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Is Windows Phone Dying?

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  • It'll be interesting to see what happens with Windows Phone after this. It's now 4 years old and at some point it's going to have to stand on its own two feet and not require billions of dollars of Microsoft subvention to be kept going. I'd say Nadella will continue the focus on it for at least another year to see if it can catch up with Apple/Google. In the meantime, I suspect that we're going to see more Microsoft products/service ported to Apple/Google. Nadella seems like a smart guy and I don't think he will be a slave to dogma. If the money is to be made in putting Microsoft product and services on Apple/Google; I think he concede defeat with Windows Phone sooner rather than later.

    The big problem for Microsoft and devices is that the market is maturing, profit margins are being squeezed, and unless you're selling a premium product in decent volume, then you just won't make money. We know the Lumia 520 was a hit, apparently selling 12M units which made it the largest Windows Phone seller by far. The problem though is that Nokia were losing money on it, probably in the hope that sales of it might generate sales of higher margin Lumia 820's/920's. The struggle for Microsoft (Samsung's recent financial reports are suggesting it's facing it too) are that budget phones are competing with the higher priced flagships. The user experience on low end devices like the 520, Moto G, etc. has become so good that sales of the €500 flagships are being affected. Will be interesting to see what happens with Apple, only they have been able to defy this trend.




  • _Puma_ wrote: »
    Mixradio (formerly Nokia Music) is one of the most used apps on Lumias. Do you understand the type of service it is? It is not an on Demand Streaming service. It is actually a very popular "radio" service like Pandora or blinkbox.(Btw you dont pay anything unless you want unlimited skips, no adds no limited uses etc.. It is actually one of the smartest business models I've seen around for these type of services)

    With Microsoft levereging their own subscription services elsewhere I would say it is very likely something like HERE maps will be put behind a paywall.
    Mix Radio was very popular. When my wife ditched her Windows Phone, the things she missed most were Mix Radio and HERE maps.




  • Mix Radio was very popular. When my wife ditched her Windows Phone, the things she missed most were Mix Radio and HERE maps.

    Your wife may have it back soon enough:

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/18/nokia-mixradio-streaming-music-ios-android




  • _Puma_ wrote: »
    Mixradio (formerly Nokia Music) is one of the most used apps on Lumias. Do you understand the type of service it is? It is not an on Demand Streaming service. It is actually a very popular "radio" service like Pandora or blinkbox.(Btw you dont pay anything unless you want unlimited skips, no adds no limited uses etc.. It is actually one of the smartest business models I've seen around for these type of services)

    With Microsoft levereging their own subscription services elsewhere I would say it is very likely something like HERE maps will be put behind a paywall.

    I do understand what type of service it was. I should have said that it was "in my opinion" that I wasn't too interested in it. If I am listening to music I want to listen to what I pick, not what someone else has curated for me.




  • It'll be interesting to see what happens with Windows Phone after this. It's now 4 years old and at some point it's going to have to stand on its own two feet and not require billions of dollars of Microsoft subvention to be kept going. I'd say Nadella will continue the focus on it for at least another year to see if it can catch up with Apple/Google. In the meantime, I suspect that we're going to see more Microsoft products/service ported to Apple/Google. Nadella seems like a smart guy and I don't think he will be a slave to dogma. If the money is to be made in putting Microsoft product and services on Apple/Google; I think he concede defeat with Windows Phone sooner rather than later.

    That's a given. Office is already on iPad and it is coming for Android. I think they will persist with WP for the forseeable future though. I don't think it's ever going to be more than just a niche player, especially in the US.
    I was on holidays in Florida last week and I did see quite a few people with WP, certainly more than I've seen here, although it was probably still less than 5%.


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  • PaulieC wrote: »
    I do understand what type of service it was. I should have said that it was "in my opinion" that I wasn't too interested in it. If I am listening to music I want to listen to what I pick, not what someone else has curated for me.

    Of course, if I want to listen to my music I put it on my phone, don't tend to use on demand streaming services as they eat into my data allowance.

    Mixradio is a different beast altogether, I find it great for discovering new music or just letting it work away in the background at home when I don't want to be messing around with playlists. Try it out, you will be pleasantly surprised.




