Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 1st Feb 2013 18:25 UTC
Windows A few days ago, Microsoft released the long-awaited Windows Phone 7.8 update for all those users who will be stuck on Windows Phone 7 forever because there's no upgrade path to Windows Phone 8 other than buying a new phone. Now that it's here, what, exactly, does WP7.8 to the table?
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Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Fri 1st Feb 2013 19:01 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

Here's where I vent:

- Microsoft's handling of the Windows Phone 7 to Window Phone 8 situation is terrible. In fact, the entire development cycle of WP8 was haphazard and riddled with compromises and broken dreams.

- Microsoft purposely misled WP7 consumers by claiming that WP8 was incompatible. Anyone with software engineering chops knows that to immediately be bullshit. It takes a non trivial effort, sure, but it is my opinion that it was outweighed by the benefits.

- The Windows Phone SDK Platform team are DevDiv-istas and it shows in their design. Windows 8 is a thoughtful OS and developer platform. Windows Phone is a cobbled together platform which is only good if you compare it to other terrible platforms.

Microsoft isn't a cash strapped start up, they don't have to cut corners. Its time they start investing the proper resources into Windows Phone.

Silverlight may have been good enough in 2010, but it is 2013. Look at the WP8 SDK, its still Silverlight. The fact that besides the NT Kernel shift and a handful of new APIs, the platform received no significant improvement, is intolerable.

- You're spot on about the single project for WP7/WP8. Since Microsoft did not invest in bringing the WP8 SDK to feature parity with Windows 8, the least they could've done is make it simple to conditionally define differences in one single application platform.

There is no reason I should have to maintain two project solutions, submit two applications, manage two lines of communication, etc for apps that share > 95% common code.

- The porting of WinRT is a token gesture to WP8. Its useless without the WinRT based XAML stack. The only use case for it is when doing C++ DirectX Games, but not really (see below)

- The way you do DX and XAML interop is different for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 DESPITE them both using the Windows Runtime under the cover. Whoever made this f--king decision needs to be fired.

- The fact that they didn't make Roaming Cloud Storage across WP8 and Win8 (its excellent in Win8) is again a huge miss. Heads need to roll. Ditto for HttpClient. A majority of the code differences come down to HttpClient (which is excellent on Win8) and HttpWebRequest/WebClient on WP8.

- The sorry excuse for a bandaid that is the PCL (Portable Class Libraries). I don't want to use a black magic hack to get my code to be portable across the XAML stacks. I want there to not be so many XAML stacks. Fix the root cause not the symptoms.

- Windows Phone 7.8 is an example of everything that is wrong with Microsoft. It is a bone that was thrown to early adopters, but it's the smallest one imaginable. It almost feels like they did enough to make most people shut up. What they consider enough really isn't enough.

- Xbox Music is a mess on every platform. Whoever f--king screwed this up should be summarily terminated from Microsoft. This entire team is incompetent. It is slow, glitchy, and incomplete. Do NOT replace existing working solutions with broken crappy ones.

I think I've spoken for long enough. Microsoft needs to realize that this isn't a market they lead. This isn't something they can afford to leave to chance. They can't let internal company politics relegate Windows Phone to a second class citizen state within the company. There needs to be some accountability for why there has not been more significant traction in this amount of time.

Nokia, god bless them, has been helping Microsoft and Windows Phone tread water for about a year now. Unfortunately, treading water is the same as drowning when mobile is such a crucial part of their strategy moving forward.

They owe it to the OEMs that have invested significant time into the platform to be doing their absolute best to foster growth. I don't believe this is happening right now.

I often defend Windows Phone and especially Nokia because I think they get a bad rap and people tend to exaggerate their shortcomings and hope for their demise irrationally, however, I am a realist and I do not blindly make excuses for someone who does not deserve them.

This isn't 2010 anymore. They need to get their act together.

Edited 2013-02-01 19:05 UTC

Reply Score: 19

RE: Comment by Nelson
by bentoo on Fri 1st Feb 2013 19:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

I dont know. I'm happy I get an update on a two year old phone (even if it isn't substantiative). Now if I had bought the phone in the past six months I probably wouldn't feel the same way.

(Sorry was supposed to be a comment on the origional article not Nelsons dev related comment.)

Edited 2013-02-01 19:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Fri 1st Feb 2013 22:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Lumia 900 is less than a year old, and the Lumia line is the most successful in sales.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by leos on Fri 1st Feb 2013 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

I dont know. I'm happy I get an update on a two year old phone (even if it isn't substantiative). Now if I had bought the phone in the past six months I probably wouldn't feel the same way.


This is called battered Android user syndrome. For them, any update is better than the status quo, even if it is totally useless.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 1st Feb 2013 23:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

This is called battered Android user syndrome. For them, any update is better than the status quo, even if it is totally useless.


