back to article Microsoft exec departs after tweet about Nokia phone

A Microsoft manager has left the company after tweeting a less-than-raving review of a forthcoming Nokia handset running the Windows Phone OS. Joe Marini, until recently a principal program manager for web activities on Redmond’s smartphone operating system, is thought to have run afoul of Microsoft’s strict social media …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "Given the current lackluster demand for Windows smartphones the company is hoping that its partnership with Nokia will force users to accept the OS by ramming it down their throats."

    1. Gordon 10

      And why is that a bad thing?

      More competition in the smartphone Market can only be a good thing for consumers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Gordon 10

        "....the company is hoping that its partnership with Nokia will force users to accept the OS...."

        Could you please explain how forcing someone to accept something is competitive?

        1. JDC

          @Norfolk 'n' Goode

          How is Microsoft forcing anyone to buy their phones? You can still buy an iPhone or an Android phone...

      2. RubberJohnny

        More Competition

        Yes, more competition would be great. But we are talking about Windows Phone OS here. Where's the competition coming from?

  2. Shannon Jacobs
    Thumb Down

    How many hardware companies has Microsoft killed off?

    My feeling is that Nokia has gone from sick to dying, though I'm not sure how much of the blame belongs to Microsoft. Nokia did a lot of their own damage. Perhaps they were pushed, but it isn't as obvious as when Microsoft encouraged Palm to jump off the cliff.

    Anyway, if there's any justice in the world, Microsoft will NEVER make a nickel on WIndows CE under any label. That sill won't keep them from leaving a trail of dead companies behind them, but at least they shouldn't make any money out of the wreckage.

    I think the icon I really want for this post would be a dollar sign written in blood... Tough graphic to design in small size, however.

    1. moonoi

      I think you'll find they've already made plenty of money from Windows CE over the years, and its really not that bad when used for the right application. If it wasn't, it would have been killed long ago.

      But anyway, WP7 isn't based on CE anyway, so not quite sure what your point is....

      1. introiboad

        Actually, wrong.

        Windows Phone 7 _is_ based on the CE kernel and userspace libraries with Metro on top of them.

      2. Robert E A Harvey


        There are loads of industrial things, e.g. touchscreens, running CE. I wonder if the system designers knew how MS was going to leave them in the lurch when they adopted it?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If there were any justice in this world...

    Bill Gates would be hung by his thumbs for a month then sent to prison for the next 500 years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I guess you don't care about the $30 billion he's donated to charity and don't think worthy causes need the tens of billions he's pledged to give in the future.

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Indeed not,

        because that's not his money he's giving away, it's OUR money.

        Well, up to a point.

        Hey, does the name "Carnegie" ring a bell with you? Gigantic philanthropist of the twentieth century. And yet not a universally popular man. Funny how that works.

      2. firefly

        Titties are required

        As far as I'm concerned the billions amassed by Gates, Allen & co were aquired through anti-competitive and monopolistic practices. Billions that have ultimately come from our pockets. Even if you've never bought a Microsoft product in your life it's certain that a portion of the taxes you pay end up in their coffers through government purchases.

        I'd rather have that money in my pocket and *I* will decide which charity benefits from it.

        Flame away.

      3. Hans 1

        Please, can you guyz stop with this crap.

        There is no ounce of charity in Bill Gates, it is alll bullshit and you are buying it. Check what he is doing in Africa, go ahead. Anonymous have blown the whistle, too ....

        He is placing American companies to impose patents and all that shit on the third world ... which I consider a crime against humanity.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Yes, Anonymous, that paragon of reliability and accuracy, who certainly don't have an axe to grind against any big business.

          Anyway, your (and the above commentators) hatred of MS and Gates shines so brightly that you are totally blinded to any good works he or they may have done.

          If he has not an ounce of charity, why has he given so much money? Why didn't he just keep it? Why did he leave MS to concentrate on his charitable foundation? Why does the likes of Warren Buffet contribute to the foundation?

          1. Oliver 7

            I don't really subscribe to either extreme view but these people already have so much money they could never possibly spend it. It's nothing for them to 'give' most of it away as they could still live lives more opulent than anyone can imagine... and they don't have much imagination.

            Whether or not you consider it 'your' money depends on your World view and whether you regard wealth as being earned, created or appropriated.

      4. Armando 123

        Charity? Pah! Most people donate to charity (at least at that level) to cleanse their image and get tax breaks.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          If that really is your outlook on life and how you see charity and the people that give to charity, I pity you.

