back to article Windows Phone 8.1: Like WinPho 8, but BETTER

The biggest Windows Phone news this week was that it's now royalty free. This means it will cost manufacturers less to make a Windows Phone than an Android phone, all other things being equal. And, of course, it also received the much-anticipated update. Yes, it's taken what seems like an eternity to arrive, but Windows Phone …

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  1. Robert Grant

    Looks quite nice

    I'm looking forward to quite a lot of that. And one of the best features I heard was in that isn't mentioned here: you can install apps and download free HERE maps onto the micro SD card, which is a lifesaver for budget phones. And HERE Drive+ will work everywhere, for every phone. Free offline GPS!

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Looks quite nice

      Yes, I have a screenshot of that. I'll stick it in, and the Swype-y keyboard.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Looks quite nice

        Andrew,

        I keep hearing mixed reports, with 8.1 being available in the summer in the US, later in the UK and China and the rest of Europe will get it in 2015.

        Your write-up makes it sound like 8.1 will be generally available in the summer, but the Cortana module will be rolled out at a later date outside of the USA.

        Can you confirm that that is correct? Living in Germany, I'm going to be very annoyed if I have to wait another year just to get 8.1!

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Looks quite nice

        Andrew - can it finally export SMS messages? (And no, I don't mean back up the phone so that you can just load everything onto your next phone, I mean export). This has been a staggering lack in WP from the first version and makes it useless for many business people and legal requirements. As well as for those who just care about losing long-kept txts because they accidentally hit "delete thread".

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Looks quite nice

          To be honest H4rm0ny, that is not something I've ever thought about. When I switch phones or make updates, I just start from zero, when it comes to SMS. I've never thought about exporting them.

          I've had my iPhone and Galalxy S3 replaced twice and I've switched between Mozart, iPhone, Sensation, Galaxy S3 and Lumia and never thought about taking SMS with me. Each time I've started with a clean SMS slate.

          That said, that probably comes from my experience with older phones, where you could store between 10 and 100 SMS at most, so I was always deleting old SMS in order to receive new ones.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Looks quite nice

            >>"To be honest H4rm0ny, that is not something I've ever thought about. When I switch phones or make updates, I just start from zero, when it comes to SMS. I've never thought about exporting them"

            That's because you don't have a business or legal requirement to keep records of your communications, or have ever been involved in a legal case where you're required to provide records of what you sent and when to someone as part of your defence. (Happens a lot if you're fighting for custody of your child). Or simply want not to lose precious messages you exchanged early on in a relationship with someone you care about or to lose things sent to you by someone who has passed on.

            Exporting SMS is a basic feature that phones have had for over a decade. It's shocking that WP can't manage this basic task.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Looks quite nice

              Very true H4rm0ny. I've kept a few texts from exes that even now when I read them give me a little tingle down there.

        2. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Looks quite nice

          That wasn't supposed to be a criticism of your point BTW, just that it wasn't something I've actually ever thought about.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Looks quite nice

            Oh that's alright. Any rage contained in my post was directed at Microsoft, on this occasion. If I'd know before I bought the phone about this, I probably would have stuck with my old Meego phone. : (

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Looks quite nice

      I have offline Google maps navigation just fine, and I can have a lockscreen and tiles ui if I want them on Android. Android isn't dead os, unlike windows phone, where marketshare is stagnant (in an expanding market) or dropping depending on who you believe.

      I certainly know Microsoft claims of 1 in 10 owning one is total and utter crap

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Looks quite nice

        Declining? Must be declining slower than iOS, because it has only 2% less share over here...

      2. NogginTheNog

        Re: Looks quite nice

        Whoa, easy there tiger! It's *just* a mobile phone OS: if you don't like it then don't buy it, or read reviews of it. No need to get all Mr. Angry about it!

        Keep taking those chill pills yeah? ;-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Looks quite nice

      Aye, looking forward to giving it a spin. Could it be that saner heads are prevailing in MS-Land at last?

    4. LDS Silver badge

      Maps can be already stored to SD on a Lumia.

      You can already store maps on the SD car on a Lumia - you have to install Lumia Storage Check. It has an option (details section) to store maps on the SD - on a 620 I have more than 2GB of maps on the SD, while only 21MB occupied in the phone storage.

  2. JDX Gold badge

    Rotation lock?

    Is that a new addition, or just a standard WP8 feature not included in 7.x?

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Rotation lock?

