Exclusive: Microsoft will introduce Windows Mobile Starter Edition at MWC

Neowin understands that Microsoft plans to offer a new edition of Windows Mobile on Monday at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2010.

Named Windows Mobile Starter Edition the software will be targeted at OEMs building devices for new and emerging markets. Based on Windows Mobile 6, Starter Edition will come in two versions, one with Office Mobile and one without. Windows Mobile Starter Edition will also support 2G (GSM), 2.5G (EDGE, GPRS) and CDMA (Rev A, EV-DO Revision A) or TD-SCDMA. It's not yet clear whether 3G (GSM) will be supported.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Microsoft is looking to broaden Windows Mobile licensing to a wider audience. Microsoft recently announced a partnership with MediaTek to drive growth in smartphone sales for emerging markets over the next 12 months. MediaTek has worked with Microsoft to couple its hardware with the Windows Mobile 6 software. Neowin believes this is one of many working relationships that Microsoft will form to push Windows Mobile 6 or Windows Mobile Starter Edition to emerging markets over the next year.

It's not immediately clear whether Microsoft plans to drop Windows Mobile 6.x for consumers and move it straight to emerging markets as Windows Mobile Starter Edition. Microsoft plans to introduce the Windows Phone 7 Series of devices at a press conference held by CEO Steve Ballmer on Monday. Microsoft officials did not return emails requesting comment on Windows Mobile Starter Edition.

Neowin will be attending Mobile World Congress 2010 and live blogging the Microsoft event with Long Zheng from istartedsomething.com. The conference will also be available as a live webcast from http://www.microsoft.com/news/windowsphone

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

US Government appeals ruling banning cell tracking without a warrant

Next Story

Where do Microsoft's profits come from?

61 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Check out the last 2 episodes of Smallville which premiered this month. MS is using this show for its product placement of Windows Mobile and the next XBOX (Project Natal). LOL

Leave it up the great geniuses we have on this board that are armchair CEO's and COO's that obviously know how to run a Multi-Billion dollar operation. I am sure you have all the time in the world to criticize the wrong direction Microsoft is taking running your Multi-Billion dollar business. I mean Windows 7(any edition) is a horrible failure right? I mean what was Microsoft thinking! They need to hire you geniuses to run their company and marketing campaigns because they obviously are a major FAIL!

So do the naysayers and the MS hateclub members understand the reason for Win 6 starter edition? Has MS already released their WinMo 7 lineup schedule yet? I am sorry I must have been asleep as I haven't seen anything yet. So you must already know what is going to be announced tomorrow right? Please give us your insightful blurb of what is to come.

Microsoft acknowledged their shortcomings and addressed it pretty openly. Let them prove they know how to innovate again in the mobile market. They did it before and they will do it again. The Zune HD interface has been a well received interface although the Zune HD itself has been only so-so in gaining marketshare. The success hasn't hit the Zune HD all at once yet as they still are limited in their reach to others outside the US market.

Those who don't believe MS can be innovative just wait until you see what is to come. Don't compare it to the Iphone as its not really that innovative. It's a bunch of square boxes with some color and lots of useless apps. It does work and that is what made it so popular. It did set the bar but if Apple does not innovate again they too will be caught resting on their laurels.

mrmomoman said,
Leave it up the great geniuses we have on this board that are armchair CEO's and COO's that obviously know how to run a Multi-Billion dollar operation. I am sure you have all the time in the world to criticize the wrong direction Microsoft is taking running your Multi-Billion dollar business. I mean Windows 7(any edition) is a horrible failure right? I mean what was Microsoft thinking! They need to hire you geniuses to run their company and marketing campaigns because they obviously are a major FAIL!

So do the naysayers and the MS hateclub members understand the reason for Win 6 starter edition? Has MS already released their WinMo 7 lineup schedule yet? I am sorry I must have been asleep as I haven't seen anything yet. So you must already know what is going to be announced tomorrow right? Please give us your insightful blurb of what is to come.

Microsoft acknowledged their shortcomings and addressed it pretty openly. Let them prove they know how to innovate again in the mobile market. They did it before and they will do it again. The Zune HD interface has been a well received interface although the Zune HD itself has been only so-so in gaining marketshare. The success hasn't hit the Zune HD all at once yet as they still are limited in their reach to others outside the US market.

