back to article Windows Phone 8 must be Microsoft's priority one, two AND three

Unless Microsoft gives Windows Phone some urgent attention, all of its hard work will go up in smoke and take Europe's largest technology company with it. We've now seen Windows Phone 8 running on four strong handsets - two each from Nokia and HTC - and it's fair to say the manufacturers have kept their side of the bargain. …


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  1. EddieD

    Wrong tense.

    The Windows phone platform should have been Microsoft's priority 2-3 years ago. They should have had engineers working on apps, and tools. Windows 7 was certainly sufficient on the desktop for another year or so, and they should have put the resources from Windows 8 into the phone platform. As it is, early adopters aren't happy because WP7.5 is de-prioritised, and they lack apps, and they pass on their grumbles to the folk thinking of getting a WP8 phone.

    I find it hard to see how Microsoft can gain ground from here, unless something major happens. It is a shame, because it has the potential to be a good platform - but the same could be said about a lot of potential platforms that have fallen by the wayside.

    1. Piro

      Re: Wrong tense.

      I completely agree with all of this. Nobody was chomping at the bit for Windows 8 on the desktop, but Phone 7 being sidelined and 6.5 being on the market when it was inappropriate for such an archaic platform to be marketed - these are the big mistakes.

      The problem is, I don't see who Phone 8 appeals to right now - the people who bought phones with 7 are probably not future customers, as they'll be flat out pissed Microsoft dropped them so quickly - they aren't the nerdy plaything that is Android, and they aren't quite as simple and mass market as the iPhone.

      There's no doubt the new HTC and Nokia devices are attractive pieces of kit - but I would argue in spite of Phone 8, not because of it.

      1. Waspy

        Re: Wrong tense.

        Everything Andrew has said is completely right...WP8 has the potential to be a really great platform. But I am seeing the same half-hearted and uncordinated marketing approach we saw 1-2 years ago. Who are the big names in the UK that MS have signed up? Holly willoughby and James fucking Corden. I don't hate James Corden as much as many people seem to (although he is quite annoying) but this is the point - who at MS decided that James Corden was popular enough to sell their snazzy new OS? Holly Willoughby is a smart-ish enough choice, but as Andrew mentioned, with their social networking strength these phones will appeal more to the kind of young mums, young females etc and the kind of audience who watches Willoughby...but the phones are priced far too highly to appeal to this segment. It's a complete disconnect; spending £35-40 on a phone they may as well get a known quantity, one that all their mates have and get an iPhone. And about the only two celebrities I know that they've signed up. All those billions and they sign up a morning television presenter and a supposed comedian that everyone hates and who hasn't done much for about 3 years.

        And then there is visibility; I have seen about 4 television spots and one billboard for WP8. Microsoft should be using their mountain of cash to put pictures, videos and posters of these things everywhere but underneath the toilet seat, especially as two of their most significant partners aren't exactly flush at the moment. If MS don't pull their fingers out and properly advertise then come next year HTC and Nokia may well not be here anymore...and MS will be left all alone with Samsung (who probably couldn't care less about WP8) and themselves (if they do another 'Surface', which will surely only end one way). The whole thing is a joke.

        It's a real shame but I think we're getting to the point where the band is playing...but the Titanic sinking...and HTC and Nokia were first class ticket holders

    2. Jon Press

      Re: Wrong tense.

      *A* phone platform should have been Microsoft's priority.

      Putting the word "Windows" first is, i suspect, their essential mistake. Firstly, it raises negative expectations in the marketplace because people know what "Windows" is and can't really envisage how that might work on a phone. Google didn't make the mistake of referring to their phone platform as "Linux Phone".

      Secondly, it ties the phone project into a whole raft of dependencies and messy compromises with totally unrelated products in the mistaken belief that the corporate vision of a seamlessly ubiquitous plaform can some how be delivered from the spare parts bin.

      Build a good phone platform and you have a bridgehead. Extend your "Windows" branding to it later if you want. Building an unfocussed platform for products most of which you haven't really thought about and lending it your most valuable brandname unlikely to bolster the appeal of either - it's more likely you're going to torpedo your own flaghship.

    3. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Wrong tense.

      If I buy an Apple phone, then I know I will get support for the phone's software for years. I know I will still be able to get the latest apps when I want them.

      If I buy an Android phone, then I know I will probably, depending on manufacturer, get support for the phone's software for years. I am fairly confident that I will still be able to get the latest apps when I want them.

      If I buy an MS phone, I know that I probably won't be able to upgrade it to the 'next' version, and that as soon as the 'next' version comes out, I won't be able to get the latest apps for my phone as they are only available for the 'next' version, MS want another license payment for their new OS, and the only device that will run it is a new one.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: Wrong tense.

        where the band is playing...but the Titanic sinking...and HTC and Nokia were first class ticket holders

        So where is Nokia's lifeboat? HTC first class, Nokia at best second class in that analogy.

        Completely agree with the original poster, by the way.

      2. asdf
        Thumb Down

        Re: Wrong tense.

        >If I buy an Apple phone, then I know I will get support for the phone's software for years.

        Apple more and more is going out of their way to force obsolesce on products to keep the gravy train rolling from their upscale customers. After seeing Apple refuse to support Mountain Lion or even allow purchase or installation on older Mac Pro desktops (which with hacks I was able to install the DP version and it not only ran but faster than Lion, so the hardware excuse doesn't fly) I have to say honestly even Microsoft is less likely to pull this crap.

        1. asdf

          Re: Wrong tense.

          Not defending Microsoft as their consumer products for the most part are crap but the advantage to M$ not being the hardware vendor (until recently) is they don't try to tell you you can't install an OS your computer is perfectly capable of running (as long as you pay for it of course).

    4. Charles Manning

      and Wrong Market

      In the past, MS phones have always done best in business where there has been a reasonably compelling story to sell "seamless integration" from corporate servers to mobile platforms/

      W8 is unashamedly aimed squarely at the consumer as a social media phone. It is Kin2. In this market they need to compete with "cool" something they have never done right.

      Corporate customers will want to keep their PCs on W7 and are not feeling the need to go with W8, but in mobile it is worse - there is no compelling MS choice. MS are, for all practical purposes, forcing their corporate customers to shop around and stop drinking the MS Kool-Aid.

      Microsoft have completely cut off their traditional markets at the knees and are betting on a switch to consumers. This is a very high risk strategy and depends on everything being nearly perfect.

      This must surely accelerate MS's demise.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: and Wrong Market

        Agreed. And I disagree with the article - phones are not where MS needs to start.

        The phone market is too hard for MS to compete in - it has no leverage and the "Windows" (sounds like office equipment) brand is a disadvantage when buying a personal phone and there is no loyalty

        MS should focus on integration between tablet, PC and cloud - even if that means making nice with Google and Amazon. Make itunes look like the ugly brute it is. Don't try to make Windows Live the only option, make gmail work really well. If MS want to gain traction, they will have to do without some income. For example, they could offer ad-free search on their own tablets (for the time-being at least) via bing or back off music/video purchases to Amazon rather than trying to take a cut.

