Windows Mobile 6.1

You should have heard by now that Microsoft officially announced the new updated version Windows Mobile 6.1, only for smartphones. Which means that all touch screen devices will still be running Windows Mobile 6 Professional.

I think there is a reason why touch screen devices still run the older version. I think Microsoft is planning on releasing a totally revamped Windows Mobile for touch based devices. Maybe something that can actually compete with the iPhone. Everyone knows that technology is moving towards touch based applications and gradually moving away from hardwares such as the mouse and keyboard when it comes to using everyday applications specially on mobile devices. So it would make sense if Microsoft is working on something powerfull in their labs.

As for the time being, Windows Mobile 6.1 looks great and comes with many new useful features. Windows Mobile is defintely going in the right direction, as it seems, and I will be looking forward for more news from the dev team.

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Windows Mobile: Silverlight & Flash Support

Now that Microsoft seems to have got its Windows Mobile team working again, it brings me pleasure to hear such great news as the added support for Silverlight and Adobe Flash. This definitely will enable developers to get a lot more creative in developing state of the art applications for Windows Mobile using Silverlight since the technology is cross-browser and cross-platform. And with Adobe Flash supported as well, bringing a more realistic desktop-like internet experience to a Windows Mobile device doesn’t sound far-fetched anymore.
But I think there is more up Microsoft’s sleeves behind this news than just for the sake of software development and better internet experience. I think it has to do with Windows Mobile’s successor. That’s right. Windows Mobile 7.
Now that everything is moving towards a touch based experience for mobile devices, the added support for Silverlight might be a clue of what to expect from the next version of Windows Mobile. And I don’t mean Windows Mobile 6.1 or 6.5, but instead an entirely overhauled operating system. After all, Silverlight is all about UI and Windows Mobile users all around the globe have been complaining and giving negative feedback on the OS’s not so user or finger friendly interface.
It will be interesting to see what the Windows Mobile team will be releasing in the upcoming months. You never know, maybe a new Windows Mobile version isn’t so far away as everyone seems to believe. But no matter how long it takes, I am sure it will be worth the wait.

Sharepoint Content Deployment

One of the major problems I faced with sharepoint 2007 is content deployment. If you ever used the sharepoint designer dataview control in your site, you will face a problem when deploying or copying sites. The dataview control doesn’t seem to be updating the list GUID used in the control. So if you created a dataview in one site and tried to copy the site over to another site, either by using site templates or site backups, that dataview will display an error since the list GUID has changed.

There is a workaround to this problem. Place the list GUIDs used in the dataview between squigly brackets, like this {000000}. But this only works if you create sites using site templates, which leads to another problem. Site templates doesn’t save custom list permissions or security groups. The only way to save these configurations is by creating a backup of the site. But using the backup method wont update the GUIDs on any dataviews created within the site, so what’s the solution?

Ditch the sharepoint dataviews and replace them with standard Asp.Net 2.0 gridviews or detailviews. You will be cutting down the page size by half in doing so and it will give you more flexibility and control over the data displayed. And to copy or deploy a site use the STSADM export and import command line. Simple and straightforward.

Windows Live OneCare 2.0

One of the things I have done that I am entirely proud of is purchasing a subscription to Windows Live OneCare. It’s basically everything you need to keep up to three PCs safe and secure.

This product does everything, it even makes it harder to mention what it doesn’t do. It’s an internet firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware, backup tool, data cleaner, and more. And all this is running in the background without you even knowing it.

This is by far the most effective software I have ever purchased and it comes directly from good old Microsoft. It doesn’t even affect your computer’s speed nor performance like all the other internet security softwares. It just silently sits in your taskbar notification as a single icon.

The icon changes color depending on your system’s status. It turns green if everything is fine. Orange, if your system requires an action. Red, if your system is at risk. That’s it. And as far as the user interface, it’s definitely clean, simple and easy to use even if you’re using it for the first time.

I certainly recommend Windows Live OneCare for all Windows users. You can install it and try it out for 90 days free of charge. Once you use it, you wont be able to live without it.

SharePoint Lists Not Showing

Recently I started to experience this problem a lot more often. I open up my SharePoint site using Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 and I try to browse to a certain list but every time I select the ‘Lists’ folder it shows up empty.

I try closing down the application and opening it up again but the problem still remains. I was even dumb enough to restart my PC to discover that it still didn’t solve the problem.

But I finally found a workaround. All I had to do is refresh the datasource.

So if you are facing a similar problem simply click on the ‘Datasource’ tab located in the right panel. At the bottom of the panel find and click the ‘Refresh Datasource’ link button, and bob’s your uncle.

Usually just clicking the tab will automatically refresh the datasource and therefore display all your lists.