back to article New York Police scrap 36,000 Windows smartphones

The New York Police Department will scrap 36,000 smartphones, thanks to a monumental purchasing cock-up by a billionaire's daughter. The city spent millions on the phones back in October 2016 as part of its drive to bring the police force into the 21st century. And the woman behind the purchase – Deputy Commissioner for …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So in reality it is Bill Bratton fault for not doing his job, instead of stopping her, he chose to avoid a situation that he would have found difficult and let her do as she wished.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      So not only is she incompetent at her job, but apparently she's difficult to get along with if she doesn't get her way so people give in to her rather than fight her when they know she's making a mistake? That sounds like a winning combination...why does she still have that job??

      1. Pascal

        Still...

        You let an underling decide on a technology / supplier / etc. on a multi-million deal because she's difficult to get along with?

        Honestly her boss is as much to blame as she is... More, probably.

      2. ST Silver badge
        Devil

        temper tantrum throwing twit

        > So not only is she incompetent at her job, but apparently she's difficult to get along with if she doesn't get her way [ ... ]

        These two things usually go together: incompetent fool who throws a tantrum if things don't go their way.

        Dear Ms. Tisch:

        Now would be a good time to update your Résumé.

        1. DougS Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          And here's how this entry will look on her resume

          Given sole authority and supervision for multi-million dollar purchase of tens of thousands of smartphones a major pillar of New York City's overall drive to bring the NYPD into the 21st century. Integrated with existing Windows based systems via over a dozen bespoke apps. Based on departmental evaluation of the overall success of this project, immediate plans were made for another major smartphone purchase.

          Its all in how you write it...it'll sound like a success to anyone who reads it so long as they don't google her :)

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: And here's how this entry will look on her resume

            "Its all in how you write it...it'll sound like a success to anyone who reads it so long as they don't google her :)"

            And by using "reputation management services" she'll bury the bad news so deep that google searches won't show the clusterfuck unless you already knew of it.

            I know of several such cases and the people involved have effectively gotten away with it scott-free.

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: And here's how this entry will look on her resume

              it's a corollary of the 'Peter Principle'

        2. Fatman Silver badge

          Re: temper tantrum throwing twit

          <quote>Dear Ms. Tisch:

          Now would be a good time to update your Résumé clear out your desk.</quote>

          There

          FTFY!!!!

      3. the Jim bloke Bronze badge

        Google Vice President of Diversity...

        You have a challenger for your job.

      4. ps2os2

        Because she is the daughter of a billionaire, that is why.

        Bloomberg did a good job for NYC. The powers that be decided hey if one billionaire can do a good job, why can't another?

        This indeed what happens when you let rich people who don't have any concept of the job try to do a job that they are incapable of doing.

        Bloomberg did it right and got the best people, he would never have allowed her in the job in the first place.

        There is a term for these types of people, but it is lost in short term memory.

        1. Mr Sceptical
          Thumb Down

          Inherited wealth doesn't prove a thing...

          Correct me if I'm wrong but she's the offspring of a billionaire? In which case, unless she's also made her personal $1,000,000,000 fortune, then she's no more brilliant than the office junior in my book.

          Unless everyone thinks Bernie Ecclestone's daughters are also world class dealer makers? (clue: they're not).

          If you can't walk the walk, don't talk the talk.

          Perhaps her dad can foot the bill and save NYPD blowing all the taxpayers cash?

          No, what can one do with 36,000 lightly used smartphones?

          1. hapticz

            Re: Inherited wealth doesn't prove a thing...

            Central Park Lake event for the kids. See how many skips you can get on the first throw!

            Then a 'fishing event', complete with long handled crab nets to retrieve as many as you can, The one with the most catches, gets a year of free hotdogs.

        2. Fatman Silver badge
          Joke

          RE: "Rich People"

          <quote>This indeed what happens when you let rich people who don't have any concept of the job try to do a job that they are incapable of doing.</quote>

          You would not be commenting on POTUS, now would you????

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          "Bloomberg did a good job for NYC."

          Bloomberg was proven competent before he got the NYC gig.

          The children of competent people are not necessarily competent themselves.

          This is particularly true with the children of the rich, who simply assume that they deserve to be rich.

          You also see this kind of thing with people who work for the rich and assume that they should be treated better by society because they rub up to money and respect that they haven't earned for themselves.

          Nepotism/Cronyism is a common human failing and one of the many forms of corruption "we don't talk about" unless it's done by 3rd world dictatorships.

          1. P. Lee Silver badge

            >This is particularly true with the children of the rich, who simply assume that they deserve to be rich.

            That is a bit of an assumption in itself. If you learn by observing those around you and being taught by those around you, then those around successful people are more likely to be successful than those with no teachers.

            It is also possible that they got the 36,000 windows phones for almost nothing due to their unpopularity and near eol status, and she's being made into a news story for click-bait or she's being set up by someone who wants her job. Maybe there was no money for a decent Android or iOS equivalent and it was that or nothing.

            Or the general thrust of the story may be true. There are too many unknowns to make a proper assessment.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Bloomberg did a good job for NYC.

          Bloomberg did a good job **ON** NYC. There, FTFY.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft..

        Those days are long gone, you now stand a very good chance of getting fired if you buy Microsoft (given how their products pretty much universally suck).

