October 26, 2011, 2:13 PM — I gave Steve Ballmer very little credit a week or so ago after the motivational speech he gave at the Web 2.0 conference on the prospects for upcoming versions of Windows Phones and how handily they will out strip Android and iPhones in both sales and technical capabilities.
I admit that was my skepticism talking, though it was skepticism developed from years of covering Microsoft develop products that were sometimes brilliant in concept or brilliant in execution, but rarely achieved both consecutively, and rarely achieved either on purpose.
This morning, Nokia announced the first Windows Phones designed to fulfill Steve's motivational speech about them. They got some decent early reviews, but I have to say they don't do much to change my relatively low expectations.
Granted, the two new additions to the Lumina line of Nokia Windows Phones are aimed at Europe and a handful of PacRim countries, not the U.S., so the styling and services won't be tailored to U.S. expectations (which are still lower than in other countries, where telcos don't routinely cripple new phone features to block ways to access features they sell for a premium).
Nokia didn't say when or if it would deliver versions of the phone for the U.S. market. First deliveries will be in Europe, followed by Hong Kong, India, Taiwan, Russia and Singapore.
The Nokia Lumina 710 and 800 use the same 1.4Ghz single-core processor but differ in the amount of available memory and quality of the camera. One shoots in 8 megapixel, the other only 5.