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Windows Mobile magazine draws last breath

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Graham
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« on: August 30, 2008, 01:01:27 PM »

The US bible journal for Windows Mobile users "Smartphone and Pocket PC Magazine" after 11 years is publishing its last issue before switching horses.

The magazine started life as "Pocket PC" magazine focussing on the Windows Mobile powered Pocket PC sector, then 2 years ago - with the writing on the wall as PDA's fell by the wayside in favour of smart phones - the magazine morphed into its smartphone incarnation before now calling it a day altogether.

The magazine's publisher Hal Goldstein cites Microsofts and its OEMs lack of support for mobile as a reason for the halt in the journal production:

Quote
It has become harder to grow our circulation over the past three years since Windows Mobile changed from being PDAs to being phones.  Pocket PC manufacturers like HP used to work with us to offer their customers a free issue of our magazine in their packaging. The phone companies have not shown similar interest in working with us.

The other business challenge has been the lack of advertising sponsorship from Microsoft, phone companies, and OEMs, despite our coverage of their products. In order for us to sell subscriptions at current low consumer magazine-type prices, we must have a stronger and growing circulation, and we must attract the large advertisers who benefit the most from our existence.


Honestly, I feel Hal's pain here...

Tellingly the magazine's founder is replacing the magazine with a new title "iPhone Life"



More information at:
http://www.pocketpcmag.com/cms/finalissue

I wonder if anybody on the home access programme is paying attention to the market?

 Wink

« Last Edit: August 30, 2008, 01:31:55 PM by Graham » Logged
MAMK
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2008, 09:24:06 PM »

Graham,

It is fascinating to witness how all sectors of the mobile industry are being reshaped by "smart-phones".  It was not apparent to me before your posting that even periodical media is morphing itself to keep up with the enormous changes occurring  We are living in some exciting times in the mobile industry and HHL is right smack in the middle of the action.

Cheers!

Mark
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Stu
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Stuart Smith, 3 Sheep - Mobile Innovations

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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2008, 10:41:16 AM »

OK - lets stir the waters - one of the problems with these magazines, especially single products ones, are that they get repetative and samey really quickly. They are kind of useful when you first get something or researching options but once you have got the hang of a device they quickly become something unread on the coffee table.

If the iPhone is so easy to use does it really justify yet another publication about it?

On a bit of a tangent, it's kind of interesting that there was a lot of speculation about the death of print when the Web first got exciting and newspapers have definitely felt the pinch, its less obvious with magazines though if a visit to Mssrs is anything to go by! Has new technology meant that niche marketing (which lets face an Iphone magazine is still niche) of magazines are now more viable?
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Graham
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2008, 12:46:27 PM »

OK - lets stir the waters - one of the problems with these magazines, especially single products ones, are that they get repetative and samey really quickly. They are kind of useful when you first get something or researching options but once you have got the hang of a device they quickly become something unread on the coffee table.

I'd really like to agree with you on this one Stu but the facts just don't support this viewpoint. One of the consistently largest selling area of magazine printing is on the subject of angling, yes fishing!!! Not sure how much you can keep reading about catching a Chub down your local canal but there it is. Then you've got the hugely popular and not going anywhere soon gossip mags of the Heat variety. Just how many fashion tips can the population take from Kerry Katona?

Hi-Fi, Car and Computer magazines are the same but I take your point about the notion of a single product concept - a bit daft really as the publishers of ZX Spectrum Now! might tell you - although I'm sure they had their day  Smiley

I just wonder if the point here is whether Windows Mobile has had it day or Microsoft are too busy fighting off Linux on netbooks to care?

If the iPhone is so easy to use does it really justify yet another publication about it?

I doubt it's about the phone, there's nearly 1,000 applications on the App Store and counting. Plenty for a magazine to review plus a whole ecosystem of accessories, etc. The thing about Apple products is the way they are attached to a "lifestyle". Could you imagine a magazine about HTC devices (as gorgeous as some of them are)?

On a bit of a tangent, it's kind of interesting that there was a lot of speculation about the death of print when the Web first got exciting and newspapers have definitely felt the pinch, its less obvious with magazines though if a visit to Mssrs is anything to go by! Has new technology meant that niche marketing (which lets face an Iphone magazine is still niche) of magazines are now more viable?

