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Will Microsoft Extend Surface Model And Manufacture Windows Phones?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the we-control-the-vertical-integration dept.

Cellphones 118

Nerval's Lobster writes "A day after Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8, a company executive explained why the company never implemented native code in Windows Phone 7, declined to say whether Windows Phone 7.x would be upgraded beyond version 7.8, and said Microsoft has no plans to acquire an OEM to manufacture smartphones in-house. Of course, in theory that wouldn't stop Microsoft from building its own hardware in-house, similar to what Google did with the Nexus One. In any case, Microsoft's decision to construct its hardware and software in-house for the Surface tablet project has led to some chatter that it could do the same for smartphones."

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None of this matters... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40403479)

because no one will buy them anyway.

Re:None of this matters... (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404115)

This is true. I think Microsoft realizes that they need to have a mobile OS that actually has some demand before they erect a manufacturing operation.

Part of their strategy is probably around this half tablet, half laptop supposedly driving demand toward the mobile OS - they think people who are largely using Android or iOS will be floored by the Surface, buy one, and then want to replace their other devices so they all work with Windows...?

Not bloody likely.

Re:None of this matters... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404363)

This is true. I think Microsoft realizes that they need to have a mobile OS that actually has some demand before they erect a manufacturing operation.

Part of their strategy is probably around this half tablet, half laptop supposedly driving demand toward the mobile OS - they think people who are largely using Android or iOS will be floored by the Surface, buy one, and then want to replace their other devices so they all work with Windows...?

Not bloody likely.

Further, iOS and Android are generations ahead of Microsoft -- they're settling down, with comfortably large app bases. Microsoft owners will have to go through all that terrain and waiting to see what works well and not well and what gets improved by MS, the same company which can take MONTHS to issue patches to known exploits. MS has to be far more quick to upgrade, patch and address issues because they're alreay starting at least two years behind, if not more.

As for an owner, you'll be attracted if the price is right (read: CHEAP), otherwise you'd much rather be using what everyone else is. Microsoft missed the boat and it'll be having a hell of a time attracting any real customer base. It's effectively the Zune all over again.

Re:None of this matters... (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404845)

Microsoft missed the boat and it'll be having a hell of a time attracting any real customer base.

They spent $400 million on marketing and reputation management of WP7. How much do you reckon they'll spend on W8?

Re:None of this matters... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406227)

They spent $400 million on marketing and reputation management of WP7. How much do you reckon they'll spend on W8?

$4 billion and everybody will still hate it.

Re:None of this matters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40407571)

$4 billion and everybody will still hate it.

Yes they'll spend billions on marketing it, they'll pay OEMs to use it (and use it exclusively), they'll pay businesses to use their office suites, they'll pay government officials to use their software, they'll ignore piracy because it gets their software out there and after all that everyone will hate it and not want to use it yet in spite of widely available alternatives somehow hundreds of millions of people will still use it and that will make them money. I almost managed to type that whole thing without having to adjust my tinfoil hat!

Re:None of this matters... (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404859)

Decent tablets are starting to appear at about $100. Before this appears a nice 7" quad core tablet will be $200. An actual iPad starts at $350. I just don't see it priced to appeal to Windows users. And the pro? No way.

Where are the "decent" tablets for $100 ?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40407725)

I see a lot of crapware, but nothing decent. Even the Kindle Fire is crapware at $200. Only good as an e-reader and to purchase stuff from Amazon. For everything else, it is horrendous ... even streaming movies is a pain ... and the quality of the display is poor.

Re:None of this matters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40406725)

the same company which can take MONTHS to issue patches to known exploits.

Oh come on, you can bag Microsoft for a lot of things but not for their patch updating, they are very quick with that, Apple are getting better but still take quite a while to roll out security updates and look at Android, many of those devices don't get security updates (well any updates for that matter) at all! Google really needs a strategy on getting OS updates to devices directly, at least Google-certified ones anyway.

No, they are not good at updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40407771)

Updates are released months or even years after 1st reported. They still have unfixed bugs and vulnerabilities that were reported since Windows 2000.

The fact that you see a path a few days after a vulnerability is publicized does not mean that MS just learned about it. It only means that that is when it became publicly known.

Re:No, they are not good at updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40407859)

Updates are released months or even years after 1st reported. They still have unfixed bugs and vulnerabilities that were reported since Windows 2000.

The fact that you see a path a few days after a vulnerability is publicized does not mean that MS just learned about it. It only means that that is when it became publicly known.

How about you provide some citation then? Show me how MS is so much worse than their competitors.

Re:None of this matters... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406209)

they think people who are largely using Android or iOS will be floored by the Surface, buy one, and then want to replace their other devices so they all work with Windows...? Not bloody likely.

It's more likely that Google will finally recognize the obvious, that is, Android needs to support standard X applications so the whole code base such as LibreOffice works on Android, allowing it to function effectively as a laptop replacement, whereas right now it only kinda sorta does. Without this push from Microsoft, a bad case of hubris in the executive suite over at the former SGI headquarters would allow the current stupidity to continue, so here is a heartfelt shoutout to Microsoft for that. Otherwise, Microsoft can fuck off and die.

