mscanada

Microsoft Canada betters Microsoft India challenge, build 2 applications and get a Windows phone free

This week, we covered Microsoft India ‘s offer for students which offered students a free Windows Phone device for four applications, including one AppMakr application. Microsoft Canada on the other hand is offering everyone, not just students, a free Windows Phone mango device for two quality applications. Yes, don’t make those silly RSS reader applications via Appmakr. It’s not as easy as it sounds though, you have to make sure you pay attention to the quality check list to ensure your applications qualifies as quality application by Microsoft Cananda. Good news is that not only is MS Canada giving you a free device, they would also feature your application your application on MSDN websites.

IMO, that’s the best deal you can get anywhere. Go grab the RTW build of the Mango SDK. Fire up your Visual Studio and expression blend. Let’s make some apps!

wpword

Home Automation with Windows Phone? Yes, please!

This is by far the coolest Windows phone hacks we have covered on this blog.  Julien Schapmen of Touch Xperience fame  has managed to accomplish an extremely sophisticated home automation system controlled by a single Windows Phone device. You can view the room temperature, power consumption and presence (also works for surveillance purposes) on your device – not only that but it can remotely turn on/off most of your appliances via  simple application. Oh, you can also control lighting with it – time to get creative. There’s a lot more you can do. Have a look at the video and and watch this incredible piece of work.

 

 

See more Windows Phone hacks here .

mango

After Dell Venue Pro, HTC Mozart also receives Mango update in India (Update: HD7 Joins the party)

Today is indeed day of the King of Fruits. Mango is now being delivered all across the globe right now. We previously reported the availability of Mango update in India – starting from Dell Venue Pro. HTC Mozart users are now being notified of the update as well. Currently, I am in the process of updating my device to build 7720. Now the only device that’s missing from the confirmation list is HTC HD7. If you have information, please let us know. We’ll make sure to update the post with update status on Unlocked HD7 devices in India. For all those who received the Mango update, have fun :)

Don’t forget to check out our Mango category :  click here.  You”ll find a lot of useful information there.

 

Update: Thanks for reaching out everyone. HD7 mango update is indeed live. Our reader, Urvansh verified this piece of information with HTC india customer care as well. This completes the Mango update process in India. Job well done, Microsoft.

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Mango update confirmed to be available in India as well

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 24 hours (which, face it, you could be), Mango has been released worldwide. As the Microsoft “Where’s my phone update” page notes, Mango updates for unbranded, open market phones are in the “delivering update” stage. Just like the rest of the world, India will also get the updates in stages, a random 10% will get it this week (as noted in this blog post on the Windows Phone blog).

We have now been able to confirm, via twitter users Hotmail Alias and Harman Manchanda that the updates indeed are live. They were able to install the updates on their unlocked Dell Venue Pro and Focus (v1.3) phones, using the “disconnect internet” trick outlined by WPCentral.

This ties in nicely with the launch of Web Marketplace (including India) that we covered earlier. However, certain features of Windows Phone remain unavailable in India. Local Search, Music Search are features which, according to Long Zheng’s blog, are not available in India. Furthermore, Voice-to-text, voice-to-dial, voice-search are not available in the India locale (though it should be possible to use them if your phone locale is set to en-us.) Bing Search, Image search and Vision Search are supported and should be working with this update. We don’t yet have word on visual voicemail and WiFi hotspot features.

Are you able to access these features? Please let us know in the comments.

Above all, enjoy your phone update!

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Mango photo credit: Flickr user juniatha

OMG, a software update illustration via @longzheng

webmarketplace

Windows Phone web marketplace now live, available globally (including India)

Today is the official day for Mango update and perfectly in tune with it, Microsoft has just made Windows phone web marketplace available for users. Windows Phone  web marketplace replaced the Windows Mobile marketplace, which was quite a dud. Windows Phone Blog officially announced the web marketplace in May.  By default, I was taken to the US marketplace but then you could switch to other countries as well. I am using the Indian marketplace right now, which shows local currency (Rupees, in my case). The problem is that I haven’t been able to download the application because my primary ID is different from the Live ID I am logged in – so if you give it a try, please let us know.

 

 

The website is quite Metro – isque, features all possible categories you’d notice on your phone. This is a huge step from Microsoft, following the footsteps of iTunes application marketplace on web, focussed on welfare of the developers. This will help developers immensely, no more download links that will take users to Zune on your desktop. Just show the application in the web, users can now share the applications as well – huge publicity bonus for developers and if they like it, they can instantly buy it after reading local marketplace reviews. Very neat.

Mango update is just around the corner. Stay tuned for more updates.

Thanks for the tip Aakash !

I Unlock Joy

Build Apps, Get a Windows Phone : Microsoft India to Students

Yes, You heard it right ! Microsoft India has launched a program titled ” I Unlock Joy ” for students above 16 years of age . Under this program , Students registered in a  accredited educational institution that grants high-school or college/university degree get a Windows Phone 7 if they build 4 apps and launch them on the Marketplace.