Those who don't believe MS can be innovative just wait until you see what is to come. Don't compare it to the Iphone as its not really that innovative. It's a bunch of square boxes with some color and lots of useless apps. It does work and that is what made it so popular. It did set the bar but if Apple does not innovate again they too will be caught resting on their laurels.

Any opinion on here is just as valid as yours, champ. Hop down off your hobby horse and quit pretending otherwise.

Serenity76 said,
Any opinion on here is just as valid as yours, champ. Hop down off your hobby horse and quit pretending otherwise.
You know you don't need to quote entire posts, right? ;)

Saying "any" opinion is just as valid is silly: most of us have no experience in this area, except as end users. We also tend to look at it from a "how will it affect me, or people like me?" rather than "how will this affect all sectors of consumers?"

Kirkburn said,
You know you don't need to quote entire posts, right? ;)

Saying "any" opinion is just as valid is silly: most of us have no experience in this area, except as end users. We also tend to look at it from a "how will it affect me, or people like me?" rather than "how will this affect all sectors of consumers?"

You quoted my entire post. And thank you for pointing out the obvious, but it was merely a response to him throwing around insults. ;)

Edited by Serenity76, Feb 15 2010, 4:51am :

Serenity76 said,
You quoted my entire post. And thank you for pointing out the obvious, but it was merely a response to him throwing around insults. ;)
Your post wasn't three large paragraphs, and mine wasn't the first response :P

Wow, you people are really stupid. How has multiple version hurt Windows 7? It hasn't. You people just want something to complain about. The truth is that unless you live in an underdeveloped country, you will never even see Windows Mobile starter. Do you see Windows 7 Starter? No.

Of course we do. Unlike Windows Vista Starter Edition, Windows 7 Starter Edition was released worldwide, and it is almost on all netbooks coming with Windows 7.

It is Windows 7 Home Basic that was released for the developing markets only.

By the way, there is a great difference between underdeveloped and developing markets.

Try to educate yourself a bit before calling others stupid.

And no, I don't think that multiple editions hurt Windows 7, and neither do I think it'd hurt Windows 7 mobile.

ricknl said,

It is Windows 7 Home Basic that was released for the developing markets only.

By the way, there is a great difference between underdeveloped and developing markets.

Try to educate yourself a bit before calling others stupid.

And no, I don't think that multiple editions hurt Windows 7, and neither do I think it'd hurt Windows 7 mobile.

I got the two mixed up... big deal. And I wasn't talking about you. I was talking about the idiots... wtf? You KNOW who that comment was aimed at. Don't be a douche.

Brent1700 said,

I got the two mixed up... big deal. And I wasn't talking about you. I was talking about the idiots... wtf? You KNOW who that comment was aimed at. Don't be a douche.

Grow up. The point is, they don't NEED to have multiple versions of a goddamn phone OS. It's pointless, and just shows them overthinking simple ****, like usual. Now take your own advice.

Leave it to microsoft to overthink and overcomplicate the most simple things. Keep churning out garbage designed by geeks for geeks, and see where that gets you.

Serenity76 said,
Leave it to microsoft to overthink and overcomplicate the most simple things. Keep churning out garbage designed by geeks for geeks, and see where that gets you.

The most successful software company in the world?

Patchou said,

The most successful software company in the world?
By strong-arming your way onto every PC sold in a store with creative licensing?

Edited by Serenity76, Feb 15 2010, 2:06am :

Though I don't like the tiered Mobile OS idea, but for all those "Not Again" people. You may never see a phone with this on it or you will see it on a phone you wouldn't be buying in the first place. Just like Windows 7 Starter, have you seen it us USA stores or on a computer in the USA other than netbooks? Most likely not, Cause it is meant for countries that are emerging, not developed like the USA. As well as phones that don't have the hardware to support everything that the full feature version has to offer.

So with that being said, just like right now, you can go online and see a full list of features. You choose the OS that is most fitted to your use. I realize it is a pain but I am going to guess most if not all of us here are smart enough to know what we need/want out of our Mobile and Desktop OS.

We don't even have a full list of details or how this is going to effect our choice of phones, if it will at all. So stop making a mountain out of a ant hill. If Microsoft says only 3 phones can run Win 7 and the rest have to run Win 7 Starter, then you can complain.

