Print 33 comment(s) - last by leexgx.. on Jan 11 at 11:44 PM

Microsoft finally brings out the big guns for Windows Phone

There’s no question that Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system is a sleek departure from the staid grid of icons prevalent on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. Despite Microsoft’s innovative take on the smartphone user interface, the designs and specs from hardware often have left a lot to be desired.
One must also take into account that with the exception of a rather big commercial push when Windows Phone first launched, Microsoft has done little to inform consumers of the platform or encourage retailers to push smartphones running Windows Phone.
Fortunately, it appears that Microsoft is finally wising up.
I. Nokia Looks to Dazzle Consumers with Lumia 900
Nokia is planning on making a few big announcements tomorrow at its CES 2012 press conference. The biggest one undoubtedly will be the long-rumored Lumia 900 "Ace" smartphone running Window Phone 7.5.
The New York Times ran a piece this weekend highlighting how Microsoft completely jettisoned Windows Mobile in order to start from scratch on Windows Phone using the design lessons it learned from the interface used on the sales dud Zune HD. Tucked in the article was a glancing reference to the Lumia 900 which according to the NYT will have a metal body and be sold by AT&T.

The Nokia Lumia 900 is expected to look like a slightly enlarged Lumia 800 (pictured above) 

Specs for the Lumia 900 are still rumor fodder for now, but here's what we can expect:
  • 1.4GHz Qualcomm processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4.3" WVGA display
  • 1830 mAh battery
  • LTE connectivity
  • 8MP camera plus front-facing camera for video conferencing
  • 12mm thick with a weight of 5.64 ounces 
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is quoted as saying that “We are doing our best work for Windows Phone," and the company has no plans of branching out to embrace the popular Android operating system. It's going to be "Windows Phone or bust" from here on out.
II. Show Me the Money!
In other Windows Phone news, Paul Thurrott of WindowsITPro has detailed that Microsoft and Nokia together will be spending $200 million USD to promote Windows Phone during the first half of 2012. Thurrott's well-connected Microsoft sources also indicate that part of the money will be use to retail salesmen/saleswomen incentives to push smartphones running Windows Phone. Most retailers are quick to push Android- and iOS-based smartphones while Windows Phone devices sit collecting dust in the stockroom. Microsoft hopes to change that with $10 to $15 cash incentives per handset sold.

Incentives will now be given out to help retailers push Windows Phone devices
It's quite interesting to note that Microsoft could be putting its royalties of $10 to $15 per Android handset sold from manufactures like HTC and Samsung to work by directly battling Google and Apple on the sales floor.
Our only question is, what took them so long?

Sources: New York Times, WindowsITPro, PocketNow

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They better add more carriers!
By maven81 on 1/8/2012 12:57:49 PM , Rating: 3
So they finally, FINALLY see the light, and yet they settle on AT&T? Come on! I'm dying to get my hands on that phone, but I'm not switching to AT&T.

RE: They better add more carriers!
By Reclaimer77 on 1/8/2012 1:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'm dying to get my hands on that phone, but I'm not switching to AT&T.

I would reserve judgment until the official specs are released. The ones in the article are purely speculation.

RE: They better add more carriers!
By maven81 on 1/8/2012 2:18:24 PM , Rating: 2
True, but even the Lumia 800 seemed fine to me aside from the small screen. This could only be better.

RE: They better add more carriers!
By Samus on 1/8/2012 3:46:42 PM , Rating: 2
Even the 700 is fine, especially if it'll be free with contract.

By kleinma on 1/8/2012 7:57:27 PM , Rating: 3
Verizon is taking it in the rear from google, while giving a reach around to Apple. So don't hold your breath on this device (or any Nokia WP7 device) hitting their stores too soon. Not saying it won't happen, but they don't seem to care at all about WP7 (sort of like how they didn't care about the iPhone and let AT&T get it first, even thought it could have been them). Hell, since the iPhone comes in white and black, they technically have more Apple phone choices than they do WP7 choices, which is a sad, sad thing.

Sucks that they have the best actual network service, because they suck at giving customers good device choice.

By NellyFromMA on 1/11/2012 12:51:31 PM , Rating: 2
Blame Verizone, not Nokia. Verizon is doing everything it can to reject all things Microsoft starting primarily with WP7.

