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    Windows 10 Mobile tried to attract users by letting them run the same “universal apps” on both their PCs and handsets, but the concept failed to catch on.

    As it turns out, smartphones and PCs have different interfaces.

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      I don’t actually thing that was the biggest reason.

      My biggest turn off for developing on Windows Phone (as a Winphone user) was the horrible state of UWP development itself. Turns out there are several (3+) SDKs for “UWP”, each one targeting a specific version of Windows and/or Windows phone, with code that is incompatible between SDKs (finding libraries for a specific UWP SDK is hell, every time I would try another UWP sdk the next library I would need was for another one).

      To make matters worse every UWP SDK has its own definition of what “Universal” actually means, earlier SDKs actually requires different projects with different UIs for each platform, only sharing some common code (as DLLs, same way you would with XNA or any other old .NET framework targeting different platforms) while the more recent ones do actually share UI code between platforms.

      Microsoft screwed up the environment several times within the lifespan of Windows Phone, with apps built for WP7 not being compatible with 8, unless they are Silverlight (which they encouraged people to port to native, but actually ended up being the only app format that would work on every WP iteration), then making an entire SDK for apps for WP8.1 which would NOT work on WP8. Doing the same on WP10 promising that all 8.1 devices would be upgradable to WP10 and then not deliver on that promise (I’m still angry about that).

      Their whining about trying to convince developers to develop apps is just that. They have only put roadblocks in front of app developers and their effort to convince iOS/Android developers to port app came way too late (not helping that that announcement came just after announcing they would drop the Android compatibility layer and just before dropping the bombshell about WP10 not getting to all devices, way to work against your own user and get bad press, Microsoft)

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        But the tile interface is actually a really good one for mobile touch devices. The ecosystem never really arrived, but I really liked how windows phone apps worked. It’s better than iOS and Android.

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          I remember the first iteration of Windows for mobile/PDAs (I can’t remember the name now) - it literally tried to emulate the Windows interface, start button and all.

          That didn’t work, so they went in the completely other direction and tried to force the mobile interface on PCs.

          It’s not as if MS don’t understand interface design. In my opinion, the ribbon interface for their core “productivity” apps is a step up over the previous design. But the mobile/PC integration seemed driven more by corporate interests than actually making stuff easy to use for people.

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            A couple weeks ago I found my father’s old PDA (an i-mate jam) that was actually still fully functional. And the first thing that struck me was that: the user interface is like a tiny Windows XP, including the start menu and all.

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              Windows CE? It was horrible. I think partly it was before its time, tiny screen with low resolution meant the touch areas were too small, so a stylus was required. a better screen may have fixed it, but they didn’t arrive for at least 5 more years.

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            They had a choice?

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                Now you know how us Blackberry fan boys have felt for the last decade.

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                  Now you know how us Blackberry fan boys have felt for the last decade.

                  I just retired my Curve, but I only kept it because of the keyboard. The OS was pretty terrible.

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                    I’m still on my Q10, but it’s never been my favourite. The keyboard is nice, but the SDK is a bit of a pain (though nicer than Android, obviously).

                    If the RAM in my N900 had been upgradable I’d still be on that (I still use as my backup/secondary device).

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                  The actual failure was the decision to charge OEMs for the software. Yeah, it works a treat on the desktop where you own ~90% of the market. It’s a lot less attractive when your #1 competitor gives their software away for free. They were prevented by their success from being able to see the real shape of the market. All the sound and fury, all that money flushed down the toilet with the Nokia acquisition, it was all rearranging deckchairs. They were doomed from jump street.

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                    In an alternative reality, we would use Nokia phone (probably N14 now) based on Maemo/Meego. I owned N9 and loved it. If Intel + Nokia would get along correctly, we could have real alternative to Android/iOS.

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                      Yeah, Nokia’s suicide was very frustrating. With the Pyra and Librem5 on the way, hoping to get back to this world :)

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                        I’m curious – what could Nokia have done? They were minting money right up until they weren’t; it seems iPhone caught them out just as it did everyone else.

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                          Consider the possibility that Apple had gotten something right and it wasnt just a fad. After the initial surprise, a lot of competitors spent a long while in denial about which features were and were not business essential.

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                            Well, yeah. But there was basically no way for Nokia (or RIM) as a company to see the nature of the existential threat that iPhone posed, given the limitations of their corporate cultures.