Marco Nielsen at

Passion for using mobile technology to bring about positive change for others!


RSS Feed:
My LinkedIn Profile: LinkedIn Locations of visitors to this page Add to Technorati Favorites Kiva - loans that change lives

Icons by

Old Windows Mobile Links

iOS Links

Mobility Strategy Links

Android Links

Windows Phone Links

Tablet Links


March 2009 - Posts

Widgets for Windows Mobile 6.5

applications There appears to be a common theme going on for many platforms these days.. Web “Widgets”. Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 8, etc..  I didn’t even know that there is now a W3C standard for widgets as well!

It looks like it if also coming to the Windows Mobile platform in the upcoming 6.5 release:

I think this could have interesting tie-ins for the corporate enterprise world, if the user interface functions nicely..

I’m thinking of:
- Business Intelligence reporting widgets – see KPIs and other key information at your finger tips through VPN
- ActiveX, (no Silverlight?) or Adobe Flash enabled training content
But probably the most important:
- Extending current web application functionality to your external customers on Windows Mobile devices – public web site widgets to make them easy to use on Windows Mobile devices..

The Widgets will also be available on the new Windows Marketplace and centrally downloaded from there. See all the details here:

BTW, It also appears that feedback is still being pumped into the Windows Mobile 6.5 platform under development, so we can all still still make an impact.. :-)


Security in the Mobile Device Enterprise
adminI have been noticing a lot of the current media about mobile security and just want to throw in my personal “2-cents” as well with my own observations and comments.. :-)

Hacking and Vulnerabilities in Mobile Devices

This of course is brought up all the time by the security software manufactures and always definitely something we should be aware of. As more and more devices are being used in daily life for all of our personal and corporate task, the risks will just get greater and greater, no doubt about it.  As it stands today, there are some vulnerabilities and malware out there, but not a whole lot.. Yet.. 

Mobile Security Looming As New Hacker Frontier:
$10,000 Mobile Hacking Competition to find new vulnerabilities: (so far no hits!)

But the single largest threat could be lost devices with no passwords being used. Some estimates are that up to 40% of all mobile devices have no password!

UK survey on mobile phones being vulnerable to Identity Theft:

Windows Mobile Security

In the corporate environment Windows Mobile brings a lot to the table. Security wise there are several great options and mechanisms you can use to protect your corporate assets. Think certificates, not AntiVirus. I think historically there was just not a big push to prioritize this security realm and the necessary information was somewhat hard to find. I believe this has all changed, and most companies take this very seriously now.  If they do not yet have a strategy I believe they are long overdue to have one and execute on it!

Some great recent Windows Mobile security resources are mentioned here:
Vik also has a good round up of the current Windows Mobile encryption and security certifications:

iPhone Security

The iPhone is a great consumer device, no doubt about it. But regarding iPhone security, there are well published and documented aspects you should be aware of if you are using and allowing the iPhone in your enterprise and giving permission for corporate data and e-mail to be stored, or even viewed!, on the devices.

Keystrokes, screen shots, GPS coordinates, and all data can all easily be retrieved if you have physical access to a device. Anyone can take an iPhone and connect it to a machine running iTunes and make a complete backup of it’s contents. For the causal consumer this is probably not a big deal, unless you are using it for all our online banking, personal e-mails (that you don’t want someone else to see), or any other online site you might be using on the device. But think identity theft. Think work related web sites and passwords!

A scenario: You are using a key corporate enterprise application or web site, where critical or sensitive information is shown on the iPhone screen. But when the user moves away from the application, unbeknownst to them, a screen shot of this critical or sensitive information is being cached on the iPhone.. Highly recommended reading:

iPhone hacking: Lessons from the front line:,289142,sid40_gci1349572,00.html  iPhone Forensics: Recovering Evidence, Personal Data, and Corporate Assets:

Also, looking at the newly announced iPhone 3.0 features, I didn’t see anything at all about security or enterprise usage improvements to combat the security issues mentioned above..

Update June 22, 2009: Please see new post on the hardware encryption in the iPhone 3G S model here, and also the actual slide deck from the great forensics presentation Jonathan Zdziarski had from the Gartner Mobile Summit.


SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (SSRS) Installation and Configuration for SCMDM 2008 SP1 Reporting Services

applications This step-by-step guide can assist to install the necessary SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (SSRS) components and its configuration. Depending on your configuration some settings and directions may vary.  For many more SCMDM step-by-step how-to guides please see Andreas Helland’s excellent collection of them.

This guide is organized in multiple sections:
- SQL 2005 Reporting Services Install
- SQL 2005 Service Pack Reapply
- SQL 2005 Reporting Services Configuration
- SQL 2005 Reporting Services Troubleshooting
- SCMDM 2008 SP1 Reporting Service Installation and Configuration

Due to the many screen shots in this guide, I have made them a tad smaller in size. I apologize, but you can easily click on them to enlarge them, or use your browser to zoom-in your screen view (works great in IE8).


That SQL 2005 with SP2 or SP3 is used. That the SQL Server was not already installed with SQL Reporting Services. Otherwise please skip to the SQL 2005 Reporting Services Configuration section.

Using SQL Instances

From trial and error it appears that the SCMDM 2008 SP1 Reporting installation does support installation to another SQL Server Instance. But the SQL Server Integration Service (SSIS) Scripts appear to do not..

SQL 2005 Reporting Services Installation

Use these instructions if you don’t have the Reporting Service installed. You can verify this by viewing the screen after you click “Change”.

Please bring up your Add or Remove Programs control panel applet:


Highlight the main SQL Server 2005 installation and click on Change.


Ensure that Integration Services is already installed..


Browse to the CD media, select setup.exe and click OK.


Accept and Next..


Click Next..

clip_image012 clip_image014

Click Next..


Ensure that there is no error and click Next.. You may need a reboot for example.

clip_image018 clip_image020

Click Next..


Select Reporting Services, click Next..


Leave on the Default instance, click Next..


Select System Account, if you don’t have a services account in the domain..


Click Next..


Click Install..

clip_image032 clip_image034


Click Next..


Click Finish.. Installation completed.

SQL Server 2005 Service Pack Reapply

Since you used the RTM media to install the SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), you must reapply the Service Pack that was used previously to bring it up to the same code level as the rest of the SQL installation.

You can find the download to the Service Packs here:

SQL 2005 SP2 -

SQL 2005 SP3 -

Execute it:


Click Next..


Accept and click Next..


Verify that only the newly installed Reporting Services need to upgraded to this Service Pack..


Click Next..


Click Next..


This screen might appear if the Reporting Service service process is running on the server.

It can be ignored for now.. Click Next..


Click Install..



Once complete it may ask for a server reboot..


Completed, click Next..


Summary screen, click Next..


Click Finish..


Click the double arrow, and move the privileges over, Click OK.. Reboot the server..
Service Pack reapplied successfully.

SQL 2005 Reporting Services Configuration

This section will verify and also fix any items that may not have been configured properly.
It is all done through the Reporting Services Configuration console.


Now bring up the Reports Services Configuration tool..


It should automatically populate the local server name and instance in which the Reporting Services was installed.

Click Connect.


If not running, click Start..

We will now go through all the various sections on the left side of the screen. We basically need to resolve any section with red marks.


If missing, click New.


Click OK.


Ensure that the creation was done without any warning or errors.

Click Apply.


If missing, click New.


Click OK..


Ensure that the creation was done without any warning or errors.


Verify which security context you wish to use.


To the right of Report Server, click New..


Input a pool name, such as ReportServer, and select an account.. Click OK.


For the second one, use the drop down to choose the newly created pool and click Apply..


Verify that the settings were done without any warning or errors.


Hit Connect, and OK.. For the Database click New..

Click OK..


Click Apply..


Click OK..


Click OK..


Hit Apply..


Click OK..

If you didn’t apply the Service Pack before this step, the upgrade script may fail.

Also make sure that the Reporting Service service is running on the server, otherwise the WMI provider will not be available for the upgrade script to function..


You should now be able to bring up the http://localhost/reports page:


If you cannot see this page, please see the next section on troubleshooting.

