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AT&T Mobility President and CEO Ralph De La Vega.

"I think they just need to make it better."

AT&T Mobility President and CEO Ralph De La Vega recently spoke with All Things D's Ina Fried at length about a number of issues, including the popularity of Android, why Windows Phone 7 devices aren't selling well, and whether or not the tablet market is actually going to take off the way analysts are predicting it to.

Much of what De La Vega told Fried about AT&T's business echoes the trends emerging throughout the wireless industry:
We’ve seen a dramatic shift from feature phones and quick messaging devices, which were texting devices only, into smartphones. We love that.
Android is becoming more popular. Our Android business is doing very, very well.
What Apple has done very well [with the iPad] is killer software, but the hardware is beautiful. I think they are raising the bar very high, but this is a competitive industry. I am pretty sure the other guys are not going to sit still and let Apple have all of that [tablet] market share.
He praised Windows Phone 7 for its design, but noted why it hasn't sold well: "Giving customers more application choices, having a bigger app store with more functionality on the phone, I think that is all that it needs."

"It hasn’t sold as well as Microsoft or us would want it to, but I think having the Nokia hardware capability with the Microsoft software capability is a really good combination," he said. "Keep in mind this is the first product that Microsoft has come out with since Microsoft redid their OS. I think for the first thing out of the chute it is pretty good. I think they just need to make it better."

He called Windows 8 "a huge win" for Microsoft, and noted that all of the smartphone manufacturers are now offering AT&T their tablets to carry (including the Motorola Xoom). "The question is which ones of those are good enough to stand up to the iPad. That’s a very high bar," he said.

As for BlackBerries, De La Vega wouldn't delve too deep into reasons why they haven't sold as well as in the past. "We just see customers, in some cases choosing other products rather than traditional BlackBerries," he said. "I think customers want more applications and [RIM is] going to eventually move to where they have one OS," rather than having both QNX and OS 7.

De La Vega also praised HTC, particularly for their UI, and noted that the HTC Inspire is selling very well. 

On another note, he said that AT&T is working with the industry to shrink the size and footprint of SIM cards.

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RE: Title
By lol123 on 6/7/2011 7:18:13 AM , Rating: 2
Windows hasn't been x86 exclusive for a long time (since the 3.1 days). Even Windows XP was available for Itanium, and Windows NT supported Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC and Itanium aside from x86.

It's also still doubtful that Windows 8 for ARM will be a full Windows version and not just a tablet OS sharing the same kernel. Offering the same edition of Windows for different architectures works when you are targeting enterprise customers (like with NT and XP for Itanium), but it would cause extreme confusion among consumers when they can't run any standard Windows applications.

RE: Title
By ekv on 6/8/2011 4:09:38 AM , Rating: 2
NT 4.0 was released a long time ago. Before XP. So, really, is it even usable, i.e. relevant?

Itanium of course is an Intel product. Intel basically defines the x86 ISA. Windows support of Itanium going forward is being dropped, no?

Windows CE runs on a variety of ISA's, but that gets into a rather pedantic discussion. So perhaps I ought not say "x86 exclusive" but instead talk about grafting ARM into the so-called Wintel alliance. Though that isn't really satisfying since Intel's reacting like they've been-thrown-under-the-bus.
Offering the same edition of Windows for different architectures
Your last statement doesn't quite add up because NT is (essentially) deprecated and Windows Server 2003/8 is what would be used instead. Consumers of course run XP/Vista/Win7. App's not specifically stated to run on Server versions are certainly not guaranteed to run there. However, in the consumer world of tablets, smartphones, etc., Win8 would appear to be designed to offer operability across such platforms. In other words, Win8 appears designed to run standard Windows app's on different architectures. This would reduce confusion, no?

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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