        With the cpus in phones increasing in power, it won't be long before they become a de-facto thin client, with wired or wireless KVM. What happens when the GPU's are strong enough to drive a 2560x1440 screen, or monitor manufacturers put in a cheap graphics unit so android can play on a normal screen or two, with bluetooth keyboard/mouse for input? Suddenly, your "too small to use" device gains legs, and MS has accustomed users to a touchscreen-look UI on their work pc. Add to that, the fact that unix can run individual apps off different servers. So email can run off a cheap ARM unit and your big spreadsheet can be running on a beefy x86, being shared without any virtualisation/citrix (or any other) licenses required.

        MS have to get people using the windows APIs on tablets or its game over.

        I'd go further - create RT blades for mass VDI deployment (also usable as thin clients), because if the linux/android crowd manage to get their ARM bits popular its going to hurt. From VDI, you can back into the tablet and phone markets. You can also re-use a single RT blade as a home-microserver if you have HDMI and some sata ports.

        The aim here is to loss-lead your new environment by offering cheap but lower-spec windows and Office.

        That's what I'd do if I were them. I don't think they will though. I think they have more hubris than common sense. They think (or at least project that they think) that their product is good enough to to win on its own merits. I suspect not.

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wrong tense.

      Why am I feeling so smugly in agreement with you about everything you have said?

      Microsoft does very little innovation - 95% of everything they do is just rebox last years shit, put new wrapping paper around it and then change the use by date.

      Personally I'd like to see the giant take a fall...... and a mighty dust eating fall it shall be.

      A jolly mix of their avarice, and greed tangling up in each other foots boot laces, and my malicious delight.

      Linux - because I and my OS is superior.

  2. Lee Taylor

    Developers Developer Developers????

    The problem with developing for Windows 8 phone is the SDK forces you to use Windows 8 Pro if you want to use the device emulator to debug your code. Ask my development team if they want to install Windows 8 on their desktop PC`s/Laptops and wouldn't want to repeat the answer......

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge

      Re: Developers Developer Developers????

      It's worse than that. By deprecating XNA in favour of DX and C++, Microsoft have effectively forced the majority of their indie developers to start over from scratch. Add to that the late release of the SDK and the other restrictions for WP8 development, and it's no wonder that the app store growth is stagnating: various reports put gaming as 50% of all mobile app use, and having only a small market share, Microsoft needs indie developers to boost up the app numbers.

      Like myself, I can see a lot of XNA developers trying to decide which way to go now, and I can see a lot of them picking up tools like Unity or Monogame, then jumping platform.

      1. Giles Jones Gold badge

        Re: Developers Developer Developers????

        Deprecating gives you the chance to move, these platforms still work they just won't get extended.

        You're always fighting against the language barrier on any platform, every smartphone platform is now using a totally different language.

        Perhaps if people hadn't moaned about the original iPhone being limited to Apple apps only then this while app ecosystem wouldn't have appeared in such a dramatic form and the mobile web would have developed?

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          1. Spearchucker Jones

            Re: Developers Developer Developers????

            Erm dude you can still write for WP8 using C# and VB.Net. Also, I have Java on my CV - and I'd rather not. It's stuck in the 90's (generics, anyone?!?). WP dev jobs in London are paying twice what Android or iOS roles are paying (a "popular music company" is looking for WP8 developers at the moment, find it and compare).

            Option 3 as we've discovered isn't quite valid, but assuming you develop for Windows Phone 8 right now you stand to make a lot more cash than you would for the equivalent Android or iOS app because:

            a). WP8 users are hungry for apps that target the new WP8 features (check the Amazing Weather HD tiles to see what tiles are really capable of).

            b). All the useful apps already exist in iTunes and Google Play, but not WP8.

            If you have criticisms, you might constrain yourself to real issues, like Microsoft's obsession with cloud which means store-and-forward requires you to write your own persistence tier (no database), or the fact that there's no API access to things like setting device volume.

            1. Tyrion

              Re: Developers Developer Developers????

              --Erm dude you can still write for WP8 using C# and VB.Net--

              And it's locked down to a single platform - WP. They won't run on Android, iOS, Blackberry, OS X, GNU/Linux, or Windows. Who in their right mind is going to expend precious development resources on that for 1-2% mobile marketshare? Only those getting huge bribes from Microsoft.

              --Also, I have Java on my CV - and I'd rather not. It's stuck in the 90's (generics, anyone?!?)--

              You should take it off pronto then, because you clearly haven't been using it within the last eight years:


              But then again, whenever someone brings up a language feature that's not actually used very often anyway as a means of discrediting another, It reminds me that this person doesn't have a clue what he's talking about and probably hasn't written a real world application in his life.

              Java is a hell of a lot more useful than dotNet, C#, or any other proprietary, lockin language Microsoft invents. Java code will run on virtually every platform. That's a marketable skill and one that will endure. dotNet has already been sidelined by Microsoft in favour of C++.

              --Option 3 as we've discovered isn't quite valid, but assuming you develop for Windows Phone 8 right now you stand to make a lot more cash than you would for the equivalent Android or iOS app--

              Can I have whatever you're smoking please? I'd like a holiday from reality too. Windows Phone has 1-2% marketshare at best. Samsung's Bada has more than that. How can developers possibly make more money on that than the two leading OS's Android and iOS?

              --a). WP8 users are hungry for apps that target the new WP8 features (check the Amazing Weather HD tiles to see what tiles are really capable of).--

              Yeah those thousand Microsoft employees using Windows Phones are real hungry for apps, and are willing to spend big bucks to get them! haha!

              --b). All the useful apps already exist in iTunes and Google Play, but not WP8.--

              And that's one of the reasons no ones buying Window Phones. The other is that it's just generally a crappy OS.

              After getting burnt (abandoned) with Windows Mobile 6.5, and now WP7, even rabid Microsoft fanboys are wising up to the fact that they're being taken for a ride.

              I remember when Windows Phone first came out and we heard never ending complaints about how Android phones never get updates and that WP will get updates immediately and forever. Then the gimped Windows Phone 7.8 update was announced for all current WP users instead of the full version, and I just laughed for about an hour straight. I love it when the fanboys fall for Microsoft's promises time and time again, only to get shafted down the line.

              1. Spearchucker Jones

                Re: Developers Developer Developers????

                .NET is portable, and runs on iOS and Android. Ref.

                The tech in me wants to explain how the Java generics implementation is flawed. Your statement is fine as-is though. Speaks volumes about your skillz. 'Specially where you suggest generics aren't used a lot. *shakes head in wonderment*

                There's of course the minor detail that Java on Android is the performance equivalent of a swamp donkey. It's why Android devices obsess over teh Megahertzes. Given that I doubt you're open to anything that might reasonably challenge your delicate sensibilities, I'll let you compare with WP7/7.5/8, if you're bothered.

                IDC pegs WP market share at 2.6% globally ( Some say more, others say less, but it's around there. You pull your numbers from your [expletive deleted]?

                *patient tone reserved for kids* The way developers stand to make more money is to be a big fish in a little pond -- instead of writing an app for saturated markets in which said app will fail to even be noticed. Did you know that only 25 developers are responsible for 50% of apps revenue in iTunes?

