November 2009 - Posts
Arguably one of the strongest features of the Windows Mobile (aka Windows phone, which I still can’t get used to) platform is it’s integration, support and feature matching of the Microsoft Office suite. This is a highly desired feature for most corporate enterprise customers and a good chunk of consumers. This still stands true today and it appears that Microsoft is taking steps to continue to build and improve on this with their Office Mobile 2010 plans.
This week on the Windows Marketplace for Mobile the beta version of the new Office Mobile 2010 was made available on devices running Windows Mobile 6.5. The same week that the full blown Office 2010 beta was made public as well in both x86 and x64 versions.
The previous Office Mobile 6.1 (also available on the Marketplace for WM 5.0 w/MSFP and above), was released back in 2007 together with the Windows Mobile 6.1 launch. It supplied support for the new Office 2007 file formats. The Office Mobile 6.1 home page is here, and FAQ.
This Office Mobile 2010 beta copy will expire on April 5th, 2010, and it is unknown how the final release will be licensed. We can only hope that Microsoft makes it available to the broadest audience possible.
So what is new?
A quick marketing run-down is available in “The Top 10 benefits of Office Mobile 2010” is posted here.
Also interesting to note in the video presentation of “What’s New in Microsoft Office Mobile 2010” by Dev Balasybramanian is the mention of “Mobile Document Viewers” that can be used on almost any mobile device, including iPhone and Blackberry. I believe this is in reference to the general SharePoint 2010 mobile support as detailed here.
Installation from Marketplace
Details on the beta:
Was painless and easy:
After the reboot, nice new icons are available:
I will quickly go through each application and give some highlights. Of course this could all change as this is a beta public release. But usually the Microsoft public releases are feature complete and just bug fixes remain.
Word Mobile 2010 beta
Functional appears to be exactly the same as the 6.1 version from what I could tell:
Excel Mobile 2010 beta
I was unable to quickly see any new menu features in the product. So if Microsoft is stating that is some new supported formulas I would have to take their word on it. :-)
PowerPoint Mobile 2010 beta
The options appear to be the same as in the previous release, but the landscape right and left-handed have disappeared..
One of the first changes I noticed is the missing menu triangle which used to appear on screen, and when pressed displayed the application menu. There is now a nice clean look, and the same finger swipe gestures can be used. An automatic timeout removes the top and bottom lines of the screen so the slide is full-screen. If you press and hold down on the screen, a smaller menu appears to assist in the slide deck movement.
The rest of the functions appear to be same, with the exception of the new “Presentation Companion” option. This requires a bluetooth pairing to a computer running the same PowerPoint slide deck and lets you control the presentation from the phone! Now, this is not something new for the Windows Mobile platform as back in 2008 the Windows SideShow for Windows Mobile was released and various information can be found on how that works.
If you select “Email steps” on the bottom left of the screen a nice feature lets you e-mail the on screen steps to yourself or others:
The 4-step instructions are as follows:
“Presentation Companion allows you to deliver a presentation on your computer from your Windows® phone. To use Presentation Companion, do the following:
1.If you haven't installed Presentation Companion on your computer, install it from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165847.
2. On your computer, open the presentation, and, on the ribbon, click the Add-Ins tab, and then click Presentation Companion.
3. On your phone, open the presentation, tap Menu, and then tap Presentation Companion.
4. Use the wizard on your phone to connect to your computer.”
The 6.2Mb installation of Presentation Companion 1.0 Beta is painless and requires no reboot (love it when that is the case). It does install some additional Office and .Net Framework components in my case, running Office 2007. This proves a point that you don’t need Office 2010 beta to use this feature.
