Rant: Playtime Is Over Microsoft, Time to Get Your Game Together

| May 25, 2013 | Reply


(Rant that was delayed due to exams), Ok let’s start…..

This past month alone Nokia launched two new “Hero/Flagship” devices, the 925 being the one with the larger spotlight. One consistent comment I’ve read is “they’re the same damn phone!!”; and let’s face it, short of an extra lens in the 925 and a Xenon flash in the 928 they really are just replicas of the 920. Hell I’d consider calling them 920-Xenon and 920-Slim (just like the Minis/Dual sims); but why is this a problem?

For the first time in a REALLLYYY long time Nokia were pushing the upper limits of the hardware restrictions, going with the highest screen resolution possible, dual cores, bigger batteries, better cameras, until they hit the limitation barrier.

(Note: I’m not saying that WP *needs* more cores or Full HD screens- but ignore all that for a second)

To compensate for the fact that their highest specs possible still didn’t match up to the current (or even last gen) Android devices they went down the innovation road. With OIS, Wireless charging, Super sensitive touch, Pureview, CBD and the Nokia exclusive features they were able to somewhat level the playing field. But of course the mobile world doesn’t sit and watch, the masters of adapting and copying (Samsung) already have their own super-sensitive touch, wireless charging, dual recording cameras and more, all the while the core OS hasn’t changed a bit (short of letting you keep the WiFi on while the screen is locked).

Windows Phone 8 has been out for almost 8 months now, and yet there hasn’t been a single significant improvement. Instead they’ve sat back while BlackBerry ripped their “hub”, and other OSes silently copied their “metro” interface, so you have to think what on earth are they doing?


*This doesn’t mean I think teaming up with Microsoft was the wrong movie, I have much more trust in Microsoft’s software development abilities than in Nokia when it comes to a full OS. If only they bothered working on it.

Sure WP8 is finally playing catch-up with the apps, redesigning some of the essentials, and releasing some long awaited ones; but when do they plan on playing catch-up with the hardware and features? Nokia’s innovations and camera prowess can only carry themselves (and the OS) so far, and by go they’ve done their duty. When Nokia teamed up with WP everyone said they would save each other, but it’s pretty obvious that Nokia has saved WP; so when is the favor going to be repaid?

Yes, Nokia’s position isn’t as dire as it was two years ago, but scrambling over 5% market-share isn’t doing it too much good either. I hate hearing that the latest device/features have been delayed or pushed back to suit Microsoft’s lazy-ass schedule,  how much longer do we have to wait to get a higher spec roof? Or do we have to wait till Android moves on to the next thing besides 1080p screens?

I appreciate the fact that WP8 is relatively bug free, and is quite smooth; but that’s not an excuse for lack of development. We’ve seen countless concepts and ideas on how to improve WP; from multiple notification systems, to improved People/Me hubs and yet not a peep from Microsoft. And worse yet, there doesn’t seem to be any rumors supporting a big change (short of GDR3 bringing 1080p and quad core *late* this year).

So Microsoft, where’s my offline voice dictation? Hell where’s my voice dictation (online or offline) outside of messaging? Where’s my improved social notifications? Where’s my notification center? Oh and podcasts outside the US?

The point I’m trying to make is that Nokia have done their end of the deal, they’ve conquered the low end with the 520/521 and actually have a glimpse of the high end, but low light images and flashy colors can only carry you so far at some point the OS has to progress. And that lies solely at Microsoft’s feet (ignoring the fact that “Nokia Amber” which should bring sleeping screen is once again Nokia’s handywork). So dear Microsoft, get your shit together.

Love Ali.



Category: Lumia, Nokia, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.
  • Mo Bo

    You are completely right. It’s about time MS stops with the lazy ass ads, trashing other devices and improve wp8 in a way that it can be a light year ahead. :/:|:|

    • joyride

      He’s only partially right. How can you say Nokia’s situation is not as dire as it was two years ago? Please. Before Feb’11 they had massive market share and were making large profits. Sure, they were sliding on some metrics but they were selling more handsets then they ever have (and this was increasing) and they were making lots of money! How are they possibly in a better position now? Hogwash.

      The 920 was the pinnacle of this relationship and it sputtered and burned. Nokia signed their smartphone death sentence when they brought in Microsoft.

      • joyride

        Also, back in early 2011 Nokia had interesting products in their pipeline. The best Nokia fans now have to hope for are rehashed technologies from yesteryear. Think what a second or third generation 808 would be like running MeeGo.

      • Peter Sellers

        @joyride Do people forget about Nokia before Microsoft when they sold millions of Nokia N8s in a smartphone market a fraction of the size? I used to love Nokia when they sold their unlocked phones online using open software. Now I just come to this website to trash them and wait till they leave Microsoft.

        • Tabu

          Nokia was failing when they started selling Symbian^3 phones.

          This is something the old school Nokia fans don’t really want to talk about. Maybe it’s because truth hurts.

          Back then Nokia sold a puny 5 million Symbian^3 phones in a Christmas quarter and only some of those were N8 phones.

          Really, they were losing high end unit sales at that time. People should definitely not forget that Nokia was not able to sell more Symbian^3 phones at the time.

          Why it’s important to repeat this message? It’s because in the future, when people are looking for information and searching for the web, they will find the truth about Nokia’s failures at the Symbian era.