          Also - If you look at people like Warren Buffet, you'll notice them publicly asking to have more tax levied on them.

  4. Christian Briddon

    Can't wait!

    I love my Windows Phone 7 and will be buying the Nokia version when it comes out.

    The best mobile OS combined with cracking hardware surely can't be beaten!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ok son,

      if you want to survive on these forums, stay off the drugs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      a great advertisement for WP7

      If you are thinking of replacing a £400 device that is only a year old, with something that is guaranteed to work the same in just about every way, that is hardly a sign that your preference for that platform is based on careful and rational analysis of the options.

    3. Lord Elpuss Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Joe Marini, is that you again? Isn't it comments like this that got you into all that trouble in the first place?

    4. Fishamatician

      Re: Can't wait!

      You must know my friend then, he has the other windows phone thats been sold ;)

    5. Arbuthnot Darjeeling

      can't tell if trolling

      or just very stupid

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      cracking hardware?

      Yeah, mine too. They'll fix it under warranty.

    7. The Fuzzy Wotnot


      "cracking hardware"? That's Nokia's current dodgy manufacturing processes for you!

    8. MarcusArt

      Sublime irony?

    9. hplasm

      The hardware cracks?

      Bad QC...

    10. Stoneshop

      "Can't be beaten"

      A Stanley Fatmax Fubar would be my tool of choice for that, although any heavy object down to the humble stone will do just fine. It will also beat fanboi reviewers.

    11. Armando 123

      "The best mobile OS combined with cracking hardware surely can't be beaten!"

      It most certainly CAN be beaten, and I've got the sledgehammer to prove it.

  5. Robert E A Harvey


    Turd, meet Brasso. Brasso, meet Turd...

  6. JDX Gold badge

    If there were any justice in this world...

    Irritating internet trolls with zero knowledge wouldn't be allowed to waste our time.

  7. Chris Beach

    Ignore Apple

    Oh dear, MS think they are actually going to compete with Apple with way. Let Apple keep the more-money-than-sense crowd and compete for the Android and Blackberry users.

    From what I've seen Windows Mobile does have that extra bit of polish over Android, and Nokia can make very decent, if not spectacular, hardware. So they should go for the high-mid range phones, and an 8 sounds very good for that.

    I'm hoping Ice Cream Sandwich brings some polish to android, it needs it.

    1. turnip handler

      I completely agree with your view on Windows Mobile - but I think they can compete in all markets.

      The advantage that Microsoft is that they don't create the hardware so they should be able to work with the high, mid and low end hardware producers to complete in all markets, personal and enterprise. Given that Windows licensing is a numbers game they should not miss an opportunity. The danger is in chasing everything without a proper focus - building a solid platform to work accross tablets, desktop etc is a a great start that covers a couple of basis without dividing corporate focus.

      1. Armando 123

        @turnip handler

        "The advantage that Microsoft is that they don't create the hardware so they should be able to work with the high, mid and low end hardware producers to complete in all markets, personal and enterprise. "

        Ah, but that's been MS' approach to everything, and the only thing it's won them is the PC market. Everything else has been a fiscal drain or has "won" due to their spending ghastly amounts of money.

        The tight integration has been Apple's secret sauce. Because they make (or rather design and control the manufacturing) of the hardware, they can make tighter integration of HW and SW, which helps debloat the SW. (Notice I said "helps", not "prevents".) That didn't win them the PC market (and we know a lot of the factors in that), but it's been a boon to them in portable music players, phones, tablets, ...

        And even then, their reliability/return numbers in PCs is high, their PCs tend to be higher quality (in terms of lifetime, time of usefulness, first in class with X technology, etc), and the satisfaction ratings are pretty good.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Oliver 7


        "I think you'll find that you can get an iPhone contract for exactly the same price as a contract for an equal-power HTC handset running android."

        That's just laughable! Orange retentions recently offered me (without any haggling) a choice of HTC Sensation or Samsung Galaxy S2 for £20/month on a 24 month contract with 600m/Unltd txt/500MB data and £50 up front for the phone. I'd like to see you get an iPhone 4 for that price, let alone an iPhone 5.

        One of the prime reasons Android got such a big foothold in the smartphone market in such a short space of time was the pricing (then there's the overpriced accessories and apps and the extra charges to use tethering, etc, etc but I'm not here to bash Apple). When it comes to tablets that's why it's, so far, failing. The manufacturers simply haven't undercut Apple's prices.

