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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday October 11, @03:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the playing-taps dept.

Windows Phone will not receive new features, and there will be no new Windows Phone hardware. The initial release was on October 21, 2010:

During the weekend, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore tweeted confirmation of something that has been suspected for many months: Microsoft is no longer developing new features or new hardware for Windows Mobile. Existing supported phones will receive bug fixes and security updates, but the platform is essentially now in maintenance mode.

Microsoft's difficulties in the mobile market are no secret, but for a time the company looked as if it was keeping Windows Mobile as a going concern regardless. Through 2016, Microsoft produced new builds for the Windows Insider program and added new features to Windows Mobile. At around the time of release of the Windows 10 Creators Update in April this year, that development largely ground to a halt. Windows Mobile, which already lacked certain features that were delivered to Windows on the PC, had its development forked. PC Windows development continued on the "Redstone 3" branch (which will culminate in the release of the Fall Creators Update later this month); Windows Mobile languished on a branch named "feature2."

[...] We might well wonder why Microsoft didn't say so sooner and instead strung along not only the platform's fans but even OEM partners; it's hard to imagine that HP would have built its Elite x3 phone had Microsoft been clearer about mobile.

Even with this announcement, there's still speculation that Microsoft is going to bring out a new device—something phone-like but not a phone—that'll compete, somehow, in the mobile space. For all the rumors about a "Surface Phone," though, it's unclear precisely what this device would do that is meaningfully different from anything else on the market or if it will be compelling enough to reverse the company's mobile fortunes. For now, all we can do is mourn: the best mobile platform isn't under active development any more, and the prospects of new hardware to run it on are slim to non-existent.

They should release an app that runs full Windows on an external display when an Android smartphone is docked. Put those 8-10 cores to good use.


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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Grishnakh on Wednesday October 11, @03:25PM (41 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @03:25PM (#580512)

    For now, all we can do is mourn: the best mobile platform isn't under active development any more

    Where'd this biased garbage come from? There was never anything good about Windows Phone. It was workable I suppose, but nothing great, with a butt-ugly UI. iOS and Android certainly have their problems and aren't wonderful either for different reasons, but that doesn't make Windows Phone "the best". Ridiculous.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Gaaark on Wednesday October 11, @03:31PM (17 children)

      by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @03:31PM (#580513) Homepage Journal

      I was coming to say essentially the same thing.

      Why mourn when you can cheer: turn that frown upside down! :)

      Wish the same would happen to Windows and MS

      --
      --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday October 11, @04:24PM (16 children)

        by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @04:24PM (#580551)

        I'd love to see Windows go belly-up, but at the same time I'd like to see Apple go bust too. Holy shit, I just had to use a Mac at a hotel just to try to print some tickets, and it was an awful experience. Where the fuck is the right button for bringing up a context menu? (And no, there's no obvious place to click to bring up a context menu either.) I determined that there was actually *no* discoverable way of printing within the Safari browser; luckily, I was able to guess that Command-P would bring up a print dialog, but I though Apple touted that its shitty software was "user friendly". Sorry, having to remember cryptic OS-specific key combinations is not "user friendly" (luckily, P for print isn't that hard, after remembering that Macs use the "Command" key for stuff instead of Control, but what if I was trying to do something else like look at the history or cookies or saved passwords or something?). Hotkeys are supposed to be shortcuts for experienced users who've taken the time to learn them, not the only way to to something.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 11, @05:29PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday October 11, @05:29PM (#580601) Journal

          Knowing a little about the Mac user experience (*shudder*), the answer is probably something like click and drag the document to the printer icon. You essentially have to regress to the technical sophistication of a toddler in order to get how to work with Macs.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Wednesday October 11, @06:02PM (1 child)

          by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @06:02PM (#580639) Homepage Journal

          My wife was having trouble printing an image from windows (she was yelling from another room) so i told her "Ctrl + P".

          Next thing i know, she's trying to tell her mother the same thing: her mother, who clicks "Print" 500 times because the printer doesn't start printing right away, until her print queue is so full nothing will print and who keeps "Losing facebook" on her windows 10 laptop.

          Funny how my wife thinks her mother will learn and remember Ctrl + P when she can't even print from a dialog.

          --
          --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Wednesday October 11, @07:44PM

            by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 11, @07:44PM (#580739) Homepage Journal

            Mom saves everything she ever cared about on the Desktop of her Mac. Should a document somehow go into the Documents folder, she will never find it again.

            One day she asked me "If I keep saving my email, will I run out of gigabytes?"

            "No you have so many gigabytes that you will never run out." Actually she has eighty of them.

