Archives / 2008 / June
  • Ecma is requesting comments on XPS

    Tags: XPS, Office Open XML

    Ecma International is currently asking ISO members for comments on the XPS standard. XPS is a new XML based standard for a paginated document format, somewhat like PDF.

    The current working draft 1.2 is now publicly available for anyone and the technical committee (TC46) of Ecma is requesting comments on the XPS draft. They also provide an issue list with all identified problems and an optional status.

    XPS has gained a lot of support from hardware/printer manufacturers, such as Konica Minolta and Xerox and software companies such NiXPS and SANATech.

    Ecma, and Microsoft, is taking this process a bit slower than the previous and controversial OOXML fast-track, which is good for everyone. Let’s see how the comments (or FUD) looks like this time…

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  • Summertime

    Tags: Personal, SharePoint, Internet Explorer, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Office Open XML

    It’s summer and time for some vacation, finally. This year has been hard work so far – and I don’t expect it to get lighter this upcoming autumn and winter. I’ve had fun though!


    Microsoft SharePoint has really been one thing occupying my work – it feels like everyone is not just looking at SharePoint, they want to use it now! We have a couple of cases that is really interesting and I hope that I have convinced them and proposed a nice solution.

    About half a year ago, I predicted about 2008, half of them has come true; Windows Vista Service Pack 1, Internet Explorer 8 (only beta so far), nice parental leave (you bet) and OOXML ISO approval (not quite there yet, but anyway's).

    Some things are yet to come, I hope; XPS submittal to ISO, time over for msfeedicon (sorry about all you out there waiting for it – but I have some plans…), testing new Media Center (this one could come true any day, Fiji is in private beta) and upgrading customers to Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008.

    I would like to add some new things to the list; Townsquare (this could really turn the heat up), PDC 2008 (I really hope I can go there) and Windows 7 beta (or as it might turn out to be Windows Vista R2).

    That’s all for me for now, don’t expect to much blogging over the next few weeks…

  • Firefox 3.0 released

    Tags: Internet and the Web

    So the F-day is here and Mozilla Firefox 3.0 is ready for download. Servers are currently down but you can get it from the FTP site. Mozilla has not even had time to fix their first-run page – it’s still referring to the Release Candidate 3. I guess we will see a record in downloading the next 24 hours.

    Firefox 3.0 - not RC3 

    I had some strange experiences while installing it. I installed it over beta 5, therefore the location of Firefox was in the Program Files\Mozilla Firefox Beta 5\ folder and after a few minutes I had the first crash of Fx since beta 3 or something.

    For me it’s Firefox time. I have not until the 3.0 beta releases really liked Firefox, but now it is here to stay! But don’t get too excited, Internet Explorer will still be my primary browser…

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  • Origami and Media Center - two interfaces that should marry!

    Tags: Windows Vista, Windows Media Center

    Microsoft recently released the Origami Experience 2.0 for Windows Vista, download it here. This is an update to the Microsoft UMPC interface. The Origami Experience is designed for small screens with touch-capabilities, but after just trying it out on my laptop with Vista Ultimate I figured – some of these features would fit into the Media Center interface perfectly.

    There are a lot to say about the Windows Media Center interface, I think it is quite good – needs some fixes though; why are films divided in three categories – Videos, Recorded TV and DVD’s? The media features in the interface are quite good, but in our family we have a Media Center in our living room and we quite often use it to browse the Internet or run other programs. That’s where I can see a great marriage between the Media Center and Origami interfaces.

    Origami Experience 2.0 contains two interesting features; Origami Now and Origami Central.

    The Origami Now application is a dashboard application in which you can create Tiles. Each Tile can contain a list, an RSS feed, your e-mails etc.

    Origami Now

    I can really imagine how this would fit into the Media Center interface; your Tiles would consist of recently recorded shows and images, scheduled recordings, TV-guide etc together with the Origami Tiles. Then you would have a really nice Media Center Start Page, instead of the kind of boring Media Center Start there is today, see below.

    Windows Media Center Start

    In Origami Central you can start programs, listen or view your media, read your feeds or surf the Internet, in a very user friendly manner. Take a look at these screenshots.

    Origami Central - Start and Media Origami Central - Internet Origami Central - Browser Origami Central - Feeds Origami Central - Programs

    I especially like the browser and feed interfaces, which are two features that should have been in Media Center by default a long time ago.

    Of course, it is all touch screen oriented. So currently there is no good way to have this running on a Media Center machine, since you need a mouse or a “touch screen flat TV” :-), you can’t use the Media Center remote control to navigate easily. But I guess Microsoft could fix this pretty easy, even if it’s not integrated into Media Center you should be able to navigate the Origami applications using arrow keys…

    So, I know there are some Microsofties who are reading this blog, please forward this post to your colleagues in the Media Center Team and have them arrange a meeting!

    I know that the “Fiji” testing has begun, and unfortunately I have not yet made it into the program so I have no clue if these issues already has been addressed in upcoming versions of Windows Media Center.

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  • SharePoint and Facebook!?

