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Print 41 comment(s) - last by leexgx.. on Dec 8 at 12:27 AM

Microsoft can't explain away why its communications hardware is deficient

With Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) already punting its plans to sell Windows Phone on the world's biggest market -- China -- to sometime in 2012, it's crucial that it does its best to capture U.S. sales in the meantime.

Recent comments from Verizon Wireless reveal that the dated wireless communications hardware on current Windows Phone models may be a deal-breaker for it.  Verizon Wireless -- a joint venture between Verizon Communications, Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD) -- controls over a third of America's subscription customer base.  Missing that massive chunk of sales in its largest current smartphone market (the U.S.) would be a huge blow to Microsoft's already struggling Windows Phone project.

Marni Walden, Chief Marketing Officer for Verizon Wireless sounded frustrated in her comment to CNET.  She remarked, "We've communicated to Microsoft that LTE is critical to us. We need to see a timeline that makes sense if we want to continue to represent them."

Verizon LTE
Verizon: "Y U No have LTE, Microsoft?" [Image Source: Android Spin]

Thus far, Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android has been virtually the sole platform of LTE handsets in the U.S.  With Verizon and AT&T, Inc. (T) promoting their rapidly expanding 4G LTE networks [1][2][3][4] that's been a huge boon for Google and its partners.

The holdup with Windows Phone LTE support appears to be on Microsoft's shoulders, as many Windows Phone manufacturers like Taiwan's HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930already support LTE in their Android handsets.  Thus the hardware capability for LTE seemingly exists for Windows Phones, but the software is the limiting factor, thanks to Microsoft's sluggish response.

Microsoft has been on the defensive about its Windows Phone performance for some time now, as flagship Android smartphones seemingly have better specs on paper.  While its argument that Windows Phone runs faster on single core-CPUs than Android on dual-core CPUs is certainly plausible given real world evidence, it's hard for Microsoft to generate a convincing excuse for why its phones can't support the latest wireless communication standards.

Add LTE to a growing list of problems such as poor advertising and poor dealer incentives that have plagued Microsoft, turning a slick operating system into a market dud.

Source: CNET



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RE: LTE...who cares
By name99 on 12/6/2011 1:00:52 PM , Rating: 1
Don't be an idiot. The advantage of LTE (to the carriers, yes, but to EVERYONE) is that it uses spectrum more efficiently. The issue is not that you get 20Mb/s (or whatever) as the single user in a cell; it's that when 100 users are using the cell, they each get 200kbps rather than 50kbps. [Numbers made up, but illustrate the point].
The number that matters is that LTE spectral efficiency is around 10x that of 1x EVDO-Rev A. (That factor is probably to high for current devices, and may always be too high for phones, since it may rely on 4 widely separated antennas. But even a smaller spectral efficiency, say 4x, is better for everyone.)

Personally I am glad VZW is pushing this. There's always someone who's a laggard, and the tech world doesn't improve without a pus. If Apple weren't pushing Intel for lower power chips, we'd probably have desktops with TDP envelopes of 150W, and laptops that lasted for 3hrs.

The main question is --- is VZW's push realistic? It doesn't make sense to complain if the relevant chipsets do not exist. My guess is that
- either the chipsets do exist, but right now on the CDMA only side, which means VZW feels it's reasonable to start pushing MS to at least have the relevant drivers in the OS, so that if Nokia wants to use these chips it's practical for it to do so.
(This case is not relevant to Apple given that Apple uses a combined chipset, and has presumably told VZW it will ship LTE when a decent combined chipset exists.)

OR
- the chipsets don't exist yet, VZW is quite aware of that, but they're using this very public bitching as a way to send a message to MS regarding something else. My guess is that they want a return to the good old days when users had to use VZW maps, VZW apps, and VZW crap. They can't get away with forcing that on Apple --- they know full well Apple will tell them screw you, and take its customer base elsewhere --- but the may figure MS is desperate enough that they will cave.
(cf the other announcement about VZW and Google Wallet).


RE: LTE...who cares
By StevoLincolnite on 12/6/2011 9:15:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If Apple weren't pushing Intel for lower power chips, we'd probably have desktops with TDP envelopes of 150W, and laptops that lasted for 3hrs.


Apple didn't push Intel. Apple had nothing to do with Intel when Intel decided to go with a more power efficient route.

Hint: It all started with the Pentium M and Pentium 4. Apple was still using PowerPC.


RE: LTE...who cares
By leexgx on 12/8/2011 12:27:55 AM , Rating: 2
most laptops only last 2hrs or less still (unless its an Sony VAIO or apple 3hrs+)


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