Is Steve Jobs Sending a Message To ALL Cross-Platform Development Vendors?#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

By now, many may have heard about or read in full Steve Jobs’ “Thoughts on Flash” statement released yesterday. While much of what was written in the statement (and discussed around the Internet) was specific to Adobe and Flash, a statement by Jobs in the section entitled “Sixth, the most important reason”, can have a far broader effect on mobile device development -

“We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.

This becomes even worse if the third party is supplying a cross platform development tool. The third party may not adopt enhancements from one platform unless they are available on all of their supported platforms. Hence developers only have access to the lowest common denominator set of features. Again, we cannot accept an outcome where developers are blocked from using our innovations and enhancements because they are not available on our competitor’s platforms.”

While the context in which this is spoken is in relation to Flash, the term “cross-platform development tool” can also be aimed at cross-platform development platforms as well. Many of you may not be aware that there are development platforms oriented towards developing in one language and deploying across mobile devices. These tools are becoming extremely enticing for enterprises in two scenarios -

  1. A business desires to build consumer-facing applications (mobile banking, for example). In these cases, where the business has little to no control over what devices their customers are using, developing separate versions of a single application to support a variety of mobile phones can be a very costly endeavor.
  2. A business supports multiple mobile device platforms and wishes to deploy line of business applications. Different cause than #1, but same net effect; having to consider multiple versions of the same application or applications.

For these scenarios, a multi-platform mobile device development tool/technology can greatly reduce initial and ongoing development costs. Is Steve Jobs saying, however, that these types of tools should not make it to the iPhone and iPad? The reason I ask this question is – some already are there today.

There are several companies that currently support the iPhone as one of the mobile devices to target with their development platforms. Based on Jobs’ rationale, these types of applications have no business on the iPhone. the same risks he describes with Flash apply with these platforms as well. Do these platforms run the risk of future exclusion based upon Jobs’ stance on Flash?

I have always been a major proponent of developing in “native code” when it comes to mobile devices. The benefits are obvious, as Steve Jobs points out. However, I am also a realist. The real world of mobility consists of more than just the iPhone, contrary to some popular beliefs ;-) From a business perspective, there are often times when you cannot choose to develop for just one platform without hurting your business. At the same time, developing natively for multiple platforms is simply not economical, be it for time or resource reasons. In such cases, the only effective solution is to have a platform that allows for one application developed, multiple platforms supported.

I can see taking the position of rigorous testing and certification for applications written for multiple platforms to ensure meeting acceptable performance and usability. Actually, I thought that was the purpose of the iPhone application submission process. Taking a rather Draconian stance on the issue, however, puts a few vendors and a lot of enterprises in quite a bind. Ironically, this may result in some companies choosing to support a lot of mobile devices… except for the iPhone (at least until such time as an iPhone version of the application can be developed and maintained apart from the “everyone else” version of the application).

Maybe I’m causing a bit of a “tempest in a teapot” here. Maybe the arguments Steve Jobs brought forth in his “letter” are really only intended for Adobe and Flash. If that is the case, though, it would be a bit of a double-standard. If Jobs is serious about third-party multi-platform development tools and the iPhone and iPad, the ramifications could be pretty large. It will be interesting to watch how this develops in the coming months.

04/29/2010 14:35:58 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Phone 7 Developer CTP Refresh Now Available#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

According to the Windows Phone Developer Blog, a refresh of the Windows Phone 7 Developer CTP is now available for download! -

WP-vert-web

Beginning today you can download the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP Refresh (WPDT CTP) from http://developer.windowsphone.com, which means you can now build Windows Phone 7 apps on the final release of Visual Studio 2010 (VS2010). While this update is primarily intended to enable development using the final release of VS2010 there are a few new things here too.”

