Tag 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.

GNC #667 Big Media wants a Fight!

Ohana, over the past month I have been entertaining an offer that would have resulted in new owners of Geek News Central, and the Geek News Central Podcast. The offer was a darn good one and while I would have remained the host of the show it boiled down to I am not done yet. While I am sure I will question my decision for a while, as it was a “really” good offer and the team that was looking to acquire the show was top notch it just did not make sense to do it. Some more insights in the show today, but I just want to assure all of you I am not going anywhere.

Support my Show Sponsor: 5 Best Godaddy Promo Codes
$0.01 GoDaddy coupon for a New domain name cjcfs3geek
$1.99 a month Economy Hosting with a free domain name. Promo Code: cjcgeek1h
$2.99 a month Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain name. Promo Code: cjcgeek1w
Support the show by becoming a Geek News Central Insider

Subscribe Today: Audio | Video | iTunes | Zune
Download the Show File

Follow @geeknews on Twitter
Geek News Central Facebook Page
Purchase GNC gear from the Ohana Store!
Show Hotline 24/7 1-619-342-7365 or e-mail geeknews@gmail.com

Listener Links:
All Aboard!

Show Notes:
UBL Death set Twitter Record.
Twitter CNN Moment?
News Vs Social.
Firefox 5?
Sony Bleeding Credit Card Data.
Android Tethering Crackdown.
AT&T kills the Party.
Can Google TV be Saved?
Radiated Cars?
SETI True Costs.
Judges figuring out IP Pitfalls.
Is Facebook a big Spy site?
Wanna work at Google 16 versus 5 Interviews.
Sony declines Congressional Invite?
New Twitter Ad Units.
New Windows 7 API.
Do you own your Location Info?
Don’t waste your money!
Bigger Pockets for Bigger Devices nerd Alert.
Retro iPhone Charger.
Reduce the Volume Automatically.
Google App Changes.
Dropbox Tips.
Jailbreak Pros and Cons.
Shuttle RSS Retract.
Asteroid Collision.
Endeavor New Launch Date.
Righthaven gets another bloody nose.
NHL has lost their minds.
No fair use in the UK?
Whitehouse 301 Report has IP Wacth List?
Measure your Bandwidth.
Some people get good Genes.
VPS Seedbox.
One Lucky Dude.
AT&T deals?
Twitter buys Tweetdeck.
Google Voice Search.
Measuring the White iPhone.
Hackers hit Pakistani Twitter User.
Another Nuclear Leak.
IOS 4.3.3 to plug Tracking.
Firefox 4.0 hits 10%

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.





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.


HTC 7 Trophy Review

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ll have heard about Microsoft’s return to the mobile phone space with Windows Phone 7.  And boy, have they returned.  Combined with the hardware of the HTC 7 Trophy, it delivers in spades.

Initial impressions were good; not only am I fond of the mini-tablet format, the design very much reminded me of Sony’s Clie TH55, probably the greatest PDA of all time, so the Trophy had some big boots to fill.  Fortunately, it didn’t disappoint; this is a lovely smartphone.

When you get the phone out of the box and into your hand, there’s a little weight to it, giving a quality feel.  It’s a relatively big device at 62 mm x 119 mm but this is a benefit when you start using the Trophy for more than making phone calls.

The 3.8″ screen has a lovely silver bevel which I initially thought was refraction at the glass edge.  It’s not; it seems to be the milled edge of the metal casing and I think it looks great.  As you’ll see from the picture, aside from the HTC logo, there are just three buttons at the bottom of the screen for back, home / start and find.

Round the back, there’s a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and flash. The Trophy is the first phone I’ve used that has the shutter button in the right place – when you hold the phone in landscape to take a picture, the button falls perfectly under the right forefinger, just as if it was an ordinary camera.

The sides and back have a soft rubber touch to them, giving a bit of grip.  The last thing you want is for the phone to slip out of your hand and plunge to the floor, which will inevitably be concrete, tile or solid wood.  It’s never a sheepskin rug.

Finishing the exterior, there’s a power button on the top, plus volume buttons on the left side. A micro USB port and 3.5 mm earphone jack complete the physical connectivity.

In use, the phone is fabulous.  The 480 x 800 pixel screen is bright and detailed – there’s only the slightest hint of “jaggies” when you look very closely.  The response to the touch screen is excellent and the scrolling is super smooth.  I guess that’s where the 1 GHz processor comes in.

When it comes to the Metro user interface, you can choose your own adjectives.  I thought it was a stylish mix of two dimensional buttons contrasted by three dimensional effects.  One colleague suggested Fisher-Price and another thought it was bit like a tourist map where you’re not quite too sure what the symbols mean as there’s no legend.

However, there is no denying that the overall presentation is luxurious.  Screens appear as if they’re a page being turned.  Deleted emails drop into oblivion off the bottom of the screen.  Screens can present as if they’re part of bigger montages, with individual elements scrolling at different rates. I like the equivalent of the hourglass – it’s now a couple of dots that zip onto the screen, dawdle in the middle and then zip off again.

Certainly, there is a bit of initial head scratching or accidental discovery of features.  “How do I….?” becames, “Ahh, so that’s how it works.”  And I’m still not 100% certain about whether apps run in the background.

I’m not going to review every single app in turn because pretty much everything that you’d expect is there.  Email – check, calendar – check, address book – check, Office support – check, maps – check, web browser – check.  So what are the highlights and lowlights?

