Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Apr 2012 20:30 UTC
Windows It had to be said. It had to be said because no one else in the technology industry had the guts to say it. "I think it's time to stop giving Windows Phone a pass." Thanks, Joshua Topolsky. He's right. A few weeks ago I went back to my HTC HD7 for a few days while I was getting acquainted with the Android ROM scene, and to my utter surprise, most of my problems with Windows Phone 7 from when the platform was just released were still there.
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I think managed code is the problem.
by MollyC on Thu 5th Apr 2012 23:25 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Poor app performance is due to incompetence wrt Silverlight programming. WP8 will allow native (i.e. bare metal, non-Silverlight) 3rd party apps, which i think will fix that problem. MS wanted to mandate Silverlight (or XNA) managed code in order for security reasons (Android has malware, WP7 does not), but they're going to bite the bullet and allow native coded apps in WP8.

Secondly, they're going support multi-core CPUs in WP8. THey didn't want to do that in order to hold costs down and improve battery life (for example, Lumia has twice the battery life of a Galaxy Nexus), but they're going to go with multi-core with WP8.

Everyonw knows that Android runs like absolute garbage on a single-core CPU. WP7 blows away Android on a core-for-core measuring stick, but in real life Android is using dual and quad-core, so in real life Android out performs WP wrt 3rd-party apps.

But I think Silverlight is the main issue. Lumia 900 on a single core keeps up with the 2-core Galaxy Nexus as long as bare-metal (non-Silverlight) apps are used.

See this youTube comoparison video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkifKnNmeVg

Reply Score: 2

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Having said the above, a couple things on Topolky's review that I have a beef with.

First, he says there's nothing WP does better than Android or iOS. The video I posted in the above comment disproves that as regard to Android.

Second, Topolky scores the Lumia 900's OS a '5', which is lower than his site scores Blackberry OS. Which means that, if Topolsky had a gun to his head and was forced to use either a WP decice or a Blackberry device for the next 12 months (hardware being equal), he'd choose the Blackberry device. I simply do not believe that he'd actually make that choice. I can't prove it, but I don't believe it. If so, then rather than talk of giving WP a pass he might have to talk about his own site giving Blackberry OS a pass. There's a video of Josh comparing Blackberry device with a WP7 phone, where the Blackberry device was stuttering all over the place, and Topolsky condemned that as acting like an "old" phone, and Topolsky then praised the WP device as acting like a smooth modern phone. But now he scores WP lower than Blackberry as the OS he'd recommend to his readership?

Third, Topolsky has made numerous criticisms of iOS UI in his podcasts, but when it comes time to review an iOS device, he never decreases the device's review score. Meaning, he's giving iOS UI "a pass", by definition (criticizing it in podcasts, but not doing it in reviews).

Topolsky also has the "Windows 7 is poison" statement hanging around his neck, which unfortunately has allowed folks to label him an anti-Microsoft fanboy and thus discredit anything he has to say wrt Microsoft. He shouldv'e let Chris Zeigler do the Lumia review. Zeigler says that he agrees with Topolsky's Lumia review, so the score wouldn't have changed, but the review would be more credible since Zeigler lacks any anti-Microsoft reputation/baggage.

Reply Parent Score: 4

phoehne Member since:
2006-08-26

I agree with your take on managed code. On something like a lower power, memory constrained device - go native.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I don't entirely agree. I think that managed code can still be an answer, but the design of the frameworks has to be something carefully done.

It is actually quite astounding how the WinDiv inside Microsoft did in a few years what DevDiv couldn't, which is make a XAML stack blindingly fast and fluid.

Silverlight is just a bunch of compromises for cross platform (Remember, the thing started as a cross platform BROWSER PLUGIN).

- XAML is parsed, not compiled (Honestly, not sure if this is still the case in WinRT, but I know WPF uses compiled XAML)
- Software rasterization, even for pixel effects. The only HW acceleration are GPU cache'd surfaces with BitmapCaching and (WP7 and SL5 only) composite thread animations like Opacity and RenderTransforms.
- On WP7 it uses the .NETCF which I would bet has code gen which isn't up to par for ARM. I remember reading somewhere that the Windows team made their ARM JITTer very efficient for the Metro Profile on Windows 8.

All in all, I wouldn't let a so-so (Because let me make this clear, it has rough edges but it's far from TERRIBLE.) experience on WP7 with managed code make you sour on the idea.

I believe the idea can work.

Reply Parent Score: 2

pos3 Member since:
2010-06-25

"Everyonw knows that Android runs like absolute garbage on a single-core CPU" - I am using optimus one 600mhz cpu with Android 2.3. It working fine that you.
WP7 UI is too simple and not that good looking.

Reply Parent Score: 1

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Poor app performance is due to incompetence wrt Silverlight programming. WP8 will allow native (i.e. bare metal, non-Silverlight) 3rd party apps, which i think will fix that problem.


I don't think the issue is managed-language vs. native code, that shouldn't affect things like e.g. scrolling. I think it is simply the fact that developers are yet unaware of how to properly optimize their code for WP7, and possibly Microsoft should work on that; it is certainly within their power to restructure things in order to make it easier to get fluid UIs developed more easily.

MS wanted to mandate Silverlight (or XNA) managed code in order for security reasons (Android has malware, WP7 does not)


The language being managed code or not bears no significance there. The fact is that Google just does a really, really shoddy work with their Play Market whereas Microsoft does a much more thorough job with their own market.

