back to article Windows Phone may be cheaper than Android - Inq boss

Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola has obliged one operator to look more closely at Windows Mobile. So says Inq boss Frank Meehan, who runs the Hutchison-owned handset company. He has a very interesting reason, which might surprise some of you. Inq puts its own UI on Android, as seen here with the Cloud Touch Meehan …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. alexh2o

    Windows Phone

    Is it really that hard for someone who runs a mobile phone manufacturer to learn its "Windows Phone" and not "Windows Mobile" anymore! Geez...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    True or bluff?

    Bluff. Announcement made for publicity.

    The cost of Ubuntu, with all those software stacks, is so great I'm not even considering it for an old PC I found. Not.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Your old PC != a mobile phone.

      Your old PC's wireless connection != a mobile phone's wireless.

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge


      I reckon it's true. By the time you've employed people to build, customise and test Android you could have just installed a build of WP7 for which you would only really need a test team.

      If Android OEMs all used standard Android without their own GUI then Android would be cheaper. But they don't, they develop their own UI to "differentiate" themselves from the crowd.

      This is another reason why WP7 hasn't taken off massively, the hardware spec limits the design of the phone and the interface can't be customised (other than by having their own service tile). OEMs just can't find a way of making their phone seem hugely better than a rivals offering.

    3. SuccessCase

      Probably true

      But true or not, I can guarantee one thing. The moment Google made the Motorola announcement every other manufacturer will have drawn up a Windows Phone contingency strategy. No matter the raw feature list of Android, Windows phone offers a slick UI and Microsoft know how to provide great developer tools. I think Google have thrown a huge lifeline to MS - just when they were looking down and out for the count.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Errm no

        Why would anyone start a Windows Phone 7 strategy, as it's a doomed mobile OS, destined to always be a "Bada".. a poor mans Android and iOS.

        Nokia talked about not being able to differentiate themselves with Android, and then picked an OS that can't be customised!!! Fucking idiots...

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Worse still...

          They dropped the one thing that would have really differentiated them. Twice.

          Still hugging my n900. Poor thing feels so abandoned even months later.

          Wouldn't surprise me if a few of these manufacturers are investigating the possibility of MeeGo now.

        2. SuccessCase

          Re: Erm no

          My assertion is based on many years experience Directing software integration projects for the TV Industry. Readers can down-vote all they like, and I can be satisfied in the knowledge I'm right. The other handset manufacturers will have renewed interest in MS guaranteed. Google buying Motorola will have immediately generated immense distrust and they will be looking for a contingency strategy. I saw the same thing happen in the TV industry the moment an OS came into an ownership relationship with a hardware vendor the first response was without fail for all the other hardware vendors outside the special relationship to start looking at alternatives. It's actually very simple logic but the decision is driven far more by strategy and business concerns than identified preference for one or other platform than most people outside these businesses will realise.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Given Google's new patent portfolio

    which is larger than Apple and Microsoft's combined, You would have to be an idiot to somehow think Windows Phone 7 would be a better bet than Android, especially given that it's got no apps or userbase.

    Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 (mango) are a dying OS, and the only people saying otherwise are Microsoft and Nokia who depend on it not to be.

    1. Funkstain

      Once again with feeling

      The point's been made several times already, but again: several experts, including one cited by Mr Orlowski in a previous article, have expressed significant doubt concerning the viability of Moto's patents to protect Android against litigation.

      Hence the reasoning behind Mr Meehan's statement.

      To discount WinMo 7 at this stage, with brand power and resources of Nokia and Microsoft behind it, takes extraordinary confidence - what's your reasoning?

      1. Anonymous Coward


        The "expert" you mean, has failed again and again his predictions. His "analysis" are so wrong it isn't funny. His articles can safely be discounted as nothing more than anti-google FUD, and have been blown to bits several times by Groklaw and others.

        Do you want to really know what are some of the patents? Just look here - - and tell me again, with a straight face, how these patents don't help.

        This article is another in a series of anti-google tirades by Mr. Orlowski which sorely miss any content.

