Under absolutely no circumstance, case study, excuse, hypothetically theoretical, situation, or imaginary scenario is it ok for Nokia to decrypt secure HTTPS traffic, let alone route that traffic through its servers. This is appalling, I hope they get taken to the mat for it.
Calculated move to juice hype, or genuine partner in-fighting that won’t do any favors for the platform?
So, Nokia, I guess the real question is: does it take a genius to ship?
AT&T boasted a while ago that the Nokia Lumia 900 would receive “the biggest product introduction ever, surpassing even the release of the iPhone.” A lot was riding on this release, as it’s the second major Windows Phone 7 phone (behind the Lumia 800) for the US since Nokia announced it was going all-in with Microsoft’s mobile OS.
So what did Nokia and AT&T do to blow the iPhone’s public introduction out of the water? They released it on Easter Sunday, a religious holiday in the US so large that most retail stores, including the 39 AT&T stores around Times Square in New York, close for the entire day. Unbelievable.
Harry McCracken calls the Google Glass video for what it is—hot air—and highlights a number of companies that have made similar videos over the last 70 years and never delivered. He also links this Nokia video that shows off the same thing two years ago.
Who knows. Maybe Nokia’s just been playing its cards close to its chest all this time.
I said it last October when Microsoft released a similar vaporware spec pitch for Minority Report 2, and I’ll say it again:
Anyone can create a sci-fi promo video with futuristic interfaces and an uplifting soundtrack. Few can actually turn sci-fi into reality.
Manufacturers and carriers have been installing what is basically a rootkit on millions of Android, BlackBerry, and Nokia phones to record everything their users do, “ostensibly so carriers and phone manufacturers can do quality control.”
Wired has a video of the software in action, showing how it records a security researcher’s Google search for “hello world” despite using HTTPS (it’s recording keystrokes), as well as every phone number dialed. Numbers are uploaded to Carrier IQ, the company that created this rootkit for carriers and manufacturers, before the phone call is even placed.
It’s been nine months since Nokia’s new CEO, Stephen Elop (formerly of Microsoft), issued his ‘burning platform’ memo. Now at the Nokia World conference, he’s unveiled “the first real Windows Phone,” called Lumia 800.
There’s some stuff to gripe about, but a lot to like. To get the bad news out of the way: in an age of 1+GHz dual core phones, the Lumia 800 packs a 1.4 single core CPU and just 16GB of storage with apparently no expansion options. Nokia also packed in some exclusive services that might not appeal to everyone, such as a “locally-relevant” music streaming service called Mix Radio and an ESPN Sports Hub. But before Apple fans start tossing around ‘bloatware’ criticism, they would be wise to remember that all iOS devices come with things like iTunes, App Store, and Stocks apps that are non-removable.
I am genuinely hopeful for the Lumia 800, in part because I really do think Windows Phone 7 is a compelling OS (with a dreadful name). If I couldn’t use iOS, it would be my first choice for an alternative, and that’s saying a lot considering that over the last decade I have owned at least one device running every meaningful smartphone OS on the planet, including Symbian, Palm OS, Android, and Windows Mobile.
Microsoft offers 25GB of free SkyDrive storage (a service similar to—and predating—iCloud, though as far as I know, lacking some of iCloud’s third-party sync and backup perks), and the Lumia 800 has a dedicated hardware camera button.
Unsurprisingly, Nokia is going for the international market first. Its phones were practically kicked out of the US after that rush of free phones for which you could buy neon, pulsating batteries. The Lumia is about $580 unsubsidized, but hopefully it comes to the US with subsidized options (as much as I hate the subsidization racket in the US, it’s still the only way phones sell here right now). Preorders start now.