Windows Embedded Handheld

Microsoft Outlines Commitment to the Future of Enterprise Handheld Devices

Posted by Rob Tiffany on
Microsoft Outlines Commitment to the Future of Enterprise Handheld Devices

Microsoft unveils new brand and road map, and extends support for the enterprise handheld devices market.

Redmond, Wash. — June 17, 2010 — No one would argue the way we work has changed. From retail, medical, manufacturing and a host of other industries, being tied to a fixed office location simply isn’t an option for a growing portion of the work force, and Microsoft is tackling this trend head-on. “Our Windows Embedded Business is focused on extending Windows and the benefits of cloud computing to the world of specialized devices,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.

Let’s face it: Real-time access to information isn’t just about increasing productivity. It’s how business is conducted every day around the world.

Steve Ballmer outlines Microsoft’s commitment to the future of enterprise handheld devices and the Motorola ES400.

Historically, Microsoft has offered two software platforms to help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) deliver the next generation of enterprise handheld devices: Windows Embedded CE (the Windows Embedded Compact 7 community technology preview was announced June 1 and is available for download) and Windows Mobile.

Today, during Motorola’s launch event for its ES400 enterprise digital assistant (EDA) in New York, Ballmer announced that Microsoft is making several key investments in the enterprise handheld device market, including the new Windows Embedded Handheld brand. “These releases will provide proven management and security functionality, while giving customers confidence that investments in handheld enterprise devices and line-of-business applications will be protected over time by an extended support life cycle,” Ballmer said.

Windows Embedded Handheld is a new software platform designed to meet key line-of-business (LOB) scenarios and boost productivity of the mobile enterprise work force by enabling users to capture, access and act on business critical information where and when they need it. The first release under the brand is scheduled to come this calendar year and build on the Windows Mobile 6.5 platform with trusted management and security features, as well as enhanced protection for existing enterprise investments in LOB applications on devices.

For users, this means OEMs can take enterprise handheld devices — like the ones you see store employees using when you’re out shopping — and create something extraordinary. These devices can vary greatly in functionality, but imagine the potential to enhance key LOB applications with the rich, immersive user experiences of touch or gesture response, plus enhanced connectivity to Windows-based PCs, servers and enterprise services.

In addition, Ballmer announced that Windows Embedded will continue to support developer tools used in building applications and experiences on today’s devices, including Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and Windows Forms. This will help provide confidence that the existing investments will be protected over time as Microsoft releases new software platforms, as the operating system support life cycle will be extended to more closely align with the typical life cycle of devices in the enterprise.

Likewise for enterprise customers of our OEMs, investments in existing enterprise LOB applications will also be protected. An updated Windows Embedded Handheld platform based on Windows 7 technologies (Windows Embedded Compact 7) will be released in the second half of calendar year 2011, offering enhanced features and functionality to meet the needs of networked enterprise devices. The platform will also enable new key scenarios through support for rich user interfaces and natural input. A clear migration path will be available for these applications with Microsoft tools and technologies to a new application platform based on Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft XNA, as well as Visual Studio 2010, with the Windows Embedded Handheld release in 2011.

The future for enterprise handheld devices is endless. A current white paper from analyst firm VDC Research estimates there were 2.3 million device shipments in 2009 and anticipates this number to exceed 4.3 million by 2014. The Windows Embedded CE and Windows Mobile platforms accounted for 87 percent of these 2009 shipments, according to VDC Research, and the relationships with its partner ecosystem continue to strengthen.

Motorola’s ES400, just announced today, is a great example of what can be achieved when companies like Motorola and Microsoft collaborate to meet the needs of this space.

The ES400 integrates voice and advanced data capabilities, which bring out the full potential of mobile professionals by empowering them with the information and interaction they need to transform operations, increase enterprise profitability and complete their jobs virtually anywhere, anytime.


