Microsoft and HTC cozy up in push for Win Phone 8, look to address ongoing issues
Earlier in the week Bloomberg stated that HTC had scrapped plans for a 5” or higher Windows Phone due to the inability of the OS to scale up to 1080P. Sure, the device could pass muster with 720P or 768P but for a major device like that to hit now or in early 2013 would behind the competition.
Now it’s being reported that Microsoft’s Ballmer met directly with the CEO of HTC, Peter Chou, when he passed through Taiwan recently. In of itself this is not news as the two mega CEOs reportedly exchange emails and meet several times a year. But in this case, the limiting resolution of the Windows Phone 8 and presumably other areas of contention were brought up.
Windows Phone 8 of course can scale up to higher resolutions but it requires the Windows Phone team to actually set the parameters and put it in the toolbox for manufactures (called an SDK). Originally, Windows Phone 8 supported four resolutions, including ironically a very low-resolution 480x640 that was scrapped just weeks before the June Summit. Why Microsoft did not perceive the immediate need for 1080P is not too clear, though presumably they were betting on devices with smaller displays taking priority.
Indeed the ‘phablet’ classification (devices with displays ranging over 5 inches) is still a new category that is being explored by OEMS. Most techies blew off Samsung’s Galaxy Note device as a gimmick that is until it sold very well prompting the development of the Note II (and even a Note III is being rumored already).
With no ability to reach for 1080P though, HTC sees Windows Phone 8 as unnecessarily handicapped, which we agree. (HTC just launched the Droid DNA on Verizon, featuring a 5” 1080P display, resulting in a staggering 441 PPI).
Ballmer's ad endorsing the HTC 8X
Bloomberg also goes on to cite HTC’s numbers that 70% of Windows Phone 8 ads feature the 8X Windows Phone, including Steve Ballmer’s “this is my Windows Phone” ad. While the relationship between Nokia and Microsoft is often emphasized, it is clear that HTC and Microsoft have a long history too and things are looking good between the companies. HTC recently reported increased revenue, partially due to the success of the HTC 8X (and now 8S) phones, which have garnered a lot of favorable attention.
The question remains though how fast Microsoft can try to please its OEM partners. And what about a 5” Windows Phone 8 device with 1080P made by HTC or even Nokia—would that be something you folks are interested in? Sound off in comments.
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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.
The 800x480 resolution looks good enough on the 3.7inch screen of my Lumia 710, but would look horrible on a 5inch screen.
Plus many customers are "spec wh0res" and are overly concerned about silly specs instead of usability of the phone. Those people will go ga-ga over a 1080p phone with approx. 450 dpi. As useless as a phone with 1080p is, it is a great halo device that will get some people to take notice and consider a HTC Windows Phone.
I agree that the 920 has a perfect screen size, but I absolutely think there's a market for the Note. I played with a Note II the other day and it does have some really cool features. No, it will not be for everyone, but that doesn't mean a company should not attempt a WP phablet. Who's to say it couldn't be a game changer.
Also, if Samsung did the Ativ S as a 4.8 screen; I am sure that a 5 inch isn't too much of a stretch.
Because when 10" Surface are only using < 1080p, it is quite interesting that a mobile phone get a higher resolution
Text will be sharper on a higher resolution screen. When reading text, color accuracy is secondary. I have been wanting a paper magazine like resolution on a phone for a long time. Our eyes can tell at reading distance.
Whoever made that limit on the Windows phone was very shortsighted. It’s funny that Android is having the same power as the old windows mobile and see how it thrived. Now MS is putting artificial limits on their OS because that’s what Apple did. It’s time to let the engineers make the technical decisions. An OS should not limit the hardware advances, period. Android has it's problems but I am sure MS woulnd't mind to be in that position.
Bill Gates would not have approved such artificial limits on the Windows phones.
Text looks equally good on the Surface as it does on the Android-tablet, but because the Surface also shows all graphics at their native resolution (the Android-tablet up-samples the graphics) overall the Surface looks way better.
Most graphics today are made with a 1024x768 screen in mind, making higher resolutions essentially "overkill" since all graphical elements either has to be re-made in a higher resolution or they will look like crap on a screen smaller than 12" (because you zoom in more often). Apps can easily be "re-graphicaled" but surfing the web is just a horrible experience until all websites update their graphics.
BTW, RT is only better than the ones with similar resolutions. But "it is not as sharp as the iPad 3 or 4", according to displaymate http://www.displaymate.com/Surface_RT_ShootOut_1.htm.
However one of the reasons MS used to state that upgrading wp7 phones to wp8 was not needed is that wp8 was partly to allow for higher specs and older phones cant take advantage of that. So, the concern is genuine that if MS adds new features then they'll leave current wp8 phones out in the cold regarding keeping pace.
Microsoft should be targeting the 5"+ market with everything it's got. Office and OneNote are core differentiators in the market and this is exactly where the strength of phablets lie. The Samsung Galaxy Note looks awfully clumsy and Microsoft could really win big if they nail that form factor. But they must act fast before Samsung and Android fill in the gap themselves.
Like a front facing camera, dual core CPU, etc. It's not that people need to have a 5 inch phone with 1080P screens but it's important that they support it.
WP8 > W8 > XBox Metro > everything else (from a live tile perspective)
Also, I want to be able to categorize sections of my live tiles (like W8).
Please and thank you!!!
But 5", it's a bit to big :/ I prefer 4,5" or 4,7" but that's the limit for me.
The next Galaxy Note is rumored to have a 6.3" screen and that will be huge. I have the Galaxy Note 2 and with a case on it is just a hair too big for me. But I love the performance, the stylus, and the big screen.
I really wanted a high end WP device but being on Verizon there wasn't one. The 8x had the same size screen as my old Droid-X but was bigger phone. I don't mind bigger if I get a larger screen. I was really hoping for an Ativ-S like phone on VZW but just got tired of waiting, not to mention, my old phone was about to die. So thanks to a gift card and a great price match at Best Buy I got the Note 2 last weekend for less than an 822. If the VZW Samsung comes out in the next week I might consider swapping but I am not holding my breath.
i would love to see phablet from htc or nokia or even microsoft
Rather than unnecessary tech that is beyond what can really be utilized, I'd rather see new and improved upgrades in battery life or something viable. Memory possibly but I never understood the use of carrying a bunch of blu-ray quality movies around on a phone. Hmm.
I say to EVERYONE that feels the same as me, to Call and E-Mail HTC and let them know that YOU WANT a FULL QWERTY Keyboard on your Next HTC phone.
The instant the preorder goes up for a Windows 1080p phone, I will be one of the first ordering!
While we are at it- let's get a full Windows 8 Pro OS on the phone! Now that would be amazing!
I have a HTC 8X at the moment and things about WP 8 just makes me tired. Take the sound volume for an example. Turning it down turns the ringer volume down to! How STUPID, STUPID, STUPID isn't that?!
Not interested in a 5" phone and not interest in anything HTC builds. I'm a Nokia man. I don't care what HTC does or doesn't do.