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December 07, 2012


John Waclawsky

A nice post Tomi, and with each passing day, looking at sales numbers and news articles, it is more and more obvious that NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE


FYI, "Klondike" is preferred over "Klondyke". The latter implies a lesbian gold miner. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Mudassir Azeemi

"Your mobile phone number is the nearest thing to a global identity number, it is truly unique, where social security numbers and passport numbers are at best, unique to a given country. Very soon your driver's licence, passport and other identity will be on your smartphone. " this line from the above captioned article reminds me of this: published on 10-Feb-2004 17:49 by your humble-self


I have to say that that's some scary visions.

I hope mankind is not stupid enough to throw caution in the wind and hand over all their privacy and identity to a small number of global companies.

Same for 'mobile money'. I don't think it will fly if there's a fee in every transaction involved. And again privacy concerns. Some things are better kept away from public eyes.

In my opinion the biggest fight of the next 10 years will be to PREVENT what has been laid out here and not let humanity become digital slaves - even though many seem to carelessly already let this do to themselves.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi John, Glonq and Mudassir

John - thanks and yes, nobody seems to want a Windows phone haha. Seriously, if you bear in mind, that Nokia had 29% of smartphone market, and has so far used 27% to try to migrate customers to Lumia - and only 2% have accepted it, it means that for every 13 attempts to convert a loyal Nokia customer from Symbian to Windows Phone - only one has succeeded. This, for the world's bestselling phone brand when this process started, by far the biggest loyal customer base. If Nokia cannot convince its customers to take Windows on its phones, nobody can.

glonq - haha, thanks, I hadn't noticed that. And much as I like the idea of lesbian golddiggers.. I am sure I've mistyped that every time that way for years. I corrected it now. Thanks

Mudassir - haha, very good. Yes, this future is eventually emerging, even if it takes more time than we thought back then

Thanks to all, I'll respond to you, Tester, next. Keep the discussion going

Tomi Ahonen :-)



They already are. It's now inevitable. There is no turning back. Nobody fights against free wine and free circuses - they will happily follow as long as it keeps flowing. Anybody fighting against it will be seen as crazy and dangerous as the generations turn. Look no further than Richard Stallman who was once viewed extremely positively but is now seen as a lunatic. His message hasn't changed in all these years, only the people hearing his message have changed.

It's a similar process to urbanization. You won't have your nice acres of farmland to relax in and your eggs fresh from under the chicken, but you will be able to walk 100m to the store and buy eggs. You'll be able to watch a movie on your nice new TV, but you won't be able to shoot empty bottles in your back yard without the police coming round to see what you're doing.

The world changes - time to adapt - be careful what you post to social media. Everything you type now will be visible to comment on by your grandchildren. The past is gone. You can avoid the city and live in the country if you choose, but most won't. They will even mock your strange lifestyle.

On the bright side - in a number of years time, instead of having to go home and turn on your TV, you can just open up the movie instantly on the right side of your vision with Google Glass and watch it while being driven to your destination in a self driving car.

There will be some good, some bad, but there will always be change.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Tester and RyanZA

RyanZA - thanks, you beat me to part of the comment to Tester. Let me do my take on it all

Tester - on 'that's some scary visions' - I hear you, but probably if you were told in 1994, when the early internet came on our browser with the Worldwide Web, that within ten year we'd all have spyware on our PCs tracking our browsing behavior so they know if I've looked at airline tickets to Finland and start to push such ads at me (ie cookies) - you'd probably also be worried. That was the price of progress. Almost nobody with the chance refuses to access the internet today. Everything that I wrote about exists already in some forms and is a significant part of the industry in the most advanced parts of the world. Which brings me to the Amazon example. Do you think Amazon giving you recommendations is good for you? You like it? They are not intrusive nor abusive nor creepy. It can be done very pleasantly, it does not need to be 'scary'.

"I hope mankind is not stupid enough to throw caution in the wind and hand over all their privacy and identity to a small number of global companies." - that is a train that long since left the station. If you feel it is a sad/bad thing, fine. But if you think it is worth fighting at this stage, I would classify you as a luddite, a modern day Don Q rebelling against the progress of windmills.