    Tags: Business, SharePoint, Internet and the Web

    Microsoft SharePoint is a great Enterprise Portal framework and contains a lot of collaboration and management features out of the box. SharePoint also has the abilities to find users and their knowledge using a social distance algorithm, but it has lacked some of the social features that applications such as Facebook successfully has implemented and been recognized for. Microsoft even owns a smaller part of the Facebook company.

    The enterprise equivalent of Web 2.0 – Enterprise 2.0 is steadily increasing and to make it work for the knowledge worker of today you have to include the social features. There are now numerous third party applications you can use to leverage your SharePoint installation to an Enterprise 2.0 portal, I previously blogged about some of them.

    Microsoft is currently sponsoring the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston and in their Virtual Pressroom for this conference there are one interesting screenshot together with some SharePoint images.


    The screenshot is from something called Townsquare:

    …a prototype enterprise news feed developed by Microsoft Office Labs, allows users to receive news about managers, friends and colleagues all in one place

    This really looks interesting! Facebook-like social features in a SharePoint-like environment – this can really be something!?

    Do you know anything more about this? If I find out some news I’ll post it here.

    Update: According to this InfoWorld article Chris Pratley from Office Labs will reveal more about Townsquare on Thursday.

  • Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 or HTC Touch Pro?

    Tags: Personal, Hardware, Windows Mobile

    Wow, two heavy-weight Windows Mobile phones; Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 and HTC Touch Pro.

    In a few months I am ready to get me a new phone. I currently use the HTC TyTN, which has been a very pleasant ride (except for the glitching screen right now, to many drops…). When Sony Ericsson announced XPERIA X1 in march I got so excited and decided to get me one as soon as it hits the stores. Today HTC announced that they will continue their Touch series with the HTC Touch Pro, another sweet dream! So which one will be mine?

    Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 HTC Touch Pro

    Comparing them

    First of all here is a comparison of some of the specifications of the X1 and Touch Pro.

      SE XPERIA X1 HTC Touch Pro
    Size, mm 110 x 53 x 17 102 x 51 x 18
    Weight, with battery 158g 165g
    Screen 3 inch 800x480 touch screen 2.8 inch 640x480 (VGA) touch screen
    Processor Qualcomm MSM7200 528MHz processor
    Memory Internal memory: 400Mb RAM: 256Mb Storage: 512Mb ROM: 512Mb RAM: 288Mb
    OS Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
    Features XPERIA panel interface TouchFLO 3D
      Full specification Full specification

    As you can see they are pretty similar in specifications and they share a lot of other common things like the camera (3.2 Megapixels), GPS etc, slide-out QWERTY keyboard. They only thing that they really differ is the screen size, a big plus for the X1 for the larger screen.

    The main difference is the interface, on top of the Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS; TouchFLO 3D vs XPERIA panel interface. HTC’s TouchFLO is the favorite here. But I have not yet seen or tested the XPERIA interface yet.

    So, by looking at the hardware XPERIA would be my winner and if I look at the software Touch Pro will be in my pocket (I will not carry them in the quite nerdy leather belt clip coming with these phones).

    I will wait out the first reviews after the product hit the shelves and run down to the store and touch them – one of them will be mine…

    Why not iPhone 2.0 some of you might think? First of all I have not seen the specifications (coming next week I guess). Second: I don’t like the methods Apple use to lock in developers and forcing them to sell their products through their channels so Apple can steal percentage of your income. Third: I don’t think that iPhone 2.0 will be ready for business usage, i.e. no central administration, no QWERTY keyboard etc.

    Which phone is your dream come true?

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  • Windows Live Writer Updated once again

    Tags: Windows Live Writer

    The Windows Live Writer has once again been updated, it’s still a Technical Preview. The new and updated version contains numerous improvements to the interface and introduces a brand new plugin model.

    New and improved features

    View tabs The interface has received some updates such as a tabs for switching between views and a nice feature which allows you to edit your post using your blog theme (might have been in previous builds, but this was the first time I’ve seen it).

    Border styles There are now more ways to edit the images/pictures that you copy and paste or insert into WLW; such as cropping, tilting and more border styles. So no more need for using external programs to get your post look nice, except for a screen clipping app (I use OneNote). There are also new support for inserting and embedding videos from various sources.

    While editing you now have support for automatic linking. The Glossary has now turned into a Auto Linking feature. Other nice features are typographic characters, which for example converts (c) to a ©, word counting, “curly quotes” support and support for split posts.

    My favorite so far is the tidy and nicely formatted code generated by Live Writer. Now it’s easier than ever to customize your blog post using your own code.

    Read more here.

    Changes to the Publishing API

    The Windows Live Writer team has also been updating the metaWeblog API, once again, so that the metaWeblog.newPost  now follows the specification and uses the dateCreated field instead of a pubDate field.

    SDK Changes

    Windows Live Writer contains a great extensibility model, using the WLW SDK, which previously has been quite limited. With the new build you can hook into the pre- and post-publish events and you can automatically add headers and footers to your posts.

    Read all about it here.

    Happy blogging!

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About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is the Nordic Digital Workplace Lead working at Avanade. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for seven consecutive years.

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