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I miss Windows Phone (theverge.com)
308 points by Ducki 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 355 comments



I purchased a $30 Windows Phone well after the platform was dead, I just wanted to experience it before it was gone.

For a $30 phone, it was incredibly fast and smooth. The tile interface worked well (particularly information dense relative to notification dots/counts on icons we're seeing now), the onscreen keyboard is the best I've ever used (even to this day), and the way updates were delivered (direct from Microsoft, not the network operator or OEM) was a breath of fresh air from Android.

As anyone and everyone will tell you, lack of apps killed it. In no small part because Google was using their market position to squish it (yes, I appreciate the irony). Google didn't produce Windows Phone apps, which they're entitled to not do, but then Microsoft tried to make apps for Google's services[0] which Google also shut down.

Makes you wonder what would happen if Google pulled all of their iOS apps tomorrow, and then blocked third parties/diminished the mobile browser experience on purpose.

[0] https://venturebeat.com/2013/05/15/google-to-microsoft-kill-...


> Makes you wonder what would happen if Google pulled all of their iOS apps tomorrow, and then blocked third parties/diminished the mobile browser experience on purpose.

There is a reason Google paid close to 3 billon USD to stay the default search provider on iOS. They had several opportunities to pull their apps from the platform, but they never did. It’s not random. They acknowledge that Apple is not in direct competitior as far as their core business is concerned — unlike Microsoft. They can still be the primary search provider on iOS, but Microsoft would never let that happen on Windows Phone/Mobile thanks to Bing. In fact, there was no way to set the search engine to Google in Edge for a while - and the OS wide search never offered a choice.

Allowing Windows Phone/Mobile to flourish would have meant allowing Bing to grow - something Google can’t afford. As long as Apple doesn’t become a threat to their core business, I don’t think they are going to pull their apps. And even if they do, iOS has become too big to die like Windows Phone/Mobile.

And let’s not forget, the organisations charged with preventing monopoly will slap Google with antitrust lawsuits all over the world.


> Google paid close to 3 billon USD to stay the default search provider on iOS

And yet... they purposefully have ipad mini google search results only show in a crappy 'mobile' format, vs the regular way it used to ('normal desktop' for safari). It's bizarre, has been broken for years. Doesn't matter if they're "default", we've moved to yahoo and ddg for ipad searching. :/


I know the iPad in Portrait and probably the iPad Mini in both orientations resolve to what is considered a "small" screen by Material Design guidelines. It could be that Google's search result display are based on the size of the screen you have and the iPad Mini just may fall under what they categorize as a mobile device.


iPad is the iOS sideshow in sale numbers by far -- no reason to prioritize it. And, more cynical, using the parent comment's reasoning: iPad _is_ a competitor to Google's Chrome OS in education, so maybe they don't want it to work too well.


Can you imagine being the programmer on that project?


It is probably based on browser user-agent detection that doesn't distinguish between iPhone/iPod Touch iOS Safari and iPad iOS Safari. It is not necessarily an active act of malice nor even anything more than "cleaning up" some of the user agent code.


This seems extraordinarily unlikely, google pays a lot of attention to user agents.


I don't think they'll tell engineers to make the experience bad. I used to work for Google, and it doesn't strike me as the place where that would work. More likely is that there just isn't anyone responsible for this; whether that's due to iPad being too small to be worth the opportunity cost of putting someone one it, or due to the more cynical interpretation.


Yeah, it would totally suck to have strangers attacking your ethics instead of considering the small tap targets on iPad minis.


> no reason to prioritize it

no reason to explicit fuck it up, except... oh yeah, competitor to your own tablets.


Have you tried to Request Desktop Site? It work fine for me on my iPad and iPhone, so I don’t see a reason why it won’t work on iPad Mini. Granted, it is annoying that you can’t set Safari to always load the desktop version by default and you have to force the desktop mode every time you open a new tab, but it is better than nothing.

I haven’t used an Android tablet in a long time, but I think those load the mobile version as well.

And lastly, I’ve never had a problem with the mobile version — I actually prefer it on touch based devices.


you have to 'request desktop site' for each search.


Yeah, that’s a pain.


I use an iPad mini frequently (on one now) and I prefer the mobile format on it.


Your comment poses as though Microsoft is a victim here, which they're not. Around 2012ish if I can remember correctly, Apple was throwing around lawsuits like crazy at everyone in the android ecosystem. The most notable I can remember was the one with Samsung. And the next one was HTC. I owned a HTC phone at that time and they made both Android and Windows phones that were very popular. Microsoft, following suit with Apple, started suing almost every major Android vendor to for basic patents[0]. I can't find the article, but their deal was that if you made Android phones, it means you had the means to build Windows phones as well. If you made a Windows phone AND an Android phone, the licensing was very reasonable, otherwise the vendors who made only Android phones would have to pay a lot in royalties to Microsoft.

I personally found this slimy and a very shitty way to sell Windows phones. Technologically, it's a great phone (I had both - Android and Windows from HTC). It was fast, fluid and almost didn't have any lags. Ethically speaking, I'm glad their sneaky sales didn't work out and Windows phone is dead.

[0] https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/microso...


Ironically, the patent licensing machinations have probably hastened Windows Phone's demise. IIRC at the time MS was making _billions_ (or at least hundreds of millions) off Android, more than Google itself. At some point MS execs must have thought, "why the hell do we need a phone that can't run Youtube"? It took some time for WP to die, but die it did, and I'm pretty sure it would not have died if succeeding in the mobile market was the only way to make money on mobile for MS. They would have poured billions into it, and it would take off. With the patents letting them suck the massive teat of Android they really had no skin in the game.

I worked at Google at the time, and I joked that if Apple were to go out of business and iPhones became unavailable, I'd have to go with a Windows phone. It was only partly a joke. WP had the consistency that Android never did, and never will have, and it had fluid, polished user experience even on the very low end.


Have you seen Oracle's patent lawsuit against Google over their misuse of Java in Android? Billions in damages if they win, and recent developments look like it could go that way. Google is already building an OS to replace Android.


Which part of java is the suit about? The runtime, the library or the language? Would kotlin be a possible escape hatch for Google here in the future?


Just the library. Oracle said Google reimplementing Java API is an infringement of their IP because function prototypes should be regarded as protected properties as well.


From the article cited regarding the YouTube app developed by Microsoft:

> The problems with that, according to Google, are three: the app enables users to download YouTube videos, prevents ads from being shown, and plays videos whose owners have set to only play on certain platforms. Microsoft’s app, Google says, violates the YouTube terms of service, and uses the YouTube logo in a way that contravenes the company’s branding guidelines.

Is this just an excuse used by Google, or did they really have these features? Because I could understand why Google doesn't want a service to demonitize their service. Why wouldn't Microsoft just remove those features? It seems like a reasonable response.


Since it would be trivial for Goog to expose all of this functionality in their API, I consider all of this BS PR by google.

It would also be trivial for google to make a basic app for the 3rd biggest phone OS.

But since Google makes an OS and doesn’t want other OSes, any actions they have other than support are suspect.

It’s like when MS said that it was possible for PC sellers to not bundle IE. Sure it’s possible, but it was just BS because it was completely MS’ prerogative.


Not only would it be possible, it's being done in NewPipe without touching the API at all (except perhaps the device restrictions; not sure what the status is on that). I'm sure there's clauses somewhere for using the API that prevent you from doing dual purpose acting as a simple, if specialized, browser, and using the logo itself was just asking for trouble, but it's revealing how much Google hides away and just hopes you don't notice.


I’m not sure I understand. Do you mean that their api prevented Microsoft from creating a YouTube app that confirms to their guidelines (shows ads and respects uploaded guidelines as to device? Is this still the case?

The download feature certainly could have been pulled from Microsoft


Google does not expose an api that supports ads. So third parties can’t build apps that conform to goog.

It’s kind of a dick move all around because it means no one can build (popular) YouTube ads except google. And they don’t build for platforms that threaten them unless they must.


Can somebody breakdown which companies are on each side of this corporate war? Is it Microsoft + Facebook vs Google + Apple?


Why do you treat this as only having two sides?

In the "Platform" battlefields you have Microsoft, Apple and Google fighting for the end-users. On the infrastructure side Amazon is also making a play here with all of the AWS options and Google and Microsoft are also fighting there.

In the "Social" battlefield, you have Facebook, with Microsoft+LinkedIn+Xbox carving out some niches and Google flailing wildly at everything.

In the "Creepy Stalkering" battlefield (which overlaps some with Social) you have Facebook getting people to give up data and Google just silently watching .everything.you.do. muahahahaha. Facebook also watches as much as possible via website badges and sharing, but doesn't have near the reach of Google with searches + Analytics.

I'm sure there are other battlefields I'm not listing here including things like overlap into the offline world ("Political Influence" anyone?), but it's far from just a 2-sided battle.


Just reminded me of the loss of Dark Matter. :-/


They’re not obliged to spend resources on making native apps

But they’re obliged to spend resources making open APIs?

Any actions they have are suspect because they’re a big fucking corporation that vacuums up our data and lobbies government for beneficial treatment

Let’s not wrap it up in overly customized excuses for their shit behavior. A more generally phrased definition will suffice and probably be more beneficial

If it’s just market assholery, that’s the market

If it’s acceptance of the reality they control us through plain behavior of buying and selling our data and buying influence, that’s broadly more captivating


I remember Microsoft updated the app and definitely at least removed downloading. I think they did their best on fixing the other issues too. Google still made excuses.

The other infamous Google move towards Windows Phone was blocking access in certain ways to Google Maps.


They released an update that fixed all these issues. Then Google banned the app again, and Microsoft gave up.


> lack of apps killed it

For me personally, this is not true. I had a windows phone for about a year and it sucked, and I do mean SUCKED for daily use. At the time, I didn't use apps apart from email.

Sure animations were smooth, but after the first two times looking at them, they are too slow and 'in your face', making the phone feel slow.

Live tiles were annoying rather than useful because often I couldn't tell what clicking on the tile would do. Whatever reviewers tell you, pictures are not as good as simple icons if you want to open an app fast. The only good thing is I think there was a way to turn them off.