Re:None of this matters... (2)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406963)

Android needs to support standard X applications so the whole code base such as LibreOffice works on Android, allowing it to function effectively as a laptop replacement

It looks like they're heading down a different path and trying to get the app stack running on Android. Buying QuickOffice suggests they won't be pushing too hard to get Libre on there. http://googleblog.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/google-quickoffice-get-more-done.html [blogspot.com.au] .

There's already third party X11 servers, so they may appear on the open source versions of Android soon, if there's enough demand.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.theqvd.android.x&hl=en [google.com]

http://my20percent.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/android-x-server/ [wordpress.com]

Re:None of this matters... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40407117)

It looks like they're heading down a different path and trying to get the app stack running on Android. Buying QuickOffice suggests they won't be pushing too hard to get Libre on there.

Wow, you could interpret that position in a highly negative light. I would hope I'm wrong about that. In any case, I only used LibreOffice as one example. There are thousands more.

Are you nuts??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40407817)

Dalvik by itself is a resource hog and the response to user input is VISUALLY SLUGGISH (please don't deny it ... it is very visible even with a quad-core). Add X support and you will have the most unresponsive mobile device in history. X is not lightweight ....

Re:Are you nuts??? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40407919)

Dalvik by itself is a resource hog and the response to user input is VISUALLY SLUGGISH (please don't deny it ... it is very visible even with a quad-core). Add X support and you will have the most unresponsive mobile device in history. X is not lightweight ....

That's Java working for you, it has nothing to do with X. You obviously have no clue about X. Or about much of anything, except regurgitating whatever random drivel comes to mind.

Re:None of this matters... (3, Interesting)

Teckla (630646) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406569)

because no one will buy them anyway.

I'm not sure this is true.

I'm not a fan of Microsoft, having watched their bad behavior over the decades. However, one thing I've noticed is that they are very stubborn. They will keep trying, and trying, and trying, and trying, in some markets, until they succeed. Also, they can throw massive resources at a problem for a very long period of time, until it succeeds, thanks to their Windows and Office cash cows. And those cash cows are still delivering the milk. Big time.

Also, I've typically been pretty confident about Google, but when it comes to Android, I'm not so sure anymore. Google is allowing the carriers to run amok with Android, giving Android a bad name. The fragmentation is a real problem. The OS updates (or lack thereof) to existing phones is a real problem. The carriers mangling the experience is a real problem. The spotty support for this feature or that feature is a real problem.

The crappy Android devices are a real problem, too. (I'm not saying they're all crappy, but a lot of them are.) Sure, having several price points is great, but it only takes one bad experience with a crappy Android phone to push someone to iPhone... or maybe, just maybe, a Windows Phone.

If Microsoft can avoid these problems plaguing Android devices, they might manage to get a foothold. And then gain a little market share. And a little more, and a little more. And then, oops, all of a sudden, Microsoft is a real contender in smartphones.

Again, I'm no Microsoft lover. Their anti-competitive practices in the past has left me cold. The fact that every time they dominate some niche, they usually stop innovating, has left me cold. The way they break up products into far too many versions has left me cold. Their nickle-and-dime dance has left me cold.

But there are plenty of examples of Microsoft not giving up, trying again and again, until they get it right (or close enough to right) and become a serious player in an area where they used to be a laughing stock.

Predictions of Microsoft's failure in smartphones is a never-ending echo right now, but if Google keeps stumbling with Android, there may be room for another competitor. Especially with how fickle consumers are. If they are replacing their smartphones every 2-3 years anyway, they might decide it's not such a big deal to try out a Windows Phone for a couple of years... and they might end up sticking with it.

Nexus One wasn't in house... (5, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#40403489)

HTC designed and manufactured it, Google just rebranded it.

Re:Nexus One wasn't in house... (3, Insightful)

armv7 (2653575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40403641)

Yup, Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus were both produced by Samsung. If there in a Microsoft Phone, my bets are on Nokia. They seem to have a rather cosy partnership with Microsoft, considering the integrating of NavTeq maps into WP8 and the $1 billion/yr bribe towards Nokia use Windows Phone exclusively.

Re:Nexus One wasn't in house... (3, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40403891)

Given where Nokia stock is right now, I'd say that an outright buy-out may be more likely than partnership if MS decides to make its own phone hardware.

massive dumb idea from Nokia stockholders (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404075)

this falls under the "why buy the cow when the milk is on sale?" tab. Nokia is sliding down the chute, and they're still spending a billion bucks to buy an outfit they're partnering with for camera technology they can't use in their WinPhone.

you get better value by burning the billions of dollars on cable TV in a pay-per-view.

there are 30 phone makers in china nobody has heard about that are making unlicensed clones for pennies on the dollar. give any of them a chance to bid on a million WinPhones with Microsoft writing the check, and they can have 'em for ten bucks each.

