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Comment Re:Make that one of two... (Score 1) 127

Oh, and what's up with wireless hotspot being disabled for existing phones, even though the OS can do it?

Not every Windows Phone hardware contains a wireless chipset which supports acting as an access point, others may require a firmware update.

The other reason is, of course, that your friendly telecommunications carrier wishes to give you the opportunity to pay them more money to have it enabled.

Comment Re:Not news (Score 1) 308

Unless I'm missing something, this is exactly how my Android works, so if it's a new (or at least increasing) development on Android phones what's to stop MS doing it at some point too? At the moment they're fighting for market share, if carriers say they want this shovelware in order to promote the OS I can't see MS worrying too much about the feelings of users. Having said that, I have no pre-installed crap on my Android apart from the basics (market place, maps, a few utility apps like calculators and the like), I can install and uninstall any of it and the only carrier branding I have is a single screen when I restart the phone (which I do maybe once every 6-8 weeks). I could have ditched even that level of branding by buying the same contract and phone from a different retailer.

My girlfriend's HTC Desire has 6 - 8 applications she can't uninstall or move to the memory card. She is also still waiting for the Gingerbread update. So sounds like you had a really good Android experience, not everyone is so fortunate.

You are correct, Microsoft could change their policies and allow all sorts of companies to install rubbish on their phones. I'm just hoping they don't bend to that pressure.

Comment Re:Not news (Score 1) 308

It is news. The news is that this only affects Android. Android has become the new Windows, home of viruses, malware, and pre-installed junk you can't remove.

It is also interesting to note that none of these carrier crapware apps are an issue on Windows Phone because they can all be uninstalled like normal apps. So even if your phone does come with them they are simple to remove. The only apps you can't uninstall are built into the OS (e.g. Maps, Games, Marketplace etc.) by Microsoft.

Comment Re:Microsoft's Cellphone OS Marketshare Is Plummet (Score 1) 209

It also has the fastest growth of the recent smartphone app stores for published applications.

90% growth! From 1 MS funded app to 10 in just 6 months could achieve this statistic!

Sure, it could have. However in about 10 months they've actually managed over 28 thousand applications with pretty steady growth.

Android is here, has the buzz, and has the goods to back it. MS no longer has to be "good enough", they have to be compellingly better. They had everything they needed to make it happen, including a decade (yes, a DECADE) to figure it out with WinMo 1 through WinMo 6.x. After all those generations, they still had only a cheesy interface that vaguely resembled Windows 3.1.

They had all the opportunity in the world, and they managed to blow it trying to bring the "PC experience" to mobile devices, despite the market spending 10 years letting them know that they didn't want the "PC experience".

MS will probably have to buy Google to put this genie back in the bottle....

Yup, Microsoft completely missed seeing the touch-first smartphone revolution that Apple created coming their way. So did everyone else. Did they continue to "blow it" by sticking with Windows Mobile? Nope, they went back to the drawing board and created something new that is able to stand with iOS and Android and compete.

Microsoft doesn't have to buy Google, they just need to play a longer game. 12 months is hardly a long time in comparison to the 3-4 year head start Android has - especially in a market where 2 year contracts are common.

Comment Re:Microsoft's Cellphone OS Marketshare Is Plummet (Score 1) 209

How would you define success as it relates to windows phone 7? Apple is successful in making money with iOS and Android is successful in market share and ad revenue for Google. How is wp7 successful?

For a start it is a great phone which can do all the smartphone functions iOS or Android can do. It also has the fastest growth of the recent smartphone app stores for published applications.

Comment Re:Microsoft is really well positioned here (Score 1) 209

If MS went the way that made Windows successful - totally open ecosystem, cheap/free tools, apps written for one machine run anywhere, loads of customization is allowed - then maby. But not with WP7 being a locked down imitation of iOS, which can keep that market better than MS ever can.

Microsoft went with exactly that list with Windows Mobile and it turned into a nightmare. Hundreds of devices which were never to be updated by their OEM all with different skins, screen resolutions and hardware configurations. It was a mess.

They learned from this so are keeping some tighter control over their system. They still manage to hit some of your points:

  • Cheap / Free Tools - download all you need to build a Windows Phone 7 app for free here:
  • Apps written for one machine run anywhere - by enforcing standard minimum hardware your application will run on any Windows Phone.

I'd argue that they have a diverse ecosystem for hardware too. Once the OEM meets the minimum specs things like hardware keyboards, strange form-factors or anything else they wish to use to differentiate themselves are all on the table.

Comment Re:Holy crap (Score 1) 307

And IIRC, that was the other part of the license agreement: you had to charge the same amount for in-app and out-of-app purchases. So no, you can't mark up the in-app purchase price to cover the Apple tax.

I'm grudgingly willing to allow that Apple can set whatever rules they want about what apps running in their ecosystem must and must not do. I'm much more pissed off that they're setting pricing policies for third parties, especially for purchases that don't go through any part of the Apple store.

