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Windows Phone confusing to RIM's CEO

The Windows Phone platform is confusing. At least to Research In Motion's CEO that is.

In a recent interview CNET, Thorsten Heins said that Microsoft is overwhelming consumers with Windows Phone 7, 7.5 and now 8. He said,

"It's confusing at the moment, but that's the way they communicate."

It's understandable that Heins will speak highly of RIM and down play the competition but RIM doesn't exactly have a crystal clear approach on things. The obvious way to illustrate this is to ask where is Blackberry 10?  But there's more.

Beyond the delay of Blackberry 10's release, RIM has had to deal with lay-offs, resignations and quarterly loses. All the while Microsoft is posting gains, expanding through acquisitions and partnerships, and introducing new products (Surface anyone?). Sure, Microsoft has mulitple versions of Windows Phone in circulation but so does RIM with Blackberry 6 and 7. While Windows Phone may have confused RIM, I'll take stability and growth with a little confusion any day.

And it may not be fair to compare these two companies with Microsoft's more diversified portfolio of products. Still... is the Windows Phone platform any more confusing than RIM's?  Then you have to wonder if Heins should be calling out Microsoft's platform when RIM seems to be on the down hill slide?

Source: CNET via: ZDNET


Reader comments

Windows Phone confusing to RIM's CEO


What Blackberry needs to do is ask Microsoft for help since Microsoft may be the only platform that can help the right now..People are leaving that sinking ship..quick, fast, and in a hurry.....only time will tell which company will be out of the phone business, in the not to distant future..i don't wanna name any names here but i think their initials are...R.I.M

He's just a dumb douche trying to get a headline that's has something other than the word DELAYED AGAIN in the headline.

RIM are sitting on two billion in cash,they are far from bankruptcy, it will be at least a year or two if things don't turn around.I would like to checkout BB10 when it comes out.I want RIM to stick around choices are a good thing.

Two billion sounds a lot but the next two quarters are going to be worse than this one and they are going to burn through that amount pretty quickly when they launch BB10 - that's why the stock is so low valued because the burn rate is going to go through the roof. 

BB10 will not save them.. Don't even think Microsoft wants them as a manufacturer, just for their enterprise servers..

Heins. I'm sick of your bullshit!. your company has no future at all. you got BB10 delayed until 2013. you got bb users to Wp which is a thanks you from us. But unless you use Wp which is a good option for you, you will die will BB10 and without Wp8

LOL "Windows Phone platform  is confusing" coming from someone who seems confused about running a company... Didnt RIM have TWO CEO's?!! And they still managed to F up?? Smh haha 

I have never used a Windows Phone, so pardon my ignorance (though I will be grabbing a WP8 when they launch), but the tile interface does look a bit confusing.

But that's like anything, after you're used to using a single OS for so long, anything outside of that will be confusing. iPhone's confuse the pants off me and they're the most user friendly devices on the planet. I've just learned the BB OS so well and have used it for quite awhile that anything outside of it makes me unsure of how to access anything I want to.

No OS is complicated for long. Once you use it for awhile you get the hang of it.

However, as a die-hard BB fan/user; no RIM employee should be talking poorly of any other OS right now. Regardless if WPOS, iOS, or Android is absolute -crap-, none of them are projecting operating losses next quarter. Worry about what's going on in your own backyard for the moment.

not really. it's just like a widget. but MS version. they just flip around to show information that's it. nothing hard

I had been an iphone user for 4 years, bb user for my company for two years. 
WP OS is as cookie cutter as a smartphone OS can get. 

