back to article Microsoft courts mobe-makers, tweaks Windows 8 for WIMPs

In a pre-show presentation in Barcelona, where Mobile World Congress starts this week, Microsoft has confirmed some new features coming in Windows Phone 8.1 and the Windows 8.1 update coming this (northern) spring and assured phone makers it won't hang them out to dry. Redmond has let it be know that Windows desktop/tablet and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "2013 was the year we ate our vegetables"

    Maybe it means "we did what we were told to do [by customers] - even if we didn't like it too much vecause it meant to admit we were wrong."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "2013 was the year we ate our vegetables"

      "we did what we were told to do [by customers] - even if we didn't like it too much because it meant to admit we were wrong"

      I must have missed that - what did they change?

      imo Microsoft are just a bit ahead of the curve. Touch and gesture control is clearly the future and Microsoft are right in the longer term to design an OS around being optimised for it...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "2013 was the year we ate our vegetables"

        "imo Microsoft are just a bit ahead of the curve. Touch and gesture control is clearly the future and Microsoft are right in the longer term to design an OS around being optimised for it..."

        Contrary to what most posters here will say, there's nothing inherently wrong with using touch software with a keyboard and mouse. As an iOS developer, I spent a significant amount of my time using apps in the iOS simulator and it works just fine. You click on buttons the same way, you type in text with a keyboard as you would any "regular" windowed app, etc. etc.

        Where Microsoft has fallen down is that their touch UI is simply bad. People incorrectly blame the fact that it's "touch-based" when it's just poorly designed. A lot of the UI is hidden and can only be summoned with magical, unintuitive gestures. The on-screen buttons rarely have descriptive text so you have to spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out where to click or what to do. In certain scenarios (esp. search) you have to "just start typing!" which isn't obvious to me or anybody I've seen try to search for e.g. an app. Who even knows how to switch between tasks in an effective way since that "flick from the left" gesture is sort of an app-roulette situation. The list of UI failures goes on and on. It's a shame that Microsoft could start from an idea that's fundamentally correct, i.e., "all computing devices should be able to run the same software" and end up with something that's so annoying and bad.

    2. Lamb0

      Re: "2013 was the year we ate our vegetables"

      ... but what consumers got was an ENORMOUS fart!

      Icon: downwind

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can anyone actually trust Microsoft? Microsoft is not buying Nokia for patents as they are just a licensee of them, so all they get is a hardware company. So doing nothing is 2013 was a master plan? So nice they show their support to their partners and customers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Can anyone actually trust Microsoft?"

      Certainly I trust them more than The Borg.

      Google scan everything you do to sell adverts and your information. Microsoft don't.

      "so all they get is a hardware company"

      And all the staff / expertise. And the factories / manufacturing supply chains. And the carrier relationships. And all the products. And the licences to use Nokia advanced technology.

      Nokia still make the best camera phone on the market with the Lumia 1020, and even the less impressive camera on the Lumia 929 still beats any other phone except the 1020.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      "Can anyone actually trust Microsoft?"


      1. Arctic fox

        Trusting MS?

        To be honest Trevor I have never seen anyone post arguing that we should. I fairly certain about that because I do not believe that I would have missed the massed howls of laughter if anyone had posted something like that. The rhetorical question "Can anyone trust Microsoft?" is in reality an Aunt Sally question. Anyone who actually trusts any example of "BigCorp" really should get out in the sunlight more often.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Trusting MS?

          "Anyone who actually trusts any example of "BigCorp" really should get out in the sunlight more often."


          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: Trusting MS?

            "Google scan everything you do to sell adverts and your information. Microsoft don't."

            Instead of "don't be naive" I simply say "prove it." There is no reason to believe Microsoft isn't scanning everything you do. Even if Microsoft were to publicly categorically deny that they do this, what reason would we have to take their word for it?

            Google is evil. This is not something a rational person would dispute. That said, however, Google is evil in a manner which benefits you, me, and the rest of the world's average internet citizens. Something I cannot say of Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Oracle or any of the other would-be tech giants.

            If all the available roads lead to hell, I'm taking the one that is offering to drive me there in the most comfortable automated car.

  3. Thought About IT

    The odd one out?

