the HTC Shift is nearly here

August 14, 2007

HTC push the boundaries of the UMPC form factor

well it seems they’ve done it again, those innovative people over at HTC have come up with another market beater. this time it’s the HTC Shift.

I snagged the info via Tracy and Matt who seem to be the getting the skinny first on quite a few devices these days Matt snagged it from  Hugo Ortega over at Uber tablet got hold of one of the first ones in Australia. the video is pure techno porn, minus the money shot (just)

The device specs are pretty impressive a 40 Gig HDD with HSDPA built in, Biometrics, WiFi, GPS and all in a lovely package. the shift has   dual RAM and processors – why ? you ask because it supports….

Windows Mobile 6 professional  AND Windows Vista Business


Windows Mobile 6 professional  AND Windows Vista Business


Oh and for eye candy it supports Aero as well.

A while ago I mused on the blurring  of the line between the benefits of a full desktop OS and the rapid on off of Windows Mobile the inevitable power versus speed trade off that would inform your OS choice, well in one fell swoop HTC have blown this line to smithereens.  

Hugo describes the alternative environment as a kind of sideshow, which it isn’t, the Shift  has a full Windows Mobile 6  Professional environment, wrapped up in the HTC today skin, as seen on the Touch. With WM 6 pro of course you get Office Mobile, you get IE Mobile, you’ll get Windows Live and with exchange activesync you have near instant access to all your everyday applications, mail, calendar and contacts  in fact, all the benefits you have from a standard WM  device now with a 5 day battery life.

Switch to vista and you have a full blown operating system with all the regular applications you might need, yeah battery life drops to 3 hours but hell you’re running Vista.

The only oddity is the cellular,  apparently it’s data only, but I can’t see why using the SDK someone couldn’t write a fairly comprehensive phone application.

remember this is a UMPC but it’s a world beating UMPC, HTC innovation has done it again a unique solution to the greatest dilemma facing the mobile professional today….. Windows Mobile or Windows Vista ? ..forget it  get a Shift, I know I am and I’m going to get one as soon as humanly possible.

the only downside, I know hundreds of users that would benefit from this and I guarantee the product will be in constraint before  the day it hits the shelves.

well done HTC  very well done,  a peach of a product, a peach that’s going to have those apple fanboys green with envy !!!

it’s available for via Expansys on preorder for £740 +VAT sans contract.

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Orange Unique and Blackberry

July 11, 2007

Orange to launch the BlackBerry 8820 – UMA and email in a single device


Orange have announced that they will be launching the  BlackBerry 8820 will be at the end of July which   will replace the BlackBerry 8800 in Orange’s portfolio.

The 8820 is a revamped 8800 that offers all the  functionality of the 8800  and combines it with UMA  (The ability to use WiFi VoIP and Cellular in the same device). The 8820 therefor supports Orange’s  Unique offering where home workers can roam onto Orange’s Unique VoIP service via the Internet through their Orange Broadband connection when in their home location.

email on the go and UMA is a great feature, HP have combined the options in the iPAQ 514 Voice Communicator (still waiting HP!!) on the Windows Mobile 6 Platform so it’s good to see RIM following suite for those Blackberry users out there

Interestingly Orange Caveat the Unique service as follows  

Please note that the Unique/Homeworker proposition offers users the ability to continue to make voice calls when in the home, irrespective of GSM coverage, using WiFi/Orange Broadband. It may however be subject to busy periods as with all broadband connections. Customers are therefore advised to trial the solution before committing to large rollouts.

Which hints that they might be having capacity problems, I don’t use the service myself but would be interested in any Orange customer experiences of problems in this service.

I think the jury is still out on the whether UMA or Pico Cells will be the best technology to provide local roaming so any user experiences are of great interest to me.

remember Rabbit anyone ?

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Blackberry and Exchange Total Cost of Ownership White Paper

July 3, 2007

real world experiences qualify a lab based paper

Jason has posted a link to the new revised RIM v’s Microsoft TCO white paper, which has been updated to include interviews with actual enterprise users of both technologies.

The original paper’s findings  back in 2005 were validated by interviewing a very small sample of 10 RIM users and  Microsoft and WiPro have extended the interviews to 160 enterprise users of one or the other mobility solutions.

the user communities of the interviewees are large, averaging over 50,000 email users with over 10,000 mobile devices.

to be honest this revision doesn’t move the debate forward all that far, it does give some insight into actual experience of users which can be supported per server in a BES environment and there are a few assumptions I’m not all that comfortable with, such as the comparative data plan costs in either environment and the relative support costs.

