1. fatalaonemanarmy's Avatar
    Not that WP7 needs great hardware, but why do you guys think MS seems to be forcing such low end specs on the hardware providers by making the OS not support higher end specs?
    Last edited by fatalaonemanarmy; 04-04-2012 at 02:32 PM.
    04-04-2012 02:18 PM
  2. Welve's Avatar
    Microsoft has said that before they shift over to dual core and higher devices they want to solve some of the battery issues that stem from heavy hitting hardware, same with high resolution.

    The whole "spec wars" are silly anyway, sort of like processors now days. The AMD Phenom II X4 980 is looked at as inferior "old tech" and the i5 2500K and i7 2600K are looked on as the premier in technology. The truth is the Phenom II is older and slower, yes, but we're talking 30 seconds in extremely complex task completion, for the average user: web browsing, emailing, paper writing, even gaming to some extent, the difference isnt even that drastic. Maybe 10-20 frames per second in highly CPU dependent games, 4 or less in others.

    My point is that today's "low-tech" is still highly competitive and advanced, especially with WP7 because of the hardware acceleration behind it. MOAR CORES isn't always the solution to a better user experience and intelligent companies are starting to realize this. What has the biggest concern become? Battery life. Frankly, even when Windows Phone gets dual core phones, the next big thing will probably be quad core devices, but you are going to see that battery life becomes an even larger issue than it is now.

    Though it will certainly steer some away from Windows Phone, the average user will probably never know the difference because as I said the hurdles are overcome in different ways with MSFT.
    jbjtkbw007 likes this.
    04-04-2012 02:39 PM
  3. fatalaonemanarmy's Avatar
    Microsoft has said that before they shift over to dual core and higher devices they want to solve some of the battery issues that stem from heavy hitting hardware, same with high resolution.

    The whole "spec wars" are silly anyway, sort of like processors now days. The AMD Phenom II X4 980 is looked at as inferior "old tech" and the i5 2500K and i7 2600K are looked on as the premier in technology. The truth is the Phenom II is older and slower, yes, but we're talking 30 seconds in extremely complex task completion, for the average user: web browsing, emailing, paper writing, even gaming to some extent, the difference isnt even that drastic. Maybe 10-20 frames per second in highly CPU dependent games, 4 or less in others.

    My point is that today's "low-tech" is still highly competitive and advanced, especially with WP7 because of the hardware acceleration behind it. MOAR CORES isn't always the solution to a better user experience and intelligent companies are starting to realize this. What has the biggest concern become? Battery life. Frankly, even when Windows Phone gets dual core phones, the next big thing will probably be quad core devices, but you are going to see that battery life becomes an even larger issue than it is now.

    Though it will certainly steer some away from Windows Phone, the average user will probably never know the difference because as I said the hurdles are overcome in different ways with MSFT.
    I understand what you mean concerning the battery war in phones. I will say that as I'm a gamer, there is enough difference in the AMD vs i5 2500k. Especially when looking at the incredible overclocking capabilities of the 2500k. But I do get that you don't have to worry about battery life with these.
    04-04-2012 02:46 PM
  4. Welve's Avatar
    I wasn't trying to detract from the fact that the differences are there in performance, I meant that more often than not the difference is overblown. The i5 2500K is superior because it is, but it isn't like the Phenom II is worthless, it is still a power piece of hardware and it is the same with phones.

    The processor in the Nokia isn't as good, plain and simple, but the limitations that people associate with slower hardware are completely overblown. To wit, the number of people that say WP7 is fluid and fast, faster than Android in many cases and those Android phones all have the "fast" hardware.

    The difference comes in software and other modifications in performance. For instance, a computer with an i5 2500k paired with a GTX 275 is simply not going to run games as well as a computer with a Phenom II X4 980 paired with the GTX 680.

    Your question was more "Why are they there?" And I think what my answer has turned into is battery life and lack of necessity. Do you need a turbo charged V12 as a daily driver? Probably not.
    04-04-2012 02:56 PM
  5. fatalaonemanarmy's Avatar
    I wasn't trying to detract from the fact that the differences are there in performance, I meant that more often than not the difference is overblown. The i5 2500K is superior because it is, but it isn't like the Phenom II is worthless, it is still a power piece of hardware and it is the same with phones.

    The processor in the Nokia isn't as good, plain and simple, but the limitations that people associate with slower hardware are completely overblown. To wit, the number of people that say WP7 is fluid and fast, faster than Android in many cases and those Android phones all have the "fast" hardware.

