Just read Microsoft outlines what’s coming in Windows Mobile 7, 8 by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. So good news is that MS plans to catch up with iPhone in coolness department, bad news is that its supposedly going to happen only with Windows Mobile 8 and since it gives Apple enough time to take its iPhone to a different level by then, it will be interesting to watch what Windows Mobile 8 really offers.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
We are a Microsoft shop primarily and we do mobile applications targeting Windows Mobile OS, and we may continue to be a Microsoft technologies company in future too owing to mass popularity Microsoft manages to acquire due to various reasons.
However I simply hate the fact that MS keeps adding layers and layers of complication to all its products, making softwares bloated, complicated, frustrating and slow. There has been enough bashing of Windows Vista as well as Windows Mobile 6. I have read them and been silent all this while, however when I read about Side-Show making its way to windows mobile, I simply could not resist writing this post.
Mobiles are meant to start immediately on press of power button, while desktops are not, so I don't think side-show is a requirement on mobiles at all. You can just push the power-on button on mobile and press a pre-assigned key to start your favourite application. Why you need an always on and smaller display for it???
I think MS has got its strategy wrong here. Its again trying to make mobiles do whatever a desktop can, which I think is not a clever idea.
Also I guess that in future MS will use Sideshow as an excuse for slow windows mobile powered phones. With all the features it is putting in windows mobile, its going to gradually become slower and slower even with faster processors, so MS will say - use Side-show for features which you want to perform immediately ;-)
I think Side-show adds another layer to complicated user-interface and makes users much more confused. In my opinion its a very bad idea.
IMHO MS should instead try to make windows mobile interface simpler, faster and easier to use. I still love the simplicity and performance of Palm OS. I know Palm OS is loosing its ground to Windows Mobile but we need to give the credit for what it offers.
Updated on 3rd Dec. - Corrected a Typo. Its Sideshow which I typed as Slideshow in the post.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
- You can roam on Indian service providers' network. Roaming charges apply.
- If you have an unlocked iPhone, you can just buy and use any Indian SIM card and pay local call charges.
- If you have a locked iPhone you can get it unlocked by most mobile shops in India, it takes just 10 mins and does not mean opening your iPhone or tampering with hardware in any way.
- If you are technically inclined you can even unlock the iphone yourself. Just check out - iPhone Dev Team, Installer and Cydia.
- I have also read that Airtel is now also selling unlocked iPhones and even unlocking the already sold iPhones for free.
This is made possible by using subscription based services from DeviceAnywhere, which allows you to remotely access real handsets over the internet.
They support all types of handsets on multiple networks and are basically targeting mobile developers who would like to test their applications on variety of handsets without owning each one of them.
However in my opinion potential mobile handset buyers can also use the service to get a feel of the handset and test the UI before actually going and buying it.
And since iPhone has been such a craze all over the world, I am sure enthusiasts from countries where it has not been launched yet would be interested in accessing it remotely and they can do it by paying a monthly fee of $200 and $18 for per hour of usage. But hey here is the good news, they give away 3 hours for free to anybody who signs up and I think its enough time to try out a new phone or even an iPhone so I think you guys should just go ahead and give it a try :-)
Update on 7th Many 08: Vodafone bringing iPhone to India in September 2008
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
As if selling everything from vegetables to petrol was not enough for this corporate giant, Reliance has now bagged marketing and distribution deal from Apple. Company will be opening Apple iStores branded Reliance Digital in various Indian cities and first 10 of them will be opened by year end itself. So whether you want to buy iMac or iPod you will need to buy it from a Reliance store. Also all you iPhone lovers get ready to queue outside a Reliance Digital store near you.
I think Apple is seriously making efforts to go mainstream now and look beyond their niche market. Partnering with Reliance definitely gives them advantage of scale and this may be a crucial factor in iPhone's success in India.
Update on 7th Many 08: Vodafone bringing iPhone to India in September 2008
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Just read on Alootechie about the launch of Google SMS in India. You can now search by simply sending an sms to 54664 (5GOOG) from your mobile. It will cost you upto Rs. 3 for each sms you send, however BSNL postpaid subscribers pay just 80 Paise for sending sms.