Re:massive dumb idea from Nokia stockholders (1)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404393)

Right... but without the patents that would allow them to successfully sell the phones in the US.

Re:massive dumb idea from Nokia stockholders (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404715)

And without a second thought about quality assurance to make sure that each phone wasn't filled with lead, coated with mercury, and broken immediately.

Re:massive dumb idea from Nokia stockholders (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406611)

Because cow may be cheaper then milk for more then a couple of years, and they're betting on being long term milk drinkers.

What's nokia to do (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404889)

Maybe nothing. Nokia, assuming due dilligence was done, would not have blindly entered into a sole source relationship with Microsoft as software vendor without securing some sort of non-compete clause or at least a Most-favored-nation type deal for access to the software in the future. My guess is that Nokia will not find iiself competing against MS on phones.

On the other hand, maybe Nokia is just that stupid.

Re:What's nokia to do (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406097)

assuming due dilligence was done

That's a big assumption.

Re:Nexus One wasn't in house... (2)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406267)

Given where Nokia stock is right now, I'd say that an outright buy-out may be more likely than partnership...

I'd be all for that. If Nokia were actually Microsoft instead of just a brain-controlled zombie of Microsoft, I would lose my last shred of guilt about doing my part to drive a stake through its heart.

Re:Nexus One wasn't in house... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406847)

$1 billion/yr bribe towards Nokia use Windows Phone exclusively.

If i'm not mistaken Nokia don't use Windows Phone exclusively, they don't even use it exclusively on their smartphone range, even their new ones like the PureView.

Re:Nexus One wasn't in house... (3, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#40403973)

None of the Nexus devices are done in-house - Google partners with one of their licensees for each one. To avoid licensees possibly getting angry, they tend to rotate it around. And honestly, Google would likely aggressively market any device a manufacturer makes that is as open as one of their Nexus devices.

N1 was HTC, NS and GN were Samsung, rumored upcoming tablet is rumored to be Asus

While the Xoom was not officially a "nexus" it was Google's "Google Experience" tablet device in some regions, adding Motorola to the list

Next Nexuses to be Motorola? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405115)

Some here bleat on about 'Google bought Motorola for the patents'. Nevertheless, Motorola is in the doldrums as far as stealing back market share from the likes of Samsung.

Either Google closes down Moto's manufacturing division or they start pumping out Nexus models to revive them.

Re:Next Nexuses to be Motorola? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405135)

Yeah, I'm sure that's the only two options they have. /s

Re:Next Nexuses to be Motorola? (1)

theswimmingbird (1746180) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405275)

I, for one, can't wait to buy a Droid Nexus Razr Maxx Bionic X HD 4G 2.

Re:Next Nexuses to be Motorola? (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405943)

A Nexus RAZR would be very interesting indeed. The worst thing about Motorola's Android offerings was their crap skin (Motoblur, anyone?). The phones themselves are good (well, the Defy is arguably the best rugged phone, the Atrix was vastly underpowered for what it intended to do but the idea was nifty and the RAZR's only flaw was to be pricier than a comparable Galaxy SII), IMHO.

The worth thing Moto offers is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40407849)

Not the cheap "skin" (Samsung is actually worst) .... it is the piss poor battery life.

The RAZR had a decent battery life .... for about 6 months. Then it degraded rapidly to a point that by the end of the 1st year you need to replaced it.

Re:Nexus One wasn't in house... (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405303)

There is talk of ending the one-nexus-at-time rule.

Re:Nexus One wasn't in house... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40406471)

Samsung made Google's phone.

yes (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#40403495)

Don't see why not. The dev tools are the same, the OS at least at the app layer is identical or nearly so. Assuming people like Surface I'm sure a Surface Phone version wouldn't be that hard to fire out.

Re:yes (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404399)

Don't see why not. The dev tools are the same, the OS at least at the app layer is identical or nearly so. Assuming people like Surface I'm sure a Surface Phone version wouldn't be that hard to fire out.

And with enough mortar you could build a house out of them.

don't they already? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40403547)

isn't that what a Nokia branded Windows Phone is?

It would need to pick up some cheap factories (4, Interesting)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 2 years ago | (#40403567)

Say in a foreign country well-known for its mobile business which was teetering after having been dealt a big blow by the iPhone. It would need to somehow persuade them to ditch their current production runs and software stacks in favour of their own. It would have to install one of their own men at the top to oversee all this. Then it would have to ensure there is no chance of this business recovering by publicly announcing a new line of software which is totally incompatible with the line it promised to save them with, thus ensuring via the osborne effect none sell at all. Bankrupt, this mobile business could then be picked up for a song, and its patents would really come in handy too. The trouble is, everyone in the business would see this coming if they tried that. Wouldn't they?

Re:It would need to pick up some cheap factories (4, Funny)

slinches (1540051) | more than 2 years ago | (#40403871)

Yes, but where in the world would they find such a company?