  • _Puma_ wrote: »
    Of course, if I want to listen to my music I put it on my phone, don't tend to use on demand streaming services as they eat into my data allowance.

    Mixradio is a different beast altogether, I find it great for discovering new music or just letting it work away in the background at home when I don't want to be messing around with playlists. Try it out, you will be pleasantly surprised.

    oh I have tried it (albeit back when it was Nokia Music) and that's why I don't really like it, although the use case you mention is certainly better than listening to any of the local or National commercial radio stations :)




  • PaulieC wrote: »
    oh I have tried it (albeit back when it was Nokia Music) and that's why I don't really like it, although the use case you mention is certainly better than listening to any of the local or National commercial radio stations :)

    Exactly, I don't have a radio on in my kitchen when I'm cooking, I've a bluetooth speaker paired to the phone and MixRadio. Now if I could only sort it out for the car I'd be happy out.




  • _Puma_ wrote: »
    Exactly, I don't have a radio on in my kitchen when I'm cooking, I've a bluetooth speaker paired to the phone and MixRadio. Now if I could only sort it out for the car I'd be happy out.

    I thought it was just me who did that! :D I think a lot of people don't realise how good MixRadio is considering its free :)




  • I'm not a Windows phone user. However, this being the internet, I feel compelled to spout rubbish anyway :)

    The impression I get is that WP is fine - somewhat different to Android or iOS, but not really much better or worse.

    As has been said in this discussion, WP loses out in the variety of available apps. That makes it a tough sell just now.

    However.... I'm really uncomfortable with Google's whole approach to tracking and data mining. I feel that with Microsoft (or Apple), love 'em or hate 'em, I'm a customer. With Google, I'm the product.

    I think that over the coming few years, more people are going to become more aware of privacy issues. There's bound to be a few major contraversies. If WP can remain a valid option, it could grow through people seeking a platform that doesn't treat them as a data source. There'll be place for Google. But I really think there'll be room for a competitor with a different business model.


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  • animaal wrote: »
    However.... I'm really uncomfortable with Google's whole approach to tracking and data mining. I feel that with Microsoft (or Apple), love 'em or hate 'em, I'm a customer. With Google, I'm the product.

    This was exactly my sentiment and the reason I bought a Samsung Ativ S last year. But I can tell you I am a bit disappointed with this aspect of WP. It took me 1 hour to find a Flashlight application that does not want to have access to your contacts or the internet... It's better than Android but still pretty bad.

    Every time you switch on Location, you get the legalese by MS that they will use your location, if you want to play local videos or music it still connects to the internet. I can't install any adblocker, can't change Bing as default search engine, or automatically delete browser history or install another browser.

    In short, MS is not much better than Google. Just like you I think that if they got their act together, there could be loads of refugees coming from Android and Apple.




  • Wcool wrote: »
    This was exactly my sentiment and the reason I bought a Samsung Ativ S last year. But I can tell you I am a bit disappointed with this aspect of WP. It took me 1 hour to find a Flashlight application that does not want to have access to your contacts or the internet... It's better than Android but still pretty bad.

    Every time you switch on Location, you get the legalese by MS that they will use your location, if you want to play local videos or music it still connects to the internet. I can't install any adblocker, can't change Bing as default search engine, or automatically delete browser history or install another browser.

    In short, MS is not much better than Google. Just like you I think that if they got their act together, there could be loads of refugees coming from Android and Apple.

    Apps collecting your data is nothing to do with MS collecting your data.

    Microsoft are the best of a bad bunch:
    Microsoft uses the information we collect to operate, improve and personalize the products and services we offer.
    We also may use the information to communicate with you, for example, informing you about your account and security updates.
    And we may use the information to help make the ads you see on our ad-supported services more relevant. We do not use what you say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail to target advertising to you. We do not use your documents, photos or other personal files to target advertising to you. You may opt out of receiving targeted ads from Microsoft Advertising by visiting our opt-out page.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2362130/microsofts-updated-privacy-policy-makes-it-clear-its-not-selling-ads-against-your-words.html

    http://www.microsoft.com/privacystatement/en-us/windowsservices/default.aspx




  • Microsoft also allow you to view and edit the information they have gathered on you:

    https://data.choice.microsoft.com/




  • Sure that is better than Google but the problem is that there is too much money in advertising. Probably more than in hardware or services. Microsoft would love to do what Google does: make billions from milking people's data to shove more effective ads in your face.