                Finally, what makes you think no one's buying WP? Have a look at focums/comments/discussions on sites like WP Central, WM Powerr User, Microsoft Answers, and to see how misguided your comment is. Nokia can't produce the Lumia 920 quickly enough (Germany, UK and US have run out of stock more than once). The HTC fanbois are even more vocal than the Nokia fanbois. The Samsung fanbois are cursing Samsung because the Ativ *still* hasn't been released.

                Do some homework. And like, srlzly, skill up on your dev skills.

                1. Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Developers Developer Developers????

                  Mono? Please, not that abandoned piece of glorified crap... Not even Icasa defends it any more.

                  As for the lumias selling out - you might be right. I've found a couple of news on that. Oh sorry, those links seem to be for that huge hit, the lumia 800, just some months before WP7 was abandoned by Microsoft. It is just that they seem so eerily similar to the news of the Lumia 920 selling out this time...

                  Oh well, we can all assume that this time the news of the Lumia's selling out are real, and that it will be a huge success, despite having the same fischer-price interface and the same garish colours as last year sold-out failures, the lumias.

                  Of course they will be a success! After all, last time we didn't have all those "users" on WP Central, WM Power User, and Microsoft Answers, as well as on Slashdot, Slashgear and the reg, all extolling the virtues of the WP phones, how you were not allowed to criticise until you had used one for a month, etc. Oh sorry, we had exactly the same reactions last time... But maybe this one is for real, right?

                  And maybe this time there will be some success stories for some developers, unlike last time. Maybe WP this time will prove more successful than Bada or Meego. And maybe,just maybe, pigs will grow wings and fly. After all, everything is possible, right?

          2. Paul Shirley

            What MS should have done is standardise on Java

            I suppose Oracle might be willing to give them a new Java licence, Sun stripped the 1st one when MS applied their usual 'it only works properly on Windows' strategy. Just can't see MS wanting to backtrack to Java OR make cross platform dev easy - because it works both ways after all, allowing ports out from Windows.

            They've used DirectX as a tool to lock in developers, going as far as dropping OpenGL on Windows. Ceding control is just not the MS way.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Developers Developer Developers????

      I'm contemplating some minor WP8 development, but am holding off until I see what Unity brings to the table. They have a joint presentation with MS scheduled for early next year.

      @Lee Taylor I have installed Windows 8 in a virtual machine on Windows 7, and have yet to run into any significant problems. I had to install Windows 7 first though, as the $39.99 Windows 8 Pro licence is an upgrade.

      1. James 47

        Re: Developers Developer Developers????

        I did the exact same thing. The UI is a big sluggish but it's certainly usable. I had to do some jiggery pokery with SLIC table and OEM keys though before it would activate as it installed from an OEM DVD ISO - I'll be f****d if I'm paying Acer $50 for a DVD of something I already own.

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  3. Anonymous Coward

    Who are Nokia?

    and what is this Windows Phone you speak about? It it like Bada?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who are Nokia?

      You know Barry, they're the phone company and phone OS that you rant on about all the time, you must remember?

    2. joeW Silver badge

      Re: Who are Nokia?

      No, it's not that popular.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who are Nokia?

      "Windows Phone 8 is beautiful and modern, and a world away from iOS, a list of icons that’s starting to look a bit long in the tooth."

      "Is it the best camera phone you can buy today? Yes and yes. "

      1. Jonathan 29

        Re: Who are Nokia?

        You might want to check out who their major sponsors are this year.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Who are Nokia?

          @Jonathan 29 - According to their web site, the sponsors are Currys/PC world.

          Having said that: There are very strict rules about using sponsorship of a program and advertising of the products of the sponsor within the program. If you think there is a legitimate complaint, complain to the ITC.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who are Nokia?

        Wow, people still citing Gadgetshow.

        I stopped watching when i became obvious that they were no better than QVC for trying to offload any old shite, depending on upon advertiser...

      3. Mark 176

        Re: Who are Nokia?

        I just can't understand why anyone thinks the windows phone ui is nice? It is just a series of rectangular boxes in a limited number of colours? Everyone I know thinks it looks childish or fugly. and once you get past the tiles you have a widget set that make the android gingerbread ones look good and look so bad next to iOS or modern android itciukd make your eyes bleed. (Although some of the new iOS apps by Apple make me want to cry too. Pretend leather wtf).

      4. Tyrion

        Re: Who are Nokia?

        --"Windows Phone 8 is beautiful and modern"--

        Quote attributed to a time travelling Bill Gates from 1989 who had a penchant for fisher price toys.

  4. Roger Greenwood

    This article is spot on . . .

    . . . and hard to fault.

    Whether MS takes any notice or realises this on their own is of supreme irrelevance to me as I left that building a long time ago. But new users are born every minute, so playing the long game may work out.

  5. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Someone's making a list of improvements for Windows Phone

    Stumbled across it in Google but couldn't view it due to firewallage :)

    Caveat emptor:

  6. Jack Project

    They should have called it the Xphone as Windows Phone 8 sounds so dull.

    I had a WP7 phone (HTC Mozart) but will be buying an Android phone this time around. The lack of apps was a real issue for me even though I actually grew quite fond of the device. Being left unable to upgrade was also a bit of a kick in the balls.

  7. aahjnnot

    Critical mass

    I have never seen anyone use a Windows 7 or 8 phone. I've seen adverts. I've seen store displays. I've seen demo models. But I've never seen a real phone in the wild.

    Software ecosystems need critical mass. Windows 8 doesn't have it and I can't see how it will achieve it.

    1. The Serpent

      Re: Critical mass

      I would have said the same until last weekend, but I found my neice has one. However, she will have bought it because iPhones don't come in pink.

      Nice girl, but put her in a shop full of shiny things and she becomes as thick as a brontosaurus omlette.

      1. Nigel 11

        thick as a brontosaurus omlette.

        Nice phrase.

        1. The Serpent

          Re: thick as a brontosaurus omlette.

          Thanks, just seeing if idle whimsy can get me a bronze!

    2. John 62

      Re: Critical mass

      I have seen at least three in use in the wild (and those three people were all connected with the same Christian weekend conference)

  8. Aoyagi Aichou
    Big Brother

    Social phones...

    From the sound of the article it looks as if today's 'smart' phones were extremely focused on social networks and sharing... and no doubt most of the phones won't let you remove social bloatware either, huh?

    1. tirk
      Thumb Up

      Social bloatware

      Good term! Tight Facebook/Twitter/whatever integration may be great if you want it, but is worse than a useless feature if you don't, or just don't want to share your FB contacts with your other social/business groups(*). 86% of the world's population don't have a FB account after all.

      (*It may well be that WP8 allows easy separation of different contact groups, but it's perception as "a FB phone" will make people think otherwise.)

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Social phones...

      There is no social bloatware on Windows Phone. Well there's some stuff hidden away making the OS bigger than it was. But unless you set up an account with log-in details, you don't see either FaceCrack or Twatter. If you do though, it will fill your contacts list with social-networky stuff. And the spammier your 'friends', the more you'll get. Which is great for those who want it, but horrible if not.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Social phones...

        Interesting that nobody mentioned yet the worst disadvantage of the windows phone social integration - that it is done on the server, unlike android. That means that MS gets free reign on your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Do you trust them with this information? I don't.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Social phones...