      It came in with WP8 GDR3.

  3. Mattjimf

    So can you now use MDM to restrict like you can on iOS/Android or can the user remove the restrictions without you knowing as at present.

  4. southpacificpom
    Black Helicopters

    Ya'll be back now

    Let's face it, for a lot of americans the world starts and ends in the US. Geordie accent, what the fuck is that I can hear being cried in jolly old US.

    Well the world doesn't start or end in the USA, China has made them aware of this now...

    1. Euripides Pants Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Ya'll be back now

      What is this "China" you speak of?

      1. wowfood

        Re: Ya'll be back now

        It's the fancy plates and stuff you put your food on when friends come round. Some families also use it for thanksgiving.

      2. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: Ya'll be back now

        China is the magical place where all the stuff in Walmart comes from.

  5. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

    ...as Tiles could show live information

    Well, at least live to within the last half-hour or so, except for selected ones like the HTC clock tile.

    Now if they could work out how to make live tiles truly live without murdering the battery in the process, that would be really welcome.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: ...as Tiles could show live information

      From what I understand, tiles can now be updated every minute which, while not enabling video tiles, is better than every 30 minutes.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free?

    So, if they are giving it away, how will they make money? I understand how Google make money, and I have an uneasy truce with them, that I'll surrender some privacy and they can give me a free phone OS, and other "free" stuff like search and maps.

    Bur Microsoft, make money from "free"? How? They bought aQuantive for billions, and shrivelled it to nothing in a matter of months. Bing? Yeah, make me laugh. Even to get their hands on a mapping system they had to spend billions buying a phone hardware maker. And their track record of giving things away has been pretty bad - they gave away IE for "free" to destroy Netscape and others, and look what that got us - the worst, least secure, least standard compliant browser for the subsequent decade, and resulting in the baked-in IE6+XP mess that left dopey corporates unable to migrate to proper browsers or upgrade their operating systems.

    So we either have MS making a success, crushing Google, and then leaving WP to fester and decline for the next ten years because there's no money coming in. Or we have MS continuing to limp along, selling modest but loss making numbers of phones to those who don't really care about their phone OS, whilst the masses remain familiar with and preferring IOS and Android.

    Quite frankly you could plate WP 8.1 with solid gold and supply it in a pouch made of unicorn skin, and I wouldn't touch it. But I'm sure the kidz will be happy if it's cheap.

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: Free?

      I guess a thorough answer to this would include the word 'ecosystem'. I assume they take a cut of apps sold through their app store for example.

    2. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: Free?

      How MS will make money:

      1 - Who owns Nokia?

      2 - Appstore proceeds (if WinPhone gains traction).

      Funnily enough, I wouldn't buy an Android phone if it were coated in gold etc. I don't like the idea of paying for the privilege of being an unwilling participant in Google's attempt at world domination.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Free?

        So you rather support MS plan for world domination or Apple's?

        Or are you the .0001% percent that rolls their own?

        I have no issue with Google's business model. I think they have some good products and I have an IQ high enough to ignore their ads.

        Plus I think it is great Google and Apple are driving MS to irrelevance. MS pulled some nasty (and illegal) tricks to get their market share on the desktop and they deserve the beating they are taking in new world of mobile computing..

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Free?

        "1 - Who owns Nokia?"

        I and many other Nokia share holders like me own Nokia.

        1. Squander Two

          Re: Free?

          > I and many other Nokia share holders like me own Nokia.

          Exactly. And who is now Nokia's majority shareholder?

    3. erikj

      Re: Free?

      It's free because Microsoft is about to be a major handset provider once the Nokia acquisition is done. If MSFT charges, say, Samsung for the O/S, then their former Nokia operations also have to "pay" for it, albeit through some audit-friendly royalty chargeback I don't understand.

      It's the same situation MS Dynamics have in wishing they could bundle MSFT kit like SQL and SharePoint kit into ERP without incurring a cost impact. It's not allowed in many jurisdictions.

    4. El Andy

      Re: Free?

      @Ledswinger: "Bur Microsoft, make money from "free"? How?"

