Kia Motors and Microsoft team up with UVO eService

Kia UVOKia Motors and Microsoft have collaborated on an in-car telematics application which has the functions of gathering data from your car and driving style, this can then feedback to the owner, when maintenance schedules such as servicing are alerted to the owner.

UVO also adds technology for satnav to being able to make phonecalls.

Kia UVO-hi-Phone_Call

What UVO feeds back to the car owner:

    • UVO eServices is connected to a multitude of sensors embedded throughout a Kia vehicle. These sensors watch for data such as diagnostic trouble codes, mileage and driving patterns.

    • Customers access this maintenance and vehicle diagnostic information on their PC or mobile device.

    • Customers can also request a customized maintenance schedule, which Kia formulates by adjusting the factory maintenance schedule based on the performance data for their vehicle.“What’s great about UVO eServices is that it showcases how an intelligent system can use information that already exists to improve various aspects of your daily life,” says Steven Bridgeland, senior product manager for Windows Embedded at Microsoft. “Kia has done an impressive job of blending the practical benefits of technology in a way that redefines how you interact with your car.”

I have a car that has Blue and Me from Fiat & Microsoft, which is pretty much the early Windows Mobile in-car telematics service, while it does not have all the functions of the Kia developed one, it is how I feel cars should be developed in the future.

“Ask most people how they track the maintenance of their car, and it’s likely they’ll reference the tell-tale or the ubiquitous static cling oil-change reminder tucked in the corner of the windshield. But if Korean auto maker Kia Motors has its way, these analog mainstays could give way to something a bit more high tech.

Kia this year rolled out UVO eServices, which includes a suite of telematics tools to monitor your vehicle’s performance and help you stay current with factory maintenance schedules. UVO eServices also includes navigation and location-based services that help monitor your car’s location — whether lost in a parking garage or keeping tabs on where your teen took it the night before.”

KiaOptimaWithUVOeSer_Web

Read the full press release at Microsoft News Centre HERE

Windows Phone Apps removed from Zune

Windows PhoneThis was something that I noticed at the weekend just gone, in I wanted to download an album off Zune, and was presented with the popup message that “features have changed” and the feature that has changed is the ability of downloading Windows Phone 7 apps from the Zune software.

I first thought oh great another feature removed, but then actually stepped back and asked myself, “did I ever download a WP7 app from inside Zune”, the answer was a resounding NO, never in the past year of having my WP7 had I downloaded an app from Zune, so its not a feature I will miss.

Do read the below quote from Mazhar Mohammed and visit the full blog article linked below.

“Hi everyone. Today I want to tell you about two changes we’re making to Marketplace to help pave the way for new store features and new apps in the months ahead.

First, we’re removing the option to shop for Windows Phone apps from the Zune PC software. Second, as part of a larger Marketplace improvement effort, you’ll soon need Windows Phone 7.5 installed on your phone to buy and download new apps, or update existing ones.

As you’ll see in a moment, most of you likely won’t even notice these changes. Let me elaborate.

Focusing on phone and web

Until today you could shop for Windows Phone apps and games in three places: on your phone, on the web, and via the Zune software on your PC.

But we know—probably not a huge surprise here—that most Windows Phone owners browse and buy apps on their phones. The web Marketplace, which debuted last September on the Windows Phone website, has also become a popular place to shop, since it’s available from any Internet-connected PC or Mac.”

One thing I would say is that some of the games can be large to download via your mobile  connection and especially if you have a data cap, so either you have to connect via WiFi or as in this Q&A HERE you can still use Zune for large apps (those over 20mb).

Read the full blog post at the Windows Team Blog HERE

Nokia and Microsoft Windows Phone 7 App Competition

Nokia Microsoft Windows PhoneMicrosoft and Nokia are running a competition for developers of Windows Phone 7.5 apps and this is a great way for not only core developers to enter but for students also, especially those from the UK.

“Nokia and Microsoft have launched a new programme seeking innovative Windows Phone 7.5 apps to feature in their latest advertising campaign. Now whilst this is open to all developers it would be great to see some UK Student apps featured! If you fancy the chance to promote your app to consumers throughout the UK for free then why not give it a shot!

What’s involved? We’re looking for innovative apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace that have recently been published by UK developers (especially students) to feature in the latest advertising campaigns. We want to see your amazing apps that will delight UK consumers in the following categories: casual games, kids, family, health and fitness, shopping, social, travel, and utilities.”

So get “Appvertising” and hope you win.

Read more HERE at Microsoft UK Students

EU Acts to end Mobile Phone Roaming “rip-off”

banner_roamingI think this is great news in this day and age and especially as we are in the main mostly using smart phones like Apple iPhones, Microsoft  Windows Phone, Google Android and Blackberry’s which are all heavy users of data. Under new rules agreed by the European Parliament, consumers will pay no more than 29 cents (24p) per minute to make a call and 70 cents (59p) per megabyte for data downloads across Europe.

“Charges to fall from 1 July; consumers will be able to choose roaming service provider.

The European Parliament and member states have reached an agreement on new rules that will further reduce the cost of using a mobile telephone abroad within the European Union.

The legislation replaces price caps for mobile roaming that were first introduced in the EU in 2007 but which expire at the end of June this year.

The price caps are significantly lower than those proposed by the Commission in July 2011, although they are not as low as those put forward by MEPs.”