In addition to the big item of Visual Studio 2010 RTM compatibility (I know a few people eagerly awaiting this), there are a number of other enhancements -

  • This release has been tested to work with the final release of Visual Studio 2010.
  • An updated Windows Phone 7 OS image for the Windows Phone Emulator.
  • A few APIs in the frameworks have been added and or changed. See this MSDN page for more details.
  • The documentation has been updated with new and expanded topics. See this MSDN page for more details.
  • We’ve provided limited support for launchers and choosers. In cases where the underlying built-in experience is not present launchers and choosers are still not available (i.e. the email chooser asks you to select a contact, but there are no contacts in the emulator and no way to add one).
  • Pause/Resume events are now supported.
  • If the tools are installed as the admin user, non-admin users are now able to deploy to the emulator.
  • A problem with incremental deployment of projects has been fixed.
  • A problem resulting in the error "Connection failed because of invalid command-line arguments" being displayed during project creation has been fixed.
  • A problem where the Windows Phone node was not appearing in VS 2010 on non-system drives has been fixed.
  • Design time skin refresh issues have been addressed.

Be sure to read the Release and Installation Notes for important instructions!

04/29/2010 12:47:35 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

RingCentral Mobile Contest Giveaway#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

RingCentral Mobile is a cloud-based virtual PBX service that enables small businesses to enjoy the same level of PBX service that large companies do without the expense of purchasing and maintaining expensive hardware and software licenses. RingCentral furnishes you with a toll-free number at signup or you can forward your existing phone service to RingCentral that will handle and deliver phone calls to multiple numbers any way you wish. All incoming calls are re-routed as you choose, sending calls to the relevant receivers depending on parameters you have set for them, using its built-in auto attendant. This call routing can be done by groups or as a directory. It can be as simple as having a certain extension for sales call going to a person in your company that handles sales by ringing their office line first for a set number of rings, then their mobile, and then their home office line before going to voicemail or another person. You also have internet fax and voicemail capabilities from any PC you log onto as well as full management capabilities with an easy to use web interface.

 RingCentralBPPCgiveaway2

 

Main Features:

Toll Free Numbers
Choose a toll free number that’s right for you: regular toll free (866, 877, etc.) , or a true 1-800 or vanity number (e.g., 866-MYPHONE).

Local Numbers
You can live and work in one city and get a local number in another. Choose the area codes(s) that makes sense for your business. Find out how you can save on inbound voice calls.

Voicemail
You get professional greetings, multiple delivery options and alerts. Pick up voicemail via email or in your online account and play over your computer speakers — or pick up by phone. Calls to local numbers to leave or listen to voicemail are FREE.

Internet Fax
Send and receive faxes by email and online in a snap — even from Microsoft Office and your phone. You’ll also get free fax software to electronically sign and edit faxes.

If you are interested in trying out RingCentral for yourself, you will get 50% off your first 3 months with RingCentral. If you would like to win a year of service to RingCentral Mobile read on. :)

We will be choosing at random 1 winner for 1 year of service at RingCentral Mobile for those that send an email to: ringcentral@bostonpocketpc.com with the subject Boston Pocket PC RingCentral Giveaway explaining why you would like to win 1 year of Virtual PBX service along with your full name and mailing address. It could be something simple, such as not missing that all important call from a loved one or that must-make-important business call. We will choose 1 (one) winner at random from all valid entries.

To gain additional entries be sure to Tweet the following via Twitter (be sure to email ringcentral@bostonpocketpc.com with your Twitter user account to be counted if you don’t have your name listed in your Twitter Profile):

I entered a contest to win 1-yr subscription to RingCentral Mobile by @fyiguy & @DPSJ at BostonPocketPC http://bit.ly/b0uSR4

AND/OR

Like BostonPocketPC on Facebook.com

Each additional entry, will gain one additional chance to be chosen at random (maximum of 3 entries per person) via Random.org. All entries must be in on May 1st by 5PM EST. The winner will be announced on May 2nd. If the winner doesn’t respond via email in 24 hours another winner will be drawn.

