Should you buy a new smartphone or wait for 'Andromeda'? #AskDanWindows 39

On this week's episode, I talk about whether Build 2018 is still happening, will the Harmon-Kardon Invoke (and Cortana) ever get multi-user support, and should you wait for Microsoft's rumored Andromeda device or just buy a new smartphone?

Audience questions for Episode 39

  • Will Build 2018 take place? Or is Microsoft skipping this year - Stijn Michiels
  • Is it smart to buy an Android phone now that Microsoft's new device is around the corner? Robewms
  • Do you think we will see multi-user support for the Invoke? - Jared Mahoney

Thanks, everyone, for the questions!

Small programming note: Due to me being on vacation next week there will be no episode for the week of February 10.

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Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • And the speaker advert at the end?
  • If there's an "advert" I'm pissed because no one gave me my money.
  • Lmao
  • There is no advertisement here. Just use myTube! app on Windows 10 and enjoy all the youtube videos free of ads.
  • The 'free if you like' ad is part of the video.
    Dan reviews a speaker.
    I read the smartphone headline and started playing the video.
    He talks about not being able to confirm anything about the new phone.
    I got confused.
    I listened to hear why i should wait for the new device and instead i got a Harman speaker review.
  • So obviously you did not read the three questions beforehand he was gonna talk about.
  • lol no one trusts Microsoft... better go for iPhone or droid
  • @Azeez. No thank you, it's Windows for me.
  • For what?
    Did you watch the video, or just make out of context comment based on assumptive reaction to the title?
  • I missed the meeting where everyone gave you the OK to speak for us. 
  • Nope, MSFT services and Windows ecosystem all the way for me.
  • Microsoft's ecosystem is missing apps, but maybe MechDome can help.
  • What apps are you using on your phone? Mobile games? News reader? Email? YouTube? Netflix or Instagram? Still trying out new email client every week?
  • I trust a full Windows to run UWP apps (including XPA)
  • So even if this is a phone, are people still going to buy into it....into Microsoft again? Do Windows fans ever learn from experiences??
  • What Surface product line that was released has been canceled/not supported in the past, or not had the full support of the company behind it? I mean, your question is weird, because people buy the Surface Laptop. They buy Xboxes. They buy keyboards from Microsoft. Did you ask the same question about Surface Studio? "Why buy it...after Windows phone". Makes no sense. How is this different? We're talking about a small Surface tablet PC that folds up. This isn't Windows phone.
  • Will ask you one question, as a consumer who has invested/patronized in the ecosystem and based on Microsoft recent actions towards consumer based products (forget Windows Phones), do you have faith in anything you buy from Microsoft? Anything that stands now can be wiped by Microsoft in a couple of years...if they don't sell. What didn't you (Dan & other WC editors) say about Windows Phones, bands, groove etc to make us all believe in those products? At the end of the day what happened? I'm not disputing you or blaming Microsoft but from my experiences and the fact that I've never used any ecosystem apart from Microsoft Windows I really have hard time believing or buying into them again....for Christs sake I even think twice before buying Xbox games on my console...that's the situation I'm in now and it isn't my fault. To me nothing that holds solid now in Microsoft's eyes has a bright future. Microsoft isn't a company that allow second chances, they stop when they don't sell...they are business oriented more than consumer and as a consumer, a company like that isn't for me.
  • I trust in my Xbox One X, and all my Windows PCs. I even used (and am still using) my Windows Phones. All my MS products serve(d) well.
  • Get over it.
    If something do not sell, no company is going to introduce new products. That's a fact. Tell me one example of a company that do it and still alive for years.
    Microsoft is not fallible. If they don't act, they too will fall.
    I don't like their decision as a consumer of course, but I got over it. No need to be Apple sheep, Google sheep, nor Microsoft sheep.
  • PS Vita... opps, discounted...
  • Surface RT was canceled and support was dropped. Windows 10S laptops look to be on the chopping block (they are at least dropping 10S). This doesn't sound like a tablet at all. Unless each screen is 7"+, Andromeda is a dual screen Windows phone. Surface itself looks shaky. Sales were down over the holidays even though there were a bunch of new Surface devices available. Those rumors of Microsoft dropping Surface in 2019 might be a long shot, but this is how it starts.
  • If MS would only make some affordable Surface products, it would be on the rise again...
