back to article Microsoft just saved Windows Phone... Now stop whining

It's always jam mañana for Windows Phone owners. In 2011, the "Apollo" update (which became Windows Phone 8.0) would bring new riches. Then it was 8.1. Now it's mid-year before Windows Phone 10 devices can storm the market. So at the enthusiast end of the market, they're not a happy lot. There hasn't been a headline-grabbing, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More Windows Phone Landfill

    I see nothing in this hyperbole than changes anything. Using Andrew's favorite sayings, the race to the bottom for Windows Phone just means more Windows Phone Landfill.

    The hardware just got cheaper and nastier, with even more rubbish to further dirty the already dirtied Windows Phone name. The OS still has the age-old bugs, and still a battery hog compared to Android phones with the same chipset, and the app store is still as dire as it's always been. Everywhere you go, the same old handful of remaining users are crying into their milk about nobody wanting to make an app for the niche Windows Phone platform. Enterprises are avoiding it, users are avoiding it.

    So what has changed? Nothing I can see. Windows Phone will continue it's slide into obscurity hand in hand with Blackberry. There is only room for 2 players, and both the seats are filled.

    1. jimboshoes

      Re: More Windows Phone Landfill

      "The OS still has the age-old bugs, and still a battery hog compared to Android phones with the same chipset"

      Rubbish.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More Windows Phone Landfill

        @jimboshoes

        You must have the only one that works then. All the Lumia tat that Microsoft keep slinging my way to try and convince me that it's not fit for the bin, they all of the same age old problems.

        Sure it works as a very basic phone, but try and use it as a smartphone, and the cracks appear quickly. Bugs with the proximity sensor, bugs with the bluetooth stack, reboots, overheating, poor battery life. You name it, it does it.

        1. GENGHIS7777

          Re: More Windows Phone Landfill

          @Anonymous Coward

          He isn't the only one that has a Lumia that works. I have one. So does my in-laws, and my wife. They all use it as a smartphone and thoroughly enjoy the experience. No overheating, no reboots, battery life that lasts for days. You must be very unlucky.

    2. Daniel B.

      Re: More Windows Phone Landfill

      Windows Phone will continue it's slide into obscurity hand in hand with Blackberry.

      Actually Windows Phone is in a dire situation even compared with BlackBerry. At least the latter still has a good standing with security bods (it's the one with FIPS 140-2 and the DoD's authority to operate certs) while WP is a joke.

      If anything, the only market-changing move WP has caused is Nokia falling from the #1 smartphone spot to "I barely made it above Other in piecharts".

      1. Lookz

        Re: More Windows Phone Landfill

        Nokia made the worst decision in going with windows phone. With nokia capability, they could be going on par with samsung in Android ecosystem

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More Windows Phone Landfill

      So a Linux OS running a Java Virtual Machine is more efficient than a tuned up Windows OS running native code?

      Given many seem to also say that GCC produces slow code I'd expect that the binaries are even at a natural disadvantage before they're even run.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More Windows Phone Landfill

        "Given many seem to also say that GCC produces slow code..."

        *Try learning something (or anything) about a given tech before so harshly bashing it.

        Anyways, you're clearly not a coder (of any type), or else you would know GCC isn't supposed to produce "fast" code.

        "... a natural disadvantage" -- Sorry you feel that way.

        *( That being said, Windows "10" is horrible, and no I've never used it :-P )

    4. jnemesh

      Re: More Windows Phone Landfill

      Agreed. It's still a dead horse, and MS beating the hell out of it isn't doing anything but losing them more money! It's been over 3 years now and they are losing market share...down to 3% worldwide now...and with the loss of the Nokia name, it will continue to decline. ITS DEAD folks, time to move on!

    5. RealFred

      Re: More Windows Phone Landfill

      No wonder you posted under anon coward. I have a Windows phone, the battery lasts 3 days, I have all the apps I need, the phone has never missed a beat. Pity I can't say the same about my wifes iphone 5 or the Android I had before my current phone. Quite a few people I know are sick of their Android/iphone rubbish and are starting to look for something else. Maybe you should actually look at one and use it for more than 10 seconds before you open your mouth and spew rubbish about something you know nothing about

    6. mbrooks78

      Re: More Windows Phone Landfill

      Age-old bugs and battery hog? ?I have to disagree. The platform is actually quite a bit more secure than ios, and the battery hog bit... not true at all. I will agree about the app problem, there are significant drawbacks. Most of the really popular apps are available on wp, but it's the smaller apps where the gap is biggest (smaller banks, electronic equipment, home security, etc.... ). I like WP better than ios and probably on the same line as android, sadly there may only be space for two players. Creating a separate app for a third platform becomes quite costly for the smaller companies.

  2. Anonymous Coward 101

    Microsoft's handling of Windows Phone has been inept

    It should either invest money to make it work, or kill it off. This crucial decision must be made no later than 2012, which is a shame as we are now in 2015. Also, there is no point being in the low end, fighting with cheap Android's.

