back to article Blighty's carriers to field Windows Phone 7

All of Britain's mobile phone networks will offer Windows Phone 7 handsets "later this year", Microsoft has revealed. Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U will get to sell them, but that's no surprise, perhaps. The most recent round of rumours narrow that window to sometime next month, but that's not a detail Microsoft confirmed …


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  1. NoOnions

    Silly me!

    I was expecting a Lewis rant about the aircraft carriers!

    Fail icon is for me!

    1. MJI Silver badge

      So did I


  2. Jack Garnham


    They've dropped the boat too! As a Windows Mobile to Android convert I will never look back.

    Microsoft really need to stop playing catch up and "Mii Too" with their platforms and start pushing the stuff that's truly innovative. Like the Mediaroom IPTV platform.

  3. Peter 52
    Big Brother

    What's with the hate?

    Windows Phone 7 is a fine looking phone OS, and from what we've seen of the devices they seem quite decent. So what's with the hate from El Reg? Are you saying there is only room for two systems, iPhone and Android, and we never want another competitior?

    WinPho7 sits in that middle ground. Unlike Apple, you have a choice of manufacturers, networks and handsets. Unlike Android, all apps have passed certification and are safe to install, without spyware or malware. Sure, both the other two are perfectly valid options, but so is this.

    Disclaimer: I own an Android handset (HTC Desire). I bought my wife an iPhone for her birthday. I'm currently developing software for Windows Phone 7. I think I can claim not to be a fanboy of any system.

    1. Jimmy Floyd
      Gates Halo

      Thumbs up

      I'd like you to be right, in that there's a middle ground between Android and iPhone that could be filled by Windows Phone 7. However that my initial reaction has been so far that Microsoft risk taking the worst bits of both and combining them into one glorious ... meh.

      My own background is that I loved my WIndows Smartphone / Mobiles from 2004 - 2009, until I went Android. That decision was based on the UI, of which I had had more than enough by then. I don't like the iPhone per se but recognise it has a place. Ultimately, I think having three major players in this market (plus BlackBerry) is a positive but it's doubtful the market will support many more.

      There is also a wider question mark here over Microsoft's ability truly to innovate compared to its rather more habitual tendency merely to follow ... at least since Billy G went to pastures new. Microsoft has really suffered from a lack of competition since it ruled the world.

    2. Arctic fox
      Thumb Up

      @Peter 52 Hate is perhaps a bit too strong.

      El Reg writers frequently seem to enjoy being perceived of as "cool and cynical"! Having said that I must say that I agree with your points. MS' model may in fact be a deliberate strategy aimed at those who wish to be able to buy a mob from their preferred manufacturer but at the same time want the reassurance etc...etc... MS may be right, we'll see in the coming twelve months or so whether they are or not. Mine is a "Wildfire" by the way.l

  4. Popeye46


    No, i am not interested in Win phone 7, well buying one that is, but i am interested in the development of mobiles in general.

    I am more than satisfied with my Android HTC Desire mobile, and i am thinking if only i could of waited 3 mths i could of got the HTC Desire HD.

    That's life.

  5. Code Monkey

    It's the handsets

    They're late to market but the Windows name will encourage some, deter very few (informed groups like us Reg commentards excepted) and be a matter of complete indifference to the majority.

    If there's a pretty enough handset, Windows Phone will be a success.

  6. Parsifal

    If Nothing Else Choice

    If the only thing Win7 Phones promote is more variety of choices (and potential price wars) then I'm happy to see Microsoft in this arena. Too many people write Microsoft just because they are Microsoft. To have basically two companies dominating the the phone OS's is not good (I've discounted BB (mainly business) and Nokia becuase they seem to lack direction) Microsoft at lease add another flavor to the mix and potentially more ease of use with the synergies across to PC operating systems.

    That being said I'm not using any of these products I use my mobile phone mainly for phone calls, it can play music, take photo's, text etc but the OS du jour as little to no interest to me as long as i can do what I want when I want.

  7. Ku...

    The proof will be how well they work. Or not

    We have a large estate of Windows PCs, Windows servers, MS Exchange, SharePoint here. If Windows Phone 7 works better with that lot than Android then we will buy the Windows product.

    Not all phones are bought on how pretty they are or by social networking addicts.

    1. Alan Bourke


      If anyone takes WP7 up in a big way initially it will be corporates who like the nice warm MS feeling.

    2. Arctic fox
      Big Brother

      @Ku Dead right.

      I think that some people are forgetting the business market. If WP7 "talks" more easily and readily to windows based business systems that will be a major push for adoption of the OS. I have a "Wildfire", I like Android and am content for the time being. However when the time comes to upgrade, who knows?

