Milhouse

What's going on at Microsoft

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RobM    195

There is no point, which is the point. There was talk recently that the last ever 'Lumia' phone has been released, suggesting that brand will be killed in favour of the Surface brand.

 

it's risky. The Surface hybrid-tablet has a very good reputation. This could help phones sell, the Surface name alone may add credibility. It may also damage the Surface brand by being associated with inferior products.

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Jimbo    19

The problem is that Microsoft went chasing after volume by targeting the low end which isn't going to attract developers (as people that buy cheap phones don't spend big on apps). So the app ecosystem stalled.

This approach seemed to work very well for Android. Could also be argued that cheap devices are like "gateway drugs" into a closed ecosystem.

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Jimbo    19

There is no point, which is the point. There was talk recently that the last ever 'Lumia' phone has been released, suggesting that brand will be killed in favour of the Surface brand.it's risky. The Surface hybrid-tablet has a very good reputation. This could help phones sell, the Surface name alone may add credibility. It may also damage the Surface brand by being associated with inferior products.

Am expecting the Surface phone to be X86 based, allowing full "Windows anywhere" via Continuum.

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Milhouse    355

This approach seemed to work very well for Android. Could also be argued that cheap devices are like "gateway drugs" into a closed ecosystem.

True, but this was a time when the only alternative in the low-end smartphone space was Symbian (which was already on it's knees) plus Android had - and still has - a fairly vibrant high-end. At this time, app developers had a pretty simple choice of ignoring the 80% non-Apple market or supporting Android and picking up pennies from the tens-to-hundreds of millions of low end users, plus maybe a bit more from the high end users.Wind the clock on 4-5 years and the same trick isn't working for Microsoft - Android is not Symbian. App developers can thumb their noses at any new mobile platform because the economics of developing for and supporting a new platform with hardly any users doesn't make any sense whatsoever.If Microsoft hadn't left it so late before rebooting Windows Mobile they might have had a chance of gaining a foothold (if not more) but the game was pretty much all over by 2010 bar the shouting.

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mcgrad    74

Am expecting the Surface phone to be X86 based, allowing full "Windows anywhere" via Continuum.

 

I just don't see the benefits of Continuum outside of niche usage.

 

To turn my phone into a desktop/laptop replacement, i will need a dock, a keyboard, a mouse and a monitor. If i am going to need all of that to make my phone a functional PC, then you know, i may as well use a laptop to to begin with.

As someone who travels with their work, i use my laptop on the train, in service stations and in cafes, so how will Continuum be of benefit?

A desktop would be better suited in an office environment and and laptop better suited for people who travel.

With desktops and laptops being available for a few hundred quid, why would i need a phone costing twice as much to provide less functionality?

 

I feel i must be missing something about Continuum. I just dont get it,

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kradcliffe    153

Microsoft's Windows Phone/Mobile strategy has been an unmitigated disaster from the get-go. Can't see it changing much, they'll just keep throwing money at it.

 

I agree. However when you post words to that effect on certain forums you get ripped apart.

 

The only people using WM are either IT geeks or people who have been fleeced over in a mobile phone shop.

 

I can sort of see the point of the really low end Lumias, but they don't make any money and don't penetrate the market.

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Jimbo    19

I agree. However when you post words to that effect on certain forums you get ripped apart.The only people using WM are either IT geeks or people who have been fleeced over in a mobile phone shop.I can sort of see the point of the really low end Lumias, but they don't make any money and don't penetrate the market.

Don't forget "backwards" people, too ;)The low end strategy was starting to work, peaking at 12% before MS bought Nokia. Whatever they did, it was always going to be an uphill struggle without a true market disruptor.