The fun thing is - the average point release for an Android launcher brings more new features than this useless 7.8 thing.

Reply Score: 9

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by leos on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 00:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

"This is called battered Android user syndrome. For them, any update is better than the status quo, even if it is totally useless.


The fun thing is - the average point release for an Android launcher brings more new features than this useless 7.8 thing.
"

Microsoft want to emulate Apple's controlled environment instead of the Android wild west but forgot that means they do actually have to stand by their products. People will accept less flexibility but they need to get something in return.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Comment by Nelson
by elzurawka on Fri 1st Feb 2013 19:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
elzurawka Member since:
2005-07-08

I find it odd that Thom has such a crush on Windows Phone 8. While it does do a lot of new things in different ways, different isn't always good. The way they have done the Metro interface on the phones is not at all appealing to me.

When i heard about Windows phone 8 before release I thought it would support things like AD integration, which would allow business to easy adopt it.

I have recently found out that the phones do not even offer support for EAP-TLS when connecting to wireless networks, and it's not a feature which they have defined for future releases. How can this phone be taken seriously in the business world, when it can't even support the basic requirements of most businesses. I never thought I would see the day when Microsoft is trying to catchup with Apple when it comes to offering a business friendly device...

Windows Phone 8 will suffer the same fate as Windows Phone 7. When version 9 comes up, you will have an expensive device which cannot be upgraded, and is missing key features. It may be a decent consumer phone, but it is by no means ready for business.

_EL

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by bentoo on Fri 1st Feb 2013 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

Windows Phone 8 will suffer the same fate as Windows Phone 7. When version 9 comes up, you will have an expensive device which cannot be upgraded, and is missing key features.


Really no different than any Android phone then. I mean, how many made the jump from GB to ICS or to JB? Look how many haven't even made the incremental step from 4.1 to 4.2.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by elzurawka on Fri 1st Feb 2013 20:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
elzurawka Member since:
2005-07-08

Very often at least you could upgrade these devices manually as I understand.

Also my Motorola Xoom which was one of the first ICS tablets, got the upgrade to 4.1 just fine. We'll see if it continues, but at least they are not missing core features like the Windows Phone devices.

*For manufactures to choose not to upgrade is one thing, but for Microsoft to come out and say you cannot upgrade your devices is my issue

Edited 2013-02-01 20:12 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by cdude on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 10:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Missing core features is indeed a central problem. Also apps at Android work across versions and its up to the developer to define the minimum version supported and all newer Android versions are supported, always.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by tkeith on Fri 1st Feb 2013 20:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
tkeith Member since:
2010-09-01

Some have been updated, others will soon, some will not, but that's still infinitely better than 0.

The major reason many Android devices are stranded on 2.3 is that they have too small of a partition for the OS. Updating that would mean wiping the device, which they can't practically do. This is why Google went to a single partition for Nexus devices starting with the Galaxy Nexus.

4.0 to 4.1 updates have been faster coming, but still slowed by carriers and manufacturers. The point is late is better then never.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Fri 1st Feb 2013 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I understand you pointing out the issue on the other platform, but it's off topic and not even relevant(2.3 > 4.x is a big upgrade for Android, it's Win200 > WinXP. WP7 > WP8 is not an upgrade it's mostly a different platform, it's Mac OS9 > OSX)

Android world has shown it can handle the API level fragmentation.
Windows Phone came with the promise of no fragmentation.
Android is fragmented on 2 levels - API and GPU.
Windows Phone is fragmented on platform level - WP7 and WP8.

Handling API fragmentation is much easier than platform fragmentation.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by bentoo on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 16:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

Windows Phone is fragmented on platform level - WP7 and WP8.

Handling API fragmentation is much easier than platform fragmentation.


This is only a problem for the older (WP7) device. Just the same as an Android application that has a minimum API level of 14 is not going to run on a Gingerbread device.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by cdude on Sun 3rd Feb 2013 12:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

In which case the developer made the decision not to support API-level <14 cause eg the app/widget/service needs features that are only available in >13. Point is that decision is up to the dev. If the dev likes to support <14 then there is no reason to not AND all newer versions are supported out of the box.

Edited 2013-02-03 13:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by darknexus on Sun 3rd Feb 2013 23:32 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Nice theory, but it doesn't always work that way if either the API changes or an OEM does something odd to parts of their phone (Samsung, I'm looking at you). In these situations, an update is still needed. The app will only run on newer versions of the API so long as the API functions the app relies upon remain unchanged. You don't get support by default when changes occur.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by cdude on Mon 4th Feb 2013 11:16 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/manifest/uses-sdk-element...

"Android applications are generally forward-compatible with new versions of the Android platform."

http://developer.android.com/guide/practices/compatibility.html

"whenever Android introduces new features or changes existing ones, we will always take steps to protect existing applications so that they don’t end up being available to devices where they won’t work."