    The difference comes in software and other modifications in performance. For instance, a computer with an i5 2500k paired with a GTX 275 is simply not going to run games as well as a computer with a Phenom II X4 980 paired with the GTX 680.

    Your question was more "Why are they there?" And I think what my answer has turned into is battery life and lack of necessity. Do you need a turbo charged V12 as a daily driver? Probably not.
    I agree with what you're saying. I just hope that they don't always do this. The reason being is due to the fact that they are trying to tout this as a gaming OS because of Xbox live. Because of this, I'm truly hoping that they don't always hold back on new hardware. Just my opinion though. I will also say that because Android is such a taxing OS, gaming is better on a single core iOS phone (even with an inferior GPU) than a duel core Android phone. I am pretty sure it is the same with Windows Phone.
    04-04-2012 02:59 PM
  6. Welve's Avatar
    Yeah, I agree, and for techies that want the latest and greatest I totally understand that you feel the downgrade. I think Microsoft will come through in time, I personally hope that Win8 tablets are going to pack Tegra 3 processors for ARM and that we might see them in phones! It would be awesome. The Zune HD used a Tegra processor, so let's hope there is some good blood between nVidia and Microsoft despite that fact that all Windows Phones have been Qualcomm.

    Edit: also interesting to note that they have tiered devices already with the introduction of the 610 and Tango devices. Maybe with Apollo they will have a mid-range tier that uses base gen 2 specs (Qualcomm dual-core) and advanced gen 2 specs (Tegra dual or quad core). Though that kind of fragmentation can be dangerous, as we have seen with Android.
    04-04-2012 03:02 PM
  7. fatalaonemanarmy's Avatar
    Yeah, I agree, and for techies that want the latest and greatest I totally understand that you feel the downgrade. I think Microsoft will come through in time, I personally hope that Win8 tablets are going to pack Tegra 3 processors for ARM and that we might see them in phones! It would be awesome. The Zune HD used a Tegra processor, so let's hope there is some good blood between nVidia and Microsoft despite that fact that all Windows Phones have been Qualcomm.

    Edit: also interesting to note that they have tiered devices already with the introduction of the 610 and Tango devices. Maybe with Apollo they will have a mid-range tier that uses base gen 2 specs (Qualcomm dual-core) and advanced gen 2 specs (Tegra dual or quad core). Though that kind of fragmentation can be dangerous, as we have seen with Android.
    I completely agree! One reason I will NEVER go back to Android (I have an iPhone 4) is due to there fragmentation. It makes there phones clunky and simply annoying. People talk about how much customization they have, which is awesome, but it isn't worth losing the speed and reliability. I definitely hope WP never starts having fragmentation. They should continue to stick more with what iOS does by forcing OEM's to have certain specs and make SURE they don't get to play around with the OS (IE skins).
    04-04-2012 03:10 PM
  8. mparker's Avatar
    ...why do you guys think MS seems to be forcing such low end specs on the hardware providers by making the OS not support higher end specs?
    It's due to limitations in the current kernel, which is a duct-taped mess with roots in several different versions of the old Windows Mobile kernel. The new kernel in WP8 will be based on the Win8 kernel. Some limitations, like the Snapdragon-only support, were probably due to not wanting to spend any more time on that old system than they had to given that it was all going to be junked anyway. The new WP8 will be able to take advantage of the much larger effort being spent getting Win8 ready for the ARM tablets, including support for a much larger array of SoC's, as well as potentially even the X86 SOCs like the Intel Medfield, which is faster than the ARM SoC's with comparable power consumption. Because it's derived from Windows NT it should be essentially free of any limits on CPU count, memory, graphics resolution, etc. It should also have a much faster .NET runtime because of the big budgets being spent on the ARM JIT compiler.
    04-04-2012 03:12 PM
  9. fatalaonemanarmy's Avatar
    It's due to limitations in the current kernel, which is a duct-taped mess with roots in several different versions of the old Windows Mobile kernel. The new kernel in WP8 will be based on the Win8 kernel. Some limitations, like the Snapdragon-only support, were probably due to not wanting to spend any more time on that old system than they had to given that it was all going to be junked anyway. The new WP8 will be able to take advantage of the much larger effort being spent getting Win8 ready for the ARM tablets, including support for a much larger array of SoC's, as well as potentially even the X86 SOCs like the Intel Medfield, which is faster than the ARM SoC's with comparable power consumption. Because it's derived from Windows NT it should be essentially free of any limits on CPU count, memory, graphics resolution, etc. It should also have a much faster .NET runtime because of the big budgets being spent on the ARM JIT compiler.
    So you're saying that the WP7's are coded from their old Windows mobile? EWW! lol. If that's the case, I truly hope WP8 will still use the awesome tile UI. I'm sure it will because of the increasing popularity. What are your thoughts in the way hardware makers wanting more control over the OS? Do you really believe Microsoft will let them put skins on or anything? I'm pretty scared about the possible fragmentation that's already plaguing Android will be the future of WP. If so, I'm not switching from my iPhone.
    04-04-2012 03:19 PM
  10. AndreaCristiano's Avatar
    Not that WP7 needs great hardware, but why do you guys think MS seems to be forcing such low end specs on the hardware providers by making the OS not support higher end specs?
    Perfect the OS first then accelerate hardware. Anyone remember iPhone 1&2?
    04-04-2012 03:22 PM
  11. Welve's Avatar
    So, M, just curious here, if the only reason we see Qualcomm processors now is the kernel, do you think we will see a great variety of processors with the Win8 kernel in our phones?