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Yes, but

      See, we have a bunch of WinMo phones for the business and getting them set up has been nothing but painful. Prior to 6.5 (which I believe fixed these issues), we've found competitor's phones EASIER to set up with Exchange than MS's own offering.

      It's a little thing called "self-signed certificates". We can't justify the cost of a signed SSL cert for our Exchange boxes, and we have no end of trouble importing root certificates onto the device.

      We've since realised WinMo is a dead duck, there's no point buying 6.5 and we can't wait for 7, so we went down the Android route. Simple enough such that we can get users to set them up themselves!!

    4. Paul Crawford Silver badge


      I personally see little point in a Windows 7 phone, but then I don't have a MS-based back-end to interface a significant number of corporate users to. Realistically, that is the big (maybe only?) market MS can go for with any confidence and that, as you say, will be the decision making factor for a lot of big customers.

      Tux - just because I like him/her.

    5. Neil Greatorex

      We have a large estate of Windows <everything>

      Heh, more money than sense eh?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft Spin again.

    More Microsoft PR Tripe. This basically means no UK operator wants to pay for exclusivity..

    As lets face it pretty much every phone is available on every operator, unless a particular handset is so good that a operator wants exclusivity (iPhone, HTC Legend for examples).

    Microsoft, the masters of spin, spinning a negative into a positive. WinMobo7 disaster looming.... Why have a rubbish Windows bloated mobile, when you can have Android?

  9. gautam
    Gates Horns

    Keep trying

    Now what about the handsets thats gonna support this platform?

    I mean, will they (can they) compete with the £ 99 Orange (San Francisco) and Huawei (Ideos) capacitative screens and the works, smartphones?

    Game over, in my opinion. Ditto for Nokia Symbians.

    Gates, obviously, since Steve's lost the plot long ago, ever since pushing Vista!

  10. Spearchucker Jones

    Couldn't give a...

    ...d*mn about Android fans. Or Apple fanbois. I want a phone that I can create a secure messaging system for, so that when I go to Israel I don't have to wait 6 hours while my text messages to my girlfriend are sensored. Windows Phone lets me do that without having to bet on the Google/Oracle thing going lemon, or learning Objective C and then integrating they sy stack with the .NET sy stack.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Six hours SMS

      You complain about an SMS delivery that took six hours on the choice of phone?

      Is there AndroidSMS, WindowsSMS that you are complaining about? An SMS is an SMS. You do not make sense.

    2. Lottie


      What sensors did they use on your texts?

  11. DrXym

    MS will get there in the end...

    I think Microsoft could potentially innovate mobile gaming by introducing XBL to smart phones, but other than that I really don't see much their platform offers right now that would set it apart from its competitors. Maybe a few more iterations will give the platform time to mature and to implement some pretty important functionality it is missing right now.

    Tthe problem is by the time they sort this crap out will it be too late? Aside from games, what exactly is the killer feature that sets Windows Phone 7 apart from its competition?

    1. dogged

      it's the UI, I'd say

      Having shown the promo clips to a couple of iPhone and Android users - who are not techies, as I am - their reaction was "wow, that's a really good way to arrange things".

      Whether that's enough for them to spend actual money on, I don't know. But it's a positive.

  12. Dave 15

    I wonder

    The thing that interests me is why now? Symbian / S60 seems to be a bit on the wane, but don't underestimate Nokia, iPhone is just marketting hype - its very well done marketting but the device is a dog and the development environment even worse than Symbians mess, Android is good, but now these have opened up the idea of a smart phone and the ability to create and download applications I wonder if the time is considered right to bring in Windows with its proven development environment - one that actually works

  13. Little Poppet
    Thumb Up

    Balance needed here...

    I think if you're going to publish an article you need to apply some journalistic detachment here. You may not like Microsoft as a company, but the latest indications are that it is actually a worthy competitor to the dominance of Nokia.

    Joking aside, why all the negative attitude - I believe MS are determined with this new effort into the mobile space and they actually do have an innovative and fresh product here.

    You need to include some form of balancing mechanism in your writing.

  14. Lionel Baden


    hopefull itll get ported to hd2 and tp2 i wil try it out on both

    Android sux on the tp2 so cant really use it, otherwise i would happily try it. so apart from not really being able to use android windows 7 is most likley going to be the better choice for me :/

  15. Tzael

    I must be an exception

    Complete speculation but I think Windows Phone 7 will gain an acceptable market share. By no means a majority share of the smart phone market, but take a look at potential customers. How many people are in the same position as myself, want a new phone but not willing to buy an Apple style accessory and unwilling to use a device running Google Android?

