Bi-polar OS 2.0
Windows Mobile > Windows Phone > Windows Mobile > Obsolete
After five years, the radical design experiment of Windows Phone is to end; Windows on phones is being subsumed into Windows 10, and alas, this means Windows phones will not only be less distinctive and inherit many of the flaws, but they’ll acquires some flaws no mobile platform today suffers. That’s my conclusion after …
What you say about the current state of Windows Mobile 10 OS is true, but what you don't seem to make very clear is that it not even really a beta yet. I woudlnt recommend it for day to day use and neither do Microsoft. The Mobile version of Windows 10 isnt RTM until ~ October. So we have at least another 3 months or so before we should be making any conclusions as to the final product.
Indeed. What on earth Andrew's game is here in doing a six page in depth review of an os at this stage of its development is not easy to understand. This is at pre-beta stage and as such is not at all bad. However, anyone who put this on their daily driver would be an idiot. In depth reviews should be directed at the RTM end of story.
90 per cent of the review discusses design and usability (not performance or reliability).
So when do you suppose would be the optimal time to point out design and usability flaws?
A month before release? A week before release?
Heck, maybe six months after release we could have a little whinge: "Ooh, Microsoft designers. Can you redo X, Y and Z?"
Yeah. That'll work.
So the earlier the better, really.
I agree that the road to Windows 10 Mobile is long.
The last time I installed it, a few weeks ago, it was unuseable.
I would like to see more of a sense of extreme urgency from Redmond, the exec do not seem to be aware that it's most probably the last chance for Windows 10 and for Windows 10 Mobile.
The dev & designer team will have to work day and night in the next few monthes to make it a useable mobile OS.
The hope with this OS is that it will get apps that were developped for windows 10 computer or tablets, and that this influx will mitigate the very small number of apps ported from iOS and Android (even if most those apps are in fact little more than web pages with some native UI goodness and would be extremely easy/cheap to port to WM). I don't know if it will work, but it seems like the last stand. If it doesn't work I think Microsoft can exit the smartphone OS business for good.
Already Microsoft Garage seems like an iOS-only shop. Is this a none too subtle F.CK YOU to its customers and to the Windows Mobile Team? There is no way these apps were developped with VS2015 + Xamarin, which is a shame. They were not developed in Apache Cordova either, or we would have the apps for all platforms.
I can't remember a single Windows Universal 10 app receiving 10 % as much attention from Redmond.
I thought Satya Nadella was a great leader for Microsoft, I'm not so sure anymore. It seems everybody does her own cooking at Microsoft those days, and like the author notes, Microsoft prefers to buy crappy apps from hyped startups instead on focusing its (many of them talented) devs to produce good software.
Most consumers don't give a ... about email or music app version 150, new with every version of Windows but still crap. Just do a good one, or let me use Outlook and spend the dev time in productive ways.
Microsoft are heading full steam towards android and iOS software services, windows phone is well and truly dead. You know that when Microsoft started prioritising the android apps over everything else including their own platform.
Another in a long line of Microsoft hardware disasters. Perhaps they are slowly learning to stick to software, and not trying to be greedy( and crap).
1. Windows Phone is not hardware. It is software. You might want to learn the difference.
2. Windows Phone is NOT dead--it's just becoming Windows Mobile.
3. Actually, Microsoft's tended to prioritize iOS apps over others, with Android second. Cortana is an obviously different beast because they can get it closer to being "integrated" on Android than they can on iOS.
4. What long line of hardware disasters? There've been a few, no doubt, but also a lot of successes (Xbox, Surface Pro, tons of keyboards, mice and other accessories). You might've missed the news, given that the only thing making the headlines is the 2.8 billion dollar writedown thanks to the Nokia purchase, but in all the financial infodump they've revealed that the Surface business has jumped dramatically up to 3.65 billion dollars in the most recently ended quarter. And that's no doubt because Surface is a great product.
Xbox, a success??? Are you deluded??? Last place every generation, despite launching first, and a 57% failure rate, and more about turns than a culdesac, Xbox is a huge joke, its been a 2bn a year moneypit for Microsoft, one which they carefully covered up by bundling android royalty payments ontop of...
Surface pro??? Really... Behave.
>1. Windows Phone is not hardware. It is software. You might want to learn the difference.
Software they are giving away for free, so the only cash they could make is on hardware, which they keep writing off ... it's dead, Jim.
> 3. <MoreRandomBS>
I'm frankly terrified nevermind depressed.
There was a point, many years ago when I was in 6th form, where I had a decision to make: get into writing (like my dad) or get into that "other" thing that my dad didn't understand, and didn't approve of - computer graphics.
I took the latter, and while it's been a great ride, recent years it's become less and less pleasurable. The hard work isn't the job, it's the tools, and each time the platform that the tools run on gets worse, it feels like another nail in my own coffin, or at least my enthusiasm.
