HTC S710 – a smartphone with a Qwerty keyboard

August 12, 2008

I recently read a review of the HTC S710 smartphone and was so impressed with the features that I have just ordered it via BT.  If you, like me, already have BT Total Broadband (with an old white Hub) you can upgrade to the newer (black) version and have BT Total Broadband Anywhere for just an extra £5 per month.

I decided to pay a one-off payment of £29.99 to upgrade the handset to the HTC S710.

As anyone reading this blog will know, I have been looking for a smartphone with a Qwerty keyboard for ages and ages and ages … for an extra £5 per month, I decided to bite the bullet and buy this one … I’m sure it won’t be perfect … but I think it will do the job I want.


Key features:-

– spring-loaded QWERTY keyboard

– Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.0 Standard

– WiFi

– Internet Explorer Mobile

– Windows Live Messenger

– Outlook Contacts easily transferrable to the handset

– View / Edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files


I’ll post my own review once I’ve had chance to make full use of the HTC S710 and would love to hear from anyone who already owns one.


Read the full review here


Microsoft Live Mesh – here, there, everywhere

August 1, 2008


“Imagine the possibilities

Imagine all your devices—PCs, and soon Macs and mobile phones—working together to give you anywhere access to the information you care about.

With Live Mesh, you can spend less time managing devices and data and more time connecting with family and friends or collaborating with colleagues.”

All your devices working together

No more e-mailing attachments to yourself. Instead, synchronize the information you need across all your devices. The most up-to-date versions will be at hand when you need them—at home, at the office, and on the go.

Just install the Live Mesh software on each device. Then add folders to your mesh. Folders are automatically synchronized, always available.

Access from anywhere

Anything you add to Live Mesh is available from anywhere, including the web from your Live Desktop. Your Live Desktop comes with 5 GB of free storage, and can be used from most web browsers.

Need a program that’s only on your home PC? With Live Mesh, access to all your devices—and any programs on those devices—is at your fingertips, no matter where you are.

Simple to share

Easily share files and photos with friends, family, and colleagues—invite them to a folder. Everyone is kept up to date because files can be synchronized automatically with all your devices and all their devices.

Update documents, post comments, or send instant messages, all right from the folder. The Live Mesh bar helps you connect instantly with other folder members.

Stay informed

Keep track of all the activities in your mesh. See the online status of friends and colleagues, find out who has updated which files or folders, post and read comments, and check the status of your devices.

News about your mesh is easy to access. You can view news items in the notifier, from the mesh bar, and on the Live Mesh website—available whenever, wherever you are.

Protection you know

Your mesh is password-protected with your Windows Live ID, so only you have access to it. When you share a folder with family and friends, they sign in with their own Windows Live ID to access it.

All file transfers are protected using Secure Socket Layers (SSL), the same technology your online bank uses.

For further details visit and see a video demo.

Microsoft Office Live Workspace

March 7, 2008

I have just received email confirmation that I have access to a beta copy of Microsoft Office Live Workspace and can’t wait to see what it can do for me. 

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1

February 29, 2008
I am still searching for that “perfect” PDA or Smartphone and am now considering the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 which I was introduced to by Jason Nash at Microsoft’s London offices at the CRM User Group meeting.  Thank you Jason!  It’s due for release “second half of 2008” and I can’t wait to try it.
From Times Online
February 15, 2008

Mobile World Conference – Barcelona – Feb 2008

“Sony Ericsson Xperia X1
Perhaps the real wowser of the week was Sony Ericsson’s new Xperia X1.   This is one covetable device. Housed in an elegant, arc-shaped sliding phone is an interface that really brings the web to the fore. The massive three-inch screen divides into nine panels – some will probably call them widgets – which are arranged at the owner’s discretion. They can either be simple applications, like a calculator, or full web pages – e-mail, YouTube, Google and so on. Unlike many phone menus with icons, however, the Xperia’s panels aren’t just pictures; they’re the full page – in miniature, and they glisten before you, updating in real time. Navigation is via a optical joystick at the side – a bit like a mini mouse pad, with your finger as the mouse – or full touschscreen, like the iPhone. (Though whether it has all the iPhone’s screen wizardry is unclear – we couldn’t play with it.) The partnership with Microsoft – Sony Ericsson’s first – also brings with it the benefit of Windows Mobile, which should make it attractive to the professional market too. Other specs: 3.2-megapixel camera,7.2 megabit per second HSDPA, and ARM’s latest series 11 processor, meaning it will be, well, ultraswift.

