I took a few minutes to speak with Loke Uei Tan about Windows Mobile 6.5 and the Windows Mobile Marketplace. Loke Uei is a Senior Technical Product Manager with the Windows Mobile team. His main focus is on developer experience, right from the first line of code through to the Windows Marketplace sales experience. Video of the interview will be available in a few days.
When talking about Microsoft’s impending foray into app sales, it’s impossible to avoid the obvious comparison with the iTunes App Store. Apple has been taking some flak lately, mostly around the opaque application approval process. Microsoft is working hard to avoid these issues, and has published their policies around applications and content (see the sidebar). They go as far as documenting cultural requirements around applications released to particular countries (e.g. Muslim, Hindu, and Christian taboos).
The Microsoft Mobile Marketplace goes live on October 6th (7th for us here in New Zealand), in 21 markets. Initially, you’ll need a device running Windows Mobile 6.5 to access the marketplace, but Loke Uei explains that compatibility will be extended back to WM6.0 and 6.1 devices over time.
On the Windows Mobile 6.5 front, Loke Uei points out a couple of major changes, being a more finger-friendly interface, and a more capable version of Mobile Internet Explorer. Still no capacitive touch screens however, which is entirely up to the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Stay tuned for video.
He also talked about bringing FTTH to 75% of the households in New Zealand in the next ten years.
Microsoft Corp CFO Chris Liddell also delivered keynote today, with some tech demos in between. Chris told the audience how Microsoft has one of the largest R&D budgets in the world, with plans to invest up to $9.5 billion in 2010 alone. He doesn't see an economic meltdown coming but give five points businesses should focus on during these times:
- Focus on cash
- Streamline cost structure
- Drive operational excellence
- Compete and grow market share
- Invest in innovation
The demos included Windows 7, Microsoft Photoshynt (which is being deployed worldwide in a partnership with Adidas showing New Zealand rugby icons in their website), Microsoft Azure (which is being officially released during the Microsoft PDC conference 17 November 2009 to 21 countries including New Zealand), and Unified Communications with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.
Overall a good keynote, but I still think it hardly came close to the one delivered by Lou Carbone during the Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand 2007 - the best keynote I've attended ever.
Microsoft's Nathan Mercer told me this is a special build - the laptops are so new he had to create an image with fresh drivers, plus a full Tech.Ed user experience. This also includes New Zealand-flavoured wallpapers and other customisations.
The laptops also come with the latest Microsoft Office 2010 CTP.
If you are not getting these laptops but still would like to have the New Zealand-based theme, it looks like this will be released for download in October when Windows 7 becomes available for consumers.
Also if you didn't take the offer, you still have a chance to leave Tech.Ed NZ 2009 with one of those: Microsoft is running a competition lasting the three days of Tech.Ed. There seven laptops to be given away, and to be in the draw you have to fill a form with answers to seven puzzles. These answers will be around Tech.Ed NZ 2009 somewhere. Entry forms are available when you collect your badge.
I have just added a widget to the sidebar on this blog currently listing search results for the #tenz9tag on Twitter. Below is the same widget, if you want to bookmark this page to see updates:
You can also follow the official Tech.Ed Live Twitter account. Use the #tenz9tag in your Tweets, blog posts and Flickr pitcure uploads.
For updates on picture upload you can get our Flickr RSS feed for Unofficial Tech.Ed NZ 2009 or the Official Flickr Pool RSS feed for Tech.Ed NZ 2009. If you are attending the Tech.Ed and uploading to Flickr you can join the Flickr Tech.Ed New Zealand Group as well.