Skip to main content

What's NOT Wrong With Windows Mobile

Now that's not a sarcastic question, more of a response to a blog entry written on Gizmodo by Jason Chen called What's Wrong With Windows Mobile. Now I'm not particularly going to defend Microsoft over what is essentially a clunky system, but Jason's post is factually wrong in many areas and I feel these should be addressed.

Let's take Jason's points in the order he makes them.

1. Its hard to multitask. Sorry Jason, but its really not. In any application you can tap the Start menu icon or press the Windows key and jump to any of the last six applications you've had open or up to nine others on the Start menu. Its possibly the biggest redeeming factor in the Windows Mobile interface.

2. Closing a program doesn't close it. It can do - a tap and hold on the X button, but more importantly why worry about what does and doesn't happen. Since WM5 Microsoft have pretty much cracked the memory management side of things and programs minimise or close as necessary.

3. Different builds work differently. Hardly surprising as one supports touch screen interfaces and the other is all keypad based. And the argument that tablet and desktop pcs work the same is spurious - you're still using a point and click metaphor on both. And its not as if many users are going to be switching between a Pro and Standard device regularly enough that they'll confuse themselves is it?

4. Calling is difficult. Really? Here's how it works, from anywhere in the OS hit the green call button then either key a number or select from your list of contacts, hit dial and boom! you're making a phone call. I struggle to see how it could get any easier (in fact its noticeably more difficult on the iPhone for example).

The complaints about the UI are, of course, entirely personal. I've always thought it functional rather than pretty, but its certainly an acceptable method for interacting a phone which offers so many more possible usage scenarios than competitive devices. Jason's main argument is that the swipes and slides of the iPhone are missing, but that assumes Microsoft were in the market for customers looking for eye candy - which they weren't, although they may now be.

Ultimately Windows Mobile has been surpassed in three areas, UI, web browsing and media, but as handset manufacturers have dropped their customisations on top of WM the former is less of an issue; and the arrival of Opera 9.5 as a de facto standard browser for new WM devices the latter is also less of an issue. Media handling is something of a joke and needs to be sorted out, but there are alternative players around which even the most basic of user would soon find their way too.

I don't think anyone would argue that Microsoft have been outplayed on the mobile front over the last year, but dig down into the real usage and the gap isn't as big as some would have you believe. Were I to have my iPhone forcibly removed tomorrow I would be upset naturally, but going back to a Windows Mobile handset wouldn't really cause me any worry.


Popular posts from this blog

Samsung Still Banking On 'Not An Android Tablet' Being The Best Selling Point For Its Android Tablet

Samsung has announced the new Tab S6, which builds on the features of the outgoing Tab S4, whilst adding inductive charging for its magnetically attached stylus, a new keyboard and case design and an enhanced DeX mode.

The problem for Samsung is that nobody is making apps for Android tablets, so there are far to few to enjoy a real tablet experience. A major problem when trying to compete with the iPad. So once more it has turned to its DeX solution to make the Android solution less… Android.

The result is a similar to the mix of good and bad that the Tab S4 offered. Not powerful enough to compete with the Surface, not tablet enough to complete with the iPad and weak in the crossover area between the two extremes.

I'd even go as far as to suggest that Samsung would have a much more compelling and interesting option if it forego the DeX mode and provided a Ubuntu environment, setup to allow seamless operation on files irrespective of whether you're running Linux or Android. Ad…

Huawei Beats Apple Out Of The Door With First 16" Borderless Laptop

Huawei has given us a sneak preview of the upcoming MacBook Pro 16, by releasing its MagicBook Pro, which clearly uses the Apple product as its inspiration.

The MagicBook Pro is released despite concerns over Huawei's long term access to US suppliers products.

Nevertheless, it manages to break new ground for a laptop. Smaller and lighter than most 15" laptops, the MagicBook Pro squeezes in a 16.1" screen with slim and evenly distributed bezels.

Screen aside it's a fairly regular Windows laptop offering, packing an 8th generation Intel i7 and an Nvidia discrete graphics card.

Huawei's previous laptops haven't been widely distributed, so its hard to say how popular they might prove to be. If the company is able to continue making laptops the MateBook looks to be an interesting option for customers looking for a larger machine.

If Apple sticks with its existing design language for its own incoming 16" MacBook, then I'm guessing it won't look too di…

BMW Cash Grab For Apple Car Play Isn't About Hurting New Buyers

Apple Car Play has been a cost option for BMW buyers for a while now. That cost amounts to a one time fee of around $300 in your local currency. BMW has spied an opportunity which will allow it to make much more money out of the deal and, in effect, turn Apple Car Play into its own cash monkey.

BMW's argument - and one that should resonate with new car buyers - is that by switching to an $80 subscription they are actually reducing the cost to car buyers, who tend to replace their vehicle every three years anyway and will be up $60 on the deal as a result.

What the change allows BMW to do now is to continue charging that fee for the life of the vehicle. So the second and third owners will also pay the $80 fee and even some fourth owners. It's likely to keep that subscription fee rolling into BMW's coffers for at least the first ten years of the car's life, meaning that BMW pockets $800 instead of just $300.

What Apple makes of this news hasn't been revealed. Apple c…

Apple's Privacy Model Punctured By Whistleblower - Siri Sends Recordings To Contractors For Review

The Guardian is reporting that Apple has been sending audio from Siri users to contractors to review the quality of responses to queries, despite its very clear claims that 'what happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone. 
Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or "grading", the company's Siri voice assistant
To be fair, it's part of the normal process of improving the quality of a voice assistant and would barely warrant a mention, but for the faux shock horror Apple and its cohort of tame bloggers and websites display when similar processes are exposed at Google, Amazon or Facebook.
More importantly, if Apple is taking the time to have the quality of its interactions reviewed, why has that not been accompanied with a large leap in the quality of voice recognition and the responses Siri provides? Apple has fallen will behind both Google an…

HomePod Is Failing In The Smart Speaker Market Because Apple Isn't Competing

The latest report on smart speaker sales from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners suggests that Apple's HomePod made up just 5% of smart speaker sales last quarter, and in a growing market Apple's sales aren't keeping pace with its competition. Amazon now has an impressive 70% of the market, making even Google look like a bit player in the niche.

Now whilst acknowledging that failing to perform in this market space is a bad thing for Apple and for Apple customers; it's also true that the report is comparing Apples to oranges when it lumps together a diverse range of smart speakers ranging from the Echo Dot to the HomePod. 5% of the overall market suggest that Apple is doing very well in the premium side of the market. In fact if the report was based on revenue rather than units I'd suggest there would be a much tighter gap between Apple and Amazon.

Nonetheless, this just underscores Apple's failure to extend the HomePod to a wider range of users. Not everyo…