back to article My name is Bill Gates and I am an Android user

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has admitted to switching to an Android phone but he still won't entertain using the Jesus Mobe iPhone. With Windows 10 mobile orphaned into the slow lane (it no longer receives the latest Redstone 3 and 4 development in line with the desktop release) and Microsoft not selling own-brand handsets, …

  1. Bob Vistakin


    Well, they were right about a phone platform dying at least.

    1. Semtex451

      Re: Thriller

      I can't for the life of me think of a single thing Ballmer got right.

      Which personally I think is a great shame. Back then I wanted a cheap windows tablet, never came.

      1. gv

        Re: Thriller

        The irony is that they took Elop's Nokia down with them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thriller

          The irony is that they took Elop's Nokia down with them.

          Not really. By the time Elop arrived the Finn's had already trashed the place and shat on the carpet. Nokia phones could have been a Trojan Horse for Microsoft, but for the fact that Microsoft's failure in phones was entirely down to themselves. At most, Nokia phones merely reinforced the worst characteristics of Microsoft - lack of customer focus, releasing unfinished software, lack awareness of the competitive environment, internal turf wars etc.

          So in that respect, Microsoft's phone ambitions were a sinking ship that collided with the sinking ship of Nokia phones. The question "did that mean they sank faster?" is one that I will leave to the philosophers.

          1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

            Re: Thriller

            Although his predecessor could have done better, the fall from 30% to 3% market share started with Elop's burning platform memo and continued because Microsoft bought Skype. Nokia's excellent relationship with the carriers quickly turned to shit (carriers despised Skype). The carriers would not offer good deals with a Windows Phone. The large number of bugs and missing / poor features caused a very high rate of returns. Phone salesmen where hiding Windows Phone marketing materials and sending determined Windows phone customers elsewhere because they did not want to spend time on the paperwork required to deal with a return.

            Microsoft did try paying developers to port to Windows. The project "worked" in as much as they did get some software ported. That did not do anything like enough to counter disgruntled customers (wnat the latest OS? Buy a new phone!) or hatred from the entire industry.

          2. Mark Jan

            Re: Thriller

            Not really. By the time Elop arrived the Finn's had already trashed the place and shat on the carpet.

            No. The Finns had certainly begun to trash the place, but it was Elop who pissed all over them and then shat on the carpet, before setting fire to the building. But the Nokia party was good while it lasted.

            1. veti Silver badge

              Re: Thriller

              Elop presided over Nokia's demise, but he wasn't the reason for that demise. That was well underway before he arrived.

              In Elop's three years at Nokia, the stock fell by 40%. Of course there's no way to paint that as a glorious achievement - unless, maybe, by comparing it with the previous three years, during which it fell by 75%. Not only share price, but market share and profitability were also in steep decline.

              Perhaps worst of all, Nokia's own senior managers and engineers were in complete denial: they firmly believed they were still Number One in the industry. That's what the "burning platform" memo was meant to fix.

              1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: Thriller

                Nokia's own senior managers and engineers were in complete denial: they firmly believed they were still Number One in the industry

                AKA - the Motorola Cellular Basestation model. Be early in the sector, clean up 80% of the market and then sit back and enjoy the rewards, not realising that your competitors are steadily stealing your marketshare by being cheaper, having better features and better sales technique.

                The irony is that Nokia were one of the people that drove Motorolo ECIG out of business.

          3. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Thriller

            Nokia just needed a CEO to stop their policy of inter-departmental competition and execute the Symbian > Meego transition.

            So they brought in Elop who sent for lorries full of best Seattle guano and buried the carpet underneath that.

            As for unfinished software, Lumia's release prompted lists like "125 Reasons Not to Buy A Windows Phone 7.5 comparing Symbian with WP.

            1. DeVino

              Re: Thriller

              From what I saw you are correct Dan.

              Nokia had a lot of quite brilliant engineers and many keen, competent engineering managers. (Yes really!)

              But they did seem a little mired down in competing schemes and staggering under Symbian.

              Someone there said that they "suffered from management by consensus".

              I am not saying that the alternative is good (stalin, hitler etc) but compare and contrast

              with Gates and Jobs.

              I would love to read a good kiss and tell from the inside of Nokia. Anyone know of a suitable tomb ^h e ?

      2. L05ER

        the nokia purchase...

        Ballmer was on the right track with windows phone.

