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 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.
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.
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. :/
no reason to explicit fuck it up, except... oh yeah, competitor to your own tablets.
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.
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.
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.
> 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.
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.
The download feature certainly could have been pulled from Microsoft
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.
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.
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
The other infamous Google move towards Windows Phone was blocking access in certain ways to Google Maps.
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.
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.
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.
Arguing that the users did it, is the same as arguing why people only use Google or Facebook.
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.
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.
And the page turning problem also occurs on my Kindle Oasis.
Very stable and responsive on hardware nowhere near what the current gen Android had.
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.
Their support for iOS is second-class for more than a few apps; like Inbox for Gmail.
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
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.
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?
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?
Initial release 7 December 2006; 11 years ago
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.
Android P could be released with a complete different kernel and only OEMs would notice, all user space apps would be kept running.
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.
Our Java, .NET and C++ servers don't care 1 second on which OSes they are actually running.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The fact is that iPhones and iOS dominate the revenue of the mobile market. iPhone users have incredibly high customer satisfaction numbers 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.
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.
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.
Therefore, this statement doesn't make sense to me:
"For a $30 phone, it was incredibly fast and smooth."
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.
Where "apps" means "app", and "Google's services" means "YouTube".
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 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.
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.
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).
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).
None of those are critical but thing like that is annoying.
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.
So they should buy DDG and get back into the ad business? I'm sure that would play out well.
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.
And other than that, it had no other redeeming qualities.
 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Have you forgotten to write Microsoft as M$?
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.
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.
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.
> 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.
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 only know the Android behaviour, what was the difference?
What's the advantage of this?
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...
They could leave the default as the least offensive option.
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.
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.
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?).
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.
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.
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?
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).
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.
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.
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.
It's so nice to be able to have any CI build your Android apps and Travis CI supports building iOS apps, too.
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.
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.
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.
The writing is on the wall - not even MS is falling over itself to support WPF in .Net Core.
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.
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.
> 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.
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.
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.
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
You could use Visual Studio Express.
I tried to get into Windows Phone 8 development back in 2014 but couldn't as every SDK seemed to require Windows 8.
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.
Cunningham's Law in action I suppose.
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.
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.
A few of our customers also had them as official device for their regular employees.
Then they disappeared to be replaced by huge Samsungs.
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.
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.
Similarly they made zune in a bubble. While Apple was innovating to make an iPod that also made phone calls.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 notion that web-based cross platform development is less expensive just hadn't panned out in any organization I've been a part of.
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.
For the rest you can turn that Microsoft hate into something positive and spend some time releasing steam while searching.
Also, you should really learn to calm down and not take things personally when I point out how incompetent Microsoft is.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Highly suggest you watch the launch video from CES 2009:
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.
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 :)