I still enjoy print but use web and tech for instant info fixes. The landscape has altered considerably over the past 20 years and we now live in the "long tail" of an ever increasing choice of niches. How long distribution via dead trees will last will depend upon the economics. If flyers and free newspapers in the street were distributed via bluetooth would we choose to accept them? Probably not, which provides these players with their niche.

On another tangent I'm still looking to find my 10 million user niche  Wink
« Last Edit: September 01, 2008, 12:49:43 PM by Graham » Logged
Stu
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Stuart Smith, 3 Sheep - Mobile Innovations

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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2008, 04:40:43 PM »

Nice response Graham - had me laughing - good luck with a 10million niche but on a planet of 6 billion - its still a niche! lol Smiley

Fair point about angling. It was more direct experience I was referring too rather than empirical evidence and the proof of the pudding is in the news stand (in this case anyway Smiley and the fact that magazines stay in business proves there must be some demand.

Linux and MS and netbooks. I am wondering in the world of the multichannel, multimedia web has the all singing, all dancing OS of the late 20th centuary finally had it's day? MS in particular fights its wars on a lot of fronts, a dangerous place for any superpower.

So Graham - is MS Windows Mobile the equivalent of Britain just before the Fall of Rome. Are Windows Mobile users destined to be abandoned while the legions of techies are recalled to fight off the barbarian hordes (aka Linux techies Wink at the gates of the eternal city? Smiley

Sorry - to many Arthurian legends growing up.... Smiley

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Michael Wilkinson
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2008, 11:29:22 AM »

I cant help but still loving Windows Mobile. An increasing number of devices now support the OS and this is having an impact on the high street.
Love it or loathe it, Windows is still the de facto platform used in homes and schools. Windows mobile provides a natural extension and makes use of the rudimentary skills already developed by our learners.
Its far from drawing its last breath, especially as we seee devcies like the HTC touch as a true competitor for the iPhone (which still doesnt support flash and is still tied to one network!!!!)
Let's forget the MS hate and think about supporting every device which enhances learning and teaching!
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Stu
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Stuart Smith, 3 Sheep - Mobile Innovations

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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2008, 10:53:24 AM »

Hi Michael, How's it all going?

You claim Windows is the de facto platform in use in homes and schools. I would challenge you on that and I admit up-front I am being pedantic but then whats new! Smiley.

The most common digital device in use today is the mobile phone (out numbers PC at least 3-to-1) and on those devices Windows is definitely in a minority, Symbian probably still rules the roost here. Also many homes will have games machines - Playstations, Wii etc.. with their own proprietary OSs.

Now in terms of mobility and mobile computing then Windows is a minority device. The desktop or even laptop of the late nineties in which one OS ruled them all I think is passing as we increasingly have access to powerful devices that reflect our personal interest and are portable.

I don't hate Windows or MS in general, still use it regularly (but no longer primarily) and the new HTC is on my watch list as a possible buy. My first smartphone was an SPV and it was a very good device, with Windows as the OS. There are still things that it did that I miss.

You ask us to "think about supporting every device which enhances learning and teaching!" and I agree with you and in the digital arena that is a massive task, when you consider the multitude of devices available to today's learner; in schools, post-16, HE or lifelong.

This is where Windows is its own worse enemy. The MS marketing of the nineties was pretty much make the world Microsoft. If someone produce a great browser, it had to go and build one in, if some else produce a fantastic media player they had to build one in. It almost seems that there was an air of paranoia about it all. It has led of course to the massive and never ending anti-trust legal wranglings.

In the meantime the world has moved on. The web and the web application are increasingly viable option as interfaces to rich experiences and this has great potential for learning for all ages and groups. Web 2.0 technologies have moved us on and now on great frameworks we can customise and develop in ways which were only dreamt of a few years ago. The MS model of domination is out-of-date and for a mobile platform (where every byte counts) was never in date. I suspect we see similar problems for some of the monolithic VLE vendors in the near future as the world moves towards agile and rapid development.

In the last two years I think MS is starting to respond in a more interesting way and maybe we'll see an interesting renaissance for the company, perhaps similar to how IBM has reinvented itself.

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