One of the interesting facts is that 89% of Blackberry respondents used Outlook web access before mobile deployment with only 88% of Windows Mobile respondents, following deployment the RIM figure stayed the same (unsurprisingly) whereas the WM figure rose to 96% just shows that Windows Mobile is part of a range of portals you can use to access your messaging and diary systems.

if you haven’t read the original paper this is worth a read however I don’t see it changing many minds.

Windows Mobile 6 and email triage

June 13, 2007

how Microsoft’s latest mobile platform has tipped the balance

email triage is one of the most popular  uses of  Windows Mobile device, which is the processing of your inbox in quiet moments when getting your laptop out is not an option.  it’s a great way to steam through a load of emails and filter the email fluff from your inbox delegate mails not for you and generally prepare your inbox for an efficient days work.  a true example of the benefits that the flexible working 9 by that I mean location independent working) that windows mobile 6 truly supports

The new shortcuts in Outlook Mobile under Windows Mobile 6 make life a whole lot easier


simply press and hold the appropriate key and you can process the email according to your wishes.

today was the day when the balance was tipped, I came out of an extended  meeting  to find over 90 emails had arrived in the time I had been out of circulation. One particular thread needed my attention but the rest were FYIs or mailing lists ( yes I have a few where the site concerned has not yet embraced RSS), I had my laptop available in front of me but chose to breeze through the mails  on my smartphone because the shortcuts make  the process so much easier.  90 emails processed in double quick time down to the seven that really needed urgent attention. of course I penned the long responses on my notebook as the keyboard is much easier to make rapid use of however I’m pretty sure my inbox will always be processed  at the top level through my smartphone from now on.

Home Working Wayback Machine

June 11, 2007

Computing entrepreneurs the eighties way

I like my Waybacks this time it’s not just what Kevin called a mobile wayback but a whole workstyle wayback.

My family are hoarders, for me it’s trailing edge technology, for my Mother it’s old magazines which are great for those quiet contemplative moments men have :)

countryman spring 83

Recently I was perusing a copy of the countryman magazine from spring 1983, my eye was caught by the strapline ‘farming computerised‘ 

The article describes a home based business run by a Gillian Farrant of Manor Farm near Eaton in Oxfordshire.  Mrs Farrant took the enterprising step of setting up a farm data tracking business with the local vet’s wife.

The whole enterprise was run on  an apple II 

farrantThe which the author describes as  typewriter keyboard with a TV set sitting on top with a magnetic-disc recorder and an automatic printer  at the princely sum of £2000 a bargain as also unusually for a Mac  you could actually play a state of the art  computer game on the thing (ouch).  

Now unfortunately I cant find any record of Manor Farm Eaton or the Farrant brothers or Mrs Farrant and Hatch’s Farm recording Services, Farmplan are alive and well and still in the market they were in in ’83 however this appeals to my trailing edge tech interests  and is kind of on topic with a nod to homeworking.

Those were the days: the full article is copied below for your enjoyment – you can get up to date copies of the countryman from their website

digital dairying 1page 61page 62page 63page 64

Exchange 2007 and Windows Mobile 6 feature matrix

May 30, 2007

Windows Mobile 5.0 & 6 with exchange 2007 from an Exchange perspective

This Deep Dive into Windows Mobile 6.0 and Exchange Server 2007 from the exchange team blog is essentially a rehash of the Jason’s earlier post  but from an exchange perspective ( of course ).

The post has the benefit of showing just the WM6 and Exchange 2007 synergies and also of actually showing the comparative glory of HTML mail on a WM5.0, a  WM 6 and an Outlook client which is a useful illustration.

The biggest message to take away is that the deployment of an Exchange 2007 server in the Client Access Server (CAS) role (what we used to call a front end server)  is not enough to enable the advanced functionality.

The WM6 functionality is dependent on the version of exchange the mailbox server is running not the front end server. This is different from the Exchange 2000 / 2003 mixed environment.

Be very careful here as I also hear from our deployment teams that the Exchange 2007 CAS in an Exchange 2003 environment is over complex and doesn’t quite do what it says on the tin, at least not without a bit of tweaking.

there seems to be an error as I can definitely make use of Fetchmail ( inline message fetch ) to download the remainder of the message from within the message on my E650 which is connecting to a Exchange 2003 production environment.

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the Joys of flexible working

May 25, 2007

making up for national work at home day


I’m hard at work in the fresh air  connected via WiFi to provide some much needed oxygen to flush my head of the side effects of our National Sales kick off yesterday.

now if I can just stop these bells ringing :)

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