To you have a prove, like a source/link, Samsung violates OHA agreement (http://www.zdnet.com/google-guarantees-android-compatibility-303929...) and the Android Compatibility Program (http://source.android.com/compatibility/index.html) or is that your own conclusion after looking at the different UI-theme?

Edited 2013-02-04 11:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 20:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Android world has shown it can handle the API level fragmentation.
Windows Phone came with the promise of no fragmentation.
Android is fragmented on 2 levels - API and GPU.
Windows Phone is fragmented on platform level - WP7 and WP8.

Handling API fragmentation is much easier than platform fragmentation.


I think they're two ways of saying the same thing. Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 would actually have close to no fragmentation IF Microsoft would've made the decision to support one unified app project file.

The API differences are very, very minimal (in fact, this is one of my complaints actually.)

WP 7.0 to WP 7.5 was more fragmented than WP 7.5 to WP 8.0

Also FYI: You can access some APIs from a WP7 app using reflection and it works on WP 7.8 and WP8

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Mon 4th Feb 2013 12:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Like I said. It's not really an API fragmentation thing, it's a platform fragmentation thing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Mon 4th Feb 2013 14:06 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I think its purely artificial, and API/Platform fragmentations aren't really so different.

In fact API level fragmentation is just a narrower way to view platform fragmentation as a whole.

The Android API levels are implicit with the platform version, you won't have the same version supporting two differing API sets. The same is true of Windows Phone, though the fragmentation is much, much more limited in impact.

Microsoft's pain in this area is purely self inflicted and speaks to a lack of convenience to the developer more than it says anything about platform fragmentation.

Overtime I'm certain they will solve it, they always do, but time isn't really in abundance when you're behind in the first place. These things needed to be happening yesterday.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Mon 4th Feb 2013 14:53 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

One big question that I might be missing - did they provide a native development kit with WP7.8?(The C++ one)

If they haven't, then there's the problem I'm referring to.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by cdude on Mon 4th Feb 2013 15:32 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

The Android API levels are implicit with the platform version, you won't have the same version supporting two differing API sets.


And for you too: http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/manifest/uses-sdk-element...

"Android applications are generally forward-compatible with new versions of the Android platform."

The same is true of Windows Phone, though the fragmentation is much, much more limited in impact.


It is only true for Windows Phone where you need to port WP7 apps. http://news.softpedia.com/news/Port-Windows-Phone-Apps-to-Windows-8...

"A Windows Store app using C++, C#, or Visual Basic, using XAML, is the preferred model for ports from Windows Phone 7. If you are familiar with Silverlight, you can port to a Windows Store app using XAML by using familiar languages like C# or Visual Basic, and a similar set of UI elements and APIs"

Similar != same. Another: http://allaboutwindowsphone.com/flow/item/15847_Channel_9_ready_to_...

Microsoft's pain in this area is purely self inflicted and speaks to a lack of convenience to the developer more than it says anything about platform fragmentation.


Now we have WP7 apps, WP8 apps, Win8 apps, RT apps and end of this year Windows 9 Blue appears which is going to change that story once more. Again! Horrible fragmentation, deprecation and new API turnaround every year.

Edited 2013-02-04 15:39 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by saso on Fri 1st Feb 2013 23:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

Really no different than any Android phone then. I mean, how many made the jump from GB to ICS or to JB? Look how many haven't even made the incremental step from 4.1 to 4.2.

Google doesn't manage firmware for every Android phone out there, Microsoft does. So if you want to compare like with like, compare it to the Nexus line - software by Google, hardware by an OEM. Also, lots of Android handsets can be flashed with third-party ROMs, breathing new life into otherwise outdated handsets (I'm running the latest Android 4.2.1 on an 3 year old HTC Desire). Try doing that with a phone running WP...

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Mon 4th Feb 2013 12:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Actually, Microsoft does not. The firmware still goes to the OEMs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by jnemesh on Fri 1st Feb 2013 20:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
jnemesh Member since:
2008-04-08

Very misleading comparing phone OS updates to desktop OS updates. If I have a 2 year old PC, I wont get a new OS for free (unless I am smart and running Linux!), but I CAN run the new OS! Not true of WP7 devices! You can not hack it to run WP8, no matter what. Other Android phones that didn't get official upgrades can be upgraded if you know what you are doing...my 2 1/2 year old Sprint Epic has Jelly Bean loaded on it, even though it never got that as an "official" upgrade. Are these phones out of beta yet?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by bentoo on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 16:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

Not true of WP7 devices! You can not hack it to run WP8, no matter what.


Sure you can. There are even WP8 ROMs for the HTC HD2! Of course, it's just about as usable as a Nexus One running ICS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by elektrik on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 19:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
elektrik Member since:
2006-04-18

...except the example you gave, the HD2 was a Windows MOBILE phone, not a Windows 7 phone.....

