Microsoft has the money to convince the carriers, and probably a lot of weight as well. Why wouldn't they avoid that nightmare?
Granted I don't have a windows phone so it doesn't affect me, but my brief foray into the Android world frustrated the hell out of me in this regard. With Android it was an extra step: Android released, phone manufacturer needed to build their own version of it, then my carrier needed to decide when I could access it.
When Apple announces an update, I can download it whenever I want it.
The app is called "Preview for Developers" and it makes you sign into your live account.
To me, this sounds as absurd as an ISP having control of your computer - imagine if you had to wait till your ISP allowed you to update your OS. Yet that seems to be your situation with respect to mobile.
first the OS people update it. Then the manufacturers launch a device with said OS. Then your ISP gets to sell said devices to you. (or maybe you can update on your existing device but the ISP still has to approve it)
In simpler words:
In US, people do not directly buy their phones from the manufacturers. They buy the PHONE from the carrier, who also includes a SIM with said phone. And the cost of the phone is distributed over several months and is combined with your monthly cellular service charges.
Pro: you get to have expensive phones for far less.
Con: The carrier apparently gets a lot of say. In fact you can't even switch carriers easily. They make you sign a contact.
Interesting fact: Originally when the smart phones came out in the pre-iPhone era, the carrier's tried to control app stores by having exclusive, carrier specific app-stores. It was apple who convinced one carrier (can't remember which one) to let Apple control the app store and thus this revolution.
In my ideal world, I'd download (say) Android 4.4 and install it on my phone. After that, I'd hunt around, download and install the drivers for my phone like mic, camera, gyro, etc.
Why is this not possible already?
ARM's architecture is still quite firmly stuck with the embedded approach where you get your memory map and peripheral availability at compile time, probably by reading addresses from a manual published by your SoC manufacturer. Usually at early boot there is nothing which will tell you where your RAM is, what peripherals you have and where they are, etc. You either just have to know, or have some non-standard configuration mechanism which tells you.
Things are improving, but slowly. ACPI exists for ARM and is being actively worked on, but isn't widely deployed yet.
In contrast, ARM SoCs are extremely diverse, and the only thing they all have in common is an ARM CPU core. There is no one standard for where the peripherals are, how they behave, how the SoC boots, etc. There is no "standard platform" for ARM like there is the PC for x86. The closest "de-facto" platform I can see for smartphones is the Mediatek MT65xx, which is used by the majority of the generic Chinese ones (and some branded ones, like Lenovo).
Also you have to keep in mind, the driver situation in the embedded world can get dark fast. Manufacturers wanting to keep datasheets secret, drivers that are just pass-throughs so user space daemons can write to hardware so they don't have to comply with the GPL. It gets weird fast, and why bother with that mess if it won't win any more customers than just a few hardcore hackers and power users.
I get why OEMs need to test/approve an update for their specific phones but what kind of role carriers play here ?
Also, Carrier IQ. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrier_IQ)
It would be awesome if the user could pass in any arbitrary data via voice commands (devs could make custom scheduler/todo list/note-taking apps that can receive data from Cortana), and even more so if voice commands could launch background tasks instead of just the entire third-party application (you could check into Foursquare without actually opening the Foursquare app and disrupting whatever you're doing).
Conversational style instead of pre-defined phrases and it just sent a tweet instead of opening the twitter app.
- He added a show to his queue in Hulu but it stayed in the app
- He said "what's up with Terry Meyerson" and it went straight to Terry's facebook profile.
And I realize that FB has some deep integration within the OS (just like Twitter)
This is a feature that would make me interested in switching to a WinPhone
That's because it's a fallacy from the start. What happens on-line, what's digital, is as real as anything else. It's a mental dead end to think there are two separate things.
Not being familiar with the Halo games, I did an image search for "Cortana" -- and while not exactly NSFW, I did immediately close the window, haha:
 http://channel9.msdn.com/?wt.mc_id=build_hp [~1:12:50]
Hopefully she's better at navigation on the phones. I don't think providing a compass heading to your destination, and constantly yelling that you need to get there is going to cut it.
If so, am definitely getting a win phone next!
Careful, people. If the aliens invade make sure you're using your iPhone that day.
Separately there is the hot word plugin (I think that's what it's called) that lets you say 'ok Google' when on the US Google homepage.
Its a huge market, but space for a lot of niches.
We could all focus more on the work and let VS handle the scheduling and minutiae according to our priorities.
I have a toothache - I simply go to the dentist.
I need food - I simply go to a shop
I need water - i simply turn on a tap.
The "complexity" of my modern, urban life is the cost of having my life already very very simple.
Yes the noise of my daily life feels more complex, but there is a great deal of signal if I chose my perspective correctly.
As a member of the computing industry, you should be happy about this :)
Other than being a bigger number, what radically different changes is the author expecting for Windows Phone 9? It seems like all the fundamentals are there. The changes to the OS at this point are rather incremental
- Can it handle an interaction such as:
-- "Michael, you've got a new message from Paul"
-- "Read it for me"
-- 'Ok, Paul wrote: "Where should we meet today?"'
-- "Answer with "in the Starbucks, at noon as we discussed".
-- 'Ok, here is what I understood: "In the Starbucks, at noon as we discussed". Shall I send it?
-- "Ok, your reply has been sent.
1. Hold down start for 2-3 seconds
2. Say "Send text to Joe Bloggs"
3. Wait a couple of seconds for it to work it out.
4. Say your message. It gets this right nearly 100% of the time.
5. Asks you if that's ok or do you want to add some more
6. Say yes and it sends it.
It has an option to read and dictate texts to you as well but I've never used it as I think that would annoy me. Might go and play with it now.
You can do a fair bit with it. It can find a pizza place locally and call it without any trouble (my main use case :-)
It starts around 1:12:00
I just recently switched back to Android (Motorola Razr Maxx) and will be switching back this weekend when I upgrade to the Nokia Icon. This latest update is coming out a lot sooner than I thought. Unreal.