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Chinese Phone Maker ZTE Turns Down WP7

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the must-be-quaking-in-redmond dept.

Microsoft 292

An anonymous reader writes "Chinese smartphone maker ZTE, fifth largest in the world, has publicly criticized Microsoft for the lackluster market reaction to its Windows Phone 7 operating system and said that ZTE has no plans to develop a WP7-powered phone. That's bad news for Microsoft for its well-regarded but not well-received mobile OS."

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well regarded ? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547402)

huh ? who in their right minds would purchase a wp7 phone when iphones and androids are running around ?

Re:well regarded ? (2, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547442)

You know a device is bad when even China doesn't want to touch it (and clone it).

Re:well regarded ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547666)

Clearly everyone in the television show "Bones":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElF4JrADdMI [youtube.com]

Re:well regarded ? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547792)

Purchase, not be paid to endorse.

Re:well regarded ? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548046)

You mean television isn't real?

Re:well regarded ? (0)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548270)

a gay man against freedom.

Re:well regarded ? (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548324)

Who would have purchased an android phone 6 months after launch? Who would have predicted that Android market share would outpace iphone market share as quickly as it has?

Right now MS is moving at a glacial pace with windows 7 phones, which isn't encouraging for their business, but the one thing you don't want to be is a 3rd party supplier and find out you've made enemies with the new big dog in town. In 12 or 18 months with nokia on board MS could have a vastly superior product to anything else on the market.

They probably won't, because they seem to want to work really hard to fail, but that could change. I think every 3rd party phone maker (i.e. anyone who isn't apple or RIM) should have a MS phone strategy. Just in case. That strategy could be 3 guys and a dev kit. But it should be there. Who knows, maybe MS has some killer app up it's sleeve that will take the phone market by storm, that will suddenly make us all converts. The vast majority of even Android users run windows PC's after all, one would hope MS has some ideas on how Window 7 computer could play nice with windows 7 phones.

Re:well regarded ? (4, Interesting)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548534)

Who would have purchased an android phone 6 months after launch? Who would have predicted that Android market share would outpace iphone market share as quickly as it has?

Ummm anyone who was watching the market. There was clear signs that Android would be the next Sybian when the Open Alliance formed back in 2007 made up of many mobile device and chipset manufacturers. Then there were clearer signs in 2008 when another 14 companies joined the alliance which now pretty much included every handset manufacturer except Nokia. This very site has been praising the platform ever since it was announced that it would be open source and based of the 2.6 kernel.

The parent was right, given what we know about WP7 who would buy it? 6.5 was UI disaster of epic proportions, 6.0 was an inconsistent slow buggy mess which spent more time with an hourglass on the screen then it did making calls. On top of that, up until Nokia joined the Windows camp the only major handset provider pushing windows 7 phones was HTC, and even they are selling at glacial pace, and few manufacturers are pushing the platform.

Not to mention that the ads Microsoft push as of late are not only crap in quality, but also testing new waters such as at the start of Youtube videos providing them not with positive advertising, but instead a stigma of "the company who helped ruin youtube" and not just youtube. The only place I've seen microsoft ads is where I don't expect them, and haven't previously seen advertising.

Re:well regarded ? (0)

terjeber (856226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548340)

Easy to answer: Anyone who has actually tried one. As a mobile developer (enterprise only) I have had an iPhone since the 3G and my main living room entertainment center is a Galaxy Tab. I also got the WP7 phone for an in-house project where I was required to evaluate it. After a couple of weeks of using it it replaced my iPhone as my primary mobile device. It is heads and shoulders above the iPhone in almost any respect.

Re:well regarded ? (0)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548492)

It may be selling relatively slowly but it is if anything head and shoulders above the iphone and at least equal to any of the newer androids. Whether that is enough to come from behind is anyones guess. People seem to forget 12 months ago android was no where and even the original iphone sold at about the same rate as the current WP7 phones as similar to WP7 phones the first model had limited network support.

Clearly MS needs to place another senior executive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547432)

This is like the arranged marriages for diplomatic advantage of yore, no? Same function, same result.

Good. (4, Interesting)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547440)

Good. I don't have WP7, but that's because I owned WM6.5. In order to import contacts you HAD TO HAVE Outlook. You couldn't import from a text file. A simple list of names and phone numbers required a full install of Outlook. FU

Re:Good. (2)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547636)

WP6.5 has no relation to WP7.

WP7 can import your contacts from Facebook, from Windows Live Contacts, and other places, including google contacts.

WP7 is completely unrealted to WP6.5. It's a refresh and wipe and start-over. As such, I don't think it's yet ready for prime-time (still behind iPhone and Android in features, and will be playing catch-up for the next year or two... but also has some things that are simply better than iPhone or Android, because it started out fresh and doens't have historical baggage).

Anyway, there are lots of valid reasons to not want to move to WP7... it just doesn't seem to me that your reason is one of them.