Oh God! I thought having two Windows Mobile editions was ridiculous, but this? A Starter Edition? Are you f***ing kidding me? :S

The other smartphone developers stick to only one edition, although they may choose to enable/disable certain features in order to be able to enter specific markets. For instance, enabling Emoji on only Japanese iPhones and disabling Wi-Fi for certain other countries (not just iPhone).

emerging markets don't have a need for phones running windows mobile. Do they really think they can strip it down beyond the level of symbian s40.... don't think so. Would be a bad idea for their sake to make a "starter" version.

Digitalx said,
emerging markets don't have a need for phones running windows mobile. Do they really think they can strip it down beyond the level of symbian s40.... don't think so. Would be a bad idea for their sake to make a "starter" version.

Do you really think that the 3rd world doesn't have a need for smartphones? Most of the "computing" done in Africa is currently performed on mobile phones. Due to poor communications infrastructure, most people there can only get access to the internet via phones.

jakem1 said,

Do you really think that the 3rd world doesn't have a need for smartphones? Most of the "computing" done in Africa is currently performed on mobile phones. Due to poor communications infrastructure, most people there can only get access to the internet via phones.

Do you know/see any people in Africa going around with HTC Touch HD2 ?

Digitalx said,

Do you know/see any people in Africa going around with HTC Touch HD2 ?

*facepalm*
No, they have much cheaper phones that don't have the performance the HD2 has, that's what WinMo:SE is for.

Edited by Simon., Feb 14 2010, 11:15am :

Ugh, do you people honestly not comprehend this?

All this is for is the creation of a smartphone for the "dumb phone" markets, essentially. Microsoft is trying to get a bigger piece of the cell phone market by appealing to people in markets where smartphones really don't yet exist (and possibly people who don't want to spend a ton of money on phone plans and things like that, if they extend this past emerging markets).

Why is this so hard to grasp?

Ayepecks said,
Ugh, do you people honestly not comprehend this?

All this is for is the creation of a smartphone for the "dumb phone" markets, essentially. Microsoft is trying to get a bigger piece of the cell phone market by appealing to people in markets where smartphones really don't yet exist (and possibly people who don't want to spend a ton of money on phone plans and things like that, if they extend this past emerging markets).

Why is this so hard to grasp?

Who knows, even if others have posted to try and clear it up, guess some just have selective reading and only see the part about Windows Mobile Starter and don't read past that.

So now we're seeing a segmented market for Windows Mobile, now giving everyone else the option to use it as well as us. Sounds like a good idea, but we'll see what can be done.

Business, Multimedia, and Starter. Sounds about right. :)

I will never own an Android because I don't want Google all over my phone. Google is very boring to me. I don't want an iPhone cause everyone else has one and it is over hyped. I love my Windows Mobile phone, but I am ****ed at Microsoft for not keeping up with the upgrades to the OS. Hopefully the release of Windows Mobile 7 will benefit all of us Windows Mobile customers.

JSYOUNG571 said,
I will never own an Android because I don't want Google all over my phone. Google is very boring to me. I don't want an iPhone cause everyone else has one and it is over hyped. I love my Windows Mobile phone, but I am ****ed at Microsoft for not keeping up with the upgrades to the OS. Hopefully the release of Windows Mobile 7 will benefit all of us Windows Mobile customers.

For what it's worth, the Google advertising 'machine' has virtually no presence in the Android OS. You interact with them for syncing--if you choose to--and their apps--if you choose to. Which makes it...just like any other phone on the market that lets you use Google maps and contact/email syncing.

There are better reasons to avoid Android, but most of them are present in WinMo (carrier-dependent OS updates, for one). But in the end, us tech-savvy dorks jump on new phones every two years anyway, so just try what you want to try. It's not like most of us don't have a 30 day trial window anyway. :)

Joshie said,

For what it's worth, the Google advertising 'machine' has virtually no presence in the Android OS. You interact with them for syncing--if you choose to--and their apps--if you choose to. Which makes it...just like any other phone on the market that lets you use Google maps and contact/email syncing.

It's not the advertising that worries me, it's the data harvesting. I don't want/need a phone that requires me to be logged into Google's services 24/7 to work properly.