Basic things like having a separate audio level for media vs ringtone were missing.

Even something as simple as swiping up to unlock the phone, you swipe up to pull the lock screen up and unlock the phone, but often when unlocking the phone one handed, I couldn't push it far enough; instead of unlocking, the shade would drop back down and bounce on the bottom of the screen. This happened a LOT and it was really annoying.

I tried to use it but it was a terrible, terrible, horrible experience.


Basic things like having a separate audio level for media vs ringtone were missing.

What version were you using and when? Mine always had 2 settings ("Media + Apps" and "Ringer + Notifications"). For that matter, the fact that it brought up the media controls (at least to pause/advance) when you hit the volume buttons was very handy since it allowed control without unlocking.


IIRC, for 8.1 the controls were separate, but ringer volume was available on phone or main screen, and media volume inside apps/games.


It was a Nokia Lumia 630. I think it was on Windows 8.1.


WP7 and WP8 did not have it, but WM10 did.


It's a bit strange to fault Google for killing Windows Phone while it was essentially users making that choice.

The article is looking at Windows Phone with a lot of rosy glasses. Sure, WP had tiles and neither iOS nor Android have them, but WP had been behind on tons of other features that Android users had been enjoying for years, starting with apps being able to call each other indirectly (the intent system).

WP failed because it was late in the game but also because overall, it was inferior to Android on most fronts.


They were late, and while the Tile/Metro concept seemed to work OK on the phone, they also awkwardly forced it into the desktop version of Windows, where everyone I know hates it compared to the old Windows-7 style start menu. So people learned to hate Metro/Tiles, and when they saw it on phones at the Verizon store they looked at Android or iPhone instead.


It was really Google's app monopoly that killed it.

Arguing that the users did it, is the same as arguing why people only use Google or Facebook.


Google was nowhere near having a monopoly when WP died.

And yes, people use Google and Facebook because these two tools are the best in their category, not because the companies performed some kind of brainwashing on users.


Irrespective of how monopoly was acquired, it did influence choice of mobile OS. Youtube and Google Maps were of few universally used apps, not available on WP.


Neither was Microsoft a monopoly when they got their eyes sued out and a consent decree slapped on them simply for making their browser the default browser on their own OS. A lot less than Google did to stifle competition from WP.


Microsoft was definitely a monopoly when the antitrust lawsuit was filed against them. There can be no antitrust lawsuit if you're not a monopoly, it pretty much is a requirement for such a lawsuit to be brought.

It's perfectly legal (and healthy in a free trade economy) to be a monopoly.

What's illegal is leveraging that monopoly to enter other markets, which is what Microsoft attempted to do.


Did you miss the episode whereby ms belatedly tried to own web servers / web development in order to ensure a Windows client was a prerequisite to participation in the web?


I've read few impressions from Windows Phone users and they all liked it. It's a pity that it died. While I'm personally don't have much interest with it, competition never hurts. Currently iOS and Android basically divided the market: iOS for niche luxury phones and Android for average phones. I've found it hard to find Android with premium price ($1000), there are not enough phones to make a good choice, it seems like a lot of manufacturers just not interested with this market, for example.


I switched from Android to the Windows Phone and greatly preferred it. I liked the look, the responsiveness, and the dearth of apps wasn't a problem initially. I was never a huge fan of live tiles, though, because I like my UI to stay still and let me focus on what I focus on. But what ultimately drove me away was the inexplicably shitty Kindle app. I read a lot on my phone, and the Kindle app would skip lines on page turns, for a very disorienting and frustrating reading experience.


I'm having the same problem recently with the Kindle app for Android...


Amazon would rather you buy one of their devices instead of using your phone to read.


I seriously doubt this is the case. Amazon's business selling ebooks is much more significant than their business selling proprietary Android devices.

And the page turning problem also occurs on my Kindle Oasis.


Huh. I had no idea the problem was this widespread. For the record, I've never had a problem on any iOS device or Kindle e-reader (iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone X, iPad, iPad 2, iPad mini, iPad Air, iPad Pro, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage). I am stunned that it happens on the Oasis.


If I were guessing, I'd guess that the problem is related to Amazon's new-ish feature of supporting page numbers as well as locations. My workaround for the page-turn text skipping issue is to jump to a nearby location (e.g. if my location before turning the page is 4384, try to jump to 4387). On some books, this isn't possible; there is some defined magic page-starting point and jumping to any nearby location means you jump to that point instead. This aggravates the problem.


Still using it and love it...certain services aren't working anymore though as they're being discontinued.

Very stable and responsive on hardware nowhere near what the current gen Android had.


I don't think you should blame Google for putting resources into a platform of less than 1% of the market-share that's not built by Google itself.

Google has actually been pretty eager in developing iOS apps AFAIK, sometimes releasing it even sooner than Android platform. If Windows Phone really gained traction, maybe Google will develop apps for it too. Remember it's more of a service company than a hardware company.

But MS never got out of that vicious cycle. Can't shift blame to its competitors.


> Google has actually been pretty eager in developing iOS apps AFAIK, sometimes releasing it even sooner than Android platform. If Windows Phone really gained traction, maybe Google will develop apps for it too. Remember it's more of a service company than a hardware company.

Their support for iOS is second-class for more than a few apps; like Inbox for Gmail.


To be fair, it's not like Apple's updated all their apps for iPhone X either.


How many resources would it take? Especially if Microsoft partnered on it.

This doesn’t make any sense since Google used to be really supportive of new platforms and services. This was back when goog was just playing around with using lock-in to their advantage


> Google didn't produce Windows Phone apps, which they're entitled to not do, but then Microsoft tried to make apps for Google's services[0] which Google also shut down

Well, you know, that's what Microsoft has been doing throughout its history, and still does. It's not bad when those giants get a taste of their own medicine.


Office and IE have been available for the Mac for a very long time now, I'm not sure what you're talking about...


Office for Mac is generally regarded as inferior to the Windows versions and the Mac version of Internet Explorer was last released like 14 years ago. I’m not even sure it runs on Intel Macs.


Office was available for the Mac before Office for Windows even existed.


And it was left to languish for a couple of decades before the move to cloud centric multi-platform workflow left them with no other choice.

I am not a power user of MS Office, but the ones I know tell me that the macOS version still lacks features compared to Windows.

And lastly, where is MS Access for macOS?


Are they available for Linux?


No they're not because of multitude of reasons but they now use a open XML format that does way better interchange with openOffice etc. and don't actively try to shut down those products.


The keyword being now. It happened when they realised that they were going to be knocked off their pedestal if they didn’t open up - not when they were at the height of their power.

By the way, is the XML Office file format really open — to the extant where one can create a third party client which works as well as the official one without reverse engineering?


now since:

Initial release 7 December 2006; 11 years ago


The demise had already started back then with the advent of Web apps and crappiness and delay of Vista. In fact, MS started losing its power and clout way back in early 2000s, even if the effects were not very evident until much later.

https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2004/06/13/how-microsoft-lost...


Sure, also this is the year of Linux? isn't it?


The year of the Linux on desktop/laptop is a fabulous myth - nothing more. Read the attached blog before posting sarcastic comments like this one.

On the other hand, Linux is pretty much everywhere other than desktop/laptop, which are becoming increasingly less relevant.

Perhaps demise is too strong a word, but decline from its status as the apex predator of the industry is more appropriate. MS is still powerful, but it is no longer the King.


Linux is irrelevant on mobiles.

Apple devices obviously don't run it, Android and ChromeOS might have Linux underneath but only expose Java, JavaScript, ANSI C/C++ lib and Android specific native APIs.

Android P could be released with a complete different kernel and only OEMs would notice, all user space apps would be kept running.


> Linux is irrelevant on mobiles

So is Windows. And on servers, Linux is the king.

The comment was in response to the sarcastic comment about The Year of Linux Desktop. I am not really debating Linux vs others here.


Actually Linux is the king on servers because it is major quality is not having to pay for licenses.

Our Java, .NET and C++ servers don't care 1 second on which OSes they are actually running.


And that is where you are horribly mistaken. Typical Java/.Net coders may not care about the underlying platform while coding, but people working with large scale real world applications do. Java/.Net may abstract away the APIs, they still have to use the underlying stack. Their performance is still dependent on the performance of the underlying stack.

I have seen the same application with drastically different performance characteristics on different platforms.

Linux is the king on the server because it has been heavily fine tuned for the server over the ages. The cost, while a factor, is not as relevant. Any company deploying large scale applications on Linux has to hire enough engineers to keep it running that the cost of Windows is largely offset. If it were just a matter of cost, we’d see more deployments of FreeBSD and the likes.

It is the same reason people stick to Java despite all its shortcomings.


We don't see BSD deployments thanks MIT licenses, which allow for companies to keep their forks and the old AT&T suit.

The only reason UNIX shops migrated to Linux was to avoid paying for workstations and migrate to Linux.

Companies like SGI dropped their UNIX and are having Linux forks, as a means to outsource development costs.

Likewise with Oracle dumping Solaris and migrating whatever is relevant to Oracle Linux.

In 100% of projects I have been involved, Linux was always chosen as means to reduce license costs, as developers do 100% of their work on Windows workstations.


Well, I know Microsoft XML format has the word "Open" in its name. But is it open? Can other vendors achieve 100% compatibility with the official Office products' formats? I don't think so.


This comes up every once in a while. For a couple of years I worked on conversion filters for Word Perfect. The problem getting 100% compatibility has nothing at all to do with the "openness" of the file format. It has to do with the fact that file file format doesn't tell you how to render something -- the renderer does.

Just to give you an example, the file format tells you that there is a foot note. If the footnote doesn't fit on the page, then you have to paginate it (continue it on the next page). The file format doesn't tell you how or when to do that -- it just tells you that there is a footnote. Word happens to paginate footnotes incorrectly. Word Perfect paginates footnotes correctly. To import a Word document perfectly, somehow you have to break the pagination of the footnotes -- something that is practically impossible to do with a file importer.