The next year is going to be a very exciting time for Windows Embedded as it continues to bring innovation to the enterprise handheld device space. Be sure to keep an eye on the Windows Embedded Newsroom for updates in the days, weeks and months ahead.

– Rob

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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Walking to Omaha Beach

Posted by Rob Tiffany on
Walking to Omaha Beach

I caught a train from Paris to Bayeux at Gare Saint-Lazare with only four minutes to spare.  Two hours later I was in the heart of Normandie and ready to crash at my hotel.  Luckily, it was only a half a mile walk from the train station to my hotel so I skipped the taxi.  Just in case you didn’t know, Bayeux was a hang-out for William the Conqueror about a thousand years ago.  Luckily, beautiful Bayeux wasn’t bombed during Operation Overlord back in 1944.

After breakfast on Saturday morning, I walked over to the Scauto Renault dealer that rents cars.  Renting a car was part of the plan since I only had one day in Normandie and wanted to visit all the D-Day beaches.  To my surprise, it was closed when I arrived.  Maybe I was too early.  I decided to walk into the center of Bayeux and would check back with Scauto later when it opened.

Upon visiting the Bayeux Tourist Office on Rue Saint-Jean, the woman there informed me that almost everything would be closed since today was May Day.  Depending on where you live in the world, this is International Workers Day or Labour Day which means everyone is taking the day off.  She said some taxi services might be open but they would be very expensive.  She then suggested that I walk up Rue de Docteur Michel to check on one last possible rental car business that might be open.

On the way to try my luck with another car rental shop, I walked through a wonderful outdoor marketplace where everything from food and wine to dresses and shoes were being sold.  It was so full of life and I think the whole town was there.

When I got to the car rental store in the Northwest part of town, the guy there told me they weren’t renting cars and to come back on Sunday.  He said all that in French.  Obviously, that didn’t do me any good.  I walked outside on to Boulevard d’ Eindoven and noticed a small sign that read “Omaha Beach” with an arrow pointing down the D6 country road.  Hmmm.

Out of curiosity, I decided to follow the sidewalk down this road for a bit just to where it might take me.  I eventually came upon a sign that said Port-en-Bessin was 9 km away.  Hey, people run 5 and 10k’s all the time.  I checked my watch and it was only 10:30 AM.  This was no big deal and I had the time, so I just kept walking on the D6 road between Bayeux and Port-en-Bessin.  Needless to say, the sidewalk disappeared pretty quickly and I was alternating between walking on the road and on the grass when I needed to get out of the way of cars.  I saw lots of tour buses full of white and silver-haired people pass by as I hiked down the road.

About half way there, I stepped on a broken bottle that went through my shoe and into my foot.  I literally had to yank it out of my shoe.  I promise I’m not making this up to make a better story.  Needless to say, this wasn’t what I was hoping for with the long walk to come.

As I walked through the beautiful countryside, I imagined what it must have been like to be a young GI back in 1944.  For a moment, I was carrying a gun and wearing the helmet and uniform of an American infantryman who was seeing the French countryside for the first time.  Large green pastures and lots of yellow flowers.  I’m sure many of those boys had never left the small town they had grown up in back in America prior to joining the Army.

When I arrived in Port-en-Bessin, I sat down on a park bench to survey the broken Coke bottle damage.  Not great, but not the end of the world either.  After all this walking, you’d think I’d be there by now but it turns out I was only a little more than half way there.  I hung a left on Avenue de Marechal de Tourville (D514) and headed west, which was parallel to the English Channel.

I walked past the Omaha Beach golf course and through Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes where a large gathering of people looked like they were having a French Bar-B-Que.  Of course, their BBQ had red wine instead of cold beer.  I soon came upon a large billboard that read, “Thanks to our Liberators.”