SQL 2005 Reporting Services Troubleshooting

If you instead get an error message with “The XML page cannot be displayed” or 404 “Page cannot be found”:


Make sure ASP.NET is allowed on the web server, and that the .NET Framework 2.0 or higher is correctly installed:


Once set, go back into the Reporting Services Configuration Manager and make sure all the “green lights” are still there. You may need to touch the Web Service Identity section again!

Another possible error:


This can be fixed by:

  1. Edited C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.2\Reporting Services\ReportManager\RSWebApplication.config
  1. Changed <ReportServerVirtualDirectory></ReportServerVirtualDirectory> to <ReportServerVirtualDirectory>ReportServer</ReportServerVirtualDirectory>

For further assistance on issues I recommend to go these links:

MSDN Community Forum:
MSDN SQL Server 2005 – Reporting Services, aggregator site:

SCMDM 2008 SP1 Reporting Service Installation

Please download the SCMDM 2008 SP1 Reporting Services Resource Kit here:

Picking the appropriate flavor of x64 or x86 or course to match your platform.. :-)
Execute it and extract it somewhere.
Locate and run the mdmreportingsetup.msi file to start the installation:


Click Next..


Accept and click Next..


If you select Custom you can see the different components:

clip_image122 clip_image124

Enter the server name on where the MDM Database is housed. Either remotely or the local server name if you are installing it on the same server.

Usually no need to enter the instance name which is default MSSQLSERVER.


Now enter the server name of the of the reporting SQL server.


Enter an account that has permissions..


Click Next..


Click Install..


It may take a few seconds..



If you receive error messages about failure and rolling back the installation make sure you tried the Reporting Services website before you started the MDM Reporting installation and have a working SQL Reporting Services configuration beforehand..

After you click Finish, this admin utility screen will then appear:


Enter the Reporting SQL server name and click Connect..
Enter the MDM 2008 SP1 instance name and click Add..
Click on the MDM Gateway Auth, and enter a valid account on the Gateway server(s) retrieved for the specified MDM instance. Click Update.

Click Exit.

The reports will now appear on the http://server/reports web site.


Click on MDM Reports.


But if you try to use one of the reports at this stage:clip_image144


You will find that they will all fail.. This is due to the reporting data not being replicated over yet..

Final step is to get the first set of data in the Reporting database from the MDM database. This is done behind the scenes with SQL Service Integration Services (SSIS).

However the newly installed scripts must be kicked off manually the very first time. Thereafter it will automatically refresh every 1 hour..

Start the SQL Server Management Studio application from the Start menu:


Select Start Job at Step..


Click Start..

Make sure it completes successfully.. If you receive an execution error make completely sure you have filled out all the necessary fields on the MDM Reporting Admin Utility!

Congratulations! You should finally have some data in the reports and everything functional at this point!

SCMDM 2008 SP1 Reports

If you haven’t tried it, the MMC Add-in simply provides a “tree view” to the web reports which can be handy if you spend most of your time in the MMC as the administrator.


Please see my previous post for more details on the SCMDM 2008 SP1 reports themselves:


Windows Mobile Troubleshooting - How to log like a developer

tools After writing up my last blog article about Windows Mobile troubleshooting and logging utilities (see it again here), I was more closely at the lookout for other tools and tricks that might help assist in a similar fashion.. Of course I found some more good additional information and have included it in this round.. :-)

.NET Compact Framework Logging

On Steve Hegenderfer and Reed Robinson's excellent blog Reed posted a great article about how to enable .NET CF loader logs and what to look out for. Specifically referencing this MSDN information on how to enable the logging: It is all controlled in specific registry keys on the device to enable 6 different flavors of .NET CF logging: "Interop", "Error", "Loader", "Network", "Finalizer", or "Trace".

The Power Toys for .NET Compact Framework v3.5 download gives you additional tools to make this easier. One is the Remote Logging Configuration Tool:


So the most interesting for non-developers trying to troubleshoot .NET CF applications is probably the "Loader" logging. This is where you can see if the application even makes it off the ground and why. As Reed suggests in the article I mentioned it could be referencing a .NET assembly not present on the device for whatever reason..