Microsoft can't fix the pagination of footnotes because that's the way they've always done it. If they fixed the pagination, they would break decades of existing legal documents (which all have really long footnotes). They could add a new feature to paginate them correctly and tag them in the file format: For example "Here is a footnote. Paginate it correctly/incorrectly". I don't think they ever did that with footnotes, but they definitely did for a lot of other features (It's been over 10 years since I looked at the spec, so I can't give you a good example, unfortunately). Basically, you will see in the spec an option that says, "Render like Word 95", or something equivalent.

If you want to render Word documents perfectly (as well as your own), for each feature you need to be able to render it in your native style, and in style that Word has ever used -- even if these are fundamentally broken from a layout perspective. And then you have to add all of those Word styles to your file format, or else if you import it into your file format, you won't be able to save it.

Nobody does that, for obvious reasons. It's not Microsoft's fault. The opposite is exactly the same. That's why MS dug in their heels about not using Open Office file format -- it's an insane idea. I'm not a big fan of MS as a whole, but I interacted with the Word team a lot when I worked on conversions for Word Perfect. They were always extremely helpful -- to the point of sending me bug reports when I made a mistake on the conversions. They always knew that interoperability of their file format was only in their best interest and they did their best. Word is just a massive legacy system and they have their hands tied -- mainly because they always bend over backwards to maintain backwards compatibility for their customers.

I understand the feeling you are trying to get at, but in this case it is entirely misplaced.


Google Docs and OpenOffice think so.


it’s pk zipped xml.


Have you looked at the actual XML? Parts of it are just containers for binary data. How do you parse a tag that basically means base64-encoded Word6-style Compound Data? Good luck with that.


I'm talking about all the Microsoft software available only for Windows, and all the closed services they won't let you use without the official client. I think it's the same story.


Aside from the Google issue, I think honestly the biggest thing is that MS was still charging OEMs a licensing fee where Android wasn't. They eventually let go of the fee, but it was too late. I think that killed WP more than anything.


Android isn't, but surely Google is for having the google play store, services, and apps?


From what I remember, no. I think play services is a separate license which is also free, as long as you sign something called the Open Handset Agreement (or something like that), which basically forces OEMs to follow a bunch of rules about pre-installed/default apps and home screen placement, etc.

The one example I remember being mentioned at some point is that the google search bar widget must be on the first home page of any phone sold by OEMs (of course users are free to change that if they wish). Other little things like that. Instead of making money from licenses, Google makes money by nudging users into its ad-revenue generating services.


Google doesn't collect a paid license fee for Google Apps on Android, but they have fairly significant nonmonetary agreements, essentially barring the OEMs from using Google's competitors, making Google's products the default, dictating where Google Apps must be placed on the home screen, etc.

Some of the larger OEMs might be able to negotiate revenue sharing agreements from Play purchases, but inside the Google Apps is definitely where Google makes its money, on app sales and ad targeting based on data collected by Google hoovering up everyone's mobile data and location.


I would love to see Microsoft do a fully open source Mobile OS now that they've shown to be mobile friendly. Maybe based off of BSD or something to take advantage of some of the things BSD does differently from Linux


Because this time it's really going to be different, right? The story always ends the same with red all over your balance sheet. They will never have the developers or ecosystem.


People don't want yet another close sourced OS like iOS, they want something open like Android. Microsoft has the resources to work with other bigger service providers. Also a lot of corporations use Microsoft's solutions like Outlook and Office 365. They could provide a strong focus on corporate customers sorta like how Blackberry had that reputation. Point is, we got two options for smart phones, we need more.


Who are these people? What is the size of that market?

The fact is that iPhones and iOS dominate the revenue of the mobile market[1]. iPhone users have incredibly high customer satisfaction numbers[2] and are unlikely to switch, so essentially you are competing against Android which is already "open". Seems like an easy way to loose a ton of money to me.

[1] https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-the-iphone-x-drives-apples...

[2] https://marketrealist.com/2017/06/could-apples-iphone-8-driv...

[3] https://www.imore.com/apple-seeing-record-rate-android-users...


>People don't want yet another close sourced OS like iOS, they want something open like Android

So you've conducted a poll and asked what people want? People don't care if the OS is open or closed source. In fact, the extreme majority wouldn't even know what you're talking about. They care about having access to the apps and services they want. Microsoft failed with a closed source OS and they'll fail even harder with an open one too.


Your casual review conveniently left out trying out the app dev platform, which mostly used frameworks that were completely separate from what first party apps got. When wp7 launched the default blank app in Visual Studio took absurdly long to load and didn't have fancy things like ... wait for it ... sockets. There was some gradual and some big improvement over time, so maybe that is a bit of hyperbole, but it is a fairly representative example of the spirit throughout the lifetime of the product.

My thesis is that even if you wanted to make a very good WP app, you needed to work harder and be more of an expert than if you wanted a decent app on other platforms, and some device capabilities would be off the table. Too many people attribute the lack of apps to the lack of interest, which sure is a big factor, but nobody asks if it was technically feasible to have a large number of decent apps.


Your $30 phone likely cost far more to build, perhaps hundreds. You bought it at a huge discount probably, since you said it was after the platform was dead.

Therefore, this statement doesn't make sense to me:

"For a $30 phone, it was incredibly fast and smooth."


> Your $30 phone likely cost far more to build, perhaps hundreds

When the platform was still new and well supported, and without any discounts or contracts, you could get Windows Phones at the ~$100 USD price that were every bit as fast and fluid as described. Phones like the Lumia 520 / 530 / 535 series.

So, if the discounted price bothers you, just read it as "For a $100 phone", as that was the brand-new day-one price at the time, with no subsidies / discounts / contract / credit-checks / loss write-off / etc.


Are you sure it wasn't sold at a loss even then, just to try to establish market share?


> Microsoft tried to make apps for Google's services

Where "apps" means "app", and "Google's services" means "YouTube".


I missed not having Google Drive


I bought my Nokia 635 for $50 off Ebay and still use it. I've hated all Android phones I've used before, so dont want to switch unless I can no longer handle it, and I dont want to pay premium for Apple. The WP OS is pretty awesome, and the phone is rock solid. I use an old Nexus 4 which I never liked for Chromecast purposes, a standalone GPS, and WP for everything else. It works just fine.


The biggest thing I miss from Winmo is the universal back button. You always knew where "back" was. No having to scroll back up, no having to figure out where this app has the "back" feature. Always one known place.


>For a $30 phone, it was incredibly fast and smooth.

No it wasn't. As the previous owner of 2 windows phones the platform was anything but fast or smooth, but it sure did like resuming a lot. You should upload a video of your phone on YouTube so that we can count all of the frame drops and stutters. And those slow superfluous animations they used still couldn't mask all of the hitches.

>The tile interface worked well (particularly information dense relative to notification dots/counts on icons we're seeing now), the onscreen keyboard is the best I've ever used (even to this day), and the way updates were delivered (direct from Microsoft, not the network operator or OEM) was a breath of fresh air from Android.

Firmware updates aren't provided by Microsoft and can only be updated by the OEM.

>As anyone and everyone will tell you, lack of apps killed it. In no small part because Google was using their market position to squish it (yes, I appreciate the irony). Google didn't produce Windows Phone apps, which they're entitled to not do, but then Microsoft tried to make apps for Google's services[0] which Google also shut down.

Windows phone supporters should really stop trying to blame Google for the incompetence of Microsoft. Microsoft controlled their own fate and they alone are responsible for its demise. From their constant reboots, their abandonment of the previous OS, the constant changes to the development and tooling that did nothing but confuse and frustrate developers and they even had the arrogance to tell OEM's what they could and could not do with their OS.

If there's anything Windows phone should be remembered for it's how it systematically destroyed Nokia's device division like a cancer.


>As anyone and everyone will tell you, lack of apps killed it.

I am not convinced of this. Aside from the widely used social networking apps, most people just use default apps on their phones for email, the web, and text messaging. Kids play games too, I suppose.

To me, it never felt like Microsoft made a sincere push for establishing Windows Phone into the market. Aggressive subsidies, pricing, and features should have been able to get a footprint. They pulled it off with Xbox, and of course with PCs, so they could certainly do it again with commoditized phone hardware if they were committed to it.


I had a few windows phones and it was not the lack of apps in my opinion, but a in a big part, a badly managed store policy that incentivized inflating numbers over actual apps. Searching for any term gave you 4/5 of trash, nonfunctional trash if you were lucky.

Discovery was fundamentally broken, if you had no good idea of what you where doing. Around 2014/2015 the ecosystem had pretty much no apps or at least functionality missing, besides snapchat and instagram (which was added at some point).


most people just use default apps on their phones for email, the web, and text messaging

The email client was fine IIRC, particularly if you were connecting to Exchange for work since it's Outlook. For Gmail on the other hand, well, it was IMAP. I'm pretty sure that's improved a lot over the years, but for a long time I think there was a lot that was broken about using Gmail with IMAP - little things like IMAP not being so great for handling tags.

The web browser situation was pretty poor. Edge for a long time was what you'd expect from a brand-new written-from-scratch browser - immature and not really ready for prime time. Unfortunately there weren't any other options that were really great either (Squirrel Browser? Monument? I think that's it) and nothing with a significant development team behind it.

Text messaging was interesting - IIRC, it was a "Model T color choice" situation. You used the built-in messaging app, because security features meant that there not only were not any others but that there could not be any others. I'm not sure about iOS, but on Android there are some very successful alternative messaging apps (Textra, Handcent, Go, maybe some others).


On iOS the only program that's allowed to send messages is Messages, so there are no third-party text message apps.


I had one and for me it was absolutely the lack of apps and I think that is the way for most people. Even if I don't use many it was pretty annoying not to be able to use my banks app, a good workout app or a local taxi company app.

None of those are critical but thing like that is annoying.


Most likely Apple would make a similar license arrangement with Bing.

But what would really be neat is if they bought DuckDuckGo instead, made it the search engine of choice, and expanded on it's abilities. Apple has quite a lot of cash to throw at such a problem and DDG would line up nicely with their stance on privacy.

I wouldn't be surprised if they've given something like that serious consideration. Much the way Google tries to break Apple's grip on high-end smartphones, Apple probably wants to keep some leverage of their own.


