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First Phone Out of Microsoft-Nokia -- and It's an Android

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the glorious-or-inglorious? dept.

Microsoft 193

An anonymous reader writes BBC reports that the first phone resulting from the Microsoft-Nokia merger has been announced: the Nokia X2. And foiling everybody's ability to guess what OS it would run on, the answer is Android. But this being Microsoft, do expect some embrace-and-extend — the user interface is similar to the Windows phone. And it is being offered as a way to hook users into its cloud-based services, several of which come pre-installed as apps. Is this the first Linux product being offered by Microsoft? Can we upgrade Microsoft's social rating from CCC to CCC+?

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So what? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306495)

Use the best tool for the job.

Re:So what? (2)

clarkn0va (807617) | about 4 months ago | (#47306535)

Use the best tool for the job.

What are the chances, based on past performance, that the best tool for the job is a phone from Microsoft? On a platform where they're complete virgins?

Re:So what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306583)

I don't know what chances does a Microsoft/Nokia phone have, but the best OS tool to build a smartphone atm is Android.

Re:So what? (5, Insightful)

clarkn0va (807617) | about 4 months ago | (#47306645)

I don't think I can fault MS/Nokia for going with the winner, but I might question the user that seeks his Android fix from this company. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Re:So what? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#47306703)

Isn't that an opinion stated as fact?

Re:So what? (1)

marsu_k (701360) | about 4 months ago | (#47306863)

Well what are the alternatives for $PHONE_MANUFACTURER_THAT_IS_NOT_APPLE? iOS is not an option, WP has not managed to much traction so far (let alone Sailfish or Tizen). That leaves Android - in order to keep Google happy/get access to Google apps you have to abide by some rules, but one can also take the Amazon route.

Re: So what? (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 4 months ago | (#47306897)

Or just build your own app store. I wouldn't expecet anything else from Microkia.

Re: So what? (1)

DeTech (2589785) | about 4 months ago | (#47307589)

I know, when I read that they created their own ap store I first thought, what a terrible Idea... Unless you wanted to restrict the aps to make the windows phone store look better.

Re:So what? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#47307213)

Why keep Google happy? I'd rather keep my correspondence (somewhat) private. Just try to find an app these days that doesn't want permissions to access everything on your phone! Since I'm not installing any apps except the basics these days, I don't much care about the app store, I just want to be Google-free.

Re:So what? (1)

marsu_k (701360) | about 4 months ago | (#47307269)

Good for you - but I was talking about using Android as a phone platform. In order to get the Google apps (some manufacturers/users seem to value this) there are rules to follow; this is not an endorsement or criticism of Google, just a statement of fact. Also as said there's the Amazon route, also multiple other marginal Android versions such as the one FSF keeps promoting.

Re:So what? (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 4 months ago | (#47307255)

What does "traction" matter? A good platform is a good platform, and WP is one of, if not the best platform out there right now. I don't understand why they'd use Android on their own phones. That doesn't make any sense.

Re:So what? (1)

marsu_k (701360) | about 4 months ago | (#47307355)

For MS it doesn't matter, they've money to burn. But for another manufacturer it doesn't seem like that good of a choice (as good as the platform may be) as is evident given how few new WP phones are announced that are not Lumia. I have to agree with you a bit though - I thought the original Nokia announcement was very strange. The fact that MS continues with this is bizarre.

Re:So what? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 months ago | (#47307857)

What does "traction" matter? A good platform is a good platform, and WP is one of, if not the best platform out there right now.

The only person I know who had a Windows phone couldn't wait to get rid of it.

But, that aside, even if it's the best phone OS ever, it's still lumbered with that 'Windows' logo, which most people who've used computers read as 'cheap crap that crashes all the time'.

Re:So what? (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about 4 months ago | (#47307993)

If Windows Phone were a good platform, or even an average sort of platform, why would Microsoft (who get it for free) sell a phone with anything else installed?

I've (personally) never used Windows Phone, so I don't have an opinion; but their choice of Android for this device is hardly a ringing endorsement of their in-house technology.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306913)

Please feel free to refute it with a better alternative.

Re:So what? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 months ago | (#47306709)

Well Microsoft has a pretty good history of offering long term support, which is something severely lacking from many Android offerings. I bought a computer 8 years ago with Windows XP, and they only recently stopped putting out updates for that. And if I bought a copy of Windows 7 or 8, I could continue using the same hardware with updates for quite a few years to come. I wish the same could be done with a phone. With high end phones priced at over $500, is it too much to ask that we get software updates for a few years? The last laptop I bought cost less than that, and came with Windows 7, so I'm expecting quite a few years of software updates on top of the 2.5 I've already got.