The prize that will be given away is a one year of free service with RingCentral Mobile a $300 value. Non US-Based winner will be compensated with a cash payment equal to the value of the prize package.  As one of the 25 winners of the RingCentral Giveaway you will be entered into a chance to win one of the 5 Grand Prizes, an Ultimate Small Business Start-up Packages from Ivy Worldwide valued at over $1100.

The Ultimate Small BusinessStart-up Package includes:

  • Virtual Phone System by RingCentral ($300)
  • Company incorporation services by LegalZoom ($339)
  • Logo Design services by Logoworks  ($339)
  • 1000 premium business cards printed by Vistaprint  ($40)
  • One year web hosting with BlueHost . ($84)

If you want to increase your chances of winning head to the following websites that still have their contests running here:

  • Chip Chick – Helena Stone (tech, gadgets): April 23-27
  • Daddy Forever – Ken Cheung (geek dad blog): April 24-28
  • Absolutely Windows - John Obeto (microsoft windows, businesses): April 25-29
  • GeeksRoom – Hector Russo (software, hardware, gadgets): April 26-30
  • BostonPocketPC – Steven Hughes (mobile, technology, news): April 27 – May 1
  • Jake Ludington’s MediaBlab - Jake Luddington (gadgets, movies, music, podcasting): April 28 – May 2
  • PlanetAMD64 – Carlos Echenique (64-bit drivers, applications, utilities): April 29 – May 3
  • The Gadgeteer - Julie Strietelmeier (gadgets, gizmos, mobile): April 30 – May 4

    List of the rest of the 25 participating websites in the Ultimate Small BusinessStart-up Package :

  • TechVirtuoso –Frank Owen (information technology): April 6-10
  • The Digital Lifestyle – Ian Dixon (windows, media, lifestyle): April 7-April 11
  • Clintonfitch – Todd Cochrane (technical information): April 8-12
  • Geek News Central – Todd Cochrane (technical information): April 9-13
  • TCT Podcast  – Norbert Davis (cool tech): April 10-14
  • Mobile PC World - Terri Stratton (mobile pc information): April 11-15
  • Mobile Gadgeteer – Joel Evans (mobile gadgets): April 12-16
  • Mobility Site - Eric Hicks (windows mobile, pocket pc, smartphones): April 13-17
  • GottaBeMobile - Xavier Lanier(tablet pc, mobile pc, multi-touch): April 14-18
  • Neowin – Brad Sams (technology news): April 15-19
  • HackCollege - Chris Lesinski (student lifehacking): April 16-20
  • OSNN - Bert Regeer (windows, linux, macintosh news): April 17-21
  • The LazyAdmin – Daniel Nerenberg (lazy admin): April 18-22
  • Slashdot Review  – Andrew McCaskey (tech news): April 19-23
  • GearDiary – Judie Lipsett (mobile, technology, gear): April 20-24
  • Mobile Jaw – Mike Temporale (mobility, mobile): April 21-25
  • Mobilityminded - Johan van Mierlo (windows mobile, iphone, android, netbooks): April 22-26

    If you don’t visit or already read these websites, I highly recommend it!

    Good Luck!!

  • 04/27/2010 12:00:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

    Why KIN and Windows Phone 7 Can Succeed – Getting User Experiences#
    Post By Don Sorcinelli

    Print WP-vert-web

    It’s fortunate that we all have the ability as humans to grow, mature and learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the ability to adapt and learn. This fundamental principle not only applies to “macro” topics like culture; it applies to the little things as well. Cellular technology and its uses are one such example.

    When cell phones first came into existence, there was essentially one use for the new technology – to make and receive phone calls. Time passed, and the emergence of the Personal Digital Assistant (“PDA”) eventually merged with the cell phone to create what came to be known as the “smart phone” – a cellular phone that could also be used to digitally maintain and manage your life. While this technology evolved, something else evolved. People began to use the technology and evolve in the ways we use the technology, as well as what we expect from the technology. As we look at today (2010) and compare how people view and expect to use smart phones to a decade ago, a lot has changed.