    My 1020 is great, but I won't be getting a Win Phone next year if these is no clear replacement.

    1. Martin 47

      Re: Microsoft's handling of Windows Phone has been inept

      Well said that man, I also like my 1320 but come replacement time I cannot see me buying another windows phone.

      But hey, it was kinda nice while it lasted.

      1. KN

        Re: Microsoft's handling of Windows Phone has been inept

        If it was "nice", then why are you leaving it. Microsoft has confirmed that there will be flagships released to coincide with the Windows 10 release.

    2. Anon the mouse

      Re: Microsoft's handling of Windows Phone has been inept

      Same here, my upgrade is due in November and it looks like there is no high end phone like the 1020 on the market, with that fantastic camera.

    3. Thought About IT

      Re: Microsoft's handling of Windows Phone has been inept

      I know it won't help Microsoft's sales figures, but if you've got a great phone, why do you need to replace it when the contract expires?

    4. fishman

      Re: Microsoft's handling of Windows Phone has been inept

      <<<My 1020 is great, but I won't be getting a Win Phone next year if these is no clear replacement.>>>

      The 1020 has a feature that no android or iphone had - a great camera. But since they haven't come out with an update after all this time, it would indicate that the sales haven't been very good.

      1. cambsukguy

        Re: Microsoft's handling of Windows Phone has been inept

        Yes, but since your 1020 gets Cortana now or soon and Windows 10 later, it is being upgraded.

        I will use my 1020 until there is a compelling Lumia replacement, it is still slick and fast with a brilliant camera.

        If it had the sensorcore stuff and the Denim camera updates, it would be even better. Some of the updates will apply but not all.

        Here's hoping that the replacement in the pipeline makes it into the world, I am hoping for the same sensor or similar, the same thickness is okay by me. I would like wireless charging built in and the aforementioned sensorcore stuff.

        If they could make a proper waterproof system, that would be great.

  3. David Black

    Nice article, just wonder if it really needed to be Windows for that "featurephone" world.

    Guess I'll always wonder what could've been without Elop burning his platform and chucking Nokia in the bin.

    1. boltar Silver badge

      "Guess I'll always wonder what could've been without Elop burning his platform and chucking Nokia in the bin."

      Thats what you end up with when a company is owned by shareholders and run by management who don't give a damn about anything except the next quarters dividend.

    2. Daniel B.

      Maemo

      Nokia's Maemo looked promising. Maybe if they had kept on pushing that (sans the MeeGo fusion thingy) they could've had a viable replacement for Symbian instead of the Elopocalypse.

      1. James 51

        Re: Maemo

        Where's my N901 with mameo and preview camera?

  4. Alan Bourke

    Couple of things.

    Firstly, I wonder if there would be a more vibrant app ecosystem if you didn't need to have Windows 8 to be able to use the SDK.

    Secondly the Twitter app on my 8.1 phone updated yesterday, and now integrates into the People Hub and puts notifications on the front screen tile.

    But yes, finding the lack of proper YouTube and other stuff a pain in the face.

    1. cambsukguy

      Re: Couple of things.

      Metrotube is by far and away better than any YouTube app I have seen. Live tile for HISHE, saves me checking and seeing rubbish cat videos all the time.

      1. KN

        Re: Couple of things.

        I would add Tubecast in there as well. It's a pretty good Youtube app for WP.

  5. PaulM 1
    Thumb Up

    Windows Phone 8.1 is not a complete failure

    I have a Lumia 630 which cost me £49.95 which has a nice IPS LCD screen and a £14.95 Lumia 530 which has a lousy TFT LCD screen. Although there are not as many Apps as there are for Android I like the unique Windows Phone apps. I carry both a Lumia 630 and a Huawei Y550 around with me so I have access to all of the Android apps anyway. The most interesting thing about Windows Phone apps is Microsoft's willingness to allow free ported Gameboy Advance games into their library. I have installed dozens of free Gameboy Advance games onto my Lumia 630. I like the fact that I can install apps directly onto my Lumia 630's MicroSDHC card. I also like the integration of Windows Phone into iTunes. I can download all of my latest PC iTunes video podcasts onto my Lumia 630 by pressing just one button. The Lumia 630 HERE Drive+ app works offline which is a help when I am driving about in rural areas with no phone signal.

  6. joed

    i'd rather be a hipster

    rocking an iThing than get a Windows Phone. Just a way of saying thank you to MS for wrecking my desktop experience.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10

    It seems to me the big problem is Microsoft now trying to tie everything together means they're effectively blocking Windows Phone updates and releases while they wait to get final Windows 10 APIs in order to deliver the 'write once, run anywhere' thing.

    It's a nice idea, but the release cycle for Windows desktop is 5 years or whatever, for mobile they really need to be knocking out big major releases every year with maybe a minor update halfway through the year.

    I've used Windows Phone since 3-4 months ago and like it a lot, but there are small annoyances that just need to be fixed, but Microsoft just doesn't seem responsive and it's not really clear if their heart is really in it. To be honest, they'd be much better not worrying about linking it into the whole Windows 10 thing, just put a bunch of people on the case full time focusing on phone and let them knock out updates whenever they can.