That wouldn't be good, then I'd have to stop using DuckDuckGo. Avoiding Apple products is currently much easier than avoiding Google products (though after a concerted effort I'm now mostly managing that too) but if they bought DuckDuckGo I'd have to find another search engine.


Why?


Why what? Why would I have to stop using DuckDuckGo? Because I don't use Apple products. Why don't I use Apple products? Many reasons.


I sort of agree with the other reply (that's dead now), if not with the way they said it. Your response provides next to no information. Maybe you could list some of the reasons why you don't use Apple products? "Many reasons" provides no insight, which is especially annoying because the parent comment to yours was explicitly asking for you to explain your reasoning.


All the obvious ones: closed platforms, walled gardens, lack of repair or upgradeability, overpriced hardware, general user and developer hostility, excessive secrecy, arrogance, security bugs, planned obsolescence. Then there's the more subjective stuff: I find their UIs appalling and I'm not a fan of their design aesthetic.


But how many of these would apply to DuckDuckGo under Apple? Are you saying that they'd wall it off to "Apple ecosystem users" only? There's no upgradeability or hardware or secrecy here.


>But what would really be neat is if they bought DuckDuckGo instead, made it the search engine of choice, and expanded on it's abilities.

So they should buy DDG and get back into the ad business? I'm sure that would play out well.


Given the amount that Google pays to Apple to remain the default search engine on the iPhone, I really doubt they would be willing to take that risk.


iOS users are the biggest cash cows for e-commerce in the US. Since Google is ad-driven and ads are ultimately paid by people that actually buy stuff it would lower the value of Google overnight by 30%.


I don't know why I never got a WP phone. I knew it has a lot of benefits in terms of UX. But somehow I feared MS way of doing software more than Google. So even if they provided lots of stuff I wouldn't be attracted to their phones.


> the onscreen keyboard is the best I've ever used

The article mentioned this as well - could you please elaborate on why the Windows keyboard is so good? I've used an Android phone for 4 years and still find the keyboard fiddly, so would love to learn about alternatives.


It’s hard to quantify, you have to use it to understand the difference. IMO BlackBerry had the best onscreen keyboard, followed very closely by Windows Phone. And while iOS keyboard has issues with Autocorrect, it’s gotten a lot better in the recent days and is still miles ahead of Android keyboard. There is a good reason third party keyboards are so popular on Android while most people stick to the stock one on iOS despite third party keyboards being available on the platform for many years now.


Most of the arguments I read here are the same one: WP was fast and smooth. But it was not particularly fast, you are simply comparing it to Android, which fucking sucks.

And other than that, it had no other redeeming qualities.


Being better than Android is a low bar to clear. Android was, and remains, a Frankenstein’s monster[1] which was hastily cobbled together at Google to capitalise on the new marked created by the iPhone before MS could lock them out of it. In fact, if MS had brought WP 8 sometime in 2010, the story would be a lot different.

[1] It is evident by the fact that Google is still trying to fix the fundamentals like permissions, updates etc. Android is essentially what you get when you try to cram an OS primarily used on servers and high end workstations on a mobile phone and pair it with a programming environment which is also used primarily used on servers by implementing a quick and dirty runtime from scratch.


>Being better than Android is a low bar to clear.

I'd ask you to cite some examples of why Android is a "low bar to clear", but I doubt I'd get back anything of substance.

>Android was, and remains, a Frankenstein’s monster[1] which was hastily cobbled together at Google to capitalise on the new marked created by the iPhone before MS could lock them out of it.

Could you point to the Android github examples that support your claims that Android is a Frankenstein’s monster which was hastily cobbled together? You see, that's the nice thing about being an open source OS - you can actually see the source code and call out people for making ridiculous comments about things they have no idea of what they're talking about.

>In fact, if MS had brought WP 8 sometime in 2010, the story would be a lot different.

No it wouldn't have. It would have played out exactly the way it did.


So easy for anyone that has suffered throught Android development.

Starting with Eclipse, then rebooting the whole development environment just because some management guys happened to be InteliJ users.

Several years later there are still Eclipse based tools, like the graphical manifest editor, that haven't been replicated in Studio.

NDK is treated as a 20% project, done by an handfull of engineers.

Devs were left in the cold when the migration away from Eclipse was decided. It was only due to the coincidence of Clion being developed, that Studio eventually got C++ support.

The amount of cruft on NDK build tools is a joke, already with 4 official variations.

The decision to use Gradle has made "how to optimize builds" a recorrent topic in any major Android conference.

Google teams like Android development build tools so much that they rather use blaze, throwing yet another build tool into the mix.

There isn't a single release of Android Studio or the Support Library, that isn't followed by bug related complaints on online forums, despite being several weeks, months, in testing phase.

Their initial emulator implementations was so lousy, that it required the public shame of Genymotion and Microsoft doing a better job for Google actually improving theirs.

There was so much more to rant about, but this is already quite long.


>So easy for anyone that has suffered throught Android development.

The pain of Windows phone development was significantly worse especially when you consider they kept on changing it every year because of their inferior development environment and tooling.

>Starting with Eclipse, then rebooting the whole development environment just because some management guys happened to be InteliJ users.

Google switched IDE's. Microsoft changed their development environment and tooling each time they decided to osbourne their still born OS.

>NDK is treated as a 20% project, done by an handfull of engineers.

Well, at least they stuck with it instead of chucking it to the curb each year and starting over.

>Devs were left in the cold when the migration away from Eclipse was decided. It was only due to the coincidence of Clion being developed, that Studio eventually got C++ support.

Isn't being left in the cold an annual event for Windows phone developers?

>The decision to use Gradle has made "how to optimize builds" a recorrent topic in any major Android conference.

This is in contrast to the Windows phone .build conference where there were no sessions because no one was building Windows phone apps.

>Google teams like Android development build tools so much that they rather use blaze, throwing yet another build tool into the mix.

Isn't choice good.

>There isn't a single release of Android Studio or the Support Library, that isn't followed by bug related complaints on online forums, despite being several weeks, months, in testing phase.

Because XCode and Visual Studio are bug free when new versions are released, right? Oh wait.

>Their initial emulator implementations was so lousy, that it required the public shame of Genymotion and Microsoft doing a better job for Google actually improving theirs.

Google has to support 3 platforms unlike Microsoft who couldn't even support 1.


> The pain of Windows phone development was significantly worse especially when you consider they kept on changing it every year because of their inferior development environment and tooling.

Vastly superior to Android Studio.

> Google switched IDE's. Microsoft changed their development environment and tooling each time they decided to osbourne their still born OS.

Google replaces Android Studio plugins at each major release.

Profilers, Gradle configurations, IDE plugins

> Well, at least they stuck with it instead of chucking it to the curb each year and starting over.

It already started over 4 times, with incompatible build systems.

> Isn't being left in the cold an annual event for Windows phone developers?

Not as much as at Google IO. Oh sorry, maybe you are right we don't feel the cold as we are taking care of our sun burns.

> This is in contrast to the Windows phone .build conference where there were no sessions because no one was building Windows phone apps.

There is no such thing as Windows Phone specific conference, there is only BUILD conference, Connect conference and Windows Developer days.

> Isn't choice good.

Not when it increases development costs.

> Because XCode and Visual Studio are bug free when new versions are released, right? Oh wait.

Android Studio wins in bug counts.

> Google has to support 3 platforms unlike Microsoft who couldn't even support 1.

Strangely, you cleverly forgot to mention Genymotion.

As for Microsoft their Android Emulator still runs better than Google's on Windows.

Maybe Google needs to do less inverted balanced tree whiteboard interview exercises and more OS related stuff.


>Vastly superior to Android Studio.

Last time I installed Visual Studio that pig sprayed 30 GB of garbage all over my SSD.

>Google replaces Android Studio plugins at each major release.

It's how the IDE is updated with new features. It also doesn't need third party plugins, like Resharper, to actually make it useful.

>It already started over 4 times, with incompatible build systems.

How many build systems did Windows phone have again? Be sure to factor in the Silverlight clusterfuck.

>Not as much as at Google IO. Oh sorry, maybe you are right we don't feel the cold as we are taking care of our sun burns.

At least they have sunny weather as opposed to depressing weather followed by depressing keynotes. Hey, let's open with a 2 hour Azure demo. Did people actually pay to go to this?

>There is no such thing as Windows Phone specific conference, there is only BUILD conference, Connect conference and Windows Developer days.

Which is why I specified Build.

>Android Studio wins in bug counts.

I'll take that bet any day. I've used Xcode and it has its fair share of bugs. As for VS, when you're spraying 30GB of files your bound to have a clusterfuck of bugs.

>Strangely, you cleverly forgot to mention Genymotion.

Really? Do they also make an IDE for all 3 platforms?

>As for Microsoft their Android Emulator still runs better than Google's on Windows.

No it doesn't. It's not even comparable. Perhaps you should install the Android Emulator one of these days and compare them. In fact, I'm not even sure the Microsoft Emulator even works anymore. Do they even update it?

>Maybe Google needs to do less inverted balanced tree whiteboard interview exercises and more OS related stuff.

They have Android, Chrome OS and Fuschsia so they seem to be doing well on the OS front. As for Windows, you better hope Microsoft is prepared for the release of a free, modern, real time microkernel OS with a capabilities based security model.


Apparently the same 30 GB aren't garbage on Android SDK's case.

Resharper?! No thanks, I want my Visual Studio to actually work.

When I want to try to take off with my laptop I start Android Studio instead.

Your lack your knowledge about Genymotion supported platforms shows again that you never developed for Android.

You mean installing the emulator created after the public shame from Genymotion and Microsoft?

As someone with actual Android developing experience, I execute it quite often, thank you very much for the suggestion.

Chrome OS, with a market restricted to US schools, ignored everywhere else.

Fuchsia, an OS that is yet to move beyond alpha stage.

Yeah, very successful indeed.


>Apparently the same 30 GB aren't garbage on Android SDK's case.

My current install size is 12 GB. As for Visual Studio, when it came time to uninstall that pig of a development environment I actually had to go to Programs and Features and manually uninstall over 30-40 apps.

