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Fans Of Longhorn Rebuilding It

Longhorn Reloaded

Mary Jo Foley writes about members of the site, who are taking the 2004 WinHEC build of Longhorn, which contained mountains of code that never made it into Windows Vista, and putting together Longhorn Reloaded, their version of what the final release might have looked like had Longhorn development not been famously reset later on. Milestone 1 has been released, based on Build 4074, complete with WinFS (the revolutionary file system we never got with Vista), and we’ll just have to wait and see how angry the lawyers are.

June 5th, 2007 Posted by | General, Longhorn, Vista, Windows | 2 comments

HTC Unveils iPhone Competitor

HTC Touch

HTC unveiled its hinted-at iPhone competitor (I even talked about it in my video blog last week), the HTC Touch. The Touch is a Windows Mobile device with a touchscreen, fewer buttons, and a gesture-based UI overlaid on Windows Mobile.

It’s TouchFLO system allows users to browse through lists by flicking their fingers, the main screen has information that can be browsed by swiping your finger through it, and various applications will allow you to replace the scroll bar with a simple finger motion, including web browsing, documents, contact lists and messages.

The Touch includes a 2.8 inch QVGA screen, 2 megapixe camera, Wi-fi (b and g), GSM/GPRS/EDGE Tri-band: 900, 1800,1900, Bluetooth 2.0, 200 hours standby and 5 hours talktime, 128 megabytes ROM, 64 megabytes RAM, a free 1 gigabyte MicroSD card. It comes in black and a goldish/green color. It is available right now in England, will be available in Asia and Europe this month, and is coming to the U.S. later this year.

I’d so break my contract to get one of these, if the price is right.

While on looks it doesn’t have the sleekness of the iPhone, it does sport many of the things Windows Mobile users have been jealous of ever since January, and it is good for business users (something the current iPhone will never be). Sadly for Microsoft, HTC has proven how one little company can out-innovate Microsoft on UI design on its own mobile operating system, and HTC has basically shown Microsoft’s failure in creating a stylish UI for Windows Mobile 6. Luckily, we all get to benefit, and maybe this will give Microsoft a swift kick in the butt to start bringing an “A” game on UI coolness.

Check it out in action here.

June 5th, 2007 Posted by | Windows Mobile | 3 comments

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Some Hopelessly Out-Of-Date Stuff

So, I’ve had a lot of tabs pile up in the last few weeks, when I really couldn’t blog them. Here’s some stuff that, at this point, wouldn’t make sense devoting a full post to:

Microsoft Cancels PDC
Microsoft announced it was canceling this year’s Professional Developer Conference, scheduled for October 2-5. Microsoft has not yet announced when it will be rescheduled for. Since the PDC normally focuses on previews of major new technologies, it makes sense to not hold it so soon after shipping so many major products. Plus, maybe Microsoft is taking Apple’s advice and not holding events announcing things before they’re ready.

Which brings us to…

Is The Steve Jobs Method A Mistake To Emulate?
Robert McLaws asks if Apple’s strategy of not announcing things, for the most part, until they are done would be a mistake for Microsoft. As he points out, as part of combating open source software, Microsoft decided to open up the development process to huge amounts of user feedback, which kind of takes the surprise out of releases, but helps the products get better. While Microsoft hid the exciting truth of Office 2007 for a while, it did extensive public beta testing, which greatly improved the product by ensuring that a small number of annoying features were fixed.

Can you imagine if Vista had been held out of the public eye the last year before release? If Bill Gates got up at CES, demoed Vista, and said, “And it’s available right now”? While it would have been a cool moment, it would have been ruined by Vista shipping with a broken Network Center, something fixed after extensive user feedback. On a Mac, it would have been fixed two years later, when the next “big cat” service pack was released.

Microsoft Partners With Facebook For Mashup
Microsoft announced it was participating with Facebook’s new developer features, with Microsoft distributing a Facebook Developer Toolkit. The toolkit wraps the Facebook API in a managed component, allowing drag-and-drop addition of Facebook features in Visual C# Express , Visual Basic Express and Visual Web Developer, with source code, sample applications and documentation. Read more at Miel’s blog.

As part of the announcement, Microsoft added Facebook support to Popfly, its super-easy mashup creation tool. That means we finally have the full version of Flitterbook, the screensaver that mashes together Facebook, Twitter and Flickr data, that I detailed a little while back.

Speaking of Facebook, check out this hilarious fake infomercial:

Watch it till the end, it only keeps getting funnier.

Gates and Jobs Share Stage At D
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs sat next to each other at Walt Mossberg’s All Things Digital conference, and the joint interview was funny and mostly civil. Check out a recap at C|Net, complete with video highlights.

June 5th, 2007 Posted by | General | no comments