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Ballmer Admits "We Screwed Up Windows Mobile"

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the chairs-have-been-thrown dept.

Microsoft 275

Barence writes "Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer has blasted the company's own mobile operating system at the firm's Venture Capital Summit. One tweet from an attendee claims Ballmer said the company had 'screwed up with Windows Mobile. Wishes they had already launched WM7. They completely revamped the team.' Another claims Ballmer said 'we've pumped in some new talent. This will not happen again.' It's not the first time Ballmer has attacked Windows Mobile, having publicly stated that version 6.5 was 'not the full release we wanted.'"

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Title (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29541889)

Nice way to twist the title and forget "with" too. They didn't screw up whole Windows Mobile like you could think, but they wanted to launch WM7 already.

I actually like Windows Mobile most from the mobile platforms (however, I haven't tried Android yet). It's *a lot* more open than iPhone, as in you can run any software on it that you want. Also it seems to be customizable quite much, since HTC's version is a lot different from others. And there's a lot programs available.

And dont even get me started on Symbian and the insanity to program something for it...

Re:Title (1)

johanatan (1159309) | about 5 years ago | (#29542157)

HTC's version uses some black magic. Most of the other customized versions involve partnerships with Microsoft. In general, it's [i.e., the 'Today' screen] not very customizable without hacking.

Re:Title (4, Interesting)

richie2000 (159732) | about 5 years ago | (#29542203)

They didn't screw up whole Windows Mobile like you could think

I have a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone and... Well, yes they did. Totally. I have heard that the vendors that took the time, cost and effort to customize WM6.5 have produced fairly usable products. The HP iPaq 914c Business, not so much. Not at all, frankly. But I will give them this; they have ported the unique Windows experience to the small screen - I have to reboot the phone about once a week to prevent it from locking up when answering or placing calls. This functionality was obviously a low priority. I have to go into the task manager daily to remove programs, or else they fill up the memory, even preventing the task manager from running, another condition forcing a reboot.

Executive summary/mini-review of the HP iPaq 914c: Nice hardware, lousy camera, shitty OS.

Re:Title (1, Interesting)

plague3106 (71849) | about 5 years ago | (#29542427)

Hmm... its interesting, because you start off saying that OEMs that took th etime to customize have decent products, but then you blame Windows mobile for the problem you're having with your particular phone. Did you consider perhaps that HP dropped the ball and they screwed up your phone?

Re:Title (3, Informative)

richie2000 (159732) | about 5 years ago | (#29542583)

Hmm... its interesting, because you start off saying that OEMs that took th etime to customize have decent products, but then you blame Windows mobile for the problem you're having with your particular phone. Did you consider perhaps that HP dropped the ball and they screwed up your phone?

The WM version that's on my particular iPaq model is more or less untouched by HP, they just added a few themes and gave up. I'd say it's more like Microsoft screwed up Windows Mobile (BTW, I just checked and I have 6.1, not 6.5) and the OEMs that took the time to fix all of Microsoft's mistakes are to be commended. I can't say that HP dropped the ball, but it is quite obvious they didn't pick it up either.

Re:Title (1)

toadlife (301863) | about 5 years ago | (#29542857)

My experience is that the phone vendor can really make windows mobile look bad. My first windows mobile phone was a t-mobile wing. The wing had a 200mhz OMAP processor and only 64MB of RAM. With the default T-mobile wing ROM (which was window mobile 6.0) you would have only 12MB of RAM free after booting up. With the default software the phone would constantly freeze and run out of RAM almost immediately. Then I found Xda-developers.com and learned how to make my own ROM. I made my own ROM [xda-developers.com] for the wing. The difference was night and day. With the custom ROMs I built I had between 18-25MB of free RAM instead of 12MB and the phone went from requiring a reset every day to almost *never* needing one. My ROM had very few fixes for Windows mobile. It just lacked all of the useless crap that T-Mobile packed into their ROM.

Re:Title (4, Informative)

manekineko2 (1052430) | about 5 years ago | (#29542465)

Unless you're an internal tester, you do not have a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone. Windows Mobile 6.5 isn't even out yet. The first phones with it are slated to ship in late October.

There are people out there with hacked ROMs running leaked builds of 6.5, but you can hardly judge the final OS based on hacked ROMs running leaked builds.

That said, yes, WinMo 6 is totally crappy. Based on my playing around with the leaked builds, WinMo 6.5 is still rather crappy. WinMo 6.5.1 is getting decent, and its UI doesn't look like it was from 2001, but it still has those general WinMo unexplained slowdowns and could use a lot of improvements.

