Thursday, October 14, 2010

Windows Azure and SQL Azure Synergism Emphasized at Windows Phone 7 Developer Launch in Mt. View

image I attended Day 1 of the Windows Phone 7 Developer Launch on 10/12/2010 at the Microsoft Silicon Valley Convention Center in Mt. View, CA and was pleased to see presenters describing Windows Phone 7-Windows Azure Platform synergy.

Updated 10/17/2010: Added capture of Falafel Sotware’s EventBoard WP7 app.

Updated 10/14/2010: Moved Windows Phone 7 Developer Guide and Problems with Dependency Checker in Drop 5 topics to a new post: Solving Dependency Problems in Drop 5 of p&p’s Windows Phone 7 Developer Guide.

Updated 10/13/2010: See end of post.


image[5] MobilePay USA (@MobilePayUSA) demonstrated a free application for paying bills with your Windows Phone 7 (or iPhone). Here’s how it works:

  1. When inside a store accepting MobilePay, GPS technology enables the store to be displayed on your phone.
  2. At the checkout stand, tell the cashier you are paying by phone.
  3. On your phone, tap the "PAY STORE" button, enter your pin, the payment amount due and tap the "PAY NOW" button.
  4. Now, in just seconds, a payment confirmation will appear on your phone and the merchant’s terminal.

Randy Smith announced that his “team [was] waiting to announce Windows 7 Phone platform at Microsoft headquarters in Silicon Valley! http://ow.ly/2Sk4L” in a 10/12/2010 tweet. You can watch demos by the same pair that presented in Mt. View:

According to MobilePay, a small Windows Azure compute instance can support up to 10,000 transactions/second. Both the iPhone and WP7 versions use Windows Azure for data processing. The demo team said creating the iPhone app took two weeks but they finished the WP7 version in two days.


Lino Tadros and John Waters of Falafel Software described their free EventBoard conferenceware product that’s available for iPhone and Adroid devices and has been submitted to the new Windows Phone Market Place.

image[10]   

image[13] The pair’s session covered a “range of real world development stories and deep dive into using Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Blend to build Windows Phone Applications with Windows Azure Cloud Services and Push Notifications.”

imageFalafel developed the initial version of EventBoard for the Silicon Valley Code Camp 2010 to enable attendees to view and manage information about sessions, tracks, rooms, and speakers with the goal of enriching attendees’ conference experience. Here’s the live OData metadata for the initial OData source:

image[18]

And most of the first of the SessionsOverviews:

image[23]

The following example is from the Falafel Software site:

image

The sessions were simulcast at MSDN Simulcast:  Windows Phone 7 Developer Launch Event, Oct. 12, but there’s no indication (so far) that a video archive of Day 1 will be provided. The video currently is a static placeholder.


Update 10/13/2010: Microsoft reps refused to discuss the future Windows 7 roadmap at the Developer Launch, but Devindra Hardawar reported Windows Phone 7: Mac sync coming this year, will support removable storage (sort of) in a 10/13/2010 post to MobileBeat:

image Microsoft announced that it will release a tool later this year to let Mac users sync “select content”, Engadget reports. In other news, we finally some idea of how the platform will handle external storage, thanks to Paul Thurrott.

While I don’t think Microsoft’s announcement means that we’ll see a full Zune client on Macs this year, it’s a clear sign that the company isn’t willing to ignore Mac users this time around. Microsoft has long been criticized for only making its Zune media software available on PCs, which in turn prevented its Zune portable players from finding much of an audience with Mac users.

It’s a wise move because Windows Phone 7’s flashy user interface could appeal to some Mac aficionados, and many users also own both Macs and Windows computers. Hopefully, it will also lead the way to a full-fledged Zune client on the Macs — a program that I vastly prefer to iTunes on Windows.

image As for external storage, something that Microsoft has long said won’t be supported on Windows Phone 7, Thurrott explains how some phones on the platform will offer it:

Supported devices (not all Windows Phones will be expandable) will include a micro-SD card slot, which by Microsoft’s requirements must be placed under the battery cover (i.e. next to the actual battery) and not be externally accessible. That’s because this functionality isn’t designed to be something that is swapped out, used with a PC, or whatever. Instead, the micro-SD-based storage will work in tandem with whatever storage is available inside the device.

Microsoft is apparently offering a compromise between easily removable external storage and none at all. On supported phones, you’ll be able to stick in a micro-SD card of your own between 8GB and 32GB, and the OS will combine that storage with the device’s built-in storage. So if you add a 32GB card to a phone with 8GB of storage, the phone will register it as 40GB of total storage.

Thurrott explains that you won’t be able to eject the micro-SD card and read it on your computer due to “technical limitations.” Similarly, you won’t be able to remove the micro-SD card without performing a hard reset on the device, and there’s no way of telling what data is stored on the external card.

Thurrott mentions that Samsung’s Focus supports external memory, which is yet another reason to consider it the most compelling Windows Phone 7 launch device.


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