Mister Gruber looks at the Winphone

Mmmm… there’s nothing better for lunch than a tasty sandwich of John Gruberisms. Today John looks at Windows Phone, noting his concerns with the platform in his usual calm, inimitable style.

The bigger naming question: Why name it “Windows” anything? If Microsoft is going for a clean break, why not a new non-“Windows” name? I think it shows just how perverse Microsoft’s obsession with “Windows” is. There’s no good way to leverage their Windows PC OS monopoly to extend it to mobile, other than the name, so they’re sticking with it. It doesn’t even make literal sense. The whole point of the “Windows” name is that it was for a system whose UI revolved around the concept of on-screen windows. There are no windows in the Windows Phone 7 interface. (There’s also no Start menu in the WP7 UI; that was the linchpin of UI similarity between Windows (for PCs) and Windows Mobile.)

He’s not saying much we don’t already know but he mentions something I forgot about, the Osborne Effect. If you’ve ever wondered why camera companies are such dicks when it comes to releasing news, it’s because of this. If you have product in channel and pre-announce something, that previous product will be construed, in general, as garbage. Here’s a fun example:

In 1978, North Star Computers announced a new version of their floppy disk controller, which had double the capacity, to be sold at the same price as their existing range. Sales of the existing products plummeted and the company almost went bankrupt.

WinMo users: Will you get behind Windows Phone?