Microsoft targets entry-level business users with its Lumia 650

Microsoft has announced the Lumia 650, a budget Windows 10 phone targeted at business users. The Lumia 650 is another block in the tech giant's efforts to build a Windows 10 ecosystem across multiple device classes. Like other Windows 10 devices, the Lumia 650 can open businesses' Office documents and answer voice queries with Cortana. It can also sync content between Windows 10 devices via OneDrive. 

The Lumia 650 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 quad-core SoC with four Cortex-A7 cores running at 1.3 GHz.  That chip is paired with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. A microSD card slot can be used to add up to 200GB more storage.

The phone features a 5" 1280×720 AMOLED screen good for 297 PPI. Selfie shooters get a 5MP wide-angle camera on the front, while the rear-camera uses an 8MP sensor. Those internals are housed in an aluminum frame. Microsoft will offer buyers a choice of matte black or matte white back cover options.

The Lumia 650 comes with a surprising amount of connectivity for a phone of its class, including NFC and LTE support. The phone's 2000-mAh replaceable battery is good for up to 16 hours of talk time.

Microsoft is rolling out the Lumia 650 to select European markets starting Feb. 18 at a suggested price of $199.  There's no word yet on availability in other markets.

Comments closed
    • dragontamer5788
    • 4 years ago

    It should be noted as well that Microsoft’s strategy is to get out of the hardware business, probably sticking with “flagship” devices like the Surface strategy.

    Microsoft’s OEM partners have been hurt dramatically by their acquisition of Nokia. Microsoft seems to be hitting the “reset button”, killing off the [url=http://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-cityman-and-talkman-flagship-full-details<]650XL, 750, and 850[/url<] phones and firing a ton of Nokia staff. Clearly, Microsoft doesn't want to be making phones anymore. Instead, it seems like they're trying to give room for other companies to come into the space. The 550 / 650 / 950 / 950XL are the last phones Microsoft are making this year, and are rumored to be the last phones that the Nokia team are making at all (before they're integrated into the "Surface" hardware team). There is a rumored "Surface Phone", but it doesn't seem to be a hero device, but instead the first shot of the Surface Team to move into the phone business. So what to do if you want a good, cheap, well supported Windows phone? Simple: get the [url=http://www.windowscentral.com/you-can-now-order-alcatel-onetouch-fierce-xl-t-mobile<]Alcatel Onetouch Fierce XL for $150[/url<]. Its a shift of strategy. Microsoft needs to leave room for their partners, instead of dominating the entire space by themselves.

    • trackerben
    • 4 years ago

    I’m glad I waited for this. It will likely offer decent performance and connectivity for the price. It’s cheaper than anything new and unlocked from Apple so it would nicely complement an iPhone. It’s likely far more secure from 3rd-party exploits than a non-Nexus android. Best of all, it has that classic bandwise look. Too bad about the narrower baseband capability, if that.

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 4 years ago

    I guess I’ll get slammed for this, but please take it as constructive criticism meant sincerely:

    Does anyone get the feeling that TR is posting more and more of what seem like plain press releases, without any objective assessment or commentary?

    Take this article; it reports the release of a new phone. But Ars, Anand and Tom’s all give me an awful lot more useful information about the device, including the fact that it’s hardly suited to the business crowd it’s aimed at since it misses Continuum, biometric authentication, and has quite low specs.

    I have noticed this more and more in the past months. Is this just a temporary thing while the team is rebuilt? Or do you think TR is losing the analysis that made it such a great site to visit?

      • Anomymous Gerbil
      • 4 years ago

      Don’t just -1 without making a constructive comment…

      • dodozoid
      • 4 years ago

      I hate it, but I must agree.
      I know it is hard to rebuild the team practicaly from scratch as most of editors we knew and loved left in the past year, so I intend to stick with the site.
      Besides, you can find good analysis in the comments below, which is kinda unique feature for a website.

        • trackerben
        • 4 years ago

        [quote<]Besides, you can find good analysis in the comments below, which is kinda unique feature for a website.[/quote<] Yes this is what makes TR unique. When TR's editors don't come up with further goodies on interesting stuff, there's usually someone here who does.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 4 years ago

      I think yes that they are doing this, not so sure if its good or bad. I would appreciate a distinct line drawn between news and editorialization.

      Editorializing can be fun but when muddled in with news it can be deceptive or at the least cause misinformation.

      So there you have it, I like the clean nature of the current news releases. I also miss a clean separate editorial sendoff, especially as it pertains to Marketing disguised as news.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    How exactly is this phone better than other phones for business? And are those features really necessary for many folks?