          • noki

            “sold a puny 5 million Symbian^3” HAAAA the good old days wen 5 million devices for nokia was puny, right now its the maximum it can sell of WP…

            Remind us how many Symbian^3 devices were there in the quarter you refer 2??? becouse for nokia to sell 5 Million Lumias it takes 11 different devices. And remind US how the ASP is going lately???

            Why it’s important to repeat this message? So people like you cant edit history without a reality check.

            • Tabu

              Sure it was puny. Nokia was already selling lots of Symbian phones but failed to get even 20% of their phones to be Symbian^3 based.

              Remember, Symbian^3 was just a new version of Symbian. Not a new OS. Apple seems to be selling more than 20% of the latest iPhone. Nokia should have been doing the same. Instead, they were able to sell only 5 million and they started shipping in Q3 so they had a full quarter to do make the sales.

              WP is a new OS and the problem is, that Nokia killed Symbian too late. Nokia should have started selling Linux based phones in volumes long before 2011. N900 was not something that was able to compete against Android or iPhone.

              If you want to repeat your messages, please use good arguments like I do.

              • noki

                You use good arguments? wow!!!

                Any way I’m not the one that goes around in circles blaming Symbian for everything wrong in Nokia.

                So yeah symbian was doomed so what is WP excuse then???
                It seams its going the same path only now nokia cant sell cheep profitable devices like in symbian days only unprofitable ones…

                Your to late argument is also kinda busted by reality wen a far smaller player such as blackberry seems to come way later than nokia did with meego and seams to be making great sales numbers without dumping the prices… But “This is something the old “(random finish word)” don’t really want to talk about. Maybe it’s because truth hurts.”

                • Tabu

                  I have never blamed Symbian for everything. Staying with Symbian greatly contributed to the collapse of Nokia, but it’s not a reason for everything. Maybe you should remember me saying this. I have said that several times before this, but you really seem to have trouble remembering it? Why? Maybe because you just want to believe something else even while it’s not the truth.

                  WP had some three digit YoY growth rates. MeeGo would have been doing the same if it was successful. However it’s very hard to believe that MeeGo would have been growing considerably faster than that. Even iPhone didn’t have constant four digit YoY growth rates. MeeGo was hardly a better product compared to iPhone.

                  Blackberry just started to sell those phones. It remains to be seen how successful it will be. I greatly doubt your forecast about the sales BB will have but time will tell if you were right or not.

                  “see my lower tier on the meego expectation?? reflect that into BBRYM so next quarter 3 M and the following 6M and then stabilize around 10-8 M that is currently the max output their factories have.”

                  As it seems to be your wish, I may start using English in my nicks.

                  • noki

                    your YOY growth is a joke comparing almost nothing to very litle does show alot of YOY but lets face its is like going from 1 to 10 in a 4000 pound market… BTW BB10 Q10 is selling more than the Iphone5 and GS4 in the relatively small markets of UK and France.

                    • Your wish

                      Lumia has to start from somewhere. At least we can have YoY comparisons. Just like we had in 2008 with iPhone.

                      It will be seen how BB will sell when calendar quarter Q2 2012 results will be out. What do you expect for that quarter, at the moment?

                      About that another matter.

                      Please show me where I have blamed Symbian for everything?

  • Qler

    I’m looking for my second phone, my primary is 808PV and it’s gona stay like that it seems for a long long time. Now, I use my second phone as bussines phone, so i have lots e-mails, and, ofcourse, lots archived attachements. So, they say WP is great for bussines? How, by not being able to read .zip or .rar files? Or by not being able to forwad picture, only to send link from skydire for other to download it? Lack of file manager is serious issue, and I think, despite my better judgement, I will buy Nokia N9 od some android, where I can use smart part of the smartphone device. Othervise, i would buy Asha series and have same capabilites as Lumia series. No multitasking (playing music in background is not multitasking, let’s be honest) and save crap load of money. So until WP becomes smarter, it’s not solution for anyone who wants smartphone. MeeGo, abandoned as it is, is miles ahead of it, as is Symbian and not to mention lagdroid..

    WP, mobile OS for bussines, that you can’t do bussines…

    • Sinple

      asha phone can forward picture in email. Can Even send them through bluetooth. Maybe some1 should do a comparison. Asha VS windows. Maybe Asha can win windows or on par in a lot of areas except for camera.

      • rustyknight17

        Ash vs Windows , THAT would be most interesting ! And must agree !

  • sinple

    wp8 can succeed if the price is cheaper. Nokia uses last year spec, but this year price. lumia 920 remain to be quite similar in price with other high end device. dual core and 720p screen shld cost the same as a mid range android phone.

    also, availability of device is horrible for Nokia. lumia 925 is expected to launch 3 months later. by then, Eos should have been announced. who will buy 925

    • prashant

      that’s a possibility bt other phones do not match build quality of nokia and there camera lens specifically.

      • prashant

        as you can see the nokia’s windows phones and windows phones of other manufacturers, there’s wide gap b/w them.

        • prashant

          So how would you suggest making their low end more lame or higher section more able.

          • swain

            Yes, Nokia’s build quality is superior but I don’t think the build quality of HTC or Sony is poor either.