Regarding email, there’s no consolidated application.  Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail, etc. are all treated as apps in their own right but I was able to use EAS without any trouble, with emails, appointments and contacts all synchronised perfectly with Exchange.

Contacts are brought into a single place “People” but it’s not perfect with regard to duplicates brought in from different sources, e.g. Gmail and Hotmail.  Sometimes phone numbers are repeated even though they’re the same.

The Phone app is very responsive when you are tapping out numbers – I didn’t get any missed digits or double digits when I was dialling.  An iPhone-toting friend thought that the phone app was much better than the iOS equivalent.  Call quality was good.

I was unable to connect to my workplace’s wifi network because there’s doesn’t appear to be any way to make adjustments to the security settings etc.  To be fair, it’s not possible to connect on an iPhone either.  Connecting up at home was a doddle.

The virtual keyboard is ok.  I’ve got fairly large fingers but on the whole I was able to tap out the odd short email or enter search terms without too many mistakes.   Definitely more successful in landscape than portrait (obviously) but nowhere near as good as the keyboard on a Palm Pre, for example.

The Zune side of things was a hit.  The sound quality was good and reproduction was well-defined.  While the bass could be a little better, it was better than average for a portable device (and the limitation is often the encoding of the track).  I was listening using Sennheiser eH 1430 headphones, not the the supplied ones.

The Zune hub was easy to use and great for browsing.  Videos were smooth and easy to watch. I’m not a big gamer so I didn’t really pursue the Xbox Live side of things but the Trophy is the gamer’s phone in the HTC line-up.  What I did see was pretty slick and it was easy to download games, although it seemed to be quite slow at downloading, even over wi-fi.  I tried a few of the usual suspects such as Bejeweled and they played well.

Obviously the application marketplace isn’t nearly as big as the equivalents for iOS, Android or even WebOS.  But for an OS that’s months old, there’s a fair selection of apps and more will come over time.

Web browsing was excellent….as long as the web page didn’t have Flash.  The big screen and Internet Explorer reproduced most web sites really well and with the hi-res screen, you didn’t have to constantly zoom in and out.  Even quite small text was still legible.  I did find a couple of websites that had mobile or PDA versions and these recognised that the web browser was on a smartphone.  However they didn’t recognise the particular browser on Windows Phone 7 and consequently defaulted to a very basic version.  Switching to the full website version usually solved the problem.

Battery life was perfectly acceptable for a device of this type. I found that I could go a day or two without recharging the Trophy and by that I mean a couple of phone calls, email from EAS, some music listening  and a bit of surfing.  Once I started playing games and watching video, the battery life took a hit, but this is hardly unexpected.

That’s about it. The HTC 7 Trophy is a very good phone and Windows Phone 7 is impressive.  The whole feel of the device  is quality, the screen is great and the OS is modern.  Consequently I would recommend that anyone thinking of a new smartphone should give the Trophy a very long look.

Thanks to HTC for the loan.

GNC-2010-11-08 #625 Back in the Saddle

Feels good to be back in the full swing of the show. I am having a great trip here in Albuquerque and really enjoying myself, will be doing an Ohana meet up this coming Friday. If you want to come out to dinner and your in the local area drop me an email so I can pass location and time.

The following Sponsors support GNC your support of them is appreciated!
GoDaddy services saves you money, check out my Promo Codes Today.
Visit gotomeeting.com, click the try it free button & use promo code: Podcast.
Infusionsoft, leader in marketing automation software for businesses see how they can help your Business..

Subscribe Today: Audio | Video | iTunes | Zune
Download the Show File

Check me out @geeknews on Twitter
Follow me on Facebook
Geek News Central Facebook Page
My YouTube Channel
Purchase GNC gear from the Ohana Store!
Live Streams Justin.tv / Ustream.TV
Show Hotline 24/7 1-619-342-7365 or e-mail geeknews@gmail.com

Listener Links:
BackScatter Body Scanner.

Show Links:
Samsung Continuum.
Evernote for Android 2.0
IOS 4.2 IiPad Update.
Ads Ads and More Ads.
Washington Post iPad App.
Blip.TV hits 100 Million Video Views Monthly.
RockMelt Social Browser.
US Gov’t Naughty List.
Toshiba SSD for Macbook Air now Available.
Pilots told to Avoid Scanner.
Bundling Software in Danger?
Google Blocks Facebook!
Windows Phone 7 Launch and 2000 Apps.
7 Facebook Unfriending rules.
Google TV Gateway Fancast.com Blocked.
Nokia Shakes up Symbian Foundation.
Free Airborne Wifi On Google.
Hacker hits UK Navy.
Verizon to Broadcast Video on LTE?
Very Dangerous IE Bug!
IE Hack Kit For Sale.
TSA ban Toner and Ink.
Creative Commons big win in Belgium.
Patent Office gets more Screwed.
Ready for Mini Big Bangs.
Hey Best Buy Get Squared away on Roku.
Can you Fly?
48 Million iPads?
Bloglines Saved.
Limewire back from the Dead.
Boxee needs Cash.
Burglary Suspect Idiot.
Cassini Flying in Safe Mode.
Shuttle Pushes for Nov 30th Launch.
Laptops as Ovens.
Avidemux Editor.
Time Warner Look Back.
Zune Insider #93.

Send in your stories to geeknews@gmail.com and be sure to provide a link to your websites!

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…