            One day I showed her how to do a Cleanup By Name of her desktop.

            How did she react?

            "How do you put it back?" Meaning she wanted to know how to put all of her documents in little piles.

            The next time I visited her Desktop had lots of little piles of documents."

            She drops me at Starbucks. "Come in Mom and I'll treat you to a Frappucino"

            "I've got to go grocery shopping."

            But now I speak Mom's special dialect of English:

            "All work and no play makes Patty a dull girl."

            Mom thought her Frappucino was the best thing since sliced bread.

            --
            My GoFundMe campaign [gofundme.com].
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by KiloByte on Wednesday October 11, @06:54PM (4 children)

          by KiloByte (375) on Wednesday October 11, @06:54PM (#580689)

          Try GNOME's user interface. That's horror show.

          And this on an operating system type that has 10 or so desktop environments and north of 50 window managers, many if not most of them far better than GNOME, to choose from.

          --
          Ceterum censeo systemd esse delendam.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:01PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:01PM (#580751)

            Witness the power of (company backed) code churn...

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday October 11, @09:13PM (1 child)

            by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @09:13PM (#580796)

            I have to disagree to an extent. Windows's UI is horribly ugly, just looking at it. Gnome actually looks kinda nice, but that's the only thing good about it (it has too much wasted space, but at least they pick some non-objectionable colors and try to make it somewhat pretty). Gnome's problems are with user interaction: lack of features, ever-changing API, reliance on extensions to do anything useful but these break with every release, etc. Windows is a mixed bag; some parts haven't changed in a very long time, other parts (the Metro stuff mainly) is new and awful, and it's an inconsistent mish-mash of the two, plus the whole problem with forced updates, ads on the start menu, etc. But at first glance, Gnome at least looks better; Windows is just SOOOOO ugly.

            • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday October 11, @09:15PM

              by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @09:15PM (#580797)

              Oh whoops, I guess I should have looked at the context more, I thought we were talking about something else. I actually haven't tried printing from Gnome. You probably need to memorize a hotkey combination to do it, considering their idiotic bent on minimalism.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @10:16AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @10:16AM (#581065)

            Try GNOME's user interface. That's horror show.

            Do you mean Great Gnome (aka Gnome 1), Acceptable Gnome (aka Gnome 2) or Despicable Gnome (aka Gnome 3)?

        • (Score: 2) by damnbunni on Thursday October 12, @01:28AM (2 children)

          by damnbunni (704) on Thursday October 12, @01:28AM (#580900)

          Print in Safari is in the exact same place it is in Firefox and Internet Explorer, and only one place off from where it is in Chrome.

          It's in the menus. In the 'File' menu, specifically.

          (Chrome has it in the top-level menu.)

          You don't need a 'cryptic OS-specifc key combination'.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday October 12, @03:45AM (1 child)

            by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 12, @03:45AM (#580960)

            Ok, and where the fuck is this elusive menu? I was looking for the menu; it wasn't there.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @05:45AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @05:45AM (#580993)

              Macs are weird, they use a global menu location in the upper left that changes with your window focus. So you probably think it is the OS menu but its a combo menu for OS and application.

        • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Thursday October 12, @01:28AM (2 children)

          by quacking duck (1395) on Thursday October 12, @01:28AM (#580901)

          File menu > Print. Where it's been since literally 1984, over a year before Windows v1.0 was a thing.

          Granted, maybe you didn't see a menubar at all, due to a recent and IMHO frustrating feature that Apple's introduced, the full-screen mode. In this mode the menubar disappears entirely unless you move the mouse to the top of the screen.

          Disabling full-screen mode is one of the first things do when I set up a new Mac for myself. My girlfriend moved to Mac from Windows and wanted the full-screen mode but it's not at all like Windows, and there are a number of other serious UX issues with it.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday October 12, @03:44AM (1 child)

            by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 12, @03:44AM (#580958)

            I didn't see a menu at all, and the browser wasn't in full-screen mode: I could still see their dumb "chooser" thing at the bottom, and some extra wasted space on either side of that. Maybe they still call that "full-screen mode", but when I hit F11 in Firefox on Windows or Linux, it really does take over the entire screen. I was certainly looking for a menu, but it wasn't anywhere to be found.

            • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Thursday October 12, @03:38PM

              by quacking duck (1395) on Thursday October 12, @03:38PM (#581171)

              I presume you mean the Dock at the bottom, which predates the Windows Taskbar due to modern Mac's NeXT roots. If you saw the Dock though then it definitely wasn't in Fullscreen mode.