Additional details on how to read the "Loader" logging can be found here:

File System Logging

This is a type of extreme logging that can really slow down a working operating system. But it can also show you exactly what is going on at the file I/O level. Specifically what files are being accessed or written to. This could be useful to trace back missing files or folders, or figuring out the last file access a specific application did before failing.

I only recently found a tool called MobileMon v0.5 by Brian Dunn. His website,, has more information and you can download the .CAB file there.

Basically you can install and run it in the background while it logs file activity.

image  image

Once you are done you can save it to a log file. Be aware however that the file name "mobilmon.log" may be hard to open on the device itself unless you install a tool (Like Voyager or Total Commander) to rename the file to mobilmon.txt. Then you can open it with the native Word Mobile.

image  image

Memory Management and Monitoring

Another important area of concern for current Windows Mobile troubleshooting is available memory on the device.  Memory leaks, multiple running applications, and garbage heaps can all attribute to doing frequent soft-reboots to get a device functional again. A little known fact that I wasn’t fully aware of is that only 32 applications (actually processes) can run at the same time and each can at a maximum access 32mb of virtual memory..

An excellent resource of a virtual memory management overview is William Blanke’s article:

In it he also has a small (12Kb) Virtual Memory tool (must register to download, the compiled .exe in included with the source code) you can run and visually see available memory (in red) for each of the 32 process slots.

image  image

Issue #1: One key thing apart from seeing how many of the slots are being used and if they are full, is finding the “device.exe” process. This process is responsible for loading up all the device drivers and William points out the potential issues if memory is low for this slot. Specific device features may simply not work.

Issue #2: Another area of concern could be applications that load up .DLL files. These can be loaded up in *any* processing slot and can be accessed by any process. This can be bad if your process or application running in the slot needs the memory and doesn’t use the particular DLL.

However William doesn’t address that in Windows Mobile 6.1 specific changes were made to better accommodate DLL files over 64Kb. These will now be loaded into specific slots higher and away from the process slots. Thus freeing up application space and reducing this potential worry. Please see more information on this 6.1 feature from Doug Boling here.

How sure if anything has/will change in Windows Mobile 6.5 as of yet. What we can look forward to is Windows Mobile 7.0 (which is based upon Windows CE 6.0) and it’s larger scale advanced memory management, explained in more detail here or here. But basically a little like Windows XP, and a limit of 32K processes and 2GB per process, compared to 32 and 32Mb per process. :-)

Issue #3: Careful on the usage of storage cards to install or run applications from. If the device goes into hibernation or sleep mode, it could power down the storage card and render any application housed there non-functional. See more tips here.

Some older reference links on Windows Mobile memory management: 
- RAM, ROM and Task Managers 
- How WM 5.0 Shell Handles Low Memory Situations 
- Memory Management on WM 6.x 
- MSDN Webcast: Memory Management for Windows Mobile
- DumpMem Utility
- NETCF: Memory leak... now what??

Update March 20, 2009: If you are using a Motorola/Symbol ruggedized device you also may want to ask your Motorola rep about their “Private SDK” and a tool called the “Remote Memory Viewer”. It may also be beneficial as Raffaele Limosani states here..

Hope this article further assists in troubleshooting Windows Mobile issues you might run into!


Upcoming Microsoft Webcasts on Device Management

camera A quick heads up on some interesting new Microsoft webcasts coming up early next month on Windows Mobile Device Management and Security that may be of interest to many of you:

TechNet Webcast: Windows Mobile 6.1 and Mobile Device Manager 2008: The Gateway to Your Corporate Network (Level 200)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009
10:00 A.M.–11:00 A.M. Pacific Time

TechNet Webcast: Management Lockdown of Windows Mobile Devices (Level 300)Thursday, April 9, 2009
11:30 A.M.–12:30 P.M. Pacific Time

Register now and get it on your calendar! :-)


Windows Mobile 6.1.x Upgrades and Build Levels - March 11, 2009

help I've been compiling a running alphabetical list of which devices now have official supported upgrades available for them since the summer of 2008. This may be useful for many of you as well implementing SCMDM and researching which devices are compatible. 

