Today we got some time to have a chat with Yves Maitre, Senior Vice President of Mobile Multimedia and Devices at Orange. Yves is a thoroughly nice guy and was full of enthusiasm about the devices and the services within Orange.
We asked him first about the new roaming data plan, announced yesterday. Although it may not satisfy those “data hungry” work-aholics, it’s targetting holiday makers – stopping the shock of a massive bill when you arrive home and unpack your bags. Orange get 6% of their total revenue from data and the idea of a walled garden is now history. Orange have instead signed deals with Google, Facebook and other sites to ensure that customers get the content they want and need. The network has also been tweaked heavily by Orange engineers to ensure that customers can transfer images and other files with as little data usage as possible.
We asked about Android, and Yves actually spotted the HTC Hero I was carrying, “That is a fantastic phone. A fantastic phone”, he said. He revealed that he actually carries the Motorola DROID (known as the MILESTONE here in Europe) and it’s obvious that Yves is a fan of Android. He calls the Google product “fun” and “open” and likes the lack of restriction on the device.
Android may be a huge hit this year, but we wanted to know what Yves thought of the Windows Phone 7 Series launch. He’s impressed and is happy that Microsoft have built an interface with the consumer in mind all the way. He feels that the new product will be more of a “balance” between the fun of OS’s like Android and stability. Orange are commited to the OS and will play a major role in the launch.