Re:Good. (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547696)

but also has some things that are simply better than iPhone or Android,

Such as?

Re:Good. (0)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547754)

Well, the camera is certainly faster and better integrated than on the iPhone (or most Android devices). Dedicated camera button means you can take pictures quickly without having to go through all you have to on iOS to get to the point where you're ready to take a pic.

XBox Live integration is something you can't get anywhere else.

The Office integration is interesting, though won't be a big deal for me. Still, you won't find Word and Excel on other phones.

The Zune Pass for all-you-can-eat Music is pretty killer, actually... it's one of the better music and video phones out there.

Standard FM tuner that isn't present on other devices.

The Hubs concept of deep integration is really interesting and useful.

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure I could come up with others if given more time and research.

(Disclaimer: I follow WP7 but don't own one... I use iOS/iPhone 4)

Re:Good. (2, Insightful)

hawkingradiation (1526209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547812)

Besides all the integration with other Microsoft products...let's divert this discussion to if we actually need to use Microsoft products. Usually it is all or nothing. XBox live, Office, Zune are them. And what of "The Hubs concept of deep integration?". Also I thought that Windows Phone 7 was a more or less universal operating system for cell phones. What is preventing some other operating system that is universal from having that same button for photos? Are you talking about a specific model of phone that no other manufacture has? Same thing with the standard FM tuner. Is that exclusive to Win 7 phones? And what gave you the insight to predict that Windows 7 will catch up with such time? To me you are portraying it as a different sort of beast which makes me wonder if it is really far behind either. Maybe the reason it is behind it because it doesn't have market share and because it doesn't have market share it is behind. Kind of ironic when the same reason Linux is behind in desktop usage is for the same reason eh? Enjoy.

Re:Good. (1)

hawkingradiation (1526209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548072)

I just want to add to those out there: Microsoft doesn't have a mandate to be the latest and greatest thing out there for every single device and every single platform. Get over it Microsoft. Focus on something you are good at instead of trying to be jack of all trages and a master of none. You did it with operating systems. But Bill Gates premise was that you could produce copies of something that took relatively little to make. Now with cell phones, the cost is in the software as the hardware is less expensive. Also, people have got better at producing operating systems and because they can be created over time and get better that way, the market for even a smaller priced operating system is going to be going away. Find something new, be good at it, and realize that economies change with new technology. Now if we could get the RIAA and MPAA to realize that! To all the fanbois.

Re:Good. (2)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547878)

Still, you won't find Word and Excel on other phones.

Apart from for instance the Nokia N900 and whatever else "Docs to Go" has been ported to.
The N900 was dropped like a hot potato (software updates stopped etc) with the new ex-Microsoft CEO at Nokia but I'm sure there is something somewhere more current that can do it.

Re:Good. (4, Informative)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548022)

On the N900, I want Microsoft word suuport and I don't pay for Docs-to-go, I use either Abiword for simple docs or OpenOffice for stronger compatibility, I also use Gnumeric.

Re:Good. (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547986)

Hardware dependant

Vertical market leverage/lockin

Attempted vertical market leverage/lockin, (Olive Office http://www.oliveoffice.com/ [oliveoffice.com] is free for personal use on Android)

Vertical market leverage/lockin

Present on every Android I have access to.

Copy/pasted from MS promo material, and not true. There's a few social networking activities that may be marginally easier, but it's more confusing and error-prone.

Apart from the leverage/lockin stuff, which all OSs have some element of (iTunes, Google Apps etc), there's nothing it's bringing to the game.

Re:Good. (0)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548074)

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

I think it brings an innovative new UI to the game (rather than the "me too" of Android's copying of iOS's aging UI). I think it brings a new concept in app development (with the Hubs and deep integration, rather than separate walled-garden app silos). I think it brings much easier development environment and better tools to developers. And the things like the dedicated camera button are spec'd out, so on the WP7 platform, it's NOT hardware dependent. It's a useful thing for WP7 users that they can just assume is there, regardless of model. Something that is NOT there on iOS, and which is only present on a very few select Android devices.

WP7 brings to the table a "middle-ground" between the monopoly of iOS (one manufacturer, one device in each generation, rigid control) and the anarchy and wild-west of Android (with device fragmentation, questionable timing of major updates, wildly varrying hardware specs, approaching hundreds of devices making choices difficult). We'll see how it goes, but it seems to be a good middle ground from where I'm standing... somewhere I'd rather be than the other two options currently available.

Re:Good. (3, Interesting)

dakohli (1442929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548132)

I think it brings an innovative new UI to the game (rather than the "me too" of Android's copying of iOS's aging UI).

Umm, I have used both, and while I see some similarities, Android is not a "copy" of iOS. Android brings widgets to the screen, in order to get info, I do not have to open an App. I have much greater flexibility in customising pages, The notification system is very different. I can even switch out the launcher for another if I want.