>Resharper?! No thanks, I want my Visual Studio to actually work.

30 plus GB's of data and they still need plugins to make it useful.

>When I want to try to take off with my laptop I start Android Studio instead.

You should really try and invest in an SSD. Android Studio launches in 8 seconds for me. Not that you actually use AS or would actually know.

>Your lack your knowledge about Genymotion supported platforms shows again that you never developed for Android.

On the contrary, the ignorance you've embarrassingly displayed shows you're either incompetent or have never used the platform.

>You mean installing the emulator created after the public shame from Genymotion and Microsoft?

Public shame is having to use Silverlight, a Flash rip off much like C# was a Java ripoff, to write Windows phone apps.

>As someone with actual Android developing experience, I execute it quite often, thank you very much for the suggestion.

I very much doubt that.

>Chrome OS, with a market restricted to US schools, ignored everywhere else.

Chrome OS decimated Microsoft in education and they'll do so elsewhere once they branch out.

>Fuchsia, an OS that is yet to move beyond alpha stage.

Reminds me of the time Microsoft said they weren't worried about Android. It's going to be nice watching Google destroy another one of their revenue streams.


> I'd ask you to cite some examples of why Android is a "low bar to clear", but I doubt I'd get back anything of substance.

Manufacturers can do mostly what they want without any downsides so at the end you just end up with ROMs similar in quality to WinXP themes. The Android APIs themselves are just layer and layer of hacks and inconsistencies on top of each other which is the main reason why most of the Android apps look so ugly in the first place.


>Manufacturers can do mostly what they want without any downsides

No they can't. They need to pass the CTS and VTS.

>so at the end you just end up with ROMs similar in quality to WinXP themes.

When was the last time you saw an Android phone? 2008? Name those WinXP themed OEM skins.

>The Android APIs themselves are just layer and layer of hacks and inconsistencies on top of each other

Considering all of the bugs and security issues iOS has had I would have to give that award to iOS.

>which is the main reason why most of the Android apps look so ugly in the first place.

Not only do Android apps look better, but they also take up considerably less space than their bloated iOS counterparts.


> No they can't. They need to pass the CTS and VTS.

Well then, the CTS and VTS are so weak they are useless then.

> When was the last time you saw an Android phone? 2008? Name those WinXP themed OEM skins.

Have you worked with Samsung or a no-name Chinese brand? There's plenty of errors arising from bad ROMs customising low-level stuff they should not do.

> Considering all of the bugs and security issues iOS has had I would have to give that award to iOS.

At least iOS fixes them and they can update their devices.

> Not only do Android apps look better, but they also take up considerably less space than their bloated iOS counterparts.

That's only for the top-notch part of the Store, the rest is just a dimension below iOS in term of usability (and I say this using only Android). The reason being that you need more dev time to have the same result on Android compared to iOS.


>Well then, the CTS and VTS are so weak they are useless then.

No they're not as they enforce and verify Android compatibility.

>Have you worked with Samsung or a no-name Chinese brand? There's plenty of errors arising from bad ROMs customising low-level stuff they should not do.

Yes, and there is no WinXP theme resemblance. So, once again, where are the links to these Android Phones with WinXP like themes?

>At least iOS fixes them and they can update their devices.

So does Google with 3 years of OS and security updates for their Pixel phones.

>That's only for the top-notch part of the Store, the rest is just a dimension below iOS in term of usability (and I say this using only Android). The reason being that you need more dev time to have the same result on Android compared to iOS.

The problem with iOS apps is that the top apps seem to think their a special snowflake and that they must develop their own UI and UX to differentiate themselves. The end result is an app that doesn't follow Apple's Human Interface Design guidelines and looks and navigates completely different from every other app. And then there's the garbage apps that are blown up on an iPad because Apple didn't understand Pixel density independence.


Fast, smooth, and had very robust development environment. One thing Microsoft knows how is to develop a language/platform (.net, for example), and provide tooling around that. 5 years ago, Visual Studio was years ahead of what today's mobile tools can do.


Did you even develop for windows phone? Because it's like you have no idea of what the development process entailed or how frequently they changed it.


Still way less how Google handles Android development, where recommended API in version X, turns out legacy in version X+1, replaced in X+2, but all need to be supported thanks to lack of updates.


Unlike the chaos, constant churn and developer frustration of Windows Phone development, Android development hasn't needed to osbourne their development environment and tools every year because of incompetence.


Instead they show incompetence at stuff like fragments, replacing build systems, broken Gradle builds at each update, outdated documentation, broken Android Studio and Support library releases, removing AS plugins without documenting how to work with them gone, adding PWAs and Flutter to the mix, ...

Which so much Android love I am curious to see how many apps you have released, since you seem to like the experience so much.


Incompetence was trying to convince developers to use that Flash ripoff Silverlight for mobile app development or trying to debug that horrible XAML pile of garbage or trying to build UI's with that bug infested piece of garbage expression studio. With Windows phone development you could never get comfortable because they were always osbourning the OS once they realized what a piece of garbage it was.


As expected, just bloody hate towards Microsoft and Google advocacy without Android development experience.

Have you forgotten to write Microsoft as M$?


It's amusing how forgetful you are of all of the Windows phone development environment failures and the nightmares it entailed for developers, but somehow have Android development issues burned into your brain. I'm guessing you still harbor resentment towards Google for the failure of Windows phone. In time you'll eventually recognize that it was all due to the incompetence of Microsoft.


Yes, i did. I have also done android.


I hope you’re kidding with the dev environment thing. WP died because they changed everything completely with every OS release.

Not to mention that to develop an app they required you to have Hyper-V, which is only available in Pro editions of Windows and CPUs with VT-x.


I was definitely not kidding. 10+ years of c# experience, and 5+ years of android, and you can see the difference between the two.

Hyper-V and so on, i certainly do not remember as I had them anyway, but talking about purely the dev env and ease of platform to me tells it all.

Android has not been written from "application dev" pov. With all these contexts, application contexts, leaky abstractions all over, it certainly is not a robust platform.


Windows Phone 8.1 + Lumia 920 was by far the best phone I have ever used.

My friends look at me funny when I say that.

There were so many things they did right. Some random things off the top of my head:

- Internet Explorer had the address bar at the bottom of the screen. I don't get how nobody else does this.

- The tiles work really very well (big one). The usability of shortcuts + active information + dense layout on your homescreen.

- The back-button behavior was perfect. It made sense.

- Very snappy response throughout.

- Lots of pros on the hardware of the Lumia 920 itself but that's a different story.

- Best keyboard/swipe setup.

- Lots of thoughtful design elements.

There's all kinds of stuff that was a joy.

I tried Windows Phone 10.1 Dev release and that was horrible.

I do wish Windows Phone continued to live though.


All of this applied to the Lumia 640 too, their bargain basement low end phone. Even the "snappy response" part. One of the best phones I've ever owned and it still travels the world with me as a backup (and has even been used to that effect when my wife dropped her Nexus 4 and broke the touchscreen on one trip).


Still using the 640 as my primary phone for the exact same reasons and really can't complain. Picked up a few of them when they were giving them away practically for free, simply because of the quality and sturdiness of the device - and the fact that I seem to rough or incapable of keeping nice and expensive device in proper operating condition. It has pretty much all the apps that I would need, with the one exceptions, as someone noted in another comment, some of the banking apps. Funny enough, for that problem I keep an old android phone around to use in wifi mode. I do get a bit of crap when someone notices it is a windows pone, but hey, it is a good conversation starter over a few pints.


Steve Wozniak apparently said he preferred the look and feel of Windows phone[1]. Honestly ignoring the esthetics, I do miss being able to upgrade and downgrade your phone no matter what phone you bought.

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-wozniak-says-windows-ph...


There's a caveat at the bottom of the page:

> Despite his love for Windows Phone's design, Wozniak said he still uses his iPhone 4S as his primary phone. He says Windows Phones need a better app selection and utilities like Android's voice dictation and the iPhone's Siri.

It doesn't matter how good your execution is, if there's not a whole lot you can do with it.


My work gave me one last summer. The hardware itself was crazy... removable storage, removable battery, great screen, option for dual SIM. It was a modern-ish phone with all the things people have been complaining about modern phones not having.


Recently switched from a Lumia 925 to a 950, which I'm using to type this. This is my third Windows Phone and my first experience of WP10. There's a lot to like about it, but I do miss WP8.1. the keyboard is not as good on WP10 - it feels the same and looks the same but it doesn't predict the right words in swipe mode half as often as WP8 used to.

I'm torn between the eternal storage and incredible camera on the 950 and the better keyboard on the 925.

I wish there was something in between, like that Lumia 940 that never saw release


I bought the last big Lumia about a year ago on Ebay just for fun. Used it as my primary for about 6 weeks before moving to Android. I really liked the phone and would have probably stayed with Windows were it being developed on.


My only wish on the platform would have been that the rendering engine for IE was more like chrome. Don't want the chrome um.. chrome but I do like the rendering engine. I pretty much only use the browser on my phone anyway, I loved my Icon but IE just wasn't up to par on what I needed.


> - The back-button behavior was perfect. It made sense.

I only know the Android behaviour, what was the difference?


The back button is not locked to the current app but is based on interaction history. In fact if you use your phone and end up with a dozen open apps, pressing the back button a couple dozen times would be quite similar to navigating in exact reverse of how you got there.


I've only briefly used Windows Phone 8.1, and haven't seen WP 10.1 at all. What makes it significantly worse than its predecessor?


> address bar at the bottom of the screen

What's the advantage of this?


I would imagine it's something you want to access semi-frequently and would be easier to reach at the bottom (with you thumb) than at the top. Just a guess.


New mobile chrome has the controls on the bottom. It's dumb. I'm using Firefox now.


I searched for that a lot in the past.

I wonder if the placement is optional, people could select what they prefer.

Looks like that is being deprecated in favor of something else: https://www.xda-developers.com/google-deprecating-bottom-add...


It was an option, and they already reverted it because of backlash.


I'm curious, why would there be backlash against something that's optional?

They could leave the default as the least offensive option.


Because if the benefit of the code being there isn't worth the maintenance effort required to secure, maintain, and develop it further, then it's removed in chrome.