            • DesR85

              They’re both good, yes, including Motorola, but neither of them are doing as well as Samsung in terms of sales (more like getting steamrolled by Samsung), even when HTC release their quad-core high end models (e.g. One X, Butterfly, One, etc.).

              • swain

                HTC One and Sony Xperia Z are doing good actually. HTC One has already touched the magic figure of 5 million unit sales.

                • DesR85

                  While that is good, at the same time, I get the feeling that they’re rummaging for the scraps in the mobile phone market while Samsung takes a huge chunk out of it.

                  Doesn’t look like a fair fight to me, considering Samsung’s huge marketing budget obviously receiving financial help from the South Korean government.

                  • swain

                    Samsung is enjoying a healthy market share due to a well planned strategy. They are giving latest technology and loads of features. I am not a huge fan of plastic shell but other things are just excellent about a samsung flagship.

                    • DesR85

                      So does HTC but with better build quality. However, their profits keep falling each quarter which is sad.

                      Sony, on the other hand, while they keep touting its durability like its water resistance, doesn’t seem to be attracting a lot of buyers (probably due to people’s perception of them using outdated specs). They could have gone as far as to integrate their phones with their PS4 and PS Vita just like Microsoft in regards to the XBox One, to get people, including gamers, interested but I suspect that they don’t trust Android that much to do so.

    • manu

      the problem is even if i use a lumia 520 or lumia 920 the experience and software related features are same.its like buying a rolls royce with toyota corolla interiors.premium phone should have a premium user experience setting it apart from its cheaper siblings.

      • prashant

        So how
        their low
        lame or

        • manu

          add more features to the high end like samsung does with their note series of s4/s3.

          • manu


          • prashant

            nokia’s high end and low end devices are quite different in both software and hardware, their high end devices offer to run many serious ram consuming apps and games which their low end is nt capable of, and their optics have a high diff b/w them.

          • Capedonut

            The most important thing is to make sure that the ux of even the cheapest Nokia is top notch. This will make people trust the brand. More horsepower and features in the high ends , but the feel of quality and reliability should basically be the same regardless of model

    • viipottaja

      925 will be available mid June e.g. in the US and India. How is that 3months?

      • prashant

        seriously agree with this, they announce the device long before and they start shipping it too late.

        • viipottaja

          That may be but what he said about the 925 is a lie.

          • swain

            The time has long gone when Nokia was making multiple copies of same device(434 mhz cpu, 128 mb ram, 3.2″ nHD screen) using different outer shells and selling them as new products. That’s why I as sceptical about the success of 925. But they have done a commendable job by making the 928 available quickly after the announcement. Nokia need to keep this momentum and continue to make the products available in market immediately after the announcement.

      • Sinple

        i saw in another place that says the availability for singapore.


  • prashant

    good stuff…….and totally agree that ms had been really a snail in updating their software b/w the mean time harmattan community had worked so well that they are also ahead of wp8 in software improvement.

    • viipottaja

      “mean time harmattan community had worked so well that they are also ahead of wp8 in software improvement.”


      • prashant

        They had worked more hard to remove the bugs from harmattan and had updated many things frequently which microsoft hadn’t done or if done then they had took a considerable amount of time..

        • viipottaja

          Oh ok. Good for the community. Btw, hopefully Sailfish has less bugs from the get go and e.g. email works reliably.

          • prashant

            may be it goes true.

  • manu

    its again like last year.previous year it was the wait for wp8 to change the fate of nokia-m.s now the wait continues with wp8.1.this going to continue on again next year and so on.

  • prashant

    may be, it’s more than just the numbers.

  • eeteet

    I think that Microsoft is developing WP too slowly. Why WP don’t has over 5 inch screens? Big screen are very important in Asia. And how about dual sim phones? No, WP has not dual sim.

    I really hope that Nokia takes also Android devices to portfolio.

    Microsoft wp developing is one year behind Google’s Android.

    • Otto

      Nokia never had DualSIM in Symbian either. I don’t know why they avoid DualSIM smartphones so much but they seem to do it only for low end.
      N9/Lumia 800 were in a sense exception that you could take out & replace the SIM without tools and without removing the battery. But that’s not multi SIM as you’re only reachable on one SIM at a time.

      I wonder what is the reason there? Do they feel DualSIM user base overlaps too little with smartphone user base?

  • kamukunji

    Damn right someone brought this issue to light. I am actually getting really tired of waiting on microsoft to update wp8. Too many things need to be added or improved or flat out changed and it has been 8 or so months now with absolutely nothing from microsoft indicating a big update is on the way. I dont care about 1080p or quadcore processors, i just want the damn OS to get an update – not a tiny change that fixes bugs, a big big update that adds missing features.