        1. Mike Judge

          Microsoft's mouthpeice

          Last year Microsoft told everyone to hate Sony. This year Microsoft have refocused on mobile and have simply told the media to cancel the last order and tell all your readers to hate Google.

          That is really how fucked up the internet is, the men with the most money can tell sites like this what to tell everyone through the power of advertising budgets.

          Anyone that can't work this out frankly is a utter moron. Nobody at El-Reg works for free, where do you think the money to pay the wages comes from.....

          1. Arctic fox
            Thumb Down

            Ad hominem?

            A classic "Microshill" rant/accusation. You do not like an article and your response is to accuse the author(s) of, in practice, being on the take. El Reg can be accused of a great deal (indeed it is fun to do so) but if you haven't noticed that they take the piss here out of Big Corp regularly (whether it is Apple, Google, Intel or, yes, Microsoft) then you have not followed El Reg very closely.

            Indeed if you used the old grey matter a bit then you would realise that a site like Reg which addresses IT professionals (and in that way attracts their advertising revenue) would realise that the very *last* tone they would wish to adopt would be one that appeared to favour one of the big boys in the industry. Why is that? Because IT pros tend to be a fairly cynical bunch and El Reg would loose all credibility with their audience and their capacity to attract that audience is the source of their ad-revenue. If a significant section of the sites regulars became convinced that Reg was brown-nosing BigCorp their click-rate (and thereby their revenue) would go down the kahzi. See how easy it is when one tries to do a bit of joined up thinking instead of howling?

            The only thing one can conclude from *your* posting is that you have a *very* protective/strange relationship to your choice of phone and your playstation.

          2. Armando 123

            Not saying you're wrong, but ...

            "That is really how fucked up the internet is, the men with the most money can tell sites like this what to tell everyone through the power of advertising budgets."

            This is different from other media ... how? It's always been this way.

            Mine's the one with Mencken's "Newspaper Days" in the pocket.

        2. Funkstain
          Thumb Up

          Fair play

          You're right, I took some of this on face value. Bit more research shows that the situation is at least ambiguous and at best, Moto's patents could provide serious protection in some areas. I'll do my research before posting in future.

        3. chr0m4t1c


          >and tell me again, with a straight face, how these patents don't help.

          If they're already licensed to the competition, they won't help.

          You only get to take someone to court if they use your patent without your agreement, which may or may not be free.

          So (for example), HTC may well have a license with Moto to create phones that use a sensor to disable touch-sensitive controls when the phone is held up to the face and that license is probably not limited by the OS installed on the phone.

          If Nokia go after Moto or Google for infringement of a patent but have already licensed all the relevant patents from Moto for their own devices, then Moto don't have any leverage and will have to duke it out in court.

          I know that may not be what you want but it's how it *is* and downvoting everyone with a more realistic view won't change that.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Do you know of these experts personally?

        Or do you simply trust that if someone from El-Reg says they are an expert, then it must be true.

        The only fact I know is that every Android licence shares are on the up since Google bought the Motorola patents. That's a MUCH more credible cite than some random "gun for hire" expert that nobody has ever heard of from the internet.

        The reasoning WinMo7 is discounted is simply because it's shit. I have used one it's not even close to Android 1.5, it's got a severe lack of apps, and developers are thin on the ground. The only people praising it are those that are being offered incentives to praise it from Microsoft (lavish launch parties, free phones etc).

        1. Arctic fox

          Pardon, old chap?

          "The reasoning WinMo7 is discounted is simply because it's shit. I have used one it's not even close to Android 1.5,"

          Don't misunderstand me, my phone's a Desire Z - very happy with Android, like the os very much. However, WP7 worse than the 1.5 iteration of Android? That kind of brain-dead teenage fanboism does nobody any service and simply makes you look like an ignorant expletive. If you cannot post anything other than that kind of spew, do us all a favour and vanish.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Have you used WP7?

            I only know two people who have tried WP7, both of them hated it and thought that the Android of the time was orders of magnitude better.

            However I don't know which version of Android they were comparing to.

            Personally, I've only used WM6.2 and 6.5.

