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Charlie Kindel On Why Windows Phone Still Hasn't Taken Off

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the need-a-bigger-booster dept.

Businesses 397

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft's weak share in the mobile phone market can be attributed to its mishandling of industry politics, not inferior technology or features, according to ex-Windows Phone evangelist Charlie Kindel. Microsoft's traditional strategy of going over the heads of hardware vendors to meet the needs of consumers and application developers does not work in the phone market, says Kindel, where the handset makers and carriers have the biggest say in determining the winners (Apple is an exception). Not everybody agrees with Kindel's analysis. Old-timers may remember Kindel, who recently resigned from Microsoft, from his days as developer relations guru for COM/OLE/Active-X."

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And the other reason is... (4, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506286)

Fool me once, shame on you, lock me into an inferior OS twice, shame on the whole industry.

Re:And the other reason is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506336)

And yet, you're probably using an iPhone.

Re:And the other reason is... (5, Insightful)

JDAustin (468180) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506384)

The thing is Windows Mobile is not a inferior OS (for once). But MS's history has burned so many in the past that people are just turned off by the idea of a Windows mobile phone.

Re:And the other reason is... (1, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506434)

Yep. Windows Mobilie is, after I switched to Android, actually a *superior* OS, locked behind an utterly incomprehensible user interface.

Android is a superior user interface, chained to an operating system that operates so much in the cloud that I lose the ability to read my e-mail when the train goes through the tunnel on the way to work. And while their cloud-based GPS application is *vastly superior*, God help the poor person who is trapped in Oregon's hinterlands out of the reach of even a 2G signal.

Re:And the other reason is... (5, Informative)

GeXX (449863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506552)

You do know that android phones have their own gps in the units, google maps has offline pre-caching mode, and there are other offline maps http://www.mapdroyd.com/ that can be used. I have used google maps while navigating a lake where there was no cell signal, and it worked just fine.

Re:And the other reason is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506748)

Just to clarify, GeXX meant GPS signal receiving hardware.

Re:And the other reason is... (2)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506880)

Funny, you just slashdotted Mapdroyd.

Re:And the other reason is... (5, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506614)

What?
Let's start with the article. The article's focus is completely off - there's nothing windows can do to simply be relevant, and focusing on "how can we get marketshare" shows a complete and utter misunderstanding of the entire market and asking the wrong question. The first question should be "how can we make a great phone with a great experience". Not "why aren't people buying this"? That by itself has already been answered, which is significant market data research given in the form of a failure in the market. Had they not been moronic they'd have gone back the drawing board and come up with better competition by now. This shows that they don't want to look at their own market data and are still in the "la la la our products are great" stage of denial, aka "we're trying to do the apple reality distortion technique".

For your comments: Windows mobile is a subpar OS. Android is an infinitely moddable user interface but stock tends to be completely and utterly crap.

Also, Gmail (and any email program) will cache the last 20 or 50 emails so that you can open them and read them without any data connection whatsoever. By the time you've received notice of the emails they've already been preserved. You can create a draft with no connection, and it will pull the contacts from your contact list.

The GPS works without any form of data, you can cache any area manually yourself or use an app that already has map info. This isn't any different than any other navigation device, whether a GPS device or a cellphone. Also, you have 3 forms of GPS (AGPS [wikipedia.org] , S-GPS [wikipedia.org] and location triangulation [wikipedia.org] explicitly by mobile) as so it's practically impossible to not have a signal - even in the middle of a forest. you might not have a map, sure, but you will have gps and a compass.

However, every phone's hardware is different, notably. If you had the samsung vibrant for example, you basically have a not completely accurate GPS. So every phone will be different in how well it works.

Re:And the other reason is... (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506822)

The short question and answer is "How can we make people want this?" The answer is unknown to me. Apple took that approach and it worked out great. Of course, there was an incredibly charismatic front man explaining to everyone that they need the next i-thing. Microsoft doesn't do that so much. They killed the competition and so they only need to use their legal muscle to convince people they need to buy their monopoly product... in fact, they need to buy it twice if they are a corporation. (Turns out volume licensed Windows is an 'upgrade' and requires a previous instance of Windows... an OEM version of Windows... so buy it once from the OEM, then buy it again so you can legally deploy images.)

Microsoft hasn't ever had a charismatic face man. Bill Gates, the celebrity that he is, simply doesn't qualify I'm afraid. And any awe and wonder Microsoft might have inspired in the past hasn't appeared for the past... what? 20 years almost? Has it really been that long? Yeah... it really has.

SMALL DEVICES is simply not something that Microsoft can do! There was a time when they could, but it just doesn't seem possible any longer. The bloat has made them so fat and heavy they can't move without a quad core and 8GB RAM. Yes, please disagree with me. I know you want to. Whatever Microsoft has right now will never see an effective light of day. It was rejected before anyone ever heard of it.

Re:And the other reason is... (4, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507032)

Of course, there was an incredibly charismatic front man explaining to everyone that they need the next i-thing.

The incredibly charismatic front man also figured out how to take advantage of the mobile platform and offer services that no one else was offering. There hadn't really been a handheld revolution since Palm and BlackBerry.

Apple didn't win of charisma they won of the advantages of an integrated total experience.

