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Microsoft-Built Smartphone Could Irritate Hardware Partners, Harm Nokia

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the upsetting-the-balance dept.

Microsoft 100

Nerval's Lobster writes "Rumors have circulated for weeks that Microsoft intends to release a smartphone of its own design and manufacture, embracing the strategy that drove Apple's iPhone to such enormous success over the past few years. While releasing a branded smartphone offers several potential benefits—look at the revenue and brand recognition Apple's earned as a result of the iPhone—such a strategy also carries significant risks for Microsoft. First, it could alienate smartphone partners such as Nokia, which would find itself competing against a high-end device backed by Microsoft's sizable marketing dollars. (Given the Finnish phone-maker's already perilous situation, that could prove ruinous.) But a branded smartphone could also convince hardware manufacturers that Microsoft really is 'all in' on building its own devices, which could lead to all sorts of drama."

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100 comments

I can see it now ... (5, Funny)

jasnw (1913892) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888095)

... from the folks who brought you the Zune ... THE ZONE!

Re:I can see it now ... (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888429)

It pleases me that this is the first comment.

Re:I can see it now ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41888607)

Of course the Zune was really a pretty decent piece of hardware...

Re:I can see it now ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889893)

Perhaps but the software SUCKED. God forbid you throw on a song with metadata containing a forward-slash / .

Go ahead, try, I dare you.

What's that? You can't read your tags for shit now?

Nope, that's what I thought.Try it with a whole host of other non alpha/numeric characters common to the English language, you'll find that the software BLOWS.

Re:I can see it now ... (4, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890225)

that virtually nobody bought because it was years late to the party.

Hmm, are there any parallels to the current situation?

Re:I can see it now ... (4, Funny)

antek9 (305362) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889261)

You all too happily forget that Microsoft already had their own line of phones (yah, well, sorta...), the Kin! In order to re-invigorate that great tradition of (iirc) two weeks, the new MS phone should carry that name on to the future. May I suggest the KIN-KON, the DUN-KIN, and last but not least, the pumped up eight core cpu version, the PUMP-KIN (available in one color, and one color only).

So... just like Google? (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888101)

Last I checked you could buy an Android phone from Google (i.e. the Nexus phones) or from a 3rd party company.

How is this any different?

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41888143)

Because Google just sets a standard for what should be called a Nexus device and just endorses it. Nothing more, the OEM does most of the work. Microsoft seems to want to completely design and build the device themselves.

Re:So... just like Google? (2)

kurkosdr (2378710) | about a year and a half ago | (#41893303)

Exactly. The difference is that in the case of the Nexuses, the OEM keeps most profits, so Google acts as a subcontractor to them. OEMs like that. Instead, MS got Apple-envy and is trying to compete with their OEMs. Also, MS has the advantage that they "pay royalties to themselves" for the OS royalties of the Surface, so other OEMs are in a competitive disadvantage. Especially if the rumors of 60$ royalties for Windows RT are true. Is it any wonder that most OEMs are jumping ship from Windows RT? Same thing will happen with Windows Phone.

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41888153)

The Nexus Phones are made by someone else which is different. (Different one each time).

Seems less necessary for Microsoft though as they don't let OEM's break the OS completely.

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

wmac1 (2478314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890005)

Microsoft does not build hardware itself. It subcontracts them to different producers.

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891357)

Even Kin was made by Elcoteq, who jobbed it for Sharp.

Re:So... just like Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41888161)

Most obviously

Android = free and forkable?

Re:So... just like Google? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41888175)

        Nexus One smartphone, manufactured by HTC, released January 2010
        Nexus S smartphone, manufactured by Samsung, released December 2010
        Galaxy Nexus smartphone, manufactured by Samsung, released in November 2011
        Nexus 7 tablet, manufactured by Asus, released July 2012
        Nexus Q, a media-streaming entertainment device, released June 2012
        Nexus 4 smartphone, manufactured by LG, released November 2012
        Nexus 10 tablet, manufactured by Samsung, released November 2012

that different

Re:So... just like Google? (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888177)

Difference is that Android phones can actually differentiate themselves. Microsoft phones have very little latitude in hardware design, so there is next to no difference between phone A and phone B. So an Android phone Google is not going to be much like a Samsung Galaxy Note III, but a Microsoft phone will be a lot like a Nokia.