    • demani
    • 4 years ago

    No band 12 so it’s no good for T-Mobile. Not sure why MS would remove bands it has supported previously (in lower end phones) and eliminate potential customers right off the bat and cut off 1/4 of the US cell phone customers. And I’m not sure why T-Mobile wouldn’t make at least a passing effort to get these on their network.

    • cygnus1
    • 4 years ago

    Just got a 640 to play with for $30, unlocked, new. Win10 Mobile Phone (whatever) actually seems pretty decent. I think app coverage is pretty decent for most people too.

      • Hinton
      • 4 years ago

      Yeah the 640 is really nice.

      I’m in Denmark, where Windows Phone is decently supported, so apps isn’t really an issue.

    • JMccovery
    • 4 years ago

    $200 for this phone wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t powered by quad A7s. Qualcomm must have paid Microsoft to take the 212.

    Really, Microsoft, you couldn’t even splurge for some SoC that has A12s or A53s?

    I believe that the main problem with Microsoft’s phone ambitions is Microsoft themselves.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 4 years ago

      The phone it plans to replase has an SD400. Better GPU. Should’ve gone SD410/412.

        • willmore
        • 4 years ago

        Does windows mobile support 64 bit ARM processors?

          • Zkal
          • 4 years ago

          Seemingly only 32-bit ARM according to [url=http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/03/windows-10-phones-to-get-bigger-smaller-faster-and-maybe-even-x86ier/<]Ars Technica [/url<] article of what processors Windows 10 supports.

          • dragontamer5788
          • 4 years ago

          Considering that the 950 runs on a Snapdragon 808, probably.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      Maybe they should’ve just gone with MediaTek. I wonder what MediaTek would have sold them for the same price as those Qualcomms they’re using here.

        • JMccovery
        • 4 years ago

        More than likely a quad A53 SoC.

        A while back, I bought this $79 Walmart special tablet; it has some MediaTek quad-A7 chip. I think it was a MT6582.

        It was fine for [b<]simple[/b<] tasks and web sites, but would struggle with anything slightly complex. Edit: Oh yeah! Forgot that there was another Windows phone that launched with similar specs, Alcatel One Touch Fierce XL: [url<]http://m.gsmarena.com/alcatel_fierce_xl-7720.php[/url<] So, exactly what makes the 650 worth $60 more?

          • ronch
          • 4 years ago

          $60 because Microsoft.

          • Sjoerd
          • 4 years ago

          As an owner of exactly that phone, I can tell you it’s hilariously good for the $89 it cost me right after it came out. The only problem with it? It’s running Android, and I can now frankly say Android is dogshit. I look at my wife’s tattered Lumia 521 with envy. I would pay $60 to jailbreak the thing to WP8. Which is crap too, but infinitely smoother and more coherent.

            • JMccovery
            • 4 years ago

            Talking about the Fierce XL? The phone in my link in the Win10 Fierce XL.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 4 years ago

    The Lumia 640 is available for $40-60 without a contract. The differences?

    The Lumia 650 has a better selfie-cam and a metal bezel ring around the edges. It has 8GB more internal storage (both have MicroSD for expansion).

    The Lumia 640 has 500mAh more battery, a better processor (Snapdragon 400), and comes stock with Windows 8.1 (which you can update via the Insider program, or even if not, Microsoft has promised Windows 10 Mobile will be an upgrade).

    I can’t think of a single reason to buy the 650 unless you like paying a lot for shiny metal bezel rings.

      • Sjoerd
      • 4 years ago

      Gotta be warranty.

    • blastdoor
    • 4 years ago

    If we still lived in a world where users had to accept whatever mobile devices corporate IT foist upon them, then something like this might do well.

    But if BYO(m)D reigns at even my technologically backwards employer, I can’t imagine there’s much of a market for this.

    Lucky for Microsoft that BYOD doesn’t really work so well for servers.
    Also lucky that there are still a lot of places (like my employer) where BYOD isn’t generally allowed at the laptop/desktop level.

      • Chrispy_
      • 4 years ago

      I run a BYOD shop at work but we’re still moving very slowly off Blackberry because some people who can’t adapt refuse to let go of the physical keyboard.

      For BYOD users, nobody – literally ZERO in almost a thousand employees has a windows phone. For those whose company devices I still manage, I’m encouraging the move to Android with a replacement MotoG or Nexus device. Neither Apple nor Android are ideal or secure, but all we care about from a corporate perspective is a platform that allows us to force a security policy and allow remote wipes.

      iOS, Android and Windows allow enforced security policy and allow remote wipes.
      only iOS and Android have interfaces that users are familiar with.
      only iOS and Android have app ecosystems worth talking about.
      only Android has devices that are drop-proof, waterproof, and affordable.

      Microsoft, as you astutely pointed out, are targetting the non-existent past where users had to accept whatever mobile device their employers give them. I’d wager those days are already almost gone forever.