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506622)

I discovered this myself last month when I actually went off the 3G grid. I had no idea how much of Android's functionality was tied to having a good data connection. Thank God I still have unlimited data, although once my phone croaks I'm going to have to renew and get capped...bummer.

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

lord_mike (567148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506776)

Verizon unlimited customers are grandfathered in for now, at least.

Re:And the other reason is... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506648)

The windows phone ui is the only smartphone^h phone ui I've used that hasn't made me want to hurl the entire piece of crap into a wall.

I'm pretty sure that sort of thing is all down to user preference.

Re:And the other reason is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506652)

Android is a superior user interface, chained to an operating system that operates so much in the cloud that I lose the ability to read my e-mail when the train goes through the tunnel on the way to work.

Maybe you should learn how to archive? There are options for this.

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506824)

Archiving does no good on Gmail. Your mail is entirely held on the server; the archive as well- when the phone goes through the tunnel, the Gmail Ap just returns "Connection Unavailable".

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506832)

Maybe the phone should do that for you instead of making the user have to set hidden options prior traveling to areas where the map/GPS functionality is most likely to be needed. It works when they're at home, why would they expect it to not work when they go elsewhere, and how would they know to look for the option to archive the maps before leaving?

Re:And the other reason is... (3, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506902)

They're working on the hardware which would allow the phone to know where you're going, and cache the maps ahead of time. Unfortunately, they require a bottle of Higgs bosuns before they can actually implement the mind-reading/future prediction feature, and the LHC hasn't delivered them yet.

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

Known Nutter (988758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506952)

How would anyone know not to put strychnine in their chicken soup?

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506674)

Android is a superior user interface, chained to an operating system that operates so much in the cloud that I lose the ability to read my e-mail when the train goes through the tunnel on the way to work.

Which email app are you using? I read my Gmail with the Android "Gmail" app, and sync to Exchange with the bundled Email app, and I can read cached emails on both clients while my phone is in Airplane mode with no data connection.

Granted, I can't search email or browse unsynced email folders, but I can read my new emails uninterrupted while going through a tunnel.

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506852)

I read Android Gmail App, using a Gmail account. I don't sync to exchange at all- don't have an exchange server to sync to- so it's ALL Gmail, and all the Gmail Ap says in the tunnel is "connection unavailable".

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506840)

Yep. Windows Mobilie is, after I switched to Android, actually a *superior* OS, locked behind an utterly incomprehensible user interface.

Android is a superior user interface, chained to an operating system that operates so much in the cloud that I lose the ability to read my e-mail when the train goes through the tunnel on the way to work. And while their cloud-based GPS application is *vastly superior*, God help the poor person who is trapped in Oregon's hinterlands out of the reach of even a 2G signal.

Completely disagree with you. I switched to a Windows Phone 7 device (Samsung Focus) from an iPhone in December of last year, as a trial to see whether it could hold a candle to iOS. Not only does it offer faster performance, its UI is superior in EVERY way to iOS and Android's stale icon grid.

As a former iPhone fanboy, I can't tell you how surprised I am to say this, but: I'll NEVER switch back to an icon-grid based smartphone OS after using WP7. The experience is heads and shoulders above the competition.

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506468)

Are you suggesting that Microsoft will no longer change the entire API every time the major number of the OS increments, causing everyone to completely re-architect/re-write their apps from the ground up? I suggest you go back and look at the history of every technology Microsoft has ever released, from DirectX to Windows itself, to .NET, to even their languages and compilers.

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506668)

Updates to the .Net framework have been backward compatible for about 7 years now. If you can't manage an update to your app once per decade, you should just give up.

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506874)

MS chief guru magician evangelist strategist thought it is a wise move to not let developers use proven technology like OpenGL and C language. Turned out nobody would want to develop for such a skilfully castrated system.

Re:And the other reason is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506754)

The thing is Windows Mobile is not a inferior OS (for once). But MS's history has burned so many in the past that people are just turned off by the idea of a Windows mobile phone.

WinPhone 7.5 is still inferior compared to the major competition. It doesn't suck like their last phone OS, but it's still not as advanced as Android or iOS.

MS does have a major hurdle to overcome when it comes to their history, and it's not just due to their previous phone OS. Their business practices are still pretty arrogant, especially towards independent mobile developers. When you develop for their phone, you don't get as much access as the large companies (partners) do. You have to pay $99/year and go through an iPhone like experience as a developer on a platform that has virtually zero market share. You'd think that MS would do more to entice developers like the other mobile platforms that are second or third to Android and iOS, but NOOOoooo. MS will act as if they're equal to iOS, and make you pay and jump through hoops that all of the other platforms don't require. MS still has a lot to do and learn before they can make independent developers comfortable.

Re:And the other reason is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507042)

I switched from iOS to WP7 (and now 7.5) and I'll never switch back. WP7.5 is superior in most respects. Sure, there are still a few missing apps (Pandora, though I've replaced it, happily, with Last.FM and spotify on every platform I use, from the PC to the iPad and my WP7.5 device), but for the most part anything you could reasonably ask for is there, all wrapped up in a VASTLY superior interface.

And unlike Apple's updates (iOS 4, which essentially made my iphone 3G an unusable piece of trash), Microsoft's updates actually make the device FASTER while adding new features.