When you get your hands on it you will be pleasantly surprised how simple WinPhone is.  I've lost count of my Friends and Family who bring me their iPhone because it isn't working 'right', and I have to struggle to figure out whats going on and how to fix it for them.  Happens to me every week.
Been with WinPhone for a year and a half - no issues. Started out right by signing in to my Company's Exchange account with my brand new HD7s, then hopping in my car to scream along I95 to catch a plane while WinPhon 7 quietly downloaded and synced 3400+ Contacts, my Calendar, notes and so on, all while handing of form tower to tower about every 2 minutes.
No drama, no fuss, not hard, no special knowlege required. My Co-worker is now on his 4th Android in 2 years, the first one was defective and replaced twice by Verizon, can't wait to see how long the fourth one will last.
As for BlackBerry, well, sad to say but BlowBerry is a more accurate name since that's what it does. Let Mr. Heins wear his rose coloured glasses for as long as they pay him to do so.  MSoft will have come out with WinPhone 7, 7.5, 7.8 (all FULLY Compatible backwards and forwwards Sir) and WinPhone 8, which integrtes with Surface Tablets and PCs in the time it's taken RIM to do a single Update of its OS. Sounds like he knows something, like BB10 won't hold a candle to WinPhone 8, or 7.8 for that matter, and he's just blowing more smoke at the Market while he collects his fat paycheck another month more than he should.
Poor Mr Heins really sounds like the Accountant he is.  No understanding, no vision, no future.  It makes me sad to be from Waterloo :-(

There is no way iPhone is the "most user friendly device on the planet". The sea of tiny icons, squished interfaces, and the infuriating placement of "back" at the top of the screen are but some of many non user-friendly things.
The tiles on WP7 can't be any simpler. You can launch your favourite apps and receive notifications on them. You don't even have to use them if you don't want to. You only need to put what's important to you.

Well, supposidly most user friendly. I'm basing that comment off the fact that if my mother can figure out how to use one just about anyone can. Thankfully, my mother will never read this comment.

Tiles are the same as apps icons on the Android and IPhone. They're just shape differently, and shows more info. To familiarize WP 2 screens relate them to a Windows computer. The 1st screen with tiles is like the desktop screen. This were u put your your favorite apps for easy access (shortcuts). The second screen is like your program folder. This were all your apps that's in your phone is listed.

"Tiles are the same as apps icons on the Android and IPhone"
To say that is a grosse oversimplification.  No, they are not the same.  You can make an arguement that Slutdroid Widgets have more in comment with Live Tiles.  But the grid of icons on the iPhone/iPod/iPad and Slutdroid are not the same or similar to that of Live Tiles.

Good points in the article but you should stick to what is confusing not the issues in which RIM is facing. To be very honest if you look at just phone bid to bid MS and RIM are in the same boat, neither is gaining market share, MS has other partners and one is still reporting losses so I think they are just about even if you ask me. But is WP confusing not once you use it but it is in the context that Mr. Heinz put it.

Sorry, but MS and RIM are not in the same boat.  RIM is losing share.  MS is gaining share.  And it most certinally not confusing in the context Mr. Heinz put it.  In Oct. 2012 MS will have just 2 OS versions, 7.8 & 8.0, and both will share the same ecosystem and a APP market of well over 100K Apps.  Come January(?) RIM will have OS 5.0, 6.0, 7.1 and 10.  OS5-7.1 will have a smaller and demishing APP market place and OS10 will have a small and seperate marketplace.  Sorry, there is just no way you can compare RIMs situation to MS.

The problem is RIM is rebooting their OS and Microsoft already did that and are in a much better position with WP8 coming out this fall. Also Microsoft has a clear goal: three screens and a cloud, RIM doesn't. RIM certainly does not have close to $50 billion in the bank. This Heinz guy is a tool, he's just seeking attention. He clearly is confused, but not about Windows Phone, I'll tell you that.

RIM has a little over two billion in the bank.WP8 is 4 months away and nothing has been finalized yet with the OS.BB10 will hit 2 months later,lets wait and see what happens before we judge.I want both OS's to stay afloat.Last thing any of us want is to choose between IOS and Android.

RIM is not in trouble!  Whatever he says is FACT!
BB10 is going to be successful like WebOS!

Not sure what he means...? It is confusing because they are updating the OS...? That's about the most opaque argument I have heard in a few months. By this definition, everyone developing an OS for a smartphone in this market is doing nothing but confusing people.

What's laughable is that RIM probably has the most confusing approach at this point, they are gearing up for a major shift in their OS base, still have phones that either use a keyboard, a horrible touch screen (storm) and a real touchscreen. What's more, they have a whole plethora of models going by the same name...what's the difference?

