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Handhelds Microsoft

Microsoft Says Your Phone is Your Next PC 271

eldavojohn writes "While other companies are marrying the obvious functionalities to cell phones (calendar, MP3 player, GPS, etc.), Microsoft is aiming for it to be your next computer. Microsoft Research chief Craig Mundie said that, "Microsoft has a research project called 'Fone+' that would allow the phone to work with a TV as a secondary display, and one that could allow video stored on the device to be played back on the television.""
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Microsoft Says Your Phone is Your Next PC

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:24PM (#19153367)
    Microsoft is talking....
    • Not if I don't patent anything and everything related to phone PCs.
    • i heard they were going to call it an aMEga
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Quiet? Once I got to "to work with a TV as a secondary display" I cracked up. I remember using a TV as a display a long time ago, with my TRS-80 Color Computer. Unless you're going to use HDTV, it's a serious pain.

      I'd put this right up with the recent threats about Linux and patents as press releases that really mean, "Hey, we're making it sound like Vista is doing great, but it's crashing, and we're really scared we might no longer be the big bully on the block. Instead of seeing how desperate we are,
      • It's not thaaat bad an idea. With HDTVs you can get some decently clear text, unlike the 40 column text with SDTVs. I wouldn't mind a smartphone that plugs in to a TV to surf/read email in full screen resolution. The only problem I see if the component or HDMI cable will be as big as the phone.
        • The only problem I see if the component or HDMI cable will be as big as the phone.

          I was thinking more or less the same thing. But one way to solve it would be to have a plug-in adapter that you would use only when you wanted to interface with your HDTV. Or you could connect to it via some wireless adapter. There are disadvantages with this too as you would need to carry the adapter around if you wanted to use it away from home, but if this became ubiquitous maybe the connectors would come built in on the HDTV itself.

          Besides, TFA mentions this Diamond Age *shudder* type of interface fo

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mollymoo ( 202721 )

        Quiet? Once I got to "to work with a TV as a secondary display" I cracked up. I remember using a TV as a display a long time ago, with my TRS-80 Color Computer. Unless you're going to use HDTV, it's a serious pain.

        I presume you didn't read TFA and instead projected your negative preception of Microsoft onto the summary. FYI, that bit of the summary relates to this quote from TFA:

        "There's no reason that if this thing were hooked up to a large display that we couldn't watch video in this environment," Mu

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Ah, so you're one of those, "Let's see how many people we can take down if they say the least negative thing about MS" fanboys that lurks around.

          Yes, you can use a TV to watch videos, if that's all you do with your toys. On the other hand, if you read the first sentence of the article, it uses the phrase "formalize the transition of the phone to a mobile PC." I don't know about you, but I use my computer for a lot of things, most of which need text and very few involved just video.

          So I'd suggest reading a
        • "There's no reason that if this thing were hooked up to a large display that we couldn't watch video in this environment," Mundie said.

          The fact that the average person in the developed world spends hours per day viewing video on a TV suggests that TVs are widely considered adequate for that task.

          Ok, so I use the TV to watch some TV. What do I need the phone for again?
        • by Nethead ( 1563 )
          I don't watch TV. I wish others wouldn't.
        • Quote: "There's no reason that if this thing were hooked up to a large display that we couldn't watch video in this environment," Mundie said.

          I can already do this with my 5th generation video iPod with Apple's audio/video connection kit for $100, which includes an iPod dock & remote control!

          What's new about this? Nothing! This statement is nothing more than Microsoft using Apple as it's research & development division. Move along, nothing to see here...
    • by Ucklak ( 755284 )
      E.F. Hutton doesn't exist anymore. I remember something about pizza boxes;
      Maybe Microsoft can `deliver` their `phone` in pizza boxes.
    • ...but it sure isn't likely to be running MS software, being completely honest. A compact device with say, even just significant presentation capabilities and a networked terminal, can believably be housed in a phone-like device; however, it would have to be a very tight kernel and nothing from Redmond is remotely suitable.


