Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft To Add Yet Another Smartphone OS This Year

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the 5th-time's-the-charm dept.

Microsoft 179

GMGruman writes "Someone at Microsoft either really loves mobile operating systems or can't make up his mind as to which to use, because Microsoft Thursday announced yet another mobile OS, its fifth. The new Windows Embedded Handheld OS will succeed Windows Mobile 6.5 and run on at least some existing Windows Mobile smartphones. It is not the same mobile OS, known as Windows Phone 7, that Microsoft earlier this year said would replace Windows Mobile and break with it in terms of compatibility so Microsoft could better compete with the iPhone and Google Android OS."

cancel ×

179 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

too late (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611160)

we alreaqdy have two major smartphone os with ads...

and maemo won't prevail. pity.

They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32611172)

Android isn't as bad as most of them, but in the end, these smartphone OSes all end up being proprietary, closed piles of shit. They can all burn in the pits of Hell.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (2, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611180)

If they're such pieces of shit, where are the open standard wondrous operating systems?

Oh wait.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32611224)

You're making the false assumption that it's the market that decides what operating systems are available on smart phones. Hate to break it to you, but all cell phones are a terribly proprietary business with a huge barrier to entry, and if all of the present players decide that shit is the best thing to run on smart phones then that is what will run on smart phones, even if there exist holy open alternatives that will save babies from being eaten.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (4, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611246)

Yeah, maybe in your fantasy world no one would use it. If the OS is good enough, one of the phone device manufacturers will leverage that advantage to make a larger profit over the others.

Unfortunately it isn't.

The Market does decide, why do you think Android and iOS are leading the pack when it comes to growth? Why do you think all the other phone manufacturers are scrambling to keep up?

Besides, Android is fairly open and the iOS is standards compliant.

Compliant != efficient (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611364)

Besides, Android is fairly open

Agreed.

and the iOS is standards compliant.

"Standards compliant" does not mean "standards efficient". Try to get around iOS Safari's lack of Flash vector animation by making a JavaScript vector animation player that uses HTML5 <canvas>, and you could end up with a slideshow. Does iOS Safari even support data URIs passed to an <audio> element for JavaScript synthesis?

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (1, Offtopic)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611618)

"...and the iOS is standards compliant."

And we all know that "standards compliant" means open, right?

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611650)

If the OS is good enough, one of the phone device manufacturers will leverage that advantage to make a larger profit over the others.

That's like saying that the RIAA will be happy to sell music without DRM. It doesn't matter how good the distribution system (ie the OS in this case), they will still want to try and lock it down. Which is exactly what the phone companies do. They try to lock the phones they sell down to stop you tethering or even using SIMs from other Telcos, etc.

This is slowly changing, but don't act like they would jump on an open system just because it was technically proficient and fun to use. They would add in a whole bunch of restrictions first because they're terrified of losing their business model (hmm, should I sent a text message for £0.10 or an IM for £0.00001p.. difficult choice!).

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (2, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611704)

Yeah, well the market sorta forced them to sell music without DRM right? Last I checked, none of my iTunes music purchases had DRM on them.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611754)

Like I said, it's changing slowly, but they're going to be dragged kicking and screaming the whole way. You're right that anyone with a decent service and products can make a killing, but like someone else said there's a really high barrier to entry too. It took the iPhone to even make phone designers start trying to design proper touch interfaces despite touch phones being out for years prior. The whole software and services side of the mobile market has been crap for the last 20 years, the only decent improvements have been in hardware. It says a lot that the iPhone has done so well despite usually being behind other manufacturers in terms of hardware specs.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611914)

The Market does decide, why do you think Android and iOS are leading the pack when it comes to growth?

Presumably because they're the newest - a platform starting from nothing is going to see larger growth in relative terms. And it's not like there are many platforms in the phone market. For Nokia, they have Symbian at 50% of the market - it's hard to push further when you're already number one.

And remember - when we say Nokia are at 50%, that's not total phones ever shipped, that's still based on current sales. So we're already looking at the first derivative. What you're doing is looking at the second derivative, and saying "But look, these small platforms are increasing their sales at a faster rate, at the moment". Well sure, but for now, if your criterion is "what the market has decided", then the market is still deciding Nokia. (And as an aside, even if we were looking solely at the US where Nokia have no presence - I believe RIM are still number one, but for some reason they're another platform that Slashdot never covers.)

The faster growth might be a prediction of future sales - but it's foolish to assume we can just extrapolate linearly. In any case, let's just wait and see. If in three years' time, 50% of people are using Android, then great - we can say the market has chosen Android. But you can't say the market has already chosen a platform with lower share, merely based on what the second order derivatives are!

Why do you think all the other phone manufacturers are scrambling to keep up?

