m3100 staying on Windows Mobile 5.0???

May 22, 2007

will Orange bend to consumer pressure or not?

Jason has been announcing updates all day  from ASUS & Samsung however a worrying conversation I’ve had with an Orange insider has cast doubt on the likelihood of the HTC TyTN update to WM6 making it to the m3100 (officially)……. which will annoy me no end.

It seems that the recent AKU 3.0 update may have distracted the product teams and that its now possible that the Windows Mobile 6.0 upgrade will not be available before the next range of native WM6 devices appears on the Orange shelves.  The overlap casts doubt on whether the project will get started or maintain the necessary focus, as obviously the MNO wants to sell more equipment.

As I’ve said before this is a big test of the Windows Mobile licensing model as,  if I remember correctly, this is the the first time there will be official (as opposed to homebrew or leaked)  major Upgrade ROMs for manufacturer versions of OEM / licenced devices.  

MNOs (and not just Orange) need to be very wary of alienating their customers. 

I’ve sent some more feelers out into Orange land and I’ll post more as soon as I hear anything, here’s hoping it’s not true.

technorati tags: , , , Windows Mobile


Is this the most expensive mobile phone ever?

May 18, 2007

names changed to protect the not so innocent

I’m not talking about the excesses of Vertu‘s range

I’m taking about this:

The ever so humble Blackberry 8800, but I can buy that for less than £320 I hear you cry, oh course you can…….. however

I’ve been discussing a problem one of my customers has this afternoon, one of his management team needs email and calendar on the move, now that bits easy but the problem my customer faces is much much bigger the problem is quite simple, Blackberry envy.

One of his senior managers , fresh back from a conference with other senior managers from other companies has had his ear bent all week about how great the Blackberry 8800 is and he NEEEEEDS one, in best 3 year old tradition he NEEEEEDS one and nothing else will do.

Now this customer has a pretty mature and well managed infrastructure, has Exchange 2003 SP2 and is actually running a handful of Windows Mobile 5.0 devices with Exchange activesync which work brilliantly the problem is this:

They aren’t Blackberries…..

OK the WM devices tried so far don’t work with the chief exec’s inbuilt German Bluetooth car kit, but some (like the s710 / E650) will and there are over 40 manufacturers and OEMs so the I like / will work will overlap at some point.

The manager in question has to have Blackberry

I’ve explained the plethora of options, the OEMs the devices, the flexibility and control that you get through exchange and Windows Mobile, I’ve even offered to drive over and show the interested parties my E650 but no, no way it’s going to be BlackBerry.

I’ve even drawn their attention to the flaws in the NOC model of delivery and the trials that Blackberry users in the states had with the extended outage they suffered recently to no avail it has to be the 8800 or nothing so the Bill ……

Blackberry 8800 Pearl = £319.11
Server Hardware etc : £1,200.00
Blackberry Enterprise Server Version 4.0 for exchange = £2,500.00
Installation: £750.00
Additional Firewall Configuration: £750.00

So that brings that little shiny Blackberry 8800 in at a whopping £5,519.11

The look on the financial directors or shareholders face……. Priceless

Five and a half THOUSAND pounds for a mobile phone…… can anyone beat that?

oh …… the cost to deploy an HTC s710 with Windows Mobile and Exchange Activesync, push email and security ……. £246 less, much less on contract.

I think it’s a little more than the challenge of the work wise workstyle that threatens British Business today.

technorati tags: , , ,


Broadband broken? – call a judge

May 7, 2007

a firm of mortgage advisors whose broadband was cut off by accident sued BT to get it back on again.

this from thinkbroadband via the Greater Merseyside Digital Development Agency.

the essentials of the story are that a BT engineer accidentally cut off a Mortgage Advisors Broadband and when BT suggested that they could not reinstate the line the company took them to court for breach of contract.

It’s an interesting proposition as I suspect it was a BT OpenReach engineer that caused the cafuffle in the first place and that the company had a contract with BT retail through BT Business Broadband so good luck to them in their compensation claim.

the widespread adoption of broadband as a cheap and plentiful source of Internet bandwidth is going to throw up a lot more of these problems.

The company I work for has deployed several thousand broadband connections both as public Internet BT Business Broadband connections and as wholesale IP Stream services and we’ve had some horror stories. the worst of which involved a customer having intermittent service disruption for several months. 

the moral of this story –

if your business relies on your Internet service buy an Internet service your business can rely on.

Multimegabit leased line Business strength services are surprisingly cost effective these days and you don’t leave your customers fighting over the limited upstream bandwidth ADSL afford them.

The problem stems from marketing, the cheap cheap cheap for more more more message really deforms customer expectation however with a little bit of thought it’s easy to realise that you can’t go to the le Mans 24 hour race in a Ford Focus and sue Ford when you don’t win.

the concept of Business  continuity with broadband is a little hopeful as well as it’s normally beyond the ken of the average customer to successfully manage the multitude of parties necessary to ensure that Business is even reasonably continuous.

the simple message is that if you want a business class service expect to pay a business class price which is more likely to be £1000 a month rather than £30. FGS most companies spend more than that on Coffee for the kitchen.

technorati tags : ;


Orange Broadband Upgrade

April 24, 2007

a big fat DOH from Orange

I keep getting pestered by Orange to upgrade the free broadband account that I’ve had installed in a family home in Cumbria it’s only a fiver to upgrade to 8 Meg and unlimited* downloads so I thought I’d have a look at hat speed I could enjoy…….