    I suppose there's still Blackberry and Palm, but neither hold much interest for me as a developer or as a consumer. Android offers the means to do more or less what we like with the device, but the idea of a phone heavily tied in to other Google services doesn't sit well with me. Apple's iPhone offers lots of entertainment from a consumer perspective (once you get past the fart apps) and even some good productivity apps but overall the device is very much controlled by Apple.

    Windows Phone 7 offers me a smart phone that's not designed to observe my usage patterns in order to line someone's pockets. That's probably my biggest reason for wanting it, though the ability to port some existing Silverlight apps to it is another appealing factor. I'm a bit disappointed that Motorola haven't released any details on a WP7 handset yet. The Samsung offering looks very nice though. Hopefully these phones will be released in October as suggested by previous reports, I really need a new phone and I'm not buying an Apple or Android device in the meanwhile!

  16. gypsy roadhog

    Windows phone 7

    Microsoft missed the ball? I do hope so!

  17. David Neil


    MS could just have taken the decision to get as many of them on the ground instead of playing games around artifically creating a scarcity.

    As for a bloated mess of an OS, I hardly think they will try and squeeze Vista or 7 onto a handset, but then again you're probably thinking I'm a shill for applying a little thought to the counter-argument.

  18. Psymon

    I'd have to agree with Ku...

    What piqued my interest in Winpho7 was the underlying engine.

    With shifted a great many in-house intra-services to .net, because the visual studio development environment is top notch.

    This potentially opens some very interesting integration opportunities.

    Time will tell...

  19. brale

    Microsoft spents $1billion on marketing, makes $15 per phone...

    How many phones does Microsoft have to sell to make up the marketing cost?

    1000000000 / 15 = 66,666,666 handsets.

    That's right. 66.6 million handsets just to recoup the marketing expenses.

    Then it's the development cost, before it actually makes a profit.

    This will be another expensive fail for Microsoft. They are screwing the desktop/server markets to fund these pet projects of epic fail.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You're basing that assumption that Microsoft's only revenue stream from WM7 is from selling phones?

      p.s. enough with the MS hate, it's boring. More competition is good thing!

  20. Robert E A Harvey

    who cares?

    I've given up on smart phones, they are too fiddly and too much bother. I'd rather carry a phone that';s just a phone and use my UNR based netbook for everything else.

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      There is wisdom in this.

      Of course, I would tend to agree at this point in time.

      I also do not yet have a smartphone. Although the N900 looks very tempting.

  21. dotdavid
    Gates Halo

    Who knows?

    I, as it seems like many others in this thread, migrated to Android after bemoaning the general stagnant state of WM6.x and have never really looked back since. However techies like me who seem to have taken a shine to Android isn't why the OS is succeeding - it's the cheap yet surprisingly functional handsets like the HTC Wildfire which will drive growth - the cheap smartphones that replace the dumbphones people used to get.

    Windows Mobile 7 probably won't have any of these kinds of handsets, so as another commenter said I suspect they'll mainly do well as a mobile gaming platform if the supposedly easy Xbox-porting actually happens. Kinda like a replacement for the PSP or DS. It's not surprising to me that Sony is rumoured to be developing an Android-based PSP phone to try and counter this.

    So if the games are any good, it will probably be a relative success, but I suspect mainly at the expense of Sony, Nintendo and Apple. Android will continue to grow, fuelled by the people wanting cheap smartphones. But who can tell really, especially as very little is known about the devices and the OS at this point.

  22. GBE

    What, no aircraft carriers?

    Darn. I too thought this was going to be another article about

    baffling defense spending decisions.

    While the UK can't match us here in the US on sheer volume of wastage,

    it does make us feel better that there is some good competition out

    there for the general level of military silliness when measured on a

    per-capita basis.

  23. Brian 39

    Work or not?

    Let me just say that my wife got a iPhone4 because her son has one <SIGH> ... The voice quality is terrible. Voice is subject to break-ups and when it is understandable, it sounds like she is speaking from inside a tin bucket.

    As my Blackberry curve contract is up in a couple of months, I will NOT be getting an iPhone... My options are Android or Win7 phone...

    1. Stuart Archer


      This sounds more like a network/reception issue, as it's generally regarded that the iPhone 4 has pretty decent voice quality? Mine certainly does... Maybe she's holding it wrong?! ;)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember this?

    This is what worries me about MS

    "Microsoft is positioning its upcoming Windows Phone 7 smartphone OS, planned for release this October, as an "ad-serving machine."