Android also allows the installation of applications from outside sources whereas WP7 doesn't, that makes a huge difference. It is generally very easy to fool people into enabling the setting that allows one to install stuff outside the Play Market and then installing this or that from a less-than-trustworthy source. One should not forget simple greed either; there's plenty of ways of obtaining illegitimate copies of Android games and apps, and those often carry some "extra" with them.

Basically, WP7 is more locked-down and Microsoft does better job with their own market than Google does with theirs.

Secondly, they're going support multi-core CPUs in WP8. THey didn't want to do that in order to hold costs down and improve battery life (for example, Lumia has twice the battery life of a Galaxy Nexus), but they're going to go with multi-core with WP8.


That was indeed quite short-sighted from Microsoft. It was perfectly clear already back when WP7 was being developed that the route forward on mobile devices will be multi-core systems. These days it's often actually cheaper to obtain multi-core SoCs than single-core ones.

Reply Parent Score: 7

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


I don't think the issue is managed-language vs. native code, that shouldn't affect things like e.g. scrolling. I think it is simply the fact that developers are yet unaware of how to properly optimize their code for WP7, and possibly Microsoft should work on that; it is certainly within their power to restructure things in order to make it easier to get fluid UIs developed more easily.


It's a combination of both, as I alluded to in my post below. Having a top heavy managed framework means you're allocating more heap objects, which makes Garbage Collections more costly.

With UI virtualization, the recycling of out of view containers becomes a CPU bound bottleneck. This was made dramatically better with Windows Phone 7.5 though. It's mostly a non issue.


That was indeed quite short-sighted from Microsoft. It was perfectly clear already back when WP7 was being developed that the route forward on mobile devices will be multi-core systems. These days it's often actually cheaper to obtain multi-core SoCs than single-core ones.


The problem with that was that WP7 still uses WinCE, which in the available incarnation at the time, didn't use multicore. SMP only landed in CE7, which didn't mesh with the roadmap at the time.

Besides, now that they're moving to NT, I predict a lot of the development will get easier, and thus faster. They'll have the full force and blessing (not to mention resources) of WinDiv behind them too. WP7 was always the brain child of the E&D division.

Reply Parent Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

WP8 will allow native

That is the problem right there. Microsoft has shifted it's focus once again. WP7 is left out cold till Win8 arrives. As a developer, will you be rewriting you app every 2 years that Microsoft likes to switch their focus that dramatically?

managed code in order for security reasons (Android has malware, WP7 does not)

Managed vs native has little to do with it. See iOS.

for example, Lumia has twice the battery life of a Galaxy Nexus

Anand will disagree. In fact most reviewers disagree, stating that Lumia has battery life that is in tune with other modern smartphones.

Everyonw knows that Android runs like absolute garbage on a single-core CPU.

Except it's, in your words, "garbage". All 2011 SonyEricssons, Galaxy S and Nexus S are less powerful than any of the Lumia line(except the unreleased 610). SE's run like a dream. Nexus S on GB was good enough and on ICS runs very well.

But I think Silverlight is the main issue.

The main issue is the attention deficit at Microsoft. But I doubt that their shareholders are willing to live through another XBox...

Reply Parent Score: 7

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


That is the problem right there. Microsoft has shifted it's focus once again. WP7 is left out cold till Win8 arrives. As a developer, will you be rewriting you app every 2 years that Microsoft likes to switch their focus that dramatically?


Wtf? You won't have to rewrite your app. They've already stated all current apps will be supported in the next platform. Whatever direction they decide to go in.

WinRT would theoretically augment the platform, not completely replace. They're not going to throw away 80k apps. Android didn't do it when they released the NDK.

Let's be a little realistic here, please.


Anand will disagree. In fact most reviewers disagree, stating that Lumia has battery life that is in tune with other modern smartphones.


Depends on which Lumia. I can't speak for the Lumia 900, but after the firmware updates the Lumia 800 has incredible battery life. Easily besting most smartphones I've used.

Time will tell, I've found a lot of reviews on battery life to be misleading in the past. So once this thing gets into people's hands, we'll see.


Except it's, in your words, "garbage". All 2011 SonyEricssons, Galaxy S and Nexus S are less powerful than any of the Lumia line(except the unreleased 610). SE's run like a dream. Nexus S on GB was good enough and on ICS runs very well.


As a former Nexus S owner, you're being ridiculous. That thing was unbelievably frustrating to use with Gingerbread. It's still amazing to me how people put up with such a poor experience.

Plus, the SGX540 in the Nexus S is dramatically faster than the Adreno 205 in the Lumia 900.

So no, actually, you're wrong. The Lumia is doing more with significantly less.

But I think Silverlight is the main issue.

The main issue is the attention deficit at Microsoft. But I doubt that their shareholders are willing to live through another XBox... [/q]

Why exactly? I don't get the invisible phantom threat of Microsoft shareholders when the company has been consistently overperforming in the last decade. They don't much care, and if mobile goes anything like Xbox, then they're probably game.

Reply Parent Score: 2

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Android features both managed and native apps but its security spurs from the permissions mechanism and unix fs based sandboxing. It has nothing to do with being managed or not.
The lack of malware in WP7 comes from both poor platform uptake and MS Apple like review process .

Reply Parent Score: 4

jnemesh Member since:
2008-04-08

Android runs just fine on my single core Galaxy S.

Reply Parent Score: 2

juzzlin Member since:
2011-05-06

Android runs just fine on my single core Galaxy S.


It runs just fine also on my single core HTC Desire. These "old" Android super phones were fast and still are.

Reply Parent Score: 1