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Tech Ed Berlin 2010 (incomplete)

Posted November 18th, 2010 at 3:39am by Electronic Punk

So before I start I would like to thanks Ivy Worldwide for inviting me out to Tech Ed Europe here in Berlin, with a special thanks to Terri Stratton and Megan Link from Waggener Edstrom for sorting out the last minute complications and generally making this all possible.

What is also interesting though lacking sentiment is the fact that this is the first time I have been in Germany since I was actually born here at a British Hospital nearly thirty years ago. So that was lovely.

Tech Ed generally isnít typically the kind of conference I would attend as it is very much geared towards developers and various aspects of large scale enterprises businesses, with generally very little consumer action but fortunately Microsoft did recently launch a new mobile platform you might have heard of and were very eager to show it off.

In the main Microsoft hall there was a stand allowing people to play with various Windows Phones with all three European HTC devices being available to manhandle and there was never a moment when I passed that there wasnít someone playing with of the fifteen or so devices on display.

As an HD2 user I felt touching the HD7 was just a slap in the face, but although I didnít really like the look of the Trophy from the media I had seen (considering it the uglier step-brother of the Mozart), having it sat in my hand felt good and very easy to use.

Observations from that little play had me noting that applications actually had cash values attached to them; I had always assumed they would be Microsoft Points so it will be interesting to see what the difference in pricing is between markets. It was also great to see so much free content available from the Marketplace including all the HTC applications (on my current device such updates would generally require getting your hands on a cooked ROM and starting from scratch).

The Microsoft staff on hand were of course very helpful when you werenít trying to steal T-shirts but I am not sure there role really went further than smiling and casually scrolling their fingers up and down the home screen. But of course, there were questions I could try asking!

Ever since I started using the beta of Windows Live Messenger 2011, I have been working hard to consolidate all my social network and by all I actually just mean Windows Live and Facebook but I already knew that I couldnít use the same Live account to connect to Messenger on my mobile 6.5 device or I would be disconnected from the account which was quite happily signed into both my laptop and desktop. Had this changed? No. The Microsoft guy had no idea, so tried it and was immediately booted off. So while I can have my feeds amazingly showing data from all over the social network (cough) I would not be able to use the same account on both my phone and my desktop. Desktop wins sadly, so we will have to see what happens. However, the groundwork is in place so perhaps one day we will see a single sign on Ė the current application was developed by third party after all so maybe there is more in the works.

So I whipped out my HD2 device, the guy would no longer look directly at me Ė just kidding - I asked if Microsoft was still committed to supporting Windows Mobile "Classic" as stated at the time Windows Mobile was launched. Of course! I demonstrated that on my latest HD2 ROM released by HTC just last month that running Bing from Germany (or the UK) would tell me that the application was no longer supported and suggest either going to the mobile site (yes) or quitting (no), he couldnít really help me there but did agree that Google Maps was a lovely alternative.

I am not entirely sure how we got on to the topic, but we started discussing the recent videos of Windows Phone 7 running on the HD2, I mentioned how I didnít believe they were fakes but rather prototypes running a Windows Phone 7 type experience on top of a 6.5 operating system, he didnít know much about that but did mention he had no doubt that it would happen for real eventually although it wouldnít be optimal because either then RAM or storage was slower than the similar HD7, so Iíll be checking out the hardware comparisons between the two when I have time Ė although I did mention I also had the EVO 4G version of Android 2.2.1 running quite happily over the top of Windows Mobile 6.5 from my SD card so all else fails there will eventually be an option to get that running natively and I am sure the HD2 will have no issues there.

We also learned that tiles cannot be duplicated on the home tile screen which really removes the possbity of having a work display and home display, at least with the same tiles but that is really a moot point.

I also had the opportunity to attend a few sessions on Windows Phone 7 which briefly demonstrated various applications before quickly opening up Visual Studio 2010. Having seen those even I, as non-developer, am feeling the sudden urge to get all the software downloaded and have a go because honestly it feels like a snap to get a really great application created. Obviously, I am not talking about some amazing 3D application, but rather a simple application pulling down OSNN feeds and data.

Each of the sessions I attended had different applications demonstrated and it was good to see so many ready to go, including both Amazonís Kindle and Tescoís home shopping.

Incomplete sections:

Microsoft was tight lipped about roadmaps.
Cut paste, tethering, display out to television (pocket controller) updates

Microsoft Kinnect was demonstrated, some desktop stuff, also office 365 to some extent.

I spent 60 Euros downloading the Conan show, but it was fortunately removed from my bill. Because such data usage had to be a glitch right?
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