    Ten years ago, we were all trying to figure out the best way to take advantage of smart phone technology. Not only the makers of the technology, but also the users of the technology. Different companies took different approaches. For Microsoft, the approach was simple – give users the ability to do many of things they did on a computer in a smaller, more mobile form. This is what led to the Pocket PC platform and eventually extended to the Microsoft Smartphone operating system. For the most part, no one really knew well (and could only assume) how user should interact with and experience working with a platform of this type – there really just was not enough information. Microsoft took a logical approach of familiarity; try to give users a look and feel similar to what they had on the Windows operating system. For a while, this approach worked and worked quite well. But time marched on, and along with it users comfort, experience and desires with regard to smart phones. As a result, the focus of expected user experiences also changed. This became strikingly apparent when Apple introduced the iPhone to the world.

    Say what you will about Apple. Whether you like them or not, Apple does one thing as a company better than anyone in the technology sector – they research and understand targeting users and understanding their expectations for user experiences. Apple has made their living by identifying a market segment, intimately understanding how they interact with a given technology (or more importantly, how they want to interact with a given technology), and crafting a solution based upon those needs and desires. They had proven themselves time and time again with OSX as an operating system and the iPod as a media platform. While these technologies may not appeal to you or I, they did appeal to millions (I now explain to people regularly why I am not an iPod user or an OSX devotee as simply “I am not Apple’s target audience”). Apple’s next target was the cellular market – an we all know about the success of the iPhone. By identifying and understanding a user base of cell phone users, Apple created a user experience destined for success for that user base. While this was going on, Microsoft continued its focus on enabling users to do a lot of things with their now Windows Mobile devices. However, the user experience around Windows Mobile seemed to be secondary when it came to features. Which leads us to the present time.

    Microsoft has shown in recent years that they are increasingly “getting it” when it comes to the user experience. While Windows Vista wasn’t the success Microsoft had hoped for, it was obvious that Microsoft was moving the desktop computing experience towards more “user-focused” features. Windows 7 has taken that design thinking to the next level, and early indicators are pointing to success in this regard. Microsoft has also shown their understanding of user experiences with both their Xbox and Zune platforms. While Zune has never achieved the sales numbers that people would have liked or expected, the customer satisfaction numbers for Zune prove that Microsoft is at least listening and responding to a targeted user bases’ needs (I think it is easy enough to argue that while their technology focus has improved, their marketing strategy still leaves much to be desired). Now, Microsoft has turned its “user experience crosshairs” on the area where they most critically need it – their mobile phone business.

    If you look closely at the announced KIN platform and first devices, you can see that Microsoft has targeted a very focused user segment. This audience is all about the phone being used for connecting with friends, be it by call, email or social network. They also created very useful user experiences around all of this functionality. In the KIN, Microsoft has designed not only to do things, but to do things in a fun and efficient way.

    Microsoft has taken this same approach with Windows Phone 7. They have looked at a targeted user base and focused on creating both fun and efficient user experiences to match up with user’s needs. In this respect, I am excited about Windows Phone 7. Not so much the “fun” side (although I do like fun) of the platform, mind you; I am looking forward to the efficiency. In this way, I too have evolved as a user of smart phones. While I enjoy the amount of control I have with a current Windows Mobile device, I have come to realize that is not what I really crave. I crave the ability to do the things I do on the phone in an efficient manner. I now leave the control and customization part of technology to my desktop and notebook computers. By the way – I’ve come to recognize this in my use of netbook computers as well. I craved the form factor, but the restricted power of a netbook was too hindering for me. I now realize that I am not the “target audience” for a netbook. Instead, I am the target audience for a small form-factor notebook.