Re: So what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306855)

In one sentence, Windows Phone 7. they never got updates to 8, released less than one year later.

Re: So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47307055)

And don't forget the Kin!

Re:So what? (0)

JustNiz (692889) | about 4 months ago | (#47307139)

>> Well Microsoft has a pretty good history of offering long term support ...except most of the updates are often years-late fixes for Microsoft's own failings such as bugs, security holes and broken features. Most of the time Microsoft is way behind the fixing curve, even sometimes choosing to never fix known security flaws.

Due to a fundamentally much better design architecture, Linux and to some degree Android either don't or can't suffer with many of the problems Windows has in the first place. Those that do happen also get fixed much quicker due to a much more active developer base.

I can't imagine that any of the security weaknesses that Microsoft have said they would never fix, would ever not get quickly fixed if they were equivalent Linux problems.

Re:So what? (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 4 months ago | (#47307383)

Well Microsoft has a pretty good history of offering long term support, which is something severely lacking from many Android offerings. I bought a computer 8 years ago with Windows XP, and they only recently stopped putting out updates for that. And if I bought a copy of Windows 7 or 8, I could continue using the same hardware with updates for quite a few years to come. I wish the same could be done with a phone. With high end phones priced at over $500, is it too much to ask that we get software updates for a few years? The last laptop I bought cost less than that, and came with Windows 7, so I'm expecting quite a few years of software updates on top of the 2.5 I've already got.

Microsoft is all over the map with support. For products that catch on, then yes - they continue to support it for a long time. For products that don't, or that they have problems with then no, they don't.

One poster already mentioned Windows Phone 7. It did have a few updates, but most of the phones didn't get them WIndows Phone 7.5 was the last version, and the entire series had zero upgrade path to Windows Phone 8. However, this was typically of the Windows CE line. WInCE 5 didn't really upgrade to WinCE 6; it was mostly up to manufacturers to provide that path, and they typically did not - it was burned into the ROMs on the devices at the time.

And don't forget the Kin (Microsoft's first forary into building phones themselves), which got dropped pretty quickly.

And let's not forget Outlook '97 which had enough issues that MS dropped support for it after releasing a free upgrade from it to Outlook '98.

It all comes down to what keeps their profits going, and does it make good business sense to continue supporting it. In the case of WinXP it made sense to keep supporting it for years beyond when they really wanted to because the user-base was so large; however, it became an issue with getting people to buy newer versions so from the business perspective it had to get dropped even though it still commanded a very large user base.

Re:So what? (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about 4 months ago | (#47307617)

And don't forget the Kin (Microsoft's first forary into building phones themselves), which got dropped pretty quickly.

First cellular phone, you mean. I had the first phone made by Microsoft [wikipedia.org] and it was lack of support that killed it, too.

The answering features on it were phenomenal for the day (almost Asterix level), and unlike many answering machines at that time, you had essentially unlimited recording time (even a 20GB hard disk with 32Kbps audio files is a lot) for incoming and outgoing messages.

Re:So what? (1)

ichthus (72442) | about 4 months ago | (#47307607)

Well Microsoft has a pretty good history of offering long term support

What the Zune are you talking about?

Re:So what? (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 4 months ago | (#47308117)

Zunes were supported for quite a while actually, so I don't think *you* know what you are talking about. The first-gen model continued receiving firmware updates (which included new features, such as ability to access the store and stream music, ability to install and play games, and so on) for years. The PC software is still available years after the last new model of the hardware was released.

Re:So what? (0)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 4 months ago | (#47307323)

My wife has a Nokia Lumia phone. (She received it for review purposes.) The camera on it is stellar. Best I've seen on any phone. The rest of the OS (Windows) stinks, of course. Few apps and what apps there are tend to be buggy. After her review period, she switched back to her Android phone and uses the Lumia as a point-and-shoot camera. If Nokia could release an Android phone with a Lumia-quality camera, they might just have something worthwhile.

Re:So what? (1)

SourceFrog (627014) | about 4 months ago | (#47306749)

Android already have ~80% of the market, this move seems to destroy one of the only competitors left ... empirically, that kind of monopoly has historically never been a good thing in the software industry.

Re:So what? (4, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about 4 months ago | (#47307825)

Android already have ~80% of the market, this move seems to destroy one of the only competitors left ... empirically, that kind of monopoly has historically never been a good thing in the software industry.