        • Zizy
        • 4 years ago

        Well, most of “good” companies here have company phones offered to people. C-people can pick between latest iPhone or Android devices. Midrange offerings are stuff around Lumia 730/830 or similar Android devices. Not sure about people below that. It isn’t any phone costing up to X, but a selection of several phones at each tier. Probably the company got better deal if they asked for many devices for each model.

        BYOD is obviously still an option (you get some cash instead of the phone, less than what the phone costs), but majority take the phone. Why wouldn’t they? 🙂

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 4 years ago

    I paid $200 for my Zenfone 2 Laser (was on sale, now at $230, but still), which completely beats this on specs – Snapdragon 615, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB storage, 5.5″ FHD screen, and so on. Or there is the similarly specced Honor 5x (only 2 GB RAM, but has a fingerprint reader & Newegg is including a 32 GB microSD right) for $200. Or a bunch of other very capable Android phones that are available in the $150-$250 price range.

    Microsoft would have to do something amazing software-wise for this phone to be worth buying over those Android phones, and I just don’t think they have it in them. Sure they have that Continuum thing going on, but how well are desktop apps going to run on a phone with 1 GB of RAM?

      • dragontamer5788
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]Sure they have that Continuum thing going on, but how well are desktop apps going to run on a phone with 1 GB of RAM?[/quote<] Not very, since as far as I know, Continuum is a 950-only feature. The 550 and 650 don't seem to have support for it. A lot of Android manufacturers absolutely suck as far as updating phones forward. I'd actually push the BLU line of Androids since they're all got Marshmallow support. Specifically, the Blu Vivo XL is the one to beat (5.1 Lolipop out of the box, upgrades to Marshmallow). Mediatek CPU is probably weaker than Snapdragon however. Considering that the Zenfone2 Laser is still stuck on 5.0, that doesn't really bode well for Asus's update cycle. So basically, definite no to Asus / Huawei. I don't even want to know what the hell this "Emotion UI" is, anything off of stock Android is probably [b<]awful[/b<]. BLU is where its at for budget, although their reliance on Mediatek makes it harder to compare against all of the Snapdragon CPUs.

        • Voldenuit
        • 4 years ago

        [quote<]Not very, since as far as I know, Continuum is a 950-only feature. The 550 and 650 don't seem to have support for it.[/quote<] Ouch. Way to niche features into oblivion, MS.

          • dragontamer5788
          • 4 years ago

          From a developer point of view however, Continuum is just another thing running UWP.

          So a developer writing a UWP application doesn’t need to actually do anything. If he writes UWP, it will work on Raspberry Pi 2, phone, continuum, and desktop.

          • LoneWolf15
          • 4 years ago

          Correct. 950/950XL for now.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 4 years ago

        [quote<]Not very, since as far as I know, Continuum is a 950-only feature. The 550 and 650 don't seem to have support for it.[/quote<] Lol what is MS even bothering for.

      • albundy
      • 4 years ago

      paid $159 for my galaxy s5 last week through freedompop. the ir remote control feature works really well. the fingerprint reader takes a few swipes to work, but the oled screen is awesome! dropped the $14 128gb microsd i got from december’s newegg deal, and i’m all set. the sim slot for use with overseas sim cards is a nice bonus and having a removable battery is a must for me.
      microsoft’s phones were not even on my list when checking out phones. they just dont have the feature set that i’m looking for.

    • tipoo
    • 4 years ago

    Who would really select Windows 10 mobile for business at this point with all the bugs we hear about it? If a business is on WP, I’d imagine they’re sticking to 8 for a while.

      • dragontamer5788
      • 4 years ago

      Microsoft Passport: 2-factor authentication with Active Directory with your Windows Phone being the security token is pretty good.

      Also the fact that C++ UWP applications are compiled into x86 / x64 / ARM binaries and packaged all together (and of course C# are all in a virtual machine, and are similarly cross-platform). Any UWP application will run on both the Phone and Windows 10.

      Any line of business application you write in Windows 10 as UWP will [b<]automatically[/b<] port over to the phone. With careful use of [url=https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/dn958435.aspx<]Responsive Design APIs[/url<], you truly can write one program that works across Desktops, Laptops, Phones, Surface Hub and Xbox One. Without responsive designs, you'll get crappy experiences of course, but the UWP programs will still work.

        • smilingcrow
        • 4 years ago

        Regarding UWP I wonder if your term ‘careful use’ is what puts people off this sort of development work?

          • dragontamer5788
          • 4 years ago

          Its the same caveat that is given to writing Android apps that run on phones and tablets, because of the many different screen sizes therein. It is possible to make the same UI that works at 5-inches and at 11-inches. But it takes careful use of responsive APIs, as well as a good clean design.