Once the pre-requisites are installed the actual installation of the tool can begin:
After installation I pulled up the deck I wanted to control in my PowerPoint 2007 and got this prompt for the new add-in:
And did see the new addition in Add-Ins ribbon:
I clicked Start and was prompted to setup Bluetooth:
My Toshiba notebook wasn’t too happy with the Bluetooth stack when I answered yes, so I decided to pair up the phone, from the phone instead. Clicked Next and then Add Computer (still in PowerPoint Mobile 2010). After searching and typing in the PIN on both sides it paired up successfully! In the mean time I updated my Toshiba bluetooth stack from here, and it still failed to work. Then I found Steve “fyiguy” Hughes excellent idea to install and use the Microsoft IntelliPoint drivers and that finally worked like a charm:
Now with the same PowerPoint files open on both devices, I have a powerful companion for my presentations. The notes for each slide will be displayed on the Windows phone, and I can navigate and control the slides on the computer from my phone!
If you select “Clicker Slide Show” the slide notes are not shown, and instead the slide itself on the phone. Pretty slick. The only thing I felt was missing was a cursor or mouse arrow that I could highlight on the slides during a presentation.
Supposely the PowerPoint Mobile 2010 now has supported for rendering of SmartArt graphics. But in my test it appeared to fail to render it in the same way as on my computer. I hope fewer failures and missed graphics than I have seen on Office Mobile 6.1, where at times it has crashed and burned on me but more testing is of course needed.. So far it appears very stable, but I’m not sure which SmartArt graphics it supports..
This client appears to to be the almost the same version as the one supplied in Office Mobile 6.1 back in 2007 (which had Build 12.0.4518.1055). It also doesn’t bear the “beta” word it’s in title, so I’m guessing it is fairly untouched compared to the others in the suite.
SharePoint Workspace Mobile 2010 beta
I don’t have a SharePoint 2010 Beta setup running, so I couldn’t fully test the SharePoint Workspace Mobile 2010 beta client. Perhaps others could comment on this and their findings?
Looks like it has some nice features to sync information back and forth from SharePoint. Together with the possibility to edit documents from SharePoint and save them back this indeed could appeal to many enterprise customers with employees on the go..
Outlook Mobile 2010
Although not in the Office Mobile 2010 beta installation. A new client is available together with the Exchange 2010 launch. It is already included on the Window Mobile 6.5 devices, and available for Windows Mobile 6.1 devices here.
Please see my previous posting on Exchange 2010 and mobility here for more details.
As a recap, the PowerPoint Mobile Presenter Companion is definitely something new for the Office Mobile suite. And the SharePoint Mobile client gives additional benefits to view, and modify your SharePoint document libraries when on the go. Outlook Mobile is near and dear to the heart of most Windows Mobile users and not surprising more tied to the Exchange server release cycle than Office Mobile.
Old staples such as Excel Mobile and Word Mobile appear to be felt alone and perhaps a good thing at this time. So I wouldn’t call this a major release of the Office Mobile suite, but maybe a update to keep it refreshed in the new Windows Mobile 6.5 and Marketplace world it now has.
Time will tell if and how a perhaps greater refresh of the Office Mobile suite will occur around the timeline of Windows Mobile 7.0..
On my wish-list I would like to see:
LiveMeeting - Cisco WebEx is has already been available for the iPhone since January.. Why couldn’t a LiveMeeting Mobile client be created? I’m guessing that next Office Communication Server 2010 will bring more LiveMeeting features.. We can only hope that mobility is more a part of that as they have done successfully in the Office Communicator Mobile client.
Visio – Why not port the Visio 2010 Viewer over to Windows Mobile?
Project – With Project 2010 Server being installed on-top of SharePoint I wonder if any mobility features are being thought of there..
Nokia - With the Nokia partnership announced back in August, and the pending release of Office Mobile 2010 after the beta cycle, will this mean that the Nokia/Symbian release is next up?
One of my colleagues, Don Sorcinelli, gave me a heads up that the Marketplace client for the down-level older Windows Mobile 6.0 and Windows Mobile 6.1 devices is now available. The Marketplace client is embedded in all the Windows Mobile 6.5 devices.
