Monday, May 07, 2007

10 Things I Learned at MEDC

  1. In person, Sue Loh sounds exactly like you'd imagine from reading the CE blog.
  2. In person, Doug Boling sounds exactly like you'd imagine from reading his book (except his humor comes off better in person).
  3. Windows Mobile 6 isn't as big a deal as it first seemed (unless you happen to be a managed code developer, which I'm not).
  4. The Tao is worth seeing (if you can either get in on your own coolness, or else persuade a multi-billion-dollar company to slip the owner some cash).
  5. You never know which of your mild-mannered colleagues will turn out to be a raving, iPod-dancing, Viva-Las-Vegas-singing Elvis fan.
  6. Managed code (C#) actually runs on "real" embedded devices that are too small for even CE.
  7. No matter how awesome your hotel looks, you still need to provide running water to your guests, or they get cranky.
  8. When attending a conference, make sure you introduce yourself and describe your company to as many people as you can: you never know which one will suggest a very cool opportunity a few days later.
  9. Windows Smartphones are now outselling Blackberry devices, and 90% of them are being sold to consumers rather than businesses.
  10. Despite pushing most of the cool new features onto Windows Mobile first, Microsoft still isn't abandoning CE devices just yet. Thanks for that.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

O Sole Mio...

Ok, so I've missed PyCon for the past three years running because of work conflicts. But at least this year they've been nice enough to send me to the Microsoft Mobile and Embedded DevCon (MEDC) at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

No "one more thing" announcements from today's keynote, but we did get an earful of how Microsoft wants to position the Windows Mobile family: "it's not just for business anymore". Robbie Bach, the president of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division, claims that Win Mobile-based smart phones are outselling Blackberry devices, and that 90% of those sales are actually to consumers (not businesses).

That sounds great, but the massive emphasis on "all things smartphone" makes me a bit nervous. Microsoft is a smart optimizer when it comes to business strategies: what happens when their CE OEMs (like us) become 2% of their developer base, and their Windows Mobile Pro/Standard OEMs are 98%?

Won't someone think of the poor headless CE devices? Just try using your fancy QVGA display in a freezer for a few hours...