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  1. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Recently it had come to light that Microsoft had used insider feedback to whittle down the list of compatible phones despite the fact it ran on pretty well bar a few exceptions on older devices such as the 1520 and the 930. Do you still recommend Windows phones to family and friends? | Windows Central

    What is little known is how developers are using the same feedback tool in order to gauge how to spend their resources.

    During the past few months, I had been engaged off record in trying to get CRM (Client Relationship Management) software developers and managers to embrace Continuum with Cshell. As I want a third ecosystem and I do not want to live in a world that is run by Apple products and Google Products.

    Why off record?

    Simple, as it stands no one in management will want to officially entertain the prospect of considering WM10 due to the lack of action by Microsoft and visible resources put into their own Universal App platform.

    As the first rule of business protect your investment and this case the time and effort these people had spent in climbing the career ladder.

    The only way to engage them in a discussion was to remove any sort of risk to them. To ensure and to retain any form of integrity I cannot name any names or persons as to engage them in discussions I had to make it categorically clear that their self-preservation was of the utmost importance if this had to be discussed publicly otherwise my words will have zero credence whatsoever.

    What do you mean?

    Business is all about investment and risk management. Profits and customer retention is all part of a larger spectrum as that is determined by the industry a business is operating in, region and applicable laws pertaining to both the industry and region.

    For instance, Real Estate Agencies in the UK must be a member of particular board of governance such as ARLA (being the most common one).

    So therefore, once you remove all elements of risk and they are more open to listen as well as engage with their own thoughts and opinions. Which also means I never got paid for my time incase any of you are wondering.

    Due to the official process of minute taking in meetings people are never frank and open with their thoughts or intentions.

    As a person who has used Windows Phone extensively in the business environment and in my personal life I can categorically say if Microsoft does not invest in continuum and bring Cshell to mobile they will again miss another boat.

    Why would Microsoft miss this particular boat
    ?

    Because with Continuum + Cshell businesses can have one device (enter the HP elite X3), lock it down with policy and save a lot on costs such as commercial unit leases (hot desking), windows licenses (continuum docks and just screens), maintenance of the all the PC's, utility expenses etc. While expanding mobility and reach of their workforce. (Surface Pro with a Sim Slot will do wonders here - Surface Pro running Windows on ARM with a multiband LTE radio?).

    With reduction of PC's of course you will lose some staff as they won't be needed to maintain the same number of PCs. I'm fully aware redundancies and forced redundancies are not to be taken lightly as it is people's lives. Which is why you try to retrain and retain as much staff as possible get them more involved as much as possible (high moral is the utmost importance any environment - one could argue the merits of this vs results) through the assessment of efficiency measures.

    With these cost savings, they can have a development pool fund and they can push it to their customers thus increasing their competitive edge, retrain the current staff and use their experience to develop a CRM that is more efficient using funds drawn from the development fund.

    By being competitive as well as technologically astute they can retain more customers and get more referrals therefore increasing their profit margins substantially.

    If done correctly you get a perpetual feedback pool.

    This is the ultimate vision where Continuum and Cshell could have been the catalyst.

    The technical side:

    Why push Continuum and Cshell?

    With the universal app platform, they can develop a context aware web wrapper for their CRM's which means they don't have to optimise for various browsers and fiddle around with aging Active X controls. It's a lot more secure as they don't need to address the security flaws in these browsers by simply mandating their employee's use the universal app.

    As this makes life much simpler, no need for bulky handbooks or lengthy training webinars.

    The other advantages of it being a universal app it could be used on any other Windows device by their employees and customers.

    But since they have looked what Microsoft has done in regard to mobile, they weren't so keen and with no Cshell for Phones.

    Continuum is not just a tough sell it's almost impossible to even showcase its benefits.

    Furthermore, by using the insider feedback and Microsoft's lack of interaction with their own insiders does not fill these developers and tech savvy managers with confidence.

    What spoke volumes was the excitement they all felt when Microsoft acquired Nokia's D & S division. I am told they had grand plans to embrace the Universal App Platform (some of the reasons are stated above).