    1. cambsukguy

      Re: Windows 10

      Unless you already have it, an update is rolling out now, last one before windows 10.

      There have been three major updates in about two years, which is not perfect but is pretty good.

      It also depends if the annoyances are bugs or 'features', they may not fix them in the imminent update.

      And all but the first gen phones got all the updates and will get windows 10 too.

      I, for one, will stick to WinPhone unless it becomes unstable, insecure and a battery hog. Then I will only buy it if the camera is still better than others.

  8. bed

    Better than the Doro phone - just

    Yes, indeed. I just upgraded the other half to a shiney swipey thing and was surprised how incoherent the environment is. Start at the configuration: enter a (windows) e-mail address and password, which I did and was accepted and e-mail and calendar were updated (it is an office 365 account) but the store rejected that account so another, hotmail/live account had to be created. That’s two accounts. That’s silly. Android and Symbian have multiple start screens which is useful for segregating apps and notifications from apps. I don’t see the live tiles limited to one screen much of a substitute, especially on a small screen. I could go on but, despite that, the other half loves it. So much better than the Doro phone, though that would pick up signal practically anywhere and was really loud so will be kept as a backup.

    1. Hellcat

      Re: Better than the Doro phone - just

      That's the issue of the Office 365 accounts not being Microsoft accounts (what were Live accounts). This isn't an issue limited to the phone, and one MS still haven't decided on a direction for.

      I asked them back in July last year, and wasn't that impressed with their solution then.

      http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook_com/forum/oadmincenter-ocustomdom/will-microsoft-continue-working-on-a-single-sign/61b45518-23e8-4d74-b32c-4d6afbd372e8

  9. WibbleMe

    With Samsung launching their own OS for phones and Ubuntu Desktop coming on phones in Feb its not got many nails to go

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      that's unfortunate

      apparently "There is only room for 2 players, and both the seats are filled."......

    2. KN

      Hahaha. The Tizen phone sunk without a trace on its launch in India. Firefox OS, Ubuntu are nowhere to be seen. Come on man, atleast make it hard for someone to argue your point.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I guess the problem is that Windows Phone has been a victim of its own success

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia talles tell us that...

    Microsoft is having a "Nokia"..."And without strong leadership and clarity, it's hard to motivate the Mobile Devices division to be world beaters. Risk aversion becomes the default mode of operation. Fulfil the deadline - try not to rock the boat with radical or risky new ideas. Note how bugs are creeping in, and the fit and finish no longer has the distinctive and assurance it had at launch."

    Sorry Andrew, told you so.

  13. OGShakes

    I have one and it's really good!

    I think they should lock articles about windows phone to only allow comments from owners of the device. I ditched Android due to the number performance problems and bugs I found in what was one of the top 'flag ship' phones. My Wife has an iPhone, so I have used that a fair amount too, before someone shouts at me for being biased. I would have windows phone any day of the week instead of android or iPhone, its easy to use and fast even on low end hardware. I have never had it hang when I have tried to make a call or rebooted randomly when I was mid call.

    1. My New Handle

      Re: I have one and it's really good!

      "I think they should lock articles about windows phone ..."

      What an absolutely splendid idea. And perhaps they could put them all in a special section of The Register that only those with a Windows Phone account can log in to. That would spare the rest of us having to wade across articles about this dirge of an mobile phone OS that just will not die ... yet.

      Windows Phone? Landfill? A dreadful idea. Send them all along to the chaps at Will It Blend.

      1. asdf

        Re: I have one and it's really good!

        >What an absolutely splendid idea. And perhaps they could put them all in a special section of The Register that only those with a Windows Phone account can log in to.

        And the same 6 people that actually log in can become blood brothers in suffering. The world just doesn't understand.

      2. cambsukguy

        Re: I have one and it's really good!

        If it is a 920, it will break the blender.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have one and it's really good!

      I imagine you probably think it is fine that Windows users have been allowed to post on articles about OS X and Linux all these years, right? Hurts when the shoe's on the other foot, doesn't it?

      The solution to what you apparently see as unfairly negative comments from those who don't use WP isn't to silence such criticism and live in an echo chamber where only positive reinforcement of your views is allowed.

    4. jnemesh

      Re: I have one and it's really good!

      Why? You don't have to own a piece of steaming crap to know what crap smells like. It's got HIDEOUS support from 3rd parties...and even their OWN software works better on Android and iOS (Office, for instance). The phones are battery hogs, the OS doesn't get updates in a timely manner, neither do the apps themselves. The ONLY reason one would own one of these is if they are a diehard MS Fanboy, a fan of the Fisher Price color scheme, or an employee of Microsoft themselves! Everyone else has moved on a LONG time ago.

  14. Fenton

    Where is the Shiny Bling phone

    What MS does need is a truly high end shiny bling phone.

    Nice metal case, 5.5/6 inch screen, good camera, lots of storage (+SD slot), with the latest

    and greatest processor and lots of memory.

