Those buttons are absolutely terrible, and on both phones the patht he user has to take through the UI is suspect at times. No arguments there.
The comments on the Orange portal did make me wonder though - I've definitely noticed, and complained, that all operators want you to go to their portal and make it an essential destination just when starting the browser, even when you tried to follow a bookmark. This must massively inflate their front page hit count allowing them to easily lie about numbers to the content companies who pay for that front page space - but that's an aside.
Given that the operator has my age, and in theory the ability to profile all sorts of other things about me, why do I always get presented with such unappealing rubbish on the front page? The article clearly shows that I'm not the only person who feels this way. Are operators throwing out the possibility of tailoring a service to what users actually might want because they'd rather take even more of a content producer's money to push the same content at everyone? Probably.
Anyone who starts spouting 'long tail' stuff tends to get on my nerves, but in general tailored content (given sufficient protection of the data that led to the tailoring) is a good thing especially on phones with limited real estate. It's a shame to see an opportunity ignored, or possibly just wasted because the tailoring tech is too rubbish to actually work.
On a vaguely related note, I guess I'm also pleased to see that Google's new Blogger system didn't just upset me: the often amusing battery fetishists over at Idiot Toys took a break from covering breaking Thing Holding news to bitch about it as well. You never know, maybe complaining will do some good and prove the blogosphere isn't largely a hot air generator - if bloggers can't influence blogging software providers, who can they influence...