We took the opportunity to talk to another of Microsoft’s OEM partners at MWC, Alcatel (formerly Alcatel Onetouch) about Windows 10 and their plans, and took that opportunity to address a few questions we’ve been seeing in our comments about OEMS and especially Alcatel and their devices.
What’s up with the Alcatel Windows Phone line at MWC?
Alcatel released a bunch of really good new Android Phones, and Windows fans would be wondering why there weren’t any Windows Phones released. First of all, If Alcatel is making more Windows 10 devices, they’re making them later this year. They announced a mobile device – a small convertible tablet that runs full Windows 10 but that was all on the Windows front – for now. Read on for more details on Alcatel and Windows.
Why did Alcatel put Windows Mobile on a tablet?
If you recall, Alcatel announced the Pixi 3 a while ago to go on sale in April, and its a nice looking low-end Windows tablet. The question many people had is, why would Alcatel produce a low-end Windows Mobile tablet as opposed to one with Windows 10 on it. Windows 10 Mobile is vastly more well suited to mobile devices than full Windows is, and no matter what anyone says, no one is going to be running legacy Windows apps on an 8 inch device. It’s just not feasible, nor is it a pleasant experience or one that should be held up as an ideal.
Why is Alcatel making Windows phones again?
The answer is simple, Windows 10. Windows 10 unlocks a feature set on mobile that is unique to Windows and not duplicable on other platforms. AKA, universal apps and continuum. Sure iOS may have some form of universal apps and Android is expandable up to the big screen, but iOS is a non-starter and Android on a large screen is a mess. Another reason to go Windows is around product diversification. No one wants to be tied down with someone with too much power(Google). If a decent Windows Mobile platform can be generated to keep Google’s Android perpetually locked with Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, then this will be good for both OEMs as consumers as the software makers will actually have to innovate rather than stagnate.
Will I be able to buy it? Alcatel’s Fierce XL is on sale at T-Mobile and will remain there for the foreseeable future, it may expand to other countries, but we were not able to confirm that at this time. The Pixi 8 inch tablet on the other hand, is launching in the UK and other countries around April for around $199 or the same price as the Lumia 650.
Where is the Alcatel Idol Pro 4?
Good question. Alcatel announced an Idol 4 and an Idol 4s, but no Idol Pro 4 for Windows as rumoured, what gives. The answer to that is that such a device is most likely still in development. As many have pointed out, Windows 10 Mobile is not 100% ready yet, and perhaps not all OEMs are ready to stick their brands out right now. Never the less, Alcatel has dropped hints that such a device, or a similar one might exist. Apart from talk about a “Superphone”, there was talk of a potential device that could combine Windows Hello and Continuum if it were to exist in the future. It’s about as clear as mud, but its something that is being considered. There’s going to be more Windows 10 devices in the future from Alcatel, so that should give Windows 10 fans something to look forward to at least.
Should I buy an Alcatel Windows device over a Microsoft made one?
There is no correct answer to this. If you want to buy a Lumia 950 or 950 XL, then sure , go for it. If on the other hand you want a device on T-Mobile that’s cheap and runs Windows, then Alcatel is your only bet. If you want a Windows tablet that runs Windows 10 Mobile and is from an actual OEM, again, Alcatel is the only one playing the game so far. This is because Windows 10 mobile is so versatile, it adapts from a smaller screen, to a bigger screen with a flexible UI for most universal app that it actually becomes a more viable experience than full Windows 10 due to space considerations, background tasks, battery life and more. If someone designed a powerful 8 inch tablet running Widows Mobile, I see no reason why it wouldn’t be as useful as one with Windows 10 desktop, especially with remote desktop and/or continuum thrown into the mix.