"Scrambling"? They're not. There are things that one has added first; but this is true with other platforms too. Also we shouldn't conflate phone manufacturers with OS - for Android, many manufacturers such as Motorola are switching to it anyway, which is indeed one of the good things about Android; it's true that that OSs that these companies previously used weren't very good. If Motorola previously produced non-Android phones, and now they produce Android phones, who is scrambling to catch up? Is Motorola scrambling to catch themselves up?

But for Nokia? No, they're doing fine, I see no evidence of "scrambling". They may have introduced some features later, but let's list all the things that Apple added, in some cases years after they were commonplace on dirt cheap feature phones, and in some cases they've yet to add: 3G, copy/paste, Java, Flash, multitasking, video recording, tethering, forward facing cameras, high resolution, running 3rd party unapproved apps (yes, someone will probably reply saying these things aren't important - well I say the same of whatever things Apple might have added first).

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612020)

As somebody who is getting increasing pressure to support iOS in a (relatively secured) corporate environment, I can tell you that it is anything BUT standards compliant.

Try connecting one to an authenticated proxy. Looks like it works doesn't it? Well it doesn't. Inexplicably half of the outbound packets bypass the proxy and run smack into our firewall. This is for normal port 80 traffic. Or how about how the Youtube app sends a 'Host:' header pointing to gdata.youtube.com, but the requested url is actually iphone-wu.apple.com. We need to put in squid redirectors to repair the mess.

Windows, Linux, OS X all work fine in this environment, but iOS is a bloody train wreck.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (3, Insightful)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611944)

If they're such pieces of shit, where are the open standard wondrous operating systems?

Perhaps here [android.com] ? Or maybe even here [maemo.org] ?

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (2, Interesting)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612496)

Exactly - the problem is not a lack of open OS solutions, the problem is that phone manufacturers and contract vendors want their own locks in place to stop people, for instance, only buying content once then easily taking it with them from phone to phone, or sharing data with people on other phones, or using their phone data package with their laptop, or any of the millions of other ways we could be better enjoying the technology if it didn't impinge on their given right to gouge us for functionality that should be free.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (5, Interesting)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611294)

Try a Nokia n900.
It's pretty much straight up Linux with the command line and apt-get ready to go right out of the box.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (3, Informative)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611762)

As an N900 owner: do NOT try an N900. Nokia are even worse than Microsoft in terms of supporting their products. N900's Maemo OS is already outdated, and the N900 along with it. They must have been planning to do that even before releasing the N900, given the timelines, which is why you get people posting friendly advice to Nokia on how it can avoid death [arcticstartup.com] .

Nokia seem to think of their phones and OS's like Casio thinks of watches: a simple, closed-loop device that's done as soon as it hits the shelves. For all their hype of maemo's Ovi store and all, when it comes right down to doing the work and putting their money where their mouth is, it just doesn't happen. Now they're planning new products: N9/Meego, which will suck equally badly.

The only thing Nokia has going for it is Qt, which they bought in from Trolltech (along with TT itself), and they'll probably find a way to kill.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611956)

N900's Maemo OS is already outdated, and the N900 along with it.

I got an updated version about a month ago.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (3, Informative)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612088)

No, you got bugfixes that essentially brought it out of beta status months after it was released. On the same day, you saw the first release of Meego, their new system, which Nokia have clearly said that they will NOT properly support on the N900. The work to fix major bugs was essentially just a woefully inadequate fairwell gesture. A full, supported meego release with potential for another 2 years of app compatibility for the N900 might have been a less stupid gesture.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (3, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611994)

The only thing Nokia has going for it is Qt, which they bought in from Trolltech (along with TT itself), and they'll probably find a way to kill.

Qt is now their standard development kit for Symbian and Maemo, so to suggest they only bought it to kill it is false. And as a new learner on Symbian, I have to say I'm very impressed. Qt looks to be a very good API. It's also cross-platform, not only meaning the same code will compile for Symbian and Maemo, but also making it easy to develop for Windows, Mac and Linux (so you can pretty much compile for 100% of the desktop market, and 50% of the mobile market). And it means you can use standard C++, where as the old development kit for Symbian apparently used an awkward cut down version.

And as for "only thing Nokia has going for it", there's more to Nokia than Maemo. Like the small matter of their other OS with 50% market share, or the hundreds of millions of phones they sell every year. Never used an N900, but I love my 5800.

In fact your entire post seems to be extrapolating from the single point of "Maemo is discontinued". By all means warn the OP, but your claims about how they therefore kill all their phones, OSs, and SDKs, is just plain ludicrous. Symbian has been around for many years. You might as well claim that because Apple have ditched their Mac OS before (not to mention 68K, PPC), that therefore they're about to ditch OS X or IphoneOS at any moment!