            However, both of these are so hideously, despicably awful that I would need some quite extraordinary evidence to believe that Microsoft can even come close to a workable mobile phone OS.

            - An equivalent would be "Pretend I've only seen Windows 2.0, now convince me to buy Windows 7"

      3. Justin Clements


        1. Who says that Google will use Motos patents to protect it's partners anyway? What Google say and do are two different things.

        2. No one seems to have addressed the small matter that if these patents are so good, why is Moto getting sued anyway?

        3. And if it does have an existing library, surely that has existing deals with the likes of Apple et al. So what does it benefit Google in the long run if patents are already being monetised?

        4. WTF has anyone spent $12bn for patents! It's cheaper just to pay royalites than $12bn. Seriously. Google's will be paying a bonus to its shareholders soon if they keep this up - and we all know what that means!

        Keep thinking there is something very clever behind this takeover, but for the life of me, I can't touch on it. Dumbest purchase in IT history ever.

        1. KjetilS

          Re: And

          "2. No one seems to have addressed the small matter that if these patents are so good, why is Moto getting sued anyway?"

          If noone else will, maybe I can?

          It's called "not giving up without a fight". From what I've read (IANAL and all that), the Moto patents may have some merit. The Apple patents may or may not have merit, but that doesn't stop Apple from trying to hit at Moto as hard as they can. Apple hopes that if they lose, then Moto will *also* lose a patent fight and that makes it easier to negotiate an agreement and lessen the impact of their own loss.

  4. Matt Bryant Silver badge


    ....if the problem is the copywrit drivers in the wireless stack, which are part of the OS install bundle, why not sell an OS-free phone with just an OS loader (think FreeDOS for phones) and then let the customer download and install Android? You could even supply a post-install app that sets up the phone to work with the required network. Since the customer has downlaoded the OS and installed it, the stack issue is now the customer's and the patent troll has to go sue each customer individually.

    1. Funkstain

      That's a brilliant proposition!

      "Buy our phone! It won't work at all out of the box so you'll have to spend some quality time figuring out wtf to do to get it working. Then you may be sued by a large corporation. Hey wait, no, don't buy that iPhone it's for noobs!"

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Quality time... reminds me:

        I recently caved in and bought a new brandname laptop for family use. It had bundled Windows7 like they all do, but I still wasted a lot of "quality time"waiting for the dang thing to configure, register and update itself after first boot (in fact several of them, as updating almost anything on Windows, even this modern version, requires reboots, unlike Linux).

        In fact, I am pretty sure I could have installed and updated a modern Linux distribution on it in the time it took for the bundled Windows7 to get its act together...

    2. Chad H.


      Do you really expect the average consumer to do this, when they're used to the "Just press power" experience of pretty much every other phone on the market?

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Why not? Woked for Steve Jobs.

        You can't use an iphone without setting it up in itunes first. What's the difference?

        1. Tim Bates

          Re: Why not? Woked for Steve Jobs.

          True - and it is annoying. But at least if you do enough you know how far you have to go before you can stop.

          The annoying thing is just how bloody long Windows takes to load the drivers. And it does it fresh for every iPhone. Takes longer to load the driver than to click the button or 2 in iTunes to make the phone come alive.

        2. Chad H.

          @ Graham

          In the case of the iPhone, its just an activation. You're not having to mess about selecting a stack to download and install.

    3. sisk


      Cuz the whole 'install the OS yourself' route has worked so well for Linux thus far.

    4. N13L5

      we all wish for that...

      But look at the old lines people are still thinking along:

      "WindPho 7 maybe cheaper than Android" so what? nobody is buying the stupid phones. Nobody who didn't want to be in Apple's locked down ghetto wants to be in Microsoft's locked down ghetto instead.

      Some even think Android is successful just by being cheaper... I bought my phone for better hardware, my Samsung GSII phone is plain better than the iPhone 4. And iOS, like all Apple software lacks features and options.

      And if there had been an iOS or WindPho7 and a real Linux version of the same phone, I would have picked Linux, but as it was, Android was the closest thing to what I'd prefer. Its very customizable and pretty nice to use.