I see most of the phone UI's share some features, where they differ is implementation of details. When I used an iPhone (3gs) the thing I missed the most was the ability to have widgets on the screen. I used a task manager, and a weather display on my previous phone. I also didn't appreciate all of my apps spread across many screens. Although it got better when folders became available. The other thing I really didn't like was the lack of a file system. I couldn't easily access my files. Of course, not having removable memory was a pain as well. I won't even mention my hate-hate relationship with iTunes.

I have not used wp7. I would be very interested in someone listing some of the features in comparison to Android and iOS. I do understand that it may not support removable memory, although the onboard memory can be augmented in some phones by a micro-SD card. So, what does the windows phone bring to the fight?

Re:Good. (4, Interesting)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548122)

I have a WM6.5 phone and WP7 offers so much less with little prospect of that being corrected in the next two years.

Multitasking is gone, at least for third party apps. Microsoft promises it later.

No Flash. Microsoft promises it later.

Office Integration - no cut and paste? Microsoft promises it later. No aftermarket app that truly does the job, like SoftMaker - coming soon to Android, not WM7

With Hubs Microsoft seems to created ^h^h^h^h^h^h^hcopied a nice interface by using some of the best front end ideas (UI's) from their WM6 phone manufacturers like HTC and app developers like SPB, Resco, and others and abandoned these same developers by changing the Dev tools and programming language. Few of the developers of the apps I use say they are going to port current or develop new apps for WP7. The good news is that all apps (dozens) should be available on Microsoft's Windows Mobile Market Place or maybe they'll change the name since WM is out and WP is in.

Apple may have garden walls for its apps, but Microsoft will have cemetery plots.

Disclaimer: I've owned WM since it was CE, but Android's next for me.

Re:Good. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548176)

My LG Optimus (running Android) has a camera button but I prefer to use a shortcut icon to take pictures.

Re:Good. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548286)

"Well, the camera is certainly faster and better integrated than on the iPhone (or most Android devices). Dedicated camera button means you can take pictures quickly without having to go through all you have to on iOS to get to the point where you're ready to take a pic."

My symbain phones do this and I could get my HTC wildfire to do it... just did. (could use voice or other things too I expect... no shake with voice)

and I have a more camera like camera if I want to do real camera like stuff.

Standard FM tuner that isn't present on other devices.

Got one on my wildfire and my Mrs has on her symbian.

The Zune Pass for all-you-can-eat Music is pretty killer, actually... it's one of the better music and video phones out there.

their are other free services... and some of them even have free music... but I can stream from home too.

XBox Live integration is something you can't get anywhere else.

won't own one.

Still, you won't find Word and Excel on other phones.

well I get other things... and may be able to run wine / crossover on android... maybe not.

Re:Good. (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548360)

  • Connectivity. With the same provider I have coverage with my WP7 phone where iPhone has nothing.
  • Integration, when I update a contact that is attached to my gmail account, the account gets updated on the phone and in gmail (not so with iPhone) and when I change info on a Facebook contact the facebook data for that contact gets updated (iPhone, Google: "face book contact? Huh?").
  • Programming environment. VS2010 and SL for WP7 is several years ahead of anything for iPhone or Android. I can put together connected cloud applications in a fraction of the time I can do the same on iPhone and Andriod. Important to me since I do enterprise app dev,
  • UI, it has some things that MS needs to change, but it leaves Android and iPhone in the 1980s.

Re:Good. (2)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547842)

WP7 is definitely related to WP6.5. The entire UI/shell layer is new, but the core OS is still CE. Dump the emulator kernel image and you will find CE kernel files.

The start-over is from the user's perspective.

Re:Good. (1)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548056)

Isn't that the only perspective that actually matters to users? Which is what we're talking about here?

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547848)

So how do you import contacts into an iPhone from a text file? Through Address Book/Outlook Express and THEN through iTunes? Yes, so much better.

Re:Good. (1)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548002)

You can load contacts into an iPhone via Gmail if you want if you have it setup via activesync/exchange mode or a .99c app will let you import a csv..

You could do this with free and pay apps available for windows mobile 5.x-6.x as well.

Re:Good. (0)

terjeber (856226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548346)

Wow. I don't drive cars, since I once tried to ride a horse and it shat all over the road when you were "driving" it. Moron.

