Is Your Next Phone Your Next PC?

It’s getting increasingly difficult to differentiate a phone from a tablet from a PC and, today, while watching the Microsoft stream from Mobile World Congress one of those differentiators for “Windows Phone” seemed to disappear – the absence of a physical keyboard.

Along with the launch of another large-screen Lumia, the 640XL to go alongside the 1320 and the 1520;

came the announcement of the new Universal Foldable Keyboard;

and a demonstration of that keyboard working with a phone running Windows 10 with the “Detail” section on that product website noting that the keyboard will also work on Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2.

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Part of the same event demo’d more of running the forthcoming Universal Office Apps on Windows 10 on a phone. I haven’t captured a screenshot of Excel in use on the phone but it was part of this demo section and it was pretty impressive as was the Outlook demo;

and so a typical laptop worker can sit on a 6” phone running Windows 10 and run a version of Office and bang away on their foldable, bluetooth keyboard and all they really need is a big screen to put their content onto and, presumably, they could make use of something like;

as detailed in this blog post to wirelessly project this onto an external monitor and now they’ve effectively constructed a ‘desktop PC’.

I’m not sure that in Windows Phone 8.1 this would provide the ‘perfect’ experience when compared to working on a laptop and I don’t know how it’ll work in Windows 10 on a small mobile device as I’m not running Windows 10 yet on anything under 8” and, of course, it’s a preview right now rather than a finished product.

But…it seems that all the pieces are there to make this work today and to refine it into a more mainstream idea in the future?

Twitter Followers/Analytics

I had a quick look at Twitter’s analytics today following a link from my colleague, Andrew.

I’d never been there before and I spent 2 minutes in it and it looks like Twitter start gathering most of their data once you sign up for analytics so most of the sections seemed empty but I found this picture of my Twitter followers really interesting;

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in that it looks like the folks are interested in “programming”/”tech”/”mobile” and are mostly in the UK and the US and also follow a bunch of other Twitter people/handles that are entirely familiar to me.

It’s a bit reassuring to know that people aren’t following me for my hair styling tips or my thoughts on pre-Raphaelite literature Winking smile

If you’re one of those followers – great, glad to know you, feel very free to say “hello” if you’ve not done so before Smile

while (true) { CheckBTInfinityIsAvailableYet(); } /* Infinite Loop of BT Infinity Availability */

I’ve been trying to fathom this out for quite a while now. Like an increasing number of people, I work quite a lot from home and I need good connectivity. Generally, my connectivity is better than the WiFi networks I use in most of the offices that I visit but, of course, I’d like more bandwidth than the 8-10mbps that my current service provides (I know, a lot of people in the UK don’t get 8-10mbps – you have my sympathy).

I get my broadband via BT at the moment and trying to figure out whether I can get more bandwidth via the regular phone line appears to be a never-ending loop.

I go to the BT Infinity website – http://www.bt.com/infinity. There’s a simple box where I can type in my phone number and the UI then tells me;

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Ok – it’s fairly clear that I can’t have Infinity right now but I can follow the highlighted link to use the “Openreach postcode checker” to see when it might be available. So I go there (http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/) and type in my post-code and it tells me;

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where A.O. means “Accepting Orders” – so my exchange is ready to go and this site then tells me that I can buy this now;

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or, at least, that my exchange is “accepting orders” but the reality is that my property isn’t enabled. However, I follow the “At Home” link;

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and so I tap on the “BT” website link which leads me to a page where I can;

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and that leads me back to where I started;

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and now I’m into an infinite loop where there’s no more detail available than “Not Available” which seems a bit minimal Sad smile

That said, I did contact BT about this a few weeks ago. First, I phoned them up and they told me “we don’t have any more information” and then I asked them on Twitter;

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and I did fill in the form that BT asked me to complete but, unfortunately, I never seemed to get any mails back from them Sad smile

I’m not sure why the rollout of fast broadband has to be this kind of closely guarded secret – it seems that there must be a schedule somewhere and publishing it would be a matter of a few mouse clicks so why the cloak-and-dagger when it comes to finding out what’s happening with fast (phone line) broadband in a particular area?