Being able to grab the source and play with it, including doing whatever you wish without license fees kind of takes the sting out.

creaky old farts may remember... (1)

swschrad (312009) | about 4 months ago | (#47306757)

that Microsoft bought Xenix in the 80s, and rewrote all their code in C at that time for portability to any platform, any OS.

Uh, Microsoft? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306859)

Use the best tool for the job.

Their standard strategy is actually to create something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the best tool for the job.

I fully expect that Microsoft's contribution to the Android ecosystem will end up like Ebola's contribution to human society.

Hopefully the carnage will remain confined to few localities and not spread significantly.

Re:Uh, Microsoft? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 4 months ago | (#47306961)

TEA!

Rest in Peace Douglass

Brrrr... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47307567)

It must be a very cold day in hell, but it is still 45 degrees where I live.

It's a trap! (3, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#47306497)

Buying an android phone from Microsoft? Isn't that a little like buying a firearm from the Brady Campaign?

Re:It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306759)

Actually, I thought the same thing but slightly different. Remember "embrace and extend"? Maybe this is how it starts with Android... Anyone with me?

Re:It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306807)

Only if you're a goosestepping fanboy who thinks that everyone should silo their lives based on what OS they use.
 
Seriously, it gets old hearing this kind of crap. Nothing like backing yourself up against a wall just so you can scream your favorite product name under a false pretense.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#47307691)

Goosestepping hurts my knees.

I think the comparison is apt. I personally don't care what Microsoft chooses to release, although I must say some of their decisions are downright amusing. I use Windows (7, not 8) daily, and it's a good product. But the company issued me a Windows phone at one point, and after a few weeks I gave it back. I was an early adopter of 8, and after a long frustrating time (admittedly much of which was spent trying to find suitable drivers for the hardware) ended up doing a system restore to 7 so I could get work done. I have been greatly entertained by Microsoft's vivisection of Nokia, and even more entertained by their current attempts to embrace/extend/extinguish Android. It's wayyy to late for that. Yes, I carry an Android phone, but only because the company can no longer keep BES running reliably after outsourcing. Never really got into the iphone fanboi thing.

So, seriously, Microsoft tends to see every competitor as a mortal enemy and themselves at the top of the food chain, as evidenced pretty consistently by their actions. In areas where this is not true, they are at a loss. Microsoft doesn't know how to compete in environments that they don't already have locked down.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about 4 months ago | (#47306915)

Actually it just shows me MS might be growing out of their shell. In the past they would have avoided doing this by any means but now they have acquired a company and decided that it is somewhat neutral to it's own objectives. This is the best way to move forward as a business.

Re:It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306971)

Services and ongoing money streams are where (most think) the future lies for tech companies. Selling stand alone software in perpetuity is going to die as soon as the current generation seeds control to the younger generations. They already understand monthly payments for phones, music, video, etc. What is another bill to a keeper of all your data?

Re:It's a trap! (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 4 months ago | (#47307411)

Actually it just shows me MS might be growing out of their shell. In the past they would have avoided doing this by any means but now they have acquired a company and decided that it is somewhat neutral to it's own objectives. This is the best way to move forward as a business.

At best they build a name for themselves in a market they have had a very hard time penetrating.

At worse, they get to point a finger and say that Windows 8 is not failing due to the merits of Windows 8 (and WIndows Phone 8) but to available applications for it, or something like that.

So it's a good way to gauge the markets acceptance of Microsoft actually being in the game.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 4 months ago | (#47307635)

not really - it has nothing to do with phones. Its all about the back-end services, and the advertising companies they can sell you to.

In the past, the software and the device was the product, you paid and you used it Now its different, the software is the hook and you're the fish. Sometimes they put some juicy tidbit on the end to attract you like 15Gb free storage.

Some people do pay the subs, but they're generally for old technology companies - like phone service providers. Everyone else is getting their money through more round-about ways, like advertising: we all pay extra for products that we buy, and that extra is given to the ad companies and service providers like Microsoft.

In short, they simply shifted the tax on us so we no longer notice we're paying it.

Re:It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47307557)

If the Brady Campaign received "patent licensing" kickbacks from the firearms industry.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#47307701)

Don't get them ideas. Becoming a patent troll may actually further their cause.

Social Rating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306505)

Is this something from Marxist dictionary, comrades?

Re:Social Rating? (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 months ago | (#47306573)

Is this something from Marxist dictionary, comrades?