I think what everyone is missing is this.... Microsoft never went anywhere. They still support the same bussiness's needs as they always have. As consumers reallized they could have more from a phone the iPhone was released and that is history. The consumer market is still the emerging market! These starter-phones will probably chip away at the feature phone market while WM7 has a daunting battle with the iPhone. Android and WM7 only have more to gain.

basix said,
I think what everyone is missing is this.... Microsoft never went anywhere. They still support the same bussiness's needs as they always have. As consumers reallized they could have more from a phone the iPhone was released and that is history. The consumer market is still the emerging market! These starter-phones will probably chip away at the feature phone market while WM7 has a daunting battle with the iPhone. Android and WM7 only have more to gain.

I quite agree... :)
The problem with Windows Mobile is the consumer side, not the business one.

i think the new winmo will fail, lets face it winmo holds a very low market share compared to android, webos and the iphone. why do they keep showing a photo of the winmo 6.5 & titanium interface? i thought this has a new UI? but as i said before balmer is good at polishing a turd. stick to what your good at microsoft, windows on the pc. and before anyone says im trolling, im not i used to own several winmo phones until i woke up and went android, ill never look back.

fixxxer2010 said,
i think the new winmo will fail, lets face it winmo holds a very low market share compared to android, webos and the iphone. why do they keep showing a photo of the winmo 6.5 & titanium interface? i thought this has a new UI? but as i said before balmer is good at polishing a turd. stick to what your good at microsoft, windows on the pc. and before anyone says im trolling, im not i used to own several winmo phones until i woke up and went android, ill never look back.

Really? Maybe fact chedk your reality a bit...
http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2009/12/16/iphone-leapfrogs-winmo-market-share/

It wasn't until just this last Oct 09 that the iPhone even caught up to WinMo.

WinMo is no where near the 'underdog' in the market, especially for high end users and business customers that DEMAND a WinMo phone for RDP and running company software while out in the field/ontheroad.

Additionally people forget that WinMo and the Base OS WinCE are used in far more thing that just phones. People would be surprised how many devices around their house are using WinCE from various routers to even appliances. And for the WinCE market to get overtaken by Google or Apple will probably not happen as they don't even target these markets.

fixxxer2010 said,
i think the new winmo will fail, lets face it winmo holds a very low market share compared to android, webos and the iphone. why do they keep showing a photo of the winmo 6.5 & titanium interface? i thought this has a new UI? but as i said before balmer is good at polishing a turd. stick to what your good at microsoft, windows on the pc. and before anyone says im trolling, im not i used to own several winmo phones until i woke up and went android, ill never look back.

Are you off the mark or what. The pic posted is on old one of WM6.5 that neowin is uses for now since no one knows what it looks like, or is under NDA, so don't go by that picture to mean anything.

As for market share, I'll give you the iPhone, but Android isn't there yet and seriously webos? Palm? PALM? Haven't you noticed yet that no one is actually buying the pre?

I think WM7 will be great.

GP007 said,

Are you off the mark or what. The pic posted is on old one of WM6.5 that neowin is uses for now since no one knows what it looks like, or is under NDA, so don't go by that picture to mean anything.

As for market share, I'll give you the iPhone, but Android isn't there yet and seriously webos? Palm? PALM? Haven't you noticed yet that no one is actually buying the pre?

I think WM7 will be great.


Really? No one is buying a Pre? Wheres your proof? I saw someone on Thursday with a Pre. Don't think they'd take to kindly to you calling them "no one" :P

Edited by SharpGreen, Feb 14 2010, 1:29am :

GP007 said,

Are you off the mark or what. The pic posted is on old one of WM6.5 that neowin is uses for now since no one knows what it looks like, or is under NDA, so don't go by that picture to mean anything.

As for market share, I'll give you the iPhone, but Android isn't there yet and seriously webos? Palm? PALM? Haven't you noticed yet that no one is actually buying the pre?

I think WM7 will be great.

android is going to dominate the market very soon, mark my words.

SharpGreen said,

Really? No one is buying a Pre? Wheres your proof? I saw someone on Thursday with a Pre. Don't think they'd take to kindly to you calling them "no one" :P

i owned both a pre and pixi and webos is not that great at all. it was a good idea but a failed launch. most of the palm apps are not free and they suck.

SharpGreen said,

Really? No one is buying a Pre? Wheres your proof? I saw someone on Thursday with a Pre. Don't think they'd take to kindly to you calling them "no one" :P

All you have to do is look up the market share news stories that have been posted here, or on other sites. At this point webOS and palm are dead last, and way back there. The breakdown is still RIM, iphone, WM, android, webos, others.