          @jbernardo - You trust Google with your data over MS' proxy servers?

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Social phones...


          As Facebook slurp all your data when you connect to them, I think MS or Google having it should be the least of your worries...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Social phones...

            At least with an android phone, the data I decided to give to Facebook won't be cross-checked with the data I decided to give to LinkedIn and with the data I decided to give to Google.

            On a Windows Phone / windows 8 desktop all is made available to Microsoft, as the credentials are stored with your Hotmail account.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Social phones...

              Interesting point. I'd not looked into that, as I don't use any of the social networking stuff myself.

  9. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Win 8 Phone will fail

      "People do not want windows"

      This. Ask your average consumer what they think of the idea of buying a phone that runs "Windows" or "Microsoft" and they're more likely to laugh at you (this has actually happened to me a few times!) than get excited about it.

      Ask them what they think of buying a phone made by Google or Apple (depending on personal bias of course, I don't want to start a flame war) and the reaction is quite different.

      You average person uses Windows on the desktop because they need to (mostly through never having had the choice as much as anything for whatever reason), but on the mobile they have options as they're not already locked into the Microsoft universe.

      1. dogged

        Re: Win 8 Phone will fail

        Nerds don't want Windows but nerds are a miniscule market. Nobody cares about nerds.

        The public just want a phone that can do stuff. They don't even give much of a shit about how many apps it has (that's more nerd crap). You can talk about ecosystems forever - it won't matter. If the phone looks nice, can do all the stuff the consumer wants and is sold well - and this is the major obstacle right here, ignorant nerds in phone shops* - then it'll sell.

        *Note - this is what killed Symbian.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. dogged

            Re: Win 8 Phone will fail

            All of these have shifted more installs than linux on the desktop.

            Does that make linux utter trash that should be burned with fire?

            If so, you may continue in your hate campaign. If not, shut the fuck up.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "shifted more installs than linux on the desktop"?

              For that matter, far more installs than VMS on mobile phones.

              What is your point, exactly? Linux on mobile phones (aka Android) has shipped orders of magnitude more than WP8.

              1. dogged
                IT Angle

                Re: "shifted more installs than linux on the desktop"?

                So what's your point?

                Is it "It's popular therefore it's good"? Then Windows on the Desktop is great and all the others are trash. Is that what you want to say? Do you want to LOL at the puny desktop share of linux and OSX? No? Didn't think so.

                If it's "popular is good but only on mobile" then I suggest you just answer every query with "because hypocrisy" as it will save time.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Win 8 Phone will fail

      Very few people bought the first iPhone, it was a laughing stock in the mobile phone world, outside of Apple fanboys and to a certain extend America where they had less advanced phones than Europe. The major look and feel hasn't changed, but it's now much more popular as they've significantly improved the phone.

      I'm not sure that anyone wants Android for freedom, outside FOSS fans, people just want phones that work. My boss recently got rid of his iphone for a Samsung android phone, which he generally likes, but was rather puzzled as to why a phone would ask him to set memory usage preferences as part of its setup.

      My personal opinion is that a phone is a phone, it shouldn't need any technical skill to set it up or operate it, other than putting in your email account details. Some people want a phone as a lifestyle accessory, other people want a phone as a portable computer.

  10. Longrod_von_Hugendong

    Too little, no credibility, too expensive

    There is the problem with M$ mobile devices, M$ should have learnt my the problems that Blackberry and Palm had. You cannot enter this market and expect to battle Apple.

    How dumb do you have to be, not to learn by the lessons of other companies.

    Mind you i am looking forward to getting a surface fondleslab for £50 when the bottom drops out of the market.

    1. dogged

      Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

      Downvoted for "M$". It instantly makes any comment you make the work of an eight year old.

    2. Mark Allread

      Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

      Mate, you can't really talk of credibility issues while doing that "M$" that almost always renders the poster's comments to be bollocks.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Kristian Walsh

          Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

          Please enlighten us, o Eadon...

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

            Please enlighten us, o Eadon

            You're asking Eadon to post? This must be some subtle new form of masochism.

            Anyhoo... Others have already noted that in traditional BASIC syntax, suffixing a variable name with "$" indicates it's a string variable, so "M$" could be taken as a veiled reference to Microsoft BASIC.

            In a similarly feeble manner, one might note that the MS-DOS string-display routine used "$" as the delimiter for the output string. This is arguably a bit more of an in-joke, as relatively few people used the MS-DOS console I/O routines, but it's equally (ie, not at all) droll.

            In any case, neither of these have anything whatsoever to do with "computer science". They might be termed "IT industry jokes", if one were feeling generous.

        2. dogged

          Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

          Eadon clearly believes there's something hilarious about a string signifier after an "M" OH YES AND IT MEANS AMERICAN MONEY AHAHAHAHAHAHA

          Or he's an idiot. You decide.

          1. Nigel 11

            Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

            There's something hilarious about a company which ever thought of BASIC as a systems implementation language. Even though it did make very many M$ for its founders.

            1. Kristian Walsh

              Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

              "a company which ever thought of BASIC as a systems implementation language"

              BASIC, Bash, Perl, Python, what's the difference, really? (This is a rhetorical question: I don't want a grid of language features, thank you)

              VB is just the perl or Python of Windows. I've seen some monster programs written in perl, some of them mission critical, that should never have been implemented in that language. Ditto python (where I'm often reminded of Verity Stob's "nailing the corpse in an upright position" maxim, such is the profusion of try/excepts that do nothing). But it's okay, because it's got a UNIX heritage? Nope. Language is neutral, it's the developers who need to take responsibility for bad coding.

              Remove the platform snobbery, and look at the language itself: Visual Basic is quick to learn, easy to get stuff done in quickly, has a rich library with lots of interoperability utilities, and has long-term support. That sounds like Python. Like Python, that makes it a good choice for glue code. I don't particularly like the language (it's too far from the particular dialect of BASIC that was the first language I learned, which has always made it odd for me), but I don't think it's "worse" than, say, Python, which I use every day. Do carpenters argue like this about chisels?

              The problem with these languages is that they immortalise the "just get it working, we'll come back to it later" code that exists in any non-trivial product. This has nothing to do with the language itself; it's because using a more rigourous language wouldn't provide the "quick" in "quick and dirty hack", and "quick" is the only part of "quick and dirty hack" that's ever desirable.

              Work on any large, interconnected system, and you'll see bits of script sitting in the gaps between monolithic systems. The only difference is that some people think one piece of shitty code is better than another because it's written in a language that the "cool kids" talk about.

              1. jharek

                Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

                VB, like Delphi, compiles so badly adding two numbers together generates reams of unnecessary code. Even string comparison is convoluted, line after line of crap when rep cmpsb woulda done the job in less space and a fraction of the time.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

      I wouldn't pay more than £50 for one, I might stretch to £70 if you could unlock the bootloader and install Jellybean on it.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

      Windows Phone and Windows RT both have Zune/HD DVD/Kin written all over them....

      1. IJC

        Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

        Actually more like XBox. That's where much of the design language originated after all. And yes XBox took several years to overcome firmly established opposition amidst all sorts of cries of there aren't any games, no-one will lead with XBox, etc. etc.

