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

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.