April 7th, 2010

caricature

Windows Phone 7 surprises

Marketplace is the only way to get apps on to Windows Phone - and it might not let you load an alternative browser   

How much of Silverlight is on Windows Phone? And why it doesn't have the multi-tasking "hand grenade"...

Catching up on linking the stories we wrote on our recent US conference marathon, I'm still bemused by some of the Windows Phone decisions. OK, Microsoft has only been building Windows Phone for a year and there are some really cool and innovative things; embedding third-party apps in the hubs where the content appears, designing for semi-connected online/offline cloud+local apps, excellent dev tools. But no arbitrary copy and paste, no third-party browsers and no true multi-tasking; it doesn't make it feel like a phone for someone like me and that remains a disappointment.
snark maiden

I wondered why the term smartbook didn't catch on

Last year Qualcomm came up with the term smartbook for things between and smartphone and a netbook. Great word, we thought (maybe not such a good concept; the iPhone might break the mould but Webpads and UMPCs and MIDs haven't made much of a dent in the market). I hadn't heard the term often from anyone but Qualcomm until HP's Phil McKinney used it at CES to describe the Android netbook he was showing off, and I haven't heard it since. The little note that I just spotted on the bottom of that interview might explain why smartbook isn't part of geek vocabulary (along with the lack of actual smartbooks on the market): "Smartbook is a registered trademark of Smartbook AG, but in this interview McKinney uses smartbook as a generic term for a device which falls between smartphone and netbook." It's not like Qualcomm to miss a trademark, even if it doesn't cover the US; in much of Europe, Korea, Russia, Australia and Singapore, smartbook means an Atom smartbook from Smartbook AG. And OSNews amusingly speculates about why Smartbook is asking news sites not to use smartbook as a generic term.