        Microsoft has a track record of being late to a particular market and then crunching the opposition over years by spending big bucks. Only time will tell whether they can pull it off again.

        Personally I like Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 and have both. The phone and tablet work better for me than other devices I had previously, but then I make heavy use of Office, especially OneNote and spend lots of time with Windows Server (having touch via RDP to a Windows Server 2012 VM in the cloud is just neat). Integration to work Exchange and SharePoint servers and SkyDrive work very well for me and I haven't found a scenario where I needed an app I couldn't find, but then I use LinkedIn and Twitter and not Tumblr or Instagram.

        People in the Linux/android/iOS worlds will continue to spew hatred and vitriol and proclaim doom and gloom and moan how bad Microsoft are whilst not using their products. Maybe one day they will grow up and learn how to debate on facts. Using FUD against Microsoft doesn't work, they are the 800lb gorilla and there are thousands of people making a very good living utilising Microsoft technology to very good effect.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

          " Using FUD against Microsoft doesn't work",,

          However Microsoft made their inroads by spreading FUD about the Sony PS3... double standards. They had a underperforming console with lackluster game franchises and yet managed to brainwash a generation of adolescent kids into believing Xbox was cool, Sony was evil because they took away OtherOS and infected the world as we know it with rootkits.

          1. dogged

            Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

            Are you saying Sony DIDN'T take away OtherOS and fill the world with rootkits, Barry?[1] Point of order - it's not FUD if it's true.

            if so, what drugs are you smoking?

            [1] I can't think of any Sony apologist quite so determined to plug their wares as dear Barry.

    5. Matthew 3

      Re: Too little, no credibility, too expensive

      In 2007 people were saying that Apple were crazy for entering a market that Nokia seemed to have completely sewn up. Things can sometimes change in ways that go against the perceived wisdom.

  11. Mark Allread

    I agree with the article largely

    Sometimes WP is amazing, but sometimes that amazement is utterly obvious holes in functionality. Perhaps in WP7 that was slightly excusable, but for the same issues to be in WP8 is just not on.

  12. Mark Allread


    "Rather ominously the unified realm of Windows 8 that was promised"

    Where was this promised please?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Promises?

      Microsoft has been going on about it since 2011, but over time it's become clear the development platform is not that simple.


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WP7 still has a market too

    I saw a ZTE Tania 4.3$ with WP7 selling at £90 PAYG. There are lots of people who don't need £20-£25 a month contracts and I think Microsoft has dropped the ball not making more effort to push forward in this budget smartphone market to only concentrate on the premium end.

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: WP7 still has a market too

      Any WP7 Nokia Lumia still has access to offline maps free. That's a pretty good purchase even if you don't put a SIM in it - just think of it as a satnav with games :)

  14. Anonymous Coward

    MS seems to lack vision here...

    When I read articles about a WP8 device you get all sorts of cool stories on "cool features" such as a larger screen, a wallet hub, NFC (communications & electronic payments) and of course VoIP through use of Skype.

    It all sounds very nice, but being both a consumer and business user I'm kind of missing out on business like features. You know; I setup a task (todo) on my Windows Phone and can expect it to pop up in Outlook 2010 after both have synced with Hotmail (''). That feature is lacking.

    Or what about the option that whenever I put any kind of Word document (which I made in Word 2010) on my SkyDrive I can actually edit it using my Windows Phone? That isn't fully supported as of yet; as soon as you use some specific Word features (like an index page for example) then you won't be able to edit it any longer on your Windows Phone.

    Or what about being able to access password protected OneNote sections on both the Windows phone as well as the Office web applications? Can't be done as of yet; not even with the "new and enhanced" WP8 environment.

    Sure; the geek and consumer in me likes the idea of playing with stuff such as NFC and such. But even though I consider it quite intriguing I don't consider it worth the hefty price of an upgrade. Because basically all you get is more of the same, there are some enhancements but not where it really matters.

    IMO MS should have thought about that as well. So instead of blindly focussing their attention on WP8 they should also have kept an eye open for all the "common" features which actually matter a lot to a lot of users.

    1. Matt_payne666

      Re: MS seems to lack vision here...

      I agree here, I bought a win8 phone expecting much tighter integration with office and real win8... this is a missed opportunity, but nothing that cant be fixed with an update...

      The app store side of things... I knew the limitations when I migrated from iphone, but with 'the top46 of 50 apps availiable' chant I didn't expect a huge amount of issues... of the apps on my old iphone, only onenote and skydrive are available on both platforms...

      MS does really need to throw some weight behind this platform as the devices and experience are better than my old iphones...

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: MS seems to lack vision here...

        I had a search on the Win Phone appstore today. Nokia have written more apps than Microsoft. Which isn't right somehow... And there's still not a particularly good torch app, and no app for doing a quick WiFi survey (none on iOS either there).

        Just $10 million would get MS loads of nice apps to fill their store up with, and that's a fraction of their marketing budget for Win Pho.

        1. JC_

          Re: MS seems to lack vision here...

          EasyTorch works for me (agree with you about all the rest, BTW).

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: MS seems to lack vision here...

            Cheers for that. My problem with the torch apps is twofold. Of the 20 or so I looked at, more than half wanted access to my address book, so never got installed. The others were mostly rubbish. Either all the did was turn the screen bright white, or they took about 10 seconds to actually turn the LED on.

            I went for FlashlightXT, as it can turn the LED on and off instantly, even if it does take a few seconds to start. Maybe it's a firmware problem on the Lumia 710, or an oddity of the camera software that causes the delay, but the fact that mine can turn the light on instantly (once loaded) suggest not. Weird.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You guys do not have a clue. We have $70 billion in the bank. We can buy our way in to any market we choose to. In four years time we will rule mobile. Just sayin.........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: seriously?

      It's way past time MS was broken up. Just sayin.......

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: seriously?

        Hah hah, you still hoping for that? You may want to shut the stable door. That particular horse has been gone for a few years now........

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    MS Need to sort out their suppliers, rather than leaving it to the handset manufacturers. It's all very well having a great phone OS, but if it's not being delivered to market it'll never succeed.

    A case in point: I went into the Vodafone shop in Reading on Saturday, my contract it up and I'd like to replace my phone with one of the new Win8 phones. I asked which Windows 8 phones they had and was told that:

    "The Windows 7 phones didn't sell that well, so we're not going to stock Windows 8 phones until late January or early February."

    So I asked how they expected to sell Windows 8 phones, if they don't stock them at the busiest shopping time of year. No reply was forthcoming. I also asked how they thought they were going to sell the Windows 7 phones that were on display, if there has already been a successor OS out for two months, again to no reply.

    1. David Webb

      Re: Suppliers

      Your problem is that you went into a Vodafone shop, they can't get the deals that 3rd party shops (phones4u and cpwh get). Okay, so cpwh is evil but they do some good deals on upgrades, You can get the 820 for £25/month whilst the voda website still only lists the 7.5 mobiles.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Suppliers

        If they were stung by people returning Windows Phones, why did they have a display of out of date Windows Phones, also, why are they going to start selling them after Christmas?

        Your position makes about as much sense as theirs.

  17. squilookle

    Well, I did say on these forums that I thought the Lumia 920 was a nice phone but not widely available enough, and that I wouldn't be getting one for that reason.

