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Old 03-27-2011, 07:06 AM
Richard Chao
Contributing Editor
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 109
Default Should Microsoft Pull a Google And Offer a Nexus Style Line

As I sit here looking at Microsoft’s “Where’s My Phone Update?” web site, I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if Microsoft were to pull a Google and released an unlocked unsubsidized phone in the vein of the Nexus line.  Allow me to explain …

When Microsoft introduced their new mobile operating system, one of their promises was that the updates will come directly from them.  By controlling the updates, all phones will be updated at the same time and no one will have to worry about fragmentation as seen with the Android operating system.  Microsoft ensured us all their premier carrier partners had agreed to the update scheme because they understood the importance of having all WP7 phones on the most recent version of the OS.  However, as history has shown, Microsoft has missed several ship dates and there is evidence pointing the delays as the fault of carriers playing their usual games.  Even today, none of AT&T’s three phones have seen an update.  In fact, according to Microsoft’s U.S. and International update status table, the only phones that have received the updates are in the category “Open Market Phones.” 

In a way, WP7 has moved away from Apple’s way of updating and towards the Android way where certain phones receive the update first then other phones eventually follow.  So if we are already following in the footsteps of Android because of Microsoft’s inability to convince carriers to allow updates to be pushed at a timely manner, maybe Microsoft should take the initiative and pull a Google. 

Design a phone that showcases the best of available hardware, program it with vanilla WP7 and sell it unlocked and unsubsidized.  Designate this phone the vanilla Microsoft Experience and ensure that it will always receive the most current build of WP7 when available.  I’m basically talking about Microsoft’s version of the Nexus line.  Of course it would be under a different name but you get the general idea.   

As a Windows Phone 7 enthusiast, I would pay a premium for a vanilla WP7 experience phone if Microsoft can ensure me that it will be updated as soon as newer builds are available.  This may also spur carriers to release updates in a timely manner. 

Should Microsoft build their version of the Nexus line and would you buy it?

Last edited by Richard Chao; 03-27-2011 at 07:08 AM..
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 123

They should've launched with one, I think it's too late now. They should’ve poured funds into a marketing strategy that would’ve made some sort of WP7-branded wonder-device available for $199 – a subsidized price for an unlocked device. They might’ve seen something resembling people waiting in line for something like this. Like Google, they should still have gone the route of 3rd party device makers – but people aren’t buying those in very high numbers. Lots of consumers would add another device to their collection if it were reasonably priced and came without a contract. Basically, MS should’ve subsidized a launch smartphone – at least for the first 6 months after launch.

I knew this would happen when the ‘all-devices-will-be-updated-immediately’ PR circulated the Windows Mobile oriented websites. It’s just not possible with their product model. This is worse than Google’s fragmentation, mainly because Microsoft promised it wouldn’t happen…
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 9
Default No they should not.

The reason that only open-market phones have received the update, is because of the throttled update schedule.

They do this for all other updates they send out too (like Windows updates), and many others in the software business do too.

Basically, they use the open-market (or unbranded) devices to test the update process. In the meantime, the carriers are testing the update themselves and they're watching how the current updates work out (though probably won't admit that).

Once they get up to speed, everyone will get the update quickly.

Don't forget that even if it takes a week or two, maybe a month, that's still a lot better than Android where you often get no update at all. THAT is what they're trying to prevent - they've never said that the update would be available to everyone on day one.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I've never seen the January rumors confirmed. Unless you could provide me an official source mentioning it, they haven't missed any deadlines.

I myself have an unbranded Omnia 7. I just check for updates every morning when I get up, and if it's not there, there are more important things to worry about. It's a phone, which already functions excellently. The performance and bug-fixes are obviously great to have, but I can live without them easily.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:15 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 554
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I would rather see MS to pull Apple, that means push updatets without carrier interference. It doesn't have to be over the air, it has to be on time!
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:06 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 123

Originally Posted by cPT.cAPSLOCK View Post
Basically, they use the open-market (or unbranded) devices to test the update process. In the meantime, the carriers are testing the update themselves and they're watching how the current updates work out (though probably won't admit that).

Once they get up to speed, everyone will get the update quickly...
Kudos to you for being so patient and giving your updates so much thought and attention -- personally, I prefer knowing when an update is announced, it's out and would rather always have the current OS available to me, and not be 3-updates behind currently released models. Enjoy though
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:28 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2

I think they should, IF they aren't really going to do what they initially said and only allow carriers to skip one update. While not ideal, that means you'd only be one update behind at worst. However, if recent articles are right, and a carrier never certifying an update as 'tested' means that it will never roll out, then Microsoft has to find some alternative.

No savvy customer should buy a phone they can't update, especially when that means not even getting any security or reliability updates. It is one thing to buy a phone that one may have to flash themselves with an unofficial build to update, ala many WM6 or 6.5 phones. It is another to buy one that has more sophisticated security features intended to make it more difficult to do even that.

Since this is Microsoft's first attempt at a major update, even I'm inclined to wait and see. If Microsoft doesn't come through, then that's another strike against WM7. While I might spring for an unsubsidized price for the right phone, Americans aren't likely to do so in mass numbers.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:22 PM
The Yaz
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 340

You keep forgetting that you are talking about Microsoft....

They've have the resources and the skillset to make branded devices of good quality (peripherals, and even the Zune HD) but they have no concept on how to build a brand out to gain mainstream acceptance.

To release their own phone would be to satisfy the few techies who might have an interest in it. In the US market, un-subsidized phones are not popular. What will be left is few phones sold and then Microsoft will panic, thinking that they should spend their resources on Windows 8 or 9 and updates wil stop happening anyway.

Microsoft needs to get in front of a technology for a change instead of reacting to Apple's moves. That's when their expertise are successful (OS, Office).

That's where I think they need to be; the first to make working "the cloud" a reality.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:17 PM
Nelson Ocampo
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 70

Coming out with their own unsubsidized device would mainly be a PR move. But it might be a good one.

If the carriers, like AT&T, are really messing with Microsoft by using loopholes in the update agreement by just testing forever, then Microsoft will need to respond in a way that shows they are in control and have the needs of consumers as their top priority.

Apple gets what they want from carriers because they have consumers on their side. Apple bullies carriers because consumers know that Apple wants to deliver a quality product to them, and that Apple won't let carriers stand in their way.

If Microsoft could give that impression to consumers, then maybe Microsoft will see that they have more clout in the mobile arena than they expected.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:10 PM
Jason Dunn
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 29,160

No, they should not go down this road. I understand why it's tempting - we've seen this suggestion come up again and again - but if they did this, it would undermine their partnerships with LG, HTC, etc. And if you look at the half-hearted attempt that Microsft made with the Zune, I have zero confidence that they'd have any staying power in the market. The Zune HD is a beautiful, powerful device, but it never really got a chance to flourish...
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 170

Ok, right now I am hiding under my desk while typing this in fear of the fallout, however, I feel compelled to state this fact. I am 54 years old and have used or tried almost every computing gadget released (slight exaggeration) since the TI Scientific Calculator. And in all those years, the most stable device I have owned is the iPhone! Something has to be said for a "closed system".

There, I HAVE said it. Blast away.
Canadian Road Warrior
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