Orange CEO Stephane Richard is not the biggest fan of Windows Phone. Speaking to AllthingsD about competition for the iPhone/Android duopoly, he said:
â€œThere is probably not room for everyone, but all of us hope that among those initiatives, at least one will be able to emerge as a third ecosystem.â€
He continued, saying said that Windows Phone has a â€œvery difficultâ€ road to truly compete with iOS and Android. Richard said devices running the Microsoft-developed operating system are neither better designed nor cheaper, nor do they offer a better application experience than iOS or Android.
â€œThe Nokia family in my opinion is nice, but there is no â€˜wowâ€™ effect,â€ Richard said. â€œWhen you have a market with very steady players like Apple and Samsung, you need to have a â€˜wowâ€™ effect.â€
Oddly he was a bigger fan of Blackberry, praising the work of CEO Thorsten Heins and the new leadership there, though he still expected them to have a tough road.
â€œHe is doing a great job, but I am not sure they will be successful,â€ Richard said. â€œAt least they have a basis of very faithful users, which is not the case of Nokia.â€
Underlining his obviously poor impression of Windows Phone, he noted operators were selling Windows Phones for the same price as more popular devices, implying presumably that the OS was only good for cut-price handsets.
Unfortunately Richardâ€™s view is shared by many who just do not get that Windows Phone was specifically designed to be minimalist and elegant, rather than brash and loud like Android. Given the steady headway the OS has made, underlined by recent Kantar numbers, it seems however that the message is getting though to at least some segments of the buying public.
Do our readers think Windows Phone is suffering from lacking a flashy UI with a â€œwowâ€ factor, like Android and Blackberry 10? Let us know below.
If you want a commitment-free Nokia Lumia 920 but still don’t mind being locked to EE/ Orange HotUKDeals are reporting on an amazing in-store deal that can net you a Nokia Lumia 920 with free wireless charging plate for only Â£399 + Â£10 top-up.
That makes the handset pretty close to the price of the HTC 8X, and about Â£100 cheaper than it is available commitment-free from online retailers.
As mentioned earlier, the deal is in store and not online, but for saving Â£100 a little bit of footwork is surely worth it.
With all the talk about cheap but limited Windows Phones like the Nokia Lumia 610, who would have thought the Windows Phone to hit the lowest price point yet would be the Nokia Lumia 710, which is now available for Â£99.95 on Pay as you Go from Carphone Warehouse on Vodafone, T-Mobile, or Orange. For only Â£10 more you can also get the handset on Three or O2, covering all the relevant carriers in UK and soundly beating out the other smartphones in the same price range, who tend to feature tiny 3 inch HVGA touch screens, 2 or 3 megapixel cameras and run Android 2.2 or 2.3.
Examples include handsets such Samsung Galaxy Y, LG Optimus L3 Black and Samsung Galaxy Europe, all who look pretty terrible really.
The deal closes on the 7th June, but frankly if Nokia can maintain that price point, even with the Nokia Lumia 610, they deserve to gobble up the whole market segment, given how horrible the competition is.
Orange today announced that it is working in conjunction with Microsoft to give its Windows Phone pay monthly and pay as you go customers a free app every day in July.
For customers new to apps or simply wanting to extend their collection, the move will provide them with the perfect opportunity to try a series of premium pre-paid apps, spanning everything from games to travel information to sport.
All customers with an Orange Windows Phone can download the free apps from the exclusive â€˜Orange Selectsâ€™ folder on Windows Marketplace. Here they will see a selection of the best apps, with the top app available to download for free â€“ just for that day. This list will change every day, with the customer able to download a total of 31 individual apps worth more than Â£70.
First the good news â€“ demand for Windows phone 7 in UK is high. Now the bad news, supply is very low.
So low in fact that Orange UK has been unable to satisfy all pre-orders, and is offering those who placed orders a Â£20 voucher for HMV music store as a â€œgoodwill gestureâ€
One Orange manager said: â€˜I was shocked when I heard the news. We are the lead partner for Windows Phone 7. But I believe this is a manufacturer issue on a world-wide scale.â€™
Microsoft UK mobile business group director Alex Reeve said: â€˜Together with our partners, we began selling the first phones with Windows Phone 7 in Europe and Asia-Pacific on 21 October. We had some challenges with retail stock in the first few days, but it is now flowing much more freely.â€™
While these early shortages will likely result in low initial sales figures, but it should help both carriers and OEMs realize that the sales potential for Windows phone 7 handsets are high, and deserve at the very least equal footing with their Android handsets.
Good news for fans of Dellâ€™ Venue Pro. It seems one would not need to shell out a whole Â£500 to lay hands on the device.
According to ITPortal.com the interesting handset will be sold on contract by T-Mobile and Orange (who recently merged) for around Â£35 per month on a two year contract.
ITPortalâ€™s tipster also told them stocks should be plentiful toward the end of the month, meaning those who pre-ordered from the likes of Expansys and Amazon should be receiving their phones very soon.
Via MobileTechWorld, we have a new French Windows Phone 7 ad that for once actually shows the OS in action, and also mentions key apps like twitter and eBay, but in the end still continues to emphasize the â€œget in, get out and get on with your lifeâ€ theme that Microsoft has been relying upon.
How do our readers rate this new ad? Let us know below.
Buyers today of Windows Phone 7 devices will today mainly have a choice between the HTC Mozart and the Samsung Omnia 7 today.
Engadget have just published their review of the former handset, and once again did not come away overly impressed with theykey feature of the handset, the 8 megapixel camera, noting pictures were washed out and soft and video quality poor with low frame rate in low light.
