Flashback: a decade of Microsoft's failed attempts to conquer the phone market

24 July 2022
The Kin phones were an odd experiment, but Windows Phone 7 was supposed to capture the phone market the same way that Window had the PC market.

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  • S
  • Sin
  • pJw
  • 21 Oct 2022

I think the reason windows smartphone failed and was a failure was simple

People like desktop windows but Microsoft made mobile version for smartphone with poor app support

I always wonder why they didn't just make Intel atom smartphones put 4000mah/5000mah batterys in them thick bulky yes battery life problem fixed also

Then make desktop windows smartphones
The smartphone being extra thick also add room for 2 usb ports so one can make use of keyboard & mouse with smartphone as additional controls too the built-in touch screen

So basically what I always wanted standard smartphone that can make calls texts has touch screen
But has big storage amount
2 usb ports headphone jack & desktop windows with Intel atom processor

    Salman, 26 Jul 2022In 2007 something happened that you can’t really blame Noki... moreI agree with the sentiments, and most of what you wrote.

    But Nokia already had an iOS competitor before the iPhone 2G. It was based on a touch+keyboard interface, called Maemo. It evolved over time, but the hardware was never that great. Just compare the iPhone 3GS to the Nokia N97. What tumbled Nokia, is that they were collaborating with Intel's Moblin OS, but Intel was causing issues internally on the project. Which should have been obvious, Intel has a bad illegal history and they're huge MS partners. Nokia basically said stuff this, and released MeeGo OS on the N9 against Intel's wishes, since they were fighting over details of the platform. Nokia lost TWICE. First by not innovating and keeping up with Symbian, and the second by putting faith in their corporate partners. It was easy for MS to win them over to WP7 platform after that, by bending the truth, since Nokia was desperate.

    Nokia really should have gone with Google, but the bargaining conditions were changing. And they really missed out on the a huge revolution Android made. This was when jumping from version 2.3.4, (skipping 3.0/3.1), jumping to 4.0 ICS. All in the span of 1-1.5 years, flagship phones like HTC Desire/Incredible 2 became low-end and obsolete, against phones like the Samsung Note/SGS3 with much better hardware and software. So Nokia should have gambled with Google instead of MS, maybe the entire "Pixel-lineup" could have been made by the Finnish people.

    Meanwhile, for MS to succeed in the phone market, it never was about buying out Nokia for cheap/scraps, it was about their services and software. They had to ditch Windows Mobile 6 (PDA), WindowsCE, Windows Phone 7, and Windows Phone 8. None of them were equiped to take on Android (eg 4.0.3), let alone iOS (v7.1). Microsoft needed to release something competitive, and that itself was Windows10 Mobile for phones and tablets, alongside Windows10 Pro for laptops and desktops. And crucially important they needed to release it by 2011, but preferably by 2009. They didn't. They released them in 2014 and 2016 respectively. So MS was at least 5-YEARS behind iOS and Android, and for them to be ahead they needed to release a full 7-YEARS prior. That sounds difficult, but its not, it was VERY EASY. Their executives simply CHOSE to lag behind and they did not take seriously the threat of Apple or Google. Both companies which now dwarf Microsoft.

    *PS: in 2015 Intel had their Advanced 14nm done, they should have released a chipset with 4x Cherry Trail cores with 2x Skylake cores. Basically a 2+4 BIG.little design for x86 using Core-i and Atom cores. That would have been competitive on tablets and ultrabooks, and would've given them expertise with hybrid designs for the future, while Windows10 Pro gets a good performance in products. But the threat of the "New Windows Apps" (UWP) that works on phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops would've lit a stronger fire under Intel's bottom, with ARM devices catching up immensely in the next 2-years with their 16nm node and Cortex-A73 processors. With that strategy, by the time it hits 2020, most people wouldn't care about the support of legacy programs. And for the ones that do, ARM could do software-emulation to an extent. We instead see more of the same, with MS still stuck in the past, and trying to make their next Windows11 Platform something of a hostage situation.