Sometimes I wish I'd taken the path more trodden.
"I’m still puzzling why there are 16 action shortcuts, but not one serves as a one-click “Do Not Disturb” or “Silent Mode” function, let alone old school Profiles. I suppose PCs don’t really need a Silent Mode, so WM10 doesn't get one."
Actually, I quite often disable my network connection on my PC when I want some real head-down time. I'd like an Airplane mode on my desktop OS.
I really do prefer SatNav because it does seem like the MS Juggernaut has gove down a farm track and found itself without a place to turn around and the driver does not like reversing.
If MS would listen to the users instead of the internal committees they might end up with something useful.
The general consensus in these parts is that we don't want a phone OS GUI runnnig on a 20+ in non touch screen ok! What's underneath might be the bees-knees but if you canna use it Capt'n you canna use it. (apologies to star trek fans)
If Microsoft stopped preferring to hear only what the fanbois say and perhaps asked (or bothered listening to) the non-users, they'd have a product with less astonishing design mistakes and more willing users.
At least the phonification of desktop Windows has been slowed, but not reversed, by this market failure.
It looks exactly what they did - they listened to the whiners who never used Windows Phone because it wasn't like Android, so they're trying to make it look like Android - wasting one ot the best UI designed for a phone till now - and not one derived from Win 3.1/PalmOS like others.
The real mistake is still the "one UI to rule them all" - even trying to design an adaptive one is not going to deliver it soon, it won't work but for simpler apps. Let developer share code among applications, but let them design ad hoc UIs for every type of device.
Microsoft IS listening to the users, and that's EXACTLY what the problem is. Most people don't speak up, they just learn what they need to do what they want to do, and they move on. The users steering the ship now are the hateful, asinine users who really wish we could just go back to Windows 98, permanent administrator permissions on everything, and call it a day.
Listening to the users is exactly what Microsoft *shouldn't* be doing, because all they're hearing are the vocal minority who love to bitch, piss and moan. And they're destroying Windows and Windows phone as a result.
What they probably actually doing is not listening to users in an organized, coherent way. Many have said that a phone/tablet GUI and PC GUI should be very different. Also, look at how people use each device and supply apps that support that usage. Some apps will be mobile only, some PC only, and few will probably work will on both. That does not surprise me after watching how people use their devices.
Who they appear to be listening to are those that only pat them on the back.
You're responding to "Bob Vistakin", AC. Anything "Bob" can do or say to make it look like Microsoft has failed at anything, he will do. Look at his posting history. He's not keen on Apple either but he really has the knives out for Microsoft, even to the point of continually telling lies about Bing copying Google's search results.
Either "Bob" is the single biggest Google fanboy on the entire planet or he makes a living from encouraging people to use Google via FUD. Or he's an Android malware writer, but that wouldn't explain the hate for Azure.... nah, it's fanboy or marketing drone. No other conceivable option.
So please, don't bother with reason or logic. Even facts won't bother "Bob", he's actually happier with outright bullshit.
* You could make the case that Bing is copying Google but in design and subsidiary software, not search results. This whole thing was just proof that the Bing toolbar works exactly the same way as the Google toolbar. Personally I strongly advice against all browser toolbars. They all spy on you. Much like everything else Google does, actually.
Oh for goodness sake - now the phone's been changed around TOO much so it's become bland?
Newsflash - and I say that sarcastically, because you of all people are already aware of this. The Windows Phone of "old" was, in many ways a lovely design and a great user experience.
I don't like to see that - but it's the truth. So now they've modified Windows Phone to the extent it looks a bit like Android - is that the billion+ sales of handsets running Android you're referring to? So f****ng what. If it sells phones and allows Microsoft to offer their services (I said services, not O/S) as an alternative to Google then so be it.
You can't have a go at them for failing to sell any phones then have a go at them for failing to stay the same!
Change or die.
Will it sell more? Or it will just lose even the actual users who chose it exactly because it was better designed than Android?
MS had recently a fair list of replaced products where the new ones were so worse than the previous, they went nowhere. And often the move was just because the need of following the fashion.
You make it sound like the only reason people choose Android is the UI.
Microsoft's poor sales figures have a multitude of reasons, many of them self inflicted, such as the WP7 hardware won't run WP8, buying Nokia and then not releasing any high end hardware until <random date in the future>, making decisions and then reverting them once people got used to them (social media OS integration).
The Windows Phone UX is great (cue downvotes) - even my iPhone and Android phone owning friends agree that once you're using it it's better than they've got. The problem is that MS themselves are trying to turn a clean-slate design which works very well, into some clone of the other platforms. If they want to release an Android clone, then they should just fork it and start selling it, not slowly breaking apart everything that was good about a very nice platform.