Nearly, but try the next volume to the left on your shelf, the Marketing dictionary [evonomie.net] .

Re:Social Rating? (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 4 months ago | (#47306743)

Contrary to what the summary says, I'm pretty sure when you install unix your social rating goes down, not up.

Re:Social Rating? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 months ago | (#47306791)

Contrary to what the summary says, I'm pretty sure when you install unix your social rating goes down, not up.

That's why I stick to Plan 9 ... oh wait!

Re:Social Rating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306595)

CCCP(lus) would be the highest rating, so probably not.

But does it run... (1)

rvw (755107) | about 4 months ago | (#47306531)

But does it run Android? It would be interesting to run a custom mod on this.

Re: But does it run... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306589)

Most likely the phone is locked down in hardware so no unlocked boot loader. Maybe can be rooted but that will be a struggle. Definitely no "google approved" app store. Fail.

Re: But does it run... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306727)

I wonder if it even offered ADB access or the ability to sideload.

The biggest issue is that the phone is "neither fish nor fowl". An Android phone needs a large, mainstream store like Google's Play Store, or Android's Market... or at the minimum, access to F-Droid.

Re: But does it run... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#47308149)

Most likely the phone is locked down in hardware so no unlocked boot loader. Maybe can be rooted but that will be a struggle. Definitely no "google approved" app store. Fail.

...and that might be part of the marketing plan. Like the Surface RT attempted to prove to consumers that ARM based devices were carp, perhaps this phone is trying to demonstrate to consumers how dismal an Android experience can be.

Yes, I did say "carp".

not the first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306557)

>Is this the first Linux product being offered by Microsoft?
Not the first. a few years ago they sold Suse linux, iirc.

Re:not the first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306845)

yep, they had a two-way with Novell for deployment of scalable platforms (including workstation warehouses and point-of-sale gear). Lasted several years. SuSE came in later on.

(source: lots of Netware experience).

Microsoft and Nokia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306559)

I never knew that they merged. Haven't seen any news articles about the merger. Thanks for posting.

Re:Microsoft and Nokia? (1)

almitydave (2452422) | about 4 months ago | (#47306625)

Actually, it's been mentioned here once or twice [slashdot.org] .

Seems like a 180 from their previous views (4, Interesting)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 4 months ago | (#47306569)

I can remember just a couple of months ago, when Microsoft hosted a tournament for Killer Instinct on the Xbox One. There was a bit of an uproar from the competitors and from the various streaming websites covering the event because Microsoft banned non-Windows phones at the competition venue (and, of course, gave out Windows phones to all of the competitors so they could have product placement on the streaming sites). As far as I know, that ban was never lifted and the tournament went on that way.

The idea that MS would then turn around and release an Android phone after pushing their Windows phones that hard seems like a complete turnaround.

Re:Seems like a 180 from their previous views (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306875)

Turn around or reality hit them in the face? They have never built a streamlined OS and their attempt to move their desktop/server OS into their mobile space shows once again that failure. Top that with how bad their embedded OS has been and you have a company which can not use their own OS on small mobile devices and compete with the *nix based platforms of Apple and Google. They can only spend so many billions on their attempts before reality has to smack them across the face and someone inside finally says 'we put Metro on Windows Mobile and then on Windows 8.x so why not on Android? After all, if we can get enough developers to develop for Metro we still have them tied to us and we can leverage our position on the desktop with Windows 8.x.'

Even Bill Gates can't shut the meetings down yelling out "Does anyone remember Windows?" like he did when Java was all over the press and internet.

Re:Seems like a 180 from their previous views (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47307217)

How bad their embedded OS is? When was the last time you used a windows phone, back in the Windows Mobile 2003 days? Windows phone is actually a very nice OS. The only real problem with it is traction, or lack thereof. If it actually had enough market penetration to attract developers to make the kind of apps to build marketshare (yeah, vicious circle) then it would be a great phone OS. I've used all 3 major mobile platforms. If I could have the kind of apps I wanted in the MS app store, I'd be on windows phone right now,

Re:Seems like a 180 from their previous views (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 4 months ago | (#47307373)

It's a chicken and egg problem for Microsoft.

Users won't flock to Windows Phone because of the lack of apps. Better to spend your money on Android or iOS where the apps are.

Developers won't develop apps for Windows Phone because of the lack of users. Better to spend your time developing on Android or iOS where the users are.

I can't say that I envy Microsoft's position (as I use my Android phone).

