Gumby

Thoughts from the clay guru.

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Microsoft Windows Phone Reboot rebuttal

I just read the blog: Editorial – Microsoft hits the “reboot” switch again. I’m utterly disgusted

It’s not just this blogger, but a number of people up in arms about the recently announced Windows Phone 8.  Now I am one of those folks with a relatively new Nokia 900.  I was hopeful that I would get the new Windows Phone 8 OS at some time, but I am not “disgusted”.  Microsoft at least tried to bring some of the new UI elements from the Start screen over in the Windows Phone 7.8 version…but how can we expect them to completely support a new core and feature set?

For those of you upset or even disgusted, can you tell me how this is any different than Google and their Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade that will not be on most phones…even those selling today?  Or what about every time Apple released a new major OS version…they drop support for some phones…you even may have bought just a year earlier?  I think there is an expectation for Microsoft to provide backwards compatibility for devices 5-10 years old….like they do on the PC.  I think that is a little unrealistic in the mobile phone market.

It seems like everyone, from the hardware manufacturers, the cellular providers and the OS providers that we are on a 2 year cycle for devices.   Yes, I just bought the Nokia 900 a few months ago, but Microsoft is not dropping support.  All current apps and most future apps (except native C++ apps) will still run on my OS…and they are putting in those features that are supported by the hardware.  And I can be pretty sure that AT&T, in about 12 months, will offer to let me get the latest and greatest new devices for a reasonable price (if I sign up for 2 more years).

What are your thoughts?  Is this any different than what Google does?  What was the duration from Ice Cream Sandwich announcement to actual phones?  And did everyone stop buying Android phones?

I know, Microsoft should have learned a lesson from Google here, but why give them way more grief than Google or Apple when they do the same thing?

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Going back to iPhone?

Recently, a co-worker sent me an email with the following question:

“So – it’s about time for a new phone for me and I’m seriously considering going back to iPhone. I love my Samsung/MS phone but I am concerned they will not reach critical mass and you have to go Android or IPhone. 

What do you think?”

Here was my response:

First, why do you care if a phone reaches critical mass or not?  Does the phone provide the application and services you need?  If not, then move to a platform that does.

Here are my random thoughts:

  • IDC and Gartner predict that Windows Phone 7 will bypass iPhones by 2016 (used to be 2015)…but I would not put a lot of trust in that.  I think they feel that a lot of Nokia customers in developing countries will stick with Nokia phones…and not sure if I buy into that 100%.  Although there was a news report a few weeks back that Windows Phone 7 is outselling the iPhone in China ( http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57436975-75/windows-phone-edging-out-iphone-in-china-says-microsoft/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=readMore )…I don’t think we are close to WP7 eclipsing iPhone anytime soon.
  • My thought is that Apple was a visionary company driven by Steve Jobs.  I am not sure there remains that leadership to drive innovation in the same way.  That is not to say they will not be successful…but I think they may be working off a 3-5 year vision for iPhones and iPads laid out by Steve’s leadership…and what happens after that?
  • I like the WP7 UI.  In fact, I am slightly annoyed by the iOS UI when I use my iPad, and here are a few of my key differences:
    • Really wish the iOS devices had a back button.
    • Like the live tiles
    • Overall, like the Metro UI
    • My iPad 1 running iOS has been getting buggier with each OS update…and reading blogs…it is not just me
    • I find the WP7 UI very responsive
  • Agree that iOS has more apps, but very few apps that I want that I cannot get on WP7 (can you say “Words with Friends”? – but I love Wordament on WP7 platform more)
  • Windows 8 + Windows Phone 8.  There is talk of some really nice integration between these two….but I have no real details here.
  • iOS and Enterprise email/calendar bugs.  Calendars apparently still have some issues with syncing and providing the same information on Outlook vs. iOS.

Ultimately…pick the device that provides the features and services you need.  I decided to stay with WP7 (and my Nokia 900 was free in the end).  I did not consider the Android devices based on my limited experience with the Android tablets and the Android OS.  Android left me with that Linux “taste”…not quite polished, and for some features, you had to hack and/or mess with config files to get it to work (like proxy servers in Accenture network – which I believe is now fixed with the OS).   So I only briefly thought about iPhone 4…but nothing new for me there.

Good luck with your decision.

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