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (2, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612112)

so to suggest they only bought it to kill it is false

I didn't suggest that at all. Clearly they bought it with the intent of using it to build a good cross-platform SDK solution for their phones. What I did suggest was that they'll probably kill it anyway, despite their good intentions, because they're completely clueless about what developers and users want from modern smartphone platform.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612606)

I think that there is a difference in the "lifespan" metric you two are using:

Carpetshark says that Nokia products have shit lifespans; because he is talking about the "lifespan" of a hardware product during which it continues to be updated to the latest software features(within the bounds of hardware limitations. For a pricey computer-in-a-cellphone-box like the N900, that isn't at all unreasonable, nor is Nokia's record in the area exactly unblemished.

Mdwh2 disagrees, because Nokia has been(if anything) rather retro in the pace at which they kill old OSes, and much of their hardware is among the more bulletproof stuff in the consumer sector. Even your $40 nokia candybar is quite likely to be in almost exactly the same shape it was purchased, after some years of none-too-careful use. This is also true, albeit more relevant to products that aren't the N900.

Nokia is, perhaps, the most talented of the previous generation of handset makers. Their OSes are a little quirky, and they aren't on the bleeding edge of hardware; but they churn out, by the million, solid handsets that will do whatever they did the day you opened them for a nice long while. I've had several that have done exactly that(which was what I wanted, so I was happy). Trouble is, if you are expecting the new support model, where "lifespan" means "serious software updates, not just a critical bugfix or two", they are rather tepid. Android has some dark corners that are even worse; but the N900 is the equivalent of the Nexus One, the company-endorsed OS flagship model.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (1)

gwbennett (988163) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612464)

Nokia are even worse than Microsoft in terms of supporting their products.

Nokia are? Then what is a Nokium?

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (2, Interesting)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612182)

Now see. I just don't get this. I can totally see the iOS vs Android thing. There is little doubt that both are very usable device operating systems devised for the specific needs of a very small screen and limited input options. I'm currently using an iPhone, but realistically I think I'd be just as happy with an Android phone. My iPhone preference is about half "I find it really usable" and about half "I don't feel like changing carriers and AT&T's Android offerings suck". I've also played a bit with WebOS and it seemed usable enough.

Linux (or Windows, or Mac OS) on a cell phone just doesn't seem like it'd be any fun to use. What are they using for a WM? Anything like a standard X.org setup seems like it would be clumsy as Hell on a small screen, and most phones lack any kind of mouse. I realize that some people are willing to sacrifice usability for perceived control, or power, or freedom; but stock Linux on a phone just seems like it'd be more trouble than it's worth.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32612240)

Try a Nokia n900 but only in a store or at a friend's place, don't buy it before you tried it. I tried to buy one early this year but it was not available then, so finally I got a Nexus One... now at work we have a project with n900 and I am extremely glad that I was not able to buy it. What a piece of crap...

Er what??? Android is 100% open source (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611316)

Android is 100% open source. Don't like the Market? Replace it. Don't like the keyboard? Replace it. Don't like Google integrations? Remove them.

If you think all of this is somehow difficult or discouraged, I think you should take a closer look at the forums at xda-developers.com, or even at developer.android.com, where you can check out the entire OS source code with git and re-build it from scratch and re-flash your phone, if you want.

All this talk about Jailbreaking Android phones is for people who want root access but *DO NOT* want to re-flash their phone. There is no such problem for people that are comfortable replacing the software. And in fact this is what you have to do with most open source projects running on specialized hardware.

Re:Er what??? Android is 100% open source (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611324)

All this talk about Jailbreaking Android phones is for people who want root access but *DO NOT* want to re-flash their phone.

Or who discover, months into a contract, that they have a phone that uses tivoization to block re-flashing with firmware packaged by an individual.

Re:Er what??? Android is 100% open source (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611368)

Yeah, that's the main thing about Android `jailbreaking` in the future. It can be made impossible (ok, very hard) with all this crap.

I have to say, though, that it would appear to me to be subject to the same protection as phones being locked to a network. It's my phone, at least, it is once I'm out of contract. Why shouldn't I be able to put whatever ROM I want onto it?

Re:Er what??? Android is 100% open source (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611410)

Because you're on their(The carriers) network and using their limited bandwidth.

The last thing they want is a bot net of Android phones.

Re:Er what??? Android is 100% open source (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611484)

Flashing a rom doesn't make your job as a bot creator easier. You can already write whever you want on an Android phone. And the networks are already in control of bandwidth regardless of the rom. So I don't understand your point.

Re:Er what??? Android is 100% open source (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612610)

The carriers are moving from "all you can eat" to limited data plans anyway. If they're still overselling capacity they don't have in a model where theoretically everyone knows exactly how much they're entitled to, that's their own problem - either increase prices and improve infrastructure or reduce the maximum data limits and stop promising people something that can't be delivered.

Re:Er what??? Android is 100% open source (1)

gutnor (872759) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611438)

If you think all of this is somehow difficult or discouraged, I think you should take a closer look at the forums at xda-developers.com, or even at developer.android.com, where you can check out the entire OS source code with git and re-build it from scratch and re-flash your phone, if you want.

