Skip to main content

Microsoft Offers Europeans New Windows Phone - Europe Says No

A year after launching in the US, Alcatel's flagship Windows 10 smartphone arrives in Europe via Microsoft's own Store. There are just so many ways in which this is Microsoft disrespecting its loyal customers I'm having trouble counting them.

Take my advice - do not order this phone.

The Idol 4 Pro was probably a competitive piece of hardware 12 months ago, now its specs are decidedly middle of the road. In the time since the US launch Microsoft has gutted Windows 10 Mobile, failed to deliver its own apps on mobile and actively and passively discouraged third-party developers from supporting the platform.

Buying the Idol will almost certainly give you six to twelve months of endless frustration, with the only form of excitement likely to be the race between collapsing ecosystem and end user frustration to be the reason for you to park this phone at the bottom of your drawer.

When you look at the asking price you'll also see that someone in Microsoft's marketing team is having a laugh at your expense too. £420 for a phone with next to no software support? That isn't happening.

That this travesty is playing out in Europe just adds insult to injury. Europe was one of the few places where Windows phones have seen some success - with many markets achieving 10%+ market share and in some displacing iOS as the second most popular mobile platform.

I cannot recommend any user buying a high-end Windows phone at the moment, because of the uncertainty about the platform's future, the lack of third-party developer support and the lack of Microsoft application support.

There is only one case were I would suggest that a Windows 10 Mobile is a good choice, for those parents buying for children, where the lacks of apps and the controls offered by Microsoft Family offer a good degree of protection against misuse.

Even then I would recommend that you buy the cheapest phone you can get on the platform - either a Lumia 550 or a Lumia 650.

Aside from that niche my advice is to stay away.

At half the advertised price the Idol 4 would still be too expensive. Call me when the price drops to £100, I might be interested then.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.