Some example of queries include: pizza andheri west mumbai, movies hyderabad, translate hello in french, weather Delhi etc. You can perform 9 types of searches/queries using Google SMS which makes it very very useful in my opinion. Currently this service is available only in Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
As an Google admirer I welcome Google SMS in India and await their rollout in more cities and with more service providers. Incidently google is also experimenting with mobile advertising and it will be interesting when google starts inserting ads in SMS and shares revenue with service providers and mobile users can use the service for free, I mean they don’t even pay for sending the message. That will surely be a google way to do the things. I am keeping my fingers crossed till then.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Well, nearly free at $99 with rebates on Sprint. I simply can't believe that Palm is launching Centro, a slim and small CDMA smartphone at such a price. I also think that this is the best looking palm phone ever.
Palm has proved its intentions clearly, that its now going to look beyond the smart phone market, which is just 8% of the total mobile handset market in US and going to make deep inroads into the entry level handset market as well.
Many believe that Palm is going to start a price war, many may even say that this is Palm's last hurrah. I say that this is the turn-around time for Palm and this is the device that's going to change Palm's fortune for better, so start buying Palm's stocks ;-)
Talking about features, it has Palm OS, 1.3 Mega Pixel Camera, Inbuilt Messaging and other usual Treo features. Full specs here.
I think after trying a lot of different things Palm finally seems to get it right and its definitely way to go for Palm.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
New social networking websites keep cropping up everyday in India and I am really frustrated by all the invitations I receive on my office email id from totally strange people. I can understand that people send invitations to get the prizes which are generally offered by the websites.
While some websites give you option to prevent all further invitations on your email, youmint only gives option to decline an invitation. I would like to prevent any invitation being sent to my official email id, if possible.
Also I would like these websites to be good internet samaritans and have a policy that if somebody keeps inviting totally strangers on their website and if they get multiple reports to confirm that, sender is banned from their website and yes I am here saying "Don't Be Evil" :-)
Also I am not sure where is this new crop of networking sites like www.bigadda.com, www.youmint.com, apnacircle.com, www.yaari.com, www.desimartini.com heading? I think nowhere and 90% of them are going to be closed down within a year. Also most of them seem to lure users by offering either free iPods or free SMSs.
They all are trying same things, same way and obviously all of them can't be successful doing the same things as dozen others.
Yes!! Once again after a gap of full 24 years, cricket lovers in India have got the opportunity to celebrate a World-Cup win. India won the 20-20 World Cup beating the arch-rivals Pakistan in a nail-biting final. This was a young team under the leadership of MS Dhoni and this was Dhoni aka Mahi's first tour as captain of national side and no doubt he passed with the flying colors. Kudos to whole Indian team and congratulations to all the Indian fans. We definitely have lots to cheer about and see even our stock market is celebrating by crossing 17000 mark just 6 days after crossing 16000. Seems like India is on a roll :-)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Research in Motion (RIM) announced a plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio.NET in May which will allow .net developers to target all Blackberry devices using .net web-services architecture. Its now available for download from here.
Key benefits of the BlackBerry Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio include:
- Familiar Development Experience - The plug-in integrates within thefamiliar Visual Studio development environment, and allows developers to visually design, implement and debug applications for BlackBerry smartphones.
- Leverages Developer Skill Sets - Customers and system integrators can leverage their developer skill sets in order to reduce costs and accelerate the development of applications for the BlackBerry platform.
- Seamless Wireless Connectivity - Leverages the inherent security, manageability and efficient wireless connectivity of the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution.
- Platform Interoperability - Allows enterprises to create rich client applications for BlackBerry smartphones that interoperate with .NET-based systems via Web Services.
- Rich Client Application Functionality - Provides the ability to create rich client applications with a flexible user interface, offline data storage, asynchronous push, and secure data access.
- Enterprise-Class Security and Manageability - Applications developed will leverage the same security architecture of BlackBerry Enterprise Server. IT departments will benefit from simplified management and centralized control of their wireless deployments with reduced administrative overhead and a lower total cost of ownership.