    Then have some "can't quite afford the flagship phone" models.

    The OS isn't that bad. Having gone from iOS to Android and having used my sons Windows phone, I actually prefer the Windows tiles over Android, which to me does not have a consistent look and feel, it's a bit bitty. Still not as polished and consistent as iOS, but Apple just didn't have the phone I wanted at the time so I went HTC one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where is the Shiny Bling phone

      I like my 930. I even swapped the back on it for another colour. It only required some careful unclipping and swapping the NFC antenna, camera flash and Qi coil over. Almost like the good old days of Nokia case swaps.

      That said, every new Windows phone model seems to be some low end trash for emerging markets.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where is the Shiny Bling phone

        I have a 925, a Galaxy S5 and an iPhone 6. All unlocked so I can swap SIMs around at will (I'm a developer - I need examples of every platform to test with).

        This being the case, I can carry whatever one I want as my day to day phone. Result? I carry the Nokia. The other two are shelfware and Android 5 isn't going to change that.

    2. Fuzz

      Re: Where is the Shiny Bling phone

      There are two of them.

      HTC have the Windows M8 (same as the android version but running windows) and Samsung have the Ativ SE (an S4 running windows)

      Problem is both are only available on the US market, you know the market where nobody buys Windows phones.

  15. Nya

    They ain't THAT bad.

    We've just kitted out the suits with 530's and 630's, coming from some god ancient Android 2.3 devices. Yes we paid bugger all for them, but they are really oddly chuffed to bits with them. More so as they have Excel and Word on them than anything else. But performance on such a low end machine is very snappy considering.

    Yes I'm not using one myself, but the amount of phone for the money, not even Android can offer that at this price point at the moment.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: They ain't THAT bad.

      My colleague's just upgraded to the latest iPhone 6. My iPhone 5 still works fine, his had a convenient death at just the right time... But I resent the amount of cash Apple want. I won't waste £500 of the company's money on my next phone. I think a Galaxy Note 3 at most, if I can get it for under £250. Otherwise a Lumia 730 looks pretty good. Or one of the 800 range perhaps?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They ain't THAT bad.

        > I won't waste £500 of the company's money on my next phone.

        If I am going to be on call for my company than not only are they paying for the phone service but I am going to get whatever phone I want. For many companies 500 is not a lot when they need someone available to get production up and running without delay. Penny wise pound stupid often when it comes to communication equipment.

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: They ain't THAT bad.

          "If I am going to be on call for my company than not only are they paying for the phone service but I am going to get whatever phone I want."

          Remember to ask for Vertu or at least one of those Lamborghini mobiles.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They ain't THAT bad.

            Here stateside especially with Verizon the cost isn't in the handset and its not worth being on their network with your own unlocked handset due to the cost of service anyway at least for business (on the consumer side you can find 3rd party paygo that use Verizon's network but would largely be a no go for business). Therefore the most any of the handsets you can get for their network for the most part are $300 on contract anyway. Verizon is also a must for most of the western US outside Cali anyway as GSM doesn't do worth a shit in lower people density spread out country (even in the city sprawl) due to needing many more base stations.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: They ain't THAT bad.

              I guess in the US the contracts are still so expensive that they can easily lose the cost of the handsets.

              Last time we wanted 4G, for the road-warriors. To be fair, they loved it, so it was worth the extra £50-odd it cost us on the monthly contract price. Even though it was a waste for me. We were paying £35 a month per user, and all got an iPhone 5. Of which 4 have malfunctioned (and we only ended the contract last month), and one of the replacement handsets has just died. Mine is developing a fault with the home button too. I'm not terribly impressed with my first Apple phone...

              The new contract is £15 per user per month. And gets us unlimited calls and texts, plus 2GB of 4G data each. That £20 a month difference will fund whatever handsets we need. I may take a punt on one of the Lumia's with the fancy camera, and waste a few quid of the company cash. Or I'll just be boring and spend £150 on something that'll be perfectly fine.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: They ain't THAT bad.

                >£15 per user per month.

                You pretty much can't get a smartphone contract with Verizon for much less than $100 a month consumer side. Business side I am not sure but bet its not that much cheaper. Network wise like I said they are the only game in town in many places in the US. Calls pretty much never drop on their network and often in the sticks they are the only service you can get.

                1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                  Re: They ain't THAT bad.

                  To be fair, the US is just an awful lot bigger than the UK, and there's a lot fewer people per square mile - so infrastructure costs are bound to be higher. Even so, my impression is that US customers pay way over the odds, and that the US carriers are far more profitable than European ones.

                  But UK prices for data have pretty much halved in the last 3 years. When I first got a mobile in the mid 90s, £15 a month got you about 100 minutes of calls (you paid for the rest). The handset was an up-front £80 on a 1 year contract, and text messages were 9p each. 20 years later, things are a hell of a lot cheaper - £15 in 1995 is about £30 now.

        2. cambsukguy

          Re: They ain't THAT bad.