        Also "Windows-based phones held just three percent of the market"

        Windows phones have never had 3% of the market, 1% and under (so likely 0.3%), or perhaps this is the US market figure or something. Whatever the reason, 3% is painting a very generous position for Windows mobile, it would have loved to have a whopping 3%.

        1. RyokuMas Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft..

          "Windows phones have never had 3% of the market"

          Believe it or not, it did actually happen.

          Unless someone didn't check their facts...

          1. DRue2514

            Re: Nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft..

            It probably reached that 3% just after someone bought 36,000 of them.

        2. kms

          Re: Nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft..

          The original saying was, if I recall: Nobody ever go fired for buying IBM - But maybe they should have been.

          1. aqk
            Big Brother

            Re: Nobody gets fired for buying IBM..

            You're right on that one.

            So many times I would recommend a non-IBM piece of software or hardware, whereupon IBM-blue suits would walk in, not even look at me, and take the head of a dept or a VP out to lunch, or (better) on a junket to Las Vegas.

            And strangely a few days/weeks later, we went with the inferior IBM product.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        After this, it will be difficult to justify allowing her to keep that job, which is likely why the former Police Commissioner let her have her way. He rightly suspected it would all go sideways. He was right.

      7. steviebuk Silver badge

        We all know it's probably because of who she knows and being the daughter of a billionaire. Upset for good reason, you'll probably end up being the one that gets fired.

        Bad but probably true.

  2. m0rt Silver badge

    NYPD Blue screen of death.

    Hill Street Blue screen of death.

    Sorry.

    Not.

    1. montyburns56

      Rookie Blue the IT budget on some crappy phones.

  3. Oh Homer Silver badge
    Windows

    "I don't care if you're Jesus fucking Christ"

    Yup, definitely NYPD :)

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: "I don't care if you're Jesus fucking Christ"

      "I don't care what yer fucking name is, yer not dragging that fucking cross through my precinct."

      1. Toni the terrible

        Re: "I don't care if you're Jesus fucking Christ"

        Hell's Kitchen maybe?

  4. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    These days, you always get fired for choosing microsoft

    I'm sure It's Been Mentioned somewhere a similar phrase was used in different times, relating to a different company.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: These days, you always get fired for choosing microsoft

      Got pretty much fired for daring to insist in an important meeting that a project should be done with linux/php instead of Windows Server/ASP that the highly paid 'systems architecture' had decided on. When a shuffle meant he became my direct boss, I was straight out the door.

      18 months later they ditched ASP and started the project from scratch using the linux/php route like the other financial institutions.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: These days, you always get fired for choosing microsoft

        "18 months later they ditched ASP and started the project from scratch "

        And your former direct boss?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: These days, you always get fired for choosing microsoft

          @Alan Brown: Well obviously he stayed on getting a huge pay rise and later a fortune in shares when the company got brought out before moving on by his own choosing.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: These days, you always get fired for choosing microsoft

      The only positive on buying the Windows Phones was that the 640XL was about a fifth of the price of an iPhone. With discounts, probably more. Of course, she could have probably got equivalent Androids for a similar price.

      1. fedoraman

        Re: These days, you always get fired for choosing microsoft

        And it has a really good battery life!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: These days, you always get fired for choosing microsoft

        "The only positive on buying the Windows Phones was that the 640XL was about a fifth of the price of an iPhone."

        That and also once updated to Windows 10, it continues to get security patches till June 2019. Sadly there aren't too many Android vendors that push security patches for years after the phone comes out.

    3. Ilgaz

      Re: These days, you always get fired for choosing microsoft

      Well, IBM did a marvelous job of supporting & updating a clearly failed OS/2.

      1. ROC

        Re: These days, you always get fired for choosing microsoft

        Actually, as I recall from info disclosed during the early 2000's US anti-trust trial of Microsoft, they extorted IBM to do that by threatening to withhold licensing for Windows 95 from the Thinkpads and other IBM PC's if OS/2 was not effectively abandoned.

        Interestingly, although IBM caved, one can still buy the successor product, when IBM sold off the rights to eComStation:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EComStation

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: These days, you always get fired for choosing microsoft

          IBM still holds the rights. eComStation and newcomer ArcaNoae license it from IBM. I have contracts using both in odd corners. Recommended.

  5. jake Silver badge

    Brilliant.

    Breathtakingly bloody brilliant.

    Anyone wonder why she's not working for the family firm?

    1. ps2os2

      Re: Brilliant.

      They probably know she is incompetent and wouldn't let her work there.

  6. Herby Silver badge

    Why does she still have that job??

    The answer to this is obvious: She is a civil servant, and they have (union) jobs for life at exorbitant pay rates. Also no higher-up is willing to take the hit for hiring her in the first place.

    Life goes on. So does politics.

    Now all of this begs the question, can someone who is very enterprising re-purpose these "surplus" phones to be something modern (an Android port?)? You might be able to get them pretty cheaply!

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: Why does she still have that job??

      @ Herby

      I'm sure the civil servant part is true, but it looks like this is an old fashioned case of jobs for the boys (or girls in this case).

      She is the offspring of an extremely wealthy and well-connected family, and friends with the Mayor's daughter. Looks like business as usual to me.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Why does she still have that job??

        @ Youngone

        Yeah, Tammany Hall may have gone in the '60s but much of New York politics is still done the same way.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why does she still have that job??

          And I thought that was the preserve of Chicago.

          1. ps2os2

            Re: Why does she still have that job??

            The old Daley days are long gone and sure there are some hangers on. But, for the most part, the old timers are retired (or left).