    On the question of Is Windows Phone Dying? Last year WP seemed to go up, the figures seemed to suggest WP share went up. But the latest figures show a decline again. What went wrong? My 2 cents:

    1) (still a) Lack of vision, innovation. 7 years ago MS was one of the biggest smart phone OS suppliers in the market. I owned a Dell Axim with WP5/6. These were capable devices but acted like a mini-Windows. MS could have been the biggest on mobile if they were quicker/cheaper with developing their mobile OS. Maybe this is too much too ask from a company that traditionally always made Windows come first. Note that the latest email from Nadella does not bode well either. The 3000 word post, excels in vagueness, platitudes and corporate non-speak. This link is a good one I think on this:
    Monday Note Jean-Louis Gassee


    2) Calling everything Windows
    This is a mistake because it suggests to people that the phone is the same as the desktop and associates Vista and Windows 8.0 with a different device category. Even the name Windows Phone Eight is blend and you can hardly associate something positive with. MS had a nice name with Metro but for some reason (copyright issues?) it's not officially used anymore. Nobody knows what Windows RT's place is.

    3) Disintegration of the ecosystem. Operating systems are becoming a commodity. 5 years ago, MS could ask computer/phone builders money for the OS. But Android is totally free and Apple's main revenue stream is not the
    OS. Why pay MS money if you can get the OS for free? Same is happening for Windows, Chromebooks are eating MS at the bottom of the market.
    Most developers today would write a program in such a way that it would run on multiple platforms. This is another problem for Windows Phone. Already 2 platforms went before it and unless it is easy to port an app from iOS or Android to WP, people aren't going to target WP.
    While Microsoft still commands a grip on the enterprise markets, almost everywhere else they are rapidly losing. Without the monopoly they once had, it will be hard for them to get back into the game. Even I use Windows at home only for gaming (and Steam Linux is slowly catching up).

    That's why I am not holding my breath for Windows Phone.

    What can/should MS do? In no particular order my ideas:
    - Release updates more often. WP8 was a great (essential?) update but took more than a year to release. Especially if one is behind in features and wealth, I don't want to wait for another year.
    - Make porting from other platforms easier.
    - Try to get other manufacturers back on WP, by making WP free or dirt cheap for the next 5 years. Find other ways to monetise, take a long view.
    - Much better integration with Windows for the desktop. It stops the rot on both sides. More or less what Apple does with iOS.
    - Improve the online shop by removing all the 'me too' applications (or at least make them appear at the bottom of any search). This might require human moderation but please do it.
    - Don't tie people to MS services only. MS won from Apple by allowing anything to run on MS-DOS/Windows. Google's Android has very few limitations. Even Apple sees the light and now allows 3rd party keyboards.
    So please make it possible to release codecs, videoplayers, maps, browsers and make sideloading possible.
    - Have several teams code essential apps for WP. Basically the top 30 apps on Android and iOS should be available on WP. Just to catch up.
    - More research coming through from Microsoft Research. MS Research's budget is gigantic, why is so little coming through?




  • Wcool wrote: »
    That's why I am not holding my breath for Windows Phone.

