Windows Phone 8.1 is Here

Windows Phone 8.1

For users of the Nokia Lumia 1520 on AT&T, the Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 mobile operating system update is available for immediate download.

The smartphone built from the ground-up to address the security and management needs of every enterprise has arrived.  Some of you developers and early adopters running the developer preview may need to use the Nokia Software Recovery Tool to downgrade back to Windows Phone 8 before you phone will recognize that the Lumia Cyan update is available.  Here at Microsoft, we’ve created the ultimate device to span your business and personal life.  Our super-efficient operating system runs great on inexpensive hardware so no one gets left out.  Highlights include:


She’s a personal digital assistant (Did I just say PDA?) powered by Bing that keeps track of your interests, makes appointments, answers questions,  provides helpful suggestions and reminds you of meetings.

Action Center

With a swipe of you finger, you get notifications, messages, alerts and configurable control of functions like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and brightness.

Start Screen

All devices get a third column of tiles with the option of making them translucent to reveal a background image.

Word Flow Keyboard

The world’s fastest keyboard (ask Guinness) delivers shape-writing out of the box, so get swiping.

Data Sense

This allows you to get the most out of your data plan by compressing images and text while warning you when you get close to the end of your plan.

Battery Saver

Extend your battery life up to 20%.

Internet Explorer 11

This hardware-accelerated, HTML5 web browser with JIT-compiled JavaScript supports unlimited tabs, InPrivate mode, inline video and reading mode.


Deep Skype integration allows you to upgrade incoming voice calls to video calls and Cortana is always happy to help you start a Skype call of any kind.


Select custom volume levels for the ringer, notifications, media, and apps while being able to quickly switch between silent or vibrate mode.

Device Encryption

BitLocker provides encryption for internal storage as well as the app partition of the SD card.

Enterprise Enrollment

Automatically configure devices for enrollment in Exchange, SharePoint, network profiles, certs and many other configurations all in a single step.


Cert-based auth for accounts, Wi-Fi, VPN, web browser, and line of business apps.

Enterprise Wi-Fi

You get enterprise auth with PEAP-MSCHAPv2, EAP-TLS and EAP-TTLS so now you get to use certs for Wi-Fi authentication.

Virtual Private Networking

App-triggered VPN including IPSec (IKEv2), SSL-VPN, Intranet SSO, auto-reconnect and support for split or forced tunneling.


Exchange encrypted email messages.

App Allow/Deny

IT can now require apps to be pushed to devices for installation as well as blocking certain apps or even the entire Microsoft Store.


Enroll devices with enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions to enforce policies, provision profiles and distribute apps.

Windows Phone 8.1 not only fits the bill for BYOD scenarios but it has security and management capabilities needed to be a corporate-liable phone at your organization. I’m just scratching the surface here, so update your phone and find out for yourself.

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Prediction: 2012 Will be the Year of Windows Phone

HTC Titan II

Windows Phone 7.5 is running fast out of the gate for 2012.

The stunning mobile operating system from Microsoft was the talk of CES in Las Vegas this year.  The accolades streaming in from the world’s most influential newspapers, magazines, reviewers, and tech bloggers are unprecedented.

The Nokia Lumia 900 won the Best of CES award in the Smartphone category and it’s no surprise.  Before listing off the impressive specs, just look at this gorgeous piece of hardware.  Looks matter…trust me.  Windows Phone is already the most elegant mobile operating system.  Breathtaking industrial design is the other half of the equation.  When paired with iconic hardware, it’s like pairing your favorite Walla Walla Cabernet with your favorite steak.

Nokia Lumia 900

I can’t count the number of reviews and comments stating that Windows Phone on the Lumia 900 has surpassed the iPhone.  If you follow the U.S. wireless market, then you know that things like 4G LTE network speeds, large screens, front-facing cameras, and dual-core processors are the current drivers of smartphone sales.  The Lumia 900 addresses three of those drivers with support for AT&T’s 4G LTE network, a 4.3-inch AMOLED ClearBlack display, and a front-facing camera for video calls.  It’s powered by a single 1.4 GHz processor and if you’ve paid attention to all the reviews in the press, you’ve heard that Windows Phone runs circles around its dual-core competitors.  Better software design, better engineering, more efficient algorithms, and optimized coding techniques means you can do more with less.  Last but not least, the Lumia 900 comes with an amazing 8MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics.

The HTC Titan II came to the CES party guns-blazing with a monster of a smartphone.  It tics all the required boxes needed for sales by delivering a massive 4.7 inch screen, support for AT&T’s 4G LTE network, and a front-facing camera.  The 1.5Ghz Snapdragon 2 processor gives this superphone all the horsepower it needs.

HTC Titan II

Joining the camera arms-race with the Lumia 900, the Titan II comes equipped with a whopping 16 megapixel camera that can capture 720p video.  If you’re looking for a giant phone that can go head-to-head with the Galaxy Nexus, this is your device.