    Since then, I found that I can get one with 3G from t-mobile, and I had a play with one in the EE store the other day and decided that I am going to get one when my contract is up for renewal after all. If I was not already on t-mobile, this would not be the case. I don't want 4G - 'unlimited' data, price and battery life are more important to me than speed on a device where 3G has historically met my needs perfectly well.

    I still think that the phone (and the HTC 8X for that matter) should be available, both on contract and sim free, in every shop and on every network that you can get an iPhone 5 or an S3, and that any exclusivity deal is a misstep that will reduce the chances of Nokia and WP8.

    Also, Spotify need to get a WP8 app out quickly. I've looked on the forums and they seem to have lost/risk losing a small number of subscriptions because they have been giving canned, vague responses to queries about the app and it's ETA, but the market is now becoming more competitive for them too, and they need to do better if they want to stay on top in it.

  18. BigAndos

    It's the apps, stupid

    As the article states, Microsoft desperately need to build up the app ecosystem. If someone is considering moving away from Android or iOS and finds apps like Spotify missing then it kills the idea right there.

    If they are really serious about Windows Phone then maybe they should offer WP8 development consultants to key mobile app development houses? On iOS the majority of app sales go to a small number of development houses so subsiding development resources to help them port might give the whole thing a jumpstart.

    Although I'm no Windows 8 fan, I hope MS do success with WP8. I think the market needs more competition. If RIM deliver the goods on BB10 and MS can get WP8 into a credible position we should see some real innovation in the mobile world.

    1. Matthew 3

      Re: It's the apps, stupid

      Not entirely. I had a serious app purge after my Android phone became unstable. Up until that point I'd blithely installed every app that appealed to me. The subsequent improvement in battery life have left me needing a lot more persuading before I add another app now.

      I'm prepared to consider giving WP8 a go when my contract is up. I don't dedicate my life to gaming and use my phone for mobile web and, you know, for phone calls so the number of apps in a store isn't quite so relevant for me.

      But if they really want to get some serious good vibes going Microsoft and Nokia could do a lot worse than give away a few loss-leader phones to this kind of community. Getting a good quality phone with a hefty subsidy would go a long way to rose-tinting my view of the thing. Imagine that being done on a large scale to a vocal and influential crowd. You'd have to be bloody confident it was a good device but if it is you'd add a lot of evangelists.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's the apps, stupid

        "get some serious good vibes going Microsoft and Nokia could do a lot worse than give away a few loss-leader phones to this kind of community."

        The only way to 'sell' it is to give it away !

    2. Richard Plinston

      Re: It's the apps, stupid

      > maybe they should offer WP8 development consultants to key mobile app development houses?

      Why would a development house want a MS 'consultant' telling them what to do and stealing all their ideas ?

  19. dotdavid
    Thumb Up

    Optional Metro

    "You can fix Windows 8 by making the new touchscreen-driven Metro user interface optional on desktops and laptops that aren't primarily touch devices "

    I'm honestly baffled as to why Microsoft didn't do that to start with.

    1. Captain DaFt


      Same here.

      If Windows had made TIFKAM an option, and merely tweaked the Win 7 interface a bit on 8, I'm pretty sure a lot of the press would be more "An enhancement to the Windows experience" and a lot less "WTF Microsoft?"

  20. Kevin7

    The time might be ripe for another mobile phone platform: iOS is starting to look dated, Android is nothing particularly extraordinary (I have a Galaxy SIII and it's ok but not much more) and everyone else seems to be dying on their arse. The problem with mobile phones is it seems to be dominated either by novelty or status and Windows Phone seems to impart neither. May be Windows Phone was even too early in coming out before iOS and Android started to lose their sheen?

  21. boltar Silver badge

    I would never buy a Win8 phone

    Why? Nothing to do with lack of apps or hatred of MS (I don't btw), its simply that to me the interface looks and feels from a short play around in a shop , like something that was designed in 1990. Its just HORRIBLE. How they could genuinely think its was anything other than a complete turkey when they must have looked at the iOS interface first is a mystery to me. and no , I'm not an apple fanboy either (check previous posts I've made if you don't believe me) , but compared to iOS the metro interface looks like something designed by a student 20 years ago.

    1. IJC

      Re: I would never buy a Win8 phone

      Playing with Windows Phone in a shop just doesn't impart what the interface does. I glance at my screen and get so much information without ever having to open an app. I can see at a glance if I have emails, messages, missed calls, what my next appointment is, what the weather is like and how my stocks are doing. All without opening an app.

      My kids have android phones. 3 (out of 4) of them have the same phone. After a year half the stuff doesn't work properly anymore. After playing with the windows phones (I had a 7.5 before the 8) two want a windows phone and are fighting over the 7.5.

  22. DJ_DB

    I'm tempted

    Had a play with a couple of Lumias in the EE store. A nice smartphone, actually really swish.

    Ok, it doesn't have a very mature app store, but it does do standard things well. As long as I can get a couple of news apps, a couple of casual games, dropbox, I'm happy. My Android has a comprehensive app store, most of it rubbish, and what I use on it now I think would be available in the Windows Marketplace.

    Although, I'm starting to doubt my judgement in what makes a good smartphone. I thought it was a good idea to buy a Motorola Atrix....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm tempted


      Thank you for joining today to post this !

  23. Anonymous Coward


    I suspect that Andrew is on route of having a second Nokia WP shiny paperweight. And this time he sounds very desperate, no apps, bad OS options...oh dear...

    1. Vince

      Re: Paperweight

      Sorry, what's wrong with the Atrix out of interest?

      I have one here, seems pretty good still to me. I have all the accessories too.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Paperweight

        You can always make your own Andoid firmware...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bought WP7 as an early adopter with the HTC HD7. Migrating from an iPhone 3G, there was some real pain points (horrible hardware didn't help). After six months I couldn't take it any more and bought a Galaxy S.

    12 months later I returned by getting the Lumia 800. It was an excellent piece of hardware and almost all of the pain points in the OS had gone with the 7.5 update.

    But even so there's lots of stuff that needs to be fixed. The simple act of making calls is bad. If it's in your recently called list then great, but otherwise you have to go messing about in the people hub with it's panorama views and social networking integration just to find a contact. It's a mess.

    There's the same problem with the music player, it tries to work like a fancy magazine with scrolling areas, but what you really need is more of app-style interface with traditional navigation features, and greater density of information.

    They came up with some great UI ideas with WP7, but applied them badly. I was really disappointed to hear that WP8 is almost identical at the UI level. To be fair it was a big achievement rewriting the core OS, but that wasn't enough. They should have had a separate team going through the front end and optimising it.

    I am back on the iPhone (with the 5) and it's strange to say that the iPhone has become the least exciting phone around nowadays, but at least the hardware is great and the quality of apps is easily the best.

    As usual with Microsoft, we need to wait for the next version. It's a real shame for Nokia though, I think their phones are the only ones to match Apple for design and build quality.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If Nokia has enough cash for another swing at the market next year, then why are they trying to sell Nokia House in Espoo - at way below market value?

    1. Paradroid

      Re: Andrew

      Reminds me of when MG-Rover sold their site and leased it back, and we all know how that one turned out.