  5. Spearchucker Jones


    The title says Windows Phone. The quote from Meehan says Windows Mobile. Windows Phone and Windows Mobile are not the same thing. Which is it?

    1. alexh2o
      Paris Hilton


      We posted pretty much the same thing at the exact same time! Great minds...

      1. David Dawson

        Great minds think alike ...

        And fools seldom differ...

        Always worth remembering how that saying ends.

        No comment on the above really. Just saying.

  6. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Err, well Android would be cheaper if...

    the likes of HTC etc didn't have to pay Microsoft protection money for every handset.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge


      You breaks the law you pays the price.

      If they stop using FAT32 as the device's filesystem then they'll avoid the M$ patent tax.

      1. JohnG


        "If they stop using FAT32..."

        I am surprised none of them has taken this route and used a different file system. The file system in use is only significant if volumes are to be mounted on another system - and there are ways to get around that issue.

      2. ThomH

        Cutting FAT32 would be a problem

        Assuming I've not fallen for mere trolling, one of the things vocal Android proponents like is being able to plug their phone into the computer and manually copy music, movies, etc to it. FAT32 is really the only filing system that makes that easy and realistic across pretty much every USB sporting computer out there.

        That being said, given that they use FAT32, properly following the DCIM spec would be nice. It's a bit pointless using a non-free standard and then improperly implementing a free standard on top of it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re FAT32

          I tend to agree - FAT32 needn't be required on a phone, if the manufacturers don't want to write a filesystem for windows (perfectly doable - there was a FAT32 for NT4, Veritas briefly produced VxFS, there are others, not that mature though.) they can just write an application that speaks to the phone, but supports drag'n'drop from the desktop of the host machine. This keeps the much liked drag'n'drop, but also allows the phone to be freed from FAT32.

          Maintaining a requirement for FAT32 is just lazy in my opinion.

          1. Tomato42
            Thumb Down

            Re: FAT32

            No Android phone uses FAT32 internally AFAIK. The real game-breaker are the flash cards: SD, miniSD, etc. All of them are formated using FAT32 (and the biggest using exFAT).

            People often remove those cards and connect them directly to computers using USB readers.

            1. sisk

              Re: FAT32

              I'm sure some Android hacker out there has compiled a version that reformats the SD card to EXT2 so that they can remove the FAT32 driver, but I'm equally sure that such an idea would never catch on. Removing FAT32 presents a huge inconvienence to Windows users. If you inconvienence Windows users you may just as well not bother trying to sell your product. You might be able to give it away to Linux geeks at that point, but where's the profit in that?

  7. Dana W

    They used to call that a protection racket.

    They say that Microsoft Mobile saves people from lawsuits against Android? You mean the ones Microsoft keeps filing?

    I can see it now.

    That's a nice little smartphone you have there, be a pity of something was to, you know, HAPPEN to it. Use our OS and we can promise you that no nasty lawyers will come by and mess up its pretty face, you don't want that, its bad for business........

  8. El Andy

    "no immediate alternative they can jump to"?

    Er, yes there is, Windows Phone 7. Wasn't that the whole point he was making?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    "Windows Phone may be cheaper than Android - Inq boss"

    ...but will it crash and be as buggy as all the other MS offerings?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: So...

      Funny you should ask that. My HD7 that I've owned since Christmast 2010 froze for the first time on Saturday. The freeze lasted about two seconds on the search screen. That's the first time I've had any lag on it.

    2. Miek

      Re: So...


  10. Rosco

    OEM Customisation

    INQ's whole thing is customisation, giving existing platforms (BREW, Android) a major makeover with a kind of urban hipster colour scheme and functional specialisation, like Facebook integration. They will not be able to do that with Windows Phone 7. MS specifically prohibit all but the most trivial of OEM customisations. This INQ boss must surely know that so why is he saying this? Is it just linkbait for INQ which, to be fair, hasn't had a lot of press of late?

  11. Miek

    Just the one?

    "Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola has obliged one operator to look more closely at Windows Mobile"

    What a trend!

