Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Sep 2009 21:15 UTC, submitted by Hakime
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Yesterday we ran an editorial about Microsoft's failing policies in the mobile space, and today, we have an assorted collection of stories that only strengthen this perception. The upcoming Marketplace for Windows Mobile has a number of rigorous restrictions, the Zune lives in a bubble of its own, and free applications for the Zune come with full-screen video advertisements. There are also a few things Microsoft seems to be doing right, however. Instant update: Another Windows-based mobile phone platform. I actually want that one, though.
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Captain obvious
by WorknMan on Thu 17th Sep 2009 22:17 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I don't think people are going to like watching ads on their devices when waiting an agonising 30 seconds for the Chess game to load.


Gee, you don't think? If this is indeed the case (about the ads), then the Zune HD is a joke.

A phone running XP does sound interesting though, for no other reason than to be able to run the same apps on a phone that I do on a PC. And no, web apps don't count, except for Google Maps and a couple of others I use on a desktop machine.

I have to use a Palm Pre for work every once in awhile, and it is horrible. It's like using a castrated PC; we had to jailbreak it just to change the notification sound. Are you kidding me!?!?

Edited 2009-09-17 22:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

$99 per app?
by Stratoukos on Thu 17th Sep 2009 22:39 UTC
Stratoukos
Member since:
2009-02-11

Some things that the article didn't mention. Microsoft will also keep 30% of your applications revenue and they require the $99 fee even for free applications.

Having to pay $99 per app is quite bad, but asking you to repay it if they don't approve it is just too much. It shows the difference between Marketplace's and AppStore's aim. AppStore earns just its expenses and exists to move iPhones and iTouches. It seems that Microsoft is trying to make the Marketplace profitable.

As for the XPPhone, it doesn't seem like a good idea. Applications designed for 20" screens cannot be used on a 5" screen. Besides the phone is incredibly big and heavy. I doubt it would fit comfortably in a pocket.

Reply Score: 2

RE: $99 per app?
by kragil on Thu 17th Sep 2009 23:25 UTC in reply to "$99 per app?"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

I read that Apple make a few millions _a_month_ from the app store.

30% from every app sold surely pays for the two people that censor the store and the servers etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: $99 per app?
by Stratoukos on Fri 18th Sep 2009 12:28 UTC in reply to "RE: $99 per app?"
Stratoukos Member since:
2009-02-11

A few millions per month is peanuts for Apple. I didn't say that it doesn't generate any revenue at all. I said that generating revenue wasn't its primary function.

Reply Score: 1

RE: $99 per app?
by phoenix on Thu 17th Sep 2009 23:48 UTC in reply to "$99 per app?"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

AppStore earns just its expenses and exists to move iPhones and iTouches.


What's an "iTouch"? I don't see it listed anywhere on Apple's site. Is that some new, as-yet-unannounced product?

Or do you mean "iPod Touch"?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: $99 per app?
by David on Fri 18th Sep 2009 00:21 UTC in reply to "RE: $99 per app?"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

iTouch is a perfectly common abbreviation for iPod Touch. Don't be so pedantic.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: $99 per app?
by Tuishimi on Fri 18th Sep 2009 02:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: $99 per app?"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Sounds more like the song title from some Euro-techno-trance band.

Edited 2009-09-18 02:20 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: $99 per app?
by chimby on Fri 18th Sep 2009 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: $99 per app?"
chimby Member since:
2006-10-02

Sounds more like the song title from some Euro-techno-trance band.


That made me laugh

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: $99 per app?
by mightshade on Fri 18th Sep 2009 17:31 UTC in reply to "RE: $99 per app?"
mightshade Member since:
2008-11-20

What's an "iTouch"? I don't see it listed anywhere on Apple's site.

Not surprised. The iTouch actually is a portable media player made by Pasen. ;)
(See http://en.pasen.it/product_detail.php?id=23 )

Reply Score: 1

That XPPhone --- !
by Pelly on Thu 17th Sep 2009 23:21 UTC
Pelly
Member since:
2005-07-07

This item looks very sweet.

Okay, the pre-production sample in the video is about the size of a decent lunch, but that's why they call it a pre-production unit.

When they get the miniaturization going, there's no telling what the final release will look like.

However, my guess is that t'll be a tad bigger and maybe a tiny bit thicker than an AT&T Tilt (HTC TyTnII/Kaiser).