          And you imagine that an iPhone makes calls more reliably than a Nokia - Deluded.

          If making a reliable call or reception is paramount, iPhone is not a go to device.

        3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: They ain't THAT bad.

          I can have whatever phone I want. I'll be making the purchase. Our last deal made almost no difference on what handsets we had, so we had all iPhones.

          I just think they're a rip-off when they cost more than iPads which have more expensive components.

          Many cheaper phones can do the job just as well. In my opinion Windows Phone is the best phone OS at the moment. It's got the best address book, big buttons, and is the easiest to make calls on when wandering about. My Nokia Lumia 710 had better call quality than the iPhone 5 that replaced it too. My work phone is mostly used as a phone.

          On the mobile computer side, I prefer the iPhone. But most of that is for the more fun side of life, which is a fringe benefit. The address book is shit.

          For flexibility I liked Android. But I prefer my phone simple. My tablet is for fun.

  16. Shinku

    I want to like Windows Phone. Scratch that, I want to love it. The UI is right up my alley, it feels slick, integrated, consistent and very pleasant to use. My problem, however, is that I bought in early.

    I was an original Windows Phone 7 user, and although it was early days, I'd come from Windows Mobile 6.1 attracted by the lure of a [M|m]odern interface and an altogether more up to date experience. I really liked my Samsung Omnia 7, it looked great, felt good and the SAMOLED display popped with eye-searing colour, provided by Windows Phone's Metro interface.

    However, Windows Phone 7 was merely a flashy front end on top of a CE back end, not something I had an issue with given I'd come from, and enjoyed, Windows Mobile, but Microsoft clearly had other ideas. It was more or less a UI beta for what would become Windows Phone 8

    It would never receive native apps or super in-depth development because the core of the OS was soon to be ripped out and replaced by NT, and they knew it, there are Microsoft photos of NT running on handsets prior to Windows Phone 7's release. I believe it suffered greatly as a result of the split effort. WP7 also lacked many large apps and others it got long after other platforms, some of which it never got but WP8 since has, which also didn't help. It supported a limited number of chipsets, indeed the entire launch lineup were more or less identical in spec, and it didn't even support removable SD cards. Then the day came that Microsoft said that Windows Phone 7 devices could not be upgraded to Windows Phone 8. Call me naive for investing in the platform as early as I did, but I didn't expect them to just dump it for the next new shiny thing. I expected a solid development effort racing to put Windows Phone on par with the other platforms, but it never came. A little update here, the addition of copy/paste there, dribbling out bit by bit, but never quite satisfying. That left me feeling a little sour, believing I'd be missing out on what Windows Phone *should* have been from day one.

    However, I've since often attempted to overlook that and give Windows Phone 8 the shot it likely deserves as a standalone product, aside from my feelings of Microsoft's behaviour and my mistake in showing my support. The problem I have with this, though, is not just that my trust has been damaged, but Windows Phone 8 hasn't had those headline features I expect it to have already. No USB OtG, no video out connectors, many software features absent or late to the party, and still some apps simply not there.

    Perhaps I expect too much from my phone, I use Android very much like I would use a computer, I expect it to be flexible enough to serve any purpose I require it for, a digital multi-tool if you will. Given Android's massive app pool, connectivity options and ability to run applications which require deeper integration with the hardware, it's perfectly capable of doing this, but Windows Phone, despite being based on Windows NT and replacing its considerably more powerful grandfather, Windows Mobile, still can't offer me that power.

    I do, genuinely, desperately, want Windows Phone to be that platform which provides me everything I need, everything I want, I know they can do it, they have the tools, they have the base to work from, they have the money, they're Microsoft! So why aren't they? Why is Windows Phone still lagging? Why are they not pushing it like a soon-to-be proud new mother pushing out a fat git of a child which will soon be paraded around and gleefully thrust in the face of anybody with eyeballs? These are the answers I need answering before I adopt Windows Phone again. I need to see it doing what I need now, not next month, not next year, not "it's maybe coming at some point perhaps if we can be arsed".

    My eyes will be firmly on Windows Phone 10, an operating system which I fully expect to address these and other issues and show us all why Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 were worthwhile stepping stones. Because if it doesn't, I'll be questioning why I ever bothered in the first place - if they haven't got it right in all this time, I'm not convinced they ever will.

    1. Hellcat

      I agree with quite a lot of your comment, but video out? You mean with w..w..w.wires?

      PlayTo streams to any DLNA device including soundbars, projectors, TVs. Wires are so awkward. Micro HDMI? MHL (what version)?

      1. Shinku

        That's a fair point, but I have no equipment capable of acting as a wireless video receiver at the moment, so what might be considered legacy connectivity is still quite important to me, for TVs, projectors, etc.

        Perhaps the solution is to simply buy such a gadget and get with the times, but Android offers me such flexibility that I don't have to make that choice. I guess that's more a result of more OEMs building more models of phone, but presumably if nobody has yet offered a Windows Phone with a wired video output then it's simply it's not supported, because you'd think one model somewhere would include it.