No, I'm done with Apple. I bit, I enjoyed, but the fact is that they got left behind in terms of UI and user experience. I don't know if WP7 will ever catch up to iOS, but I really don't care. Usability is more important to me than being trendy.

Re:And the other reason is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506756)

It was about what Balmer screamed on the stage that one time. Developers.

Apple crushed them with a good app market that freeking worked. I can not tell you the number of times I had to reinstall apps on my wince phone/pad...

Re:And the other reason is... (5, Interesting)

Kazin (3499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506800)

I'm not a user of Windows Phone, but I did just port an Android app I've written to WP7, and in doing so, I learned quite a bit about it... From my point of view (been an Android developer before the first phones were released), it seems like WP8 will be very nice, but WP7 is still lacking in a lot of ways. A few things I noticed:
    - there's not a whole lot of useful multitasking you can do right now, so complex apps that use background services are right out.
    - you can't disable the on-screen keyboard from activating when a text box is focused, so if you have a box that the user can select text from or position the cursor in, you always get the OSK covering half of your UI
    - the screen layout designer is difficult to work with, and doesn't seem like it has many features for supporting different resolutions, MS sure does love their absolute-positioning grid layouts
    - there doesn't seem to be a debug log viewer available in the development tools... or maybe the OS has no logging at all?

I suspect an end user won't really notice a lot of my complaints, but they're there, and the whole experience was a bit disappointing to me, despite my preference for C# over Java.

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507016)

There is some truth to that, but it's also the case that we don't really know if Microsoft has actually learned a lesson or whether the current Windows Mobile is a fluke. Moreover, there's how the phone behaves in the store, and how it behaves when you start digging into it, and here again Microsoft has a reputation to overcome.

And, there's still enough indication that Management believes "they'll buy it 'cause it's Windows and LIKE it" (from the article: "end users just do what they are told") type of hubris that we tend to be very cautious consumers. Due to, you know, buying it in the past, and *not* liking it.

And finally, it's too late. Microsoft was last to market with a phone that had a reasonably touch-friendly interface.

Re:And the other reason is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507018)

I agree. WP7 is actually usable -- i do not regret not replacing my iphone4 after i killed it for a 3rd time.

Re:And the other reason is... (3, Interesting)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506602)

Fool me once, shame on you, lock me into an inferior OS twice, shame on the whole industry.

Damn right. My last smart phone was an HTC XV6800 running Windows Mobile 6.0 and it was the biggest piece of shit I've ever had in my life.

Never again...

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506760)

I have a windows 5 phone, works fine, but of course I am not in the garb of my handheld is a replacement of my desktop

what do you want out of a phone, for me its to make calls and send a SMS once in a while, the fact it will play games and MP3 is a bonus

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506784)

I want it to do what they tell me it is capable of doing without requiring a hard reboot due to locking up every other day. That alone was too much for my WinMo phone...

Re:And the other reason is... (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506878)

sounds like you just bought a shitty phone, I have been using this thing since 2005 and its never locked up or crashed at all

do you also blame windows when your e-machine blows out its power supply? I would be blaming e-machines, just like you should be blaming whoever made that worthless chunk of crap phone

Re:And the other reason is... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506968)

It was an HTC XV6800 smart phone. It was one of the higher rated smart phones Verizon carried before Android hit, according to CNet and the other places.

It was still a piece of crap. Seems my anecdotal evidence and your anecdotal evidence cancel out, but that's okay, I wasn't trying to convince people of anything; I really don't care. Just giving my own experiences...

I just dont care about Face Book. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506296)

So having a phone that is so tightly integrated into the service holds no interest for me. Same reason I wont get another Motorola Android phone.

Re:I just dont care about Face Book. (1)

mariasama16 (1895136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506426)

Same here, but I also truly dislike their Metro styling and those massive tiles on the home screen.

Re:I just dont care about Face Book. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506452)

Do what I do. It's a fairly complicated process, but the results are well worth it.

1) Don't open the Facebook application.

This is all from memory, so hopefully I didn't skip anything!

Re:I just dont care about Face Book. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506486)

I don't care about it either. I just don't use it and am only barely aware that it's there at all.

WP7 has been getting some very good reviews, and Andoid users are complaining that they aren't getting timely updates. I followed the iPhone 4S launch and there really wasn't anything my WP7 couldn't (well, it doesn't have amusing responses like Siri does).

What they need is a Bing-like marketing effort. Those commercials were everywhere.

Re:I just dont care about Face Book. (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506680)

Who said you have to use Facebook? If it really irritates you, you can always root your Android phone and remove it entirely.

I've just turned off automatic updates to it, uninstalled all the updates that were there, and don't ever touch it. Works just fine for me. Same with Twitter and the other social networking garbage. Nobody is making you use the shit. The only thing that was forced on me when I got my Droid was a gmail address, and I already had one of those, so no harm, no foul...

I don't have first hand knowledge of the new Windows phones, but I can only assume that they don't force you to use that shit, either.

Seems pretty accurate... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506298)

Anyone who has used Windows Mobile knows it is a superior platform to Android.

Of course any reasoned dialog on the subject will be drowned out here on Slashdot. It's impossible to have a reasoned debate on technical issues or merits here. You have the Linux Fans drooling over their unshaven scraggly neckbeards to tear down any MS products, and promote the trash that is Android.