    This is what i would love to see coming to wp8 ASAP:
    – Notification center ; swipe to the left on the homescreen OR volume button to bring up a time/date window from the bottom of the screen with the settings icon sitting on the bottom right. If notifications are available the a count should appear e.g. 3 Notifications and then ability to swipe up to show those notifications.
    – OneNote and system-wide smart identification in text field of Address, phone numbers, email, web address. (Yes i am aware some of the items already are identifiable)
    – Ability to add a searched address from the maps straight to the addressbook as a contact – complete with name, phone, web url and address.
    – top menu that shows time should no longer keep disappearing when using an apps
    – separate volume change for music, ringtone etc
    – Multi-tasking screen should work EXACTLY like in Nokia N9 for easier selection, closing of individual apps or closing of all apps at once
    – SMS/Facebook chat area should be expanded to add gtalk, skype, Whatsapp etc.
    – Browser should allow pinning website and using the website image icon iteslf i.e. Newyork times or CNN website should have a pin with the respective brand logos/images for easier identification (i think iOS does this)
    -Folders should be added to the All Apps screen. Swipe right to show ‘All Apps’ swipe right again to show ‘Grouped Apps’. This should be done just like the Games hub where all games are collected but in this case the ‘All Apps’ section still has ALL the downloaded apps regardless of their affiliation in a group. The create a group simply tap and hold an app and a new menu appears to ‘Send to Group’ or create new group if it doesn’t exists yet.
    – Sort Apps; the apps list should be able to get sorted by All Apps, Recently Installed Apps OR Most Used Apps
    – Market should have open apps directly if the apps have already been installed on your phone i.e. when searching for an app and it already exists when the user clicks on the App Icon the app is opened.
    – Market should be able list already currently installed apps (like android)
    – Auto-Rotate Lock !! self explanatory
    – Text selection needs improvement – text select handles should have a start handle facing up and end handle facing down for easier selection.
    – Camera feature HDR !! self explanatory
    – Dial pad and people hub need to merge. Go to people and have an itch to call a random number not in the contact list simply swipe to the left to reveal the dial pad !!
    – System wide search – Why the heck isnt this not in wp8 ?? Palm had it, Blackberry had it, heck even windows mobile had it to a certain extent !! ability to search from a central location for contacts, apps, music, text and sms etc. is a no brainer.
    -Fix Skype – Currently skype isn’t smart enough to identify a phone number that isn’t in the right syntax i.e. (999)999-9999 cannot be called BUT this is how wp8 saves it’s contacts in the people hub !!
    -Make WP8 fun !! add more colors to the tiles (ability to choose a color from a coor wheel).
    – Add more video codecs for easier playback of videos from all sources (this is just a wild dream)
    -Backup and Restore of complete Phone – Automatic preferred just in-case you loose your phone.

    *If you have read through this whole wishlist then i know you feel my pain too 🙂


    • kamukunji

      ..And more thing I forgot to mention;

      – KIDS CORNER !! why oh why is there a password for this area ?? I am not a parent but would like to use this feature as a quick access area for apps like HERE Maps, HERE Drive, Nokia Music etc. I don’t want to input a PIN to get in here quickly. At least give us an option to decided to leave this area password free (for the non-parents) or protected (for the parents).

      • viipottaja

        You can. I have kids corner on for my kids, but don’t have any PIN to access it or the rest of the phone.

        • kamukunji

          No you cannot. If you have a password for the main phone it will show up in the kids corner if you try to access it if the phone has been off for a certain time.

          • viipottaja

            Oh ok. Well, turn off the password. Problem solved. 😛

          • Ady

            Actually I noticed something weird about kids corner, sometimes it asks for password, sometimes it doesn’t o.O

    • anon2

      So basically you want an android ???

    • StefanP

      Great list! I am sure we will see most of it on Jolla before MS and/or Nokia even think about it.
      Besides this, I have recently (after the lase update?) some stupid errors:
      WiFi connection works only after a restart, and frequent message sending errors without any details about the nature of the problem.

  • Mimi

    It seems to me as if MS suffers from the same illness as many big companies: It’s lethargic and therefore moves slowly. Maybe too much office politics, maybe too many administrative handcuffs to make employees/team leads move quickly, maybe ineffective communication channels that hinder ideas reaching the people who can take care if them? Can’t say, I’m not working there …

  • Mark

    I agree. The pace of development needs to be much quicker, especially as they’re playing catch up in a few areas.

  • dss

    And you all thought Symbian development was slow ?

    • Mark

      It was. Much slower.

      • Puhelimellanikin

        It truly was. How long did it take to update Symbian to Symbian^3? Nokia started to work in 2007 and got the product out in late 2010.

        • nn

          MS started development of their next mobile OS in 2008 and we are still waiting for version that is at least on par with Symbian…

          • Puhelimellanikin

            Sure, and Nokia started developing Symbian in 90’s and it took over 10 years and they never caught up with iOS.

            I’ll quote here a message from 2010 before you give your answer.

            George says:
            October 2, 2010 at 8:56 am

            I would hardly call the iPhone and current Android phones inferior. The N8 finally is releasing a semi-high end smartphone, after how long? It will take more than that to get back to the top. If you can’t objectively see how hard this battle is going to be for Nokia, I don’t know what to say.

            • sbw44

              Difference is Nokia was responsible for many things that included hardware, multiple OS’s etc. While MS is well know for being a software company!

              • Puhelimellanikin

                Are you trying to say…? What?

                Nokia was working slower than Microsoft currently does.

                I suppose it’s a good idea to quote someone from 2010. I wonder how some people saw already back then how Nokia was failing. I also wonder why Nokia’s management failed to see that while even some people commenting on blogs saw that. George really is a smart guy!

                George says:
                July 24, 2010 at 8:03 am

                Transitional stage? I say, they fell asleep at the wheel. What have they worked on in the last 2 years?

