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View Full Version : Rumour: No Windows Mobile 2003 Update for Motorola MPx200?


Jason Dunn
01-06-2004, 05:30 PM
I saw this posted by James Rainey in the Smartphone newsgroup yesterday, and this post has started quite a fierce discussion there. This is a rumour, and should be treated as such, but to be honest it doesn't surprise me all that much - it's hard enough getting Pocket PC OEMs to offer upgrades, but when it comes to phones that are even more of a commodity, and often sold at a loss to the carrier, the thought of users keeping their phone for several years versus buying a new one probably isn't very appealing to the carriers.That said, in the message below you'll see that the tech from Motorola is saying that the reason Motorola isn't releasing patches is because Microsoft has switched over to Smartphone 2003. I think this is misdirection to some extent: Motorola chose to bring a previous-generation OS product to the market while other phones were shipping with Windows Mobile 2003. It would be like Dell shipping a computer with Windows 2000 - it would have a shortened shelf life right out of the gate. Now it may be accurate that there isn't a newer 2002 build than what Motorola has, and that 2002 bugs aren't being fixed in favour of 2003 development and bug fixing. This presents an interesting scenario: does Microsoft have the obligation to provide fixes for an "old" OS when they're focusing on developing a new one? For comparison, when Microsoft started shipping Windows XP, Windows 2000 security patches and bug fixes continue to flow. Microsoft knows they can't simply stop supporting Windows 2000, because so many customers out there have it. But it seems they're taking that approach with Smartphone 2002 doesn't it? I don't think Motorola has much say in this - if AT&amp;T wanted Microsoft to provide fixes, Microsoft probably would. Or would Microsoft just say "The fix is Smartphone 2003"? Possibly. :wink:Ultimately, if no Windows Mobile 2003 upgrade is offered by AT&amp;T, it will be their call, not Microsoft's. Smartphones are built on flash ROM, which means the entire OS can be updated easily. AT&amp;T may look at the cost to profit ratio of offering an upgrade and simply say "It's not worth it - we want people to buy new phones from us". Harsh, but true - we're all at the mercy of the carriers here.At any rate, here's the message:<i>"I've just spoken to Mike (I.D. # 80206 / 877-331-6456 ext 2237) at 2nd Level Support for Motorola. He confirmed that Motorola has made a decision NOT to patch existing or known issues with this phone. Below is the physical address we can write to for complaints.Motorola Executive Complaints1307 Algonquin Rd.Schaumberg, IL. 60196WHY aren't they addressing this? Because SmartPhone 2002 development has stopped since 2003 is now the defacto standard by Microsoft. Motorola suggested people write to complain. This is disgusting. The MPx220 which he indicated comes out in Februaryfixes these issues with SmartPhone 2003 but the phone is heavier, has acamera (which I DON'T want) and has an external antenna (which I DON'Twant)."</i>

trachy
01-06-2004, 05:36 PM
Well, that and the fact the Amazon is no longer selling it for free (with rebates), makes me think I'll continue to wait. At least the MPx220 rumors are still out there. I could do without the camera and external antenna in exchange for WM2003 and BT though.

Berylium
01-06-2004, 07:19 PM
Jason,

One flaw in your Windows XP / Windows 2000 analogy is that while Microsoft supports Windows 2000 even with Windows XP and 2003 released users must purchase XP and 2003. If people have to pay for your product you should support it. Microsoft gives Smartphone 2003 to carriers with the intention that the carriers will then give the OS to us. If you were given Windows 2003 would you care that Windows 2000 wasn't supported anymore? Obviously, a smartphone OS and a server OS are a little different, some people in the previous situation may stick with 2000 just because it's a known entity. I don't think anyone with Smartphone 2002 would stick with it if Smartphone 2003 were provided (as it should be) from the carriers.

-Berylium

Luzerman
01-06-2004, 07:47 PM
There is a difference between the WMPPC/PPCPE and WMSP devices and a desktop. The HHCs are appliances. How often do you update the software on your Heating/AC controller? How often do you update the software in your car? your radio? TV? VCR? DVD player?

