Microsoft fights old mistakes, slows down Nokia? #rant + Important news

| July 29, 2013 | 114 Replies


Windows Phone is a Microsoft product that has an amazing vision of what a smartphone should be, not restricted by the common features that other smartphones have, it goes for a different target audience and experience so it operates differently.

And so to understand why this vision is slightly misguided and needs to change.
I’ll discuss why Windows is a completely different product than Windows Phone.

I’ll discuss how Nokia fits in Windows Phone and Why Microsoft is slowing Nokia down instead of give it a boost up.

This article is not backed by facts, it’s a personal observation of facts .

Microsoft Windows the versatile OS.

Microsoft Windows is an OS that is hardware independent; It relies on drivers to run pretty much any hardware. Today  people might marvel at the versatility of Android. Windows users take that versatility for granted; they don’t even think of it as a feature.


That versatility of Windows helped it build an unrivaled base of applications and hardware and lots of peripherals .
Anyone could have built a windows machine from scratch, or upgrade certain hardware for cheap, which made Windows very attractive for geeks and more so for the rest of the world.


Your experience may differ. 

This was basically the end result of being hardware independent, your experience will always be different and not in a good way. It’s funny how Androids have this problem now. Android is Windows 10 years ago in terms of maturity.

Advanced users would suffer to create a fluid experience and the rest will try their luck perhaps getting stuck with a bundled software or an annoying resources consuming IE toolbar.

The fact that the hardware was different Microsoft couldn’t offer a common experience as some hardware couldn’t take it, MS even tried to force people into upgrading their machines but everybody hates Vista enough to know that this didn’t work out.

BUT this is about Windows Phone and Nokia so that’ll be enough about Windows for now…



Windows Phone is the ANTI Windows.

You see Windows Phone was Microsoft’s first stab at controlling the end experience; it’s the Nexus of Androids if you may.

  • MS wanted to finally focus on the UI/UX without worrying about drivers , it didn’t want bloatware that slows the OS down, and restricted apps development to avoid security threats (I’m all for restricted access BTW)

Even in the way it operates

  • Windows  is unpolished but full of features; WP is extremely polished but scarce on features.(I’m  scared to think that the lack of features is the reason WP is so fluid).
  • Windows is the mother of all multitasking; WP doesn’t care for multitasking (letting users do multiple things at once not background processes)
  • Windows loves high specs but mediocre on low end;  WP works great even using 2 years old specs.
  • and finally Windows was open to OEMs whims, it made for the worst experiences sometimes with crappy bundled antiviruses that nagged constantly. Windows Phone instead lets you delete all OEM apps in the easiest/fastest way possible. It lets you delete all 3rd party apps actually. and none of them will hide in some menu , you can do it all from your apps homescreen.


Nokia wants to play with WP.

At the time WP7 was born,  Nokia was shopping for a new OS or an “ECOSYSTEM”

When Nokia got on the MS train the first thing it asked was to play around with the code!

Right off the bat Nokia destroyed the very first thing Microsoft was aiming for, they wanted a perfect code where no one missed around so they’d have a fluid experience.

Nokia had to push WP in the other direction.

Nokia pushed the WP team to implement many things that they weren’t even considering (not yet anyways) they did so because of how fully featured Symbian is compared to WP, Nokia stood to lose its user base completely. So WP had to change for Nokia’s sake.

Nokia had every right to demand basic features in WP.

But  WP wanted to be different from your average smart phone. It doesn’t care about geeky features OR the emerging markets with little to no internet connections.

It cares about a tidy code and a social/grown up experience that is constantly connected to the internet and the cloud.


Nokia demands lower price points. 

There’s just no denying how well the Lumia 710 sold in comparison to all the other WP7 Lumias that came along with it. Hardware differences were non-existent. It was way cheaper than the 800/900 with the later offering a bigger screen in the same resolution which meant the PPI on the 710 was actually better than the flagship !

With low sales, Nokia pushed for an even lower price point, so it had to use 256 of RAM in a series of ironically successful phones:  the Lumia 610 and the Lumia 510. both phones had major compatibility issues with apps (due to their low memory)

And Microsoft yet again had to adapt to different hardware and still make sure the end experience wasn’t totally horrible. You can say that WP8 was successful of creating a great experience on low end hardware. But the fragmentation caused by WP8 upgrade was too drastic.


 Nokia is running on all gears in WP8.

Nokia not worried about the OS for once began focusing on hardware:  Advanced camera technologies like OIS and special audio capturing mics (will record in mono until the Amber update), huge sensors like the Lumia 1020, wireless charging without a case for 920/928 & snap on covers for almost all the other Lumias except the 520/521, and the super sensitive touch for almost all lumias except the 620.

Nokia also used a strange 15:9 aspect ratio , it gives a better browsing experience and your fingers will reach the top corners a little bit easier , but it also meant MS had to work a little harder to satisfy the new 15:9 ratio.   as Peter L pointed out in the comments this is plain wrong.

Even on the software front, Nokia is troubling Microsoft as their imaging apps are so amazing, other OEMs running WP has nothing to compete with  it in return:

  • An always on clock and double tap to wake,  
  • a host of incredibly cool mapping services
  • and a music service that is completely free without any form of subscription.  those two competed directly with Bing maps and Xbox Music which wasn’t good news for MS.

The Nokia collection has 60+ apps most of them are still exclusive to Lumias.