    That's how Microsoft exec Kostas Mallios described the OS to an audience that could be expected to approve of Windows Phone 7's taking a starring role in the mobile-advertising firmament: attendees at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

    Microsoft's smartphone OS will provide advertisers with three levels of ad-serving "opportunities" in addition to standard browser-based ads, and in a radical departure from the tacks taken by either Apple's app-based iAds, scheduled to launch next Thursday, or Google's browser-centric world, two of Windows Phone 7's ad-delivery systems will enable ads to be sent outside of either apps or the browser."

  25. Shades

    I've never understood...

    ...the disliking of WinMo phones. I've got a HTC HD2 and I think its great. Sure HTC have gone to great lengths to hide WinMo with the Sense UI, but occasionally dropping down into WinMo itself it not a great pain. Personally I prefer the freedom to tinker that WinMo phones give you straight out of the box, no jailbreaking this, no flashing that (unless you want to install a cooked ROM). I couldn't go back to a normal phone now (not even Android) so if Microsoft have taken the middle ground where do >I< go for my next upgrade??

    1. Robert E A Harvey
      Thumb Down

      Can't speak for anyone else

      but the ones I have had (mostly HP) have been clunky, unreliable, and not much good as phones. My disliking of them is not prejudice it is expience.

      All required frequent rebooting, and two of them had to be coldstarted and the contact/applications reloaded every week or so.

      I just can't be doing with it, and won't be bothering with the new ones.

      Oh, perhaps the bluetooth will work in the new ones, but they put it in the old ones and swore blind it worked. Maybe the syncing with outlook won't strip the + sign off all the international numbers, but the last 4 did that and I'm not going to risk my own money on that sort of pedigree. And in any case, I don't want to sync to Outlook. ever again.

      The last HP, a 617 that I bought from expansys was appalling. I once turned it off for a flight from Korea to the UK, and found half a dozen 'welcome to the ussr' messages on it when i turned it on. The only way to turn it off was to take the battery out. I sent the bloody thing back.

      My wife bought me the 6301 having been told that, being windows, it could be kept up to date. No software updates for it were ever issued, no matter how badly broken the included software was. That was the one that worked as a PDA, but the phone app would silently crash with no obvious sign that it wasn't working until you tried to make a call.

      Four times bitten, now shy. I will NOT be bothering them again.

  26. Martin Lyne
    Gates Horns

    Microsoftt? Miss the ball?

    Microsoftt? Miss the ball? No.. they think you;re MEANT to miss the ball, so they never even try and keep up with it. My HD2 Runs Android almost flawlessly (and the flaws are less than the flaws inherent with the native WinMo 6,5 shite) What can it offer that free alternatives can't?

    Lock-in? Er.. yeah. I'll pass.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not like Windows for Phones was ever particularly bad.....

    I was perfectly happy with my TyTnII and its excellent Exchange integration before I left it in a taxi (silly me). MS are late the market with touch and Apple virtually killed them and everyone else by having an App strategy (yup, just by having a strategy - it didn't even need to be particularly good when the rest of the handset/OS makers had no strategy at all).

    The new Windows phones will sell on their own merits (or not, if they're as retarded as Kin).

  28. Ian Cumbers

    Thank god...

    I saw the title and thought this was a reference to our glorious new Aircraft Carriers. I was assuming that the article was going to explain that the 2 year delay in delivery was because they didn't want to launch the carriers until Win7 SP1 came out...

  29. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


    If it is:

    1. Reasonably lean

    2. Easy to use

    3. Easy to develop for ( probably )

    4. Open, unlike Apple (this I think will not be true)

    5. Reliable

    6. 'secure'

    Then... I think it will be interesting. But it's not going to be that way, is it? I'm not gone on the 'ad-serving' to tell you the truth. Very suspicious about it.

    Nevertheless, maybe it's a good idea to fill the market with choice and see what works out.

    (Personally I'd ike to see more open linux phones. Hope they get Maemo err.. Meego right, and get something out the door soon. Been tempted to get a n900 but reports on battery life are putting me off. I'm still waiting to see what Nokia does but I think it has its hands full with the N8 now.)

    1. Stuart Archer
      Gates Halo


      My girlfriend has the N900, and it's dog-ass slow when navigating menus and apps, plus the menu structure doesn't seem terribly logical! And to top it off, it's suffered complete hardware failure TWICE (although now I suspect it may be more to do with the way she uses it rather than anything else..). Shame really, there's a lot you can do with it...

      On topic, I for one welcome our Gatesian mobile overlords. May they bring a dose of sanity to this fruit flavoured, robotic world!

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