    But we all know how that turned out.

    The turning point.

    During these discussion, what came up time and time again was the axe to the acquired D & S division along with the loss of the vast talent that had been tossed aside. They were completely aghast that if Microsoft could simply do that then what is to stop Microsoft from leaving the consumer space entirely? (we all know Microsoft later announced they were retrenching).

    When that occured, I am told that they all shelved any plans they had developing for future windows platfroms and have put their internet explorer team on maintainance mode until they get their CRM optimised for Safari and Chrome on mobile. When asked about edge, they said they were more eager to develop for phones and tablets not desktops. As it allowed their employees to be more portable and they already had an Internet Explorer team so Edge on desktop and laptops really did not factor into their plans.

    In addition to this as Microsoft puts more resources into android and ios. That is Microsoft's catch22, they want to be on all platforms but if you make the apps on the competing platform first class and swing that axe on your own mobile platform then how do you expect to inspire any confidence in windows developers?

    This is why many do not see any reason why they should even consider developing for the windows platform as Win32 is a dying platform. With No smartphone play, no universal app play and that's clearly evident by developers increasingly not targeting phones for universal app deployment.

    As everyone can clearly see the merits of smartphones and the pivotal role that they will play in the years to follow.

    When the official list of phones was released and known that Microsoft had used its own insiders feedback to deem it was not worthwhile releasing the update to older phones - Pretty much everyone I had spoken to all said these discussions had been a waste of time. Had things turned out differently I would have been reimbursed for my time and plans made official for CRM apps for the Windows Ecosystem.

    Microsoft may wonder why some people are so sour and out right hostile, loss of credibility in their social and business networks I imagine would be a critical factor.

    The other unaddressed elephant in the room is the closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios.

    Ballmer, in my opinion completely understood if there was no or little product demand you create that demand hence XES.

    By creating mindshare along with desirable products, you push the momentum that Windows Phone at the time of acquisition of the D & S division had.

    Therefore, actually targeting the "duo user" instead of saying it and doing the exact opposite when it comes to the Windows Ecosystem as a whole.

    This could have been an insane money maker for Microsoft through the development of new gaming franchises, merchandising, accessories for their phones and other franchise inspired accessories and devices for the home.

    Imagine a home automation system that takes the cues from Iron man and instead of Jarvis you have Cortana.

    This brings me to the Cortana speaker, which is awesome but with no to little Windows Phone play they aren't really pushing it to its complete potential (sure there is some but they really limited themselves through their own actions.)

    Microsoft was in a position to have the complete ecosystem but they fumbled it by closing XES and vacating the consumer space.

    Imagine using Cshell with Continuum via Miracast on your Xbox one (to this date that is still locked in the preview programme - someone correct me if I'm wrong). Alongside Xbox, Cortana Speaker, Windows Phone with continuum with Cshell Microsoft could have had it all.

    It's not too late.

    They need to put a lot more resources into windows phone, advertise, reopen XES to explore new franchises to expand mindshare.

    Apologise to the consumers and release the creators update to older handsets that were previously getting it through the insider’s programme. How do you expect developers to even monetise on a dwindling number of users if you reduce that number further?

    If the next big update is 64bit and it is bound to be - then explain that once you (Microsoft) reach that point older handsets will have a challenging time in upgrading to it due to the difference in architecture. Therefore, that would be the cut off for these handsets and by then there should be a mobile that runs Windows on ARM incredibly well.

    By simply cutting off people without zero explanation and hollow words that don't match the actions fuels resentment and will not encourage anyone to purchase any Windows phone that may come out in the future.

    Going forward Microsoft has to re-engage the consumer space through products such as infotainment system for cars as cars are not going anywhere and when driverless cars become a reality. People will for the interim period will be using phones until a wearable arrives that can do everything a phone does (such as continuum + Cshell) all that and doesn't have to be charged every two days.