        1. David Black

          Or you could pick-up a 4 year-old Nokia N8 for £30 on ebay... superb HDMI output and a great built-in camera... odd that the burnt platform's replacement still never quite got there.

      2. cambsukguy

        And you can stream the entire phone display over the USB to a PC using PC software. It requires later models, mine doesn't do it.

        But, as the man says, DNLA, not to mention the very cool beamer software which sends the display automatically or manually to any web client via a QR code or a link.

        There is also a photo specific version, I used it once to send pictures to someone's Android phone in their browser - they thought I was doing magic.

        The problem with the haters is that they dislike something that doesn't do something their system does, even if a better system is utilized instead.

        Seriously, why would USB OTG be useful for in general that couldn't be accomplished by some other method, probably wirelessly and certainly using an SD card.

        I am sure there is some utility, for a few people to arbitrarily read a memory stick that some guy just hands over, but it is not worth the extra software and hardware for sure because it means there is no system available attached to the internet which would place said files in a shared area available to all that needed it.

        I for one don't plug anything into the USB socket of my phone, it is a special place reserved for emergencies, charging in the field and system recovery (if ever required).

        And if I get that wireless portable charging block...

        1. Shinku

          I'll grant you that this is a very obscure thing that next to zero people want to use their phones for, but SDR. Those little DVB-T dongles which can double as a passable software-defined radio receiver with the use of a custom driver. All it needs on Android is an application to control it and the appropriate open source driver, plus the obvious USB OtG port to plug the dongle into. Tada! One handheld multi-band ham radio receiver and rudimentary spectrum analyser!

          Again, I appreciate that such a use for a phone is incredibly niche and alone isn't worth going to the effort to make it a prime must-have feature, but I appreciate that Android and the hardware it runs on is flexible enough to do things like that. It doesn't have to be that specific use alone, it's more the fact that it's so flexible that even a weird and unusual task like that can be performed if you need it to be, the necessary parts are all there just waiting to be used for any number of things most people never even considered a phone could do.

          What bugs me is that we all know that Windows NT is much more than capable of this sort of thing if they would only expose the ability to use it. Such flexibility means that the OS vendor doesn't need to be the gateway through which all innovation is filtered, like Windows Phone or iOS, instead it's a blank canvas, waiting to be an all-powerful device which can be or do anything at a moment's notice, should the software be written to support it.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I appreciated WP8 enough to go from a 920 to a 1520 early last year, but there's been nothing new since late 2013 (i.e. the nokia sell-out announcement) hardware-wise that broke new ground, and very little of anything that says they care about platform capability growth. Because certainly and obviously, MS aren't institutionally interested, compared to their other (deserved) problems. Without actually being particularly partisan, I find it mostly to be a shame - it's a lot better a platform than the numbers suggest, and the the visual style of WP8/8.1 is one I rather prefer, with clear and distinct controls and thus, unlike my experiences within the co-incestuous circle that includes both android and ios, and the like-for-like ported apps within their respective stores.

    Thus what I don't see, is any attempt to lead in any area at all. Nokia always did well on hardware; design (nebulous as it is), and cameras, even if it was the same chipsets. In what respect do MS forsee to maintain a niche? Nokia (itself) made the platform on its budget 520 sales but it at least had high ends in a quite large range of varieties to go with it. It may or may not be true that all budget androids are inferior to a budget windows phone - it's definitely true I've seen plenty of bad androids, whereas the 520 clearly wasn't - but if there's one thing that seems fundamental it's that I'm not like to upgrade to whatever year's 520 is a windows phone when it comes around. This is not good enough.

    And it's simply neglect; inability to make hardware/software on a minor part of their revenue to be of sufficient importance compared to their real interest - to un---- their real bread and butter, screwing enterprise into upgrading desktop and servers. And because they haven't figured out how phones help them do that, it'll be at the bottom of the list until they do.

    Apple made iphone just happen, in parallel, and made it a business. With WP, MS are stuck on that file transfer dialog from windows 95 that keeps getting 5 minutes longer, every 5 minutes.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Brilliant Comment!

      Apple made iphone just happen, in parallel, and made it a business. With WP, MS are stuck on that file transfer dialog from windows 95 that keeps getting 5 minutes longer, every 5 minutes.

      Those few words realy sum up the difference between the two systems.

      Thank you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Brilliant Comment!

        Either that or M$'s management are like the eye of mordor, focusing on one thing at a time.

    2. David Black

      Yep, Nokia always sold MANY more low-end candybar phones when it had the impressive looking communicators on the shelves... "Want one one of those sir?" "er, yes but I only have 40 quid so give me a 5110".

      Complete mystery as to why MS don't see the importance of a low selling high-end flagship.

  18. Tom 35

    Whiners

    "Some hardcore fanbois are starting to sound as whiny and entitled as net neutrality campaigners or copyright reformers:"

    Just wait for a bit and they will work them selves up the the level of telcos and record labels.

    1. druck Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Whiners

      If you want whining, just take a look at the comments at the end of the article about the update to the BBC News App.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30894674

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just the facts

    WP had a small (if any) time frame to make a impact and push enough phone to build a user base to support all the moving pieces. Selling trash phonies in the third world markets does not count..

    That window has closed, and maybe the reason Nadella is not pushing WP or even betting the company on it (like not releasing products that run on other platforms) is he can read the writing on the wall - and it says it time to dump this pig.

    WP may be great, but that does not matter. What matters is market share. That is the hard true in the world. If the fan boys can't accept that fact I suggest finding another world.

    Sorry - that is just the facts.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Just the facts

      MS has more than enough cash to carry Windows Phone for a long while. Lots of other divisions making money.

      If they give up on the phone they may as wel give up on tablets and the surface, and in fact everything but enterprise sales for their OS and I don't think anybody sees that as likely, especially as the Win8 fiasco shows they took enterprise sales for granted.

      The third world market may sell as many top of the liine devices, but probably an awful lot more cheap devices, would you rather have the profit from 2x$250 devices or 10x$50.

      The idea that there is only room for two major brands/OS/ecosystems is dumb as well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just the facts

        It is not only MS that needs to be in the game. Companies must see enough return to spend the money to support WP, Developers need to make money, the network operators need to see enough users to bother to support them, ,the stores need to sell enough to justify the expense to carry them, the list goes on ...

        As far as third world phones. One I suspect (but do not know) that the margin on trash phones is in the pennies. Second, MS may push phones but what about all the other players you need to make it work, do they see enough profit in supporting the third world.

        And finally I suspect that there is much more money to be made in the high end - check out a company called"Apple" if you are not sure.

        No where did I say that there can be only two in the game - only that MS came to late with to little to play. Are you off your meds?

  20. James Pickett

    "Windows Phone may be the most attractive and original piece of work Microsoft has ever done"

    But that's not saying very much, is it..?

  21. Mage Silver badge
    Coat

    Divorce

    The only hope for Winphone, Tablets, Desktop/laptops, Setboxes/TVs, servers and embedded is to have five different platforms and six names.

    1. MS Phone (less than 5" 16 :9 screen)

    2. Surface (ARM only)

    3a. Windows (x86-x64 only tablets, Netbooks, Laptops, workstations

    3b. Windows Server

    4. MS Media (Xbox, Setboxes, media boxes, smart TVs)

    5. Embedded (Any CPU, similar kernel to phone, but a RTOS, no drivers in Kernel, option of Phone, Surface or Media GUI)

    Calling EVERYTHING Windows is STUPID

    The idea you can do anything other than a trival app/Widget to work sensibly as user /admin needs on ANY platform is stupid!

    My coat has OS types in one pocket and UI designs in the other.

    Same version APIs / Kernel on everything is stupid

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Divorce

      >>Same version APIs / Kernel on everything is stupid

      Is it? The iPhone has had the same kernel as OS X ever since the beginning, and almost all of the same APIs. The last layer of UI libraries are different obviously.

      Seems like good engineering to me, i.e., to have well-factored, reusable components.

  22. theOtherJT

    Too Late.

    They're going to cock it up, whatever they do, at this point. It's just too damn late. I loved windows phone, I really did, but as I've said before they're just FIDDLING with it now, they're not really improving it, just messing about. The reputation is tarnished beyond repair, and even people - like myself, like others in this thread - who really wanted to like it have given up.

    They don't seem to have grasped something that the auto industry picked up some time in the 50s. People don't buy what they want, they buy what they can afford, but what they ultimately choose is based on what they want.

    Very few people go into a BMW dealership because they've got huge amounts of money and intend to buy one of those shiny i8 things. But they go in to _look_ at the shiny i8 thing, and then end up buying a 1 series, because that's what they can actually afford. The "Halo" effect is real. It's been selling - basically everything - for about as long as there have been things to sell.

    Microsoft seem to have grasped the need for cheap "landfill" devices to make up the bulk of the sales and keep the bottom line healthy, but no one is going to buy them because the impression of the brand as a whole is crap. The impression will STAY crap until they can put out a proper flagship quality device which doesn't act up all the time.

  23. marky_boi
    FAIL

    Tried to like one but can't

    I bought one, I work in the mobile industry. I could then give an honest opinion. First impression is good but that disapates to annoyance. I cant use a streaming service, crap browser choices. Internet exploder dying at regular intervals. I cant make multiple screens that i can swipe side to side, rather I have a super long tile page. That small setting controls you take for granted in Android are not there. It took a week to discover most of these shortcomings. Changed back to an Android after that.

    This fone is now relegated to the bog as a net surfer... about all it's good for. I'm gathering most people try one of these things for one contract cycle and then go back to whatever they had.

    This ecosysytem is as good as abandoned in my humble opinion.

  24. jimbo60

    don't trash a phone you've never owned

    I have a flagship Lumia (1520), and that phone is great. Battery life is great, it'll go for two days of real use. The display is superb. The phone is responsive, useful, and doesn't have hangs, crashes, proximity problems, or any of the things others have claimed as problems. My only complaint is AT&Ts stupid choice to not include the wireless charging on that model. My wife's smaller 920 easily goes for a full day and then some.

    Both of my daughters have flagship Galaxy S4 phones, and they can't get through a day on a charge. One is always trying to manager the battery life by frequently switching the GPS off. She also had a slowly progressing failure of the internal charging connector while over seas for several months, which was a real pain.

    I do agree with the other posters though about no new flagship phones for too long. Especially on AT&T, which didn't even pick up the 930, so the only upgrade to the 920 was the 1520, and not everyone wants a phone that large. They sure didn't to anything to keep a loyal fan base.

  25. Windows8

    As for Chase bank, they are crooks along with most American banks. Their app won't be missed, besides IE lets you do everything on the web page why do we need a limited app to bank?

  26. Windows8

    Well, there are still millions who trust google about as much as a US Senator and Apple feels like an over acted movie I know I fall into this category. I'm excited for a new flagship device on WP10. App gap means squat to me, I prefer the browser l, the games I do play are in PC or Xbox and I'm perfectly fine with it.

  27. W. Anderson

    The article author needs to explain how he/she knows that the latest "planned" programs from Microsoft axtually "saved" Windows phone business from "continued" slide downwards, especially since no concrete - in reality - steps have been taken in that regard.

    Even at recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Nevada - generally considered a bellweather of upcoming technology innovation, there were less than an handfull - probably one or two - of announced products and services that support the Windows mobile platform, out of thousands presented. How depressing is that for Microsoft support!!

    Extrapolating "wishes" and hyperbole into false reality has been Microsoft's and the company's tech publishing propagandists smoke 'n mirrors tactics for too long, since few listen to this nonsence any longer.

  28. Aaron J

    No flagship in over 18 months? The Lumia 1520 has barely been out a year. In any case, who cares? There isn't much noteworthy change from one iPhone or Galaxy model to the next. It's painfully iterative. I would rather wait 18 months and get a phone that is actually an improvement over the one I have, instead of being sold the same phone in slightly different colors and/or dimensions 11 months later. I don't need to upgrade my phone twice a year to help project the illusion of belonging to a higher socioeconomic class.

    The Windows Phone OS is pretty awesome if you give it a fair chance. The only reason that iOS and Android fans hate Windows Phone is because it isn't iOS or Android. I've owned every mobile platform to exist in the last 15 years. Literally every one of them. Windows Phone 8.1 is the best one out of all of them. It is faster than iOS and far more stable than Android. Additionally, the vertical scrolling with the tile interface is much more natural and intuitive for one-handed operation. Unlike my Galaxy S series of phones, my Windows Phones have never crashed. Not once. Ever. My Android phones were MUCH slower and would "force close" with increasing regularity until I did a factory reset every few months. The author of this article cites the lower frequency of updates as a negative for Windows Phone. In what parallel universe is infrequent updates worse than the frequent "updates" from Apple that add no functionality, but drag on performance and kill battery life? I respect that Microsoft doesn't push me updates that have no purpose other than shortening my phone's usable lifespan. All of my updates actually ADD SOMETHING to the experience, in contrast to the ambiguous "bug fixes" and "security updates" that get pushed regularly to my colleagues using other platforms. Battery life has been phenomenal on all Windows Phone devices I have owned. People claiming otherwise are only repeating what they heard on the internet, with no firsthand experience to back it up. The battery life on my Lumia 1520 puts the Galaxy Note 4 to shame, even with a smaller battery. You could point out that the Note 4 has a more powerful processor. I would respond by pointing out that my OS isn't a resource hog and doesn't require that extra power to operate smoothly under the oppressive drag of Samsung's annoying bloatware. Android users have to root their phones and install custom ROMs to delete proprietary manufacturer software. Windows Phone users just have to click "uninstall". Let's talk cameras. Microsoft's high-end devices range from 20-41 megapixels. What's on your iPhone? Still that 8 MP camera from 2010? How about that Galaxy S5? Finally made the jump to 16? The 1020 and 1520, while older phones, are still light years ahead of what Apple and Samsung are just starting to do with the cameras on their bleeding edge flagships. In terms of both hardware AND software.

    Admittedly, the downside to the Windows Phone platform is the lack of apps. Microsoft let the smartphone market get away from them. If they had been proactive and worked on this new OS when Windows Mobile 6 was aging, then Android wouldn't even exist. But this poor business decision, while tragic for this solid OS, doesn't detract from the intrinsic quality of it. I know you Apple and Galaxy "fanbois" are salivating over the prospect of Windows Phone failing, but it won't. Those of us who own the high-end Windows hardware are grown-ups with real jobs. We buy our devices direct and with cash instead of relying on carrier subsidies and pricing shell games. In addition, there is strong worldwide demand for entry-level smartphones. These two segments of the market will continue to make this a worthwhile revenue stream for Microsoft. You guys have been predicting the demise of Windows Phones for a decade now. But guess what? It's still here. You brilliant analysts are clearly missing something.

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