I mean look at how ApeShit some wp7 users went over not getting wp8 on current hardware...., while 7.8 will most likely deliver every feature not limited by hardware  . We were confused too, so I can understand his statement. He isnt bashing the OS. While they have their own mess to deal with, his statement is understandable.

I agree with you...it wasn't totally off the wall.  But he has to be careful what he says because you never know what sort of partnerships or deals with Microsoft they might want in the future.

tbh, i don't like this new ceo of RIM, he looks like the arrogant type the first time i saw him on cnet new page

I think we need to look at who is best positioned to succeed in the near future, especially Q4.

You can't really complain about Windows Phone 8. For example, OEMs can load WP8 devices up spec-for-spec with their Android variants, so multi-core HD super camera phones shouldn't be a problem. Developers can use native code and port their existing apps/games with greater ease, so seeing big titles release on WP(8) at the same time as iOS and Android should be a given. While possibly losing the means to control updates, carriers may gain the capability to manage VoIP solutions (and in the case of some, offer their own on WP8 - e.g. Rogers One). And if all that wasn't enough, WP8 will release with 100 000+ apps and games on the marketplace, of which a good portion are official quality apps.

One could argue that BB10 has a lot of that riding for it, except for the fact that it won't show until Q1 2013, WP8 is available through multiple OEMs, and apps may be an issue.

I Agree with you. but MS must use RIM delay to Wp's Advantage. which is currently is becuase Wp is getting alot of BB users lately

"One could argue that BB10 has a lot of that riding for it, except for the fact that it won't show until Q1 2013, WP8 is available through multiple OEMs, and apps may be an issue."             No one couldn't.

Well it is likely that MS will find a solution to that. maybe MS will release a policy that every popular app from IOS or andoid must be compatbile with wp7. that's a good one actually

True that. I had a BlackBerry running OS6 and THAT was confusing. The fact I kept wondering why it was running slower than my OS5.

As much as I can say that WP isn't any more complicated than the Blackberry OS (devices on 6 can't upgrade to 7, none will be upgradable to 10), and that RIM is on a burning oil platform, etc, I wil agree with him that the current state of Windows Phone is less than perfect.
Apple's OS development is super simple.  Android is such a large mess (devices still being released with 2.3) that no one cares anymore due to being overwelmed.  WIndows is in a transition, with development still continuing with the 7-series, while the 8-series is about to be released.  Because MS wants to make WP8 full of this and that, they can't add it to WP7 devices.  And it must be such a leap, that they can't even justify calling the WP7 version "8 Lite", or "8-ish".
Thorsten may be right, but WP is in a WAY better place that RIM!  Maybe he just has to wait until WP8 in order to switch?  WP8 will be out, all the features for 7.8 will have been released, and RIM will still not have released BB10.

As much as I would have liked to have seen RIM adopt Windows Phone, I can't help but think that opportunity might have passed them by.

The Board and CEO have certainly passed on it. These clueless Corporate Vampires will continue to suck their paychecks from the withering corpse of RIM as long as they can.  Any deal with MSoft or anyone for that matter would require them all be broomed out the Airlock of the MotherShip and they know it, so they'll be no deals until most of that $2B is gone and their paychecks with it.

Yeah, blackberry 6, 7 and 10 in the span of 2yrs...and no way to upgrade from one OS to another w any existing device. RIM, I didn't forget what u did abandoning me w Storm2 and Torch 9800...utter BS coming from your mouth. I won't touch your devices ever again, a 9900 no thanks...cant upgrade to 10. Good riddance, and good day sir.

I guess he had to say that in order to keep his base from jumping to WP when 8 is launched.  How's your glass house looking RIM?  Maybe when MS buys you out, Ballmer may be willing to take you on as an executive intern. Learn how to turn a company around.  Ballmer and crew are doing a masterful job in 2012.  Take notes

Does Microsoft acquistion of RIM still make any sense?  Its too far behind imo. At least Nokia has a new generation of WP devices ready to go this fall.

If WP is confusing, just what the hell is Android?! Also, does anyone remember what a nightmare it was to set up their BB? I recently set up my old Bold for my mum to use and was surprised at how backward it felt.