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by saso on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 20:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

Of course, it's just about as usable as a Nexus One running ICS.

Do you have a Nexus One with ICS?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by darknexus on Sun 3rd Feb 2013 23:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Do you have a Nexus One with ICS?

Anyone can, thanks to Cyanogen or other custom ROMs. Despite what a lot of people think, the Nexus One is quite capable of running ICS. Why didn't Google support it? Probably because they wanted people to buy new phones.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Mon 4th Feb 2013 12:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

No, because if you pull out the SD card or something happens to it - you are on your way bricking a Nexus One.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by cdude on Mon 4th Feb 2013 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

No. It works fine. Also no daily freezes and crashes like at WP8.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by dsmogor on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 20:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Are you sure its WP8? I heard abou RT but not WP.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Nelson
by tkeith on Fri 1st Feb 2013 19:49 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
tkeith Member since:
2010-09-01

Funny there hasn't been more coverage on this. I almost forgot what Microsoft did to their WP7 users. Android gets so much bad press from fragmentation, but at least there are reasons for that.(custom skins, varied phone specs, manufacturers/carriers in charge of updates, ect)

But really Microsoft isn't really obligated to push major releases to old devices. You don't get a free upgrade on the desktop version of Windows, why it is expected on mobile? My only guess is that we kept hearing how much better Microsoft's update strategy was.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Fri 1st Feb 2013 23:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

There are a lot of technical issues that would stop anyone from wanting to upgrade. It's the same as the issues with upgrading Galaxy S to 4.0 and inability for Nexus One type devices to get a 4.0 at all.

At the time of development some assumptions were made, that did not have any grounds in reality. For Android and WP7 it's the unified storage space(iPhone had it from the beginning). You would have to go through a very error prone and dangerous procedure that requires expert level knowledge to upgrade SGS and any WP7 device(not to mention the requirements to upgrade Nexus One type device)

In short blame here is for short-sighted approach to creating future proof requirements for devices, not malice or inability to execute.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 05:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I don't quite follow the sgs line of thinking. I had android 4.0 on my Samsung galaxy s phone via Cyanogenmod. It ran *better* on 4.0 than it did with the stock Android 2.1 it came with.

The process wasn't error prone or difficult, unless you have a very, very low threshold for those.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Mon 4th Feb 2013 12:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Maybe not all cases are error prone, but an error during the process would brick the device for the average person. Let alone, it requires a full backup.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 4th Feb 2013 22:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Either you have too little faith in the average person, I have too much faith in them. I'm not sure which, but ... I'm starting seriously doubt that I'm right...

Reply Score: 2

tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

The reason that Microsoft has so many XAML stacks is simple. Each division wants its own XAML stack. Remember that Microsoft's divisions are practically independent companies.

So that's why Microsoft ended up with three versions of XAML. (1) The DevDiv version, called WPF. (2) The Windows 8 version, called WinRT. (3) The Windows Phone 8 version, which is not-exactly-WinRT.

Plus, you have two deprecated XAMLs. (4) The second DevDiv version, called Silverlight. (5) The Windows Phone 7 version, based on Silverlight.

--

This isn't even scratching the surface. Microsoft has *four* Ribbons, *two* Visual C++ runtime libraries, *three* online storage solutions, *two* email/calendar servers, and *three* instant-messaging products.

In most cases, it's because the products live in different divisions. Basically, each division within Microsoft wants to be its own Microsoft.

Reply Score: 9

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Dude this really starts to resemble Nokia mobile Api on QT fiasco ( before Quick).

Reply Score: 3

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I can all be summed up in - Microsoft's NIH syndrome problem.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by cdude on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 09:36 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

When reading that comprehensive list I got reminded of "The Two Forces at Microsoft" from http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/APIWar.html

The article was written when Vista was in development. It hits the central problem Microsoft had and still has since then.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by ronaldst on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 14:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

It's sad.

What's even more sad is how the email app on Mango is way better than the hack job that's included in Windows 8. The Windows 8 team has terrible app designers. It's beyond me why do these apps have less functionality because they're codified in Metro UI.

I still feel dirty about Auto-Hide Panels.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

My feelings on the app bar are mixed:

My own findings show that a majority of people can actually find and use the app bar setting in my apps, but there is a shrinking minority of people who cannot.

I provide little hints around my app (auto showing the app bar during some situations) which help guide them, but there still is an education problem surrounding it.

I think this is the same for any OS feature in the past though. Its hard to get people to use things the way you envision them. Microsoft provided the same type of statistics for the Start Menu during Windows 7's engineering cycle.

Reply Score: 3

Stop giving Microsoft your money!
by toast88 on Fri 1st Feb 2013 21:13 UTC
toast88
Member since:
2009-09-23

Seriously, stop it!

