Friday, January 13, 2012

Windows Phone getting rave reviews

You have to consider where this is coming from -- liberal media, which harbors a deep anti-Microsoft bias. First, an example of the bias. Here's Steven Levy interviewing Amazon's Jeff Bezos in Wired's December 2011 issue:
    Levy: Eric Schmidt has said that there are four horsemen of technology now: Google, Apple, Facebook, and you. Do you view Amazon in those terms?

    Bezos: Lists like that are fine and interesting, but if I were making that list I would have a hard time not having Microsoft on it. They've done a lot of innovative things, some of which get overshadowed by their big existing businesses. You look at something like Kinect, it's pretty cool.

    Levy: As they'll be the first to tell you.

    Bezos: As they should. It's genuine...
Steven Levy's anti-MS bias is in-your-face, while Bezos, arguably a true tech guy, knows better. That said, I can work around Levy's bias. I've read several of Levy's books and have been reading him at Wired for a long time. He's a good technology writer. Tech neutrality would make him a great technology writer.

Another example of anti-MS bias might be Lifehacker, a good site for technophiles. Last year they did a piece about what kind of equipment the writers used. Nearly all (actually, all, if I remember correctly), use Apple computers. It's interesting that a technology website that isn't marketed as a place for Apple aficionados would use an operating system that interests only 10% of the world. The other 90% (or 89?) use Windows. Maybe Lifehacker should hire people that will speak to a massive audience, rather than a tiny one. And, it seems that most of their Microsoft stories appear under "For What It's Worth".

I watched the "Girl with the dragon tattoo" series, the Swedish films, and noticed that the good guys used Apple, while the bad guys used Windows. Hmmm.

So it's in the context of clear bias that we read the reviewers of Windows Phone.

NY Times:
    “GORGEOUS,” raves The Huffington Post.

    “Best-looking smartphone operating system in the industry,” gushes Slate.

    “Far superior to most if not all the Android smartphones,” says TechCrunch.

    Sounds like the usual adulation for a gadget from Apple. In fact, they’re actually accolades for a new product from Microsoft.
Here's something from Wired, not written by Steven Levy:
    LAS VEGAS — There’s a curious thing happening in the smartphone space at this year’s CES. Two Windows Phone devices — the HTC Titan II and the Nokia Lumia 900 — are the most hyped, talked-about phones at the show. Yeah, that’s right: Windows Phones.

    This could be a good sign for Microsoft, whose critically acclaimed OS has had a hell of a time trying to make an impression with smartphone users.
I've been using Microsoft products for a long time, and rarely complained (except for Win95 crashes and early IE security flaws). The anti-MS bias in the media is telling a false story, and has created false impressions in the minds of the masses. For instance, most people still believe Microsoft stole Windows from Apple. Not so. Jobs stole that idea from Xerox, something which has been well documented. Xerox sued Apple for the "theft", just as Apple sued Microsoft.

Another media-created myth is that Macs are more secure than Windows. Again, not so. Any technophile -- a real one, not somebody who Tweets on a Mac at the coffee shop -- knows that Mac is less secure, and the reason Windows has more malware is because they command 90% of the market share. Obviously, writers of malware have learned something has not.

I'm not blind to reality. The 1990s were a troubling time for Microsoft, even as their profits soared with Windows 95 and Office. The anti-trust litigation was...what it was. Microsoft pushed very hard to dominate, and paid the price for it -- fines were the smallest portion. The bad PR, which remains today, was the real price paid for heavy-handed tactics. But the 1990s are long gone. If you're not visiting Latvian porn sites and not clicking on email links like, you probably don't see any malware with Windows. I don't.

Many of Microsoft's products were duds, as many of these Windows Phone reviews mention. Yet, Apple has had many duds, as well. Apple's numerous failures are forgiven or ignored. Microsoft doesn't get this soft treatment by the media.

One of Apple's biggest success stories, the iPhone, is already showing signs of fatigue. The growth charts for Android show that the gap is closing rapidly. This is for the same reason Mac couldn't out-do Windows. Android is an open system compared to iOS, and it works quite well, and it's less expensive. Consumers do care about quality, as Apple knows best, but they also care about choice and good pricing, things Apple won't allow.

There was a time, I want to believe, when journalists had an obligation to the truth. Opinions used to be reserved for the opinion pages. This time is long past, it seems.

I've always preferred truth to feeling good and making others feel good. This is why I'm not a liberal, and this is why I prefer Microsoft to Apple. I'm considering switching from Android to Windows Phone. I'll let you know how that goes.

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