After hours of walking, I arrived in Colleville-sur-Mer and was thrilled to see an open cafe.  I had lunch in an old stone house where they were serving the “Michelle Obama Burger” and had a big poster of Presidents Obama and Sarkozy on the wall.  This place looked ancient and an old man added wood to a small fireplace from time to time while I was there.  Not sure why since it was fairly warm outside.  I had the hot dog and fries which ended up being 2 hot dogs lined-up end-to-end inside a baguette with melted brie on top.  Not bad.  I quickly downed 2 Coke’s since I had broken one of the rules of hiking and didn’t bring a water bottle.  After eating, the owner let me use his bathroom (toilettes) where I took off my shoe and tended to my battle wound with soap and water.

After lunch, I continued down the road past a church and visited the Big Red One Assault Museum.  This is the nickname of the 1st Infantry Division of the United States Army due to the design of their shoulder patch.  Great artifacts and memorabilia but I couldn’t shake the image of Lee Marvin from the movie back in 1980.  You probably didn’t know that Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) played a Private in that movie.

I got back on D514 which was now called Route d’Omaha Beach and walked westward.  Once I got to the roundabout that I saw on my map, I knew it was time to veer to the right and make my way to the American cemetery.  Big surprise that this road was named Route du Cimetiere Americain.  Upon entering the cemetery complex, I had to cross through a large parking lot full of all those large Coach tour buses that had passed me by while I was walking from Bayeux.

I walked into the Visitors Center and got in line to walk through the metal detector and have my backpack screened.  Inside I saw famous quotations on the walls, biographies of soldiers and lots of videos of Eisenhower and others who made D-Day possible.  This is where you start getting “misty-eyed.”  The Visitor Center is truly amazing and delivers more information about what happened there in 1944 than two semesters of history classes.  I signed the guestbook on behalf of Grandad and Paw Paw.

“Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced
their strength in the air and their capacity to wage overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of
war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of
the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less
than full Victory!

Good Luck!  And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”

– General Eisenhower

Once you leave the visitor center, you walk out to the cemetery and face 9,387 Christian Crosses and Stars of David that mark the burial sites of the Americans that gave their lives so that Europe might be free during the greatest amphibious invasion of all time.  This is where you start crying for the duration of your time at the cemetery.  This reminded me of the hours I’d spent walking through the gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery.

One of the monuments read, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”  You could almost hear flutes and drums playing the Battle Hymn of the Republic as brave Americans marched into battle.

The cemetery rests on top of cliff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel.  After walking amongst thousands of grave sites, I followed a pathway down the cliff to the beach below.

This is where it all began.  Neither of my grandfathers or other relatives of that Greatest Generation could tell me what it was like since they all fought in the Pacific.  Most people today have “Saving Private Ryan” and “Band of Brothers” to give them a sense of that day.  It was a beautiful sandy beach with a line of rocks separating the sand from the rest of the land.  After walking westward along the beach for a bit, I gathered together some rocks and wrote something really big in the sand.


As I walked down the beach and farther away from where my journey began, I found myself calculating what time I would arrive at my hotel that night if I had to walk all the way back.  I had already walked 12 miles so far and could only imagine what completing the 24 mile round-trip journey in the dark would be like.  I could see lots of flags and another monument on the beach in the distance so I kept walking towards Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer and farther away from Bayeux.

I finally arrived at a large steel piece of artwork jutting out of the beach called “The Braves” monument.  It actually looked like a bunch of giant swords pointing upward to the sky.  Behind it were the flags of all the allies flapping in the ocean wind.  As I walked off the beach and through the flags I came upon the Liberation monument dedicated to the 1st Infantry Division and the 116th Infantry Regimental Combat Team of the 29th Infantry Division.  That was a mouthful.

Now that I was at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, I decided my day was done since it was getting dark.  I walked over to a freestanding Tourist Office that looked like one of those old camera film developing huts you used to see in strip center parking lots back in the ‘70s.