--
Sent from my Nokia N9

Re:It would need to pick up some cheap factories (2)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404419)

I dunno, wouldn't Blackberry be a better investment...?

Re:It would need to pick up some cheap factories (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40403957)

Maybe it's a Finnish thing.

Re:It would need to pick up some cheap factories (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404417)

Maybe it's a Finnish thing.

Not for much longer - they're moving all their manufacturing to China in desperate attempt to remain competitive. Might be too late for them.

Horrible mess for Microsoft, if they bought them. More likely they'll just wait for the fire sale and see what they can get -- though if it's liquidation the may find the choice bits have more competition for bidders.

Too easy (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405335)

"Finnish him!"

Re:It would need to pick up some cheap factories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40403979)

The trouble is, everyone in the business would see this coming if they tried that. Wouldn't they?

Absolutely! They'd see it coming a mile away, 2 to 5 years after it happened!

Re:It would need to pick up some cheap factories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40404279)

Best comment I've seen on Slashdot in a few years.

Re:It would need to pick up some cheap factories (3, Funny)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404749)

While amusing, I thought about this during the WP8 announcement. Prior to WP8, everyone said "Windows Phone 7" during announcements. Everyone except Nokia at their big announcement. They specifically called out "Windows Phone."

Even more importantly, if they really wanted too, they could keep their WP7 lineup alive for as long as they see fit because they have the ability to make changes. In doing so, they could maintain their faithful customers and continue on with WP8.

Re:It would need to pick up some cheap factories (1)

jezwel (2451108) | more than 2 years ago | (#40408135)

Everything other than your first statement is fine, however it seems that Nokia's Symbian smartphones sales (not market share) were still increasing even with the iPhone on the market - right up until Elop issued his 'burning platforms' statement. This blog has a ton of interesting facts and opinions on Nokia. http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/ [blogs.com]

They should (4, Insightful)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#40403587)

I think a reference model is a good way to go. Works for many hardware vendors that also license their technology out(notably video card vendors, of course), works for showing what Android can do for Google, etc. No frills, no contract, just a piece of hardware that shines at showing what the base software can do without having all that other crap(Beats Audio, Dolby Surround, ginormous screen, etc) tacked on.

May need to at this point (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40403599)

Given that they've just stiffed OEMs by announcing that literally EVERY unsold phone in the channel is now abandonware, they may NEED to start making their own. Who on earth would want to lose *more* money on phones that almost certainly won't sell?

Re:May need to at this point (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404071)

>Given that they've just stiffed OEMs by announcing that literally EVERY unsold phone in the channel is now abandonware, they may NEED to start making their own. Who on earth would want to lose *more* money on phones that almost certainly won't sell?

Considering that nobody wants a Nokia Lumia, the "flagship," I'd say that abandoning Microsoft Phone OSes might be easy to do.

Maybe that was the plan. Reduce Nokia to a pile of rubble, buy the rubble, pretend it's the old Nokia. The whole Microsoft-Nokia story is all sorts of fucked up. I've got my popcorn for this soap opera.

All this news surely hasn't helped Nokia.

http://ompldr.org/vZWZoMw/Screenshot-2.png [ompldr.org] - Last 3 months
http://ompldr.org/vZWZoOQ/Screenshot-3.png [ompldr.org] - 30 days ago to now

I see nothing there bumping the trend. The last week was a hump and it's back to where it was http://ompldr.org/vZWZoZw/Screenshot-4.png [ompldr.org] People bought on the rumours of news, and now that the news is out, it's gone. Speaking of the crowd not being particularly enthused with Surface and WP8, here's the MSFT chart.

http://ompldr.org/vZWZoag/Screenshot-5.png [ompldr.org] - One dollar bump and then "oh well" back to 30 bucks.

And to overlay, both companies as if this might mean something:
http://ompldr.org/vZWZobg/Screenshot-6.png [ompldr.org]

--
BMO - chartin' the charts.

Re:May need to at this point (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404137)

Correction to the above post.

First link was YTD
Second link was 3 months.

Bah.

--
BMO

Re:May need to at this point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40404917)

I have an HTC something running Windows Phone that works fine.

mod parent up. makes sense. (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404127)

Ballmer's a cornered animal, with all the analysts gunning for him. he'll do anything at this point. that's what we're seeing in Surface and WinPhone8. just because big corporations got shook down for 10 years with "oh, it won't upgrade your existing machines well, but we won't support that old OS, you have to buy it all new" doesn't mean anybody is eating that crap any more. certainly corporations aren't. consumers want all the blingy new shiny without spending anything, just ask the MAFIAA.

Re:mod parent up. makes sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40404945)

"ust because big corporations got shook down for 10 years with "oh, it won't upgrade your existing machines well, but we won't support that old OS, you have to buy it all new" doesn't mean anybody is eating that crap any more."

I agree. That's why my company doesn't buy any Apple products. But, we're still happily using Windows XP that was released 11 years ago.