    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gronofer ( 838299 )
      Apparently Microsoft thinks a computer is something that can play video, not irrelevant stuff like calendar, MP3 player, GPS, etc.
  • More? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by growse ( 928427 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:25PM (#19153375) Homepage
    Given their spectacular foray into the MP3 player market, and the hideous mess that is Windows Mobile, I wonder exactly what more plans they have for markets they "don't really get"....
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by superphreak ( 785821 )
      I have a Dell Axim and was recently looking on their (Dell's) web site for the Axim and couldn't find it. I went to look in the news for Dell Axim and found out that Dell had pulled the Axim because they thought that the future was in "smart phones," so I guess MS isn't the only one.
      • by tftp ( 111690 )
        Dell was also burned by Windows Mobile 5 [] which has quite a few problems. I have the previous model, Axim X50V, with Windows Mobile 2003. That works. But I also got the WM5 upgrade CD, tried it, and reverted back - it was that bad. However I had a choice; many happy Axim owners bought it with WM5 and they had no way back.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:54PM (#19153755)
      My guess is that they'll make vacuum cleaners next, just so they can have at least one new product that's guaranteed not to suck.
    • Re:More? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <{akaimbatman} {at} {}> on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:57PM (#19153781) Homepage Journal

      I wonder exactly what more plans they have for markets they "don't really get"....

      If you read Bill Gates' book The Road Ahead [] sometime, you'll realize that Gates has some very impractical visions of the future. WebTV was everything he dreamed of for the future of home computers, which is why Microsoft bought them out. It didn't seem to quite occur to Gates that the computer would absorb the television instead. (A subtle but important distinction.) Expect Microsoft to try and make your cellphone into a "Digital Wallet"/Personal Assistant rather than following the more practical "micropayment" designs that Europe ties to cellphones. (Gates believes that the digital wallet will completely replace the leather one.)
      • Which version? There were two. The first edition didn't make hardly a mention of the Internet at all, while companies like Netscape were already capitalizing on the Net. So it didn't quite occur to Gates the first time he wrote the book (in 1994 no less) that the Internet would become important at all. So, yes, I very much agree with you, albeit for different reasons.
    • MS have pushed tablets three or four times and they've always failed (starting way back around 1990). The reason: this is one of Bill Gate's pet areas of interest and immense effort goes into these failures. In fact all their business areas bleed money except for selling XP + Office to corporates. This has been so for a long time. Perhaps if other business units had to make money they'd think a bit more and create better products.

      MS direction is not set by listening to the market, but by Bill's ego. This is

      • Tablets will take off. Gates also understood that media center PCs would be huge, but he (self-admittedly) got into the market way, way too soon (mid-1990s).

        Tablets fill a niche where you need a portable PC that you can take notes on. They're perfect for students and workers who aren't at an office, and you can expect that once the price drops below a threshold there'll be huge uptake of tablet PCs.
        The only question is what that threshold is, and will tablet PCs turn a profit while under that threshold.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      No, they get it just fine. My iPhone is my next PC.
  • Gee.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thestudio_bob ( 894258 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:25PM (#19153379)
    Gee, how inovative. He announces the next big thing 4 months after Steve Jobs demos one.
    • Re:Gee.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Darth Cider ( 320236 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:37PM (#19153513)
      You said it right. Ballmer sez the iPhone is nuthin, then MS announces this original(TM) idea. How ridiculous! Don't they have any shame? They have NO innovative ideas and could not mortgage all their stock to come up with even ONE original idea. Jobs was right at the Apple board meeting: developing great products is NOT "as easy as writing a check." Poor poor pitiful college grads who take a job at Microsoft. No glory, only shame.
    • Re:Gee.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MBraynard ( 653724 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:38PM (#19153535) Journal
      Actually, MS has been ahead of Apple in this market for at least 11 years starting with Windows CE. I've had several of the devices and my HP Ipaq 6945 eclipses the capabilities of any computer I owned until maybe 2000. WM5 is not perfect and has a long way to go, as does the hardware. But unlike Apple's product that you can't buy anywhere and that doesn't have a QUERTY and that doesn't have a the possibility of getting third party developers, WM has had all of that for several years.
      • by stubear ( 130454 )
        Amen. How the hell did the OP get modded insightful? Oh, yeah, over-zealous Apple fanbois who probably think Apple invented the computer.
      • Re:Gee.. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @08:29PM (#19154169) Homepage Journal
        Actually, MS has been ahead of Apple in this market for at least 11 years starting with Windows CE.