NienorGT said,
Limitations will be 3 calls by day :P

Lol, more like not being able to download the new apps designed for Windows Phone 7. I also hope they don't allow old apps to run on the new OS. No legacy crap, except for the business phones, so the consumer edition and marketplace will be reserved for modern app designs, for touch, the new phone capabilities, and silverlight!

Tiering a mobile OS is stupid. There is one edition of Android, iPhone OS, WebOS....

Microsoft has not changed. Why would they do this?

ObiWanToby said,
Tiering a mobile OS is stupid. There is one edition of Android, iPhone OS, WebOS....

Microsoft has not changed. Why would they do this?

Maybe this is why Android, iPhone OS, WebOS are all mostly ignored in the business market. As for Starter Edition, you will never ever see it. People like you have absolutely no concept of these types of editions. You just simply assume that this is just another box on the shelf to confuse people. What ignorance.

ObiWanToby said,
Tiering a mobile OS is stupid. There is one edition of Android, iPhone OS, WebOS....

Microsoft has not changed. Why would they do this?

DId you miss the whole thing about this being for emerging markets like China and India? I.E. they're talking about offering the old 6.x OS for cheap on low end devices that have no chance of meeting the hardware req MS has put forth for WM7 devices.

ObiWanToby said,
Tiering a mobile OS is stupid. There is one edition of Android, iPhone OS, WebOS....

Microsoft has not changed. Why would they do this?

Well businesses would buy from Microsoft, and the third-world countries would only be able to buy the Starter version, so as a consumer, there would only be one version you can buy.

Also it would scale up, so business users can run all the apps consumers can, but can build their own software not available from an app store, and I am sure the third-world starter phones would run the whole back catalogue of Windows Mobile 6 software

I think those devices have been ignored by corporations because of the lack of security features.

The iPhone has gotten better, and I think is acceptable. We use an exchange server at work, and tested the remote wipe. It made the phone unbootable (not fixable though), it was quite effective.

Clear-ActiveSyncDevice -Identity <Identity of the device>

I still think it is a mistake to tier the phones at all. If it were simply just a starter edition for emerging markets and a normal edition that'd be acceptable. If they continue to have a "professional" version of the OS on the phones that wiill be a mistake. All versions should be professional. Besides, I do not know why costs could be kept down for emerging markets while still providing the same level of experience. Doesn't Microsoft want everyone to get hooked?

ObiWanToby said,
Tiering a mobile OS is stupid. There is one edition of Android, iPhone OS, WebOS....

Microsoft has not changed. Why would they do this?


And iPhone OS could NEVER work on any other phone form factor. It can only work on a touchscreen brick handset. It has zero hardware versatility, and if Apple ever wanted to change that, they too would have to make a different version of their OS.

ObiWanToby said,
Tiering a mobile OS is stupid. There is one edition of Android, iPhone OS, WebOS....

Microsoft has not changed. Why would they do this?

So you think it's a good idea for MS to use the same interface on a candybar phone with a keypad and a small screen as a smartphone with a large touchscreen? It really seems like MS are damned if they do and damned if they don't. If they didn't provide a custom UI for different types of devices they'd be attacked for trying to shoehorn their one UI into devices that it doesn't belong on.

Anyway, why do you care if they provide an edition of their OS that's targeted to meeting the needs of the third world? It's not like you'll ever have to choose not to buy a phone running this OS.

Joshie said,

And iPhone OS could NEVER work on any other phone form factor. It can only work on a touchscreen brick handset. It has zero hardware versatility, and if Apple ever wanted to change that, they too would have to make a different version of their OS.

Why is that? Are you saying that Apple couldn't easily build in trackball or keyboard support if they wanted to make a different style phone? I think the fact that the iPad (which runs the iPhone OS) supports a keyboard accessory already proves you wrong there. The OS is based on OS X and I'd be willing to bet it would be trivial for Apple to add support for other types of input devices.

When you start from a stylus and keyboard centric OS like Windows Mobile, it's actually harder to scale that back to a touch-centric interface than to work the other way around.

