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All posts tagged "blackberry"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Reflection: RIM's Malaise A WP7 Opportunity?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 10:30 AM

"Here's the thing about BlackBerry users: We're people who, at least when it comes to our phones, appreciate function over form. We've stuck with our little, not terribly stylish bricks because they worked. They didn't drop calls at bad moments. The e-mail came in and was easy to access. The point was simplicity, lack of worry. It just worked. Can I really say that now?"

CNET's Jim Kerstetter has written an editorial suggesting his days of being a dedicated BlackBerry user might be over. If I read his editorial correctly, I think the reason can be summed up as: his perceived benefit of the BlackBerry platform has been pushed to the brink with yet another service outage, leaving the other platforms much more attractive than perhaps they were before.

I was a BlackBerry user for six years before switching about a year ago. I haven't looked back. I prefer the physical models of the other platforms, their user-interfaces and availability of apps. I am not aware of a service outage in the last year on my platform. I think I would have a hard time to go back to the BlackBerry platform. Are there others out there like me? I bet there are a lot.

So, is this an opportunity for Microsoft and Windows Phone 7? I think it is. For one reason, anyone who might have been teetering on the edge of switching from the BlackBerry platform (assuming they have control over that decision) might just have had that little nudge they needed. We have become so dependent on multiple forms of communication through our smartphones (e-mail, text/instant messaging, voice, video, broadcasting (tweeting)), that even an hour without service can be annoying. Another reason is that the timing might just be perfect - Microsoft's new Mango version of the WP7 operating system is hitting mainstream and garnering attention the platform needs. Combine that with the BlackBerry users' drifting eyes and there might just be an interesting intersection point being formed.

It could be an opportunistic period of time for Microsoft and WP7 in the lead up to the holiday season. Your opinion please: is this a realistic opportunity for Microsoft, or just a speed bump for RIM?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Are BlackBerry Users Really Going To Abandon Ship?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 09:00 AM

"Around a third say this week's outage will force them to look at alternative mobile services. Nearly 20% of BlackBerry users are in the process of moving away from the platform, while a further 34% believe they should consider switching to an alternative mobile platform following this week's massive service outage, a CBR survey has revealed."

It has been a tough week on both sides of the equation: BlackBerry users who rely on consistent, predictable service, and all those stakeholders involved with production and delivery of the BlackBerry service. This is not the first BlackBerry outage, but I'm not sure people are as forgiving this time as they were for previous outages. There are definitely many users enamored with the platform, and IT organizations dedicated to providing it for them, but the survey results from CBR will surely get the attention of a lot of stakeholders, including RIM. So, readers, will this be a potential windfall for Windows Phone 7?

Friday, March 11, 2011

WP7 Survives Pwn2OWn Event Unscathed

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone News" @ 08:00 PM

"Apple's iPhone 4 and RIM's BlackBerry Torch 9800 both succumbed to hackers today at Pwn2Own, but two other smartphones running Android and Windows Phone 7 were unchallenged, the contest's sponsor said."

Yes, we're aware that having nobody trying to hack a Windows Phone 7 device sure helped.

What we can take from this is that Windows Phone 7 devices aren't exactly easy to exploit. That's not to say that it can't be done. I'm sure it can. But it wasn't easy enough for someone to figure out in the few short months that the operating system has been released.

It's only a matter of time before hackers do figure out an exploit. But hopefully Microsoft will have updates to close exploits as soon as they are discovered.

One advantage I will say that may be in Microsoft's favor is that they have been very open to working with home brew developers. These developers often are the ones discovering exploits.

Imagine that. Embracing hackers to increase security.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

MobileSync Pro - Sync, Share, Backup, and Protect

Posted by Danny Simmons in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:00 AM

"Retina-X Studios, LLC announced today the release of MobileSync Pro, a cross-platform mobile phone freeware for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows smartphones. MobileSync Pro is the most versatile and feature-rich mobile software utility yet to come out from Retina-X Studios, which has bundled a 4-in-1 solution by incorporating backup, theft-protection and file sharing solutions, besides its key function as an all-purpose sync solution."