Everyone knew that this day would come the day Microsoft announced WP8 would be based on the NT kernel.

Yet, even after Microsoft actually listed up the improvements to be expected for WP7.8, many WP fans still insisted there would be more and now, again, they've been disappointed by Microsoft.

Just look at how they let Windows Mobile die, Visual Basic, XNA, Silverlight (on the verge to be dead) and yet people are still giving Microsoft their money.

Seriously, stop it!

Reply Score: 2

drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

I can't believe how much control people give up to Google, Microsoft, and Apple in order to use their mobile operating systems.

Every year, mobile devices become closer and closer techically to laptop and desktop computers, and yet people pay for less and less control over their device.

I wonder if I will ever see a mobile phone that allows me to install a new operating system onto it without the use of a separate computer. ;)

EDIT: This post seemed to be relative to both the story and your comment when I wrote it, but now that I read it again it does seem a little tangential. I'm sorry. ;)

Edited 2013-02-01 21:37 UTC

Reply Score: 5

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I wonder if I will ever see a mobile phone that allows me to install a new operating system onto it without the use of a separate computer. ;)


I'm just leaving this one here.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_N900

Reply Score: 8

drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

I own a Nokia N900. ^_^ It's my first smart phone. I bought it a few months ago. I didn't know it was capable of doing that. ;)

I wonder if any new phone will have that capability...

Reply Score: 1

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I own a Nokia N900. ^_^ It's my first smart phone. I bought it a few months ago. I didn't know it was capable of doing that. ;)


There's a lot of stuff you can do with the N900 if you just know what you're doing. I installed Gentoo in a dual-boot configuration on my phone, and true enough, I did it over SSH because typing it all would be rather time-consuming on the little keyboard, but it is still perfectly doable. Right now I have the phone mounted on the wall, running an RTSP-server streaming audio and video so I can keep an eye on things even when I'm not at home.

I wonder if any new phone will have that capability...


I wouldn't count on that, unfortunately ;) Possibly Ubuntu - phone, but other than that...

Reply Score: 3

No confidence
by linux-lover on Fri 1st Feb 2013 21:48 UTC
linux-lover
Member since:
2011-04-25

I'm in the market for a smartphone. I loved meego and even after the whole Nokia deal, and being a linux fan, I was still willing to give WP8 a shot because of how unique it was.

Not anymore.

This fiasco has left me with zero confidence that Microsoft will deliver on their promises for windows phone, or that a WP8 will get updated to WP9 in the future. It's like they don't even care what the hell happens to Windows Phone users. They don't seem to treat users as customers, only OEMs as customers.

It's a shame really, I'm in the market for a smartphone and I don't like android or iOS. (I don't mind android but nor do I like it). My only other option now is Blackberry 10, (or maybe I'll get a Nexus 4, I'll wait and see how it plays out). But either way, Microsoft just lost out on a potential customer.

Reply Score: 4

RE: No confidence
by pandronic on Fri 1st Feb 2013 22:51 UTC in reply to "No confidence"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

I just bought an HTC 8S and while it's a beautiful phone, inside and out, I can't shake the feeling that it's not a smartphone. Everything you do is somehow awkward and limiting.

It really is painful after two years on Android. I'm seriously thinking about selling after a couple of weeks and returning to my 2 year old Galaxy S running Cyanogenmod.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: No confidence
by cmost on Fri 1st Feb 2013 23:16 UTC in reply to "RE: No confidence"
cmost Member since:
2006-07-16

Personally I find Android to be an invigorating and innovative experience. Of course, I ONLY buy Google phones (e.g., Nexus One and now Galaxy Nexus) which receive updates quickly and regularly. I recently purchased a little jump-drive-esque fob for my TV that plugs into an HDMI port and transforms the television into a giant Android tablet. For $65.00 USD. LOVE IT! While Android is far from perfect, it's moving in the right direction...and quickly. While Apple continues to stranglehold its customers by refusing to allow even so much as an mSD expansion port, manufacturers using Android can offer a raft of advanced features and future expansion at relatively low cost. Long live Android!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: No confidence
by socialcarpet on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 02:51 UTC in reply to "RE: No confidence"
socialcarpet Member since:
2013-02-02

You bought the wrong phone. I'm sorry to tell you. The 8S is the weakest performer in the entire Windows Phone lineup. It's definitely not fair to evaluate WP8 based on that device. Try a Nokia Lumia 920 if you want to experience this OS the way it was meant to be.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: No confidence
by pandronic on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 06:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No confidence"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

I know it's not the best winphone, but the UI is very fluid and all the apps and games work on it. What would the 8X or the 920 offer that this little guy can't besides a larger screen and slightly faster loading apps?