RE: They better add more carriers!
By pinkpony on 1/8/2012 4:10:05 PM , Rating: 2
Probably because they are focused on GSM, since Europe is entirely GSM.

RE: They better add more carriers!
By ICBM on 1/8/2012 5:17:34 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Apple was criticized for picking AT&T, but them being GSM made it alot easier to have one design and push it world wide. Where else is CDMA used as heavily as the US?

By StevoLincolnite on 1/8/2012 10:32:25 PM , Rating: 2
Where else is CDMA used as heavily as the US?

However they replaced and upgraded the CDMA towers in favor of 3G, making it the largest 3G network by land area.
Despite such... I still get poorer reception out in the middle of nowhere.
The spectrum that CDMA used I think was allocated to Digital Television.

I think the US is pretty unique by having such a large carrier that doesn't operate a 3G network, especially in 2012.

By kleinma on 1/9/2012 10:33:27 AM , Rating: 2

RE: They better add more carriers!
By Reclaimer77 on 1/9/2012 11:00:28 AM , Rating: 1
Where else is CDMA used as heavily as the US?

Where else matters? CDMA is clearly, and I repeat, clearly the superior technology over GSM. This was the case as far back as 2006, when phones became major bandwidth consumption devices, where CDMA really gets to flex it's muscles over GSM.

RE: They better add more carriers!
By corduroygt on 1/9/2012 11:19:04 AM , Rating: 2
GSM 3G/4G also uses code division just like CDMA networks, so there is no advantage to CDMA anymore. More than 80% of the world uses GSM.

RE: They better add more carriers!
By Reclaimer77 on 1/9/2012 11:26:48 AM , Rating: 2
Want to know the real reason GSM became the world standard? In Europe, various governments decided that they (the Europeans) had designed the ultimate digital cellular system, and they passed laws making it illegal to deploy anything except GSM, whose primary supporters/suppliers were Nokia, Ericsson, Siemens and Alcatel.

Just because something is more widely adopted, doesn't mean it's better. Asian countries use CDMA, and they are the best of the best when it comes to all things cellular/mobile. Saying there's "no advantage" in CDMA because of GSM code division is terribly wrong.

RE: They better add more carriers!
By corduroygt on 1/9/2012 12:27:42 PM , Rating: 2
Saying there's "no advantage" in CDMA because of GSM code division is terribly wrong.

Explain. It's the same exact technology and GSM have improved themselves with UMTS, whereas you still can't talk and get data connection at the same time.

By Reclaimer77 on 1/9/2012 12:59:34 PM , Rating: 2
Dude SVDO spec was released for CDMA back in like 2009 I think. Whether or not the carriers support this is another matter, but it's no longer a limitation of CDMA itself.

There's nothing to explain here. CDMA is superior to GSM from a purely technology standpoint.

1) Better security.

2) Better call quality

3) Better use of frequency spectrum.

4) Dropped calls are negligible.

RE: They better add more carriers!
By leexgx on 1/11/2012 11:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
if the mobile is running under UMTS or higher (HSDPA) you can have voice and data saem time (how i have seen it working for an long time)

Needs better specs
By B3an on 1/9/2012 1:27:29 AM , Rating: 3
I know someone will say "but WP7 already runs better than Android on lower specs" and yes it certainly does, infact i'd say it's the smoothest phone OS around, in more ways than one.

But come on, many people who are early adopters of new things and OS's are heavily interested in hardware too and want the best. The biggest thing that bothers me is the low-ish screen res, as thats noticable to most people on a 4.3" screen. 720p res on a WP7 phone would look amazingly sharp with all those square pixel precise boxes in the UI. Where as a dual core SoC wouldn't be noticable for the UI which literally cant get any smoother, but atleast games, app loading, startup/shutdown, and browser performance will benefit from it. Same goes for more RAM.

MS are meant to be adding atleast some of these things later this year to WP8 / Apollo, a long way off... but if it had this now i'm positive many people would go WP7.

RE: Needs better specs
By TakinYourPoints on 1/9/2012 3:33:22 AM , Rating: 3
Hardware specs are meaningless when practical experience is inferior. Android is a pig compared to iOS and WP7.