In general, that's the sane argument against feature bloat.

In this instance, is the effort required to maintain a layout option really that much more? I don't know the answer, it's a genuine question.

Also, was there no benefit? I didn't even realize the feature existed because I searched for it before it was introduced and moved to Firefox.

I know nothing about the history of this feature in Chrome, but from 10000 feet, this looks like a heavy handed move to remove a feature instead of making it optional, especially in the times of large + tall touchscreens.

Disclaimer: I don't know what I'm talking about, there may be, and probably are some good reasons for these.


It's clearly a "controversial" decision by the Chrome team, but IIRC they have a fairly strict rule about "options", so they seem to like to err on the side of "less options" in most cases.

But in terms of the "cost" of something like this. When you run at Chrome's scale, it can be quite a bit. From documentation, help articles, UI team costs (okay now we need to make sure all UI changes look good and work well in both configurations), development costs (when 1% of your users represent over 10 million people, there is a WIDE configuration of devices it runs on), and testing cost (either automated or manual, it scales VERY poorly with the number of options as possible permutations required to fully test it goes up at an insane rate).

At a certain scale, the better option (at least in my opinion) is to "choose" for the user if you are fairly confident that the extreme majority will be happy with it, doubly so if the default option doesn't "break" anything for most.


It wasn't an option. They turned it on without asking for many people and you had to disable it with a flag.


Only in Dev and Canary (and I believe Beta there for a little bit). And an option default-on is still an option.


I haven't used chrome with the controls on the bottom, but it sounds like a good idea to me. What's dumb about it?


Many aspects of Windows Phone were thoughtfully designed, but they waded into a market where customers expected to install arbitrary apps.

There were some high-profile holdouts like Snapchat, whose lack hurt the phone (or hurt retention) among the valuable, younger demographics, while everyone else has been conditioned to be used to a zillion single-use apps, from their bank, their fast-casual restaurant, to throwaway games and random tools that try to imbue phones with some productivity utility.

A platform with a low market share and confusing (and ever-changing) developer story couldn't compete in this market, even if they kept putting out decent hardware for not a lot of money.

They could have reframed the expectations, and marketed it as a business OS, but with a rapidly declining BlackBerry, they didn't want to pursue what seemed like a failing niche. Or, they could have not screwed up Desktop Windows' app story so much, which exacerbated the issues with developing for Windows Phone.

Or they could have arrived at the market several years later, when Progressive Web Apps graduate from wishful thinking tech demos to a viable way of authoring software to be distributed over either URLs or app stores. This is the future that Google wants, their medusa-like competitor who tries to balance their desire to preserve and gatekeep the Open Web with their large install-base of Android phones running apps written in quasi-Java that they got sued over.

Windows Phone was a technically sound product positioned awkwardly, and they couldn't persuade enough third-parties to deliver on the expectations that customers expected. But they neither doubled down, nor did an immediate reversal (e.g. Surface RT), so in typical Microsoft fashion they let it flail around for years without any strong messaging to reassure users (remember this from Silverlight? Zune? XNA?).


but they waded into a market where customers expected to install arbitrary apps.

Of course. The locked-down nature of the platform was a big turn-off for me too, since branding it Windows made everyone expect it would be more like desktop Windows with a different UI.


I used Windows Phone for several years. It was a refreshing take on a mobile OS, and to this day I still think it had the best touch keyboard with the most satisfying tapping sound effects.

When I finally did put it out to pasture, it was a breath of fresh air though; I really had no idea how much I'd been missing out on in terms of apps and features on iOS/Android, and how many Windows Phone irritations/limitations I'd just been putting up with.

That said, today I use only a handful of apps and barely if ever explore new ones - I mainly only use Firefox, Lyft, a mail client, a reddit client, and photos. I see similar 'app fatigue' among my peers, so I wonder if Windows Phone would have fared better in today's mobile market.


> That said, today I use only a handful of apps and barely if ever explore new ones - I mainly only use Firefox, Lyft, a mail client, a reddit client, and photos. I see similar 'app fatigue' among my peers, so I wonder if Windows Phone would have fared better in today's mobile market.

I don't think so. While there's definitely some level of "App Fatigue", there's a lot of apps that users would never give up. e.g., WhatsApp, Facebook (& Messenger), Snapchat, CityMapper, Google Maps, any banking apps, just to name a few big names that would be used day-to-day. And then there's a lot of miscellaneous apps that I don't use regularly, but do use occasionally, like all the airline ones, or food delivery, or Trainline, or Taxi apps, etc.

The transport ones are notable because they make it really easy to add the ticket or boarding pass to the iOS Wallet, which means I have offline access to them (very important when travelling).

I think most users have found the subset of apps they really want, and don't have a pressing need to look for more, yes. However, the apps they do have, they would definitely miss if they were gone.

Now, a lot of those apps might not be necessary if the mobile web site integrated with the OS well enough (mostly notifications, mic/webcam access, Apple/Google pay equivalent, responsiveness), though some probably wouldn't. WhatsApp is a good example here - all the content is stored locally, on the phone. Making it a mobile website as the default option would go against what they are trying to offer (Signal is the same, I believe?).

But since none of the existing platforms offer full integration like that (AFAIK), there would probably have to be some extra work building out those features on the mobile site. And I guess that brings us full circle back to the "no one builds anything for Platform X because it has no users" problem?


I think I only use a few apps, yet whenever I look at the open-app history on my Android, I am always surprised at the sheer number of apps I have used recently.

The long tail of uncommonly used apps do matter e.g. a bus tracking app I only use when visiting my brother (in another city).


Not widely known - MSFT was throwing around cash at developers and brands to make apps for windows phone. Even providing developer shops to code it.

MSFT handed us a check and a dev shop to pay with it. We designed the app in their ui paradigm and had fun doing it. Had enough money left over to take the team out for a fancy dinner when it was all done.


I can confirm this. I worked for a major game publisher at the time, and MSFT threw significant money at us to port iOS/Android titles to Windows Phone. I think their gamble was once our - and the hundreds of other developers' - titles were on their platform, users would migrate to it. We'd then hopefully see promising numbers and decide to update the titles on our own accord, keeping them in sync with iOS/Android.

Unfortunately for MSFT, that didn't happen. Aside from their hefty payment to get the 1.0 out, after that there was zero incentive to update as often as iOS/Android (platforms that actually brought in revenue) so after the initial release the titles stagnated.

They did offer payment for additional point updates, but these were separate contracts that would take months to sign-off (MSFT moved VERY slow), and in the fast-moving mobile world, the WP port gathered dust.

Xbox Live support which sounded like a great idea at the time and edge over the other platforms, turned out to be a nightmare. Rather than come up with a mobile-specific review policy, we had to go through the same approval process as Xbox console publishers do to get the titles signed off, and this took many weeks or months of tedious back and forth with their review team who didn't 'get' mobile. Titles would occasionally get rejected for reasons irrelevant to mobile, and then take weeks to be resolved.

Ultimately, the few Windows users we did have (IIRC our metrics showed a few thousand DAU on our major titles vs. iOS/Android in the low millions) became frustrated because Windows Phone versions lagged significantly behind iOS/Android releases (which were in sync) and had less features.


They did this later on.

In 2011, Android Market (Google play) cost $25 for a lifetime developer account. You could develop apps on Windows, Mac or Linux. It came with an emulator. So for the cost of $25, anyone on any major developer platform could write an app.

In 2011, you could only program Windows Phone app on Windows (I don't even have a Windows machine where I live). Windows Phone Marketplace charged $99 a year for a developer account. You can say Apple did this to, or that it should be nothing, but apparently it was not a winning strategy. I know a college student who shelled out the $25 back then and published an app on Google Play, now he works as an Android developer for a Fortune 500 company. Perhaps the idea paying four times that, and on a yearly basis no less, to Microsoft, was off-putting. People can straighten their tie and say any business going off on such a venture can afford $100 a year as a gatekeeper, but it didn't work out so well for Microsoft. Apple was already in the pole position so they could get away with it.

But you're right, after throwing up these barriers to developer entry at first, they started raining cash on developers to make apps, providing developer shops to code it and so on.


I doubt that many developers saw having a Windows machine as an impediment to building apps. Microsoft does still have 90% market share in PCs.


What's the marketshare on developer machines though? And build servers? What about Docker?

It's so nice to be able to have any CI build your Android apps and Travis CI supports building iOS apps, too.


As I said in another post, you can get a hosted build server from Visualstudio.com (VSTS) with unlimited Git repos, with 5 users and a hosted build server with 240 minutes per month. You can get a hosted build server with unlimited minutes for $40 a month. If you need more than one simultaneous build - buy more build agents.

VSTS has hosted build servers for Windows, IOS, Linux, and Android.

It's even nicer not to have to maintain servers at all.

I try to avoid maintaining servers. We are moving to serverless functions with Lambda and serverless Docker with AWS Fargate.


Pretty much the same regarding developer machines.

Besides my stay at research institutes, I never worked on companies where IT allowed anything other than Windows as development machines.

Linux when required is only VM based or servers accessed via ssh.

Macs are only allowed on macOS/iOS related projects.

Docker remains a buzzword for the majority of customers, another box to tick besides big data and ML on slideware.


I wouldn't go that far. I often see cited that 60%+ Of commits on Github come from Macs.


Github is a very lousy metric to measure anything relevant to typical enterprise development.


Even modern "Enterprise Development" is mostly web based. Few companies these days are developing WinForm apps.


So what, we are doing it on Windows laptops and no one is ever allowed to touch Github beyond getting stuff out of there to spare money on licenses.

So no, Githib is not a metric for enterprise development.

And you are right Winforms is legacy, all modern Windows applications are written in WPF.

I have been doing it the last 4 years, and dispite the HN Web bubble, out there in the enterprise there are companies actually adopting UWP and migrating their laptop fleet to Windows 10.


It's not about the "HN Web Bubble". I'm on the opposite coast and keep my eye on the job market. There are relatively few jobs for WPF compared to web - even in the enterprise market. Most internal apps these days are web based because of ease of deployment, and TCO. No one wants to maintain a bunch of PCs with the only alternative being a bunch of Citrix Terminals when they can use a web browser.