      From apps sold in the Store, Xbox Music etc. Not to mention sales of full Windows 8 devices, given the whole Universal Apps thing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Free? @ El Andy

        "From apps sold in the Store, Xbox Music etc. "

        Nooo! Noooooooo! You can't believe what you've written surely? At one time, and even possible still the case, every single mobile phone network operator thought their threadbare, tumbleweed strewn app and music store was going to make them the next Apple. Didn't happen. Samsung, global leader in smartphone sales, have their own tumbleweed strewn app and music store that it hoped would make it the next Apple. Hasn't happened, and isn't going to. Nokia handsets going to be different? Yeah, Blackberry built an app store and nobody came. Even Amazon have an app store that I'll wager gets little traffic and makes little money, despite the scale of its parent. Every piss-pot me-too ebook reader company thought that it was going to coin it in from a captive book and music store, and it hasn't happened (eg Barnes & Noble). If people want a captive and fully integrated app & music store, there's a simple solution, it works, and it is called Apple.

        The point is that you don't make money emulating somebody else's business model unless you've got a real edge of difference. Where the edge in WP 8.1 - familiarity for abandoned WP7 users?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Free?

        Universal apps. All developers know that's total hprsedhit.

      3. oldcoder

        Re: Free?

        You know...

        It is the exact same way Google makes money from Android.

        1. bigtimehustler

          Re: Free?

          Not really, along with a lot of Google services, it is in their interests to get you onto the web, however that may be because once there you will invariably see some Google ads which makes them money indirectly. So if they can help more people onto the web, thats good for their bottom line. Microsoft however have a rubbish ads system that doesn't have the same reach and so the same does not really apply.

    5. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Free?

      How will it make money?

      In the short term, the continued survival of WP as a platform (they hope).

      In the longer term, if this is not some temporary never-to-be-repeated-again offer to get them through a rough patch, they'll be making money out of services like Google does (see their new motto "Cloud First").

      So that makes all the big three mobile OSes data slurpers. Great.

    6. Paul Shirley

      Re: How will it make money?

      They've already been effectively giving it away with every Lumia shipped thanks to those support payments and cheap Lumia's are essentially the entire WP market. So far it's the only thing that's worked to drum up sales and they can't afford to stop.

      As the new owner of the phone business they were laundering the subsidy (AKA free licences) through they're forced to offer everyone the same deal or face a visit with regulators.

      The alternative is giving up on the big 'Win8 ecosystem' plan. Amazon have just screwed the XBox1 side of that deal with FireTV, Win8 continues it's slow train wreck and WP is just about holding on. They're desperate, half the company is staked on that ecosystem and it's not going well. They're aiming for survival right now, not making money.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How will it make money?

        "They've already been effectively giving it away with every Lumia shipped thanks to those support payments "

        The license fees payable in the other direction overtook the value of the support payments some time ago....

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: How will it make money?

          > The license fees payable in the other direction overtook the value of the support payments some time ago....

          I very much doubt that. Nokia made around 30million WP phones in 2013 - about twice as many as in 2012. One billion divided by 30 million is about $33 per phone.

          It may be that $30-$35 is what Microsoft would like to have charged per licence and so it has just become in balance, but 'some time ago' is unlikely because that would have required > $40 per phone.

          The problem that Nokia had was that the support payments ended this year and they were losing money already on every phone sold.

          Now with 8.1 being free later this year or next year this will have the effect of shutting down WP8 production to save paying MS with the plan to start up again with 8.1 for free plus newer, cheaper, chips so that they might even make money at last.

          Of course Nokia won't be paying the tax anyway so could undersell the OEMs. That will please them no end.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Free?

      >>>> So we either have MS making a success, crushing Google,

      You say that like it's a bad thing. MS, Google, Apple, any large corp, they're all as bad as each other. Google worse tbh as they come out with this don't be evil crap while they're stealing your privacy.

    8. calumg

      Re: Free?

      "How will they make money?"

      From Android royalties.

      1. jinx3y

        Re: Free?

        ...as well as Office Apps on the iPhone...that's too funny...

  7. DaLo

    Incorrect

    "This means it will cost manufacturers less to make a Windows Phone than an Android phone"

    Eh? Android is completely free and no, there is no "Microsoft Tax" or "Apple Tax" on making an Android phone. Even Google Mobile Services does not have a licence fee (despite what some sources may have stated).

    1. Ian 7

      Re: Incorrect

      True, but most manufacturers have to pay for licensing of some of the patents included in Android. To Microsoft, ironically. So, the point was actually correct.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Incorrect

        "True, but most manufacturers have to pay for licensing of some of the patents included in Android. To Microsoft, ironically"

        And in many cases they have to pay for the IP belonging to Nokia and Apple as well...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Incorrect

      Doesn't Microsoft (unfairly) receive money from Android manufacturers for patents they won't tell anyone about, even the people who are paying to use them?