Re:Seems like a 180 from their previous views (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 months ago | (#47307887)

And everyone now hates Windows because Microsoft pushed a phone interface onto their new desktop and laptop in a vain attempt to convince people to write phone apps.

Re:Seems like a 180 from their previous views (1)

bmajik (96670) | about 4 months ago | (#47307937)

I'll tell you how I've landed on a Windows Phone -- one that I paid for out of pocket, and using a plan that I also pay for out of pocket.

(I mention this only because I'm an MS employee, and I want to avoid the problem of someone claiming that I am astroturfing here)

For the last year or two, I had been using a used iPhone 3G. I had to jailbreak it so I could SIM unlock it.

I never bought any apps from any appstores. Free apps, yes. Paid apps - no.

The basic problem with the iPhone series is that apple simply obsoletes its hardware too quickly. Most of the apps in the apple app store couldn't install on my phone, because my phone couldn't be updated to the newest OS. The phone was unbearably slow when browsing desktop-class pages.

I feel like apple is a premium-price for a below-average experience.

Regarding Android - every android phone I've seen has been completely different from the others. If I pick up an android phone, it always takes me a while to adjust to the quirks of that particular handset's UI. I'm attracted to the ease of "owning" an android device, but, ultimately, I want a phone that just works. I rarely want to tinker with it.

Finally, Android bothers me because I don't use gmail and I don't trust google. The people I've talked to claim that it is difficult to really make the most of an Android phone without giving your life over to your google account.

So, Microsoft finally comes out with the Lumia 521 -- a no-contract phone that is natively built for Windows Mobile 8. I really like this phone. It has a fast browser, and the 1st party apps are quite good. It is like $120 from Wal-Mart. The camera and photostitching apps are good, and it comes with a built-in Nokia mapping/navigation program that has complete offline capability. This is important for me since I don't have a data plan and I am often in places with no data service anyhow. The Nokia HERE DRIVE and HERE MAPS applications are fantastic.

The windows mobile UI is great. More consistent then Android, and better information density than iPhone.

Re:Seems like a 180 from their previous views (3, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#47308203)

How bad their embedded OS is? When was the last time you used a windows phone, back in the Windows Mobile 2003 days? Windows phone is actually a very nice OS. The only real problem with it is traction, or lack thereof. If it actually had enough market penetration to attract developers to make the kind of apps to build marketshare (yeah, vicious circle) then it would be a great phone OS. I've used all 3 major mobile platforms. If I could have the kind of apps I wanted in the MS app store, I'd be on windows phone right now,

There may be some truth to that. I carried a Windows Mobile 6 device for awhile (company issued phone) and the experience was so bad (the phone won't ring because the audio device "has encountered an error and will now close"? Really??) that I vowed never to touch another Microsoft-embedded device if I could possible avoid it.

So even in the (unlikely, sorry) event that Windows Phone 8 is super fantabulous, I just couldn't make myself take a chance on it. Fool me once etc etc.

(Speaking as a very happy Windows 7 user on the desktop. Best product Microsoft ever made, in my opinion.)

Re:Seems like a 180 from their previous views (4, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | about 4 months ago | (#47307003)

It seems more likely that Microsoft is so large that parts of the company are on different wavelengths and act inconsistently with one and other. Also, no one brings a phone from conception to market in a few months. This was probably something in the pipeline from before Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia. Microsoft could have axed it (and under Ballmer they probably would have) but I think they've realized that doing things like that for purely ideological reasons is poor business sense and that while they might have been able to get away with it in the past, the times have changed. Given that they recently made Windows Phone free for manufacturers (at least certain ones anyway) it's not like they're potentially losing out on revenue either.

Re:Seems like a 180 from their previous views (1)

neilo_1701D (2765337) | about 4 months ago | (#47307201)

This particular phone was well along the development schedule when the MS-Nokia deal came along. Sure, it's been Microsoft'd in terms of UI, but whoopty-do.

The bigger question is what happens with future generations of the Nokia X: Will it continue as an Android phone, or transition to a Windows Phone?

Re:Seems like a 180 from their previous views (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 4 months ago | (#47307473)

Did the timeframe for the tournament coincide with Ballmer's time at the helm?

Educate Children (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306581)

Let's see: Government's legitimate duties

* Protect against invasion from without
* Protect Natural Rights of Life, Liberty, and Property

How's our Government doing on those? Not so hot? Well, they're trying to do other things, let's see how they're doing on those- they must be doing them well if they're ignoring their legitimate duties, right?

