Weekly Discussion: Lumia 950 carrier shenanigans, Lumia 950 awesomeness and Windows 10 mobile release


This week was #Windows10Devices week, and as we expected from Microsoft, it was quite a blast. The new Lumias, Surfaces and Microsoft Band devices were announced and Windows fans everywhere were left feeling PUMPED.

Now, without further ado, here are the most interesting topics for discussion this week. As you’d expect, they revolve around Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile devices.

Windows 10 Devices Event

Bear in mind, it wasn’t just the devices as much as the presentation of the devices that made them exciting. When Steven Elop presented the Lumia 640 and 640 XL at MWC, it was pretty meh. When Panos Panay presented the 950 and 950 XL yesterday, you could feel the excitement coming off him. Do you care about antennas? Don’t care, I was PUMPED to hear that the 950 family had good antennas. Do you care about gigahertz, octa-core, and PPI? Doesn’t matter. All that matters is that the Lumia 950 and 950 XL are the best phones and  that’s all you need to know. Do you even care about continuum? It doesn’t matter, Microsoft’s presentation team could have presented a Lumia 520 instead and the audience would have clapped just as hard because the presenters had passion. In the world of tech, raw specs are easy to find, but the passion behind a product is what truly sells it

Microsoft’s Windows 10 devices event was pretty mind blowing for Microsoft and Windows fans. The company debuted new high end, flagship, no compromise hardware in all segments it stuck its finger in. After this event, I think the rhetoric about Microsoft being a software company is just outdated. They may have been a software company at some point, but creating software without a device to put it on is pointless.

In terms of Windows 10 Devices, the hardware is there. Now the software needs to catch up.

Lumia 950 and 950 XL are the best Lumia Cameras ever


The Lumia 950 and 950 XL have a fabulous set of cameras. A 20 MP camera that – no offense to 1020 fans – smashes the 1020 in ease of use, quality and consistency as far as we can tell without a full review. The Lumia 1020 may have 41 MP and a Xenon flash, but if the creator of the Lumia 1020 camera can point to the 950 and say “This is the best camera on a Lumia device”, I have no reason to doubt him. I think 1020 users should be pleased with these devices as upgrades, and as for other Lumia cameras – nothing else comes close.

Lumia 950 and 950 XL carrier exclusive in the US

“We’re refocusing our channel strategy, narrowing it in the short-term and planning for broader operator availability long-term,” a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat. “While there was interest across the board from U.S. operators, currently we’ve made the decision to have AT&T carry the Lumia 950, and then sell both the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL unlocked through our own channel in Microsoft stores. In Europe, Deutsche Telekom will carry the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, and we’ll have more to share about other carriers shortly.”

No Verizon, No T-Mobile, No Sprint. Boo hoo. Its strange seeing Verizon and T-Mobile acting like Microsoft is being some kind of asshole and not giving them their devices for no good reason. They’re the ones in the wrong. They’ve had Windows Phones and their reps have completely poisoned Microsoft’s devices. We’ve heard the horror stories of WP users trying to buy Lumia devices from the carriers, and now Microsoft isn’t having any of it. There is actually not much anyone can say to criticize this decision. If you’re of the opinion that the handsets won’t sell, being on Sprint won’t make them sell more. Being on T-Mobile won’t make them  sell more. As for Verizon, they have squandered the last 3 Windows Phone flagship devices, if Microsoft “could not be bothered”to CDMA certify their devices  as someone put it, then there is good reason for them not to


Windows 10 Mobile rolling out from November/December

Windows 10 is available on PCs and tablets now, and while Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL ship with Windows 10 for phones, broad availability of Windows 10 on other devices, including mobile phones, will begin rolling out in December. For more information on Windows 10 for Lumia, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/en/mobile/windows10/

May, September, October, November, December – the Windows 10 update finally has a final-this-time-its-sorta-official release date for Lumia devices. It releases in November/December. Why November/December? The Lumia US and Lumia Spain accounts initially revealed that the roll out begins in November, this was then clarified to mean December, then a UK carrier claims October and its all a game of he said/she said.

What we do know is that Windows 10 Mobile will be ready before the 950 begins to roll out – for Windows Insiders at the very least, and that means anyone who really wants Windows 10 Mobile can get it before it is officially available via the Windows Insider program.

Windows 10 Insider Build delayed…again

What’s that sound? Is it “no new builds today”? Didn’t see that coming.

Now I appreciate Gabe Aul and the Windows Insider’s team hard work, but it is a bit hard not to be mildly amused when Microsoft says they plan to deliver faster updates and then continues to deliver one build a month to the fast ring. The slow ring is not even worth mentioning.