              I found out newer versions of macOS (since late 2015) have an option to hide the menu bar [tekrevue.com], but like fullscreen mode, shoving the mouse to the top of the screen would reveal it again. Someone (hotel staff? prankster?) had to change this setting though, as hiding the menubar is not default for very obvious reasons.

        • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Thursday October 12, @07:08AM (1 child)

          by davester666 (155) on Thursday October 12, @07:08AM (#581013)

          The is that crazy thing called a "menu bar", running along the top of the screen. In it, there are a number of menu's, each of which contain menu items.

          In pretty much every Mac application that supports printing, in the File menu, there is a "Print" menu item.

          That is the "discoverable" method for finding the print menu item.

          I suppose if the location has set the safari browser window to full-screen, then the menu bar gets hidden, and most people wouldn't know to make the menu bar visible by moving the mouse to the top of the screen...

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday October 12, @02:30PM

            by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 12, @02:30PM (#581142)

            I didn't see a menu bar at the top of the screen, and I was looking all over, so it must have been in some sort of full-screen mode. So no, it really wasn't discoverable. Just like mobile devices (esp. Android with the pull-down menu) expecting you to just somehow know that particular swipes do particular things, Macs apparently require the same sort of secret knowledge. That's fine if your system is designed for experienced users, but I haven't even touched a Mac in over a decade. They cannot rightfully claim to be "easy to use" if basic functions are not discoverable by completely inexperienced users.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday October 11, @03:35PM (2 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @03:35PM (#580514) Journal

      Let me ditto your post. Come on World - just let it die. Windows is alright on the desktop, if that is your cup of tea. It positively sucks everywhere else. (cue the diehard Windows server fans who pay for every seat they serve)

      --
      This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:54PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:54PM (#580626)

        Or they could set it free, blobs, the lot and become the first phone that can properly run linux. Then we could develop new features.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @03:37AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @03:37AM (#580953)

          We had some stories about how Ubuntu Touch was coming along nicely.
          That's Ubuntu on a handheld device that recognizes when a keyboard and monitor are connected to the device and it switches to a desktop-type interface.

          One guy demo'd it on a Nexus.
          Ubuntu's Convergence Vision is Looking Amazing (Video Evidence) [soylentnews.org]

          ...and a Spanish company was putting it on their devices.
          How Good is the Ubuntu Bq Tablet? [soylentnews.org]

          There was also this.
          Tool Lets You Easily Install Ubuntu Touch OS on Mobile Devices [soylentnews.org]

          ...then Shuttleworth decided that he didn't want to be in the convergence business any more. 8-(

          After that, an independent effort picked up what Canonical had dropped.
          UBports is keeping the Ubuntu Phone dream alive (through third-party development) [liliputing.com]

          Gotta say that last time I looked, their website is a poorly crafted, badly organized mess.

          .
          ...then there's the Nokia N900 [wikipedia.org] which some folks thought was pretty awesome.

          An application called "Easy Debian" installs a Debian LXDE image on the internal memory, enabling applications such as IceWeasel (Firefox browser) and all of the OpenOffice.org suite to run within Maemo.

          Other applications in the Synaptic package manager that are included in the Debian installation, such as GIMP, can run within the LXDE interface.

          Software can also be added to Debian using Maemo's chroot utility using Synaptic or apt-get at the command line, such as Stellarium or the zim desktop wiki, and this can then be accessed either via the LXDE desktop, by icons in the program manager, or by shortcuts on the desktop.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @03:36PM (9 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @03:36PM (#580515)

      Where'd this biased garbage come from?

      Ars Technica. In particular, Peter Bright.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by LoRdTAW on Wednesday October 11, @03:46PM (2 children)

        by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @03:46PM (#580520) Journal

        What a contradictory last name.

        • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:14PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:14PM (#580544)

          He polishes his peter regularly - it should be bright.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @03:52AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @03:52AM (#580964)

          He's been mentioned a bunch of times at TechRights. [google.com]
          Roy Schestowitz calls him Microsoft Peter.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Wednesday October 11, @04:45PM (4 children)

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Wednesday October 11, @04:45PM (#580563)

        How does that guy type with Nadella's dick in his mouth and Gates' and Ballmer's in each of his hands?

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by RamiK on Wednesday October 11, @05:20PM

          by RamiK (1813) on Wednesday October 11, @05:20PM (#580589)

          I believe we're observing a rather literal case of tongue-in-cheek where, following decades of extending one's reach to preform the infamous three-finger salute in the face of the dreaded B.S.O.D, Windows admins have transmuted extended digits, elongated tongues and even 3rd arms in a manner not too unflattering to ol' man Lamarck.