Microsoft's "Problem" (1, Informative)

saboosh (1863538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547448)

FTFA: "But I think Microsoft should understand that it doesn’t have an engineering or a product problem, it has a marketing problem and that it needs to address it" I tend to ignore anyone who tries to explain a trend (or lack there of) in the mobile space but I agree with this point. As a mobile developer I was pleasantly surprised by how easy and "fun" it could be to build a WP7 app. The development tools arent too bad and seem pretty mature. Also, aside from the Windows-Live nagging I have found the OS to be fairly well engineered, which is saying a lot in the current Mobile OS landscape. All that said I dont know what else could be attributed to how ZTE, LG, and the market in general have responded to WP7 other than the poor marketing.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547472)

Who gave Microsoft shills mod points? We need metamodding again.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547918)

List of Microsoft shills posting in this discussion as of Sunday March 20, 01:56PM:
  • saboosh (1863538)
  • SpryGuy (206254)
  • Missing.Matter (1845576)

Please maintain and update this list as the topic progresses.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548200)

Right, because someone who holds an opinion different from yours could only be on Microsoft's payroll.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547552)

All that said I dont know what else could be attributed to how ZTE, LG, and the market in general have responded to WP7 other than the poor marketing.

How about lack of support? Let's have a look at the updates they've shipped so far:

1) A mini update that added no new major features (I don't think it added any features at all, actually), that managed to brick a considerable number of users' devices
2) A pre-update that updates their updating mechanism

And that's it. The phone is missing features compared to other mobile operating systems. Microsoft seems to have no plan in place to catch up.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (4, Informative)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547654)

You're confused or uninformed (or misinformed).

The updates you refer to in (1) and (2) are the same update. They had some issues getting out the door and getting the update train running. Hopefully that's all smoothed out now.

And the first "real" update is scheduled for next week. It includes copy/paste, faster app launching, and a few other features.

A major update is scheduled for next fall, that includes a lot of new features, from multi-tasking to IE9/HTML5 support, etc. So yes, they DO have a plan to 'catch up', and in fact have been pretty clear in communicating it (they've showed off the fall update recently, demonstrating many of its new features).

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547672)

No plan? There's an update coming out soon to add copy/paste and performance enhancements, and there's an update coming in the fall bringing multitasking, a new browser . Android 1.1 was released 5 months after Android 1.0. Windows Phone 7 has been out for just about 5 months, so if this update comes soon they seem to be on par with Android release cycles.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (2)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547554)

I've watched the marketing attempts. Overall I'd have to say their marketing is much better than WP7. It could be that people aren't buying windows phones not because they are bad phones but because the droid and iphones are better. One thing you've got to remeber is, while you as a developer may love wp7 that means nothing at all to the people that buy phones.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (5, Informative)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547726)

One thing you've got to remeber is, while you as a developer may love wp7 that means nothing at all to the people that buy phones.

This is an excellent point. Microsoft is accustomed to having huge market share and trying to woo developers to their platforms (and away from other platforms) by making reasonable developer tools (which don't produce cross-platform binaries). In this case how easy it is to develop for WP7 is almost totally irrelevant right now, because developers aren't going to want to spend resources writing non-portable applications for WP7 if nobody is buying the phones.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547564)

I have found the OS to be fairly well engineered,

So are bricks, which is all your phone'll be useful for after their next update...

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (1)

Kevin Fishburne (1296859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547872)

I got an EXTENDED laugh out loud on that one. Awesome.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547876)

Fortunately, Microsoft hasn't been that eager to put out updates to WP7...

From the reports of the failure of some phones to update the updater [which I find hilarious], it seems like the manufacturers are keeping with the classic method of development, namely to ship phones with a given model name, but continue development of the software for the device during production, and secretly give newer phones better software [presumably] than earlier phones, and not provide any method for earlier phones to get the better software. And since it's software that the carrier worked on, it's not clear if you would get the better software ever [as in, say, part of a WP7 update].

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (4, Informative)

Wizard Drongo (712526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548218)

+1 for this one; got a genuine giggle from that!

Having been involved on the fringes of a microsoft-backed WP7 project (sub-contractor to the sub-contractor to the sub-contractor kinda deal), I can say the OS, ok it's not iOS, but it's a lot better than what you'd expect from a Microsoft mobile effort. But the hardware-software interlink is awful, shoddy and downright crap, it has NOTHING on the iPhone experience, and where it really, really falls down is the fact that, MS-backed (financed) projects aside, not much is being made because it's almost as easy as iOS to write for, with no actual plus points; no community, no customers, no hype, no nothing.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (0)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547642)

Agreed. And this was their problem with Zune as well. The Zune80/120 was better than the iPod Classic in almost every way. Better UI on the device. Better software and better UI on the computer side of things. Better sound quality. Better quality earbuds. More and better features.

But thanks to the lame first generation, and the lack of any decent marketing from that point on... it completely (and undeservedly) fizzled in the marketplace.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547712)

But the Zune had almost no marketing at all. The only ads I ever saw were some late night ads on Adult Swim, which was for Zune Pass and didn't even show the device.

By contrast, I've seen WP7 ads on facebook and around the internet, I've seen TV ads, and hear at least one WP7 ad on the radio every time I'm in the car.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547884)

The Zune80/120 was better than the iPod Classic in almost every way.

Kept charged it even has 99.7% uptime in a leap year!