    By re-opening XES, Microsoft can sell their vision of the future instead of pushing out those YouTube videos - i.e. although aspiring but it won't become a reality if Microsoft decides to become a company like IBM - Completely non-existent in the minds of the average consumer.

    Lastly regarding Hololens, take risks and push the envelope instead of waiting for the market to mature. Products like Hololens + A.I is the era of computing beyond the current curve and smartphones with the universal app platform is the de facto gateway.

    I am sure others have similiar experiences and if so please do share so we can shed more light on this unspoken side of the consumer spectrum.
    05-06-2017 09:39 PM
  2. Kevin Rush's Avatar
    Re: aka TechFreak1,
    Geez, I wanted to read the comment above, and I tried, but it was much too long and as I read, didn't seem to make it's point.
    .
    Could someone please summarize the points made?
    Best Wishes
    05-06-2017 10:34 PM
  3. Drael646464's Avatar
    Well people pay a lot more for desktop software than mobile phone software. From a development perspective you need a solid gold hit on mobile to make real money, due to the margins. So there's a reason to develop desktop/laptop/tablet over mobile: Most mobile users won't pay, and smartphones are too small for complex tasks anyway.

    I'm not sure the mobile platform has this long-lasting future that you mentioned either. With mature markets reaching saturation, and growth slowing outside of the budget sector, it will not be long before every company involved in the hardware will be desperately searching for the next cash cow.

    Nothing on the current smartphone platform will be any real use on a different form and different style of input, anymore than mouse input automatically works on a touch screen, or smartphone apps work on a desktop.

    So I'm not sure apps serve as a bridge unless they can scale to different sizes and inputs (Which only MS is really working on). Short to even medium term, it may be a reasonable bet, but even the companies making phones are not betting on it long term - they are all making substantial investments into future tech already, and that will only increase.

    It's probably going to be, historically speaking, quite a flash in the pan, a stepping stone technologically, but not nessasarily software wise.

    In terms of the HoloLens, its obviously too expensive. A later revision with a cheaper price is required for consumer viability. Fortunately MS is also working on cheaper mixed reality and virtual reality options with partners in the meantime. HoloLens is important though, because it makes redundant several technologies, smartphone included. If it can be made cheap enough, it will most certainly take off - if for no other reason, than the thing that drives a lot of technologies mainstream, porn (porn companies are already basically lining up)

    For the Cortana speaker, Cortana skills api is expected to be a big focus of the build conference this month. I see no reasons why this intergration will not come to all MS platforms, including mobile. I think that's the real advantage MS has here in voice - everyone already has a PC with a microphone, or a tablet, least likely, a phone. They have 400 million devices on windows 10. So bringing that alexa type power to all those devices, is more powerful than mearly releasing a speaker system alone. It leverages existing market share. On a mobile, it will be particularly powerful to get tasks done, without taking your phone out of your pocket/bag.

    Cshell - yes, cshell is a real consumer selling point of the future I am sure. I am not sure when we will get it, but I think even every day people will see the use of this, especially given the commonality of the miracast platform - and the massive device redundancy we see in often budget stretched homes.

    It's my hope, that we will get Cortana skills api intergration (which MS bot framework), and cshell AND a complete NEON re-work in redstone 3, along side the first release of windows on arm, late this year. It will need a fair bit of marketing and a good name, because if it happens, it will be a major revision that needs the attention it deserves.

    I suspect we might also get a new HoloLens soon, possibly in shanghai this month.
    05-06-2017 11:20 PM
  4. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Originally posted by Kevin Rush
    Re: aka TechFreak1,
    Geez, I wanted to read the comment above, and I tried, but it was much too long and as I read, didn't seem to make it's point.
    .
    Could someone please summarize the points made?
    Best Wishes
    My point is by disregarding the consumer space they are pushing small to medium businesses to android and ios.

    Most use web based CRMs as it means there is no physical onsite management and data redundancy management to minimise cost and risk. As All that is hosted by the database provider or a third party host.