That said, of course, good hardware does matter. WP7 running on something comparable to the iPhone/iPad's A5 would be fantastic. That still doesn't take away from the fact that it is still better than Android running on faster hardware. It's only up for WP7.

RE: Needs better specs
By french toast on 1/9/2012 6:23:49 AM , Rating: 2
Yes if it means a worst user experience, but that isnt the case now is it...if wp7 adopted the new up to date processors for instance, it would be substantially faster both in graphicas and cpu speed, web browsing would load faster and be an even smoother experience than it is now.

They could up the screen resolution AND increase the graphics in games to make the xbox live intergration actually resemble xbox proper.
... and the best bit?? as the krait chipsets are built on 28nm, you would be getting substantially BETTER battery life.

The screen is annoying, fair play for nokia bring something new with that clear black polorizer, but its on top of a screen that WAY out of date. 2 years in fact, so not only is the nokia screen a very poor wvga resolution, but its also pentile bug screen, so it has even LESS subpixels than a lcd wvga..very poor.

So come on, microkia, put this decent operating system into a great up to date phone,get some PROPER AAA XBOX GAMES,or even ust some gaming parity with ios will do fine, at the moment gaming is sub par.

Can you really see this nokia 900, as slick as it looks going up against the galaxy s3?? nope.

RE: Needs better specs
By bilBo5411 on 1/9/2012 8:11:20 AM , Rating: 2
Gaming on WP7 is not totally sub-par. They have Survivalcraft, which is miles better than any Minecraft clone on iOS and Android and the official pocket edition as well.

RE: Needs better specs
By Reclaimer77 on 1/9/2012 11:14:33 AM , Rating: 2
More unsubstantiated and opinionated Android bashing from Takin.

"Inferior" platforms don't win this much marketshare. It's clear which is currently inferior, and it's not Android or iOS. It would be really great if you would come to terms with this fact.

Also Microsoft doesn't seem to understand that even if their marginally better than Android, it's not enough. To quote an analyst:

"Two to three years in the hole, the only way Windows Phone can win the market now is to make a product that is leaps and bounds better than what’s out there. They need something that’s an iPhone-in-2007 type product. The product they have, while good, isn’t that."

Which makes it all the more perplexing when they continue to release phones that are already behind the tech curve, when they themselves came to the game SO late.

Saying hardware specs are "meaningless" is beyond ignorant Takin, even for you. When you're locked into a two year contract, the vast majority of smart phone buyers do NOT want to get locked into a platform that's ALREADY behind today, much less two years from today.

And before you bring up the iPhone 3's sales or anything else, let me stop you there. Microsoft is NOT Apple. They don't have the same following in this space, the same magnetism, the same ability to sell anything well regardless of specs.

To quote Siegler again

"It’s not enough to be better. (And we can argue as to whether iOS or Android or Windows Phone is better.) You need to present a product so good that people have to buy it . Windows Phone isn’t close to being that. I’m sorry, but it’s just not."

RE: Needs better specs
By TakinYourPoints on 1/10/2012 9:22:17 PM , Rating: 2
It is hilarious that you quote MG Seigler, someone who is such an Apple fanboy that he even makes me cringe.

And yes, inferior platform do win this much marketshare when they are cheap and pushed hard by every single carrier and hardware company out there. They have sales quotas that no other device has, which means that salespeople are going to push them hard. It's very simple.

BTW, way to back out of the OS X walled-garden argument. When you get proven absolutely wrong, just run away.

RE: Needs better specs
By TakinYourPoints on 1/10/2012 9:24:57 PM , Rating: 2
And before you bring up the iPhone 3's sales or anything else, let me stop you there. Microsoft is NOT Apple. They don't have the same following in this space, the same magnetism, the same ability to sell anything well regardless of specs.

The iPhone is an easy sell based on the fact that it has the best hardware and the best app/developer ecosystem. Microsoft is certainly playing catch up, but it is possible. You are inferring that Apple's success is based on intangibles when it actually has very quantifiable advantages.

Great to hear about incentives
By TakinYourPoints on 1/8/2012 7:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
A big reason why Android handsets sell as well as they do is that they have higher sales quotas from cell carriers. The main reasons are that carriers and handset manufacturers get a larger stake from their sales, the carrier logo is featured on the phone, and carriers aren't likely to update the OS which means that hardware turnover is encouraged.