Most mobile phones have built-in synchronization for your contacts, email, calendar, etc. But what happens if you want to change platforms. How do you move your data if you want to ditch your iPhone to try out Windows Phone 7? Or move from BalckBerry to Android? In most cases this would not be an easy process. MobileSync Pro is a free application that can do this for you. It also adds the capability of sharing your data with others. They offer 200 MB of free storage. They are also currently working to offer support for Windows Phone 7 and other platforms that should be finalized in the coming weeks. Curious? Check them out here.

Friday, December 31, 2010

What The Geeky Got for Gifts

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 05:30 PM

"If you got an iPad as a gift during the holidays, you certainly weren't alone. In a recent poll of holiday gift recipients, iPads accounted for a full 22.7% of all gadget or hardware gifts, making iPads the single largest category in our gift poll, outstripping the nearest runner-up by nearly 14% of votes. That runner-up was Amazon's Kindle - not surprising considering that the Kindle is the best-selling product in Amazon's history."

It's a relatively small sampling size - less than 2400 votes, and only from people who read Mashable - but among the geek-set, there are a couple of stand-out points: the iPad was the #1 gift, more people got Macs (60%) than Windows machines (40%), Android phones let the way in the smartphone category with a hefty 50.3% figure (iPhones were 30%), but Windows Phone 7 devices at 10.3% just eeked out Blackberry devices (9.4%). Not bad for a brand new platform that most people still haven't heard about! Lastly, the Xbox/Kinect one-two punch clobbered the PS3 with a 54.3% figure versus only 11.9% for the PS3. The Kinect really is driving the Xbox 360 to new heights of popularity!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Someone Finally Realizes That Windows Phone is A Lot Cheaper Than Blackberry

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone News" @ 01:30 PM

"Dell is shifting 25,000 of its employees, or one-quarter of its work force, from Research in Motion's BlackBerry to its own Windows Phone 7-powered Venue Pro. The company is still in discussions with T-Mobile USA, the carrier for the Venue Pro, for buying voice and data in bulk."

Yea yea yea, it's all nice and good that Dell is switching en masse to Windows Phone 7. However the article contains a line that I've been wondering when the heck we'd see for years now: "The company says that the switch will save money (as it will no longer need to pay for RIM's services)". Wow, you mean it's cheaper when you don't have to pay for RIM's servers to push mail to you? You mean, actually rely on technology present in Windows Mobile since Windows Mobile 5?!? And you don't even get the added benefit of periodic worldwide outages due to some server in RIM's headquarters going crazy?

Needless to say, in my opinion, the real story here is a company waking up and realizing they can get everything they want out of Microsoft's product lines, without the bloat and extra charges inherent to Blackberry. First doesn't mean best, and unless RIM realizes that, Blackberry is going to be in trouble over the next few years.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How Smartphone Users See Each Other

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Competition" @ 01:31 PM

Check out the rest of the comic here - funny stuff! No, there's no Windows Phone user yet, but that's not surprising right?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's Wrong With RIM

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Articles & Resources" @ 07:00 AM


"In my opinion, RIM's real problems center around two big issues: its market is saturating, and it seems to have lost the ability to create great products. This is a classic problem that eventually faces most successful computer platforms. The danger is not that RIM is about to collapse, but that it'll drift into in a situation where it can't afford the investments needed to succeed in the future. It's very easy for a company to accidentally cross that line, and very hard to get back across it. There's a lesson in RIM's situation for every tech company, so it's worthwhile to spend some time understanding what's happening."

Michael Mace is a smart guy; I've even had the pleasure of exchanging jabs with him right here in our forums back when he was the Chief Competitive Officer and VP of Product Planning at Palm. I've always respected him, and if RIM knows what's good for them, they'll spend a week slowly parsing his analysis of their future - then hire him to help them avoid it. There's some connection here to Windows Mobile as well; Microsoft saw the writing on the wall as Windows Mobile declined, and made the hard step to start over.

Short term, it alienates some of the customer base, and is missing key features, but long term, Windows Phone 7 is a platform that Microsoft can ride for many years to come. RIM hasn't learned that lesson yet; every Blackberry I see is, under the surface of the glossy menu, still a glorified pager. RIM does some things very well, but will that be enough to allow them to keep growing two years from now? I think the answer is probably not...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Will Take On Blackberry

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone News" @ 05:00 PM

"The iPhone has created a lot of loyal Apple fans. They're not about to switch. Android launched less than two years ago, which means that Android users are all still under contract. They're not going to switch either. Microsoft's best chance is to target BlackBerry users. The pitch should be all the fun of an iPhone (games, multimedia) with an e-mail experience that's better than the BlackBerry. Plus mobile Office to boot."