    They are transitioning away from internet explorer to chrome and safari, firefox is a given as that is just by product of optimisations made to the other browsers.

    These CRMs lend well to web wrapperesque apps that have additional functionality.

    So therefore by not targeting the consumer space they aren't really catering to the duo user. Why do you think Android has now taken the lead as the most used O/S?

    Sure there are plenty of derivatives of android but those derivatives are predominately focused on tablets and smartphones (mobile experiences). Exactly where Microsoft has not focused windows visibly on.

    Consumers took their ios and android devices to their work places and forced a change. Thus why employers give employees a choice between ios and android as those experiences their employees are familiar with.

    Productivity and efficiency is what pushes any business.

    Originally posted by Drael646464

    Well people pay a lot more for desktop software than mobile phone software. From a development perspective you need a solid gold hit on mobile to make real money, due to the margins. So there's a reason to develop desktop/laptop/tablet over mobile: Most mobile users won't pay, and smartphones are too small for complex tasks anyway.
    .

    You will find most CRM software are web based not desktop based. There are only a handful but in this day and age there are a dying platform. As it restricts mobility and interoperability between departments.


    Originally posted by Drael646464


    I'm not sure the mobile platform has this long-lasting future that you mentioned either. With mature markets reaching saturation, and growth slowing outside of the budget sector, it will not be long before every company involved in the hardware will be desperately searching for the next cash cow.

    Nothing on the current smartphone platform will be any real use on a different form and different style of input, anymore than mouse input automatically works on a touch screen, or smartphone apps work on a desktop.
    Small to medium businesses do not have the capital to push out the latest and greatest throughout their org when it arrives. Even after XP's extended patch deadline passed they were migrating to W7 because it was cheaper and the experience was familiar to XP. So they did not have to retrain staff.

    A CRM really relies on field input alongside scanned data. That is really the core essence of interaction. The rest is data manipulation to show case reports and present analytics for example. Easily done on any smartphone or tablet.

    Plus on a smartphone or tablet, you have the benefit of electronic signature via stylus or finger tips (touch screen) i.e. DocuSign.

    So yes I'm not saying or asking for new styles of input, not sure where you got that from?

    If you want to refer to new styles of input and consumer familiarity I would refer you to mix view, hololens esque gestures on exploding live tiles so that people become used to that particular action so when they put on something like hololens that uses similar gesture it's already muscle memory. But mix view and exploding life tiles appear to have well just disappeared.

    Originally posted by Drael646464

    So I'm not sure apps serve as a bridge unless they can scale to different sizes and inputs (Which only MS is really working on). Short to even medium term, it may be a reasonable bet, but even the companies making phones are not betting on it long term - they are all making substantial investments into future tech already, and that will only increase.
    That is how tech works but consumers will be using smartphones until market profileration of a next gen product that is "good enough".

    Apps are the next transient stage for web based CRMs for the reasons stated above, there is more but my response will just get even more long winded lol.

    Originally posted by Drael646464

    It's probably going to be, historically speaking, quite a flash in the pan, a stepping stone technologically, but not nessasarily software wise.
    I disagree smartphones have been in existence for almost 23 years in one shape or form. They will not be going away anytime soon.

    Originally posted by Drael646464


    In terms of the HoloLens, its obviously too expensive. A later revision with a cheaper price is required for consumer viability. Fortunately MS is also working on cheaper mixed reality and virtual reality options with partners in the meantime. HoloLens is important though, because it makes redundant several technologies, smartphone included. If it can be made cheap enough, it will most certainly take off - if for no other reason, than the thing that drives a lot of technologies mainstream, porn (porn companies are already basically lining up)
    I'm aware it's expensive, it was mentioned in case Microsoft just decides to axe it for no logical reason. A cheaper version can be achieved several ways mass production via bulk purchase of parts, software optimisations resulting in more efficient use of said parts and market place competition.