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (2)

riyad.parvez (1937582) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547702)

>FTFA: "But I think Microsoft should understand that it doesn’t have an engineering or a product problem, it has a marketing problem >and that it needs to address it" Are you kidding? M$ has marketing problem!!!

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547728)

Many in the electronics industry remember the power Microooft used to have and don't want a repeat.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547742)

The developer tools might be decent but the finished product of what they shipped now is still 5 steps behind what everyone else is offering.

I'm not a massive Microsoft hater. I'm just being honest. A decent API for developing apps, and a decent interface (Metro) don't overcome the massive shortcomings, not to mention it is also easy to develop iPhone and Android apps currently.

Windows Mobile is a massive sinking ship.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (2)

Kevin Fishburne (1296859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547862)

That's funny, because "marketing" (or lack thereof) is an argument a lot of open source advocates use for why Linux isn't taking over the world yet. Oh wait, it is taking over. I guess open source finally got its marketing together and Microsoft's went to shit overnight. Go figure. While yes, people are generally stupid and buy in to well-choreographed marketing schemes, that kind of bullshit can only take a company so far.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548284)

Troll, shouldn't bite but wtf.

First of all you argue like that's the only argument, which is silly. You ignore the inconvenient fact - from the pro Windows troll POV - that 90% of all desktop computers and pretty damned close to 100% of all laptops are sold with Windows pre-installed and that it's pretty much impossible to find a system without it. I wonder what kind of market share Linux have in kind of audience who are clever enough to build their own systems... I bet it's more than the one percent figure that is en vogue to credit it with, in the pro-windows camp that is.

Whatever offerings exist are usually from garage sale companies you never know for how long they'll exist, or not only not marketed but extremely well hidden away, such as Dell's, and simply not sold at all in certain markets. I'm sure all that has nothing to do with the continued Windows hegemony we're seeing.

Your brilliant arguments have convinced me that if the numbers were reversed, everyone would run their legs off to buy a copy of Windows, all associated applications, and then spend significant amounts of energy repartitioning and installing Windows, all the needed drivers after tracking them down all over the Internet and spend a few days to get their applications and viruses in order, because it's just so damned superior. Sure.

Secondly, you're using Windows Phone's lack of progress as "proof" that marketing has no effect, and thus if Linux had more marketing, still few would use it, which is such an utterly ridiculous assertion that it doesn't even deserve an answer.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (1)

Oloryn (3236) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548050)

Well, given that Microsoft currently has a marketing campaign that seems to be trying to communicate "We designed our phones to be so boring that you don't pay as much attention to it as you would pay attention to other smartphones", and is trying to present this as a good thing, it's hard to dispute that Microsoft has a marketing problem. I'm just not sure that that's their only problem.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548198)

FTFA: "But I think Microsoft should understand that it doesnâ(TM)t have an engineering or a product problem, it has a marketing problem and that it needs to address it"

You are being disingenuous with that quote. The article is about comments made by "Wu Sa, ZTEâ(TM)s U.K. director of mobile device operations", but the words you quoted are a comment by the author of the article, not by the above ZIE executive. They are words by someone whose livelihood is following Microsoft.

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548226)

It sure is a marketing problem, "-- the drop the phone in the urinal ads --".
Seriously now, they probably meant "social stigma" when they said "marketing problem".

Re:Microsoft's "Problem" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548546)

That is one of Microsofts biggest problems, they are looking at what developers want and what developers can do instead of what people want and what is secure to do. It works on the PC platform because there is no choice, you can buy a PC WITH Windows or a Mac with OS X (and the explosive grow of OS X should have lighten some warning lights at Redmond, but it has not), but in the mobile phone industry there is too many well established players to use their standard strategy.

3..2...1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547474)

Cue the astroturfers; we know who you are (you've been "outed" a few times recently (Billy, via..., and numerous others). In their posts, they always capitalize "microsoft" and "windows phone 7"; they always mention iphone (rarely android), and usually end their comments with the words "windows phone 7."

Choose choice, always.

cheers,

Re:3..2...1 (2)

kirbysuperstar (1198939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547646)

Well, I don't MICROSOFT know how many astro-turfWINDOWS PHONE 7ers there are here, personally, but then I've iPhone never actually seen one. WINDOWS PHONE 7

Re:3..2...1 (1)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547750)

Why is this guy modded down? Now I Android want to go back and Android read all posts, looking for shills by checking the "tells" listed above. Android. Those M$ punks can't fool me!
Wait, what? Dammit!

Re:3..2...1 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547864)

In a slashdot binomial where there are two sets of moderators, the first being balanced, let me let you know that I would not have modded that guy down, but alas I have used my mod points. The other set is the pro-Microsoft shills which are again subdivided into two groups: those who are paid and those who are unpaid. My support goes to those who are unpaid or undirected.