Read the full article at EuropeanVoice.com HERE

Microsoft Office 365 Formally Launched Today

Microsoft officially launch Office 365 today and what is it you may think, well its a “cloud” version of Microsoft Office, so you have Online versions Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote as well as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online. The idea is at times you may not wish to buy multiple or Enterprise licences for the aforementioned packages but wish to pay as you go per user, and for as little as £4 a month per user, it may just be more cost effective for your business, but do read the links below for full pricing options.

“What is Office 365

It’s anywhere access to email, documents, contacts, and calendars so you’re always up-to-date. It’s familiar Microsoft productivity applications your team already uses. It’s business-class security and reliability. It’s IT control and efficiency delivered to fit your organization’s unique needs. And it’s an all in one pay-as-you-go service with an affordable price. But that’s just the beginning.”

With Exchange Online, you get email, calendar in a package you may already be familiar with in Outlook.

exch_screen_owa

With SharePoint Online you can store and share documents with other users as well as having access to your saved documents from anywhere with a PC or Mobile phone with Internet access (I know Windows Mobile 7 phones work with this, iPhone, Android should as well and others may get compatibility at a later date).

sharept_screen_MySite

With Microsoft Lync you can communicate via instant messaging (IM), PC-to-PC audio/video calls, with friends. colleagues and customers and clients as well as being able to hold online meetings. The presence function allows you to know what a colleague or customer/client is online or available.

screen_ToAppShare

 

Todays webcast of the Launch from Steve Ballmer HERE

Homepage of Office 365 with more information and pricing options.

Windows Mobile 7 “mango” update

img_WinPhoneAhhh while I know I’m a few days late I still think this is a good article to post as I have upgraded my Windows Mobile 6.5 HTC HD2 to a Windows Mobile 7 HTC HD7, so the information on this forthcoming update is especially of interest to me.

“Microsoft Corp. today previewed the next major release of Windows Phone, code-named “Mango,” through a series of media events around the world. “Mango” will deliver more than 500 new features to push the boundaries of the smartphone experience around communications, apps and the Internet. The “Mango” release will be available for free to Windows Phone 7 customers and is scheduled to ship on new phones beginning this fall. More details on device update timing will be provided closer to availability. Windows Phone will also add support for additional languages, expand access to apps by launching Windows Phone Marketplace in new countries, and partner with new OEMs to enable expansion to new markets.*

  • Threads. Switch between text, Facebook chat and Windows Live Messenger within the same conversation.
  • Groups. Group contacts into personalized Live Tiles to see the latest status updates right from the Start Screen and quickly send a text, email or IM to the whole group.
  • Deeper social network integration. Twitter and LinkedIn feeds are now integrated into contact cards, and “Mango” includes built-in Facebook check-ins and new face detection software that makes it easier to quickly tag photos and post to the Web.
  • Linked inbox. See multiple email accounts in one linked inbox. Conversations are organized to make it easy to stay on top of the latest mail.
  • Hands-free messaging. Built-in voice-to-text and text-to-voice support enables hands-free texting or chatting.”

HeroOnDemand_MangoWinPh

Some of the  updates above in the 500 have me eagerly awaiting this update as I have in the 1 week I have had this phone loved it and its ease of use, having Office 2010 mobile included is a major plus for me, BUT I have to say I am disappointed in a few areas and one is tethering!?  WHY is this not part of the WM7 ecosystem?

But all in all its a superb phone if you like them kind of large and heavy as its not small and discrete and light.

Read the full press release HERE

Nokia and Microsoft join forces

Likely at some point that Nokia would join up with Microsoft in some form as Stephen Elop was at Microsoft until this new appointment at Nokia.

“Nokia has joined forces with Microsoft in an attempt to regain ground lost to the iPhone and Android-based devices.

The deal will see Nokia use the Windows phone operating system for its smartphones, the company said.

It means that Nokia’s existing operating systems will be sidelined.

Speaking at the launch of the partnership, Nokia’s chief executive Stephen Elop revealed that there would be “substantial” job losses as a result of the tie-up.”

I think with Nokia’s flair for good hard wearing phones that using Windows Mobile 7 or a new in-house OS will bring this brand back in the fight with Apple and Google.

Read the full article HERE at BBC Technology News.

Windows Mobile 7 released

 

Well it was just yesterday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain that Steve Ballmer CEO of Microsoft announced the future arrival of Windows Mobile 7, and for those that don’t know what this is, it is the operating system for any Smartphone’s like my HTC HD2 that run Windows Mobile software.

  

Some website of interest for any readers who wish to read more about Windows Mobile 7 and even join the Backstage Forum and discuss all things Windows Mobile 7 with other interested users.

http://www.windowsphone7series.com (click Backstage)

Microsoft Presspass link:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/windowsphone/
Official press release:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2010/feb10/02-15MWC10PR.mspx
Interview with Andy Lees
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2010/feb10/02-15WindowsPhone7.mspx

Video covering the Windows Phone 7 Series design
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/windowsphone/videoGallery.aspx
Charlie Kindel’s blog
http://blogs.msdn.com/ckindel/archive/2010/02/11/hello-from-seattle.aspx
Channel 9 Hands-on Demo
http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/LauraFoy/First-Look-Windows-Phone-7-Series-Hands-on-Demo/