Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Whirlwind Overview of Windows Phone 7 Series

Microsoft will be coming out with a new phone to compete with the iPhone called the Windows Phone 7 series (WP7). It is slated for release for holidays 2010 (the word on the street is September 2010). A lot of people are calling it iPhone V2 since there are similarities: no application background processes are allowed, each application is sand boxed as to not interfere with other applications, and the rich graphical interface. The goals for the phone are to have a predictable, safe, high performing phone with long battery life.

  • Microsoft's better competitor to the iPod, Zune is built in.
  • XBox live integration.
  • You can play XBox XNA games on Windows Phone 7.
  • Windows Mobile Marketplace built in. From what I have seen, the search and categorization is better than the iPhone marketplace. You will be able to buy applications, games, music and videos.
  • Office 2010 Mobile
  • People Hub
  • Pictures Hub
  • Music and Video Hub
  • Accelerometer
  • GPS
  • Camera

Metro User Interface Design
WP7 is better than iPhone when it comes to user interface design. The design language is called Metro which takes cues from transportation icons. The start menu has tiles on it which takes you to hubs. Everything is organized into related areas. For example the music hub will not only show you the artist biography when you click on a song, it will use the phone location to determine where the artist is playing next. Another cool thing about the Metro design are the panoramic views where the phone views a portion of the area of an application. It makes the phone experience seem larger than life. Metro makes the design language of the iPhone seem as antiquated as a Mac classic.

Target Market
The target market for Windows Phone 7 is what Microsoft calls the life maximizer; someone that has a busy professional life and a busy home life. The example couple that they use is a man that has his own architectural small business and a mom that works part time. The initial goal is more of a consumer focus than business focus, helping a busy end user rather than solving business problems.

Standard Hardware

One of the pains of developing for any phone is the wide variety of processors, memory, screen sizes and touch support. Microsoft has solved this problem by having base hardware requirements and only two screen sizes. Here are the current Windows Phone 7 Hardware requirements:

Capacitive touch with 4 or more contact points
WVGA (800×480) or HVGA (480×320) resolution

A-GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, Light, Proximity

5 megapixels or more, flash required, camera button required

Common detailed specs, Codec Acceleration

256 MB RAM or more, 8 GB Flash or more

DirectX 9 acceleration

ARMv7 Cortex/Scorpion or better

What do you need to develop Windows Phone 7 Applications?
All the tools to develop WP7 applications are free. There are two ways to develop applications on the phone, with Silverlight 3 and XNA (for games). Expression Blend 4 is used to create the cool animations for the phone such as rotating, zooming, and panning. When you install the tools it will install Visual Studio 2010 express. If you already have Visual Studio 2010 installed, it will install the Windows Phone 7 tools as an add on. Creating pages in Silverlight 3 is much like creating pages for web applications. The design language used is not HTML but XAML. The code behind portion of Silverlight is currently limited to C#. Other .NET languages such as VB.NET will be added later.

How do you sell your Windows Phone 7 Applications?
In order to sell your Windows Phone 7 applications you must first register on the marketplace. The fee is $99 per year. To submit an application to the market place (free or commercial) is $99/each. This fee helps pay for the certification of your application. Your application is verified that it does not try to break out of the sandbox, that it performs well, and it the content complies complies with any applicable laws for the countries you select to distribute your application.

Limitations of Windows Phone 7
  • Each application is sandboxed and has it's own separate isolated storage. This storage is limited to 2GB. No other application can get to this storage.
  • No ActiveSync. If you want to synchronize data you must first upload it from your application to a web server and then download from the web server on to your corresponding desktop application. There is no standard mechanism, you must create custom code to do this.
  • No background processes. This is part of the Windows Phone goal of having long battery life. No more stupid twitter apps that make your battery last an hour.
  • No socket namespace. That means no FTP in the initial release.
  • No subscription/continuity model in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
  • No SQL Server compact edition for the initial release. There are several open source and commercial vendors alternatives.
Videos on how to do Windows Phone 7 Development
Mix 2010 Videos
Windows Phone 7 in 7
Behind the emulator
Silverlight for Windows Phone 7
Windows Phone 7 Training Kit

Free Developer tools for Windows Phone 7
Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools
Expression Blend 4
Expression Blend 4 Windows Phone
Expression Blend 4 SDK

Here is a great Windows Phone 7 FAQ
Windows Phone 7 FAQ

Windows Phone 7 End User



Developer Portal

Windows Phone 7 Forum

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 74

Praise God. Samuel came home from the hospital on Saturday. He is in really good spirits, giving smiles everywhere he goes in the house. He missed his toys and has been playing with them with renewed excitement. He is crawling around. You can tell Samuel is taking it easy since he is crawling quite a bit slower. He is eating well but not drinking as much as he did before. Thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 73

Thank God. All good news. Leyla called and said that Samuel is a different boy today. Samuel had a #2 so big that hospital housekeeping had to be called (he had not gone since last Thursday). The right lung has fully inflated and the doctors are planning to take out the second chest tube. Samuel is feeling a lot better, sitting up in bed and standing up in bed. Samuel is drinking a lot of fluids. He hasn't eaten like himself yet, but I am sure that will change after today. Most likely Samuel will be going home soon.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 72

Praise God, Samuel has been moved out of PICU into a regular room. He is off oxygen now. He still has some drainage from his chest tubes. Samuel is still in pain. You can tell when the morphine wears off. Samuel is eating a little, but only for Leyla. Thankfully my parents have come to help to take care of the girls while Leyla is with Samuel. Samuel will be out of the hospital in days.

You can pray specifically for:
1. Samuel's pain
2. That Samuel would heal quickly.
3. Leyla's emotional well being. It is difficult seeing your child going through such difficulty.
4. That the BPD Doctor would give Samuel a green light to go on vacation. The kids have been looking forward to this vacation for 2 years and have been counting the days. Leyla is petrified to take Samuel out of the area of Children's Hospital should something happen again. Leyla wants me to take the kids without her on vacation. I am petrified to leave Leyla alone with Samuel. Does anyone know if there is a good children's hospital at Myrtle Beach?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 71

Thank you for your prayers, your calls, and your kind words on facebook and twitter. We can definitely see the mercy of God in the current trial that Samuel is in. If Samuel would not have had his right lung collapse we would have not have known about the silver dollar size hole in his diaphragm.

Samuel's surgery went well yesterday. The doctor took four hours to sew up the hole in the diaphragm and take pictures of the right lung. Thankfully, they were able to go in laproscopically so there are only three small incisions in his chest and one in his belly button. They had to put in a second chest tube so that all the fluid would drain and so the right lung could inflate.

At first I thought that Samuel would be in the hospital for months again but because they were able to fix him without making large incisions he will be home sooner rather than later. He is able to take clear liquids today and later on in the evening they will try to give him soft foods. He is not intubated, he just has a nasal cannula with a .l Liters of oxygen.

Once his chest tubes are finished draining fluid, Samuel will be moved from PICU to a regular room. Please keep praying.