I've been using WP since the first Nokia was released. With these changes and now the lack of decent hardware coming to the platform, I'm pretty sure my next phone will be featuring half eaten fruit on the back. And it's this negativity being picked up, including by existing users, which is bringing the whole thing down - not them choosing to stick with big squares for icons.
"Microsoft's poor sales figures have a multitude of reasons, many of them self inflicted, such as the WP7 hardware won't run WP8, buying Nokia and then not releasing any high end hardware until <random date in the future>, making decisions and then reverting them once people got used to them (social media OS integration)."
Add to this:
* the vicious circle that it doesn't run the apps which users expect - but developers won't develop for a platform which has no users
* it was called "Windows Phone" but was in fact nothing like Windows, so it doesn't run Windows applications either
* "Microsoft" (with the exception of X-box) is synonymous to consumers with "uncool", "pain in the ass to use", "virus-ridden"
Now if they can get a phone running something like real Windows, running real Windows applications, there is a *chance* they might get a foothold in the enterprise market, even if they've blown it with consumers.
I agree with AC, Microsoft has waved the white flag with consumers, they know Android and iPhone have that market sewn up.
They do have a chance of leveraging their corporate desktop monopoly into companies that haven't gone BYOD choosing Windows Phones. There are still a lot of multinationals that provide phones for their employees, if you can get wins like that which add up to 100K sales a pop and probably get replaced every couple years, it should be enough to keep Windows Phone afloat.
However, if they fail in Enterprise on this third attempt to reinvent Windows Phone, I think MS will pull the plug. They can't run keep burning money in mobile forever, at some point the shareholders will say enough already and put a stop to it.
"if they can get a phone running something like real Windows, running real Windows applications, there is a *chance* they might get a foothold in the enterprise market"
Now, what does the market need for that to happen that the market hasn't already got today?
Might one critical missing piece be a credible mobile x86 implementation capable of running Windows/x86 (OS, drivers, and apps) with reasonable performance and reasonable battery life, perhaps?
>what does the market need for that to happen that the market hasn't already got today?
big.LITTLE for x86?
Put that in a tablet/laptop convertible. Business can buy the laptop, users get a (for now) limited tablet for free, but the market is seeded.
The UI NEEDS to be fundamentally different on a small touch screen device, such as a phone. Shoe-horning a desktop OS onto a phone will never work! 'Real' windows on a phone would be a UX abomination.
Apple learned this when they initially built a version of OSX for phones. It was awful to use. It was never released and the project was canned in favour of developing a whole new OS just for small touch screens. It is called iOS, you might have heard of it?
One of MS many problems has always been a certain arrogance. The notion that they can do things that others can't just because they are the mighty MS corp. It is actually the driving force behind their decline over the last decade. I thought that when Ballman finally left, perhaps the culture of arrogance and wilful ignorance might change. It seems to have changed to arrogance and desperation under SatNav.
Microsoft hasn't sold many phones not because Windows Phone 7 & 8 were terrible - far from it, but because Microsoft screwed Nokia over, then screwed over every early adopter (the set of people that, you know, influence markets) by not providing any sort of upgrade path, then ran one terrible marketing campaign after another ('you make me larfff Cortana!' - honestly, who signed that abomination off?), were totally late to the game, and didn't manage to get the large phone selling chains or networks to support and push their products whatsoever.
So rather than learn anything from this, in depressingly usual style SadNad's Microsoft has instead focused on fiddling with and ruining the only part of their ecosystem that's showing any promise.
Windows 10 mobile and Windows 10 show is what a disjointed, rudderless company Microsoft have become. Pitiful.
It took years for Apple's clever new iOS smart phones to make real market penetration, even though it was generally agreed that they were revolutionary. Many people were slow to move away from the trusty old Nokia or Razr flip phone.
The problem with Microsoft in the last decade has been a desire to succeed immediately, or drop it like a hot potato. They could have had faith in their excellent Windows Phone 8, upgraded the under-the-hood code for app compatibility with Win 10 and continued to promote what was a very good phone OS. But any time MS doesn't win the game in the first round or two, they take their bat and ball and go home.
"Windows Mobile 10 is already well polished even though its still in preview "
I'm a big fan of Windows Phone / Mobile - especially for business / enterprise use, but if you say it's well polished at the monent then I have to disagree. If you used it for 5 minutes you might think that, but if you use it as your primary phone for a substantial period then you woudl find that there are still many issues and shortcomings to be fixed.
When Android was released, iPhone was its only real competition, everything else like Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Communicator, etc. was an antique by comparison. It didn't matter how unpolished Android was, it was the only game in town for OEMs who wanted to get into the modern smartphone world, so it would have been successful no matter what.
