12-02-2015 11:33 PM
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  1. gernerttl's Avatar
    There's a story in this saga that needs to be told - at least exposed - and in better venues than a user forum. Its one thing for the tech press to call it out and shrug it off as "Oh, it's Microsoft/Verizon again..." and move on. There's a legitimate line of inquiry here as to Microsoft's justification for dumping Verizon users that's worthy of burning a few bridges to discover. Otherwise, the likes of Mary Jo Foley, Paul Thurrott, Leo Laporte, and I'll even throw Daniel in there are being complicit in accepting Microsoft's story of the past being justification for the future. Microsoft wants their story to be about the future, but their actions reveal entrenchment to the past. It affects long term perceptions of Microsoft's commitment to Mobile - it certainly does mine, and by extension, that of the place I work and the people I work for and with. It sad, because I have had for the first time ever, these people asking about Windows Mobile - and they leave shaking their heads incredulously.
    Well said. Much of this debacle can be traced back to Balmer and Elop; which was then placed in Nadella's lap.
    Laura Knotek and aximtreo like this.
    12-01-2015 01:46 PM
  2. macroweb's Avatar
    It's my, unqualified, opinion that Verizon likes to keep a low inventory on all products and will accept phones based up projected sales or overall product mix. I have seen VZW skip over one phone model when they foresee a potentially better model coming within a reasonable amount of time. With some pretty strong rumors regarding a Surface Phone coming, maybe as soon as quarter 1 of 2016, that this phone would be the one VZW will be willing to carry/sell. With the Surface Phone's predominate target being enterprise users, this phone would fit VZW's portfolio much better than a so-so Lumia device.

    I personally use the Verizon Lumia Icon and I love it, so I will take a wait and see approach. If VZW blows off the Surface Phone, then I will move to AT&T.

    Cheers!
    12-01-2015 02:05 PM
  3. DoctorPizza's Avatar
    There's a story in this saga that needs to be told - at least exposed - and in better venues than a user forum. Its one thing for the tech press to call it out and shrug it off as "Oh, it's Microsoft/Verizon again..." and move on. There's a legitimate line of inquiry here as to Microsoft's justification for dumping Verizon users that's worthy of burning a few bridges to discover. Otherwise, the likes of Mary Jo Foley, Paul Thurrott, Leo Laporte, and I'll even throw Daniel in there are being complicit in accepting Microsoft's story of the past being justification for the future. Microsoft wants their story to be about the future, but their actions reveal entrenchment to the past. It affects long term perceptions of Microsoft's commitment to Mobile - it certainly does mine, and by extension, that of the place I work and the people I work for and with. It sad, because I have had for the first time ever, these people asking about Windows Mobile - and they leave shaking their heads incredulously.
    I don't think there is a "story" as such, actually. As I allude to in my review (based on information from various people within Microsoft) there's no great conspiracy or anything like that. Their phone division is understaffed (they laid off a lot of Nokia-acquired expertise, arguably too much), and underprioritized (righting the desktop ship was seen as more important). The 950 is not intended as some deliberate snub of Verizon; CDMA support just fell between the gaps due to limited resources. Microsoft is well aware that this is a problem.
    Williaml99 and xandros9 like this.
    12-01-2015 03:12 PM
  4. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    Like DoctorPizza said, unbranded and unlocked phones receive updates independently of the carrier. So there's absolutely no reason why Microsoft refused to let the 950's work on Verizon's network.
    You're talking about the other side of the coin. I was addressing a statement that Microsoft wanted AT&T to have an exclusive on the 950. The point being that if Microsoft wanted the 950 to be an AT&T exclusive they would not offer the unlocked 950 in the US just as they never offered the 1520s unlocked.
    12-01-2015 03:44 PM
  5. to_be_announced's Avatar
    End of the day the 950 & 950 XL wont work on Verizon. Do we really need a 104 page thread on the subject clogging up the forum? Put a fork in it, its done.
    Clogging up the forum? Guess I hadn't noticed any ill affects to the forum from this thread.

    This forum is good. It shows MSFT that there are VZ customers that are unhappy about the situation between them and the carrier.
    Last edited by RumoredNow; 12-02-2015 at 04:25 PM. Reason: cleanup on aisle 5
    12-01-2015 05:25 PM
  6. Lee Power's Avatar
    Once the US joins the rest of us in the civilised world the carrier problem will disappear. The US always has to be different & special, phones, cars, mobile carriers etc.
    theefman likes this.
    12-01-2015 05:34 PM
  7. to_be_announced's Avatar
    To all saying the reason these phones aren't on Verizon because the carrier treats WP like crap, I call BS.

