Feeds

Windows 8

Apple iOS 7 makes some users literally SICK. As in puking, not upset

Excessive zoom and 3D-effect graphics in Apple's latest iOS is leaving some users reaching for the sick bucket

Listen up, Nokia: Get Lumia show-offs in pubs or it's game over

Lumia verdict: People, not pundits, will make or break this mobe

The essential guide to IT transformation

Maybe not for everyone, but at least for a lot of someones

No other rival can offer such distinctive differentiators, and both have immediate paybacks for the user. Nokia needs to get these seen. And TV advertising will allow the Finns to go over the heads of the punditry.

I will add some caveats. The size of the new 920 is substantial, and is not for everyone. Windows Phone remains quite visually forbidding. MetroNotro was inspired by public transport signage, Microsoft loves to remind us, which is quite a functionalist design language. Even in Windows 8, the Tiles look stark, rather bossy, and thoroughly utilitarian. Nobody has such a high regard for Notro as the designers themselves.

It could be tempered and softened and humanised somehow without detracting at all from the merits of the platform. It may seem heresy to say this, but in this reporter's opinion, Windows Phone would not be any worse off for having a 'conventional', grid-like shell. It isn't going to happen, obviously, because Microsoft has staked the visual identity of Windows on the stark, square, 2D Tiles.

In addition, getting Windows Phone right is life or death for Nokia, but not for Microsoft. For Microsoft, it's just another platform, thinly spread over laptops, hybrids, tablets and smartphones. If Microsoft gets Windows Phone wrong, it lives to Tile another day. Nokia doesn't.

It's about individual buying decisions

I left New York convinced that Nokia is a real competitor once again; it's got excellent products in the pipeline. The new Lumia 820 was neglected and barely got 30 seconds of time in the hour-long presentation, but it has most of the 920's appeal plus two features Nokia loyalists have been asked to lose in the iPhone world era: the removable battery and removable media. It's smaller and more pocket-friendly. If you don't like the garish colours, you will be able to find a third-party case that suits you.

If Nokia can't shift bucketloads of the new Lumias, I thought, then it really should go back to selling rubber boots. But it isn't that simple - because of the complex buying psychology I've mentioned above. The 'unique features' must be seen, and the risk factor of leaping to a new platform with no users must be addressed.

But I'm wary of any critical discourse which omits the individual making sensible and thoughtful choices. Reports this week are full of 'platform wars' implying some inevitability to the outcome. It's behaviourist thinking. It's not only lazy, but it underestimates us, the punters. Major shifts in the market are nothing more than the aggregate of millions of individual buying decisions.

I certainly didn't expect to write any of the above on Monday this week, but as Keynes may (or may not) have said: "When the facts change, I change my mind". I decline to give odds either way; I'm not in the prognostication business. But I merely point out that there is nothing 'inevitable' about the outcome of the smartphone market, and as long as Nokia has cash in the bank and can make standout products – which it has started to do again – there could be some surprises yet. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.