        The only winphone issue with any real weight behind it was lack of apps... Which is easy to fix, pay them to port their wares.

        Then nadella pissed all over everything and Microsoft has no real future...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the nokia purchase...

          Windows phones I had (many review luminas) were dogs, poor camera, flaky Bluetooth, windows phone was a battery hog, lucky to get 3/4 of a day whilst my android phone was still going strong, windows phone OS was also really buggy, Bluetooth stack in particular, but they all regularly rebooted randomly, often mid call.

          The dismal app selection just sealed the deal, but the problems were more then just apps

          1. jimbo60

            Re: the nokia purchase...

            Um...did you ever actually own one? Nokia windows phones had ground-breakingly great cameras, with very high pixel counts, first optical stabilization in a phone, brilliant picture quality, etc. Battery life was always > 1 day, software quality was very high. Prior to Windows Phone 10, they were very stable.

            Subsequent versions, especially the Windows 10 versions, and now the fast ring betas, are consistently getting worse and worse in quality. I guess Microsoft no longer has anyone who knows how to do software test or quality...

        2. Anonymous Coward


          "The only winphone issue with any real weight behind it was lack of apps..."

          Eehm, no.

          I'm a first generation Windows Phone user and I still enjoy the environment (a bit). Right now I use Windows Phone mostly because it's not Google, but that's another topic.

          The issues with Windows Phone are much bigger than you claim. However, you're partially right that the first generation also had application issues. For starters it didn't have a todo list, something a bit trivial for a business phone I'd say. But that wasn't even half of it.

          It took Microsoft a while but eventually we got an update and what do you know? Finally a todo list. Yeah, about that... If you had Outlook you could synchronize basic appointments and gain access to e-mail, but synchronizing todo items with Outlook has never worked on WP 7. You couldn't even reliably synchronize them with Hotmail!

          And WP 7 was also a problem in itself. See: when it hit the shelves Microsoft made very strict and tight demands to hardware producers. You were not allowed to make "low end" phones, the specs had to match the minimum requirements, otherwise you were not allowed to call it a "Windows Phone". That made many users believe that Microsoft was adapting the same strategy as they did for Windows: long term support. Surely they did this with updates and upgrades in mind, right?

          Nope! Only a few months later WP8 got announced and roughly 1 year later (granted: a little more life span than your average mobile phone) WP 8 got released. Leaving many first-gen users frustrated, because apparently we bought into a beta run. While Microsoft did their utmost best to make it look as if they were really putting weight into Windows Phone. Turns out they did, but preferred WP 8.

          "Bought a Windows Phone? Cool, get ready as we're about to release WP 8 so you can buy into it AGAIN!"

          Then, developers... They were very keen to promote Windows Phone and provide SDK's (which were pretty good in my opinion). I also installed the stuff into Visual Studio and started working. Then eventually I felt confident enough to try and hack my own phone. Well... I got an error: it was locked, you couldn't do anything unless Microsoft unlocked it. Which they would only do for approx. E 110,-.

          Paying E110,- only for getting the right to mess with my OWN phone? Later on this got lowered through some weird "refund actions" (as if anyone would trust Microsoft at this point) and a little more later things were free. You had to register and then you could enjoy your phone.

          But can you imagine how many geeks (so: pretty devoted fans) already got massively disappointed and decided that it might be more fun to jump ships?

          Can it get any worse? Of course it can! Just when people finally got around WP8 a little bit the next generation was announced.

          And that's not even mentioning all the obvious weird stuff us users had to endure. I mean.. so here I have a Windows Phone with wifi and bluetooth support. So why can't I access my Windows clients (and/or server) shares over the network? When I have a file which I want to put on my phone I have to upload it to SkyDrive (oops, sorry: OneDrive), then my phone has to access that and if I'm lucky and the filetype gets recognized I can actually copy it to my phone. Or not.. Sometimes it also insists that it would only access the file online.

          Now, a lot of this stuff got fixed over time, and the latest Win10 version also improved a lot. Absolutely no denying that.

          But it doesn't solve the problem: after all this misery happening, how many users / geeks / fans do you think still cared? Plenty of users got upset and decided to bail out or simply not get a new Windows Phone but sit it out to see what might happen.