    There is no need to hold your breath. Read on...
    What can/should MS do? In no particular order my ideas:
    - Release updates more often. WP8 was a great (essential?) update but took more than a year to release. Especially if one is behind in features and wealth, I don't want to wait for another year.
    WP8 was released over a year ago and has seen numerous updates since. How many updates would you like to see ? Weekly ?
    - Make porting from other platforms easier.
    Many tools and websites exist to help with this already.
    - Try to get other manufacturers back on WP, by making WP free or dirt cheap for the next 5 years. Find other ways to monetise, take a long view.
    again, already done. All versions of Windows cost $0 to licence for devices with a sub 9" screen. There has been an explosion in new manufacturers making devices since this was announced.
    - Much better integration with Windows for the desktop. It stops the rot on both sides. More or less what Apple does with iOS.
    sounding like a broken record now, but this is already started with WP 8.1/W8.1 sharing 70% codebase. There are plenty of Universal apps released already. Your comparison to Apple here is not accurate. iOS is NOT a desktop OS. You're confusing iPad with a 'proper' computer. iOS and the Mac OS is not the same thing.
    - Improve the online shop by removing all the 'me too' applications (or at least make them appear at the bottom of any search). This might require human moderation but please do it.
    Agree. Doing this would differentiate the Windows Store from the Apple and Android stores. Not sure why the Windows Store is always getting dinged for this. All platforms have the same problem.
    - Don't tie people to MS services only. MS won from Apple by allowing anything to run on MS-DOS/Windows. Google's Android has very few limitations. Even Apple sees the light and now allows 3rd party keyboards.
    So please make it possible to release codecs, videoplayers, maps, browsers and make sideloading possible.
    ???
    - Have several teams code essential apps for WP. Basically the top 30 apps on Android and iOS should be available on WP. Just to catch up.
    Did you write this post last year and only get around to posting now ? The tops apps is generally acknowledged not to be a problem anymore. it's the local apps that are lacking.




  • PaulieC wrote: »
    WP8 was released over a year ago and has seen numerous updates since. How many updates would you like to see ? Weekly ?

    My bad, I meant WP8.1 the release that made WP usable, it happened about 2 months ago, the one with Cortana (if you live in the USA that is). And yes, I don't want to wait another year for updates.
    PaulieC wrote: »
    Many tools and websites exist to help with this already.
    again, already done. All versions of Windows cost $0 to licence for devices with a sub 9" screen. There has been an explosion in new manufacturers making devices since this was announced.

    Well, i didn't know about Windows Phone sub 9 inch for free but first: it is way too late. Second, Lenovo just announced they quit making small Windows devices as there is no demand. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2455580/lenovo-stops-selling-smallscreen-windows-tablets-in-the-us.html not a good sign
    Third, there was a reason MS had to buy Nokia. If Nokia would fall by the wayside NOBODY would make Windows phones. It doesn't look like there are any manufacturers left except Nokia/MS.
    PaulieC wrote: »
    sounding like a broken record now, but this is already started with WP 8.1/W8.1 sharing 70% codebase. There are plenty of Universal apps released already. Your comparison to Apple here is not accurate. iOS is NOT a desktop OS. You're confusing iPad with a 'proper' computer. iOS and the Mac OS is not the same thing.

    I don't mean: make WP like Windows of vice versa (Please do the reverse: remove the Metro crap from Windows!) What I mean is what Apple did last developers conference: cool stuff like you write an email and when you are near your desktop automatically it is picked up by Outlook on your desktop. Integration between mobile device, xbox and windows desktop. This is an area that Google can't follow because they don't have a desktop OS (yet).
    PaulieC wrote: »
    ???
    I don't know your age Paulie, but in the early 80s Apple released the first usable WIMP computer. Why did MS win the OS wars and not Apple? Many different factors of course but MS ran on relatively cheap hardware, many hardware producers with open standards. Apple was expensive, invented all sorts of proprietary hardware (firewire, nubus anyone?) and were generally arrogant (one button mice are the best because err well, they contain only one button, you only have to triple click sometimes). With MS-DOS you could change the memory manager, the window manager, anything you like.
    There are parallels right now between Google, Apple and MS.
    Google has the cheap hardware covered and is acting like a young MS, Apple is still arrogant (1 size phone is good enough) but MS these days just like Apple wants to lock you in. Why can't I just drag and drop files through USB or Bluetooth? Why do I need media player? I think that will not work in the long term.Why does the bootloader has to be locked, why can't we tinker?
    The reason why android is loved by users (just like MS-DOS) is because you can change almost anything you like. Including browsers, settings, keyboards, keys, user interface and what not.
    PaulieC wrote: »
    Did you write this post last year and only get around to posting now ? The tops apps is generally acknowledged not to be a problem anymore. it's the local apps that are lacking.

    I have to agree I might be too harsh on this one, these days almost everything essential is there. I just don't see any hit games coming out anymore. Plant vs. Zombies 1 but not 2 :(


    Let's face it, if you think that MS addressed all this a year ago, MS has no chance in hell, as it does not seem to work.