Re:3..2...1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548550)

Not to forget the apple shills who write iphone as iPhone...

Microsoft got told. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547478)

Awww snap!

Why? Only two possible reasons ... (0)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547510)

Either a) The chinese are frustrated by the security measures in place on W7 phones, and can't compete, or (much more likely) ... b) They've already been using W7 on their phones, but have changed the colours slightly. When challenged on the "so-called" similarities, they'll simply state that it was a Chinese invention first. Much like the RedBerry [theglobeandmail.com] .

B? history repeating itself. A? ... well, I'm still waiting for a security measure on a computer that can be both practical and unhackable.

Re:Why? Only two possible reasons ... (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547548)

As far as I am concerned, ZTE is exhibiting amazingly good taste.

Re:Why? Only two possible reasons ... (1)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547576)

As far as I am concerned, ZTE is exhibiting amazingly good taste.

That's a valid point. Until you consider that ZTE has been recently charged with unauthorized software [eetimes.com] use (AKA: Piracy), in order to avoid licensing fees.

So they may be exhibiting good taste ... but only by accident, not out of choice.

Re:Why? Only two possible reasons ... (1)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548070)

I think its all about the money really - Microsoft paid a billion to Nokia to save their sinking mobile OS, now they are of the opinion its worth something, they are probably charging money for hardware manufacturers to to use it, despite Microsoft being behind the curve against a free mobile OS.

Re:Why? Only two possible reasons ... (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548516)

Actually, ZTE are currently pumping out surprisingly decent Android handsets. For the past few months the ZTE Blade (AKA Orange San Francisco, Base Lutea and possibly a few other names) has been the go-to handset for Android newbies here in Europe (UK, Germany, Switzerland)... cheap, good specs (same as a HTC Legend but with more RAM and higher screen res), awesome.

smart executives holding out for more MS money (5, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547528)

if you don't know by now, Microsoft spends lots of money( billions ) getting people to use their stuff and get some market share. I've seen the Chinese government play games with Microsoft a few times declaring Windows as the "standard" for this, that, or the other thing and the deal includes big cash incentives for doing this. I have little doubt that this company has executives who know Microsoft is spending billions buying resellers of their rehash of a Windows phone OS and are just holding out for more money. They will most likely ship some WP7 phone eventually and get paid well for doing so. We'll see if they are smart enough to not tie the money to sales figures for the phone.

LoB

Re:smart executives holding out for more MS money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547644)

Or they'll create their own unique, custom Mobile OS called Dinwods Sebben, which they made themselves, much like the Green Dam.

Other than paid reviewers, (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547536)

Who else has high regard for Windows Phone 7?
Nobody that I have seen.

Re:Other than paid reviewers, (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547594)

I know they've sold some but I've never seen anyone use one. Lot's of droids, a few blackberries and iphones, but never seen a win7 phone in the wild. But then I use a motorola tracphone and love it. It's a great phone, lousy computer, shitty camera, bad mp3 player, but makes and receives calls so well that I can't bring myself to part with it.

Re:Other than paid reviewers, (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548382)

I would probably go so far as to say: Everybody who has used one. I switched from iPhone to WP7 for my primary mobile use simply because WP7 is a delight to use making the iPhone look like it was hacked together sometime in the mid 1980s.

Customisation (1)

high_rolla (1068540) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547556)

I wonder if this is a ploy to get MS to let them tweak the UI more?
My understanding is that MS has locked down UI tweaking by the manufacturers quite a bit. Nokia has been granted some concessions however.
This could just be their way of saying, "If you want us to make phones with your OS then try harder to make it worth our while."
Would be interesting if in a few months time we hear they have just done a "very nice deal" with MS.

Slow burn (2)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547694)

Honestly, I think WP7 is going to be a slow-burn. It started out way behind, but it's a decent mobile OS as far as it goes, with a lot of potential.

It's going to take a while to find traction. First, it has to "catch up" with what's already there (and that will take a while). There are also people who might be interested but who are already under contract with other phones (I fit in this category). I'm not even elegible to think about buying one for another year or so.

So there's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem here, along with a late entry into a relatively saturated market. I think it's highly likely that they'll slowly grow over the next year or 18 months into third place, and likely stay there for several years... eating away at a slowly increasing share. I think the Nokia deal will seriously help this, but so will it's release this year on other networks (Verizon and T-Mobile and Sprint here in the States).

As long as Microsoft keeps the updates coming, and pushes updated hardware specs for a second generation that will keep pace with where iOS and Android are going, things will continue to improve.

Re:Slow burn (1)

Kevin Fishburne (1296859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547892)

That's a good assessment, but it doesn't take into account the speed at which competing platforms may or may not continue to outpace it. In a car race, the car who's engine gets blown out right when the race starts is probably NEVER going to catch up. Of course, Microsoft could simply try to copy every advancement presented, which even in a best case scenario would leave them slightly behind.