                Nokia: S60 (multiple variants), Symbian ^3, Symbian ^4, Maemo, Harmattan, MeeGo.

                Some of these are serial but many are in parallel. S60 hasn’t gone away. Symbian ^3 and ^4 are staggered but seemingly in parallel. Maemo and Harmattan were kinda serial but there was no backwards compatibility and there’s some forward compatibility of Harmattan to MeeGo but that’s only if you count QT and if you do Symbian ^3/^4 are also compatible. My point is, its CONFUSING, No?

                Let’s see competitors:

                Apple, iOS, iOS 2, iOS 3 and iOS 4. It was only now in iOS 4 where the FIRST gen iPhones did NOT get an upgrade. Before that EVERY phone was up to iOS 3. Not bad.

                Google: Android 1.0, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2. Is it taking some time for manufacturers to migrate from one to the next? Yes, but at least its linear.

                If you take budget OSes out of it, and just take MAEMO / Harmattan / MeeGo vs Apple and Google you’re still in a situation where Nokia can’t pick an OS and get it rock solid before starting over. Harmattan wasn’t even released but it was superceded by MEEGO. Yes, I know Harmattan is going to be called MEEGO, but that’s just a name and not really MEEGO proper.

                DON’T believe the HYPE!!!!! NOKIA had arguably the LEAD but the squandered it thinking. We’re so far ahead, what does Apple know about phones? The N97 has more checkmarks than the iPhone, it must be better. Ask that to anyone that is up with technology and they will laugh their heads off. The N97 was a joke and the N8 is passable by today’s standards though I admit, they have a few nice things, but nice things don’t count when no one cares anymore about your brand.

                They COULD have and they SHOULD have pushed the envelope, BUT THEY STOPPED INNOVATING and just watched on the sidelines. Alas, the hare was overconfident, decided to take a nap and now it seems that the tortoise not only has the lead but has turned itself into a cheetah. Not only can the cheetah beat the hare in the race, it can eat it whole without even trying. The question is if the hare will continue to dwell on fast he was compared to the tortoise before it became the cheetah or will it transform it self too so that he can put up a good fight. Only time will tell.

                • Janne

                  Good quote.

                  And so true, too.

                  The way Nokia just threw the years away after the 2005 Maemo unveil seems surreal now.

                  So, so, very sad. Maemo could have ruled the world. But instead Nokia chose to try and protect (and protract) Symbian.

                  • Puhelimellanikin

                    You can learn a lot from reading the comments from the old stories. You see some people making some claims and time has proven some of those wrong and some right.

                    That thread was a goldmine. It had some really nice material on it.


                    Just look at what Nokia fans of the time were thinking about. It pretty much reflects what Nokia’s management was thinking about just few years before that time.

                    I guess time proved that guy pretty wrong.

                    John Wiegand-forson says:
                    July 24, 2010 at 8:38 pm

                    What is it with people and Symbian not being a smartphone OS it IS.
                    Symbian does exactly what other smartphone OS’s do which is
                    1.Let people download and use apps
                    2.Browse on the web
                    3.Send and receive e-mail also exchange mail
                    4.Make phone calls
                    5.Sync contacts, mail and calendar with the cloud with variety of services
                    6. remotely wipe data
                    and other things just because Americans think that a Smartphones has to have a touch screen an app store with 200,000 fart apps, made by either Google or Apple and a CEO that likes to give out false information well then I guess Symbian isn’t.

                  • johndoe

                    The biggest innovation the world has (n)ever seen, except for Nokia? The square. So innovative, so unlike Apple, so simple, so beautiful in its simplicity it hurts. All hale the mighty TILE. And what could be improved on this perfection? A BIGGER TILE, from edge to edge of the screen, so important was this improvement backwards compatibility had to be sacrificed from WP 7.5 to WP 8.


                    The only problem with such visionary design? People don’t give a …ck for this new design paradigm. As I said, it’s so “beautiful” it hurts.

                    • Tabu

                      At least that tile works.

                      Unlike the messy Symbian.

                      Nokia’s big innovation, before the tile, was multitasking. Of course it was invented elsewhere long before Nokia figured it out. But it was a true innovation Nokia just copied and took credit for.

                      Maybe I’m just too ignorant to really understand how wonderful it is to have multitasking even when it doesn’t work properly.

                      I received an SMS one day. My Symbian based phone told me so. But when I tried to open it, the phone told me that there was no memory available for the task and I should close applications. The problem was, that there was no applications open at the time. At least nothing I could close.

                      There I was. Looking at the message I was not able to read. But at least I had true multitasking.

                      Reading that message would have worked on WP or iOS, but then again, there are no unrestricted multitasking, poorly implemented.

                      There must have been a true visionary designing a system with full multitasking, but without the capability of really using it.

                      All hail multitasking!

                      (And this is a true story)

            • nn

              WinNT started development in 90′ too, and it didn’t catch up with Symbian.

              • Puhelimellanikin

                Kernel is not same thing as OS.

                Microsoft didn’t start working on WP8 in 90’s.

                However Nokia was just developing Symbian over the years. They really used over 10 years for developing it.

                • boris jerkov

                  Symbian’s kernel isa lso from the mid-late 90s, EKA2. Just like it took MS a few years to get their UI going, it took Nokia their time.