The target, according to Business Insider, is Blackberry. Makes sense - Android and iOS have their niches, and MS is going for simple, easy, and effective. Blackberries have popularity going for them, and are arguably effective. Simple and Easy though? Sure, in a MS-DOS'ey sort of way. Consider yourselves warned Blackberry addicts, you might find a Windows Phone in your future.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

RIM to Bid Farewell to Enterprise Dominance in the Face of Windows Phone 7?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 04:00 PM

"Last week I stated 'After Getting a Glimpse of the New Windows Phone 7 Functionality, RIMM is Looking More Like a Short Play'. I meant it, for the Windows Mobile offering looks to be quite compelling from a usability and capability perspective. This is an optimal time to be a smart phone consumer/user, for the competition in this field is red hot and the technology is available to make the competition into something that increases the productivity of the enterprise and consumer alike, not to mention transforming the entertainment and media landscapes, yet again."

It's never a good start to an article when the headline ("Windows Mobile 7 Spells The End Of The BlackBerry's Enterprise Dominance") doesn't even get the product name right - It's "Windows Phone 7." But, let's give author Reggie Middleton the benefit of the doubt. Microsoft has changed mobile brand names more than a few times over the past decade, and it can get confusing.

What I find a bit harder to believe, though, are some of his concepts; while it's true that Windows Phone 7 has some interesting advantages with SharePointe integration, and I believe still the best Exchange ActiveSync solution today, its unique user interface and highly consumer-centric approach don't really tend to lend themselves to the business world. And let's not forget that Microsoft has its own enterprise-specific slant on Windows Phone that will take shape over the next year. I also tend to think that the author discounts RIM's consumer appeal; I know people who I'd never guess would own a Blackberry, but because of aggressive wireless carrier advertising and discounts, bought one. Sometimes it's less about the phone and more about how it's promoted and positioned.

What do you think? Will Windows Phone 7 eat into RIM's market in the Enterprise?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Smartphones – Is It The Total Experience That Makes The Difference?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Articles & Resources" @ 08:00 AM

I regularly get asked by friends and colleagues for technology advice, and smartphones are a frequent topic. A recent conversation with a colleague got me thinking about how the smartphone marketplace was evolving, and how people might be making purchasing decisions over the next year or so. Purchasing behaviour is of course a complex topic, one that requires unique analysis expertise within the personnel of any product vendor. I'm not a marketing guru by any stretch, but, like you, I do have some opinions on the factors that influence people one way or another in the smartphone world. Read more...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ownership of Windows Phones Holding Steady

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 05:00 PM

WM Experts is reporting that, according to a Nielson survey, ownership of Windows Phone is holding steady. Blackberry is leading with 35% of the smartphone market, Apple is in second place at 28%, and Windows Phone ownership is at 19%. Android, the platform with all the thunder right now, only has 9% of the market - but I'd say it has about 60% of the mindshare. Given the number of Android devices shipping though, I expect that 9% to climb and climb over the rest of this year. The question is, who will bleed market share? I remember hearing a Microsoft person say that they expected market share numbers to get worse before they got better leading up to the Windows Phone 7 launch - I think he was prognosticating about this very scenario.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Phone Shipments In Q1 2010 - Motorola Drops Off

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 03:00 PM

The::Unwired recently reported on the latest marketshare numbers for phone manufacturers, and while not surprising, it does give pause. Motorola is no longer listed. It is just lumped in with "Other." Microsoft partner Samsung is ranked number 2, but they recently said they are focusing on Bada and Android, giving much less attention to Windows Mobile/Phone.

Keep in mind this list looks like phone shipments, not just smartphone shipments, so competing with Apple's iPhone or T-Mobile's HTC HD2 are the freebies from the likes of Nokia.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

HTC Considers Its Own Smartphone Platform

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Windows Phone Competition" @ 01:00 PM

It seems HTC is considering its own mobile platform, because, well, you know, there aren't enough choices out there. I can just imagine the ideas flowing in a brainstorming session on how to grow the company:

Creative Guy #1: So, how can we get more market share? This whole Microsoft partnership hasn't panned out so well for us the last year or so.