      K, 27 Jul 2022There are some people within microsoft who are trying to we... moreKill those bstrds before they kill MS! 😦😷

        • J
        • JLL
        • NxH
        • 28 Jul 2022

        Flagsheep, 27 Jul 2022To be honest, i really miss their UIMe too...

          • K
          • K
          • U{7
          • 27 Jul 2022

          Aadrian, 24 Jul 2022My Lumia phones where the best smartphones I've ever u... moreAnd this is why microsoft was prevented from giving away window's phone for free like Google gave away android.

            • K
            • K
            • U{7
            • 27 Jul 2022

            There are some people within microsoft who are trying to weaken microsoft. They prevented microsoft from giving away window's phone away for free so that it doesn't become a competition to android.

            They also prevented surface mini from launching so that it won't affect android tablets.

            They are also trying to kill the hololens.

              To be honest, i really miss their UI

                • ?
                • Anonymous
                • tuh
                • 27 Jul 2022

                Nokia alone managed to carry Windows phone on its own.. With innovations like 920's OIS and wireless charging and 1020's 43MP BSI + OIS.. Shows you how gargantuan Nokia was back then.. Not even mighty HTC who carried Android through its infancy nor the giant Samsung could do it.. They would release a windows phone and it fizzles.. While Nokia fight against iOS and Android, conquering the world with Nokia 520 as best selling smartphone then while forced to use a botched Windows OS akin to boxing with your hands and feet tied.. No other manufacturers could do it but NOKIA

                  • S
                  • Salman
                  • 7kk
                  • 26 Jul 2022

                  In 2007 something happened that you can’t really blame Nokia for. A nut job, Steve Jobs, made this insanely great smartphone that didn’t even have a keyboard, the iPhone. Not only that, he made buying apps so easy that people would actually buy them, making smartphones so much more useful.
                  And then, to make matters worse, Google decided to partner with every smartphone manufacturer in the world via Android, which would emulate the iPhone. And they didn’t care whether they made any money or not so gave the software for free.
                  I mean, what was Nokia supposed to do? It’s far more difficult changing a legacy software, like Symbian, than making an essentially new one like Google did with Android. And given they were so dominant in both hardware and software; they couldn’t have really abandoned either.
                  Ok, in hindsight they should have adopted Android, but fat chance that was going to happen given Android was way behind, and a competitor.
                  And so the reason Nokia failed was because shit happens…

                  ~PS My Nokia Lumia 730 is still in very good condition, although I had to move to Android for obvious reasons.

                    • u
                    • user466
                    • HX6
                    • 26 Jul 2022

                    You forgot to mention the HP Elite X3!

                      For my opinion, it is because of lack of apps and limited do something like Android smartphone.

                      Several years ago I bought Nokia Lumia 520 for around 9 months I guessed. Not good, several times experience restart by itself, can't copy paste on office. The office app can't attach .zip files adn weird way when would to like to attach file to send email. Android smartphone was simple compared Nokia Lumia phones

                        • T
                        • Tonssuper
                        • 6c1
                        • 26 Jul 2022

                        My beloved Nokia 720 and 730. A super great phone with a lot of pride and dignity. I can list a few: carl zeiss camera lens, here map with offline map (an superfast gps lock), smooth and swift experience, outstanding design. The thing is, they never ever comeback. I never blame Steve Ballmer, he is a good guy on a wrong time. Everybody in Nokia and Microsoft knows, how steep the price they going to pay. Yes, it was hurt and broke.

