Hello, and welcome to this week's edition of WEEK! IN! TECH!
That's right: we've taken a leaf out of Nokia's book, and that book appears to be called THE BIG BOOK OF SHOUTING.
As our columnist Gary Marshall EXPLAINS, Nokia's unveiling of its FANCY new Windows Phones wasn't quite what we EXPECTED.
"Faced with a familiar problem - everybody knowing exactly what they were going to unveil - Nokia decided it was time to shake things up a bit," he REPORTS.
"First, [CEO] Stephen Elop kept pronouncing the company's name in a funny Canadian accent, and then they let a madman loose on stage."
That "madman" was Kevin Shields, a man whose JOB TITLE - senior vice president of program and product management for the smart device - means his business cards are the size of those COMEDY CHEQUES you see in charity photoshoots.
It's safe to say he quite liked the new Lumia 800: "'It looks AWESOME!' he bellowed, channelling his inner Ballmer and scaring the hell out of the first six rows. 'It feels GREAT in your hand!' he added, frightening everybody again. 'It SCREAMS premium!' he screamed." Is the shout-fest on YouTube? YOU BET!
Shield's presentation was something of an emotional ROLLERCOASTER. As energy levels crashed, Shields was reduced to begging the audience for applause. "The crowd clapped politely," Marshall says, "afraid that if they didn't, Shields might eat them." EAT THEM!
The phone Shields was shouting about was the new NOKIA LUMIA 800, which as Dan Grabham points out "bears more than a passing resemblance to the Nokia N9". That's because it's essentially the SAME DEVICE, but running Windows Phone 7.5, aka Mango, instead of the Linux-based MeeGo operating system.
Nokia admits that the reason the UK didn't get the N9 was because the Lumia was so similar it'd confuse the HECK out of everybody.
The price isn't bad either. The UK price for the Nokia Lumia 800 is £449.95 SIM-free or free on a £31 per month contract, and it'll go on sale in November. NOVEMBER!
There was another phone too, but if you were expecting a Steve Jobs-style One More Thing you'd have been disappointed: the second big Nokia reveal wasn't MORE AWESOME, but A BIT CHEAPER. The Lumia 710 is "a cheap and cheerful handset with a top end experience," Kate Solomon writes, and "this isn't a bad mid-range attempt from Nokia". It ISN'T A BAD MID-RANGE ATTEMPT!
Are the Lumias are good enough to put Microsoft and Nokia at the TOP of the smartphone heap? Gary Marshall says NO.
"Where's the excitement that's going to make us see our iPhones and Androids for the overpriced toys they truly are, causing us to shove them on eBay and run, not walk, to the nearest Carphone Warehouse, with two forms of ID including a utility bill in our trembling hands?" he asks.
"Was the Lumia 800 really worth shouting about?"
He may have a point, because Nokia was quick to EMPHASISE that it's just getting started. "You'll really see the fruits of what we can do with Microsoft when the Apollo version of Windows Phone comes out," Nokia's Niklas Savander told us. Apollo is the next generation of Windows Phone, which will tie in closely with Windows 8. WINDOWS EIGHT!
"Two phones is absolutely not enough in the market," he said. "This is the beginning of our portfolio". It's the BEGINNING OF THEIR PORTFOLIO!
Liked this? Then check out Windows Phone 7.5 Mango review
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