back to article Windows 10, day ZERO ... Will Nadella be the HERO?

Remember 21 January, 2015: it will go down in history either as the date that made Microsoft or the reason why victory in mobile was put on hold for another two years. Today, the world’s largest software firm will officially reveal what it is calling the “next chapter” in Windows: Windows 10. Microsoft is expected to release …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Malcolm 1


      This is almost as annoying as internationally relevant announcement websites (such as the MS one here) which state the time in local format, so everyone else has to work out exactly what time 9am PST actually means.

      Doesn't seem beyond the wit of a multinational software company to implement some time localisation features on their page (or even just a countdown).

      1. wiggers

        Re: Timezones

        I went off Windows phones completely the first time I went abroad with one. When I arrived and it was set to the new timezone, a notice popped up to say it was changing all my calendar appointments by the same amount. So for example a meeting I'd scheduled for 10am now appeared at 6pm. That was an obvious one, but I nearly missed a flight home when the difference was only 1hr. Avoided Windows mobile (and Outlook) ever since.

        1. Chris Miller

          Re: Timezones

          If you're going to be operating in multiple timezones, it might be a good idea to get to grips with the facility to associate the times of an appointment with the relevant timezone. All the calendar systems I'm familiar with have this capability and will behave as you describe if you select the wrong (default) one.

        2. Mint Sauce

          Re: Timezones

          Ah yes I experienced that (Windows Phone 7.8). Had a long 'discussion' with a support droid over that one, and completely failed to make them understand why my appointments for 10am (say) should remain at 10am & that if you travelled through multiple time-zones on a business trip it would be a FuckingNightmare(tm).

          Although in general I like windows phone, if v8 enforces the same behaviour, then I'm out.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Timezones

            why my appointments for 10am (say) should remain at 10am


            I have regular meetings at 5pm my time, which are attended (by phone) by people from several countries, including California where the meeting is at 8am for them. My phone reminds me 15 minutes before the meeting.

            When I am in California on a business trip I would be mightily pissed off if my phone reminded me at 4:45pm for a 5pm appointment, and would certainly expect my appointment to show up as 8am, just as I would expect it to be shown as 4pm were I to go to the UK.

            1. crashtest

              Re: Timezones

              You've missed the point. Forget the repeated meetings and bare with me for a second...

              I'm travelling to a different timezone. Arrival time is irrelevant. The next morning I'm meeting someone there. In the correspondance to plan that meeting it is pointless to convert between timezones. So we just say 10am THEIR timezone directly. I put it in the calendar as 10am and FORGET to set the timezone. My calendar [very correctly] thinks it's in my local time.

              So the calendar will convert that 10am to THEIR timezone upon arrival. Obviously this is how it SHOULD work. Because I might have other pending tasks back home, during the trip. Those should be converted or I'll miss them all.

              Bottom line, a calendar app must make setting timezones stupidly easy and highly visible in the interface. There is no automating it. Android does that. Windows Phone I've no idea; never used the thing.

            2. N2

              Re: Timezones

              I also have regular meetings at 6 pm my time, which are attended by myself & Claude,

              We go to his or my cave for a petit verre du vin or a Pineau or two & its wonderful that technology has no place in this & never will.

              Quite how Microsoft manage to fuck up something so simple as time is beyond me.

      2. ZSn

        Re: Timezones

        I just logged in to listen. The same old yada yada. I lost the will to live after 30 seconds.

    2. Bob Vistakin
  2. Stuart 22

    Apps aren't the problem? Rubbish!

    "All of the top 50 free iOS and Android apps for which there are Windows desktop apps already exist as Windows Phone apps."

    Is that a surprise? They are massive, adding an extra platform is not an issue in expense or resources. And if it is I'm sure Microsoft will help.

    This is meaningless. My app portfolio will contain a number of these apps. And by definition these will appeal to global/general interest need. But then I have apps specific to my needs. These can be country, region or even town specific (like local buses). They will be to specialist tasks related to my skills, employment or hobbies. They will be low volume, they will be vital, and all of us will have a different set of these. They aren't on Windows now, they won't be on Windows till it has volume and Windows isn't going to have volume till it gets the apps. Not the 50 big 'uns but near the whole portfolio.

    Otherwise you are offering me a significant reduction in app functionality. I, and I guess most others who have a choice, will decline the offer.

    The alternative would be for Windows to run Android or IoS apps in an emulated environment. That's how it was done by companies smaller than IBM in the distant past. Whether Microsoft is man enough to do it with Win 10 should be interesting.

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Re: Apps aren't the problem? Rubbish!