* Reduce Poverty
* Care for the Elderly
* Educate Children
* Provide "needed infrastructure."

Oh, you mean they suck at all those, too!?

Hmm...

Re:Educate Children (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306691)

Let's see: Slashdot posters legitimate duties

* Stay on topic
* Don't talk shit

How's our poster doing on those? Not so hot? Well, they're trying to do other things, let's see how they're doing on those- they must be doing them well if they're ignoring their legitimate duties, right?

* Provide factual commentary
* Engage in discussion
* Educate other posters about the article topic

Oh, you mean he sucks at all those, too!?

Hmm...

social rating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306593)

Using android doesn't improve your social rating. With a locked down phone, "Open Source" is no better than Microsoft's Shared Source.

Re:social rating? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 4 months ago | (#47306651)

Microsoft's social rating is somewhere between "Nuke From Orbit" and "Kill With Fire", at this point any upgrades are really just choosing how far away from the building you are when you rid the world of a virulent plague. Personally I would just as soon remain far away. Even Amazon can release an android phone... and at least they're somewhat honest about why they're doing it.

Microsoft has been selling Linux for years (0)

hydrofix (1253498) | about 4 months ago | (#47306603)

Is this the first Linux product being offered by Microsoft?

Definitely not. This might have been so in the 1990s and early 2000s. But Microsoft is nowadays a major kernel contributor [zdnet.com] and has been offering Linux as a first-class operating systemn on the Azure cloud computing platform since at least 2010.

Re:Microsoft has been selling Linux for years (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 4 months ago | (#47306657)

I wouldn't say MS is a "major" kernel contributor. They've submitted a number of patches so that their Hyper-V VM so that Linux servers can run Windows in VM. But even with contributions they ranked in 2012 as #17. I don't see them actually contributing anything more than that.

Re:Microsoft has been selling Linux for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47307091)

Compared to the average slashdolt (0 contributions other than talking shit), that's pretty major.

Re:Microsoft has been selling Linux for years (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 4 months ago | (#47307279)

According to the most recent contributions [arstechnica.com] , MS doesn't even show up. So MS only contributed enough to Linux to make sure that their product would work. I still don't consider that a major contribution.

Re:Microsoft has been selling Linux for years (4, Informative)

bmajik (96670) | about 4 months ago | (#47307719)

Microsoft has a long and interesting Linux/FOSS history.

I remember in the late 90s, Microsoft actually released a Front Page Server Extensions module for Apache on Linux, so people using FP could publish sites to Linux servers.

During the early 2000s, MS shipped a bunch of GPL'd stuff via the Interix/SFU product.

Currently, System Center (enterprise management tool) can also monitor and manage Linux machines along side windows (and Mac) machines.

As noted elsewhere, Microsoft has made Linux a 1st class scenario for Hyper-V on-premise and Azure hosted uses.

Microsoft has opened some its internal projects to the external community, with acceptable licenses, and Microsoft has also contributed to existing FOSS projects where it has made sense. Internally, "should we use existing FOSS" or "should we open source this?" are questions that are coming up now where in the past, they never did, and asking them would get you some funny looks.

In the future, you're going to see Microsoft doing a better job of meeting customers in mixed/heterogenous settings. We've got a new CEO that has provided this guidance to the entire company. The market changes have certainly become too large to ignore, but the bottom line is that we're adapting.

On the business side, getting some of a customer's business is better than getting none of their business.

As always, we partner with everybody and we compete against everybody. For example, I sit in a building where most of the developers here work on Microsoft's own ERP products, yet I worked on features that let Visual Studio talk to SAP.

Re:Microsoft has been selling Linux for years (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 4 months ago | (#47308241)

Back i n 2k7 when Microsoft bought Aquantive they sold AdManager as a Linux, solaris and windows application for 2 years before the shut down the AdManager services.

Microsoft's rating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306701)

Instead of CCC+ how about rating them CCCP?

The sooner... (-1, Flamebait)

quonsar (61695) | about 4 months ago | (#47306747)

...they fuck off and die the better.

Is it because Windows is to slow on the low end (2)

TheSunborn (68004) | about 4 months ago | (#47306793)

Is it because Windows is to slow on the low end hardware that they need to offer an Android phone?

The phone don't have access to Play store, so it can't be due to the many Android Apps they are doing it.
 

Re:Is it because Windows is to slow on the low end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47307613)

In my experience, Windows is too slow on all ends. We are currently struggling with a 4 core system that cannot play 3 streams of video without burning up one core, starving the rest and grinding to a halt. The Windows scheduler sucks big time. Still, I am having a hard time to get management to shift to Linux with the application.