Overall, Windows Mobile is clearly suffering from that Microsoft problem that once they think they are in charge of a market, all innovation completely stops. It's so total of a stop, it really looks intentional, but it's a little hard to believe even Microsoft execs could be so short-sighted as to purposefully derail development. Still, Internet Explorer and Windows Mobile sure look like two examples of that.

Re:Title (1)

richie2000 (159732) | about 5 years ago | (#29542555)

Unless you're an internal tester, you do not have a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone.

Oops, you are correct. I have 6.1.

Re:Title (3, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#29542665)

Overall, Windows Mobile is clearly suffering from that Microsoft problem that once they think they are in charge of a market, all innovation completely stops.

I'm going to get modded to hell and back for this, but Microsoft never really did "innovation". What they did was "buy up competitors who innovate, and integrate the result poorly".

Microsoft and Innovation (3, Interesting)

manekineko2 (1052430) | about 5 years ago | (#29542849)

Okay, strike the word innovation, which actually wasn't what I was looking for anyway and insert improvement.

Regarding your point though, I do strongly disagree, unless you define innovation in terms of only large ground-breaking break-throughs and not small-scale advancement.

Their R&D labs produce a large amount of interesting research.

In terms of the small-scale, Surface is definitely neat, the Office ribbon bar is (regardless of your opinions on its merits, as it does have its fans including myself) as far as I know a wholly new UI approach. They've been advancing the state of tablets and hand-writing recognition continually over the years. Their Bluetrack mice seem to be a solid improvement over the status quo. I could go on, but they've made a huge number of fairly innovative developments, both large and small, over the years.

Re:Title (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542909)

I just logged out to use the slashcode bug to preserve my moderation, to say to you that, yes, I do mod people down who starts their posts with "I'm going to be modded down for this." Because it is a cheesy attempt to get free insightful moderation. "Oh look at me! I'm saying something controversial and evil fanboy mods will eat me!" Que accusations of ms fanboyism and evil censorship.

Re:Title (1)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | about 5 years ago | (#29542773)

Unless you're an internal tester, you do not have a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone. Windows Mobile 6.5 isn't even out yet. The first phones with it are slated to ship in late October.

There are people out there with hacked ROMs running leaked builds of 6.5, but you can hardly judge the final OS based on hacked ROMs running leaked builds...WinMo 6.5 is still rather crappy. WinMo 6.5.1 is getting decent, and its UI doesn't look like it was from 2001...

I'm puzzled by this self-contradictory post.

The leaked 6.5 roms are the same builds that testers are currently using, so provided which build is going to be the official WM6.5, it's fair to assume that the official one is already leaked, and you may or may not have tried it already.

The WM 6.5 builds showing up in hacked roms now are actually based on later revisions than what will come out next month. Builds 23052 and higher [softpedia.com] show off a new interface which gives a fair indication of what WinMo will look/feel like as it evolves into WM7. The "stable" WM6.5 to be released next month will likely be based on one of the 22xxx builds.

Most of the 22xxx-based WM6.5 roms I've used are much more stable IMO than the stock WM6.1 build that came on my phone.

But I understand Ballmer's frustration. WM6.5 is simply to appease manufacturers who are releasing WM-based devices that cannot wait for WM7.

Re:Title (1, Troll)

ranga_the_don (956067) | about 5 years ago | (#29542371)

"We Screwed Up Windows Mobile"

Wonderful confession, there we go! Mr Ballmer, Can we have it for other M$ products too?

Re:Title (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 5 years ago | (#29542449)

Oh, oh! I can do that too!

Ballmer Admits "Windows is Screwed Up".

Re:Title (4, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | about 5 years ago | (#29542509)

Ballmer laughed off the iPhone when it came out. An appstore and a billion plus downloads later and who is laughing?

Microsoft can't even launch an mp3 player that is good, they haven't even bothered launching it in the UK and much of Europe.

Re:Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29543021)

Microsoft can't even launch an mp3 player that is good, they haven't even bothered launching it in the UK and much of Europe.

Wait what?

The Zune HD is good. And, you yourself seem to admit that with the second half of the sentence. So, I'm having serious trouble parsing what the hell you were trying to say.

Re:Title (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | about 5 years ago | (#29543073)

Not just the HD...the original Zune 30 (still sporting mine that I bought off Woot.com) is a GREAT mp3 player.

Re:Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29543055)

Microsoft can't even launch an mp3 player that is good

They don't have to. GS Player > iTunes. And is GPL'ed to boot.

Re:Title (1)

Triela (773061) | about 5 years ago | (#29542623)

sopssa admits, "They screw up whole Windows Mobile"

Re:Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542651)

What? The Windows Mobile interface is *awful*. It has half as much usability as BlackBerry and 10% that of the iPhone. It also allows you to do things like having applications in a "half-deleted" state pretty easily.