      2. kitekrazy

        Re: Why does she still have that job??

        She might even get promoted.

    2. Unclezip

      Re: Why does she still have that job??

      Nah - they're covered in cop cooties.

    3. MrRtd

      Re: Why does she still have that job??

      In her case yes she is obviously overpaid. But otherwise most civil servants get paid a livable fair wage (at least where I live in Canada). Oh and yes even with a union if you fuck up enough you do get fired. The union just makes sure there is just cause and treated fairly. But I suppose you think big bad unions are so unfair protecting their workers from the whims of managers and negotiating better deals for them than those workers would get otherwise.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Why does she still have that job??

        "The union just makes sure there is just cause and treated fairly."

        If there _is_ just cause, most unions(*) will say as much and refuse to support the worker's case. It's not in their interests to damage the employer.

        (*) Most unions are well under the radar and have good relations with their employers. Many have never had industrial action in their entire existence. The ones you read about are either up against asshole management or has assholes leading the union. It's more usually the former than the latter, however once the former take hold of a company, the latter can end up with a foothold in the union.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Why does she still have that job??

      perhaps for the same reason THIS person still has HER job:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julie_Larson-Green

      inventor of "The Metro" "The Ribbon" and "one windows, everywhere"

    5. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Re: Why does she still have that job??

      "The answer to this is obvious: She is a civil servant, and they have (union) jobs for life at exorbitant pay rates."

      Not union at that level. That kind of incompetence is Management material.

      1. Fatman Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Why does she still have that job??

        <quote>That kind of incompetence is Management Manglement material.</quote>

        FTFY

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why does she still have that job??

        Not union at that level. That kind of incompetence is Management material.

        And if she *does* get fired she could go one county north and get a job at IBM. (nah, even **she's** probably too competent for *that* job.)

    6. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Why does she still have that job??

      It doesn't beg the question. It prompts it. To beg the question is to build the answer into the question (e.g. 'have you stopped beating your wife' suggests that you already do), thus 'beggaring' the question and forcing a response built on the terms you have already built in. It is a specific rhetorical device.

      And now i feel much better, thank you.

  7. J J Carter Silver badge
    Coat

    Oh, the irony!

    Of course NYPD has been very keen on the 'broken windows' approach to policing - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Oh, the irony!

      "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory"

      The ironic part being that some parts of Broken Windows Theory are actually extremely valuable but the implmentation leaving a lot to be desired.

    2. Oh Homer Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      The Broken Windows Theory is Broken

      Because it completely ignores the real cause of the problem: poverty, and instead further disenfranchises the victims by treating them all like criminals (including those who are not yet criminals), thus actually transforming them into the very criminals that this flawed theory purportedly seeks to avoid creating in the first place.

      The result is a sort of "genocide" of the poor, where the police end up adopting a shoot-first mentality, typically armed with military surplus weapons, and the victims end up rioting, causing further escalation of this vicious circle.

      Meanwhile the actual criminals on Wall Street, who created this mess in the first place, get off scot-free.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: The Broken Windows Theory is Broken

        "Because it completely ignores the real cause of the problem: poverty, and instead further disenfranchises the victims by treating them all like criminals"

        Properly implemented, it recognises poverty as a major problem and that people's fear of crime is vastly exaggerated by the presence of graffiti and damaged property that isn't repaired quickly.

        As I said, it's the NYC implementation that was the problem. Other countries which have taken on board the necessity of early social intervention to guide offenders away from crime have had it pay dividends in reduced crime rates. The same applies in policies requiring that graffiti and property damage be cleaned up quickly. The perception of crime levels (or of councils "caring") is based on what people see, not what politicians say. Unrepaired vandalism and graffiti in particular cause estimations of neighbourhood crime levels to be many times higher than they actually are and the resulting social stress has knock-on public health effects.

        US policing mentality has a tendency towards massive overreaction and violence, to the point where NY had to explicitly issue orders for cops not to shoot at people running away in the 1990s after a series of wrongful death settlements.

        The US "justice" system is heavily geared towards revenge and retribution as is the average american mindset, vs repair and reconciliation in the EU. The differences in prison populations show this rather starkly as does the fact that many american states deny voting rights to people with criminal convictions - something that has been used in the South to systematically disenfranchise the poor by targetting them for heavy-handed enforcement.

        Many standard US policing and prison practices are completely illegal in the EU and also violate the UN charter on human rights - ironic considering where UN headquarters is located.

  8. Commswonk Silver badge

    On the plus side...

    ...it's nice to know that procurement cock - ups aren't a uniquely British phenomenon. I wonder how much the development of custom apps added to the total.

    And given the reports about her "management style" I wonder who had the courage to tell her that this enterprise was a cul - de - sac.

    1. Oh Matron!

      Re: On the plus side...

      She'd do well in the MoD....

  9. Mage Silver badge
    Coat

    iPhone?

    Really.

    Sigh.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: iPhone?

      Well now they have Jesus deciding on the phone so it makes sense. And now Cook is in charge, he doesn't need to enter into arguments over who is the Messiah.

      1. Toni the terrible

        Re: iPhone?

        Well they have now decided on a Jesus phone..

    2. sal II

      Re: iPhone?

      Why not? at least the OS is somewhat guaranteed to get updates for the next 4+ years, unlike 99% of the Android handsets

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Why not?

        Um, because you're tied to one supplier? Seems like an OS that runs on more than one manufacturer's devices would be sensible.