    KIN and Windows Phone 7 are not for everyone – I realize that. I know first-hand many existing Windows Mobile users who are upset with the decisions Microsoft has made in their mobile phone strategy. For Microsoft to succeed (or even survive) in this market, however, Microsoft has had to evolve along with users of the technology. Unfortunately, targeting certain user segments also leaves others out of the equation. From working in this segment on a daily basis, though, I can safely say the “old” market segment is much smaller than the “new” and “evolved” segment. In the end, it is about business.

    Both the KIN and Windows Phone 7 platforms truly have the tools to be a success. They address how users have evolved in their usage and expectations of mobile phones. If Microsoft can effectively market that point to the world, they have the ability to once again be a major player in this market. 

    04/24/2010 11:29:19 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

    Windows Mobile and The Enterprise: What’s Next?#
    Post By Don Sorcinelli

    As many of you might have already heard, Microsoft has plans for the current version of Windows Mobile (6.5) beyond the launch of Windows Phone 7. Microsoft is bringing Windows Mobile operating system under the control of the Windows Embedded Business (“WEB”) group. This group has previously been responsible for the Windows CE business and works closely with OEMs focused on specialized hardware for business.

    Microsoft is fully committed to the Windows Mobile operating system as well as the associated application development tools for the long term, which is great news for enterprises that are heavily invested in Windows Mobile hardware; “Great news” at least on the surface. There is, however, a looming concern for certain types of enterprises as the launch of Windows Phone 7 draws closer. A little elaboration is in order here.

    As is the case with most of Microsoft’s operating system businesses (exceptions include Zune and Xbox), Microsoft relies heavily on hardware manufacturers (the OEMs) to choose and license the operating system. Traditionally, the WEB group has partnered with OEMs either focused on specific vertical markets (healthcare devices, for example) or use case scenarios (field service technicians, military) for using the Windows Embedded platform to create highly specialized solutions. Now, Windows Mobile does fit nicely into one aspect of the current business. For enterprises requiring a more “generalized” operating system (versus highly-customized), an enterprise application development platform (think .NET and .NET Compact Framework) and device durability, Microsoft’s partners like Motorola/Symbol, Intermec and Honeywell fit quite well. They will continue to be key partners in supporting Windows Mobile as it moves forward. There is, however, another key enterprise customer here that these devices do not address. Take, for example, the following hypothetical enterprise customer (when I say “hypothetical” here, many of these types of customers do exist; I am just generalizing the type rather than stating by name):

    My company currently has hundreds/thousands of Windows Mobile devices deployed throughout our organization. We chose Windows Mobile for several reasons, including:

    • Custom Line of Business applications.
      Our organization has developed (at great expense) applications that integrate with our enterprise infrastructure. They have been built using the .NET Compact Framework and are capable of occasionally-connected scenarios thanks to Microsoft SQL Server CE. These applications used by personnel throughout our company (including key decision-makers) are now considered “mission-critical” to our business.
      Windows Mobile also provides us with a variety of application deployment options, including OTA download and install via device management solutions.
    • Device configuration and customization.
      The Windows Mobile operating system provides us with the capability to tailor configurations and settings to meet both corporate and user requirements.
    • Security.
      Windows Mobile provides us with the security features to meet our business and regulatory compliance needs.

    The most important factor with this type of customer as it relates to hardware is that they typically do not need or wish to pay for a ruggedized solution. These users are “information workers” that are highly mobile and best benefit from the smaller form factors a consumer-oriented device provides. So, what can this type of enterprise user of Windows Mobile expect in the near future?

