HTC Touch review Live

August 15, 2007

My Latest Guest Review is online on Tracy & Matt’s site


to see the full review go here

For the 10 second summary,  the Touch is great bit of kit, a fantastic form factor and looks really cool but a little on the underpowered side. if you’re easily frustrated by a little waiting steer clear, if you’re happy to compromise on speed for the cool factor fill your boots.

Biggest Plus: Biotouch or TouchFLO, fab for broad fingered people like myself. (battery life and size are worth an honourable mention)

Biggest Minus : resources, it could do with a bit more memory

Not Sureā€¦.:  TouchCube, great to look at but doesn’t actually do much.

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E650 update

July 17, 2007

the continuing saga of Living with the Orange SPV E650

OK I’ve had the E650 for a few months now and I’m way way past the honeymoon period so I thought I’d give you a quick catch up on my current feelings on the device.

do I still love it ? well yes …… mostly

will I part with it ? not if I can help it

are there any problems with it ?   yes a couple

go on what are they then ?

well the biggest problem I’ve come across is the fact that any screen grabbing notifications such as low battery warnings disconnect your Bluetooth sessions, a royal pain when you are driving and involved in a conversation on your headset.  I have no idea why this happens it’s just a really bugging bug.

the second problem is purely aesthetic, remember the flappy flaps, they’re made of pretty soft plastic and  with use they deform and refuse to sit cleanly in their aperture. this is a real problem for the flap that hides the extUSB connector  which annoyingly is on the bottom of the phone and is in use a lot for charging, it now refuses to sit cleanly and really spoils the lines of the device. it’s going to come off when I get round to it.

Neither of these are major problems but they are worthy of mention as they are particularly annoying in a device that is otherwise so well designed.

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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.

support for Office 2007 comes to Windows Mobile devices

June 6, 2007

Office Mobile 2007 comes to a range of Windows Mobile devices

Jason has revealed that Office Mobile 2007 will be available from Q3 this year – I mentioned my disappointment that even though the Windows Mobile 6 and EVO launches were so close that the docx format was not supported in WM 6 this update redresses the balance – the terminology suggests that this is an application upgrade rather than an AKU / ROM update so  there should be no need to backup / wipe and start again,  the update will support .pptx .docx .xlsx and FAX documents on both WM6 and WM5.0  devices 

I’m increasingly coming to view my WM6 device as a portal to a sophisticated back end and this will help reinforce WM6 as a handportable part of the EVO environment, I just wish that Microsoft had included office 2007 support in the initial WM6 release,it should have been an intrinsic part of the WM6 and WM6 should have been launched as a portable office portal device.

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.

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Microsoft and Orange Announce Software as a Service collaboration

May 22, 2007

innovative SAAS  (or is it CAAS) service for hosted Unified Communications and Collaboration

                France Telecom

this announced by France Telecom today (Monday) a service in which Microsoft and Orange Business Services have teamed up to provide unified communications and collaboration tools to multinationals:

the full transcript :

Orange Business Services and Microsoft today announced “Business Together with Microsoft”, an innovative collaborative solution to accelerate the use of unified communications in companies. “Business Together with Microsoft” also helps companies keep up with the latest market requirements for fast communication, constant contact with colleagues, customers and partners, and efficient information sharing.

“Business Together with Microsoft” lets companies radically improve the communication habits of their employees. It gives access to a range of tools that they can use either when mobile or from their workstation. They can take advantage of new services, with total security, from any terminal that is equipped with a compatible web browser. Through a single Windows Outlook interface, they can access their mailbox, view voice messages as emails, read faxes, make voice over IP calls, and access their contacts and calendar. They can also communicate in real time through audio, video, web conferencing or instant messaging.  In addition, they can also manage and share documents and calendars. An encrypted link to their mailbox gives them access to powerful search functions.

Orange Business Services tailors “Business Together with Microsoft” to meet individual customer needs. The complete range of services includes consulting and audits, migration to IP, integration, managed IT infrastructure and applications services, and outsourcing.

“There is a huge demand for collaborative solutions in today’s working environment,” says Laurent Kocher, vice president, Global Services, Orange Business Services. “Cooperative work between employees in different locations across time zones is expected to make up more than half of a typical office employee’s work time by 2015. Companies need to provide staff with the tools to respond quickly to constant demands for attention and an efficient way to manage multiple types of contact”.

“Business Together with Microsoft” is currently available for multinational companies across the world, and is based on the complementary nature of the new generation of software launched recently by Microsoft: Office Communications Server 2007, Exchange Server 2007, Forefront and Office SharePoint Server.

“Business Together with Microsoft” leverages the complementary skills and expertise of the two companies: Orange Business Services in the area of messaging, IP convergence and network-related services; Microsoft in unified communications and collaboration solutions.

It’s an interesting alliance, Microsoft and Orange have been working closely together for some time and this is the first public tangible product to appear.

Reading between the lines it appears to be an Outlook Web Access portal providing access to Sharepoint for collaboration and the UC features of Exchange 2007 with Office Communications Server 2007 providing a VoIP portal, I suspect to Orange SIP trunks.

A packaged unified communications Inbox with Presence, Instant messaging, collaboration  and VoIP calls from wherever you can get access to a browser a very useful suite of applications

An interesting and maybe risky combination as OCS 2007 is still in beta, nevertheless an interesting proposition for the multinational with many mobile workers.

We are going to see a lot more of this,  in my opinion SAAS is about to explode.

I think it’ll have more impact and be much more interesting amongst the smaller business community, imagine if you could have access to all this big company technology with small company agility and no headaches of management……. watch this space…….

I’d  be very interested to see the appetite for managed hosted services out there amongst the smaller business community, if you have an opinion why not share it?

Is SAAS finally coming of age?

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