Also, you are allowed to run your OWN software on your iPhone, as long as you pull in your device ID from iTunes. However, I'd agree that Apple's software signing model is completely stupid compared to RIM's or Microsoft's.

Correction (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | about 5 years ago | (#29541917)


"We Screwed Up Windows Mobile"

s/Mobile//
There you go.

.

Let me guess... (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 years ago | (#29541919)

The old one was crap but the new one is perfect - just like every other Microsoft launch *ever*.

Re:Let me guess... (4, Insightful)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 5 years ago | (#29542633)

I don't know anything about the new one, but the old one was definitely crap.

Windows Mobile uses almost exactly the same APIs we're used to on the desktop. Anyone that knows how to code a Windows GUI app should have no trouble coding one for Mobile. Hell you can even use .NET if you want, so there is a whole other class of developers who can do it too. In short, the possible developer pool is *huge*.

The problem is, apps tend to look and feel too much like they should be running on a desktop. In their rush to make the development experience so similar, they didn't think to make the UI actually work on a phone. They completely missed the touch window. Even now, I have yet to see a really intuitive touch interface for Windows Mobile that isn't a completely custom third-party shell.

If they want to attract users, they need an intuitive UI and a single place to find apps. If they want to attract developers, they need easy tools to make intuitive UIs and a single place to sell apps. It's not a hard concept, but they're failing pretty spectacularly at it.

Re:Let me guess... (0)

numbski (515011) | about 5 years ago | (#29542657)

I'm happy for your Microsoft, and Imma let you finish, but Google had the best mobile launch of all time!

As opposed to Mac fanboys (4, Funny)

cvd6262 (180823) | about 5 years ago | (#29542683)

The old one was crap but the new one is perfect - just like every other Microsoft launch *ever*.

It's the opposite with anything Apple. The *current* version is perfect... until the next version comes out... then the older version was crap.

PS - I'm a Mac user too.

Re:As opposed to Mac fanboys (4, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | about 5 years ago | (#29542955)

Any fan boy will say that, regardless of the platform. A fan boy is someone with an irrational brand loyalty.

I don't class myself as an Apple fan boy, I didn't get an iPhone until it was developed enough to meet my needs. I'm not sure I will get a 3GS when my contract ends in Feb 2010.

Perhaps if Ballmer spent less time criticising Apple and criticising his own product then things would be better for Windows Mobile?

WM7 is only late because it probably started life as another rehash of Windows Mobile and needed a drastic rethink when the iPhone appeared.

Journalism (5, Interesting)

Reason58 (775044) | about 5 years ago | (#29541929)

You have a quote directly attributed to Ballmer, and your source is some dude's tweet. Sounds legit to me.

Re:Journalism (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542043)

Since when does kdawson let journalistic integrity stand in the way of a good Microsoft bash?

Re:Journalism (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542441)

Since when does kdawson let journalistic integrity stand?

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Journalism (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | about 5 years ago | (#29542059)

Slashdotters have to rely on indirect investigation. Otherwise they'd have to actually go outside to get the news.

OMG! (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 5 years ago | (#29542707)

Outside

OMG! You mean where the sun shines? I am afraid. Very Afraid.

Re:Journalism (1)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | about 5 years ago | (#29542951)

Are you questioning CNN's research methods?

No shit Sherlock (-1, Troll)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about 5 years ago | (#29541973)

what tipped you off?

I knew it (-1, Flamebait)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 5 years ago | (#29541993)

Microsoft products suck so bad that even their CEO has to admit it.
How much longer until we see MicroSoft Linux 1.0?

Re:I knew it (3, Funny)

ClosedSource (238333) | about 5 years ago | (#29542119)

"How much longer until we see MicroSoft Linux 1.0?"

About as long as we have to wait until RMS starts endorsing personal hygiene products.

Re:I knew it (1)

TheBilgeRat (1629569) | about 5 years ago | (#29542193)

Or we see "OpenDirectX 11"

Re:I knew it - MS Linux is out (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 5 years ago | (#29542397)

Microsoft Linux shipped in 2003 already: http://www.mslinux.org/ [mslinux.org]

Re:I knew it (2, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | about 5 years ago | (#29543009)

4Q 2009 [j.mp] . Intel will be bringing the vitality of the Windows Mobile Experience to Mobile Linux (Moblin) by porting Microsoft Silverlight to it. We may all anticipate the usual robust stability, inherent security, device and application compatibility and outstanding performance we've traditionally seen from mobile Windows products.

