Wireless phone service companies, phone manufacturers, operating system providers and apps providers (i.e., Skype.)—four entities that are part of the greater mobile phone industry, a.k.a. the players that can wreak havoc in the lives of an end-user consumer. How, might you ask? Well, if your technology provider has ever performed an update without informing you (and if you haven’t been reading the news…), perhaps you can relate. Here’s the story:
When I get a cell phone that I like to use, I don’t believe that I should get a new one just because my two-year contract has ended. New phones do NOT excite me nor inspire me to rush out and upgrade. As such, I am very happy with my phone of two years, though it had to be replaced a year ago for problems, and also last week. The replacement of last week has been the source of my angst.
First of all, I needed to get my contacts from the old phone (that had to be reset) and get them in the new phone. I learned that though I was still able to use the web-based synchronizing software, it would be expiring at the end of this year (now < 3 months). The wireless phone company offers a different solution but of course it is not available for my phone because (drum roll, please)… it uses an operating system that is not compatible with the backup program. (What?!) Okay, fine, I will use this phone and keep getting replacements until the last phone on the shelf is gone. But though my needs are few, there is just one more thing I need: Skype.
By now most of you will have figured out that Windows Mobile is my operating system. Apparently, ten months ago (while I was sleeping), an announcement was made that Skype would no longer support Windows Mobile. After diligently searching the web to find a Skype Mobile download (one WITH a valid digital certificate, and might I add that I learned quite a bit about digital signatures in my search—another upcoming topic!), one very astute blogger wrote that I could run the SkypeMobile download on my computer and then grab the cabinet (.cab) file and install it on my phone. It worked and had I written that man’s name down I would laud and extol him to no end! So, I’ve got Skype again. Whew!
I consider myself to be a proactive individual so facing the ultimate demise of my phone model, I decided to start shopping for phones now. So what’s available? Had enough of the Android commercials? I certainly have but it seems that Android has become, virtually overnight, the operating system of choice for my provider and others. My husband has an Android based phone built by Motorola. The phone is nice and slick but it’s really the operating system that has all the tech junkies (my hubby) excited.
I’ve tinkered with his phone and the multiple apps are nice. The phone is a time vacuum—more apps than I would ever need and the time just flies by unnoticed. I suppose that’s why I’ve observed that my husband and other Android users spend a lot more time on their phones “tinkering” than they probably should. You can probably guess that I was not impressed.
At any rate, Microsoft Office Mobile 2010 was released earlier this year and the company will be releasing its Windows 7 phone on October 11.So perhaps there will be a wireless service provider–phone manufacturer–operating system combination that will meet my needs as my current phone becomes obsolete. So, no matter what, I will have to upgrade at some point, against my will.
Well, I assert that it’s time for a mobile phone revolution! Fellow consumers, let’s stand up and confront these various companies and let them know that we, the consumers, are in charge here and that we are not going to accept their lack of regard for our needs anymore. Enough is enough! …Oh wait, my cell is ringing. I have to take this call.(:-P)
Let’s share ideas!