  10. Conundrum1885

    Please tell me

    These will just be securely wiped, and then reinstalled with custom firmware (abandoned = open source) and given to the needy? 36000 phones for the poor would go a long way.

    I had this idea a while back as M$ did the same with Atom netbooks which still run Lubuntu perfectly well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please tell me

      Shredded most likely.

      Sorry, that was a poor joke. They will be charge an extortionate amount to be securely wiped.

      By that, I mean they will be charged, and most likely the company involved will just bin them in the hope no one actually trawls through them for data.

      1. Boo Radley

        Re: Please tell me

        Even if they sell them as surplus, they'll probably wait a few years, guaranteeing that they will get at most a few cents per phone.

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Linux

      Re: Please tell me

      Isn't the same being done to their surface shite which no-one wants to touch with a 50 foot bargepole? Look for the eBay firesale coming your way real soon now. I can't for the life of me remember who also did this with kit which could be made perfectly usable by flashing with Android - was it some Amazon phone flop early on maybe?

      1. Conundrum1885

        Re: Please tell me

        M$ seem to be really good at backing the loser: Surface,Windows Phone, HD-DVD, etc.

        On the flip side HD-DVD modules are perfect for hacking PCB etchers and other DIY uses and a good way to get into UV lasers.

        I made a 3 output PSU from my external which was useful for about maybe 2 years.

        Fans got "recycled" to fix a pricey monitor with a bad IC, if you kept it cool no glitches.

        What they should do is rebrand not simply abandon the technology. HD-DVD is still used for archiving (security through obscurity?) and Surface tablets are finding medical applications as cheap HD screens for hospital use or so it seems.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Give them to the poor?

          Just because they're poor doesn't mean you have to be so cruel as to give them Windows Phones!

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Give them to the poor?

            They are not alone. Our company had Windows phones as the assigned device for particular roles in their outsourced mobile comms contract - despite us telling them it was a stupid idea , they were 100% refused by the people that they tried to foist them on.

            I would expect that nobody would be so cruel as to impose such junk on the poor, considering they wouldn't get much for them selling them on anyway.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Give them to the poor?

              It's not just consumers left high and dry when microsoft abandon their hardware. I deal with some major telco resellers, one in particular who's colour scheme matches the Reg's masthead exactly, and their "investment" in microsoft phones only 2 years ago was all-in. We couldn't move for the "microsoft will conquer all" message being rammed down our throats - all the demo suites being totally ripped out, even lorries having microsoft phone demo suites installed. Plus some "me too" catch-up continuum system where you could carry on working on your phone where you left off on a PC was being pushed as being hot and new, despite Motorola doing it years earlier. These are resellers, remember - they sell wholesale into corporates. I talked to one of their MDs recently and he was saying microsoft are trying it again with surface but he's been so badly burnt he, and others in a similar position, are demanding what amounts to 100% sale-or-return deals before going anywhere near them again.

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Please tell me

        I can't for the life of me remember who also did this with kit which could be made perfectly usable by flashing with Android

        I think that was the WebOS devices once HP managed to completely screw the pooch on that platform.

    3. IT Poser

      The problem is total costs

      Since it is possible to buy cheap smart phones I have to question whether securely wiping this phones so they can be reused is worth the trouble, if our goal is to get as many phones into the hands of the poor as possible. Simply put, I would love to see the refurbishment costs compared to binning the phones and buying new ones for the poor. Simply having sunk costs is not a reason to help fewer people with the same number of tax dollars.

    4. pks2973steel
      Holmes

      Re: Please tell me

      Remember, this is "New York". The phones along with their batteries will more than likely be thrown in the nearest landfill. New York will just waste more of the taxpayer's money and buy more. Hopefully they can get a 15 year old kid ( the kid will have a more knowledge on cell phone and systems) to research and purchase a workable phone. The idiots that made the purchase should be fired.

  11. Def Silver badge

    Even though those two models are eligible to be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile, the NYPD will need to redesign more than a dozen custom apps it created to run on Windows 8.1.

    That sounds suspect to me. Most 8.1 phone apps run just fine on Windows 10 Mobile. The ones that don't are usually the ones written by muppets.

    But presumably now they'll have to redesign and port those same applications to either Android or iOS. I wish them luck with that.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Yeah... something smells fishy.

      "And every phone will need to be manually updated to the new operating system."

      Manual update to Windows 10? It doesn't happen automatically when you click "No"?

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "Most 8.1 phone apps run just fine on Windows 10 Mobile. The ones that don't are usually the ones written by muppets."

      Your point being?

      1. Def Silver badge

        Your point being

        My point being it would probably be considerably less work to fix those apps (if they even need fixing) than to port them to another platform.

        The "we need to redesign these because they don't work good" sounds more like an excuse by an equally unqualified fool who is just doing the opposite thing to the last fool in a vague attempt to appear competent.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > it would probably be considerably less work to fix those apps (if they even need fixing) than to port them to another platform.

          Sure. But then you're still on old Windows Phone hardware, which still has a planned end-of-life very soon. And the phones are old anyway. So they have to replace all the phones soon, and the only sensible options are Android or iOS - you don't want to be stuck on a dead/dying platform. So they will have to do an Android or iOS port soon, they may as well skip Windows 10 and go straight to iOS.