An Intel spokesperson might say:

We look forward to a durable and productive partnership with Microsoft on the Linux platform. Based on the long history of Microsoft product partnership successes and their long-term commitment to driving adoption of Linux from the palmtop to HPC, Microsoft has shown itself capable and well motivated to help us achieve our goals with Moblin.

Getting cold (4, Funny)

Haxzaw (1502841) | about 5 years ago | (#29541995)

Hell called, they say send parkas.

I would be on Slashdot more often... (2, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 5 years ago | (#29542027)

If the browser on this HTC was any good for browsing. Seriously logging into a website can take a good 5 full minutes because my STYLUS isn't accurate enough to click the username field - unless I zoom in, which is something that I have yet to master, because its the least intuitive user control ever. If I hold down my click I can select zoom in, and it will remove about 1 pixel from each dimension requiring multiple hold&zoom selections to get it to a point where i can click on what I want. OR, on the odd chance I DO do it correctly, it zooms me in the full 200% possible and I have to literally scroll the screen sideways in order to enter my full username visibly. But since I don't know what it is to do it correctly, I will sometimes zoom in the full 200% on accident, and there seems to be absolutely NO way to Zoom out that I can find.

Don't even get me started on actual BROWSING... sometimes, and by that I mean about 30% of the time, my page will load, and then it will start to Refresh even though its done loading, but it won't actually refresh, it'll just sit at a white blank page with the URL I entered and a progress bar, despite it already having loaded the full page less than a second ago.

Seriously, if I didn't use my email so much, I would say that Internet browsing on this thing is NOT worth the Data package.

Re:I would be on Slashdot more often... (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | about 5 years ago | (#29542265)

It's not your phone its slashcode. I've got a Nokia 5800 which has the same webkit browser the iPhone has (in a direct comparison me and a friend couldn't see a difference) and it struggles with Slashdot. I have no idea why.

For me slashdot takes ages to load the last 10kb's of any page, then immediately tries to load another page which isn't a new page. Once I press Stop the page loads and displays properly however the browser will lock up for approximately 30 seconds. If I wait too long to cancel the previous web page load the entire web browser will slow down and require me to close it and re-open to fix.

I'm sure people will argue its my phone but the register, bbc, amazon, ebay, various forums, you tube, google maps, etc.. all load and work perfectly and slashdot is the only site I've found which has any issues.

Lastly my Orange m500 (running Windows Mobile 2003 SE) used to load Slashdot ok (formating was screwed up but it was all there and readable). Around the Windows Mobile 5/ O2 XDA Mini S release some slashcode update caused it to seriously degrade. I'm beginning to wonder if the "designers" need to go do a HTML for dummys training course.

Re:I would be on Slashdot more often... (2, Informative)

SigILL (6475) | about 5 years ago | (#29542503)

Once I press Stop the page loads and displays properly however the browser will lock up for approximately 30 seconds.

That's caused by the large amount of Javascript processing /.'s dynamic frontpage does. I disabled the dynamic frontpage and all the other ajaxy features of /. and now it's quite usable on my iPhone 3G. On my commute I occasionally even find myself reading comments and moderating.

Re:I would be on Slashdot more often... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#29543057)

...it's quite usable on my iPhone 3G. On my commute I occasionally even find myself reading comments and moderating.

It's drink and drive in moderation, not drive while moderating.

The question is, what suffers more -- your moderation skills or your driving?

(Yeah, yeah, I know -- you take the bus/train/monorail/motorized walkway)

Re:I would be on Slashdot more often... (2, Interesting)

manekineko2 (1052430) | about 5 years ago | (#29542303)

Default Opera browser on my HTC Diamond, which is actually already a generation out of date, is pretty good. In fact, I'd say it's the best-designed mobile browser I've ever used, better even than the vaunted iPhone Safari.

It initially loads a whole page with absolutely tiny fonts so you can get an overview. Scroll wheel zooms in or out so you can get detail where you need it. Double tap does a quick zoom in with reflow, so that on pages with long lines of text you can read it all in one column. This dual mechanism is ingenious, giving you the best of both worlds of preserving formatting and having a mobile version of real webpages that is usable.

Unfortunately, while I think the design is fantastic, the whole thing is let down by the cruddiness of Windows Mobile and the slow CPUs that always seem to be paired with it. Zooming with the scroll wheel sometimes takes a few seconds to register, which doesn't sound like much, but is enough to make using the scroll wheel irritating, and leaving the browser with basically only the reflow zoom mode, which it really a shame.

Ballmer trying to mindfuck (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542031)

Though I never did use it, I already suspected they screwed up Windows Mobile. Now I'm wondering: if Ballmer says it was crap, what are they hiding, what's their agenda? Was Windows Mobile actually really great?

