Whew, I finally have some time for a change; let’s see what I can do here…

First a bit of an explanation/re-introduction of sorts:  The 9-to-5 recently became more of a 5-to-9 recently and I haven’t been able to do things that I wanted to do (post) or like to do (comment/correct Simmons where possible).

This little parenthetical ridden rant is something that I’ve wanted to do for quite some time now.  I should be able to give you folks a new round on at least a semi-monthly basis.  Nothing overly special, just an average guy with slightly better than average command of the English language (I went to NYC Public Schools all my life and I’m a minority; that’s about as good as I’m going to get), using this site as an avenue to share my opinion about the mobile phone universe.

My own disclaimer of sorts:  The best part of this site is that the writers here aren’t hard up jackasses who are so in love with their own tech and gadgets that it’s impossible to have a conversation with them (no matter how many times Ramon may curse Apple).  We may disagree about certain topics, but our opinions aren’t necessarily falling on deaf ears.  If you disagree (or agree) with anything that I have to say, leave a comment.  I’ll discuss it with you, where necessary.

***

If you haven’t read Simmons’ latest post, ‘Nokia, Windows Phone Bathing in Blood,’ you can do so here.

 

OK. Nothing about Nokia losing Marketshare/Year Over Year Earnings is new. Actually, it’s rather old news. Everyone here should know this. Nokia and Symbian have been losing clout/mindshare/marketshare since the iPhone 3G came out (and arguably before that). Mainly because, in the eyes of many, Apple out-Nokia’ed Nokia in terms of industrial design. What kept Nokia afloat was the bevy of Nokia dumbphones that were out there (free on contract, especially). Well, that and you know, damn near the entire EU refusing to move on from their C and N Series Nokia phones.

Again, not new information.

With Nokia and Microsoft, you have a company that down right loathes Apple (Nokia) and a company that competes with and occasionally partners with Apple (Microsoft **Same can be said about Google, if the Chrome OS were ever viewed as a threat to anyone), coming together to increase their rather insignificant (!) mindshare in the US and around the world. One more time, nothing new here.

If the goal is to ultimately matter/ exist as an option so that you can succeed long-term, what is it that Nokia/Microsoft doing wrong right now? In my view, Microsoft should shoot to become the number three OS (the Sprint of this race if you will) then use your ecosystem/partners/cloud based services to grow the platform-. Nokia should settle into a similar role, using their resources and MS’s ecosystem (combined with their own) to grow also.  It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish…

demotivational-posters-competiton

(Picture shout to Very Demotivational)

Don’t confuse this for a positive spin.  Just call it additional perspective.

This is a long-term project, so looking at the valley aspect of the chart and insinuating that it’s never going to get better (by, you know…naming articles “Nokia, Windows Phone Bathing in Blood” like this is the NY Post) is, by definition, short-sighted. Nokia is going to fall, and continue to fall until Q2 of 2012, at best. And when they do make some kind of upward movement, you can guarantee that people are going to move to 5-yr numbers or different periods to diminish what traction they have made. Same could be said about Microsoft.  There’s no need for the extra negativity.

I will say this: I feel that the Windows Phone OS platform needs a certifiable spark and I think that spark needs to be Adobe Flash.  If they want to make a real move on BlackBerry at this point, I feel that they should capitalize on the hardware and optimizations that the OS has. That would make average people care in my opinion. Internet Explorer and Flash are household names. No matter how much momentum HTML 5 is building, it’s still an incomplete spec and nothing is beating Flash right now in terms of internet content, with the operative term being “RIGHT NOW.” (Spare me the “Flash is a battery hog” comments. Anything that simultaneously runs video at standard def or higher and uses your 3G/4G/WiFi radio is going to drain your battery).

 

That’s all I have for now, Round 1 goes to the fans of all OS’s.  Except BlackBerry.  Yea.  Go away.

-Fight

52 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with some of what you say, but not about Flash. Flash has been on its way out for years. I’ve had a Windows Phone since November (US launch), Windows Mobile for 2 years before that, and feature phones before that. I’ve used data with them since 2004. And in all that time I have never encountered a need for Flash.