... and lose you warranty in the process. Also you can remove limitation introduced by Google, but removing limitation introduced by your mobile provider could end-up into a contract violation (like tethering).
On a practical point of view, Android has made jailbreaking easier than the iPhone. For a developer, that's great, for a joe user the main issues (warranty and contract) are still the same unfortunately.

We only have one half of what make Linux great on the PC. We have a OSS OS, but we lack the hardware.

Re:Er what??? Android is 100% open source (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612082)

... and lose you warranty in the process.

Only on software support. If you brick your phone flashing it you might be SOL. But if you have a hardware fault (like the dead trackball I experienced) they repair it no questions asked.

Re:Er what??? Android is 100% open source (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611850)

Android is 100% open source. Don't like the Market? Replace it.

No, Android is an open source client for the Android Market. Download a copy of "open source" Android and you'll soon find that you can't actually use it much because Market isn't available in the open source version. Essentially every copy has to be given a key by Google to make it work, and that only happens on approved hardware. It's just software licensing by another name. Otherwise, I'd gladly install it on my Nokia and never look back.

Re:Er what??? Android is 100% open source (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612678)

Unless I'm missing something, what you're suggesting is the opposite of replace the market - it's replacing the entire OS but trying to still use the market? The original point was, anyone can come along and write their own market app for Android, so even if the official one won't work with your Android flavour of choice, you can easily roll your own (of course it likely won't get far without either excellent marketing skills or a big budget, but that's an issue of product promotion in general and not limited to this instance).

Re:Er what??? Android is 100% open source (1)

nanoakron (234907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612396)

I hazard a guess that 99% - no, 99.9995% of the Android user base has NO INTEREST in hacking their handset from its factory installed presets.

Apple with their iOS and Palm with their WebOS knew this full well, which is why they designed their UIs to be completely user-friendly from the time the device is first switched on to the time it's given away to a family member as you update your device.

Androids hackability has nothing to do with its market prevalence - it just happens to be installed on loads of devices from good quality handset manufacturers...it is not a major consideration during purchasing time for the vast majority of shoppers out there.

Re:They're all proprietary pieces of shit. (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611996)

There are disagrees of closedness. I don't really mind the OS itself being proprietary (I probably should, though), I do mind a lot when my content (media and apps) is in a proprietary format, or, worse, DRMed, and when the distribution channels are censored.

you can have DRMed content on an "open" OS.. I'd rather have the contray, but even better, open content on an open OS, indeed. We should not condemn all "closed" things indiscriminately though, there are degrees of closedness.

It doesn't quite roll off the tongue (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32611176)

So, they'll have Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7, Windows Embedded Compact 7, Windows Embedded Handheld ... and the only one that sounds okay won't be out until November at the earliest, whereas the 3 others are lame pieces of crap.
Who, by the way, comes up with these names? Can you possibly make Windows Embedded Compact Handheld Mobile Phone 8 or something and combine all of the awesome features into one package... or will we just have to settle for iOS 4.x?

Re:It doesn't quite roll off the tongue (3, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611192)

So, they'll have Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7, Windows Embedded Compact 7, Windows Embedded Handheld ...

"Me too" attitude (what? let Android be the only one with fragmented market?) ... Nothing new from Microsoft, including the "shoot yourself in the foot... no that foot... the other one. Atta boy!"

Re:It doesn't quite roll off the tongue (3, Informative)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611356)

There are very few changes to the various versions of Android, so you can ignore fragmentation and target 1.5 and pretty much everyone will be able to run it. The addition of wifi tethering, apps to sd etc in 2.2 makes no difference at all to users of 2.1,1.6,1.5 etc.

Windows EH and Windows Phone 7 are two (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611266)

According to the article, Windows Embedded Handheld replaces Windows Mobile, and it is built on Windows Embedded Compact 7 the way Ubuntu is built on Linux and X11. This makes two operating systems (Windows Phone 7 and Windows EH) for handheld devices such as phones, PDAs, and handheld barcode scanners. But compare to Google's own mobile operating systems Chrome OS and Android.

Re:Windows EH and Windows Phone 7 are two (4, Interesting)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611390)

So would this be a fair assessment for someone familiar with the current product lineup?

1. WEC7 is a rebranding/retread of Windows CE 6. There will be industrial PDAs using it like the MC55, Psion Ikon, DAPtech etc
2. WEH is basically the Windows Mobile shell on top of WEC7, just as WM6 was the shell on top of CE5. In theory it should be possible to recompile/port existing C++ codebases and will be a useful upgrade path for large corporations who currently run their bespoke stocktaking/delivery/survey applications on top of WM6.
3. Windows Phone 7 is a completely new offering built on the WEC7 kernel. It has a locked-down userland aimed at being flashy for the consumer market which cannot run native code (and is useless if you have 8 years of C++ codebase you want to run on it).