        I reckon Nokia and MS may get a share of the market. Nokia have traditional strengths in HW and distribution and Phone 7 isn't too bad by all accounts. As someone else has said, if they can price their mid-market offerings right they could yet survive. Everyone seems to be talking in terms of 'woot!' or 'fail', what about 'meh'?

      2. CyberCod

        Ummm, no

        I think YOU'LL find that while the purchase points are comparable, Apps for iPhone generally cost a lot more for the exact same functionality on an identical or comparable Android app.


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chris Beach

    "brings some polish " I refer you to Robert E A Harvey's post (06:50), see above

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A bit slightly besides the topic but would I be an invited journalist to follow some kind of presentation yet being forced to sign some stupid "no disclosure" contract then I'd simply ignore the whole kaboodle and walk right out of there.

    Of course making sure that I /would/ share my experiences and my personal opinion about them.

    In other words: Why are people still paying attention to stuff like this ? IMO its best ignored; which is about the worst thing you can do to a company trying to make his new product better known.

    Provided this story is true then I think its stupid. On one hand they try to make themselves look like they care (allow users to raise their voice on their forums, also sharing their own news and messages to which people can respond) but on the other hand stuff like this ? Looks very stupid.

  10. Tommy Pock

    I've got a Pre 3

    Is this the right room for an argument?

    1. David Cantrell

      No, but we promise to take turns making sympathetic noises in between the pointing and laughing.

    2. fiddley
      Thumb Up


      Look, I've already told you once!

  11. James 51

    When WP7 launched websites and magazines were all saying how tightly MS was controling the hardware spec for phones that it ran on. Rumour was when Nokia shot both it's feet off was it got a special deal to allow it to innovate a little which was closely followed by oh no they were on a level playing field with other MS clients. Expect those other clients have alternative OS on their other phones. Nokia is now a captive client. There's no way they could survive another two years of the kind of mismanagement they have suffered under Elop so its WP7 or bust. I like Nokia phones, typing this on my N900 right now. But I think my next phone is going to be another N900 if I can find one. Probably an E7 if I can't or a grey market import N9 64gb if I can afford it. Anyone who wants a WP7 already had a HTC or won't have need of what will be a more expensive Nokia when the time comes and they're sitting side by side in places lke carphonewarehouse.

  12. Techs UK

    Back to the article...

    His first tweet seems harmless enough to me.

    Interested in his candid assessment of the hardware. 8 is a good score though. twitter is a powerful way to communicate with customers though, got to be really careful.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    8/10 is a positive review

    I am sure was fored for something far more scandalous, at a JQuery after-party in his hotel room.

    1. TheOtherHobbbes

      You don't understand

      8/10 is a sane person's review, probably boosted by a point or two for company loyalty.

      But in Stalinist - er - corporate America, anything less than 25/10 supported by ranting, shouting, pointing, whopping, jumping around, and total rave raviness with an extra side order of bonkers methed up extraversion counts as damning negativity.

      If you're not permanently expressing soul-exploding shouty enthusiasm you're just not fully committed to Ballmer's Castle of Towering Awesome.

      It's pretty sad really.

      One of the largest consumer corporations in the world can't survive without primary-school level brightly-coloured super shiny fun pants happy clappy crayon marketing.

      1. Galidron


        That is too true. Many restaurants here in the US offer surveys about the quality of their service. If you give them a 4 out of 5 the server gets dinged for not getting a perfect score. Over here that kind of rating is something to be punished for. I'm not even sure what a server would have to do for me to honestly consider them a 5 out of 5, I'm not a terribly demanding customer average service is ok by me.

  14. James 51

    Oh and while I understand why they would disipline him on principle firing him seems like over kill.

  15. iGoto

    Have you actually used one?

    To all those who spurt out paragraphs from the usual MS hate script - have you actually had the opportunity to use a WP7 for a week or so? After you get over the lack of 1990's 3d icons etc..., it turns out (from my experience) that the UI and indeed the whole phone experience is actually pretty bloody slick and not that bad at all.

    Once you start connecting stuff up with a windows live account etc.., then I'd be surprised if any other platform can demonstrate to me that level of integration and connectivity (e.g XBox/ZunePass/Skydrive etc..). The hub centric approach that WP7 employs actually starts to make sense once you start playing with it - so much so that going back to traditional paradigms on other smartphone OS's leaves you feeling of being short changed.