The point that it runs WinXP will be a huge selling point. If MS lets them license it and complete against WinMo 6.0, 6.1, 6.5 and soon 7.0.

Reply Score: 1

RE: That XPPhone --- !
by Laurence on Fri 18th Sep 2009 09:10 UTC in reply to "That XPPhone --- !"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

This item looks very sweet.

Okay, the pre-production sample in the video is about the size of a decent lunch, but that's why they call it a pre-production unit.

When they get the miniaturization going, there's no telling what the final release will look like.

However, my guess is that t'll be a tad bigger and maybe a tiny bit thicker than an AT&T Tilt (HTC TyTnII/Kaiser).

The point that it runs WinXP will be a huge selling point. If MS lets them license it and complete against WinMo 6.0, 6.1, 6.5 and soon 7.0.


Really? Personally i couldn't think of anything worse than running XP on a mobile phone. It's completely the wrong tool for the job.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: That XPPhone --- !
by Ranger on Fri 18th Sep 2009 13:54 UTC in reply to "RE: That XPPhone --- !"
Ranger Member since:
2006-05-03

Really? Personally i couldn't think of anything worse than running XP on a mobile phone. It's completely the wrong tool for the job.


In an un-modified condition I agree that WinXP is ill-suited for mobile/phone devices. If the company making the XPPhone has optimized & tweaked WinXP for the purpose, it could end up being very strong. Perhaps stronger than current WinMobile versions available.

Consider the possibility of perhaps being able to run full programs & apps instead of scaled-down mobile versions. In certain circumstances I could see as being preferable to potential professional & business customers, which appears to be the target market for such a device.

Time will ultimately tell.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: That XPPhone --- !
by Laurence on Sat 19th Sep 2009 12:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: That XPPhone --- !"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

In an un-modified condition I agree that WinXP is ill-suited for mobile/phone devices. If the company making the XPPhone has optimized & tweaked WinXP for the purpose, it could end up being very strong. Perhaps stronger than current WinMobile versions available.

Consider the possibility of perhaps being able to run full programs & apps instead of scaled-down mobile versions. In certain circumstances I could see as being preferable to potential professional & business customers, which appears to be the target market for such a device.

Time will ultimately tell.

Trying to run full apps on a mobile display screen would be a nightmare - even with a stylus.

Even at 800x600 (which few apps are optimised for these days) the text would be tiny.

While I see the idealistic benefit of this device, i can't see it being all that practical in the real world.
Particularly when netbooks can already run XP and smartphones (which are slimmer and more compact) already have desktop tools optimised for smaller screens (VNC/RDP, SSH, Office suites, web browsers, ftp clients, and so on).

Reply Score: 3

RE: That XPPhone --- !
by Soulbender on Fri 18th Sep 2009 11:41 UTC in reply to "That XPPhone --- !"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The point that it runs WinXP will be a huge selling point.


Why? How many of the existing XP applications will work even remotely well on the tiny phone screen?

Reply Score: 3

How Is "Play For Sure" Doing?
by softdrat on Fri 18th Sep 2009 00:21 UTC
softdrat
Member since:
2008-09-17

I still have a "Play For Sure" MP3 player - how does that fit into Microsoft's current Mobile Strategy?

Reply Score: 1

No way...
by Tuishimi on Fri 18th Sep 2009 02:23 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

"Standby time -- about 5 days"

A mini-computer running on battery power, running XP that can last 5 days? I doubt my regular cell phone could last that long without making or receiving any calls.

Reply Score: 2

RE: No way...
by Jago on Fri 18th Sep 2009 13:00 UTC in reply to "No way..."
Jago Member since:
2009-09-18

"Standby time -- about 5 days"

I doubt my regular cell phone could last that long without making or receiving any calls.

Then you have a pretty bad phone. A standby of over a week is nothing uncommon.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No way...
by Tuishimi on Fri 18th Sep 2009 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE: No way..."
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe I do. ;)

I do know that it really sucks the power down when it starts having to search for a signal.

Reply Score: 2

MS's Marketplace
by Laurence on Fri 18th Sep 2009 09:50 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

There's also good news. Microsoft has made it very clear that the Marketplace does not demand exclusivity. In other words, developers are still free to offer their application in whatever other, non-Marketplace way they deem fit. This means that the existing software distribution model of Windows Mobile (i.e., download and install from wherever you want) remains intact.

This last point makes all the other points about the Marketplace rather moot. Microsoft is clearly following Palm's model of allowing users to install whatever applications they want via whatever means they want on their own phones.


Android was following this business model before Palm Pre was released.
But being pedantic aside, one thing I've always praised Windows Mobile for (in fact probably the only thing I praised it for) was the ease at which you could install 3rd party apps on it.

On a related note: given how expensive Marketplace is and how easy it is to manually install apps - I really can't see developers uptake on Marketplace being anywhere near as successful as Android or the iPhones.
In fact, I think the only thing that could sell the Marketplace now would be the weight of the name "Microsoft".

Reply Score: 2

RE: MS's Marketplace
by Karitku on Fri 18th Sep 2009 10:58 UTC in reply to "MS's Marketplace"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

On a related note: given how expensive Marketplace is and how easy it is to manually install apps - I really can't see developers uptake on Marketplace being anywhere near as successful as Android or the iPhones. In fact, I think the only thing that could sell the Marketplace now would be the weight of the name "Microsoft".

Well I see lot of positive sides, Marketplace is probaply something most users will use instead of going out on jungle of crappy HTML sites and trying to pull programs that way. This hopefully keeps quality high but same time allows poor open source coders make programs that geeks can use. I was hoping Microsoft would allow Marketplace to use outside lists, kind a like package managers in Linuxes, to avoid crappy HTML sites.

Reply Score: 2

RE: MS's Marketplace
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 18th Sep 2009 19:45 UTC in reply to "MS's Marketplace"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

"Microsoft is clearly following Palm's model of allowing users to install whatever applications they want via whatever means they want on their own phones.


Android was following this business model before Palm Pre was released.
"

Palm used the same model on the old PalmOS.

Reply Score: 2

RE: MS's Marketplace
by mabhatter on Sun 20th Sep 2009 12:39 UTC in reply to "MS's Marketplace"
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

"There's also good news. Microsoft has made it very clear that the Marketplace does not demand exclusivity. In other words, developers are still free to offer their application in whatever other, non-Marketplace way they deem fit. This means that the existing software distribution model of Windows Mobile (i.e., download and install from wherever you want) remains intact.

This last point makes all the other points about the Marketplace rather moot. Microsoft is clearly following Palm's model of allowing users to install whatever applications they want via whatever means they want on their own phones.


Android was following this business model before Palm Pre was released.
But being pedantic aside, one thing I've always praised Windows Mobile for (in fact probably the only thing I praised it for) was the ease at which you could install 3rd party apps on it.

On a related note: given how expensive Marketplace is and how easy it is to manually install apps - I really can't see developers uptake on Marketplace being anywhere near as successful as Android or the iPhones.
In fact, I think the only thing that could sell the Marketplace now would be the weight of the name "Microsoft".
"


The whole point of the Apple App store is that the model of "wild west" development doesn't work for mobile apps. You get poorly written apps with no QC running amok all over the device. Sure it's nice for devs "to do whatever they want". But when the "order" is chaos all the developers resort to writing exactly the same resource-intensive, poor UI apps they write for Windows... in other words, without rigorous following of some rules for development, developers will just keep repeating the same software from 1995 instead of using the new modern tools their given.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: MS's Marketplace
by Laurence on Mon 21st Sep 2009 12:09 UTC in reply to "RE: MS's Marketplace"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

The whole point of the Apple App store is that the model of "wild west" development doesn't work for mobile apps. You get poorly written apps with no QC running amok all over the device. Sure it's nice for devs "to do whatever they want". But when the "order" is chaos all the developers resort to writing exactly the same resource-intensive, poor UI apps they write for Windows... in other words, without rigorous following of some rules for development, developers will just keep repeating the same software from 1995 instead of using the new modern tools their given.


It seems to work for Android, WebOS and WM - and, more to the point, In fact, I've seen plenty of ugly and slow apps on the iPhone too.

At the end of the day, app stores don't protect against bad programmers. They just offer users a centralised database of apps so it's easier for users to find apps written by good programmers.

Edited 2009-09-21 12:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

how about the backend?
by Yamin on Fri 18th Sep 2009 16:21 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

Microsoft might be clueless on the device side, but I wonder if they still have the eco-system advantage.