      Maybe I'm wrong then, but I thought they did.

    3. Laurent Cargill

      Re: Incorrect

      Yes it is cheaper, as anyone making an Android phone has to pay a patent license to Microsoft.

      1. DaLo

        Re: Incorrect

        No they don't there is no Microsoft Tax. There is plenty of FUD and analyst speculation (such as Mr Foss Patents) who will gladly steer your thinking but just do a bit of research. There is no Microsoft Tax on Android devices.

        1. cynic 2

          Re: Incorrect

          Really? Can you point me at some references for this?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Incorrect

          "There is no Microsoft Tax on Android devices."

          Interesting. A wide variety of other media sources (in other words, not just the Grauniad) disagree with you. Of course they may well be engaging in dubious journalistic practices, but they'd probably be able to cite their sources if pressed.

          Out of curiosity, can you?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Incorrect

          "There is no Microsoft Tax on Android devices."

          Quick research shows that nearly every smartphone manufacturer directly pays Microsoft (and sometimes Nokia and Apple too) to license their technology for Android on a volume basis. So there most certainly is an effective tax on Android handsets.

    4. cambsukguy

      Re: Incorrect

      Android may be free but making a phone using it is not.

      Many Android phone manufactures, including Samsung, pay MS a fee for the use of patented tech in Android phones.

      No one is saying what these patents are apparently but, as many have stated here, since Samsung paid, per device, and are richer than God, the patent(s) are probably valid.

      The end result? You have to pay MS to make an Android phone. Of course, it also means Nokia/MS can make an Android phone cheaper than Samsung, HTC et al. Hilarious.

      About half a billion dollars last year I read here I recall.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Incorrect

        > About half a billion dollars last year I read here I recall.

        Given that there were a total of nearly a billion phones sold last year, and more than half of them were Android, then it's not a big deal.

        > but making a phone using it is not.

        Quite. One of the problems with WP is that it only supports a limited set of specific SoCs, most from 2012. It seems that 8.1 will, later this year, support some additional ones, even some quad core.

        Android can support newer SoCs much quicker, these can have more features integrated and thus reduce manufacturing costs, while WP has to wait for Microsoft to catch up.

        So far Nokia has been making a loss at selling WP while many Android phone companies are making a profit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Incorrect

          "So far Nokia has been making a loss at selling WP while many Android phone companies are making a profit."

          Nokia's devices arm is now back in profit.

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: Incorrect

            > Nokia's devices arm is now back in profit.

            Another 'TheVogon unfact' !!

            While Nokia as a whole made a profit ...

            """[Nokia] phone business, which reported an adjusted operating loss of 191 million euros in the fourth quarter [2013]"""

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: Incorrect

          >>"Quite. One of the problems with WP is that it only supports a limited set of specific SoCs, most from 2012. It seems that 8.1 will, later this year, support some additional ones, even some quad core."

          That's actually one of its advantages. Sounds odd, but the very focused hardware support is one of the reasons why WP runs so fantastically well on low-end hardware. Android has the kitchen sink approach and so Android fans (not the same as Android users) often attack WP for having lower specced hardware in its phones, e.g. not having a quad-core version. But WP is highly tuned to a narrow range of pre-chosen hardware and doesn't need that horsepower. In fact, it would be counter-productive as the lower-specced hardware it can get away with places less demand on the battery and also frees up more money for things like the battery.

          >>"Android can support newer SoCs much quicker"

          There's no intrinsic reason why that should be the case. New chip comes out that MS want to support, they can just as easily allocate engineers as Google can.

          1. bigtimehustler

            Re: Incorrect

            The problem is, 'tuned' to the lower hardware specs usually means we have disabled your ability to do something because it would work too slowly. Ultimate there are only a few requirements that are very important. The ability to run multiple apps at the same time, the ability to background an app and have it still carry on its primary function and the ability to sleep multiple apps. Throw this in with a decent notification system that is can display custom notifications as specified by the app receiving it and you have all anyone needs. The problem with WP is it has taken a number of years to catch up to this state and you could debate if it has truly caught up yet. Why is this? Why have they added god knows how many other irrelevant features before addressing some of these core needs.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: Incorrect

              >>The problem is, 'tuned' to the lower hardware specs usually means we have disabled your ability to do something because it would work too slowly

              I never wrote tuned to lower specs and nor did the OP. We talked about a more limited range of hardware and how that helped it to run more quickly. The OP said it supported a smaller range of SoC. That is correct. I pointed out that this is one of the principle reasons they have been able to tune WP so finely and that this is one of the reasons it runs well on lower spec.

