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Microsoft Android Cellphones Handhelds

First Phone Out of Microsoft-Nokia -- and It's an Android 193

Posted by timothy
from the glorious-or-inglorious? dept.
An anonymous reader writes BBC reports that the first phone resulting from the Microsoft-Nokia merger has been announced: the Nokia X2. And foiling everybody's ability to guess what OS it would run on, the answer is Android. But this being Microsoft, do expect some embrace-and-extend — the user interface is similar to the Windows phone. And it is being offered as a way to hook users into its cloud-based services, several of which come pre-installed as apps. Is this the first Linux product being offered by Microsoft? Can we upgrade Microsoft's social rating from CCC to CCC+?
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First Phone Out of Microsoft-Nokia -- and It's an Android

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  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @10:32AM (#47306495)
    Use the best tool for the job.
    • by clarkn0va (807617)

      Use the best tool for the job.

      What are the chances, based on past performance, that the best tool for the job is a phone from Microsoft? On a platform where they're complete virgins?

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Well Microsoft has a pretty good history of offering long term support, which is something severely lacking from many Android offerings. I bought a computer 8 years ago with Windows XP, and they only recently stopped putting out updates for that. And if I bought a copy of Windows 7 or 8, I could continue using the same hardware with updates for quite a few years to come. I wish the same could be done with a phone. With high end phones priced at over $500, is it too much to ask that we get software update
        • Well Microsoft has a pretty good history of offering long term support, which is something severely lacking from many Android offerings. I bought a computer 8 years ago with Windows XP, and they only recently stopped putting out updates for that. And if I bought a copy of Windows 7 or 8, I could continue using the same hardware with updates for quite a few years to come. I wish the same could be done with a phone. With high end phones priced at over $500, is it too much to ask that we get software updates for a few years? The last laptop I bought cost less than that, and came with Windows 7, so I'm expecting quite a few years of software updates on top of the 2.5 I've already got.

          Microsoft is all over the map with support. For products that catch on, then yes - they continue to support it for a long time. For products that don't, or that they have problems with then no, they don't.

          One poster already mentioned Windows Phone 7. It did have a few updates, but most of the phones didn't get them WIndows Phone 7.5 was the last version, and the entire series had zero upgrade path to Windows Phone 8. However, this was typically of the Windows CE line. WInCE 5 didn't really upgrade to Win

          • by nabsltd (1313397)

            And don't forget the Kin (Microsoft's first forary into building phones themselves), which got dropped pretty quickly.

            First cellular phone, you mean. I had the first phone made by Microsoft [wikipedia.org] and it was lack of support that killed it, too.

            The answering features on it were phenomenal for the day (almost Asterix level), and unlike many answering machines at that time, you had essentially unlimited recording time (even a 20GB hard disk with 32Kbps audio files is a lot) for incoming and outgoing messages.

        • by ichthus (72442)

          Well Microsoft has a pretty good history of offering long term support

          What the Zune are you talking about?

          • by cbhacking (979169)

            Zunes were supported for quite a while actually, so I don't think *you* know what you are talking about. The first-gen model continued receiving firmware updates (which included new features, such as ability to access the store and stream music, ability to install and play games, and so on) for years. The PC software is still available years after the last new model of the hardware was released.

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          Microsoft are terrible at long term support in the phone market...
          Windows mobile was completely dropped and replaced with something totally incompatible...
          Windows phone 7 was short lived, and replaced with something incompatible and most (all?) windows phone 7 handsets cannot be upgraded to 8.
          It seems windows phone 8 is no better than android, with several devices running 8.0 not getting the update to 8.1.

          If you want decent support on a phone, get a handset that's well supported by third party android rome.

      • by jrumney (197329)

        On a platform where they're complete virgins?

        The Nokia Asha [nokia.com] is their best selling phone since the N900. I don't think this is lost on the company's new owners.

    • Android already have ~80% of the market, this move seems to destroy one of the only competitors left ... empirically, that kind of monopoly has historically never been a good thing in the software industry.
      • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Tough Love (215404) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @12:49PM (#47307825)

        Android already have ~80% of the market, this move seems to destroy one of the only competitors left ... empirically, that kind of monopoly has historically never been a good thing in the software industry.

        Being able to grab the source and play with it, including doing whatever you wish without license fees kind of takes the sting out.

        • Will Android apps run on a forked version of the open source portions? (I actually don't know the answer, but it's an important question .... part of the lock-in comes from the application ecosystem).
          • Yes, and maybe you should ask Amazon about that.

    • that Microsoft bought Xenix in the 80s, and rewrote all their code in C at that time for portability to any platform, any OS.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @11:08AM (#47306859)

      Use the best tool for the job.

