Windows Phone 7 Behind the Scenes

Qualcomm senior vice president Torrey Harmon shows Microsoft's Terry Myerson a development board running Windows Phone 7 using one of the company's newest chips.

Cnet’s Ina Fried has post a really interesting behind the scenes article about Windows Phone 7 today. You will get a really peek at what is going on at Microsoft now that Windows Phone 7 is nearing RTM status. Lots of optimisms and pessimism and you will really get to realise that MS is playing big and that even they aren’t sure if it will be a success. There’s some talk about the lack of features in the first release and the reasons why the company’s primary focus is the user experience (boot times, framerate, etc..). According to Microsoft’s Terry Myerson, it will take 5 years (starting oct 2008) for for MS to get back back to the op in the Mobile market (if WP7 doesn’t fail..). Here’s a really interesting quote about Qualcomm‘s relationship the Windows Phone teams :

As the work day draws to a close, the hours-long meeting between Qualcomm and Microsoft engineers beaks up. Myerson meets in his office with Torrey Harmon, a Qualcomm senior vice president. The conversation is informal–a mix of some subtle salesmanship and small talk and venting about some of the project’s more challenging aspects and people.

Between trading jabs at various partners and competitors, the two turn their attention to their own companies’ partnership, discussing how they might further reduce the amount of friction between the teams working on the chips at Qualcomm and those working on the software at Microsoft.

“We want you to see us as an extension of your team and we’re trying hard to figure out how to do that,” Harmon said. Qualcomm recently hired one of the members of the Windows 95/98 development team to help the company in that effort. “We’ve made a lot of progress and still we’ve got a ways to go. We’d like just to look like another one of your technology groups, that’s our goal.”

As the conversation continued, they talked about the battery life issues on a particular prototype. “Usually it runs out by about 2 o’clock,” Harmon said, although, that’s better than before a recent software build. “It was running out at about 11 o’clock when I first got it. It’s better already than it was.”

As it often does, Myerson’s mood this day shifted quickly between optimism and pessimism. “I just want to survive this launch,” Myerson told Harmon. “If I can get out there and get some respect, for lack of a better word, from consumers, everything will get easier. Right now things are hard.”

And some talk with Samsung about XBOX Live cheating and the need to have unique IDs for each phone:

It’s not, he insisted, part of some big plan by the Windows Phone group to control its hardware partners. Rather, it’s a demand that comes from Microsoft’s Xbox developers. It seems they want to make sure that if someone is cheating on the Xbox Live program that they can shut down the cheater.

“This will be the first non-Xbox with access to Xbox Live,” he said. “No one has an achievement on Xbox that they didn’t earn. It’s a trusted system, so, the Xbox team, one of the conditions they had for us to be able to put Xbox achievements and badges into the system is that we need to put certain security measures in.”

Check out the whole thing here.

Watch the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace in action

Here’s a nice TechED session dedicated to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. You see how the Marketplace in action (on the LG Panther / GW910) and also see how the application Trial API actually works and some talk about the private Beta testing functionality that we talked about a few days ago. Be sure to also listen to the Q&A session afterwards. Loke Ui’s claim that games must be rated PG13 is a joke….I hope (he jokes that they can’t bring Halo because it’s rated M) because the Twin Blades game that you previously saw in my hands-on session is really gore and is probably rated M (and is going to be one of the Hero launch application this fall).Some interesting info about the application’s performance: An Application must display a new screen 1 second after the user opens it (can be a splash screen) then the application has a maximum of 19 seconds to make sure that the user can operate it, if not the application will be rejected by Microsoft. There’s also a demo of the Windows Phone 7 development handset unlocker at the end. The video is after the break:

Continue reading Watch the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace in action →

In-depth look at Office, Exchange and SharePoint on Windows Phone 7

One more Windows Phone 7 TechED session for the day. This time you’ll get an in-depth look at the Office 2010 integration (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) in the Windows Phone 7 and how you can deploy WP7 in SharePoint Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2010. If you had any doubts about Microsoft’s commitment to the business user here’s you answer (video after the break):

Windows Phone is an important tool for personal productivity and collaboration. Windows Phone 7 will be taking this to the next level. In this session, learn what’s new in Office Mobile, how it integrates with SharePoint Server and how to create the highest impact for users. This session also presents the new functionality that is available with Exchange Server 2010 in combination with Windows Phone and offers deployment guidance.

Continue reading In-depth look at Office, Exchange and SharePoint on Windows Phone 7 →

Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) on Windows Phone 7

Two days ago Microsoft made it clear that Business users and ITs will not be left out of Windows Phone 7 and that they are aiming to provide the best Office, SharePoint, and Exchange experience ever seen on a mobile platform. So without further talk I highly suggest you watch the following TechED session (video after the break):

A growing number of employees are using their smartphones for business purposes. This makes planning secure access to email, documents, and applications a mission critical job for IT. Learn how Forefront Unified Access Gateway makes accessing email and documents from Windows Phones secure. This session presents the top things you can do to improve the security of your Windows Phone deployment, including deploying ActiveSync with Microsoft Exchange Server, providing secure remote access to Microsoft SharePoint, planning and publishing line-of-business applications, to take advantage of this evolution. Take full advantage of your IT investment in Exchange Server and SharePoint. This session covers architecture, deployment best practices, application publishing and traffic filtering for better protection of information.