Edited by roadwarrior, Feb 14 2010, 3:55pm : added extra comment

roadwarrior said,

Why is that? Are you saying that Apple couldn't easily build in trackball or keyboard support if they wanted to make a different style phone? I think the fact that the iPad (which runs the iPhone OS) supports a keyboard accessory already proves you wrong there. The OS is based on OS X and I'd be willing to bet it would be trivial for Apple to add support for other types of input devices.

When you start from a stylus and keyboard centric OS like Windows Mobile, it's actually harder to scale that back to a touch-centric interface than to work the other way around.

Apparently it's extremely easy. Windows Phone 6.5.3 says hello.

MS Pandya said,

Apparently it's extremely easy. Windows Phone 6.5.3 says hello.

Says hello with what? Lack of multitasking and flash support? Man, Microsoft really has to copy -everything-, don't they...

Serenity76 said,

Says hello with what? Lack of multitasking and flash support? Man, Microsoft really has to copy -everything-, don't they...

I think your getting your version numbers mixed up. 6.5.3 supports all that and more, what your talking about is a speculative rumor about winmo 7

This could be a good idea...

Windows Phone 7 Starter
Low cost, least feature, less powerful hardware...

Windows Phone 7
Consumer range, no multi-tasking, silverlight app development only, xna game development only, zune integration, no OEM customisation, no Enterprise functions

Windows Phone 7 Business
OEM customisable, licensed only to businesses, native app development possible, zune integration, and multi-tasking. Powerful handsets needed, and more expensive


This would be a way to cover all markets, and keep the simple Windows Phone 7 brand for the high-street and for consumers.

martinDTanderson said,
This could be a good idea...

Windows Phone 7 Starter
Low cost, least feature, less powerful hardware...

Windows Phone 7
Consumer range, no multi-tasking, silverlight app development only, xna game development only, zune integration, no OEM customisation, no Enterprise functions

Windows Phone 7 Business
OEM customisable, licensed only to businesses, native app development possible, zune integration, and multi-tasking. Powerful handsets needed, and more expensive


This would be a way to cover all markets, and keep the simple Windows Phone 7 brand for the high-street and for consumers.

This is just for the older WM6.x for cheap and way underpowered dvices, it should have nothing to do with WM7 itself.

No, it's a stupid idea. We don't need 5 differnet versions of every OS they make. They never fricken learn. JUST MAKE ONE. You are 5 years behind in the mobile space because of your complete lack of vision and leadership and now you decided to tackle more than one mobile OS?

Let's at least get one right first shall we?

Retards.

Ryanlm said,
No, it's a stupid idea. We don't need 5 differnet versions of every OS they make. They never fricken learn. JUST MAKE ONE. You are 5 years behind in the mobile space because of your complete lack of vision and leadership and now you decided to tackle more than one mobile OS?

Let's at least get one right first shall we?

Retards.


Let's put a bit more thought into it than comparing mobile phones to desktop computing, eh?

There are different kinds of phones, and different kinds of phone users. There have always been stripped down mobile OSes used by regular candybar, clamshell, and slider phones, and smartphones were fringe phones used by businesses. But with the explosion in texting's popularity, QWERTY/touchscreen phones are the direction mobile is taking, and OSes have to become more complex to match.

That doesn't mean every phone has to be at the level of sophistication of an iPhone.

We're going to have people who want voice/text/web, people who want apps/media, people who want customization, people who want a mobile office, and people in between. These different markets can be suited by different types of hardware, and a business doesn't need to distribute phones to its employees with 3D optimizations and powerful CPUs. Teenagers don't need Exchange syncing and grandma doesn't need an app store.

The smartphone OS approach is taking over mobile handsets, and Microsoft wants to put WinMo on the widest variety of phone types possible. By making specialized OSes, they can do this. You could never put iPhone OS on a smallscale slider or a Palm/Blackberry style QWERTY, but WinMo? No problem. It's called versatility, and specialized OS versions means it works out of the box for the user.

Your perspective might be a little more valid when it comes to desktop computing (though even there, you'd be shrugged off as ignoring the fact that this creates a cost hierarchy that makes desktop Windows profitable and affordable at the same time), but it's completely moot in the mobile arena, and I'm actually a little surprised anyone feels like you do in the first place. The reasoning behind multiple versions is sound and loaded with common sense.

Joshie said,

Let's put a bit more thought into it than comparing mobile phones to desktop computing, eh?

