Category Archives: Windows Phone 7

Microsoft Endorses “Walshed” Tool for Updating ChevronWP7 Devices



It was a bit of a surprise when Microsoft didn’t have a problem with developer Chris Walsh’s ChevronWP7 to “fix” NoDo installs that weren’t working, even inviting him to visit their headquarters.  It now comes as less of a surprise that Microsoft is endorsing Walsh’s latest tool, especially since it helps to get those “hacked” phones back on the official update path.

The new tool, called “Walshed Phone Support Tool” solves the issue behind the “80180048” error code in the Zune app, and an equivalent one in the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac app, that has prevented the upgrade from even starting.

The ChevronWP7 tool was used by Windows Phone 7 users who wanted to receive the NoDo update before it became available.  The patch was delayed several times due to a variety of issues.  Unfortunately, ChevronWP7, while working flawlessly, rendered devices as “unofficial” and not eligible for future updates.  The new “Walshed” tool will fix that and put those devices back on the right track.  So, Microsoft’s endorsement of both has become a win-win for them.

Perhaps the next platform update, known currently as “Mango” will go much smoother.  Given that this was their first update I can grant some slack, but if they want to make a real dent in the mobile market they will need to get it together.


Microsoft Kinected Technologies Evening for Techsumers



Back with Microsoft for a more consumer oriented evening. This time it’s going to be Windows Media Centre, Home Server, Xbox, Kinect and more on the phones.

First up is Microsoft Home Server 2011 – every house should have one. As standard it’s a media server, dishing out photos, music and videos. Usual DLNA stuff.

Microsoft provides a remote site which in turn can connect to the home server across the Internet. Great if you travel and you need to get at your stuff.

But when you are at home, any PC can connect to the Home Server to configure. Normally the Windows Server works headlessly i.e. without a monitor, so this is how the Server is manager.

Great news – the Drive Extender feature is going to return in 2011 courtesy of a community plug-in which appears to be endorsed by Microsoft.

Not sure if this new news, but they’re saying here that a Nokia running Windows Phone 7 will be out before Christmas, perhaps in October.

A quick demo now using Sonos to play music.

Now it’s the turn of the Xbox and Kinect. He’s playing Kinect Sports. Everything’s been done waving his hand. Ok so it’s a game but the possibilities are there in say, sterile environments. No touch, no cross-infection.

They’re now showing off a Kinect controlling the cursor on a PC instead of a mouse. Flicking through a Powerpoint presentation with your hands rather than a controller.

A video of win&i is being shown – it’s a product from a German company which shows the Kinect interacting with various apps including Media Center and Google Earth.

Microsoft sees Kinect being built directly in TVs and monitors. Several OEMs already have plans (allegedly).

Windows Phone 7 integrates with Xbox Live, pulling in avatars, badges and messages.
The next generation of games will bring the phone together with the Xbox and Kinect. Imagine a game where one player is on the phone flicking footballs at a goal and the other player is on the Xbox and is the goalkeeper. He’s saving the footballs as seen by the Kinect. Tres cool.

That’s it for now! Goodnight.


TechNet Live Tour: Cloud for IT Pros



Microsoft’s TechNet Live Tour is giving a half day seminar on the cloud and what it means for the IT professional. I’ve been invited along so, for a change, I’m going to try a bit of a “live blog” approach, just typing as I go. It’s going to cover Windows Intune, Small Business Server 2011, Office 365, Dynamics CRM 2011, Azure, Windows Phone 7 and IE9.  Could be a long afternoon.

The event opens with a keynote on the Cloud for IT Pros given by Dave Northey. The cloud and the consumerisation of IT are the big impacts of now and Dave will cover them both. Dave suggests that business led technology a decade ago. But today consumers lead. The average home PC is more powerful than work PCs. Most consumers use Windows 7, yet XP is still used extensively in business.

The three big cloud providers are Microsoft, Amazon and Google, with room for a fourth. Cloud computing is Internet-based computing whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand like the electricity grid – Wikipedia.

Cloud Data Centre
Shared resources – stability, security, reliability, QoS, SLAs

On-Demand – pay as you go, no upfront investment, instant access, scale, no money wasted when projects fail

Public Cloud v Private Cloud
Private cloud uses own data centre. Control over data but less scale.

Regardless aim is for capacity to follow demand. What workload patterns are suitable for cloud?
– On and off, e.g. Batch jobs, video transcoding
– Growing fast, e.g. Unexpectedly successful services
– Unpredictable bursting, e.g. Spikes caused by natural disasters
– Predictable bursting, e.g. End of month for finance.

Type of cloud services
– Software as a Service (SaaS) for users
– Platform as a Service (PaaS) for developers
– Infrastruce as a Service (IaaS) for IT

Datacentre evolution
– Traditional datacentre
– Virtualised datacentre
– On premises private cloud
– Off premises cloud
Virtualisation was a pre-requisite for the cloud.

The private cloud is virtualisation plus self-service, scalability and automation.

Azure is Ms’ platform as a service. It’s a developer offering linked into Visual Studio, .net, PHP and so on. Three components – Azure AppFabric for access control and comms, SQL Azure for database, Windows Azure for compute and storage.

Dave then gives a demo of some of the features of Azure including simply connecting to a folder stored in the cloud but the most impressive part was the management of all the virtual machines. In the (short) demo, a cloud-based server was provisioned with web services.

Cloud services are coming, with private clouds first followed by the move to the public cloud.

Ooh, they’ve announced a Surface device is here.