Is it wrong to discuss Red Light tickets here? (0, Offtopic)

dtolman (688781) | about 5 years ago | (#29542035)

Since everyone is discussing MS in THAT topic...

Re:Is it wrong to discuss Red Light tickets here? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29542139)

Red Light tickets is uninteresting, but what if we discuss Red-light district here?

Re:Is it wrong to discuss Red Light tickets here? (0, Troll)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#29542931)

Ok, here you go... [slashdot.org]

Manufacturers (2, Interesting)

qoncept (599709) | about 5 years ago | (#29542047)

I'm glad I'm not the manufacturer of a WinMo phone right now. It's tough enough to choose one over the other options based on its actual merits, without the king of the developer essentially saying it sucks. Wonder if Ballmer thought of the implications before he spoke.

Re:Manufacturers (4, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29542149)

He didn't say it sucks. He said they wanted to get WM7 done already and they screwed up with *that*. Title is just misleading as hell.

Too bad Google's screwing up too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542069)

Thankfully (for them), it seems Google's screwing up in mobile too - getting cease-and-desist-happy attacking the Android customization community :(.

Sad if Google's over-enthusiastic lawyers let Microsoft overcome these screwups.

Re:Too bad Google's screwing up too. (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | about 5 years ago | (#29542373)

I thought Google screwed it up when they decided to use Java/Linux instead of GNU/Linux...

WinMo 6 is OK but not finger friendly (2, Insightful)

BcNexus (826974) | about 5 years ago | (#29542071)

Tiny buttons, scroll bars and radio buttons keep it from being finger friendly. However, the platform is more open than the iPhone so I can choose my apps and let them run in the background.

Besides making it more finger friendly, there also should be an official JVM from Sun. That'd be awesome.

Re:WinMo 6 is OK but not finger friendly (2, Interesting)

mobby_6kl (668092) | about 5 years ago | (#29542799)

I've used mainly two WM devices, an old PDA and a recent 6.1 smartphone. The touchscreen OS was clearly designed for the stylus, but I've never had much problems with using my fingers to scroll through a page or dismiss a dialog when absolutely necessary. And when using it with two hands, which is apparently how the various iphones are usually used nowadays, I prefer to use the stylus anyway.

The more recent smartphone version works just fine as a phone though, that is, the regular keypad is enough to comfortably interact with the system.

None of the standard WM versions are of course in any way sexy, but this also means there's no shit flying around the screen all the time when you're doing something trivial. The various custom interfaces like those from HTC, Sony Ericsson, or SPB seem to provide all the bling anyone might ever want.

The various apps are probably my favorite part about WM though. Since nobody's forced into a restrictive store, there are all kinds of apps from kamasutra to packet sniffers, to programming languages. Seeing all the excitement about the recent Wolfenstein 3d port was quite amusing [youtube.com] too. Developing for the system is quite easy and fun well. So far I've only ran into one somewhat ugly issue when accessing the camera directly from a C# app, and that's only a problem because I have about zero experience with C++. All the other APIs I've used were pretty clean and easy to use, and as a result, I've quickly written about half a dozen apps which are actually useful without any previous WM/C# experience.

So what I'm saying is that WM definitely has some serious problems, but I'm willing to overlook them just so that I don't have to put up with anyone's (Apple, Google, and Palm, I'm looking at you) bullshit.

Pumping (5, Funny)

Angst Badger (8636) | about 5 years ago | (#29542075)

It would certainly explain a lot about the quality of the software coming out of Microsoft if their CEO is someone who thinks of "talent" as some liquid commodity you can "pump in" to a project.

Re:Pumping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542207)

Cuming soon, windows mobile with "Full Release".

Re:Pumping (1)

ausekilis (1513635) | about 5 years ago | (#29542391)

Somewhere in here is a Microsoft Sewage Treatment Plant joke... i just know it...

Re:Pumping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542609)

Better than Ballmer squirting his talent in, Zune-style, right?

Re:Pumping (2)

lkl (765224) | about 5 years ago | (#29542813)

ship it when it sorta works (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 5 years ago | (#29542079)

It's not the first time Ballmer has attacked Windows Mobile, having publicly stated that version 6.5 was "not the full release we wanted"."

But you released it anyway, didn't you, Steve? You say you're sorry but you don't mean it.

Re:ship it when it sorta works (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542189)

Sounds like Microsoft is adopting the OSS philosophy.

Re:ship it when it sorta works (2, Insightful)

rattaroaz (1491445) | about 5 years ago | (#29542239)

I think you may be quoting him out of context. He is talking with investors and industry analysts. He is not saying "I am sorry the product sucks." He is saying "I am sorry we were not able to sell more, because the product sucks." Different message, and I think he really did mean it.