As to 'mobile money' - Tester. Did you not read the part in the blog where I said that 40% of TOTAL Kenya GDP ie the total Kenya economy already today, 2012, transit mobile phones? Did you not read that I said Turkey the nation has set a date for when cash disappears? Mobile money is totally normal in Japan, in the Philippines, in Estonia, in South Korea, etc. This is again an issue where the reality has far exceeded your current observation of it.

I hear you, that this blog was perhaps alarming - but if you were not aware of these trends - WHILE you are a regular reader of my blog (thanks for the many comments) - I MYSELF find it alarming, I have not done a good enough job telling those stories. It is MY JOB to inform you the readers of what is happening. All this blog was in some draft form already in my fifth book, Digital Korea in 2007. That was 5 years ago. As you'll probably see from some of the comments by other regular readers into this thread, many will find familiar themes here, not surprises.

Welcome to the future, Tester. December will be the slowest rate of change in our lives that we will ever again see. Enjoy it. January will be faster yet, and then February faster than January...

Tomi Ahonen :-)



Sorry, I don't buy into all that shit. Fortunately the world would crumble if everybody thought like that. We all need those 'old fashioned' types. This 'visionary' digital future is hollow, it can't sustain itself, it's completely driven by capitalist greed. Sure, many will buy into it, but many others won't have anything to do with it.

Well, at least I can rest assured that at best this will be a short spike. In one or two decades it will all be over because the natural resources needed to feed this kind of society will be depleted and things will return back to normal. :D



Always impressed by your thoroughness. But, these stats still do not explain a major issue, and a major hole in your theory: every report to date shows that the vast majority of mobile Internet searches, Internet browsing and mobile app usage originate from iOS devices. So, the raw numbers imply Android dominance, but the metrics of value of the platform to the user imply something quite different.


Meego and Android are Linux based and convergent enough so that they could - if desired - run each other's programs.

Chromebooks aren't perceived as a threat - yet, but imagine a multi-core ARM faster and lower powered than anything from Intel, running Android (with all the store-apps!), but where you could also have native (non java/dalvik) apps to do your office and other stuff which couldn't be done in Java. Then a low-power desktop version. Microsoft is dead. No reason to run Windows since everything just works, and IT departments don't have to fight the DRM.

Apple will have a problem since they need to stay ahead and force "cool", but they are the hare to Google's tortoise. They jump ahead for a diminishing number of months and are all but forced to respond now (there will never be a 7" iPad? Notifications?). You will know they are about to die when iTunes (music library stuff) for Android appears.

If you go back to the 1970's, it started in the USA with "the big three", GM, Chrysler, and Ford. Then the ecosystem changed - the oil embargo and inflation made people look at the efficient Datsuns (Nissan) and Toyotas and VWs. And they noticed they didn't fail every month or parts fell off or that the dealers weren't condescending louts.

Google won't necessarily help you run Android on other devices, but it won't stop you. iOS only runs on Apple hardware and even the Macs are becoming iOSsified. Windows? You will never find a camera running it.

Microsoft has until XP dies. Many are still refusing to switch because of the problems (first with Vista, now with 8). They want to do the DRM stuff - they hate their own customers and users.

Google says "Here it is for anyone, but we have a few rules if you want to run official google apps". I was at an embedded engineering how-to course a few months ago and they showed how to bring up Android on this test hardware. It runs on the Raspberry Pi! And without marketing, subsidy, or any real push!

When you have raw hardware boards running Android "out of the box", but never iOS, and not Windows, guess which one will end up when margins are important like your refrigerator or a media player.

At least iOS has the iPod. Microsoft killed Zune shrinking the size of the ecosystem. Samsung has the Galaxy Player! Phillips has/d one as well. Why write for it when you will need an actual Windows Phone 8 to see it directly? Ah increase sales by forcing developers to buy one...

Things change, but Dell became a big company by providing hardware loaded with Windows software. I see a parallel between Samsung and Google, except Google is less unfriendly (they don't demand an android license per phone, even phones which don't run Android).