                  People still think Symbian as the OS whereas it was more of a kernel with some additional elements – much like Linux, with a UI others could add to it (S60, UIQ, NTT etc).

                  The difference was that Nokia had no definitive roadmap, wanted to umbrella all developers under Qt and try Harmattan as an alternate. The ideas were good, but poorly executed and timed, leaving them with no other option but Android or WP.

                  MS on the otherhand needed a strong OEM – which Nokia was dying to be so they could continue to push units out of the door. MS have not forgot how Symbian kept Windows Mobile and CE in the background and now they are calling the shots and Nokia can’t do a damn thing about the “tactical relationship”.

                  • Puhelimellanikin

                    Yes, Symbian is actually a kernel or micro kernel if you think it that way, but since almost all the relevant phones using Symbian kernel are made by Nokia, it’s practical to call it as OS while it’s not 100% correct way to do so.

                    On the other hand even Wikipedia calls it Symbian OS.

                    Anyway. Nokia really did mess up Symbian and it was a dead end at the time when Nokia capitulated. A proper roadmap would have helped. It actually seems that they didn’t have that for MeeGo either.

                    That’s why I don’t think it’s a real problem that MS is making the decisions. Nokia was not able to do that in the past. Why would they be able to do all that now?

  • Kan

    Phone, Tablet, PC share the same kernel and some services. MS is looking at integrating the distinct flavours of WIn 8 – phone, RT, PC even further. This is a large development exercise.

    Before desktop o/s were refreshed about every 3/4 years – Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 but phone o/s were refreshed every year. MS now has to sync all the PC, tablet and Phone o/s development togther – this will take time.

    Anyone with half a brain would have realised this – so stop bitching about MS.

    • Bloob

      Another thing to take more time? When MS is ready the growth of the smartphone market is over.

    • arts

      I don’t know about you, but my next phone, will be able to attach multiple office files in one email, send pdf VIA email and a working what’s app client.

      Be it on a zmicrosoft os or not.

    • Viipottaja

      My reading of the WP Blue is that this is what its mostly about. “Features” can and will be added in both 8.1 and 8.2 as much as in, or even more than, Blue.

    • Janne

      Kan: Many of us actually feel Microsoft is doing a splendid job on the Windows 8.x front (and do understand the Blue exercise).

      We’d like them to extend the same courtesy to Windows Phone. Preferably today, not sometime in Q1/2014.

  • Janne

    I think it is probably bit of a mistake to confuse 920/925/928 into this debate, because they are carrier variants of the same phone – they are not meant to be significantly different (just like 810, 820 and 822).

    That said, both Microsoft’s and Nokia’s time-to-market performance has been pretty abysmal lately. It just takes ages for them to ramp-up, both software and hardware product-wise. Talking about the 920/925/928, I would have preferred to see all three on the market in December… not by June 2013. Just as an example.

    And before anyone confuses this with the Symbian delay debate, no this isn’t the same because what they do already have is a fluid product, something years of Symbian touch refinement failed to achieve. But Ali is right: The market doesn’t stand still. Even Apple is feeling that heat now. Nokia/Microsoft need to seriously speed up.

    Well, this is what you get mediocre results with. 😉

    • Puhelimellanikin

      What do you mean Nokia is not performing with WP? They have three digit YoY growth. That’s quite good performance.

      • Janne

        They are performing mediocrely at best, but at this point my criticism was about speed to market for new products, features and global availability. They are slow.

        • Puhelimellanikin

          Nokia is performing like someone running a marathon a bit faster than anyone else while the problem is, that Nokia missed the start and joined the race too late.

          The problem is not in the performance, but in missing the start.

          However I agree with you about the rest. Nokia really is slow. Maybe a little faster than before but still too slow.

    • nn

      That would be relevant if “fluidity” was all that matters for smartphone. The reality is that it isn’t even high on the list. And I’m sure if they really wanted, they could jack up UI priority even on Symbian and it would have better overall performance than WP.

      • Janne

        Disagree on both counts.

      • Capedonut

        Fluidity, overall user experience and design were key issues in making the iPhone successful. Samsung, google and htc understood this and they could adapt. At the same the Nokia leadership were climbing Mt Denial

        • nn

          Ah, the cargo cultists of WP! Make the OS locked down, fluid, feature-less, on old HW and sell it primarily in US – and pronto – the Apple success is coming!

          • Capedonut

            The points mentioned in my comment above won’t alone guarantee success anymore , they’re minimum requirements

          • Janne

            nn: How cute, you learned a new buzz word. 🙂

            • nn

              That’s why I’m here – to broaden my horizon and to learn new things!

              • Janne

                Not really sure you’re using the word right, but hey I’m not really sure you are right about the rest you say either. 🙂 Goes both ways, I know. Fair enough.

      • Bassman

        Of course fluidity is important, what silly comment! I (and I’m sure a hell of a lot of other people) would rather have a fluid user experience than a stuttering lag monster of a phone. I still have painful memories of my N8 when I first got in early 2011 with Symbian 3. I still use my N8 as my daily driver and although Belle is an improvement it still lags, stutters and is rather convoluted in a number of areas.

        You sound as if you are trying to, unsuccessfully, justify Symbian’s UX shortcomings.