These devices are meant to be sold and forgotten or at least only repaired when something physically breaks. With the low/no margins on many of the PPC/SP devices it makes no sense for most companies to put the development money into supporting a new OS after the device has already been released.

possmann
01-06-2004, 08:35 PM
I really donít think that MS is obligated to provide free support or updates as this OS is not really a desktop OS, has a much smaller audience and in degrees of criticality and severity, is probably far lower than the servers and desktops that people use day to day. The issue comes down to money though Ė right? Is it worth MSís time and money to dedicate resources to develop patches for last yearís OS Ė then after they develop the patch, the OEM still needs to dedicate time and resources (money) to test, apply and provide that patch to itís phones. Nope, I donít see that happening, nor would I be miffed about it not happening in the near future. Now I can understand the reason for doing this with the TabletPC and PocketPC as their use and distribution far exceeds the Smartphone OS world and just makes better business sense.
As far as the rumors of the 220 Ė it is coming. As to the date? I would love to see it be February, but Iím not holding my breath! Camera and antenna I could also do without, but is that is what I have to sacrifice in order to get Bluetooth and the 2003 OS Ė so be it.

ShivShanks
01-06-2004, 08:35 PM
Muwhahahahaha ... I told you folks here before not to fall for the first generation devices ... This is what happens if you live on the bleeding edge.

But seriously, I wonder why Microsoft isn't weighing in on this one? After all the MPx200 is their flagship device so far in the US and the first installed base of substance. It behooves them to make sure that such users are upgraded to the latest even if it means some serious prodding of slow moving behemoths like AT&T and Motorola. After all Microsoft is trying to promote .Net CF for programming for its mobile devices and only WM2003 has the .Net CF. So why wouldn't MS want to increase the pool of devices instead of fragmenting it into ones with .Net and ones without. Also it seems quite a few of MS employees have bought the MPx200 so why shouldn't MS do their best to provide a good experience to the early adopters. It would be serious mistake to alienate such users. The PPC folks still haven't forgiven Toshiba for doing some of the same no upgrade nonsense compared to other PPC mfrs. In fact working with Motorola and AT&T microsoft should have a seperate website that addresses end user upgrades to the newer ROM images with clear precise instructions on how to do it. This will ease some of support the burden of upgrading for Moto and AT&T. I'm sure most tech savvy early adopters would be able to handle it that way and those than cannot can go in for an instore upgrade, the low numbers of latter shouldn't be a burden. This way MS can show that they are really serious about the platform and care about their users which will foster more confidence in the WM platform. In fact I'll have the temerity to suggest that they try and share the bill for this to show how serious they are about the platform.

yada88
01-06-2004, 09:04 PM
No offense, but what you said doesn't make sense because if the carrier is losing every time they sell a phone, they would lose less money by making you keep the phone by updating it, because you wouldn't need to buy a new one.

Macguy59
01-06-2004, 10:38 PM
No offense, but what you said doesn't make sense because if the carrier is losing every time they sell a phone, they would lose less money by making you keep the phone by updating it, because you wouldn't need to buy a new one.

They only lose money if the phone is discounted for a new contract. They don't lose money on them if being bought straight up.

ShivShanks
01-06-2004, 10:50 PM
No offense, but what you said doesn't make sense because if the carrier is losing every time they sell a phone, they would lose less money by making you keep the phone by updating it, because you wouldn't need to buy a new one.

No offence to you too but you aren't getting the whole picture at all. The carriers more than make up the money in the contracts that they lock you into. Plus they charge you quite a bit extra for accessing data to use all that advanced functionality in the smartphone. Such advanced users' bill is fairly more than the average user. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Also its very stupid and short sighted of operators to expect users to shell out money for a new device just months after the old one was released. If it was around a year then it might make sense. Forcing users to buy a new phone just months after release just for the sake of getting the OS updated is ridiculous and smacks of extreme greed and callous indfifference to its users, especially when they knowingly released an older OS. Its not worth losing the goodwill of advanced users of a budding platform who might recommend the device to others for the small amount of money they will lose in the short term. Talk about penny wise and pound foolish. Alienate such early adopters and they will get disillusioned and not recommend it to others. Thats why I said Microsoft also needs to step in. We aren't talking about clueless users who don't care about what version of what software is in a commodity device.

Luzerman
01-07-2004, 03:35 AM
In the phone business I believe the average life span of a phone is something under a year. People will and do shell out for new phones all the time. Both the style slaves and the tech slaves will pony up for each new must have device that is targeted towards their particular niche. The low/no introductory prices are only given to those that sign up for a new contract or are at renewal time and people still pony up for new phones.

MS will never directly support an upgrade for a windows mobile device. They can't afford to. If they supported one device they would be forced to support all the devices.

pdazealot
01-07-2004, 04:23 AM
Check out the posting on the front page at smartfone.net:

http://www.smartfone.net/

Look at the title that is the same as the one above. It gives much more details on the mpx220 model, and confirms when it will be available.