Apple has one critical problem - the web/cloud. But it isn't the only thing:



The industrial revolution can't sustain itself. It's completely driven by capitalist greed. Thousands are dieing in terrible conditions in factories. Smoke is billowing out of factories choking people to death. Some will buy into this, but many others won't have anything to do with it.
Yeah? I bet this exact paragraph was all over Europe just a few short generations ago. In the same way this blog uses historical trends to predict where we're going in the future, history is always the best predictor of the future. You'll get over the industrial revolution - they will switch to 'cleaner' communication sniffing in future with a few laws to safeguard it, but you'll still be getting your products from a 'factory'.

Disagree on the natural resources bit - if we run out of one, we will find another to replace it. People have been predicting doom of resources ever since they hunted the first pack of Elan to extinction in the local valley.


Since Tomi and I posted at the same time, another reply:

It's not that I don't see it coming. I see it all the time, since I work as a mobile developer.

What I mean is that this kind of development deeply concerns me. Humanity is happily handing over its future into the hands of a very small group of multinational (i.e. evil) corporations that only serve the interest of a small group.

Concerning mobile money, sure it will rise but I have my doubts that it can ever replace actual currency completely. As I said before, there's enough areas to do business in where cash is essential. Yes, I have seen the thing about Turkey. Personally I think it's insane to plan such a thing. Sure, reduce physical cash by 90%, no problem. Abolish it completely and you're in for trouble. I think a country doing such a thing will be surprised how much need for cash there still will be.

No, in my book there's only 2 groups who would see actual benefit in going this route: The companies siphoning off their percentage off each transfer and evil politicians seeing a way to take total control over money flow in their country.

Sorry to be so negative. I can't see anything positive in these visions. This is a future I do not want to be part of.

John Waclawsky

@Tomi, I have a long background in this industry also and you always make well researched points with a solid analysis. I respect your insight. One thing I might add that is often over looked is, just like companies have "good will" on their balance sheets what a lot of people fail to realize the depth of "ILL WILL" held against Microsoft on powerful hidden agenda balance sheets as well (mobile operators and skype being prominent on a long list of examples). This backlash we are observing, exhibited against windows phone, has been building for three decades.

I have noticed in non-tech social settings, if conversations turn to smart phones then you will hear the OVERWHELMING number of people trash Microsoft while proudly showing off their iPhone or android device or only compare iPhone with Android. If microsoft is mentioned often you can find a few passionate anti-microsoft individuals telling everyone to avoid any Microsoft products especially their tablets and phones. Imagine this being played out over and over, millions of times of day around the world.

The trolls only make matters worse as people read blogs and news articles and look at the unbelievable comments they begin to realize the depth of Microsoft sleaziness as their experiences (or more importantly their friends and family experiences) come no where near the absurdly pro-microsoft comments. Initial pro-microsoft reviews may fool some people with a sales spike that erodes quickly on word of mouth experience. This enormous AstroTurfing is becoming a point of ridicule (I have actually heard it discussed in some surprising social circles).

I believe what you are saying is the trends are the anti-mocrosoft community in now dominating the microsoft brand and astroturfing inferior products is accelerating the Microsoft demise. I agree with you they past the point of no return with a irreparable reputation and now they will loose, big time. When any alternatives to their products show up they will get decimated in short order. The good will, if there ever was any, on microsofts balance sheet has long been depleted.

An analysis of the numbers, news reports, comparisons, community thinking and, of course, trolling activity leads to one indisputable fact: NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE ...and maybe I should add NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS TABLET TOO!

Keep up the insightful work. John

Fabio Correa

Tony, thanks for this great article. And @John, yes there is some people who like Windows Phone and Windows Tablets: 8 lads at Redmond.


Regarding mobile money replacing actual cash:

Never! Are you crazy? Seriously, think about who will be hurt the most by abolishing physical currency the most?

Yes, right: Not the average guy on the street but the sleazy rich type who got his hidden stash of money in Switzerland or other safe places. These people's crooked businesses DEPEND on not being able to trace the money. hence they need cash. They will never ALLOW cash to disappear and those do have a lot more power than some internet 'visionaries'.