Balls. Android 1.0 was a dog. It wasn't until Froyo (2.2) that it got any proper traction. The popular phones had to skin it to make it attractive. I owned a Galaxy S and I consider that to be the first decent Android handset that could live next to an iPhone. That it looked damn-near identical helped, too!
I love how everybody bought into Apple's and Google's marketing teams and actually believe that smartphone before where bad or antique.
Symbian and Windows Mobile where miles ahead in usability, iOS and Android are a complete mess that put looks ahead of usefulness.
No keyboards (even T9 are better than touchscreen keyboards), big screens that make one-handed usability impossible (but hey! You can watch YouTube videos on the go! It's not like that was the sole purpose of the tablet), UIs that make no sense in big screens (but they have cute animations and gradients), overly-simplified UIs that make everything harder (I still want to punch whoever thought removing Search and Menu buttons was a good idea) and, of course, thin phones with a terrible battery life and non-expandable storage.
With a 2008 Blackberry you could copy a phone number from an email then add it to your contact list, then it would check if that number was already added and notifybthe user if it already exists -all inside the email app. Good luck doing that in Android without having to open three different apps.
And don't get me started in emails. 2015 and Android still doesn't have a "select all" button and STILL DOESN'T HAVE A SEARCH FILTER.
Man, I really miss older smartphones. They where tailored towards productivity and where superb at it; new smartphones are tailored towards media consumption and social media while productivity is utterly terrible.
AC, there are always a few Luddites who prefer things the way they were before. You can still find a few Android phones with a keyboard and smaller screen if that's your preference, but you're a complete fool if you think it is all "marketing" what the public really wants is a Windows Mobile & Blackberry experience in 2015.
The sales figures don't lie, the general public had zero interest in smartphones previously. They certainly don't want "small screens for single handed operation" or the Galaxy S and Note would have flopped and Apple would still be selling phones with the crazy large (for 2007 it most certainly was) 3.5" screen.
¿What phones are there with keyboard? I mean besides two Blackberries and a couple of Samsung phones that where low end even in 2010 when they where released.
Sales? Users don't know what they want. The modern smartphone was created by Apple, I assure you that if they had released a Blackberry clone all modern smartphones would be like that. It's just marketing, the new phones and their UIs can't do anything than older smartphones couldn't do better (except for media consumption, social media and games.)
Are new phones more convenient for the general public? Yes. Are they more successful? Yes. Are they better at productivity? Not at all.
What part of Microsoft do you work for? You AC because your email is @Microsoft.com. :)
Easy to ignore the article but things like, "some are square, some are pills". That is a clear case of two ideas not meeting. Indicative of MS in general.
Comments like pull down menus being done for mouse but then brought into the OS, they are not polished for a thumb driven OS, they are pains in the rear, waiting to happen for a normal phone user who likes apps.
The music app still not being any good, well that is MS all over. Media playing in windows 8 still takes five hours to catalogue when you load up and can't run international standards for playlists without hassle and crashing.
But HTML that won't display... Really is a finished article that. :)
And so on...
I actually thought windows 8.1 was worthy of a buy, perhaps a second phone or cheap replacement. If that flagship turned up from Nokia I might even upgrade. But not now, think I will be staying with Android and hope MS get a windows 11 (but probably will be more like Blackberry by then)
Trying to create a unified experience, having the same apps run on diverse platforms used in very different ways, was always going to be a challenge and a struggle getting there.
Especially for a company which is expected to keep delivering while in the process of change. The ideal solution might be for Microsoft to shut down, come back anew, without the baggage of the past, but that's not the real world. And if they did; everyone would be moaning about that wait for the single system which works perfectly across all platforms, delivers that unified experience as promised.
Microsoft are damned whatever they do. They have taken a quite bold step in a unified direction which may succeed or fail but it's early days yet. Things are not as unified, consistent or as desirable as they could be, nor as tailored to specific platforms as some would like, but at least they have moved to the first rung of the new ladder. The real issue will be whether, having got themselves a stable base from which to proceed, they can do that quickly and in a manner which keeps people happy, and achieves their unification goal. In the meantime there will undoubtedly be Version 1.0 issues.
Microsoft is dead. Long live Microsoft.
Your step two should be this...
2a) Windows Phone 7
2b) Windows Phone 8 - Windows Phone 8.1
I believe WP8.1 wasn't a complete re-write, just MS not having any idea what to do with the UI.
At least with Symbian you could see Nokia's slow bureaucratic progress and by the time they got to Anna and Belle they had updates which people actually looked forward to. MS hardly get the thing out the door, lose nerve, and go back to square one.
>Trying to create a unified experience, having the same apps run on diverse platforms used in very different ways, was always going to be a challenge and a struggle getting there.