Re:So... just like Google? (5, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888517)

Yeah, it's kind of funny that Nokia didn't want to be just another Android phone manufacturer, but now they've become just another Microsoft phone manufacturer.

Still, I'm sure Elop is just the man to get Nokia out of this sticky situation. Perhaps Microsoft will give him his old job back, once the job's been done....sorry, I mean once Nokia is beyond economic repair.

Re:So... just like Google? (4, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888867)

This is not even a joke. Have you seen the new (cough) clone (cough) from HTC. If I were Nokia I would be furious. And there is Microsof thinking, "oh gee lets help HTC because Nokia is effing this up." No Nokia is not effing this up! Nokia is building kick ass phones. It is Microsoft that is screwing things up. The upgrade path from Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 was pure and unadulterated Microsoft eff up! When I heard about this I thought, "wow and we thought Android vendors had a sucky upgrade path."

Re:So... just like Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41891629)

Wow. I had not seen the HTC Windows 8X phone yet, or had been aware of how much similarity exists between it and Nokia's high-end phones of the last 1.5 years, (i.e. a tapered block of colored plastic with a curved glass display encompassing the entire front). No escaping those 'gui' buttons imposed by Windows 8 tho'. I suppose those is for switching applications? Not exactly a move forward, I think.

http://www.htc.com/ca/smartphones/htc-wp-8x

So Elop, these guys are now eating your lunch and you've got nothing else. Everything else is gone, you've burned through so many quarters with few Nokia products people want to buy. And all those quarters of negative growth brought us only to this point. Will someone please show this guy, and the entire Nokia board, the door, while a door still exists? Where is the shareholder revolt?

Re:So... just like Google? (2)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890469)

Each manufacturer has its own walled garden on the MSFT app store. This gives some differentiation between otherwise identical software. In the case of Nokia their exclusive apps are the turn by turn satnav app 'Drive', the public transport app 'Transport' and the AR app 'City Lens' (amongst several other less notable offerings). Any one of these would be a reason to go for Nokia over HTC, Samsung or even MSFT and this is the reason I am putting up with their stupid decision to go exclusive with EE and waiting until the new year to get a 920 off-contract.

Re:So... just like Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41891411)

That kind of differentiation is perfectly doable on Android. There's no advantage to use Windows Phone for that. And let's be frank here, I would certainly not be rooting for a Lumia because of "Transport", "Drive" or "City Lens". "There's an app for that" on other platforms.

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891555)

Yeah, it's kind of funny that Nokia didn't want to be just another Android phone manufacturer, but now they've become just another Microsoft phone manufacturer.

I don't get that either. Nokia has always prided itself on delivering an experience of software AND hardware. By sucking Microsoft's cock, they lost total control of the software and were severely constrained with their hardware too. Look at Nokia's new Windows phones vs HTCs new Windows phones. Practically indistinguishable. Nokia still have a few value ads like offline maps but it's not much.

It wouldn't have been plain sailing with Android either but they could have skinned Android six ways to Sunday if they felt like it, thrown in their own apps, implemented their own Symbian / QT framework even. They would have retained a lot of the control for the experience that they had previously and without alienating their developers or existing customers.

But I guess Microsoft waved a lot of money under their nose and with an ex-Microsoft employee at their helm they were too weak to resist. And see where it's gotten them. Dismal sales not just of Windows phones but plunging sales of feature phones too because confidence has collapsed. MS will continue to stick the boot into their new best friend until they're so weak that doubtless someone (Microsoft) will make a cash offer and after the mass layoffs all that will be left is a withered husk and all that IP of course.

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

21mhz (443080) | about a year and a half ago | (#41895533)

Nokia has always prided itself on delivering an experience of software AND hardware.

I don't know what software you are talking about, but the software I've seen before Elop started shaking things over wasn't something to be much proud of. This is perhaps the biggest reason why did they end up in their current position.

Re:So... just like Google? (2)

21mhz (443080) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889695)

Difference is that Android phones can actually differentiate themselves. Microsoft phones have very little latitude in hardware design, so there is next to no difference between phone A and phone B.

A Lumia 920 says "bullshit" to that.

Re:So... just like Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41891035)

No it doesn't, it crashed.

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891359)

You forgot to say "Exclusively from AT&T"

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

21mhz (443080) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891985)

What does that have to do with hardware differentiation?

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41902629)

Nothing. I was just pointing out that AT&T paid well to participate in your advertisement, and they're entitled to recognition in the prescribed form.