    As a dev, I've also had the opportunity to use the new Mango build for a few weeks now and that just adds a whole raft of new stuff. In particular the People is just absolutely nuts and a great idea (one of many small improvements that taken as a whole give it that rev2 polish).

    What I do have a problem with however is Microsoft's complete lack of decent marketing for this platform. Can anyone remeber the last time they saw a WP7 ad on UK TV? Last one I saw was probably Q1 during an XFactor break (disclaimer - I don't watch that shit, just happened to see it during channel hop).

    So, at the moment we have a great platform but a completely useless marketing message from Microsoft.

    1. Wyrdness

      I personally haven't tried WP7. But I did own a Windows Mobile 6 phone. Which was enough to convince me that I should never, ever again buy a phone with a Microsoft operating system.

    2. The First Dave

      I don't need to eat a dog turd to know that it is crap...

      Hard to know what market MS really is aiming at - don't think they can ever get the street cred/high-end design that Apple has managed to corner, nor will they ever get much traction with the tech-literate crowd, who would much rather have an open platform even if Android isn't really open.

      The business crowd maybe? The Blackberry has that fairly well covered, MS will have to do a lot of "integration" with their back-end systems to win that sector, so where is their niche?

    3. RubberJohnny


      "have you actually had the opportunity to use a WP7 for a week or so"

      Yep. It was shit.

    4. Tom 13

      I think I found your problem...

      "Once you start connecting stuff up with a windows live account..." rings an automatic no sale for me. MS controls enough of my IT experience at the OS level, I'm not snorting more of what they sell. Which is the same reason I'm reluctant to use Google+ instead of Facebook. Google get enough of my info from my searches and email account.

  16. januszs

    Kudos to WP7 marketing team

    I must admit the WP7 marketing team deserves a lot of praise for maintaining the perception that WP7 is racing with Apple and Android mostly basing on vapourware while the real number say something different. Let's take a leading French carrier called SFR. Right now they have on the offer 39 Android phones, all 10 Apple variants, 5 RIMs and 8 Badas. And how many WP7? Less than Androids for sure but how much? Feel free to make a guess and then check (produits et offres/telephonie mobile/telephones portables, scroll down) Is there still room for calling it competition?

    1. Rosco

      a strange measure of success

      WP7 certainly isn't doing as well as Microsoft hoped and still want us to believe but it's a bit flaky to declare the number of models carried by a single french operator as a measure of the success of a platform. There aren't very many models to choose from for a start. Global market share is what you want. It appears to be in the low single digits (although it's popular in Germany with 7% - over twice the market share that RIM has). Low single digits is pretty dire but I wouldn't call it "not competition".

      1. januszs

        7% looks impressing but I have feeling it covers WP7 and WinMo 6 combined as I remember seeing some global stats giving around 3% to every group with some slight advantage for WinMo. I agree that WP7 competes with RIM as well with the likes of Symbian or WebOS. As for this year season Android and Apple are in a different division.

        1. Rosco

          Actually those figures were WP7 only. Some market research group split the figures out into WinMo and WP7. Google for windows phone 7 market share and you'll see articles citing it with a bit more detail.

          Also, correction: I just re-read it; the german 7% isn't more than twice the RIM number, RIM's at 3.9%

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ... the problem ...

    This marini incident aside, the problem is brand.

    People don't associate microsoft with mobile phones, they associate them with windows & office - PC's.

    If microsoft want to get a proper foot into the smartphone market, aside from creating an OS that can compete, they need to play down the microsoft brand and play up the Nokia brand.

    Nokia, despite it's recent long lived "head wedged up collective arses" moment, is a well known brand - once the champions of the mobile phone market.

    The general public, if the product is good and the price is right, will recognise Nokia and give it a shot without hesitation.

    They don't recognise microsoft in the mobile space - there's massive brand confusion.

    In short, keep the noise about microsoft down, launch it as Nokia, not as 'microsoft & nokia' or 'nokia and microsoft', just plain and simple Nokia.

    (I resisted the urge to use words like 'leverage', 'monetize' and 'brand loyalty' in this carefully researched post)

    1. Tom 13

      In a world in which you could keep secrets, you might be on to something.

      I think Nokia has made such a mess of things that they are pretty much a zombie corp at this point, but if MS were able to launch phones with a non-MS name they'd have a better shot at grabbing market share.