      Their standard strategy is actually to create something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the best tool for the job.

      I fully expect that Microsoft's contribution to the Android ecosystem will end up like Ebola's contribution to human society.

      Hopefully the carnage will remain confined to few localities and not spread significantly.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @10:33AM (#47306497) Journal

    Buying an android phone from Microsoft? Isn't that a little like buying a firearm from the Brady Campaign?

    • by Ravaldy (2621787)

      Actually it just shows me MS might be growing out of their shell. In the past they would have avoided doing this by any means but now they have acquired a company and decided that it is somewhat neutral to it's own objectives. This is the best way to move forward as a business.

      • Actually it just shows me MS might be growing out of their shell. In the past they would have avoided doing this by any means but now they have acquired a company and decided that it is somewhat neutral to it's own objectives. This is the best way to move forward as a business.

        At best they build a name for themselves in a market they have had a very hard time penetrating.

        At worse, they get to point a finger and say that Windows 8 is not failing due to the merits of Windows 8 (and WIndows Phone 8) but to available applications for it, or something like that.

        So it's a good way to gauge the markets acceptance of Microsoft actually being in the game.

        • by gbjbaanb (229885)

          not really - it has nothing to do with phones. Its all about the back-end services, and the advertising companies they can sell you to.

          In the past, the software and the device was the product, you paid and you used it Now its different, the software is the hook and you're the fish. Sometimes they put some juicy tidbit on the end to attract you like 15Gb free storage.

          Some people do pay the subs, but they're generally for old technology companies - like phone service providers. Everyone else is getting their

  • But does it run Android? It would be interesting to run a custom mod on this.

  • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @10:41AM (#47306569)

    I can remember just a couple of months ago, when Microsoft hosted a tournament for Killer Instinct on the Xbox One. There was a bit of an uproar from the competitors and from the various streaming websites covering the event because Microsoft banned non-Windows phones at the competition venue (and, of course, gave out Windows phones to all of the competitors so they could have product placement on the streaming sites). As far as I know, that ban was never lifted and the tournament went on that way.

    The idea that MS would then turn around and release an Android phone after pushing their Windows phones that hard seems like a complete turnaround.

    • by alvinrod (889928) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @11:24AM (#47307003)
      It seems more likely that Microsoft is so large that parts of the company are on different wavelengths and act inconsistently with one and other. Also, no one brings a phone from conception to market in a few months. This was probably something in the pipeline from before Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia. Microsoft could have axed it (and under Ballmer they probably would have) but I think they've realized that doing things like that for purely ideological reasons is poor business sense and that while they might have been able to get away with it in the past, the times have changed. Given that they recently made Windows Phone free for manufacturers (at least certain ones anyway) it's not like they're potentially losing out on revenue either.
      • by dbIII (701233)

        This was probably something in the pipeline from before Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia

        Why did you write that? Surely you know that Elop infested Nokia for a few years before returning the Microsoft and he repeatedly declared that there would be nothing other than "windows phone" on the Nokia products. This is something new after Elop has returned to the Microsoft fold after his one and only CEO gig.

    • This particular phone was well along the development schedule when the MS-Nokia deal came along. Sure, it's been Microsoft'd in terms of UI, but whoopty-do.

      The bigger question is what happens with future generations of the Nokia X: Will it continue as an Android phone, or transition to a Windows Phone?

  • Is it because Windows is to slow on the low end hardware that they need to offer an Android phone?

    The phone don't have access to Play store, so it can't be due to the many Android Apps they are doing it.
     

    • by AMDinator (996330)
      Windows Phone is developed against low-end hardware to ensure that it runs well on it. I've played with a Lumia 520 and found it to be more than fast enough.

      The 520 sells new for less than $70 off contract. It's definitely "low end".
  • With all the evidence out there of bad things Microsoft repeatedly do to their own customers over the years, it boggles my mind how anyone still trusts anything Microsoft does now enough to even buy a Microsoft product.

    I personally would never do so or even trust any Microsoft product with any personal data.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I personally would never do so or even trust any Microsoft product with any personal data.

      And who, exactly, do you trust?

      Because from where I sit, they're all equally bad, and I don't trust any of them.

      And that becomes a problem, because all companies want your personal data, and don't give a damn about your privacy.

      Sooner or later, the management of all companies seem to decide "Oh, fuck it, we've got all this information, how can we make more money from it?". And since they can change their agreements at

      • by JustNiz (692889)

        I agree with what you're saying. No one is completely trustworthy.

        Assuming its pretty much comes down to a choice between Apple, Google and Microsoft though, and just going on visible previous track record, Google hasn't ever apparently done anything half as dirty as Microsoft or Apple already have in the past to their own customers.