        That really depends on how far back you want to go and how long you want to carry out an argument. Windows CE didn't exist until about five years after the original Newton.
        • The HP LXes were better than both, imo. The first beat the newton by few years, I believe.
          I really wish that form factor didn't stagnate and then die.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by stubear ( 130454 )
          Yeah, I loved having conversations on my Newton. Oh, wait, you couldn't do that could you? While SmartPhones are not 11 years old, Microsoft has been in teh cell phone industry with proven products for years now. What does Apple have to show? A promise and nothing more. Even when the iPhone is released to market it will have less functionality then SmartPhones that are a few years old.
          • That may be... but from what I can see it has the functionality I WANT. I don't care what a windows mobile phone can do I have yet to see one that behaves in a way -I WANT IT TO- which the demo of an iPhone I saw does. This has always been Microsoft's failing, trying to get me to do things their way instead of listening to how I wanted to do it. Sorry Bill, but while Apple may have less features, they have the ones I want and use which is all I care about.
      • Re:Gee.. (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @09:00PM (#19154579)

        But unlike Apple's product that you can't buy anywhere and that doesn't have a QUERTY and that doesn't have a the possibility of getting third party developers, WM has had all of that for several years.
        I hope for your sake you dont have an english layout keyboard, because otherwise you look like a fucking moron for misspelling qwerty
      • Re:Gee.. (Score:5, Funny)

        by Max Littlemore ( 1001285 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @09:56PM (#19155209)

        ...doesn't have a QUERTY...

        Uell maybe some people don't uant a querty. I knou all it does for me is rwin my typing and enswre I have to wse the spell checker.

      • 1.) Apple's Newton was first.
        2.) The iPhone has a virtual keyboard.
        3.) Apple is considering adding third-party support.

        Just face facts here. Microsoft is waaay behind in 2007.
    • Re:Gee.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Col. Klink (retired) ( 11632 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:56PM (#19153771)
      Not only that, but it was just over two weeks ago that we got this [] gem from Ballmer slamming the iPhone (discussed on /. []):

      A phone is really a general purpose device. You want to make telephone calls, you want to get and receive messages, text, e-mail, whatever your preference is. The phone really is kind of a general purpose device that we need to have clean and easy to use.
      • by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:06AM (#19158519) Journal

        I'm trying to parse that, and I honestly can't figure out whether he wants the iPhone to be more general purpose (like Windows Mobile is, with its ability to download 3rd-party apps) or more special-purpose (like my cell phone is -- even with all the bells and whistles, I only really have to know how to dial a number and hit "send", just like any other cell phone).

        I'm assuming he's slamming the iPhone, because you said so. Maybe it makes more sense in context, but... Seriously, what the fsck? It seems like there's some law of nature that as you get higher on the corporate ladder, you must learn to make statements and speeches that:

        • Are long
        • Sound intelligent/important if you don't bother to try to understand it
        • Don't actually say anything at all, or
        • Make no fucking sense
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by policy ( 1079865 )
      To be fair, if you ever read Bill Gate's book "The road ahead" (I was a naive young man, I know) he actually predicted and discussed a lot of the technology and ideas that we are seeing sprout up. I'm not a Microsoft troll or anything, so don't flame me! I just wanted to point out that there isn't much room for innovation these days due to corporate hierarchies and management issues. Most of these exciting technologies have been on paper and in the minds of visionaries for years, even decades. Thankfull
    • their job is to be interested in anything new, especially anything new that competitors are interested in, and to patent key elements to stop it ever becoming a threat to their core business.
      • But I think we are bound to see very soon that while they have a large number of patents,
        they would rather not defend them in court. Sad new trend in patent trolling if you ask me.
        Patents are probably what MS is going to live on for the next 5 years till they pull
        their head out of their ass, or die a slow and painful death.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by QuantumG ( 50515 )
          They don't need to go to court. Just look what they've done with voice recognition technology. Every year a journalist will tell you that Microsoft gave them this demo of automatic voice recognition technology that required no training and worked perfectly. Every year Microsoft will fail to sell a product that does this, and so will everyone else. Why? Cause the big boys are scared shitless of patent lawsuits, and you simply can't get funding for a startup where there are Microsoft patents that even sl
    • Re:Gee.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BeanThere ( 28381 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @08:25PM (#19154145)
      Apple 'underpromises and overdelivers', Microsoft 'overpromises and underdelivers', this is how it pretty much always has been. Microsoft as a general marketing strategy often announce 'hi-tech' vaporware supposedly in the pipeline that never comes about anyway. And it doesn't matter, they don't really mean it, it's just PR to get people talking and to brainwash people into associating 'Microsoft' with 'visionary hi-tech ideas' (even if they are old ideas or someone else's ideas, they have the money to parade them as their own). And most people just don't make the connection when years later all they really get from Microsoft is the same old watered down repackaged-1990s-technology crapware. It's just to make sure that whenever the masses hear about newish ideas, they hear about them in association with their brand name.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        This is going to sound horrible, so maybe someone has a link to a better version, but here goes:

        Three women are talking about their sex lives.

        First woman: "My husband's in construction, so he just pounds me like a jackhammer all night long."
        Second woman: "My husband's a doctor, so he's always slow, methodical, and compassionate."
        Third woman: "My husband works for Microsoft. He just sits on the edge of the bed and tells me how good it's going to be when I get it."
    • Let's be fair, Microsoft already said they were working on a Zune phone a few months before Steve announced his phone. They didn't say what it would be like though.
    • Give him some credit, he's getting better. It took him four years to admit the internet wasn't a flash in the pan now it just took him four months to realize Jobs was right. At this rate he'll be ahead of the game ten years from now. In twenty years he'll be a furturist.
  • by the_rajah ( 749499 ) * on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:26PM (#19153409) Homepage
    Just what I want.... NOT!

    "Sorry, Dave, I can't let you take that call from a non-Microsoft phone. Accept or Deny?"
    • Hmm, actually I think I might pay someone to maintain a do-not-call list for me...

      Ok just kidding. Sorta.
  • Too many functions (Score:2, Insightful)

    by davidc ( 91400 )
    Why can't a phone just be a phone any more? I don't want a phone that's a PDA, camera, voice recorder, makes the dinner, advises me on my psychoses, and so on. I just want it to be a phone, darn it!
    • by linvir ( 970218 )

      Anybody know of a phone like this? I've practically stopped bothering with the things recently. So much feature bloat... it was actually hurting performance. I had a Siemens my201x that actually lagged noticeably behind button presses because of how bloated it was.

      I have a Nokia 7110 on its way to me right now. It has a bit of superfluous crap, like a browser, but as far as I can tell its mostly phone. Anybody know of anything better?

      • I always get Motorolas. I have a motorola l6, which has a camera, plays mp3, has bluetooth, blah blah. But it is an excellent phone. I don't use any of that stuff really and it stays out of the way pretty well if I don't ask for it.

        I detest phones. I have smashed a few Motorolas in my day (crappy flip phones from Nextel...grumble grumble). But I actually like this phone and do not want to get rid of it (plus I dropped crappy Nextel for Cingular, which makes it even better).

        A friend of mine has a motorl
      • If you want a phone that is strictly a phone, then the Nokia 1100 should fit the bill.
      • If you're on Sprint, try the Sanyo SCP 4900. With the extended battery and in areas with decent service, you won't have to charge it more than once a week; it's decently rugged; and you can pick one up for $30 on ebay. It was a top-of-the-line phone...around 2003.

        Only issue: you can't send text messages with it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cuby ( 832037 )
      If you want a machine that sums why do you buy a computer? You can always buy a calculator! I'm tired of this "I don't what a Swiss knife phone talk". There's a lot of choice in the market... Go buy a nokia 1010 or something.
      This subject has to much importance for this kind of light analysis.

      Before I start, I must tell that I'm pro-open source and I don't like Microsoft or Apple.

      The interesting point here is to create a good platform to support mobile computing. At the present moment the hardware st
    • by Max Littlemore ( 1001285 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @08:54PM (#19154503)

      Why can't a phone just be a phone any more?

      I've wondered about this push to include more and more features. I do however use some of the features in my phone.

      I do:

      • Use the camera for quick happy snaps and giving directions. I have sent pictures to friends so that they can find a place that's tricky by address alone.
      • Play games on the train, simple games. The thought of playing a fps on something that size makes me want to book in at the osteopath, but tetris, golf, etc are a good way to kill time.
      • Listen to mp3s. Some people have a phone and a seperate player, I find the combination convenient.

      I don't:

      • Use the web browser. It costs extra in network access and hurts my eyes. I maintain that the iPhone would be better named iStrain
      • Use it to do more than simple text messaging and editing.
      • Use it to edit photos, audio production, database, office apps, development, etc. That's what my PC is for.

      Phones are just too small. When I'm doing PC type work, I want a laptop or a PC, not a tiny hand held thing, and especially not one that will "enable my digital lifestyle" (read prevent me from doing anything that does provide revenue for Microsoft).

      • I don't: ...

        That's the purpose of introducing new devices with new capabilities.

        Phones are just too small.

        In particular, the keyboard and screen are too small. Microsoft is chasing the idea of taking your own computer (slash phone) with you everywhere, and wirelessly linking it up to the nearest available terminal (screen and keyboard).

        I think it's an ok idea, except I doubt Microsoft has the clout to make these keyboard/display units ubiquitous. If I knew they'd be provided on the plane, at my hote

  • Isn't that, like, a big step backwards from HD TV? I mean, what kind of video coudl a phone possibly put out? Might as well watch YouTube on your TV. :P

    • by Sparr0 ( 451780 )
      My GP2X can put out 720x480, that's plenty of resolution for me to watch on a big screen. There are plenty of portable devices that put out HD as well, that's why Mini-DVI was invented.
    • by Medgur ( 172679 )
      XBMC lets me do that... Quite fun actually, even on the projector.
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:39PM (#19153547) Journal
    if they ever were an oracle for the tech industry that is.

    As mentioned, they have yet to release any product worth much this century --- say that slowly to yourself!

    No matter how hard they try, and they will, MS will not get anything that can be called portable enough to be a 'phone' to also be a person's primary computer, with or without the addition of interfacing to a tv for video output. The claim of running video from it is just a bit absurd at the current level of technology. So what would be the point of saying something like that? Have you ever watched a stage magician at work? Yep, they tell you one thing to keep you distracted while they seemingly work to pull a rabbit out of a hat. We all know that what you get is not what you saw, or think you saw.

    First, we have them misquoting reports to make Linux look 'illegal', then pumped up sales figures for Vista, now this? WOW, the MS spin machine will need some new bearings soon. The ones they are using will be worn out soon, if they aren't already about to fail.

    The reality of the world is what they are trying to distract us from:

    FireFox is gaining ground at the expense of IE
    ODF is gaining ground at MS' expense
    OOo is gaining ground at MS' expense
    Dell is shipping Ubuntu systems at the expense of Vista
    Dell is shipping XP systems at the expense of Vista
    MS is being implicated in even more illegal/monopolistic dealings
    MS' best friends in government are too busy right now to help them out again
    BillG's foundation is getting bad press
    Apple is still the tech world's stage hog
    Zune is all but buried in the back pages of tech history .... and on and on

    In fact, nothing MS has touched in recent years has ended up good for them.... and THAT is what they don't want stockholders to realize

    I'm betting that some people in Redmond are looking for a new place in the Sun
    • No matter how hard they try, and they will, MS will not get anything that can be called portable enough to be a 'phone' to also be a person's primary computer, with or without the addition of interfacing to a tv for video output

      Well, yeah, really I don't think the prediction is "wrong" so much as "obvious". Phones keep adding more PDA-like features, internet features, etc. They already have an impressive amount of computing power and loads of general computing functionality. If you have a lightweight co

      • My bet?
        By the time that MS announces this miracle of miniature technology, Apple will have the perfect interface for it, LG will have sold 3 million of their version worldwide, and Motorola will have sold it in 4 special edition colors before MS has their beta product shipped to magazines reviewers.
        • Oh, no, I'm sure Microsoft will be releasing various attempts at this sort of technology. They'll try 10 different versions over the next 5 years, and each will have lots of features in it. They will be hard to use, the interfaces will be sluggish and annoying, the features won't fit together well, and none of it will be compatible with anything other than other MS products. There will be geeks who love the devices, but they won't be popular in the mainstream.