    First off, yes, I agree that Verizon hasn't been the best partner when it comes to WP. That still doesn't explain why MSFT didn't put CDMA capability into the phone and just sell it that way from their stores and online.

    Second, the assumption with Verizon being snubbed but AT&T not is that the latter was somehow "good" to WP. It was not. It is not. I've found threads dedicated to this already with the poor customer service people are receiving at AT&T stores when they go to get these new Lumias.

    We're hearing more and more from carriers on these phones as well. T-Mobile called out MSFT and said they were never approached to carry the phones. Verizon has done the same. It seems to me this is on MSFT. Not the carriers.

    All they had to do was make the phone truly universally unlocked. Many OEM's do it. No reason they couldn't. Plain and simple.
    12-01-2015 05:36 PM
  8. Generalheed's Avatar
    To all saying the reason these phones aren't on Verizon because the carrier treats WP like crap, I call BS.

    First off, yes, I agree that Verizon hasn't been the best partner when it comes to WP. That still doesn't explain why MSFT didn't put CDMA capability into the phone and just sell it that way from their stores and online.

    Second, the assumption with Verizon being snubbed but AT&T not is that the latter was somehow "good" to WP. It was not. It is not. I've found threads dedicated to this already with the poor customer service people are receiving at AT&T stores when they go to get these new Lumias.

    We're hearing more and more from carriers on these phones as well. T-Mobile called out MSFT and said they were never approached to carry the phones. Verizon has done the same. It seems to me this is on MSFT. Not the carriers.

    All they had to do was make the phone truly universally unlocked. Many OEM's do it. No reason they couldn't. Plain and simple.
    So in conclusion, let's grab our pitchforks and torches and head to Microsoft HQ! There's absolutely no excuse for these phones to not be truly universal. The carriers have nothing to do with it. Verizon is mostly innocent here for once and Microsoft is to blame.
    12-01-2015 06:04 PM
  9. to_be_announced's Avatar
    So in conclusion, let's grab our pitchforks and torches and head to Microsoft HQ! There's absolutely no excuse for these phones to not be truly universal. The carriers have nothing to do with it. Verizon is mostly innocent here for once and Microsoft is to blame.
    I wouldn't go so far as to say Verizon is "innocent". Had they been a better partner, maybe MSFT decides to include the CDMA? I don't know.

    In the end though, it was MSFT that decided to exclude CDMA from their phone, regardless of what was/is going on with their relationship with VZ.
    12-01-2015 06:25 PM
  10. tgp's Avatar
    We're hearing more and more from carriers on these phones as well. T-Mobile called out MSFT and said they were never approached to carry the phones. Verizon has done the same. It seems to me this is on MSFT. Not the carriers.

    All they had to do was make the phone truly universally unlocked. Many OEM's do it. No reason they couldn't. Plain and simple.
    Here is my opinion: I think that Microsoft thought it necessary to partner with a carrier to have any chance of moving the 950/XL. AT&T seems an obvious choice. However, I bet AT&T laid down some strict rules, such as providing a carrier branded device, and no capabilities for Verizon.

    Microsoft probably had two options:

    1. AT&T carrying them but not having them capable of running on Verizon
    2. Unlocked and capable of running on any US carrier but no AT&T help

    Pick your poison.
    12-01-2015 06:44 PM
  11. dkediger's Avatar
    I don't think there is a "story" as such, actually. As I allude to in my review (based on information from various people within Microsoft) there's no great conspiracy or anything like that. Their phone division is understaffed (they laid off a lot of Nokia-acquired expertise, arguably too much), and underprioritized (righting the desktop ship was seen as more important). The 950 is not intended as some deliberate snub of Verizon; CDMA support just fell between the gaps due to limited resources. Microsoft is well aware that this is a problem.
    I want to get out of the way that I want to provide more of an extra viewpoint and not be argumentative - its easiest to respond to your comments to so and I appreciate you participating in this thread. I'm a very casual and occasional ArsTechnica peruser.

    Anyway - its really disheartening that there has been/still is that much disarray. Kind of like the Direct TV "Really High Voice" Payton Manning commercials. Their image is big "M"icrosoft but their execution (in Mobile) has been small "m"icrosoft.

