Windows Mobile 6.1 HTC Diamond


Windows Mobile 6.1 and the HTC Diamond is a great combination. This post has a dual purpose, to discuss WinMo 6.1 and also the HTC Diamond..my favourite ever phone and I really believe it’s the best phone available (even including the iPhone!!!).

I went to the WPC (Worldwide Partner Conference) 2008 in Houston with an HTC WinMo 5 PPC (Pocket PC) that I was pretty happy with. I was thinking about an upgrade (but just because I wanted a new gadget..not for any specific usability reasons) and so decided there was no real point.

Then I went to one of the Breakout sessions hosted by Andy Lees, Senior Vice President of Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft, saw his demo of WinMo 6.1 and was blown away! The new home screen is much cooler/slicker and certain things I’d been wishing for (such as the ability to select multiple messages then mass move/delete) had been implemented…(maybe Bill can hear the thoughts of Gold Partners?!)

I did pop into the T-Mobile shop in Houston to see what WinMo 6.1 phones they had..that’s how excited I was :-)

Some of the other features from a personal view that I like are the threaded SMS (so they’re like emails-makes things so much easier!) and IE full page zooming. From a corporate view, the big addition was “Domain Enroll” which allows WinMo devices to be managed via System Center Mobile Device Manager (MSM) 2008.

*Update* It’s been confirmed by Steve Ballmer (after a leak from Motorola) that we’re going to see Windows Mobile 6.5 first..as to which features will be in that and which will be saved for WinMo 7, I’ve not seen anything yet…

Windows Mobile 7-is expected in the 2nd half of 2009 and should feature a new, revamped UI, multi-touch and motion sensing features. There should also be a new version of IE, a new version of Office Mobile and a new version of Media Player-this could well be the Zune software (see here).

The HTC Diamond is awesome…and I mean that in it’s original sense, in that it did fill me with awe! That might seem a bit overboard but the Touch-Flo 3D UI makes using the phone a joy. The menu layout is easy to navigate, it’s quick and easy to get to the majority of things you need whether they’re apps, settings, downloads etc and the UI is very responsive. Another element I love which pits it against the iPhone, is the fact that you don’t really need to use the stylus. I can navigate menus, turn features on/off and even compose emails and text messages, all without the stylus :-)

The HTC music player is full of features and easy to use…a good quick alternative to Media Player (although Media Player is far superior for connecting to Bluetooth Headphone devices) if you just need audio. The camera is 3 Mega Pixels so quite mid-range spec but the quality of picture is much higher than you’d expect…we’ve got a number of pictures framed on the wall that came from my Diamond…often replacing pictures taken with a “proper” digital camera.

Another feature of the Diamond that I’ve seen via a video over at Engadget is that the HTC Diamond has Multi Touch capabilities! The video only shows it bwing used for a de-bugging app but it could be the start of something prettty awesome..maybe some homebrew coders can get something great going there?! Even if nothing comes of it at the moment it certainly looks positive for when Windows Mobile 7 arrives!

If you’v got any questions about WinMo and/or the HTC Diamond, drop a comment and let me know!

Cheers

Rich

Symantec and Citrix working together


Veritas Virtual Infrastructure (VxVI) is the new product forged from the combined fires of Symantec & Citrix as their entry into the world of virtual server management. This combination of Veritas Storage Foundation & Citrix XenServer is able to manage 1000′s of VM’s and all their associated storage from a single interface.

It will offer “direct control of block storage from a guest virtual server, block storage functionality, including mirroring across heterogeneous arrays, and SAN-based multi-pathing for data availability.” XenServer enables the sharing of common boot image across multiple virtual servers to help streamline the provisioning process.

“We worked with Citrix at the engineering level to make VxVI more than just a collection of bundled stand-alone products,” says Sean Derrington, Symantec’s director of storage management and high availability.

VxVI will allow users to manage servers and storage from one screen and perform advanced management tasks, including mirroring and striping LUNs, dynamic reconfiguration of layouts, or copying and moving volumes around from subsystem to subsystem.

Veritas Virtual Infrastructure should be available in Q4 2008 and is expected to cost $4595 for a dual processor server.

More info on this, and related subjects can be found at InfoStor

Symantec (Veritas) NetBackup New Features


Symantec (Veritas) NetBackup 6.5.2 has new features. The higher end, enterprise big brother to Backup Exec has a new version to bring more benefits to your organization…and it’s been stealing from it’s smaller sibling!!

The new PureDisk DeDuplication Option enables data deduplication across Veritas NetBackup clients and allows you to backup only the unique data.