        Understand, I am not saying WP is perfect, it’s not and there is still room for improvement (as is the case with the other OS’s) however I would take a stable OS over one riddled with problems, as I’m sure is the case with the majority of other customers.

        • nn

          All other things being equal, OS without lag is of course better than with lag. The problem is things are not equal. Just look at Symbian, Android and WP sales to see the point – for majority of people there are many more important things than top UI speed.

          So argument that Elop trashed everything Nokia had but gained fluidity and that trumps everything, only shows how much WP fans miss what real world people want.

          • Bassman

            I disagree, I’d say the majority of people are more interested in a fluid, stable, easy to use OS than one that is ‘feature rich’ but is ultimately difficult to use and is unstable.

            In what context do you refer to Symbian, Android and WP sales? The market is very different today when compared to when Symbian was at its peak and in my opinion is not directly comparable. I notice you neglect to mention iOS, which is probably closer to WP and as we all know has been very successful.

            Thirdly, just because people disagree with your opinion, does not mean that they are part of a WP ‘cult’, as you have suggested in one of your replies earlier on.

            • nn

              That’s nice you disagree, now what about bringing some evidence for your disagreement? But of course you can’t do that, because the market in consistently and unequivocally saying you are wrong and that people don’t value what you think they value. In fact smartphone market was always dominated by OSes that people here deride as laggy.

              I omitted Apple because you can argue their numbers are affected by the single high priced device strategy. But if you want to include them in the discussion then be my guest, Apple is just another case in point. Their market share topped around 20 %, is stagnating and slowly eroding. Even if you attribute all that success solely to UI “fluidity”, it’s easily beaten by laggy Android.

              I’m not referring to WP fans as cult just because they disagree with me. I’m referring to some of them as cargo cult specifically because of the ways they seek to emulate Apple.

              • Janne

                nn: Android is not laggy in the sense that Symbian was and is laggy, though. I agree that “good enough” can be the market leader. History has plenty of examples of this, where as excellence has lost for various reasons.

                However, there is a certain minimum requirement on fluidity and other such things and Symbian increasingly was not meeting that. It was increasingly not good enough. WP does meet the fluidity requirement. Too bad that’s not the only thing you need to win. 🙂 But it is enough to stay mediocrely in, especially when coupled with other good things WP and Lumia brings…

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  • torcida

    Good post Ali!!!!

    “*This doesn’t mean I think teaming up with Microsoft was the wrong movie, I have much more trust in Microsoft’s software development abilities than in Nokia when it comes to a full OS. If only they bothered working on it.”
    Even about that I’m not sure… If Nokia would just go for example with MeeGo/Maemo and concentrate only on this OS – I’m sure it would be astounding, no question (even with relatively little efforts the OS and the UI on the N9 are awesome)!

  • nn

    I think such rants completely miss the point. **t happens, but why Nokia can’t do anything else than sit silently in the corner and wait for MS to wake up and then maybe, if Nokia proves they are worthy of MS attention, perhaps MS will consider making some update to WP? Who put them into such position? Who reviewed and signed the deal?

  • AnythingButNokia

    Wow another post by a Nokia fanboy who thinks Nokia is the center of the world and that everyone else is COPYING them. I wonder who is playing catchup? The post is so ironic in that it complains about Nokia and Microsoft being left behind, yet it lauds Nokia for being original and not following other people’s footsteps, and that everyone ELSE is copying them. So who is following who exactly? Oxymoron much? The 925 is a good example. The iPhone 4 antenna design with the penTile AMOLED of last year’s Galaxy line. Supersensitive touch? That’s a 3M product. Nokia doesn’t own it. Its as stupid as saying the first person who uses Gorilla Glass 3 is the only one who can use it and everyone else is COPYING. And finally, a sub 10mm flagship phone. Oh wait! There’s literally a million of those already. Offline maps? The App Store and Play Store have those in spades. Next they are gonna tout the glorified GIF animator…

    • Puhelimellanikin

      Back in 2010 when MBN was saying that Nokia is performing pretty well in high end, someone made this great post about modern smartphones and how Nokia is not really shipping those. Just check what kind of responses he got.

      This is just sad. Some Nokia fans are just ignoring facts.

      George says:
      July 24, 2010 at 6:05 am

      I’ve been a Nokia user for 14 years and own the N900. You guys are delusional. I left this same comment on Tomi’s blog and I’ll leave it here. DON’T believe the numbers. They’re true, but they’re based on an antiquated notion of smartphone.

      Redefine smartphone to MAEMO/MEEGO vs WebOS vs Android vs IOS. Then ask again what is marketshare of Nokia, Google, Palm and Apple and we get a very different story.

      Can anyone really tell me that the N97 and previous “smartphone” generations are on par with iOS and Android. Really!

      It’s true not many people use my definition as the true definition when counting numbers but I’ll bet you dollars and cents that when analysts think of modern smartphones, they’re thinking about phones with these OS definitions or something of that ilk.

      The older Nokias had their day. GREAT! Don’t mistake the past for the future. See the market for what it really is and understand how behind Nokia is. That is the ONLY way Nokia will improve and rebound.

      Please, don’t play a mindgames with yourself trying to convince yourself that everything’s OK. Why is it that Apple’s cellphone prices rarely change? Because people still demand it and will buy it. Why does Nokia’s phone prices drop so quickly? Again, its demand.

