03.01.10

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Windows Mobile is Dying as More Major Developers Officially Abandon

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, UNIX at 3:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Windows with Free Software

Summary: Linux and UNIX emerge as victors because they grow most rapidly while Microsoft’s Windows continues to sink and prominent developers like Skype and Adobe move on

POOR WINDOWS Mobile. Its market share is said to have fallen by about 30% in just one single year, so it could almost be seen as a dying breed. According to this, Windows fell behind Apple’s OS in terms of market share (it depends on how it’s measured, e.g. total number of phones ever sold, total number of active phones, sales per year, etc.) and another report confirms that UNIX and Linux are gaining the most (this agrees with other surveys):

Android and Apple’s iPhone OS were the fastest-growing smartphone platforms in 2009, with sales of the iPhone OS overtaking those of Windows Mobile, research company Gartner said Tuesday. Symbian and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry still lead the market, it said.

Take these numbers with a large grain of salt for reasons that we mentioned earlier.

One author has published this: “Dear Microsoft: Please Give Up on Mobile”

Dear Steve Ballmer, I believe it’s time to give up development of a mobile operating system. With all due respect to the multi-billion dollar empire you’re entrusted with running, the simple truth is that Microsoft is quite bad at developing user interfaces that are friendly and intuitive. Windows 7 is an improvement, but you’re far from being out of the woods. What’s more, it appears that your guidance, Mr. Ballmer, might be making the problem worse, especially if the things you said recently about your instructions to Windows Phone developers were true.

The publication known as Business Insider shows “CHARTS OF THE WEEK: The Collapse Of Microsoft’s Mobile Business”

The stagnation at best and unstoppable rapid demise at worst has led Skype to dropping support for Windows Mobile.

Ok, ok. Don’t freak out–it looks like this is just a step towards supporting the new Microsoft mobile operating system and not a move showing Skype is quiting MS-based phones altogether. Skype has pulled their app for Window Mobile, meaning new users will not be able to download it. Users with the software already installed will still be able to use it. According to GigaOm, it appears the reasons are that the software never quite achieved the best possible consistent user experience and Skype has grown tired of supporting it when they could be focusing on making a killer app for the Windows Phone 7 operating system.

But there is “No Word of Return,” according to IDG. The Microsoft boosters clearly describe this as a “blow” and Microsoft Watcher Joe Wilcox says that it’s not just Skype but also Adobe (amongst others because Windows Mobile is being abandoned by developers, which is hugely problematic without inertia [1, 2]).

More software developers should follow the lead of Adobe and Skype, which have abandoned Windows Mobile — what Microsoft now calls Windows Phone Classic.

Windows Phone Classic is a joke, it’s a relic. For those who wonder what it really becomes, it’s just crippleware to poor people, which Microsoft will call “Windows Phone 6 Starter” [1, 2, 3]. It’s an attempt to make something out of bad code. Microsoft says that it targets “emerging markets”, which is a very insulting term for poor people to whom Microsoft will throw an antiquated version of Windows Mobile (as though they don’t deserve something modern, which costs nothing to replicate anyway). Microsoft used exactly the same tricks with Vista 7, which is why sub-notebooks with Windows are so repellent. One can’t even change the wallpaper. “Are you kidding me Microsoft,” says one of their fans, “Why confuse with Windows Phone Starter Edition?”

Doesn’t Microsoft think there is enough confusion with Starter Edition in Windows? Why bring this to the smartphone world where you need to get out a simple and memorable brand and experience to the consumer? What about the Classic Edition we heard about, is that for real too?

The Consumerist wonders if Microsoft has completely lost it and will therefore try buying BlackBerry instead (RIM)*. The Consumerist is not alone here [1, 2, 3, 4]. The BlackBerry is almost purely proprietary (like Microsoft wants it to be) and while it recently adopted Webkit, IE6 is being phased out, which is problematic to Windows Mobile.

