the wrong language, the messages were in Finnish). But she figured out how to turn it off. I asked about battery life. Apparently it can go through her working day, even when with web surfing and other connectivity features used.

    I got the impression that even if we techies like to gripe about weaknesses and lack of features in WP7, ordinary users don't care. It is good enough. Things like stability, call quality and battery life matter more. So why hasn't WP7 then taken over the world? Maybe it is that when *purchasing* phones, users look at reviews and blogs from pundits, and tick of boxes in mental feature checklists (not to mention the effect of what the friends have and recommend). And there the competition has more to offer. But in reality they could get by just as well with WP7. Or Symbian for that matter...

    It could also be that no matter what Nokia and Microsoft do, they will lose. There is no room for a third major smartphone OS to wedge between IOS and Android. Like with Sith lords, "always there are two". Not three.

  21. Irongut

    The shining asset of WP is that it's people-centric

    Unfortunately for MS that's one of the reasons I will never buy one. I don't do FB, Twitter, etc and I don't want to. I have no desire to know when my friends go for a bowel movement or to see pictures of their anoying children & pets. Any OS that is designed to give me updates from social networks fails in my book whether it's on a phone or a PC (I'm looking at you Win8). The live tiles don't appeal to me either, whether on phone or desktop.

    The other reason I would never buy a Lumia is because they're from Nokia. I had one of their phones back in the 90s, it was a piece of shit.

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: The shining asset of WP is that it's people-centric

      Welcome to the 21st century. Sounds like you only just about made it.....

  22. Imorital

    Just a quick point about editing the middle of a word...

    I was frustrated by this too, but keep a finger pressed over the word to be edited for a second or two and a caret appears. Now just slide your finger until it's in the desired location, and edit away.

    I have to agree that it's well hidden though, it was a while before I discovered this. I now much prefer it to the approach I have to take with my Xoom (JellyBean). It's not as fast, but more accurate.

    Swings and roundabouts.

    1. Synonymous Howard

      Re: Just a quick point about editing the middle of a word...

      You are describing iOS, right?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apps. Apps. Apps.

    Until WP can offer the same spread of apps the iPhone or Android markets can, it's doomed to irrelevance.

  24. Hans 1 Silver badge

    Windows Phone 8: What Nokia and Microsoft MUST do ?

    Quit it .... thanks!

  25. Dibbles
    Facepalm

    Forlorn hope?

    Good analysis, interesting read. Two points particularly stood out. Your point about the gaping hole between tech geek press and mainstream marketing tools (or indeed newspapers) is something that's bugged me for a long time. There's no real title or analysis filling that gap between "we dismantled it and it had 3 chips, each faster than the zzzzz......." and the Grauniad's "it looks pretty and I can call home on it", and it's a pain.

    Also, this quote: "Microsoft really must stop being so enamoured of its own cleverness here, and begin to take this seriously". It's flippant and yet depressingly astute to say that this is unlikely, in the broader scheme of things. Unfortunately, MS develops most of its products in a complete vacuum, surrounded by other Microsofties who think that a) it's the best thing since sliced bread and b) the average punter will care. It's been the achilles heel for so long (various iterations of Windows illustrate this so well), and seems unlikely to go away any time soon. :(

  26. Guillermo Lo Coco
    Facepalm

    There isnt XMPP. How can i be in touch ?

    Is this phone a tool to be in contact?

    Can I mke videocall over chat? Voice calls?

    Or is it an ZunePod with 3g module?

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Yes there is. Windows Live Messenger is XMPP. There are other XMPP clients also.

      Video Chat on Skype, etc is coming with WP8.

  27. Paul 135

    Agreed on tech reviewer incompetence

    I don't really care about Windows Phone (Nokia really need a backup plan and fast IMO), but what you say about tech reviewers not really living with phones to put user experience first is refreshing.

    For example, if tech reviewers spent time living with an excellent QWERTY slider device like the Xperia Pro that is masses better in reality than on paper, then I think that the touch-only fad would be exposed for what it is.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My WP7 sails through tasks that my old SE Android phone complained at - if I had a pound for every time I missed a call because it took so long to render the "Answer phone" button the call had already reached voicemail.

    You comment in the article about the sharp corners - I doubt that Nokia will risk putting rounded corners on their phone for fear of having to give lots of money away.

  29. Gradivus

    Hip, hip, hooray

    Quote - This makes the app-centric design of Android and iOS look quite clumsy

    Brilliant. Excellent. This will be a short post because i must go and dance in the street! I've been banging on about this for years, and at long last a professional commentator has picked up on it.

    Back in the 1980s when Macs were young, the KEY thing that made them so much, much better than the other @*!$ operating systems out there is that they were uniquely DOCUMENT CENTRIC. Nobody gives a tinker's cuss about the app, it's your document that is important.