Microsoft in return didn’t deliver any software update on time, it actually destroyed the Lumia 920 launch. ( any user of the Lumia 920 would tell that its software was RUSHED, even my Lumia 720 operates better than my Lumia 920 !!!)

Microsoft is slowing Nokia down because Nokia isn’t interested in WP’s advancement for all OEMs. It’s creating a skinless skin if you will.

Lumia 620

Nokia’s profit margins comes from a diverse profile.

Ever wondered why Nokia created so many phones back in the day ? Why 20+ phones a year at some point?.

It’s all about supply and demand , not yours but Nokia’s. Instead of being forced in a demand for certain parts, it smartly created many phones that had different components so it wouldn’t be in a week position to negotiate prices.

To clarify this further, I’ll take displays as a THEORETICAL example:  See the Lumia 620 has a strange 3.8″ screen size, but it was launched at times where 4″ screens were a low end standard = high in demand = possibly higher prices.  This meant that a manufacturer that created a 3.8″ screen would  either sell it for dirt to a Chinese OEM or sell it for cheap for Nokia .
The Lumia 720 launched at times where OEMs jumped to 4.7″ thus lots of 4.3 were up for grabs again for cheap .

The new Lumia 625 uses a 4.7″ screen just when every other OEM started pumping low end phones with  5″ displays.
Nokia can’t risk being over demanded on supplies , the only time this has happened actually is with the Lumia 92X series launch where manufacturing delays were brutal and the word out of stock became a negative thing. 

*important note: the above is a personal conclusion and is not backed by hard facts , its just an observation.


 Microsoft however wanted to focus on each phone.

Microsoft wanted to control every phone , it wanted to dictate the experience as I stated before and while it successfully managed to create amazing low end phones experience it just can’t keep up with Nokia’s pace and the fact that they started outsourcing some of the update process to OEMs shows that.


A new updates nightmare.

You see, Microsoft is currently writing 3 updates !!!  

Its debugging GDR2 and perfecting it which seems to have a nasty phone bricking bug. It’s writing GDR3 that supports high end hardware like 1080p screens, and finally it’s writing Blue, a major WP redesign.

And while this might sound like a good thing … Its not !!!

By the time GDR2 reaches all Nokia WP phones it’ll be at least 2 months from now (due to branding & localization).  which is the scheduled time frame for GDR3 !!!

Developers will have to deal with 3 system updates! GDR1 phones, GDR2 phones and the new GDR3 phones!
People will be pissed that their phone is one or two versions behind new phones or other regions of the world that were lucky to get the update faster.

Some people would defend Microsoft by saying they didn’t give shipping dates for updates, the rule of thumb for updates is:  if users were too eager to get it, you’re already late on your update.




Windows Phone is not playing with Windows.

Windows Phone doesn’t have the synergy that you’d expect from a shared kernel with Windows. It doesn’t even do so with the ARM based Windows RT.

I would think that once I had a shared Microsoft account, a Windows 8 will add my Windows Phone to the devices charm or to the share charm and I could interact with it in a meaningfully connected way. This didn’t happen. Not beyond the calendar and contacts.

Microsoft is missing an amazing opportunity to create unique experiences. Instead they’re focusing on Xbox more than they’re doing on their OSes. The fact that they released Smart Glass to Android, is really sad and weird. Google have all but limited WP in every service it offers. Why Microsoft is not doing the same, I have no idea.
Note: rumors has it that the next gen WP will run Metro apps in some form. Some say its the Blue update – I’m a little skeptical.

Success of Windows Phone can create the now unrealistic experience later.

This article has set off to say one thing. Windows Phone will have to stray away from its roots to be successful. It’s sad but it seems the world isn’t ready yet to accept the sacrifices WP demands in order to give you a first world specific fluid experience.

And the more Microsoft delays that change, Nokia and Microsoft will have a horrible times in the future ahead.

I don’t know what Blue will bring. What I do know that iOS has evolved and will continue to do so. Android will drop the old kernel that was slowing it down and break out of his bottleneck situation in Android 5.0 and with the amazing hardware it allocated it might outrun WP for ever.
Microsoft should DROP THE WEIGHT either stop worrying about creating the perfect OS and focus on adding demanded features and perfect them later much like 8.1 was to 8. or by admitting that Nokia is their only horse in this game and dump the extra resources allocated to OEMS that are not even trying anymore.

“This post is open to any form of correction and improvement.” 

this not an article to bash on Microsoft’s or Nokia’s decision, its an explanatory piece based on PERSONAL observations.
I also urge commenters not to feed any trolls by replying to them.
however annoying their comments may be. they don’t care and have a god-complex. leave them be.


 UPDATE : Nokia’s VP of App development, Bryan Biniak, says the Finnish smartphone maker is “trying to evolve the cultural thinking [at Microsoft] to say ‘time is of the essence.'”

Nokia has been releasing devices consistently since Windows Phone 8 shipped in November, but the lack of apps and software updates has always been the weak point. “We are releasing new devices frequently and for every new device, if there is an app that somebody cares about that’s not there that’s a missed opportunity of a sale,” says Biniak. Describing Microsoft’s focus on its budget and end of year targets, Biniak says “waiting until the end of your fiscal year when you need to close your targets, doesn’t do us any good when I have phones to sell today.”


Category: Lumia, Microsoft, Nokia, Rant, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

I love mobile photography, I have a serious 8 years relationship with Nokia , and a love/hate affair with Microsoft. you can follow me on twitter @nabkawe5