Microsoft might be tempted to buy BB just to prevent it from becoming a patent troll. Or being bought by Google, which would amount to the same thing.
Not being a patent lawyer I wouldn't know how to phrase it exactly.
Using a fingerprint to unlock a phone is not new, but all the attempts I'm aware of require the user to swipe their finger on a separate sensor.
Integrating the sensor in the button so that all you have to do is press and hold is the game changer and that's what I hope isn't patented/patentable.
There's lots to discuss here, and so everyone is going off in different directions. But really, the core of your post is "why didn't Microsoft make a tablet that could run existing applications?" The answer is, because they couldn't.
They were already late to the game and couldn't be any later then they were (you could argue they were already too late), so they had to use ARM. Intel just didn't have the hardware that could compete in mobile. Existing applications simply can't run on ARM.
That's largely true, with the exception of existing .NET applications. It's also unclear why it would have been technically impossible to write (or port) native apps for the Windows RT desktop.
I suspect the real reason is time to market, and the fact that Windows RT is a stopgap solution to put some flavor of Windows in the tablet space. I don't expect Windows RT to survive for long once Intel starts seriously kicking butts on the battery life front.
@Ray7: Biometrics are controversial, for good reasons, but for this particular application I think the fingerprint scanner is a winner: PINs may be more secure (and that's up for debate), but they are a lot more inconvenient, to the point that lots of people prefer to leave their phones unlocked.
I hope Apple didn't patent it too tight, as that's a feature I'd like to see on more phones.
Yes, having physical buttons would be inconvenient, but the soft buttons are a real problem.
My first WP had them close to the edge and it was way too easy to trigger one of them with the ball of the thumb. Nokia moved them away from the edge, which helped some, but it's still a problem with games that require you to swipe across the screen (think Fruit Ninja, but it's not the only one).
Ideally, I would like applications to be able to "harden" the buttons, so that they either require a double tap or some kind of tap-and-hold to activate. Bonus points if that's configurable.
Sep 06, 2013 at 3:22 PM
@Bass: I don't think that being unemployed is a requirement.
@DeathByVisualStudio: Highly unscientific experiment: adding two columns of small tiles to the 925 screen would result in a 95mm wide beast (or 10mm larger than the Galaxy Note II). I hope that's a bit off as the Galaxy Note already borders unmanageable for me.
(And please, oh please, let there be a stylus hidden somewhere...)
Sep 06, 2013 at 9:08 AM
This is great news if Microsoft is going to move in this direction. I talked to Anders H. about natively compiling C# and adding back memory management.. A lot of C/C++ programmers enjoy the basic clean syntax of C# and its base libraries. I was discouraged to hear all this native C talk coming from Microsoft. Who wants to go backwards in productivity? Lets just take C# and compile it right down to the metal and all this talk about C/C++ being faster goes away. With .Net going away C# calls just call native api's (abstracted with metadata). So now just have it compile to native (ARM or x86) and we will have a kick butt development environment for phones, pcs, and tablets. This effort can then also benefit the embedded world where they start moving off there old style of programming with header files and #defines that make an ugly implementation to a cleaner C# implementation once compilers catch up.
Sorry, I must have missed something.
First, you want to add memory management to C#. That may be a good idea, but I suspect that shoehorning this ability into a language designed around a GC will produce a syntax that is at least as complex as that of a language that was designed around "manual" memory management in the first place. Quite possibly worse. Of course it depends on how much existing code you are willing to break, how much control you want to leave to programmers and how much you can give up in correctness guarantees; but if you want to be reasonably on par with C++, things don't look good.
Then, you want to do away with .NET libraries, and call naked APIs instead. Which is more or less what C++ already does.
At this point, let's take your initial claim that C# gives you better productivity: as you said it's all about the cleaner syntax and the base libraries. Except you want to do away with both, and this is where I lost you.
Incidentally: from your comment (especially the "#define" one) I suspect you haven't taken a good look at C++ in the last decade or so. I would recommend that you take the time to watch the Going Native videos as they become available, as the line up is just impressive and mostly entertaining. If you cannot spare all that time, try to watch at least the Bjarne Stoustrup's and Herb Sutter's keynotes (if you really cannot make it, go at least with Sutter's). As someone said, this is not your father's C++, not anymore...
@Dr Herbie: I'd give fanbaby the benefit of the doubt here.
It's a matter of fact that Microsoft's partial acquisition is what turned Nokia into a potential patent troll. Responsibility is not necessarily implied.
They cannot even be accused of being enablers, as I'm ready to bet that Microsoft would have gladly bought the whole of Nokia's IP, had it been possible. I don't know if this was because Nokia's board wouldn't let them or because Microsoft had qualms about ending up under antitrust scrutiny.
Either way, it's an unfortunate situation that might turn ugly and destroy whatever value remains in Nokia's brand.
And RIM may be headed for the same fate, with or without an acquisition.
IRRELEVANT ADDENDUM: I think it's unfair to call the new Nokia a "patent troll" as using their IP to build a gazillion devices should set them apart from that crowd.What about "patent ghoul"?