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Stephen Fry Gives Windows Phone 7 Stamp Of Approval


Stephen Fry Gives Windows Phone 7 Seal Of Approval

Stephen Fry, legendary lover of all things Apple, today gave his seal of approval to the new Windows Phone 7 mobile phone operating system, going so far as to call it 'fun to play with'.

Pointing out, quite rightly, that previous versions of Windows Mobile (as it was previously known) were pretty poor on the usability front, he praised Microsoft's refreshing approach to designing the new software.

Not pulling any punches, he even called out Microsott on its desktop operating system Windows Vista. “There's s*** on my shoes better than vista”, were his exact words.

He didn't go so far as admitting he would abandoned the iPhone all together but he would embrace all and sundry.

We can't say we're quite so enthusiastic yet about Windows Phone 7 but we certainly agree that it's good to have diversity. Competition drives innovation and prices down, after all.


October 11, 2010, 9:38 pm

I dearly love SF in QI and his various TV offerings. But do I care what he and any other celebrity thinks about life, er, NO. About as much as they care about what I think! /endrant

So.... as TR intimates M$ will probably have to put up with a small market share after Apple/Blackberry/Android. They (M$) really don't seem to have produced anything really revolutionary with this OP, I feel unimpressed by their efforts given the resources to hand in such a mega-business....

After all Apple seem to have cracked an OP that can be tailored to TV/Mobile/PC/MPx players and I am by no means a fan boy. Nice try with Windows 7 tho... Windows phone 7 - can do better.


October 11, 2010, 10:08 pm

He needs to stick to being a comedian. It's really amazing how he's become a spokesman for the tech press. Mind you if Jack Schofield can do it...

Still WP7 looks good to me, right now I'm very confused about what handset is best, there's just TOO MANY of them (the Dell looks cool though). You want an iPhone you don't have to think what one to get. But I've just got a new Android phone (Galaxy S) so am in no rush.

I think everyone who says MS are too late with this are wrong. When I come to upgrade I'll be happy to pick between iPhone, Android, WP7, Symbian and whatever else is out there. I think the days of sticking to one system are past, it's the best tool at the time. I mean once they all have the basics right it doesn't really matter. So MS just need a strong OS that can compete and they'll get enough users to build a strong app store and get back into the game. Having this much choice of handsets means they compete with Android and functionality and ease of use they seem to have nailed, so it's got enough to make iPhone/Blackberry/Palm/etc users give it a look as well. Everyone wins, even Stephen Fry (though I still preferred him in Futurama).


October 11, 2010, 10:37 pm

... He then blessed a selection of handsets, before returning to the Frymobile to issue some more holy tweets for the faithful...


October 12, 2010, 12:50 am

Those that say that it is too late to shift a market leader make me laugh. In becoming the market leader, many of those companies did exactly that. And with the pace of technology advancing, the turnover can easily become quicker and quicker. Yesterday's market leader might have expected to be in situ for 10 years. Now they may have 5. By 2015, it might be 2.

WP7 doesn't look to have got it all right out of the box, but it doubtless will be improved just as the current leaders improve too. The important thing in the tech game is participation - they're all still in it. It only takes a few good decisions coupled with a few bad ones elsewhere to take the top spot these days.

The Apple brand is a great example. It is becoming so highly leveraged by the shareholders that it may well dilute itself to the point where it makes itself irrelevant - you can't have a cool, expensive niche if everyone has the product. Someone will do it almost as well much cheaper, or make something cooler and charge even more.

Good times ahead for consumers though! Oh, and I don't really care what Stephen Fry says.


October 12, 2010, 1:22 am

That's highly reassuring from the pioneer of bringing "depression" to mainstream TV.

When the "Tech" work and Twitter dry up maybe a new series on his meltdowns will tempt the BBC again.


October 12, 2010, 4:22 am

@Chocoa: Surprising to hear someone say they don't think there's anything revolutionary about WM7. You may not like the interface, you may think it lacks many important features - and you'd be right on both counts - but it's certainly original and stands out as something different against the pack. Nobody is going to be revolutionary now, the market is settling (despite Apple's famously OTT marketing, there's nothing revolutionary or magical happening atm). WM7 is a strong offering, more so than most people thought MS had in them.