“Parlez-vous anglais?” I asked the girl inside.  She helped me find some taxi services that might save me from another 12 mile walk.  The first taxi phone number I dialed responded with a voice message in French that basically told me they were closed for the day.  Luckily, the second number I dialed got me a guy who could understand English.  He was in Bayeux and I told him I was in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer near the D’ Day House Hotel next to the flags and big monuments.  He said it was a long drive and could I wait 25-30 minutes for a driver to get there.


I quickly went to check out the nearby Musee Memorial d’Omaha Beach that had lots of great vehicles, guns, uniforms and photographs from the landings on Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc.  After that, I grabbed a Pepsi at the D’ Day House restaurant and waited for the cab to arrive.  During the long drive back to my hotel in Bayeux I thanked my lucky stars that I didn’t have to make the hike back.  When I got out of the taxi at the hotel, I could hardly walk back to my room.  I guess sitting still in the car caused me to stiffen-up.  I soaked in a hot bath for about an hour and then crashed without eating dinner.

When I woke up, it was time to go catch the train back to Paris.

I had spent a day walking through a small part of France.  Back in 1944-45, the millions of young men who didn’t die on the beaches of Normandie spent almost a year walking all the way across France.  I bet an ice-cold Coke and a hot dog in a baguette would’ve hit the spot for them too.

Vive la Liberte

SQL Server Compact

Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 has Arrived

Posted by Rob Tiffany on
Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 has Arrived

My favorite embedded database for Windows Phones, laptops, tablets and desktops has been released to the Web along with Visual Studio 2010.

New features for SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 include:SSCE

  • Supports working with a SQL Server Compact 3.5 database using the Transact-SQL Editor in Visual Studio 2010. The Transact-SQL Editor can be used to run free-text Transact-SQL queries against a SQL Server Compact 3.5 database. The Transact-SQL Editor also provides the ability to view and save detailed estimated and actual query show-plans for SQL Server Compact 3.5 databases. Previously, the functionality provided by the Transact-SQL Editor was only available through SQL Server Management Studio.
  • New classes and members named SqlCeChangeTracking have been added to the System.Data.SqlServerCe namespace to expose the internal change tracking feature used by Sync Framework to track changes in the database. The SQL Server Compact change tracking infrastructure maintains information about inserts, deletes, and updates performed on a table that has been enabled for change tracking. This information is stored both in columns added to the tracked table and in system tables maintained by the tracking infrastructure. By using System.Data.SqlServerCe.SqlCeChangeTracking one can configure, enable, and disable change tracking on a table, and also access the tracking data maintained for a table. The API can be used to provide functionality in a number of scenarios. For example it can be used to provide custom implementations of client-to-server or client-to-client sync for occasionally connected systems (OCS) or to implement a custom listener application.
  • The managed assemblies of SQL Server Compact for use by the applications that privately deploy SQL Server Compact are installed in the folder %Program Files%\Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition\v3.5\Private. Using these assemblies ensure that the application uses the privately deployed version of Compact even when a lower version of SQL Server Compact 3.5 is installed in the GAC.
  • Visual Studio 2010 installs both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 on a 64-bit machine. If a SQL Server Compact application is deployed using Click Once in Visual Studio 2010 then both the 32-bit and the 64-bit version of SQL Server Compact are installed on a 64-bit machine
  • SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 adds support for Windows Mobile 6.5, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, and can sync data using Merge Replication and RDA with SQL Server 2008 R2 November CTP.
  • The SqlCeReplication object gets a new property called PostSyncCleanup which you can use to prevent SQL Server Compact from Updating Statistics after an initial Merge Replication initialization.  This has the potential to shave a substantial amount of time off of your initial syncs depending on the size of your database.