Re:So... just like Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41892207)

Please elaborate. What Windows 8 phones does Lumia 920 differentiate itself from?

Re:So... just like Google? (2)

21mhz (443080) | about a year and a half ago | (#41892985)

Please elaborate. What Windows 8 phones does Lumia 920 differentiate itself from?

Any that don't have optical image stabilization in the camera, the touchscreen usable with gloves on, decent screen visibility in direct sunlight, sub-10ms screen reaction times, wireless charging, ability to withstand accidental drops from human-sized heights without a case, and Nokia exclusive apps. It's actually differentiation overkill: Lumia 920 has distinct features over any smartphone available on the market, no matter what the OS.

Re:So... just like Google? (3, Interesting)

BBF_BBF (812493) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890283)

Microsoft phones have very little latitude in hardware design, so there is next to no difference between phone A and phone B. So an Android phone Google is not going to be much like a Samsung Galaxy Note III, but a Microsoft phone will be a lot like a Nokia.

Actually Windows Phones have very little lattitude in minimum and maximum tech specs of screens, no variation on number of hard buttons, nor processors. There are minimum memory requirements as well. Hardware in terms of style, is purely up to the manufacturer.

However, I think that the fear is that Microsoft will put out a phone with a *more powerful* processor and/or a *higher resolution* display than they allow the other Windows Phone licensees to, thus ensuring that no OEM can match Microsoft's top-of-the-line phone.

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

21mhz (443080) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891033)

However, I think that the fear is that Microsoft will put out a phone with a *more powerful* processor and/or a *higher resolution* display than they allow the other Windows Phone licensees to, thus ensuring that no OEM can match Microsoft's top-of-the-line phone.

Moar, highar. Meh.
I don't think Nokia is that into spec chasers' stupid money. They seem to differentiate on style, build quality, camera, and exclusive apps, none of which is impossible with the specs they can get now. The screen on the Lumia 920 is more than adequate, and I haven't heard complaints about the speed, either.

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888201)

I guess you could try reading the article for their reasons and how most of them don't apply to Google. But that would be effort.

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888621)

I would expect Microsoft to partner with Nokia on making the device (i.e. how Google partnered with Asus for the Nexus 7). It will be Microsoft designed and branded with Nokia doing the manufacturing. Nokia gets a cut of the Nokia branded devices as well as the MS branded ones. Won't hurt the partnership and still lets MS have their own phone.

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889533)

Indeed, how is one company designing, making, and selling a phone, different from another company co-designing, subcontracting the manufacture, and selling another phone ? How ?

Re:So... just like Google? (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891501)

Nexus phones (and tablets) to me tend to resemble reference designs. They're good devices but they also have obvious shortcomings which I suspect are left intentionally for other device manufacturers to exploit.

Irritation? (-1, Flamebait)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888127)

Try drinking some flat ginger ale. Also, avoid breathing pulverized avian guano dust. Micorsort: pay me for my patented advice, or face the legal consequences! Slashdort readers, Because I love you with half of myheart almost as much as I love Laura, I am waiving the required payment and you have my permission to read this comment and to ponder it for up to 30 days, after which you will be billed at the Executive Premium Platinum Club rate. Good day!

Microsoft would have great economies... (4, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888137)

they wouldn't have to pay for full color RGB displays, since a blue screen would be good enough.

Re:Microsoft would have great economies... (1)

kimvette (919543) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888345)

Well, no, they'd need red too as of several years ago. ;)

Suck to be Nokia but good for rest of us (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888191)

While it may be a net loss for Nokia (they have no one but themselves to blame), it will be good for consumers. Consumers need a third ecosystem, especially since WebOS is dead and BB10 looks uncertain. From what I have read, it seems like Microsoft might try out Chinese market first before launching in USA

BB10 looks uncertain (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888293)

No, it looks quite certain... to fail.

Re:Suck to be Nokia but good for rest of us - NOT (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41888337)

> While it may be a net loss for Nokia (they have no one but themselves to blame), it will be good for consumers. Consumers need a third ecosystem, especially since WebOS is dead and BB10 looks uncertain. From what I have read, it seems like Microsoft might try out Chinese market first before launching in USA

It does not work out like that... read about "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish". If History is any good as reference, M$ promotes a certain kind of consolidation that leaves markets with less choice -- usually making them the dominant player.

