Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Mar 2018 22:09 UTC
Windows

While Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows Phone 8.1 more than six months ago, there are some users that still utilize the platform as their daily driver. Although the company's overall mobile initiative isn't faring too well either, most users on older platforms are still there because they prefer it over the competition or weren't offered an upgrade path to Windows 10 Mobile.

However, it now appears that Windows Phone 8.1 users are facing some unforeseen problems with the Store - and no, it isn't regarding the dearth of apps. According to reports, people on the platform have been unable to download apps from the Store since yesterday.

While I'm sure this particular case is just some weird bug, it does highlight a real problem - what happens to a perfectly fine phone phone running a walled garden platform when its creator ceases to offer application store services? In an ideal world, such a platform would be opened up and set free, but I highly doubt that's going to happen here.

The reality will be that a lot of perfectly fine phones will end up in the trash.

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This problem is already quite old.
by moondevil on Mon 5th Mar 2018 23:06 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

Just try to get J2ME, Palm Pilot, Symbian, PocketPC, Newton apps.

I doubt there is any legal way of still having them.

Reply Score: 4

judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

My Palm lifedrive works just fine, i can get apps from the legacy store or as it used to be everywhere from the developer directly. There are plenty of sites that still hosts the applications and a quick email to developers like lonelycat or access lets you buy any needed software.

The only thing this still great device lacks is a newer browser, but i heard there is a netsurf port in the works.

Reply Score: 1

winter skies Member since:
2009-08-21

Symbian is perfectly fine, at least from Symbian^3 on. http://applist.schumi1331.de/

Reply Score: 1

computrius Member since:
2006-03-26

They don't need app stores to work. You weren't needlessly locked out of your own device, so you can just get and install what you need from where ever you want.

Reply Score: 1

Perfectly fine?
by jnemesh on Mon 5th Mar 2018 23:36 UTC
jnemesh
Member since:
2008-04-08

Any Windows Phone ISNT "perfectly fine", and wasn't even when new! But to expect support after it's been killed is stupid. I can no longer download apps for my Palm Pre either. I saw the writing on the wall and bought into a platform that WOULD be supported! Even then, I didn't hang onto my Galaxy S Epic for years after, I bought several new phones since then. Smartphones aren't PCs and users shouldnt expect them to have any kind of life after official support for the product ends. To expect otherwise is just stupid.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Perfectly fine?
by judgen on Tue 6th Mar 2018 00:12 UTC in reply to "Perfectly fine?"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

The Garnet Palm devices still gets new software from 3rd party developers.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Perfectly fine?
by Alfman on Tue 6th Mar 2018 04:19 UTC in reply to "Perfectly fine?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

jnermesh,

Any Windows Phone ISNT "perfectly fine", and wasn't even when new! But to expect support after it's been killed is stupid. I can no longer download apps for my Palm Pre either. I saw the writing on the wall and bought into a platform that WOULD be supported! Even then, I didn't hang onto my Galaxy S Epic for years after, I bought several new phones since then. Smartphones aren't PCs and users shouldnt expect them to have any kind of life after official support for the product ends. To expect otherwise is just stupid.


You are missing Thom's point, which isn't for manufactures support products indefinitely, but that 3rd party communities ought to be able to step in where the manufactures themselves lost interest in supporting their users. Frankly there are several open source communities that would be happy to take these old devices and provide even better support than manufacturers did. However the problem is that they're crippled by closed & vendor locked platforms with obstacles to block owner mods. Reverse engineering is extremely tedious. That's what Thom means with platforms being "opened up", and I heartily agree with him, however history shows that it's generally wishful thinking since manufacturers have no issue letting customers fall off a cliff if they choose not to buy new devices despite the fact that the hardware remains perfectly fine.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Perfectly fine?
by Kochise on Tue 6th Mar 2018 05:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Perfectly fine?"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Does the "repair bill" address the "lock in" problem ?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Perfectly fine?
by shotsman on Tue 6th Mar 2018 07:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Perfectly fine?"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Good luck with makers allowing 3rd parties to take over when they've had enough.

Just look at the lenghts the old games makers are going to stop 3rd parties from supporting them into the future. The makers just want to shut down the game and force you to buy the next greatest shootemup rehash they are offering.

This is a part of the reason why I never got into gaming. The games makers have you over a barrel. Even more than the PC software makers with their subscriptions and forced updates...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Perfectly fine?
by Alfman on Tue 6th Mar 2018 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Perfectly fine?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

shotsman,

Good luck with makers allowing 3rd parties to take over when they've had enough.

Just look at the lenghts the old games makers are going to stop 3rd parties from supporting them into the future. The makers just want to shut down the game and force you to buy the next greatest shootemup rehash they are offering.