          [url=http://www.raywenderlich.com/20881/beginning-auto-layout-part-1-of-2<]Indeed, Apple has begun implementing "Auto Layout" in iOS8, probably because the aspect ratio of iPhone 5 changed slightly[/url<]. And even before that, Apple applications needed to be responsive to the "landscape" and "portrait" modes of use. So even Apple iOS has the same caveat now: if you want an application that works on iPhone 4, iPhone 5, and iPhone 6 (or even if you just want the application to work in landscape mode), you better write a responsive UI designed for the different screen aspect ratios. Whether you like it or not, modern UI designers should be using responsive design APIs. This is true regardless of whether you're writing iOS, Android, Windows UWP, or even HTML / Javascript applications. ------------ Frankly, the main issue holding back UWP adoption is users. Windows 7 and Windows 8 do NOT support UWP (which is why its so important for Microsoft to encourage users to upgrade to Windows 10). Still, Windows 10 is a larger user base than Win8 and Win8.1 combined, and I've heard that a number of developers are willing to start working on the Win10 UWP platform.

            • smilingcrow
            • 4 years ago

            Sure but Android is limited to phones and tablets whereas Windows also runs on laptops and desktops so it’s more of a leap at the UI level.
            The other issue is that Windows developers will have to give up the full Windows APIs if they use UWP so if you have an application that is primarily a desktop one why give up features just to aim for a market that isn’t there much?
            Android and iOS developers that ignore WP will probably still do so as they weren’t using Visual Studio in the first place.
            It’s a good idea by MS and it will help to a degree but I’m not convinced it’s a game changer.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 4 years ago

            [quote<] The other issue is that Windows developers will have to give up the full Windows APIs if they use UWP so if you have an application that is primarily a desktop one why give up features just to aim for a market that isn't there much?[/quote<] 1. Its much easier to make a UWP application. Deployment is all wrapped up as part of the template. No need to learn WIX, WFCs, and make a bunch of registry hacks to actually deploy an application on Win10. You get a developer private key just starting up Visual Studio now (which can turn into a "real" key / certificate rather easily through the Microsoft Store process). EDIT: In fact, a quickly written "Hello World" application creates the full deployment process: your application is deployed to the Start Menu, you can find it in "Add / Remove Programs". Etc. etc. It is extremely feature complete. In fact, legacy deployment with WIX was a pain in the ass to learn and develop. Writing an installer basically was making a 2nd program that was hard to test and keep synchronized with your main codebase. The new App-based deployment system takes lessons-learned from iOS / Android, and allows developers to have a much easier time developing Windows 10 applications. I'm quite impressed actually. 2. UWP applications can list off its features like Android / iOS applications. If you only need access to a user's "Music" folder and nothing else, you can put your application behind the sandbox and your users can rest assured that your app won't access anything funky. 3. Windows UWP applications are much more easily distributed through the Windows Store than Win32 / WPF / MFC applications. You need to port over the code and spend a bit of development effort there. 4. Access to certain features remain in the UWP API only. Cortana integration for example (which makes sense, because your users probably don't want you snooping on all the info that Cortana without your app being subject to a sandbox anyway. 5. The UWP strategy of Microsoft does not rely on Microsoft capturing majority, or even large minority share, of the phone market. The phone market simply has to exist, and it will provide a benefit for all UWP 10 developers. Think of all the Java programmers who wrote applications only for Windows deployments, Java would run on SPARC / PowerPC / other platforms but it didn't really matter for the majority of Java programmers. Simply having a broad deployment base alone was reason enough to stick with Java, even if you didn't necessarily plan to take advantage of the cross-platform feature.

            • smilingcrow
            • 4 years ago

            Yes, I know it has advantages but at this point not sure that many developers people really care.
            For example I have had Panasonic and Sony A/V equipment in recent years with useful apps but not for WP. Will they care about UWP?

        • tipoo
        • 4 years ago

        Those are nice features, but I mean the bag of bugs 10 on mobile currently is, despite the beta label coming off.

    • dragontamer5788
    • 4 years ago

    I made the jump to a 950 and am overall happy with the experience. Windows 10 still has some rough edges however (which is probably why the older phones, like the popular 640, haven’t been updated to it yet).

    Honestly though, the ecosystem of Windows 10 mobile is still premature. But as a developer, UWP (Universal Windows Platform API) offers a very interesting argument: sideloading is now enabled on all devices (from desktop to phones), so that crap from 8 is finally gone. The UWP updates for developers grows at a more sane pace (10240 was the initial release, 10586 is the current version of Windows 10 with a few more APIs like Microsoft Passport: which provides an API for Win10 Mobile devices to act as a local 2-factor authentication on Active Directory).

