is that demo (presentation & code) available online?
I wish I had a Windows-powered phone, but my carrier only offered a Palm-based system as their hybrid pda/phone. I ended up getting an i730, which is a cool phone, but it's strictly a J2ME (Java) platform.
It seems to me that mobiles/pda's should be more like home PC's where you buy a product and pick from an array of network providers.
Right now, the type of phone you want is dictated largely (entirely) by your wireless carrier (at least in the US).
Sure, there's always a way around this. I know a guy who bought a slick high tech phone in London and got his American SIM card to work inside of it. But he had to pay some guy to 'circumvent' the SIM card's block to make that happen. Apparently, SIM cards
issued here in the US are modified to prevent people from swapping them around from phone to phone.
The vast majority of people will not do this. It seems to me that as long as the wireless carriers dictate the phones that you can use on their networks, growth in this area will be slow.
How is it in the rest of the world? I can't imagine European & Japanese consumers putting up with that kind of nonsense.
Microsoft has enough power to pressure the US wireless carriers to open up the market. Work on that!
Maybe I'm ranting, but I've got all the .NET tools now for mobile device development and can't use them.
Welcome to the wonderful, confusing world of the American Cell Phone Market. I used to live in Germany and was blown away by the quality of the network, designs and pricing plans.
First of all, we call them Cell phones, which confused my European friends right away. Overseas, they're "Mobile Phones." This is just the start of confusion.
SIM cards and GSM cards are new to the US and were virtually unheard of when I went to Germany in 2000. I was totally amazed that the chip contained the phone number, stored contacts, and even provided for security. You could switch phones. One time, in a
club, a friend of mine's phone died. She put her chip in my phone (which had a full charge) and made a call. I was amazed again.
Paying for Incoming Calls
WTF, indeed. Well, there used to be a good reason for this. Back in the 80's when cell phones were the size of small laptops or were installed inside cars, the "over the air" network was not fully developed. So, the concept of "air time" originated when
you paid for the call plus the use of the radio waves transmitting your call. At the time, car/cell phones were a luxury for a chosen few. Top of the line Doctors, high powered lawyers, and stock brokers had them to stay "connected"
and "reachable" at all times.
I got my first cell phone in 1994 just as it was becoming mainstream. Air time seemed like a "fair" concept to me then. THe only thing I didnt like is that I did not whom was calling. So, my cell phone number became a closely guarded secret.
As cellular networks became more advanced and could handle more traffic, air time became less and less of a scarce resource to metered out. I was surprised when I got my second phone in 1998 that it was still in use. I thought it should be more like a traditional
phone, where you pay only for outgoing calls.
In 2000, I moved to Germany and much to my delight discovered that cell phone service there was light years of the US. Keep in mind that I came from New York City, hardly a backwater city where you'd expect spotty coverage. I had a Motorola Tri-band GSM phone,
which worked just about everywhere I went --the US included. The phone also had WAP functionality. Something that my friends back home were fascinated with. I told them WAP was a cool concept but with a 1 inch square monochrome screen, it was not a big deal.
When I came back to the US in 2001 and realized that I was staying "in country" for a while, i got a new cell phone. The nice salesperson behind the Verizon counter failed to tell me that incoming calls still cost me. A $500 phone bill and a month later I
stormed back into their local store demanding to know WTF was going on. I was shocked to see we, as the world's only superpower, still had this outdated concept.
ANother thing I learned what that I was charged $0.02 per SMS received and $0.10 per message sent. At first you could only send messages to people on the same carrier, then it was expanded to all carriers in the USA. After a $15 surcharge on more than one
bill, I cancelled the service. I got hooked on SMS while in Germany, but I could see now that clueless wireless carriers in the US charged way too much for the service.
Push To Talk
Push to talk is something very useful. I have Nextel now, largely becuase I get free incoming calls, and now my cell phone number is prominently on my business card. As a .NET consultant for hire, I'm highly mobile and need to be reachable from anywhere.
The Push to Talk feature is included in my plan and lets me keep in touch with other team members. It's better than voice mail and faster than a traditional phone call. Think of it like Voice-SMS.
Cell Phone Portability Carriers in the USA knew they had their customers by their *ahem* sensitive parts, becuase once you distribute your phone number, you are very reluctant to change your service and lose your number. Recently the FCC demanded that phone companies allow
customer to take their numbers with them.
This has stimiluted massive amounts of competition. You now see each phone carrier actually innovating and coming up with all sorts of gimmicks to get people to switch over.
Wow, that was a long post. If you've read this far, stand up, stretch, and then pat yourself on the back.
Seriously, though, I hope I've cleared up some confusion for the folks in Europe about the odd state off affairs in the US's very unusual telecom market. I also hope that I've inspired my fellow Americans to demand more of their Wireless carrier.
WinFS is the file sys. equiv. of the registry being introduced in Win95?
I've been searching for an analogy to describe WinFS to colleagues. Now, I have one.
At first, I wasn't thrilled at the idea of a centralized Registry, because it could so easily be corrupted and blow out everything. This happened to me more than once in Win95.
But as I worked with it, I took to the idea. INI files were a scattered mess and I began to like the centralized repository model. As the technology got better, it became more reliable. I suspect we'll see a similiar disdain to admiration curve with WinFS.
I have a question I've been meaning to ask: NTFS will still be supported, right? We won't be forced into WinFS right away? And will I be able to convert FAT32/NTFS partitions over to WinFS?
Another question, now that the file system sits on top of a database, will support clustering and storage area networks be built in?