Lync client for Blackberry now available

by Shijaz Abdulla on 15.06.2011 at 08:25

I am happy to see the Lync client for Blackberry. If you’re a Blackberry user, download it today.

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My adventures with Blackberry

by Shijaz Abdulla on 21.12.2008 at 21:51

blackberry-logo I like to visualize the BlackBerry server as a ‘black box’ – only because it is often difficult to figure out where the problem is. Perhaps my ignorance is to blame, or it’s just my love for the simplicity/transparency surrounding the inner workings of ActiveSync.

The other day, for instance, I was trying to activate a Blackberry Bold device. The activation kept timing out for no reason. Most of the time when this happens, one of the following usually solves the problem.

  • "Wipe" the device
  • Delete and re-create the user on the Blackberry server
  • Do a failover (we have NeverFail for Blackberry)
  • Do a full restart of the server.

But this time it was rather strange. All the above actions were in vain. So I decided to ‘troubleshoot by elimination’.

  • Check if same SIM card works on another blackberry enabled device. (yes)
  • Check if another user can be activated on same blackberry device with same SIM (yes)

I then deduced that there is nothing wrong with the Black Box .. er.. BlackBerry server, the device or the SIM card. "It must be something on the mailbox", I thought. But what exactly?

A quick call to our service provider, and a long wait for someone to get back to me revealed to me what I was missing — the user’s junk mail filter!

Blackberry activation involves sending an email to the user’s inbox, which would contain some kind of a hash. The user’s junk mail filter mistakenly thought that the emails from blackberry were spam and sent it to the user’s Junk Mail folder in Outlook, before the blackberry server could pick it up (from the Inbox folder) and activate the device!

Software + Services: MS Office apps on web browsers. What next?

by Shijaz Abdulla on 29.10.2008 at 08:35

Microsoft has announced that the next version of Microsoft Office will include applications that can be worked off a web browser. Microsoft is said to have confirmed that these applications will work on non-Microsoft web browsers like Safari and Firefox.

This initiative is consistent with Microsoft’s "Software + Services" vision. Software plus Services is Microsoft’s take on the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market.

From Wikipedia:

Software as a service (SaaS, typically pronounced ‘sass’) is a model of software deployment where an application is hosted as a service provided to customers across the Internet. By eliminating the need to install and run the application on the customer’s own computer, SaaS alleviates the customer’s burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support.

With Microsoft services like Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and CRM 4.0, organizations big and small now have more choices in how they access and manage enterprise-class software – from entirely Web-based, to entirely on-premise solutions, and anywhere in between.

Having a variety of solutions to choose from gives customers the mobility and flexibility they need to meet constantly evolving business needs. To meet this demand, Microsoft is heading towards a hybrid strategy of "Software plus Services", the goal of which is to empower customers and partners with richer applications, more choices, and greater opportunity through a combination of on-premise software, partner-hosted software, and Microsoft-hosted software.

The web-based Office applications will be light-weight versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote. These apps can be accessed anywhere using a web browser from a PC or via a downloadable application on a mobile phone.