    Part of the reason WP7 is so awesome is because you know that any adjustments they make are coming to everyone and the performance decreases or increases are evenly distributed. Do you think Microsoft has seen the advantage of this and will continue to restrict hardware?
    04-04-2012 03:24 PM
  12. fatalaonemanarmy's Avatar
    So, M, just curious here, if the only reason we see Qualcomm processors now is the kernel, do you think we will see a great variety of processors with the Win8 kernel in our phones?

    Part of the reason WP7 is so awesome is because you know that any adjustments they make are coming to everyone and the performance decreases or increases are evenly distributed. Do you think Microsoft has seen the advantage of this and will continue to restrict hardware?
    I hope so or I'm sticking with iOS. I just really love the WP UI.
    04-04-2012 03:26 PM
  13. Welve's Avatar
    So you're saying that the WP7's are coded from their old Windows mobile? EWW! lol. If that's the case, I truly hope WP8 will still use the awesome tile UI. I'm sure it will because of the increasing popularity. What are your thoughts in the way hardware makers wanting more control over the OS? Do you really believe Microsoft will let them put skins on or anything? I'm pretty scared about the possible fragmentation that's already plaguing Android will be the future of WP. If so, I'm not switching from my iPhone.
    I am 99% sure the tile system is here to stay, Windows 8 uses the Metro UI as well, it would be silly to see it absent from Windows Phone 8...I hope they continue the iOS route and allow OEMs to continue making custom apps, but prevent them from interfering too much.
    04-04-2012 03:26 PM
  14. mparker's Avatar
    So you're saying that the WP7's are coded from their old Windows mobile? EWW!
    Yes, it's running on a version of the Windows Mobile kernel. See Windows Phone 7 based on a hybrid Windows CE 6 / Compact 7 kernel? -- Engadget


    So, M, just curious here, if the only reason we see Qualcomm processors now is the kernel, do you think we will see a great variety of processors with the Win8 kernel in our phones? ... Do you think Microsoft has seen the advantage of this and will continue to restrict hardware?
    Yes there will be a greater variety of processors supported. One reason is that the manufacturers are demanding it. Nokia wants to go with the ST-Ericsson NovaThor for example, and the phones and tablets are going to need the quad-core cpus coming out now. Also Intel is getting into the mobile market again, their Medfield processor (currently shipping in an Android phone) looks very impressive, much less for a first effort. The other reason is that they now have the resources of the entire OS and developer tools divisions to do it. Mobile isn't off in their own little garden anymore, they're piggybacking onto the efforts of the rest of the company which is surging into the tablet market as fast as they can get the company turned around. Since the phone and tablets use the same hardware the phone division will benefit directly.

    I am 99% sure the tile system is here to stay, Windows 8 uses the Metro UI as well, it would be silly to see it absent from Windows Phone 8...I hope they continue the iOS route and allow OEMs to continue making custom apps, but prevent them from interfering too much.
    I think they will, but you never know. If Elop leaves Nokia his successor may turn out to be a fan of Motoblur... I hope the tile system on the phone will be adopting some of the features from the desktop system, like the start page zoom and the gesture-based multitasking. Even the "Metro Dock" has a place on the phone - imagine keeping your email client running in the top third of the screen while you go browsing through the web on the bottom two-thirds.