In addition to these new features, the following hotfixes from SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition or SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP1 have been rolled up in SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2:

  • Error message when you run an SQL statement that uses the Charindex function in a database that uses the Czech locale in SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition: “The function is not recognized by SQL Server Compact Edition”
  • Error message when you run a “LINQ to Entities” query that uses a string parameter or a binary parameter against a SQL Server Compact 3.5 database: “The ntext and image data types cannot be used in WHERE, HAVING, GROUP BY, ON, or IN clauses”
  • Error message when you try to open a database file from a CD in SQL Server Compact 3.5 with Service Pack 1: “Internal Error using read only database file”
  • An error message is logged, and the synchronization may take a long time to finish when you use an application to synchronize a merge replication that contains a SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition subscriber
  • An error message is logged, and the synchronization may take a long time to finish when you synchronize a merge replication that contains a SQL Server Compact 3.5 subscriber: “UpdateStatistics Start app=<UserAppName>.exe”
  • Some rows are deleted when you repair a database by using the Repair method together with the RepairOption.RecoverCorruptedRows option in SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition and in SQL Server Compact 3.5
  • Error message when you try to create an encrypted database in SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition: “The operating system does not support encryption”
  • Error message when you run a query in SQL Server Compact 3.5: “The column name cannot be resolved to a table. Specify the table to which the column belongs”
  • Non-convergence occurs when you synchronize a SQL Server Compact 3.5 client database with the server by using Sync Services for ADO.NET in a Hub-And-Spoke configuration
  • Access violations occur when you run an application under heavy load conditions after you install the 64-bit version SQL Server Compact 3.5 Service Pack 1
  • Initial synchronization of a replication to SQL Server Compact 3.5 subscribers takes significant time to finish
  • Error message when you synchronize a merge replication with SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition subscribers: “A column ID occurred more than once in the specification. HRESULT 0x80040E3E (0)”
  • Error message when you upgrade a very large database to SQL Server Compact 3.5: “The database file is larger than the configured maximum database size. This setting takes effect on the first concurrent database connection only”
  • You do not receive error messages when you run a query in a managed application that returns columns of invalid values in SQL Server Compact 3.5
  • You cannot insert rows or upload changes into the SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition subscriber tables after you run the “sp_changemergearticle” stored procedure or you add a new merge publication article when another article has an IDENTITY column
  • Error message when you try to create an encrypted database in SQL Server Compact 3.5: “The operating system does not support encryption”
  • The application enters into an infinite loop when you run an application that uses Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.NET to synchronize a SQL Server Compact 3.5 database
  • When the application calls the SqlCeConnection.Close method or the SqlCeConnection.Dispose method in SQL Server Compact 3.5, the application may stop responding at the method call
  • Error message when an application inserts a value into a foreign key column in SQL Server Compact 3.5: “No key matching the described characteristics could be found within the current range”


Web downloads for SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 is as listed below:

SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 for Windows desktop (32-bit and 64-bit)

Note that the file available for download is a 6 MB self-extracting executable (exe) file that contains the 32-bit and the 64-bit Windows Installer (MSI) files for installing SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 on a 32-bit and a 64-bit Computer. It is important to install both the 32-bit and the 64-bit version of the SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 MSI on a 64-bit Computer. Existing SQL Server Compact 3.5 applications may fail if only the 32-bit version of the MSI file is installed on the 64-bit computer. Developers should chain both the 32-bit and the 64-bit MSI files with their applications and install both of them on the 64-bit Computer. Refer to the KB article for more information.

SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 for Windows mobile devices (all platforms & processors)

SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 Server Tools (32-bit and 64-bit)

SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 Books Online (Note that the books online will be available for download by the third week of April 2010)

SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 Samples

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4

This is a great release for SQL Server Compact that adds some important new features, squashes a bunch of bugs and adds support for our newest operating systems.  I strongly recommend you update your existing SSCE runtimes with SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2.

Keep on Synching,


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

Sign Up for my Newsletter and get a FREE Chapter of “Mobile Strategies for Business!”

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The KIN is Here

Posted by Rob Tiffany on
The KIN is Here

Today, Robbie Bach and my good friend Derek Snyder launched Microsoft’s newest Windows Phones at an event in San Francisco.