          1. Def Silver badge

            So they have to replace all the phones soon, and the only sensible options are Android or iOS - you don't want to be stuck on a dead/dying platform. So they will have to do an Android or iOS port soon, they may as well skip Windows 10 and go straight to iOS.

            Or they port them to the Universal Windows platform and unify their software platform across mobile and desktop. I doubt very much their desktops run Android or iOS.

            Regardless of the state of Windows Mobile right now, there are still Windows 10 tablets and laptops out there, and there will be new phones coming sooner rather than later.

            Still gotta be cheaper than replacing 36,000 phones and porting said software to the new phones.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          >> Your point being

          > My point being it would probably be considerably less work to fix those apps (if they even need fixing) than to port them to another platform.

          But, would you expect a bunch of muppets to be able to do that?

    3. NeilPost

      Just like like Here (formerly Nokia Drive)....?

    4. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Joke

      "Most 8.1 phone apps run just fine on Windows 10 Mobile. The ones that don't are usually the ones written by muppets."

      So, they'll need to ditch Kermit then?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "That sounds suspect to me. Most 8.1 phone apps run just fine on Windows 10 Mobile. The ones that don't are usually the ones written by muppets."

      That's incredibly unfair, the Muppets used to get loads of laughs and there's NOTHING even remotely amusing about Windows 8.1

    6. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      That sounds suspect to me. Most 8.1 phone apps run just fine on Windows 10 Mobile. The ones that don't are usually the ones written by muppets.

      Well, there's your answer.

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    So - what qualifications does a billionaire's daughter have to be Deputy Commissioner for IS?

    I seem to remember a similar question being asked elsewhere.

    1. mrfill

      I can think of a billion reasons.

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Windows

      So - what qualifications does a billionaire's daughter

      Jealous, much ? It so happens that she is a billionaire's daughter, however, not much to do with her qualifications ... She holds a law degree and an MBA:

      http://www.hbs.edu/news/Pages/item.aspx?num=5543

      http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bratton-names-jessica-tisch-nypd-deputy-commissioner-information-technology-article-1.1612727

      2 min on google ...

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Well,

        a law degree and an MBA.

        When do I get appointed to the Supreme Court?

      2. Jay 2

        Ah, I think I'll blame the MBA for this disaaster then. She should have stuck to business stuff, and left the IT procurement to someone who doesn't think that Windows on device A means Windows on device B because they're both Windows.

      3. james_smith

        "She holds a law degree and an MBA"

        How does that qualify her to make IT decisions?

        1. Toni the terrible

          Isn't that the normal qualifications for IT decision making in large organisations?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "She holds a law degree and an MBA"

          How does that qualify her to make IT decisions?

          She holds an MBA??? How does that qualify her to ***make decisions*** of *any* type? I wouldn't rely on an MBA to pick my socks.

  13. Walter Bishop Silver badge

    Old apps won't run on Windows 10 Mobile

    "Even though those two models are eligible to be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile, the NYPD will need to redesign more than a dozen custom apps it created to run on Windows 8.1. And every phone will need to be manually updated to the new operating system."

    Old apps won't run on new OS, what genius scientist designed 'Windows 10 Mobile' this way and what's stopping the developers recompiling the old apps for the new OS? Trivially easy under Linux, just a few compiler directives in the make file.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Old apps won't run on Windows 10 Mobile

      and 40000 #ifdefs in the source code for all the *ux variants.

    2. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: Old apps won't run on Windows 10 Mobile

      I wonder if the statement is actually true. While the manual update might be (though I even doubt that) the applications probably will recompile to the new windows.

      My hunch reading some of the article is there is a wilful lack of understanding and New Yorkers are going to see their money wasted.

  14. llaryllama

    WTF?

    Everyone is bashing the people who signed off on these, but what about MS?

    How the hell does a smartphone purchased in 2016 become almost completely obsolete by 2017?

    I have an HTC android phone purchased in 2012 that is still receiving updates and running well.

    This definitely makes me worried about our organization using anything Windows related and MS seem to be constantly shooting themselves in the foot with this crap. Windows had always been my favorite desktop OS for productivity but MS keep sabotaging their own work with various stupid decisions like the Windows 10 forced upgrades/updates.

    1. Alan W. Rateliff, II
      Thumb Down

      Re: WTF?

      Yup yup yup. I was heading right in this direction. All issues with the selection aside, Microsoft has to take some responsibility in its own demise. I was going to ask if a company can be so blind to its bullshit, but the obvious answer is, yes. It plays this never-ending game with its users and devotees screwing them at every corner, including this path of constant obsolescence, pretending users are okay with it and actually want more.

      Microsoft has tuned its Reality Distortion Field to work on itself, but its nowhere near as capable as Jobs' in regards to customers. At least in the case of translating frustration from the desktop to the mobile phone market. Microsoft may be King of the Desktop, but that has nothing to do with the goodness of the product and treating mobile phones like a desktop just is not going to bring market share.

      In short, Microsoft does not have its shit together.

      Now, I know very little about iPhones as I neither own or use one. However, I recently came across an iPhone user with an iPhone 5 running everything a newer device can. That is a five year-old phone running iOS 10 and all the accoutrements therein. That seems pretty impressive to my non-iPhone-using self. Yet here we have Windows smart phones purchased in 2016, applications which cannot run in 10 in 2017, which would only be supported until 2019.

      Big WTF here, Microsoft.

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: WTF?