There are different kinds of phones, and different kinds of phone users. There have always been stripped down mobile OSes used by regular candybar, clamshell, and slider phones, and smartphones were fringe phones used by businesses. But with the explosion in texting's popularity, QWERTY/touchscreen phones are the direction mobile is taking, and OSes have to become more complex to match.

That doesn't mean every phone has to be at the level of sophistication of an iPhone.

We're going to have people who want voice/text/web, people who want apps/media, people who want customization, people who want a mobile office, and people in between. These different markets can be suited by different types of hardware, and a business doesn't need to distribute phones to its employees with 3D optimizations and powerful CPUs. Teenagers don't need Exchange syncing and grandma doesn't need an app store.

The smartphone OS approach is taking over mobile handsets, and Microsoft wants to put WinMo on the widest variety of phone types possible. By making specialized OSes, they can do this. You could never put iPhone OS on a smallscale slider or a Palm/Blackberry style QWERTY, but WinMo? No problem. It's called versatility, and specialized OS versions means it works out of the box for the user.

Your perspective might be a little more valid when it comes to desktop computing (though even there, you'd be shrugged off as ignoring the fact that this creates a cost hierarchy that makes desktop Windows profitable and affordable at the same time), but it's completely moot in the mobile arena, and I'm actually a little surprised anyone feels like you do in the first place. The reasoning behind multiple versions is sound and loaded with common sense.

His concern is valid for all devices, not only desktop computing. There is no need for multiple OS editions. Why can't they just make one edition for all devices? Why can't one OS work on different devices? Android seems to be working on everything - cell phones, smart phones, tablets, netbooks, etc. This is one situation when copying your competitor sounds like a good thing.

The OS should know what it can do with the given hardware. If the hardware can do 3D crap, then the OS should help you do 3D crap. If the hardware can do voice/text/web, then OS should help you do voice/text/web. If the hardware can do 32-bit color, then the OS should help you see 32-bit color. This is how you get maximum versatility.

If it cannot work with the given hardware, you have two options: 1. Provide regular OS updates with the drivers. 2. Throw that hardware and use compatible hardware. Option #2 is what most companies are doing because customers buy phones with contract directly from their phone service providers. I don't see people buying custom cell phones and loading their own custom hardware and OSes. So there is no need for multiple editions of the OS. You need just ONE OS and less confusion.

Why should I worry about what my device can or cannot do? I buy devices so that they will help me run applications. "People want customization" in terms of what applications they can run. See how simple that gets for customers, developers and cell phone providers?

The multiple OS edition thing is only good for making money. If making money is your only goal, and not providing a good user experience, then multiple OS editions sounds great. In the long term, you'd be ****ing off a lot of loyal customers.

Edited by Jebadiah, Feb 14 2010, 9:17am :

Joshie said,

Let's put a bit more thought into it than comparing mobile phones to desktop computing, eh?

Why do you assume I did not?

Joshie said,

There are different kinds of phones, and different kinds of phone users. There have always been stripped down mobile OSes used by regular candybar, clamshell, and slider phones, and smartphones were fringe phones used by businesses. But with the explosion in texting's popularity, QWERTY/touchscreen phones are the direction mobile is taking, and OSes have to become more complex to match.

Phones range in complexity, so do PCs, that doesn't mean I need a completely different codebase for each type of phone. The reality is that an OS should scale, and it is 2010, the tech required to power a decent OS is widespread and cheap.

Joshie said,

That doesn't mean every phone has to be at the level of sophistication of an iPhone.

TVs dont need to be color either, however there comes a point when its just silly not to have it, phones are there today.

Joshie said,

We're going to have people who want voice/text/web, people who want apps/media, people who want customization, people who want a mobile office, and people in between. These different markets can be suited by different types of hardware, and a business doesn't need to distribute phones to its employees with 3D optimizations and powerful CPUs. Teenagers don't need Exchange syncing and grandma doesn't need an app store.

Who the hell are you to tell people "What they need?". My company has roughly 100 people and half do have iPhones. The rest have t-mobile dashes (and usually hate them) but they have to pay extra as the company is with t-mobile, not AT&T. Oddly most people are willing to pay the premium to use a real phone, not that other crap that crashes, freezes, and has a UI (both on screen and physical) that really was a complete afterthought.