Re:Seems pretty accurate... (2)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506432)

A reasoned debate? You mean one without resorting to derogatory stereotypes, promoting a product while tearing down the other identified purely by brand, avoidance of actual evidence/references, and lame self-referential irony? You must be some microsoft loving git astroturfing for windows, as anybody could see.

Though truth be told, I'd take a windows phone . . . if it were actually cheap enough for me to afford. Same for any other smart phone.

"Windows Mobile", eh? (3, Interesting)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506446)

I am a Windows Phone developer and something of a fan, but I would bet money that you are not -- you are just a troll. Hint: It's "Windows Phone". And while we're at it, let's throw a bone to the "unshaven scraggly neckbeards" and add that it's "GNU/Linux" (I wouldn't ordinarily, but I'm having fun smacking you down). And to be fair, Android isn't trash, especially when compared to the (old) Windows Mobile, which had all the sex appeal of Windows 3.1 to bring to your 21st century mobile device. I develop for Windows Phone because it's fun and similar to the technologies I use in my day job, and I like to create things for consumers, but I carry an Android phone because I can do anything I want with it in terms of homebrew and my own geekish forms of enjoyment.

Re:"Windows Mobile", eh? (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506628)

Hint: It's "Windows Phone".

You mean it's not "Windows Phone 7 Series"? Damn I've been calling it the wrong thing...

Re:"Windows Mobile", eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506752)

You mean it's not "Windows Phone 7 Series"? Damn I've been calling it the wrong thing...

Nope, it's not, they dropped the "series" a long time ago. Thankfully.

Re:"Windows Mobile", eh? (1)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506858)

Yeah, and it's soon going to be "Windows Phone 8", so smart copy writers refer to it as "Windows Phone". Should be good for a few years, anyway. :D

Re:Seems pretty accurate... (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506482)

As someone very tangentially involved in the launch of the latest Windows phone this fall, I got to handle one of the latest/greatest models. The OS did seem pretty damn good, though a little too "whizzy"--too much animation, too much blinking, too much trying to show me "Hey! Look at what a sexy OS I am!", but in principle it looked really solid and worked well. MS has put a lot of thought and effort into making a mobile interface on a small touchscreen work well.

What was terrible was the Samsung hardware. It was light and plasticky and felt stupidly cheap. It's hard to value Metro as a real competitor to iOS when the phone itself feels like a disposable model, compared to my new 4S that feels solid and real.

Re:Seems pretty accurate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506562)

Superior is a matter of perspective. If one values freedom and opennes, Windows Mobile may not be best OS out there. And as a fan of Linux (but especially of GNU, which you didn't mention) by means of being a fan of freedom and openness and having a unshaven scraggly neckbeard I'm not very keen on Android either, although there are of course levels in hell and Android is merely roasting lightly over the flames well below where MS and Apple are happily dancing on the lake of fire.

Curiously, you, a volunteer end user (?) coming on here to sing praises of Windows, must really enjoy that scaly pecker of beelzebub rammed down your throat. Silly person.

Re:Seems pretty accurate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506672)

Anyone who has used Windows Mobile knows it is a superior platform to Android.

Of course any reasoned dialog on the subject will be drowned out here on Slashdot. It's impossible to have a reasoned debate on technical issues or merits here. You have the Linux Fans drooling over their unshaven scraggly neckbeards to tear down any MS products, and promote the trash that is Android.

Stupid ass low life troll can't even get the name of the platform he's jacking off to correct. Windows "Phone" is and always will be a buggy POS OS that will die a slow and horrible death.

Re:Seems pretty accurate... (1)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507060)

Superior platform?

I've used it a few times, open minded... and found the interface to be terrible!!!

To be fair, the OS was quick and snappy and the functionality was decent, but the UI was so irritating that I just would never buy one. Yuk.

It felt like something I would buy for grandma, who would probably never leave the home screen "tiles", but I found it annoying and limiting.

Windows Phone is Superior; Why Hasn’t it Tak (5, Insightful)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506330)

Wait, why is it superior?

Windows Phone is Superior; Why Hasn’t it Taken Off

ex-Windows Phone evangelist Charlie Kindel

Oh, right

Re:Windows Phone is Superior; Why Hasn’t it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506734)

It's more like: why hasn't it taken off? because it's superior.

Microsoft chose to try and mimic Apple's ability to assure consistent user experience and design and upgradability, and they haven't been coping well with the costs of those choices.

It's like MS took their usual strategy of focusing their marketing entirely on other businesses and let the consumer be damned, and pulled a complete 180 to focusing on the consumer and failing to sufficiently suck up to their carrier and device maker partners.

What is the implication here? (2)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506342)

Not everybody agrees with Kindel's analysis. Old-timers may remember Kindel, who recently resigned from Microsoft, from his days as developer relations guru for COM/OLE/Active-X

Is the submitter trying to imply that his judgement doesn't matter because COM/OLE/ActiveX was somehow bad?

Re:What is the implication here? (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506398)

Never mind "Welcome to hell, here's your accordion"; can you imagine the hell that is "developer relations for COM/OLE/Active-X"?