Re:Is it because Windows is to slow on the low end (2)

AMDinator (996330) | about 4 months ago | (#47307761)

Windows Phone is developed against low-end hardware to ensure that it runs well on it. I've played with a Lumia 520 and found it to be more than fast enough.

The 520 sells new for less than $70 off contract. It's definitely "low end".

I don't think so (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#47306803)

Have they never heard of the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone? That was the actual first one. Saying it was released pre-merger so it had nothing to do with Microsoft when it's a Windows phone is pretty stupid and inaccurate.

Microsoft trading on our amnesia (1, Redundant)

JustNiz (692889) | about 4 months ago | (#47306847)

With all the evidence out there of bad things Microsoft repeatedly do to their own customers over the years, it boggles my mind how anyone still trusts anything Microsoft does now enough to even buy a Microsoft product.

I personally would never do so or even trust any Microsoft product with any personal data.

Re:Microsoft trading on our amnesia (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47306963)

I personally would never do so or even trust any Microsoft product with any personal data.

And who, exactly, do you trust?

Because from where I sit, they're all equally bad, and I don't trust any of them.

And that becomes a problem, because all companies want your personal data, and don't give a damn about your privacy.

Sooner or later, the management of all companies seem to decide "Oh, fuck it, we've got all this information, how can we make more money from it?". And since they can change their agreements at will, they can get away with it.

But, as far as a company I trust, that is pretty much none of them.

Metro Interface on Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306965)

Honestly, I use Windows phone for the interface. I simply HATE the android GUI and it's inconsistent, fractious nature.

Re:Metro Interface on Android (0)

ichthus (72442) | about 4 months ago | (#47307651)

Yeah, I remember Windows Phone. Does it still have the little button hole on the back to stick a paper clip in when it locks up every few hours?

Visual Dalvik (1)

Megane (129182) | about 4 months ago | (#47307001)

Coming soon to Visual Sudio: Visual Dalvik!

Re:Visual Dalvik (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47307275)

Great, then android developers would finally have a decent IDE to work in, and if you tell me your IDE of choice is better than VS, then you have obviously not used VS (and yes, I've used all the others, and just wich I could use VS instead)

Re:Visual Dalvik (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 4 months ago | (#47307317)

Coming soon to Visual Sudio: Visual Dalvik!

More likely Dalvik# or Dalvik.net .

Hook users into Android malware? (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 4 months ago | (#47307053)

You get more from Microsoft and it is free !!!

"the user interface is similar to the Windows phone. And it is being offered as a way to hook users into its cloud-based services"

various (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47307145)

Can we upgrade Microsoft's social rating from CCC to CCC+?

For the benefit of those, such as myself, who did not get the reference, CCC is a low bond credit rating. [wikipedia.org]

Also, a couple of things to keep in mind here about the history of MS corporate strategy. First, MS has a record of adopting (e. g. Kerberos) or imposing (e.g. OpenXML) open standards for the purpose of corrupting or abusing those standards. A record of unscrupulous behavior breeds distrust and it would be reasonable to suspect that MS could have something similar on mind for the Android platform. Good summary of the Kerberos episode here: [vanwensveen.nl]

In November 1998 an internal memo leaked out of Microsoft which clearly stated that Open Source software not only performs and scales much better than Microsoft Products (it discussed especially the quality and availability of Linux), but also proposed that Microsoft attack these superior products by "de-commoditizing protocols". In other words, when faced with a superior competitor, Microsoft's preferred approach is to corrupt global standards and to introduce proprietary protocols that bind the user to the Microsoft environment.

Don't believe me; see for yourself - read the Halloween documents, made available by Eric S. Raymond. Incidentally, Microsoft has acknowledged the authenticity of these documents and actually responded to them. It's interesting reading. Very.

A good example of this policy in action (apart from the HTML and Java deviations described above) is Microsoft's attempt to appropriate the Kerberos protocol. Kerberos is an authentication protocol developed by MIT, distributed as Open Source software. Microsoft added an "innovative improvement" to Kerberos, by misusing a reserved field to specify whether or not an NT machine was allowed to authenticate another Kerberos system, rendering this corrupted version of Kerberos incompatible with Open Source versions in the process. (The misuse of a reserved field, or any field for that matter, is of course a gross violation of protocol standards.) Then Microsoft went on to state that they had "created" an "improved version of Kerberos", called the result their own intellectual property, and threatened to sue anyone who would dare to put it in their software, including Kerberos' inventor MIT. Only the global uproar that followed caused Microsoft to reconsider this nonsense.