The writing is on the wall - not even MS is falling over itself to support WPF in .Net Core.


So come to Europe. Plenty of WPF jobs here.

Not everyone is using Citrix, and there are many markets, like life sciences, ticketing systems, factory management and many other domains, using non networked devices with native UIs in WPF.

Of course MS is not supporting WPF on .NET Core, they already announced XAML Standard and Xamarin.Forms is going to support Linux and macOS as well.

Also they have big UI announcement planned for BUILD as discussed on .NET Rocks interview with Scott Hunter.


MSFT pitched our team on paying us to make Windows mobile apps and since we only did iOS/Android/web on Mac it would have required us buying new Windows systems for most of the team. My recollection from doing Windows development in 2000's was having to pay thousands of dollars per year for the MSDN/VC++. This is in addition to looking at the Windows phone market realistically and thinking - these apps for hire for Microsoft are going to be the only apps we would ever make for Windows mobile. We would definitely have done it if we had Windows developer systems ready to go.


You don't have to pay anything to develop on Windows. Visual Studio Community Edition is free. Even if you want the professional edition - I don't see any reason you would - it's $499 per seat.

You also wouldn't have to buy Windows computers - you could either buy Windows + Parallels or spend about $60 a month and get a hosted Windows desktop on AWS.

You can get a hosted build server via Visual Studio Online - unlimited private git repos, 5 users free (each additional user $5). 240 build minutes free per month or $40 per hosted build agent with unlimited minutes.

If you really have no need for Windows machines, just use AWS Workspaces and you can get a 4 vcpu 16GB Hosted Windows workstation for $70 a month.


You're not allowed to use Visual Studio Community Edition to develop commercial programs.

> An unlimited number of users within an organization can use Visual Studio Community for the following scenarios: in a classroom learning environment, for academic research, or for contributing to open source projects. For all other usage scenarios: In non-enterprise organizations, up to five users can use Visual Studio Community. In enterprise organizations (meaning those with >250 PCs or >$1 Million US Dollars in annual revenue), no use is permitted beyond the open source, academic research, and classroom learning environment scenarios described above.

https://www.visualstudio.com/vs/community/


If you have 5 or fewer developers and you have less than 250 PCs and you have less than $1 million in revenue you can use the VS Community.

Also to be completely accurate, this would have been in 2012 when the free version was Visual Studio Express and that was free for commercial use.

https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/f280e5b7-f17a...

In today's world -i.e. not for Windows Phone - I would probably not even bother with VS 2017 Professional for a two or three month project. I would just use JetBrains Rider (Macs/Windows/Linux) for $35 a month and use .Net Core and develop on the Mac.

If you really don't want to spend any money today, you could use Visual Studio Code on Macs, Windows, Linux.


Your summary does not accurately reflect what the license states.

You can use Visual Studio Community Edition for commercial programs, so long as:

* You're not doing so for an organization that has more than 250 PCs or 1 million USD in annual revenue

* No more then 5 users in the organization that you are using it for are using it for things other than open source, academic research, and classroom learning


Was it this way when Windows Phone was starting? I think the free Visual Studio came much later.


Yes.

You could use Visual Studio Express.

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/visualstudio/2012/10/30/int...


Remember that you needed Windows 8 or later to run the SDK. I doubt many professionals who use their computer to get work done would trade Windows 7 for that garbage.


thats only true for windows 10 i think. I've made apps for wp7 and wp8 on w7


Even with the "Blend" UI designer (or whatever it was called)?

I tried to get into Windows Phone 8 development back in 2014 but couldn't as every SDK seemed to require Windows 8.


Apple requires a Mac for iOS development so my guess would be that most app developers use a Mac.


And if MS was that desperate, I'm sure they would have been willing to throw in a few Windows licenses to allow the companies to either use Boot Camp or a VM.


They were priming the app pump at the same time they were charging $100 for dev accounts, it wasn't something that came later.


Still using a Windows Phone (Nokia 1020) as my main phone.

It's mostly the Nokia parts that I really love, like the transit app, and the fact that it's user-serviceable with minimal tools.

The app ecosystem is actually less of a problem as time goes on; now that Apple and Google ship reasonable browsers in their phones most services I want to use have good mobile web experiences. The real essentials like Pandora / Kindle / WhatsApp are available and still work.

The big pain point for me is Slack's web client, which appears to be gratuitously broken on phones.


I use Slack's Windows Phone app on my HP Elite x3. It has some issues but it's functional enough for when I need to use Slack away from my PC.


I swear that wasn't in the store when I looked earlier. Updated this year and everything!

Cunningham's Law in action I suppose.


I have a 1020 and loved it. I only switched because when I went from AT&T to TMobile it didn't work worth a sheet in my area (German import I got for cheapo).

I was super bummed when MS killed the phones, I was going to get a 940 or whatever it was but the writing was on the wall. Still my favorite phone OS.

I recently got an iPhone 8 for a project I'm working on. Holy shit is it worse than Android, and I don't particularly like Android either. Hadn't used the iPhone since the 3, seems like it's just the same. Can't even put friggin icons where you want.


My Lumia 925 is still the best phone I’ve ever owned. But MS killed itnfor themselves.

Windows Phones were kinda big in Asia. Used to see lots of people in Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, with them all the time. But the high end phones never came to these markets. People I worked with wanted all the new phones but MS didn’t release them in Singapore for over 12 months. People gave up and went android and iOS.

I went Android then iOS. There’s a lot I miss about windows phone. And Poki is still hands down the best pocket reader app.


The Lumia 520 was a very popular phone in emerging markets for a while. It was cheap compared to Android phones, had good battery life, decent build quality, decent specs. I think Microsoft just wasn't interested in markets outside the US.


I thought here in Germany they also were making respectable inroads (although that might be distorted since the brightly-colored Lumnias were so noticable), but then they let it languish at a point where they would have needed to double down on having up-to-date and interesting devices around. Most people aren't buying new phones every year, so getting market share will mean sticking around for at least a few cycles. Apparently MS didn't think that'd work out in enough markets?


They were, at a given point it was quite common to see them while commuting.

A few of our customers also had them as official device for their regular employees.


UK: 'jack the lads' used to have lumina phones - the ones that you could get for £100 or that came with contracts. I used to see those a lot outside the local football ground. The central messaging queue seemed popular and video watching &c.

Then they disappeared to be replaced by huge Samsungs.


I feel like Microsoft has a string of devices which could have been good to great, and they keep just missing the mark somehow - windows phone, ms band, surface hub, heck even zune was as good as an ipod at a lower price point.

Not sure why they keep dropping the ball, lack of focus? Not willing to stay the course? I get dropping zune as the market had moved on, but band was getting good reviews when they dropped it and wearables are still growing. And for the life of me I don't understand why they don't have a motto of a hub in every college class - that device is so perfect for facilitating remote class attendance.


Zune HD really was a good player. I switched to it after 3 Ipod Nanos in a row had trouble holding a charge about five minutes after the warranty period expired. Cheaper price, longer battery life, better (imo) interface, just poor marketing and hard to beat the Itunes Juggernaut. If you subscribed to the $9.99 a month music service then downloading new music and syncing it to the device was smooth and fast and easy in a way that Itunes still hasn't managed. Like you said, no idea why Microsoft keep creating great products but then suck at selling and marketing them.


Well it's a good illustration for anyone here: ideas and good software are easy. Building a company that can successfully sell them is the hard part.


When I think of Microsoft, I think of "Windows", "Office" and "Enterprise". They essentially have a corporate image and beside a small group of people, the general public is not passionate about Microsoft. Satya Nadellla was right to focus the company on productivity.

So, in my opinion, they dropped the ball on those products because the market did not respond to them for the reasons I mentioned (perception). Xbox is the only exception because MS pumped billions into the division and attracted enough devs to make the product interesting to a significant number of people.


It's not that they were missing the mark, it's that they were WAY late to the game on all fronts. When you have stockpiles of cash, this isn't necessarily a horrible strategy (they ran xbox for 10 years in the red before making money). But in the phone ecosystem, they were crippled because developers wouldn't make apps for them and consumers weren't buying because of the lack of apps.

Similarly they made zune in a bubble. While Apple was innovating to make an iPod that also made phone calls.


The surface hub actually ended up being close to a billion dollar business for Microsoft, which I would say is pretty good for something that costs 5k+ and is out of reach for most consumers.


The Surface Hub is still around and for sale, we have several of them. They're really good if you're a AD/Skype/O365 shop, if a little pricey ($5K+).


I was curious about WinPhone, in particular when they started touting the desktop dock functionality. But then i found that the only devices that would support it was way way outside my price range.


My only experience with Windows Phone was when I had to port a Cordova app (made with AngularJS) to it. It was a really bad experience for me. The terrible hacks to get the Angular app to even run in the webview on Windows Phone 8.1 was shocking and the performance took a big hit. Bundling and distributing a test version was so complicated without a huge enterprise setup that it was simply not feasible. Windows Phone 10 improved all of that a lot but there were still security hacks necessary for the app to even run. I can only hope developers which created native apps had a better experience than I did.


It’s not really Windows Phone’s fault that Cordova and Angular are so terrible.


Cordova has many issues and shortcomings but that was not really the issue I had. E.g. you had to use a shim [1] otherwise many JS frameworks wouldn't even work in the webview and on Windows 10 you have to work around capability restrictions. On Windows 10 at least there was a straightforward way to sideload a dev build. On Win8.1 Phone this was quite complicated. The performance of the webview was also pretty bad.

[1] https://github.com/Microsoft/winstore-jscompat


Of course it is Microsoft's fault. They could have chosen to put resources into making those projects work better on Windows Phone.

Microsoft made a bet on Xamarin instead.

Also you had to use their proprietary touch events in the webview browser, which (a) was buggy, (b) had little information about how to use it in practice, and (c) the webview was a branch of IE11 specific to Windows Phone. I think for Update 1 the webview supported the Apple touch event API but it was broken (disappeared in update 2).