Don't get me wrong, I'm very impressed by the OS and even by the application catalogue. It's really fast, everything is tastefully animated, it looks briliantly but the core problem is that it's too locked down and every app exists in its little bubble.

My first disapointment: I wanted to take some photos, put them in a zip archive and upload them to FTP. No way to do that. My second: I want to be able to change the default keyboard. And I expect many more ... but it's a nice experiment nonetheless.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: No confidence
by Nelson on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 20:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No confidence"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Hi,

Don't let them tell you otherwise. The 8S is a terrific phone and HTC did a great job.

The problem you describe may not be possible now (due to a lack of a developer solution), but it is not an inherent limitation in the platform.

It should be possible given the developer investment, there's nothing in the API preventing it from happening.

I realize this isn't a very good answer practically speaking.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No confidence
by iswrong on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 12:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No confidence"
iswrong Member since:
2012-07-15

You bought the wrong phone. I'm sorry to tell you. The 8S is the weakest performer in the entire Windows Phone lineup. It's definitely not fair to evaluate WP8 based on that device. Try a Nokia Lumia 920 if you want to experience this OS the way it was meant to be.


Not everyone wants to spend 599 Euro on a phone (that is too heavy).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No confidence
by iswrong on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 12:37 UTC in reply to "RE: No confidence"
iswrong Member since:
2012-07-15

I just bought an HTC 8S and while it's a beautiful phone, inside and out, I can't shake the feeling that it's not a smartphone. Everything you do is somehow awkward and limiting.


I also have the HTC 8S and had a Lumia 710 before. The `funniest' thing is that I have to look really hard to see any improvements and advantages of Windows Phone 8 compared to Windows Phone 7.5. Sure, it has a new basis and it is a better platform for the future. But the upgrade hasn't bought me much as a customer. Well, except (hopefully) updates for a longer period.

- Kid's corner? Nice, if we had kids. Although, we'd probably buy them an iPod-touch like device if we trusted them with a device.

- Rooms: great, but all my family has iPhones and my friends have iPhones or Android phones. The 'Rooms' experience on other phones? Not so great.

- Data sense: not available with my provider.

- Smartglass: I don't have an XBox. And AFAIK, it is supported on WP7 too.

- XBox Music unlimited: doesn't work on a Mac or Linux. So, I'll stay with rd.io or Spotify.

- Camera app lenses. I don't use it. The camera on the 8s sucks anyway.

- NFC: the phone doesn't have it.

- SD card support: you cannot put apps on it.

The only interesting new features for me were: the extra tile size (now also supported on WP7), OTA updates, and a newer Internet Explorer. Mildly useful is the SD card support, because at the very least I can store some data elsewhere.

Lots of things aren't fixed, such as the lack of Facebook features (all my app and user blocks are gone, I can't like comments, etc.), losing messenger connectivity all the time and spotty Skype connectivity.

All in all, it's a decent OS, and there is some good hardware available at decent prices (e.g. the Nokia 620). But Microsoft f*cked early adopters and loyal customers royally. And there's little reason to believe that they won't do that again.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: No confidence
by zima on Thu 7th Feb 2013 15:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No confidence"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

- Smartglass: I don't have an XBox. And AFAIK, it is supported on WP7 too.

Smartglass is supported also on... Android and iOS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No confidence
by dsmogor on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 21:20 UTC in reply to "RE: No confidence"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I believe the biggest mistake MS has done is calling WP a smartphone OS. I has a unique paradigm that is something inbeetween, that should better be called power feature phone or experience phone. They should show they have something new, not an also ran competitor to IOS and Android.
Smartphone is a device that user can adopt to ones needs (including fixing inherent deficiencies) without many limits. While Windows Mobile was best example of that approach WP couldn't be more removed from it.
There are many people that would take thoughtfull, cohesive and secure experience over adaptability. That's the demographic WP is aimed at. MS shouldn't try to compete for Android users but aim at people searching to replace their dump phones with something that does mobile web. Cheap and sturdy WP devices should get most attention.

Reply Score: 3

RE: No confidence
by socialcarpet on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 02:49 UTC in reply to "No confidence"
socialcarpet Member since:
2013-02-02

Switching kernels is a once in a lifetime thing. There is no reason for anyone who is even a little informed about this OS to think the same kind of thing would happen again. As a former WP 7.5 user I can understand why some people may be upset, but its time to let this go. Microsoft is not the first company to ever have to make a difficult decision to move their OS forward and leave some things behind. Moving to the NT kernel is what will ensure Windows Phone's future and Microsoft is guaranteeing at least 18 months of support/updates on any of these devices from here on out. That should be more than enough as very few people keep their phones beyond 2 years when they are eligible for an upgrade anyway.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No confidence
by tylerdurden on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 20:15 UTC in reply to "RE: No confidence"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Most customers do not give a shit about what a kernel is, and why it's change is, apparently according to you, an "once in a life time event"... even though Microsoft has changed their phone OS kernel 3 times in less than 4 years.