                          • D
                          • AnonD-1046991
                          • wvL
                          • 26 Jul 2022

                          crispcketlicker, 25 Jul 2022Loved the Metro UI, loved the tiles... such happy days usin... moreI also say, the older Pocket PC 2001-WM6.5's UI will not be except

                            • D
                            • AnonD-1046991
                            • wvL
                            • 26 Jul 2022

                            atichko, 25 Jul 2022I miss WP 7.5 and WP 8 so much! I loved this OS (while I tr... moreI know right but just learn the truth that Windows CE was a innocent and embedded version of Windows

                              • D
                              • AnonD-1046991
                              • wvL
                              • 26 Jul 2022

                              Anonymous, 25 Jul 2022Tiles ruined it .Tiles interface is kind of Windows 8-10, and some older version like Pocket PC 2001-WM6.5 will not be except

                                • ?
                                • Anonymous
                                • var
                                • 25 Jul 2022

                                Since their current os can run on Android devices I hope some day we can flash custom roms onto legacy devices as windows was always faster than both ois and android

                                  I miss WP 7.5 and WP 8 so much! I loved this OS (while I truly hated WinCE) for it's simplicity and originality. Microsoft remains a company that is simply not capable to achive something decently. Lots of great ideas but no guidance, drive to deliver. Even if they should have waited with releasing WP 7 and go streight to WP 8 I didn't mind much as it allowed me to see the evolution of the OS and to be eager to see updates coming. It was also exciting to see the evolution of the app store up to the point that Microsoft, again, messed it up big time. On paper WP 10 was the OS to have but in reality it was the worse version, loaded with bugs and by that time the former Nokia deliverd some really shitty hardware as well meaning that the user experience I had with WP10 phone, even the top tier ones was horrible. You can say that the early WP7, 7.5 and 8 menues where a bit weird or sometimes not logical but it was more related to the fact that people were already used to android and apple OS logic so anything other than that was weird. Instead of keeping it and refining it, WP 10 changed it rather extensively (and not for the better) not to speak about the level of sluggishness it reached compared to earlier versions.
                                  In short, I loved it because it was quick, responsive and much more lightweight than what andoid or even apple had to offer. WP 7.5 and 8 phones were able to run extremely well on very basic hardware.

                                    Moved from Galaxy S2 to HTC Titan on Mango.
                                    That phone was amazing, then the 920 on launch was phenomenal and ahead of its time with ois, amazing night camera and wireless charging.
                                    Next was a 1520 before finally a 950XL.

                                    How people laughed at the size of my 1520, I told them all just wait until Apple makes a phone that big and you will love it.
                                    Of course they said no way but as soon as larger iPhones came out they all had them and thought they were amazing.

                                      Microsoft and Google had been feuding for years which is why Microsoft didn't jump on the Android platform over a decade ago. They're still suing each other as we speak.

                                      The irony here is Google is trying to be like what Microsoft is with desktop except on mobile. Have an OS be used by different OEMs. I'm aware Windows is a closed platform but multiple OEMs use it like Android. While Microsoft tried being more like Apple over 10 years ago. It backfired for Microsoft while Google benefitted trying to be more like the Microsoft for mobile.

                                      Google is a copycat though. Android wasn't originally for mobile phones. It was a digital camera OS. Then it evolved as a BlackBerry OS. Once iPhone was announced, they basically pushed Android to look like iOS. People forget Android's tough early years from 2008-2011. It was known as iOS's stuttering cousin. Then Ice Cream Sandwich made it much smoother.

                                      I remember buying Palm Pixi Plus, BlackBerry Bold 9000, Nexus One, and Samsung Focus within 3 months apart. So I tried webOS, BBOS5, Android, and WP7 closely apart. I remember thinking Google was no where on the level of Apple and Microsoft in software. Google excelled only in services a decade ago.

                                      All this "history" is like yesterday to me. I can still vividly remember the moment I found out Steve Jobs died. It's from this website while browsing at night. I had just bought an iPhone 2G for $100 a few hours earlier. It was rainy that day. So much stuff happened in 2011. That was a mover and shaker year for mobile.

                                        • b
                                        • blue
                                        • 0CN
                                        • 25 Jul 2022

                                        zodiacfml, 25 Jul 2022they're already late when they decided to go into smar... moreNokia was dying long ago before Microsoft even took over.