Surface1

Surface2

Surface3

Surface4

Dave also gave an inpromptu demo of Windows Phone 7 which was as much a selection of soundbites as it was a demo.
– Microsoft expects to be #2 behind Android and ahead of iPhone.
– Multiple forms factors from HTC and Nokia who make over 100 million phones per year.
– It’s a consumer device first
– Marketplace will have quality, tested apps.
– Try before you buy option available to all developers but only one version required – that’s clever.
– Average app lifetime, i.e. Find, download, try, delete is 5 mins.
– Expected that a developer wil earn 10 times as much from Windows Phone app as from iPhone.

Next up was Office 365 by Patrick Herlihy.

Office 365 is the new Software as a Service offering which includes Office, Exchange Online, Sharepoint Online and Lync Online.

Office licensed on a pay as you go per user. Full and latest version of Office. Lync will offer IM, presence and web conference from the start. Voice will arrive later.

Different licensing options for different types of users, e.g. Kiosk worker for basic options, Information worker for more. There are lots of different licensing options depending on your organisations need.

The process to moving to the cloud and using Office 365 goes through standardisation, deployment, service change and includes privacy & security considerations. In particular, most ActiveDirectories will need a good tidy.

Regarding sign on, there are two options – Ms Online IDs or new Federated IDs which allow single sign-on from existing credentials. The latter will need an internal deployment of ADFS.

DirSync synchronises the organisation’s internal ActiveDirectory with the version hosted in the cloud for Office 365. This is needed to keep online permissions etc in step with the organisation.

Exchange Online can co-exist with in-house Exchange and there are tools to move mailboxes between the two systems.

Patrick gave a quick on-line demo of the product. The on-line versions were all very similar to their Windows-based equivalent. Firefix, Safari and IE are all supported. The management tools were comprehensive as well.

The public beta of Office 365 is available now.

Patrick continued to Microsoft’s Intune, a cloud-based PC management service. It offers malware protection, alert monitoring, patch management, software and hardware inventories and remote assistance / desktop sharing. He then gave a demo of the system and it was competent enough. I could certainly see it replacing a number of separate tools. However you got the feeling that it was version 1 and version 2 would be much better. Probably best suited to SMEs with hundreds of PCs rather than thousands.

As proceeds were running late, I had to leave, missing some of the subsequent sessions. But I’ll be back…

Overall, a useful introduction to Microsoft’s vision of a cloud-based future.

 


Mobeo iMovee Brings Mobile TV to Smart Phones & Tablets



iMovee Mobeo (www.i-movee.com/mobeo1.html) brings mobile TV to smart phones and tablets. iMovee Corporation launches the entire range of Mobile TV products including SKY TV (USB Dongle), Mobidik (WiFi Dongle for Iphone, Ipod, Blackberry, PC, MAC etc), Telly MOBO (7″/9″ Portable DVD & TV), Touch Telly Series (Media Player & Portable TV 4.3″ ,4.7″, 7″), Telly NAV (portable Navigation Device with ATSC MH) and CAR Telly (Automotive Set top box). iMovee is also launching various ATSC MH & T DMB modules for manufacturers to readily integrate to their consumer devices and thus reducing the time to market.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of Slash Dot Review News and RV News Network — RVNN.TV

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WellDoc Medical Coaching Software For Better Patient Outcomes



Anand Iyer and Chris Bergstrom of Welldoc, Inc. (www.welldocinc.com) present Welldoc Coaching Software for phones that helps patients with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes report their ongoing self-monitoring statistics and other relevant data to their physicians, thus helping the patient remain in compliance to their medical treatment program with an eye towards better patient outcomes.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast and Tom Newman of The Fogview Podcast.

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Windows Phone 7 Debuts Tomorrow



Tomorrow the first Windows Phone 7 devices will hit the US market on AT&T and T-Mobile.  And I am very curious to see the reception.  Will there be lines?  Will there be shortages of one or more of the devices?  What will the general public think of it?

Windows Phone 7 ads blanketed today’s football coverage.  They were running a couple of times per hour per game.  That was when I got my first clue as to what may happen tomorrow.  My 14 year old daughter looked at the ad and said “I want one of those.”  And honestly the ad is catchy and amusing and the shots of the phone interface are compelling.

Will enough people feel the way my daughter did?  I think they will.  I think we may see lines tomorrow for a Windows product!  When did that last happen?  Windows 95?  Okay, Xbox if you count all Microsoft products.

Will this help Zune?  The platform will get a huge boost, but I don’t think it will help the Zune device itself much.  At least not initially, but there may be a long term boost.

Which phone will be the early hit?  From everything I am seeing and hearing that seems to be an easy question to answer.  The Samsung Focus will be the big hit.  The least popular?  At the moment that seems to belong to the HTC Surround, which is a rather strange device with pop-out “surround sound” speakers that don’t entirely work as advertised.

From everything I see now I think this will be a hit, but with a few complaints along the way about some lacking capabilities.  I also think the market is big enough, and still growing enough, to accommodate another OS. The bad news isn’t for Microsoft because they are late to the show, but for RIM and Nokia.  This could put both of them into serious trouble.  Nokia still has a commanding lead worldwide, but they have been slipping for awhile and show no signs of getting things together.  Blackberry also seems lost in this new era of smartphones and Windows Phone 7 could really eat into RIM’s business market.

I tried to get a review unit, but Microsoft’s PR firm only took my name, phone number, and email address and never contacted me again so I am as anxious for tomorrow as everyone else.  And, my contract is almost up so I am in the market…