          So many things went wrong that it's not even funny anymore :/

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: @L05ER


            That makes a lot of sense to me. As much as I loved my Winphone there were frustrations for me, and I'm not bothered by the under the hood stuff that you recount, and wasn't aware of lack of functionality that I'd never looked for. Come to that Windows' simple network sharing even on PCs is pretty crap anyway. See the number of threads in various forums (fora?) about why one particular machine on a domestic network is invisible to the others in "Network Places"..

            But if geeky enthusiasts and interested techies can't get enthused about a device then the word will get round, these people are the opinion formers. They talk to colleagues/managers/friends/family/journalists. A rough round the edges device will become known as such, whatever its general merits.

            1. Updraft102 Silver badge

              Re: @L05ER

              " See the number of threads in various forums (fora?) about why one particular machine on a domestic network is invisible to the others in "Network Places".."

              And then they started people to disable SMB1 (and computer browser/NetBIOS along with it), even though those are still used even today for name service and browsing on small networks.

        3. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Ballmer was on the right track with windows phone

          Agreed. There was real promise before they went all middle-of-the-road and it lost its identity. And the browser was awful.

      3. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Thriller

        I can't for the life of me think of a single thing Ballmer got right

        Ballmer is a salesman, he built many people's fortunes at Microsoft with his sales techniques, building the M&S channel, conferences for resellers etc etc. He was an excellent VP of sales, but rubbish as a forward thinking CEO or doing strategic development.

        OTOH, what has Nadella done that is so amazing? He's screwed up less, but he's not attempting to achieve as much.

        1. 45RPM

          Re: Thriller

          @Tom 38

          OTOH, what has Nadella done that is so amazing? He's screwed up less, but he's not attempting to achieve as much.

          Okay. I’ll bite. Ballmer, through incompetence and a lack of love and understanding for technology (a pretty basic requirement in a computer business CEO), failed to anticipate where history was heading. He lacked vision and delivered one rubbishy or badly implemented product after another.

          Even if you don’t like Windows 10, and many don’t (although personally I have no problem with it - perhaps because I don’t have to use it every day), I’d argue that Nadella has overseen:

          The best version of MS Office in recent history

          The opening of Microsoft to Linux technologies

          The open sourcing of .NET, fulfilling the promise of C#

          The cross-platformisation of Visual Studio

          Some damn good software on Android and iOS

          Some really fantastic computers - both desktop and tablet.

          Microsoft now feels like a company that knows where it’s going. It’s great to see that it has vision and has stopped blindly bumping into walls and trying to shoot its own feet off.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge

            Re: Thriller

            "I’d argue that Nadella has overseen:"

            I think I'll reply point-by-point

            The best version of MS Office in recent history

            Compared to earlier MS Office versions, I can see why you might say that. Then again, Libre and Open office suites do pretty well, for what I need. No need to 'go subscription' or 'go cloud' just to write a document or make a spreadsheet, ya know? And you don't have to pay for Libre/Open Office. And they run on Linux and FreeBSD.

            The opening of Microsoft to Linux technologies

            Yeah, some of this is ok, but I always thought Cygwin did pretty well without MS's help. Earlier MS attempts like Interix/SFU/SUA were way too limited. I actually gave them a good try.

            The open sourcing of .NET, fulfilling the promise of C#

            *YAWN* - C-pound is _STILL_ at the 5%-6% range on the TIOBE index, last I looked. I think Python might be close to beating it. ".Not" has been CRAP since it was excreted from the bowels of Micro-shaft.

            (double-checked, C-pound is around 4.8% now, down by ~0.7%, with Python at just under 3%)

            The cross-platformisation of Visual Studio

            still looks all 2D FLATSO and the interface's VB-ness [since the 2000's] *STILL* irritates me. VS '98 let you edit dialog boxes without lifting a hand off of the keyboard. That's IMPOSSIBLE since the 2000's. The only feature it has that's worth a damn is "virtual space". Those who know what that is probably agree with me about it being the BEST feature, at least. It's how _ALL_ GUI editors should behave.

            Some damn good software on Android and iOS

            I haven't seen it... and from what I've seen, there's a lot of CRapps out there for phones in the "stores" these days

            Some really fantastic computers - both desktop and tablet.

            at fantastically overblown prices. At that price, I should get a Mac.

