Lenovo may want UI tweaks for its Windows Phone devices

In June, Microsoft announced its Windows Phone 8 hardware launch partners. They included Samsung, HTC, Nokia and Huawei. One name that was not listed was Lenovo. However, according to a new rumor, the company seems to be interested in making and selling a Windows Phone 8 device.

The Chinese language website WPDang.com reports that Lenovo research and development team members have met with Microsoft to discuss the matter. One big hurdle is that Lenovo wants permission from Microsoft to make its own tweaks to the Windows Phone 8 user interface.

At the moment, the only Windows Phone hardware partner with that amount of leeway is Nokia, and it's clear that Microsoft has allowed Nokia to offer up designs that are much different than the norm for its Lumia line. The article doesn't reveal if Microsoft would allow Lenovo the same kind of freedom with its possible Windows Phone 8 device.

Of course, Lenovo is also the second biggest PC maker in the world and the company already has announced plans to launch some Windows 8-based products later this fall. That includes a Windows 8 10.1 inch touch screen tablet that was demoed in June during the Computex trade show.

Source: WPDang.com

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Curious if they are wanting to make changes to Windows Phone 8 or are wanting to make a phone based off Windows 8, using their own interface.

With the WOA and light x86 chips, Lenovo could easily slip Windows 8 NT into a phone.

You let one company like Nokia make tweaks and they all will eventually want to make tweaks. I hope Microsoft realizes this and the importance of not letting other OEMS making changes. If so then they should just make their own phone

No, no, no, no, no, no no and no. Just no. NO!

Third-parties shouldn't be allowed to screw up the Windows Phone experience and turn it into another Android.

Hello,

I believe Lenovo sells its phones primarily in the Chinese market, so this could be a chance to give Microsoft an edge in that space with China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, especially since Ningbo Bird and ZTE seem to be concentrating on lower-end Android-based smartphones.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Th UI is very important to MS. Lenovo isnt a name I come up with when I think about phones, so letting Nokia tweak minor things was prefectly fine. MS probably wont let Lenovo do it. They are trying to keep the UI pretty standard like iOS. Which I think is smart.

NO! Is that clear?

I really hope Microsoft doesn't start playing this game and understands how important it is to keep the experience uniform.

If Lenovo is not happy, then they can go build Android phones and change whatever they want.

And what is Lenovo going to bring to the table in return? Since they are nowhere near being one of the top 2 smartphone manufacturers I wonder why Microsoft would consider them more worthy than HTC or Samsung who have had devices out there from day one?

efjay said,
And what is Lenovo going to bring to the table in return? Since they are nowhere near being one of the top 2 smartphone manufacturers I wonder why Microsoft would consider them more worthy than HTC or Samsung who have had devices out there from day one?
I tend to agree. However, I must say that neither HTC nor Samsung has had very impressive offerings.

HTC made interesting hardware with the Titan (nice cameras), but their quality assurance was incredibly low, which has led people to blaming WP7 when it's the hardware. My brother went through three Titans (original) until getting a Lumia 900 from the Microsoft Store, and my roommate has gone through two Titans and he is about to return his Titan II that the Microsoft Store finally gave him.

Samsung has put out nothing but incredibly low quality, plastic hardware with similar quality assurance. I managed to scratch my Samsung Focus S' screen in an empty, and loose jeans pocket.

I imagine that Microsoft desperately wants to have a real hardware ecosystem rather than Nokia driving the competition back to solely doing Android. After all, they might as well buy Nokia and do it in-house at that point.

With that said, I've never seen anything come out of Lenovo that gives them an edge of UI design so much that they can reskin WP8. I don't care if they change icons for the marketplace, but that shouldn't qualify as a "UI tweak" rather than a form of branding. Furthermore, I would be less inclined to buy from any manufacturer--Nokia included--that modifies the OS in anyway because they'd be slower to update, at least until that's proven to be false. Nokia only got that in writing because their company depends on the OS doing well, and if the OS were to go into a free fall, then they would have to take matters into their own hands and change the OS to something that consumers would rather buy. Hopefully that is a last-ditch effort that never comes to fruition.