This is just greed, pure and simple. Just like Windows on PC, the only versions we actually need are Desktop and Server - thats it. We do not need 10 different versions - its just greed. Its the same bits in the box, just functionality disabled unless you fork over more cash. MS should realize their competition keeps it easy for the consumer, and that for that ease they are willing to fork over the cash. Oddly enough the one version of OSX costs less than the home version of windows. Odd.

Joshie said,

The smartphone OS approach is taking over mobile handsets, and Microsoft wants to put WinMo on the widest variety of phone types possible. By making specialized OSes, they can do this. You could never put iPhone OS on a smallscale slider or a Palm/Blackberry style QWERTY, but WinMo? No problem. It's called versatility, and specialized OS versions means it works out of the box for the user.

How do you know how far the iPhone OS can scale? Considering it is based on OSX a full desktop OS that is scaled down. Could Windows 7 ever scale down to a phone level like OSX?

Why the hell couldn't you put OSX on a Palm QWERTY? If I remember right they use the same CPU. Stop making excuses for bad engineering. Linux can scale, OSX can scale, Windows - seems to have issues in this department. WinMo 6.5 has rarely worked out of the box, thank god they have that wonderful reset pin hole on the bottom.

Joshie said,

Your perspective might be a little more valid when it comes to desktop computing (though even there, you'd be shrugged off as ignoring the fact that this creates a cost hierarchy that makes desktop Windows profitable and affordable at the same time), but it's completely moot in the mobile arena, and I'm actually a little surprised anyone feels like you do in the first place. The reasoning behind multiple versions is sound and loaded with common sense.

It is valid for both. Cost hierarchy that makes windows profitable for MS and affordable for us? Explain to me why the basic version of windows 7, or the upgrade version of windows is more expensive then any other desktop OS on the planet respectively. Oh, I know, GREED. It is not easier for the user to compare versions of OS and find out what features I "really need", its 2010, aren't we past this nonsense? Now, all versions are on one freaking disk, which again means, its not a cost saving measure, its just pure greed.

Let me sum this up for you. The people that do not want touch screens, or cant handle more than making a phone call or a text, and that never touch a computer - Nokia, Sony, and the rest have them covered with their free dumb phones - they have no use for any version of windows phone AT ALL, nor Apple, nor Palm. These are people that literally just want a phone to be a phone. There is no in-between, you either want a phone, or you want a mini computer. The logic of making a candybar phone with WinMo is stupid if all you are going to do is make calls, that has been figured out and works without constantly crashing.

So where is the market? The market is for people 35 and under that actually want this stuff. I have an iPhone, I love it, but at the same time, I hate the rules I have to live by with it. I do not like that I have to use that crappy iTunes software, I do not like that my Zune subscription is useless with it, I do not like that I cant move a file to it, I do not like that I cant really customize it, I do not like that I can simply have a file explorer, or install any app I happen to find on the internet. I DO NOT LIKE ATT.

However it sounds from the data that leaked that MS is just copying the iPhone model, and not improving it.

Ryanlm said,
No, it's a stupid idea. We don't need 5 differnet versions of every OS they make. They never fricken learn. JUST MAKE ONE. You are 5 years behind in the mobile space because of your complete lack of vision and leadership and now you decided to tackle more than one mobile OS?

Let's at least get one right first shall we?

Retards.

So tell me, what are these "5" versions of the OS? I've only heard of two versions for Windows Phone 7 Series. Windows Mobile Starter is not a different version of the OS, but a different OS altogether. Why should it matter to you if Windows Mobile Starter exists? I don't know where you live, but I highly doubt you live in one of those "emerging" markets where Starter is indicated towards. So you shouldn't have to make a big deal about that.

Also, one size doesn't necessarily fit all. Sure, it would be a wonderful world if there was this ultimate smartphone OS that catered to everyone. However, there isn't. Having the most premium features available, comes at a higher cost that not everyone feels they need and should have to pay for. Business users mostly have different needs for their phones, compared to your average joe.

Most likely, I'm thinking you're the person that will buy the "average joe" version, and not care about any specific business features in the other version. Main point is, if you feel you've got to have it all, pick the version where you have it all. I feel that a fair amount of options, and not one or too many, gives enough choice for almost everyone.

Edited by Quikboy, Feb 19 2010, 6:58am :