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View Full Version : Mobius Europe 2002, Journal Day 1

Jason Dunn
04-12-2002, 01:01 AM
<b><span>Mobius 2002 Journal - Day 1</span></b><br /><br />It wasn’t as difficult as I thought getting out of bed in the morning, but that likely means I’ll slip into a coma later in the day. We’ll see! :-) Who was in attendance at this conference? Well, I can't tell you. I had this nice list all typed up with names and sites, but it was a no-no for me to publish it. But I can tell you that I was there. :-D<br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/mobius2002/mobiusgroup.jpg" /><br /><br />Each person was asked to name the PDA site(s) that they go to for their daily information, and I was surprised and a little embarrassed that so many people said Thoughts was their top site. I knew my 50 visitors a day had to be coming some somewhere! ;-)<br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/mobius2002/928.jpg" /><br /><br />I got a little more hands-on time with the Jornada 928. Very slick device - I'm looking forward to getting one at some point (hopefully).<br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/mobius2002/twojornada1.jpg" /><br /><br />I don't really like the new "look" they gave it, but it's impressive they can cram the wireless in there and keep the size almost identical to the previous version.<br /><br />Beth talked about the Microsoft Partner Program – they have over 5000 partners registered in the program, with 200 joining each month. There’s also continued interest in the Pocket PC SDK – over 250,000 downloads. It’s nice that Microsoft gives the download amount instead of saying they actually have 250,000 developers, unlike Palm which claims every download is a developer. I know one person who registered his cat as a Palm developer. I wonder how many animal companions are developing for Palm? ;-)<br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/mobius2002/communicator-t68.jpg" /><br /><br />I took a photo comparing the T68 to Jorgen's Nokia Communicator - quite a big size difference. But compared to a Pocket PC, the Communicator isn't that big. It's a really compelling device...too bad they're not selling it in Canada!<br /><br />Next we moved into a presentation on the Pocket PC Phone Edition. My jaw hit the floor when I heard that all the conference attendees (except MVPs – we have a different deal) would be getting an 02 XDA Pocket PC Phone Edition. I’ve handled this device a few times, and the hardware design is a geek’s dream – that announcement made some people very happy indeed. Here are some pics of this dreamy device - you have to hold it to believe it though. Utterly gorgeous construction - all metal body, very high-quality feeling.<br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/mobius2002/xda2.jpg" /><br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/mobius2002/xda4.jpg" /><br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/mobius2002/xda5.jpg" /><br /><br />Server Sync has certainly been enhanced – with the latest version of the Pocket PC, you can set up an Exchange sync directly on the device, without needing to first connect to a PC (which is the model for normal device to PC sync). There are six options for time, from five minutes to four hours. Microsoft has a specific view about the “always on” concept – although they didn’t explain why they didn’t support a RIM Blackberry-type always on paradigm, they explained that the options would be sufficient for most people. That accuracy of that statement would depend on whether or not five minutes is close enough to “real time”. For some people, it isn’t. You can, of course, always trigger a manual sync whenever you want. And with technologies like GRPS, you’re “always on” with Messenger.<br /><br />Phone Edition also handles SMS and MMS – the messages are come into Pocket Inbox under a separate folder listing, differentiating it from your regular email. Beth demoed getting an SMS with a link to a Flash file on the web, and when the Flash file played it had audio – I’m sensing Flash 5 and the ghostly hands of <a href="http://www.flashenabled.com">pt the flash kid</a> at work. Some other things about the Phone Edition I noted:<br /><br />• Speed dial on the Pocket PC Phone edition is easy to use – it keeps track of your last dialed calls and setting up speed dial functions is simple<br />• There’s a rich Call Log feature – all incoming and outgoing calls are logged<br />• During the call, you can click on the note feature, and it opens up a new note. That note has the date, time, and other information about that call. Great for sorting your data!<br />• A common request is to be able to record the call as a WAV file. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been added (lots of legal questions). There’s always version 2.0…<br />• When replying to an SMS message, you can change the destination to an email address<br />• Conference calling is simple to do, and limited only by the carrier (in most cases to three callers total)<br />• There are around eight ring options (ring, ring + vibrate, vibrate only, etc.), but there’s no ability to have a different ring tone for specific callers, callers identified via caller ID, unknown callers, etc. It would be great to have this feature implemented in later software versions.<br />• You can turn the radio stack off via software, allowing you to use the Pocket PC on an airplane. Of course, with the antenna, I’m willing to bet that it will be problematic. I’m not sure that the flight attendant will believe you when you say “It’s turned off – really!”