The dumbest thing is that supporting Cordova properly would have immediately got them a whole heap of lesser known apps without having to give money directly to developers. Money multiplier investments are smart.


As far as I can remember they supported Pointer Events but not Touch Events. It was only in a few cases where this mattered to me but there it was quite a pain.

MS really tried to get Cordova on Windows Phone. They had a dedicated blog and dedicated developers who were quite active for a while and laid a lot of the groundwork and developed the necessary workarounds and tutorials but then they suddenly stopped and abandoned it completely. Quite a while before Windows Phone was discontinued.

I wouldn't phrase it the way you have. Some choices they made were really problematic for Cordova and no help and effort they put into it could overcome them.


Having more Cordova crap on the Windows Phone app store wouldn’t have made a difference. There was no shortage of lesser known apps on Windows Phone, and enabling even more webview junk would have made the problem worse.

Microsoft spent a lot of money on initiatives that got unknown developers to flood the platform with apps of dubious quality. All along the real app problem they had was the lack of top 20 apps, everything from YouTube to Snapchat to Instagram to Uber.


> Of course it is Microsoft's fault.

What? This makes no sense; why would Microsoft be at fault for supporting a platform that makes demonstrably poorer apps? Doing that would just be shooting themselves in the foot. Are Apple and Google at fault for not making Cordova work well on their mobile platforms?


> why would Microsoft be at fault for supporting a platform that makes demonstrably poorer apps?

I have experience developing an app using a WebView, and I agree it is poor. However, it is a good compromise if:

- a team of one that has experience with HTML5. It is possible to develop an app for Apple, Google, and Windows Phone this way.

- a web first, mobile second app

- an app that is more about presenting information than entering data.

> Are Apple and Google at fault for not making Cordova work well on their mobile platforms?

Irrelevant: they are the incumbents not the chasers.


The web engine on Windows phone is (was) terrible though compared to Webkit/Blink.


Native is generally better for both development and the end user. Leave web stuff for the browser.


Broadly speaking, yes but sometimes you have to consider development, maintenance cost and balance that with experience. For some use cases the delta in user experience is not that dramatic for it to require native applications on multiple platforms. In these cases using web stuff is great, even for apps which try to feel native.


The cost in maintenance and development for native on mobile is generally on par with web stuff. The web stuff version carries overhead and for non-trivial apps a non-trivial cost that offsets the relatively cheaper labor cost. There's rarely a good reason to choose web over native.

The notion that web-based cross platform development is less expensive just hadn't panned out in any organization I've been a part of.


If you bothered to actually write an UWP app, the experience would have been great.


Was it easy to sideload dev builds on Windows 8.1 Phones for UWP apps? I think the bundling and deployment process is identical and I would not have characterized that as "great". And it's not so much as not having "bothered" writing a UWP application as it was porting an existing Cordova application.


Yes it was relativly simple, not much different from Android.


Why learn a completely new framework for an OS with 1% marketshare?


To provide the proper UI/UX that users deserve.


I'm curious to the whereabouts of these apps with proper UI/UX that users deserve. Of the apps I've downloaded from the Windows store they've all been trash, look like ass and show ads on top of it. No wonder people don't use the Windows store.


Just like the junkware that floods Google Play store, every single day.

Just because it is possible to write junk in native APIs, it doesn't mean developer convenience should trump good user experience, something that Web UIs on mobile, since Symbian Web Runtime, never managed to do.


I didn't think you would post links to all of those quality UWP apps. Says a lot about the quality of UWP and what a failure its been.


Adobe XD, just to give one example.

https://www.adobe.com/products/xd.html

For the rest you can turn that Microsoft hate into something positive and spend some time releasing steam while searching.


You really think that's a nice UI? No wonder there are so few UWP apps.

Also, you should really learn to calm down and not take things personally when I point out how incompetent Microsoft is.


Sounds like Blackberry, that was a real pain to develop for.


I'm still using Windows Phone - an HP Elite x3. I always preferred it to Android but I've refused to use Apple products for many years and when I decided I was done with Google products I went back to Windows Phone. I'm not big on apps anyway and I've mostly found it a positive not being able to succumb to the temptation to install time wasting or privacy hating apps. The biggest inconvenience is not being able to use the app for one of our local car sharing services but there is an app for car2go so I've just been using them instead. The official LastPass app is really bad too but I get by with it.

Not sure yet what I'm going to do for my next phone. I've backed the Purism Librem 5 so holding out hope that will actually ship and be a usable option. Biggest challenge for me there would likely be not having WhatsApp or Telegram (Windows Phone still has both).


In the same place. Love my Elite x3, will stay on it as long as security updates keep coming every month. May end up having to suffer iOS if nothing new comes out, but I'll never go back to Android. Definitely hope the Librem 5 works out, though have doubts that it will.


I love my Windows Phones, even ended up buying WP 10, when the upgrade from 8.1 wasn't possible.

My Windows Phones have gotten more updates than all my Android devices summed up together.

The 100% native apps experience, C++ and .NET Native, meant they were more responsive that Android devices on the same price category.

And the development environment runs circles around the chaos of Android tools.


>My Windows Phones have gotten more updates than all my Android devices summed up together.

So they osbourned your previous phone and the current phone you have has an OS in maintenance mode and isn't receiving OEM firmware updates.

>The 100% native apps experience, C++ and .NET Native, meant they were more responsive that Android devices on the same price category

You realize that the high majority of Windows phone apps aren't written in C++ or .NET native, right?

>And the development environment runs circles around the chaos of Android tools.

This is hilarious considering the number of times Microsoft osbourned the Windows phone development environment.


Yeah, so they are written in what, Pixie dust?

It might be hilarous to you as part of the Android support team.

To us that actually have to deliver software with those tools and fulfill customer expectations, it is a chaos.


>Yeah, so they are written in what, Pixie dust?

C#. Ever hear of it?

>It might be hilarous to you as part of the Android support team.

At least they're still employed. Windows support team - not so much.

>To us that actually have to deliver software with those tools and fulfill customer expectations, it is a chaos.

Compared to the Windows store, which is a cesspool of garbage, for both Windows apps and Windows phone apps I would say quality was the furthest thing from their minds.


> C#. Ever hear of it?

Yes, apparently it is part of .NET, go figure.

> At least they're still employed. Windows support team - not so much.

Well last time I checked my Windows Phones were still getting more updates than my Android phones.

Quite ironic for a platform that is supposed to be dead with unemployed team

> Compared to the Windows store, which is a cesspool of garbage, for both Windows apps and Windows phone apps I would say quality was the furthest thing from their minds.

Not far off from the daily garbage I see on Play Store as well.


>Yes, apparently it is part of .NET, go figure.

It's also what most of the apps are written in, aren't they? Unlike C++ and .NET Native.

>Well last time I checked my Windows Phones were still getting more updates than my Android phones.

I'm pretty sure you're not getting firmware updates from the OEM since they abandoned the platform so you only seem to be getting OS updates from Microsoft - who announced they'll be ending updates.

>Quite ironic for a platform that is supposed to be dead with unemployed team

No firmware updates and your OS updates will be ending soon. That looks like an unemployed team to me.

>Not far off from the daily garbage I see on Play Store as well.

The difference is the Play store actually contains all of the apps and they're really nice to use. The Windows store, however, will always be a cesspool. I hear Microsoft is so desperate for apps that their scouring the Internet for PWA apps to put on their store.


Better take a compilers course to learn the differences between .NET and .NET Native.

Interesting that you mention PWA, which happen to be pushed by Google's Chrome team, which has some Google IO talks bashing native apps as if Android wasn't made by the same company.

At the same time they are pushing Flutter and Dart as replacement for those stacks.

What a cohesive company, go figure.


>Better take a compilers course to learn the differences between .NET and .NET Native.

It would seem you're the one in need of a course due to your inability to differentiate the difference between .NET and .NET Native.

>Interesting that you mention PWA, which happen to be pushed by Google's Chrome team, which has some Google IO talks bashing native apps as if Android wasn't made by the same company.

PWA is a platform for low end phones. It's funny that Microsoft jumped on the bandwagon so fast. When you're that desperate for apps on your cesspool of a store you'll take anything.

>At the same time they are pushing Flutter and Dart as replacement for those stacks.

Flutter and Dart are a cross platform development solution. They're also instrumental to Fuchsia - you know, the OS that'll make Windows suffer the same fate as Windows Phone.

>What a cohesive company, go figure.

Speaking of cohesive, how was your annual re-org?


+1 for the Dev env. I think one of the reasons I've stuck with WP this long is that I can quickly build apps for it using c#, or html/js.


Sorry to hijack, but the real hero in much of the progress described in the article and in mobile OS overall, is non other than Matias Duarte with webOS. Innovation includes features such as Synergy, Just Type, gesture bar and the card interface.

Highly suggest you watch the launch video from CES 2009:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw3cHOEnwTw


I had a Nokia N9 that shipped with the ill fated Meego OS. Hands down the smoothest operating system I've ever used on a mobile.


I agree. The buttonless swipable interface was a joy to use (not least because it made it simple to distinguish between closing an app and putting it in the background) and the single notification/feed homepage was fantastic. Features like tap-to-wake and the glance screen felt so ahead of their time. I've not really found another phone that has been as awesome, and I am still profoundly depressed at how the phone was killed at birth.


I'm still using one now as my main phone. The only thing I don't like about it is how you have to hold the on-screen camera button down to auto-focus before taking a picture (making it difficult to do with one hand). Other than that, I've had no issues with it.


That's commitment. I loved my N9 about as much as anyone, but for me, the HW just doesn't cut it anymore. Sure, you could use it as a dumb phone, but perhaps then you wouldn't even need the interface.

Anyway, with faster internals, a sharper screen and an up-to-date browser, I would choose Meego any day of the week. Shame it wasn't the case.


> Sure, you could use it as a dumb phone, but perhaps then you wouldn't even need the interface.

Well, it's still better than what Symbian provides (I also have an N8). As long as I can browse and post to HN and reddit, use it for off-line GPS, playing music, sms and phone calls, it works well enough for me. It even works for tethering with a USB cable.

I suppose once the battery goes bad, I'll have to move on to something else :)

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