        I also like the fact that Android is based on Linux, (just because I like Linux) and I also like that the source for Android and most of its standard compnents is also open for

      • by dbIII (701233)

        And who, exactly, do you trust?

        Someone too small to screw their customer base over and still survive. Of course even then short term thinking produces a few duds.

  • Coming soon to Visual Sudio: Visual Dalvik!
  • You get more from Microsoft and it is free !!!

    "the user interface is similar to the Windows phone. And it is being offered as a way to hook users into its cloud-based services"

  • various (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @11:36AM (#47307145)

    Can we upgrade Microsoft's social rating from CCC to CCC+?

    For the benefit of those, such as myself, who did not get the reference, CCC is a low bond credit rating. [wikipedia.org]

    Also, a couple of things to keep in mind here about the history of MS corporate strategy. First, MS has a record of adopting (e. g. Kerberos) or imposing (e.g. OpenXML) open standards for the purpose of corrupting or abusing those standards. A record of unscrupulous behavior breeds distrust and it would be reasonable to suspect that MS could have something similar on mind for the Android platform. Good summary of the Kerberos episode here: [vanwensveen.nl]

    In November 1998 an internal memo leaked out of Microsoft which clearly stated that Open Source software not only performs and scales much better than Microsoft Products (it discussed especially the quality and availability of Linux), but also proposed that Microsoft attack these superior products by "de-commoditizing protocols". In other words, when faced with a superior competitor, Microsoft's preferred approach is to corrupt global standards and to introduce proprietary protocols that bind the user to the Microsoft environment.

    Don't believe me; see for yourself - read the Halloween documents, made available by Eric S. Raymond. Incidentally, Microsoft has acknowledged the authenticity of these documents and actually responded to them. It's interesting reading. Very.

    A good example of this policy in action (apart from the HTML and Java deviations described above) is Microsoft's attempt to appropriate the Kerberos protocol. Kerberos is an authentication protocol developed by MIT, distributed as Open Source software. Microsoft added an "innovative improvement" to Kerberos, by misusing a reserved field to specify whether or not an NT machine was allowed to authenticate another Kerberos system, rendering this corrupted version of Kerberos incompatible with Open Source versions in the process. (The misuse of a reserved field, or any field for that matter, is of course a gross violation of protocol standards.) Then Microsoft went on to state that they had "created" an "improved version of Kerberos", called the result their own intellectual property, and threatened to sue anyone who would dare to put it in their software, including Kerberos' inventor MIT. Only the global uproar that followed caused Microsoft to reconsider this nonsense.

    Secondly, and more innocuously, someone at MS might have wised up and realized that profits from their Android patent licensing [zdnet.com] would be better than losses from another round of failed MS OS phone investment.

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @11:45AM (#47307231)

    and their goal is to make money. Given the lack of popularity of Microsoft's mobile platform, it makes far more sense to ship Android devices with their products layered on top than it does to ship a fully Microsoft phone that will likely have limited uptake.

  • ... but Microsoft had to use lots of FSF tools such as ... gcc. When they have their own compiler toolchains.

    That must had to smell like defeat.

  • EEE for Embrace, Extend and Extinguish was the old strategy that worked in the PC era when Microsoft leveraged its monopoly on OS to kill the competition that played by the old rules. For it to work, Microsoft needs to have a monopoly to begin with.

    EGA is the name of the game in the Android. Embrace & Get Assimilated.

    All your bases are now belong to us.

  • by tekrat (242117) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @12:27PM (#47307579) Homepage Journal

    This phone isn't running true Android, it's a port of Android, but using Xenix as the base OS.

    For those of you on Slashdot who are not old farts like myself, google "Xenix" to find out what it is. It's part of Microsoft's "Embrace and Extend" policy to use something they own to create a whole new version of an existing popular phone/tablet OS....

    And if anyone believe what I'm saying, even for a second, you need to find a BBS for the less naive....

    • And instead of Java apps they use GW Basic...

    • by Morky (577776)
      Very funny! But Xenix does live on: http://www.sco.com/products/op... [sco.com]
    • by TeknoHog (164938)

      For a synaptic firing cycle, I was actually... not believing, but.. reading into your words. I guess I'm past Ballmer peak for tonight.

      Now, for something really controversial, they might even choose Linux or some other Free OS as the kernel, since you can use pretty much any modern OS there...

  • ...in the couple of months that have passed since the Microsoft/Nokia deal...

    This device was developed by Nokia long before the buyout and is ready to go to market, the Nokia name still moves lots of product in the key market for this device: India. Get them hooked, in two years Windows phone OS will displace this temporary line (it's already started with the 8.1 hardware spec, which effectively permits any Android-capable hardware to run Windows Phone, on-screen buttons, no camera button etc...) Most consu

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