    I actually prefer my Nokia 925 to my previous Samsung with Android. The latest release of Windows Phone allows apps to be closed just like in Windows for PCs, but not much else has changed since I got it.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: The odd one out?

      Not sure why someone would give you a downvote for just expressing your opinion of your own phone. Have an upvote from me.

      Mine's the Nokia 520 in a nasty shade of red.

  4. Alan Denman

    The short and curlies

    Well maybe some will be happier being caught by the short and curlies?

    Real competition ain't that good for long term business..

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice bit of ex post facto rationalization

    "Belfiore said Windows Phone had started as a system with limited functionality, almost as a kind of test."

    Didn't the release party for the first version of Windows Phone feature a coffin with an iPhone in it? Doesn't seem like the goal was "a kind of test" at the time.

    1. fandom

      Re: Nice bit of ex post facto rationalization

      And Nokia made those ad with the "the smartphone beta test is over" slogan.

      They were funny though.

  6. Lars Silver badge

    In recent news "even" Nokia Lumia is steeling your data, calling home to the USA. How the hell are we prepared to accept it. In some earlier story and comments somebody called upon the "unelected digital czar" Neelie Kroes to do something in a rather unpleasant manner. But damn it, the USA will do nothing, the British still in a deep shock after loosing the empire and the money, again in the middle of the Atlantic, not sure where to be, Europe, America fuck you. Upstairs downstairs, the first and the second war (or computer) are more interesting as before. How the hell have we ended up like this. A whole planet depending on a proprietary format for whatever we write, a whole planet prepared to carry a spy in the pocket. We need more Steely Neelies. many more, even from a small lost island.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      [citation needed]

      1. Lars Silver badge

        [citation needed]

        Try this:

      2. Lars Silver badge

        [citation needed]

        Hello AC I am not sure if you ask for my citation but, if so, here it is.

        And as a Google translation. Not perfect of course

        Nokia's Lumia phones to leak information to foreign countries

        Nokia's management has known for a long time that the Lumia smartphone user information leakage to the United States . There, they can get access to the security agency of the NSA .

        Two years ago, the trust of Nokia's smartphone security was still great.

        Monday, 5 March 2012 ceremony was held at the head office of Nokia , which Nokia Smartphones advertised the security of the State IT Procurement decided to officials .

        Soon after the event , Nokia Lumia phones were bought large amounts of the Finnish state management : the ministers , MPs and officials. Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen ( National Coalition Party) used Lumiaa .

        At the same time began to leak of information . In the heart of Nokia's Lumia phones and their Windows Phone operating system .

        Unlike the Nokia two years ago gave the impression Lumia phones do not protect the user's privacy - at least not any more than the other major manufacturers of phones . Lumia operating system transmits the user's private information to Microsoft to the United States . (According to) A number of security companies , Microsoft once again collaborates with the U.S. Agency NSA with .

        Helsingin Sanomat, two independent sources of inside information received by Nokia's top management was aware of the spring of 2011 , the Lumia operating system to convey a wealth of information about the phone to Microsoft. The company has , however, been quietly , because it is embarrassing .

        In the event of Helsingin Sanomat has survived another Nokia related , a completely separate issue. In Finland, the police have asked several times to phone location information directly to Nokia's head office in Keilaniemi, even in cases where no crime has not yet happened. Under the law, police need information on the acquisition of the District Court's decision.

        The Finnish authorities began to doubt the safety of its smartphones last summer.

        In June 2013 the United States Agency , former NSA employee Edward Snowden said that the NSA may of equipment and services to use confidential information, such as Google , Facebook, from , Apple, and Microsoft.

        Authorities startled . If Microsoft will cooperate with the NSA of whether it can get access to Nokia's smartphone operating data? What if the Lumia phones operate at , say, Prime Minister of Finland message traffic from Microsoft 's servers in the United States ?

        Google Translate for Business:Kääntäjän työkalupakkiVerkkosivustojen kääntäjäGlobal Market Finder

        (tru or not, who knows)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "2013 was the year we ate our vegetables"

    Stood up to Android, the sugar-loving OS?