    While the Windows Mobile operating system will be alive and well for these customers, the big looming question is – Will there be an OEM continuing to build “consumer-like” Windows Mobile devices once Windows Phone 7 ships? If one looks to the WEB group, there is cause for concern here. This group has traditionally (and rightly so) focused on specific verticals and “blue collar” scenarios for partners. My hypothetical company example just isn’t their business. Now while I acknowledge that it is not Microsoft’s roll as the operating system vendor to force OEMs to develop for a platform or market, they should at least promote that market. My concern – I don’t see that happening. Instead, I fear these enterprises will be branded as “consumers” and considered simply a Windows Phone 7 target. REALITY CHECK – they simply are not for the following reasons:

    • Windows Phone 7 in it’s initial incarnation is not targeted to meet many Line of Business application needs.
      The sandboxed application model, no database engine for storage of large and complex data structures and new programming tools platform (Silverlight) make this a “no-option” for many enterprises. One could come up with workarounds to overcome the obstacles, but even those would require extensive application rewrites.  
    • Lack of device control by the enterprise.
      Whether talking about application deployment, device configuration or device customization, Windows Phone 7 just is not an option. This is a very controlled platform, once again leaving enterprises needing that functionality out in the cold.

    So, what is our hypothetical company to do? Well, we’ll stay on Windows 6.5 of course. But what happens after Windows Phone 7 launch when new employees are hired, or phones break, are lost or stolen. Simple we go by new ones from… uh-oh. You see, this isn’t about the operating system or the development platform. It’s all about the hardware.

    All of this leads me to the two following pleas:

    1. Microsoft – Please consider promoting the case for Windows Mobile consumer hardware to OEMs. There is an identifiable and quantifiable market here – you don’t have to make numbers up. Simply do the math on break/replace rates and look at enterprise adoption numbers.
    2. OEMs – Please consider making these types of devices. Think about it this way… If you are the one company that steps up to the plate and makes this commitment, imagine the large and quite captive audience you will cater to.

    Outside of this happening, the only advice I can give to enterprises like the one described in this post is – start hording devices now to build up inventory in advance of the coming hardware “famine”.

    04/22/2010 10:16:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

    BostonPocketPC Now On Facebook#
    Post By Don Sorcinelli

    For you Facebook users out there… BostonPocketPC now has a Facebook page! In addition to the content you would find here, our Facebook page also includes an event calendar for upcoming Boston/New England Windows Phone User and Developer group events as well as Windows Phone events in the Greater Boston area. The BostonPocketPC Facebook page also hosts Discussion Threads for members.

    If you are a Facebook user, be sure to head on over and “like” us today (in case you were unaware – Facebook has replaced “Being a Fan” with “Like” for joining a page).

    04/22/2010 09:05:36 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

    Windows Phone 7: Price Matters!#
    Post By Don Sorcinelli

    During last night’s monthly user and developer group meeting, we covered a number of items. Steve Hughes’ KIN presentation was great in providing lots of info. We also covered an overview of Windows Phone 7 development (SIDE NOTE: We are planning a number of focused developer presentations in the coming months on various aspects of Windows Phone 7 development. Stay tuned for more details…).

    During the meeting, a recurring theme emerged. It spanned both the KIN and Windows Phone 7, and it is an area that is essential for both platforms’ success. It is also an area that has been a sore point for Microsoft and it’s partners throughout the life of the Pocket PC, Smartphone, Windows Mobile and now Windows Phone – price competitiveness. It is an area that if not addressed will potentially cause history to repeat itself and risk the failure of the platforms regardless of the the values they provide.

    The cellular industry has a long history of product pricing through subsidies that reduce the cost of a phone for the consumer. While we all know that the physical phone is but one “cost” when combined with voice, data and additional services, the general consumer expectation has been that the cost of hardware should not be an obstacle in making a purchase. This has become a sort of “immutable law” for the average consumer when it comes to cell phones. For many of you reading this piece, this line of reasoning does not apply (and rightly so). Your love of “gadgetry” supersedes cost. But remember – you are the exception, not the rule. Just think about significant others, family and friends who have questioned your sanity about the amount of money spent on such technology :-) All this brings us back to the history of Windows Mobile in the cellular market space.