      Please I urge you, I really like NOKIA. Don’t drink your own cool-aid. Realize that there is a problem and address it with urgency and conviction. Placating yourself and telling yourself that you’re still numero UNO when Apple can practically buy Nokia TWICE over with the cash it has on hand is NOT a pretty picture. For the good of Nokia and its customers, don’t believe the HYPE.

    • v.s.i

      You’ll just have to deal with the fanboyism.

      By your logic, Apple should have had the same marketshare as in 2007 today, since they brought nothing revolutionary or even featureful with the iPhone. There had surely been touchscreens before, and most were even running Windows Mobile, a true smartphone OS that even had multitasking. The interface was nothing unheard of before, either – just a grid of icons, the same as today, 6 years(!) later. The notion of apps was introduced a year later, as well, and Symbian, WM & Palm had already had them for ages.

      But what was it that drove people away from these 3 OSes?

      Well, the exact same thing that Samsung has been speculating to a great advantage. It starts with ‘m’ and ends with ‘arketing’. It has done wonders even for the stale iOS.

      I’m not saying Nokia should stop innovating and use marketing instead, or that others don’t innovate, but it’s a crucial strategical component. P.S. The GS4 also has PenTile, but neither it nor the S3 hurt my eyes or yours, am I right?

  • john

    microsoft is joking with ther os taking ther sweet time killing nokia while they fight to ther dying breath. for one of the richest or richest company in the world . your phones are lacking to much while nokia does everything in ther power to sell windows phone i cant say the same thing about ms and thats the main reason i dont think nokia should sign with ms again at least put some eggs in other baskets. or should they continue on this path of no profit.

  • john

    if they would have stuck with meego we would have seen another pureview by now ok maybe not but i dont want to cry over spilled milk but wow windows is not working

  • You’re right Microsoft seriously need to get their a$$e$$ in gear from a Nokian’s perspective. So many features missing compared with Symbian/Maemo/MeeGo it’s not funny.

    Yes they now have the app selection and a solid OS with good memory management (about bloody time!), but they seriously need to start rolling out some decent updates and allow Nokia to move their hardware into the next level if they’re going to ever compete.

    I was looking at selling my old Nokia N8 and N9 the other day… then tried to find a flagship that would replace either of them (with same features) and was still sorely disappointed.

    I also got a 620 which I’ve been putting through its paces and while I think it’s a great little phone for the money, when I look to the flagships (920;820) there is nothing in those supposed flagships that even makes me want to try one over the 620.

    The point is the flagships should have these added features to really attract customers over to Lumia (not just better camera/wireless charging), but at this point there’s not enough to set them apart (eg. like in older Nokia flagships where’s HDMI out, FM transmitter, FM radio, USB OTG, HWKB option etc).

    In fact I value the extra features I have in the 620 (replaceable battery, SD slot, changeable back covers) far more than the extra features you get in the 920 which to me is backwards especially given the savings.

    As most of you probably know, i’m now holding out for Jolla and know that if nothing else they will at least be thirsty for success and therefore will be in tune with at least some of the things we have all been shouting about for all this time.

    Be the movement, come and join the tribe…

  • BellGo

    I agree. I am an Android user, but I like to follow on how Nokia is doing. Google is ridiculously fast as a developer. This month alone (even ignoring the big I/O) they updated more of their Android stuff than WP did in the last 8. (examples: Major Store redesign, Drive storage tripled and major Drive app improvement, mobile Chrome improvements, launched Google Keep and dozens of other apps were updated, and again, this is ignoring the I/O) This was an average month. And every 6 months or so a new version of Android that usually brings huge improvements is released. Rumor even has it, that by Android 5.0 Google will move Android to PC. (currently at 4.2, next release will be soon and numbered at 4.3, 6 months later 5.0 should follow)

    That is the kind of speed Microsoft has to reach. And they aren’t even catching up with the most basic of features. Pretty grim for the future of WP8.

    • Puhelimellanikin

      Microsoft can’t really decide if everything should be done with intermediate language or not.

      Google has decided. They use bytecode and that’s the way to go. It’s also the reason why Qt would not have really worked on Android.

    • larryg968

      I agree completely. I switched to android and it’s much better. I have some issues with battery life and stutters but all the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages .

      People here put to much with on smoothness. I used to use the n8 and I put up with a lot of lag for two reasons: Nokia hardware and features.

      I don’t think I can go back to any other os after this either. Google constantly improves and I’m never waiting and hoping. With symbian and wp, it seems like people are always going for an update bcuz so much is missing. Boy are you people optimistic. I gave up, haha

      • capedonut

        The fluidness of Android was always much better than that of Symbian, so it’s hardly an issue when jumping ship from wp, unless you’re aiming for the really low end

  • prashant

    we knw that no os is complete neither is this wp8, many elementary features like centralised notification processing, better app resumability from background, data storage mode on pc, a partial file manager, heavy multitasking, more close to open source, etc.

    • capedonut

      At least on wp7.x the whole “apps working in background” is if not a total joke at least highly unreliable

  • RVM

    I wonder if Nokia with WP will ever be 10% as successful as they were in past.

  • RVM

    Microsoft is terrible and incompetent company, still living in 90ties, which would be bankrupt long ago, if not corrupting state officials in different countries of the world.