In any case. Being just as crappy, or crappier, than your competitors is a very very very poor value proposition.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: No confidence
by Nelson on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 20:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No confidence"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

They've changed their phone OS kernel exactly once. CE to NT.

Windows Mobile and Windows Phone use the same kernel (albeit a later revision of it, but it was still CE)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: No confidence
by tylerdurden on Sun 3rd Feb 2013 22:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No confidence"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

We can get into all sorts of pedantic definitions of what a kernel is or constitutes. But from the points of view of the end user and developer, Microsoft has released 3 different somewhat incompatible phone OSs in less than 4 years.

That the last iteration of incompatibility is due to different kernel families involved, an event that apparently only happens "once in a lifetime," becomes sort of moot.

Edited 2013-02-03 22:33 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: No confidence
by henderson101 on Mon 4th Feb 2013 00:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No confidence"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

We can get into all sorts of pedantic definitions of what a kernel is or constitutes.


Not really. The OS kernel is pretty well defined in the world of OS development. The kernel is the underlying component that coordinates the rest of the OS. The OP was correct, MS have changed the OS kernel exactly once (i.e. CE to NT) in the lifetime of Windows Phone (all Windows phone, since the first Windows CE based phone OS.) They have iterated on the kernel version, yes, but then so does every OS release.

What you are complaining about it the "window dressing" that makes the kernel and its services do something useful for the end user.

At the end of the day, Windows CE had a good run. It went through countless revisions - I remember using it on devices when it looked like a cut down version of Windows 98 (and they were still creating versions of that OS till recently, as a bunch of ARM based cheapo netbooks used it, plus a lot of industrial use handhelds that we used to use in the sector I was employed in at the time.) The PocketPC OS was then a revision to make the OS more "Palm" like. That went from the original through around 4 or 5 major revisions, including phone use. Then we got the Windows Phone 7 etc. (probably Zune fits in there somewhere too...)

Anyway, I'll go back to writing the interface a contractor quoted 10 days and £7k for implementing for 2 products on Thursday, and which I've implemented in 1 and a bit days for all products... I therefore predict my time is worth something like 7x his and I've just wasted a few hundred correcting you.. lol.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: No confidence
by tylerdurden on Mon 4th Feb 2013 02:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: No confidence"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Oh my gosh! You're like so super awesome! Can I get your autograph?

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: No confidence
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 4th Feb 2013 08:29 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: No confidence"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Not really. The OS kernel is pretty well defined in the world of OS development. The kernel is the underlying component that coordinates the rest of the OS. The OP was correct, MS have changed the OS kernel exactly once (i.e. CE to NT) in the lifetime of Windows Phone (all Windows phone, since the first Windows CE based phone OS.)
\

Technically, this isn't true. Windows Phone has switched to Windows CE 6.0 from 5.2, and 6.0 was a ground-up rewrite of the CE kernel - it was brand new.

So technically, they switched twice.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: No confidence
by henderson101 on Mon 4th Feb 2013 12:51 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: No confidence"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Who should I make it out to?

(I was obviously being sarcastic, it was 3am.)

Reply Score: 2

RE: No confidence
by birdmun on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 16:25 UTC in reply to "No confidence"
birdmun Member since:
2009-06-11

Does that mean you will be ignoring Ubuntu and Firefox?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No confidence
by linux-lover on Sun 3rd Feb 2013 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE: No confidence"
linux-lover Member since:
2011-04-25

Yeah. Ubuntu won't have anything until early 2014 and both Ubuntu and firefox look kinda hopeless.

I might give Jolla a chance.

So my 3 options are:

1) Blackberry 10
2) Jolla
3) Android (either a nexus4, or maybe that new Sony Experia Z)

Reply Score: 3

RE: No confidence
by linux-lover on Sun 3rd Feb 2013 23:42 UTC in reply to "No confidence"
linux-lover Member since:
2011-04-25

I'm also considerign Jolla.

Reply Score: 2

What did you expect?
by Ultimatebadass on Fri 1st Feb 2013 22:56 UTC
Ultimatebadass
Member since:
2006-01-08

From the announcement of no upgrade from 7 to 8 on old phones I think it was pretty clear that 7.8 was an empty gesture, a PR-ish damage control move nothing more.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What did you expect?
by cdude on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 09:49 UTC in reply to "What did you expect?"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

I do remember that when WP 7 launched Microsoft promised at least 2 big updates. That was back then part of there argumentation. Windows Phone is supported and receives updates for a long time to come unlike Android.

Mango was huge and very much needed but that was it. I don't count 7.8 as the second big update, really not. What stays from that promise is that Windows Phone is not different from Android (excluding Nexus and CyanogenMod) when it comes to updates. What I blame them for is that central marketing message for Windows Phone was very different from how it played out. If they do not want or can not keep such promises then just not promise.