        Maybe New York should sue Microsoft under some kind of "lemon" law.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      Since when has any Android phone still got updates five years after sale? Or did you root it and install generic Android on it, which isn't exactly something the NYPD would consider...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF?

      I wonder how long it will take to get rid of Nadella - he's destroying any value left and heading in directions that make users even less confident about MS.

      Today I would be very careful to start any long-term project on Windows - any version of it.

      1. Tinslave_the_Barelegged Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        > Today I would be very careful to start any long-term project on Windows -

        You must be a very young AC. In the mid 90s, just after Microsoft "discovered" the Internet, we embarked on a web application suite for a small but global financial services company. It was a $1m+ project. and we and the devopers were in frequent contact with MS during the development. We developed according to MS's strategies, but they kept changing these so fast as reality in the Internet world hit them that evebntually we realised we chose the wring platform. (The clincher was having to snailmail CDs containing 30+ mb of activex software to each global user as downloading the bloatware was too dodgy in those dial-up days, but a bloated client was the only way it would all work.)

        Later in the 90s, I was with a company, that, on my advice, and t my later regret, as at that stage I trusted MS, moved off a greenscreen AIX application to an MS client-server development of Visual Basic against SQLServer. Again, the squirms in strategic approach meant we were forever chasing the latest marketing shifts, and while it worked, it did not leave one convinced of the abilty to extact value from the platform, as the next shiney thing distracted Microsoft.

        I learnt my lesson. After that, if the answer was a Microsoft product, the next question was how to ringfence it. This became more and more difficult over the years as they honed their lock-in skills.

        What is shocking is to to see this approach still in 2017.

      2. Dave 15 Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        Certainly MS seem to be doing masses of damage to themselves, every time I go to try something I used to be able to do it has disappeared or been hidden in some god forsaken corner. Then they continually try and choose bing and other crud for you.

        However, looking at the info available it should have been pretty easy to move these custom applications, although I suspect some consultants were looking for a huge pay cheque for no real work (probably to make up for under quoting the original job)

  15. Jerry G.

    Choice of Technology...

    Before making such a serious investment in to anything, the first thing to check is the end of life for support, or what we can call support horizon. As for any smart phone, after about 3 to 4 years it will be too obsolete to be efficiently used. The OS and security would be through many updates, and becoming more demanding on the phone's hardware capability. It would not be a good idea to operate without security and bug updates.

    As for custom written software that is OS version sensitive, there should be an agreement with the authors to make sure the software can be easily upgraded, or can be designed to not be version sensitive if possible. It is also apparent, nobody can know specific necessities of an OS that is not yet published or officially distributed.

    Personally, for a Smart Phone of any type I would be going with Android. The reasons are simple. Very versatile, not a closed system as like most of the others, and is not a locked in system. If you require ultimate security with Android. the Blackberry is the most secure phone on the planet. Regular Android using a decent Android phone, if properly set up is very secure.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Choice of Technology...

      Android is a real problem for security, because the updates take months to get to the phone since they go through the OEM and then the carrier, plus they generally stop getting updates at all after a year or two.

      Sure, if you get lucky and choose correctly you might end up with one that is supported longer, but its a crapshoot. Even Google won't guarantee updates beyond two years for the Pixel.

      1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Choice of Technology...

        Android is a real problem for security, because the updates take months to get to the phone since they go through the OEM and then the carrier, plus they generally stop getting updates at all after a year or two.

        At that level of volume/units, they should be able to find/demand units that are not locked down (something properly AOSP-based, or Cyanogenmod/LineageOS) that could have updates implemented and pushed out on a timely basis. Just because companies like VerizonWorthless and the rest of their ilk can't be arsed to keep things up to date, doesn't mean you should have to rely on their lack-of-a-schedule.

      2. Peconet57

        Re: Choice of Technology...

        Mostly you can Root Android phones so that they can be more secure. It does not matter what brand of phone you buy they all have rubbish software on them that some people do not really need.

    2. Nature Lover
      Linux

      Re: Choice of Technology...

      The issue of a closed system or not really does not impact a large government purchase. In fact I imagine that rooting a phone would be frowned upon at the NYPD.

      Therefore other considerations should come to play.

      What exactly about android versatility should be important to the NYPD? Just asking.

      The penguin just because he's natural...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How much impact can one person have on the world?

    Do her children not inherit her earth?

    She should be forced to dump the phones herself, on her property, or even better, to take apart every one and prepare the whole lot for recycling. And pay for it, the phones and the entire project she authorised, alongside anyone else that agreed to cause such a fiasco.

  17. chivo243 Silver badge
    FAIL

    quite simple

    An insider deal... Kickbacks, payola and lies... And quite possibly a complete n00b when it comes to technology.

  18. Delbert

    Swap due to incompatibility to an incompatible OS?

    Interesting that custom applications that work on windows 8 will not work on windows 10 yet it is deemed less expensive to recompile to iOS. Or buying into a by comparison horrendously expensive phone with a none replaceable battery will be a cheaper option than paying M$ for another years support after official support ends after all who keeps phones which are getting kicked around daily longer than three years or doesn't have a service contract that replaces their phones periodically. Perhaps the current IT department or at least whoever signed off on the replacement plan needs a reality check?

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Swap due to incompatibility to an incompatible OS?

      Probably not that it is less expensive to port to iOS, but that they don't feel very confident Windows Phone has any future beyond Windows Phone 10 so a port to that would be throwing good money after bad. If they're going to have to port it anyway, it is probably the same difficulty to go to Android or iOS. You can buy cheaper Android phones, but iOS is supported for much longer after sale and the updates get to the phone the day Apple releases them, versus months or never with Android.

