Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 30th Aug 2017 19:01 UTC

The NYPD has to scrap the 36,000 smartphones it gave cops over the past two years because they're already obsolete and can't be upgraded, The Post has learned.

The city bought Microsoft-based Nokia smartphones as part of a $160 million NYPD Mobility Initiative that Mayor Bill de Blasio touted as "a huge step into the 21st century".

In 2014. They bought these in 2014.

In 2014.

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Comment by sj87
by sj87 on Wed 30th Aug 2017 19:31 UTC
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I bet they had to wait a couple years just to avoid even bigger shame.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Comment by sj87
by Adurbe on Thu 31st Aug 2017 15:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by sj87"
Adurbe Member since:

Not really, the scheme actually worked very well for them. Read their actual statement below;

"Our smartphone initiative is 45% under budget. Based on current rate of spending, we expect to stretch what was initially budgeted at two years of spending to more than four years.

The smartphones have made our cops smarter, faster, and more agile in their response to 911 calls, with response times down more than 8 percent. Whether it’s the parent whose child has gone missing, the driver who needs a copy of an accident report, or a domestic violence victim whose life may be saved by a faster emergency response, the smartphone program has made the NYPD, already New York’s Finest, even finer."

You show me an government IT rollout of similar size that was that much UNDERbudget AND delivered an 8% improvement in performance.

I know its popular to bash MS, but this scheme was an unmitigated success.

Reply Score: 1

A tad premature?
by lucke on Wed 30th Aug 2017 19:33 UTC
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I have Lumia 640, it came with Windows 8.1, it got an update to Windows 10 Mobile, which, as I have read somewhere recently, is supposed to be supported till the end of 2018. Maybe getting rid of 'em Lumias 640XL is a bit premature?

Would be a hoot if they replaced them with some Android phones not getting security updates at all or for long (and I guess they would get such phones if they went for something in the price range of Lumias 640XL).

(I want a phone for under 250 euro with security updates provided for more than 2 years, HALP!)

Reply Score: 1

RE: A tad premature?
by NuxRo on Wed 30th Aug 2017 22:31 UTC in reply to "A tad premature?"
NuxRo Member since:

Nokia 5 :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: A tad premature?
by lucke on Thu 31st Aug 2017 08:36 UTC in reply to "RE: A tad premature?"
lucke Member since:

Nokia indeed seems to be a good choice. Nokia 3 is supposed to cost around the same as Lumia 640 two years ago (around 150 euro) and HMD promises at least 2 years of security updates.

Thanks for letting me know.

Reply Score: 1

RE: A tad premature?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 30th Aug 2017 22:57 UTC in reply to "A tad premature?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

Heck I'd take a phone for 250 Euros with security for two years only. That sounds like a deal.

This the current list for the past year of phones with good security updates, read it and despair.

Reply Score: 4

Follow the stocks
by th3rmite on Wed 30th Aug 2017 19:37 UTC
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They are replacing them with iPhones. Whenever you see a major contract change like this you just have to look at who in the approval process owns stock in that company. I mean come on, what kind of smart phone does a cop need anyways? Contracts like this raise the stock of apple thus indirectly profiting the stock holders, i.e. The politicians.

Reply Score: 4

The Phones aren't useless
by chowyunpat on Wed 30th Aug 2017 21:48 UTC
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The phones aren't useless, you can make phone calls text with them and do some basic functions. It's this very mentality that is creating piles of electronic junk, that some of the very environmentally minded smart phone users seem to overlook.

Reply Score: 7

Who could ever trust MS Mobile again?
by argimenes on Wed 30th Aug 2017 22:54 UTC
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It pains me to say as an ASP.NET developer, but who could ever trust Microsoft again in the mobile space with the shabby way they've treated mobile support? I hope they do unveil a category-defining mobile product soon, but unless it runs Windows apps out of the box or emulates Android apps, I can't see them attracting any major developers.

Reply Score: 2

Vanders Member since:

Which again are we talking about? This is what, the third or fourth time Microsoft have totally failed to get into the mobile market and then abandoned the handful of users they did have?

Reply Score: 4

by galvanash on Thu 31st Aug 2017 00:32 UTC
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Ill be the first to admit that I don't pay much attention to the Microsoft mobile ecosystem. However, from a quick google search it seams both of the phone models in question are upgradable to Windows 10 Mobile and are supported until at least 2018...

I don't get what the problem is exactly. These phones are no more obsolete than an iPhone 6 would have been if they had bought those instead. This all sounds fishy to me.

I mean I get that Microsoft has very low market share and maybe buying them wasn't the best decision in hindsight - but they are making it sound like the phones are the problem and getting iPhones will "fix" things.

It sounds to me more like the real problem is they took 3 damn years to distribute 36,000 phones! I don't think the type of phone is particularly relevant - any modern smart phone is close to EOL in 3 years.

Am I missing something???

Edited 2017-08-31 00:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: huh?
by Morgan on Thu 31st Aug 2017 01:36 UTC in reply to "huh?"
Morgan Member since:

I'd be willing to bet some police commander high up the chain found out there's no official Snapchat app for Windows Phone and he can't get any more nude pics from his mistress without it.

Joking aside, moving to iPhone makes sense if they're worried about security, and availability of updates.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: huh?
by M.Onty on Thu 31st Aug 2017 04:30 UTC in reply to "RE: huh?"
M.Onty Member since:

I'd be willing to bet some police commander high up the chain found out there's no official Snapchat app for Windows Phone and he can't get any more nude pics from his mistress without it.

Joking aside...

You sure that's a joke? Sounds plausible to me.