  • That is why you see the cheaper Surface Laptop and Book bring released recently. I previous thought sales of Surface didn't really matter, but these moves by Microsoft kinda change that idea. I guess the new options still aren't that cheap, especially for the specs, but it does make then heavy competition for thier OEM partners.
  • Try worked for me
  • Just recently purchased another Microsoft sculpt desktop keyboard $65, is it just me or do all Logitech keyboards look like crap?!
  • I used to like Logitech a lot in the past. But I too think that they're dated now. Need to shake up.
  • By meaning phone, you're mistaken by the telephony built in the device. It's going to be a cellular PC and much more.
  • How does a PC operate efficiently with such small screens?
  • It doesn't. That's what they decided to go Windows Core. Imagine something like the Windows IOT OS but the front end (shell) made with mobile screen in mind. That way you can have the same OS base for all devices but different shells (front end interface) that work for the size of the screens in mind.
  • I don't think Andromeda is for those of us who just want a proper smartphone. It's not a replacement for a current smartphone. At least not yet. PWA's can possible change that in the future.
  • If the camera is world class, this should be able to replace my smartphone AND tablet.
  • Yes, I agree. Really hoping for a stellar camera. 
  • They wouldn't market it as an alternate smartphone device either.
  • I think it is because the apps that are supposed to work on it are already on the MS store. Remember that a lot of those apps can work in a mobile environment because of Onecore. I am talking about visually of course, I am not talking about the build. And the one that are not on Win32 (messaging, phone app, etc) can just be developed or just rebuild the mobile version if possible.
  • Still rocking my Lumia 650, patiently waiting for what comes next. Waiting sucks though...
  • Idol 4s is only $99. That would be a nice upgrade at a cheap price to get your through the year.
  • I did thought about getting another W10M phone, but what's the point when the OS is still the same? Really craving for what comes next from MS.
  • Yeah, if you need a phone for stop gap, I would say buy Android with decent camera. Not a flagship but something you can enjoy using and learning new things.
    The point here is that learning how to use all 3 OSes is great fun.
  • Also expensive as **** lmao
  • As far as I know the Idol 4s is sold out.
  • For $99. It was a bargain. Too a bad I didn't buy it when I had the chance as a backup phone
  • I agree, I'm sticking with my L930.
  • Both I and my wife are using a L650 Dani-L and they are working just great. We got ours at the end of 2016 so they are just over a year old and I plan on keeping it for at very least two more years. I'm not in the US so we have more apps and those get updates. All this "I need the latest and greatest" is bunk.
  • I really hope you're right about Andromeda (hopefully called Surface Note) coming out this year.  Having a Surface branded mobile presence would put the "universal" back in Universal Windows Platform.  At the rate they've been going though I wouldn't be surprised if Google beats them to market with a foldable. My fear is that they're waiting on Win32 emulation.  I hope Nadella musters up the backbone to release Andromeda without Win32 emulation, but promises it within 6 months of release.  Another year of limbo ... another year of rumours... another year of uncertainty... only drives more developers (especially enterprise devs, where uncertainty is poison) into the arms of iOS, Android, Alexa, and eventually GCP and AWS.
  • Beating to market is not the end all be all. Making it the best and most desired matters more. I've said it here before iPhone wasn't first, but it was best. Hopefully if this device makes it to the light of day it will be the best of it's kind
  • Win32 emulation? What do you mean?
  • I don't think Google can beat MSFT at its own game. It's a long way ahead for Google to produce a decent tablet with Windows like capabilities.
  • Microsoft doesn't have a decent tablet at all. They are literally 0.3% of the tablet market, which doesn't really even matter anyways.
  • They don't have a tablet period. They have 2 in 1 which is a better version of a tablet either way.
  • Nobody is going to choose GCP over Azure. It is expensive and so useless. I can see people choosing Aws if they are used to it but Azure api is just easier to use. I don't know about price though. Heroku is just better than all of those either way.
  • I'm waiting for Surface Andromeda. Lumia 950 is doing good for now.
  • If all you do now on your lumia 950 is text and make phone calls, you will be OK with the Andromeda device. But, if you use the actual "smart phone functions and features" of your lumia you are in for a big disappointment I am afraid.
  • Which smartphone specific capabilities do you expect this device to NOT have?