<br /><br />Beth showed us something very cool next. Handango has an online store in beta that allows for over the air install of applications. I’m not sure how the billing process works, but it’s a great concept. I remember seeing something similar at Chris De Herrera’s CEWindows.net site called CEWebInstallX, with a slightly different angle. Chris’ app lets you push CAB file installs down to a connected Pocket PC, but in the demo Beth did it sans computer – she connected to the Handango store, browsed to a software title (Pocket Bartender), purchased the application, and installed it. The simplicity and instant gratification was impressive – this is most certainly the future of PDA and “smart device” application distribution. I could see a cell provider like Voicestream creating a custom software portal for their SmartPhone 2002 clients. Assuming, of course, that Voicestream begins to sell SmartPhone 2002 devices. :-)<br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/mobius2002/jemmaharris.jpg" /><br /><br />After lunch Jemma Harris gave a presentation on her role as a Marketing Program Manager for EMEA (which covers Europe, Africa). We had some discussions around what sorts of things she could do for Pocket PC owners in her realm of influence.<br /><br />Derek Brown then led a series of open discussions about what sorts of services that we’d be willing to pay for – we were talking about what sorts of great applications would increase wireless data use. Location-based services topped that list, along with some very unique concepts from some people. We’re a room full of geeks, what can I tell you?<br /><br />Following a thirty minute break in which I had a chance to walk around the area a little (more on that later), we had a presentation on the enterprise and .Net from Mobius conference attendees Andy Sjostrom and Chris Fosberg. They talked about what enterprise customers need, and how implementation of Pocket PCs impacts their bottom line. They had some great examples of how using Pocket PCs to eliminate paper-based systems can result in massive cost savings. Next they tackled the unenviable task of trying to explain .Net, which is easiest to understand (by a non-developer) in terms of services. <i>[Note: Since the My Services concept is now semi-dead, this makes explaining .NET even harder!]</i><br /><br />We went out for dinner at a little restaurant who’s name completely escapes me at the moment. The language barrier proved to be a little more of a hurdle here – I was sitting at the table with Wes Salmon and we were served an appetizer of some sort. It looked like a pate, but I couldn’t identify the meat. We asked our server, and she didn’t know enough English to explain it to us – she returned with the Chef, who struggled to explain it to us. She said it was “something that runs through the forest” – so we played a guessing game, naming off animals until we arrived at “deer”. We were eating deer pate – I didn’t mind it so much, but Wes wasn’t a big fan. :-)<br /><br />Later on Eric Eidus, the Product Manager for SmartPhone 2002, came to our table and we chatted about a few things. One of the unfortunate things I learned is that we’re unlikely to see a CDMA version of the phone released in Canada. Why you may ask? Fellow Canadians, look to the Federal Government for the blame. Microsoft would have to make a version of the phone that had the CDMA radio stack and both English and French languages, and the market is far too small for that. No other place in the world would be able to use it, so the return isn’t worth the effort. This is all very speculative, so things might change, but I’ve never been so frustrated at the asinine language rules that our country has. Our laws are a significant factor for US companies not wanting to release their products here - because who wants to go through the effort of making new packaging, manuals, etc.<br /><br />After dinner we all went back to the hotel bar, and in the basement there’s a curious German bowling game called “Keegler” (or something like that). The lanes look straight, but they’re not you see – they have valleys and peaks in them, so when you throw the ball it dips and weaves like it’s drunk. No, I wasn’t drinking, the ball really does do this. The lanes are also extremely narrow, so it's easy to throw a gutter ball, which I believe Ed Hansberry is demonstrating in this photo:<br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/mobius2002/keegler.jpg" /><br /><br />We didn’t understand the scoring system, so it was a lame series of mini-games until Arne Hess showed us what cultural barbarians we were. :-) I kept blasting down the middle, thinking that my uber-throws would result in a strike, but unlike North American bowling, you don’t want to throw down the middle – the trick is to throw it at an angle. Odd game. :-)<br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/mobius2002/latenightchat.jpg" /><br /><br />During this, there was more talking with Smartphone Eric – we were wondering why no Word/Excel converters? It came down to ROM size. They wanted to keep the ROM size under 16 megs, and the Word converter itself is 500KB to 1000KB depending on what you want it to do. Kind of a bummer, because being able to open a Word doc on the phone to check contents would be very cool.<br /><br />After some more Keegler, off to bed.

04-12-2002, 02:45 AM
All the conference attendees (except MVPs – we have a different deal) would be getting an 02 XDA Pocket PC Phone Edition.

Say what!!!! 8O &lt;jealous>

04-12-2002, 06:32 AM
new hardware?
new applications?

please keep us up to date, this reporting is wetting my PPC appetite, look forward to your next report!

Master O'Mayhem
04-12-2002, 07:21 AM
Dude... you had the bowling match while some of us trudged on, found a dartboard, and I systematically destroyed Marlof in darts!! (Note: Darts is like a national sport in Holland next to football-soccer and wooden shoe dancing!!!) It was a fun night!!! hehe!! :P

04-12-2002, 08:14 AM
Just wondering about the Jornada 928 (the guys on the design team love Porsches, me think ;)) battery life? Does it vibe when you get a call/SMS?