          --
          compiling...
        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 11, @05:30PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday October 11, @05:30PM (#580602) Journal

          You never saw "My Left Foot?"

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:43PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:43PM (#580618)

          With his ass?

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by DECbot on Wednesday October 11, @07:42PM

            by DECbot (832) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @07:42PM (#580738) Journal

            You and I are entirely on the same train of thought. But I couldn't decide if he was whistling out his ass to voice recognition software or if he had inserted a stylus and was using handwriting recognition software.

            --
            cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:04PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:04PM (#580753)

        Makes one really miss the days when they had a dedicated FOSS column, and Jon Stokes did deep dives of CPU internals.

        These days they seem to be a Apple marketing company, with a token Windows apologist to claim neutrality...

    • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Wednesday October 11, @04:42PM (5 children)

      by t-3 (4907) on Wednesday October 11, @04:42PM (#580562)

      WP7 /was/ the best mobile platform when it came out, and there were high quality phones that used it too - WP8+ however are garbage and good riddance.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Wednesday October 11, @06:35PM (2 children)

        by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday October 11, @06:35PM (#580670)

        It was so sweet to watch Windows Mobile vs Android suffer the same problem that Desktop Linux vs Windows had.

        No Applications. No Developers of applications, unless Microsoft paid them handsomely to port their apps to WP7/8. That was the only to get some top drawer apps ported to Windows Phone.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:07PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:07PM (#580760)

          The crazy part is that so much of that was self inflicted. One would have thought that Microsoft of all companies understood the value of backwards compatibility, yet Winmob7 burned any bridges with the earlier PocketPC lineage.

          Observe on the other hand how you can now get cheap as dirt Atom based tablets running Windows 10, that are able to handle even things from the 3.1 era of software (Atom CPUs are 32-bit).

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by DannyB on Wednesday October 11, @08:40PM

            by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday October 11, @08:40PM (#580788)

            . . . and Windows Phone 8 burned compatibility with Windows Phone 7. Yes, really.

            (I am NOT a cowboy and there is nothing wrong with this speed.)

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @04:21AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @04:21AM (#580972)

        WP7 /was/ the best mobile platform when it came out

        There are a lot of folks who gauge "best" by marketshare. [techpinions.com]
        Windoze Phone 7 was released on October 21, 2010.
        At that time, the MSFT numbers were pretty small and had been getting smaller for some time.

        So, "best"? Not so much.
        ...if you want to judge "quality" by marketshare.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]
        (A Linux user who gets tired of marketshare comparisons from M$ fanboys.)

        • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Thursday October 12, @07:22PM

          by t-3 (4907) on Thursday October 12, @07:22PM (#581299)

          I haven't used windows since I was in school at the computer lab. Ask my boxes run Linux or OpenBSD. WP7 was awesome. Android and iOS have apps and all that bs. WP7 worked extremely well for communication, even if I didn't have all kinds of stupid games to beg me to give them my CC info.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by bob_super on Wednesday October 11, @05:47PM (1 child)

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday October 11, @05:47PM (#580621)

      Have you consider that windows phones could be the best for some applications [wikipedia.org]?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @12:04AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @12:04AM (#580859)

        Kindling?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @01:06AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @01:06AM (#580887)

      I take it you never had a Windows phone? W7 had an awesome UI compared with Android and iOS. But Microsoft had three main problems: fewer apps, crappy management changing everything each version, and owned by Microsoft. Owned by Microsoft isn't as bad anymore since Google managed to become worse in that regard, but like so many other MS projects, they can never get over their death-by-poor-management hurdle. Microsoft can create awesome, high tech products they just never survive getting outside MS. (Yes, I worked there as an intern).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @03:12AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @03:12AM (#580944)

        Yep, Owned by Microsoft. Which means in three to five years, they will cancel it and do something else. They never stick with anything (other than Windows itself, Office, and for some reason Xbox). No one dares put much investment into a Microsoft product, as it will soon not be there anymore.

  • (Score: 2) by turgid on Wednesday October 11, @03:38PM (6 children)

    by turgid (4318) on Wednesday October 11, @03:38PM (#580516) Journal

    You backed a good horse. Would you like to buy an x86-32 SGI workstation and an itanic server, all running NT, of course? Lowest TCO in the market place, industry standard, thousands of shrink-wrapped applications available...

    --
    Don't let Righty keep you down.
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday October 11, @06:00PM (5 children)

      by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday October 11, @06:00PM (#580637)

      Congratulations go to Nokia for not putting Android on their hardware.