    One of the thing Android has done that is very much in the Metro theme is getting rid of the built-in buttons. In Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) the OS draws the buttons directly on the screen. This means it can hide them when they aren't needed and re-use that screen space, or rotate them based on the screen orientation, etc. Windows 8 has gone to this level of chromelessness as well, all top-level controls are done by swiping in from the sides - swipe from the left to get to the task list, swipe from the right to get back to the start menu, swipe down from the top (or up from the bottom) to get the URL and tabs in IE, etc.
    04-04-2012 04:21 PM
  15. Welve's Avatar
    So what direction do you think they will take to avoid fragmentation? Make the OS so resource efficient that the processor speed doesn't matter so long as it is on par with X processor?
    04-04-2012 04:57 PM
  16. canesfan625's Avatar
    So what direction do you think they will take to avoid fragmentation? Make the OS so resource efficient that the processor speed doesn't matter so long as it is on par with X processor?
    Probably as long as it meets the guidelines that MS usually sets forth with their software. Even if one device for some reason doesnt have the power to run an APP that isn't fragmentation.
    04-04-2012 05:10 PM
  17. mparker's Avatar
    So what direction do you think they will take to avoid fragmentation? Make the OS so resource efficient that the processor speed doesn't matter so long as it is on par with X processor?
    I think a certain amount of fragmentation is unavoidable as the OS matures. Microsoft just needs to keep it down to a manageable level.

    Even on the desktop Windows systems there is fragmentation. One of the big problems with Vista was the new device driver architecture, and if you're running a 32-bit version of Windows you're SOL if you try to run a 64-bit app. The fragmentation problem on Macintosh has historically been much worse, with the transitions from OS9 to OSX, and 68k to PowerPC to x86 orphaning huge swathes of machines and software.

    iOS has mostly avoided this problem but even there you're SOL if you're running an old handset. I have a friend that still uses his iPhone 1 as his daily phone.

    While a lot of Android's fragmentation is coming because of excessive customization by the manufacturers, a lot of it is coming because it's being used on very low-end machines for which the newer versions of Android just aren't suitable (because of CPU and memory requirements). One new source of Android fragmentation is CPU fragmentation - the Intel Medfield CPU uses the x86 instruction set, but there are a lot of Android apps that are compiled to ARM machine code. Intel has written an ARM-to-x86 translator that runs in the Google store that will generate an x86 version of the app if it's purchased by an x86 phone, but it's not perfect.

    To the extent that Windows Phone is pushed downmarket, some types of fragmentation is certain to occur. The downmarket machines simply won't have the horsepower to run some apps, or the Gen 1 handsets won't get Tango or Apollo or post-Apollo because it's being blocked by the carriers or post-Apollo needs 1gb to run or whatever. There is already fragmentation in Windows Phone - there are many handsets out there still running NoDo or even pre NoDo, because they've never been plugged into a machine with Zune. We saw this in the store when developers held off on mango for a long time, waiting until there were enough mango machines out there that they could afford alienating their non-mango customer base. Microsoft has since added support for multiple OS's in the store, but this simply confirms the fact that fragmentation does in fact exist (the store now has support for the various fragments). The store also now has support for the low-memory Tango devices, so there are three different fragments out there now: mango, pre-mango, and low-memory tango. But for the most part this isn't really a problem the way it is for Android, partly because this is a pretty low number, but partly because of the nature of the fragmentation.

    Where fragmentation really matters as a developer is when you have multiple versions of the same OS that are all subtly incompatible, where the HTC version of Gingerbread is slightly different from the Samsung version of Gingerbread or the Motorola version, or worse where there are multiple HTC versions of Gingerbread all slightly different from each other. Or where each device resolution requires tweaking of the code to make it look right because the presentation API doesn't allow for resolution-independence (or tries to but fails). Obsolescence isn't really a problem because eventually it'll go away as those handsets are replaced - once a developer figures out that he is willing to ignore the pre-mango market then he can just develop for mango and be done with it, he doesn't have to develop and test for 6 different versions of mango with 15 different resolutions.
    Last edited by mparker; 04-04-2012 at 06:02 PM.
    04-04-2012 05:46 PM
  18. based_graham's Avatar
    Here consider placing smartphones into weight classes similar to MMA or boxing

    You have

    Lightweight at 0$
    Welterweight at 49$
    Middleweight at 99$
    Light Heavyweight at 149$
    Heavyweight at 199$

    Now if you look at Androids huge marketshare I bet most of the %'s come from the lightweight to middleweight division because not everybody is willing to pay 100+$ for a smartphone so they end up buying a low-mid range Android and the result is a subpar phone experience.