      Some people may whine about Apple being more of a "closed system" but the NYPD is going to lock down whatever phones they get as much as possible, so that's irrelevant to them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Swap due to incompatibility to an incompatible OS?

        They could avoid Google Play Services and get Android Open Source. Then they could be updated and supported for ever more. In fact you could pay a department to just hack, secure and update Android for the whole federal and state level and then use it as a standard security OS for deployments such as these.

        Could probably guarantee a 6-10 year lifespan if the hardware was good by today's standard. Most android apps still work on later OS revisions as well so unlikely to require re-writing.

        The cost difference between Apple and a decent Android handset (x36,000) would pay for a decent team of programmers covering app redevelopment and OS upgrades.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows smartphones? What a waste of money.

    Also, take note that the purchase was done in late 2016, the time when even SatNad's Microsoft had given up on mobile. If it were done during the 'strategic partnership' misadventure between Nokia and Microsoft under Trojan Horse Elop a few years ago, it might have been understandable.

  20. arctic_haze Silver badge

    As Elop would say...

    Now we know what it means to have a burning platform.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Now we know what it means to have a burning platform.

      No, that was superseded by the Samsung Galaxy Note 7...

    2. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: As Elop would say...

      Elop moved a company from a burning platform still with the largest market share and hampered more by production capability than sales issues to a platform that had sunk out of trace 15 years earlier. What is galling is after costing so many thousand people their jobs and future the barsteward got handsome pay offs, massive pensions and has progressed on to f***k yet another company over (he has a 100% track record of wrecking companies he gets involved with).

      The only other people even worse were the Nokia board who employed him and the Nokia shareholders who failed to kick the incompetent t**t and his backers out of the company

    3. Toni the terrible

      Re: As Elop would say...

      The boy stood on the burning deck...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh here we go

    The Police probably didn't want to be accused of sexism for anyone reviewing a female's choice, just like UK Police being unwilling to call out mainly Pakistani grooming gangs.

    What is more shocking is that MS sold that many Windows phones, I had no idea that was going on.

  22. Dave 15 Silver badge

    thioughts

    Do the phones and the custom apps work? If so why not just keep them, they are just a tool for a job, I have spanners that are quite old and I have no doubt I could go and buy a more up to date, more shiny spanner... but why bother?

    I guess she got the job because of her outstanding technical ability and massively impressive CV and not the size of her boobs or her bank balance?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: thioughts

      Knowing NY, I rather suspect the size of one endowment or another had everything to do with it.

      On the other hand, what with Marketing running most so-called engineering firms these days, I guess a lawyer with an MBA is considered ever-so qualified to make technical decisions.

      Where do I sign up for Mars? No intelligent life left on this planet ...

  23. thermionicvalve

    Obolete

    "the phones are effectively obsolete" ... whose isn't?!

  24. Sil

    It wasn't a procurement disaster, an error at most. Pricewise, a 640XL costs at least 6 times less than an iPhone. So One year of 640XL = 2 months of iPhones, and that's with undiscounted public prices.

  25. wayne 8

    Billionaire's daughter

    You are thinking about Paris or Ivanka, right?

    Jessica is lucky that she's worth a fortune, because she did not get looks.

    http://nypost.com/2017/08/28/nypd-needs-to-replace-36k-useless-smartphones/

    1. SpammFreeEmail

      Re: Billionaire's daughter

      Mate, that's really unfair and sexist to comment on a woman's ability based on her physical appearance.

      I'm sure she'd much rather people judged her on the emotion her facial expressions can evoke, it's the right thing to do.

      http://www.conunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Jesssica-Tisch1.png

  26. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I doubt they would have paid that much for the Lumia's compared what they will have to pay to move over to iOS as even the cheapest iphones are quite expensive, but i don't see any other option.

    There is really a hole in the the marketplace for a Android phone for businesses that has guaranteed security updates for a number of years like you can get with a desktop OS. Although i am an Android user myself it is really just Apple as a choice for businesses if you need the phones to be kept secure with updates. Even the big manufacturers of Android phones such as Samsung can take ages to provide updates for security holes well after they have been published and fixed by Google if they get updates at all.

  27. Jonathan Richards 1

    Shedload of cheap Lumia phones

    @Herby

    Not sure why all the downvotes...

    I guess that 're-purposing' is ruled out on security grounds. NYPD can't invest in one-by-one updates to Windows 10, and by the same token can't engage in one-by-one sanitation of the devices so that they can be sold outside the department.

  28. adam payne Silver badge

    "At the time, then-police commissioner Bill Bratton specifically identified Tisch as being the driving force for the plan and joked: "She's a terror if she doesn't get her way, so I usually let her get her way. So she's certainly getting her way with this technology."

    So you just decided to let her do whatever she wanted and waste a ton of your funding. Well done.

  29. PeterM42
    Facepalm

    But nobody does testing these days

    ".... even an expert panel of one would have concluded that Windows phones were a turn in the wrong direction for a huge police department......"

    Or any other user, come to that.

  30. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Now imagine they'd have done this with a simple text-based unixoid application...

    ... perhaps with an ncurses based UI...

