TheChannel9Team

Neil Enns - Can you give us a demo of the SmartPhone?

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Neil Enns is a lead program manager on the team that develops the SmartPhone and PocketPC software. This is a great chance for us to finally get a look at Microsoft's new SmartPhone. More on the cell phone industry and Microsoft's part in it will come over the next few weeks.

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    The Discussion

    • phillprice
      Here in the UK Smartphones are moving in nicely. I've even noticed the new "Inbox in aisle or window" bus shelter ads in london. I wont go back to my old Scandinavian phone. The only problem is I've lost my headphones for my e200 so no music at the moment, sniff Sad
    • lars
      I just wonder which key fire up the antivirus software... =P
    • sbc
      What's the battery life like on it? For long battery life, I am sure a standard Nokia would be far better than a SmartPhone, perhaps even the ones that do video.

      However, you may get a SmartPhone if you like gadgets, or really need PDA functionality on a mobile phone.
    • phillprice
      i charge mine twice a week minimum, but it mainly sits on its little podium awaiting Activesync to talk to it anyway!
    • Neil
      sbc wrote:
      What's the battery life like on it?


      I don't have a specific number, but the Motorola MPX200 is nice since the screen turns off instantly when you shut it, which is a large part of the power drain on the device. When it's in your pocket and the screen is off the device is essentially completely asleep.

      I usually go about two days between charges. It depends on how heavily I sync Smiley Obviously, driving the radio uses the battery faster.

      What's really nice is that it charges over USB, so I have it on my desk next to my keyboard when I'm in my office. When I leave I take it with me on the hammer loop of my jeans.
    • sbc
      USB charging sounds quite good - I wonder what other phones can do that? I think we are starting to see more things charged by your PC or Laptop via USB. Torches and radios come to mind as well as portable media players.

      I think in the future we are going to see batteries based on renewable fuels (i.e. fuel cell batteries) to be used in portable devices. Imagine filling up you phone along with your car (perhaps there will be two pumps - one large one for the car, and one for the phone/PDA/Laptop etc)?
    • cwoodruff
      The smart phones are getting better but why not a scroller along the left side so that I can use my thumb to scroll to an item and make a selection.  I don't want to use the directional pointer just to scroll up and down.
    • Neil
      cwoodruff wrote:
      The smart phones are getting better but why not a scroller along the left side so that I can use my thumb to scroll to an item and make a selection.  I don't want to use the directional pointer just to scroll up and down.


      Using a scroller for that purpose on a mobile device is actually patented, and our hardware partners would have to pay a license fee to use that technology. The up/down keys on some of the Smartphone devices, like the Orange SPVx, are actually pretty nice to use for scrolling. There are some other nifty ways of doing it that I've seen prototypes for; hopefully we'll see them in production devices soon!

      Neil
    • cwoodruff

      Could you have a scroller on the inside of the direction button?  It could act as the slection button and also have a scroller?  Is that patented? Smiley

    • cwoodruff
      Is the team looking at the clamshell design like the high end Nokia's use?  I would really go for a device that could give me that function.  The only thing that does not get me on the smart phones is that the screen is the size of the original palms and CE devices (or smaller).

      My other thought is that the phone could be inserted into a larger dumb device that has a larger screen, a thumb keyboard and maybe additonal ports and slots.  Might not be a functional idea but I would love to have a device that I could seperate when I was just bumming around town and needed quick info like movie times and maps.  And when I was at a client site the smartphone in the back slot of the input device and have a richer data experience.
    • Richard Acton

      I use an E200 as my every day phone. The battery life on it is terrible compared to the standard Nokia's, etc, but my phone is constantly on charge in it's cradle so I don't have a problem with it.

      There's a smartphone moblog site at http://www.atomiclava.net if youre interested Smiley

    • Neil
      cwoodruff wrote:
      Is the team looking at the clamshell design like the high end Nokia's use? 


      One of the interesting things about the mobile devices group is that we don't actually build any of the devices our software ships on. We do have an internal hardware prototyping team that looks at a ton of different hardware design concepts, but our hardware partners are the ones that decide what the devices should look like.

      To be honest, until we shipped Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition it was a little tough for our hardware partners to build devices with different form factors. We didn't support screen rotation, and we had a pretty fixed set of screen sizes that could be used. With 2003SE that's all fixed, so I expect you'll see a host of cool new devices coming out.

      Neil
    • cwoodruff
      Thanks Neil for your insights. Very interesting to hear about the details of Win Mobile 2003 SE.  I am having a lot of fun developing software for the PocketPC and Smart Phone devices.  Very refreshing like the days when Win32 came onto the scene.

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