Monthly Archives: March 2010

Windows Phone 7 Series “Metro” book giveaway

From last week’s Microsoft’s MIX10 conference I got my hands on a dozen copies of the Windows Phone 7 Series “Metro” book (still with that new-book smell) ready to give away.

With a word count and font-size comparable to most childrens’ storybooks, this is the perfect read for those who aren’t particularly fond of thick books like myself. There are 47 pages of thrilling backstory uncovering what is Metro and where it came from, complex character development of Anna and Miles, and something every book should have; pictures, lots of pictures.

Here’s your chance to own one of 12 early copies of what is set to top this year’s best-seller list. To enter,

  • Submit at least one comment to this post (only one counts)
  • Please ensure you use a real email address so I can contact you
  • Be a resident of United States of Anywhere in the world
  • Entries close 31 March 2010 AEST

Entries now closed. Winners will be notified soon.

Bill Buxton on making user interfaces “natural”

Bill Buxton always leaves an impression when you see him talk. Recently at the closing keynote of Microsoft’s MIX10 conference, Bill explored the concept of it means to be “natural” in the context of natural user interfaces (NUI).

Whilst it was an interesting presentation – Bill’s larger-than-life character is hard to miss, I don’t think some of the points came across very clear which is why this new 8-minute video by Microsoft Research is a must watch for all user experience-enthusiasts.

If you’re looking for a quick bite, skip ahead to 2:08 in the video where there’s a very interesting concept and prototype demonstration on how we can make panning and zooming virtual documents more “natural”. Without spoiling how, it really makes the multitouch equivalent seem like yesterday’s technology.

Windows Phone 7 Series emulator “unlocked”

It was not a question of if, but when. The Windows Phone 7 Series emulator ROM has been completely unlocked revealing more of the preproduction mobile operating system Microsoft didn’t want you to see.

Dan Ardelean who has been tinkering with the ROM for some time now has published a modified version of the “BIN” file which removes the locks Microsoft’s put in place to hide other components of the ROM.

Although there is definitely a lot to explore, to be devil’s advocate I must remind everyone that Windows Phone 7 Series and this ROM in particular is still a very early piece of work and the components in this emulator demo is not representative of what the final product will be. Play with it, have fun with it, but don’t build expectations on it.

Windows Phone 7 Series will have copy & paste, eventually

Contrary to the controversial report out of Microsoft MIX10 this week that Windows Phone 7 Series will not feature copy & paste functionality, a person close to the den explained that copy & paste is definitely a scenario and feature that the team is putting a lot of thought about and hope to bring to the platform soon after initial release.

Let’s not forget Microsoft already knows at least one way to do copy & paste from Windows Mobile, but this was one of many scenarios they want to refine to fit in the context of their new user experience which already has a lot of “smarts” for automatically connecting data between applications – for example, detecting and hotlinking addresses in emails to Bing Maps.

As it turns out, the development team actually knows exactly how they will be implementing copy & paste in WP7S but did not believe it could be implemented without affecting the release schedule they’ve committed to and therefore will be including it in an update down the road.

I’m sure they can deliver it sooner than Apple did it (2 years).

Earlier concepts of Metro in Windows Phone 7 Series

A number of concept screenshots of early Metro concepts for Windows Phone 7 Series was published in the slides of the “Windows Phone UI and Design Language” session at Microsoft MIX10 this week giving us a rare peek into what Metro could have been.

If one thing’s for sure, large fonts and a text-driven layout was a sure-thing since the beginning. It appears they experimented with a much larger time display and diagonal-placed controls which look kind of cool but one could imagine to be a usability nightmare. Take a look for yourself.