Re:mod parent up. makes sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405309)

It's cool how all of slashdot's IT lifers are arm chair executives. Tell us more visionary one!

Re:May need to at this point (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404177)

I had the same thought. Didn't Microsoft commit the Osborne Mistake with this announcement? Or maybe they don't think they need to care?

Re:May need to at this point (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40404407)

No, because wp7 was dead anyway. And no they don't care about their "partners", who are the only ones hurt at this point.

Sure, they may take away some of whatever interest is left in wp7, but the main goal in this is to take away interest from iPhones and Androids. To take a fraction of a percentage away from massive iPhone/Android sales is worth more to MS than to save a percentage or two of meager wp7 sales.

Also, consider this: MS shouldn't be making ANYTHING off wp7. All their "partners" are companies that they've sued into making deals. Or worse: Nokia. Nokia has "minimum royalty commitments" to MS for about a billion dollars per quarter. Nokia is committed to buying about 16M worth of wp7 licenses per quarter, whether they sell 2M phones or 0M phones. MS doesn't need to care one bit how many sales Nokia loses. --- I wonder if it shows?

Re:May need to at this point (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404459)

I see. I wasn't aware of that. That's brilliant on Microsoft's part. And the person at Nokia who signed that paper should never work in the industry again. Although now that I think about it, he probably doesn't need to...

Re:May need to at this point (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404245)

But but but!!! Nobody ever [lost money / got fired] for going Microsoft.

Times are changing aren't they?

Re:May need to at this point (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40404701)

In memoriam: Microsoftâ(TM)s previous strategic mobile partners

ïMicrosoft's new "strategic partnership" with Nokia is not its first. For a decade the software company has courted and consummated relationships with a variety of companies in mobile and telecom. Here are the ones I can remember:

LG. In February 2009 Microsoft Corp. signed a multiyear agreement for Windows Mobile to be included on devices from LG Electronics Inc. LG would use Windows Mobile as its "primary platform"for smartphones and produce about 50 models running the software.

What happened? LG made a few Windows Mobile devices but with WinMo uncompetitive, they abandoned the platform and moved to Android losing years of market presence and all their profits.

Motorola. In September 2003, Motorola and Microsoft announced an alliance. "Starting with the introduction of the new Motorola MPx200 mobile phone with Microsoft Windows Mobile software, the companies will collaborate on a series of Smartphone and Pocket PC wireless devices designed to create a virtual "remote control" for the Web-centric, work-centric, always-on-the-go mobile professional." In addition, the alliance includes cooperation on joint marketing and wireless developer programs.

What happened? Motorola launched a series of Windows Mobile phones culminating in the Motorola Q "Blackberry killer". As Motorola hit the rocks in profitability new management reached for the Android liferaft. The company now relies exclusively on the Droid franchise.

Palm. In September 2005 Palm and Microsoft announced a strategic alliance to "accelerate the Smartphone market segment with a new device for mobile professionals and businesses. Palm has licensed the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system for an expanded line of Treo Smartphones, the first of which will be available on Verizon Wirelessâ(TM) national wireless broadband network."

What happened? Palm shipped a few Windows Mobile, famously dismissing Appleâ(TM)s potential entry as something "PC guys" could never achieve. A new CEO, a private placement and an acquisition later the company is a division of HP making its own operating system.

Nortel. When Steve Ballmer was famously laughing at the iPhone and saying that he likes the Windows Mobile strategy "a lot" he was sitting next to the then-CEO of Nortel (Mike Zafirovski formerly of Motorola) with whom the company had just closed a strategic deal. "an alliance between Microsoft and Nortel announced in July 2006 ⦠includes three new joint solutions to dramatically improve business communications by breaking down the barriers between voice, e-mail, instant messaging, multimedia conferencing and other forms of communication".

What happened? Nortel declared bankruptcy two years later.

Verizon. In January 2009 "Verizon Wireless has selected Microsoft Corp. to provide portal, local and Internet search as well as mobile advertising services to customers on its devices. The five-year agreement will go into effect in the first half of 2009 when Microsoft Live Search is targeted to be available on new Verizon Wireless feature phones and smartphones." The deal would ensure Bing distribution to all of Verizonâ(TM)s smartphone customers.

What happened? Bing did ship on some devices but in October 2009 Droid came to Verizon.

Ericsson. In September 2000, "Ericsson and Microsoft Corp. today launched Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB. This previously announced joint company will drive the mobile Internet by developing and marketing mobile e-mail solutions for operators. The first solutions are expected to be on the market by the end of the year. The company is part of a broader strategic alliance between Ericsson and Microsoft"

What happened? Ericsson divested itself of the mobile division forming a joint venture which would go on and make more strategic alliances with Microsoft over Windows Mobile culminating in a loss of profits and eventual flight to Android.

Sendo. In February 2001, Microsoft announced a partnership, in which Microsoft bought $12m of Sendo shares and a seat on the board. Sendo was to be Microsoft's "go to market partner" for the Stinger smartphone platform that would become Smartphone 2002.

