Weekend discussion: Windows 10 mobile preview, Lumia 950 sexiness and more

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Its the weekend again, and instead of the usual WMPU weekly, we thought we’d give you quite a few things to talk about and discuss in the comments today.

Should Microsoft scrap the Windows Insider program?

This question was raised from WinBeta’s Kareem Anderson, who opines in his editorial written today that the Windows Insider program for mobile needs to be scrapped.

Unlike its PC counterpart, the Mobile Insider program is not making the kind of headlines or receiving the same sort of positive faith Windows 10 did, this late into the preview. That’s not a good thing.

Plagued by inconsistencies in build deliveries, continually broken and buggy builds, I question whether or not fatigue is setting in with Mobile Insiders more so than genuine enthusiasm? If that is the case, is the Windows team receiving the feedback it needs to make the platform as robust as it needs to be?

In light of all this, I argue that the Windows team needs to kill the Insider Program for Windows 10 Mobile. I say, continue the Windows 10 Insider Preview, which is where Mobile insiders will see much of their future features come from anyway. And reserve “previews” to Developer Previews that are stable, functional, and feature complete.”

A bit extreme you might say, but an interesting point of view. The Windows 10 mobile preview has been, unlike the Windows 10 preview, extremely buggy and prone to failure, delays and just all round embarrassment. Most of the features Microsoft is delivering now to its apps are more or less return features. In fact, Windows 10 mobile as a whole is suffering from Xbox Music syndrome, defined as the act of watching a stable base being torn down and rebuilt on a not so stable base. Every week we get updates that more or less amount to “Feature X returns, phone will no longer crash if you look at it weird”.  After a while, it does become a bit of a shambles really. I think many readers would rather the Windows 10 Mobile OS were to be released as developer preview early rather than Microsoft taking time out to request for feedback they could easily get internally.

The Lumia 950 and 950 XL look awesome, also being shipped on November instead.

All three of these phones are expected to ship with Windows 10 Mobile. As I noted on Windows Weekly this week, I’ve heard Microsoft will likely push back availability of these new phones until some time in November 2015 so they can ship with the “Threshold 2” build of Windows 10 Mobile. – MJF

Today’s leaked images of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL has given us our best look yet at the handsets, and I think for once makes a pretty convincing case for the device, which in fact looks a lot thinner than we imagined, likely due to the dual-tone edging – Surur

The Lumia 950 and 950 XL are the two new Windows Phone flagship devices that will be used to push Windows 10 mobile when it launches. Its first few leaks saw a bit of a conundrum with many not really in love with its  rather conservative design. Upon the leaks of the official press renders most of our readers seemed to change their mind. Like I said, it would be better to see the device in action when making judgements about its design (also, Microsoft still does the time date Easter egg apparently). Mary Jo Foley says she’s heard from sources that the devices would be shipping in November, a month after launch, aligning with Microsoft’s current device launch patterns. Windows fans may be disappointed though, after waiting for quite a while for a flagship device only to wait some more. I find it quite interesting that both devices are said to launch with TH2, which implies that Microsoft would complete TH2 before then. I’m not sire if they can or if it would end up being like Windows 10 pro (which is quite buggy on my Surface)

Our first Lumia 550 leak is confirmed

550

Earlier this year we leaked the Lumia 550 specs from internal spec sheets and while reports of the device being cancelled as well as rumours of a different Lumia 550 device sprung up, new slides of a device with specs matching our earlier leaks popped up on the internet earlier this week. It would be interesting to see if Microsoft is also still making use of those other allegedly cancelled devices in the future as well. The 5.7 inch Lumia 550 is also still an enigma at this stage. Microsoft certainly isn’t making two Lumia 550s, and the thought of a device actually getting smaller (535 and 540 are both 5 inchers) is rare. It is rather interesting that the “skype optimised” front facing camera is worse than the 5MP wide angle lens in the 535 and 540 so it is clear that not all specs are important to Microsoft.

Could the 550 actually be a new 450? Only Microsoft knows at this stage. Would you enjoy any of these two devices as the new low end?

lumia 550

This is an experimental version of an article that could potentially become a weekend serial. Let us know what you think in the comments below of this new format.

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