HTC is one of Microsoft’s biggest Windows Mobile partners and HTC is turning to Linux. Ouch. Microsoft must hate this.

The Google Nexus One is no longer the king of the Android hill anymore. The HTC Desire, unveiled Tuesday, is the latest must-have Android phone. The handset is basically a Nexus One on steroids and is sure to put a pit in the stomach of any new Android owner who thought their phone was the coolest.

The recent Internet Explorer attacks on Google in China [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12] shed some doubt here.

Looking at Apple’s side for a moment, there is a big blunder there in China. To name it in an almost-chronological order:

Apple: Underage Workers May Have Built Your iPhone

That iPhone you adore may have been built by a child.

Apple admits using child labour

At least eleven 15-year-old children were discovered to be working last year in three factories which supply Apple.

The company did not name the offending factories, or say where they were based, but the majority of its goods are assembled in China.

Apple cites suppliers for violations

The supplier code of conduct and the site audits are intended to protect workers’ rights and to improve factory conditions.

Apple did not identify any suppliers by name or the countries in which the infractions took place.

To be fair, almost all phones are made in these factories, not just Apple’s. But how’s this for sweet irony:

Irony at it’s finest: Microsoft giving away Macbook Pro’s as rewards. Icicles to jut from the ground in 3..2..

Microsoft wants to give you a MacBook Pro

Microsoft promotes Office by giving away… MacBooks

Microsoft Office Promotion: Free ‘Apple Macbook Pro’ giveaways

At the same time, Apple publicly slams Microsoft for imitating Apple poorly, as it did a lot back in the 80s and is still doing to this date.

Apple chief financial officer Tim Cook took shots at Microsoft’s retail stores today in his presentation at Goldman-Sachs’ Technology & Internet Conference. The executive indirectly accused Microsoft of being afraid to actually launch a real retail effort and said Apple’s original plan in 2001 was a commitment to selling products to customers, not just a vehicle for an experience.

Apple retail is “not a pilot, not a test,” Cook said, referring to Microsoft’s decision to limit its initial plans to just one store each in Arizona and California.

Here are some new statistics which, if true, are rather striking.

According to AdMob, nearly three-quarters of Android users are male. That’s not to say you have to be a dude in order to qualify as an Android fanboy, of course — but the fellas sure do hold a sizable majority in Google’s court.

iPhone users, in comparison, are pretty close to evenly divided when it comes to gender. A full forty-three percent of Apple fanatics are female, AdMob finds. Palm’s webOS is a similarly balanced story, with 42 percent of its user base waving the woman card.

All sorts of things can be inferred from it, but we leave it for readers to decide.
_____
* There were similar rumours about the troubled Palm, but although WebOS is proprietary, there is Linux in there, which Microsoft is allergic to.

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3 Comments

  1. dyfet said,

    March 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Somewhat related to this, the clearance racks at many local stores here are now flooded with Zune’s for sale at any price that can get rid of their remaining inventory, and for those few unfortunates who have purchased one of them, no stores around here stock Zune cards anymore. I like to think we are a Zune-free zone now ;).

    Microsoft Windows Mobile 7, which I gathered, is claimed will include Zune “functionality” and some Xbox things (another great success story there…), if it “rises from the grave”, so to speak, may be a truly zombie product, as a combination of all these dead and failed Microsoft products in one. A true pile of rotting flesh that does not understand it is dead…

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm

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    Microsoft has attempted 3 entrances into the music arena so far. All failed. Remember Allchin’s “we were smoked” memo about Apple.

  3. NotZed said,

    March 1, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Gravatar

    “Skype has pulled their app for Window Mobile, meaning new users will not be able to download it.”

    Oh dear. Well I guess it couldn’t have happened to a more appropriate bunch – this sort of silly situation cannot happen with free software – software that is written and working (no matter how badly) being pulled at the vendors discretion. Everyone using it should realise this could happen at any time to their platform …

    Not that there aren’t many other reasons to avoid it, but here’s another one.

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