What happened? Sendo after litigating IP issues with Microsoft went bankrupt in 2005.

And finally,

Nokia. No, not this OS deal, but in August 2009 âThe worldwide leader in software and the worldâ(TM)s largest smartphone manufacturer have entered into an alliance that is set to deliver a groundbreaking, enterprise-grade solution for mobile productivity. Today, Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop and Nokiaâ(TM)s Executive Vice President for Devices Kai Ã-istÃmà announced the agreement, outlining a shared vision for the future of mobile productivity. This is the first time that either company has embarked on an alliance of this scope and nature.â The plan was to bring âoeMicrosoft Office Mobile and Microsoft business communications, collaboration and device management software to Nokiaâ(TM)s Symbian devices.â What happened? One and a half years later the same Stephen Elop announced that Symbian will be deprecated.

-- Horace Dediu

And now we have the present Windows Phone 8 betrayal. Good bye Nokia and Godspeed!

Re:May need to at this point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40406959)

ipso facto these OEMs keep fucking things up, if the software were the problem then companies wouldn't be continually signing up to use it, the problem is that most of the OEMs can't execute...look at the state of Android with unsupported, abandonware phones all over the place, it's not Google's fault, it's OEMs failing to support their products.

Microsoft may finally be realizing OEMs aren't the way to go. Sure they have had failed products, but so have the other big players: Google (Wave, Gears, Knol, etc...) and Apple (Cube, 20th Anniv. Mac, Ping, etc...).
Honestly there really isn't anything wrong with Windows Phone (at least nothing that isn't equally represented by flaws in say iOS or Android) but the problem is availability of apps, if that is alleviated then there is no reason to believe it can't succeed (though 'Windows' branding could stand to be removed). Google also seem to have the problem of OEMs fucking up the name of Android with low-end, unsupported POS devices which is a real shame, Apple doesn't have to deal with that thanks to its vertical integration.

More talking heads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40403653)

Looks like they always have to talk, even if they don't have the vaguest idea if there is even the smallest element of truth to it.

GET MONEY. FUCK BITCHES .SMOKE TREE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40403665)

Word. [ngfiles.com]

Slashdot... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40403705)

Rampantly unfounded speculation for nerds.

companies don't "make" stuff anymore (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40403803)

they outsource manufacturing.. and in a lot of cases, even the design and development is outsourced... the "company" that sells whatever it is just slaps their name on it.

the largest electronics manufacturer in the world does not have a household name (except for when they make the news for employer-employee issues). it sells very few products at retail of its own. they are the lowest bidder that makes products for other companies.

apple is a software and design house. they outsource manufacturing. they basically exploit the cheap asian labor of foxconn. foxconn and apple have roughly the same gross revenues, but apple's net is over 10 times higher. foxconn has over a million employees while apple 'only' has about 60k. foxconn net revenue per employee is about $2,200.. apple's is over $425,000.

Re:companies don't "make" stuff anymore (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40403941)

> the largest electronics manufacturer in the world does not have a household name

I presume you are talking about Foxconn? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn) Ah, thanks for the dollar figures between them and Apple.

Sad to see how at one time Americans took pride in quality and "Made in America"; now they just wanted the cheapest quantity possible. :-/

--
"The Big Bang is our modern scientific creation myth. It comes from the same human need to solve the cosmological riddle [Where did the universe come from?]"
- Carl Sagan, Cosmos episode 10 "The Edge of Forever"

Re:companies don't "make" stuff anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40404423)

Sad to see how at one time Americans took pride in quality and "Made in America"; now they just wanted the cheapest quantity possible. :-/

Pride can slide and be preserved. Be proud of how much you got for how little. And if that makes you feel "cheap," think of the service charges you pay every month to possibly two ISPs, regardless of how much you paid up front for the hardware.

Really, you're still overpaying, if that makes you feel any better. You're not a cheapskate. Be proud of that.

And besides, didn't a famous American say, "Quantity has a quality all its own?"

Oh wait, that wasn't an American... But he had basically American values, right? He thought managing the economy was the most important thing a government can do, and the two most popular presidential candidates in 2012 are convinced that American voters agree with that: just listen to them. He thought his country's political philosophy should be acrtively spread like tipping dominoes, and a pretty recent American president (2000-2008) was very well known for sharing that opinion. He felt the best solution to national security problems was to purge the country of ne'er-do-wells, via extra-legal means. That's popular now, too.

We're much alike, that American-in-spirit and us.

("Extra-legal" is a damn cool term. It's sounds legal, to an extreme degree. You can't get more legal than that!)

Re:companies don't "make" stuff anymore (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40404467)

Sad to see how at one time Americans took pride in quality and "Made in America"; now they just wanted the cheapest quantity possible.

It's been a long while since "made in America" meant a relatively high level of quality. Think of cars.
There are a lot of manufacturers in China who make junk, but not all of them. Apple is an example of using a high quality manufacturer. Their quality control is unmatched, anywhere in the world.