I'd like to know what these tweaks are before making an opinion about it.

If it's something like adding a Lenovo logo somewhere or something, I don't see it being that much of an issue.

But like if it adds in its own features or removes existing ones, thus making updating the phone harder, then that would be a problem.

JaykeBird said,
I'd like to know what these tweaks are before making an opinion about it.

If it's something like adding a Lenovo logo somewhere or something, I don't see it being that much of an issue.

But like if it adds in its own features or removes existing ones, thus making updating the phone harder, then that would be a problem.


That is a big concern. Let's be honest, any changes like that in a mobile OS like this slow down updates...

I am definitely not for this.

Has Nokia even tweaked Windows Phone? The main sticking point is that any tweaks can't slow down updates, lest it devolve into an Android situation. Microsoft's already learned that lesson with Windows Mobile.

dagamer34 said,
Has Nokia even tweaked Windows Phone? The main sticking point is that any tweaks can't slow down updates, lest it devolve into an Android situation. Microsoft's already learned that lesson with Windows Mobile.

The only tweaks so far has been the change in the marketstore app icon. ITs got the nokia logo rather then the Windows logo. Other then that, its just been exclusive apps.. and to be honest, save Nokia Drive, they're not even that great. Even the new photo effects such as panoramic and scan searching have been included in the first gen LG Windows Phones. I know, I own one. Not that sticking with the default UI is a bad thing, I think its great that we don't have stupid skins for each provider. I know OEM built PCs the first thing most people do is wipe the drive or uninstall the useless stuff on there and change all the theme settings. The same goes for most android phones, its always debrand the phone please!


dagamer34 said,
Has Nokia even tweaked Windows Phone? The main sticking point is that any tweaks can't slow down updates, lest it devolve into an Android situation. Microsoft's already learned that lesson with Windows Mobile.

Not really, which I think is great. I don't think any of them should be changing the UI all around. I hope this doesn't become a new WinMo.

dagamer34 said,
The main sticking point is that any tweaks can't slow down updates, lest it devolve into an Android situation.

You mean like WP7 -> WP8? That's been so slowed down that it will never happen :lol

dagamer34 said,

Microsoft's already learned that lesson with Windows Mobile.

Microsoft's done the exact same to WP7 users that it did to WinMo users. I don't see any lessons learnt here. The same will probably happen with WP9 too.

simplezz said,

You mean like WP7 -> WP8? That's been so slowed down that it will never happen :lol

Microsoft's done the exact same to WP7 users that it did to WinMo users. I don't see any lessons learnt here. The same will probably happen with WP9 too.

WP7.8 isn't slowed down.

And if Microsoft had done the same thing they did to WinMo users, Microsoft would have released a Windows Mobile 6.7... new UI features from WP7 backported to the incompatible platform.

simplezz said,

Microsoft's done the exact same to WP7 users that it did to WinMo users. I don't see any lessons learnt here. The same will probably happen with WP9 too.

What is the kernel that WP9 is going to go too that will change everything? While it doesn't make it an easier pill to swallow, there are hardware requirements for the core software features in WP8 that simply do not exist on the old platform. Yet, WP7 users will still receive at least one other update beyond Tango (WP7.8). Compared to Android, your platform of choice that you choose to push down our throats on every WP post, that sounds a lot better than nothing.

Unless 10% of the market being on the latest OS after over half a year with another imminent OS release is somehow a good thing, then even suggesting WP8 as a one-year thing that receives three major updates sounds better than that. Oh, right, everyone jailbreaks though. That's why it's still just 10%.