    YouTube videos play just fine with Windows Mobile (YouTube app) and Windows Phone. To solidify my point while attempting to mask some of my Microsoft bias, I’ll include the fact that the iPhone/iPad also play YouTube videos without Flash.

    I don’t really care for YouTube anyway. I usually only watch videos of Windows Phone Mango reviews from various blogs on it. I know that Disqus has some strange requirement to use Internet Explorer or Flash to post a comment. I never understood it, but Disqus is junk anyway.

    But with all that said, I ask in all seriousness, why else would anyone need Flash if YouTube videos can be had without it? It’s like complaining that modern phones don’t have IR ports on them like 2000-era iPaq Pocket PCs. Bluetooth effectively ended the need for IR, while various improvements in browsers on PCs along with mobile platforms with native apps have ended the need for Flash.

  2. I’m pretty spent right now, gotta recharge and wait for everyone to start agreeing in your thread about how [one of several recurring pejorative adjectives] I am then I’ll climb back in the ring.

    NYC public schools? Yeah well I grew up in the Park Avenue Projects so I know what’s up.

  3. Flash is good for laptops, desktops and tablets but on a mobile phone, it is utterly useless..one, because of the small screen real estate and two, flash is resource intensive. Wp7 DOES NOT need flash. Now that Microsoft has achieved one software ecosystem across all its platforms, what wp7 needs is hardware that can be integrated across those platforms. Integration between the pc and wp7 is almost perfect with wifi sync and all but additional Bluetooth profiles should be added and bt should be updated to 3.0. On the xbox/kinnect side, more work is needed to be done. Ffc hardware is needed for crossplatform video chat (even tho its not NEEDED it is a good selling point). On the xbox side Microsoft please give wp7 more juice! Imagine if u could continue a game on ur phone from where u stopped on ur xbox or pc. Cross platform gaming is totally possible and game engines like unreal and unity can make it easier ala dungeon defenders. A more powerful soc (omap5, tegra or even the msm 8×60 with adreno 220 gpu) than the current snapdragon would do the job. Finally Microsoft should include all the enterprise /business features that existed on windows mobile so wp7 appeals to the business class too.

  4. @Mark Jonson:
    “But with all that said, I ask in all seriousness, why else would anyone need Flash if YouTube videos can be had without it?”

    A couple of reasons:

    1. Youtube isn’t the internet.
    2. Compare browsing on your computer to browsing on your phone. When on the computer, would you open Windows Media Player (lol), iTunes, jetAUDIO, etc. to stream a video? If you weren’t on an Android device (or on an Android device running Eclair or earlier), if you come across a video thats embedded, how do you watch it? Why should it differ anymore?
    3. Ended the need for flash? Have you seen Verizon commercials featuring Android tablets? Flash is a selling point. Hell it’s even a selling point for the Playbook commercials now.

  5. @martins:

    – Here’s the thing, if Microsoft wants to have one operating system running on all windows devices, flash will be on mobile phones.

    – When stock nook color’s can run flash with no problems, resource intensity arguments hold increasingly less weight to me. show me current gen hardware that choke running flash now.

    – How is it that Netflix and slingbox apps are fine for mobile phones but Flash isn’t?

    – Even if you don’t personally use Flash, isn’t it nice just to have the option? I enjoying having the youtube app on my phone, but it barely sees the light of day because of Supertube and Lazy tube.

    – Being an owner of a pair of Nokia BT-905i’s, I hear you loud and clear on the BT 3.0 front.

    – FFC’s are coming. Again, some may want it (that too would be a resource hog…) some may not, but it still can be parlayed into a selling point. After all, works for Apple and the Evo…

    – Live anywhere has long been the dream for me since I saw it at E3 in 2006 (?). I feel like we are getting close to that too. Maybe in Apollo.

    – Wait for next gen specs to come out and be official before we start talking about specs that WP needs. Or at least, lets just see what the i937 has under the hood.

    – That business point is vague. To me, the appeal to the “business” class folks that really used WM was being able to create visual basic apps and having VPN support. I think that the more “enterprise” Devs in the Windows phone space there are, the more diversity you’ll have in that space. With that said, I’m waiting for a Citrix app. I’ll use my Android device until WP gets one. Make it happen Cisco…

  6. @Chris:

    Good call. For now.