              You misunderstand how this works - running better on lower spec hardware isn't a different way of saying does less, anymore than my removing bloat from a piece of software is a way of doing less. Throwing out the kitchen sink is only a disadvantage if you need the kitchen sink. And in this case the kitchen sink is not features, but hardware support. And that's fine because when I buy a Lumia 820, I don't care that the Lumias are made only with chipset X and it wont run on phones that use chipset Y. I only care that it runs faster on chipset X as a result.

              The manufacturer of chipset Y might care, and it might reduce the number of providers of phones running WP (possibly). But none of this makes it a worse experience for the purchaser of a current WP device - it makes it better due to less bloat.

          2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: Incorrect

            > That's actually one of its advantages.

            That was the marketing talking. When WP7 could only handle single core they said: why would you need dual-core ? Of course WP7 was strictly single-tasking and 'tombstoned' apps in order to start another. The only 'background' tasks were like MS-DOS TSRs.

            When WP8 required dual-core they said: 'why would anyone need quad-core'. That was because WP8 did not support quad-core (now apparently it will do with 8.1).

            > the lower-specced hardware it can get away with places less demand on the battery

            Actually the _reason_ for multiple cores is to cater for idling with less battery demand. ARM chips can turn off the cores when not required and each core (or the last one) can idle at reduced consumption. So instead of using, say, 30% power at idle with a single core, a quad core can run at 30% of one quarter of the full power, or less if it has asymmetric cores.

            Newer SoCs can also have lower battery demand than one from 2012 because of having newer manufacturing technology. They often have more functionality in the chip and this can also reduce power demands and, with fewer components in the phone, can save manufacturing cost.

            Being stuck on 2 year old designs meant that Nokia had to sell at a loss (even when MS bunged them a billion a year) and hope that volume would increase so that eventually there would be at least break-even. Maybe that will happen. Meanwhile Mozilla has said that the latest chip could make a $25 phone because, basically, it will be a single chip plus a screen.

            Being _old_ and lower spec does not make it cheaper.

            > There's no intrinsic reason why that should be the case. New chip comes out that MS want to support, they can just as easily allocate engineers as Google can.

            Yes there is. Microsoft must do the software for WP. With Android _anyone_ can tune the system to a new SoC. For example: Intel are tuning Android to their newer chips while tuning the chips for Android.

            Android, and other Linux based systems, could also run on MIPS based Dragon chips or Intel or indeed any newer architecture.

      2. cynic 2

        Re: Incorrect

        Might be a valid patent, might not. On the other hand, Samsung has enough money to encourage this kind of aggression as a barrier to entry for new Android companies.

  8. Hellcat

    VOLUME!

    Was the context aware volume feature included?

    I don't want the same volume level for my ringtone as my message alert... as my youtube app... as my etc.

  9. 0laf Silver badge
    Meh

    Volume

    What about seperate volume levels for the ring tone and media? PITA right now. Much as I like my WinPh8 there are some really stupid things like the lack of volume controls and no file explorer.

    I be happy to be able to set my own colours on the tiles, not that bothered about the background images on them.

    App store is still pitiful but at least it stops me downloading loads of shite. I have an Android tablet for that.

    I wonder if Nokia will sort their Music Mix through this? The last update made things considerably worse, slow and buggy. Worked fine previously.

  10. We're all in it together

    Hooray!

    All it needs to complete the transformation is a device that kicks Ballmers arse everytime a tile is pressed with an audio that states "about time we had a decent upgrade, sod off and enjoy your shares"

    No offense intended, prices of shares can down as well as up, always consult an independant financial consultant. No Ballmers were hurt during the making of this comment

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Hooray!

      You're showing a marked lack of understanding of development, planning and production timescales. All of this will have been done under Ballmer. You think the new person started last week and suddenly they've brought out a revised version of WP?

  11. MaXsEnDq
    Meh

    What about?

    Have they fixed things like?

    If you attempt to send a text message when there is no signal, queuing the messages until there is a signal rather than beeping and saying 'try again'

    Allowing you set a silent time or actually any scheduled task, it can't be done.