Edited 2013-02-02 09:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What did you expect?
by Nelson on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE: What did you expect?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Mango had a set of post updates, which when viewed together, is a fair sized release.

Following Mango users received something like four small updates with various improvements. One of them included a 4G LTE stack for capable devices, no small feat.

Reply Score: 2

7.8 is essential for certain regions
by Orochi on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 01:00 UTC
Orochi
Member since:
2013-02-02

I agree with your article and we're disappointed too.

But at the same time, we're very happy.

7.8 has added thai language encoding support in the Internet browser (along with arabic and other Asian languages).

So this is huge, making the Lumia 900 finally usable in Thailand.

We had bought this being told thai language support was on the way but it never happened until 7.8.

Still no Thai Keyboard though sadly but there are (shitty) apps to type thai at least.

Reply Score: 3

v I don't know where to start
by socialcarpet on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 02:45 UTC
RE: I don't know where to start
by nej_simon on Sat 2nd Feb 2013 16:03 UTC in reply to "I don't know where to start"
nej_simon Member since:
2011-02-11

First of all learn to use paragraphs, your post is really difficult to read.

Anyway, the Lumia 800 was released in Q4 2011 but was available in many countries in Q1 2012. And the Lumia 900 became available in Q2 2012. Both phones where marketed as flagship phones and where quite expensive. And then, only months later the platform was essentially abandoned. So while it's true that MS didn't deliver less than they promised they can't expect their customers (or partners) to be very happy about this.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: I don't know where to start
by Elv13 on Sun 3rd Feb 2013 07:29 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't know where to start"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

"Nokia" and "essentially abandoned platform" in the same thread? Isn't that a little deja vu?

Reply Score: 4

RE: I don't know where to start
by zima on Thu 7th Feb 2013 15:27 UTC in reply to "I don't know where to start"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Most people buy a new one every 2 years anyway [...] and its not reasonable to ask progress to be held back to keep people on 3-4 year old phones happy [...] do what everyone else does and buy a new device

That's maybe the case in your place, likely fairly atypical; a local bubble of perception.

But most of the 5+ billion mobile subscribers hang onto their handsets for much longer than 2 years. And BTW, they actually own them - most of the 5+ billion are on prepaid, no contract.

Reply Score: 2

W7.8 is not bad
by TBPrince on Mon 4th Feb 2013 00:10 UTC
TBPrince
Member since:
2005-07-06

As owner of a Lumia 900, I have to say that I'm not that disappointed by Windows Phone 7.8.

My biggest complain is about IE 10 not being included but I still hope Nokia, which is meant to release a W7.9 update, will be able to include that into next release. HTML5 videos is still a major problem in L900 and W7.8.

Other than that, I have to say I'm satisfied with this update. Of course, you have to accept the fact that W7.x will not be upgraded to W8, which is a bit disappointing given that those Lumias are a little more than 1 year old. That was plain wrong, of course.

However, W7.8 is generally faster than 7.5 and damn, let me say that Metro UI is simply amazing. New homescreen is wonderful and I would have upgraded to 7.8 only to get that.

And I owned a Galaxy SII and used many Android 4.x devices however Windows Phone is by far the best for usability and UI in general. Nokia devices are a plus because they're simply beautiful. The live Tiles concept is Amazing and trust me : I'd never go back to an Android phone even if those devices has lots of software and nice things.

I understand people being disappointed for the contrast of not being able to enjoy full W8 and I can't say I'm not too. I'm sure that, under a technical point of view, W8 could be ported to Lumias but of course MS set requirements for W8 and won't allow Nokia or anyone else to port W8.

However, WP 7.x eco-system is quite interesting and there are now many apps to use. While 7.x devices aren't in the tens of millions, W8 devices aren't that many yet. As a developer, I would still developt for both 7.x and 8, given that they aren't probably so different or, better, for 7.x in order to get both classes of devices.

Then, if W8 sells well (like I hope and I forecast), of course 7.x will get less software for them but I wouldn't complain that much if my Lumia will need to be replaced in 8-10 months.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Tue 5th Feb 2013 13:28 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

I finally managed to get the 7.8 update using the "disconnect" trick.

So it's a few extra colors, most I don't like, Bing wallpaper of the day and resizable tiles on the home screen.

The version bump from 7.5 to 7.8 seems to be more a political/marketing move than what us IT people would expect. This is nothing that would have taken months to create.

I'm happy with the ability to use smaller tiles on the home screen, but I'm unhappy that from the moment WP 8 arrived a constant stream of new 'n' improved apps started, all of which don't work in 7.8.

If WP has a future it's version 8, not 7.x.

Reply Score: 2