Several links fixed, and several devices purchased with WM 6.1.x builds now listed as reference as well. Interesting to see the slow uptake of devices having the 6.1.4 build finally that has the Internet Explorer Mobile 6 (IE6on6).

Included is the specific OS/AKU build for each device for SCMDM 2008 SP1 support.

MO/OEM OS/AKU Build Number
Alltel HTC PPC8600 WM 6.1 ?
Alltel HTC Touch WM 6.1 ?
Alltel Palm Treo Pro WM 6.1.4 w/AKU 1.4.4 Build 20765.1.4.4?
ASUS PDA Phone P527 WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.4 Build 19214.1.0.4
ASUS PDA Phone P750  Patch WM 6.1 ?
ASUS P565 WM 6.1 ?
AT&T Motorola Q9h WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.2? Build 19209.1.0.2?
AT&T Tilt WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.4 Build 19214.1.0.4
AT&T Pantech C810 Duo WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.1.8 Build 19597.1.1.8
AT&T BlackJack II (SGH-i617) WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.1 Build 19208.1.0.1
AT&T Fuze (HTC Touch Pro) WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.2.6 Build 19971.1.2.6
AT&T Epix (SGH-i907) WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.3.2 Build 20276.1.3.2
AT&T LG Incite (CT810) WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.2.8 Build 19974.1.2.8
Bell HTC Touch WM 6.1 ?
Fido BlackJack (SGH-i616) WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.1 Build 19208.1.0.1
HTC TyTN II (unlocked) WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.3 Build 19212.1.0.3
HTC Touch Diamond (unlocked) WM 6.1.4 w/AKU 1.4.3 Build 20764.1.4.3
HTC Touch Pro (unlocked) WM 6.1.4 w/AKU 1.4.3 Build 20764.1.4.3
HTC Touch Cruise WM 6.1 ?
HTC Touch Dual WM 6.1 ?
HTC Touch HD WM 6.1.4 w/AKU 1.4.0 Build 20757.1.4.0
Ultimate 6150  WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.2.1 Build 19959.1.2.1
Ultimate 8150  WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.2.1 Build 19959.1.2.1
Ultimate 8502  WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.1.2 Build 19585.1.1.2
Ultimate 9502  WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.1.2 Build 19585.1.1.2
JAMA 101 (Pending)    
Intermec CN3 WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.1.1 Build 19581.1.1.1
Intermec CK3 WM 6.1 ?
Motorola (Symbol):    

Motorola MC55

WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.1.1

Build 19581.1.1.1

Motorola MC70 (BSP WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.1.5 Build 19590.1.1.5
O2 XDA Stellar (HTC TyTN II) WM 6.1 ?
O2 XDA Orbit 2 (HTC Touch Cruise) WM 6.1 ?
O2 XDA Mantle (HTC P6500) WM 6.1 ?
Orange HTC TyTN II WM 6.1 ?
Orange HTC P6500 WM 6.1 ?
Palm Treo Pro (unlocked/GSM) WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.5 Build 19216.1.0.5
Rogers BlackJack (SGH-i616) WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.1 Build 19208.1.0.1
Samsung SCH-i200 WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.4 Build 19214.1.0.4
Samsung BlackJack II (SCH-i617) WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.1 Build 19208.1.0.1
Samsung SCH-i760 WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.0 Build 19202.1.0.0
Samsung Omnia SCH-i900 (non-US)

WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.3.1

Build 20270.1.3.1

Samsung SGH-i780
(IT, NL, Nordic, Singapore, UK only)
WM 6.1 ?
Sprint Motorola Q9c WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.2? Build 19209.1.0.2?
Sprint Mogul  WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.2 Build 19208.1.0.2
Sprint HTC Touch WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.1 Build 19208.1.0.1
Sprint Samsung Ace (SPH-i325) WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.0 Build 19202.1.0.0?
Sprint HTC Touch Diamond
WM 6.1.4 w/AKU 1.4.3? Build 20764.1.4.3?
Sprint Palm Treo 800w WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.5 Build 19216.1.0.5
Sprint Palm Treo Pro WM 6.1.4 w/AKU 1.4.4 Build 20765.1.4.4
Telus HTC Touch WM 6.1 ?
Telus HTC S720 WM 6.1 ?
Telus HTC P4000 WM 6.1 ?
Verizon Samsung SCH-i760 WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.0 Build 19202.1.0.0
Verizon UStarcom XV6800 WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.3 Build 19212.1.0.3
Verizon HTC XV6900 WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.3 Build 19212.1.0.3
Verizon Motorola Q9c

WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.1?

Build 19704.1.1.50

Verizon HTC Touch Pro

WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.2.7

Build 19972.1.2.7

Verizon Samsung Omnia (SGH-i910)

WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.3.1

Build 20270.1.3.1

Verizon Samsung Saga (SCH-i770)

WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.3.2

Build 20276.1.3.2

Vodafone (UK):    
Vodafone v1615 WM 6.1 w/AKU 1.0.3 Build 19212.1.0.3

If you know of others, updates or corrections, please let me know! 

Thanks to Paul for the corrections on the HTC links!


Microsoft Windows® Marketplace for Mobile for the Corp Enterprise?

help-aesthetica So most of the Windows Mobile blogs out there are now postings about this non-functional website that could be the future "launch pad" for the recently announced Marketplace to centrally house the best Windows Mobile applications..

My biggest question, and somewhat fear, is how will this be manageable from the corporate enterprise, if only targeted the mass consumers?  Will there be policies where you can enforce your corporate owned devices and users not to install unapproved software?  Will there be opportunities for companies to centrally place applications they want their users to access and install?  Will there be add-on features for SCMDM to address these questions?

Lots of questions, but probably no answers yet, so we shall see what this summer of twenty-09 will bring.. :-)

image image

Update March 11, 2009: Some public information on Marketplace for Mobile has now been announced:, but further distribution details listed on still remain sparse at this time..


SCMDM 2008 SP1 - Sales Training Material

show_info As Adam posted here, there hasn't been a lot of SCMDM 2008 SP1 material to come out of Redmond since it was released on December 15, 2008.  But it looks like he was notified of some additional material that was posted up on

15 Minute Sales Course (and Quiz)
Selling MDM 2008 SP1 (2 pages)
Product Reference Guide (43 pages)
SCMDM Whitepaper (11 pages)

It appears that the whitepaper is the same Wipro TCO whitepaper that I blogged about here..

Screen shot of the sales course:image


Posted: Mar 09 2009, 12:16 AM by mnielsen | with no comments
Filed under:
My favorite travel tools, tips and equipment

tools I have been traveling through airports and cities in the United States for quite some time now and at times get questioned about tools, or people see what I have been using.. So this post is an attempt to share information on some of the tips and useful tools I have been using for my travel needs.. Feel free to add your comments and your tips!!

Power Outlet | Targus APS03US | Product info | Review | Prices
You are in a busy airport or location and need to juice up your equipment and all the outlets you can find are being used people.. Your hotel room only has a few wall outlets, only one being at a convenient location.. What you need is a handy portable power strip so you have more outlets where you need it!image

- This adaptor is small and handy, fits in a corner of your bag. Cord plugs into one of the outlets so it is neat and tidy.
- Has a flat wall plug, so it fits in tight spaces and hangs downward.
- Has 4 outlets, on 3 different sides. Can handle multiple bulky power adaptors.
- Built-in surge protection so you have some protection of your equipment in foreign places..
None that I have found so far! :-)

Universal Power Adapter | iGo everywhere 130 | Product Info  | Blog | Twitter
imageThis should be no surprise for many of the road warriors out there. I was first sold on it when I saw one of my colleagues with it and saw how useful it was. (Thanks Doug!)