    Traditionally, device manufacturers using the Windows Mobile operating system and mobile operators (the AT&Ts, Verizons, etc of the world) have chosen to brand these devices as “high-end” and often priced them closer to traditional computers than phones. At the same time, the industry still treats them as “disposable devices” in terms of shelf-life (translation – you, the consumer, are willing to upgrade to new hardware on a frequent basis at “discounted” prices in return for renewing service agreements). At prices that are often still $100 - $200 USD over other phones (even after subsidies and discounts), the perception to the average consumer is often “that’s an awful lot of money for something that I won’t keep forever.”

    I will grant you that Microsoft is working hard with Windows Phone 7 to attempt to add long term value to Windows Phone 7 devices. But they are not the device manufacturer nor are they the mobile operator, both who see value in you not keeping a single device for long periods of time. That being said, what else will drive sales of new Windows Phone 7 devices. Ironically, the answer lies with Apple, AT&T and (of course) the iPhone.

    While initial sales of the original iPhone were good, it was not until the iPhone price drop (remember the event that had many early iPhone adopters feeling foolish for paying so much?) that truly drove sales. Since then, there has been a continuous and very conscientious effort of Apple and AT&T’s parts to bring new devices to market at lower prices. The most recent example – the entry price for the iPad coming in at under $500 and resulting amazing sales numbers – shows that competitive pricing in this segment matters. Price matters. The iPhone and iPad have, in essence, revolutionized another aspect of technology (at least in the cellular space) – powerful devices at affordable prices (at least that is what the numbers show).

    For both KIN and Windows Phone 7, price will matter. IN the case of KIN, which Microsoft themselves brand as a “feature phone with great features”, but not a smartphone, pricing this device significantly above other feature phones will likely be disastrous – history and the numbers simply don’t lie. Interestingly enough for Microsoft, this is the first phone for them in which they are actually closer to being the manufacturer than ever before (while Sharp was their hardware partner here, Microsoft really ran the design part of things). Such is not the case with Windows Mobile, nor will it be the case with Windows Phone 7; Microsoft is simply the operating system licenser. However, Microsoft has the most to lose or gain with it’s investment in Windows Phone 7 (keep in mind that most of the device manufacturers are currently hedging their bets on the operating system front with Android as well).

    So, how does Microsoft ensure price competitiveness with Windows Phone 7 devices? I don’t know the final answer here. Some common sense possibilities include putting pressure on the device manufacturers and mobile operators to ensure cost competitiveness (although that really hasn’t worked out in the past). Perhaps Microsoft themselves stepping up (at least initially) to cover some of the subsidy cost in order to improve chances of success. Regardless – something has to be done here to make certain that Windows Phone 7 devices do not show up on mobile operators shelves with prices that induce consumer “sticker shock”.

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” - George Santayana

    For Microsoft and it’s partners in the cellular space, these words have never rung more true. Regardless of capabilities or of “sex and sizzle”, KIN and Windows Phone 7 devices risk being relegated to inventory shelves if they cannot entice average consumers with effective competitive pricing.      

    04/22/2010 08:42:56 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

    NEXT USER/DEVELOPER GROUP MEETING – Wednesday, April 21st#
    Post By Don Sorcinelli

    The next meeting of the Boston/New England Windows Phone User and Developer Groups will occur on Wednesday, April 21st starting at 6:30pmat the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (201 Jones Road, 6th Floor).

    Map picture

    There are lots of exciting things going on around Microsoft and phones, and this month’s agenda reflects it! -

    Introducing Your Next of KIN: Microsoft’s New Feature Phone Platform
    If you haven’t already heard, Microsoft has announced a new feature phone platform in KIN. In this presentation, we will discuss what KIN is (and isn’t) and talk about the first two KIN devices announced – the KIN 1 and KIN 2.

    Introduction to Windows Phone 7 Development
    The Windows Phone 7 platform introduces an exciting new platform for smartphones – not only for users, but developers as well. In this presentation/demonstration, you will learn about the basics of Windows Phone 7 application development using Visual Studio 2010, Silverlight and Expression Blend.

    I look forward to seeing you all there!

    04/16/2010 08:30:24 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

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