  • Depends on what you mean by "smart phone features" I run a multi million dollar small business with my $199, few year old 640 (and Surface tablet) Sure it can't (may not) do all the stuff, like whiskers and cat ears on pictures, like my 14 yr old daughter's iPhone 7, but it's enough for a lot of people to get by who just may be utilizing it as a tool.
  • You nailed it.
  • It is a much bigger deal when your device doesn't have the apps you need for work. That isn't going on to happen on anything but a Windows phone, including this new "Andromeda" device. It will still have a huge app gap that is made even bigger by the lack of the Silverlight apps from Windows 8. iPhone isn't all "cat ears", there is a reason it is #1 in business. If you need an app for work, the iPhone will have it.
  • Don't put your use case to everyone dude.
  • He didn't.
  • What smart phone function and feature do you use in your smartphone that is not on Win10 M?
  • The usual trolls are out because they have no life. If they make one, I am in. My current Elite X3 works just fine, and I still have my 950XL.
  • "If you don't agree with me, you're a troll." Sound logic.
  • The problems with Andromeda, for me, are about its launch. We don't know when. We don't know the price. We don't know the purchase methods (will they sell it through carriers, or only $1,000 upfront through MS?). If it were known that they were to sell it through carrier partners on plans like AT&T Next and Verizon Edge, it's easier to justify a high price tag. If you make people pick between $700-800, on monthly installments of $25-30, or a one-time payment of $1,000, the former is much easier for consumers to fit into a budget. Most of all, when can we even buy it? My Lumia 950's showing its age. Waiting another 3-6 months is easy. Another 9-12 month is harder when I have Battery Saver turn on at 70% just to get through a day. If it follows the past trend of a November launch, I'm less interested.
  • We already know it will be a late release, if you can't hold out then get yourself a replacement battery. Problem solved without the 'drama' 😉
  • Replace battery. Easy enough.
  • Why wouldn't you just buy a new battery? I mean it's not like an iPhone where you need send it in to change. Just rip the back off and pop in a new battery.
  • You mentioned Multiple Calendars for the Invoke. Where is this located? I have searched all over and have not been able to find it…
  • I was a little unclear, I mean you can add Google calendars/different accounts, but not a second MS account, sorry.
  • Maybe Alcatel or HP will make a phone with the new core os doubt Microsoft will make a phone sadly. The folding device concept will be over priced and require cloud virtualizations to run real desktop apps.
  • Looking at the stuff going on with their android phones, it might be a good idea to avoid Alcatel.
  • Just bummed by the Android options. If the pixel 2xl had wireless charging and the HTC U11+ screen and battery, I would be all over it. The v30 is gorgeous looking, but I want the HTC screen, and the Pixel 2xl camera. Hate the Samsung edge nonsense. Give me the S8 Active, that would be ok, but no UK release.
  • The Edge actually isn't that bad. I kinda like it after 6 months with the GS8, it isn't the gimmick I originally assumed it was. I guess if it wasn't useful, it wouldn't have become standard on all their high end phones. It probably won't make the difference in the choice for my next device, but it isn't a negative anymore.
  • The infinity displays are nice. Everytime I pick up a flat screen phone now it just feels weird.
  • Fool me once... Or in MS' case. Fool me always...Something I like to call BOHICA. (Bend over here it comes again)
  • Dan, with the possibility of Samsung releasing a foldable phone do you believe this puts Microsoft's ambitious Andromeda device at risk?
  • The Samsung will be a totally different animal. Andromeda will run full Windows 10. Samsung will run Android's phone OS. Big difference.
  • No it won't. It will run cut down W10 Core. It will not have legacy support.
  • It will run full Windows 10 core, the shell is just going to be different.
  • Now let me see. I use a Microsoft Ergonomic keyboard and it is huge and awesome, I use Windows 10 software, I use a Windows 10 mobile and we even use a Xbox one S. Do I trust Microsoft? Yes we do!
  • Will this new device have WhatsApp? It's not in the Windows store right now, and that is huge. I could love and want this device all I want, but if doesn't have WhatsApp there is no way I can get around with this device. The Windows store needs to get some big apps at the the same time they announce this device.
  • They already have a desktop extension of the app. I suspect a device with telephony will be supported for the main app.
  • WhatsApp was just updated on my L650 like two days ago.
  • In regards to Andromeda "Microsoft is not targeting this device as a smartphone replace, rather as a companion device" - Who the heck wants to carry around a smartphone and a companion device? Microsoft is just clueless.