  8. Empires13


    Anyone that buys a Windows Phone is a 'chump' who doesnt support innovation and change.... Look at the garbage that Microsoft pushed on us as a Phone prior to the iPhone. No development, no change for over 10 years. Even Microsoft representatives have admitted that they push a garbage OS in their 'tick' cycles. In buying Windows phone you are supporting the proliferation of garbage and insulting yourself as a consumer. Support platforms who care about the consumer and buy something else instead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Chumps @Empires13

      Welcome to the forums. You remind me of a past, much-missed (chortle,) poster ...

    2. RyokuMas

      Re: Chumps

      Eadon, is that you?

    3. Irongut

      Re: Chumps

      Windows Smartphone 2003 was more advanced than iOS 1.0. Hell, PalmOS 4 was move advanced than iOS 1.0. Did you learn your tech history from Stephen Fry?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All heard before.

    and Windows Phone continues to tank. None of this changes anything, including a raft of no names that nobody has heard of..

    When can you can get a Moto G for £110, why would anyone have to suffer Windows Phone....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: including a raft of no names that nobody has heard of..

      Says it all about your global perspective....

  10. Tannin

    Hide the important stuff

    What a strange article! A whole lot of yammer about - let's face it - fairly unimportant stuff to do with telephones that nobody cares about much. All interesting enough and newsworthy in its way, please don't think I'm complaining.

    But then, hidden away at the very bottom of the article like an unimportant afterthought, we get the bombshell - Microsoft is planing to give Metro apps a title bar and a close button. That's *massive* news, why wasn't it the headline? Why wasn't it shouted out loud and clear?

    Think it through: Microsoft is planning to make Metro usable. (Yes, really.) That's a very significant step which might very well change the future of computing. Up to now, MS has been determined, over time, to replace the open Windows environment with the walled garden of Metro; replace the glorious, chaotic free-for-all of software choice on Windows systems with a strictly controlled, centralised, heavily (30%!) taxed app store model. Never mind the bizarrely user-hostile interface changes Metro brought, the *real* issues with Windows 8.x is and always was the threat to kill off all free, independent software distribution and impose a massive, incredibly profitable 30% tax on every single bit of software sold for Windows.

    But, as we all know, the app store model has completely failed to gain traction. The Metro interface was a user disaster, Windows 8 bombed in the market, and the Windows market position itself came under serious threat. The threat of an app store universe where no-one is free to write, distribute and sell software free of the Microsoft Tax seemed remote.

    But now this news: Rather than abandoning the brain-dead Metro interface, or stick grimly to it while its customer base disappeared like mist in the desert sun, Microsoft has done the unthinkable: it is actually aiming to make Metro usable. (Well, a bit usable.) This implies, in turn, that MS hasn't given up on the app tax model and the threat of a closed world of computing where both major vendors lock you in and freedom of choice and enterprise are sacrificed just moved closer.

  11. Joe Greer

    We have so much money....

    We can sit on our a$$es for a whole year and party like a rock start! We are so glad you suckers bought DOS, Windows and Office over the years.

    Next year we will make things 10x as expensive just to see how well things sell at an insane price!

  12. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Race to the bottom?

    Is this an admission that Microsoft has lost the high-end. high-margin game and is now preparing to slug it out with a free OS at the bottom just to get some good sales numbers? This might have been a strategy a couple of years ago before the Chinese nonames got their teeth into Android but now it feels like too little too late, especially since Google has started optimising Android for smaller machines. Though, Mr Orlowski contends that Windows Phone has always been better on shittier hardware.

    Also note on the sales figures: which ones are being quoted? I thought IDC poured some pretty cold water on Windows Phones sales in 2013.

    1. dogged

      Re: Race to the bottom?

      > Also note on the sales figures: which ones are being quoted? I thought IDC poured some pretty cold water on Windows Phones sales in 2013.

      I could be wrong (and doubtless somebody will tell me if I am) but I believe even IDC only calls WP stagnant in the USA.

  13. Not also known as SC

    Stupid Question...

    What does WIMP mean in this context? I only know Window Icon Mouse Pointer. I have never heard it in relationship to mobile phones before.

    1. Tannin

      Re: Stupid Question...

      Err .. it means Window Icon Mouse Pointer in this context. "I have never heard it in relationship to mobile phones before" - that's because it's not in relation to mobile phones, it's in relation to the Windows 8.x for actual computers, though you had to read all the way through to the end of the article to get to that bit. See the last para.

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