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Mango, the future of Windows phone

Discussion in 'Tech, Gadgets & Science Forum' started by Dingswayo, May 26, 2011.

  1. Dingswayo

    Dingswayo JF-Expert Member

    #1
    May 26, 2011
    Joined: May 26, 2009
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    Mango, the future of Windows phone | Futurespace Magazine

    I’ve never been a fan of Microsoft’s mobile phone software, but having played with Mango, the next version of Windows Phone, I confess to being somewhat impressed. My reaction to the first version, which I used for a week when it was launched late last year, was that “it might be nice when it’s finished”. Today, it looks like becoming a contender. Mango — which will be available free for existing Windows Phones — is not going to knock the iPhone off its perch, but it looks like a good upgrade for Nokia feature phones, and they sell hundreds of millions.

    Mango also looks a good buy if you are a Microsoft user. It’s the only mobile that plumbs straight into Bing, Hotmail, Microsoft Messenger, Xbox Live gaming, Zune music, the online Office 365, OneNote, SharePoint Server, and 25GB of free online storage in SkyDrive. Those properties have more than 500 million users, so the main question is whether Microsoft can capitalise on its user base the way Google is doing with Android.

    Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer said Mango had more than 500 new features, but only a handful are important. One is the use of the IE9, which provides desktop-quality browsing, though other phones will no doubt catch up in due course. Another is the integrated messaging, where your familiar “conversation” screen includes not just SMS texts, or Windows Live Messenger messages, or Facebook messages but all three. You can hold a cross-platform conversion and Mango threads them together beautifully. As a bonus, you can create a group of friends or work colleagues, BlackBerry style, and message the whole group. There’s also a “new multitasking experience” where you can flick through screens and continue paused third-party apps and games where you left off.

    Mango is designed for social networking, and it includes new apps for Twitter and LinkedIn, but Skype could turn out to be the most important. Microsoft liked it so much it’s buying the company. If you have a Wi-Fi connection, you can use Skype to make local or international calls as you would on a desktop PC. This could be a huge money-saver.

    At the VIP preview in London, Microsoft’s Achim Berg, corporate vice president of Windows Phone marketing, trumpeted the fact that there were now more than 18,000 apps “and we are about to overtake RIM!” Microsoft still has a long way to go, but most people will probably be able to get most of the apps they want, including Angry Birds. Also, Mango apps tend to look nicer than Android apps, which is presumably due to Microsoft’s superior development tools. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll work better, but the smartphone market seems particularly susceptible to appearances.

    Berg also announced that Windows Phone now had four new handset manufacturers in Acer, Fujitsu, Nokia and the cut-price Chinese supplier ZTE. It also had more than 50 operators, he said, including Brazil, Japan and South Korea. Nokia is, of course, the most important. The Finnish company is in relative decline at the moment, but it is still the world’s largest phone manufacturer. It may be weak in the US, but it’s a big brand in Europe and a huge brand in developing countries such as China and India. In fact, Nokia is generally strong where Apple is weak, so the battle for global market share is not necessarily over.

    Nokia plans to enter the market with phones based on Mango later this year. Its brand power and exceptional hardware skills could turn Windows Phone into a success after what has been a somewhat lacklustre start.

    I suspect it will be tough going, for two reasons. First, the “glanceable” tile- and hub-based Metro interface really is innovative, it’s not just a decade-old icon paradigm rejigged for touch operation. “Really innovative” means unfamiliar, though it is easy to use if you jump in. Second, Mango gets better the more you use it, and your phone becomes populated with contacts, photos, music files, messages, documents and so on. Mango’s integration isn’t visible when there’s nothing to integrate, and “glanceability” has little appeal when there’s nothing to glance at.

    Either way, Microsoft is clearly committed to the Windows Phone market for strategic reasons. Which is just as well, because it looks a very long way from making any money out of it.
     
  2. Mtazamaji

    Mtazamaji JF-Expert Member

    #2
    May 26, 2011
    Joined: Feb 29, 2008
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    Kwa Kutumia mbinu za marehemu sheikh Yahya ( RIP) Plus kikombe cha babu samunje natabiri Next Move by Microsoft itakuwa kuinunua Nokia. Probably within next five years.

    Then the battle field itakuwa Mac and Iphone Vs Windows and Nokia.
     
  3. Dingswayo

    Dingswayo JF-Expert Member

    #3
    May 26, 2011
    Joined: May 26, 2009
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    A report by a Russian blogger with good sources inside Nokia has prompted rumors that Microsoft is looking to buy the Finnish giant‘s phone business.The blogger, Edlar Murtazin, has a good track record: he predicted the Microsoft-Nokia partnership as long ago as December. Now he says that next week, Nokia will begin talks about the sales of the unit to Microsoft. The deal could close before the end of 2011. "Both companies are in a big hurry," he writes (in Russian).
    Microsoft and Nokia entered an alliance in February that makes Windows Phone 7 Nokia's primary smartphone platform. That deal also includes crossovers for Microsoft products like Xbox Live, Office and Bing. A few days previously, a leaked memo from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was made public. The memo referred to Nokia as "standing on a burning platform" amid competition from Google and Apple.
    So does the Russian blogger's rumor have a ring of truth to it? Here's why it might make business sense for Microsoft to pick up Nokia's phone business:

    • Microsoft has the cash. The company currently has about $32.6 billion in tangible assets. Nokia's entire market cap is $32 billion.
    • It would make sense in light of the Skype acquisition - allowing Microsoft to sell a complete mobile Skype handset solution. Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group believes a Microsoft/Nokia combo could provide an alternative to standard telecoms, especially around the world. Even in the U.S., where Nokia isn't as strong, Enderle says there is room for competition to the country's vanishingly small number of telecom carriers. But offering a Skype mobile solution in the U.S. would probably require Microsoft to buy or work out some kind of deal with an existing carrier.
    • It would immediately make Microsoft a major player in mobile manufacturing and distribution. Enderle notes that Nokia's ecosystem is "second to none in terms of global coverage."
    Here's why such a deal wouldn't make sense.

    • It would wipe out Nokia. Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon says it would be akin to ending the company. Nokia's most recent filings peg the share of its Devices & Services unit at 68.2%. The rest of the revenues come from Navteq and Nokia Siemens Networks, meaning Nokia's entire business would be reduced to digital mapping software and a joint venture with Siemens on telecom services. (Nokia bought Navteq only four years ago).
    • Microsoft's track record with handsets is poor. The company already tried its hand at cellphone manufacturing with the $500 million purchase of Danger in 2008. Danger, which made the then-popular Sidekick phone, failed to reverse Microsoft's fortunes in the mobile segment.
    • It would go against Microsoft's philosophy. Competing hardware manufacturers would likely have less interest in using the Windows 7 platform. That might turn it into a closed system, like Apple's. Microsoft has made its fortune using a different model, where it provides software and lets its partners worry about the hardware.
    In a situation where Microsoft is failing to get a piece of a growing segment like mobile phones, does it make sense to double down? Entner thinks such a move would be crazy. "Microsoft is a very good software company," says Entner. "But ultimately, they're not a phone company." True enough - but before Xbox, Microsoft wasn't a gaming console company, either.
    What do you think? Would this make sense for either Microsoft or Nokia?
     
  4. Dingswayo

    Dingswayo JF-Expert Member

    #4
    May 26, 2011
    Joined: May 26, 2009
    Messages: 3,974
    Likes Received: 13
    Trophy Points: 145
    A report by a Russian blogger with good sources inside Nokia has prompted rumors that Microsoft is looking to buy the Finnish giant‘s phone business.The blogger, Edlar Murtazin, has a good track record: he predicted the Microsoft-Nokia partnership as long ago as December. Now he says that next week, Nokia will begin talks about the sales of the unit to Microsoft. The deal could close before the end of 2011. “Both companies are in a big hurry,” he writes (in Russian).
    Microsoft and Nokia entered an alliance in February that makes Windows Phone 7 Nokia’s primary smartphone platform. That deal also includes crossovers for Microsoft products like Xbox Live, Office and Bing. A few days previously, a leaked memo from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was made public. The memo referred to Nokia as “standing on a burning platform” amid competition from Google and Apple.
    So does the Russian blogger’s rumor have a ring of truth to it? Here’s why it might make business sense for Microsoft to pick up Nokia’s phone business:

    • Microsoft has the cash. The company currently has about $32.6 billion in tangible assets. Nokia’s entire market cap is $32 billion.
    • It would make sense in light of the Skype acquisition — allowing Microsoft to sell a complete mobile Skype handset solution. Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group believes a Microsoft/Nokia combo could provide an alternative to standard telecoms, especially around the world. Even in the U.S., where Nokia isn’t as strong, Enderle says there is room for competition to the country’s vanishingly small number of telecom carriers. But offering a Skype mobile solution in the U.S. would probably require Microsoft to buy or work out some kind of deal with an existing carrier.
    • It would immediately make Microsoft a major player in mobile manufacturing and distribution. Enderle notes that Nokia’s ecosystem is “second to none in terms of global coverage.”
    Here’s why such a deal wouldn’t make sense.

    • It would wipe out Nokia. Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon says it would be akin to ending the company. Nokia’s most recent filings peg the share of its Devices & Services unit at 68.2%. The rest of the revenues come from Navteq and Nokia Siemens Networks, meaning Nokia’s entire business would be reduced to digital mapping software and a joint venture with Siemens on telecom services. (Nokia bought Navteq only four years ago).
    • Microsoft’s track record with handsets is poor. The company already tried its hand at cellphone manufacturing with the $500 million purchase of Danger in 2008. Danger, which made the then-popular Sidekick phone, failed to reverse Microsoft’s fortunes in the mobile segment.
    • It would go against Microsoft’s philosophy. Competing hardware manufacturers would likely have less interest in using the Windows 7 platform. That might turn it into a closed system, like Apple’s. Microsoft has made its fortune using a different model, where it provides software and lets its partners worry about the hardware.
    In a situation where Microsoft is failing to get a piece of a growing segment like mobile phones, does it make sense to double down? Entner thinks such a move would be crazy. “Microsoft is a very good software company,” says Entner. “But ultimately, they’re not a phone company.” True enough — but before Xbox, Microsoft wasn’t a gaming console company, either.
    What do you think? Would this make sense for either Microsoft or Nokia?
     
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