NYT: A Phone of Promise, With Flaws, David Pogue

  • Posted: 28 October 2010 12:05 AM

    NYT: A Phone of Promise, With Flaws, David Pogue
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/technology/personaltech/28pogue.html?partner=yahoofinance

    Just part of the article (the negative)...

    ...So while Windows Phone 7 shows some real genius, it is missing an embarrassingly long list of features that are standard on iPhone and Android. Ready?

    There?s no copy and paste. No folders for organizing your apps. No way to add new ringtones. No way to send videos to other phones as MMS messages. No video chat. No front-facing cameras.

    And there?s no multitasking. You can play your own songs while working in other programs, but you can?t listen to, say, Pandora Internet radio.

    Sound familiar? These are precisely the features that were missing from iPhone 1.0, too. Furthermore, there?s a search button, but it can?t search your whole phone at once (for apps, contacts and e-mail simultaneously, for example). There?s no visual voice mail. And there?s no tethering option (where you pay an extra $20 a month to use the phone as a glorified Internet antenna for your laptop).

    Like the iPhone, the Web browser doesn?t play Flash videos on the Web ? but it also won?t play the HTML5 videos that the iPhone plays, or even videos in Microsoft?s own Silverlight format. So, no YouTube, no Hulu, no online news videos.

    The e-mail program can?t unify your e-mail accounts into a single in-box. In fact, each e-mail account winds up as a separate icon on your home screen. There?s no message threading.

    The calendar can sync with online calendars like Yahoo?s or Google?s. But, incredibly, it can show only one category at a time, like home or work. If you?ve color-coded your life?s appointments, then this feature is all but useless.

    The address book has the opposite problem: it displays everyone from all of your accounts, including Facebook, in one long list. If you have hundreds of Facebook friends, they clutter up the list of people you call often. (There?s no Twitter integration at all, only a separate app.) That sounds like quite a lengthy to-do list for Microsoft, and it is. But heaven knows, if any company is famous for its slow, dogged, multiyear, multimillion-dollar approach to software improvement, it?s Microsoft. The company swears that it?s going to make Windows Phone 7 a contender. At the least, it?s safe to assume that it won?t kill the project completely after only two months, as it did with its Microsoft Kin cellphones this summer…

    Just part of the article (the positive)...

    Here?s the thing: WP7 is a 1.0 release in a good way, too. It?s a complete rethinking of app phone software design. Somehow, Microsoft has pulled off the inconceivably difficult task of coming up with a fresh, joyous, beautiful new software design that doesn?t look anything like iPhone or Android.

    The WP7 home screen doesn?t have evenly spaced app icons on multiple side-by-side home screens, like Android or iPhone. Instead, you see two columns of scrolling, multicolored rectangular tiles. Each represents an app, a speed-dial person, a favorite Web page, a music playlist ? whatever you want to put there. They?re easy to rearrange, organize and remove. (Thank goodness. Microsoft lets cell carriers, like AT&T or T-Mobile, install their own junkware. At least you can delete it on Day 1.)

    These big, finger-friendly tiles are also informative. A number on a tile tells you how many voice mail messages, e-mail messages or app updates are waiting. The music tile shows album art, the calendar tile identifies your next appointment, and so on.

    Other fresh, clever ideas abound. On any WP7 phone, there?s a dedicated camera button ? and you can take pictures even when the phone itself is turned off, a fantastic feature. You can set up the phone so that it automatically uploads your photos to Facebook or Microsoft?s SkyDrive as you take them.

    You can speak to dial, search Bing.com or open apps. Unfortunately, you can?t speak to type, as you can on the iPhone (with the free Dragon Dictation app) or Android (built-in).

    Several apps are ?hubs? ? more ambitious, multiscreen programs, like Pictures, People or Office. How do you know that you can swipe to view the next panel? Because you see the edge of the next ?page? peeking out from the edge of the screen. Clever.

    Even the lock screen has been visited by the Good Idea Fairy. Without even fully waking the phone, you can see the date and time, your next appointment, and how many new messages await (e-mail, voice mail, texts)...

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  • Posted: 28 October 2010 12:20 AM #1

    So why buy this phone with more advanced products available?

    What’s the motivation to move back to a Microsoft phone after entering the whorl of the iPhone or Android?

         
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    Posted: 28 October 2010 01:35 PM #2

    So lets look at the results from one of makers of a flagship Windows 7 device

    LG profit collapses

    The Korean company was dragged down by its mobile group, which had a record loss of $270 million. The company’s total phone shipments also dropped, going down 10 percent from year to year at 28.4 million.

    The irony is LG is the key supplier for the feature component in Iphone 4 the retina display.  The display estimate is $80 per handset.  If we assume LG makes 10%.  $8 per handset x 50M iphone 4 sales = 400M profit vs 270M loss on their own brand.  Should LG get out of the device business and just build the best displays for Apple?

         
  • Posted: 28 October 2010 02:30 PM #3

    pats - 28 October 2010 04:35 PM

    So lets look at the results from one of makers of a flagship Windows 7 device

    LG profit collapses

    The Korean company was dragged down by its mobile group, which had a record loss of $270 million. The company’s total phone shipments also dropped, going down 10 percent from year to year at 28.4 million.

    The irony is LG is the key supplier for the feature component in Iphone 4 the retina display.  The display estimate is $80 per handset.  If we assume LG makes 10%.  $8 per handset x 50M iphone 4 sales = 400M profit vs 270M loss on their own brand.  Should LG get out of the device business and just build the best displays for Apple?

    Apple would scare me to death as a supplier.  They move on at the blink of an eye and show loyalty only to their users.  They’re entirely correct to behave as they do but tough isn’t even the word for being on the other end of that.  Should they get out of the handset business?  If they can’t see where this is going from their vantage point they should exit a lot more than the handset business.

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