    Originally posted by Drael646464

    For the Cortana speaker, Cortana skills api is expected to be a big focus of the build conference this month. I see no reasons why this intergration will not come to all MS platforms, including mobile. I think that's the real advantage MS has here in voice - everyone already has a PC with a microphone, or a tablet, least likely, a phone. They have 400 million devices on windows 10. So bringing that alexa type power to all those devices, is more powerful than mearly releasing a speaker system alone. It leverages existing market share. On a mobile, it will be particularly powerful to get tasks done, without taking your phone out of your pocket/bag.
    Given Microsoft's current track record and if the API is not cloud based then it will only come to a handful of windows phone models. So that's another burn for consumers who stuck with the platform and diligently gave feedback only to be told because of that feedback Microsoft chose to kick them out of the applicable list of phones for the poorly named creators update.

    Originally posted by Drael646464

    Cshell - yes, cshell is a real consumer selling point of the future I am sure. I am not sure when we will get it, but I think even every day people will see the use of this, especially given the commonality of the miracast platform - and the massive device redundancy we see in often budget stretched homes.
    Why not push it out now in it's first generation form?
    It shows active development to the average joe and developers alike. A demo is a demo, if people cannot use it on mass then it's just no different then any other products that were demoed then cancelled or just shoved under the rug i.e. Active lockscreens.


    Before the average joe start claiming Microsoft copied Samsung as most people haven't even heard of continuum.
    Therefore flocking to the S8, Microsoft selling the S8 in their stores is not doing them any favours for the windows ecosystem.

    Cshell is not just a Unique selling point for consumers but for businesses it would work amazingly well with devices like the HP Elite X3 and it's accompanying Laptop accessory.

    Originally posted by Drael646464


    It's my hope, that we will get Cortana skills api intergration (which MS bot framework), and cshell AND a complete NEON re-work in redstone 3, along side the first release of windows on arm, late this year. It will need a fair bit of marketing and a good name, because if it happens, it will be a major revision that needs the attention it deserves.

    I suspect we might also get a new HoloLens soon, possibly in shanghai this month.
    I certainly hope so as beyond that it might be too late, I'm not holding my breath when it comes to marketing and logic... There is already out cry of foul play about the poorly named creators update for phones. Seriously it's a laughing stock.

    By reducing the list of applicable phones they backed themselves into a corner, they could have called it Windows 10 Optimisation Update for Phones - As it really ran well on older devices.
    N_LaRUE likes this.
    05-07-2017 12:53 AM
  5. techiez's Avatar
    A long post but was quite insightful, I have been saying this all along MS cant magically get back dev interest nor surface phone will reverse MS fortunes in 1 sweep. Yet many fanboys refuse to see/accept his reality and just think MS cant do anything wrong.
    CraigCole and TechFreak1 like this.
    05-08-2017 09:50 AM
  6. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Instead of two posts I will combine my response to you and my thoughts on build 2017 how it impacts on small to medium businesses looking to embrace new technology to increase their competitive edge.

    As well as my general thoughts.

    A long post but was quite insightful, I have been saying this all along MS cant magically get back dev interest nor surface phone will reverse MS fortunes in 1 sweep. Yet many fanboys refuse to see/accept his reality and just think MS cant do anything wrong.
    Most people don't really see the small to medium sized businesses prospective it's either the enterprise or consumer but nothing in between.

    Furthermore pretty much all enterprises started up from a small business which adapted to market trends over the years as well as increasing customer retention, gaining new customers and as well as profits.

    Essentially the focus has to be not just one segment of consumer base but all aspects of the consumer base. Enterprise users whether people like it or not are still consumers or prosumers in the grand scheme of things. Therefore what they use on a daily basis will impact what they use at the office.

    Thoughts on the key note.

    Having watched the entire keynote from the beginning to the end with the AI presentation. I am excited about what they are bringing to the forefront.

    The entire undertone of keynote was infrastructure - the microsoft cloud combined with AI being the backend of everything.

    But what stuck out as a sour thumb was the timeless values Satya Nadella referred to - the key one being Trust and opportunity.