    I know it sounds like a broken record that “Microsoft has actually done a good job this time”. (First with Win7 mobile, then with Win8 mobile, then with Win8.1 mobile…). But this is the first time that I personally have seen enough reasons to actually test out the Win10 environment.

    It probably would be better for the typical user to wait just a little bit longer. Rumor is that a whole slew of Win10 UWP apps are about to be released (Bank of America for example). I’ve found that MS Edge (which can be put into “desktop mode” in the worst case) does browse websites pretty well, although its missing Flash which many websites still require in practice. If the rumored UWP app renaissance actually hits, I predict that this will be an excellent platform.

    If not, it is an interesting OS for developers nonetheless, due to the nature of UWP.

      • homerdog
      • 4 years ago

      When using an obscure acronym like UWP, please define it somewhere in your post 🙂

        • dragontamer5788
        • 4 years ago

        Noted. I edited in a definition in my first use, in the 2nd paragraph.

        • Voldenuit
        • 4 years ago

        [quote<]When using an obscure acronym like UWP, please define it somewhere in your post :-)[/quote<] I love how, despite MS' bust efforts, UWP is obscure as hell even in tech circles.

          • dragontamer5788
          • 4 years ago

          Outside of developer circles, I haven’t actually seen the term used however.

          I don’t think the typical user knows what a WPF (Windows Presentation Framework), for example. But I [b<]guarantee[/b<] you that everyone here knows how to use one ([url=https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff799534%28v=vs.110%29.aspx<]WPF introduced the concept of "Ribbons"[/url<]. Yeah, those things, every application with a Ribbon is most likely WPF, but might be a MFC application instead, since Ribbon was backported to MFC).

            • Voldenuit
            • 4 years ago

            [quote<]I don't think the typical user knows what a WPF (Windows Presentation Framework), for example. But I guarantee you that everyone here knows how to use one (WPF introduced the concept of "Ribbons". Yeah, those things, every application with a Ribbon is most likely WPF)[/quote<] And here I thought that 'Ribbons' was a WTF moment, shows what I know.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 4 years ago

            From a developer point of view, Ribbons are strictly superior to the legacy Win32 toolbars. Its a shame that it wasn’t a hit with the users though, but it was one of the earlier uses of XAML + MVVC development from Microsoft.

            It really was excellent for developers to organize their code around. And between the keyboard integration, built-in tool tips and everything, it was better for experts and beginners to use as well.

            The main issue was training all the legacy users to use the new toolbar, because legacy users didn’t want to relearn how to use menus and toolbars.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 4 years ago

            Windows menus have keyboard integration and built in tooltips too. Since Win16 actually.

            Plus, there was really no reason MS couldn’t have just created an XAML structure to define traditional menus. Hell, I’d bet 1 million dollars, there is a 3rd party library out there that builds Windows menus from some markup language.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 4 years ago

            But I see no point. You can create a traditional menu using ribbons. Just make a single ribbon and ignore the rest of the features. I am sure there’s a “classic menu” somewhere, but what do you actually gain from it over a simple ribbon?

            What people didn’t like was that the menu-structure changed in MS Word, and no one could figure out where various features were anymore. Ribbons honestly are a superior methodology in virtually every way conceivable.

            The issue is that you can’t change the UI of a widely deployed, complicated, program like MS Word. What Microsoft [b<]should[/b<] have done was offer "classic UI", and "new UI" versions, or something like that. It wasn't ribbons that was bad, it was losing all of your knowledge about where "File->Page Setup-> Obscure thingy -> obscure thingy2 -> obscure thingy 3" was located. But frankly, the fact that MS Word 2003 menus were so horribly complicated that you needed to navigate that way was the issue. I mean, my gosh, [b<]those icons had no freaking words on them[/b<]. Its a miracle that we all figured out what the hell those symbols meant back then. Microsoft "ripped off the bandaid" without providing a way for legacy users to retain their expertise. Ribbons are superior, but that doesn't mean that throwing away the old UI was a good idea.

            • faramir
            • 4 years ago

            LibreOffice Writer menus are superior to any crap MS has come up with in almost 15 years (last decently organized Word version date back into 1990s).

            If users really wanted to have an incomplete toolbar permanently occupying my screen real estate they’d use the toolbar customization to plant stuff there. There is simply no need for ribbon nonsense, there isn’t a single aspect they are better at than a combination of all-encompassing menus together with customizable toolbar(s).

            • dragontamer5788
            • 4 years ago

            Have you even played a little bit with the [url=http://i.imgur.com/pYHnWPu.png<]Ribbon customization options[/url<]? They are rather complete. You can add any icon or remove any icon, as part of any grouping. You can even create your own ribbons and custom groups as a user. The old icon-based approach in Word 2003 doesn't have anywhere close to to modern Word 2007+. [b<]No where close[/b<].