Re:Slow burn (5, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547900)

It's going to take a while to find traction.

That's a problem. If you can't show strong sales out of the gate (which both iPhone and Android did) then after a few months, developers start to realize that there is no market for WP7 apps and they put their efforts for the platform on hold indefinitely. Then you have a platform lacking in users and applications, and the users are waiting on the apps while the app developers are waiting on the users.

Worse yet, the phone manufacturers do the same thing -- if few people are buying WP7 phones then it makes no sense to pour R&D money into producing many different models with new features etc., and on top of that the Nokia deal has already said to all other manufacturers that they're second class customers. I assume here that Microsoft hopes Nokia will produce first class WP7 hardware in order to offset this, but the hardware by itself isn't sufficient, and the other manufactuers' business logic is sound -- if you continue to dump your money into R&D for a platform that nobody is buying, you're ultimately going to sink your operation. Or to put it another way, WP7 better not be a "slow burn" or else Nokia is going to have to defect to Android or exit the market, and either outcome would put a pretty serious pall on Microsoft's platform.

Re:Slow burn (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548526)

The reason its a slow burn is that nobody wants it, and the fact that Microsoft just told the other OEMs to go screw them selves with a pinapple (because Microsoft loves Nokias!). And i dont think any OEM analyst will miss the parallels between an OS 100% controlled by Microsoft on the PC and the same on the phone.

If WP7 would gain much traction, any mobile OEM are Microsofts bitch, just like in the PC world today where HP, Lenovo or Dells only competition is about who can lower their own margins the most.

Story icon? (4, Funny)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547720)

I know this is a story about mobile phones, but why's that guy have such a comically oversized bluetooth headset? Stupid slashdot icons.

Re:Story icon? (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547984)

I know this is a story about mobile phones, but why's that guy have such a comically oversized bluetooth headset? Stupid slashdot icons.

I think that's supposed to be Bill Gates demonstrating a development version of WP8.

Re:Story icon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548044)

Resistance is futile.

Alternative... (1)

sodafox (1135849) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547740)

A good alternative for them is Android, which is (as far as I know) more open, less expensive and more popular. They're a business, so why would they choose a closed, more costly and less popular mobile OS?

Re:Alternative... (3, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547818)

Because it's backed by MS and everyone likes to kiss some Microsoft butt in hopes of making big money. It's probably just a negotiation ploy to get Redmond to sweeten the deal for them. They know that MS is going to have to open the wallet and spend big to get back in the mobile game against the droids, berries, and iphones.

In other words (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547760)

They have more business sense than Nokia.

One could think of this move as less competition for Nokia... right? Except Nokia has to be worried by now "sh** we picked a big stinky turd and nobody else want piece of it"

Re:In other words (2)

satuon (1822492) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548190)

Or in other words, their new CEO isn't an ex-microsoftie.

Well-regarded? (4, Interesting)

Shag (3737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547770)

Not to be obtuse, but where exactly is WP7 "well-regarded" beyond, say, WP7 commercials? I read a lot of reviews when it came out, and the most favorable ones seemed to view it as a passable mobile OS but short of features it'd need to really compete with the others. Saying "meh" or calling something mediocre doesn't strike me as regarding it well.

Re:Well-regarded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547928)

This is the first place I've heard anything good about WP7, aside from MS ads or propaganda.

WP7 is MS phone's "Vista." They should skip it altogether until they come out with a better product...OR...they should abandon the cellphone market entirely.

Re:Well-regarded? (1, Funny)

melted (227442) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548180)

Try it. UX wise it's easily on par with iOS and it's far better than android. Simply put, it's a well done, cohesive whole. It doesn't suck.

Re:Well-regarded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548216)

I tried it. Can't say I'm overly impressed. Yes the UI looks nice, but I wouldn't call it really well engineered. The aesthetics are nice because it's simple and every screen has only very few things on it. That's fine for a demo phone and makes a good first impression, but I do a million and one things with my iPhone, and can just be way more efficient putting more information on each screen.

Also the animations are way too extravagant. Instead of simple, smooth transitions, the weird page flipping gives the impression that you are waiting for the animation to complete. That may not be the case if it is loading the app concurrently, but that's certainly the impression.

Re:Well-regarded? (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548496)

The UI in WP7 sucks unless your tastebuds are in direct control from the Borg directive. Its utterly boring, notification sucks very bad compared to Android and nobody believes that hubs are anything but damn widgets just because Microsofts says so. They are just exceptionally unflexible widgets, not better than anything else.

meh.

Re:Well-regarded? (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548544)

The interface looks seriously goofy. What is it, 8 bit square two thumbs sized buttons on the whole screen? Ugly at best.