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Milhouse    355

I just don't see the benefits of Continuum outside of niche usage. To turn my phone into a desktop/laptop replacement, i will need a dock, a keyboard, a mouse and a monitor. If i am going to need all of that to make my phone a functional PC, then you know, i may as well use a laptop to to begin with.As someone who travels with their work, i use my laptop on the train, in service stations and in cafes, so how will Continuum be of benefit?A desktop would be better suited in an office environment and and laptop better suited for people who travel.With desktops and laptops being available for a few hundred quid, why would i need a phone costing twice as much to provide less functionality? I feel i must be missing something about Continuum. I just dont get it,

I genuinely think Continuum-like services* have the potential to further disrupt the PC market. If the dock costs next to nothing (which it should), then the remaining items you list are also inexpensive (even use a regular TV when in hotel room), but now you have a single device with all your data, apps etc. that fits in your pocket (potentially this is bad news if you were to lose it, but there's always cloud backup).Why pay for yet another compute device (laptop, desktop) when your mobile phone has sufficient compute power to run a full laptop/desktop OS and associated apps? All that's wrong is the form factor, which can be addressed by cheap-as-chips docking hardware and input devices, and the window management (which is a software issue).There's always going to be people that want a "real" laptop or desktop, but for a lot of other people this will make no sense when you can just dock your phone instead.Edit: *Actually the current implementation of Continuum isn't really what people need - running full fat Windows apps in the cloud is nice, but Microsoft are clearly fighting shy of going the whole hog, for obvious reasons. Running full fat desktop apps on a phone (be they Windows, Chrome or iOS/OSX) is what will really disrupt the PC market.

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kradcliffe    153

But all these accessories that Apple, Samsung and Microsoft sell are well overpriced and make huge margins. Just look at the Suface and iPad Pro keyboards.

 

If they were a "reasonable" price then they would be snapped up and help the product overall, but when you look at the base price of the devices *then* add on styli, docks, keyboards etc. it makes the product even more expensive.

 

Accessories should be priced to make the base product more appealing, not the other way round.

 

When I bought my Vaio U70 (a long time ago mind you) it came bundled with dock, keyboard, stylus all at no extra cost. Accessories are now seen as yet another way to increase profit.

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Milhouse    355

but when you look at the base price of the devices *then* add on styli, docks, keyboards etc. it makes the product even more expensive.

It might make the product more expensive but it's not going to make the product more expensive by the cost of a full blown laptop or desktop PC.Of course some companies are going to gouge on accessory prices - that's their standard MO - but in most cases there will be cheaper alternatives and even if the price is high it's still going to be cheaper (I'd expect *much* cheaper) than the full-blown alternative.The docks should be mostly passive devices, it's going to be hard to price something like that too high before it starts attracting negative publicity. I think the Continuum dock offered by Microsoft is £50 (and currently free with 950XL), and no doubt includes a very healthy margin (the BOM is probably sub-$5).

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normal    346

I guess the main advantage as far as I can see is that you only have to upgrade one piece of hardware intermittently. Then again, if the one device you use fails / breaks/gets lost - you're nobbled.

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RobM    195

It might make the product more expensive but it's not going to make the product more expensive by the cost of a full blown laptop or desktop PC.Of course some companies are going to gouge on accessory prices - that's their standard MO - but in most cases there will be cheaper alternatives and even if the price is high it's still going to be cheaper (I'd expect *much* cheaper) than the full-blown alternative.The docks should be mostly passive devices, it's going to be hard to price something like that too high before it starts attracting negative publicity. I think the Continuum dock offered by Microsoft is £50 (and currently free with 950XL), and no doubt includes a very healthy margin (the BOM is probably sub-$5).

 

I don't think it has to be more expensive for it to be priced out of most peoples consideration, it just has to be expensive enough that it forces them to make a decision.

 

On the MS website the dock is £79.99. Add in a keyboard and mouse for, say, £20 for a basic set? Then a monitor @ £75. You're at a total of £175, so over half-way to an all-in-one PC running Windows. It's cheaper, but since the majority of people buying a desktop computer will do so out of habit, safety or convenience, they're not going to be tempted into buying a flagship smartphone and turning it into a PC when they need to use it as a desktop.

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