Two phones for the socially-connected crowd with multi-touch screens and slide-out keyboards.  We worked with Sharp on the hardware plus Verizon and Vodafone for the wireless networks.


Compact keyboard for one-handed texting + 5 megapixel camera + shoots standard video + mono speaker + 4 GB of storage for 1,000 songs + Zune

one_settings_web   one_loop_web


Large keyboard for two-handed texting + 8 megapixel camera + shoots HD video + stereo speakers + 8 GB of storage for 2,000 songs + Zune

two_settings_web   two_loop_web


Cloud storage to keep all those photos, videos, contacts and texts so you’ll never run out of space on your phone and lose a memory


If you’re a heavy texter and a regular on Facebook and Twitter then these phones are for you.

– Rob

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

Sign Up for my Newsletter and get a FREE Chapter of “Mobile Strategies for Business!”

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Mobile Development


Posted by Rob Tiffany on

This year at MIX10 we brought the ghost of MEDC back to life by adding Windows Phone 7 to a conference that typically targets web designers and developers.

We even saw Scottgu develop the first-ever Twitter app for our forthcoming phone platform.  The big news back at Barcelona was how we’ve breathed new life into the Smartphone space by building something that doesn’t look like a me-too copy of all our competitors.


At MIX10, it was time to show application and game developers that we not only have the best mobile platform for them, but we also have the best tools.  We launched a Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools Preview that includes:

  • Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone
  • XNA Game Studio 4.0
  • Windows Phone Emulator
  • Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone


The tools are free and can be downloaded from

We’ve gone from eMbedded Visual Basic and eMbedded C++ to the .NET Compact Framework and now we’re making the jump to Silverlight which allows mobile developers to build the richest, most visually stunning apps ever seen on a phone.  Game developers get the same easy-to-use XNA tools that are used for Xbox, Windows and Zune HD.

Go to the site, download the tools, and start building apps and games for Windows Phone 7!

– Rob

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

Sign Up for my Newsletter and get a FREE Chapter of “Mobile Strategies for Business!”

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Windows phone

Windows Phone 7 Series debuts at Barcelona!

Posted by Rob Tiffany on
Windows Phone 7 Series debuts at Barcelona!

The home screen, or Start, on Windows® Phone 7 Series can be customized with “live tiles” that show the latest updates from the Web directly to customers.

For example, create a “live tile” of a friend and gain a readable, up-to-date view of that person’s latest pictures and posts, just by glancing at Start.

The People Hub is communication central, where customers can see all relevant content associated with a contact, including live feeds from social networks and photos. It also provides a single place from which customers can post updates to Facebook and Windows Live in one step.

The Pictures Hub brings together photos from the phone, the PC and online albums into one simple view. It’s easy to share pictures on the phone to social sites such as Facebook and Windows Live, and see up-to-date online albums that others are sharing.

The Office Hub provides fast access to Microsoft Office Mobile, Microsoft Office SharePoint and Microsoft Office OneNote on the same phone that offers Microsoft Office Outlook e-mail.

The Games Hub delivers the first and only official Xbox LIVE experience on a phone. It’s not just about games on the phone; it’s about playing games with friends.

The Music + Video Hub is the one place for media — from music to streaming radio to podcasts to video.

It’s all good!




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

Sign Up for my Newsletter and get a FREE Chapter of “Mobile Strategies for Business!”

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Mobile Enterprise Application Platform

Making Microsoft MEAP Real

Posted by Rob Tiffany on
Making Microsoft MEAP Real

After all the logical diagrams of Microsoft MEAP and spelling out how it meets Gartner’s critical capabilities, I thought I’d show you a picture that provides a more concrete view of what our MEAP offering looks like.