Text message of the download link if you are in the United States:
Download link to be used on the mobile device:
As I blogged about previously in my Step-by-Step Introduction of Windows Marketplace for Mobile, all the features at that time where only available from your handset device.
Now, as previously announced by Microsoft, the online “desktop” web version of the service is now also available as noted in the media. I will breifly go through the different features and also recap with a nice comparison to the other application store fronts available on the marketplace today..
Windows Marketplace for Mobile on the web
The main login page is here: http://marketplace.windowsphone.com. And looks like this once you have signed on with your Live account:
You can easily drill down into any application and see the details, reviews and screenshots.
Perhaps the most interesting is if you click on the “Purchase History” label at the top you can visually see all of your previous purchases, freebie or otherwise:
You can drill down into each purchase and see the additional details:
The “Account Settings” tab brings up an easy to use place to change your payment preferences. You can have different ones either for the phone or the web site.
The “Community” link brings you over to the Windows phone Forums, where there is also one for the Marketplace.
Without signing into your Live account, or if you have never setup Marketplace on your Windows Mobile device(s) you can still view all the applications available. You can filter the available application for the 2 device types, Professional (touch screen), or Standard (non-touch screen) in the top right hand corner of the screen:
One last perhaps interesting tidbit I noticed, is that if you don’t sign-in you can actual select which language filter you wish to display the available Marketplace applications. In the bottom right corner there is a “Select Catalog” drop down:
Perhaps interesting to see the differences in the amount of available applications in certain languages just like they have been reported on the portable devices..
Quick Comparison to 7 Competitors
In the world of mobile application store fronts the monetary success of Apple’s iTunes store simply can not be ignored. So not just the operating system vendors are jumping on this bandwagon. Many mobile operators, and now OEM’s are also getting onboard. More competition is usually healthy for the consumer or enterprise customer. So it is definitely interesting times we are in. :-)
The Apple iPhone folks actually have multiple avenues nicely packaged for them:
Web Apps: http://www.apple.com/webapps/ – Provides an overview of some of the 1700+ applications you don’t have to install on the iPhone, but uses a plain Internet URL to access them. Most are optimized for the specific iPhone screen size and Safari browser.
iTunes Store: http://www.apple.com/itunes/ – No native web interface to access the store. You must install the iTunes application, but can browse without a configured device. With it’s 100,000+ applications for the iPod Touch/iPhone the current defacto leader inthe mobile space. The newer Genius feature, where application picks based upon your current installation of application is very clever and surprising attractive..
For another interesting view of the iTunes App Store, be sure to check out the “App Store Wall”. Originally shown at the Apple WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) in the summer of 2009. It provides a live view of the top 20,000 applications and their live activity of purchases on twenty 30” monitors. Better screen shots here. It is now on display at Apple’s Cupertino, CA corporate office in the main lobby..
The RIM Blackberry folks have the launched their “Blackberry App World” earlier this year. It has a nice open web access to view it’s contents as well: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/.
Several different filters and views to drill down into the applications you are interested in. A nice touch is the RSS feed on the featured applications.
The Android Market web site appears not to be a full view into all the available applications. Just the featured, and top paid and free applications are highlighted. For the free applications, they can be filtered by 16 sub-categories.
Only screenshots and a brief description are made available. Hopefully some more development and feature will be added in the near future. Only a few months in life it clearly needs some more work..
Nokia lunched it’s application store front back in May of 2009. It’s called “Ovi Store”, and was supposely launched with more than 20,000 applications in it’s back pocket to give it a boost from the get-go. Looking at the other platforms, probably not a bad decision for a mature platform to get it going.
However the web interface is not geared for desktop web viewing, even though it does pulls up in a fairly readable way: https://store.ovi.com/.
Ovi is already a cloud service for the Nokia platform, much like Apple’s MobileMe, or Microsoft’s MyPhone services. Nokia is also dabbling in the multimedia space with their own Nokia Music Store.