Re:Windows EH and Windows Phone 7 are two (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611462)

cannot run native code (and is useless if you have 8 years of C++ codebase you want to run on it)

You're supposed to port your C++ codebase such that all array accesses and pointer accesses go through templates. Then the templates are implemented twice: in terms of pointers on unmanaged platforms (PC, Mac, Apple iOS, Android NDK) and in terms of C++/CLI handles on .NET platforms (WP7, 360).

Re:It doesn't quite roll off the tongue (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611598)

one that sounds okay won't be out until November at the earliest, whereas the 3 others are lame pieces of crap.

If I were betting, I'd bet the one coming out in Nov will be a lame piece of crap, too. If a roofer does a shitty job on the first three roofs, do you expect him to get the fourth roof right?

Microsoft does sometimes improve, though -- Win 7 is (marginally) better than XP IMO, though they went backwards with search and control panel; both are far less useable. I still prefer Mandrake (yes, from seven years ago).

Re:It doesn't quite roll off the tongue (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611790)

Can you possibly make Windows Embedded Compact Handheld Mobile Phone 8 or something and combine all of the awesome features into one package ... ?

You mean like they did for the iPod [youtube.com] ?

Re:It doesn't quite roll off the tongue (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611870)

Microsoft can't come up with - and stick to - a good name to save their life, but that's not the real issue. Despite the shall-we-say limited adoption of their legacy smartphone OS (WinCE/PocketPC/WinMobile), there's a pretty substantial installed base of vertical-market apps and users of those apps. (Even Apple was stuck using it for a while in their stores, before they started making their own handhelds.) MS needs to compete with iOS and Android and WebOS in terms of functionality, and that means something completely different. But if they only chased after those, they'd lose their entire installed market, as developers of niche mobile apps (for retail, nursing, inventory, maintenance, etc.) - suddenly forced to switch toolkits - went after the "hot" platforms instead. MS needs an upgrade path for WinMobile 6 as well, even if that is - by definition - lame.

Steve Ballmer is an idiot (3, Insightful)

ttldkns (737309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611206)

Seriously. Steve Ballmer laughed at google on stage at D:8 for having both android and chrome OS and now microsoft has 3 current, all slightly different mobile operating systems. I mean come on.

Heres an Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] link as I can't find the exact video on the all things d site.

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (5, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611220)

Ballmer also laughed at the iPhone and the Wii. I wouldn't take his advice personally.

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (3, Insightful)

ttldkns (737309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611306)

this is kinda what I'm getting at. I seriously wonder why nobody on the board at MS is questioning his leadership.

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (4, Insightful)

Tha_Zanthrax (521419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611464)

Ballmer is a personal friend of Gates and already was one before MS was founded.

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612392)

Please clarify: He was an idiot before MS was founded or he was Bill's friend before MS was founded?

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32612560)

Please clarify: He was an idiot before MS was founded or he was Bill's friend before MS was founded?

Yes.

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611342)

Well, presumably he took one look at Microsofts crappy OS, look at an iPhone 4 and an Android (Desire, perhaps) and went "shit - we really have to get out of the 1990's, and this piece of crap isn't the one to do so".

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (0)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611710)

I laugh at the Iphone.

Even for products that are market leaders (which the Iphone is not) - consider, plenty of people here laugh at Windows. Does that make them idiots?

The OP makes a valid point, in that Ballmer was criticising something that MS have now gone and done. But it is a flawed argument for you to say that people are wrong to criticise products at all, just because it's Apple (for the Iphone) or it's a market leader (for the Wii).

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611948)

Ballmer also laughed at the iPhone and the Wii. I wouldn't take his advice personally.

Sounds like Ballmer laughing at an idea means it will work well.

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (4, Insightful)

chrish (4714) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612162)

1) Watch for new videos of/interviews with Steve Ballmer.
2) Note what products he dismisses and/or laughs at.
3) Purchase stock in the makers of those products.
4) PROFIT!!!

I think we've finally nailed down step 3...

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (4, Interesting)

605dave (722736) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611626)

I was at D8, and I can tell you Ballmer was laughed at too. By midway through his interview, everyone within three rows were murmuring or giggling to each other. I heard the world delusional used several times. It was surreal watching the head of MS seem to be so so out of touch. But specifically, when he criticized Google for having two OS products, people guffawed. The group around me started counting how many MS currently has, and we figured around 5-6. MS needs Ballmer gone.

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611972)

Well, if you think about it, what he said is right. Google should concentrate on writing one OS at a time. MS didn't come out with 5 or 6 OS, they had one. They have added more over time.

Of course, he is a fool, as he has proved many times over, but don't discount how powerful MS still are.

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (1)

baka_toroi (1194359) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612524)

Google also had one and added the other over time. They cater to different form-factors.

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32611804)

I knew the man was an idiot when monkeyboy did his, "Developers! Developers! Developers!" deal back ages ago.

