All blog posts for June 2010
. . . .
There were reasons. I didn't trust Microsoft to do a good job creating an bleeding-edge new phone - one that would compete with Apple or Google for novelty, ingenuity or flair. On current evidence, it appears I was right. The night I bought the Legend was the night I learned about the Kin, and what a muddled design it has! But I'd never thought the company would come out and call one of its phones an "ad-serving machine"! According to Rik Myslewski of The Register, that's what Microsoft has labeled its Windows Phone 7 smartphone OS - due for release this year.
Microsoft's smartphone OS will provide advertisers with three levels of ad-serving "opportunities" in addition to standard browser-based ads, and in a radical departure from the tacks taken by either Apple's app-based iAds, scheduled to launch next Thursday, or Google's browser-centric world, two of Windows Phone 7's ad-delivery systems will enable ads to be sent outside of either apps or the browser.
Yes, three levels of advertising. To summarise, there's App based advertising, like the sex spam I got from one application before I uninstalled it. Then there are "tiles", which are ads that can be pinned onto the desktop. The grand finale is "toast" - ads that can blast out from the phone even if no apps are running in the background. It reminds me of the old concept of "push technology" - users "pull" pages from the web, so why can't the web "push" them back as well? What a success it was too. As Rik Myslewski writes:
All well and good, but from where we sit, this Windows Phone 7 scheme appears to be exploring new frontiers in advertising intrusiveness. If Microsoft doesn't make it easy and transparent to opt out of 'toast', that word might well describe the fate of its upcoming "ad-serving machine."
I think the damage has already been done. People hate ads, and "Ad-serving machine" is a PR disaster. It is a memorable and damaging phrase admitted by the company itself about one of its products. All you need is social networking to distribute it around the world.
. . . .
I'm no gadget freak. These days, I don't have the money to buy shiny new toys. But touchscreen phones are nice. So when the opportunity came up to get one without no extra fees, why not take it?
Last Monday, I decided to get myself a new mobile. My two year plan with Vodafone, my existing provider, was nearly up. For another twenty four month contract, they'd throw in a new phone for free. I've had very few problems with them, and they're no Optus nor Telstra. The existing plan was how I scored my existing beast - a Nokia N95, a smartphone with the standard numeric keypad - which would be handed to my wife. So why should I choose? I decided to go HTC: their latest touchscreen models run Google Android, an operating system derived from Linux. It was either that or the iPhone, and I didn't want to buy Apple. By their website, I knew Vodafone was stocking the things; so off to the shop I went, accompanied by wife. The two choices were the HTC Legend and the HTC Desire, with Desire preferred by me. Which to choose?
. . . .
(Or how my decision to write about my new Android Mobile phone was overtaken by events.)
Australia politicians have sometimes tried to massage the egos of their constituents by labelling things as "world class" - universities, public transport systems (hah!), cities, bridges, whatnot. I've always found it a little transparent and needy. If something's so good, why do you need to draw attention to its excellence in such a obviously try-hard way?
But I've changed my mind. We're world class at speedy palace coups. 24 hours from plan to execution, with most Australians only hearing about it 3 hours beforehand or less. Hoping to wake to a victory over Serbia, and the possible entry to the World Cup Final 16, they got a new government instead.