Re:What is the implication here? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506806)

Is the submitter trying to imply that his judgement doesn't matter because COM/OLE/ActiveX was somehow bad?

I wouldn't have submitted the article if I didn't think his opinion mattered.

can you imagine the hell that is "developer relations for COM/OLE/Active-X"?

Heh. For the first 2-3 years about the only thing we ISV's had was the incomprehensible "Inside OLE" book from MS Press, and the reference pages on the various interfaces and methods. Charlie helped by answering our emails, he seemed to be the guy in Redmond who knew the most about it. Then IIRC Charlie was the lead author of a long MSDN paper describing the COM architecture which revealed a kernel of elegance under the morass of details. I think COM itself was a pretty decent component technology for its time (apparently it's still being used by Microsoft, even in Windows 8). Unfortunately, Visual Basic was written in such a way that it couldn't take advantage of it without a lot of nasty hacks (dual interfaces, safe arrays and such). And the OLE/Active-X stuff layered on top (the GUI desktop and browser integration pieces) were hairy, confusing, and buggy - it seemed like a mass of interfaces that evolved by committee instead of through design.

- AC submitter

Re:What is the implication here? (4, Insightful)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506746)

Somehow bad? SOMEHOW? Obviously you've never worked with COM+ applications.

Windows Phone on XDA developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506352)

Is doing just fine. Like Windows Mobile devices before...

http://www.xda-developers.com/category/windows_phone/ [xda-developers.com]

Well.. (5, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506378)

Well, let's see here...

* The delivery is about three-four years too late
* World+dog who has used Windows-based phones in the past have experience with WMP 6.5 (*shudder*)
* App developers are looking at 'safe' (marketshare-wise) platforms to write apps for. iOS and Android are among them, while WP7 is not.
* The UI tiles may be pretty, but that whole right-hand side of the screen is sitting there unused, making the whole thing look narrower, and therefore smaller
* The ads aren't quite cutting it, and tend to be (IMHO) full of snafus. For instance, the latest sends the subtle message that only whipped boyfriends willing to wear yoga tights will use a Windows Phone.

There's lots more, but those stand out immediately...

Re:Well.. (4, Funny)

nwf (25607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506530)

For instance, the latest sends the subtle message that only whipped boyfriends willing to wear yoga tights will use a Windows Phone.

In all fairness, if they could garner half of those, they'd double their market share.

Re:Well.. (2)

lord_mike (567148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507072)

Your first explanation is the biggest reason Windows Phone is hurting... They are coming in waaaay too late to the party. They couldn't even manage to get Nokia to release a phone in time for Christmas this year. (shakes head) The reason why Android took off was that they were the only viable anti-iPhone product out there that was desperately looking an alternative, especially on Verizon. Palm blew it by tying itself to Sprint, so Android came in and became the yin to Apple's yang. Now, Microsoft has to muscle their way into the market with two heavyweights while having to overcome their terrible reputation, terrible consumer brand, and hardware and software features that are already behind the curve. Microsoft targeted the wrong market. They should have tried to be the anti-blackberry and muscle in on the business side of things, where they have a lot of clout (i.e. email). Shooting for the iPhone/anti-iPhone market was really shooting for the moon and I'm not sure I see how they manage to get there.

With RIM collapsing, there's an opportunity for Microsoft, but once again, they aren't prepared to jump on it. Windows phone isn't designed for that kind of market segment, and it's another square peg in a round hole situation. It's amazing how asleep at the switch Ballmer has been compared to his predecessor. Bill Gates would never have allowed this opportunity to languish for MS like it has.

Closing up the Windows Phone so tightly (copying Apple's strategy) is another headscracther. It certainly goes against their "Developers, developers, developers" strategy that they've had for so many years. Opening up the OS not only engenders developer goodwill, it allows them to discover and develop the "killer app" that would help drive Windows Phone sales. Their whole mobile strategy has been FUBAR for so may years. They essentially could have locked it up a decade ago when they were practically the only game in town, but they just keep screwing it up. It's amazing that they manage to get the XBox stuff right. Maybe they should talk to that division and get some ideas. Had they tried to emulate their own XBox paradigm instead of trying to copy Apple's, Microsoft wouldn't be having the mobile market troubles they are having right now.

late Player into the market (0)

Lilo-x (93462) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506394)

It isn't popular because it is the 3rd player in a well populated market. There is no point in getting in to all of the details as they have been gone over 100 times before... If you want a smartphone you get an iPhone, if you want an open smartphone or can't afford an iPhone you get an Android phone.

Apple turned the industry on it's head, Android is doing a good job of ensuring competition and openness (to a degree). There just isn't a place for a Microsoft phone. Doing something better isn't good enough anymore, you need to offer people something new and get a jump of 12 months of the competition when you do it.

In the mobile market people are know about their options, this isn't a beige box world where the default operating system and applications being sold are all MS based.

The consumer has moved on, and that is what will damage a company's bottom line more than anything these days if you can't keep up with what they want.

Re:late Player into the market (2)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506506)

LATE? Windows CE, on which Windows Phone is based, came out in 1996. The first Windows phone came out in 1998, running CE 2.0. They were YEARS ahead of Apple and Android. What Apple changed- was a usable User Interface experience (most people just didn't want to hit the "Start" button to make a phone call!).