ShivShanks
01-07-2004, 11:09 AM
In the phone business I believe the average life span of a phone is something under a year.

Average life span under a year? You must be kidding right? Average lifespan? Under a year? You think the average user cares about updating his phone in less than a year? I know quite a few tech savvy people and the average even for them is more than a year. Can you quote links for where you got this statistic?


People will and do shell out for new phones all the time. Both the style slaves and the tech slaves will pony up for each new must have device that is targeted towards their particular niche.


I'm quite the tech slave and yet I've only had two phones in 3 years (and 3 palms and 2 PPCs). Even then for making a generalization based on that you must be knowing only the style/tech slaves and no normal people.


The low/no introductory prices are only given to those that sign up for a new contract or are at renewal time and people still pony up for new phones.


They pony up coz they don't expect to pony up again in a couple of months. Any normal sane user expects a return on investment.


MS will never directly support an upgrade for a windows mobile device. They can't afford to. If they supported one device they would be forced to support all the devices.

And you know this how that they cannot afford to support the device? Like I said they don't have to (and legally possibly can't) do this on their own. They can do this in partnership with the operator. And like I said this would be a thing to seed a budding platform. It can make good business sense to do things that normally seem not affordable in the short run but make eminent sense in the long run. Haven't you seen all kinds of free trials for so many months and all kinds of free like deals to seed a new technology/market?

Luzerman
01-07-2004, 05:16 PM
Average life span under a year? You must be kidding right? Average lifespan? Under a year? You think the average user cares about updating his phone in less than a year? I know quite a few tech savvy people and the average even for them is more than a year. Can you quote links for where you got this statistic? [/qutote]

I'm not sure where I read that phones are upgraded in the time I stated but I've read it on multiple sites, radio, industry, manufacturer, and TV coverage of the cell industry over numerous reports over more then a year. If someone can prove me wrong then go for it. I'm not immune to getting incorrect impressions and the impression I may have recieved could be from future projections of purchasing descisions or projected purchasing descisions. But I"m fairly certain that the average lifespan of a cell phone is supposed to be slightly under a year and that many cell phone manufacturers plan for this.

[quote]I'm quite the tech slave and yet I've only had two phones in 3 years (and 3 palms and 2 PPCs). Even then for making a generalization based on that you must be knowing only the style/tech slaves and no normal people.

I actually know a fair number of people on both sides of the fence. The majority of the people I know are on the upgrade once a year when their carrier gives them a discount so they get the phone for free or severely discounted side. I know many that don't upgrade until their phone breaks--these are mostly the older crowd that still remember the days when appliances lasted decades. Then I know quite a few that upgrade to the newest, coolest, fastest, etc whenever they have the cash to do so.

I defineately do not know enough of a cross section of the world cell phone population to know if the section of society that I have a passing aquintance with has any basis in reality. I will not be going out onto a limb to say that you do not either.

I believe that the areas where the fastest churn in the cell phone world is in Asia and Europe where cell phones are much more a part of every day life then they have become here in the US.

When it comes to PDAs I've known quite a few people that fell into the must have every new device category who upgrade whenever a new device comes out. These people end up upgrading 2-3 times a year. Your own HHC habit seems to fall into the more then once a year category.


They pony up coz they don't expect to pony up again in a couple of months. Any normal sane user expects a return on investment.

If this is the case please explain your Palm/PPC purchases. You obviously believe that you got no return on investment since you upgraded in under a year.

And you know this how that they cannot afford to support the device? Like I said they don't have to (and legally possibly can't) do this on their own. They can do this in partnership with the operator. And like I said this would be a thing to seed a budding platform. It can make good business sense to do things that normally seem not affordable in the short run but make eminent sense in the long run. Haven't you seen all kinds of free trials for so many months and all kinds of free like deals to seed a new technology/market?

MS can certainly help an OEM develop a platform as they have already done with Motorola. What they can't do and likely will never do is offer up the upgrades themselves for all the different devices out there. It would set a precedence that they would then have to follow from then on out. Even if it was for a single device. They would then be bombarded with such a huge outpouring of disgruntled users of other devices that they might even notice. The bad PR would be tremendous. Windows Mobile devices are appliances and that is how they are going to be treated.

The difference between offering up OS upgrades and what you suggest are huge. I can offere a 30 day trial of my software and it doesn't cost me anything but some bandwidth, a little bit of time to put it on the website, and about 5 minutes to program a register screen in the software. If you put the software out on the free download sites or the pay for software sites your website will get relatively few hits and thus the bandwidth will not even be charged to you.

Now compare this with the effort of customizing an OS to each and every device and each and every carrier.