  12. NoneSuch Silver badge

    You gets what you pays for...

    When you go with the lowest bidder, you usually get the lowest quality as well.

    Sherlock, cuz it is elementary.

    1. Tomato42

      That explains it...

      ...and I always wondered why my Debian Linux servers worked for months without restart and Windows Server 2008R2 needed to be restarted every Patch Tuesday.

      Oh wait...

    2. Tim Bates

      Really? Might want to tell Dell then...

      When it came to buying a server for home, I looked at HP, IBM and Dell. Not only did Dell beat the others on price (by a lot), but in my experience, they'll bend over backwards to keep you happy.

      And of course, this box is running a free virtualisation system based on Debian Linux. Far better result than using Hyper-V...

  13. Alan Brown Silver badge


    First thing I did was reformat my android to ext4....

  14. CyberCod


    They say the same bullshit about Linux. Give this article the attention it deserves: none.

    Android rocks, and I'd gladly pay a bit more to get an Android device over WinCrap7 or anything else MicroSuck wants to put out. And Apple is far too heavy handed for my tastes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I realise it's the school holidays, but:



      1/10 for trolling. Try better next time. Better still, try to post something intelligent, well argued and interesting. It is appreciated when people give you something to think about that's well argued, even if one doesn't agree with the comment being made.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pfft...

        The company is using kiddie business tactics ("Gibbie moni pls, or else..."), so we use kiddie invectives.

        Pick a better company to white-knight.

    2. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      Not even trying

      Come on, "WinCrap 7?" "MicroSuck?" You're not even trying! Here are some better alternatives for you to consider for next time around:






      And "Microsoft" of course has many of the permutations perfected by Slashdotters and other assorted basement-dwellers over the years:




      Micros~1 (for the old school)

      Tsk. Kids today, no commitment to excellence or creativity when it comes to fanboy trolling.

      1. Arctic fox
        Thumb Up

        And let us not forget.........

        ........"Microshill" for that drive-by ad hominem attack.

  15. chipxtreme

    Who cares if android costs more than Win Phone 7

    Am I missing something here? Making a phone with windows phone 7 on could work out cheaper than making one with Android? What use is a cheaper phone to make if noone will buy it? I don't know a single person with a windows phone 7, plenty of people with other android phones, loads of girls with blackberry's and a few isheep but noone wants wp7.

    1. Tim Bates


      I don't know ANYONE with WP7 - plenty of current and ex WM6.x users, but no WP7.

      And in the 9 months or so since the shop I work for took on being a local dealer for a major telco, we've sold exactly zero WP7 devices. Barely even any interest - aside from a few nerds who start by bagging it out. Pretty lame MS.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Who cares if android costs more than Win Phone 7

      For a start, developing countries, where people don't have as much cash to spend on a phone. I still remember all the hippytech pronouncements that Linux would "free the World", that the One Laptop Per Child program would help kill the Beast of Redmond, but M$ is still looking healthy and raking in the cash in developing countires. Nokia made a fortune shifting simple phones to business users and those that didn't actually need a fullyfledged smartphone, so having the ability to "make it cheap and pile it high" and yet still have a recognised brand (M$ Windows) on the device is not such a bad plan for that developing countries market.

  16. eulampios

    funny and fair

    Aren't you forgetting "MicroShit"?

  17. Microphage

    quasi-legal extortion

    "Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola has obliged one operator to look more closely at Windows Mobile .. Meehan says he thinks that the software cost of Windows Phone may now be lower than that of an Android phone"

    Do you mind spelling out for the rest of us the exact causal relationship between the cost_of_Android (A) and Google's acquisition_of_Motorola (M)? Does it work like gravity and the inverse square law or quantum action at a distance, where in the two are actually the uncollapsed harmonics in a wave function?

    "The advantages with Windows Mobile are that the legal issues and resulting costs seem to be much less,"

    I'm sorry Mr. Orlowski but that reads to me like :buy Windows Mobile and Microsoft won't sue you for using Android: such "advantages" being nothing more than quasi-legal extortion. But then again in reading the Reg us readers do seem to be entering some parallel universe where the laws of logic don't seem to apply.