    Allowing you to download more than 10Mb over the mobile network? You can stream any amount you like and it will create a huge buffer much greater than 10Mb, but you can't download it until you get a WiFi signal.

    Yes I am an annoyed podcaster who catches the tube to work!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about?

      The podcast app I use assumes you don't want to burn your mobile data allowance either. It syncs when you have a wifi connection (and optionally only when on charge as well).

      And until podcasts are available through the ms store in the UK, or the inbuilt player can treat mp3s with the podcast/spoken word attribute as podcasts/audiobooks I will have to use a third party app.

      1. bigtimehustler

        Re: What about?

        Some people have truly unlimited data, how about not assuming and asking when you first start the app? Seems far more logical to me than making wildly inaccurate assumptions about how I wish to use my data.

    2. Stratman

      Re: What about?

      How about allowing users to add attachments from within the email app?

      As things stand, the only attachment you can add to an email is a picture. To add an attachment such as a pdf or xls, you start by selecting the file, you then compose the email around it. Of course, this means it's only possible to add one attachment. Not very productive when I want to send two or three invoices, for instance.

    3. Squander Two

      more than 10Mb over the mobile network

      > Allowing you to download more than 10Mb over the mobile network? You can stream any amount you like and it will create a huge buffer much greater than 10Mb, but you can't download it until you get a WiFi signal.

      Use the 'Save & Play' app. I just downloaded a 15Mb file to test it for you.

  12. auburnman

    Just had an epiphany...

    "it will cost manufacturers less to make a Windows Phone than an Android phone, all other things being equal."

    Microsoft might be shooting themselves in the foot if they keep charging Android royalties now that WinPhone is cheaper; someone is bound to try to throw the various competition commissions at them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just had an epiphany...

      "someone is bound to try to throw the various competition commissions at them."

      These are not standards essential patents so Microsoft can charge whatever they like for them.,

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: someone is bound to try to throw the various competition commissions at them

        They'd need to get some market share before any competition commission bothers to get involved.....

  13. Richard Conto

    Battery life?

    What about battery life? I saw the Nokia was down to 36% power in one shot. About half the screen shots were from about the same time (11:27), but a few showed other times too.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    USB OTG?

    This was a rumour after appearing in a dev build, but I haven't seen it confirmed yet, but is OTG support in the final OS? Would be great if that was the case.

    In all, a really interesting update; looking forward to getting it!

  15. sjsmoto

    Browse page back/forth?

    What about page back/forth options in the browser? If you go forward a page, then say make a phone call, then return to the browser, you can't back up a page.

    As for the new links, can we finally just put a phone number on a tile instead of the whole contact?

  16. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Enterprise

    It's astonishing that Windows Phone has made the strides it has in enterprise …

    What strides are those exactly? All I can hear on that front are the crickets chirping. Microsoft has a huge advantage here given the number of companies who've chained themselves to Exchange and Office.

    Some of the GUI changes sound like they could soon be the subject of litigation. We know what Apple thinks of the sincerest form of flattery but some of the Android cribs could give Google some interesting ammo should they choose to follow that path.

    Not charging for licences is an old strategy for Microsoft trying to break into new markets. While relevant, the support for more diverse hardware (Qualcomm, Samsung, Mediatek, TI, etc.) is probably more important to manufacturers. Did you hear anything on that front? Or just the crickets again?

    Manufacturers of Android handsets routinely get lambasted for the slowness with which they rollout updates, even when it often really doesn't make a great deal of difference (my tablet is 4.1, one of my phones 4.2). Yet with Windows Phone where Microsoft has dictated the hardware from the start, you're still looking at 3 month plus update times. How come Apple manages it so much faster?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enterprise

      "How come Apple manages it so much faster?"

      Well, MS will ensure that holding the phone at a jaunty angle wont bugger up its ability to receive/transmit data....

      ;-)

  17. zanto

    smart dialling

    Does it support smart dialing? what about changing the middle digit of a phone number without having to delete all digits between that and the last digit?

    i'm seriously thinking about getting a 1320 since i want a big screen for reading and checking email, along with a moderate price. I've tested the dialer on a friends lumnia 920 and i found it lacking. my trusted e71 has smart dialing and thats almost 6 years old.

    1. cambsukguy

      Re: smart dialling

      I have had a winphone for 3 years and just checked that (it's true). Except that I have never once needed to do it.

