After my previous post I feel I’m done with the reasons behind the crash of Nokia, the severity of it, as well as all the piles of FUD Tomi Ahonen has created. So unless Tomi brings in new stuff, I could go look after something else for a moment.
This post is basically a prelude. I probably edit this post a bit as I get some additional posts in, sorry about not doing “finalized version”.

To the subject: My life was messed up few weeks back. People who have seen my description in Twitter know I like Symbian. But my Symbian phone faced disastrous event just a bit before the time my employer renews the phones in use. So I reverted to my old Nokia-time N900 during my vacation and afterwards I received…
…Lumia 800.
It’s the device of the devil! The rapist who assaulted N9! The bringer of the end of days! …or something like that, judging from the flame in the web. And Tomi has done his fair share for that. Let’s try the man:

the testing was left to minimal, or in fact too little as manufacturing and severe software bugs have plagued each of the first four Lumia devices.” [1]

I was expecting continuous resets and hangs or something like that. Even being aware of 101 faults list etc. and therefore not being surprised of the shortcomings, I was sceptical. So how has it been so far?

I have had the device for about 2 weeks now. First 7 days were amazing indeed. After that the excitement wears off and I just notice I like the device. And don’t get me wrong, My good old trusted N8 was really good and I liked it (especially after Belle update) but the utterly horrible N900 experience in between gave me cold shower that Lumia warms up nicely. Plus I’m constantly amazed that the device is not bad. Not bad at all.
I definitely wanted to have N9 (N950 would’ve been nice too), but scary part is, I don’t feel the compelling urge to throw away the Lumia. It’s nice to use, has all the apps I’ve needed so far and works well in Social networks + music + photos, which I need the most. 12mpix camera would’ve been nice, but considering N9 does not have it either and I’m unable to see any problems with image quality, I really don’t miss all that much the remaining 4mpix.

So the device is okay in all aspects, yet lacks some less mandatory features.
And it’s hated by lots of people.
And therefore I feel I have gotten to the battlefield of platform war.
Let me explain.

BASICS OF WARFARE

When war starts, first thing is to demonize the enemy. It is easier to hate enemy that is evil and preferably inhuman.

Also crucial is to do lots and lots of propaganda. And I’m not talking about trying to cover enemy troops by dropping flyers that say “Join our side and you’ll get bread to eat”. The important part is propaganda to OWN troops. This is to keep up the demonized image of the enemy. Mock the enemy. Describe them as ruthless savages. Make them as inhuman as possible, so it will be easy to kill them without mercy.

And now, what has this to do with Windows Phone?
Everything, it seems.

PLATFORM WAR OF 90’S (AND TODAY)

I remember Usenet discussions back in 90’s. Any discussion about PC operating systems almost instantly turned into Linux vs. Windows flame war. And same pattern repeated:
Windows is bloated, slow, non-customizable, full of bugs and closed OS from bad Microsoft.
Linux is lacking features, made by people who know nothing about OS work, based on UNIX that is meant for mainframes, not for PCs and a techie tool that cannot be used by ordinary people.

How come I am not surprised when I can read Tomi describing Windows Phone with these faults:

Slave to Microsoft
Nokia no say to development
Microsoft proprietary
Development of PC and smartphone Windows (as opposed to being built from ground up)
Rated mediocre OS
Is designed PC first
Is mobile compromised/PC optimized
Pay license to Microsoft for every sale
Not compatible with advanced tech
Ecosystem owner to be Micrsoft” [1]

It’s like the collection of all the OS rant from 90’s, whichever side was talking. And of course this all on top of being “plagued by bugs”. Also one comments I’ve heard about Windows Phone is “the people who did it had no clue how mobile phones work”. Fits to the picture, yes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do NOT feel that Windows Phone is “superior OS”. Problem is – I don’t think any of the options (Android, iOS, Symbian, WP, MeeGo) is “superior” compared to others. If one of these would be massively better than others, it would outsell all the others 4 to 1 or better.
(Yet one can say Android is doing well in that aspect.)

OS discussions really heat up feelings. People reach quite about religious state of mind and unfortunately (on all sides of the debate) they go easily to this mood:

Every now and then I sense this “I took my stand and will not change my mind no matter what you say” – tone creeping in. It is just as well WP fans saying that true multitasking is not necessary for good user experience (it is) as well as Symbian fans saying that multitasking does not compromise performance (it does).

But it seems each side of the ongoing war does their demonization well. That includes usually lots of FUD, so I decided to do few posts about Windows Phone (and the platform war) next. But before I go there, one important aspect about Windows Phone:

DOES IT SAVE NOKIA?

Tomi has been quite active on saying that Windows Phone does not save Nokia. I agree, but due to different aspect. Fact is that there is no OS to save Nokia if the company does not get their internals straight. It applies to MeeGo, Meltemi, Symbian… …and now Windows Phone.

Example:
So Windows Phone can not send business cards via Bluetooth/MMS? Should not be a massive thing to fix and Nokia was supposed to have “special deal” with Microsoft. Why on earth they have not pushed that simple thing through to SW updates? Definitely the biggest, most annoying thing to fix. Really. (Lacking Bluetooth file transfer is a good second).

I know Symbian, MeeGo and even Series 40 can do both. It’s not whether Nokia adopted platform with less features (they already did that with Maemo and then with MeeGo, list of lacking features is just different). This is about “it sucks but let’s ship it” attitude that lead to N97 and a long list of other disasters.
The delay(s) of MeeGo were probably only time Nokia actually did NOT “just ship it” and have you noticed how good product they finally shipped? Nokia historically just sucks in finalization and keeping schedules (usually both). Windows Phone tries to solve the issue by outsourcing OS. In a sense it worked, Windows Phone lacks more features but remaining ones come with better quality. However, if outsourced OS comes from just as inefficient giant (Microsoft), it is only first step. Nokia could have driven the actions to get these things fixed by now, if they got their internals in shape (and if they would have shaken MSFT awake too).

WHO WILL BUY IT?

As said, Windows Phone OS is not as bad as one would assume. Feature phone owners probably will like it. People in industrialised world will do OK with it as they have data plans and PC for Zune. And especially, if Apple got nuked tomorrow, Lumia would sell like hell to current iPhone owners. The current features and restrictions are almost identical to iPhone.
Unfortunately, I haven’t heard nuclear war coming to nuke Apple and offering replacement to existing Apple customers is really futile. I like the way Tomi put it:

if Apple tomorrow announces iPantyhose, then the braves boldest straightest heterosexual males will stand in line overnight to be the first to buy iPantyhose – in white of course – and wear them proudly. You, girl friend, you go back in line and buy your own. These are mine…” [1]

That’s how it goes. Nokia was not in need of “iPhone killer” no matter how much media gives that impression. Nokia needed new OS, sure. They needed new UI, sure. As a whole, they needed iPhone-class user experience with Symbian featureset and developer offering of Android. Easiest would’ve been to do majority of the N9 Swipe UI on top of Android…
…but they probably would have messed it up internally.

So they’ve taken the Windows Phone path, which probably sounded like sane action then.
Fine.
Past.
Ancient history.
Can’t change the fact.
Moving on.
(Let’s see what kind of FUD the platform wars brings up.)

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