Anyone saying this will harm Nokia -- well, duh! People called us naysayers back then, now they go like "if only I knew it would end up this way..."

We told you so, ok?

And the third ecosystem, might as well be some of Linux, like Ubuntu or KDE-based software (Plasma Active)...

Re:Suck to be Nokia but good for rest of us (3, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888381)

While it may be a net loss for Nokia (they have no one but themselves to blame), it will be good for consumers. Consumers need a third ecosystem, especially since WebOS is dead and BB10 looks uncertain. From what I have read, it seems like Microsoft might try out Chinese market first before launching in USA

That is the bingo word of the month "Ecosystem"; Windows do not have an ecosystem, and customers do not need one. They need compatibility and standards so their devices work with each other, but not an ecosystem. Ecosystem is just a bullshit word introduced by Microsoft shills because of the massive failure of Microsoft mobile, and are trying to utilise their desktop monopoly where it is of no value.

Oh and FYI Windows Phone still is fifth https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23771812 [idc.com] behind Symbian and RIM. With no indication that the market wants of desires a player outside iOS and Android. The sad fact is Microsoft is a failure in Chinese market, as well as everywhere else. The figures are in Nokia's quarterly reports, but an overall market share of 2% says it all.

Re:Suck to be Nokia but good for rest of us (2)

Bongo (13261) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891699)

Ecosystems... there's the people who are looking for distributed computing (apps, clouds, integration, media, etc.)
Then there's people who basically want a gadget that takes photos, does Facebook, and a few games.

Both types of customers seem to do well with Apple, so it is hard to say which is biggest. Apple has an ecosystem, but does it matter in the long run? The Apple Store is just too packed for me to believe they are all computing heads wanting to sync their calendars and note collections.

Android I daresay has a larger proportion of gadget customers. As well as those who care so much about computing they refuse to use Apple. But we kinda know they're in the minority. All those millions of activations aren't Jim preaching open source.

I think Xerox got it right again and the next generation is distributed computing. Whether tablets today are enough for that (or whether it needs much more stuff to go digital, paperless office, etc.) is whether ecosystems at this point matter. Basically, is the iPad a platform or a gadget for most buyers?

If the distributed computing wave hasn't actually started yet then Microsoft are not late. But they may lose anyway on a gadget basis.

But if distributed computing has arrived, then iOS may grow a lot more, and Android might sink into mere gadget status. But that's OK too because a lot of the world will be powered by people who just need phone and email and web to do business, like Africa. People who'll never own a PC of any description. Just like I never owned a mainframe or a mini.

I tend to feel that the third ecosystem will come from China or India. There's nothing different about Microsoft at this point, but another nation (and the Chinese see themselves not as a nation but a civilisation) would build their own.

Re:Suck to be Nokia but good for rest of us (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41888731)

Consumers need a third ecosystem

Why?

Re:Suck to be Nokia but good for rest of us (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890409)

for same reason we need a third party and third major desktop OS. a duopoly of control of anything is bad it encourages non conformance to standards and is bad for consumers. a third option alway insures that two "competitors" cant simply collude to screw the consumers because they will simply flee to the third option, also it breaks strong partisan ship that we can see in American politics where nothing changes because we only have two options that refuse to compromise and have extreme NIH syndrome.

that all said is Microsoft the best party for a third option in the mobile arena? Hell No. (in will smith voice :-) ) I would rather a (possibly gnu)Linux based, would settle for rim, or symbion though.

  Windows phone 8 == fail whale

Re:Suck to be Nokia but good for rest of us (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891027)

Windows Phone is still way behind BlackBerry in market share, which is saying something. If you want to back an "I'm not dead yet" tech giant, you might as well back RIM as much as you'd back MS. I wouldn't put smart money on either of them myself though.

Re:Suck to be Nokia but good for rest of us (1)

simpz (978228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891977)

Funny how MS and phone vendors etc go on about the need for a third ecosystem. But on the desktop lots of people claim there is only room for 2 ecosystems, and no room for Linux.

Who cares about microsoft anymore ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41888227)

Really...
Ok, they will release a new flight simulator, so that's at least one thing acceptable.

Re:Who cares about microsoft anymore ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889567)

A lot of people. Pretending hurr durr Flight Simulator is the only thing they make anyone cares about just makes you look like a retard.

Brown smartphones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41888241)

Yeah, real competitor here!

Apple's strategy (0)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888261)

Was/is to make good products. So microsoft is going to do a 180 now?

