Microsoft Silverlight 2


Microsoft Silverlight 2 is ready and will be available for download from tomorrow (14/10/08) here. (If you’re currently using Silverlight 1 or Silverlight 2 beta, you will be automatically upgraded through Microsoft’s patching mechanisms over the next few months..)

It works on a variety  of platforms such as Windows, Mac OS X, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. No iPhone compatibilty (thanks to Apple) but it does play nice with Google Chrome.

Microsoft have done some great inter-operability work here as the .Net Framework and Common Language Runtime are now officially cross-platform, with Windows and Mac support today and Linux (via Novell’s Moonlight work) coming some time in the future.

Mary Jo Foley over @ ZDNet also tells us that more mobile/SIlverlight related news will be revealed at PDC 2008..

Windows Mobile gets iPhone Features?!


iPhone features on Windows Mobile? A great idea and one that is pretty much upon us!

The guys over at PocketPC Thoughts have got a great post covering iWindowsMobile. a suite of Apps that give WinMo most of the best iPhone features! They tend to focus around interacting with just a finger so sans stylus.

My favourite addition is:

Winterface
Winterface is the next generation mobile shell that completely changes the standard Windows Mobile UI. Winterface allows users to place icons to applications, settings, files, and contacts on several screens that can be rotated with sliding finger gestures.

This would be really quite useful and save me a whole heap of time finding apps and just generally getting to my stuff 🙂

FunContact is their contact application which makes it easier to navigate with fingers. While I’m not particularly into this as an addition, I do like this sentence..”a swift touch will stop scrolling, not open an accidental contact“…that happens to me quite a lot!

Head over to PocketPC Thoughts to read more here.

Microsoft Zune on Windows Mobile 7?!


Everyone’s favourite CEO Steve Ballmer yesterday confirmed that the Zune software will be available on Windows Mobile 🙂

This is the more likely conclusion to the “Zune Phone” rumours, so while we won’t be seeing a Microsoft branded handset, we will have the awesomeness of the Zune on our WinMo devices. Here in the UK, Zune’s are pretty much just a great sounding myth so this should give me a chance to leave the ipod at home once and for all!

Steve gave no word on timescale, but could this be the “new Media Player” expected in WinMo 7?!

I discovered this over at Engadget.

Windows Mobile 6.1 HTC Diamond


Windows Mobile 6.1 and the HTC Diamond is a great combination. This post has a dual purpose, to discuss WinMo 6.1 and also the HTC Diamond..my favourite ever phone and I really believe it’s the best phone available (even including the iPhone!!!).

I went to the WPC (Worldwide Partner Conference) 2008 in Houston with an HTC WinMo 5 PPC (Pocket PC) that I was pretty happy with. I was thinking about an upgrade (but just because I wanted a new gadget..not for any specific usability reasons) and so decided there was no real point.

Then I went to one of the Breakout sessions hosted by Andy Lees, Senior Vice President of Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft, saw his demo of WinMo 6.1 and was blown away! The new home screen is much cooler/slicker and certain things I’d been wishing for (such as the ability to select multiple messages then mass move/delete) had been implemented…(maybe Bill can hear the thoughts of Gold Partners?!)

I did pop into the T-Mobile shop in Houston to see what WinMo 6.1 phones they had..that’s how excited I was 🙂

Some of the other features from a personal view that I like are the threaded SMS (so they’re like emails-makes things so much easier!) and IE full page zooming. From a corporate view, the big addition was “Domain Enroll” which allows WinMo devices to be managed via System Center Mobile Device Manager (MSM) 2008.

*Update* It’s been confirmed by Steve Ballmer (after a leak from Motorola) that we’re going to see Windows Mobile 6.5 first..as to which features will be in that and which will be saved for WinMo 7, I’ve not seen anything yet…

Windows Mobile 7-is expected in the 2nd half of 2009 and should feature a new, revamped UI, multi-touch and motion sensing features. There should also be a new version of IE, a new version of Office Mobile and a new version of Media Player-this could well be the Zune software (see here).

The HTC Diamond is awesome…and I mean that in it’s original sense, in that it did fill me with awe! That might seem a bit overboard but the Touch-Flo 3D UI makes using the phone a joy. The menu layout is easy to navigate, it’s quick and easy to get to the majority of things you need whether they’re apps, settings, downloads etc and the UI is very responsive. Another element I love which pits it against the iPhone, is the fact that you don’t really need to use the stylus. I can navigate menus, turn features on/off and even compose emails and text messages, all without the stylus 🙂

The HTC music player is full of features and easy to use…a good quick alternative to Media Player (although Media Player is far superior for connecting to Bluetooth Headphone devices) if you just need audio. The camera is 3 Mega Pixels so quite mid-range spec but the quality of picture is much higher than you’d expect…we’ve got a number of pictures framed on the wall that came from my Diamond…often replacing pictures taken with a “proper” digital camera.

Another feature of the Diamond that I’ve seen via a video over at Engadget is that the HTC Diamond has Multi Touch capabilities! The video only shows it bwing used for a de-bugging app but it could be the start of something prettty awesome..maybe some homebrew coders can get something great going there?! Even if nothing comes of it at the moment it certainly looks positive for when Windows Mobile 7 arrives!

If you’v got any questions about WinMo and/or the HTC Diamond, drop a comment and let me know!

Cheers

Rich