The Palm webOS application store is named “Palm App Catalog”. Tied to the public SDK releases for the operating system the App Catalog is coming up with a slow start it appears. Full support for paid apps appears to be coming up in December, where more developers and companies might have been waiting for to gain access into this well thought out platform.
No direct web accessible version of the Palm App Catalog so far, without using a webOS device itself. Although the application page on Palm’s web site gives a good glimpse of the top featured applications in 16 different categories.
The newly available Palm Pixi device running webOS does indeed look interesting and may push this platform into the application boom it probably deserves..
Samsung is calling their own version simply “Application Store”. Limited to the United Kingdom, Italy and France at this time. Perhaps not a global or even regional play at this point in time, but shows their interest and willingness to have a full fledge “store” solution.
Samsung is borrowing heavily from the Apple playbook and created their own iTunes type application they are calling “Samsung Kies”. Installed on your desktop you can sync applications and browse for applications. On the device side, it appears they are catering this mainly to the Omnia line of devices running Windows Mobile at this time. But Samsung is a multi-platform OEM company and has not been shy to announce future Android and Symbian handsets coming out soon.
One of the first larger mobile operators (United States-wise) to go public this summer that they want to have their own branded store front on their devices is Verizon. They are adding a new twist to this new frontier that only their own application store will be initially made available on the handsets sold by them to their customers. Customers can download and install the vendor store application (RIM, Microsoft, etc) but this is again a sign of the monetary gains at stake with mobile applications and stores.
The “VZAppZone” is already live and appears only Windows Mobile and RIM devices have been supported in the beginning.
BTW, for consumer LG devices sold by Verizon there is a whole other “Media Store” where ringtones, music, games, applications and wallpapers can be purchased and downloaded. Some with monthly usage fees. So a mobile operator driven store is nothing foreign to them and only natural to expand to more platforms and devices in their portfolio..
Impact to the Corporate Enterprise
It is clear with the success of the iPhone platform and it’s iTunes Store, that any major consumer contender will need to have similar features and ease of application access.
Solutions on how to bring this back to the enterprise still are in their infancy I believe. Many questions pop up and an area of “grey” and murkiness appears. How does IT allow a corporate liable device access to the right application for their business? How can you streamline application activation, deployment and updates? I will try to address some of these questions in future blog postings!
As I mentioned last month due to the public release of Windows Mobile 6.5, aka Windows Phone, I wanted to pick up where I left off with my previous popular postings on the public Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrades available for devices..
Many of these are not released yet, but due to the 6.5 marketing efforts some approximate release dates are being made public. As they are released I will attempt to collect the links as I did previously with the Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrades. This time around Microsoft is also helping and providing their own official upgrade list here..
|MO/OEM ||Date ||OS/AKU ||Build Number |
| || || || |
|AT&T: || || || |
|Samsung Epix (SGH-i907) ||Oct 2009? ||WM 6.5 ||? |
|Samsung Jack (SGH-i637) ||Nov 6, 2009 ||WM 6.5 ||AKU 0.27 |
| || || || |
|Garmin/ASUS: || || || |
|nüvifone M20 ||Nov 11, 2009 ||WM 6.5 ||? |
| || || || |
|Gigabyte: || || || |
|G Smart S1200 ||Oct 7, 2009 ||WM 6.5 ||? |