No WP7 user is thrilled about our phones being EOLed (of those that know), and I was convinced that we would receive WP8 because the W8 kernel has been proven to run on our chipsets. However, they both demonstrated and announced features that in fact do require new hardware. As a technical person, that was enough for me, and actually receiving another update on my phone shows a level of commitment not shown to obsolete hardware by any other manufacturer. After all, even Apple just EOLed the original iPad while implying that they will continue to support the iPhone 3GS with iOS 6, even though the original iPad is much more powerful than the iPhone 3GS (the difference, which is important, is that the iPhone 3GS is still being sold, but we all know that Apple will EOL it mid-cycle with iOS 6, just like with the iPhone 3G).

pickypg said,
Oh, right, everyone jailbreaks though.

jailbreaking is for iOS not Android...at least know what you are talking about rather than looking like an ignorant fanboy

Sonne said,

jailbreaking is for iOS not Android...at least know what you are talking about rather than looking like an ignorant fanboy

I think the concept of Jailbreaking can be applied to every platform.

But hey.. way to ignore all of his/her comments and nitpick the one thing.

Way to look awesome on the internet. Clearly you couldn't understand the rest of what he was saying -- but hey, you know Jailbreaking and rooting your phone are soooo different...

ryuh3d said,

I think the concept of Jailbreaking can be applied to every platform.

But hey.. way to ignore all of his/her comments and nitpick the one thing.

Way to look awesome on the internet. Clearly you couldn't understand the rest of what he was saying -- but hey, you know Jailbreaking and rooting your phone are soooo different...

Because rooting and jailbreaking are different. Here is the difference. Jailbreaking iOS, allows you to do things that are NATIVE features of Android. For example...Jailbreakin will allow you to have USB accesss to your frespace on the drive, this is native on Android. Jailbreaking allows for file transfer over BT, already native on Android. Jailbreaking allows for theming the UI, this is also native on Android.

Rooting is done, so that those who have devies thatwant a newer version of an OS, that the phone maker or carriers won't upgrade too. It allows you to perform a sofwtare upgrade to a updated software and fancier features. Carrier bloat is usually stripped out as well. Mnay functon still may not work or don't work as well. But many of them work perfectly and tend to run faster as well.

Rooting and jailbreaking are very different. You seem to thing just bec a Ferrari is a car and what you drive to work everyday is also a car, but since they are both cars theer is no difference.

Really?

TechieXP said,

Because rooting and jailbreaking are different. Here is the difference. Jailbreaking iOS, allows you to do things that are NATIVE features of Android. For example...Jailbreakin will allow you to have USB accesss to your frespace on the drive, this is native on Android. Jailbreaking allows for file transfer over BT, already native on Android. Jailbreaking allows for theming the UI, this is also native on Android.

Rooting is done, so that those who have devies thatwant a newer version of an OS, that the phone maker or carriers won't upgrade too. It allows you to perform a sofwtare upgrade to a updated software and fancier features. Carrier bloat is usually stripped out as well. Mnay functon still may not work or don't work as well. But many of them work perfectly and tend to run faster as well.

Rooting and jailbreaking are very different. You seem to thing just bec a Ferrari is a car and what you drive to work everyday is also a car, but since they are both cars theer is no difference.

Really?

Really? Jailbreaking == hacking your phone

Rooting == hacking your phone.

The major difference is Rooting is mostly allowed (some phones try to prevent it), while Jailbreaking is legally allowed, it is frowned upon by Apple.

I think in the context of a web post -- Jailbreaking and Rooting are not that different. Rooting == new OS, Jailbreaking == new features for your OS.

I already clearly stated in my post... that Rooting and Jailbreaking are not 1:1, but they are clearly similar in concept. In both Jailbreaking and Rooting you are doing something to your phone that the carrier/maker doesn't want you to do. By doing both you are gaining new features.

Really... I made it clear in my previous post I knew they were different, but don't find the terms that different.