    Now if you look at MS and Nokia in order to mass marketshare if they cater to the low-mid range consumers they have a chance of increasing their marketshare faster rather than releasing high end phones for 149 to 199$ especially if those phones can go toe-to-toe with the big boys at 149-199$

    So what did Nokia and MS do

    They released the Lumia 710 which is WINNING at 49$ but unfortunately its only on T-mobile. I dont think there is a phone in the market that can match the 710 at 49$

    Then they released the Lumia 610 which is aimed at pay-as-you-go and 0$ phones. With the 610 feature set and WP experience I dont think you have a phone that can go toe-to-toe with the 610 at the price.

    Now they released the Lumia 900 which is their "flagship" Mango phone and released it at 99$ Your getting alot with the 900 its the most complete WP IMO you have 4.3 inch screen, LTE, 8Mp and 1.3Mp cameras, fast and smooth experience. For 99$ the only competitor the Lumia has is the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 will win when it comes to APPS but atleast the Lumia has LTE support and one-day it will have the APPS that iPhone and Android users need.

    So just to summarize everything you have
    0$ - 610
    49$ - 710/800
    99$ - 900

    So that leaves the 149$ to 199$ options open which MS should address with Apollo. Now if MS went straight on with Apollo I don't think they could of addressed the low-end market with great devices right away and with Apollo and the rumors running the Win 8 kernel your going to see an advanced feature sheet with improved apps and better integration.

    Its smart that MS is going for low to mid range and let attack the 149-199$ with super phones and Win8 tablets. Windows 8 is the real deal while Windows 7.5 is like a bridge between Win7 and Win8.
    04-04-2012 06:02 PM
  19. mparker's Avatar
    Here consider placing smartphones into weight classes similar to MMA or boxing

    You have

    Lightweight at 0$
    Welterweight at 49$
    Middleweight at 99$
    Light Heavyweight at 149$
    Heavyweight at 199$
    Those are subsidized prices - add $350 or so for the unsubsidized price. A huge chunk of Android's numbers are coming from an even lower market than you're considering, we're talking $100 or less *unsubsidized*. Nokia is going after that market with Symbian and Maemo because Tango just can't reach down that far. Android can reach down that far. Old versions of Android like Donut and Eclair, but Android nonetheless. And there are hundreds of millions of those Android devices being sold at that level.
    04-04-2012 06:24 PM
  20. based_graham's Avatar
    Those are subsidized prices - add $350 or so for the unsubsidized price. A huge chunk of Android's numbers are coming from an even lower market than you're considering, we're talking $100 or less *unsubsidized*. Nokia is going after that market with Symbian and Maemo because Tango just can't reach down that far. Android can reach down that far. Old versions of Android like Donut and Eclair, but Android nonetheless. And there are hundreds of millions of those Android devices being sold at that level.
    Yes not right now but Tango will get even cheaper next year
    04-04-2012 08:34 PM
  21. canesfan625's Avatar
    Perfect the OS first then accelerate hardware. Anyone remember iPhone 1&2?
    You mean waiting 2-3 years to get basic features that feature phones had is unacceptable? You still cant send attachments from emails
    04-05-2012 05:48 AM
  22. mparker's Avatar
    Yes not right now but Tango will get even cheaper next year
    Not sure what you mean by this? The OS itself will get cheaper? It's not the cost of the OS that's the issue, it's the cost of the hardware needed to run it. If you're saying that newer versions of Tango will lower the hardware requirements then that would indeed lower the cost of Tango handsets, but will also create more fragmentation. If that happens, then next year we will have this hypothetical ultra-low-spec tango (gen 3 tango 64mb/320x240px screens), 256mb tango (gen 2 tango), 512mb pre-mango (1st gen unupgraded), 512mb mango (gen 1/2 mango), 512mb Apollo (gen2 upgraded to Apollo), and maybe 1gb multicore Apollo (gen3 handsets). That's starting to become significant fragmentation, though it still may not be a problem since the low-spec devices should mostly be isolated geographically and linguistically, and most developers can just target the Mango API for the next year or so until the Mango installed base declines enough to be ignored.
    Last edited by mparker; 04-05-2012 at 08:21 AM.
    04-05-2012 08:15 AM
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