  26. Gordon Fecyk
    Thumb Up

    Fewer apps == fewer crap apps

    I'll take that.

    As for the new UI on the desktop, how can I avoid it when Unity and Gnome 3 are doing pretty much the same thing? Yes, Windows 8's UI will finally drive people to Linux. And right into the exact same experience.

    1. Matt_payne666

      Re: Fewer apps == fewer crap apps

      unfortunately most of the apps on the winpho store are like the tier 3 shite that you find at the bottom of the apple app store, with very few tier 2 titles and quality titles from major players is even thinner!!

    2. Richard Plinston

      Re: Fewer apps == fewer crap apps

      > how can I avoid it when Unity and Gnome 3 are doing pretty much the same thing

      By using Mint, Kbuntu, Xbuntu, or by 'apt-get install LXDE' (or yum) or similar for KDE, XFCE or several others. Or just install

      Certainly Unity is going towards touch/tablet usage that is common to its desktop, but it is easy to avoid:

      sudo apt-add-repository ppa:diesch/testing

      sudo apt-get update

      sudo apt-get install classicmenu-indicator

      1. Doug Bostrom

        Re: Fewer apps == fewer crap apps

        It's too hard; how do I tap and swipe that? Or can I just pinch it? I've forgotten how to use 3 out of 5 fingers. Plus I'm having difficulty writing this with only an index finger; isn't there some useful way to use all these extra digits draping from my hand?

        Also can somebody help me open my jar of jam?

  27. jason 7 Silver badge

    I was keen to buy a 920 or 820.

    I thought as MS would be keen to try to shift as many of them as possible we might see a respectable price for them. I was looking to spend around £300.

    It's not unheard of for firms that need to build their market share to cut the price.

    But they then released them at silly premium price (like they did for RT etc.) and my interest faded.

    I'll be getting a Nexus 4 after xmas it seems.

  28. Nick Davey

    I had a Windows phone

    Emphasis on the HAD. I got an HTC HD7 two years agoas it looked a decent phone and got me away from Apple. I upgraded this month and got a Nexus 4 which is about several orders of magnitude better an experience then my old Windows phone let alone what the new one would be like. I struggle to see M$' relevance in this area now considering how late they have come to the party. They've let Android and iOS get such a significant foothold in the mobile market that they'll struggle to find traction with any demographic.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you pays your money and takes your choice

    I had a chance to play with a few systems at the weekend in PC World, I know I know just don't stop reading yet. The first one I saw on display was the iPad, I haven't looked at any kind of tablet yet because a laptop without a keyboard is pointless to me. Having said that, I was impressed with the build quality, and it did look nice, I could see the attraction.

    Windows 8, first off bias - not used MS products at home for ~ 8 years now. Phone and tablets look and work OK but seem a bit play school for my liking, it's the interface a personal dislike.

    Round the display to the W8 systems, touch screen PC's what were they thinking? They felt disconnected in use and the underlying OS is disconnected from the touch screen stuff anyway. Norton had helpfully stuck up a dialogue box about being out of date, you *had* to get the mouse to use the drop down-select remind in 24 hours-OK. the touch screen refused to play at all. I stopped at that point.

    This was a display model, this should not be happening, MS needs to deal with the quality issues that made me turn my back so many years ago. My type are not yet legion, but we';re getting there

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just bought a Windows phone

    OK, its a Lumia 800 and it was pretty cheap. I figured I'd maybe replace my aging iPhone 4 and check out if I could live with a Windows phone before spending big money on one of the newer Lumia models.

    I think its a really nice phone, but amazingly it can't sync with my Outlook to transfer contacts and calendar entries - it just won't sync with a USB cable (google Lumia Outlook sync). This leave me with the only option of having to sync Outlook data to the cloud and then back to the Lumia.

    I don't want my data in the cloud, why can't Windows phone sync locally with mu Outlook data - its all Microsoft isn't it?. Even Nokia Sync isn't compatible with Lumia.

    This was something my iPhone and previous Android phones could do easily

    1. Doug Bostrom

      Re: I just bought a Windows phone

      Not called "the Borg" for nothing.

  31. Nanners

    It's simple

    Microsoft just doesn't know consumers. All they have ever been conserned with is the enterprise environment. End users have know idea what goes through a Microsoft engineers head and can't relate to the software. They use it because they have to, not because they want to. It's always been that way. Unfortunately, the current computing environment is going more and more to the individual, and less to enterprise. The grey cubical is becoming a dinosaur.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's simple

      MS doesn't know consumers: Yes, the xbox proves this, so does hotmail/outlook.

    2. Nigel 11

      Re: It's simple

      You think they relate to the average enterprise environment much better?

      If they had half a clue, they'd have replaced Windows XP by something which an average employee would think was still Windows XP. Same UI, all the same apps still working, all the same old protocols still working. Even though there would be a shiny new kernel under the hood, lots of shiny new protocols and maybe even a shiny new desktop UI available for use just as soon or as late as the customer decided that they wanted the new features

      Doing it this way would even have made more money for them. we'd have paid for the upgrade licenses, rather than hanging on to XP until the bitter end. I'd have been overjoyed if upgrading to my fictional "Windows XP7" was something that I could do a few desktops at a time, overnight, with the users mostly not even noticing that they'd been upgraded.

      But no, Microsoft thinks if it says tear it all up and start again (Vista), and again(7), and again(8), everyone will be overjoyed to do just that. F**k them.

    3. Nanners

      Re: It's simple

      I cannot figure out my xbox, all it does is frustrate me. The wife is an expert microsoft admin and I let her deal with working out the kinks for an hour every time we decide to turn the thing on. The kinect thingy doesn't work and I wind up yelling at the T.V., as well I'm positive we will all have cataracts from it, only a matter of time. Who the hell uses hotmail besides vagrants at the library?

      1. Nanners

        Re: It's simple

        And why is it I'm always "fighting it out" with microsoft? I don't want to fight my technology every time I want to do the simplest of tasks. I don't feel microsoft is even good for enterprise, but it's cheaper, and that sells to larger corporations. Don't come at me with the penguin because I don't want to spend an hour seeking out and downloading drivers to do mundane either. I'm tired of fighting technology, and even the wife is. She went and got a shiny new iphone because ... "it just works."

      2. IJC

        Re: It's simple

        LOL. Cannot figure out an XBox???? Expert admin wife takes an hour??!!!? Cataracts????

        What a joke. But then I suppose anyone who spends time yelling at their TV cannot be taken seriously anyway. I sure as hell hope you don't work in IT.

  32. Schultz Silver badge

    fix Windows 8 by making the Metro interface optional

    Download Classic Start Menu here and all your headaches will go away.

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: fix Windows 8 by making the Metro interface optional

      ALL my headaches?

      I spent an hour today trying, and failing, to connect a Windows 8 laptop to our "corporate" secured wireless network. Many of the control panel screens are exactly the same under the hood as Windows 7, but where has "Manage Wireless Networks" gone in "Network and sharing centre" when you need it? Indeed, why have they changed control panel yet again to hide or remove previously existing functionality ... for the second or third time since XP?