            1. wallaby

              Re: Thriller

              @Bombastic Bob

              a third of the way down before Micro-shaft appeared - very good - keep taking the tablets they are working (Id up the dosage though)

            2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

              Re: Thriller

              I agree about Open Office - but unfortunately, some of us need to generate documents in Msft formats that are guaranteed to be read in the format in which I sent them, embedded material et al, at least when someone sees something different from what I do, I can with hand on heart claim that I generated it in Office! And the sub to MS costs about £65 a year - which I charge on my billing.

              1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                Re: at least when someone sees something different from what I do,

                I'm glad you added that bit. Sounds like that well-worn phrase "Nobody got fired for [in this case] using MS Office."

                I'm sure I've posted on here before about format inconsistencies between versions of MSOffice.

                1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                  Re: at least when someone sees something different from what I do,

                  format inconsistencies between versions of MSOffice.

                  And let's not forget the bought-and-paid-for farce that was the ISO specification for MS Office documents. One ones that included chinks like "in the section, do it as Word 2010 does" rather than a specific, step by step specification.

                  1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                    Re: at least when someone sees something different from what I do,

                    Just want to throw in there, I've just realised that One Note for Android doesn't have access to the templates that can be created in One Note for PC, so that having created a useful little template from a document in my PC's version I can't actually use it from my phone. Curse them to Hell!

          2. Wade Burchette Silver badge

            Re: Thriller

            "The best version of MS Office in recent history."

            Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Oh wait, you're serious. Let me laugh even harder. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

            Oh, that was funny. Now, if by recent history you mean "since 2013" then yes, you are correct. But if you define recent history as say, since 2010, then no you are not correct. And, if you are like me, and define recent history since 2000, then you are even more wrong. Office 2003 was the peak. Then 2007 was bad, 2010 slightly better than 2007 but not as good as 2003, then 2013 was much worse than 2007, then 2016 was slightly better than 2013 but not as good as 2010. As such, I expect the trend to hold and Office 2020 to be the worst ever with a special fixed unremovable emoji ribbon (in addition to the existing ribbon) that will please hipster doofuses and SatNad but not paying customers.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Thriller

              Yes, Office 2003 was functional, easy to use, easy to adapt to users' own preferences- including hiding the clutter of functions that never before the heat death of the universe would they ever need.

              And then somewhere along the lines someone decided on The Ribbon. A typical Microsoft solution to something that wasn't really a problem. The only rational(?) explanation I've come across was that it prevented support calls for items that had been hidden but were now wanted. A "Show All" button could have solved that.

              1. BongoJoe

                Re: Thriller

                One didn't need the Ribbon. One could just customise the various toolbars for use for the firm and then roll those out.

                It worked well before Microsoft buggered up Office and just dragged it further down the toilet with each and every release.

          3. hplasm Silver badge

            Re: Thriller

            "It’s great to see that it has vision and has stopped blindly bumping into walls and trying to shoot its own feet off."

            Now it can finally aim and succeeds in shooting its own feet off.

            Every shot a bullseye.

          4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Thriller

            Microsoft now feels like a company that knows where it’s going

            I was almost with you right up until that point. From my perspective, MS is still flailing around, trying to through as many mud pies as possible against every wall in sight, hoping that some will stick.

            One thing Nadella *has* brought though is the realisation that "Windows, everywhere" is not achievable and never has been. And actually co-operating with people (and not in the old fashioned sense that people like Doublespace, Danger or IBM would recognise - the sense of "we'll work with you long enough to steal your technology and then, using our marketing clout, release something incredibly similar and drive you out of business") is something completely new.

        2. Phil Endecott Silver badge

          Re: Thriller

          > building the M&S channel

          You could buy a winphone in Marks & Sparks ?! That's an interesting demographic to chase!

          1. Tinslave_the_Barelegged

            Re: Thriller

            > You could buy a winphone in Marks & Sparks

            Yup, the only phone on the market with a gusset.*

            *Still no idea what a gusset is, but apparently it's not an ordinary gusset....

        3. Cloud, what..... Sorry... Um... - you just made that up.

          Re: Thriller

          Um ....

          He has turned the whole company round from selling software to consuming software in the cloud.

          Time will tell if this is better for the consumer or not.

          Mushroom cloud was the only cloud icon I could find!

      4. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Thriller

        Balmer did get MS' stance on privacy right and Office for iOS/Android were developed while he was in charge.

        Then Sadnad pissed away privacy and has absolutely no idea what to do with Windows on mobiles.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Thriller

          >Then Sadnad ... has absolutely no idea what to do with Windows on mobiles.