You will also have to be a part of the DreamSpark program ( A Registered member at the DreamSpark Portal ) . You can check out more about the program by visiting this website ( Oh ! And we think they have built a real cool website ).

I have been associated with Microsoft India via the Microsoft Student Partners program and they have been trying to promote Windows Phone 7 aggressively . I feel bringing up such programs will ensure more awareness about Windows Phone 7 in the Student Community.

So what are you guys waiting for ? – This is a perfect chance to make use of your Student Status . Develop some cool apps and get a Windows Phone.

 

msnindia1

Microsoft releases official MSN India application in the marketplace

Microsoft just released yet another MSN application for Indian users. The panorama style application is fairly basic . The application shows you snippets of news articles, weather, horoscopes and a huge collection of “hot” images which, in my opinion, is the only reason people are going to download this application.

Official marketplace description:

Get the latest updates from MSN India on
• National and International news and events
• Inside gossip from the world of Entertainment
• Latest trends in fashion and Lifestyle
• Latest sports news
• View our huge repository of photos
• Check your horoscope
• Get your weather forecast

 

Hit the download link below the download the free application:

Zune download link

 

What’s missing? Well, it’s time for Mango and we still can’t pin those news sections on the homescreen! Time update your SDK fellas.

 

Whatsapp for Windows Phone

WhatsApp now available in Windows Phone marketplace, download the WhatsApp XAP now! (Updated)

Breaking. WhatsApp is finally available in the marketplace ( via WMPU ). At this moment, we are unable to find the application in the marketplace. But we got hold of the xap. Hit the Skydrive link below to download the highly awaited messaging app.

 

We’ll update this story with marketplace download link as soon as it’s available.

Thanks for the tip Adam

Update: WhatsApp is live in the marketplace! Hit the Zune download link below

Zune Download Link

Silverlight v/s HTML5

JavaScript / HTML5 vs. Silverlight: Not this again?!

Windows Build came and went. There was fanfare and hoopla and presents to be given and when the dust settled… a new future was laid out; a vision of a “one” ecosystem. No longer will we be sent out into the cold with our files interspersed among our appliances. Soon all of my “stuff” will be available to me no matter where or what appliance I’m on… and it will all work seamlessly. Regardless of if I’m on my PC at home or using my tablet in a meeting or looking for files on my phone while taking a cab to the airport, all the while residing in the beautiful cloud… the light is so pretty… Windows 8 has ushered in the “Post PC” era.

Silverlight v/s HTML5

What the hell does this have to do with the title?! Glad you asked. You see, besides being a professional wrambler and current holder of record for the longest run on sentence, to pay my bills I also dabble in software development. My OS of choice: Windows of course. My language of choice? whatever gets the j0b done. Which brings me to my dilemma. Currently most of the projects I work on are web based. I’ve done all kinds of coding; JAVA backend system for credit card processing, VB4-6 desktop applications (yes even Access so don’t laugh), .Net CRM in the cloud; but the other day a colleague asked me “so what do ya think? HTML5 or Silverlight?”. Profound isn’t it?

Now, I know there have been various posts about this topic and I’ve read them and everyone says more or less the same thing; JS+HTML5 is great if you know for sure your client will be running on a browser and you don’t really need lower level access and/or security. Whereas Silverlight can be used for other things; Silverlight lets not forget is a plugin so inherently it will be able to do things that JS/HTML5 wont be able to do. Think about it logically…. its already installed on your machine right? Whoa… is it? Well now we have something to consider. Who are we targeting? Do they already have Silverlight installed? Can they install Silverlight? What if the bulb dies? errr sorry I meant what if they don’t have rights? These are important questions that need to be answered. However on the other end we have JS and HTML5 that runs in any browser right? Whoa… (this again?)… does it really run on any browser? I know many corporate environments still on IE 6-7 or Firefox 3.6 and will be there for still some time; and that doesn’t even count the fact that HTML5 is not ready yet. HTML5 is gaining traction for sure and most browsers are compliant for the most part but… still, its not done yet.

Feels like I’m ending up with more questions than when I started. After much deliberation with my colleagues and then simply disregarding their opinions based on the fact that they are all ignorant, I can honestly say that I don’t know. It is as simple as that. Things are moving so quickly now that I can barely tell what language I’m writing in (which by the way Im working on a side project fixing a bazillion bugs on an ASP site written entirely in server side JS WTF!). What I can say is that if you think about it logically, Silverlight is a plugin. It, like Flash was created to allow for missing functionality in browsers (I know it can be used on the client machine as well but were talking web apps today). With time, they get updated (Flash 11 in beta now? SL 4?). However, there will most definitely come a point in time when the browser will no longer need a plugin because the browser itself and the underlying transport mechanism has been updated. At that time Flash, Silverlight, whatever plugin will become obsolete. The question is then do you believe that will happen so quickly that it makes not learning a new technology worthwhile or necessary? Well, I’m still get paid to support VB6 and classic ASP applications; I suppose having a few more belts is better than having none at all. Im just saying.

Tune in next time when we discuss my hammer toe and when will my reflux go away! It ought to make for some exciting discussions!

img credit : MSDN