There is little benefit for customers from Android, most of the benefit is for the carriers and manufacturers.

It's a shame because it is such a second rate platform, and it has unfairly buried Windows Phone 7 as a result. More incentives for salespeople to push WP7 will hopefully result in greater sales for it. It really deserves to do better.

RE: Great to hear about incentives
By messele on 1/9/2012 5:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
Read and absorb those words - along with the sheer cheapness of the majority of Android handsets (which is another reason Nokia are in big trouble) this insight is absolutely on the money, like it or not.

By TakinYourPoints on 1/10/2012 9:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
It is a huge issue that Android fanboys don't want to talk about. They assume that quality is why people are snapping them up when in fact it is primarily driven by massive marketing campaigns and salespeople with Android sales quotas to hit. If the platform was any good I'd have picked it up ages ago.

By Paj on 1/9/2012 7:14:05 AM , Rating: 2
Can someone who owns a WP7 phone provide a bit of insight into the app ecosystem? Understandably it wont be as mature as Android or iOS, but I think for many non tech savvy users, they will care more about apps than specs. This will hurt adoption.

I live in London at I catch the tube very day. In over three years I've only ever seen one WP7 phone in the wild, but many, many Android, iOS and Blackberry handsets. Similarly, the increasing popularity of apps means that many are running full ad campaigns on the tube. None of these popular apps mention anything about WP7 versions, which seems bad for building mindshare.

Personally I'm really intrigued by WP7. I spend a lot of time designing UI and I would be keen to try it out as my next phone. However, I love apps and have several that I use very often, I also game a lot too. Without these elements, WP7 will have a tough time attracting me (and many others I'm sure) to convert.

RE: Apps
By Varun on 1/9/2012 9:10:31 AM , Rating: 2
As for apps, they have about 50,000 so far. They are adding lots every day too.

I would say the app system is comparable as far as the most used apps. They have almost all of the big players already, with only a few strange ones missing like Audible.

It is the localized apps that are not there yet. They have some bank apps, but not all banks support it. They have some airlines, but not all airlines.

Obviously with its much smaller market share, iPhone and Android are going to be the apps developed first by these types of companies. For instance, I follow Formula 1, and the official app is only Android and iPhone. Maybe this year they will develop another one for WP7.

RE: Apps
By MarcLeFou on 1/9/2012 9:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
They have many more apps than BB so app selection is not all that matters.

If I were MS, I would personally let Nokia go after consummer space with heavy incentives but especially try to scrape away at BB's falling sales with devices with integrated keyboards and leverage activesync,exchange,office and other strong business IP's they own.

I ended up getting an iPhone 4S finally because all the WP7 handsets available here were really sub-par (not just spec-wise but design wise too as my carrier's latest model was LG's 18 month old phone) and because the Motorola Android phone we tried (Bell Mobility's Droid 3 take) was a POS as it was skipping in calls to the point of making it unusable on 2 phones (plus one replacement phone).

As for the argument of WP7 needing dual cores, after actually having owned the Droid 3 for 2 weeks, I can say I don't want overpowered hardware in my phone but I do want my phone's battery to last longer than half a day. WP7 had a big plus in my book for that and it'd probably be the phone I'd have now if I needed to change my phone in 2 months instead of 3 months ago.

I'll take a look at WP7 handsets in 2 years now (or most likely WP8 by then).

Please bring to T-Mobile
By bigkah624 on 1/9/2012 10:24:35 AM , Rating: 3
Please bring to T-Mobile. That is all. Thank you.

Looking forward
By aeronb on 1/8/2012 12:40:30 PM , Rating: 2
I am curious to see Nokia's top of the line in person soon.

Can't wait to see what will be available in a year when my contract is up on the Focus I have here.

I gotta admit
By ShaolinSoccer on 1/8/2012 5:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
Those are some sexy looking phones. Kind of remind me of the old metal gameboys I used to get as a kid from Japan.

By Arsynic on 1/9/2012 10:04:35 AM , Rating: 2
LTE and FFC and it's on AT&T??? Where's Verizon??? AT&T has been selling Windows phones since forever. Why not launch it's premier LTE phone with Verizon?

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