          But MS had lost their way on mobile years previously; specifically when they took the decision to subsume Mobile development into Desktop development.

          Given products like the XDA Pocket PC launched in 2003, it makes you wonder if the Windows Mobile developers had been given greater freedom (eg. not constrained to adhering to the Windows Desktop paradigm), whether the iPhone and iOS launch in 2007 would have been so revolutionary.

        2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

          Re: Thriller

          "Balmer did get MS' stance on privacy right"

          Bullshit...Windows 10 is spyware and logs more of the user's private info than any desktop operating system ever before

  2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Just out of interest ...

    ... anyone know which phone OS Mr Orlowski uses?

  3. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Damn them to Hell

    The Windows phone was actually really good. I enjoyed using them and they worked really well. The marketing, the price bands, the spec. and ranges available, the release dates were all f**ing terrible. It was as if they invented the perfect foot, just so that they could shoot themselves in it.

    My first Winphone was too cheap, lacking too many features, but the only other option was something much more expensive - nothing in between. I got the 640 after that, and that was much more sensible. I'd still have spent a bit more for something with a bit higher spec. But there wasn't anything like that.

    They seemed to want to sell either bottom or top end, but couldn't get cheap enough for the landfill end, and couldn't persuade the iPhans to switch, for the top end. And then the data slurping started.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Damn them to Hell

      Microsoft Strategy:

      Version 8: Copy Apple.

      Version 10: Copy Google.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Damn them to Hell

        "Microsoft Strategy:"

        "Version 8: Copy Apple."

        "Version 10: Copy Google."

        Version 1.0: copy Xerox

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Damn them to Hell

        Allow me to revise that for you (Imagine alterations are handwritten amendment to memo)...

        Microsoft Strategy:

        Version 8: Copy Apple.

        Version 10: Copy Google Facebook (from Build 2016).

    2. Lysenko

      Re: Damn them to Hell

      My Nokia 925 is still my favourite phone. I have a Galaxy S7 and a WileyFox Swift 2x as well (I write software), but the 925 is the one I prefer to carry. It is also unquestionably the best phone (defining "phone" as a device for phoning people) since it holds a signal in the bowels of our office far better than the other two and outlasts them on battery (despite being 4 years old). And yes, I know this sounds exactly like OS/2 nostalgia ;)

      1. The obvious

        Re: Damn them to Hell

        Have to agree with you there - I loved my 930 until the hardware gave out on me.

        I trust Apple slightly more than Google when it comes to data slurping (though not much) and the use of the mach kernel rather than Torvalds hobby/experiment-turned-popular and I've now taken a dive into the walled-garden. It's amazing how intuitive the windows phone OS really was to do common tasks quickly - it was designed very much as a tool and not a toy. There are times when I try to do things on the iPhone and think "this is a ballache, my 930 would be done by now."

        Microsoft were just starting to get it right when Nadella took over, at which point anyone who knows MS knows that the infighting and empire-building that goes on there is the stuff of legend and Nadella was never going to miss an opportunity to get rid of an opponent.

        1. jackbee

          Re: Damn them to Hell

          "Microsoft were just starting to get it right when Nadella took over"

          It was the same story with Zune. The HD it's still one of my favorite music players ever. They really could have kept it to the audiophile niche but no... Kill the product and move on.

      2. Geoffrey W

        Re: Damn them to Hell

        @Lysenko RE: "Nokia 925"

        If making and taking phone calls is your criteria then you may as well just get a Nokia 515 feature phone and get awesome battery life too.

        1. Lysenko

          Re: Damn them to Hell

          @Geoffrey W

          That's the point: it manages to be a damn good phone, PDA and camera all at once. It probably can't stream a HD movie too well, but then who wants to watch a movie on a fag packet? (I've never actually tried video - maybe it can do it).

      3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Damn them to Hell

        Despite (or actually because) I do a lot of low level android work (by choice), I bought a 'new' Nokia E6 symbian, literally just 2 weeks ago. It sucks that the SSL is out of date, but it still has GPS and OVI maps, and the battery lasts forever.

        Give me the tablets for computer stuff, but for something that may be needed in an emergency, I want something that works, with a physical keyboard and good battery life, so I can use it in the dark and the rain, and not have to worry about all the shit we generally have to concern us with in the day job.

        Sorry, touch screen androids or iphones don't cut it.