Re:Steve Ballmer is an idiot (1)

ArtDent (83554) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612358)

He may laugh on stage, but he probably cries himself to sleep at night. Google has made greater headway with Android in the last couple of years than Microsoft ever made in a decade of Windows Mobile.

Can't wait (5, Funny)

nysus (162232) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611240)

"The OS will feature a richer and immersive user experience..."

This can only mean that it's gonna have a 3D display with Kinect-like controls. I can't wait to fly through the keypad snatching at buttons as they rush by!

Re:Can't wait (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611280)

Don't forget to pet your phone every night before you go to sleep!

Re:Can't wait (1)

kpainter (901021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611320)

"The OS will feature a richer and immersive user experience..."

This is marketing speak for "you will have to work pretty hard to get it to do anything"

because the 1st one was so successful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32611242)

late case of a bad flu

Why would anyone fall for MS? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611262)

Windows Phone 7 is the only upgrade path. There is no clear hardware path, so all users can do is wait for the next gen.
But the profit split is neat via the "enterprise" idea.
A low end 'first hit is almost free' idea for the Sidekick generation.
Now you have the enterprise idea of costumer retention via proprietary data storage.
The "reliability and security features" will so protect your data you will have no option but to stay with MS.

Re:Why would anyone fall for MS? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611406)

Now you have the enterprise idea of costumer retention via proprietary data storage.

Otherwise known as TBBC, for tailor bondage by backup closing.

It's not a smartphone OS (2, Interesting)

Kentaree (1078787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611310)

It's an embedded devices OS, like WindowsCE. Still annoyed at Microsoft for dropping support for .NET Compact Framework from the new Visual Studio 2008. I hope this one will support CF or I'm going to have a whole lot of soon-to-be unsupported handhelds on my hands

Re:It's not a smartphone OS (2, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611352)

What did you expect?

RE: (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611344)

I have never been happy with windows mobile I think this big change will be good now that there is competition in the industry Microsoft is going to have step up there game and keep up with apple, rim and Google. Microsoft has been falling behind in the mobile market there phones don't even compete maybe this release may actually show some promise.

It's becoming a Unix world (5, Informative)

Burz (138833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611346)

...in smartphones and hand held devices in general.

iPhone -- iOS Unix

Android -- Linux

Palm -- Linux

RIM -- Moving to QNX

That leaves Symbian and Windows Mobile as the two non-'nix holdouts.

Mod parent informative. (0, Redundant)

alexhs (877055) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611684)

Damn, my mod points just expired.

Mod parent informative, it doesn't deserve a funny (I suppose it is due to a misclick).

Re:It's becoming a Unix world (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611746)

Although Nokia also have Maemo, which is Linux :) And note that whilst Symbian isn't Unix, it is open source which I think deserves some credit (not that you ever hear about it on Slashdot - once upon a time, Slashdot would focus on open source even when they were less popular; now, the open source platforms get ignored in place of closed locked down platforms, even when the open source one has vastly more market share).

Re:It's becoming a Unix world (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612208)

It's becoming a unix world...

Yes, I'm glad to say it seems that way (again). Although it's more a case of "it's becoming an open source, collaborative world", which is even better.

RIM -- Moving to QNX

Interesting. I'd only heard about the microkernel and tried photon; didn't realise QNX was unix-like under the hood.

Re:It's becoming a Unix world (0, Flamebait)

Locutus (9039) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612458)

but don't under estimate Microsoft's ability and willingness to pay companies to ship their Windows versions at the expense of others. They paid ISP's to ship Internet Explorer, they paid companies to ship WindowsCE based handhelds, and more recently they paid companies to ship Windows XP based netbooks over Linux based ones. These kinds of direct and marketing based funding efforts have been used to flood the market with Microsoft product and build the brand recognition in the segment and I would expect them to do nothing different this time.

So while Symbian and Windows Mobiles may be surrounded by -nix based devices, billions in $$ has, in the past, been a very good catapult out of what looks like a encircled Microsoft. And remember, the public is _way_ ignorant to how bad their stuff really is since it kinda works. And with Ballmer sticking his head into this segment, you know it is going to get very messy. IMO

It is good to see so many leveraging -nix technology and doing so well with it and it makes sense. Modularity has always been a big part of the UNIX design and having the ability to scale up and down fits most business models well. And it has a history of 'it just works'.

LoB

Getting nostalgic... (5, Insightful)

jimmydigital (267697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611388)

Reading these stories about MS lately is making me all nostalgic for when what they did mattered. I can't quite put my finger on it... but at some point they lost their big and scary status.. and have just become more of a joke.. to me at least. There was a time when their whims could shift the whole market.. these days I wonder if the masses even notice their flailing attempts to 'compete'.