Like IE made Netscape history, Firefox clawed away at IE (it's still got 50% so not a complete kill), Chrome taking away the shine of Firefox, etc. As Greg says, these days time moves much faster in tech and nobody can sit still. Apple are having to innovate fast to keep ahead of Android (and in many areas they have only a whisker lead and in others they've lost). WM7 with a few tweaks could easily outgun them all in 6 months. But who cares who is best, end of the day we get great devices, and that's the main thing.


October 12, 2010, 12:25 pm

@HK Take your points. But when I mean 'revolutionary', I mean from the old phones of no GUI ( think Nokia's that had no camera etc etc) to Apple iPhone - a great leap forward. The new MS phone whilst doubtless technically competent is merely a different take on the GUI theme. Much like re branding a product. If your a social blogger then it may be just the ticket. I would have thought MS would have tried much harder with all the development might at their disposal to make a leap forward as Apple did. - If only to capture a strong market share which I suspect they will struggle to get. After all its about profit at the end of the day - you get that from product margin and market share...

You are spot on that competition brings great products to the consumer - I guess I see all this from the other end of the supply chain!


October 12, 2010, 1:25 pm

@Greg, HK

Yes, as you can you can displace a market leader, but you do that by introducing something disruptive to the market (as Apple did with the iPhone). MS have not introduced anything disruptive here, just a meetoo handset which is in fact behind Android and IOS.

In the past their army of developers would have given them the edge, but Apple have those in this fight. Unless they can introduce something disruptive technology or an unbeatable value proposition (against Android's free) they will struggle to gain any great market share.


October 12, 2010, 2:18 pm

"The Apple brand is a great example. It is becoming so highly leveraged by the shareholders that it may well dilute itself to the point where it makes itself irrelevant - you can't have a cool, expensive niche if everyone has the product. Someone will do it almost as well much cheaper"

They already have, haven't they? I have a fashion conscious graphic designer friend, who uses Apple computers for work, has an ipod, but he doesn't have an iphone because they are too expensive. He was trying to persuade himself to shell out for an iphone 4, until he saw me demonstrate live wallpapers and Swype on my Android based HTC Desire at nearly half the price. That was enough to seal his opinion that iphones, whilst good, are no longer cool.

Your statement "almost as well much cheaper" is exactly the description of Android to iOS.

Hank, I think your comment is facetious. 50 years ago, people used to keep the fact that they suffered from cancer a secret, out of shame. The fact people no longer need to do this is held by pretty much everyone as progress, and I mean that in the positive sense of the word. Stephen Fry has helped a great many people by reducing the stigma attached to talking about mental illness, and this has nothing whatsoever to do with his ability to comment on tech. Please stick to the point.


October 12, 2010, 5:38 pm

@Chocoa: Hmmm I don't really think the iPhone was revolutionary in that respect. Nokia, Sony, they all had phones that were technologically superior to the iPhone, it was the software that made it easier to access those features and bring them together in a way that nobody had done before. Once they added the App Store, that was a revolution that's driven massive sales and popularity. I'd always had a Sony phone and wanted to put games and apps on it, but it was never easy, suddenly it was with an iPhone.

So Apple did what other companies were too dumb/slow to perceive. I don't really think there's a need for another massive leap or disruptive force as @scotw thinks. But I do think some of the integration MS have pulled off here (with FB, Office, etc) does take things beyond what Apple offer. Currently I'm running an Android phone with Froyo and the FB integration with Contacts is lovely, makes life much easier and is something Apple really need to address.

Going back to my IE/Netscape/Firefox analogy, did they offer a revolution when they overtook each other? I think it was more just stripping out old ways of doing things and offering a new GUI that made doing things much simpler. That and making things faster. I don't think people need a revolution to choose WM7 over an iPhone or Android phone, they just need to see it ticks all the basics and has one or two killer features that the others don't have that'll make them go for that OS. For me when my contract ends in a year I can see it'll be a hard choice choosing between an iPhone (5 I guess), Android (Gingerbread, Honeycomb or whatever they are upto then), WM7 SP1 (ha, god MS need better naming conventions), webOS 2, Symbian^4 and who knows what else. Whatever I get though, I can't go far wrong.

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