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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.

October 18, 2013

Integrated Vehicle Management App (Part 2)

In continuation to our idea of Integrated Vehicle Management application, where, in Part 1 of this blog we discussed about the options that such an application can provide, let us now look at how do we access the vehicle sensor data in our smart phone application. The pace of technology advancement and its penetration into our lives is ever so fast. Programmable cars look like the next fad for the Automobile industry and we are pretty enthusiastic to have the opportunity to program these cars. "Programmable cars", the industry itself seems huge with many players trying to carve a place as it looks like the next major breakthrough for the Automobile industry.

Continue reading "Integrated Vehicle Management App (Part 2)" »

Integrated Vehicle Management App (Part 1)

Now is the era of smart phones and apps that run on them. While doing our own work on Windows Phone 8 we were debating on what kind of application to build. An idea came based on the experience of one our team members. He had recently bought a vehicle and given a 3 months wait period. During these 3 months, he and the dealer had no clue on where the vehicle is and if it will really get delivered in 3 months or earlier or later. What if there was a way to track the status of construction of the vehicle? Similarly what if after purchase we could keep a tab on our vehicle via the application itself? Thus was born the idea of an integrated vehicle management application.

Continue reading "Integrated Vehicle Management App (Part 1)" »

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?" »

March 19, 2013

Windows Phone 8 Support Cycle

A colleague just shared this. When Microsoft had released Phone 8 they had talked about 18 months cycle before a new version will be made available. Phone 8 support ending in July 2014 is what it probably meant. Unlike regular desktop OS, in phone space, I believe once they release a new OS, they aren't really bothered about the earlier one. They probably took a different stand for their first version and did bring out Phone 7.8 (but with very limited new features).

Looks like this smart phone space will have very different dynamics. What do you think?

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 28, 2012

Windows 8 - Will it Succeed?

Forrester suggests that Windows 8 has had limited sale and organizations aren't yet inclined to move to Windows 8. The expected push seemingly will come from consumers via BYOD options. [Update] Microsoft reports a sale of 40 million licenses since its retail launch last month.

What is your take? Do you think it would have been good had Microsoft kept the modern UI restricted to Windows Surface (tablet) and the current desktop UI as is for desktops and laptops?

Continue reading "Windows 8 - Will it Succeed?" »

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" »

November 6, 2012

Getting Started with Phone 8

Microsoft had announced the much awaited Phone 8.0 SDK release and Phone launch during their recently concluded Build 2012 conference. You can get access to Phone 8.0 SDK here or if you have MSDN Subscription, then from here. Note that this SDK is 64 bits only, and runs on Windows 8, so you need to have Windows 8 to be able to develop for Phone 8.0 for now. The Phone 8.0 Emulator requires a SLAT PC and Hardware Virtualization enabled in the BIOS as well.

Continue reading "Getting Started with Phone 8" »

November 1, 2012

Windows Phone 8 Live Apps

Heard of old wine in new bottle? That's what the Phone 8 Live Apps are all about. While there is nothing new in this, there is still this new name to worry about. Microsoft keeps coming up with different jargon with every release and it just makes our lives all the more challenging.

Continue reading "Windows Phone 8 Live Apps" »

September 3, 2012

Windows 8, Phone 8.. Dates

We have known for a while now that the retail availability of Windows 8 will be on 26th Oct. So it should not be a surprise to have a big launch event on 25 Oct by MS to make the formal annoucement.

MS had also showcased Phone 8 in Phone summit, but what was not known so far was the launch date for the same. Some of the dates are now being made known. Read here. Even if Phone 8 doesn't launch on 29 Oct, given that the BUILD 2012 Conference starts the next day, we can expect Phone 8 to definitely get showcased there.

July 20, 2012

Windows Phone 8 Platform Review

Microsoft had showcased Windows Phone 8 some weeks back at the Windows Phone Summit. You can find the videos from that summit here. If you are an enterprise customer and evaluating moving on to Phone 8, you may find my viewpoint paper published here helpful.

Do share back any comments you may have on the paper. I would be glad to discuss further.

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

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