    Going back to Trust and Opportunity, by stepping out of the consumer market they have simply side stepped an uncapped market of opportunity.

    Trust, I find that statement rather ironical as it stands in stark contrast to what has been displayed when it comes to the Windows Phone and the consumer space.

    Sure, AI has a dizzying amount of potential and opportunity but the end point of that is well... Smartphones hence you saw.. iphones, iphones, iphones, iphones and more iphones.

    This is what I was refering to when I mentioned that Microsoft has not focused Windows visibly when it comes to mobile.

    When the announcement was made that the Azure mobile app was coming to ios and android... that in my opinion completely undermined the store opportunity that Satya Nadella referred to at the beginning of the keynote.

    They can't rely on desktop to push the store and not focus on Windows phones... because the endpoint again is Smartphones.

    Case in point during the Cortana demo of Microsoft teams, the presenter used an infotainment system with Cortana integration and an iphone.

    Why couldn't these both have been Microsoft solutions leveraging Windows Hello?

    The Iris scanner on a 950XL used to login to Microsoft Teams and an infotainment system running Windows IOT combined with AI and Azure (Mapping, Traffic Alerts etc). The live tiles lend really well to an infotainment system as you can see information at glance.

    They also showcased AI and data recognition with work place safety which was pretty amazing but I can already see the negative aspects of this technology when taken out of the Safety enviroment. As with any technology there are always consequences and advantages.

    The data recognition allowed for example, management to be alerted when a health safety hazard occurred. As well as allowing them to enrol new employees onto the system.

    In order to secure these mobile devices they could have showcased Windows Hello (fingerprint or iris scanner using devices like the 950 series or elite X3) and IT policy through Azure, Azure Stack, Active Directory etc.

    But instead it was showcased... on an iphone.

    The other stand out showcase was the real time translation of a power point presentation combined with a translator app... on an iphone.

    As you see the end point of all this was a smartphone.

    The are alot of things wrong with this:
    a)Does not showcase UWP to it's full potential

    b)Tells developers that Windows on Mobile is low priority (indoors it may not be but visibly that is what it looks like).

    c)They have given a tonne free mindshare to their competitors whilst undermining their own windows ecosystem. Case in point they announced the Azure mobile app coming to ios and android but no UWP Store app. That should have been announced at the same time not indicated through a tweet.

    Speaking of UWP There is one way they can grow this by combing it with Microsoft Cloud + AI - Code once and it literally runs everywhere a true Universal App Platform.

    So now you just don't have access to just the desktop with the windows store but cloud solutions as well. This provides a great incentive to get developers to use project centinnel to start the process of turning their Win32 apps to UWP apps.

    The Impacts on small to medium businesses.


    Given that most of the demos really show cased the iphone in general as that was end product (display) of the Microsoft Cloud.

    If they had combined all these demos with Cshell and Continuum.

    They would have been onto a Winner as would have not only obtained new Azure customers but Windows Phone customers which would have helped emphasis to their partners they are fully comitted to mobile.

    As Azure would have allowed the aforesaid businesses to scale and reduce their costs dramatically when compared to scale and cost efficiency.

    Furthermore had Microsoft focused on Windows 10 more they would have also gotten more Windows 10 activations as the human language interaction powering Cortana increases efficiency and productivity. (Since Cortana is directly intergrated in W10).

    Picture this a Windows Phone Continuum enabled handset powering Cshell which inturn is displaying Microsoft Teams for collaboration, Office 365 for business, a CRM hosted on and powered by Azure with it's analytical tools combined with Windows Hello, Exchange, active directory etc.


    That is a powerful tool, it completely addresses so many elements - most of which I have mentioned in my previous posts.

    So yes, Microsoft could have had it all and they still can but they need to focus on Windows phone and not other platforms.

    Edit:

    I have high hopes for Day 2 as tomorrow is supposed to be about Windows 10.
    Last edited by TechFreak1; 05-10-2017 at 08:26 PM.
    Kevin Rush likes this.
    05-10-2017 07:53 PM

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