  • Wcool wrote: »
    Well, i didn't know about Windows Phone sub 9 inch for free but first: it is way too late.
    They actually went further than that. There is another Windows SKU called Windows with Bing that will be available for a $0 licence for bigger screen devices.
    Second, Lenovo just announced they quit making small Windows devices as there is no demand. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2455580/lenovo-stops-selling-smallscreen-windows-tablets-in-the-us.html not a good sign

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, WRONG!!! Lenovo actuially said that there was a bigger demand in the states for larger-screen devices and that the smaller devices were more in-demand in different markets. If you are genuinely trying to contribute to the discussion, at least look behind the headlines.
    Third, there was a reason MS had to buy Nokia. If Nokia would fall by the wayside NOBODY would make Windows phones. It doesn't look like there are any manufacturers left except Nokia/MS.
    you mean apart from HTC, Samsung, prestigio, Hauwei, Panasonic, yezz, blu etc. Just because you didn't know about them doesn't mean they don't exist.

    Let's face it, if you think that MS addressed all this a year ago, MS has no chance in hell, as it does not seem to work.
    It's not great but it's improving, albeit slowly. Remember, not all people like Android because they can tinker with it. Most people, if you asked them, wouldn't even know what OS their phone runs (apart form Apple heads).




  • I truely hope more manufacturers are picking up Windows Phone again. From the big manufacturers from 2 years ago (Samsung, HTC and Nokia), only Nokia is left but maybe MS can poke up the fire once more again.

    Note that Lumias apparently can change search provider but my phone (Samsung Ativ S) can't. If MS tries to sell me a version of Windows or Windows Phone where only Bing works as search provider - knowing what I know now - I won't buy it.




  • Wcool wrote: »
    My bad, I meant WP8.1 the release that made WP usable, it happened about 2 months ago, the one with Cortana (if you live in the USA that is). And yes, I don't want to wait another year for updates.

    MS these days just like Apple wants to lock you in. Why can't I just drag and drop files through USB or Bluetooth? Why do I need media player? I think that will not work in the long term.Why does the bootloader has to be locked, why can't we tinker?

    Your other points were addressed quite well by PaulieC, but these two leap out at me.

    They make me think that you may have been using a WP7.8 for the last year.

    WP8 is a very usable OS, I've found that put in the hands of a dumbphone user they get to grips with WP very quickly and the updates have been almost quarterly with the GDR updates adding small features at a steady pace.

    As to the boot loader being locked, I'm generally in favour of this being restricted to prevent sideloading, the piracy situation on Android is pretty terrible due to phone unlocking making it almost trivial to work around the inbuilt OS security.

    I'm also confused by drag and drop over USB, as this was one of the WP8 initial features compared to the WP7 releases.




  • its simple really, its the apps, thats what revolutionised the smartphone market and got Apple to where it is.

    They just need to focus on getting developers interested in making apps for their platform

    Theres very little difference in Android and iOS in terms of App availability but theres a world of difference when it comes to WP8.

    Its a nice OS visually, it works well too

    until we start to see this everywhere, no one will really give a crap about windows phone

    11lsfg6.png


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  • WP8 is a very usable OS, I've found that put in the hands of a dumbphone user they get to grips with WP very quickly and the updates have been almost quarterly with the GDR updates adding small features at a steady pace.

    As to the boot loader being locked, I'm generally in favour of this being restricted to prevent sideloading, the piracy situation on Android is pretty terrible due to phone unlocking making it almost trivial to work around the inbuilt OS security.

    I'm also confused by drag and drop over USB, as this was one of the WP8 initial features compared to the WP7 releases.

    I guess you must be on Nokia as I got no updates since I bought the phone in October 2013.
    WP is a very pleasant UI, no complaints there, but decent notifications only since 8.1 is quite frankly shocking. Also all those small but extremely nice touches to the OS, why not release them when they are ready?