    I can’t see myself buying a tablet that didn’t have flash though. Just in terms of practicality. I love the Dolphin Browser on any screen larger than 4.3 inches. Mainly because of the gesture support (sucks when you’re using a device with capacitive keys though).

    iPad’s have a long way to go before impressing me. I have to use a number of them on an everyday basis now. iPad 2’s speed is nice (and noticeable, obviously) but both generations still feels cumbersome to me. A 7 inch iPad would make me start to reconsider. I would jailbreak for flash at that point.

  7. Something needs to be done about the inability to watch embedded videos. Be it Flash or something else.

  8. @Sean:

    Agreed. Since the majority of embedded videos are flash, imo, it should be flash.

    I didn’t realize this was such an unreasonable request. Have that many people been brainwashed by Apple (iChris, don’t answer that… Ramon, this is your cue)…

  9. @Doug Simmons: in mango it does. You have to opt-in to the beta then you can view videos. Its not embedded though. Anything else, you have to goto the mobile version of YouTube. Some YouTube links back in NoDo automatically fired the video player but still not embedded.

  10. Additionally, I haven’t seen a way to switch from HQ to HD when playing a video from an html 5 site. I’ll give IE9 credit for one thing though, you can stream music throughout the OS (and the drop down music controls work). I never understood why dolphin couldn’t do that.

  11. Hmm. Kinda seems flat-out anticompetitive of Google not to provide Silverlight video embedding support of Youtube. Crafty sons of bitches, keeping WinPho down like that.

    Just wondering, can a WinMo phone display embedded clips? And why can’t you use Skyfire on WP to get around the Flash thing? That way you get your video and you get it without actually using Flash. And you get to use a browser that some people (not me, but some people) swear by.

  12. The fight: I find that 99% of the videos I come across on my iPhone or iPad play just fine on the website. So for me, flash is useless. There are a few websites left that insist on using it but I don’t use them. So again, kill flash.

  13. Weird I see the frame, I see that. Chick with the sunglasses and the hat smiling and I see it says “google talk video with android 2.3.4 Gingerbread” but when I hit play, it tells me to upgrade my flash player

  14. Well here’s what I get without either the flash player or the youtube client installed on my Nexus One:

    After a tap, some hot loading action (which may be a Microsoft patent violation, the progress indicator)…

    And then.. yay, cute kitty!

    Presuming my phone doesn’t have some backup secret flash player or whatever, why doesn’t yours do that?

  15. Also, you guys get a more specific battery indicator with that Mango thing or is that just too much information for Microsoft users to handle when they’re skydiving? How about a radio signal thing in decibels in addition to bars?

  16. Nothing, huh? Upgrade your flash player? Well let’s see what happens when I fire up Safari on my PC and disable Flash. Think it will work? Place your bets..

  17. Walking from the train…

    its hit or miss, when I’m in the mobile agent, I can play videos like that from the video player. Strange. Not all the time either. I can’t get back to the mobile version of this site right now either.

  18. Even weirder, I can hit the full screen button on the embedded video, and it will actually go full screen, but as soon as I press play, it tells me to upgrade adobe.

  19. Ha, got it to play. Stupid extra step though and I wasn’t opted in.

    Zoom in, hit the YouTube logo, which takes you to the site, giant black box with with the play symbol (no kitty, unfortunately) hit it and out comes the chasing dots. that was an ordeal.

  20. I disabled the mobile version for this experiment, in the interests of science.

    Played on Safari without flash. I’ll spare you the screenshots. So it seems to me that getting HTML5 youtube working on IEMobile isn’t reaching for the stars — unless it’s a codec war thing as it is with Firefox.

  21. Wait a minute are we actually managing to possibly close in a notch on embedded WP youtube video? I’ve been advised a dozen times in the last twenty hours alone that I have zero credibility and contributing to this mission might buy me two or even three units of credibility.

  22. @Chris: yea but viddler sites don’t play. Now all these tech sites like using vidler and dailymotion to deter people from downloading their content.
    you tube stuff should play fine.

  23. Just checked every viddler video I could find and they all played just fine in safari on my iPad.

  24. Both of those videos played fine on my focus with Mango. The only strange thing is that I have to hit the play button twice before it works. When I first clicked the play button in the center of the video frame the cat image turned black and that was it. Then I clicked the play button again on the bottom control bar and it started up the video player and played. It did the same thing for both videos.