Why Microsoft new products keep failing. (5, Insightful)

goruka (1721094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547830)

I thinks it's pretty simple if you think about it. Consumers all around the world don't see Microsoft as a true innovator in the technology business. What does this mean? It means that people does not see Microsoft products as "must-have" because of innovation, features or overall coolness.
Microsoft products become "must-have" only when they become the only platform available to run something the consumer wants.
Windows (Windows applications), Office (Office documments) and X-Box (X-Box games) are the main successful Microsoft products and all three follow this lock-in scenario.
Any other products, platforms or services they created (that don't depend on external content or software) were soon taken over by superior alternatives.

Re:Why Microsoft new products keep failing. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548316)

windows never really came with much.. it was like a none thing that you use to run other things, that just need this none thing to work.

To fragment or not to fragment. (3, Insightful)

Elimental (2013582) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547982)

The problem with WM7 for manufacturers is that with the fear of fragmentation Microsoft went ahead and :
1 Dictated the hardware, so as manufacturer don't have much say on how the device going to look, no small screen with dedicated keyboard or such designs, so in essence no real distinction between one manufacturer’s phone to another. This would not be a problem if it was not for the second point.
2 Manufacturers are not allowed to change the UI to place there own “look & feel” to the phone. So end of the day one WM7 phone is exactly like the other.

We all know a HTC (Android), Apple (iOS), or Motorola (Android) phone just by looking at it. But all the WM7 phones look and feel the same. For some people that is selling point but for a manufacturer it not. How can you make someone buy your WM7 phone and not your competitions.

I do think that ZTE will sell WM7 phones they just want a cash incentive to do so.

Personally I don't like the WM7 blocky interface or the half words that break to show that there is a next screen, and I do think Microsoft did a bad thing aiming something that you cant really customize to gamers 1st (Xbox Live). They should have targeted a market that hates customization – the work place, in other words they should have build better Office/ Exhange/ Sharepoint integration instead, cause that is where they can seriously 1 up the competition.

Re:To fragment or not to fragment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548054)

> Manufacturers are not allowed to change the

There is worse. All manufacturers must make WP7 phones almost identical (they can have more than the mandated minimum config) EXCEPT (allegedly) Nokia who can make a different UI and possibly some hardware differences.

I think that most manufacturers will dump WP7 and leave the whole 4% market share of WP7 to Nokia.

Re:To fragment or not to fragment. (3, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548288)

There are exactly 8 requirements phones must meet to run WP7:

  • Capacitive, 4-point multi-touch screen with WVGA (480x800) resolution
  • 1 GHz ARM v7 "Cortex/Scorpion" or better processor
  • DirectX9 rendering-capable GPU
  • 256 MB of RAM with at least 8 GB of Flash memory
  • Accelerometer with compass, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor and Assisted GPS
  • 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash
  • FM radio tuner
  • 7 dedicated hardware buttons - back, Start, search, 2-stage camera, power/sleep and Volume Up and Down.
  • Manufactuers are free to add dedicated keyboards, larger screens, faster processors, more memory, better screen tech, different colors, more buttons, better cameras, different materials, etc. The real limitation imposed on manufacturers is that they can't create a cheap phone which can't handle the OS, which they seem to love to do with Android phones.

    And as far as UI customization, the manufacturers might not appreciate that, but I sure do. I'd prefer to keep the default UI. And manufacturers are free to add their own hub if they so choose.

disappointed (1)

DuboisP (960039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548214)

I purchased 4 HTC 7 Mozart for my users and I'm repenting of. unusable for corporate - no access to the Exchange global adress list (corporate directory) - no sync of tasks and notes - no memory slot - cannot use Active Sync or Mobile Center, but you have to install Zune so disappointed i didn't search for free apps

Microsoft is the Bismark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548248)

Stuck rudder, too big and ungainly to change direction, her enemies have caught up with her. Apple is bombing her from above while open source torpedoes her from below. And all the while her massive weapons are useless, as she is unable to bring them to bear. She'll stay afloat longer than most believe possible, but her fate is inescapable.

WP7 (1)

linguae (763922) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548462)

For a moment I thought the article was discussing WordPerfect 7.

Well regarded?? (2)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548486)

I dont know where this comes from except a couple of known fanboys and paid bloggers. Amongst normal people and people in the mobile industry, WP7 is anything but well regarded. Its just a huge big "meh..." and thats it. An also ran without anything even remotely interesting, but at the same time lacking many things we take for granted in a mobile phone.

With WP7 i cant friggin set different volumes, on a smartphone! Multitasking only avaliable if my lips are up against Microsofts bottom. No copy/paste, WP7 wont connect to WPA2-P2K wifi. You cant create playlists on the phone 7 and there are tons of other issues that would make well regarded sounding pretty forced or an outright lie.

WP7 is only well regarded amongst a small group of hardcore ms followers. But, i know many who works 100% with only MS products that really hates it with a passion because they poured oodles of money into Winmo 6.5 projects that are now down the drain and they will never make the same mistake again.

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