They were however pretty enamoured by the design of the handset.
So let’s gather our thoughts for a moment. The 7 Mozart is no doubt one of the most stylish WP7 devices right now, and it handles both the OS plus the HTC apps pretty well. Of course, potential buyers should take note of the comparatively smaller 3.7-inch screen (although screen quality here is better than the HD7′s, as mentioned earlier), along with the subpar camera performance and shoddy earphones — both typical of HTC these days, it seems. Well, the choice is yours, friend.
Microsoft have announced on their Facebook page they will be giving away free branded Skullcandy headphones (worth about Â£20) to the first 20 people in line at the Orange Oxford store tomorrow for the Windows Phone 7 launch.
The store will be opening at 7 AMP and will remain open till 7 PM, and buyers will also be given a â€œbag for lifeâ€(?) and other treats while supplies last.
There will also be media coverage between 10-11 on Capital and in the afternoon on XFM.
Orange has started promoting the HCT Mozart with a page in their online store discussing the features and also promoting their own included apps.
One of the apps may be particularly welcome to new Windows phone 7 users â€“ Orange Maps, which should provide voice turn by turn navigation â€“ a feature that as far as we know are still absent from Bing maps at present.
See the page here, which also allows one to register to be notified of availability, which should be the 21st October.
Orange today took its place as the number one destination for Smartphones, announcing the delivery of two new handsets based on Microsoftâ€™s latest mobile operating platform, Windows Phone 7. As Microsoftâ€™s key UK partner, the move builds on the long-standing relationship between the two companies and sees Orange exclusively offer UK customers the flagship HTC 7 Mozart, as well as range the stylish Samsung Omnia 7 device across all its retail channels later this month. And it means that Orange customers have a wider choice of Smartphones and premium service support than ever before.
The HTC 7 Mozart and Samsung Omnia 7 handsets will be available to business and consumer customers on Orange from the 21st October. Both handsets will feature quick-link access to the following Orange applications and services, which will be integrated into the new Windows Phone 7 panoramic tile home screen:
Orange Wednesdays: 2-4-1 cinema ticket app – allowing you to read reviews, watch trailers as well as redeem 2-4-1 vouchers all from your handset
Orange Maps: Your personal navigation system, offering turn-by-turn GPS guidance
Your Orange: to help you keep up-to-date and manage your Orange account – access help articles and get the latest info on your Magic Numbers
Orange Daily: Bringing you a selection of at-a-glance news, sport and weather content as well as extras such as Wikipedia
Windows Phone 7 users will also enjoy exclusive access to unique and diverse experiences from Microsoftâ€™s home entertainment portfolio such as Xbox LIVEÂ®, and ZuneÂ® as well as quick and easy access to contacts and social network updated through the newly created People Hub – specifically devised by Microsoft for Windows Phone 7.
Downloading applications is also made easy through the integration of Orange applications in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, via â€˜Orange Selectsâ€™, creating a â€˜shop within a shopâ€™ that provides a single location to access the best applications from Orange and selected publishers. In addition, starting in early 2011, any Windows Phone 7 Marketplace purchases can be securely charged directly to the customerâ€™s Orange phone bill, via a unique integrated billing experience â€“ so theyâ€™ll have no need to enter credit card details.
Orange Windows Phone 7 users will also benefit from being on an award winning network, as well as having access to T-Mobileâ€™s signal too – meaning they can call and text in more places across the UK.
Furthermore, as Microsoftâ€™s lead partner, Orange will feature in a joint multi-million pound Windows Phone 7 advertising campaign planned for the UK, and the launch will be supported with bespoke interactive point of sale store materials and a high profile media partnership with XFM and Capital Radio, designed to amplify the sale of the very first Windows Phone 7 handset sale in the UK â€“ only on Orange. Tom Alexander, CEO, said: â€œOrange and Microsoft pioneered the worldâ€™s first Windows-powered Smartphone back in 2002, and together weâ€™ve sold more than two million Orange devices running Windows mobile. The Windows Phone 7 experience is a step-change for the industry â€“ one that promises opportunity, excitement and choice for our customers.â€
â€œOrange is now the number one destination for customers wanting the latest high-end multimedia handsets, and with our brand and our superior network we can truly take these devices and this operating system to a new level,â€ he continued.
With a 3.7â€ WVGA resolution, Super LCD Display, 8 mega-pixel camera, Dolby sound and a 1GHz Processor, the HTC 7 Mozart, exclusive to Orange, is available for free to customers who take out a Â£35 per month 24 month price plan. The package includes 600 any network call minutes, unlimited text, unlimited email, sat nav with Orange Maps as well as inclusive anytime internet browsing.
Meanwhile, the Samsung Omnia 7, featuring a 4.0" Super AMOLED touch screen, 1 GHz processor will be available for free to customers who take out a Â£40 per month, 24 month price plan. The package includes 1200 any network call minutes, unlimited text, unlimited email, sat nav with Orange Maps as well as inclusive anytime internet browsing.
At launch, Orange HTC 7 Mozart customers will also have the opportunity to benefit from â€˜Orange Personal Trainersâ€™, providing dedicated and expert help to ensure customers get the best out of their Windows Phone 7 phones. The personalised service, part of the Orange Care portfolio of enhanced customer care services, will be available through selected retail stores as well as from Orange telesales. Both handsets will be available to consumer, small and medium sized businesses and corporate customers. For more information, please visit Orange shops, Orange telesales or www.orange.co.uk