Nokia is Listening to its Customers

With the introduction of the N800 Internet Tablet, Nokia originally planned to not release the N800’s software improvements to the original tablet, the Nokia 770. After seeing the incredible amount of negative customer feedback that decision caused, Nokia is rethinking their decision and, in an open way, is researching how they can release Internet Tablet OS 2007 for the 770.

At first, I wondered why people were complaining. When a new Palm device comes out, I never expect the OS changes to be made available for older devices. However, per the most popular argument, these customers feel that they purchased a COMPUTER, not a PDA. COMPUTERs generally get new versions of their OS even after an updated model is released.

So, like Nokia, I’m slowly starting to understand where these customers are coming from. Also, like Nokia, my mind is racing with the negatives of a move like this. Backwards compatibility often has a price. Just ask Microsoft. Effort that is spent on maintenance can’t be spent on new features. For a device as early in its development as the Nokia Internet Tablet, I think I’d prefer innovation over backwards compatibility. Note – the two aren’t ALWAYS mutually exclusive and in those cases you should always lean towards back compat.

I own both devices and I would certainly upgrade the 770 to the newer OS if given the choice, but I can understand both sides of the argument and I don’t plan to complain in either case.

2 responses to “Nokia is Listening to its Customers”

  1. Andreas says :

    PalmOS and upgrades. My Palm V did get at least two major OS upgrades. the latest one to version 4.1 ca 2002, Not to shabby for a product launched in 1999.

  2. Olivier Mengué says :

    I agree with Andreas: my Palm V had software upgrades. The first one, from 3.1 to 3.3 was even free.

    But there is another reason why N770 owners (and also N800) are expecting free upgrades: what you get is a finished product at the hardware level, but absolutely not at the software level. I own a N800 for 5 days and I think that many applications suffer from usability problems, even if it has the latest software.

    For example, the Notepad of my Palm V is much more usable than the one on the N800 which is too similar to a desktop application. On the Palm V, the application opened directly to the latest file. Also, there was no “save”. Every change was always saved. If want to undo, just choose Undo.

    In the PDF viewer, the hardware keypad is useless when you are in fullscreen at zoom > 100% : it moves inside the page, but you have to trigger the menu to go to the next page.

    In the web browser, the keypad is also useless because the keys moves from one link to the other. I would prefer if left and right key would act as PgUP/PgDn as in OperaMini.

%d bloggers like this: