back to article Microsoft to launch incompatible telephone

Microsoft will be launching a feature phone with Verizon Wireless in the US, based on Windows CE but not compatible with the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 Series. Rumours of a Microsoft feature phone have been knocking around for a while. It was codenamed "pink" and supposedly built to replace the venerable Sidekick using the …


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  1. Gordon is not a Moron


    You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it does.

  2. Matt 13

    and the news is??

    Manufacturer releases basic handset, incompatible with a yet to be released premium OS??

    im sure nokia have basic phones that run a different OS to thier topend handsets.....

    1. Bilgepipe

      The new is....

      The news is..... WHY? There won't be an App Store on it - the Big Thing that everyone apparently wants - it's got a legacy OS even Microsoft doesn't want, no-one is going to develop for WinCE when Windows Mobile Pocket CE Phone 7 is right around the corner. WHY release this phone now, when it will be replaced later this year by Windows Whatever 7? They'll just dump outdated-by-design crap on anyone who buys it.

      The news is that it's a stupid move, but then that's not really news when it comes to Microsoft, is it?

      1. Sean Bergeron
        Gates Horns

        NetBSD was too hard for MS

        QED. Still, Vodarizon and Microsoft are like peas in a pod. They'll release a somewhat more functional version that costs $100 more, and requires a data plan. The next one will cost $50 more, require a different data plan, and have access to the Verizon app store. But no GPS, because they want you to pay $5 every time you use their directions service. Crappy, overpriced phones, deliberately crippled so Verizon can slot them at certain points. *cough* Windows Phone 7 "Starter Edition."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Gates Halo

        Bilgepipe is an ignorant monkey who doesn't know any better

        Leaving aside "Windows Mobile Pocket CE Phone 7", which I guess is a "jokey" name...

        Windows CE is the basis for this handset, WM 6.x/classic and WM7. All three, and Windows desktop and server operating systems for that matter, can see a HUGE amount of common development effort with only trivial differences, predominantly in the front end, between the platforms. I've worked on a number of products that run on Windows CE, Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, XP, 2000, Server, Vista and Windows 7 -the same binary executable. Following patterns like MVVM, or just basic separation of concerns, you can easily reuse HUGE amounts of the development effort by, say, replacing just the front end with a Silverlight offering and a recompile. The MS handsets really are the easiest to develop for and a little up-front planning means portability across many platforms. If your business uses Windows PCs and servers, windows CE-based smartphones can make a lot of sense, pretty much regardless of the flavour. Oi scamps, get on yahoo. I need to talk to you about stu [-]

      3. dogged

        CE is here to stay

        Windows Phone 7 Series will be build over CE7. The new devices Gizmodo's reporting on will run CE7.

        CE is what talks to the hardware. The "interface" talks to CE. The "interface" will be .NET for the feature phones -- which makes sense, since they won't need much in the way of external developer support and can have native compilers on board - and Silverlight for 7 Series because that has all the multimedia stuff every loser seems to want and creates light, portable apps (and pokes Flash in the eye as a bonus).

        In summary, you're an idiot.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That has always been Apple's strategy

    From the original Mac, which couldn't even handle grayscale because the processor wan't up to the task, to the first G4 PowerMacs running OSX, to now the iPhone which is a fantastic phone but sometimes can feel a bit sluggish. Still miles ahead of WinMo though.

  4. Robert Hill

    Why repeat yourself...?

    You said it was CDMA...and then you said it was incompatible. I mean, forget what OS it uses, I think being a CDMA handset that pretty much defines the term "INCOMPATIBLE" by itself.

  5. Alastair 7

    Re: and the news is??

    Well, I imagine the big news is that Microsoft is making a phone. Which they haven't done before. Software, yes. Hardware, no.

  6. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    CDMA and feature phones

    @dogged, I think you are an idiot, for calling someone else an idiot for no reason. Firstly, every indication is that this phone will be running CE6 *NOT* CE7. Secondly, I just don't see your point about .NET versus Silverlight, why would they necessarily use either one? If it's a traditional CE6 device there's support for CE development directly for ARM, i.e. *without* .NET, and since it's not a smartphone there's no reason to have .NET on there if the built in apps don't need it. They'll extend battery life, save memory, and save ROM space if they can keep .NET off there. (Maybe they'll use .NET anyway though. Really it's too early to tell.)

    @Robert Hill, Microsoft is US based. Look at the coverage maps here, AT&T has a small network AND strictly enforced roaming limits; T-Mobile's network is VERY small. And 3G? Forget about it, the GSM carriers have maybe 20% the 3G coverage of the CDMA carriers. My market is pretty typical outside the big cities, we have 3 CDMA carriers -- ALL 3 them have EVDO. We have 2 GSM carriers, 0 out of 2 have UMTS. In North America, CDMA *is* the dominant standard. Having Microsoft make up a new incompatible platform for the phone? Typical Microsoft IMHO. As for a GSM model, I doubt it'll be a big deal -- they'll probably just swap out one chip (and readjust the antenna to handle the appropriate bands).

    Over all though, if it's not a smartphone, it really doesn't matter what it runs as long as it's not slow and buggy. I think Microsoft loses A LOT of face for having to pull out obsolete software again and again, while extolling people to buy the latest and greatest. But if the result is OK I guess it won't matter.

    One thing not really hit on in the article -- one reason IN THE US for the relative popularity of feature phones and even totally dumb phones compared to smartphones is the greedy billing policies of the carriers --with both AT&T and Verizon, a smartphone here REQUIRES a $30 data plan. This is unlimited, but there's NO OPTION of getting a less costly data plan, pay-per-use, or a data block, for those who would just like to use wifi data and save some cash. The $30 is JUST data, that's in addition to the $40+ voice and texting.

  7. sitruc
    Thumb Down

    Still not news

    MS acquired Danger who makes Sidekicks. This is one of their devices.

  8. cordwainer 1

    Please stop making assumptions about Americans...

    Frankly, I don't know anyone who has or wants a sliding keyboard on their cellphone. I hate them. I still use an old Nokia, because it can be customized the way I like it, the buttons are larger, it's simple, and the battery lasts forever.

    I don't want bells and whistles. I just want a phone that will make calls, and quickly and easily show me missed calls, received calls, and connect me to my voice mail.

    Sadly, cell phone manufacturers no longer make phones that are just phones.

    But I'm getting very weary of stupid stereotypes and assumptions - for heavens sake, can't you just write your article without being an idiot and making a ridiculous statement tarring all Americans with the same cell phone brush?

    No wonder manufacturers no longer give us what we want. They read articles like yours, and assume you know what you're talking about.

    1. Benedict


      "Sadly, cell phone manufacturers no longer make phones that are just phones."

      You aren't looking hard enough.

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