      Running Android OS on your mobile hardware would be like peeing in your pants to stay warm in the winter. I think I even heard that somewhere before.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Wednesday October 11, @06:09PM

        by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @06:09PM (#580644) Homepage Journal

        So THAT'S why homeless people/drunks do that. I was wondering....

        :)

        --
        --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @06:24PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @06:24PM (#580657)

        I think I even heard that somewhere before.

        No, it's scuba divers in wetsuits that do that to stay warm, when in very cold water, during a dive. For that group, it is a real thing. For survival outside the water, seems a bit unwise.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:09PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:09PM (#580762)

          The reason for that is that wetsuits are designed to hold a small amount of water that is then warmed by body heat.

          Note that during sub-zero dives, a drysuit is used as the mechanism no longer functions.

      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Wednesday October 11, @07:38PM (1 child)

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 11, @07:38PM (#580735) Homepage Journal

        Our instructor informed us that we could stay warm by pissing in our wetsuits.

        --
        My GoFundMe campaign [gofundme.com].
        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday October 11, @08:09PM

          by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday October 11, @08:09PM (#580764)

          I'm glad for you if it works in wetsuits. I doubt it works in blue jeans in the winter. But the real point is that the CEO of Nokia used the "pee yourself in winter to stay warm" as the reason to not put Android on Nokia phones.

          Nokia could possibly have been one of the leading Android phone manufacturers today if their leader had any vision at all. And could understand how having two bickering internal factions in Nokia fighting for insufficient resources would ruin the company.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by LoRdTAW on Wednesday October 11, @03:58PM (16 children)

    by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @03:58PM (#580526) Journal

    I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner as Windows mobile was too little, too late, right from the start. I have honestly only seen one or two actual Windows phones is use in the wild. And that was a few years back. I'm sure MS was desperate to give the mobile market their best shot but Google and Apple already carved up that market long before MS was in the game. It's ironic they failed to see the market materialize given the history of Windows Mobile right back to the CE days on palmtops going back to the mid/late 90's. Someone fell asleep at the wheel for sure.

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday October 11, @04:19PM (1 child)

      by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @04:19PM (#580548) Homepage

      Someone fell asleep at the wheel for sure.

      Among those who clearly fell asleep at the wheel were BillG (who was focused on his charitable work and thus not watching Microsoft too closely) and Steve Ballmer (who was probably too busy throwing chairs and yelling "Developers!").

      --
      If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @04:36AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @04:36AM (#580974)

        You forgot to put "charitable" in quotes.
        If he was actually giving away money, wouldn't his net worth be going down?

        Everything Gates has done since he "retired" has been a scheme to insert strong "intellectual property" mechanisms into a place that doesn't already have those or has been a tax dodge or has been both.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by turgid on Wednesday October 11, @05:00PM (8 children)

      by turgid (4318) on Wednesday October 11, @05:00PM (#580573) Journal

      Microsoft couldn't innovate its way out of a wet paper bag. Throughout its entire history it's been last to market with shoddy, inferior cheap knock-offs of the competition. It's only where it is due to historical accident and ruthless business practices.

      --
      Don't let Righty keep you down.
      • (Score: 1) by Sourcery42 on Wednesday October 11, @05:30PM (4 children)

        by Sourcery42 (6400) on Wednesday October 11, @05:30PM (#580603)

        The dismal failure is somewhat punctuated by what a head start they had on today's dominant players. Super early on with pocket computers Microsoft really did have a relatively good thing going with Windows Mobile. My wife had a Dell Axim back around 2002, and it really was a very functional pocket PC. It was way before smartphones and even before I remember seeing many Blackberry devices in the wild. Granted it wasn't a Microsoft branded device, but jam a mobile radio in that old Dell Axim and you would have had a smartphone at least 5 years before the first smartphones. Despite having a working mobile OS years before iOS or Android they managed to show up way late to the party with a phone.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday October 11, @06:24PM

          by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday October 11, @06:24PM (#580658)

          Of course Microsoft is going to develop some good products. Funded with buckets of ill gotten monopoly money and shady business practices. How could they not have some successes out of the things they try. They could also afford to hire a lot of very bright people.

          It is amusing to see how quick the brain drain was with the emergence of Google and the other internet companies.

        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday October 11, @07:03PM (2 children)

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @07:03PM (#580699) Journal

          They were always late to the game. They were late to GUIs, they were late to the internet, they were late to about anything.

          However on the PC they could afford to be late, because they had the dominant operating system, and people were unlikely to switch away soon as they would have had to replace all their software. With the mobile platform, things were different. Here it mattered to be in time, because it was an established platform.