      They are wriggling really hard now though.

      Lumbered with an appless turkeyphone? There's an ugly rumour they will try to fix that by leeching even more from Android than they already do with their extortion racket. Jeepers, if that isn't recognition their own mobile comedy efforts are over I don't know what is.

      Hey, and thanks to the pair of you who actually did write a native windows mobile app but you needn't have bothered, actually.

    2. DropBear

      Re: Apps aren't the problem? Rubbish!

      Actually, I'd be curious to see an actual top 50 of Android apps - chances are not a single one is installed on my phone. I did go to Google Play to peruse a "top apps" list - whatever that means - and within the first 50, the only one I do have is Google Translate. And yes, that means no interest whatsoever in Facebook, Twitter, Viber, Whatsapp, Instagram, Candy Crush etc etc etc...

      1. fruitoftheloon

        @Drop Bear: Re: Apps aren't the problem? Rubbish!


        same here funnily enough...


    3. Jamie Kitson

      Re: Apps aren't the problem? Rubbish!

      Exactly. It's silly to measure apps in absolute numbers. The Instagram app *exists* on Windows Phone, but it hasn't had an update since it was released. Compare it to the iPhone app, the iPhone app is streets ahead in terms of functionality.

    4. theOtherJT

      Re: Apps aren't the problem? Rubbish!

      Am I the only one around here who thinks that Apps are A. Bad. Thing (tm) and get really annoyed every time I have to install one to do something?

      I want my phone to handle the basics of being a phone flawlessly and silently without me having to think about it. These days that's

      * Phone calls

      * Email

      * Text messaging / IM

      * Calendar

      * Address book

      * Camera

      * Music / video player

      * Web browser

      See that last one? Other than my SSH/RDP client (which most people would never want or use because most people don't work in IT and have no idea what either of those things are) I don't think I've ever come across a smart phone app that couldn't have been put in there. If I need an app, your browser / website doesn't work well enough.

      I don't want a choice of email apps. I want the built in one to work properly. I don't want a choice of Camera apps. You wouldn't buy a digital camera and then head straight off to the app store so you could buy a different interface from someone who was more capable of writing software than the people who manufactured the thing. I shouldn't have to "Take my pick of over 5,000,000 high quality applications!" because whoever made the damn thing should have gotten the fundamentals right the first time and everything above and beyond that isn't going to harm sales because it is, by definition, niche.

      When I got this new android phone at Christmas there were FOUR PAGES of applications on it, half of which were duplicates, and more than three quarters of which were things I didn't want, and I'm not allowed to uninstall any of them. Apps are an annoyance, not a sales point. A sales point is not needing the bloody things to start with.

      1. Hi Wreck

        Re: Apps aren't the problem? Rubbish!

        From your post, may I be so bold as to suggest a Crackberry for your next phone.

  3. Ketlan


    'Remember 21 January, 2015: it will go down in history either as the date that made Microsoft or the reason why victory in mobile was put on hold for another two years.'

    It'll do nothing of the sort. Today will only be known as the day of my 62nd birthday, so there. Now where's my jelly and ice cream...

    1. Irongut

      Re: Pffftt...

      Happy birthday. I don't have any jelly and ice cream so have a pint instead.

    2. dogged

      Re: Pffftt...

      Happy birthday. That's much better than more of Gavin Clarke's fuckwitted drivel.

      1. trance gemini

        Re: Pffftt...

        and PR-fuelled fuckwitted cyber-drivel is exactly what's about to issue forth from mr nutellas gob

        more beer quick!

    3. Bob Vistakin

      Re: Pffftt...

      Congrats and get this down yer neck lad ----------------------------------------->

    4. Salts

      Re: Pffftt...

      Bit late to the party, have another

    5. Radio Wales

      Re: Pffftt...

      Hell! My 70th is coming right up. What the hell am I doing scrapping it out about 10?

      My 7 will outlast me I think. ... I just can't let IT go!

      P.S Happy Birthday. Have an ice cream on me

  4. Ketlan


    Thank you, chaps. All pints very welcome. :)

  5. Hans 1

    3% market share ? Oh, how sad ... imagine the cash they flog in advertising on prime time TV, the TV series they support with "Lumia devices", Hawaii 5.0 "Lemme Bing that for you." ROFL

    Pay up, pay up ... there is only so much you can afford, MS ... and you start feeling the pain, don't you ? Recently hiked up the licensing prices, to support your crusade ...

    I am lovin' it!

    1. Bob Vistakin

      On the plus side, I hear shares in this company go up each time a lorry full of their product is delivered to Redmond.