Re:late Player into the market (2)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506580)

they did a huge reset with WP7 which didn't come out until iOS 3 or so. at this point they are way behind apple and android

Re:late Player into the market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506682)

Well, in my Windows Mobile devices pressing that green button was enough to bring phone app to the front..

Re:late Player into the market (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506660)

if you want an open smartphone or can't afford an iPhone you get an Android phone.

I appreciate your neutral factual comment, rather than flaming apple or google. An additional data point - iPhones used to be more expensive, because the market was flooded with free-for-contract low quality phones. But as of September the price advantage has been erased. On ATT you can get an iPhone 4S starting at $199, iPhone 4 starting at $99, or iPhone 3gs for free with contract. While you could criticize this (especially the 3gs) as saying you're getting a two-year-old phone, remember that all phones come with the newest OS (although only the 4S comes with Siri). I would posit that a two-year-old iPhone with the newest software is better than a free Huawei or whatever the no-name brand is these days. Just my two cents, I hope this helps dispel a common statement.

Who is the audience? (2, Insightful)

manekineko2 (1052430) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506450)

What is the audience for Windows Phone at this point?

If you want a smooth, uncomplicated user experience and don't mind lock-in with a tyrannical corporation, get an iPhone.

If you want things like freedom and openness and ethics and value and don't mind not having the "cool" phone that gets all the buzz, get an Android.

What exactly is the core audience for Windows Phone, and what are the traits that they value? I can't really think of anyone for whom Windows Phone would make more sense than either iOS or Android.

Re:Who is the audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506542)

Maybe ask someone in Europe why we buy Nokia instead of Chinese (crap) Motorolas for example...

http://wmpoweruser.com/nokia-lumia-800-the-best-seller-on-expansys-sweden-kpn-netherlands/ [wmpoweruser.com]

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506904)

Maybe ask someone in Europe why we buy Nokia instead of Chinese (crap) Motorolas for example...

http://wmpoweruser.com/nokia-lumia-800-the-best-seller-on-expansys-sweden-kpn-netherlands/ [wmpoweruser.com]

You mean the same place crappy Chinese factory Nokia pumps their phones out of? Or are you referring to the crappy plants in Eastern Europe they shut down, laid everyone off and owed money to?

I must say, it is amusing watching Nokia fail. You would think the Nokia board would be more intelligent than to fall for what Microsoft did to them. Hopefully, Nokia sees the light one day and dumps that POS Windows Phone OS and regains their independence.

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

nwf (25607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506566)

What exactly is the core audience for Windows Phone, and what are the traits that they value? I can't really think of anyone for whom Windows Phone would make more sense than either iOS or Android.

The other category: people who get talked into buying one by a sales person, by even they won't push them.

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

Quanticfx (2443904) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506876)

The salesman actually tried to talk me out of buying my HTC Trophy. It seems to me that Verizon has somewhat of a bias against Windows Phone 7, they were late getting even one available on their network and even then it was just an average phone, specs wise, and there was no real fan fair when it was released. I'm going to say when the largest mobile carrier decides they don't really like you it could have some ramifications as to how well your phone OS does. Having owned an Android phone and iPhone I can say that I like the WP7 UI better, but as others have said that's just personal preference.

Re:Who is the audience? (3, Informative)

nwf (25607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507098)

My wife had an old Windows Mobile phone and hated it. She had to replace it once, and it required a lot of tech support from Verizon. The Verizon rep said they hated Windows phones because they have such a high return rate (as did Palm OS phones) and required a lot of support. Granted this was a few years ago, but I suspect Verizon has been burned by Microsoft for too long and want to let other carriers test the waters more fully.

When it takes until version 7 to get a usable phone, you've likely burned a few bridges.

Re:Who is the audience? (3, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506584)

If you want a smooth, uncomplicated user experience and don't mind lock-in with a tyrannical corporation, get an iPhone.

Windows Phones are pretty clearly aimed at this segment, for those who don't want to pay the premium price to get locked in. They're aiming to beat Apple doing the same thing, "just good enough", for a lot less money.

It worked for PCs. It's not crazy to try it with phones.

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506884)

One small problem:

Back in the day, the difference between a mid-range 386 box with 'good enough' Windows 3.1 on it, and a low-end Apple PC? About $500 or more. Nowadays, we're talking a difference between $49 for an iPhone 3gs (via AT&T), and the same or higher cost for a mid-range WP7 phone.

In other words, what premium price?

Re:Who is the audience? (0)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506984)

So a 3 year old model of an iPhone is still more expensive than a mid-range new model Windows Phone?

There's your premium price.

Re:Who is the audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506600)

What exactly is the core audience for Windows Phone, and what are the traits that they value? I can't really think of anyone for whom Windows Phone would make more sense than either iOS or Android.

People who aren't addicted to 'apps' and want a phone to give them what they want to know with a consistent interface and do what they want to do with a consistent interface. In short, no one who will ever post on Shashdot.

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506916)

I chose Windows Phone for a couple reasons... some against the other two OSs, others for with Windows Phone OS. I don't like iOS mostly because I don't like Apple. I don't like iTunes, I don't like their hardware, I despise their marketing, and I feel like a tool holding their products. In terms of iOS specifically, I also feel like it's starting to show its age, and the app launcher OS paradigm seems really old and boring to me.