          Someone else will get to the breakout device

    • I work at an s/w house focusing on the use of MS products. I run both Linux and windows at work and at home, and have a myth box. So I think I can comment on both camps.

      I dont think MS is doing as poorly as you think: check out here [] - especially the 5 year graph. A slow but steady climb for the last 5 years, with plenty of volatility.

      FireFox is gaining ground at the expense of IE

      Yep - in my neck of the woods the rate is 25% or more. However IE has been stagnant for many years. But MS react very well whe

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tomstdenis ( 446163 )
        ODF isn't a wrapper around binary data. It's a zip'ed archive of XML files. All of the text and styles are in plaintext english. It's also very verbose [which is also a downside]. OOo isn't perfect, but it's at least "open."


  • Wow. Mundie has moved up in the world hasn't he?

    I remember a few of my research associates quitting their academic positions to go work at Microsoft. They quickly discovered that any respect they had in the field quickly evaporated. It was a tough time for them.

    What I gotta wonder is, knowing that the head of the research department at Microsoft is nothin' but a marketting shill, how could expect serious academics to treat you any different?

  • cell phone internet costs too much and the caps are to low to use it as a pc 5gb is real small.
  • What they forgot to mention is, your phone will be running Linux.
  • "Microsoft has a research project called 'Fone+' that would allow the phone to work with a TV as a secondary display, and one that could allow video stored on the device to be played back on the television."

    So, Microsoft has a "research project" that would allow a wireless phone to be used like my iPod can be used now: with a TV as a secondary display, including for stored video. Hmm. A phone, that could be used the same way an iPod can be now. And that might include even more of the features one expects in

  • Windows Mobile 5.0 (Score:5, Informative)

    by strikethree ( 811449 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @08:00PM (#19153829) Journal
    No. My cel phone is not my next PC. There are two main problems. The first is that nobody has figured out a reasonable UI with the screenspace that is available. The second is that Windows Mobile 5.0 is buggy, bloated, slow, and not very useful to program for.

    I have a smart phone right now and it crashes about once a week with no extra software installed other than what came with the phone.

    • I can't wait to *see* what the VistaPhone has to offer -file transfers at half speed due to DRM and a dualcoreCPU 1GB RAM requirements HAHAHA!!!

      -I'm just sayin'
    • by garcia ( 6573 )
      The first is that nobody has figured out a reasonable UI with the screenspace that is available.

      Danger [] has with the Sidekick family. It's unfortunate that they haven't kept up with anything else that the device has to offer (the camera still fucking blows, there might be GPS inside but it isn't enabled for user accessible location-aware apps, and T-mobile is holding the rest of it by marketing it to douchebags and teenagers rather than who they should have).

      The Hiptop's OS is incredible (multitasking, usef
      • That, or go into the display settings and increase the font size. Just an idea. And if his phone is really crashing every week with nothing installed, then he seriouly needs to get a replacement. The only times I've had to shut off/restart my T-Mobile MDA since I bought it was to install a new ROM and to test a different phone with the SIM card.
  • ... does it come in brown?
  • I for one, am not letting MS anywhere near my phone (landline) or PC (Kubuntu dapper)!
  • Why can't I just have a phone that lets me place and receive phone calls?
  • Will that have the little red squiggly line under it?

    I guess after shoving Windows into the thing they'll have to drop a letter from it's spelling because they're out of space...
  • Is it just me or is /. feeling more like a PR site for MS products than new news for nerds?
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @08:46PM (#19154371) Homepage
    Why not use your tweezers as a wrench?

    Why not use your oboe as a bassoon?

    Why not use your sleeve as a handkerchief?

    Why not use your car as a truck?

    Why not use your PC as a doorstop?

  • Modularity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wordplay ( 54438 ) <> on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @08:46PM (#19154383)
    After buying a Nokia N800, I don't think so. I think having the connectivity be in a separate device from the computing is a huge win, for most of the same reasons we went away (or never adopted) the all-in-one model on the desktop.

    1) In a convergence device, if two parts are important and are still in active development, one part will always obsolesce faster than the other part and force replacement of both.