That is to say if they push exchange / active directory in terms of being the platform for devices to use email/pim, then they can own the backend.

let the iphone/XXX own the device side. As long as activesync runs the backend, MS still owns the exchange servers...

The major real competition here is RIM, which also has BES as the backend presence.

Reply Score: 3

Windows Mobile is pretty good
by coolstuck on Sat 19th Sep 2009 07:46 UTC
coolstuck
Member since:
2009-09-19

I was a long time Symbian user (5+ years). I avoid MS products whenever I can (I run linux on my laptop, and OS X on everything else). I was an OS/2 zealot, and swore to never support Microsoft.

A friend of mine who is heavily into OS X recommended HTC phones to me. OK, it came with Windows Mobile OS, but she is a gadget freak so I trusted her.

It's better than all the Symbian stuff I had. It works very well as both a phone and a PDA. I have it synced with my laptop, and can tether it without jumping through the hoops that Android and iPhone users have to jump through.

I can develop applications on it using eTCL. The worst thing about it is the browser is IE, and I don't like the Opera browser.

I find it really depressing that techies are so blinkered they can't see when good technology is in front of them - even if it does come from the company that has held back personal computing for at least a decade.

I'm not blinkered. Even though it works so well, I'm considering getting an iPhone or an Android phone. But everytime I look at them I can't see any benefit over my HTC phone.

Maybe people should be looking at HTC phones. Maybe it's their modifications to Windows Mobile that makes it good.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Windows Mobile is pretty good
by mabhatter on Sun 20th Sep 2009 13:01 UTC in reply to "Windows Mobile is pretty good"
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

I was a long time Symbian user (5+ years). I avoid MS products whenever I can (I run linux on my laptop, and OS X on everything else). I was an OS/2 zealot, and swore to never support Microsoft.

A friend of mine who is heavily into OS X recommended HTC phones to me. OK, it came with Windows Mobile OS, but she is a gadget freak so I trusted her.

It's better than all the Symbian stuff I had. It works very well as both a phone and a PDA. I have it synced with my laptop, and can tether it without jumping through the hoops that Android and iPhone users have to jump through.

I can develop applications on it using eTCL. The worst thing about it is the browser is IE, and I don't like the Opera browser.

I find it really depressing that techies are so blinkered they can't see when good technology is in front of them - even if it does come from the company that has held back personal computing for at least a decade.

I'm not blinkered. Even though it works so well, I'm considering getting an iPhone or an Android phone. But everytime I look at them I can't see any benefit over my HTC phone.

Maybe people should be looking at HTC phones. Maybe it's their modifications to Windows Mobile that makes it good.


You have a good point that modern versions of Windows Mobile are pretty good, except...

Windows Mobile is an "OEM" software option. So with mobiles you have TWO other companies fighting for how you use the device, the manufacturer and the telco. Both view the device as "theirs" and want to use you as a "marketing contact".

Where it breaks down is that YOU got lucky with that model of phone from that manufacturer on your particular carrier... If I order the same phone (if I even CAN) from my carrier, I will probably not get the same experience (branding, features, coverage area) that you do. Everybody between Microsoft and me reserves the right to turn off/bloat up features that "daddy knows best" for me to have.

In many, many cases, the same hardware and OS version cannot download the same "user" app from the same website. THAT is what keeps Windows Mobile an absolute desert for applications... and Microsoft is clearly not fixing the problem... just adding somebody ELSE into the mix with their OWN agenda. Microsoft has had 5+ years for Windows Mobile and even more for CE and never managed to get 1/10 the number of application USERS and mobile internet traffic USAGE that iPhone got in the first 12 months of offering apps.

The problem Microsoft has always been in is that they have to write their OS features (on desktops and devices) to what the cheapest hardware OEM and distributor is going to ship. This has been the case for CE and Mobile for years (hence the ZUNE to finally make something interesting) and even Vista suffered more from having to bend (cheat) system specs to "cheapest OEM" companies or not have any computer MAKERS upgrade their wares to the new line than Vista had "programming" problems. But that's no excuse... EXECUTION of a platform is what the customer FEELS they're getting out of it (not tech specs, or necessarily anything logical) and that is what Microsoft is not delivering because they're counting "pre-sold, contracted units" at all the OEMS and not counting happy USERS like Apple is.

Reply Score: 2