Against Android, it's always seemed like a bad iOS clone to me. You say it's the OS for people who want freedom and openness and ethics, but the way I see it, the only reason it took off was because iPhone wasn't available on Verizon. The average Android user has no idea about freedom and openness of the Android platform, and personally I don't care about that either. I also have played with my friends Android phones (I don't know what they all were except I do know one has an Atrix) and I don't feel the user interface is very smooth compared to iOS or WP, despite them being brand new dual core phones.

For Windows Phone, I like the interface a lot better. I feel it's original and intuitive, whereas iOS is stale and Android is just following iOS. I also like the task/information-based hub paradigm as opposed to the application launcher paradigm in Android and iOS. When using iOS i feel like I'm constantly going in and out of apps to do my work, moving two steps forward, one step back constantly, which gets very tiresome.

Beyond the actual inferface I like how WP integrates all the services I use. I use xbox, I use office, I use zune pass, I have a windows live account, I use sky drive... so all those services are integrated really well. Zune software is also a pleasure to use compared to iTunes, and doesn't install a ton of other services and applications on my computer. Finally I think it goes without saying I don't have to worry as much about update availability. With the Zune players Microsoft always kept the oldest players updated well past their lifecycle. Now with Windows Phone they seem to be doing the same. I feel even more comfortable with WP than iOS about upgrades, because Apple's upgrades tend to make older models feel very slow. My iPad 1 is very frustrating to use since the iOS 5 upgrade, with apps constantly crashing due to its lower memory. My Samsung Focus with WP 7.5 is just as fast as it was with 7.0, and is just as fast as my brand new HTC Ttitan, even though the Titan is more powerful.

Kinda funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506460)

Android is the Windows of the smartphone market. Offered by multiple vendors and loaded up with crapware, must be custom-installed to be useful, etc. Not sure who the Windows Phone is supposed to be for...old corporate Windows Mobile users are probably turned off by the interface. Facebook works well enough on just about any smartphone, I can't see anyone buying a phone on FB integration at this point. Maybe 3 years ago...Microsoft, you need a time machine!

Its not surprising everyone disagrees (5, Insightful)

rathaven (1253420) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506546)

The facts are probably that WP was:
a) Late to market
b) Lacking developer support as many had already moved to iPhone or Android or developed mobile skills on these platforms
c) Not allowing hardware manufacturers to best utilise existing hardware by being proscriptive
d) Trying to be different after the market had already led in specific directions (iPhone then Android). Lets face it, it wasn't going to be easy to get in on this without using a similar interface to iPhone or a good weight of device support (Linux)
e) Less than interesting on most of the original hardware
f) Poor Marketting
g) Leaving carriers being carriers - little value add and little gain.
h) Using the names "Microsoft" and "Windows"


Anyone think of any others? I think instead of arguing between posts I think we can just add a big list together, post it to Microsoft and see if they learn any lessons.

Are You Alive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506560)

In 2005 my Windows Mobile device would crash three times a week. People would come over to my house to make sure that I was OK when my phone would go straight to voice mail for too long. As a consumer, they could not convince me to use on of their devices even if it was free and they paid for the service.

Re:Are You Alive? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506810)

sounds like the same people who bitch and whine about windows cause their e-machines blew a power supply

I own a 2005 era windows phone, still use it every single day ... wanna know how many times it "has crashed" zero, of course your obviously a power user since you used your phone so much that people would come checking for a corpse before you even looked at the fucking thing.

Citation needed (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506564)

going over the heads of hardware vendors to meet the needs of consumers and application developers does not work in the phone market

Say what? Hello, Apple? Seems to be working for them, last time I checked.

Re:Citation needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506724)

And which hardware vendor's head does Apple go over?

Re:Citation needed (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506836)

Apple is hardly going over their own heads (they are their own hardware vendor in the context of the quote, you know). Quite the opposite, just about everything Apple does has Apple's interests as the primary consideration.

Windows Phone 7 need to be more open.. (4, Informative)

Pontiac (135778) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506596)

I tested a windows phone 7 device for my company..

We don't allow storage of corporate data on 3rd party servers so right off the bat it's web based storage system was useless..
The OS offers no USB storage options and no removable SD cards.
It had no way to upload videos from the phone other then tethering it to PC and using the MS Zune app to download the off the phone.

Overall we found the OS to be to restrictive for our needs and standardized on Android based phones.

Re:Windows Phone 7 need to be more open.. (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506920)

in effect, it's braindead right from the start... and to cap it all, they have to force it on users by taking over companies like Nokia from inside...

WARNING! ANDROID FAN ALERT! (1)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506644)

W7 32bit on PC, 64bit on laptop, linux on another PC, WXP on another PC, Droid X and Bionic phones, iPad II at work and home. I feel greatly qualified to brag on any and/or all. I will not have any other phone than a Droid. One more worthless opinion, thanks in advance for wasting 12.5 seconds of your life reading my useless drivel.