 mmmmm it seems Orange’s definition of an upgrade  is rather unusual :)

orangeDOH

technorati tags: ,


Response Point – Software and Hardware principles

April 10, 2007

Jeff Smith Senior Product Manager reveals a little more

as Microsoft’s new SIP PBX killer is XP embedded under the lid, I missed this item  first time round but in an interview with windowsfordevices.com Jeff Smith is quoted as saying that Response Point is :

a “go-to-market” software stack based on Windows XP Embedded, similar to how Windows Mobile is a go-to-market variant of Windows CE. And, like Windows Mobile, Response Point will only be marketed directly to major device OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and ODMs (original design manufacturers).

he is quoted as going on to say

Microsoft played a role in developing reference architecture, but is not controlling the hardware design. Each OEM is building its own variation based on the Response Point reference design, explained Smith. Response Point is currently beta testing and available on a very limited basis. Beta 2 is now working, and should be released in early April.

oh well definitely no software only option then and I won’t be holding my breath to see a version in the wild in the UK  for a while… ho hum.

wonder what the UM Team’s thoughts on RP are?

technorati tags: , ,


more responses to response point

March 23, 2007

Have Microsoft really grasped the telephony nettle?

Bloody hell I was looking forward to this, despite assurances from people on the inside of unified comm’s in Microsoft that they never planned a phone system,  since their acquisition of Media streams for their ePhone and Teleo I knew it was just a matter of time.

Now I’ve sat through the somewhat embarrassing response point Webcast with XD (Xuedong Huang)  and friends and frankly I’m underwhelmed.

There seems to be huge excitement in the Microsoft world about many features I’ve come to expect  in the telephony world since time immemorial,  but  they’re newbies so I’ll let them get excited.

Sorry to be dismissive but Response Point is simply a voice activated PBX with familiar proprietary hardpoint terminals

Yes voice activation is very geek chic but frankly if people don’t use the features it’s not really that they find them awkward to access it’s really that they don’t recognise their value and can’t be bothered to access them.  Making features voice accessible doesn’t help you need to tell the users that the features are there.  Avaya’s  INDeX  ( god rest it’s soul ) led the way with a context sensitive display that prompted users with appropriate features.  The system copes with accents but I wonder how well it would cope in an open plan office?

Yes it’s got an easy to use GUI based management suite ( they all have) yes it integrates with outlook (ditto) yes it’s got auto discovery feature for phones (tick), it screen pops (err?), there’s an auto attendant (wow), voicemail to email (I’ll stop now).   There’s really nothing to commend it over  current small office offerings by Mitel and Avaya, they must have been quaking in their boots but I guess you’ll have heard the biggest sigh of relief if you were hanging around Avaya central.

highpoints

up to 100 endpoints without sneezing and without the FD coughing (I’d hope, but remember those proprietary handsets)  

voice activation … has massive geek and tech company appeal 

two click backup and restore, a nice touch but the fact it’s listed will lead to questions about stability

it’s just Microsoft

lowpoints:

No OCS or Exchange integration – WHAT!!!! you are kidding right?  unfortunately not…. this is a major own goal… response point should absolutely be a branch solution for OCS ….. maybe antitrust paranoia?

Official line it’s for a different market sector … blah blah blah …….. we’ve spent years thinking about advanced applications for voice solutions  and now the application company hits the market with an application compromised telephone system. Every other PABX vendor pushes the big company features for a small company message why aren’t Microsoft?

NO software only version – seriously.. why do you need  hardware and response point optimised phones, surely you can write the ease of integration into SIP software clients?

IMHO it’s about time Microsoft stopped being all coy with hardware vendors they don’t need their help (Ok maybe they do to get buy in from customers initially), get the product out there and let people provide specialised appliances based on it if need be. The Asterisk model should have been a clue.

It’s tied to hardware vendors, (see above)  and the US ones are the wrong ones for a global product.  I’ve never seen anyone buy a dlink or quanta PBX in EMEA, I’ve seen Uniden in the distant past but I’m hoping a Panasonic, Toshiba or Samsung emerges for the EMEA market?

no points:

Seen it all before actually,  thanks for coming peeps…. a bit shocked that Bill deigned to lower himself to promote this.

Where’s the homeworking and flexible working capability? imagine this, OCS or LCS SBS and exchange 2007 for the small business, maybe even mobile twinning that would be a really powerful tool for a smaller enterprise.

It must at least be able to act as a Microsoft gateway for unified comm’s,  please say it will.

summary:

Response Point has missed the point, as an adjunct to OCS it could rip the telephony world apart as a standalone, it’s just another telephone system but with a huge amount  of catching up to do.


Chris Hates Vista a little less than he did yesterday

March 10, 2007

Absent minded pundits of the world unite

Chris is going back to Mostly Vista and using VMware to run XP…..  are we all so absent minded that we can’t remember the pain of upgrading to XP? sure XP was more 2000 alike than Vista is XP alike and we could bodge the drivers to a greater extent but I had all sorts of pain and had to upgrade a venerable graphics card and throw away a laser printer.

actually to be honest in RC 1 & 2 I was bodging logitech drivers – they worked eventually,  when I told Vista where they lived. I’ve not got my DesignJet 10PS to work under Vista but I run VPC 2007  (free) and can IP print happily from XP in that environment.

come on people find something worthwhile to worry about, don’t like it?  don’t do it,  but like Chris once you’ve tasted Vista you’ll never want to lose it