            • Zizy
            • 4 years ago

            Have you even used any recent MS Office? And I mean really used, not just wrote one page of mostly plain text or similar crap, for which even the completely useless gdocs is fine enough.

            • Sjoerd
            • 4 years ago

            Sweet Jeebus where to begin.

            “incomplete toolbar” — if the Ribbon is the only UI, it can by definition not be “incomplete”. This is a clinically insane statement.

            “permanently occupying” — Office 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 all have an option to collapse the ribbon literally two mouse clicks away. Which (shockingly) collapses the ribbon to its top headers and expands the tabs when selected. Kind of like a top-level menu.

            “real estate”
            Real estate used at default settings:
            Word 2003 (Task Pane on, 1024×768): 26.4%
            Word 2003 (Task Pane off, 1024×768): 10.2%
            Word >=2007 (1024×768): 13.6%
            Word >=2007 (1280×1024): 10.1%
            It does not get better for your argument at higher resolutions.

            “they’d use toolbar customization”
            Nobody uses toolbar customization. No, really. Nobody does. Once 2003 started to bring in true telemetry everyone was shocked. I guessed low-single-digit and was still an order of magnitude off. Ha, but it’s only the faithful must-please power users! No, most power users A) know where the damned thing is in the default menu and B) usually work on multiple machines and support many more so C) just do not have time to dick around rearranging. The only people who wind up significantly customizing Windows and/or Office are those who have free time to do so rather than actual work to get done. This is actually not OS/office suite specific, but hey.

            “There is simply no need for ribbon nonsense, there isn’t a single aspect they are better at than a combination of all-encompassing menus together with customizable toolbar(s).”

            For crying out loud, why do people keep pretending the Ribbon was some kind of whimsical thing?

            The Ribbon was designed, over many years, because the 2003-LibreOffice type of interface just doesn’t work past a certain point (mainly, number of features). Microsoft invested an absolute metric crapload of time and money in it. We’re talking five-plus years of scientific usability studies here.

            You don’t like it, we get it. That in and of itself should tell you how one should treat your well-informed suggestions on usability though.

            The Ribbon is demonstrably better in many ways, but the most dramatic one is discoverability. From the top of your head, in Office 2003 or LibreOffice, where do I go to do a mail merge? In Office 2007-2016, I think the “Mailings” tab is a good bet. For older versions or Libre, either you did one in the last week, or you just Googled to prove me wrong and are a liar.

            When was the last time you actually used Office, anyway?

            • Voldenuit
            • 4 years ago

            [quote<]It wasn't ribbons that was bad, it was losing all of your knowledge about where "File->Page Setup-> Obscure thingy -> obscure thingy2 -> obscure thingy 3" was located.[/quote<] The problem is that the menu options in ribbons weren't any better organized than the admittedly haphazard arrangement of classic menus. For instance, in Word 2007, why is 'Insert Cross Reference' in 'Insert' tab and not 'References' tab? Why can you insert page and section breaks in 'Page Layout' Tab, but can only insert page breaks in 'Insert' Tab? Why is it that when I'm working on a smaller screen than normal (eg the ubiquitous 1024x768 conference room projector), Ribbon items will disappear with no way to expand the full selection? Ribbon philosophy is not superior to cascading menus, and the implementation has not been any better, despite MS having a clean slate when they started over. I use MSC Patran at work, and am glad I can choose the classic menu options, because the Ribbon UI in it is just terrible.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 4 years ago

            [quote<] Why is it that when I'm working on a smaller screen than normal (eg the ubiquitous 1024x768 conference room projector), Ribbon items will disappear with no way to expand the full selection?[/quote<] No offense, but I'm calling bullshit on this one. The old icons were completely non-responsive. If an icon list were too wide, then the screen simply stopped showing the icons in 2003. [url=http://i.imgur.com/d0GXov9.png<]In contrast, the Ribbon actually has a scroll-bar when the window narrows. [/url<], and all of the subgroups turn into [url=http://i.imgur.com/0LiFo5k.png<]thinner pop-out menus [b<]WITH VERY LITTLE DEVELOPER INVESTMENT WHAT-SO-EVER[/b<][/url<]. Modern Ribbons scroll, [url=http://i.imgur.com/pYHnWPu.png<]can be customized[/url<] to an excellent degree, are XAML / MVVC based for developer-friendliness. Have you tried programming a classic icon menu recently? No seriously, have you actually tried? Have you tried to make a responsive icon-list that works between 600-wide screens all the way to 2560 screens, and make it look decent all the way across? Because that task is [b<]explicitly[/b<] why the Ribbon exists, and it honestly is better to use Ribbon for the task. Back when all screens were either 800x600 or 1280x1024, yeah you could make icon lists that were like 600 to 700 pixels wide and just roll with it. Then screens started to change size in 2003 to higher resolutions and weird aspect ratios (eventually settling on the now-standard 16:9). Supporting the different screen sizes, or even just the widths that the user puts MS Word at, is a very difficult task if you've got the legacy icon or menu-based system.