        *Proud owner of new Nokia E6-00, purchased September 2017. RIP Nokia. *

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My irony-o-meter just exploded!

    " he predicted the Nokia-inspired Symbian platform would "create proprietary protocols so that other devices have to pay them royalties if they want to interoperate" "

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: My irony-o-meter just exploded!

      It's a pity somebody didn't patent that business model

    2. handleoclast

      Re: My irony-o-meter just exploded!

      It's called "projection."

  5. Zakhar


    And don't you remember Gates predicted the Internet would never work, and that was why they let Netscape take almost 100% of the browser market when they finally awoke.

    M$ bosses have always been visionaries!

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Re: Visionaries!

      In the first edition of Bill Gates book "The Road Ahead", 1994, the word "internet" appeared 4 times.

      I had an email address in 1991 via CIX, for Christs sake.

      1. PhilipN

        Re: Visionaries!

        The first time I saw “The Road Ahead” in a bookshop it was in (and I am NOT kidding) the “New Fiction” section.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Visionaries!

        I had an email address in 1991 via CIX

        Bah. I had a FidoNet BBS mail address in the mid 1980s. Sure, it took a day or so to reach the people in the US that I was sending messages to, but it worked.

        Nippers today eh?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would love to see Bill Gates say "Ok Google"

    1. cambsukguy

      The point is of course that the Android he has runs MS software.

      It has Cortana, Bing search (as a default for the browser and required by Cortana I presume).

      The browser is Edge, the maps and navigation are Bing/Here and all offline if desired.

      Obviously Office and also Onedrive. I think the app store is MSs too but the Play store must be available or there would be no point I presume.

      One can do a lot of that on stock Android of course if one desired it but the deep integration of Cortana etc. requires that MS take the source and produce their own version.

      Presumably they also send telemetry and sling their own ads rather than Google's.

      Dunno 'cause I still run a 950, presumably Bill wanted certain apps because I can't think of anything he gains otherwise. Either that or he broke his 950 and couldn't get a new one.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Half-finished apps, inconsistent UI, security holes aplenty, tangled spaghetti of code, minimal support from shareware coders - Android must remind Bill of the glory of Windows 3.1!

  8. Joe Werner Silver badge

    Windows phones

    I'm still sad mine just stopped working. Just went dead.

    This is a weird feeling for me, I'm one of the few (two, I believe) Linux users in my department...

    Yes, there were not too many apps, but all those I needed were there (but then my life does not rotate around my handbrain, got a real one in my head).

    1. Def Silver badge

      Re: Windows phones

      I'm still using my Lumia 950. It's still going strong (touch wood - no, not that wood), but I did notice a small crack towards the bottom of the screen just this afternoon. :(

      From Monday, I will have to carry a POS Android for my bus/train tickets because the Ruter (I debated about naming and shaming, and decided I would) Windows ticket app is being phased out (it still works, but their payment provider's portal (Nets) for payment verification doesn't work in Edge on Windows Mobile so I can't update my debit card details). (And Ruter in a classic we-don't-give-a-shit-about-our-customers stylie refuse to even contact Nets about it. Despite Nets still being their payment provider of choice for their Android and iOS apps.)

      Is the rant over? Who needs a drink?

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Windows phones

        I'm still using my Lumia 520. Still works fine for me - despite, about three months ago, quietly rebooting and erasing everything that was saved in its memory. Photos, texts, phone numbers, the works

        I'm still not amused about that. But what's gone is gone, and splashing out on a new phone won't bring it back. Lesson learned: hard backups.

      2. Anthonyl

        Re: Windows phones

        Def: "I'm still using my Lumia 950."

        I'm still running an HP514 with Windows CE which still syncs nicely with my Outlook 2002 on my Win XP computer. The fact that no-one allows WEP and that the browser has no HTTPS are quite secondary but until I can fully replace my PIM on Android (non-cloud) and Linux I'm stuck.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He should be made to use Windows versions of all the crap they make.

    And nothing else, if MS make it it should be shoved down his throat.

    See tit.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: "it should be shoved down his throat"

      How kind you are! Some other less considerate commentards might have suggested different, er, I/O ports to be used...

      1. hplasm Silver badge

        Re: "it should be shoved down his throat"

        "Some other less considerate commentards might have suggested different, er, I/O ports to be used..."

        You mean back where it came from...?

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: He should be made to use Windows versions of all the crap they make.