    1. rogerpjr
      Thumb Up

      Well DONE!!!

      What can I SAY!!! Microphage said it as best as can be said.. "I'm sorry Mr. Orlowski but that reads to me like :buy Windows Mobile and Microsoft won't sue you for using Android: such "advantages" being nothing more than quasi-legal extortion."

  18. Mikel

    Windows Phone 7: 1 percent

    Windows mobile is still selling more phones than Windows phone, ten months after being binned. WP7 at 1 percent and falling is already in "other" territory. It's fringe. It is not seing the adoption they had hoped for. Perhaps the persistent "the next version will be good! Trust us!" messaging of their oft-delayed updates has something to do with this.

    Meanwhile iOS and Android are shipping, between them, a million phones a day. Leveraging vast app marketplaces and developer bases these two deliver an ecosystem that holds more value than the product when it comes out of the box.

    WP7 is toast. Nokia's phones won't sell well either, and the company will collapse. Microsoft will continue to pour money on this bonfire because they dare not give up. But there's nothing to be done. You snooze, you lose.

  19. Christian Berger

    Please Please Please

    Make a portable, preferably clamshell device with a transflective or reflective screen and a keyboard and just put Debian or OpenWRT on it. There is a market for that. The Nokia Maemo-line has shown that.

  20. xyz

    Having farted around with Android a bit...

    ...all I really want from an internet enabled portable device (phone, tablet , whatever) is a normal ring ring phone, camera, browser and video skype. Oh I spent a couple of weeks downloading apps before deciding that most of them were crap (even the bought ones) and that I could do everything I wanted with the browser anyway. The only other "apps" I really need are the standard ones you download to a pc anyway.

    Android hangs all over the place, and I don't like all that "googleness" going off in the background, so I'd probably go for a skinny Win mob device if that was made. Apple = never.

    Still baffled how 10 years ago I could use windows on an iPaq strapped to the IR port of my Nokia 8850 on a train to browse the web and get my email and how MS managed to completely bollox the lead that they had back then.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Trust me, you don't want a Windows Mobile device.

      All the one I've ever seen hang at random intervals, have extreme lag when trying simple functions and actually properly *crash* often enough to be very annoying.

      For example, my previous WM6.2 phone would take until the 4th or 5th ring before the phone actually started trying to indicate that a call was incoming. I missed a lot of calls due to that.

      My current WM6.5 one is usually making a sound on the second ring, but often fails to accept an 'answer the call' action until another two rings after hitting the 'real' button, and rarely shows the touchscreen 'answer' button until the 3rd ring, sometimes even the fifth or sixth.

      Both of these were vanilla manufacturer ROMs, with no downloaded apps, latest firmware.

      They suffer variable large lag of 0.5 to 2sec for simple things like 'open onscreen keyboard'.

      Why do you think Microsoft are so keen to try to rebrand their mobile OS? It's because all their previous attempts at a mobile phone OS have been almost unusable.

      I've never seen any of those issues with the various Android devices that most of my colleagues now use as their primary phones.

      As I mentioned earlier, a WM user is effectively in the position of only knowing Windows 2.0, and seeing Ubuntu and Mac OSX working great for their friends, with Microsoft trying to suggest that maybe this 'Windows 7' thing is good.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pay up or I'll sue you

    These must be pretty shitty patents, I mean M$ aren't even open source. So it's prolly not even at the architecture level.

  22. rogerpjr


    Look, Let's back away from the Seedy, money-grabbing, street walking, Apple and MS. We can surely do the TRUE open source community proud. Go with the Modders with Web-Os or Rim's OS. I am SICK of Apple. Sick of them. MS bullied the hell out of them when they were smaller. The community was PROUD of Apple standing up to MS.

    Then Apple got greedy. Apple, your status is ALLEGEDLY World-Class.

    Your mentality is Thuggish.

    You have LOST what little class you had.

    You lost my respect.

    KEEP your i things!

    Web OS, Android, bring it.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022