Reply Score: 3

The devil is on the details
by Poseidon on Thu 31st Aug 2017 01:52 UTC
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Not only are the phones old, they got them for free, according to their head of IT.

They were also very decent phones in 2014, and I'm sure that their batteries already have a horrible performance, since they're used around the clock.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The devil is on the details
by JLF65 on Sun 3rd Sep 2017 15:16 UTC in reply to "The devil is on the details"
JLF65 Member since:

That is almost certainly why the phones need to be "replaced" - the batteries have either gone dead, or are dead enough that it's no longer holding a charge through a single shift. Now you can get replacement batteries, but a quick check shows that batteries for the Lumia 830 (one of the phones in question, and an older model) are no longer made and have very low stocks available any more. They simply can't get thousands of them.

Reply Score: 2

Hawaii 5' o
by bugjacobs on Thu 31st Aug 2017 05:46 UTC
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I wonder who will get product placement commercial in that show now that MS is out of favour ...

Reply Score: 1

RE: MS Advertising
by shotsman on Thu 31st Aug 2017 06:25 UTC in reply to "Hawaii 5' o"
shotsman Member since:

MS is advertising the hell out of its Surface devices on UK TV at the moment. They use so called designers etc that people probably have never heard of to show glossy over saturated pictures of 'stuff' and say 'I could never do that on my Mac'. Mac's could never do pen annotation but hey, this is marketing so anything goes.

I am beginning to wonder if this is their final fling before pulling the plug on the whole surface thing?

Reply Score: 3

Blog < Journalism
by avgalen on Thu 31st Aug 2017 09:44 UTC
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So Thom posted this a few days later than everyone else and didn't link to the follow up article

Thom's headline: NYPD needs to replace 36000 useless smartphones
NYPD spokespersons response: This Sunday, while a Post reporter was writing her story, NYPD officers used their smartphones to help respond to over 25,000 911 calls; ran 18,000 searches; and viewed 1,080 flyers of missing or wanted persons. Sunday is a slow day.

Thoms snarky comment: "2014 (3x)"
My analysis: So they used these basically free devices for real work for over 3 years to get real work done and are now investigating how to replace them with more modern equipment while these devices are still actively supported and receive security updates all the time....Hats off to whomever is in charge there!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Blog < Journalism
by Kochise on Thu 31st Aug 2017 11:19 UTC in reply to "Blog < Journalism"
Kochise Member since:

Sthey used these basically free devices for real work for over 3 years to get real work done and are now investigating how to replace them with more modern equipment

Any justification about this urgent need "to replace them with more modern equipment" if the installed "free devices for real work for over 3 years [] get real work done" ?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Blog < Journalism
by avgalen on Thu 31st Aug 2017 21:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Blog < Journalism"
avgalen Member since:

Any justification about this urgent need "to replace them with more modern equipment"

It is in the article that I linked to:
Tisch notes that it's actually been under consideration since last year, when the department learned that improvements Apple had made would help the NYPD switch platforms in a cost effective manner. Tisch doesn't address the fact that Microsoft has also ended support for Windows Phone 8.1, but that played a role as well, according to the the Post's earlier report.

Reply Score: 2

All commercial units...
by dionicio on Thu 31st Aug 2017 13:31 UTC
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Actual Toys.

Reply Score: 1

iphone 4 in my hand now
by yerverluvinunclebert on Thu 31st Aug 2017 16:01 UTC
Member since:

I have an iphone 4s in my hand now. It makes calls just as it used to. It is sturdy and satisfyingly solid. I can view the BBC NEWS site, read a book, navigate offline using Navmii, use it a GPS, view the nightsky and stars, check my mail, use facebook, messenger and skype. I can ebay, use dropbox, google drive and buy from Tesco/Amazon and gumtree!, it wakes me in the morning and plays my music. Those are just a few of the apps that still work on IoS 7.0 The base browser is a bit crap but that's the same on all screens the size of a playing card...

A phone is a phone is a phone. We should be thankful it can do more. We should shepherd our old kit and use it! We should castigate the suppliers for leaving us out in the lurch.

The iphone 4s is a great bit of kit. Now. Today.

Reply Score: 1

Nepotism at its finest
by JLF65 on Thu 31st Aug 2017 16:55 UTC
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Sources said Tisch, whose late grandfather co-founded the Loews Corp. conglomerate, insisted on Microsoft-based phones in part because the NYPD was already using Microsoft software to run the video surveillance program at its Lower Manhattan Security Initiative Command Center.

“She was in charge. It was her project, no question about that,” a source said.

Even then-NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton acknowledged Tisch’s role in the decision-making process when officials announced the smartphone plan in October 2014.

“She’s a terror if she doesn’t get her way, so I usually let her get her way,” Bratton had joked.

“So she’s certainly getting her way with this technology.”

Her grandfather co-founded a huge and successful business. She can't POSSIBLY not know what she's doing!

Please note that I'm NOT making fun of her because of her gender. I'd rip on a man in this position at least as badly. Too many privileged little snowflakes are put into positions they can't handle simply because of who they're related to. But that's the job market (for the top positions): who you're connected to, where you went to college, and how much money your family has... pick any two. Don't have at least two of those? You're screwed.

Reply Score: 2

by Deviate_X on Sat 2nd Sep 2017 08:28 UTC
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I believe that most phones only have 2 years support from vendors for updates unless the device is delivered as some kind of expensive enterprise solution.

The exception is the iPhones which has a very good reputation for supporting older devices where the iPhone 4 is still supported with updates (2010 - 2017).

I would expect they will migrate to iPhones.

Reply Score: 2