10 thoughts on “Finally

  1. Windows Phone was a botch and it just didn’t have to be. Microsoft had just acquired Nokia at that point in time and Symbian was a pretty good operating system. But Microsoft were idiots – they didn’t think they could control Symbian. I remember Symbian. It cost a ton to get in the door as a developer and there were incompatibilities between the various mobo firms, but if Microsoft had grabbed Nokia and pushed Nokia’s version of Symbian, they would have been able to control Symbian itself – and we wouldn’t be looking at Android, which is still a crappy phone OS, as anyone knows who has to develop on it.

    Microsoft could have extended their server functionality to support the heavy lifting, leaving the phones to do the rendering. But then… Microsoft was in the middle of an existential crisis at that point and Ballmer didn’t have a clue.

  2. Ballmer dropped the ball, for sure.

    Windows Mobile is a decent OS now – but the initial versions that were terrifyingly incompatible with each other, was pretty off-putting to developers. Not being able to build for different version of the OS with the same tool and same code base was a show stopper.

    Android has come a long way since the days of Symbian, though – and Symbian was fairly stagnant in the hands of Nokia at the time that they went tits up.

  3. Lars Fosdal Oh WM was horrid! And Nokia was also going insane around that period of time, I suppose you remember that.

    Symbian was being pulled this way and that by the various mobo makers, much as Unix had been back in the day. Not sure how old you are, but I suspect you know about all that – then came Linux and BSD, to make it all work effectively.

    But Nokia had the lion’s share of the Symbian market. MSFT could have controlled it by control of its version of the apps. Fujitsu and other would have been forced to go along with MSFT if they wanted a share of that market. They’d have jumped at the chance.

    Symbian had been around for a decade. They had sufficient market share, a pretty good stack, albeit clunky development tools, which MSFT could have instantly fixed. See, Symbian was a microkernel-plus-drivers. Pretty much everything else was a service. If anything, the later versions of Symbian were worse than the earlier versions: it got bigger, more real-time, a good deal of needless overhead…..

    Well, it’s gone now. Nobody’s gonna miss it, either. It started out as a beautifully designed OS, minimal as hell, everything was a callback….

  4. Alan Peto Oh I dunno. Everything improves if it survives long enough. Every single aspect of Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia was a botch. Between Ballmer and Stephen Elop ( who had singlehandedly ruined one of the world’s strongest brands ), they managed to destroy something like 8 bn USD worth of value. God alone knows what the Nokia brand was really worth. And now it’s all being thrown in the dumpster.

  5. Alan Peto … I have some serious issues with the technical leadership and the entire herd of cats at MSFT. They screwed everyone who’d ever written an app for Windows Mobile.

    Symbian was a manifestly more appropriate operating system for what they were trying to achieve than Windows Phone.

    If they had just gotten Outlook to work on Symbian, the rest would have taken care of itself over time.

    Now we’ve got Android ‘n iOS ‘n maybe the Russians will resurrect Sailfish. We’ll see. Satya Nadella seems to understand he’s going to have to make peace with all the developers Microsoft have offended over the years.

  6. VS 2017.3 works very well with RPi3 and Rasbian, both for C++ and Python, which shows that MS really is embracing multiple platforms these days. And then there is the Linux version of SQL Server.

  7. I still think it is sad that the “your phone is also your desktop computer” model didn’t convince corporations to adopt WM10. For many, it would have been good enough. No more lugging laptops around. Just light clients and RDP to virtual workstations, hosted centrally in the organization or in the cloud.