Re:companies don't "make" stuff anymore (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406225)

I have a 4 year old Chevy Silverado. I did have to replace a dead battery but that is it. No rattles, no squeaks, nothing else. The doors close with that nice thump you expect with a Mercedes or Lexux. My dishware is made by Fiesta. Whitesite router bits are in my wood shop, and I have a Powell/Peralta skateboard with Indy trucks, a truly sweet ride. All made in the USA at competivive prices. I could go on, but I always buy shit made in the USA if available, usally of better quality at similar prices. You just have to look for it.

Re:companies don't "make" stuff anymore (1)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405215)

Sad to see how at one time Americans took pride in quality and "Made in America"; now they just wanted the cheapest quantity possible. :-/

It's worse than that and it's not even Foxconn we should be worried about. We have not been able to even make our own parts for some time now. A decade or two ago, an American firm tried to make a "made in USA" VCR. Surprise, they found out that nobody in the US made the parts needed to go in them (heads and some other parts IIRC). They tried to buy them from Asia where they are all made and were refused. They were able to finally get them by taking the companies to court with anti-trust laws and winning. China/Foxconn don't even make that much off the iPad compared to others. The companies in S Korea that make the parts make more that twice what China makes off of each iPad.

Re:companies don't "make" stuff anymore (1, Funny)

ozduo (2043408) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404073)

Pity Microsoft didn't outsource its software then perhaps they would have a better OS

Companies do make stuff (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404711)

companies don't "make" stuff anymore they outsource manufacturing..

To whom? Magical manufacturing pixies?

The companies that do the outsourcing outsource to, guess what, companies that do manufacturing. It is true that very frequently the companies that specialize in branding products and marketing them to consumers aren't the same companies that specialize in manufacturing the products, but it is very much not the case that companies don't make stuff anymore.

As a software company... (3, Insightful)

nomorecwrd (1193329) | more than 2 years ago | (#40403953)

Microsoft is an excellent hardware manufacturer

Their keyboards an joysticks are the best (mid-range) hardware I've come across.

Re:As a software company... (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404163)

And the xbox360 is a textbook case of royally screwing the pooch hardware design-wise. It took MULTIPLE revisions to tame the 360 into an acceptable piece of hardware

Re:As a software company... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40404309)

Yet you dumb motherfuckers bought them in droves.

Re:As a software company... (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404325)

SOP for Microsoft. Version 1 is for early adopters. Version 2 is "kind of okay" Version 3 is "better" and Version 4 is to be avoided like the plague. Version 5 is "we're sorry, let's be more like version 3." Version 6? Often the end of the development line where they either perfected it or screwed it up so bad no one wants it any longer.

Re:As a software company... (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404803)

I'm pretty sure Version 6 is "God, no! Help me, please! I don't deserve this kind of punishment!", judging by Windows ME, if you consider every iteration of 9x (except 98SE) to be a different OS

Re:As a software company... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#40407045)

But then the Zune was an example of getting the hardware and software right but failing monumentally in marketing and timing (as well as lack of differentiation from competitors). All the pieces are there, it's just a matter of getting all the successful pieces into one product.

Re:As a software company... (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405995)

Personally, I'm more of a Logitech fan. But Microsoft is pretty good too.

The more apt comparison would be to the XBox, Zune, and other system hardware. Hardware by itself isn't terribly difficult to get right. Just look at how many companies and mom and pop shops build Windows boxen. Getting the right software and hardware combination, however, is a completely different challenge, and where Apple shines.

Re:As a software company... (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40408045)

Actually, the only reason Apple shines is that they limit the scope of their target hardware so much that it becomes an easy job for them to support their product. The Hacintosh could never be more than a nerd's project, because Apple isn't even capable of supporting their own hardware more than a few years on their OS platform.

Realistically, (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404133)

...they'll have to, when Nokia goes under.

RIP Nokia (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40404463)

I knew they'd throw the Finn's under the bus, but I didn't know they would do it so soon. Microsoft really is a treacherous business partner.
I guess it's only taken this long for MS to pick clean all the IP they're after, and build a list of employees to poach.

I know a lot of people won't agree with what I have to say, but we've seen it before. This is Microsoft's SOP in these sorts of situations. (Plays for sure, anyone?)

Re:RIP Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40407703)

(Plays for sure, anyone?)

Just another example of how you can specify things all you want in an effort to unify platforms but in the end 3rd parties will still fuck it up, Apple had the same problem, 3rd party OEMs fucking things up (Motorola ROKR, anyone? or perhaps StarMax? or MacOS machines from Power Computing?)

Can't wait for the foldout keyboard and stylus (2)

Moof123 (1292134) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404481)

Or Clippy Mobile as a competitor for Siri.