That was the case, yes. However Apple backed down on the requirement to have the same amount for in-app and out-of-app purchases. If I charge a subscription fee outside my application for content as long as I don't have a direct "Buy" button or link to my store Apple will let it pass. If, however, I want to sell content within the app I must pay the 30% to Apple and use their API. (Source: Steve Jobs Blinks! Apple Backs Down On App Subscription Rules)

Comment Re:Sorry, but Google is no role model (Score 2) 202

And if you started a search service today with the quality Google had in 98, you'd be laughed off and forgotten before you're done launching the product.

Really? I'd prefer the quality of search results it had back then ...

You'd prefer the quality of results from back then, however if a new service was built with a similar quality algorithm as Google's from 1998 you'd not get those results. This is what I think Opportunist was meaning.

Since Google launched they've had to constantly tweak their service as websites change (either intentionally gaming the system or simply for new trends). Anyone building a new search engine would need to build to the current standard at least with all those tweaks and changes in order to get the same quality.

Comment Re:Partial release rings alarm bells (Score 2) 69

He couldn't hook the WP7 phone he had to the projector like he normally does because Microsoft's legal department took away the cable he had been using for presentations...

Why? Was there an actual legal reason behind this, or did someone just pinch his cable? It seems pretty unlikely that the legal department would prevent them from advertising a released product.

I believe Windows Phone uses a protected graphics path, similar to the one in Windows Vista & 7, in order to provide DRM so services like Netflix feel all warm & fuzzy that their video content can't be intercepted. Because of this, all phones which are used in demos require a special build of the OS to display on a projector and, no doubt, a special cable recognised by that OS build.

Having said the above, I'm not sure what reason Microsoft would have to reclaim the cable apart from controlling the number of them that exist outside the company. This control would be part of keeping the integrity of the DRM path.

Comment Re:Control (Score 1) 229

By having a browser they make themselves legitimate in having a say in web standards.

Very true and of course they want that. Many of their products are sold to developers and businesses who need to produce content for web standards.

This is especially important because Microsoft is starting to build everything on top of their browser rendering engine. The next version of Office will use the IE rendering engine for it's layout. (The rendering in IE was originally scheduled for Office 2010, but they found it wouldn't be ready in time) Visual Studio 2010 already runs on top of the rendering engine.

This is absolutely incorrect. Visual Studio 2010's UI is written using .Net and WPF which is nothing to do with IE's rendering engine.

I absolutely agree it is in Microsoft's best interest to be a part of the web standards discussion and IE is one of the ways they do that, it doesn't have anything to do with the UI for their major applications.

Comment Re:Ok, I'm convinced (Score 1) 213

so what's great about WP7 is that it will tie the phone to the Windows Desktop PC? Leveraging that desktop worked for desktop products but it has never worked for them otherwise. Seeing how Android is already hear and moving forward fast, WP7 without any compelling reason over the competition is a yawner.

There's nothing which ties the phone to a PC except for loading music and video. That isn't even limited to Windows because there is a Mac sync client in beta. You can set up your Windows Phone, sync all your contacts from Windows Live, Google Contacts or Exchange without even touching a PC. Even photos you take can automatically be synced to Skydrive, Facebook or both.

And what's up with using Sliverlight as the "native" development platform for WP7? I would have figured it would have been MS .Net. Way to go Microsoft for looking pretty schizophrenic on the vision thing. You know, that stuff you seem to say Google has none of when spreading your FUD about other companies instead of taking care of your own house.

You don't seem to understand that Silverlight is the .Net framework. It is simply a specific set of .Net libraries and sub-set of the general API targeted at a smaller footprint (eg browser or phone)

Comment Re:Ok, I'm convinced (Score 1) 213

Thank you for your interesting reply. Indeed, you raise some good points.

- Xbox stuff must be nice for people who have xboxes, indeed.

The Xbox stuff is also nice when you just play games on the phone. I don't own an Xbox, nor do I game elsewhere, but games on my WP7 are nice to kill time.

- Same for Live. Question: what if I'm not on Live, but on Google (like most everyone is) ?

I use Google for email and calendar and they integrate just as well as the Live stuff does. As mentioned in another reply, you can even get a Windows Live ID with your GMail email address as your username (rather than getting a Hotmail account) - which I've had for years.

In the end, I see the value, for someone who's already fully tied into MS products and services. Not only am I not, but I'll want to avoid that, same as I refuse to be tied into Apple's walled playpen. I see Android and Google as safer bets in terms of letting me do what I want, how I want it, with the phone I buy. In particular, letting me install any software I want

No phone will be for everyone, but don't completely dismiss Windows Phone because you use Google or other online services rather than Windows Live. Instead consider supplementing your Google experience (GMail, Google Calendar) with things only Windows Live has (Skydrive, Live Sync etc.)

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 375

I can see good reasons to migrate to Windows 7. It is actually a better OS then XP and performs well on old machines. The math is pretty simple. You will need to migrate sooner or later.. It is foolish to bring in new machines with XP unless you have some mission critical XP only software. If so you are just waiting for a world of pain. Start looking for a replacement.

I agree with the above, but will also point out that if you have Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise editions you can use XP Mode to run that mission-critical XP-only software. It will even put an icon in your Windows 7 programs menu and run the window beside your other apps.

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