Thursday

Thursday 7/11/2002Wireless changes your life in all sorts of other ways, too. I am not by nature an early riser, but other more larkish members of the newsdesk clock in well before civilisation's rightly begun.

Thursday 7/11/2002
Wireless changes your life in all sorts of other ways, too. I am not by nature an early riser, but other more larkish members of the newsdesk clock in well before civilisation's rightly begun. Part of my job is chipping in when stories break, and these are no respecters of a chap's beauty sleep. So I've got the laptop on the bedside shelving, quietly monitoring our instant messenger channel as I sleep -- and if something comes up before me, a sharp PPPPRING! from the office summons me to wakefulness and instant intellectual rigour. Well, something of the sort. But today's duvet-disturbing news takes longer to sink in than most. Sendo is canning its Z100 phone, and abandoning all Microsoft-based development. Does that mean, I groggily think as I press the emergency turbocharge button on the coffee machine, that my memories of the launch of the Z100 a couple of weeks ago were just dreams? No, there's the phone on the table. The rest of the morning is taken up trying to find someone somewhere who'll talk about this. Normally voluble PRs go silent; marketing department phones go unanswered, heads are scratched. Finally Sendo amplifies a little -- it decided Symbian was a better match for its plans. That's a bit bland by way of explanation for killing your flagship product after years of development, two weeks after launch and having sent out review phones. True, says Sendo. It was a hard decision, and we wouldn't have made it unless we had to. But why did you have to? Why did you decide to effectively throw another year's delay into your product line? No answer. Microsoft, bless it, comes up with a statement at the end of the day that takes spin to new heights. The company is -- wait for it -- really excited by the news, as it shows the importance of software in mobile phones. And no, it's not saying why it happened either. The best we can come up with is that perhaps the network customers for the Z100 decided that they'd sell none against the many Symbian phones on offer. It's quite possible that battery life and hardware requirements will mean that they'll never be competitive. Perhaps Microsoft set some terms for Sendo that Sendo just couldn't stomach. Or maybe after two years battling with the software, Sendo just got sick shoehorning the big fat Windows mess into a tiny box and decided it would never work well enough. It's a big fat wriggling mystery. We're working on it. Anyway. I now have a Z100 phone running Windows Smartphone 2002 software, a thousand words or so of unfinished review and a gaggle of screen shots. Collector's item. Only eleven in the wild. No reasonable offer refused. If only the darn thing worked better...

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