For the device manufacturers it rarely makes sense to support a device that likely won't be available in large quantities for more a few months. They make their money on the initial sale of the device and then they're already deep into the development cycle of the replacement. They want to sell the device as fast as possible and then move on. Any money spent on supporting the device is essentially money lost. That doesn't mean that they won't do it, it just means that they have to look at a cost vs. benefit comparison and decide that the good will they will generate is worth the cost.

I'm guessing that T-Mobile only decided to upgrade the OS on their PPCPE devices because they decided to either postpone or to not support the XDA 2. Since that would put the T-Mobile PPCPE device as their only high end device they have to support it for a longer time and they would then have to go about extending the life span of the device by offering an upgrade.

Try to think about things from a business perspective instead of a rah, rah, supporter of a device, platform, or OS.

Saying all that i will have to say that I really want them to come out with a WMSP2k3 upgrade. I'm just going to be mad at them for not putting one out nor am I waiting by the computer ready for it to start downloading.

tcwatkins
01-07-2004, 07:51 PM
Just a correction in the original post. When the MPx 200 and i600 were released, no phone with WM Smartphone 2003 software had been released. The OS had just been released to OEM a few days before. I think a phone has now been released in Europe with the newer software but I could be wrong.

Not that this should make any difference. The phone companies selling the phones should upgrade them to 2003 as soon as reasonably possible. But just like to get the facts right.

Luzerman
01-07-2004, 10:52 PM
The SPV E200 with WMSP2k3 was released shortly after the i600 and MPx200. I believe it was for sale in Europe in late November or early December while the MPx200 was released in late October. I'm fairly certain that WMSP2k3 was relased to developers back in the first half of 2003 if not earlier as people were talking about sneak peak views of the 2k3 on SPV e100s in July. If it was ported to the SPV e100 in July then it would have had to have been released to SPV prior to July.

mwakefield
01-08-2004, 08:42 AM
I would take this story with a grain of salt. I see no "truths" to it.
Also, since when do Tier 1 or even Tier 2 support folks know when an "upgrade" is going to be available anyway? They don't get told about these things.

They have enough to worry about setting up peoples phones and helping them find a stereo headset (for the folks that don't like or can't use earbuds) that works so they can listen to their WMA and MP3 music on their MPx200.

Jason Dunn
01-08-2004, 06:21 PM
Some interesting comments guys - I knew that if I was a little "controversial" I'd spark some comments. ;-) I'm going to take a couple of these comments front-page because I think it will make for an interesting discussion.

Jason Dunn
01-08-2004, 07:01 PM
One flaw in your Windows XP / Windows 2000 analogy is that while Microsoft supports Windows 2000 even with Windows XP and 2003 released users must purchase XP and 2003.

No they don't - a Windows 2000 user can, today, download all sorts of updated patches and fixes, without spending any money on Windows XP. :-)

If people have to pay for your product you should support it.

Ah, but that's the rub isn't it? What Motorola is apparently mad about is that they DID pay for Smartphone 2002, and they want it to be supported - and Microsoft is apparently saying "Our fixes for 2002 are in 2003..."

Microsoft gives Smartphone 2003 to carriers with the intention that the carriers will then give the OS to us. If you were given Windows 2003 would you care that Windows 2000 wasn't supported anymore?

Personally, yes, I'd always chose the upgrade - but for many customers, fixing a problem with 2002 by forcing them to buy an upgrade to 2003 isn't a good solution, and I can't blame them for thinking that way. And you're talking like it's free - I haven't heard of a carrier offering an upgrade for free yet, so they're really selling bug fixes if we posit that 2003 = bug fixes for 2002 (although it's obviously not that simple).

This issue is never as simple as people think it is. :D

swbuehler
01-10-2004, 09:02 PM
Microsoft knows they can't simply stop supporting Windows 2000, because so many customers out there have it. But it seems they're taking that approach with Smartphone 2002 doesn't it? I don't think Motorola has much say in this - if AT&T wanted Microsoft to provide fixes, Microsoft probably would. Or would Microsoft just say "The fix is Smartphone 2003"? Possibly. :wink:

Microsoft has a strict support policy for their O/S products: Full support is provided until 5 years after release, then paid-only or corporate support until 7 years after release, at which time the product is officially sunset. Support for Windows 95 and 98a lapsed at the end of '02 and '03, respectively, if memory serves me correctly.

What boggles me is that part of the hardware requirements established by Microsoft for devices running SmartPhone OS is that they must be flash upgradable. The same requirement exists for Pocket PC as well.