A different take on the Windows Phone 8 announcement

I must be the only person left on the planet who doesn’t care about compute power on my phone.

I’m still using an old Nokia “dumb” flip phone, for two reasons: a) it works and b) the battery lasts 3-5 days. If you think reason a) is a bit trite, let me tell you about the two different acquaintances who managed to delete the phone app from their android devices…
However, for a variety of reasons, I’m thinking maybe it’s time to join the smart phone revolution.

This isn’t a smartphone comparison, but let me just say a couple of things. iOS devices are just sufficiently off-key in a Windows environment, particularly a non-Exchange Outlook environment, to rule them out. The sync setup just gets too screwy too easily. And heaven help you if a “helpful” friend enables iCloud (don’t ask me how I know). On the Android side, two different family members (no, not the ones who deleted their phone apps) have had their handsets just steadily degrade in the most uncanny imitation of Windows 95 bit-rot. Plus, for me, the Android UI just doesn’t quite gel.

So what about Windows Phone? The UI looks good, the sync situation (according to the docs) is at least sane, but best of all, these guys have a sensible power draw. Single core, limited resolution, 3G only – it all adds up to just possibly minimum bearable battery life.

Then, yesterday – the WP8 announcement. Windows phones are about to turn into multi-core, high-res, 4G power hogs. Sure, process improvements will claw back some of the losses, but man, what I wouldn’t give for an extra day of battery life instead. Don’t get me wrong, I like compute power – that’s why I have a giant desktop rig and a fire-breathing Clevo laptop. But on my phone, I want to be able to make phone calls, and preferably for more than just a few hours.

So I’m going to hoof it down to the phone shop and snap up a WP7 Lumia while I still can. And keep the old flip-phone handy just in case.

3 thoughts on “A different take on the Windows Phone 8 announcement

  1. The battery life is not a big deal if you just get used to charging your every night when you go to bed. No harm there, rigth? You’re not using it when you sleep anyway, so plug it in and in the morning you’re ready for the next day. The majority of Android/iOS phones will last you a full day, at least.

    Before you jump on the Windows phone bandwagon, take a look at their market share decline. Over the last several years Windows Phone’s market share has dropped every quarter. Yes it could turn around, but everybody thought Nokia was going to save them, and now Nokia is laying off 10,000 people and their stock is rated as “junk”. If you buy a Windows phone, you might be stuck with a dead product in a year or two (like what happened to Palm/WebOS fans).

  2. @Jake, thanks for the thought provoking comment – what you say makes sense. But as someone who could do with about 50 fewer things to remember to organise each day, what I’d really like is a phone that I can recharge once a week. If I can’t have that, at the very least one that will forgive me for forgetting to recharge one night.

    As for the dead product, two comments. Firstly, does it matter? I don’t know anyone who still has the phone they had two years ago, other than myself (and btw, I am still using my Palm, so “dead” is relative). And secondly, I don’t think Microsoft is going to lose this one in the long term. Totally unfounded gut feeling, but my call would be that MS’s strategy has legs and that Apple and Google are going to run out of puff. For the first time in a long time, I’m looking at MS and thinking, “that’s what Apple should have done”.

  3. If you’re like me you will have invested money in apps, and if nothing else time to learn and customize your experience. When you get a new phone later, you can bring most of that with you. I have a friend that bought an iPhone even though he’s not an Apple fanboy. He told me that he just wanted to try it, and he could always switch later if he wants. It’s now a few months later and he’s pretty heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem. He says he’d like to switch now but he can’t because he’d be starting over. It’s not the end of the world to start over, but it is a pain.

    As far as Microsoft’s strategy, industry analysts have been saying for the last 2 years that Microsoft’s phone (primarily the interface) is better than anything else on the market. What good has that done them? As I said before, they have continued to slide down hill. Microsoft is trying to copy Apple’s success, but the big (and most important) thing they are missing is genius advertising. That and the cult like following that Apple has. Microsoft’s Windows Phone ads have been weak at best, and at times embarrassing. History has proved time and time again that the best product does not usually win, it’s the product that has the best marketing.

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