It reminds me of... html. Interestingly, mobile web sites work reasonably well in most layouts, whereas "for desktop" html which tries to enforce screen layout fails horribly. Is "fabulous" the enemy of "good enough?"
I'm one of those few WinPho users and I really like WinPho. I've always found it far less hassle to use than a previous Android phone.
At work we've recently migrated users to WinPho away from Blackberry. We've had no real complaints users like them for their simplicity and we've save a lot of money over retaining and upgrading BB.
It would be a great shame if MS turned WinPho into the same schizophrenic mess that Windows Desktop 8 was/is.
I get the feeling MS is just so tied up in itself they don't even go and get a fresh pair of eyes on their developments. I think they just need someone that can see the woods for the trees and maybe just point out to them that sometimes their stuff sucks.
What is even worse is that it seems the engineers that do the nuts and bolts underneath are doing a great job. Win8 was super fast even on old hardware, security guys reckoned it was pretty decent out of the box it just seems that Ms has an army of user interface and marketing guys that take a good foundation and smear it in layer upon layer of shiny shite that no one really wants.
Just make it fast and make it feckin work.
I'm running the Windows 10 Mobile (or whatever) preview on my Lumia 1020 and agree with much of what Andrew has written, especially with regards to the UX inconsistencies.. I'm tempted to roll back to 8.1.
I would add though that the 'missing Do Not Disturb shortcut' is right there in the screenshot - it's called 'Quiet hours'.
You definitely can pin individual mailboxes to start, cos I have done on my Lumia 925.
Build 10166 is just about usable every day, at least for me, as I don't spend much time with anything other than calls, texts, emails and a few apps but there are still obvious omissions and we are months away from RTM for Mobile.
I just don't get Microsoft's obsession with making the OS the star. Every new version has a million new distracting things that all seem to be constantly fighting for your attention, it's like each UI component is designed by a different person who wants his/her bit to get your attention over all others.
All I want from an OS is for it to quickly and easily load my applications and then shut the hell up.
Why does it have to be so complicated?
Still feel like MS peaked with Win 2000.
A brutal square lump of speedy solidness that just shut up and got on with it.
MS might do better when they try to stop trying to be Apple or Google. But they never will. idiot investor and boards will always want to chase the high margin fanbois to the detriment of those low margin high volume users.
"Still feel like MS peaked with Win 2000"
The Windows GUI peaked with Windows 95. I'm quite serious. Win95 was a shock, a quantum leap. The technology underneath could have been rubber bands and duck tape (as the number of crashes suggested) but the GUI simply shone. Look how it has been aped by every OS ever since, with the sad exception of Windows 8.
When 95 arrived I had been using OS/2 (OK). RISC OS (Great) and Windows 3.x (Poor) at work and GEM (OK) at home.
Windows 95 split the gap between the windows 3.x interface and the RISC OS one, and was quite nice (as long as you stuck to 32 bit programs and DOS programs only).
Ironically all the schools who moved from RISC OS to 3.x in the interests of industry standards royally screwed over their students, because when they entered the work place they were faced with something very different to what they were used to, rather than something quite similar, which they would otherwise have been.
.. that was like a swiss cheese peppered with a shotgun then eaten by maggots it was so full of security holes and flaws. I sometimes have to run old VMs to test old code and.. Really, it is like living in the past. I don't hanker after it one bit.
But then I like Windows 8.1 on both tablets and desktops, so I'm probably a wierdo.
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Last year many companies had only just finished migrating away from Windows XP. For large enterprises which are heavily tied in to Microsoft systems (Windows, Active Directory, Exchange/Outlook, Office, etc.) what's the next step? We'll be clinging on to Windows 7 for dear life, but if Microsoft doesn't get its act together then we'll need something new. Any suggestions?
Time to stop suckling the M$ teet..
Windows -> Linux
Active Directory -> OpenLDAP + Samba
Exchange/Outlook -> Zimbra, Google docs, etc
Office -> LibreOffice
SharePoint -> Liferay, Alfresco, etc
In a world without walls or fences, who needs gates and windows?
"Windows -> Linux
Active Directory -> OpenLDAP + Samba
Exchange/Outlook -> Zimbra, Google docs, etc
Office -> LibreOffice
SharePoint -> Liferay, Alfresco, etc"
That's sounds like a great list of what to do if you want to make life hell for all your employees...
Purchase a good product that is appreciated, then bloat the crap out of it until it can barely hobble along on crutches and everyone hates it.
In this case, they've already included the hobbling, the bloat is still to come.
Really, Microsoft is doing the exact same thing it did when it failed to bring a tablet to the world and left Apple the iPad.
The only things Microsoft ever did right on its own was Office 2000 and Windows (following the Star Trek rule, of course). Every other opportunity has been a train wreck, and Windows 1 0 is going to be the collision of a train wreck, an iceberg and the Titanic along with a 5 km asteroid.