Hardware makes competition (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40404635)

I do hope that Microsoft make's hardware for each area there Operating Systems run.
1 - Microsoft would actually "own" their brand and products. Microsoft would sell what actually works correctly for their OS and give their brand a positive reflection instead of relying on questionable PC manufacturers who have caused a lot of Microsoft's brand to decay over the years.
2 - Each sold unit comes with Microsoft's store to upgrade and purchase. This makes the Microsoft eco system viable to others and we all see more competition and probably more Applications as a result, developers engage again to do what they once did to make in building their brand.
3 - They have core OS running across multiple devices and a strategy to interconnect all of them into a healthy full featured "experience" within the corporation and at home e.g. tabletop, desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile device, "glass, pixelsense" or "surface" consumers at all levels get more and can do more seemlessly.
4 - If Microsoft competed on the hardware end, we might see hardware venders build better products, start to innovate instead of copy.
5- Perhaps just maybe a company like HP might do more to bolster their Operating System to compete against Microsoft and Apple. Heck hardware vendors upset with Microsoft might actually sit down and take a hard look at Linux, doing improvements like Apple did to Berkeley Standard Distribution and help Linux connect with end users through interface and usability. Not just selling pre installed Linux, but building on it like Apple did with BSD.

When I look Microsoft being in the hardware business, what comes to mind is how they might be enabling some healthy competition, whether that competition means hardware vendors stepping up and developing the types of products people want and can rely on using a Windows operating system or their going out and making their own operating system that competes head to head, we the consumers are all better off for it. So from my viewpoint, Microsoft please, be in the hardware business, make products to exemplify your brand positively and shake up the OEMs who have become complacent for so many years.

Re:Hardware makes competition (3, Funny)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40404931)

questionable PC manufacturers who have caused a lot of Microsoft's brand to decay over the years

Haha :)

Oh wait, you're serious... AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Re:Hardware makes competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40407393)

Oh right but when it's Android it's not Google's fault, blame the manufacturer!

Re:Hardware makes competition (1)

oztiks (921504) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406077)

Yeah, my mind is this. Computing is such these days that a bunch of nerds stuck in a room together can build a $25 computer.

Microsoft wont get this wrong, its like buying cars these days. Cars used to be have huge gaps in cost of parts, serviceability and quality. Now, it doesn't matter what you buy, its new and its from a good size company it will work for the next 5 years with no issues.

Computers and the hardware have become much the same. People betting MS will get it wrong are looking at the past and just expecting it aren't thinking about how the hardware industry has changed in the last few years, the concept that hardware is worth nothing and the software is where the money at seems more and more the truth as time goes by.

Windows phone classic (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405025)

They could play off nostalgia and make the default screen color blue.

Sounds like the Final Knife in Nokias back. (2)

guidryp (702488) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405581)

There seems to be one thing worse than being Microsoft's enemy. That is being their partner.

1: Elop takes over, and Osbournes them by announcing the switch to Windows Phone with no Windows Phone actually coming anytime soon.
2: Microsoft announces that Win8 will have a new Kernel and that currently for sale phones (Nokia Phones) won't be upgrading to new kernel, thus killing desire for current Nokia phones.
3: Microsoft starts making it's own Windows phones.

Step 3 is hypothetical at this point, but looks like it might be enough to kill already weakened Nokia.

Microsoft adaptation of Ghandi quote (2)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406117)

"First they laugh at you. Then you fail. Then they laugh at you again."

No. They'll just get their ass handed to them by A (1)

melted (227442) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406953)

No. They'll just get their ass handed to them by Apple and Google. They sell into an extremely price-conscious segment of the market. Apple sells premium products to people who have the cash (and even then, Microsoft can't compete with them on price because it doesn't benefit from being the largest component purchaser in the world like Apple). Google gives their products away to then in turn sell eyeballs to advertisers. When they buy Motorola, assuming they keep the hardware business, they can still sell their product subsidized with ad revenues.

What can Microsoft subsidize their product with? App sales? But their customers are cheapskates who don't like to pay for anything, there aren't actually any RT apps worth paying for, and there won't be for another year or so (good apps with native experience take time to build). Ads? But their ads business sucks ass. It's a tough spot they've painted themselves into, and their unwillingness to fully embrace the ARM "pure tablet" form factor, and insistence on calling everything "Windows" will hurt them pretty bad.

Re:No. They'll just get their ass handed to them b (1)

espiesp (1251084) | more than 2 years ago | (#40407659)

If they are smart, they will subsidize it with Windows and Office. Last I checked Microsoft wasn't exactly broke...

Re:No. They'll just get their ass handed to them b (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40408081)

Microsoft can 'subsidize' their product with Corporate data-center integration.

Do you seriously think businesses want to give their employees smartphones that they can download games onto from App Stores. If Microsoft finally does it right and integrates their business apps (Office, Exchange, etc.) it won't matter what other smartphone vendors offer. Corporate IT will tell people what they are getting. And when said people realize how well their Outlook works, they'll be satisfied.

I know the answer as a total bystander... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40407481)

Maybe?
Its tech - won't affect my career or salary so I don't care to speculate, or care about the product. Go learn something instead.

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