            • Sjoerd
            • 4 years ago

            Sigh.

            “Why is it that when I’m working on a smaller screen than normal Ribbon items will disappear with no way to expand the full selection”

            I double-dog dare you to give me a single example of that.

            The idea of the Ribbon is Action -> Type of action -> What it applies to.
            Previously, it was more of a Type of thing -> Hope action is there -> If not, see Options. Or Tools. Or Format. Or Tools -> Options. Or it could be on a dialog somewhere. Happy hunting! (Not very objective here — I just installed Libre on a tablet and had a spate of bad acid flashbacks. Seriously guys, it was and is awful.)

            Now the thing is, things that get commonly used get preference in any lab-driven design, and things get messy. So yes, you can insert page breaks from a bunch of places, BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE PEOPLE LOOK FOR THEM. Inserting section breaks, myeh, because nobody — relatively! — uses sections, or cares, and such a *cough* customization-minded expert would have no trouble slapping it on the QAT to begin with. Amirite?

            What I’m saying is that SQM changed Windows, and Office, and if you are an old-school nerd… yep, you’re wrong about most things you think you know. (Slap some SQM on any application you ever write — I’ve been able to kill off fully half of an application PMs and users SWORE up and down was critical and I could flat-out prove nobody, ever, ever used outside a demo).

            Fun JH wisdom: fully a third of all toolbar clicks in Word go to 5 buttons. If you haven’t read the O12 blog, guess which ones they are.

            Now go look at the toolbar of Office 2007 and above. That first button is there, and huge, for a reason.

            By the way, you’ll be happy to know that there is an Insert Cross Reference button on the References tab now.

            Also, your proof seems to be “shitty 3rd party ribbon = Ribbon is terrible”.

            Why do you think Microsoft, for YEARS, made it almost impossible to use the Ribbon UI unless you ran it by them? The designers KNEW this would happen, tried hard, and got overruled. I just finished a ground-up rewrite (with Ribbon) and the PMs forced me to switch from contextual tabs to some wackadoo always-there try-to-show-the-right-tab-out-of-20 scheme because “people just would freak out at tabs appearing and disappearing”.

            They said this in 2014.

            Hey, guys, UI is hard. Remember the 95/98/2000/XP Shutdown item on the Start Menu was dumb and inflexible and didn’t let you do what you wanted half the time? Then Vista gave all the options and was lauded as the dumbest thing ever?

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 4 years ago

            [quote<]But frankly, the fact that MS Word 2003 menus were so horribly complicated that you needed to navigate that way was the issue. I mean, my gosh, those icons had no freaking words on them. [/quote<] You seem to be conflating menus with toolbars, but I can argue both at the same time. In the traditional menus, everything was words, there was no need to guess what any picture meant. In toolbars there were small icons because MS respected the user's need for screen space. Each of these icons had one of those "built-in tooltips" you seem so fond of. Additionally: [url<]http://i.imgur.com/3Q15C3D.png[/url<] . Ribbon does nothing to change the old toolbar icons!

            • dragontamer5788
            • 4 years ago

            [url<]http://i.imgur.com/RaJ5bx5.jpg[/url<] True, the Ribbon keeps some icons. But trust me, it was hell of a lot worse back then, especially if you tried to use any of the advanced features of Word 2003.

            • Sjoerd
            • 4 years ago

            I’m sorry, but you’re flat-out delusional.

            In 2003, there were menu items that had no toolbar buttons. There were toolbar buttons that had no menu items. There were menu items that opened task panes. There were toolbar buttons that opened task panes. Some items on task panes were present in menus, some were not. “Everything was words” my foot. It was completely schizophrenic. And before you freak out: I loved it. I could make Word 6.0-2003 dance and do the hula (hell, I could do the same with WP5.1 — let’s put a picture here! Alt-F9, 1, 2, pick…). The first 2007 beta almost gave me an aneurysm.

            Saying the 2003 UI (or the XP Start Menu) is the utmost bestest superior thing ever? It’s because you try to use the successor the same way. You have been handed a cordless screwdriver instead of hammer and nails, and for about a decade now have been hammering screws into walls with it. Hey, that’s fine — to each his own –, but it’s getting really old having to hear about what a shitty hammer a cordless screwdriver is.