Re:Apple's strategy (4, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888455)

Was/is to make good products. So microsoft is going to do a 180 now?

No its really not. Apples [during Jobs] greatest success comes from getting users to spent money on high margin electronics; by being seen as first to market; with a compelling product, and marketing the hell out of it. Following apple into a mature market with a me too product is well the what Apple [post jobs] did with the iPad mini, only Microsoft doesn't have the same set of devoted followers, and those it neglected in the pursuit of being an electronics company.

Re:Apple's strategy (1)

Swampash (1131503) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888573)

Yes, of course, because nobody used mobile phones before 2007. When iPhone was launched there were literally no other mobile phones in the world.

Re:Apple's strategy (1, Insightful)

thammoud (193905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888969)

There was no phone that even came close to the capabilities of the iPhone. Having said that, I am moving over to Android as Apple is losing its innovation edge. I really dislike the closed eco system. Works for a lot of people but not for me. Not anymore.

Re:Apple's strategy (2)

toopok4k3 (809683) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890319)

This is blatantly wrong. iPhone was the device that lacked a lot of HW capabilities compared to other manufacturers. The brilliance of iPhone was in the fact that these HW capabilities stopped mattering. Why? Because everyone could build a mobile phone with a camera, GPS, fm radio, wifi, mobile hotspot, etc... Apple focused on software. They got it right with a lot easier to use touchscreen. Their APIs were also miles ahead of the competitors offerings in the ease of use apartment. You propably don't know how PITA it was to do any kind of development on Symbian. Back then it was all symbian. Android was just coming.

All the necessary "smartphone" hardware existed before the iPhone. However they became a commodity for every phone manufacturer. Apple came to the market with the best software platform. Before the iPhone the focus was on hardware. When was the last time you saw NEW hardware in a phone that ain't just a spec update?

Re:Apple's strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41892401)

My S3 has a barometer. Pretty sure that wasn't around in 2007. Ditto for AMOLED.

The benchmark phone in hardware in 2007 was the Nokia N95. I still see people using it as their daily driver. I don't think I've seen anyone with an original iPhone (or 3G, or 3GS) for the last year or so.

Re:Apple's strategy (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | about a year and a half ago | (#41893765)

Without wishing to offend anybody, specifically Apple fans, I suspect this was due to the non replaceable battery failing quite early on. The short life cycle of each iteration meant that it was easier and more desirable to upgrade to the newest version rather than pay quite a lot to Apple to replace the battery.

Quite a shrewd business model provided that the user base is prepared to wear it.

The N95 was a truly poor phone. Not particularly well made and buggy as hell. I would rather have had the iPhone than the N95 but things move on and the iPhone is losing it's appeal as newer models arrive.

Re:Apple's strategy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889065)

Here, fixed it for you: When iPhone was launched there were literally no other mobile phones _like it_ in the world.

Seriously, I had a smart phone back then, or what was considered one, a HP iPAQ, and it was nowhere near what the iPhone was. Nothing about the iPhone when it came out was innovative in its individual parts, the ingenuity was putting it all together as well as backing it up with an app store.

Re:Apple's strategy (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891755)

The iPhone definitely led the way by a considerable margin. The fact that everyone has pretty much caught up is great for consumers.

Which company will be next to make the next large jump in innovation? Apple again? Or someone else?

The closed system of Apple leads to innovation as the hardware and software are designed together. Android is not hardware dependent and whilst there is close work with manufacturers there is no exclusivity in the same way as Apple. However, Android and Android phones have done pretty well in a short period.

It's all the play for and MS can certainly get some of the action. Their OS does offer a credible third option.

I understand! (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888271)

I finally figured out what's happening with these slashwhatever articles.

They've realized that since nobody reads TFA anyway, they can just post them and use the comments section to convince advertisers that slashwhatever is a worthwhile investment!

I can't believe I didn't see this before.

Re:I understand! (2)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888341)

Also:

Conclusion: Building its own Windows Phone smartphone might prove beneficial for Microsoft’s bottom line and prestige, but it could negatively affect its current partnerships.

Gee, nobody has said anything like that before - some truly original stuff here!

Misread this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41888279)

as "Microsoft-Built Smartphone Could Irradiate Hardware Partners, Harm Nokia"

I wasn't at all surprised...

