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February 27, 2014

Car Safety via Smart Phone

In one of my earlier blogs I had indicated how a smart phone application that is connected to my car can provide additional options for safety of the car against theft. The idea is that I can optionally switch on a feature that prevents the car's engine to start unless the smart phone is in close proximity. Optional because there will be valid cases when my smart phone may not be around like having given my car on loan to a friend. The same feature can be an add-on to the keyless entry that some of the cars support today.

It is interesting to note that MasterCard is exploring similar idea to provide additional credit card security. And Mahindra is using similar concepts to provide service notifications ahead of time.

The kind of applications that we can build with smart phones and the sensors all around us will only increase with time.

May 29, 2013

PC or What?

Natural Selection or Survival of the fittest, are phrases we have when reading basic biology and about human evolution. Survival of the fittest has been used in many places. I think it can very well be applied to the devices world which today comprises of PC/desktops, laptops, ultra books, tablets and smart phones.

Continue reading "PC or What?" »

January 25, 2013

Patchy Updates

As I was just reading that Surface RT machines are hit by update issues, I ended up recalling that Windows Phone 7 had some early update issues. The devices had also run into issues in being able to download and update the firmware.

Is there a lesson to be learnt here? Is MS who has tranditionally dealt with PCs and workstations which typically involved over the LAN or CD based updates, not being able to manage over the wire updates? But surprisingly the Windows update service has been running well for many years now.

Let's hope that Phone 8 isn't hit by similar issues.

January 22, 2013

Smartlets or Tabphones

Smart phones are becoming bigger and tablets are becoming smaller. Feature functionality vise they today already overlap and many apps in the market place today are designed to run on both smart phones and tablets.

Will these seemingly disparate devices eventually merge into a single Smartlet or Tabphone device? What's your view?

November 27, 2012

Experiencing Windows Phone

With 17+ years of experience on Microsoft Technologies, with my current work focus on Kinect, PixelSense, Windows 8 and Phone 8, with having access to Kinect and Windows 8, but using an Android smart phone instead of Windows Phone isn't something that is appreciated. With Phone 8 now in market, I have been thinking of replacing my phone and my wife was happy enough to take my earlier android phone for herself.

However I could also just not go and buy a new Phone 8 device, so thought of first playing around with one for few days to figure out how it felt. Since we got a new Phone 8 device in our Lab, I had the earlier HTC Phone 7.5 device available for experimentation. Here are some of the things I felt about using the Phone 7.5 device over few weeks.

Continue reading "Experiencing Windows Phone" »

July 20, 2012

Windows 8, Phone 8, Phone 7.8

Microsoft has annouced about general availability of Windows 8 on 26 Oct 2012. I have been playing around with dev preview, then consumer preview and now release preview and look forward to the final release. I do intend to update my home PC with Windows 8.

While there is no specific annoucement on Phone 8 or the update for existing consumers to Phone 7.8, I would guess that Phone 8 should release around the same time as Windows 8. The upgrade from 7.5 to 7.8 will probably happen after that, in an attempt to push some of the existing consumers to Phone 8.

[Edited 20 July] Updates on dates of Phone 8, Office 2013 etc

May 31, 2012

Metro or not Metro

Since the time we started working on Phone 7 and Windows 8, anything Metro catches our eye. So I ended up reading this article Windows 8: Does Metro actually work? I think while some points have merit, overall I don't agree. Here's why?

Continue reading "Metro or not Metro" »

April 10, 2012

Desktops / Laptops / Tablets / Smartphones

At the turn of the century (year 2000) desktops and laptops were still going strong and mobile phones had just started to appear. I had put my hands on my very first mobile phone in year 2001 as getting a landline took few weeks and the mobile phone was activated within a day or two. I had moved to a new place and hence getting connectivity was critical. The mobile phone allowed me to stay connected while on the go, and in those days, I had to pay to receive calls as well. I had not thought of how the phone would evolve into today's smart phone with significant processing power, with ability to capture and view high resolution photos and HDMI videos, with ability to let me be connected with friends over facebook and twitter all the time and with ability to download and install thousands of applications from its very own marketplace. My family is hooked onto Angry Birds :-).

Continue reading "Desktops / Laptops / Tablets / Smartphones" »

February 8, 2012

Phone 7, Mango, Windows 8, Windows 8 on ARM, Apollo (Phone 8)... phew!

It is hardly two years since Microsoft had showcased Windows Phone 7. The SDK came out in September 2010. In Asia the availability of Phone 7 has just completed an year and we have already had a version upgrade to Mango (7.5).

On desktop/tablet side, Windows 8 developer preview was first made widely available in Build Conference in September 2011. The beta is expected anytime soon and then later this year the final release of this product.

Continue reading "Phone 7, Mango, Windows 8, Windows 8 on ARM, Apollo (Phone 8)... phew! " »

December 26, 2011

Immersive Experiences with Microsoft Technologies

In Immersive Technologies Track we are working on some exciting technologies related to data visualization, touch, gesture and augmented reality. The main products on our radar are Phone 7, Surface and Kinect. We recently published a technology roundtable newletter sharing some insights of our work. You can get to the newsletter from here.

Comments are welcome.

November 14, 2011

Silverlight 5

I had talked about Silverlight 5 earlier here and here. Though Silverlight is still used to build RIA apps for the web and is the platform of choice for Phone 7/7.5 development, Microsoft has not been very forthcoming on its future.

According to Mary-Jo Microsoft is about to release Silverlight 5. This is good, but it is also clear that Silverlight no longer retains the status of platform for cross device compatibility. That has been taken over by HTML 5.

Continue reading "Silverlight 5" »

September 28, 2011

Phone 7 upgraded to 7.5

Just last week I had talked about the Mango update was expected in a week or so and am glad to have it deployed on our device. As expected this update is versioned as 7.5. The update experience was pretty seamless.

The issue is that all of the applications that we had deployed earlier (built on version 7.0) are marked as revoked and need to uninstall them. The developer account also got locked and need to unlock this. And the market place is also finally accessible in India as well.

September 22, 2011

Mango Release

After seemingly never ending wait, the time finally has almost come. A colleague pointed out to this update on Phone 7 blog, which says that we should hope to see the update being rolled out to existing devices in a week or two. Am eagerly waiting for it, to deploy the Mango SDK based applications on the updated device and finally see them work (there is only so much we can get on emulator)

September 12, 2011

Tombstoning in Phone 7 (Mango version)

While working recently on a Phone 7 Mango based sample application, we got into discussions around data persistence and tombstoning of Phone 7 applications. While there are enough articles available that people can refer to (like here and here and a code sample here). Some more discussions here, here and here. I could see that my team wasn't completely satisfied and not very clear on need for tombstoning and also were confused between dormant application and a tombstoned application. This blog is my take on these concepts. Hopefully this will lay to rest some of the confusions.

Continue reading "Tombstoning in Phone 7 (Mango version)" »

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