  6. pirithous

    Microsoft's heyday in operating systems is starting to dwindle down. It may be over a 10 year period, maybe 5, but an irreversible trend has began and nothing is turning it around. Their "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" mentality worked well throughout the mid-90's and early 2000's, but things change, just as they did with the Dot-com bubble. Windows has a negative connotation associated with it when you ask the general consumer, not to mention that "Windows" to them means Microsoft Office, games, and malware. Are gamers a big enough of a market to continue the domination of Windows? No. How about legacy applications; the ones that look like they're from 1994 but the companies that wrote them have instituted workarounds to get them running on 7 and beyond. These companies that use clunky, old, "legacy" software titles may still be running Windows for now, but this, also, isn't enough of a reason for Windows to continue dominating the desktop in the business. When you consider the cost of the license fees, malware, poor security, NSA backdoors, and other general Windows problems due to its inherently shoddy and poorly thought out architectual design, it's only obvious that it's a matter of time until something better comes along and replaces it. Microsoft started out with VMS, and ended up with a stinking piece of shit (excuse my French).

    So here we are, in 2015, and Windows XP just took more of a slice of the pie than Windows 8.x. It's as crazy as it sounds, but it just shows that Microsoft is now finding themselves between a rock and a hard place. It's unfortunate that Microsoft has some real talent inside the company, and it's being squelched by fascist fat cat board members who are slowly driving their operating system division to Zune status. With Wine on Linux, slowly improving and running more and more Windows applications with less errors, it's a strong possibility that one day we'll see it more often on the desktop; the fact that Steam is now supporting Linux is also one big leg up for gamers who don't want to deal with registry woes, .dll files all over the place, and secret keys that can't be removed from the registry for trial software.

    Linux also has severe issues on the desktop, and the information can be found by googling the site. However, it's about picking which operating system sucks less. I choose Linux, because of the open source nature and control it gives me over my PC. How much longer are consumers and businesses going to put up with Microsoft's dirty business practices? Only time will tell.

    This whole idea of unifying applications across devices is a poor idea -- it's another Zune idea. I don't want tablet applications on my desktop, and the experience cannot ever be the same. That's why there's iOS and Android. Keep Windows on the desktop familiarized to those that need it, as it slowly becomes bumped out of its comfort zone and replaced by better altenatives by more honest companies. Let's not forget that Zune used the same type of tiles that the new variants of Windows have, and nobody ever liked tiles. But the foisting machine keeps chugging along at Microsoft, as if the managerial team there are just about vegetables. The proof that MS has serious problems occuring within their walls is leaking out of the company like a sieve, as can be found here:

    1. dogged

      oh look, Bob Vistakin, pirithous, Hans 1....

      There's just something about Gavin's endless, clueless "whatever Mikesoft* do is shit" articles that draws out the trolls like flies 'round turds.

      I expect Barry Shitpeas will be here next. And an AC who used to be Eadon.

      * I listened to a podcast once with Mr Clarke, MJ Foley and somebody else. Our Gav can't pronounce "Microsoft". This is probably the root of his problem although the absolute ignorance of software was probably the reason for the two-second silence after he said anything where MJ and the other bloke tried to pretend he hadn't

      1. hplasm

        "although the absolute ignorance of software"

        There is MS's problem, in a nutshell.

        Well done for pointing that out.

      2. RyokuMas

        "oh look"

        ... and trotting out the same old links again, too... three years ago is ancient history in IT.

    2. J 3

      How much longer are consumers and businesses going to put up...

      Agree with what you said there, but I do not think either "consumers" or "businesses" care about "Microsoft's dirty business practices", really. They use that stuff as an amoral tool, they have little choice in what to use, and could care less about the details of how that particular sausage was made. They don't even look for that info to begin with. Guys like you and me and I suppose most El Reg readers are the people who read these stories and know these things. Some of us do care -- but end up having to use the "evil stuff", whomever made it, anyway since their job demands it. But the populace out there? They just use whatever they need to and go home and don't (nor want to) think about it.

  7. Terry 6 Silver badge

    vicious circle but irrelevant

    There won't be more of these apps till there's more phones. But, the mass market is the public who have a phone as a fashion item - its use as a way to talk to people in other locations is not the most significant part. So they all want, ideally, an iPhone.

    The second priority is playing stupid games - and most of these are shortlife, latest new thing games that will be forgotten by next year at the latest.

    Either way, Microsoft hasn't got the flashy bling appeal of an iThingy or even a Samsung Galaxy. Even the name sounds worthy, dull and workmanlike.

    Which is what the Windows phone is.