Nokia has been bled dry (4, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888309)

Microsoft have already walked away from Nokia, and threw them under the bus with Windows 8, they are making no pretence that Nokia are old news, and if anything are flirtying with HTC. The fact that they will abandon both [I don't think Samsung will lose any sleep] is sadly predictable. LG is profitable again after dumping windows and moving to Android exclusively, maybe they learnt something :).

What is terrifying is Nokia ignoring the original stupidity of choosing windows...exclusively seem to have no back up plan, and are acting like they have no option. They have cut too many people, and moved manufacturing to china, and seem to be moving into the Patent trolling with Microsoft...but nothing else.

Looks like Android is going to grab even more market share before this sorry tale is over.

Really Anger Partners? :) (1)

saikou (211301) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888375)

I understand the Surface, as many manufacturers had that dream of making The Next iPad Killer(tm) (which, incidentally, never seemed to materialized, until Amazon and Google stepped up, and even then, it's still all wobbly and transparent around the edges) but phones?

As of right now, the amount of handsets Windows Phone platform sends is small. So, while losing that tiny percentage might be irritating, I don't see how it would really anger partners. Aside from Nokia that was being systematically destroyed ever since Mr Elop arrived at the helm, everybody else keep WP products as a bottom drawer "if, for some unimaginable reason, it suddenly works out" back-up plan. Most money are in Android anyway.

So the only real negative consequence would be if MS decides to do another patent war, and everyone, even those who still have nominal WP models, would suddenly because a target. And even then, it'll turn into "how many extra fees do you have to force Android manufacturers to pay before users rebel".

Re:Really Anger Partners? :) (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888493)

I understand the Surface, as many manufacturers had that dream of making The Next iPad Killer(tm)

I'm not disagreeing with you. I just find the term "iPad killer"(sic) outdated https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23772412 [idc.com] Apples tablet market share dropped to a new low of 50.4%.

Starcraft anyone? (2)

Baby Duck (176251) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888399)

I first read that headline as ... Smartphone Could IRRADIATE Hardware Partners ... Technically, they already do, but I figured some additional orders of magnitude were thrown in with a headline like that!

Samsung will just hire Jaedong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889143)

Samsung can always hire Jaedong. Jaedong is good with Scourge micro at taking out science vessels. As for Nokia, they are screwed. Science vessels take experience to counter, which Nokia does not have.

Microsoft image problems (-1, Offtopic)

suss (158993) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888473)

I can't imagine anyone bragging about having a Microsoft branded phone.

They're just not cool.

Re:Microsoft image problems (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888563)

I can't imagine anyone bragging about having a Microsoft branded phone.

They're just not cool.

It is nothing to do with being cool...although cool goes a long way. Microsoft always sold more on the desktop, even today Microsoft machines outnumber Apple machines 20:1. Its simply not a good OS, Android is only just 5 years old and has 75% of the market...Microsoft has 2%. The carriers don't like it...The customers don't want it.

Re:Microsoft image problems (1)

Swampash (1131503) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888641)

Microsoft always sold more on the desktop, even today Microsoft machines outnumber Apple machines 20:1

I daresay Apple machines outnumber Microsoft machines by a factor closer to infinity because there's no such thing as a Microsoft machine. Microsoft isn't - yet - a hardware manufacturer. If you're talking about operating-system-software licences then Microsoft peaked in 2004 with a Windows:Mac ratio of about 56:1. Now, if you include iOS as an operating system, the ratio has dropped to about 2:1.

See:

http://www.asymco.com/2012/07/04/the-building-and-dismantling-of-the-windows-advantage/ [asymco.com]

Re:Microsoft image problems (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888881)

if you include iOS as an operating system, the ratio has dropped to about 2:1.

No not even close the number of Desktop PC's in the world is about 1.6Billion http://www.c-i-a.com/pr02012012.htm [c-i-a.com] to pit that figure into some kind of perspective Apple only sold 26.9Million iPhones last quarter https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23771812 [idc.com] . Even Android which sells 5 times as many phones as the iphone is only expected to overtake PC's in 2016.

Re:Microsoft image problems (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889175)

only expected to overtake PC's in 2016.

You say it takes 9 years of tablet sales to overtake 30 years of PC sales? You misuse the word "only".

Re:Microsoft image problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890861)

I am sure Microsoft's Eastern European partners think that they are. hahaha

To Late for Street Cred (0)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888503)

I think Microsoft is just too little, too late, too lazy to keep up and they won't have more than a minor impact. App developers would have to be working overtime to support it and I don't hear anything about that occurring.