      You do realise that Gates stepped down in 2006 and effectively left Microsoft in 2008 after completing the handover the Ballmer?

      The last major product releases he had any veto over were: Windows Vista and Office 2007, although he would have strongly influenced Windows 7. From interviews Bill decided to not veto Office 2007, hence why it shipped with only the ribbon and no 'classic' menu-based UI option.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: He should be made to use Windows versions of all the crap they make.

        Vista and Office 2007? Yeah, I can totally understand why he'd want to give up after that fiasco.

        Worst. Release. Ever.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: He should be made to use Windows versions of all the crap they make.

          Meh .. Only because Vista RTM was a new raw carrot that hadn't settled in. With a release as vast and new as Vista was, there were bound to be some issues (although I basically had none with it). Vista SP1 was a stable release, although UAC was yet to be refined.

          Windows 7 is to all intents and purposes the same OS but with a more convenient interface. 'Half the U.S. doesn't want to give it up. And Office 2007? It's still pluggin' along here working fine, and producing letters.

  10. Open Sauce

    Considering the choice of OS's out there, i think he made the most logical decision.

    Same as the rest of the worlds 83.4% smartphone OS users out there.

    That's nothing to be regretful or shameful of.

    Common sense prevails.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe an Android phone will Surface (TM) soon? With WinSkin and a business friendly app store.

    1. cambsukguy

      The phone he bought is effectively that.

  12. I just wish to be anonymous.


    Personally, for work, I love me Win Phone.

    1. Pedigree-Pete

      Re: WP

      Personally, for work, I loved me . Blackberry. Sigh. PP

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wish microsoft would get back to making a desktop OS that just worked. Windows 10 gives me as many bsods as windows 98. The same hardware running linux mint has NEVER crashed once in two years. Not only that but windows 10 has failed to negotiate major updates and got stuck in loops, completely borked itself beyond repair twice in a year requiring re installation from a backup. If all my games worked in linux I'd give microsoft the boot in a second. I have no confidence in windows 10 - I almost expect it to blow up at any moment.

  14. VinceH

    "Almost 20 years ago, Gates regarded the development of the smartphone as a mortal threat to Microsoft."

    Given the atrocities Microsoft have inflicted on the Windows UI because "phones"1, he may well turn out to be right2, but for the wrong reasons.

    1. And tablets.

    2. Okay, wishful thinking, I admit it.

  15. Old Lady

    Too late

    Microsoft left it too late to enter smart phone production. I still use my Lumia but sadly only as a pay as you go. My main phone is now an iPhone which I love. I keep the Lumia as a standby for personal reasons.

    1. Open Sauce

      Re: Too late

      Your Lumia is far more functional than an iPhone, i'd even rather use a Blackberry than an iPhone.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Too late

        Well patently incorrect. There are many reasons not to use an iPhone, but you are being a wee bit foolish if you actually believe this.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. trimbonz

    Then it's official

    Bill Gates uses Linux.

  18. MRabin

    Android for Microsoft Phones

    For those of us who kept faith Windows Mobile, I have 950 there should be options. The handset was not cheap and it looks like I am going to have to replace it after less than a year as the number of available apps is diminishing. Perhaps Microsoft should admit defeat and rather than abandon loyal customers (I have used Windows Mobile for over 10 years) they should offer a way of running either Android apps on Windows Phone, similar to the offering form Blackberry with BB10 or simply an option to load Android on newer Microsoft phones.

    I really liked the UI and the speed of my handset, the lack of apps, especially business related ones has really made me despair

    1. YARR

      You can't blame anyone for not choosing another Windows Phone with apps disappearing from the Windows Store, and security updates ending for some phones. That said, after a bumpy ride, recent releases of Windows 10 Mobile were very favourable. I had assumed that Windows 10 Mobile used a HAL like PCs, so they could release OS updates independent of device manufacturers. However my experience with updates suggests otherwise. Maybe Android will crack this problem eventually.

      As you said, they could have attempted to boost sales by releasing the Android app runtime. Perhaps they thought this would deter developers from releasing native apps, hence threatening the future of desktop Windows / Windows 10 S.

  19. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Microsoft's Outlook has not worked properly with IMAP folders since 2013. That's nearly five years. I fail to see how a competent software company can't make a simple standards-based thing work, especially when it used to work fine in outlook 2007, Outlook 2010 and Outlook Express. Oh... wait...