Bad positioning (1)

Corson (746347) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506714)

The Apple success in the mobile market is the success of vanity. I know kids who don't have enough money for lunch but who own a brand new iPhone because "it's cool". The price of the handset, and the unlimited voice and data plans, for a teenager? Jeez!.... Android-based handsets are cheaper, and the hardware quality is different. Now, Microsoft decided to adopt the Apple business model. However, they don't seem to realise that they target a different audience. Frankly, for the same price I would buy Apple.

wait for c++ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506722)

When they open it to c++, all game compagnies will add WP7 to their catalogs.
Then they will take the 3rd place after Android and IOS.
I would bet on that, I don't know how much time it will take, but i'm pretty sure it will end this way.
Phones today are simply game boxes, people want to play, that's it.

OLE ActiveX COM Guru (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506798)

I hated OLE ActiveX COM so so much. It would be one the main reasons I left windows programming. I must have spent 1000's of hours fighting with those technologies either in trying to make them do something or trying to build an install package that worked. So anything this guy has to say is instantly discounted to zero. ActiveX was one of those classic silver bullet technologies that got you to 90% on the first day of development and the other 10% took months and often resulted in rebuilding whatever the ActiveX part did from scratch.

I for one disagree with his analysis (3, Interesting)

Bozovision (107228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506828)

Firstly, he thinks that consumers are stupid: "They don’t know what they hate. All they know is they buy phone service from mobile carriers and/or buy a phone from a carrier. They love speeds & feeds and will generally buy anything they are told to by television ads and RSPs (Retail Sales Professionals)."

No: consumers ask their friends. Their friends are Slashdot readers. They know full-well what a phone Market dominated by Microsoft would look like, they know how Microsoft has behaved. Repeatedly. And they are not going to recommend a MS phone to anyone: friends don't screw friends. They all know it's just about protecting the desktop market, and the moment that MS has achieved that objective they'll screw the user. The clue is in the name: 'Windows Phone'.

Secondly: "My hypothesis is that it also enables too much fragmentation that will eventually drive end users nuts." I guess that's how it's worked out for x86 choice in the face of the Apple desktop monoculture. Nope? It turns out that we value openness. It's one of the variables we play with when making a choice between systems: given all else equal, we'll choose the system that's more open. Advantages of openness far outweigh the disadvantages like fragmentation. So all that Google has to do is keep Android at rough parity with Apple in terms of UI/features. But they are doing better than parity - it's cheaper for better.

Thirdly: Carriers know full well what happens to companies who partner with Microsoft. And so do device manufacturers. I guess some companies (cough, Nokia, cough), like the idea of handing their future to Microsoft, but it turns out that most think that's a bad idea. Sendo, anyone?

Then I'm sure we can find a bunch of people who will dispute that WP is the best technically. Form an orderly queue in the replies please.

But finally, even if you were to consider that WP was technically the best, the idea that the best tech is the winner has been roundly disproved again and again. Everyone, including Charlie Kindel, knows it's about the whole package. We all know that MS on the desktop isn't the best technically (it can't be - it has to satisfy everyone) but it is the best at the whole package.

Re:I for one disagree with his analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506922)

you VASTLY over-estimate the (positive) influence of slashdot. if slashdot bias actually drove markets, we'd all be compiling code popcorn-popping code before we could use our microwaves tonight.

decent, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506834)

It's decent, but unfortunately that "other" OS has some things better thought out. For example switching tabs is just cumbersome. (I only use a smartphone for browsing and email btw)

Apple is an exception (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506854)

...Apple is an exception...

I think that sums up the story.

Re:Apple is an exception (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507012)

Yes, when there are only other two competitors and one is an exception.. that's a weak theory/analysis.

Talk about overintellectualising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506872)

The reason why Windows Phone failed - I use the past tense very deliberately - is because Windows Phone is shit. Politics is irrelevant to its failure. It failed because it's shit. Politics might have stifled it if it were a good product, but it's not. It's shit.

No, it's... (1)

wfolta (603698) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506924)

1) Microsoft has backstabbed almost every "partner" it has had, which means it only gets voluntary partners that are: a) stupid, or b) greedy.

2) Microsoft could go over the heads of the carriers, just like Apple, if it actually had something compelling for consumers. Instead, they used their default strategy of pushing carriers around while assuming that consumers would be drawn in by the fact that "It's Windows!". They didn't want to stand on the boat, and they didn't want to stand on the dock, so they ended up in the water. Windows 8 may be an attempt to get on the (consumer) boat, or it might turn out to be an attempt to stand on both the boat and dock in which case they will also end up in the water again.

I Don't I Have To (1)

tgeek (941867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506986)

The only MS products I buy are ones that I feel I have to - a copy of Windows (for gaming) and a copy of Office (like it or not, it is something of a standard). Other than that I don't HAVE to have and certainly don't WANT anything from Microsoft -- especially not a smartphone OS.

Faulty premise (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507056)

Sorry, but face the facts. WinCE is a terrible OS, and it always has been. If you have a decent product you don't need to change the name every few years.

If customers just did what they were told Android wouldn't be popular.

What? (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507080)

From Kindel's blog: "Remember that end users just do what they are told (by advertising and RSPs). "

Yeah? Really? Screw you, Charlie, and all the devices you flogged. Go on, TELL me to buy a Windows phone. Go on. I'm listening. What? Louder. Ok, I hear you. I understand the instruction. The answer is NO.

Arrgh!

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