Monday, September 17, 2007
On 5th September 2007 Apple reduced the price of iPhone 8GB model by $200 to $399 just 2 months after its much hyped launch. It has also dropped the 4GB model. Many early buyers are accusing Apple of unfair pricing and feel cheated. Apple is offering them $100 credit to pacify. Financial analysts didn't like the news as well and Apple stocks fell next day.
If you can't wait for iPhone to be available at a store near you, I will suggest you to buy HTC Touch, which many believe is an iPhone killer. And another news doing the round is that HTC may sue Apple for naming its latest iPod model as iPod Touch. iPod touch looks quite similar to iPhone and has most of the same features minus the Phone.
Also in past few months rumors about a phone from Google aka Gphone gained momentum and some believed that it can be launched any day. Rediff.com, the numero uno Indian portal even went ahead and claimed Gphone will be launched from India. Only if there would have been some truth in the rumors, Gphone would have been launched by this time and probably I would have started considering switching my Palm Treo 680. Google's head of research has denied Google's interest in any hardware development a few days back so probably this will end any speculation about a Gphone now.
Anyway I am sad but I am happy with google for making the world (read cyber-world) a better place to live in so even if they don't really launch the Gphone, I think they have done enough and continue doing some pretty innovative things in technology like DNA database, face and speech recognition, digitization of libraries etc. etc.
Update on 7th Many 08: Vodafone bringing iPhone to India in September 2008
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Good news for all the the travel-lovers, now not only you can Make Your Trip on Mobile, but you can also now plan a Yatra on mobile. Seriously www.yatra.com another big travel portal from India, follows MakeMyTrip in launching mobile application to book flights, hotels, cars etc.
Its also a java application like in case of MakeMyTrip so it will run on many mobile phones available in India, you can check out list of compatible mobile handsets here. So if you have a GPRS enabled handset with Java support you can YATRA to 2622 and they will send you link for download.
Monday, August 20, 2007
On June 21 I wrote about 160by2.com, an advertisement supported free sms service from smscountry.com. Just came to know about zestadz which is a complete mobile advertising platform and it allows advertisers to advertise on SMS, WAP sites and even mobile games.
Interestingly they are inviting game and content developers to join them and embed their ad-displaying code in their mobile games/content. They will share revenue with them as well, which I think can prove to be an attractive proposition for many developers and content developers.
They claim 1 million impressions per month on SMS traffic, however they don't reveal if they have some tie-up with carriers to send such sms or have some users signed up, who have opted for letting them embed ads in their sms in return for free sms or other goodies.
Anyway a good mobile advertising option, I must say.
Friday, August 10, 2007
MakeMyTrip, a very famous Indian travel portal has launched a mobile application in association with Nokia which allows users to make travel bookings on their mobile. As part of promotion they are offering 50 weekend getaways everyday, cash-backs and airline bookings at half price and a grand prize of dream holiday to Bali.
I saw an advertisement in Economic Times which mentions site - http://nokia.co.in/nseries, but I didn't find any mention of this mobile application on the site, later I visited the MakeMyTrip website and came to know that correct URL to download the application and for details regarding participating in the contest is - http://www.nseriesindia.com/makeMyTrip/mmtHome.htm
They say that its for Nokia Nseries phones only, but I think many other java enabled phones should be able to run it as well, however you won't be eligible for contest if you are not a Nseries owner.
Monday, July 16, 2007
It was interesting to know about discussions Pete Deemer had with would be CSMs in his recent certification class. It was both inspiring and matter of feeling proud as he beautifully described how relevant Gandhism (Gandhigiri in lighter sense) is to the role of ScrumMaster.
Below text is what Pete posted in scrumdevelopment yahoogroup:
For those who weren't in the class, the question was asked "How can the ScrumMaster have any power or influence, since the team doesn't report to them, and they don't have the authority to give orders?"
