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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Should MSFT/Nokia Release Unlocked Devices to Devs?

So once again twitter has sparked up another glorious Meego Vs. WP Vs. Symbian debate,this time as is usual it all came back to the fact that most of the tech aware online community are geeks; and geeks love to tinker with stuff (it's in our blood), how bad would it be to make a developers device that has an unlocked bootloader for some geeks to mess around with? If the fear is sideloading apps/pirating then they could simply add a premium to the initial cost of the device (say another 50-100 $) to cover any possible piracy fears and pay those over to devs, or reduce the app hub membership to be fair to all (of course then choosing to buy the phone with this App premium would only be for people who plan on messing around and wouldn't be forced onto all WP adopters).

Wouldn't it be great if they gave out some dev. devices like RIM just did with BB10 (which btw looks pretty sweet); I personally can't see the harm in it, nobody is better at unlocking the true potential of an OS than Hackers and Geeks (take WebOS as your prime example, it's buggy as $hit but once you slap on some plugins from the unoffical store it becomes beautiful). I personally think that allowing people to tinker with the OS could expose some unexpected bugs as well as provide some interesting foresight into what future OS adopters would want, as well as some interesting features/fixes (just include a clause that says that MSFT can use any SW changes/hacks in future updates or something..). And the other huge benefit is that it wouldn't give anyone else any chances to poke holes in MSFTs platform strategy by saying it's worse than iOS and it's "too closed" for their taste.

Side Note: I used to live off side-loading apps on my N8 (still do) and I was always looking forward to trying the next tweak or fix; but for some weird reason WP/Lumias have tamed that beast inside me; I no longer feel the need to try tweaks or mods or even to sideload any apps. I'm not sure this is a good thing but at least it gives me alot less to worry about (Possibly the main reason is that WP simply works meaning I don't have to go behind anybodies back to improve it).

When I look back at it I think my love/desire to sideload/tweak the device rose out of necessity rather than true desire, which is the only reasonable explanation why that urge has faded; simply because WP delivers directly so you don't have to dirty your hands hacking and sideloading. 

1 comment:

  1. Really don't think it would be practicle or necessary Ali, those with the ability and will can already unlock or hack there phones and the masses don't want to , look at iOS ? Even the majority of Android users never think of hacking there phone. The whole concept of WP as I see it is 'it just works' and like you, even as a geek, I find it works.If I could customise my ring tones and drag and drop my media without Zune, I'd be happy ! But then look at the millions who are happy with iTunes? The more handsets Nokia/Msft get into peoples hands the more it will take off, and vast majority of people I know are happy with a phone that just works and have no interest in customization than changing a ring tone and having a picture of there dog or child as wallpaper. It all boils down to the lowest common denominator and mass appeal . But that's only my opinion formed from people I know !