Secondly, and more innocuously, someone at MS might have wised up and realized that profits from their Android patent licensing [zdnet.com] would be better than losses from another round of failed MS OS phone investment.

And there goes Microsoft's right to sue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47307175)

.....for patents in the kernel, and a bunch of other GPL'd stuff. They are now indisputably distributing as per the terms of the GPL, they may have been able to argue they didn't distribute by provisioning linux distributions in Azure. But not now. So it's either no patent suits from them, or a massive copyright suit against them. Happy days.

'fraid not. GPL 2, not 3 (0)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#47307897)

Unfortunately for this very specific case, Linux (and most other GPL stuff) stuck with GPL 2. It's GPL 3 that strips a company of its patents.

The kernel devs thought GPL 3 went way too far in it's anti-patent attack, allowing any competitor to invalidate ANY patent the company owns just by contributing infringing code. If it were limited only to patents related to code that the company contributed, the kernel and other projects may have adopted v3.

I'm very glad they did stick with GPL 2, because it's risky for any large organization to contribute to a GPL 3 project, which means it may require approval from the chief legal counsel before some guy in some little office that's part of some minor department of an unimportant subsidiary can contribute a bug fix. That's because by the terms of GPL3, one employee at the company contributing a fix for one feature risks all the patents throughout the entire company, not just those related to the feature the helped fix.

Not the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47307221)

Microsoft sold a Linux Distro for years. The website still exists.
http://www.mslinux.org/

Don't Believe me, just look at the left column, even Linus Torvalds has a blurb endorsing it.

They're a business ... (2)

MacTO (1161105) | about 4 months ago | (#47307231)

and their goal is to make money. Given the lack of popularity of Microsoft's mobile platform, it makes far more sense to ship Android devices with their products layered on top than it does to ship a fully Microsoft phone that will likely have limited uptake.

Re:They're a business ... (1)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about 4 months ago | (#47307843)

Lack of popularity in the USA [kantarworldpanel.com] FTFY

not just Linux (1)

postmortem (906676) | about 4 months ago | (#47307443)

... but Microsoft had to use lots of FSF tools such as ... gcc. When they have their own compiler toolchains.

That must had to smell like defeat.

EEE is gone. EGA is in. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 4 months ago | (#47307531)

EEE for Embrace, Extend and Extinguish was the old strategy that worked in the PC era when Microsoft leveraged its monopoly on OS to kill the competition that played by the old rules. For it to work, Microsoft needs to have a monopoly to begin with.

EGA is the name of the game in the Android. Embrace & Get Assimilated.

All your bases are now belong to us.

Not Linux, XENIX !!!! (4, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | about 4 months ago | (#47307579)

This phone isn't running true Android, it's a port of Android, but using Xenix as the base OS.

For those of you on Slashdot who are not old farts like myself, google "Xenix" to find out what it is. It's part of Microsoft's "Embrace and Extend" policy to use something they own to create a whole new version of an existing popular phone/tablet OS....

And if anyone believe what I'm saying, even for a second, you need to find a BBS for the less naive....

Re:Not Linux, XENIX !!!! (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about 4 months ago | (#47307851)

And instead of Java apps they use GW Basic...

Anyone Can Produce a New Smartphone... (1)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about 4 months ago | (#47307793)

...in the couple of months that have passed since the Microsoft/Nokia deal...

This device was developed by Nokia long before the buyout and is ready to go to market, the Nokia name still moves lots of product in the key market for this device: India. Get them hooked, in two years Windows phone OS will displace this temporary line (it's already started with the 8.1 hardware spec, which effectively permits any Android-capable hardware to run Windows Phone, on-screen buttons, no camera button etc...) Most consumers won't even know they're changing OS. Microsoft would be stupid to ditch this.

Well, until I was fired from Microsoft/Nokia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47307983)

I wouldn't have been able to comment on this, but they are looking at the Nokia-X line as being a major factor in emerging markets, with strong support for Android apps. Even now, I would consider them for my own use (my Nexus-1 is getting a bit long in the tooth).

Betting on the winning department (1)

Flavianoep (1404029) | about 4 months ago | (#47308243)

AFAIK, Microsoft makes more money off patents they own on Android than they make from Windows Phone. Now they are just implementing on their Android business B-)
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