| || || || |
|HTC: (Europe - Unlocked) || || || |
|Touch Diamond 2 (Topaz) ||Oct 27, 2009 ||WM 6.5 ||? |
|Touch HD (Blackstone) ||Unknown ||WM 6.5 ||? |
|Touch Pro 2 (Rhodium) ||Oct 14, 2009 ||WM 6.5 ||218220.127.116.11 |
|Touch 2 (Mega) ||Oct 2009? ||WM 6.5 ||? |
|Snap (S521) (Maple) ||Oct 14, 2009 ||WM 6.5 ||21818.104.22.168 |
| || || || |
|LG Electronics: || || || |
|GM730 (Eigen) ||Jan, 2010? ||WM 6.5 ||? |
| || || || |
|Pharos: || || || |
|Traveler 137 ||Nov 2009 ||WM 6.5 ||? |
| || || || |
|Samsung: || || || |
|Omnia II (I8000) ||Nov 2009 ||WM 6.5 ||? |
|Omnia Pro (B7230) ||Nov 2009 ||WM 6.5 ||? |
|Omnia Pro (B7610) ||Nov 2009 ||WM 6.5 ||? |
| || || || |
|Sprint: || || || |
|HTC Touch Pro 2 ||Q1/2010? ||WM 6.5 ||21822.214.171.124? |
| || || || |
|T-Mobile (US): || || || |
|Dash 3G (HTC Snap) ||Soon? ||WM 6.5 ||? |
|HTC Touch Pro 2 ||Unknown ||WM 6.5 ||218126.96.36.199? |
| || || || |
|Toshiba: || || || |
|TG01 (source) ||Oct 6, 2009 ||WM 6.5 ||? |
| || || || |
|Verizon: || || || |
|Ozone (HTC Snap) ||Nov 2009 ||WM 6.5 ||? |
|HTC Touch Pro 2 ||Unknown ||WM 6.5 ||218188.8.131.52? |
| || || || |
|Vodafone (Germany): || || || |
|HTC Touch Diamond 2 ||Oct 27, 2009 ||WM 6.5 || |
|HTC Touch Pro 2 ||Nov 6, 2009 ||WM 6.5 || |
| || || || |
|Vodafone (UK): || || || |
|HTC Touch Pro 2 ||Oct 14, 2009 ||WM 6.5 ||218184.108.40.206? |
| || || || |
I’m not surprised to see the news that one of the first worms has hit the jailbroken iPhone community. Granted it appears that this one does not do anything malicious, except for changing your wallpaper to an old 1980s picture of Rick Astley which the author apparently must have been a fan of. :-)
Please see more details here: http://www.sophos.com/blogs/gc/g/2009/11/08/iphone-worm-discovered-wallpaper-rick-astley-photo/
This again brings up some important aspects when dealing with the iPhone and especially jailbroken iPhone’s in your business environment. You probably want to filter and block any jailbroken iPhone devices from accessing your corporate data. Or at the very least make it a user policy that jailbroken devices are not acceptable. I believe at least one Device Management solution can detect a jailbroken iPhone, please see the information on MobileIron.
As Jonathan Zdziarski brings up repeatedly there are specific security gaps that you should be aware of when support the iPhone. To a certain extent custom applications can be coded to provide some protection of these gaps. See a good presentation of this here..
After many rumors, videos, announcements and a period of time, the Blackberry support is now publically available. It appears a firmware upgrade is necessary (which requires a Windows Mobile device) and only select Blackberry devices are supported here in beginning. But I think it is great that you can now leverage it across platforms! And can see on the forums that Windows Mobile 6.5 and Android support is not far behind! Although I’m questioning why the original C8 owners are left sorta out in the dark..
“The REDFLY Mobile Companion is now compatible with select BlackBerry smartphones. REDFLY-supported phones at the time of launch are the Blackberry Bold 9000, BlackBerry Curve 8900, and the BlackBerry Tour 9630. Celio plans to support additional BlackBerry smartphones in the future as new phones are released.
The BlackBerry driver is offered free of charge to both existing and new REDFLY Mobile Companion model C8N and C7 owners.
If you have a REDFLY that was purchased before Nov 1, 2009 and you want to connect it to a supported BlackBerry smartphone, you will first need to update the REDFLY's firmware using a Windows Mobile phone in order for it to become "BlackBerry aware." Once the REDFLY firmware has been updated, it will connect to either a supported BlackBerry or a Windows Mobile phone interchangeably. REDFLY Mobile Companion units purchased after Nov 1, 2009 ship with the latest firmware and can connect directly to a BlackBerry without needing a firmware update.”
Go here for more information..