            “In toolbars there were small icons because MS respected the user’s need for screen space” — provable hogwash, see above.

            • Kretschmer
            • 4 years ago

            As a heavy user of Excel (finance field), the ribbon was a step back in productivity. I still long to return to my compact/customizable bars and menus full of apparent keyboard shortcuts.

            The ribbon might very well be better for the average user who clicks around and uses a small subset of features, but it’s terrible for the user who wants to keep their fingers on the keyboard.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 4 years ago

            [quote<]As a heavy user of Excel (finance field), the ribbon was a step back in productivity. I still long to return to my compact/customizable bars and menus full of apparent keyboard shortcuts.[/quote<] [url=http://imgur.com/8KLGWki<]What is the problem with using the alt button?[/url<] The Ribbon can be used 100% through the keyboard. Alt -> h -> 1 for bold, Alt -> h -> ff to change font. Etc. etc. The hierarchy of ribbon commands leads to a combination of keyboard shortcuts that is very similar to Emac's level of customization.

            • Kretschmer
            • 4 years ago

            Hunting through icons in an arbitrary layout and piecing them together step by step is much more frustrating than scanning a list/menu for the full list of a category’s shortcuts (written out for you). Cheat sheet vs easter egg hunt.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 4 years ago

            Have you tried the help menu?

            [url=https://support.office.com/en-us/article/keyboard-shortcuts-in-excel-2010-20603861-42b6-4c93-82ec-66924ea9b323<]Here's something if you want[/url<]

            • Sjoerd
            • 4 years ago

            Built-in tooltips for menus in Win16. Wow. I must have missed that part.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 4 years ago

      Good summary.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 4 years ago

    Microsoft needs to offer something compelling for the price. This ain’t it. The Lumia 650 will be both $20 more expensive *and* slower than the 2015 Moto G (which uses a Snapdragon 400-family SoC and a similar display). The Lumia has more storage—an extra $40 on the Moto G—but that’s easily sidestepped with a microSD card. The Motorola phone also has Android and Google Play on its side.

    In conclusion, /fart noises

      • dragontamer5788
      • 4 years ago

      The removable battery and wireless charging are two solids pluses over the Moto G though. And even the MicroSD card…

      [quote<]The Lumia has more storage—an extra $40 on the Moto G—but that's easily sidestepped with a microSD card.[/quote<] The MotoG only supports 32GB MicroSD cards, while the Lumia supports 200GB MicroSDXC. So Lumia honestly wins here, especially since [url=http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-microSDXC-Standard-Packaging-SDSQUNC-064G-GN6MA/dp/B010Q588D4<]64GB MicroSDXC cards are only $20[/url<]. Finally, the Android interface for MicroSDXC cards is [url=http://i.imgur.com/rDHZL0t.png<]completely inferior to the Windows one[/url<]. The whole "libraries" thingy was transferred over to Windows Mobile, so you can select the default locations to store apps, downloads, pictures, video, and music. And it did get a little bit better in the 10586 update as well.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 4 years ago

        Android Central has used larger cards with success:

        [url<]http://www.androidcentral.com/moto-g-2015-and-sd-cards-everything-you-need-know[/url<]

          • dragontamer5788
          • 4 years ago

          [quote<]Phil also uses a 128GB SDXC-formatted card in his Moto G 2015. Alex, however, has a 64GB card that won't work in the Moto G, even though it works fine elsewhere. Yes, this is all anecdotal evidence, but it's all we have. What we know is that Motorola says only 32GB cards are supported. Phil was told that once cards get over 32GB in size, there may be some "wonkiness" — Alex's experience reflects this. Officially, Motorola told me that cards up to 32GB are supported, just like it says on the spec sheet.[/quote<] This isn't exactly the best success I've heard of...

            • derFunkenstein
            • 4 years ago

            Meant to say “some” success. It’s hit or miss, to be sure.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 4 years ago

            Fair enough.

            I think the removable battery remains a big deal however, and it bothers me that so many Android Phones are losing out on that feature. Between that and the wireless charging, I think the Lumia actually does offer a better phone at the same price.

            The main issue is of course, the software. As for Android vs Windows… at the moment I think Android has the advantage. But Microsoft has finally set up the Win10 mobile to potentially carve out a solid business case for enterprise users. It will take a few months before there’s even a chance of success however, so I think I’d recommend Android for this iteration. Maybe next year, Windows 10 mobile will be finally ready for prime time.

        • faramir
        • 4 years ago

        What wireless charging?

      • _ppi
      • 4 years ago

      Agreed.

      Seriously, Cortex A7?!

        • willmore
        • 4 years ago

        Someone has to look up to last year’s Moto E.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This