    You could simply log in via ssh, giving you an encrypted and authenticated connection without the fear of cross site scripting or other web-problems. It wouldn't matter what kind of device you have as they all run some form of ssh-client. In case you have bad connections you can even use mosh.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the NYPD will need to redesign more than a dozen custom apps it created to run on Windows 8.1.

    That means there are actually Windows phone developers out there! Shame on you people, shame on you.

  32. Florida1920 Silver badge

    We'll get back if and when they respond.

    They can't. Their IT system is broken.

  33. dmacleo

    sort of related and funny.

    kitten knocked my galaxy s5 off shelf onto floor where it hit maglite I have stored for the multiple power outages we have here.

    shattered screen.

    so s7 edge arriving today, never was windows phone even considered.

    1. Florida1920 Silver badge

      kitten knocked my galaxy s5 off shelf

      It is a widely held myth in the scientific community that Galileo disproved Aristotle's theory of gravity at Pisa. The truth is, while Gali was having pizza, his cat knocked the jars of parmesan and crushed red pepper off the table.

  34. Webfuz

    London Fire Brigade Windows 8.1 all the way ( to where)

    Just to let you know we are still using Windows 8.1 for all Mid Ranking Officers. Not sure if the apps promised a couple of years ago are still in dev.

  35. oneeye

    But,We Need More Women in Tech?

    Yaaaaa? Right? If I made a list of failed women executives, and world leaders, I think the percentage would be rather high. And before some Commentards say, "more men, more failings" I'm talking PERCENTAGE of groups here. I don't know about you guys, but I get enough grief from the one woman at home. I certainly wouldn't take it at work. This is an example of political correctness writ large. And the resulting wasted tax payer money is always the end result.

  36. YARR
    WTF?

    Why scrap them?

    I agree it's poor of Microsoft to drop support so early, but most Android phones in a similar price bracket only get updates for a year or two after release if you're lucky. Unsupported Android versions are more vulnerable to exploits than a phone running Windows Mobile 8.1 due to security by obscurity. If the phone works and runs the apps you need then just continue using them!

  37. Fred/Barney

    My wife works in law enforcement & as she always says - you can't make up this sh@t. LOL

  38. kb
    FAIL

    They should have kept the phones

    Can ANYBODY show me an Android phone sold in 2016 that gets updates until 2019? Anyone? Beuller? The windows phone was a SMART purchase if they wanted phones that would get security updates for the long haul, instead they'll end up with phones that they'll need to toss every other year if they are lucky.

    And before anybody brings up apple, have you ever used an older Apple phone with the latest OS? Talk about painful! Say what you want about MSFT about windows 10 actually made 8.1 phones snappier and more responsive, not less. I've never sen an Apple phone that ran faster after being updated to the latest and greatest from a previous version, this is why my apple customers simply replace the phone when the new Apple phones are released, not really any point in updating those if you want a snappy and responsive phone.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. Poor

    Windows phone is better than no phone.

    Barely.

    In fact scrub that, they should be sent to the "Special Hell" with the endless desks filled with Windows machines all installing 6 of 66 updates and rebooting... over and over and over.

    Come to think of it what about nuking the phones and simply having them do basic functions? Can't be that hard and they have LTE etc so not totally useless.

    Touch screen would be ideal for elderly folks and the large "buttons" handy for visually impaired.

  40. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    Support

    Just prevent them to access the internet and have them all using a VPN, lock them down and use the provided apps and lock all external websites.

    Also ask the network provider to block SMS and MMS

    There, sorted, no need to update.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of....

    ....a certain procurement person who purchased a bunch of Android phones for a certain council without realising none of them came with flashes which were required by a number of departments that were going to use them.

    Also because they were trying to save money, bought the oldest Androids available that, a year on, are pretty useless due to their speed and lack of support.

    Nothing was said. Possibly because said person was "seeing" the Head of Digital without the other half knowing.

    Don't think the tax payer would be amused.

  42. IGnatius T Foobar

    LBJ

    Q: how many Windows Phone users does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: both of them.

  43. Salestard

    Well, they could upgrade to WinPho 10s

    Oh, wait... MS have dropped them as well.

    Lumia 950 sat here on my desk has got steadily worse since I bought it - it's marginally more functional than an old BlackBerry on account of the map/nav function still working (for now).

    As for why you'd buy WP8.1 devices - they were actually pretty decent bits of kit back then, and 8.1 was the zenith of the OS, when APIs worked and data slurping wasn't so rampant. I seem to recall MS hinting that moving apps from 8.1 to 10 wouldn't be an issue.

    1. TomG

      Re: Well, they could upgrade to WinPho 10s

      The two Windows phone I have 640XL with 8.1 and 950 with Windows 10 work just fine. Primarily use them as a phone with occasional use to surf the internet, messaging and photography. Will never have an IPhone. Had two and both were junk. Maybe I just not a sophisticated cell phone user.

  44. Spaceman Spiff

    I was a principal engineer for Nokia when MS took it over. Let's just say it was a cluster fuck!

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brick

    The difference between a Windows phone and a brick? A brick is useful.

  46. Peconet57

    She has loads of money.

    Since she has loads of money, and not enough brain cells, could she not purchase another load of phones for the NYPD on her Credit card? Maybe if people started to shout a bit louder so that their voices can be heard maybe then the top WAGS will suddenly take notice.

  47. anothersortofleave

    Did this billionaire's daughter's husband also get a job that put the NYPD at risk of debt-related coercion?

    I guess they didn't pick the worst billionaire's daughter then.

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