At least there will be fireworks.
There's a huge focus on the UI and none of the capabilities of the OS itself. For example, WP8 has very limited settings and just things you can do with it in general. Is this still a thing? And a lot of people keep babbling about how W(P)10(M) is identical to proper Windows, and yet all previews say something along the lines of "it's based on the same code" or whatever. What's the difference then?
Additionally, 3rd page: "Reboots didn’t helped".
"The Microsoft of twenty years ago arbitrarily handicapped the number of TCP/IP connections that NT could support, just so it could artificially create SKUs for “NT Workstation” and “NT Server”. ... How things have changed!"
Windows Server editions below "Enterprise" have limits on the number of HyperV VMs you can run, the number of RADIUS clients you have have etc.
Windows running on EC2 has a hard limit of 2 RDP sessions.
Microsoft crippleware seems alive and strong.
"Windows Server editions below "Enterprise" have limits on the number of HyperV VMs you can run"
No they don't. See https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29189
Any install of Hyper-V supports up to 1,024 VMs per host (or up to 8,000 VMs per cluster)
"the number of RADIUS clients you have have"
Again - no - NPS is not scalability limited by version.
"Windows running on EC2 has a hard limit of 2 RDP sessions"
All Windows versions have a hard limit of 2 RDP sessions - unless you enable Remote Desktop Services.
So first we had Windows 8 which was meant to be all things to all devices, but what we actually got was three different OS in Windows 8 (x86/x64), Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT (8). Now it would appear that they're really serious in having Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile being more-or-less the same thing.
All well and good, but why? People may complain about MacOS X being dumbed down, but it's still separate from iOS. And whilst Android and Chromium both have some Linux lurking deep within, they're both separate. You see Microsoft, best tool for the job, not some one-size-will-fit-all sledgehammer. You would have thought the TIFKAM mess on Windows 8 might have given them a buit of a clue...
(a) Agreed. Lack of official "nearly everything" apps.
(b) It's not as configurable as it might be, for sure. There are multiple browsers available, with an apparent promise of Firefox coming with Windows 10. No choice of keyboards is true, but the keyboard provided is out of this world, what would you want to choose instead?
(c) You don't need to pay for voice navigation. The freely-provided HERE Maps application is one of the platform's strengths IMO.
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On point (A), agreed, but this is Google, not Microsoft's fault - right or wrong, they chose not to offer apps on Windows Phone. There are sufficient alternatives that work fine and its not that big an issue.
On the walled garden point, I rather prefer this to the anarchic, inconsistent approach with Android. A better fit for a corporate environment and makes things far less complex (particularly from a security standpoint) for a non-technical user.
On point (C) - HERE is the standard on Nokia (Microsoft) and voice navigation and maps are free, and work offline too, so you're being up there wrong tree here.
I don't really blame many companies for not offering a browser, or let's be honest, and APP on Windows Phone [x].
As even in this fast age of live distros and rolling updates, who can keep up with the slash and burn, change every day with your socks API cycling that is Microsoft Mobile! ;)
I'm a very long time Windows Phone fan. My first WP device was a pre-release device that Microsoft gave me under NDA about six months before the first phones were released for sale. I love everything about it and am baffled and saddened by the poor reception it has received from the rest of the world. I've written a number of apps for it, which have proved reasonably successful, and bought half a dozen different devices over the last five years.
But if Microsoft can't fix the "app gap" with Windows 10, then even I will have reached the end of my patience with the platform. I am sick beyond words with the frustration of seeing apps left right and centre, from games to productivity apps, that are not available on my phone. I would love to be able to just blindly assume that any app I see or hear about will be available to me. Instead I pretty much assume that nothing will be available. I reply in embarrassed tones whenever someone recommends an app to me, telling me that it won't be available for my phone. I'm rarely wrong.
So for me, a WinPho fanboy for years, this is the final chance for Microsoft to get it right. Otherwise I guess I'll resign myself to investigating the various Android devices that are out there. It'll break my heart, but I don't think I've any patience left to carry on with the platform the way it is.
Honestly, I really don't get this - for the vast majority of stuff that I want to do, either the functionality's built-in or there *is* an app. Games, I mostly don't care about on my phone, but I'm genuinely curious as toi what you want to do for which support isn't available.
Except for the first paragraph I could have written that word for word... Well said - let's hope MS can do something about it. I have resorted to Android because there is no good UK OS mapping app. I am hoping for something good from what I suspect to be surface phones from MS as I have heard that one of the OS map companies is planning a universal app version.