Re:ship it when it sorta works (1)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | about 5 years ago | (#29542921)

Key audience: investors and analysts. While WM6.x does work fine for typical smartphone usage, it lacks an appstore, which has been a real moneymaker for Apple. This will be standard in WM7.

Re:ship it when it sorta works (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | about 5 years ago | (#29542331)

Hey, a broken watch is still right twice per day.

Here's how you fix that Steve... (5, Funny)

tha_toadman (1266560) | about 5 years ago | (#29542101)

Developers! Developers! Developers!

Re:Here's how you fix that Steve... (2, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 5 years ago | (#29542175)

If I hadn't used up all my mod points... LOL

Re:Here's how you fix that Steve... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542579)

Yes, but instead, they went with:
DESIGNERS! DESIGNERS! DESIGNERS! DESIGNERS!

Mind you, that still doesn't explain Vista...

Re:Here's how you fix that Steve... (3, Interesting)

manekineko2 (1052430) | about 5 years ago | (#29542601)

I think you're joking, but Ballmer's original insight actually holds up pretty well here in the mobile arena. Having played around with the different mobile platforms, the biggest problem with Windows Mobile 6.5.1 is the lack of modern developers.

All of the software on the iPhone is modern, and finger-friendly.

On Windows Mobile, most of the the software applications still look like Palm applications from circa 2001 with tiny drop down menus and radio buttons. It's not impossible to design good applications, but most of the best developers are no longer developing on Windows Mobile. The number of apps may be somewhat similar on the iPhone and WinMo but the quality is leagues apart, even taking into account the 1,000 fart apps on the iPhone.

While maybe not as much so as on a desktop, for a mobile OS, the apps are still a large part of the success of the OS, and Windows Mobile despite its openness to development is basically terrible when it comes to attracting the developers to make them.

Then he... (1)

jj00 (599158) | about 5 years ago | (#29542143)

grabbed the closest Windows Mobile phone, threw it on the floor and smashed it with his foot!

Re:Then he... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542369)

He's like the Mad-Money guy, except his only targets of agression are competitor products. His primary ammunition is office chairs, not his foot.

I only read the headline... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#29542147)

...it blotted out before the last word.

But I still agree. ;)

Ballmer (1)

awitod (453754) | about 5 years ago | (#29542167)

I still can't believe the board of directors hasn't fired this fat-ass clown. He sucks and his management team sucks too.

Of course they screwed up Windows Mobile (4, Interesting)

mewsenews (251487) | about 5 years ago | (#29542177)

The iPhone is doing gangbuster sales with a chopped version of OS X. Windows Mobile has been around much, much longer yet it was blown out of the water.

The latest Zune doesn't run Windows Mobile since Windows Mobile is crap. The latest Zune doesn't have an app store because Windows Mobile is making an app store and they don't know how it's going to turn out!

Seriously, Apple caught them asleep at the wheel.

Asleep at the wheel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542309)

Microsoft is very often caught "asleep at the wheel" (eg: the internet) but when they wake up and rejoin the race, they usually overtake and keep the lead permanently.

Re:Asleep at the wheel (5, Insightful)

mewsenews (251487) | about 5 years ago | (#29542403)

Microsoft is very often caught "asleep at the wheel" (eg: the internet) but when they wake up and rejoin the race, they usually overtake and keep the lead permanently.

Honestly, I'm not a fan of Microsoft, but we're all sick of reading stories about how expensive and proprietary the iPhone is. When Microsoft wakes up and really nails what Google's Android is flirting with, ie. non-proprietary iPhones with sexy hardware and standard, user liberated software, it will be a huge win for customers.

It really took Apple to put everything together in one package so that wireless carriers saw "oh yeah, mobile internet", but now it's time for commoditization.

Re:Of course they screwed up Windows Mobile (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 5 years ago | (#29542715)

Windows Mobile and "Desktop" Windows are completely different products/code bases. The only thing they share is a name and some user space libraries.

Re:Of course they screwed up Windows Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542963)

Surprise, Zune HD does run Windows Mobile! They just don't make a big deal about it.

I miss Windows Mobile (1)

fat_mike (71855) | about 5 years ago | (#29542181)

I had a Palm Treo 700wx with WM 5 and was forced to switch to a Blackberry due to corporate changes and I completely miss it. Yeah I had to reboot it once a day but with the SBB Tools package installed it was quite stable. I thought the Today screen (with SBB installed) was the best "Home" screen of any smartphone I've used. Yes I know I can get similar products for my Blackberry except that security doesn't allow us to install anything. Not even the apps that came with the phone.

Re:I miss Windows Mobile (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 years ago | (#29542281)

. . . security doesn't allow us to install anything. Not even the apps that came with the phone.