I also purchased the handy iGo organizer so I can keep my dual-power adapter (so you can power your laptop at the same time as other devices) and tip splitter organized together with all the device tips I have to charge almost any phone on the planet. And my Zune of course. :-)


Itinerary Tool | TripIt | Home Page | Blog | Mobile Site | Twitter
Another useful online-social-web site type application that is very slick and useful to keep track of all your itinerary information.. You setup a free account, and forward all your flight, rental car, and hotel confirmation e-mails to and viola!

By magic it scans and parses through all the e-mails and inserts all the relevant information into your TripIt account. This information can then be retrieved centrally from or on your phone on! It will automatically add map links, directions and weather information as well..

Everything you need in one place, on your mobile device, while you are on the go.. Absolutely marvelous in my mind and a true "life saver".. :-)  Using the "Share" feature you can also collaborate or view-only with your spouse or team members.

The TripIt team has now also opened things up with their own API, so other sites can access their platform and integrate your travel information into their online services..

Favorite Airline | Southwest | Home Page | Blog | Mobile Site | Twitter
imageI've been a long time Southwest fan. Just the ease and no hassle to change travel plans online has me hooked. Several larger airlines have just stuck it to me over and over again.. Enough I say.

Some good tips for the online check-in using the mobile site on your Windows phone go here.  Need to check-in and get a "A-group" seat? Try to go here. :-)

Airline Seating Tool | | Home Page | Mobile Site
When it comes to using other airlines, I always go to to figure out my best options for seating arrangements.. I've been lucky a few times to get the right seats with power on certain flights. Their mobile site also makes it easy and useful.

Don't fly again without weighing your seat options for the particular plane type you are booked on!

Flight Tracker | FlightStats | Home Page | Mobile Site
At this time my favorite flight tracking and airport status web site is the FlightStats one.

Since you can also get a listing of flights on a specific flight route between two cities, it is also very useful if you need to find another flight a specific day with any airline, or see when the next available flight is!

Also with it's handy mobile site, you can check up on flights while on the go..

Conference Bridge Calling | Windows Mobile Professional
image So one of the least known tricks I believe when scheduling conference calls and having participants on the road is to list the conference bridge number in the body of the Outlook Meeting Request so it is super easy for the folks on the road to dial in.  You don't have the write down the number from an e-mail and then manually risk to mistype it into the phone. Jason Langridge blogged about it here.

Basically you prefix the number with a "TEL:", and it will make the string after it hyperlinked You can add "," (comma) or "p" characters for pauses. And of course the "#" to signal the end of a phone number or passcode. Thus a conference dial-in with a passcode could look something like this: TEL:1-800-555-5555p123456#, and in Outlook and on the Windows Mobile Professional device it will be hyperlinked so you can tap it and the device will execute the entire string in your dialer!

You don't need to do the "TEL:" trick on a Windows Mobile Standard (non-touch screen) device, but it would still be advantageous to use the string to reduce the mistyping of the passcode or other digits needed after the phone number..

This way none of your participants on the road can say that they mistyped the bridge number and unable to dial-in. :-)

In Case of Emergency (ICE) | Windows Mobile
This is an idea that is a few years old, and not officially sanctioned by all the various first responders and/or police.  But my view is if it helps just one family it is probably still worth it. :-)

Heck it could perhaps also help get lost devices back in your hands from kind people out there.. :-)

The excellent idea my colleague Patrick Salmon highlighted was to use the Owner Information screen in Windows Mobile and make it display upon power on. This would make it much easier to view without knowing how to operate or login to the phone. Especially a corporate device with a PIN lock. :-)

To do it (quoting Patrick Salmon's blog):
On both PocketPC/Professional and Smartphone/Standard Phones go to Start->Settings->Owner Information.
In Professional, use the Address field. With Smartphone use the “Notes” field.
Put the following information here:
(i) ICE {contact name} {phone number}
(ii) Relevant medical information. Blood group, if you know it. Are you diabetic? Allergic to penicillin? List any prescription medications.
Finally, while still in the Owner Information screen (Professional Only) go to the Options tab and select the checkbox that says “Show Owner Information at power on?”

ICE Reference links:

So that's all the travel tools tips I could think of in this round.. I'm eager to hear what others are using and even better tools!