Across the Windows Phone family of products, Microsoft’s intention is to bring together everything that’s important to our customers. This vision guided our strategy for Windows Phone 7 and is now being brought to life for a new audience with today’s announcement of KIN. The result is two experiences that share the same underlying philosophy and design, but were created for two purposes – two kinds of audiences.
While Windows Phone 7 is a multipurpose phone for a broad set of consumers, KIN is for a generation of people that live to be connected to their friends and their family. They get their news through Facebook and Twitter, and they can’t bear to be cut off from their friends. They connect, express and relate through technology, and this generation needs a phone to help them share their life moment to moment.
KIN delivers breakthroughs throughout the product such as the Loop, the Spot, and the Studio:
KIN Loop – The Loop is filled with your favorite people and the things you love – on your home screen, in real time. You tell KIN who and what is important, and it delivers the latest updates from your favorite people and places.
KIN Spot – The Spot is the new way to share. Share almost anything – photos, texts, web pages – to almost anyone by simply dragging them to a “spot” on your phone. Since the Spot is always on your screen you don’t have to worry about opening new applications – it’s easy.
KIN Studio –The KIN Studio is your KIN phone on the web. Everything you create on your phone – messages, contacts, photos, videos – is also stored in the cloud and accessible from any web browser. The content that’s important to you is automatically backed up to your own secure website and presented in a beautiful, visual timeline to make it easy to view and share with friends. And with all the storage you’ll need, there’s almost no limit on what you can keep.
The KIN Camera – KIN takes amazing photos, even in low light. One click upload makes it easy to share your pictures, and because they’re backed up automatically to the KIN Studio, you can look at them online, in full size, whenever you want. Only KIN makes sure all your photos and video clips are stored online without taking up precious memory on your phone.
As soon as I got my hands on Windows Mobile 6.5, I decided to test the text message (SMS) integration feature in Exchange Server 2010 Unified Messaging. This feature basically allow SMS text messages on your phone to be synchronized back to the Exchange Server where they can be easily searched and archived.
You can set up your Windows Phone to synchronize text messages in the Activesync options:
The feature also allows you to compose and send SMS text messages from Outlook or Outlook Web App. Let’s take a closer look:
When I receive a text message, it (obviously) reaches my phone,
It also gets synchronized with Exchange Server 2010 through Activesync and I can see the message in Outlook
Notice that I can reply to the text message right here from Outlook or I can compose a new one. And I can add emoticons too.
The sent items are synchronized both in Outlook and on the Windows Phone
The same functionality is available in Outlook Web App too:
You now have your voicemail, email, fax, SMS text messages, missed call alerts, missed conversations, all in one convenient location – your Outlook inbox. This is the power of Unified Messaging. 🙂
Windows Phone, the next generation Windows Mobile was released worldwide yesterday. While the previous versions of Windows Mobile were focused on business applications, the new focus is on Work AND Play.
The new Windows phone will keep you connected to your business e-mail, calendar and contacts, as well as help you stay in touch with friends and family with voice, messaging, photo and video sharing, and social networking. Key new features for Windows phone include:
New touch user experience
Hi-tech browser – lets you view pages just as you would view them on a PC – and lets you do the same things that you could do on a PC!
Support for Exchange Server 2010 and integrated Windows Live Mail client
Microsoft MyPhone – a new service that lets you do automatic backups and online access to your phone contacts, calendar, SMS messages, photos, favorites, etc. The premium option of MyPhone also helps you find, lock or erase a lost/stolen Windows Phone device.
A word on upgrades:
Certain models running Windows Mobile 6.1 can be upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.5. For an up-to-date list of devices that can be upgraded, see the Windows Phone website.
A later report in the Gulf News has revealed that the fateful patch, distributed by Etisalat, contained what is called an ‘interceptor’. An interceptor is basically a program that can potentially send a copy of each message on the device back to the service provider – which I would call – a serious privacy issue.
After a confirmation is successfully sent by the BlackBerry device to etisalat, the device waits for a message from etisalat to activate the interceptor software. …if and when the command is received, the software sends every subsequent opened message to etisalat.
…the software was also designed to protect itself from removal. It tracks changes to the system configuration and if it detects any, it uninstalls then reinstalls itself.
Apparently the battery drain was caused due the device waiting on an open data connection to send confirmation to Etisalat for the interceptor. Unlike Blackberry devices, Windows Mobile devices are not managed by the service provider or telco. They are managed by the organization that owns/administers the devices, and hence there is a more complete degree of control on what software gets installed on these devices. All communication between the Windows Mobile device and the Exchange servers (email servers hosted within the organization’s premises), happens through a secure, encrypted SSL tunnel between the device and the server over the 3G/GPRS network. The operator only provides simple internet connectivity for the device, and can’t do much to intercept or tamper with email data getting sync’d with the device.
However, some organizations refrain from going the Windows Mobile way, the common reason being the ability to have consistent monthly data charges with the Blackberry. However, based on a recent survey with Windows Mobile users, we found very compelling results:
Windows Mobile 6.1, coupled with Exchange Server 2007 provided a major improvement in bandwidth utilization. For a heavily active user profile, Windows Mobile 6.1 used only 388 KB per day to synchronize with Exchange Server!
A single Exchange 2007 Client Access Server can handle more concurrent connections on similar hardware when compared to Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES).
Windows Mobile is of lower cost and complexity
Windows Mobile is more secure and is highly manageable through System Center
You get a wider choice of applications and devices.
Familar and open development environment fosters development of exciting tools/add-ons
Pointui is an “skin” application developed for Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows Mobile 6.0. It adds the functionality to detect your “finger swipes” on the surface of Windows Mobile devices instead of the stylus, much like the iPhone.
Pointui claims to run on any current Windows Mobile hardware. Who would have ever thought this is all just software?!
Pointui is also a skin that redesigns the interface, gives you a better call log and also re-organizes menus, to make the WM interface easier to use.
During my consulting days, I have always attacked (or, tried to attack) Blackberry and have always positioned Windows Mobile and Activesync to all my clients. So here I am, exiling my Windows Mobile to the back of the drawer for a Nokia E61 that runs the Blackberry app and has no stylus/touch-screen. Its frustrating each time I feel the urge to poke at the screen with my finger to control the device, but in vain. I guess I’ll learn to live with it some day.