Every now and again one muses over the past in order to determine what to do in the future. As was the case for me over the past few weeks. Technology news was overflowing with an ‘update now’ mantra towards Windows 10, but there was nary a mention of anything mobile. PC’s? – yes. Tablets? – yes. IoT? – yes. Mobile? – not so much. There was probably more information floating around about Windows 10 on ATM machines then there was on mobile. That is when it struck me.
Spoiled by the past
I’ve been hanging on to an ever ageing Lumia 925 and a few lowend devices for a couple of years now. Mostly due to a ‘if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it’ mentality, but upon further investigation it might have more to do with a lack of enthusiasm towards Microsoft, Windows and their mobile efforts. What was the last time Microsoft wowed its users, what was the last great Windows Phone (nay, Mobile)? Was it the 950 with its rather uninspiring looks, maybe it was the 930 even though that was held back in part by poor hardware choices (SD800) and it being a bit too far on the chunky side of the spectrum than it should have been.
It must be the 920 then? I’d like to think it was the 925 with a refined design but with the same great internals as the 920. The only Nokia Windows Phone that came close was the 830, but that was unfortunately crippled by choosing low end hardware in a rather svelte design.
‘..the last properly designed Nokia is now close to 2 years old..’
So, that means the last properly designed Windows Phone, or Nokia for that matter, is now close to 2 years old, even in today’s slower paced techworld that makes it old. Taking contract duration into consideration it means those that took the plunge with the last properly designed Nokia are due to upgrade in a few weeks.
Which poses the question: ‘What now?’ Is there any compelling argument to stay within the Windows devices ecosystem, looking at it from a mobile standpoint, and even so, is there a viable product out right now which would be satisfactory? I’m inclined to say that there is not a single product out there that would keep consumers in the Windows Mobile ecosystem. There are no suitable devices, there is still an app gap and it surely doesn’t appear as if Microsoft themselves are even moderately confident about their mobile efforts.
When the inevitable comes
All these thoughts combined created my own predicament, what will I do when my trusty 925 wears out? What is the next step when this venerable devices powers down for the last time. The easy choice would, without a doubt, be an Android device. A plethora of handsets to choose from in an almost equal amount of skinned versions, each with merits and demerits.
However, it does beg the question; is Android a true equal to what Windows Mobile once aspired to be? A solid, well designed and stable piece of software? It can be but in most cases you will want to resort to the Nexus line of devices which limits your choices significantly.
That leaves the elephant in the room, iOS or better known as Apple’s iPhone. Often maligned by users of other camps, but one cannot deny that it is a proper marriage of hardware and software. It might not be cutting edge or the very best, what it does it does properly and all while looking good doing it. Even though Apple seems to have lost its way in recent times, the package that they offer is still a compelling one.
Sometimes I like to hark back to the days when it was an easy choice, the best hardware with earth shattering and defining features were nearly always found in Nokia’s portfolio. Now, however, even the once defining feature of the best camera is all but gone with the departure of Juha Alakarhu who is going back to Nokia. Which diminishes the chance of a true imaging king coming out Microsoft ever again.
‘..Is there any sweet left to counter the bitter in Microsofts efforts?..’
Although it is just one example, it is one in a long line of Microsoft getting rid of proper talent. Talent that didn’t go on to do other things within the Windows ecosystem, no this talent made a departure towards greener pastures.
Promises and disappointment
That of course leads me to my conclusion. Is there anyone in their right mind still buying into Micrsofts pipedream mobile effort. There probably still are people who do and there is no shame in that, everyone can by what they want for whatever reason that may be. All I’m thinking is, why would you? Is there anything sweet left in Microsofts mobile effort that is worth taking all the bitter that it has dished out over the years?
As humans we are likely to always want something better, from an evolutionary standpoint that is a good trait to have. However, where do you go when there is no real better thing in the world that you used to live in? That is when it becomes time to migrate and evolve into new territory, but what will it be? Where have you gone?