TechieXP said,

Because rooting and jailbreaking are different. Here is the difference. Jailbreaking iOS, allows you to do things that are NATIVE features of Android. For example...Jailbreakin will allow you to have USB accesss to your frespace on the drive, this is native on Android. Jailbreaking allows for file transfer over BT, already native on Android. Jailbreaking allows for theming the UI, this is also native on Android.

Rooting is done, so that those who have devies thatwant a newer version of an OS, that the phone maker or carriers won't upgrade too. It allows you to perform a sofwtare upgrade to a updated software and fancier features. Carrier bloat is usually stripped out as well. Mnay functon still may not work or don't work as well. But many of them work perfectly and tend to run faster as well.

Rooting and jailbreaking are very different. You seem to thing just bec a Ferrari is a car and what you drive to work everyday is also a car, but since they are both cars theer is no difference.

Really?


It's funny, you call someone ignorant then go on to show you have a limited technical understanding of the situation and are only able to explain the supposed difference using arbitrary examples that actually have nothing to do with the terms rooting or jailbreaking. What you did is simply point out that various features of one OS are not present on the other. You didn't actually show how jailbreaking and rooting are different. Both rooting and jailbreaking describe the process of gaining root access (or at least an elevetated privilege level) to the phones operating system which in turn allows you to modify core aspects of that operating system, run restricted code, access blocked hardware features and any number of other things that are not possible at the standard user permission levels.

There are several apps on Android that require root access. File managers, some apps that make deep changes to the lockscreen, etc. You apparently do not even understand the difference between rooting and unlocking the bootloader so you're hardly the person to call someone else ignorant.

Sonne said,
jailbreaking is for iOS not Android...at least know what you are talking about rather than looking like an ignorant fanboy
People that don't understand the actual goings-on of technology care about the specific terminology of their favorite ecosystem than what's actual happening.

As a software engineer, I can happily say that I do not care what you call it because, either way, you are attempting to get access to something that the hardware provider did not intend--beit unlocking your phone, accessing someone's idea of privileged functionality, or simply forcing an update that they refuse to provide for you. No matter what, the fundamental idea is exactly the same. It just so happens that it's practically a requirement to get an update on Android unless you live within the Nexus lineup of phones.

Next time, as ryuh3d said above, try to actually add something to the discussion rather than attempting to seem more intelligent than I suspect you are.

pickypg said,
No WP7 user is thrilled about our phones being EOLed (of those that know), and I was convinced that we would receive WP8 because the W8 kernel has been proven to run on our chipsets. However, they both demonstrated and announced features that in fact do require new hardware. As a technical person, that was enough for me, and actually receiving another update on my phone shows a level of commitment not shown to obsolete hardware by any other manufacturer.

Same here. I understand the hardware requirement makes it impossible. My wife has taken an interest in my Lumia900 so I will get an 8 device upon availability. Not one from Lenovo if they get their way.

pickypg said,
People that don't understand the actual goings-on of technology care about the specific terminology of their favorite ecosystem than what's actual happening.

As a software engineer, I can happily say that I do not care what you call it because, either way, you are attempting to get access to something that the hardware provider did not intend--beit unlocking your phone, accessing someone's idea of privileged functionality, or simply forcing an update that they refuse to provide for you. No matter what, the fundamental idea is exactly the same. It just so happens that it's practically a requirement to get an update on Android unless you live within the Nexus lineup of phones.

Next time, as ryuh3d said above, try to actually add something to the discussion rather than attempting to seem more intelligent than I suspect you are.

If rooting is a requirement for updates, then explain how folks who aren't rooted are getting updates?

SharpGreen said,

If rooting is a requirement for updates, then explain how folks who aren't rooted are getting updates?

AOL Keyword Search: practically

Sraf said,
How about no, does that work for you?

It probably would work for them, they could just switch to make an Android phone instead and Windows Phone would lose an OEM.

Majesticmerc said,
It probably would work for them, they could just switch to make an Android phone instead and Windows Phone would lose an OEM.

Lenovo would most likely try to use their PC clout to get their way, making them the third or fourth biggest pc maker.