Re:Getting nostalgic... (4, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611504)

I know when that was - it was when the big Unix vendors decided that you had to buy the very expensive kit and software then allowed you to have, if you bought a large support contract and training to manage their overly-expensive bloated stuff. Then this little upstart company was selling PCs that did most of what the big guys were doing but at a significantly lower price and with a lot more flexibility over what you could or could not do with your IT system.

How times have changed!

(Ok, there was a time in the middle when their stuff wasn't that good, but you still wanted it - ad every time an upgrade came out, you knew you had to have it because it would fix a load of problems with the software. Today that time is pretty much gone, unless you've bought sharepoint, so no-one really feels the need to grab the upgrade immediately)

Re:Getting nostalgic... (1, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611508)

Computers are just part of life for everybody now.
I think MS lost it with the DRM in Vista and Win 7.
The 360 640p discovery, sidekick ect just keep the sad news flowing with every next generation they enter.
DRM and threats to the emerging digital market where and are real.

Re:Getting nostalgic... (2, Insightful)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611528)

I share the same feelings. They are all bark and no bite as of late. It is a bit sad like a fading sports star...

Re:Getting nostalgic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32611646)

I think your post says allot about the current state of affairs. Not much have changed "out there", the competition just have new names. However, one thing do have changed, and thats the general attitude when media writes, Apple for example, is considered a major contender to Microsoft, when in reality, they are not, Apple is a consumer electronics manufacture that happens to sell computers also, much like Sony. Ever bought a mail server from Sony ? or business software ? , no, Microsoft is still the dominating factor in software, and will be for a long time.

The real issue they face is the leadership, which is a major disaster. Steve Ballmer probably have some strong points (no chair jokes please) , but those are not public speaking or charisma, Bill at least was a bit nerdy. What Microsoft need is a leader that do away with everything, and reinvent the company, from a PR perspective.

Re:Getting nostalgic... (4, Insightful)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611886)

I think your post is indicative of what's holding Microsoft back. The whole ground is shifting, and it's Apple and Google that have managed to move into (or even create) this new world, and Microsoft has not.

Here's what I think a lot of people think the "computing" landscape will look like in a few years: most people will have a phone or iPad-like device instead of a laptop or desktop computer. They will probably dock with a big screen and keyboard for serious work. Most documents will be held in 'the cloud', with local cache. The software to work on them will either be web-based or small and cheap.

This trend will be most noticeable in developing markets, where people will use their phones for what rich countries were using desktop PCs for up until now. For example, in Africa I noticed huge numbers of people have phones (not the latest and greatest, but not old crap either), but virtually no one owned their own PC. They will probably skip the PC step altogether, because in a year or two their phones will do most of what they would find useful in a PC anyway. They will go to Wifi hotspots and use their phones, in much the same way as they go to internet cafes now.

Apple is obviously a major contender (and driver) of this landscape. Google too.

Microsoft will retain its stranglehold on (some) business for quite a while, but that will be seen as a small part of a much larger marketplace. It will continue to exist and make money for a long time to come, but it won't have much pull over the general direction of computing.

Re:Getting nostalgic... (4, Insightful)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611706)

Yeah, it's interesting isn't it. I think it's because it's become clear that the kind of big-ticket software that Microsoft has built itself on just isn't where the real money's going to be in a few years. It's reached a peak complexity-wise, features-wise, and usefulness-wise. Instead, collaborative service software (i.e. Google) will be the way a lot of businesses go, and consumers will go with small, cheap, and cheerful (i.e. the Apple App Store), and social network type stuff (Facebook and its successors). Portability is where it's at, and Microsoft has missed so many beats it can't catch up, especially because it means essentially cannibalising they big-ticket software business.

I'm a little wary of this trend, even though I can definitely see its value. I'm a heavy user of said big-ticket software myself (Adobe products mostly), and I don't want to see it stagnate. That said, I think it's pretty stagnant already, and needs a serious shake-up. Microsoft and Adobe's products are absurdly complex and bloated these days; there simply has to be a simpler way. And a cheaper way too!

Re:Getting nostalgic... (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611798)

I'm not sure there's anything new here.

MS were big in the desktop/PC market - and they still are. They still shift this market.

MS aren't so big in phones - and they never have been (not that I see a problem with that - Apple are happy being number 3 in smartphone OSs and number 6 or so in terms of phones; MS might not be number 1, but neither are Apple here, as long as MS make extra money from it, that's all that matters).

If you mean that Apple get far more hype, well if anything, that's more a change for Apple, in the media giving absurd disproportionate coverage to the Iphone and now Ipad; I don't think media coverage of MS has dropped. (And to be honest, there's always been extra coverage on Apple in the media, from back in the days when the Mac would always have to be covered, even when many other non-PC niche platforms were ignored by the media - possibly it stems from Macs traditionally being used in media, thus there being higher than average Mac users?)

To at least one person on Slashdot, MS are a joke - but I think you'll find that at least some people have always thought this on Slashdot!