Really? I suppose that would be the ultimate wet dream of a security team. You can do nothing. Nothing at all.

I suppose you still get paid though. Is it OK to ask where you work? Are they hiring?

Re:I miss Windows Mobile (1)

langelgjm (860756) | about 5 years ago | (#29542307)

Yeah, i still use my old Fujitsu Loox 720 with WM 2003 SE. I mostly use it for taking notes now (paired with a bluetooth foldable keyboard), but it's pretty capable in a pinch. I've got SSH, SCP, RDP and VNC clients on there; a Cisco VPN client, and several foreign language dictionaries.

Re:I miss Windows Mobile (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 5 years ago | (#29543077)

I have a Treo 700wx and I reboot it about once a month. I don't use the SBB tools package. Coincidence?

What really happened. (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 5 years ago | (#29542187)

Apple came along and raised the bar very high. Fan of apple or not. In terms of Mobile OS they raised the bar very high for mobile app developers of competing products and sadly Windows Mobile was just trying to be good enough for blackberry users.

So he knows there is a problem ... (4, Interesting)

Old97 (1341297) | about 5 years ago | (#29542195)

but does he understand what the problem is? I can think of two big problems with Windows Mobile

1) Microsoft wants to sell it when their competitor O/Ss are free.

2) Window's Mobile has earned itself a bad reputation both in terms of ease of use and reliability. There were 7 WM users in my work unit a 18 months ago. Today there are zero. Five went to iPhone, 1 to Pre and one to RIM. The Pre guy has iPhone envy because using the keyboard is not what he hoped and because the Pre software being 18 months younger than iPhone's is also noticeably slower despite similar hardware. (He'll probably get over it when the upgrades arrive.) Of these 7, 5 of them were Microsoft fanboi's but even they were fed up with the bugs and the clumsy interface.

(None of these guys develop for these devices so they don't' care about any of those issues.)

So what makes him think Microsoft has time to recover from this especially if they expect to continue to charge for the O/S? What is the value proposition for the device manufacturers especially 9 months to a year from now when the free O/Ss and their tools will have had even more time to evolve and mature?

Re:So he knows there is a problem ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542737)

1) Microsoft wants to sell it when their competitor O/Ss are free.

It's funny in a sad way that you say this and go on to mention both Apple and RIM in practically the same breath.

The thing about WinMobile is (3, Interesting)

wiredog (43288) | about 5 years ago | (#29542247)

It's really easy to write apps for. You use all the same tools, APIs, and libraries you use for regular Windows development. Many times porting from desktop to mobile is a matter of redoing the UI and recompiling. All the backend stuff stays the same.

It was easier to write software fro WM 5 years ago than it is to write for iPhone today. There should be thousands of apps out there. But there aren't. Because WM after version 3 began to suck more and more.

Re:The thing about WinMobile is (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542603)

The same can be said about OS X -> iPhone porting.

Re:The thing about WinMobile is (4, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | about 5 years ago | (#29542793)

It was easier to write software fro WM 5 years ago than it is to write for iPhone today. There should be thousands of apps out there. But there aren't. Because WM after version 3 began to suck more and more.

I think there aren't so many apps for WinMo because there's no infrastructure for distribution, payment and updating your application. Sure, it's easy to create some application, but how do you get it to your users and (more important) how do you get them to pay for it?

You could stick it on your website and pray people will find it, but the reality of course is that most people won't find it. And if you want people to pay for it, you will have to figure out a way of doing so.

It requires a lot of effort from the developer to get things started. And even when he figures out how to get his infrastructure set up, it remains hard to get your application onto a user's phone. And then you release an update and it's even harder to get people to get the update on their phone.

All in all, it's a mess and no sane developer will get into it, no matter how easy it may be to create the application itself.

Seriously they screwed it up a long time ago (5, Interesting)

wastedbrains (588579) | about 5 years ago | (#29542345)

I got in early on the PocketPC and PocketPC Phones before it was called windows mobile. They were off to a great start with, wireless, web browsers, open development tools (the embedded visual studio was free for years), open development anyone could publish an app, GPS, etc. They worked hard enough to kill Palm, and then just got buggier and worse every year. It was the same as Netscape and IE they built IE until Netscape was dead and then just quit. Windows Mobile became so bad that after years of using and developing on the platform I bought a standard phone and got rid of my Windows Mobile at the time because it had become so unstable it was unusable. Losing calendar entries, failing syncs, crashing often, dropping voice calls... Then I saw everyone with the iPhone and at first said yeah been there and done that everything on the iPhone I had on windows mobile and more for a long time... The iPhone just worked though, no fighting it, yeah it wasn't open to develop on, but I had less reason to develop my own solutions anyways because it did what I wanted out of the box. Windows Mobile, had streaming video, flash players, GPS navigation, and many things before the iPhone ever got around to it, but MS let it fall apart to crap and die once they killed the only competitor in the market Palm/Handspring.