      If I make a typo tapping in a number (a rare occurrence in itself), I correct it using the delete. I do this on word processors (or here) simply because it is quicker, even with real cursor keys let alone a press-and-hold technique to move the cursor.

      Almost all the time I am dialling an actual number, I have copy-pasted it from a web page or something.

      Still, if you do it a lot, there must be some use case for it, although I would probably automate it somehow and not use a phone perhaps.

    2. NogginTheNog

      Re: smart dialling

      "what about changing the middle digit of a phone number without having to delete all digits between that and the last digit?"

      It's funny isn't it, it's the little seemingly obvious things in OS design that can really bugger up real world usability!

    3. Squander Two

      Re: smart dialling

      I absolutely loved smart dialling -- single best thing about Symbian, I thought. There are a few third-party WP apps available that emulate it (you know, in that app store that everyone keeps telling me is practically empty). I use Rapdialer, and happily recommend it.

  18. Bullseyed

    The notification area is "iOS like"?

    Uh... what?

    The notification area was invented by Google for Android and got copied to iOS years later. An "iOS like" notification system is one that pops to your screen and doesn't allow you to do ANYTHING until you tap the OK button.

  19. Joe Greer

    Lock screen content??? Spice it up more

    Maybe show it in a different language and switch the words around???

    WTF? why rotate it and make it harder to see and have to rotate you phone or head?

    Maybe they should require NO buttons as your just going to leave it on all the time... LOL Does anybody use this or are all the focus groups groupies that are fan boys and will not offer real criticism?

    I for one want my device to have a home button, some of the previous generation Android devices had a soft home button, back and something else. That wasted screen real-estate on a 1024x800 display. Now on the 1920x1200 displays I care less but still prefer a few navigation buttons like samsung has. And samsung is successful in the designs they sell...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Tolkien poem for Microsoft

    Three point one one for the Nerd Kings under the sky,

    Seven for the Division Lords in their halls of stone,

    Nine for the software behemoth doomed to die,

    Xbox One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne

    In the Land of Redmond where the market-droids lie.

    One Win to rule them all

    One Win to find them

    One Win to bring them all

    and in the darkness bind them.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: The Tolkien poem for Microsoft

      Old joke is old.

      This is the modern era and we have three "Dark Lords", nowadays. MS may still be Sauron in the land of Enterprise, where the shadows lie. But Apple are like what would have happened if Galadriel had taken the ring - beautiful, irresistible and tyrannical. And Google I guess if Saruman hadn't been beaten up by trees. They looked into Mordor, envied the power of the Dark Lord and set themselves to become a reflection of that power (albeit perhaps a sneakier, more subtle version of it because they're a wizard and played by Christopher Lee).

  21. Don
    Alert

    Looks great. Now if we could get a replacement/upgraded hardware for the HTC 8x I'd be in heaven.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unscientific I know, but I'm seeing far more Nokias with WinPho on my daily commute than ever before. Because I am sad, I did a count during one such 90 minute train/tube journey: 11 Samsungs, 4 Sonys, 8 iPhones, 5 Nokias.

    The usual caveats about sample sizes, reliability of my phone spotting etc... apply, but more Nokia's and less iPhones than I expected to see. And the Nokias look refreshingly good too.

    I might have to finally (hateful though it is) accept that Microsoft has a good product on their hands, and that the Nokia 'burning platform' memo wasn't the complete suicide note I thought it was.

    AC so my tacit and slight support of Microsoft doesn't come back to haunt me.

    1. Squander Two

      The burning platform

      When Elop burnt the platform, I didn't subscribe to the conspiracy theories, but I did think he was guilty of laziness and lack of imagination. "I come from Microsoft, I need an OS.... I know! Windows!" Feh. But then I got a Lumia and changed my mind. I now think it was simply that he'd seen the WP prototypes while in MS and knew just how bloody good it was going to be. After Windows Mobile, I don't think anyone was expecting MS to make a mobile platform this good.

      It's worth noting that most of the criticisms, even here, are more "I use this and like it and find these few little niggles annoying so please fix them" than "This is utter unusable shite."

    2. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

      For me, WP8 was the price I had to pay for getting my hands on the Lumia 1020's excellent camera.

      1. jinx3y

        you bought a mobile just for the camera?

  23. Squander Two

    Folders

    > The designers resisted adding another context level - such as Tile folders.

    Since Nokia provide a free app folder app (not quite a tile folder, but close), is it not simply that the designers resisted wasting their time on something that's already been done?

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