This is a part of the reason why I never got into gaming. The games makers have you over a barrel. Even more than the PC software makers with their subscriptions and forced updates...


Of course, that is the very problem we're talking about with "closed & vendor locked".

Obviously phones that are truly deficient should be replaced, but it shouldn't be the case that manufacturers inhibit users from getting support elsewhere. This is not in the interests of consumers, which is why I'd be a proponent of some kind of law that said as soon as manufactures abandon their users, those users would become legally entitled to get their hardware unlocked and get programming specs so that those devices can be supported by 3rd parties in the community.

We have to get rid of the widespread idea that hardware needs to be throw away to replace the software. To maximize resource efficiency, hardware and software lifecycles must get separated as they are with PCs.

We need to recognize that the amount of electronic waste humans produce is awful for the planet and closed/locked devices only exacerbate this problem. If we don't address it, businesses will continue to cause ecological harm unnecessarily for their profit.

Reply Score: 3

Lumia 535
by henderson101 on Tue 6th Mar 2018 09:19 UTC
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

I upgraded my Lumia 535 to Windows Phone 10. To be honest, I don't think it's much better off than being on WP8.1 these days. App support is pretty shocking.

Reply Score: 3

Lumia 520 still on WP8.1
by wigry on Tue 6th Mar 2018 13:47 UTC
wigry
Member since:
2008-10-09

I still use my Lumia 520 with WP8.1 as a daily driver as there is not a single reason not to. The battery still lasts a week and the calls and SMSes run well. The IE can render those few pages I occasionally visit (like my banks web to make a quick payment every once in a while) and the alarm wakes me up in the morning.

Still I am surprised when phone notifies me about some updates as I am fully aware that the platform has been abandoned. Just a month ago I got an update to OneDrive app and weather app and couple of others. So there are still developers out there who build software for WP8.1

But yes as told I see no fault in WP8.1 functionality and as a simple phone it is more than adequate and I have no plan to upgrade any time soon.

Edited 2018-03-06 13:48 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Tue 6th Mar 2018 20:00 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

what happens to a perfectly fine phone phone running a walled garden platform when its creator ceases to offer application store services?


What happens to a perfectly fine phone phone running a walled garden platform when its creator bans applications like Kodi and retro console emulators for... reasons?

This is why I never considered iOS, Apple TV and Windows Phone as options despite having bought a €500 and £700 phone before (well within iPhone territory). You are at the mercy of the store policy (which can be updated without your consent). When viable non-walled alternatives exist, people buying walled products get what they deserve in more ways than one.

Edited 2018-03-06 20:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

WP7 all over again
by Morgan on Thu 8th Mar 2018 00:01 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

This is exactly what happened when WP7 devices reached end of life. My HTC Arrive would still be a usable smartphone today if the Windows Store hadn't left it behind. It's still usable as a basic phone since all of the built in phone-centric apps work fine, though being a non-LTE device locked to the Sprint network severely limits use while traveling.

My mom is rocking my old Lumia 521 with Windows 10 Mobile and it is showing no signs of aging; it is as fast as it was the day I got it (five years ago!) and it gives her nearly a week of battery life. She hated smartphones until she started using it, which I understand completely given how good the WP interface is.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Sidux
by Sidux on Thu 8th Mar 2018 12:47 UTC
Sidux
Member since:
2015-03-10

Not only this but what happens when a perfectly fine product ceases to function when service becomes unreachable / unresponsive after a patch was issued?
People tend to depend too much on something that they don't understand how they function but is heavily marketed.

Edited 2018-03-08 12:48 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Sidux
by Alfman on Thu 8th Mar 2018 17:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by Sidux"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Sidux,

Not only this but what happens when a perfectly fine product ceases to function when service becomes unreachable / unresponsive after a patch was issued?
People tend to depend too much on something that they don't understand how they function but is heavily marketed.


Yeah, IOT is a mixed bag. Even big companies like google have given it a bad reputation.

In one case, google discontinued the services, which immediately rendered the devices useless.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/05/revolv-devices-br...

In another, google botched the software and it could no longer phone home.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/14/fashion/nest-thermostat-glitch-ba...

Other times it's just poor engineering, like not giving owners sufficient control to locally override the device.
http://www.businessinsider.com/google-employee-nest-smoke-alarm-is-...
(watch the video)


A big problem in all these cases is that, as engineered, the IOT devices were guilty of not incorporating a local fallback mode. Ideally IOT connectivity is never supposed to break, but it is beyond stupid that they could not degrade gracefully and could not perform correctly as a dumb device without the control of the "master hive".

To be clear, it's not that IOT is a bad idea. Web-enabled thermostats, detectors, etc can be useful, but they shouldn't be dependent on external proprietary services that can and do fail.

Reply Score: 3