Microsoft has apparently become so concerned about leaks of the upcoming Windows Phone 8 OS, it has tightly clamped down on access to the software
. According to Eldar Murtazin at Mobile-Review
, OEM prototypes of Windows Phone 8 handsets each have a special activation key. During IFA, those who were allowed to look at Windows Phone 8 models found features blocked and inaccessible. Those pressing buttons on the devices received a pop up message or there was no response at all.
The Samsung Ativ S Windows Phone 8 model
Just because the features were inaccessible didn't mean that they weren't on the handsets. Microsoft is said to be so paranoid with Windows Phone 8, that has not even showed certain features to its partners
. According to the report, even OEMs working on Windows Phone 8 models have no idea about all of the features that Microsoft has provided for. Imagine that you are manufacturing a Windows Phone 8 smartphone and you are designing the hardware. Somewhere down the line, it might be important to know what Microsoft is planning so that you can incorporate it into the device.
The one exception is said to be Nokia. Perhaps because of their special relationship with Redmond, Nokia says it has been involved in the development of Windows Phone 8 from the beginning and had the ability to influence the code jockeys writing the software. Does that give the Finnish based handset manufacturer an unfair advantage? With anything in this life, money talks and, well, you know the rest.
"It is the first time as far as I can remember, that OEM prototypes are locked to special accounts inside Microsoft, and each device has its own activation key, tied to the unique number of each smartphone or tablet, and not an OEM employee. As far as security goes, Microsoft did an outstanding job – at IFA even those companies who allowed me to take a quick peek at their Windows Phone 8 devices said that most functions are blocked and are simply inaccessible. This was done at Microsoft – you press a menu and get a warning pop-up or nothing happens. It’s not because those functions are not there – it is because they [Microsoft] are not ready to show these functions even to partners. I do not remember such a draconian measures anywhere else – usually when you have a prototype, you can work with it. Some network/cloud functions might be absent or inaccessible – but you could check out what you have, more or less. Today, even people who work for OEMs do not really know what they have in Windows Phone 8, because they only learn about the platform from the same Microsoft presentations, but can not try all the features live. It is a unique situation, when OEMs are working on hardware, but have absolutely know influence on software. The hubs they are working on are in fact separate programs/apps, that do not interfere at all with the main functionality.
The closest analogy would be an artisan who is working on a body for a standard car chassis. He knows the size of the car, engine and transmission specs, but has no idea what a car interior will look like and what will they put inside. He knows that the interiors for every other artisan be the same and the only way for him to stand out – is to create the great finish/external covers. Furthermore, he will only learn how well his finish fits the overall car design at the last moment, when it is already to late to change anything."-Eldar Murtazin, Mobile-Review
(translated) via UnwiredView