Blame Game? (4, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | about 5 years ago | (#29542347)

Mea culpas like this are a way to soothe customers and not do anything about it.

'New talent' claims are especially suspicious because the problem, typically, is a more global work environment issue brought on by the executive staff who, coincidentally, never change.

Two years from now it will be the same speech. 5 years from now, same speech. Why? culture won't have changed.

Re:Blame Game? (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | about 5 years ago | (#29542431)

You seem to be a bit personally affected by this kind of speech. Do you feel that your job is in danger because of a "new talent" prospect ?

Is that true? (4, Interesting)

OpenSourced (323149) | about 5 years ago | (#29542365)

Is the Windows Mobile situation caused by an inferior platform? I always had the idea that WM was/is failing because mobile manufacturers don't want to go the way of the PC manufacturers and end up like commodity makers with razor-thin margins, leaving all fat profits, control of the complete experience and user-locking to Microsoft. They somehow, for estrange reasons, seem to mistrust Microsoft and won't put its software on its handsets. It's not a technology reason. Am I wrong? Does WM suck when compared to other mobile development platforms?

Re:Is that true? (1, Insightful)

manekineko2 (1052430) | about 5 years ago | (#29542655)

Yes, it basically is in an inferior platform. It's got great underlyings relative to the competition, such as multitasking and an easy development environment, but the interface is unstable, sluggish and outdated, which makes the whole thing painfully unhip. Consumers don't want anything to do with it, so modern developers aren't bothering to target it.

Re:Is that true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29543031)

Great developer tools - fucking awful system that has stagnated for years, and the innards of which have been pretty much the same since Pocket PC 2000, with slightly tweaked shells.

I will admit bias - I'm an ASP.net developer who's last 3 phones (including the current one) have been Windows Mobile. The easy sync with Exchange, and the ease of development has always been the thing that made me come back, even when I've wanted to spank my phone like a naughty monkey. I can get both on other platforms now... so either Windows Mobile 7 delivers (and I will try it before I buy it), or you can shove WM as a platform.

Word of advice to Microsoft - I know what the competition is capable of. If Windows Mobile 7 is the same again, you can keep it. I might be a self-confessed Windows Mobile user - but there's only so much torture I can take before my balls hurt and I whimper for mercy.

No...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29542495)

No Shit, Fatman!! Microslop screwed up every version of Windows since 3.0, so this is hardly news!!

Time to buy another company? (2, Interesting)

operand (15312) | about 5 years ago | (#29542653)

Personally, I think Microsoft should seriously consider buying a company like SPB Software or another Third Party company to continue the development of Windows Mobile. It's clear that Microsoft dropped the ball years ago and didn't realize the potential of Mobile devices and I am not sure Windows Mobile 7 will leap frog or even compete with the iPhone and/or Blackberry.

Hey, that's our job (5, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | about 5 years ago | (#29542711)

Microsoft bashing Microsoft? This smells like step one in their plan to take over Slashdot.

Summary Title (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 5 years ago | (#29542829)

I think the Summary Title would have been better with some of Blamer quote...
Ballmer Admits "Didn't get the full release desired."

Microsoft needs to start listening again... (2, Interesting)

argent (18001) | about 5 years ago | (#29542987)

And not just in the Windows Mobile arena.

Microsoft did one really smart thing in the Windows Mobile / Pocket PC arena, back in 2000. They invited a bunch of Palm loyalists to Redmond, gave them Pocket PCs, and spent two years doing followups. AND they actually paid attention to the results. I was one of the "Palm Enthusiasts" they picked and I was absolutely amazed how much of our input went into Pocket PC 2002.

Palm responded by inviting us to join the "Palm Influencers" mailing list. Boy was that list mis-named If Palm had actually been listening to their customers for those two years, instead of flushing the company and product line down the drain in an attempt to come up with a Palm OS on steroids that was similar to Windows CE (and failing, twice) they would STILL own the handheld market.

On the other hand, we have Windows Vista and Windows 7 and more and more restrictions on what users can do on their own computers. Does ANYONE go to Microsoft and say "hey, I want you to lock me out of my computer"? No, it's just like Palm's vision of Garnet or Mudstone or whatever they were calling their new OS.

Ballmer: you need to go back and find Beth Goza and Derek Brown, the people who ran that event, and pay them WHATEVER IT TAKES to get them to take over from whoever you have dealing with your Windows customers now. Seriously.

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