We talked about how in the absence of "managerial" authority, a ScrumMaster can still have enormous influence. But it's earned influence, and it comes from gaining the trust and the respect of the team, by serving them zealously, and protecting them courageously. This isn't the cheap authority that comes with an fancy job title; it takes time and work to grow, but it's a lot more hardy and deep-rooted. And we talked about models for this out there in the world – starting with Mahatma Gandhi, a man who through courage and a spirit of selfless service changed the course of history, all without ever having a high title or powerful position.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Everybody is afraid of computer viruses now a days, so whenever we come to know about a new virus, we want to let everybody know about it. A hoax really thrives on this urge, so whenever you receive a mail which talks about a virus and tells you to forward to your contacts so that they can be aware about it too. Stop and first try to find if mail talks about a real virus or its just a hoax.
These hoaxes have become so frequent these days that major anti-virus companies now maintain a database of hoaxes beside viruses. I recently received an email talking about an Olympic Torch Virus. I did a quick search and found that its a hoax.
You can read about the hoax at websites of McAfee and Symantac
So in the future please do not pass on such messages. Passing on messages about the hoax only serves to further propagate it.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
160BY2.com a website by the SMS solution provider - smscountry is offering free SMS to any mobile phone in India if you allow them to send the contextual advertisement with them. From what I have read on their website, they seem to mimicking the Google Adwords model.
Nonetheless I think its a good option. College students and youths can use it to send unlimited text messages to their friends for free. However I feel there are 3 issues with this service:
1. They don't allow to send sms/text directly from user's mobile phone. One has to visit their website to send sms. I think technology is there which can make it possible to send sms from mobile. Probably they are first experimenting with this approach and if they get some advertisers hooked up, they will begin offering sms originating from mobiles to be delivered to the designated mobile without the need for website.
2. As a policy to prevent spams they offer option to opt out to receiver, but you need to again goto their website to opt-out. This can be very annoying for someone when he is not able to go on internet to opt-out. There should be someway to opt-out using sms itself.
3. They don't allow sending SMS to a list. You can only send sms one by one to your friends, so that kinda puts you off from forwarding some joke to all of your friends.
I feel if they are able to tie-up with some operators like Hutch, Airtel on revenue sharing basis then they can really rake in the moolahs from advertisers and operators can offer a special SMS package to willing subscribers and subscribers can send unlimted SMS messagees for free. I see this will be a win-win situation for everybody.
Overall I think its a good service and I wish them all the luck. Currently their service is by invitation only. However you can reach their invitation page at - http://160by2.com/requestinvite.aspx and request for an invite.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I just finished reading 'Necessary But Not Sufficient' by Eli Goldratt. Its basically a Theory of Constraints (TOC) novel for IT. I am thankful to my good old friend Arun Sahlam for lending me this great book.
It establishes a novel concept which says that technology is necessary but it's not sufficient. It basically means that if we don't change our old business rules along with the technology we may never get full benefit our of a new technology. For example in a big manufacturing company estimating requirement is a mammoth task so when this was being done manually, companies adopted approach of doing this calculation exercise only once a month.
After many years when they started using software, they didn't really see any improvement in output. Reason was not the software, it was because company was still doing this calculation exercise once a month when they had means to do it every week.
This book talks about how new age software companies which will ultimately command majority market share will not only be selling software but convincing and educating their customers to change their age old business processes as well. Only this combination can succeed in long run.
Interestingly book also says that how software developers earlier and some still do take pride in producing a sophisticated looking system because that kind of proves that they can create some technically complicated stuff like that. Truth is however that a complicated product does not always mean a good product and a simple product does not mean that its not useful or is not technically advanced.
A case in the point is Google, which still happens to be one of the most simplest yet technically advanced website. So our responsibility as software developers should be to create simple, straight-forward products which user can learn quickly, yet it has all the power and functionality that's required from it.
My suggestion to everybody involved with software development is borrow or buy but do read this great book.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
In a clearly visible agressive marketing campaign Microsoft is advertising about windows mobile powered phones on behalf of device manufacturers. I saw recent ad with devices from i-mate, O2, HP, Motorola and HTC. Interestingly in India Symbian dominates the mobile OS market with Nokia leading the way in terms of device shipments.
India being 2nd most populous country in the world and with a swelling mobile subscriber base, it makes perfect sense for Microsoft to advertise windows mobile powered devices and in-turn make its mobile os popular and replicate the windows success once again with mobiles.
