Not evil twin to theiPhoneBlog.com Week in Review, not an invasion by Fake Steve, This Week in Smart Phone Schadenfreude brings you all the feel-better news you need about the smartphone world outside Apple’s current media dominator. (Who knew there was such a world? We were just as surprised! Inelegant, interface challenged, keyboardy, crashy, single-touchy place — best not to linger…). Join us as we mock review the big news from last week at our sister sites. Everybody loves sibling rivalry!
In this week's edition: Windows Se7en, Great Googley Android, India's circling the RIM, the Treo 800w guest commentary, and no other news on Safari for Samsung...
Microsoft is still the only real game on the planet, especially when it comes to business, what with their whopping 90%+ share of the market. And as Bill Gates rides off into retirement, he can be justifiably proud at how close he came to his dream of a computer on every desktop and in every home. In that light, his swan song with longtime crony and internet "monkeyboy" dance phenom Steve Ballmer at the "D" All Things Digital was particularly poignant this year, especially given that they chose to use the event to showcase their next generation OS to the public for the very first time.
What groundbreaking new features did they show off? What killer new technology was highlighted? Was it WinFS, the revolutionary all-registry all-the-time file system they've been promising since the code-name "Cairo" vaporware of yore? Was it MinWin, the ultra-small, ultra-modular kernel that will return some long absent agility to the platform? Was it a complete revamp of the horrible mishmash that passes for an API stack, cleansing 8-bit fossils and 16-bit artifacts, providing something uniform for the 64-bit future? Was it a renewed focus on their core business users, streamlining bloat and minimizing eye candy in favor of virtualized compatibility and blazingly fast architectures moving forward?
It was 10 finger multi-touch paint. 10 @#$%ing finger multi-touch paint! Are you kidding me?! From the team that brought us the big @$$ table, we get nothing of the future promised us for decades by Microsoft, nothing by way of making up for the titanic PR disaster that has been Vista, nothing that may convince consumers who are routing towards the Mac in ever increasing droves, and businesses who are stubbornly clinging to the terribly outdated XP or jurassic 2000, to hold out for a better tomorrow. No. We get 10 @#$%ing finger multi-touch paint and yet another in the endless string of failed Gatesian prognostications about interfaces, inks, and whatever else makes him think tablets have been a booming success for over a decade. (Word to Bill - the only thing even remotely resembling a tablet that's even approached a modicum of cultural penetration is -- wait for it -- the iPhone, and it wasn't made by Microsoft).
But what does Windows Se7en have to do with Smartphones, you may ask? (After all, WMExperts.com thought it barely worth a mock-mention). Unlike Apple, aren't Microsoft's mobile offerings similar only in that both have the word "Windows" grafted in front of them? Nope. They're also similar in terms of the minds driving them, the vision of the future those minds have, and the experience those visions seek to bring to us, the end users.
And right now both Windows Se7en and WinMob Se7en are driven by minds so drunk off their collectives posteriors that their futuristic visions are entirely consumer by 10 @#$%ing finger multi-touch paint.
Great Google-y Moogley: Android Gets Slightly Less Vapory!
Microsoft loses money on search, which is pretty much just a way to glue eyeballs to pages so said eyeballs can be blinded by flashing neon "hit the bouncing monkey!" banners. By contrast, Google's bouncing monkey banners net them somewhere near 8 kazillion dollars a year. Likewise, while Microsoft's busy showing off a 2010 desktop OS that really, truly hopes to be competitive with Apple's 2007 mobile OS, Google is readying an iClone that may just ship this year!
Confession: We thought the Google Android demo was right skippy. Caveat: We though the exact same thing when Steve Jobs did it at Macworld 2007.
Memo to Google: We know your CEO, Dr. Evil... er... Eric sits on the Apple board of directors. We've heard he recuses himself from iPhone discussions to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. Here's a thought: how about avoiding the reality of one as well?
Apple is all about the paradigm shift. The command-line in your home with the Apple II. The GUI on your desktop with the Mac. Multi-touch in your hand with the iPhone. It's what Apple does. The gloss, the shine -- the boom.
You need to embrace what Google does. All white screens with nothing but search boxes. That's what Google does. Forget about the overcrowded iClone market and embrace that. That's your niche. That's your Zen.
Circling the RIM: India's Never-Ending Ultimatum
Yeah, we thought this had been resolved too. Seems India's still demanding and RIM is still claiming it has a headache. Or whatever. Crackberry.com somehow retains the energy and interest to cover it. We just can't stop snickering over the fact that it's the Network Operations Center (NOC), pusher of all pushers, single-point-of-snooping, that let's India push RIM so hard to begin with.
Big brother FTW!
So You Think You Can Smartphone?
Okay, so we've been giving the Treo 600... er... 800w a bit of a hard time around here. Fair point. Certainly opinions must vary, and much like we had special guest quotes from Windows Super Siter Paul Thurrott a few posts back, in the spirit of equal time we turn this segment over to TreoCentral uber-editor Dieter Bohn. Go ahead, boss. Tell us all how great the 600 v3 is:
Look at it. It looks cheap. It looks cheap. I'm like secretly hoping that this isn't the final casing. That they have a secret casing and this is just the stuff they're sending out to the beta testers. [...] It doesn't look professional. I mean recessed screens are so 2003. Whatever. Right? [...] The way it's recessed looks chintzy. The soft buttons underneath the screen are just sort of randomly there. Nothing about it speaks like... It doesn't speak like... to being solid or futuristic. [...] A business phone should project an aura of power. [...] This is just not good looking. I've been saying for a long time now that this is the year you've got to cut Palm a ton of slack, and I've been cutting Palm a ton of slack, but this looks like [email protected] [...] It does not look great. This needs to look great. They should have one great phone this year and this does not look great. This looks the opposite of great. [...] I tell you what, [when This Week in Smartphone Schadenfreude put up an image of the Treo 600 as the Treo 800w] I didn't notice. Somebody had to point out the joke to me.
For those truly interested in the complete, uncensored, Treo 800w curbing, check out the podcast (spoiler: in the name of all things merciful and nostalgic, Mike pulls Dieter off and holds him at bay until the Smithsonian can show up and cart off the old girl's mangled, circuit board-strewn corpse. NOT for the squeamish).
And in No Other News
Speaking of maulings, some Executard or PR flack over at Samsung, in a fit of drunkful-thinking, shot up a release stating the notly anticipated L870 S60 slider (honestly, do they pull these names off of pseudo-random password generators?) would have not just a WebKit browser, but the full on iPhone Mobile Safari king-of-all-mobile browsers. Absent, you know, an OS, UI, or the basic design and engineering skills to support it.