Ballmer is a fucking disaster and the WinMo dev team are his bitches
Variosuly (and unattributed, as I've spent 18 hours in front of a debugger, and I can barely see)
@Winmo not a phone OS
That is of course entirely correct. WinMo is a general purpose OS for smart devices. It's quite decent from both a user and developer POV on, say, a PDA. It truly sucks at being a phone OS 'out of the box', largely because the interface sucks a fat one.
@Third party utils needed/HTC interface is better.
This is also true, but is due to the nature of the beast. WinMo never tried to be anything other than a shrunken windows, and it shows. From the POC of moby OEMs, Android and iPhone platforms offer a far better user experience out of the box, if I buy WinMo I'm going to have to develop an interface layer myself. This can be done, the facilities are in the OS (Touchflo is gorgeous, e.g.) but that's dev time I could have spent adding other value.
WPF on WinMo (if it ever happens) will alleviate this somewhat, but probably not enough. MS need to ditch their attachment to a mini doze UI and build in a framework that allows the entrire UI shell to be easily replaced or themed. Repeated requests to the WinMo dev team for such features (and many others) have been ignored, and in fact the WinMo dev team are mostly a bunch of arrogant proicks when it comes to dealing with developers.
Yes, a biggie, and more of a potential show stopper than one might imagine. Once there were free tools, Embedded C++ and all the emulators you could eat. Now not so much. Free editions of MS' dev tools exist, but they won't target smart devices, you have to pony up for that. This doen't appear to foster a culture of massive amounts of app development. Palm, Android and iPhone dev tools are zero cost. You can still use EVC++ 4, it's even listed on the WinMo developer centre downloads, but you can't install the newer SDKs without VS >= 2005. Fail.
MS are going to build their own own, but it will probably be shit, and they plan to charge unreasonable fees to developers. Bastards. OTOH there are still far more WinMo apps
in the world than there are iPhone apps on the Appstore, they just haven't all been collected in one place.
Also, the licensing model sucks, MS refuse to issue updates to the OS (which would be insanely complicated due to the licensing model anyway, since it forces each licensee to effectively create their own build) and refuses to update software like IE. Which is stupid, because the mobile version of IE is a steaming pile of elephant faeces that should never have been released. You want a new IE, you need a new OS, you want a new OS, you have to buy a new device. Well fuck you, ballmer.
The sad thing is that under the hood WinMo is a reasonable general purpose OS, there is a massive developer base with easily transferable skill sets, and it can even be forced into being a pretty sexy OS for a smartphone, something it really wasn't intended for, as ably demonstrated by HTC. Theres no reason why the can't make massive inroads into the mobile market.
But they won't, because the product dev team are monumentally arrogant, ignore the developer base, work stupidly slowly. I don't who said MS were throwing money at WinMo, it doesn't show) and are wedded to a set of outdated development road maps and sales strategies.
They won't ditch these, despite much waliling and gnashing of teeth from developers and partners, because well, they know best! Presumably as demonstrated by their massive market share. Idiots.
This is the kind of culture fostered by the half man, half ape, hairy retard Ballmer, last of the old guard ego maniacs at MS. He can't quite grasp how to operate in markets that he doesn't have a monopoly in, and it shows. He also can't deal with the idea that innovations can flow upwards, or that people at the leaf ends of the org tree might know better. Fuckers still wedded to the Simonyi model, and it shows.
As someone said, he is a disaster. There is, now, quite a good company trying to escape from the belly of the ugly redmond beast, the language dev teams and the research guys are actually starting to come up with some neat stuff, rather than just stealing everyone else's, but MS will remain a hairy screaming bastard maniac of a company until the rest of Bill and Steve's Simonyi-ite disciples have fucked off to enjoy their yachts and stock options.