    It does a good functional job. Which means that there's no point paying for a high-end phone. If you have that kind of cash to spend on a phone you probably want the fashion models.

    And there's no point getting a really low-end one, because you'll be disappointed that it doesn't do what you expect, its too cut down, there are plenty really cheap Android phones with all the silly games.

    The mid-range phones are worse. Neither particularly cheap, nor having the full range of facilities that make the high end ones good.

    I love my WP 635. But I'm aware of its deficiencies. However the models that were just a little bit better were a lot more expensive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: vicious circle but irrelevant

      You don't understand fashion and "cool" do you?

      If everyone has a Ferrari are they still cool? it's their cost and their scarcity which makes people go "wow". So much so that Ferrari realised they were making too many and scaled back production.

      I see a lot of iPhones, often in the hands of dimwit chavs. Gone are the days when I was one of two people in the office with one, now there are about 10 or more people with an iPhone.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: vicious circle but irrelevant


        "You don't understand fashion and "cool" do you?"

        On the contrary; I think it's pretty clear that I do..

        I just want none of it.

        Sadly, MS's phones are only a good device for people like me.

        The people who buy expensive phones are largely the ones who aspire to cool. SO *they* aren't going to buy Winphones.

  8. Tom 13

    MS's phone problem isn't an OS problem or an Apps problem,

    it's that line on the company asset sheet that says "Goodwill".

    Back in the 1980s they had it. Since then they've not only squandered what they had, they've taken it negative. People who are "owned" by MS on the desktop look at the company and decide they won't be "owned" on their phone by the same company. They might be "owned" by Google instead, but at least it won't be one company "owning" them all the time.

    Until MS reverses that problem, they there won't be an uptick in their phone business. And for whatever the plan in their minds was, Windows 8.x only dug the hole deeper.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: MS's phone problem isn't an OS problem or an Apps problem,

      But that does cut both ways. One reason for me having a Winphone is to get out from under Google. I had an Android phone. I have an Android tablet, I still use Google's mail etc.

      So I have Outlook email, too.

      And Bing search, too.

  9. SImon Hobson

    Hmm, one app across multiple devices - as "the one and only way". So they've learned absolutely nothing whatsoever from the Windows * debacle then ?

    All it means is that you end up with something that's not as good as it could be on a tablet (because it's been compromised by needing to support "traditional desktops"), and is crap on "traditional desktops" because it's been crippled to be 'usable' on a tablet.

    Perhaps if they'd learned from Windows 8, that for a desktop the UI needs to be different to that on a keyboardless and mouseless tablet - then they might make progress. All they seem to be doing is heading more and more down the road of "you know that old things about 'everyone being familiar with Windows ?' - well forget that because we've changed it all yet again so now you need to retraing all over yet again".

    I do actually have a Windows 8 VM - well working in IT I thought I'd best know a little about the enemy. It's a big pile of turds that don't even have the semblance of having been polished. Also, my partner tell me that the only time she hears me swear is when I have to fix her pile of rubbish laptop with Windows 8 on it.

    1. dogged

      You've got that slightly wrong (but to be fair, your source - the article - is nonsense withut any notable content so it's not your fault).

      They're not saying "one app, all platforms". It refers to software architecture.

      Using the MVVM pattern, the front-end is entirely separate from the logic which is entirely separate from the data storage/online API/whatever. So you only write one version of the actual logic that does everything and then you stick different pretty but stupid front-ends on it for different platforms. A desktop app would therefore probably be a very different beast from a phone app but both benefit from the fact that the front-end is stupid and all the work has already been done once.

      1. dogged

        Ah, two shills already downvoting facts.

        Have fun, saddoes.

        1. Tom 35

          Who is the shill here.

          How much overlap is there between a phone and a desktop?

          It's like saying you have built a production line that makes engines for motorbikes and trucks at the same time.

          1. dogged

            No, it's like saying you built a factory that makes steering wheels for trucks and cars at the same time.

            How much overlap between a phone and a desktop PC? Well.. remember Windows 95? Your phone almost certainly exceeds the minimum specs to run it (architecture changes between x86 and ARM notwithstanding). It would probably run Windows 8.1 if you got an ARM build.

            So to answer your question - quite a lot.

            Have you been under a rock?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Not that simple. The human interfaces, and the way people use them, are so different that it's better to write a separate mobile app in many cases. Trying to maintain a common codebase increases the complexity of both, exponentially.

              And if every platform favors a particular language like Swift or Java(script), you might need 4 or 5 codebases.

