It is 1:30am and I can’t sleep, and I have had a thought in my head for a long time now that I wanted to type out and see where it goes…
Windows Mobile was Microsoft’s vision of taking the Desktop PC O/S, and putting it in the Small Form Factor (SFF)/phone. It even had a Registry, the Start Menu, and Solitaire. And as such, Microsoft sold the product like a Desktop PC O/S: write the code, then pass onto to hardware manufacturers to build on to their phones.
Microsoft made a pretty ugly-looking O/S, that the hardware manufacturers tried to customise and pretty-up, to try and make it appealing. Like Desktop PCs, they bundled in 3rd party software, customised the Registry, designed an overlaying GUI, installed hardware drivers, etc. Pretty much everything Dell would do, when they design and build Desktop PCs.
The problem with this, was that it fragmented the O/S. No two phones were ever similiar, which meant that any updates to the O/S by Microsoft, would then need to be passed to the hardware manufacturers and then they would decide if it was worth testing and releasing. More often than not, updates were rare. I think it was only HTC that were relatively regular at distributing updates.
This is where phones and Desktop PCs differ: in a world where phones are sold seasonally, and new models come and go, no hardware manufacturer is going to waste time and money allocating resources to update the O/S of a phone that is now 6-12 months old; especially when they have a newer model being released shortly and most network carrier contracts are 12 months.
Isn’t Google going down the same road? I often read articles noting the fragmentation in the Android ecosystem, with a rather of manufacturers like Motorola, Samsung, and HTC pumping out iPhone lookalikes on a daily basis. I am surprised no one seems to have put two and two together yet.
Both RIM and Apple have got it right here, by controlling both the O/S AND the hardware. This means that they aren’t reliant on any 3rd parties that could cause major issues with their devices or prevent updates. I think this is also why Microsoft have (finally) decided to partner up with Nokia, as it allows both companies to get in a room together and design a perfect phone to fit the O/S, and refine a perfect O/S to fit the phone – over Microsoft just shipping out a code base to the hardware manufacturers, and saying “here you go guys, it’s all yours”.
This is also a point I struggle to understand why no one picked up – I didn’t read one article about why Microsoft and Nokia teaming up is such a good idea. They pretty much compliment each other perfectly.
- Microsoft has proven time and time again, it just can’t do hardware seriously – Xbox 360 and Zune are good examples
- Microsoft does know software, and although not a revolutionary company, it does know how to come out guns blazing when under the kosh from competition
- Nokia just has not made Symbian competitive enough in today’s market. It does still have large O/S market share, but that will dwindle very quickly
- Nokia makes top notch hardware with top notch designs
Essentially, we have a great software company that just can’t do hardware and a great hardware company that is failing in software.
Hello?! How is that not good for all parties?
Another trip down Memory Lane with a post from my first blog on theSpoke. It isn’t actually the post I was originally looking for, but it does have a paragraph (see below in bold) relating to the original post that I wanted – it even has the original link pointing back to the post (its dead now).
The original post was written about the design efforts that certain companies apply to their products, working away from the stereotypical Sony-style of all gadgets in metallic silver.
Kissing Mr. UPS Delivery Man (01/11/2005)
I don’t think a UPS delivery man has been so shocked in his life. My new iPod arrived yesterday after a heavy £300 investment almost 2 weeks ago…ahh the sweet satisfaction of opening up the packaging every so slowly as no to scratch or damage the box. It seems iPod owners treat the packaging just a delicately as they do the iPod itself!I have already lined it up against my brother’s Sony NW-HD3 and its the same thickness and width only slightly taller with 3 times more memory but half the battery life, but his looks like every other Japanese/Korean gadget with silver-sprayed plastic to resemble so cheap chrome look.
I worte about this in a previous blog, that Nokia and Apply are both on the same wavelength that there is already enough chrome tat on gadget shopshelves and people are becoming much more concious of stlye and looks as much as functionality, so people will look for different-looking products that aren’t your everyday-looking objects. Motorola are very good at this, which is why people buy their phones but still moan about the software. The RAZR V3 has your bog standard Moto software, yet it is designed to a very different form factor not seen on previous phone designs and now Samsung, LG, HTC, etc are launching their own versions of slim factor phones on the same style.
Anyway, back to the iPod….I haven’t stopped grinning! I was trying it out with the Universal dock and Apple remote last night in bed. It all works fine without much of a problem although it seems the Menu button on the remote does not have any control over the iPod and is obviously meant for the iMac. This means you can’t control swapping between playlists or albums, only Play/Pause, forward/rewind – but it does the job.
I also have the new iPod socks and I have a pink sock going to no use (they are smaller than I thought!), so if anyone can think of a great reason why I should give it to you for free I will even pay for the postage! Has to be a good reason though.
The inspiration behind the post actually came from spotting the Motorola Flipout. I think there is a big advert for it at the top of Buitenkant Street in Cape Town, but I never really took any notice…until I came across it on GSMArena.com.
The flip design looks spectacular! Unfortunately, the phone has seemed to have gotten fairly average reviews – but reviewing purely the design of the phone, it completely takes a new angle on how to produce such awesome creativity in a field of boring HTCs that just pump out black iPhone replicas, one after the other!
This reminds me of the Motorola V70, which (I think) was the first swivle phone. Gorgeous phone, but I had the Motorola V66i and remember the awful software that came with it. It would regularly delete entries from the Phone book and it was a bit of a nuisance of a phone to navigate around.
A persistently tormenting person, force, or passion: The demon of drug addiction;
One who is extremely zealous, skillful, or diligent: Worked away like a demon;