      The problem might be a typing mistake, or it might be something really tricky, but I can't find out how to get it to display what I'd typed in the previous few screens, let alone what defaults it has assumed. I also can't find out how to delete a wireless configuration so that I can try again from scratch. It won't let me try the same again ... says I already have a network called xxxxxxx and dumps me into a black connect-to-xxxxxxxx *-style panel on the RHS that has no options (like, say, right-click properties), and which I already know will fail to connect, for the Nth time. I'll doubtless be wrestling with this WOMBAT again.

      Still hating 8 every time it crosses my desk.

      1. Schultz Silver badge

        Re: fix Windows 8 by making the Metro interface optional

        Whow, sounds like you want to do work with Windows 8. Maybe that's a bit too brave for now. Go back home, smoke something nice, and look at the moving tiles! Spacey, isn't it?

    2. What do you mean "What Backup?"

      Re: fix Windows 8 by making the Metro interface optional

      But your missing the point. It helps mitigate the problem but doesn't solve the metro headache.

      Its all well and nice to say put this on your computer and it will fix the problem.

      My main point is you shouldn't have too. There should be no need to bung an add-on into windows to make windows function more like windows. Plus regardless of how good they make it... its not a replacement for the proper start button.

      Rightclick doesn't work on some of them - drag and drop doesn't - pinning items doesn't - it may look similar but you end up with less functionality than should be there by rights from microsoft for their software.

      Seeing as I need to know it for what I do - I shoveled an unaltered win8 on my desktop at home. No start button for me... but when I sit my wife down and say here... I want to try something... go ahead and do what you normally do on your computer on here... and she got stuck after being able to get on facebook and that's about it... doesn't bode to well for non savvy consumers who expect an extension of functionality... not a completely reflowed interface.

      I'm guessing at some point MS will offer some sort of control to change it... but it should have been in there in the first place. Upon first fireup by a consumer - DO YOU WISH TO USE THE STANDARD INTERFACE OR THE NEW TOUCH INTERFACE Y/N (At any point you can go into the control panel and select personalize and choose to switch at any point in time by selecting Setup for touch - or Setup for standard)

      Then maybe toss in hybrid mode for those that want the Windows 8 Experiance?

  33. Richard Plinston

    > I'm honestly baffled as to why Microsoft didn't do that to start with.

    Microsoft had been told by consultants that WP7 didn't sell because the UI was unfamiliar. They were also told that desktop systems, and therefore Windows and Office revenues, would continue to decline and mobile devices, which MS had almost zero presence, would replace desktops.

    The answer was to make Metro UI "the most familiar UI" and then users would _demand_ the same UI on their phones and tablets. Job done, world dominated, again.

    Making Metro optional would not achieve those aims. Most would simply turn it off and use Win8 as a fractionally different Win7. MS would not sell apps, cloud services would not be used, desktops would decline, iPad and Android would continue to take over the world.

    The question then is: will MS plan work or will desktop users grow to hate Metro and decide that WP8 and Surface has the UI that they don't want. Has iPad and Android have enough momentum to replace the desktop entirely. Will smart TVs (Android and iTV) replace even more desktop usage. Are the PCs bought over the last couple of years 'good enough' and will never be replaced by new ones (but by TVs and Androids).

    1. Nigel 11

      Is that question rhetorical?

      While wrestling with this afternoon's wireless WOMBAT (above), I also took the opportunity to see whether Windows 8 was usable without touching the screen and without loading a Start-menu replacement.

      The conclusion I came to was no. "8" out of the box is completely unusable if all you have is a keyboard and a mouse. And a 24 inch touch screen at the far side of a desk would be an RSI-inducing ergonomic nightmare, even if anyone is stupid enough to make one.

      PS For some reason I keep getting Windows * when I thought I'd typed 8. Maybe the Register-approved designation should be "splat", in a geek version of Cockney? splat = asterisk = shift-8 with a nod to Intercal, the only language to make BASIC look cool.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Re: Is that question rhetorical?

        Unusable? You call yourself an IT guy.

        Quit being hysterical. Have a cup of tea. Switch the pc back on and try again.

        Open the control panel, switch the default apps to the desktop ones, use the taskbar and it works the same as windows 7.

        Windows 8 certainly has done one thing, shown which IT folks can adapt and be a little more grown up about changes to IT.

  34. Stephen Channell

    Hell no! need to focus on Customers, Customers Customers

    They need to fix the shit that is -8 before focusing on anything else WinPhone included. Windows -8 is the first desktop OS to require a keyboard simply because ideological purism & fragrant disregard for customer experience.

    TIFKAM is a neat interface, but if the hardware doesn’t have “windows button” on the screen, you need to add one.. and the desktop needs a “start”/”home” button

  35. h3

    I prefer Hotmail / interface to the new Gmail interface. (Cannot find anything in the new gmail one).

    Picture icons are highly inefficient for me. (Even more so when they are designed to look subjectively good as opposed to be recognised quickly.)

    I would rather use telnet than the new Gmail UI (Web or Android).

    Google / Apple there is no way around (Or if there is it is change completely) it if they change something.

    MS hasn't really done anything like that in my experience.

    Another example Apple we will not support focus follows mouse (No autoraise). Microsoft you can do it via the registry pretty easy.

    There is also the advantage that you can connect Outlook 2013 to Hotmail and it works like hosted Exchange.

    Microsoft changes to Windows 8 are not hard to work around. (Some are beneficial - started using the keyboard short-cuts I have known since Windows 3.1 but stopped using).

    Powershell 3.0 is great. (All works the same nice design).

    Windows Phone 7 not being able to remove the Zune player from the lock screen without rebooting or an app I really don't like.

    Android devs almost all universally suck when it comes to integration with the OS.

    (ironically the only apps that work right (i.e add an account to the app and it appears in settings -> accounts).

    Only ones that do this are ironically Microsoft and Google ones.

    All I can really hope for is to not actively to be hindered too much. (At the moment Microsoft is winning.)

  36. briesmith

    New Shed, Same Old Ship

    It's a great shame, this whole Windows phone business. I waited 2 years to get my HTC HD7 running Windows Mobile 7 and was appalled to find it had been developed by a company that didn't know about Microsoft. They knew about Google and Apple and did some integration with them but Windows was another world.

    They also didn't know much about mobile phones so there was no ringtone control, no display text font sizing/colour management and many other usability features that (non smart) phones have taken for granted for years.

    Mango did some repair work but a lot of damage had been done.

    And then along comes Windows 8 which I think is, in fact, an app, a games app, which could have been called Spot the Difference. Did we really wait two years for this?

    Still no automatic "just turn it on" integration. Who designed the latest iteration of SkyDrive? An Apple employee?

    You know they say if you haven't got a masters from Yale or Harvard or Caltech don't bother even sending in your CV (resume) to Redmond.

    They'd be better off getting some more maids, and a few more mops.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A familiar parable

    A Microsoft asks a Nokia to carry it across a river. The Nokia refused because it was afraid of getting stung by the Microsoft.

    But the clever Microsoft argued that if it stings the Nokia then they would both drown. So the Nokia agrees and carries the Microsoft into the river.

    Halfway across the Microsoft stings the Nokia dooming them both. In its dying breath the Nokia asks the Microsoft why it did such a thing.

    The Microsoft replies "It is my nature".

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