          With PC operating systems, they didn't have the problem because back then the deal with IBM essentially guaranteed them to become the standard platform.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday October 11, @07:05PM

            by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @07:05PM (#580703) Journal

            Reminder to self: Don't forget to proofread.

            Here it mattered to be in time, because it was an established platform.

            Should of course have been: because it was not an established platform.

            --
            The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:12PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:12PM (#580765)

            Except that MS had a established platform, in the form of PocketPC. But they threw that away and stated over with WinMob7, something that seems complete madness given how they have bent over backwards to maintain compatibility on the PC.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by DannyB on Wednesday October 11, @06:18PM (2 children)

        by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday October 11, @06:18PM (#580650)

        Not entirely true. Yes, Microsoft couldn't innovate its way out of a paper bag. But its products are not all knock offs. Some of Microsoft's products are acquired winners that were able to innovate their way out of a paper bag. Or some were just plain outright stolen.

        You mentioned business practices.

        Let me tell you about Internet Explorer.

        Rewind to 1995. The internet is here. The Mac OS (classic) internet experience is greatly superior to Windows. Because of MacTCP, easy dial up setup, and nice GUI applications (Mosaic, Netscape, GUI Telnet, GUI Email, GUI Usenet with nicely automated download and reassembly of multi-part binary postings, and etc, etc).

        Bill Gates: the internet is just a fad.

        Suddenly, Microsoft wakes up and smells the Intarweb tubes! OMG Quickfully! We need one of those intartube browser things right now!

        A developer (Spyglass) has a decent web browser for Windows called Spyglass. Microsoft acquires the Spyglass browser for $100,000 up front plus a nice royalty percent of sales.

        Microsoft renames the browser to Internet Explorer and guess how many copies were ever sold to date?

        Microsoft works over IE in order to "Microsoftize" the Internet to put all non-Windows platforms at a disadvantage. Over time, Microsoft invested $150 Million in IE -- without ever selling a single copy. Obviously they had some motive that was worth that large expenditure.

        Also there was IIS. The laughingstock of HTTP servers. On the laughingstock of server OSes. And Front Page to design your sites with massive bloated unnecessary markup. Oh, and Front Page's license was sweet: you agreed that using Front Page, your web site would never disparage Microsoft, it's products, related companies or Expedia. Once that came to light, use of Front Page dropped sharply. Anyone on the internet would realize that a site built with Front Page could not be trusted to be unbiased. Imagine a news site using Front Page.

        Then there was Java. Microsoft embraced it. Then they extended it -- in directly violation of the black letter of the written contract Microsoft signed. It was an obvious deliberate attempt to poison the standard platform neutral Java API with special sweetly addictive Microsoftisms that only appeared on Windows. Figuring most developers would develop and test on Windows, they would only later realize that they had locked themselves in to Windows. Sun sued, and won $1.2 Billioin. So Microsoft created C# and .NET.

        I could go on and on. The entire history of Microsoft is just littered with the wreckage and corpses in the wake of Microsoft. If you had a great product that Microsoft was interested in, they would "acquire" you. Or worse they would "partner" with you. Of course, the agreement includes a clause that if you become insolvent that all your IP reverts to Microsoft. Naturally your new "partner" Microsoft would be trying to put you out of business before the ink on the agreement was dry so they could have your IP for virtually nothing.

        Or Microsoft would just outright brazenly steal your work. Like Stacker and MS DOS 6. Google it for yourself. Short version: Microsoft included the actual binaries of Stacker's disk compression in MS DOS 6. Eventually Stacker won, but their market was destroyed since everyone already had it.

        I could go on, but I'll stop now. It is sad that today's kiddies seem to think highly of Microsoft. Don't shake hands with them. If you do, count your fingers afterward.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:14PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:14PM (#580767)

          Can't see anything different from Apple. The iPod os was bought. The iPhone screen tech was bought. Hell, even iTunes may have been bought.

          It is how the west coast tech scene works these days. Startups are not out to grow big, but to get the attention of some existing gorilla and join their tribe...

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Wednesday October 11, @08:28PM

            by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday October 11, @08:28PM (#580775)

            You're not looking far enough back. Look at Apple back in the same time periods I mentioned for Microsoft. Look back to the 80's and first half of the 90's. At that point, Apple really was a great company. I was, at that time, a card carrying Apple fanboy. And developer. Apple was all about tech and true ease of use. Not: do it my way because it is different. And not: this is what looks best rather than what functions best. At that point BYTE magazine wrote that the entire history of the microcomputer industry was basically an effort to keep up with Apple. And Apple was way ahead of PCs on everything. CD-ROMs. QuickTime video. Plug and Play hard drives (but with big fat SCSI connectors, but still anybody could easily plug in a drive). Not using a processor that had "segment" registers. Having a 24-bit and later 32-bit flat memory model. It took Microsoft until Windows 95 to have a quite decent Mac knockoff. At that point Apple was going downhill. No new innovations.