      The problem of course is that since this isn't a world where secrets can be kept, even with NDAs, word would get out that MS was secretly funding Project X, and Project X would suddenly be even more sinister than MS because MS was doing it SECRETLY.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple & Secrecey

    Maybe this is the next thing that MS is going to try to copy.. Perhaps a little digging would have revealed that Joe no longer works for MS and no longer resides in the US and has no SSN.. he's been disappeared, in an attempt to one up Apple.

  19. Dennis 6

    When we are talking about smartphones it's the apps that make the difference

    I guess there are quite a few people who buy a smartphone because it's cool, and don't care about apps, but their numbers must be shrinking as their more tech-savvy friends start demonstrating apps to them.

    It's hard to imagine how players in this market who woke up too late to what Apple has been doing since 2007 can ever get into a competitive position. Apple have a good OS, very good design capabilities, good build quality, a phone that most people find a pleasure to hold and to use, confidence in what they are about, half a million apps, and many happy developers. The old ways of the phone industry have been so shaken up by Apple that the older players still don't know which way to run - like the proverbial rabbit in the car headlights. The old ways of pumping out plastic tat covered in buttons doesn't wash any more and vendors who don't have good hardware design, a belief in quality, and an thriving ecosystem might as well pack up and go home now.

    MS/Nokia have a real uphill struggle in front of them and there is no evidence from their past performance that they will be able to outplay Apple, which, apart from its huge ecosystem, now has significant supply chain and infrastructural advantages. People say Apple products are expensive but that isn't true, one has only to read about the squabbling between Intel and the laptop makers trying to make a competitor the the MacBook Air, and the pricing of the inferior iPad competitors to see that.

    We live in interesting times.

    1. Tomato42

      for corporate users, the remote administration, e-mail message signing and AD integration are even more important...

  20. Andy E

    I was a Nokia fan

    I struggled with the N95 and the N98 when I gave up and got an iPhone. The Nokia hardware was excellent but the software produced such a dreadful user experience that it was a no-brainer. I'm coming to the end of my contract in 6 months and will look closely at the Nokia W7 phones, comparing it with the iPhone 5. While I'm quite happy with the iPhone software the camera on the 3GS is poor and there is no flash. Battery life is not great either.

    If the new Nokia phones with W7 cut the mustard then I'll probably switch back.

    P.S. Is Angry Birds and Suduko available on W7? This could be a deciding factor :-)

    1. GoingGoingGone
  21. Jemma

    Or you could just...

    Dust off your HTC Diamond running 6.5.3 and get the Host 1.5 file from xda-developers which is basically the entirety of 'tiles' and will run on any touchscreen windows device. Oh and it took the guy who wrote it about 3 months. Yes, its slick and quick... On 528mhz, and did I mention, free?

    The fact that this MS guy has given it an 8 probably means a 3 in everyone else's book, a fact which Ballmer knows full well.

    Oh, and when I can connect to a tv two different ways on a winphone, and use a mouse with it, and an external hard drive @ the same time, not to mention have a 2+ day battery life and constant signal... Then and only then can you prise my E7 from my cold dead hands, in the cold dead nursing home (because I will probably be in one by the time it can do all that and be stable too).

  22. Steve Evans


    Have you guys done some creative editing, or was his entire criticism "I wish it had a larger screen"?

    Apart from that it was glowing report!

    I know American's have a reputation amongst us Brits for being a bit too enthusiastic, but surely it hasn't got so bad that "only" giving something an 8 is regarded as a total slating?!

  23. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Brand recognition

    Ericsson tried that in the 90s - trading on their name while presenting less and less competitive analogue phones. by the time GSM became mainstream they were a has-been

    Nokia killed them on price. I'm not sure why - when I moved from Motorola to Nokia phones the performance was worse and the menus sucked.

    Now Android and iPhone are killing Nokia, while nokia has been sitting on its thumbs for 5 years.

    Windows is a never-been or possibly an also-ran. Nokia teaming up with them will just make them into a 3 legged competitor in a marathon.

  24. CyberCod

    End result?

    The moral to the story here is that Microsoft employees, according to company policy, are not allowed to have opinions.

    Its little wonder why MS sucks so bad. When you treat your team like this, your team leaves. And getting the new star talent fresh from university? Nope. They're going to flip you the bird. And rightfully so.

    There's nothing wrong with Microsoft that a few well place C4 charges couldn't fix.

  25. Rex Alfie Lee

    It isn't Marini's fault...

    Windoze Phone 7 is crap so who cares?

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