Continue reading Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) on Windows Phone 7 →

Have a Windows Phone 7 App idea? Microsoft will buy it from you for $5000 if you win


Microsoft is running a contest t’ill July 8th and giving away $5000 to the best entry:

Description: Ever had a great idea for a Windows Phone app? Pitch us the idea and if it gets the votes, we’ll build your app and make it available on Marketplace as a FREE download for Windows Phone 7. Submit video or written description of the dream app you need.

Rewards:

  • Grand Prize Winner: One winner, selected by a Windows panel of judges from the top 150 Most Viral entries, will win the honor and glory of getting the app they need available as a FREE download on Marketplace, $5,000 and a new Windows Phone 7 device.
  • Runners-up: Four runners-up, selected by a Windows panel of judges from the top 150 Most Viral entries, will receive a 16GB Zune HD.
How to Submit:

  1. Record or write (blog) your idea for a totally new, totally original Windows Phone application (app)  — show us how creative you are.
  2. Click the Submit Entry tab and follow the steps provided.
  3. Tell your friends to come to Brickfish and vote for your entry!

Submit your entry below:

Continue reading Have a Windows Phone 7 App idea? Microsoft will buy it from you for $5000 if you win →

Windows Phone 7 Marketplace policies announced

TechEd is currently in full swing and the Windows Phone team is steadily releasing new info about the upcoming mobile OS today. They’ve just posted the official Windows Phone 7 Marketplace policies for developers who wish to submit their applications later this year:

Specifically, the new Windows Phone Marketplace policies offer:

  • Annual registration fee of $99
  • No limit to the number of paid apps submitted 5 free apps per registration, $19.99 each after that
  • Free registration to DreamSpark students (same unlimited paid and 5 free apps applies)
  • A new optional push notification service to help developers stay engaged with customers
  • A new optional Trial API – trials mean more customers try your app, and less likelihood that they return it. The length or type of trial is fully controlled by the developer
  • The ability to publish to all available Marketplace markets through a new “worldwide distribution” option, allowing developers to pay once and distribute broadly
  • Wider range of business models; free, paid, freemium and ad-funded
  • Equally important to many developers is what isn’t changing:
  • A revenue share of 70/30
  • Developers manage their business with Marketplace via the self service portal http://developer.windowsphone.com
  • Payout takes place monthly for developers that have earned more than USD$200 worldwide
  • Developers can make ad funded applications
  • All applications go through a process of technical and content certification
  • Marketplace offers support for credit card commerce, and where available mobile operator billing.
  • Microsoft continues its practice of publishing policies, guidelines, and submission process details to developers so they understand exactly how marketplace works.

The full list of Marketplace policies is available here(pdf)

Windows Phone 7 Business features

Microsoft has just posted a long post discussing Windows Phone 7′s business features. Sure there won’t be any VPN support (among other missing features..) like in previous of Windows Mobile but Microsoft wants to make it clear that even though they are principally aiming WP7 at the consumer market business users won’t be left out. Here’s a short snip:

The vast majority of individuals make their own personal decision regarding which Smartphone to purchase. Given this, we often hear from IT professionals that their most important considerations for Smartphones are that they are phones people want and that they meet the organization’s IT needs– enabling them to increase usage and productivity. Organizations are interested in investments they have already made (e.g. Exchange, SharePoint, Office). Windows Phone 7 enables the IT support most organizations need without the need for additional infrastructure.
Specifically, Windows Phone 7:

  • Is built from the ground up using industry best practices in secure software development (Secure Development Lifecycle).
  • Deeply Integrates email, calendar and contacts with Exchange Server enabling rich, seamless email and calendar management to enhance productivity.
  • Integrates with SharePoint through the SharePoint Workspace client, enabling enhanced collaboration through offline document access and syncing.
  • Helps protect corporate informationby securing the device through PINs and passwords. Information is further protected by not allowing access to data via PC tethering or support for removable SD cards. In addition, Windows Phone 7 supports IT managed EAS policies such as Require Password, Password Strength, Remote Wipe and Reset to Factory Settings with multiple failed unlock attempts.
  • Helps ensure data reliability and integrity through application sandboxing and managed code. Windows Phone 7 ensures communications channels between applications cannot be opened and critical system resources cannot be accessed. Most malware threats are introduced through the browser. IE Mobile helps ensure that malicious code cannot be launched from web sites, thus reducing this threat.
  • Provides certification and verification of applications and content through Windows Phone Marketplace, further enhancing security.
  • Enables secure data transmission through 128 or 256 Bit SSL Encryption.
  • Supports secure access to on-premise applications and network resources using Forefront Universal Access Gateway (UAG).
  • Is future ready with cloud / services integration. Through the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), Microsoft offers hosted Exchange and SharePoint services. Windows Phone 7 will support mobile access to BPOS from Outlook Mobile and the Office Hub.

Windows Phone 7 is a new platform that we will continue to improve and evolve. We needed to restart in order to build the right foundation for the future. We are delivering a great business phone that improves productivity by taking a fresh approach to the most common Smartphone business usage scenarios such as email, calendar, contacts and collaboration. At the same time, with support for Silverlight, XNA and the full suite of development and design tools from Visual Studio 2010 to Expressions, Windows Phone 7 provides a rich, efficient and familiar development platform that also meets the IT needs of many organizations with support for the most common EAS policies for management.

Update: The new Window Phone 7 Marketplace policies

Source: Windows Phone Blog