Hopefully, this will better crystallize how Microsoft lines up with those critical capabilities and how our reusable mobile application platform plugs into a customer’s enterprise. I think we have a great story here that shows customers how we can save them money on a platform that:

1. Works the same across laptops, tablets, Netbooks and phones.
2. Gives them reusable mobile middleware that can support multiple simultaneous applications rather than needing something different for each point solution
3. Lowers risk to their projects by reducing the amount of custom code needed to build any given solution.
4. Gives them adapters that plug into the existing enterprise packages they use to run their business.

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

Sign Up for my Newsletter and get a FREE Chapter of “Mobile Strategies for Business!”

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Mobile Enterprise Application Platform

Interview with Rob Tiffany at Tech Ed Europe

Posted by Rob Tiffany on
Interview with Rob Tiffany at Tech Ed Europe

Check out the interview I did with David Goon at Tech Ed Europe 2009 in Berlin.

I discuss Microsoft’s Mobile Enterprise Application Platform and talk about how it aligns with Gartner’s MEAP critical capabilities and how it can save money for companies.

With the tidal wave of mobile and wireless technologies sweeping across both the consumer and enterprise landscapes, I believe MEAP offerings give us a glimpse of a new standard for designing all future infrastructures.

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

Sign Up for my Newsletter and get a FREE Chapter of “Mobile Strategies for Business!”

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Mobile Enterprise Application Platform

Yes, Microsoft does have a Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP)

Posted by Rob Tiffany on
Yes, Microsoft does have a Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP)

Gartner says that the Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) market will top $1 Billion by the end of 2010 and that more than 95% of organizations will choose MEAP instead of point solutions through 2012.

The big takeaway here is that companies have been building tactical mobile application silos that support only one application and now they want to save money by going with a reusable platform capable of supporting multiple applications.  Oh and along the way it needs to support multiple device and OS platforms while providing security, device management, and a single IDE to build apps and logic to integrate with back end systems.

Gartner has a “rule of three” that states that a MEAP offers significant advantages in three situations:
  1. When there are 3 or more mobile applications
  2. When there are 3 or more targeted operating systems or platforms
  3. When they involve the integration of 3 or more back-end systems

Leaders in this space have included Sybase iAnywhere, Antenna, Dexterra, Syclo and Spring Wireless.  Microsoft goes from a large Mobile General Store with myriad solutions to a player in this space with a MEAP solution of our own:  Microsoft Mobile Enterprise Application PlatformVisual Studio is used to build the mobile logic and UI.  Merge Replication provides occasionally-connected data synchronization between SQL Server Compact on the mobile device and SQL Server in the data center.  SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio is used to visually create connections to back-end systems like SAP or databases like Oracle.  Data in transit is secured via SSL or VPN, data at rest is encrypted via device encryption, SQL Server Compact, BitLocker or programmatically through the Crypto API.  Integration packages that communicate with back-end systems are encrypted and digitally signed.

We already have the best mobile email, calendaring, and contacts product in the business where Exchange Active Sync keeps Outlook and Outlook Mobile always up to date with Exchange Server.  Server-to-device as well as peer-to-peer device notifications are facilitated through WCF Store and Forward on Exchange.  Software and patch distribution along with device settings and policy management is accompished via System Center Configuration Manager.  ISA Server provides both VPN and Reverse Proxy access to roaming applications on the Internet on any platform.

When you put this stack in place and resuse it for multiple mobile applications instead of going with point solutions, ROI savings increase as the need for POCs, Pilots and training are reduced and the need for extra client access licenses is eliminated.  That’s Gartner’s first requirement.  We hit Gartner’s second requirement by uniformly supporting 3 mobile operating systems in the form of Windows, Windows CE, and Windows Mobile.  Last but not least, our SQL Server Integration Services technology combined with dozens of connectors mean we can connect your mobile devices with almost any back-end package or database.

Yes, Microsoft does have a Mobile Enterprise Application Platform that’s already proven to scale to tens of thousands of devices and it will definitely save you time and money.

– Rob

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