        2. Hi Wreck

          Apple haters no doubt, because that's how the fruit factory has designed things. Apples advantage is that they are ruthless on deprecating obsolete code. Like the venerable Core whatever, Windows remains compatible with stuff written in the early 1980's.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Probably because people still USE stuff written in the early 1980's. Their whole business line depends on it and they can't afford a new version, so it's basically sink or swim for them.

      2. Charles 9

        "Using the MVVM pattern, the front-end is entirely separate from the logic which is entirely separate from the data storage/online API/whatever."

        The problem is that they can interrelate in fundamental ways. IOW, the front-end may force you to alter the logic. Same for the storage since an online app may have to cope with lack of online availability and so on.

        IOW, the desktop and mobile ecosystems may not have as much in common as developers would like to believe, and the end result is that it may be better to think of them as separate worlds altogether.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      "Perhaps if they'd learned from Windows 8, that for a desktop the UI needs to be different to that on a keyboardless and mouseless tablet"

      Interestingly, MS obviously also didn't learn from it's experience with Microsoft Pixelsense (formally known as Microsoft Surface) unlike Lenovo who obviously did with their Horizon and Flex AiO series of systems and supply them with a "tabletop" UI into which Windows automatically switches when the device is laid flat.

  10. John Sanders


    Known for their main defining characteristics:

    a) They do not want to dominate a market, they want to own it all and crush the competition until they are driven to extinction. Their aim is to control the market.

    b) Get into a partnership with them and they're the only ones to reap the benefits, VERY high risk of the partner being destroyed.

    c) Too big, too many projects they do not care about, they wake up one day and decide they do not like the product you have spend the last few years working with, and you're screwed (IE: VB, Silverlight, Flight Simulator, XNA, etc)

    d) Limitless arrogance, MS telling the telcos they had to share their piece of the cake or else Skype will kill them was one of those Godfather's moments MS is famous for.

    e) A liking for dirtiness when planing ahead (IE: Their vapour-ware tactics during the late 90's, ISO OOXML fiasco, Sabotaging DR-DOS, the whole Internet Explorer saga to try to stop browser applications, the recent PR whitewash with Linux, The Android patent extortion, the SCO affair.)

    I'm betting that Windows 10 is "The best Windows Ever" and you should pay them lots, adopt all their lock-in technologies and love how much they love Linux now.

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Re: Microsoft

      Regarding how microsofts mobile "partners" got on in the past, it's amazing to think this was written 4 years ago now.

  11. M7S

    A tired old joke repeated with a minor twist

    A decade or so ago, MS release "One care". Commentards on El Reg make fun of this when spoken in a mock French accent.

    MS now base their entire product around "One core".

    Will they have a network product in a decade base around looking after a WAN?

  12. Tom 35

    Same Windows 8 BS

    "Microsoft will be pulling out all the stops to help attendees walk away from the event with the idea there is now “one Windows” – not separate versions of things called Windows for PCs, phones and tablets."

    So they may have fixed the different development problem so that's fine for a Flappy Bird app. But the type of program you want to run on a desktop are not going to run on a phone, and most phone apps are pointless on a desktop (like the full screen Win8 calculator)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Same Windows 8 BS

      I fixed the fullscreen calculator by looking at it through the big end of a telescope. I look through the small end when using a windows phone.

      I did the same when I accidentally bought a 80" TV for my studio flat. Except I taped some binoculars to a wooden spoon.

      Its like opera for this century. Only theres less screeching and more South Park.

      I sometimes like to put vaseline on the lenses and scratch in some scanlines for all that harshly sharp 60fps 4K porn. For that vintage touch.

  13. CaptainBanjax

    Today is my birthday.

    As a result the 21st January 2015 will always be known to me as such.

    Every upvote I get is a pint I must drink. Downvote me if it also your birthday.

    1. dogged

      Re: Today is my birthday.

      You're probably going to die from alcohol poisoning.


      Happy birthday.

    2. Ketlan

      Re: Today is my birthday.

      'Downvote me if it also your birthday.'

      Certainly not. Here's to both of us! :)

  14. vee Hybrid


    The bald guy is saying "Look the world is round". Shame he hasn't realised future Microsoft business is flat.

    He looks quite scary.

  15. JustWondering

    ... one Windows to rule them all.

    And in the darkness bind them

  16. LarchOye

    ALL Microsoft needs to do to completely dominate the mobile market is ENABLE HYPER-V ON WINDOWS PHONES.

    Run both Android and IOS in virtual machines, and WHALLAH, no more debate about which platform is the best- THE ONE THAT RUNS THEM ALL CLEARLY BEATS THE ONES THAT DON'T.

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