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Comment Re:Already running a $50 phone. (Score 1) 141

You base your assumption on what? The BOM for this phone is not substantially different than what was discussed in TFA. The Qualcomm 400 is possibly a bit more expensive (estimated wholesale costs are in the $10-15) range, but that is offset by having half the memory and only one camera.

Microsoft certainly isn't making a bundle on these things, but I seriously doubt it costs "significantly more" than $50 to manufacture.

Comment Re:Already running a $50 phone. (Score 1) 141

This is an off-contract phone that I'm using with a $30/mo plan. Not much room for a hardware subsidy.

Entirely possible there is some subsidy, but given that the components in this phone are largely similar to the ones in TFA, I would be surprised if it was much. This is very firmly a budget handset.

Comment Already running a $50 phone. (Score 5, Interesting) 141

I'm actually using a $50 smart phone right now. A Microsoft Lumia 635 that I picked up on Amazon for $49.99 off-contract. Specs are about right - 4.5" 854x480 screen, 512MB ram, 8GB storage, no front camera, 5MP rear camera. It does have a quad-core Snapdragon instead of a Mediatek or Allwinner, but clocked at 1.2GHz, and actually does have an LTE radio and Gorilla glass (the two reasons I bought this instead of the 535, which is newer and has 1GB of RAM).

Know what? It's a perfectly serviceable phone. I bought it as a spare to use while I get the screen on my Moto G replaced, and in a lot of ways I actually like it better. Windows Phone actually runs surprisingly well on modest hardware.

Comment Unchanged? (Score 1) 337

"a landscape which has been little changed since the 1990s."

What? Did the author miss the birth and ascent of C# and subsequent waning popularity of C++? A little something called Go, which just broke into the top 20 languages in the RedMonk index. The crawl from obscurity of Objective C after the release of MacOS X, and later iOS? The evolution of Javascript from a way to make rollover buttons to an application and backend platform? The collapse of perl and the rise of Python and Perl? The emergence of functional languages like Scala, Erlang and Haskell as viable platforms? The growth of R for statistical analysis? Lua for extension? New data query languages like SPARQL, Gremlin and CQL?

As usual, Apple is not the pioneer here. They are treading a path broken by many others.

Comment Re:Options are good (Score 1) 307

Also, server is not their cash cow. Between desktop Windows, consumer hardware (including the Surface, mice, keyboards, etc) and business software they pull in about $44B. Their server products, including Azure, MS SQL, consulting services, and development tools only bring in about $20B. Entertainment and mobile bring in another $10B.

Microsoft benefits from having a broad, comprehensive product line, whether the divisions themselves are necessarily profitable. Just like Apple, Google, and Amazon, they benefit from getting people to buy into their ecosystem.

They have struggled in recent years, not just because Apple's resurgence has eroded their dominance in the PC market, but because the market has shifted away from the PC model. More people are using tablets or even phones as their primary device, which means more people using iOS, Android or Amazon devices, and their associated app, content and services ecosystems.

Their response seems to be increased openness (see: open sourced .NET releases, patent pledges), interoperability (see: JUniversal, AllJoyn contributions), convergence (see: Windows 10, from mobile to server), and free stuff (see: Windows for small devices, hobbyist platforms; Visual Studio Community Edition etc). I find it hard to fault that.

Comment Re:Options are good (Score 1) 307

Lumia ring a bell? Windows 10 is their convergence release, with mobile being just one more edition. Plenty of phones with far less horsepower are running Windows. Plenty of tablets with similar horsepower are running Windows.

I picked up a couple of Stream 7's, which also sport only 1GB of memory, a modest low power processor and a full copy of Windows - as stocking stuffers this year. They work fine for what they are. Especially since I paid $74 for one and $49 for the other, thanks to in-store "shopping events".

This strikes me more about the hobbyist community and pervasive computer than the "internet of things". This board is not suitable for those applications, regardless of what platform it is running. But this has potential for more demanding embedded applications, internet kiosks, network terminals, or even starter computers for kids (which is what I'm considering getting a Pi 2 for).

I probably won't land on Windows 10 as the final operating system; I haven't used Windows as a desktop in about twenty years now. But I'll certainly play with it.

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso