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Calendar 0.85

I'm running out of numbers here. :)

Here's an update to the previous chapter, Calendar, that adds over ten new screenshots as well as some edits and small additions. The only thing left, screenshot- (and possibly content-) wise, is the Facebook section, and when that's done, I'll consider the chapter a near-final version 0.9. Which is arbitrary, but whatever.

Given the length of this chapter--about 45 pages in Word now, and probably close to 50 when it's done--I may need to think about cutting back here and there, and cropping and/or shrinking the images. I wasn't hoping for a 1000 page book here.

I hope to make more progress on Search and Maps tomorrow too.

Download Calendar 0.85.


Search and Maps 0.1

Well, so much for one chapter a week. :) Sorry, real life has gotten in the way. But here's a very, very early version of the second chapter I'm working on, which will be called Search and Maps. There's just some introductory materail so far, and notes for the rest, but I'll try to fill it out more over the weekend. Originally, this was going to be a straightforward chapter about Maps. But once it became obvious I needed to add Bing/search to it, it started to grow, and it's going to be a long chapter.

More soon.

Download Search and Maps 0.1.


My notes from the leaked Joe B. Video

You may recall the excitement that greeted a leaked internal Microsoft video featuring Joe Belfiore back in February. In the video, which is directed at Microsoft’s partners at Nokia, Joe dishes a lot of dirt on Windows Phone 8, much of which still hasn’t been made public.

The video was exclusively discussed first on Pocketnow. But since I had previously obtained the presentation that Joe actually refers to in the video, I was able to draw up what was, at the time, the most detailed article yet describing Windows Phone 8, called Windows Phone 8 Preview. Since then, of course, a lot more information about Windows Phone 8 has been made available publicly and otherwise. But the leaked Joe B. video is still very much of interest.

Here are my original notes from this episode, which I wrote while viewing both the video and the presentation. The highlighted bits are as they were in the original notes, since these pieces of information seemed particularly interesting at the time.

Note: “Apollo” was the codename for Windows Phone 8.



Slide 5 - Apollo defined by two big things with four supporting cast features

From the slides...

Big features are: Scale and Choice, and Windows Reimagined

Four supporting features: Seamless communications, lights up the world around you, Smarter way to app, Built for business

Two big things: Enabling scale and choice to enable phones to be sold at different price points around the world, and being part of Microsoft's relaunch of Windows in 2012.


Slide 6 - Scale and Choice

Adding higher end procs and support for dual-core

Enabling four screen resolutions

Enabling removable micro-SD


End user feature for using it as low cost alternative

Slide 7 - New feature called DataSmart

Helps you get the most out of your data plan

Most important: reducing the amount of data we use

Use wi-fi instead of cellular when we can

New browser proxy service makes browing and third party app usage much more efficient - we'll be operating it in the cloud, it compresses all web traffic. Gives 30 percent benefit.

New user experience to help you manage and understand your data usage.  [References the slide]

Live tile shows you how much data

Adding a feature to local scout to help you find nearby wi-fi hotspots

For many regions, ability for cellular data to be offloaded when possible to operator-run Wi-Fi


Slide 8 - Windows Reimagined

Biggest area for end user excitement

Relaunch of Windows with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8

Both part of a big story coming from Microsoft

We like to say that the UX of Windows Phone is about to come the new familiar. 100s of millions of ppl will get Windows 8 on their PCs, laptops, and slates.

More than just the same UI though.

Unified vision across form factors: That covers core components that the system is built with, the UX, and the new exciting IE 10 release (clearly just reading off the slide)


Slide 9

Big news is that Windows Phone 8 will have shared components with Windows on the desktop. The kernel, the networking stack, security, multimedia [on slide: multi-core, sensors, video and graphics] ... These components have been built in-common so that end users get a highly reliable, well tested, modern OS that scales to take advantage of all the great technology that's coming out today.

ISVs and IHVs building hw components get compatibility between the phone and the PC. Is it exactly the same? Not quite. But similar enough that people who are writing apps or device driver writers can reuse, by far, most of their code, making it easy to target both the phone and the PC.

Result for all audiences; Much more aligned experience with more modern, better technology. We think this is one of the big news items for WP8.


Slide 10: The common UI

Shared exps across screens

The powerful nature of SkyDrive. When I get a Windows 8 PC, I might put my music on SkyDrive, I might store my Office documents on SD, and then when I get my new Windows Phone 8, those content types will all be magically available. When I browse into the music experience as you see here [???]  my songs are automatically there, I can just click play without ever having to sync.

Slide says: Your content magically appears across all your screens – photos, music, movies

Adding cap to let you mg your phone from your PC or the web. We are building a dedicated Windows 8 app that's intended as a companion for Windows Phone. This will replace the Zune client we have today and instead, from Windows 8, you'll manage your phone that way. It's a way of connecting your phone to all of your Windows 8 applications experiences. You'll be able to do things like browse into your phone and take a picture and paste it into an email. It will be natural and powerful and really show the combination of these two devices can be great together.

Also enabling NFC to enable tap and share between the phone and the slate, when slates are out and have NFC. Slide just says "Share content from your PC or tablet to your phone"

Lastly, the xbox live exp that you’ve seen on the console and the phone will be on Windows 8 so that the idea of getting gamerscore and building an avatar will be experiences that transcend all of our screens


He skips slide 11 (IE 10 Mobile)


Four other feature areas now (Remember: Seamless communications, lights up the world around you, Smarter way to app, Built for business)

First up, Seamless comms

Doing wide range of work, including adding social nws, but I want to drill into a couple of things that are of interest to all of you.

First, we're going to support RCSe in a nicely integrated way by building application hooks that we're working on with you to have a prebuilt, prebundled RCSe app that fulfills operator requirements. As you see here [Slide 13], RCSe is buit right into the contact card. I can bring up Miles here [the name on the contact card: Miles Reid], scroll down, and touch the RCSe item to launch into the RCSe experience where all kinds of great functionality can happen. [This does not appear on the contact card shown. Maybe he's on Slide 14]

Note: RCSe is next generation IMS / RCS, VoIP standard

We get asked, how will this compare to other integrated experiences like Skype?


Slide 14

We'll have a revision of our Skype app that also integrates into the UI experience that's effectively identical to RCSe.

When there's a skype call coming in, it will be natural and integrated, and feel like a regular phone call [has little bar at the top, like a call, if you navigate around the UI].

Can initiate a Skype call from a contact card, just like RCSe

Part of a broader, operator-friendly story to enable RCSe in a way that's equivalent to our integration of Skype


Slide 15

Apollo ... Lights up the world around you

Skips Bing and Local Scout - presentation says that Local Scout will be updated with Personal Recommendations.  Bing is not mentioned at all in presentation either.

Instead two other areas


Slides 16, 17

First, NFC and Wallet

Building a wallet experience in and offering great operator flexibility. Can be branded and programmed by the mobile operator. And can work either with secure element on the operator controlled UICC/SIM or on a secure element on the device itself. Collab with Nokia and mobile operators on this.

NFC does enable simple sharing as well [not in this part of presentation]


Slide 19

Camera - terrific collab with Nokia - combined experience is world class.

Microsoft will build a basic camera that has great new features but the thing I'm most excited about is our new lens app support. [Slide: Lens apps integrate seamlessly to unleash limitless creativity] A lens app is an app that plugs into the camera experience You push the camera button and you can choose a lens app and then your viewfinder changes and is filled with value. Lens app-taken photos are noted in the browse UI. You can touch a button to reengage the lens app and do amazing things. Mind-blowing possibilities with the hw work Nokia is doing

Sharing works as it does now


Two more areas


Slide 20 - Smarter way to app

Adding app to app communication

Enabling native code apps [not in slide] - for higher power games and an easy port between Windows Phone, iOS, Android, and even Windows 8.

But wants to focus on the work done for Marketplace


Slide 21 - A Worldwide Marketplace

Will be available in basically every country in which the phone is sold.

Expect to have over 100,000 apps when Apollo launches [slide reads: Projecting a catalog of 100,000+ apps, includes Mango apps]

And big changes on back-end

Using Bing technologies to drive the marketplace's ability to return lists of interesting apps to users. [Slide says: Personalized app and game recommendations based on usage and your social circle.]

"as you see here in the screenshot shown...." [there's no shot]

Will surface up great lists like Top Free Apps, App for You, New and Refined Apps, and these app lists are generated not only by longterm marketplace activity but also by realtime data. Bing tech makes these lists personalized and smart, and a great differentiator for us.


Skips Slide 22- App to App Communication


Last area

Slide 22 - Apollo is Built for Business

Greatly satisfy IT admins

Rel adds BL encryption, on by default on every WP device

[Slide 23 notes Secure Boot as well as BitLocker]

Device manageability

And true LOB apps that can be deployed and managed inside a corporation's own firewall.

[Slide 25 notes additional Exchange and Office 365 policies, advanced configuration and inventory with System Center too]



OK, interesting stuff, of course. Is there anything in there that impacts the TOC (table of contents) of the book? Scanning through it now, the following bits stand out:

Local Scout – adding a feature that will help you find nearby Wi-Fi hot spots. I’ll be writing about Local Scout in the current chapter, so that’s good timing.


The new familiar. This is Microsoft lingo, but I kind of like it. Should be mentioned in the introductory stuff.

SkyDrive-based music accessible through Music + Videos. We know that Zune Music Pass is becoming Xbox Music Pass. And if you’ve been paying attention to the stuff here, you know I’ve mentioned something called Xbox Music cloud collection. I believe these to be the same thing.

Personal recommendations. There is a personal recommendations services built into Windows Phone features like search and Local Scout, but also Marketplace features like Music. This will need to be part of the appropriate chapters (including the current one about search and maps).

I think that’s most of it. Unless I missed something?


Thinking about the next chapter: Search and Maps

The next chapter will be called “Search and Maps” and is currently chapter 11 in the table of contents. This represents an expansion of the original chapter idea (which was “Maps, Local Scout, and Location Services”) to include the Bing search experience. Both Bing and Maps are greatly improved in Windows Phone 8, and combined with what is already a pretty dense subject, the result will likely be a pretty long chapter.

I’m still working on the layout of the chapter, but the rough first version is as follows:


Windows Phone and Location services

Hardware Search button – How its changed since 7.0, been made more consistent. (Context-sensitive search is now exposed via app’s app bar-based Search buttons.) A plethora of Bing search services are always at your fingertips.

Search and maps virtual keyboard layout - Standard layout with customized Enter key (may not be worth covering)


Bing for mobile is official name. Will refer to it as the Bing experience.

Big innovation here is that its location aware

Now a multi-screen hub. Slides off to right, looks/works like Windows 8 app

Search, plus Local Scout, Music, Vision – plus Music History in menu

Search: Local (with Maps integration), media (images and video), Shopping, Web (includes Apps, News, Related Searches)

Search for address, Maps launches

Instant Answers - includes App Store results.

Microsoft Tellme Voice-to-search – requires enabling speech recognition service

Local Scout - combines Bing search and mapping to show you nearby restaurants, shopping, and activities … Quick cards are displayed when you search for a product, movie, event, or place, provide a quick summary of relevant information, reviews, and related apps (highlight here, cover in Maps)

Bing Music

Bing Vision – Camera integration. Find product information and explore available purchase options, or search on text or translate it to a different language

App Connect – Connects Bing search results to relevant apps. Works with Windows Phone Store, to show you apps on your phone and new apps to download

Customizing – use location services, send location info for Microsoft Tags, enable Suggestions, Safe Search setting, more – plus Delete History


Location finder

Find your location inside, too. Bing Maps has maps of indoor locations like malls.               

Search – finding another location

Voice search


Turn-by-turn directions with audible directions. Tap the map to hear the next step.

Changing the view - Traffic updates, aerial views, more

Favorite places

Downloading maps – can be used offline

Getting maps updates

System integration – pin location to Start screen

Local Scout – Find out more about any location – dig deep here

Integration – Windows Phone can automatically tag pictures with location data (may not be relevant to this chapter unless than info can surface in Maps app)

Integration – addresses in email (Mail), Calendar, Messaging, and many other apps can be tapped to launch Maps

Integration: Use Bing (above) to search for address, Maps launches


Determine whether to rotate a map’s orientation based on the current direction you’re heading or to always have it point north.


As always, this will evolve as I write it. Any feedback is, of course, always appreciated.


Calendar 0.8: First draft is complete

With the release of Calendar 0.8, in which I’ve completed the final major missing piece (the Mail integration section), the Calendar chapter is “done” for now. That is, I consider this to be the first draft of the Calendar chapter.

It’s not really done of course. You will notice reading through the chapter that there are numerous spots yellow, highlighted text. These can signify the following:

Links. Since this is at heart a live, digital publication, I’d like to have some form of hyperlinking occur throughout the book. So you’ll see links to things like other chapters (“Email” or “Chapter 3: Windows Phone and Accounts”), other sections in the same chapter (“Customizing Calendar”) and so on throughout the chapter. These types of highlights will likely remain in this and future chapters for quite a while, until I figure out the best way to do this linking.

Missing figures. While I’ve added numerous figures (screenshots) to the chapter for illustrative purposes, I’ve also left many uncreated. These are referenced by the highlighted all-caps lines (FIGURE-AGENDA, SELECTION-BOXES, and so on).

Things to verify. I want to make sure I’m using the correct terminology and there are some things I’m not sure about yet (especially the many references to “choosers”). I’ll save that for a later day, but these need to be done at some point before the chapter can be considered complete.

Potential areas of expansion. I’ve marked a few spots that might benefit from further discussion. These will or will not be added later.

Furthermore, since we don’t have a live Windows Phone 8 handset on which to test this chapter against yet, I’ll need to verify that nothing has changed, and that everything is correct. That will come later, of course. Ditto for all of the screenshots, since they will need to be replaced with shots from a real WP8 phone.

This is all very typical for a book, and frankly this chapter is in really good shape for a first draft. I expect only minimal changes later in the process.

I’m a bit surprised that it’s so long, though the figures pad it out additionally. By comparison, I just checked on the Calendar chapter from Windows Phone Secrets—which, no, I did not reference at all in the writing of this chapter—and the differences are interesting. The submitted chapter was 4951 words long, but this new one is already 7200 words long, which is quite a difference. Some of that can be attributed to additional Calendar features in Windows Phone 7.5, I guess. Some of it is likely better familiarity with the system after two and a half years of use. I may read through the Windows Phone Secrets Calendar chapter now to see if there’s anything I’ve missed here, but that would be surprising.

So what’s next?

I’ll probably go over the leaked Joe Belfiore video and presentation to see if there are any more details about Windows Phone 8 that impact the table of contents (TOC). This will be quick, and, I suspect, largely unnecessary, but I want to be sure. Then, I’ll move on to the next chapter. As with this one, I’ll need to stick to something that hasn’t changed much between Windows Phone 7.5 and 8, so I’ll start looking around for an obvious candidate.

Download Calendar 0.8.