2012 is already shaping up to be a great year with compelling hardware matched-up with Windows Phone 7.5, but what else does this platform need to make my prediction come true?  Oh yeah, apps.  Do you remember back in the 80’s when DOS-based PCs from IBM and Compaq gave Apple IIs and Macs more than they could handle?  It might not have been eye-catching, but DOS had more apps that allowed consumers and companies to be successful.  In the 90’s, Windows ran away with the computing market with the Mac, Linux, NeXT, and OS/2 unable to compete in the app department.  Why do you think this was the case?  I know a big reason was because Borland and Microsoft made better and easier-to-use development tools for Windows.

With 50,000+ apps in the Marketplace, Windows Phone is surging forward and now sits in third-place behind the iPhone App Store and the Android Market.  Aside from developers betting on the success of a platform, they need development tools, emulators, and programming languages that make it easy for them to be productive.  When I look at the velocity at which new apps are being added to the Windows Phone Marketplace, it tells me that Visual Studio is making a big difference.

Visual Studio

In my job, I have to work with the development tools for all the major smartphone platforms and I can tell you without drinking any Kool-Aid that the competition isn’t even close.  Most iPhone developers I know find that learning Objective-C from the NeXT operating system to be a daunting task compared to modern, high-level languages like C# and VB.  While the world is full of Java developers, the complexity of cobbling the necessary tools together needed to build for Android apps is a real productivity killer.  Just running Eclipse on JDK 1.6 sucks the life and performance out of my fast Windows 7 laptop.  Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone is free and the emulator + SDKs all download and install together making the whole process fast and simple.  Apps get access to all phone sensors, a local database (SQL Server Compact), and Metro design.

Better productivity means faster time-to-market which means more apps for Windows Phone.

If you’re a web designer/developer, Internet Explorer 9 is alive and well on Windows Phone 7.5.  This means you’re no longer held hostage to the highly-fragmented WebKit mobile browser platform.  You get a hardware-accelerated, amazingly fast browser with support for more “fully-baked” HTML5 standards like Web Storage, Geolocation, Canvas, Audio and Video.


The lightning fast-Chakra JavaScript engine supports ECMAScript 5 which means your DOM interactions and Ajax web service calls will blur the lines with native apps.  When you retrieve data from the cloud or your on-premise servers via Ajax, you’ll now be able to persist it offline in Web Storage.  Support for CSS3 means things will be beautiful, 2D transforms will occur, and media queries will give you responsive design.

So here we stand with the best smartphone operating system, best hardware, best development tools and the best mobile web browser.  I’m certain that Windows Phone with its army of app developers, OEMs and Mobile Operator partners will be marching to victory this year.

Be fearless,


Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at , follow me on Twitter at and on LinkedIn at

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Microsoft by the Numbers


With Microsoft Windows 7 selling more than 600,000 per day, it’s interesting to look at all our numbers and see how they stack up against the competition:

Number of Windows 7 licenses sold, making Windows 7 by far the fastest growing operating system in history.[source]

7.1 million
Projected iPad sales for 2010. [source]

58 million
Projected netbook sales in 2010. [source]

355 million
Projected PC sales in 2010. [source]

Percentage of US netbooks running Windows in 2008. [source]

Percentage of US netbooks running Windows in 2009. [source]

Number of paying customers running on Windows Azure in November 2009.

Number of paying customers running on Windows Azure in June 2010. [source]

Number of students, teachers and staff using Microsoft’s cloud productivity tools in Kentucky public schools, the largest cloud deployment in the US.[source]

16 million
Total subscribers to largest 25 US daily newspapers. [source]

14 Million
Total number of Netflix subscribers. [source]

23 million
Total number of Xbox Live subscribers. [source]

Number of customer downloads of the Office 2010 beta prior to launch, the largest Microsoft beta program in history. [source]

21.4 million
Number of new Bing search users in one year. [Comscore report – requires subscription]

Linux Server market share in 2005. [source]

Predicted Linux Server market share for 2007 (made in 2005). [source]

Actual Linux Server market share, Q4 2009. [source]

8.8 million
Global iPhone sales in Q1 2010. [source]

21.5 million
Nokia smartphone sales in Q1 2010. [source]

55 million
Total smartphone sales globally in Q1 2010. [source]

439 million
Projected global smartphone sales in 2014. [source]

Number of years it took to reach 1 million paid user milestone. [source]

Number of years it took Microsoft Dynamics CRM to reach 1 million paid user milestone. [source]

Percent chance that CEO will mention Microsoft in a speech, panel, interview, or blog post.

173 million
Global Gmail users. [source]

284 million
Global Yahoo! Mail users.[source]

360 million
Global Windows Live Hotmail users.[source]

299 million
Active Windows Live Messenger Accounts worldwide. [Comscore MyMetrix, WW, March 2010 – requires subscription]

Rank of Windows Live Messenger globally compared to all other instant messaging services. [Comscore MyMetrix, WW, March 2010 – requires subscription]

$8.2 Billion
Apple Net income for fiscal year ending  Sep 2009. [source]

$6.5 Billion
Google Net income for fiscal year ending Dec 2009. [source]

$14.5 Billion
Microsoft Net Income for fiscal year ending June 2009. [source]

$23.0 billion
Total Microsoft revenue, FY2000. [source]

$58.4 billion
Total Microsoft revenue, FY2009. [source]


Good stuff!


Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at , follow me on Twitter at and on LinkedIn at

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