A quick play with the Preview version of WP10 was what finally pushed me through the door with the green robot on it. Despite a deficit of apps WP8.1 is the most logical and user friendly mobile operating system I've used. Coupled with some great handsets from the now decimated Nokia (I've kept my 1020 for the incredible camera) and Microsoft looked as if they were onto a winner.
But as is they're way: if it ain't broke, repeatedly punch it until it's utterly FUBAR.
Has it ever occurred to anyone at M$ that Apple and Google differentiate between desktop and phone OSs because desktops are different from phones? Sure, you could have the same back end but a UI suitable for a 6" touchscreen on a phone is very unlikely to look good on a 30" monitor controlled by mouse and keyboard.
Personally I'd rather have two competent OSs on two quite distint classes of device than one unified mess which doesn't take advantages of the good features of either environment.
Here's why MS fails:
They put out a "new" technology. However, it's not really ready for prime time. It's more like 80% of the way there. Then over the next year or two they finally fix a couple of the glaring issues, which should have been take care of before launch, but, at least they are fixed. At this point devs actually start looking at that tech and integrating it into smaller projects. They start reporting more things that need to be taken care of.
Then one of two things happens. Either MS End of Life's it or completely revamps the thing back into uselessness. Either way, the devs who spent time in the tech are now faced with the prospect of completely rewriting the applications they built or simply abandoning them.
Because this has happened quite a few times, any developer that's been around for longer than about 2 years knows that you simply don't use the "latest/greatest" from Microsoft. You wait until around the 3rd or 4th stable update. If the product has made it that long then there's a good chance it'll survive for a few years more.
What this means is that the only people who implement the first round of whatever MS throws out there are the newly graduated developers. In other words, the ones who usually don't quite know just what the hell they are doing yet and blindly jump on any bandwagon because someone said it was great. Of course, what these people produce is pretty much crap, costs far more to build then they expected and ends up with half the features they envisioned because that latest tech just can't do it yet.
At this point MS's management decides to kill off the products or "reboot" them into something else.
Thus, we have the MS Circle of Death. Which can be summed up as: Release Garbage, Noobs Rejoice, Make it Slightly Better, Ignore the People Starting To Use It, Reboot and go back to step 1. Fortunately not all of their products fit that circle; but enough do to make it a truism. Meanwhile Windows, starting with 8.0, began the slow orbit and 10 cements their fiery entry.
I normally find El Reg's reviews to have a mostly unfair anti-MS stance, but I can't really disagree on any of the author's points here.
I am a fan of WP8.1, I came from Android and the user experience is far nicer and smoother for all the reasons the author noted. WP10 at this point just looks like a half-assed Android clone, losing the really nice things about WP and taking on Android/iOS' flaws.
MS have got to improve things before launching WP10/Windows 10 Mobile/whatever, or the few users they do have will soon lose any reason to stick with Windows over Android.
That's the crux of all Windows faults. They have forgotten the OS business that gave them such a large market share and are chasing a market they don't understand. The desktop experience and what people do with phones don't need to be identical--which is an impossible goal for any decent functionality on either group of devices.
Apps are apps because they are lightweight applications that work on phones. But nobody wants a crippled desktop because its been reduced to phone functionality.
What would really be wrong with a desktop OS, a decent tablet adaption and a phone that works?
>What would really be wrong with a desktop OS, a decent tablet adaption and a phone that works?
MS has no USP for phones and tablets. The only USP they can think of is "it runs Windows - we have a lot of windows developers."
What they should have done is make a better platform, not come up with the answer "Windows" before they knew what the problem was. Sadly for MS, the applications used on phones and tablets are not the same as those on the desktop so they needed to be written from scratch. That's been done, on IOS and Android - no-one wants to do it yet again on Windows. Who needs another email or video app for Windows desktop? There's just very little synergy between the phone/tablet and desktop platforms. MS' best hope is that Intel improve their power management so that desktop windows with touch can run on a (presumably large) tablet.
If I were MS, I'd take a Macbook Air 11" or one of the new Macbooks. Give it a touch screen and a hinge to fold the keyboard around the back and see what happens. For good measure, I'd make the disk and ram upgradeable. Rather than spend money making a new phone/tablet ecosystem, spend that money making honing Windows desktop to make it more mobile.
Ermmmm. Desktop windows on a tablet is done already. I have 2 (and a half - one is RT). I even have full and usable visual studio on them. One has an 8.3" screen so it seems you presume too much.
As for taking a Macbook air, etc.... That'll be a surface pro then,
Its got nothing to do with usability, or improving the end user experience, its purely Microsoft trying to leverage one market (desktop) to make gains in mobile.
There is so much resistance because they're not working in their customers best interests, but doing anything they possibly can to gain a foothold on Apple and Googles turf in mobile.
Its all done for competitive reasons, not productivity or end user benefits.