    The bootloader has nothing to do with piracy, I just want to install from websites that I trust, at least give me the option. The security situation on Android is actually pretty good. See for instance http://qz.com/131436/contrary-to-what-youve-heard-android-is-almost-impenetrable-to-malware/

    Most of my computers are Linux based. It is extremely frustrating to plug in your phone over Universal Serial Bus, and not be able to drag files to it. Now I have to admit that I haven't retried with 8.1. I use my only Windows computer left to get files on it,




  • Surface and Nokia lost Microsoft serious money in the previous quarter. The Nokia bit alone reported losses of $700M. Lumia sales when taking into account a shorter quarter were flat. Microsoft report that the majority of Lumia's sold were in the lower price bracket.

    You can see why Nadella took such decisive action with Nokia now. I wonder is he thinking that the best thing to do now would be to just write off the whole thing and just let third parties make the devices?




  • I'm not sure where all the talk of Microsoft dropping windows phone is coming from. They are clearly improving the situation and you have to remember they have always been playing catchup. I expect them to always be in 3rd place, but 3rd place with more market share than they have now.

    They have posted quarterly figures:

    http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/130016-microsoft-q4-2014-earnings-4-6b-net-income-23-3b-revenue-and-strong-cloud-sales

    Phone revenue is 2 billion




  • Wcool wrote: »
    I guess you must be on Nokia as I got no updates since I bought the phone in October 2013.
    WP is a very pleasant UI, no complaints there, but decent notifications only since 8.1 is quite frankly shocking. Also all those small but extremely nice touches to the OS, why not release them when they are ready?

    The bootloader has nothing to do with piracy, I just want to install from websites that I trust, at least give me the option. The security situation on Android is actually pretty good. See for instance http://qz.com/131436/contrary-to-what-youve-heard-android-is-almost-impenetrable-to-malware/

    Most of my computers are Linux based. It is extremely frustrating to plug in your phone over Universal Serial Bus, and not be able to drag files to it. Now I have to admit that I haven't retried with 8.1. I use my only Windows computer left to get files on it,

    Oh OK, my understanding was that all the phones got the GDR updates, but then again it could be a case of your carriers blocking them.

    WP8+ requires an MTP connection to connect to the phone and transfer files rather than Mass Storage Mode, both use USB as the connection mode, but you do require a Desktop OS that can support this standard.

    Note, I said piracy (or at least I hope I did) rather than malware.

    Here's an interesting article on the piracy situation http://www.slashgear.com/95-android-game-piracy-experience-highlights-app-theft-challenge-15282064/




  • Wcool wrote: »
    The bootloader has nothing to do with piracy, I just want to install from websites that I trust, at least give me the option.

    For Corporate, non-commercial or beta apps, can you not sideload them using the Application Deployment Tool which comes as part of the Windows Phone 8.x SDK?




  • Think wp9 will be the last roll of the dice?




  • Think wp9 will be the last roll of the dice?

    Why on earth would you think that?




  • theothernt wrote: »
    Why on earth would you think that?
    Because that's what everyone said for WP8.1

    ... And WP8

    ...... And WP7.5

    ......... And WP7




  • _Kaiser_ wrote: »
    But reading some of the stories over on WPC lately (talk of an Android Lumia, MS prioritising other platforms, delisting of XBox games etc) makes me wonder what the medium-long term future for the platform is..

    Windows was never an attractive package on a smart app, it's early applications were in the Toughbook Phone and other industrial environments where a lot of interaction and advanced applications were geared for the professional office user and the field professional returning to his office to share data etc.

    It was never liked and MS really thought their dominant position in the Office Market would support them in the general mobile phone market. But whilst Apple were perhaps the last to offer anything, they totally revolutionized the mobile phone and what it should be and users found it was compatible with everything ~ probably the iPhone's most powerful and overlooked asset.

    The iPhone and Android clones are where the market is and possibly for the foreseeable future, Windows are so last century on their that they just don;t appeal and have no unique features and don't innovate anything, neither, neither do they copy the best, they have to do it their way.

    A few phone developers have gone out of business already in the revolutionary turmoil, if Windows Mobile was its only business, then they'd have joined them years ago.


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  • Because that's what everyone said for WP8.1

    ... And WP8

    ...... And WP7.5

    ......... And WP7

    Ah yes, the old "I heard that somewhere once, I think, maybe" ;-)

    I'd really like to see the sources of all the this doom and gloom!


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