    2) In the particular case of a cell phone/computer, you -can't- replace the phone cheaply and easily until your plan's up (yes, eBay, but that can be tricky), forcing you to use an obsolete computer for the duration.

    3) The design considerations for a phone and the design considerations for a portable computer are similar, yes--you want small, thin, and simple to use for both. However, if you want any sort of real power from the portable computer, it's nearly a given that it will need to be bigger and thicker and less simple than a cell phone of the same tech level would be. It needs to do more stuff.

    4) Not -all- the design considerations are the same. The portable computer probably wants a relatively large, high resolution screen, and it probably wants to have a touchscreen. A phone doesn't need the complexity or defect rates of a touchscreen, and a high resolution screen on a phone means either a large phone or a relatively high defect rate from a high-pixel-density screen.

    5) You don't always want all of your functionality wherever you go. Sometimes you just need a phone. It'd be nice if you could take your 2oz phone with you, instead of your 7oz smartphone.

    6) If your phone breaks, you lose your computer, and vice versa.

    7) We just don't really need to do it that way, now that bluetooth lets you essentially wear modules in a jacket or nearby bag. You can make a really small phone, if you're not trying to hang a computer off it. You can make it even smaller if you position it to use a bluetooth headset as the primary mic/speaker cluster (of course, you still have built-in ones as backups, but they don't have to be super-comfortable). The classic argument against multiple devices is too much space taken, but if you can make everything as small as they possibly can be for their focused purpose, you can minimize that. Making things smaller is one thing we generally get good at as time goes on.

    Sure, there's always going to be a market for phones like the Verizon V/NV or the Sidekick, that do a relatively large subset of the functions of a smartphone for people who don't need more. And eventually, the phone/modem part will hopefully end up standardizing and will be a commodity item that you don't have to chase advancements on. Maybe we'll even drop the current handcuffs model on phone plans. At that point, moving phone functionality into the portable computer makes a lot more sense.

    For now though, if you really need a -smart- setup, use separate devices. It seems clunkier and more expensive at the beginning, but you'll always be able to stay at the front of the curve if you want to, and you won't have conflicting buying priorities holding you back.
  • The Symbian OS based Nokia series [] already has such features.

    In fact to compete with the iPhone the Nokia N80ie [] at almost half the price offers more freedom and is not crippled as the iPhone is crippled and I'll bet the Fone+ is criplled as well. Read the Nokia web site for features [] on the phone.
  • N95? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Endareth ( 684446 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @08:54PM (#19154501) Journal
    Didn't he just describe the already shipping Nokia N95?
    Phone? Check!
    Output to TV? Check!
    Video playback to TV? Check!

    Plus GPS, running Symbian Series 60 3rd Ed., etc...
    So once again M$ comes in late. Good going...
    • by weave ( 48069 )
      I have a Nokia N95 and I love the thing. It really is a computer in my pocket. Old people, however, usually can't deal with input on a 10-key pad. Too bad. Adapt or die (I'm 47 and I can type pretty quickly on it so it's possible!)
  • Interestingly, Sprint is going in the other direction. Some of their new phones do not have cameras, but meet MIL-STD 810F for ruggedization. [] Sprint used to offer ruggedized phones only on the Nextel network, but ruggedized phones are now appearing on the Sprint side too. Ruggedized models from both Motorola and Sanyo are now available.

  • Most PCs are already running Windows. So if phones are becoming PCs, they'll run Windows too.
  • "It's a PC that is virtually without limits and within five years I predict it will be the most popular form of PC sold in America." -- Bill Gates on Tablet PCs in 2001.
  • They're still all crap.

    I want this cell phone:

    • weighs around 2 ounces
    • screen that doesn't scratch when I put it in you pocket with my keys
    • 6 hour talk time
    • good reception
    • ~$25/month, with unlimited calling
    • standard headset input
    • bluetooth
    • less than $100
    • phone book/speed dial/caller id/basic voicemail

    I don't want bling, or a Wince/Linux/OSX/Palm/smartphuck. I want something completely functional that I can shove in my pocket and not worry about. If it doesn't enhance my ability to make phone calls from

It seems intuitively obvious to me, which means that it might be wrong. -- Chris Torek