    Thirty years on, Apple is dedicated to apps. In fact Apple has spent thirty years going in completely the wrong direction. OSX Mountain Lion and iOS5 = good old MS-DOS with a fancy interface.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Social network nonsense

    "Social network integration" is such a contrived, artificial, corporate-marketing-speak feature that it turns my stomach as it's insulting my intelligence.

    Find any beige-wearing middle manager who's never had a creative thought in his life and ask him how to improve a product and he will respond "social network integration."

    I have friends with WP7 handsets and they don't even have Facebook or Twitter accounts yet they brag to me about how their phones are so great because it's all integrated.

    Meanwhile, all the people who I know who live in Facebook all have iPhones and are perfectly content to just run the Facebook app when they need their fix. Maybe it isn't "integrated" into the OS but it sure is just one tap away.

    1. Arctic fox
      Unhappy

      "all the people who I know who live in Facebook all have iPhones "

      Live in FB? If that in any way describes their real feelings about their FB world then all I can say is - sad, very sad indeed. Which ever phone they use.

    2. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Social network nonsense

      Maybe they use Linked In, or Windows Live? That's alll integrated too....Skype integration coming soon...

      It even pulls the mugshot photo down from Linked In, etc if it recognises the number and shows it when someone calls you!

  31. RonWheeler

    But is it cool?

    Features don't matter unless they're shockingly glaringly bad. Dumb punters want a brandname product that is the same product as everyone else has. Because they're stupid sheep. All this technobabble is irrelevant for market share. Marketing trendyness and brand name is all that matters.

  32. mark l 2 Silver badge

    MS problem is that they are trying to become a 3rd ecosystem when there is already a 3rd ecosystem there in the form of Blackberry which appeals to the teenage crowd mainly because of BBM and free messaging.

    When those teenagers get older and have more money they then move off to an iPhone or if the iPhones to expensive to an Android phone.

    So effiectively MS are trying to be the 4th ecosystem just like in the 80s when every company brought out a computer with there own OS so we had Atari, commodore, Sinclair, Acorn, Apple, IBM etc all competing against each other and look where most of these platforms ended up.

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      I think you are forgetting the 300+ million users on Skype. BBM is insignificant in comparison.

  33. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    Article fail

    This article lost credibility when it described Android as a "derivative" of iPhone. Android and iPhone draw from many of the same inspirations. One is not derivative of the other. To claim otherwise is blatant Apple fanboism.

  34. Sil

    I completely agree, the tombstoning is horrible. In addition one may have the feeling that an application is switching back while in fact it was restarted and lost all history.

    This is extremely unnerving and I'm sure many users will be completely dumbfounded. For example surfing for a while then using another app, then coming back to the browser and pressing the back button to go back in the browser history. It won't work and will instead bring you to the last used other app. So if you use the browser for a long time you can go forward and backward as usual but if the browser is tombstoned beware. I can't remember a worse multitasking, even in the ms dos 5 days.

    In addition as a paying customer of the Office suite I feel completely left down. There is no synergy with Outlook whatsoever if you are not hosted on exchange and probably 99% of consumers aren't.

    The Outlook Connector is very poor. It doesn't synchronize contacts photos well and the setup and configuration are way too complicated for a consumer product. A wizard should automatically install it and set it up.

    In addition, because the support of pop mail is extremely poor - as it is in Windows 8 if things didn't change since the release preview -, it is almost obligatory to use hotmail/outlook.com integration and authorize it to grab your pop email. So far so good but unfortunately you can't choose from which address you are sending/replying/forwarding an email on the windows phone (you can from outlook.com). This is especially problematic if like me you had to create a second live account (e.g. with another email address than your standard email address) because you moved in another country and live account countries can't be changed.

    The backup is way too simplistic to be useful. At the very least there should be a possibility to restore data without restoring old system at the same time. Whenever I reinstall WP7.5 I lose all sms as well as all contact history. This is unacceptable.

    I'm still a big fan of WP7.5, use it everyday with great pleasure but I sure would like to see fixes to the above mentioned problems more than a gltzy new interface or whatever feature of the month.

  35. iDavid

    Shows promise, could do better

    At last - a thoughtful analysis from someone who's actually used a Lumia.

    +1 re fonts, Bing, editing.and Zune. My wife and bought Lumia 710s for roaming (A4S for local) as they were relatively low cost, had the excellent Nokia Drive baked in, and don't need a case. You might have mentioned being able to fire up the camera without waking the phone, this is a really useful feature.

    Let's hope WP8 fixes the font proportions, allows choice of search, and lets a PC see the device as a remote drive. If MS deliver that, I might contain my disappointment at having to upgrade my handsets within 6 months of purchase. Grrr.

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