Besides, a cell phone is far heavier than a credit card in the wallet. I got my plastic money always with me but the phone will stay at home when I go out of the house to do my daily shopping. Should I take out my cell phone each morning at the bakery where I spend less than an Euro each morning for my breakfast.
Sorry, for me this sounds rather clumsy. While I won't rule out that there will eventually a payment system to allow to handle such things cash-free, no, sorry, not the cell phone. Way too inconvenient.

I have to agree with Tester in another matter: PEOPLE, WATCH YOUR PRIVACY! It may be gone faster than you may think.

All that's being laid out here is the total erosion of what little privacy has been left to us.



There are three groups profiting, not two. They are, by far, the most powerful groups.

1) Politicians trying to take control. Immensely powerful group - they literally control the world. They control all wars. Their laws control your life. If they are heavily in favor of something, you can expect it to come to pass, especially when backed with...

2) Rich companies (mostly their shareholders). If you're interested in something with very close parallels to the upcoming 'Big Data'/'Intellectual Property' industries, look no further than the change in ownership of land in England. There was once the concept of 'Common Land' where anybody in the town could take their livestock to graze on the ground. - They control most of the wealth, so if they say 'build me a system to track everyone, I'll give you $50 mil', you jump and you do it. They work well with (1) above, who are always happy to have some extra funds for the next election.

And the most important group profiting from the changes...

3) The consumer. They're able to see that you broke up with your girlfriend? Awesome! They love this! They can tell everyone how they just got a new promotion? Excellent! I'll show those guys from high-school how well I'm doing! Basic human nature.
Then add the side-effects to this: watch movies streamed to your right eye as you wait in a queue? Remove the queue completely and order on your phone using new mobile money and have it delivered right to your house? Well.. they now know exactly what kinds of goods you like. They know where you live. They have direct access to your bank account. This is happening every day, but no consumer would ever turn this down. The rewards to their lifestyle are simply too big.


If you're interested in fighting this though, I'd recommend getting hold of the EFF and helping to spread Stallman's views on freedom. I don't believe you have any chance of succeeding, but good luck!



Do you think these guys collect out $10 billion in paper money and fly that in a plane to Switzerland to deposit there in a vault? No, they do a bank transfer. There is no cash involved. They pay bribes and find loopholes - they do not use cash. Cash is long dead for anybody with a billion dollars in their bank account. It simply cannot be transferred except by electronic signal. The sum is too vast.


Hi Tomi, I think you'd agree that fortunes can change very quickly. Google/Android are winning the race, yes, but it seems a little presumptuous to declare they have already won while the race is still being run.

Jonathan MacDonald

Brilliant post Tomi. You remain the Oracle. Much love and respect.



I'm not sure who scares me more. Tomi for laying out this horrific nightmare of a total surveillence society or fools like you for blindly accepting it as inevitable.

I don't know how it is in other countries. I live in Germany and there's still some very public awareness of some of the concerns involved in this whole matter.

Regarding cash:

I'm sorry but this is the realm of fiction to me. To get rid of cash you have to change people's mindsets completely. This may work for young people up to age of 40 but let's take my mother for example.

She's 70 right now, quite healthy and if nothing bad happens will live for another 15 or 20 years as has been the norm in her family.

She has absolutely no use for a cell phone, much less for a smartphone. She has no understanding of the internet and no interest in computers whatsoever. She doesn't even have a credit card and she'll never change these habits in the remaining years of her life, that much I can tell you. Her friends are even less technologically inclined than her.

Now with projections that physical cash will disappear in less than 15(!) years, all these people would be hopelessly lost. In fact you'd take away something that's a fixture in their world view. Ideas like this are never going to fly. Yes, cash use will certainly decrease, sure, but for it to go away completely a lot more things have to change - including people's mindsets - and that's the hard part here.

If someone told me that in 50 years physical cash might be gone, yes, sure, that I'd believe. At that point the senior generation will have lived with the technology for long enough. But not today, not in 15 years and not in 20 years. There's still too many people alive then which won't get into the boat.

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