            By 2000, OS X was out, Jobs was back. Apple was a different company. And I didn't like it. In 1997 I happened to become highly interested in Linux. In 1999 I got my first Linux box. Within a couple years, I was no longer using my old Macs and was pure Linux.

            You're talking about the modern Apple. And I would agree with you. The modern Apple bought or copied.

            The iPhone was a visionary idea. But it was just software. All of the hardware was from third parties, and much of it from Samsung. Apple sues the whole industry (Motorols, then HTC, then Samsung) over crap like bouncy scrolling or slide to unlock? Really? If I were an engineer wanting to solve the how to unlock a phone problem when there is no keyboard, the only solution is some sort of screen gesture.

            The iPhone's Apps was not visionary. I was already playing with writing Java "midlets" that ran on most all candy bar phones and flip phones of the day. Anyone who was doing this could see the potential to have a standard app store instead of each mobile network having it's own app store. And various compatibility nits between different devices your app might run on. Apps were an obvious thing to many people when the iPhone appeared. But the iPhone brought uniformity.

            Apple should just die. And I could never have imagined myself saying that thirty years ago in my twenties.

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 11, @05:34PM (1 child)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday October 11, @05:34PM (#580609) Journal

      Yeah I did see some Windows CE days in the 90's but Palm had a big headstart on them before they blew their momentum with splitting into Palm and Handspring and losing the plot with the transition to a fully realized smartphone that Apple and Google managed. In my nightmares I still see the creepy chick from the ad campaign for Palm's last mobile phone...

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:16PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:16PM (#580770)

        Palm did the split because they were both producing hardware and licensing the OS/platform. And some of those licensees were starting to get worried that Palm would give themselves a first runner advantage, and were looking elsewere (hello Microsoft).

        MS may be looking at a similar situation these days as they push their Surface line forward...

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday October 11, @06:32PM (2 children)

      by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday October 11, @06:32PM (#580666)

      Not only was Microsoft too little, too late for Mobile, Steve Ballmer actually laughed at the original iPhone announcement. Obviously Apple just doesn't get it. How could a phone without a keyboard ever succeed?

      See my post elsewhere here, but Microsoft almost missed the Internet in the 90's.

      They also almost missed the rise of cheap Linux powered netbooks that would be Windows killers. They headed that off by twisting the OEM's arms. The fatal flaw in netbooks is that the hardware was made by the same companies making Windows PCs and laptops. Microsoft could threaten to not give them favorable license treatment, or even not give them Windows licenses at all. The deal was: Microsoft would resurrect dead XP, put it on Netbooks -- and the OEMs would get it for free, as long as they promised that all the netbooks' hardware would be forever crippled with inadequate specs -- even if those netbooks did not run Windows.

      With a history of not keeping their eye on the ball, and near misses, it was bound to happen. Microsoft did actually miss the rise of mobile devices and smartphones. Throughout their history they viewed the world as "PC centered". Everything was a PC. Even a laptop. They tried tablets, but that form factor just didn't work with a desktop OS. So it was "obvious" to Microsoft that tablets couldn't possibly take off. And the only processor in the world is Intel. What other processor could one use in a mobile computing device? So there is no possible threat of serious mobile computing devices. Just can't happen.

      But Microsoft did have the world's champion chair thrower.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:20PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:20PM (#580772)

        Miss, MISS?! Not by a long shot!!!

        The smartphone didn't start with iphone unless you have massive US consumer blinders on!

        Apple was a latecomer to the scene, and they more got attention by leveraging their existing iPod/ITMS market than the iPhone itself.

        Microsoft had been in the smartphone business for a decade already, as had the likes of Nokia, (Sony)Ericsson, Siemens and Motorola.

        The blunder was that existing players bought the eyecandy angle and ended up alienating their existing, loyal, customers by rebooting product lines.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday October 11, @08:34PM

          by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday October 11, @08:34PM (#580779)

          Elsewhere here I point out that the iPhone was not so revolutionary as some think. The idea of Apps was already obvious.

          Microsoft didn't see the vision in the iPhone. And later in Android. They had Windows Mobile, and they thought it was enough. I think they missed the revolution. Modern smartphones as we have them today were a paradigm shift. And Microsoft missed it. They only tried once it was already too late.