Re:Getting nostalgic... (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612530)

I know of and heard of many many Windows PocketPC, Mobile, etc users who have dumped Windows on the handheld device because of how poor the platform is. So those who have tried and paid the price know how poorly they've done in these segments. But, there are millions more who only know Microsoft Windows on the desktop and to most of them, Microsoft is 'the computer' so they are ripe for the picking with the right marketing campaign.

One of the great things about the success of the iPhone has been that people no longer believe the lies that in order to have a usable handheld device, it must be Windows based. I was really sick of hearing that from people and the iPhone showed you did not need to be Windows to be usable. The iPad and Android are adding more fuel to that fire and if ChromeOS is any good, it'll only be a small step for people to realize that the PC is no longer a Windows world.

LoB

Re:Change of name when something goes wrong (1)

miknix (1047580) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612598)

This was predictable.. Microsoft learned that it can succeed by changing the product name and look when it fails. Just look at Windows Vista.

[troll]
Is Microsoft going to change its name in the near future?
[/troll]

Incompatibility (5, Insightful)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611392)

If this Microsoft operating system is going to be incompatible with the other Microsoft operating systems, why not just switch to something else now and be done with it? Compatibility is the only advantage Microsoft software has, and that is being thrown out with the bathwater.

Re:Incompatibility (4, Informative)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611642)

That's exactly what they did!

Windows Mobile looks like crap, and they know it. They maintained compatibility above all else, and the result is that you can use most of the familiar Windows API on it, and make all your apps look like tiny desktop apps. They worked but weren't very intuitive, especially in the new world of touch. Because of this, "Windows Phone 7" was announced as a completely incompatible OS, supporting only Silverlight apps. It's meant to be the next-gen platform that can compete with the slickness of the iPhone.

The problem is that Windows Mobile had a lot of business users and they weren't too happy with everything they make and use becoming obsolete overnight. That's the void this fills. This "Windows Embedded Handheld" maintains the compatibility platform they bought into.

I suspect the only difference between the two will be that one uses the old shell and one uses the new Silverlight shell -- it's already easy to confirm that Windows Phone 7 uses a similar (if not the same) platform underneath the new UI.

Re:Incompatibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32611930)

thats why they're keeping this OS. windows phone 7 isn't compatible with some handhelds, this one is. its so they aren't forcing folks to switch to a new system and basically handing them a huge opportunity on a silver platter to switch to a new OS. the whole purpose of this OS is so you don't have to switch to a new OS.

Who's the guy in charge of acronyms in MS? (5, Funny)

HonestButCurious (1306021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611512)

MEH OS is exactly how I feel about this new offering and its chances of impressing anybody in this age and time. At least they didn't get it as bad as the CrAPI one.

Re:Who's the guy in charge of acronyms in MS? (3, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611772)

Maybe they meant MAH OS, the OS preferred by lolcats everywhere.

Re:Who's the guy in charge of acronyms in MS? (2, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611796)

Um, except it's WEH OS: Windows Embedded Handheld Operating System. Still, you make a great point. It's a completely forgettable name.

Not new - continuation of Windows Mobile 6.5 (3, Informative)

BandoMcHando (85123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32611534)

The version of the article on engadget (here [engadget.com] ) seems a little more informative:

"We're starting to see that philosophy play out today with the introduction of Windows Embedded Handheld, which is essentially a warmed-over version of WinMo 6.5.3 with some key UI and enterprise-focused enhancements. Microsoft is specifically calling out an "extended support life-cycle" for the platform, a sign that these phones aren't for the gotta-have-it crowd -- instead, the company intends to push these things through corporate fleets where Windows Mobile has traditionally dominated, places where Windows Phone's flashy stylings and locked-down underpinnings won't have the same draw."

Mostly seems this *is* Windows Mobile 6.5 in all but name.

Cue Windows 6.0 "Vista" vs. Windows 6.1 "Seven" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32611678)

... in 5...4...3...

whocares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32611750)

Huh? This is asking for a whocares tag, NOW!

Zune all over again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32611800)

This is the phone/mobile OS equivalent of releasing the Zune, which left "PlaysForSure" devices and media out of the party.

What in hell are they thinking by fragmenting their own market?

Fragmentation anyone? (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612080)

Kind of takes the edge off of those who complain about Android being fragmented. Microsofts Windows Mobile push is fragmented even at vapourware state.

fragmentation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32612106)

who's fragmenting now fan-bois?

Smart (1)

UseCase (939095) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612290)

Regardless of our opinion of them as a company, this is a smart move. Backwards compatibility would add "rocks to the rucksack". If they are going to compete in the mobile market a lot of the dogma they have stuck by will have to fall away.

There just learning (0)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32612446)

They need to keep releasing mobile phones so one day they can make a real mobile phone. If they were doing it right they'd have 1 OS and 1 phone but at last it another project Microsoft fails at.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>