When it came to improving it’s recovery capabilities, NetBackup looked to Backup Exec and “borrowed” it’s Granular Recovery Technology (GTR) which allows for quick recovery of entire systems/individual files, e-mails, documents, and virtual machines from single-pass image backups of Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, SharePoint Server 2007, and VMware servers…nice! The Granular Recovery Technology also eliminates duplicate block-level backups, thus reducing storage requirements.

Similar to Backup Exec 12.5, NetBackup now supports VMware Consolidated Backups (VCB) and snap-shot client support in VM’s.

A number of datsheets on the different optiopns for NetBackup can be download here.

Microsoft Windows Cloud


Microsoft Windows “Cloud” was mentioned by MS CEO Steve Ballmer at their S+S (Software Plus Services) seminar in London today.

“We need a new operating system designed for the cloud and we will introduce one in about four weeks, we’ll even have a name to give you by then. But let’s just call it for the purposes of today ‘Windows Cloud’,” said Ballmer.

More info will be revealed at the PDC, which takes place the end of this month in LA.

More info can be found at:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/01/steve_ballmer_windows_cloud/

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 released


Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 has been released.

“What are you talking about? It’s been out for months!” you say…nearly but not quite.

This is the standalone Hyper-V server, so while it includes the core parts of the kernel as related to Hyper-V, there are no other roles available for installation. This is a pure Hypervisor that site on bare metal, and allows you to run up to 192 VM’s on a single machine!!

It doesn’t have much of a GUI (Graphical User Interface)-bit of an old school vibe but hey, that’s cool! Also, you can manage it from a Windows Server 2008 installation or indeed a Vista SP1 machine with the Remote Server Admin Tools Pack installed.

Microsoft expect the main uses for this product to be:

  • Test and Development
  • Basic Server Consolidation
  • Branch Office Consolidation
  • Hosted Desktop Virtualization (VDI)
  • You can download HYper-V Server 2008 here

    and

    More info can be found over at Matt “VirtualBoy” McSpirit’s blog here

    Twitter in Outlook


    Twitter in Outlook: Pointless-maybe, useful-yes, easy to do-certainly sir!

    I could never see the fuss around Twitter until recently. All of a sudden I found myself checking the twitter site again and again to see what updates had been posted or if I had something to say myself. That quickly became annoying and impractical, so I had a look around and found OutWit from TechHit.

    This allows you to receive the twitters of others directly to a folder in Outlook and best of all, gives you a text box in the top menu that lets you update your status directly from your desktop client!

    Download it here:

    http://www.techhit.com/OutTwit/

    It’s a tiny 520Kb file, installs in minutes and is great to use!

    Have fun and feel free to add me on Twitter (RichG_Bechtle)

    Cheers

    Rich

    Microsoft Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008


    Microsoft Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008 is set to be released on 12//11/08 (12th November), along with Small Business Server (SBS) 2008.

    What is it?

    Windows Essential Business Server 2008 provides a unified Administration Console to manage an integrated IT infrastructure with the latest versions of management, messaging, and security server technologies.

    EBS 2008 is aimed at medium sized businesses and the aim is that it will make your infrastructure more efficeint, cost effective and easier to manage. There are 2 version of EBS 2008..

    Standard Edition includes:

    • 3 x Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition
    • 1 x Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Standard Edition
    • 1 x Microsoft System Center Essentials 2007
    • 1Yr subscription to Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange
    • 1Yr subscription to Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway, Medium Business Edition

    The Premium Edition includes all the above as well as:

    • 1 x Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition (making a total of 4)
    • 1 x SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition

    From a licensing point of view, EBS allows up to 300 users and there is a single Client Access Licence (CAL) that gives access to all the included programmes.

    Licensing:

    There are two types of CAL for EBS 2008. Standard CALs for all users/devices connecting to any part of the EBS network and Premium CALS for any users/devices connecting to the PREMIUM features of EBS (so SQL Server).

    Another change is that CALs will be available individually as well as in 5, 20 & 50 packs. The ability to purchase CALs on their own makes it more cost effective when adding new members of staff.

    One thing to note is that you are NOT able to downgrade the components of EBS 2008 to previous versions. To this end, Microsoft have made SQL 2005 available as an EBS 20008 component to prevent any possible issues with customized Line-Of-Business (LOB) applications. This will last for approx. 1 year.

    EBS 2008 aims to make medium sized businesses more efficient and cost effective, and helps to reduce the workload for system administrators. The inclusion of System Center Essentials means that admins will be able to track assets, install patches and updates, deploy software packages and more all from the EBS Central Admin Console.