Other Manufacturers Can't Complain (1)

high_rolla (1068540) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888601)

The other device makers really can't complain here from what I see. MS is starting to make their own products because quite frankly, the products made by others have been mediocre at best. They have had many years to pick up their game but none of them have. MS really does owe them nothing and if MS can make a better device themselves then they most definitely should because the others quite clearly can't.

I find it very interesting that Software companies (Apple, Google, MS, Amazon) have all taken to hardware as well and served many companies who specialise only in hardware (and have many years experience) their asses on a plate. This is a perfect example of skills learnt in one area translating very elegantly into another.

Re:Other Manufacturers Can't Complain (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888705)

"MS is starting to make their own products because quite frankly, the products made by others have been mediocre at best."

What bullshit. The Lumia range had the looks, but where limited by Microsofts control over hardware...yes you read that right. It was a recipe for disaster. Single core in 2012 for WTF, but it wasn't the hardware that stopped users buying the range as the success of the N9 shows, or that hybrid symbian Chinese device shows, people just didn't want windows. I would have bought one at its heavily discounted price if it cane with stock Android.

Seriously what is Microsoft going to bring to the Mix.

Re:Other Manufacturers Can't Complain (1)

high_rolla (1068540) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889119)

Well I was talking generally not absolutely. But either way. MS must believe they can do a fair bit better if they are deciding to go it themselves. They seem to have done not too badly with the Surface so I'm actually keen to see what they pull off with a phone.

Re:Other Manufacturers Can't Complain (0)

FranTaylor (164577) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889297)

MS must believe they can do a fair bit better if they are deciding to go it themselves.

You mean like they did with ZUNE???

TOTAL FAIL

Re:Other Manufacturers Can't Complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41891061)

But they can't do it better. Their phones will still run Windows, and thus nobody will want them.

Re:Other Manufacturers Can't Complain (2)

high_rolla (1068540) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891547)

At the moment I would say that point is quite valid. How long that holds could be an interesting question however. I think Ballmer is going nowhere but Sinofsky is different. I think his style and approach have real potential and he's starting to find his stride. Give it a few years and I think he is going to be responsible for some big turn arounds in terms of what MS produces and we are just starting to see the inflection point.

Now I'm actually a Linux and Apple fan myself and normally don't think much of MS but Sinofsky is someone I respect.

Re:Other Manufacturers Can't Complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41888905)

Apple was never a "software company." From day one, they sold computer hardware, and the software that ran on it was part of the experience. Nothing has changed in that regard in the past 35 years.

Re:Other Manufacturers Can't Complain (1)

high_rolla (1068540) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889145)

Ok, I'll accept I was wrong there, but they are definitely in the software business and I believe they have applied a lot of what they learnt there to their hardware side of things and it is part of the reason their hardware is top notch.

Re:Other Manufacturers Can't Complain (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889271)

because quite frankly, the products made by others have been mediocre at best.

WHAT A LAUGH! What Microsoft hardware has EVER been better than "mediocre"??? Keyboards and mice made by other companies? Overheating Xboxes??? Zunes that crash???

I find it very interesting that Software companies (Apple

APPLE is a software company??? They make telephones and MP3 players and media centers! Oh and computers too!

Google

GOOGLE is manufacturing hardware??? SINCE WHEN???

This is a perfect example of skills learnt in one area translating very elegantly into another.

Your comment is a perfect example of COMPLETE IGNORANCE.

Re:Other Manufacturers Can't Complain (1)

evafan76 (2527608) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889449)

GOOGLE is manufacturing hardware??? SINCE WHEN???

They own Motorola Mobility, who does make Hardware.

APPLE is a software company???

"The big secret about Apple is that Apple views itself as a Software Company"-Steve Jobs

(See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEeyaAUCyZs [youtube.com] )

Your comment is a perfect example of COMPLETE IGNORANCE

4/10. See me after class.

Hard rice (4, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888615)

Interesting comment from Taiwan maker Acer about Microsoft's going into hardware competition:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57545024-75/acer-warns-microsoft-that-hardware-is-like-hard-rice/ [cnet.com]

I like the phrase they used: "like eating hard rice"

Clearly, the hardware manufacturers who have been subservient to Microsoft are looking at a new reality and will have to decide what to support.
This may give them the motivation to move to Android for phones and tablets and ignore Microsoft's offerings.