Poor guy, he's delirious from all of the bad things going on at RIM, so he's trying to divert attention from his own company.

...and I'm Actually kidding, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for our northern neighbors. ;) #IronicInsensitivity

Don't worry.  Canadians haven't been very sensitive about Americans attitudes towards them since we kicked your asses all the way from Toronto to Washington DC and left you with a "White" House to remind you of it ;-)   #IronicInsensitivitySensitivity

So mobile OS are not supposed to have updates or improvements? I think his comments explain more about the condition of RIM than the condition of MS. 

Just fired 5,000 people and sold a company jet for cash.  If you are selling jets or any asset to stay alive, then you are in some real deep sh!t.  BB is a specialty item now.  No sales persons push it.  I gotta go to crackberry to see what his base is saying about this

RIM is confused itself and going downhill he needs to concentrate on getting. RIM out of the ditch and back on the road and not worry about the competition

Good luck finding a new job in the not-too-distant future Thorsten. I read Amazon is hiring - oh wait, that position's already taken.

I don't know why he presents 7 & 7.5 as separate models. It's not like you can walk into a shop and be presented by both as separate items.

Also, when WP8 comes out all WP7 models should be phased out leaving only WP8 models.

The only confusion I see is between Nokia and WP - a lot of people don't know or care that Lumia's run WP7, and if they do they may not realise they won't get the Nokia exclusives. People want to walk in, buy the latest model and walk out with everything they need. I feel that exclusive apps dilute that experience somewhat... Whether they're from Nokia, HTC or whatever.

True! but companies like Samsung, HTC and Nokia are also in direct competition with each other to sell the most wp devices. all these companies have their own exclusive apps to draw customers to it. Nokia just does a great job of advertising it... 
In addition, BB10 looks cool but its a direct lift off of Meego as well. I'd prefer Meego anyday to BB10.. 

Well, most big business corporations have CEO's as figureheads.
He just proves that he is there for the paycheck. Any CEO worth his salt would be able to tell you what their competition is cooking up and how it compares to their own devices.
This would keep them in the loop to make executive decisions when needed, instead of them stating:
"Microsoft has a phone out? I don't get how they started with 7, then there was 7.5 something or another, now something about 8, WTF? I mean our OS's go by number, like from 1 to 10....at some time. The numbers that Microsoft uses to number their phone thingies are so strange, what are they thinking."

RIM is in direct competition for 3rd place this 4th Quarter. He will say anything to impress his shareholders. It's just the nature of the business. Everything he's saying and doing is a direct mirror reflection of WebOS. They're going down folks and this new CEO is milking the cow until its last drop.

Wow, this guy need to get out of his RIM job.. Let’s see.. Hummm confusing..  Android has food as their updates (ice cream sandwich, honey comb, jelly bean).. So far Microsoft has been using the same number system for years.. Each number is in number order..If you started to count from 1 to 10 as a child, then the number thing should not be that confusing.. Wait, BlackBerry 10. Really.. That's not confusing.. It has a number.. Sounds like numbers is not this guys thing. Damn, he doesn't even understand how numbers affect the company he works for, sounds like he gets very confused by numbers. He should not be on a job that requires someone to understand one of the most important things at a job that requires knowing something about numbers. Maybe this is the reason why the RIM ship keeps sinking. This guy can't figure it out.
I tend to differ about his comments that windows Phone consumers are over overwhelmed. Most windows phone consumers know what they are getting and where windows phone is headed. That's not overwhelming. What is, is BlackBerry ability to not keep up with the changing times and the trends thats been very relevent for such a long time now. BB chose to look at the advancement of phone and did nothing. Assuming that because you are a BB user, you would never feel the needed to change to anything better or new. Sounds like poor assumption. RIM did it to themselves. They been around for a long time and they let Iphone and Android pull the rug right from under them. Microsoft is just getting into the game with something different, new and fresh. You don't see Microsoft laying off people, selling private jets.  This CEO should be less worried about knowing how to figure out Microsoft updates and figure out how to get his company out of the huge hole there in.