    Yeah - they're an entirely different animal than Apple - where mobile is pretty much their only current reason for being. But still, Microsoft expresses that mobile is important but the devil is in the details. As users, we're being left to fend for ourselves to fill those details in. And its not coming out pretty. Something more positive and substantive than the "...we want to work with those who want to work with us..." throwaway line. Well, I want to work with them - as a user and consumer in several capacities.
    12-01-2015 06:48 PM
  12. DavidinCT's Avatar

    <snip>

    Based on those glaring issues, nothing Verizon could do would have saved this device. Not when Verizon offered quality Android and Blackberry devices. Then less than a year later, offered the iPhone. Had my daughter been old enough, I wouldn't have bought this for her. Not because of the data plan by itself, but because of its lack of features. Essentially, Microsoft produced a neutered device that really didn't do anything very well.

    And by the way, that $29.99 was a DATA plan. If you got yourself a Blackberry Storm or Curve, or a Droid or a Fascinate. You were still going to be paying $29.99 per phone. So why get a neutered phone, when you could get a full featured device and pay the same amount for the data?
    Going way off topic here and we should take this subject (the death of the KIN). One of the big things noticed on all the reviews was the same problems I said.

    When Verizon took in the phone, the AGREEMENT was for a very low cost data plan on it, this was between Verizon and Microsoft.... but, when it finally hit the market, Verizon FORCED a $30 data plan on it, NOT WHAT THEY AGREEED ON. This is what KILLED the KIN.

    Sure every phone got a Unlimited data for $30 a month (sure I bet most people here would love to have that option again) but, on the Kin, it was NOT a full featured phone and was designed around a Phone and Social Media applications made for the younger demographic (12-18). This would need to be a cheaper monthly cost and why this device was created.

    I see your point but, the AGREEMENT was for a lower cost data plan, Verizon backed out at the VERY LAST MIN....and this is why it's Verizon's fault.

    Forgot where I got the details on this but, it was on a big news site years ago....It was confirmed by a few people over the years (known Microsoft contacts)

    I work in IT and have been from the Windows 95 days, I follow most Microsoft news.. and the Kin was something I wanted to play with at one time but, like others saw the limits and stuck with Windows Mobile (pre-windows phone) at the time.
    12-01-2015 08:40 PM
  13. to_be_announced's Avatar
    I don't think there is a "story" as such, actually. As I allude to in my review (based on information from various people within Microsoft) there's no great conspiracy or anything like that. Their phone division is understaffed (they laid off a lot of Nokia-acquired expertise, arguably too much), and underprioritized (righting the desktop ship was seen as more important). The 950 is not intended as some deliberate snub of Verizon; CDMA support just fell between the gaps due to limited resources. Microsoft is well aware that this is a problem.
    I think to say that CDMA just "fell between the gaps" is ridiculous.

    I get that they may be understaffed and underprioritized and all that. But to let something as major as CDMA just get forgotten about is a bit of a stretch. No way something as major as that was left off any other way but deliberately.
    12-02-2015 10:46 AM
  14. Generalheed's Avatar
    I think to say that CDMA just "fell between the gaps" is ridiculous.

    I get that they may be understaffed and underprioritized and all that. But to let something as major as CDMA just get forgotten about is a bit of a stretch. No way something as major as that was left off any other way but deliberately.
    I agree, the phone's chipset already supports CDMA and it already has the proper CDMA radios. It probably took them more work to disable the CDMA radios via firmware than it did to just leave it be.
    aximtreo likes this.
    12-02-2015 11:15 AM
  15. dkediger's Avatar
    Actually, I can see it - in a sort of Dilbert or Office Space way with the layoffs:

    Former Nokia/Now MS/Soon to be ex MS Dude 1: "Hey - Did you hear Bob got the pink slip with all the rest of us?"

    Former Nokia/Now MS/Soon to be ex MS Dude 2: "Yeah - Its hilarious. He's the CDMA cert guy. They're going to be so screwed. But keep it quiet - we don't want them to figure it out until its too late. It'll be our way of getting back at 'em for these layoffs...."
    12-02-2015 11:44 AM
  16. to_be_announced's Avatar
    Actually, I can see it - in a sort of Dilbert or Office Space way with the layoffs:

    Former Nokia/Now MS/Soon to be ex MS Dude 1: "Hey - Did you hear Bob got the pink slip with all the rest of us?"