Creative Guy #2: Let's buy Palm. I hear they are for sale. We can work with WebOS.

Creative Guy #3: No, WebOS is old news. I know, let's create a NEW PLATFORM! We'll be the exclusive providers and make a mint!

Group nods in assent, pats each other on the back and goes out for pizza.

Now it is possible it didn't' quite happen this way, Whatever really happened, it must have been equally strange. We have today six major smartphone platforms - iPhone, Android, WebOS, Windows Mobile/Phone, Blackberry, and though I hesitate to add them because almost no one ever installs a third party app on it, Symbian. Now, let's not forget that Samsung is doing their own OS called Bada, a name that has an extraneous vowel at the end of it in my opinion. There is also Moblin and Maemo which are merging into MeeGo.

Furthermore, while I like HTC hardware, their UI enhancements leave a lot to be desired. There are maddening inconsistencies in how TouchFlo 3D works, especially those that remove good features in Windows Mobile. HTC is not, in my opinion, the one that should be coming up with an all new OS and UI. This is yet another reason they should just buy Palm and be done with it.

On top of all of this, we have super powerful feature phones and devices like the Kin, which target very specific audiences. The market needs consolidation, not more "me too" operating systems. What do you think? Do you generally like the idea that smartphone makers are turning out operating systems faster than GM can design cars that buyers want, or do you think the market needs to consolidate on three or four major platforms?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Rural Wireless Carriers File FCC Petition Opposing Handset Exclusivity

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 08:36 PM

"If you thought you were annoyed when one of the big wireless carriers locked up a phone you were after, you have no idea how frustrated small and rural wireless carriers are -- they've just filed a petition with FCC seeking to ban the practice. The 80 companies in the Rural Cellular Association serve small markets not well-covered by the big guys, like parts of New Mexico, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming, and they say that carrier exclusivity deals not affect their bottom line, but also deprive consumers of desirable phones like the iPhone and upcoming Blackberry Bold. They've actually got a pretty good point: lots of rural customers can't purchase and use an iPhone without technically breaking the AT&T service agreement. We'll see how this one goes -- although we'd love nothing more than to use any phone we wanted on any carrier, there are plenty of reasons it won't happen, and exclusivity is the easiest way for carriers to differentiate themselves to consumers."

As a consumer I really hope that in the coming years we start to see an end to all of the exclusivity contracts. I can understand them to a point but in the case of the iPhone, as mentioned above, was five years really necessary? Also I think the iPhone is a horrible example of a handset to use an example here since a lot of the rural carriers I can think of off the top of my head all run off of CDMA networks and the iPhone is a GSM and soon to be HSDPA handset. Even if the exclusivity deal was not in place, do you really expect Apple to make a CDMA version just to be fair to the little guys? A lot of high-end handsets have trouble selling in densely populated areas and if there is not enough customer demand to convince the big five to open shops in those rural areas, what makes the little carriers think they could even secure those fancy handsets in the first place?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tellme It's Not True: Microsoft's Voice Search on Blackberry Before Windows Mobile

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 01:17 PM

"Windows Mobile does have and support voice-enabled functions, but this is an interesting twist. Due to better support for Java, Microsoft's Tellme subsidiary is offering its voice search for Blackberry devices before it goes live on Windows Mobile handsets. Tellme keeps track of where you are through your phone's GPS radio so your search results are local to where you are... Device owners can tap a button and speak their search query; in return, Tellme will offer local results using the Microsoft Live Search engine."

You know what? I'm not really too broken up about this. Don't get me wrong, I think the idea is pretty cool in theory but to quote Lawrence Peter Berra - "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not". As amazing as Microsoft's Voice Command service is on our handsets the one major drawback I have always encountered is that it just does not work very well at all if you are not in a quiet room. Same thing goes for voice enable telecom services! Every time I try to use anything voice enabled and there is any noise in the background whatsoever then the service flat out fails... unless I yell my command into the microphone but then you just end up looking insane. This is the exact reason why I have stopped demoing the Voice Command feature for people who are interested in learning more about my phone.

Who knows, maybe this is a Trojan horse for Microsoft to make all Blackberry users look crazy while they shout into their handsets - aggravating them to the point where they switch over to Windows Mobile devices.

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