          Apple was a latecomer to mobile phones. But the iPhone did change the whole industry from flip phones and candy bar phones into what most people use today. Google with Android wanted to lower the bar for everyone to have smartphones so they could have a new way to deliver ads.

          If Microsoft did not miss the smartphone revolution, then why is Windows Phone dead? Oh, yeah. Because it had no apps. Without apps, you can't sell phones. Without a base of phones, you can't attract app developers. The same problem Linux desktop faced against Windows.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by WillR on Wednesday October 11, @04:15PM (2 children)

    by WillR (2012) on Wednesday October 11, @04:15PM (#580546)
    ...because it's feet were nailed to the perch!
    Microsoft wrote down almost all the value of their Nokia acquisition, laid off all the engineers, and stopped manufacturing phones last year. They haven't released anything that could be considered a flagship since the Lumia 950 at the end of 2015. The parrot has been dead for a while. Only the hard-core fanboys like PeterB believed shopkeeper Nadella when he said it was "just resting".
    • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Thursday October 12, @03:50PM (1 child)

      by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Thursday October 12, @03:50PM (#581183) Journal

      So what you're saying is, Nokia died for nothing.

      • (Score: 1) by WillR on Thursday October 12, @06:46PM

        by WillR (2012) on Thursday October 12, @06:46PM (#581275)
        I don't know. My gut feeling is that they were already doomed by the time they went all in on Windows Phone.
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by crafoo on Wednesday October 11, @05:06PM (1 child)

    by crafoo (6639) on Wednesday October 11, @05:06PM (#580578)

    I bet the submitter, takyon, owns a Zune.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:14PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:14PM (#580583)

    don't let the door hit you in the ass.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday October 11, @06:38PM

      by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday October 11, @06:38PM (#580672)

      As Londo Mollari or someone said: my heart just bleeds for Windows Phone 7. Excuse my uncontrollable laughter whilst I am mourning its passing.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @07:23PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @07:23PM (#580723)

    1. Microsoft killed their own chances with Windows Phone 10. Their biggest fans in 2003 bought Pocket PC products and made applications for them. Then it got dumped. Then their biggest fans got Windows Mobile and made applications for it, then that got dumped. Then Windows Phone 7 came out and their fans bought that and built mobile applications. Then that got dumped - most Windows Phone 7 apps needed to be rewritten for Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 8 and 10 came out, and regardless of how good they were nobody cared anymore. iOS and Android might suck, but they evolved in a way that didn't abandon earlier buyers or application developers. Microsoft kept starting over, and alienated everyone.

    2. Mobile is the future for most people. Power users will always need high performance laptops, desktops, and servers. But my wife does all of her work and personal computing on tablets and smartphones. By screwing this up, Microsoft guaranteed that they won't own as much of the consumer market in 2027 as they did in 2007. They might do well in business with Azure and Office 365, but I firmly believe that failing to get a foothold on mobile is their biggest strategic error in the history of the company.

    I am an FSF member, so I don't mind that they're screwing up. I'm just surprised.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:23PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @08:23PM (#580774)

      Your first point is highly correct. One would have thought that a company with such a history of maintaining compatibility as Microsoft would not have blundered like they did when they made Winmob7 incompatible with the PocketPC lineage.

      Your second point on the other hand is a valley pipe dream.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @11:12PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @11:12PM (#580841)

        He has it pretty spot on. WinCE phones were *THE* status symbol of tech execs. You could get dozens of apps from the internet and put them on your phone and do pretty cool stuff. The devs would complile them for MIPS, SH3, ARM all for you. The flash memory sizes stunk and the data plans were bend you over and charge you a fortune per MB. People wanted WinCE devices. The iPaq was one of DELLs best selling devices to date.

        MS then did not do the one thing it did with its real windows line. Backwards compatibility was tossed out the window on every device. People put up with activesync for awhile. But once iPhone came out (a good 6 years after the first wince phones) it was game over. Apple made it 'just work' and gave it plenty of flash and Jobs demanded a decent data plan to go with it. He was going to make 30% on every application sold.

        MS should have owned that market. They wasted it. Don't think so? Then why does Apple pay MS a royalty on every phone sold? Because MS has a huge stack of phone patents. Even BEFORE they bought Nokia.

  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Wednesday October 11, @07:29PM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 11, @07:29PM (#580728) Homepage Journal

    I once owned an iPod Touch. I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.

    --
    My GoFundMe campaign [gofundme.com].
  • (Score: 1) by corey on Thursday October 12, @01:21AM

    by corey (2202) on Thursday October 12, @01:21AM (#580897)

    As above. And the cycle concludes.

    Good to see Nokia back from the dead making android phones.

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