    Former Nokia/Now MS/Soon to be ex MS Dude 2: "Yeah - Its hilarious. He's the CDMA cert guy. They're going to be so screwed. But keep it quiet - we don't want them to figure it out until its too late. It'll be our way of getting back at 'em for these layoffs...."
    So they have no bosses or people that review things before they get the ok? There was no checks and balances to make sure of things like this?

    To believe that would be to believe that MSFT is so disfunctional that they would just forget about a major function in a major device. I can't believe it.
    12-02-2015 12:13 PM
  17. DavidinCT's Avatar
    I think to say that CDMA just "fell between the gaps" is ridiculous.
    Who is the moron who thought of that concept ? If your only TALKING about cell phones in the US, CDMA would come up, as Verizon and Sprint use it for their 3G network and it's got the largest foot print in the US.

    No question CDMA was talked about but, for some reason, they turned it down.... My feeling is on the post I created last page how Verizon screwed over Microsoft but, what do I know ?
    12-02-2015 12:26 PM
  18. DoctorPizza's Avatar
    I think to say that CDMA just "fell between the gaps" is ridiculous.

    I get that they may be understaffed and underprioritized and all that. But to let something as major as CDMA just get forgotten about is a bit of a stretch. No way something as major as that was left off any other way but deliberately.
    You have a finite amount of development and test resources. You have to prioritize development and testing, and you need to get a minimum viable product on the market within a particular timeframe. You have a major new platform (W10, which is still pretty rough), running on new (to Windows) hardware, with an updated (if not entirely new) driver stack and baseband, a new marquee feature (Continuum), and a new app platform (UWP) which has the knock-on effect of making certain core apps (mail, settings) all-new.

    CDMA is important, yes, but is it as important as GSM and LTE and all the other things that cause development and testing overhead? I don't think so. Add to this the lack of relevant expertise because they've been laid off, and the overheads of integrating what's left of the Nokia staff? It's easy to see how it would fall between the gaps. Not exactly _forgotten about_, but simply never the most important thing to be working on. Deferred and delayed all the time, such that it's not there to ship.
    xandros9 likes this.
    12-02-2015 01:06 PM
  19. Generalheed's Avatar
    You have a finite amount of development and test resources. You have to prioritize development and testing, and you need to get a minimum viable product on the market within a particular timeframe. You have a major new platform (W10, which is still pretty rough), running on new (to Windows) hardware, with an updated (if not entirely new) driver stack and baseband, a new marquee feature (Continuum), and a new app platform (UWP) which has the knock-on effect of making certain core apps (mail, settings) all-new.

    CDMA is important, yes, but is it as important as GSM and LTE and all the other things that cause development and testing overhead? I don't think so. Add to this the lack of relevant expertise because they've been laid off, and the overheads of integrating what's left of the Nokia staff? It's easy to see how it would fall between the gaps. Not exactly _forgotten about_, but simply never the most important thing to be working on. Deferred and delayed all the time, such that it's not there to ship.
    The phone's chipset already supports CDMA and the antennas are all tuned to the correct CDMA frequencies. Lack of time and resources? Microsoft put in extra time and effort to disable CDMA and block Verizon's network in the firmware. From the beginning the 950 already supported CDMA and Verizon's LTE bands. Certification is done by 3rd parties anyways so it wouldn't take any extra effort or resources on Microsoft's part. It doesn't matter if there were layoffs or priority shifts. There's no defending Microsoft here, their actions were deliberate and planned out. Extra time, resources, and man power were diverted to disable CDMA and Verizon's LTE bands when it would've been easier and faster to just leave the phone as it is and have a 3rd party certify that CDMA works.
    12-02-2015 01:37 PM
  20. DoctorPizza's Avatar
    The phone's chipset already supports CDMA and the antennas are all tuned to the correct CDMA frequencies. Lack of time and resources? Microsoft put in extra time and effort to disable CDMA and block Verizon's network in the firmware. From the beginning the 950 already supported CDMA and Verizon's LTE bands. Certification is done by 3rd parties anyways so it wouldn't take any extra effort or resources on Microsoft's part. It doesn't matter if there were layoffs or priority shifts. There's no defending Microsoft here, their actions were deliberate and planned out. Extra time, resources, and man power were diverted to disable CDMA and Verizon's LTE bands when it would've been easier and faster to just leave the phone as it is and have a 3rd party certify that CDMA works.
    "From the beginning the 950 already supported CDMA"

    Then where is the CDMA-supporting 950 model?

