Blog > December 2011 > Windows Phone 7.5: Day 6

Windows Phone 7.5: Day 6

Showing it off
Tonight I took great pride in showing off my new phone to my brother. To my surprise, he actually thought it looked good, and liked how things popped out.

My brother is nothing like me on the technical side of things, completely non-gadget, so he normally has no interest whatsoever in me showing off my latest piece of kit.

He did however seem to like the people HUB and how it allowed me to easily see what just my family have been up to (I've setup a group and added my family members to it and pinned it to my start page; I covered this in an earlier post).

Office HUB
Tonight I've also had a play around with the Office HUB built into Windows Phone 7.5. It's great to see a range of office apps included in the OS, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and a personal favourite, OneNote. I didn't have a particular use while trialling, it was more just to evaluate but what's there looks good. With integration with both my SharePoint portal (via Office 365) and Windows Live SkyDrive, a while host of documents were available. I tried one of each type, and it's really quite snazzy. Given the resolution of Windows Phone 7 it's quite nice and sharp on screen, and the controls are quite intuitive. In PowerPoint for example I was able to browse through the slides, view the outline and add notes to each slide. I could see this being really useful for reviewing slides prior to a presentation, say on the train, adding some notes then using as cue-cards during the actual presentation. I often find that time after time presenters put far too much into the slides themselves leaving far too little to 'say' other than repeating what the audience are intelligent enough to read themselves. This could be a way for those people to have something to prompt them what they need to say whilst lightening the slides content for the audience. Obviously I can see a few risks here too... Battery?!? What if it dies JUST before the presentation starts, or worse, in the middle? That'd surely put any presenter that needs the notes, off. What if the slide deck gets changed last minute, a slide is added or dropped and your notes are put out of sync? If everything were to work the Microsoft way, the original slides would be held on your company SharePoint portal, you'd annotate and push your changes back up, and then the goon that decided to drop the slide last minute without telling you would make the changes directly to the SharePoint version meaning you can pull the latest version down right before the presentation.

All very risque, and although I agree that this is the way business today should work, in reality I find businesses every day that are still taking the Office XP approach, producing documents rather than collaborating on them in an effective manner. No versioning, no document management or document control, and everything being circulated by e-mail.

SkyDrive app
That brings me nicely onto the SkyDrive app that was released this week from Microsoft which allows consumers to access a similar set of collaboration and sharing tools that their corporate friends are using. I suppose there's good intention with SkyDrive in general... Get the consumer to buy in, from a young-age... And they'll promote this way of working in the workplace. I can see SkyDrive being a big hit with university students for example working in groups on projects etc.

But why a Windows Phone 7 app? I can see the appeal of an iPhone app (which was released at the same time) but a WP7 one? At this point you may be thinking, why the hell not?

The office hub already contains integration with SkyDrive for the Windows Live account that you signed into the phone with. So you've already got the functionality that this app offers, and its only presenting it in a marginally nicer way (preview of image in a folder, as the folder icon, for example).

The only reason for this app that I can guess, is for users that are guests to the phone... I.e. They don't want to add their account to the phone, or the phone owner has another SkyDrive account that they want to access temporarily.

I do think this could have been included as a post Mango update though, more integrated into the functionality that is already offered through the Office hub.

Have you tried this app yet? Has anyone tried this on iPhone? Does it offer document editing on iPhone? Just curious... Let me know.

Posted: 19/12/2011 07:11:39 by Kurt Farrar | with 0 comments

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