How did the writer of this article manage to resist poking fun at the obvious design issues of the burger/3 dot/burger/3 dot menus throughout the OS?!
However, it should be noted that pinning accounts/folders to the start menu is available as an option now and has been for the last few builds. A couple of builds ago it even worked. Broken at the moment though.
I thought Hamburger has been done to death (even here) and hamburger menus are at least recognisable and make sense in places (like the Office apps).
But mainly because they're a symptom not a cause. The cause is the mandate to stick a generic / adaptable UX onto Phones, then not work out how to do this elegantly in advance, but instead let different teams cook up their own answers.
Maybe a generic / adaptable UX can't be done elegantly. But doing it inelegantly in 3 or 13 or 25 different ways at once is nuts.
You can stick your "unified experience" up where the sun don't shine.
Let's make one thing clear, since you have obviously totally forgotten the rules, shall we ?
What is the definition of an Operating System ? It is the software that allows the user to use the applications of his choice with the hardware at his disposal.
So let's trim Windows whatthefuckever back down to essentials, ok ? Windows is an OS, the only thing it needs to do is make applications work with the hardware.
All the rest, Cortana, Edge, the cloud, the app store, EVERYTHING ELSE is just a plugin that users can choose to install or not. At least, that's how it should be. Sound Linux to you ? Gosh, how surprising.
Make your OS work flawlessly, lock down that kernel like the proverbial knight's chastity belt, and you'll find that it is a lot easier to add to it and make all the rest work as well. Whereas throw in everything and the kitchen sink before you even have a working product and you will never make it work.
Oh, and the UI does not depend on the OS. It is cosmetic, not part of the core system. So give users the choice, if they are on a platform that allows for it.
That is, if you are at all interested in surviving the 21st century.
Just a friendly warning, is all.
Sad but this is not going to happen.
We will cling onto our "unconnected" devices, and stripped down firmware while the crowd storms by with their soon to be obsolete, poorly programmed, broken API Smart TVs and "connected" everythings.
Here's to looking forward to the fridge crashing and having to drink warm beer while the update cycle gets stuck on it's "smart" features.
My first smartphone was an HTC Touch Dual (still have it somewhere) but honestly, even with a UI makeover from HTC it was nowhere near as usable as a WP device. At the moment I love my Lumia 735 to bits, and I hope that MS *haven't* chucked out everything I like about it in order to turn it into a clone of the Android that I moved away from.
With the flat design, multiple different conflicting decorations, inconsistent popup menu styles, and mess of configuration options all over the place it really is looking like a linux xfree86 install trying to run a mash of gnome and kde apps.
Was Microsoft really trying to emulate linux from 15 years ago?
Why is the text so small? Mostly it looks like a good alternative (3rd horse)? No idea in it's pros and cons because I'll never use it with such a small font I'd have to squint to read it on even a phablet. Yes, I know I can change the size. The default setting shows the GUI design choices, and it's in the wrong direction for me.
I really like Gingerbread/Kitkat on Android. I hate the looks and design choices of Lollipop.
Apple looks usable, and at least has nice icons and quick responses and visual ques, even if the text is smaller at times.
Roll on a linux style swappable gui.
It's actually coming along quite nicely, but as a beta it's got a few crashes in the browser etc, but I like the design direction as there's some nice improvements.
You can still have Outlook separate email accounts as live tiles, on each email account name just press for a bit and you'll see the option to pin to screen.
What I really do not understand is why Microsoft isn't taking the opportunity to open the Windows Mobile platform more to devs, and especially to hardware devs.
I assisted to a summer symposium on e-health a few weeks ago, and it became apparent that for telemedicine, the logistics of tablets (delivering, picking up, sanitizing, management of the fleet, ...) was too much.
The future belongs to smartphones + USB / Wi-Fi / BT LE peripherals, because 99%+ of medical doctors have smartphones.
Windows Mobile should be the best platform to develop and integreate such peripherals, while benefiting from all the enterprise goodness: security, compliance, mobile management, ...
Health is just one example amongst thousands.
Why isn't it so and why hasn't it been so since at least Windows Phone 8 ?
If you still think Windows is serious about Windows phone, think again. As this article (http://www.androidpolice.com/2015/07/25/apk-download-microsofts-next-android-app-is-arrow-launcher-an-aviate-inspired-homescreen-replacement-now-in-beta/) at Android Police shows, Microsoft is putting out their own Android phone launcher.
Why the hell would they do that if the goal is to get Windows Phone adopted?
This just shows more and more that Microsoft will exit the Windows phone hardware market and will push Windows and Office as services on the devices that others innovate and flood the market with.
While this is probably a good choice for a company run by shareholders that is mainly concerned with the bottom line, it also means that Windows phone users and those hoping for more innovative flagship Windows phone designs are just shit out of luck.
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