  20. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Ballmer managed one thing..

    If Bill Gates was still running the show I might still be a Windows user. Ballmer's totalitarian regime and privacy invading OSes resulted in me moving to Ubuntu - and i'm loving the other side of the pond. We have privacy over here. It's lovely!

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Ballmer managed one thing..

      "Ballmer's totalitarian regime and privacy invading OSes resulted in me moving to Ubuntu..."

      The privacy-invading OS from Microsoft is Windows 10, developed under Satya Nadella. I miss the Ballmer era, under which we got Windows 7 with its original individually-avoidable updates that were actually tested by professionals prior to release. Under Nadella, the older versions got telemetry updates, unified/cumulative updates, GWX, the new-generation CPU embargo, and all sorts of other stuff that most of us wish had never happened.

      Before Nadella, there were plans for "threshold" to be a Windows 8.2 update, one that would bring 8.x closer to the desktop experience people wanted, including a return to the classic start menu. Windows 8 was a disaster for MS, but until Nadella, it was evolving in the right direction. Now, of course, it's not evolving at all, having been cut off from all development outside of bug and security fixes, even though at the time it was cut off (the release of 10 in 2015), Win 8.x still had three years of mainstream support remaining.

      Windows 8 was disliked because of the stupid half and half UI, but the only real telemetry (as opposed to things like Windows Update checks, CRL checks, etc.) was CEIP, which can easily be disabled with one setting. Additional telemetry was backported into Windows 7 and 8.x under Nadella, and while some of the MS apologists insist that the spy updates still respect the CEIP setting, I don't really believe them.

      From my perspective, MS was better under Ballmer. Given a choice between 7 under Ballmer and 10 under Nadella, it's an easy choice, and mobile's not doing any better under Nadella than Ballmer (though it was Ballmer who let that opportunity go by; it was probably too late for mobile before Nadella came on board).

      Personally, I don't care about mobiles; I don't have or want a smartphone. Maybe MS missed the boat on that... but that's assuming that it was a market MS can or should have pursued in the first place. You might also say that Kraft Foods missed the boat by not introducing a smartphone back then; now it's too late, even if they wanted to. The question is whether they would ever want to, since that's not their market.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Ballmer managed one thing..

        I miss the Ballmer era, under which we got Windows 7 with its original individually-avoidable updates that were actually tested by professionals prior to release.

        Win7 was largely Bill Gates legacy, if Ballmer contributed anything, it was with the consent of Bill.

        Win8 etc was Ballmer's. Ballmer was the one who decided it was more important to ape Apple and become consumer-oriented rather than to merely follow Apple but deliver products, enterprise customers could use...

        Suspect Win10 is Satya's initial attempt to rein the mistakes of Ballmer's era in, however Satya was too timid - personally I would have burnt Win8 etc. and reverted to the archived Win7 source code (re-implementing the functional updates but not the UI/UX and privacy invading cruft). This wouldn't have caused a problem, except for those who are dedicated to being on the bleeding edge - the vast majority of MS's business customers back then were still on XP or Win7 and had little intention of migrating beyond 7 before 2020...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No shame for billg

    MS makes more from Android royalties than from MS cellphones.

  22. PeterM42

    BillG uses ANDROID....

    .....says it all.

    Perhaps he should set up a company to port Android onto (most) laptops.

    Sort out universal printing (as per Windows) and hey presto! - VERY popular product.

    Call it MicroANDROID?

  23. Ron Pitts

    Windows mobile had some really good UI features, actually I'm still using it just because of the tile interface. I love pinning email inboxes to the start screen, its a shame that neither Apple or Google have noticed this best feature and copied into there platform.

    Microsoft now have a very bad habit of removing stuff when its not making a profit, ultimately this just alienates the end user.

    Cloud does earn a good profit especially when companies code using the framework and later find its too much effort to switch to AWS or Google, most CTO's haven't woke up to this sleeping giant at the moment.

    The Microsoft roadmap of using your Xbox, PC and Mobile across a seamless platform sounded too good to be true, it worked in part but yet again Microsoft pulled the plugged too early.

    Microsoft purchasing Xamarin was a way to convert developers into creating that extra step for a windows mobile app.

    Microsoft today is alot more open but that's because the market is changing now so the writing was on the wall, Satya has managed to double the share price since taking over from Steve however its now a more lean machine and profits come before customers.

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