Another interesting fact is that there is no piracy concerns for a mobile OS as of now as its pre-installed on devices so Microsoft will surely get its royalty from manufacturers :-)
For those of you interested in buying windows mobile powered phones, here are some communication channels:
Website - http://www.microsoft.com/india/windows/mobile/
For i-mate - SMS SMART A to 8888 or Call 011-41523030/90, 41523730
For O2 - SMS SMART B to 8888 or Call 9350263618
For HP - SMS SMART C to 8888 or Call 1800-4254999, 30304499
For HTC/Dopod - SMS SMART D to 8888 or Call 9910193399
For Motorola - SMS SMART E to 8888 or Call 1800-111211, 39026686
If you buy one from these guys, tell them that I told you about them, they may give me some commission ;-)
For those who are thinking, what to do with such a phone - Just post a comment to this blog or mail me at sachin AT palewar DOT com
My company develops business solutions for mobiles and mobile field force, for more info please visit our website www.palewar.com
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
As par definition on their website - www.mahalo.com:
Mahalo is the world's first human-powered search engine powered by an enthusiastic and energetic group of Guides. Guides spend their days searching, filtering out spam, and hand-crafting the best search results possible. If they haven't yet built a search result, you can request that search result. You can also suggest links for any of our search results.
I heard its CEO speaking about their ideas on LifeOnline. I think they have a mountation to climb and they have just started but even with what they have done so far they have managed to make searching a pleasure on many popular search terms. Check them out.
Tags: search engine
Apple is going to introduce windows version of its popular browser - Safari. I can see a lot of excitement in store on browser front. Recently Firefox and Opera have been winning a lot of loyal users for themselves. I am sure some of Mac lovers but Windows users will be lapping up the Safari on their windows PCs.
While announcing about Safari for Windows - Steve Jobs made another important announcement that Apple will allow developers to develop applications for iPhone by way of tapping safari, which is a good news but what exactly it means is not yet clear to me.
If it just means that we will be able to only open some mobile web applications and won't be able to run any offline applications from third-party developers on iPhones, then I don't really see anything to be happy about.
Anyway lets wait and watch for next 16 days as iPhone is going to be launced on 29th and we may start getting some more info after that.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Atul Chitnis informs on his website about the release of Mundu IM V4. Mundu IM v4 is an Instant Messaging client for mobile devices. Initially for PalmOS and Windows Mobile based devices.
Using Mundu IM v4, you can (via GPRS, WiFi, CDMA, etc.) access all your IM contacts on Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, AOL and generic Jabber services while on the road - and all at the same time. No PC required!
You can chat with your contacts, send them photos and other stuff from your device, and even (between selected services) do a cross-service chat - you can have a conference with users on different services as if they were all on the same service.
To read more and download free trial, please visit - http://messenger.mundu.com/prd/php/smartphone.php
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Just read this post regarding Indian Railways Getting Tech Smart on Techtree. Its good that Railway has also recognised that mobile solutions can really help them be more productive or atleast provide better services to their travellers.
Here is the piece from the article:
A proposal to provide hand held computer terminals to TTEs in reserved coaches is on the anvil. How it will work is that the TTEs will feed in the current vacancy position, coach wise and berth wise in the hand held terminals, which will be directly linked to passenger reservation system (PRS) to enable allotment of vacant berths to wait-listed passengers at ensuing stations.
Read on at:
Monday, February 26, 2007
I just became Certified Scrum Master (CSM) after attending the required 16 hours training by Pete Deemer. I attended the training at Mumbai on 23,24 February.
Scrum is an agile, lightweight process that can be used to manage and control software and product development using iterative, incremental practices. Wrapping existing engineering practices, including Extreme Programming and RUP, Scrum generates the benefits of agile development with the advantages of a simple implementation. Scrum significantly increases productivity and reduces time to benefits while facilitating adaptive, empirical systems development. Learn more...
Those looking to get Scrum Training in India can visit - http://www.goodagile.com/
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
SitePal is an Internet-based subscription service that allows you to create a wide-array of animated speaking characters, which can be added to your website for a variety of professional and personal applications.
SitePal provides a rich, easy-to-use to interface that makes the process of designing, managing and publishing your characters a breeze!