    There has to be communication between the baseband firmware and the OS. That the 950 and 950XL are the first Windows devices to use the X10 modem. And that there's more to testing than just "passing certification"--all the regular OS and driver development and testing needs to be done.

    "Not supporting CDMA" isn't "extra effort". It's less effort. The idea that all this stuff just comes for free is not accurate.
    xandros9 likes this.
    12-02-2015 02:53 PM
  21. esbe118's Avatar
    I'm with Page Plus, a secondary-citizen carrier that runs off of Verizon's towers. I'm currently using one of their nano-SIMs in my Icon. Would I be able to pop it out and stick it in a 950XL, since it wouldn't need activated?
    12-02-2015 03:17 PM
  22. jmajid's Avatar
    i think this has run its course.. and should be renamed to "when will this be closed?" :)
    libra89 and DavidinCT like this.
    12-02-2015 04:09 PM
  23. gernerttl's Avatar
    Who is the moron who thought of that concept ? If your only TALKING about cell phones in the US, CDMA would come up, as Verizon and Sprint use it for their 3G network and it's got the largest foot print in the US.

    No question CDMA was talked about but, for some reason, they turned it down.... My feeling is on the post I created last page how Verizon screwed over Microsoft but, what do I know ?
    You're not thinking globally, which Microsoft is. Verizon isn't competing on a global scale where Microsoft IS. Verizon is one of MANY carriers globally. The 950/950XL will work in practically EVERY country, to include the US; unlike it's predecessor, the 930, which can only work on LTE networks OUTSIDE the US. Turning on the CDMA for Verizon wouldn't significantly increase overall GLOBAL sales for Microsoft and doesn't really affect Verizon that much either.

    Like I said previously, Microsoft made the conscious BUSINESS decision to not turn on CDMA. Like I said previously, it will hurt Microsoft here in the US more than Verizon. But that lack of CDMA support in no way hurts Microsoft GLOBALLY. China and India are the two markets with the most potential and South and Central America are not far behind. The North American and European markets are fairly well saturated with not a whole lot of growth potential.

    "From the beginning the 950 already supported CDMA"

    Then where is the CDMA-supporting 950 model?

    There has to be communication between the baseband firmware and the OS. That the 950 and 950XL are the first Windows devices to use the X10 modem. And that there's more to testing than just "passing certification"--all the regular OS and driver development and testing needs to be done.

    "Not supporting CDMA" isn't "extra effort". It's less effort. The idea that all this stuff just comes for free is not accurate.
    Yes, it is less effort. Not supporting CDMA reduces the amount of testing needed (by CDMA I mean CDMA2000 not WCDMA). To make it a true carrier free phone would require Microsoft to test it on every CDMA network worldwide, because EACH CDMA network has a unique key. GSM and LTE does not have that issue, so testing is much easier and streamlined, therefore making it cheaper.

    Wait...I'm agreeing with you... WTH?
    12-02-2015 04:20 PM
  24. DoctorPizza's Avatar
    I'm with Page Plus, a secondary-citizen carrier that runs off of Verizon's towers. I'm currently using one of their nano-SIMs in my Icon. Would I be able to pop it out and stick it in a 950XL, since it wouldn't need activated?
    Not if you want service, no.
    RumoredNow and esbe118 like this.
    12-02-2015 04:30 PM
  25. RumoredNow's Avatar
    That is nonsense. If Microsoft wanted 950s to be an AT&T exclusive the Microsoft Store wouldn't be selling an unlocked 950 side by side with the AT&T 950. Microsoft doesn't want to exclude 950s on any carrier BUT any carrier that wants them has to permit the OS and firmware to be updated on Microsoft's schedule. So far only AT&T has agreed to acceptable upgrade timing.
    Unbranded and unlocked phones don't have any carrier involvement for updates anyway.
    I think you skipped the salient point, Doctor.

    AT&T may have gotten a branded version and a short lead time to sell the 950 vs the rest of the world because they agreed to not sit on updates. Perhaps other carriers lost out in the US because they could not accept overturning the status quo of placing their part in the update cycle on the back burner or ignoring it altogether. And when I say ignore, I'm looking at T-MoUS.
    12-02-2015 04:32 PM
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