Except for the X Box (2)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#41888887)

what other hardware has MS been successful with. None that I know off. They came in with XBox just in time to catch the Dreamcasts death now the the iPhone and Android juggernauts its not going to happen. Plus MS hardware seems to have the mom and dad in sweat pants image instead of the cool kid on the block.

Re:Except for the X Box (1)

Inda (580031) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891889)

I've loved every single one of the two MS mouses I've owned. The one on my desk now is almost ten years old and still running fine.

Microsoft: king of the rodents.

Re:Except for the X Box (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about a year and a half ago | (#41892477)

Exactly what I came to say. I still use on a daily basis the original Microsoft IntelliMouse on my Windows gaming machine. I have a couple of other Microsoft mice, also. I think I paid $95 for the IntelliMouse - this is when LED mice first came out. It was/is worth every penny.

Will they re-use the Kin brand? (4, Informative)

kroyd (29866) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889215)

I'm sure lots of people here remembers the previous Microsoft produced phone, the Microsoft Kin [wikipedia.org] series of phones. After all, they lasted all, oh, 4 weeks? 40 days? Something like that.

There is probably a lot of "slack" in the Windows 8 phone pricing as well - if the Windows RT "OEM license fee" is 80-95$ [extremetech.com] , the Phone OS OEM price can't be far off. I'm sure Nokia, HTC and Samsung won't mind if they've got to add an extra 80$ in cost for each phone they produce which Microsoft doesn't have to worry about..

From handgun to shotgun (0)

belgianguy (1954708) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889587)

Target still foot.

Rectangular, with ... (1, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889669)

... rounded corners?

Apple will sue!

If not for Nokia I would say do it! (1)

elabs (2539572) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890115)

Microsoft's "partners" have been directly competing with Microsoft for years using Linux and Android. HP was just made a card-carrying Linux foundation member. The only partner to be loyal to Microsoft is Nokia. If I were MS I would release a Surface phone but use Nokia to actually get it manufactured.

History Repeats (2)

donweel (304991) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890397)

It's not like they have not done it before. They built OS2 for IBM then did a 180 and made a competing product in parallel called windows. The then turned their back on IBM when they where in a position to do so. OS2 was reduced to a cult following.

Re:History Repeats (1)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891729)

Can't agree with this. Back then MS was working for another company and then decided to make their own product. Nowadays MS is making other companies work for them and now is trying to ditch them. The direction money is flowing around MS is the opposite for each case.

Simple solution: MS buy Nokia (2)

maroberts (15852) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891227)

Nokia can probably be had for relative peanuts now that their trojan Elop has done his best to [strike]wreck[/strike] stabilize the company, and that will also give them access to all the cross licensing agreements that are present in the telecoms market. As a bonus, I don't think Nokia have got into many lawsuits...

Seriously? (3, Interesting)

Tom (822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891315)

Microsoft fucks over partner. News at... Seriously? If this comes unexpected to you, you must have joined /. - or, indeed, this plant - very recently. If I recall correctly, ever since Nokia got put in chains, the question asked here was not if, but when this would happen.

Lesson: If you get in bed with Microsoft, you are a whore. And whores get screwed.

Re:Seriously? (3, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year and a half ago | (#41891581)

3-digit UID speaks the truth. Microsoft doesn't have "partners", they have marks, victims and rivals. If they put their arm round your back, its only because they have a knife in it.

Re:Seriously? (1)

AftanGustur (7715) | about a year and a half ago | (#41893913)

"[Microsoft] is the fox that takes you across the river and then eats you."

Pete Peterson, former WordPerfect executive

Soon to be Nokia's Quote (1)

AftanGustur (7715) | about a year and a half ago | (#41893901)

"[Microsoft] is the fox that takes you across the river and then eats you."

- Pete Peterson, former WordPerfect executive

Nokia next step? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41916277)

Microsoft stopped replying most Nokias emails and calls promptly or sometimes totally in February. I think at that time they decide that their Nokia partnership is not working. This is inside information from source that knew MS deal 2 days in advance.

Now Nokia has failed to get market share with WP phones. It XX$/handset deal with microsoft ends and microsoft starts making their own handsets.

Nokia has laid of most people it would need in implementing another tech strategy and has no money to do so.

I think they will close their handset district and end cross licensing agreements and start collecting money from their wast patent portfolio and keep their map functions.

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