Absolutely no programming knowledge is required to use SitePal. However, SitePal does interface with various programming languages for those who are technically inclined.
I think this is also a real cool idea. You can now really give that personal touch when user visit your website. An almost live character will be actually talking about your products and services so user can just sit back and hear what he/she has to say instead of reading.
Also these characters are highly animated and responsive to mouse movements and almost look like they are following your every move. Check them out at - http://www.sitepal.com/
Snap a new search engine which allows you to see the previews of the search results aims to take on Google and other search engines and take the war to next level. It also allows user to rate the search results and interact with the searched site without opening it.
It also provides a neat widget which anybody can add to their site/blog to provide the preview functionality to visitors. Widget is called Snap Preview Anywhere (SNAP) - See Demo
I think its a cool web 2.0 tool. What do you guys feel?
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I just finished reading a book called 'The Goal' by Eli Goldratt.
Its a novel but has become best selling management book. Its a story about one Alex Rogo, who is a plant manger for a manufacturing company. His plant is making losses and going to be closed down if he does not turn it around within 3 months. Needless to say he turns it around into a profit making plant. But it was not simple. He thought, made changes in the plant and did troubleshooting with the help of his teacher cum friend Jonah.
This is simply one of the best books I have read. I learned following things from the book:
1. Many times solutions to problems are plain common sense but we are too tied up with what's called common practices that we either ignore them or don't dare to implement them.
2. We should not treat any organisation as something which you can improve by improving efficiencies of each individual of the organisation. Local optimus theory simply does not work. We need to ensure that individuals work well in syncronisation. Sometime it even helps a company if certain people are sittling ideal than trying to ensure that everybody works full time.
3. The book really gives a very good idea about how a company boardroom functions. How managers interact with their employees and how they manage a big company.
4. Also worth learning is how patiently Alex Rogo handles the family pressures and tries to bring her wife back when she leaves him as he could not give any attention to her.
Whoever among you runs some kind of business should read this book and if you run a manufacturing company or part of such company you must read this book. You can take my words for that.Please let me know your thoughts about the book if you read it or have read it already.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Apple decided to end the long running rumours when Steve Jobs in his keynote address at Macworld 2007 finally announced the much awaited iPhone (http://apple.com/iphone)
I watched the demos and keynote video on apple's site and I think it really has potential to be a revolutionary product.
Other highlights of the event were Apple rechristening itself as Apple Inc from earlier Apple Computers Inc and announcement of another interesting product called Apple TV (http://apple.com/appletv/)
Coming back to iPhone, its going to be available in 2 models:
1. 4GB model costing $499 with 2 yrs contract
2. 8GB model costing $599 with 2 yrs contract
Its going to be available on Cingular networks in USA starting June 2007, in Europe by the end of this year and in Asia in 2008.
Now talking about some unique features of the phone:
1. Simple design without keys and you don't need stylus to tap on the touch screen.
2. You can merge 2 simultaneous calls in a conferance with a few simple tapping on the screen
3. You can scroll without scroll bar
4. You can flip through pictures in your phone like you flip pages of a book
5. SMS, Text messages are displayed as chats in IMs
6. Sensor detects if you rotate the device and changes your portrait mode to landscape automatically
7. Light sensor adjusts brightness according to light around you
8. Proximity sensor detects when you move phone near your ears and switches off the display
9. You can zoom in and zoom out using a pinch motion on screen using your two fingers
10. It runs Mac OS X
There is lots to talk and know about iPhone, so I will suggest to watch Steve Job's keynote video for complete action. You can also read another blog for more details and pictures. iPhone announcement got a very encouraging reaction from stock markets as well, as apple's stocks soared on the bourses whereas stocks of other handset manufacturers like Nokia, Motorola and Samsung came down.
One thing which I don't like is that Apple does not offer an SDK for developers like us to develop applications for iPhone and I hope that changes soon in future. Read more - what's missing from iPhone.
Apple aims to have 1% market share of annual mobile sales(1 Billion) in 2008 and that's not a small expectation by any means so let's wait and watch if all the hype around the iPhone translates into real sales or not.
Update on 7th Many 08: Vodafone bringing iPhone to India in September 2008