  25. I’m unclear on what exactly has been gained from this but if we’ve got something that is helpful to WP owners and web content spinners on this HTML5 thing for youtube, youtube-esque operations like this viddler and maybe those hosting their own video, it would be a nice cherry on top of an action-packed 24 hours. David K’s tethering tip article, which may not even be helpful anymore (I don’t know), continues to deliver. This isn’t quite as sexy as tethering, but hey.

  26. I’m hard resetting later on today. After doing some XDA diving (and laughing at myself for completely missing articles on sites that I frequent that specifically mention that if you don’t hard reset after the 7661 to 7712 update, you’ll be missing about 10-12 features).

    I’ll let you know what happens but I think Mark hit it on the head already.

    Is it weird that I started to have flashbacks to the AOL days where sites gave you a choice when streaming (music), RealPlayer or Windows Media Formats?

  27. Hey Stuyvescent, regarding the title of your article, if I were to ask you which company was chiefly responsible for popularizing the term fear, uncertainly and doubt so much that everyone knew what the other guy was referring to when he said Microsoft and FUD in the same sentence, which company would you go with?

    Hint, same company that did the same for embrace, extend and extinguish and vender lock-in.

  28. Ok, hard reset done, two taps on the frame and boom, kittens and video of slightly laggy video chatting. Additionally, I can play the stuff on the IE 9 mobile test drive site that I couldn’t before and I still can’t in dolphin/stock gingerbread browser (specifically the audio test here: http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/mobile/HTML5/Audio/Default.html). Chalk that up to user error.

    Speaking of user error, the iPad viddler problem was a user error too. I’m an idiot. That video is great.

    No viddler love for wp7 yet but there is for dailymotion and that’s a winner to me.

    Now, Simmons, Microsoft FUD didn’t define the term FUD. It demonstrated it to the umpteenth degree with respect to the penguin but I would say, those I’m a mac/I’m a PC Apple commercials were far more polarizing. Moreover, IBM did the most to promote the term initially (unless you were alive in the 1920-40s).

    iChris and Simmons, can you guys go to that HTML5 audio test and tell me if it plays for you. If it does, can you tell me your set-up? I actually haven’t tried with the iPad yet, but I have tried with an epic 4G and my psuedo-tablet to no avail.

  29. fight: Well, while that HTML5 links works awesome in IE9, no dice on Android (either stock or Fennec/Firefox).

    Wonder what codec it is, but whatever it is, it doesn’t work on my PC using Firefox or Opera but it does on Chrome and it works in Safari.

    On Linux it does not work in Opera either, not on Epiphany, Aurora or Iceweasel (Firefox), but it appears to work (I’m in through RDP) in Chrome.

    Wish these guys could all agree on something and it’s still just really bizarre that Mozilla and Google aren’t entirely on the same side on this stuff.

    I feel like everyone’s sort of half-assing it with HTML5 in addition to the bickering. Except maybe Microsoft. Just so much time has gone by with virtually no movement and you know what, it’s Google who could apply any necessary leverage with Youtube over something like this. Not too many reviews of their HTML5 player the last time I checked were overwhelmingly positive, not sure if that’s changed, and come on, throw WP a bone on this. I bet it would take inside three or four manhours to straighten this out, what we’re working on, so that they can embed in html5 without any tricks or stumbles. Fucking Google, you know?

    Wow I tested it on a lot of things.

  30. I’m not sure what we’ve learned on this but it sounds almost post worthy. I don’t know if this is more intended for the web makers than the web surfers but while we’re at it, for those web designers still hanging onto hosting their own video, might be worth including tips to pump out the right containers and codecs with a good fallback kind of thing in order to maximize the odds that your shit will play on whatever.

    For instance I know that if you host your own, going to want an ogg, an mp4 and the flash, but off-hand I don’t know a simple way to do that and stamp out whatever accompanying html is necessary in the fewest clicks for the fewest dollars, et cetra. We’ve got some “substantive” shit here, just need to sustain the momentum a little further.

    And maybe a HTML lesson on how to tell browsers what to grab if it can’t handle this or that. I could use a refresher on that myself.

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