Out: second half of the year “

Microsoft offers to buy Yahoo!

February 1, 2008


Microsoft has offered to buy Yahoo for US $44.6 billion.   

The following announcement is from Microsoft:-

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 1, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) today announced that it has made a proposal to the Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) Board of Directors to acquire all the outstanding shares of Yahoo! common stock for per share consideration of $31 representing a total equity value of approximately $44.6 billion. Microsoft’s proposal would allow the Yahoo! shareholders to elect to receive cash or a fixed number of shares of Microsoft common stock, with the total consideration payable to Yahoo! shareholders consisting of one-half cash and one-half Microsoft common stock. The offer represents a 62 percent premium above the closing price of Yahoo! common stock on Jan. 31, 2008.

“We have great respect for Yahoo!, and together we can offer an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online services market,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “We believe our combination will deliver superior value to our respective shareholders and better choice and innovation to our customers and industry partners.”

Our lives, our businesses, and even our society have been progressively transformed by the Web, and Yahoo! has played a pioneering role by building compelling, high-scale services and infrastructure,” said Ray Ozzie, chief software architect at Microsoft. “The combination of these two great teams would enable us to jointly deliver a broad range of new experiences to our customers that neither of us would have achieved on our own.”

The online advertising market is growing at a very fast pace, from over $40 billion in 2007 to nearly $80 billion by 2010. The resulting benefits of scale along with the associated capital costs for advertising platform providers make this a time of industry consolidation and convergence. Today this market is increasingly dominated by one player. Together, Microsoft and Yahoo! can offer a competitive choice while better fulfilling the needs of customers and partners.

“The combined assets and strong services focus of these two companies will enable us to achieve scale economics while reaching R&D critical mass to deliver innovation breakthroughs,” said Kevin Johnson, president of the Platforms & Services Division of Microsoft. “The industry will be well served by having more than one strong player, offering more value and real choice to advertisers, publishers and consumers.”

The combination will create a more efficient company with synergies in four areas: scale economics driven by audience critical mass and increased value for advertisers; combined engineering talent to accelerate innovation; operational efficiencies through elimination of redundant cost; and the ability to innovate in emerging user experiences such as video and mobile. Microsoft believes these four areas will generate at least $1 billion in annual synergy for the combined entity.

Microsoft has developed a plan and process that will include the employees of both companies to focus on the integration of the combined business. Microsoft intends to offer significant retention packages to Yahoo! engineers, key leaders and employees across all disciplines.

Microsoft believes this proposed combination would receive all necessary regulatory approvals and expects that the proposed transaction would be completed in the second half of calendar year 2008.

Microsoft is also committed to working closely with Yahoo! management and its Board of Directors as they, along with Yahoo! shareholders, evaluate this compelling proposal. “

What will Google make of this?    (See a related article from October 2007 –

The CRM User Group

January 29, 2008


 22 February 2008, Microsoft, London

The CRM user group will be holding another meeting at the Microsoft Offices in London on the 22nd Feb featuring…

  • Microsoft CRM Case Study including links to Map Point
  • Pearls of Wisdom from the First Month of Working with CRM V4
  • Q&A on CRM V4 including members of Microsoft’s CRM Team.

 For full details visit:-

Microsoft Outlook – Creating Contacts and Categories

November 9, 2007

If you have been following this Blog you will know that I now use Mindjet’s MindManager 7.0 Pro software as a “hub” for all my interactions with Microsoft Office.  However, I still use Microsoft Office extensively and have recently been asked how to create CONTACTS in Outlook and how to use CATEGORIES effectively…

The following screenshots are for Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 but the basic principle will work for all previous versions – the key difference in 2007 is that CATEGORIES can have colours assigned to them, whereas in Outlook 2003 you had CATEGORIES and EDIT LABELS as separate entities. 

1. From CONTACTS, create a new CONTACT via File, New and complete all the relevant information


 2.  In Outlook 2007 – Choose an appropriate CATEGORY from the CATEGORIZE button.  If none of the CATEGORIES are suitable you can delete, rename and create NEW ones:-


Once you have assigned a CATEGORY (or several) by ticking them, click OK and that CONTACT will have the coloured CATEGORIES visible at the top.

In Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, as mentioned above, colours were separate from Categories (colours were called labels and are in Edit, Labels) … in the example below I have shown CATEGORIES being applied onto an APPOINTMENT (rather than a CONTACT) but the process is the same for both …


The whole point about assigning CATEGORIES to either APPOINTMENTS or CONTACTS is that you can then, in the future, extract all appointments or contacts PER CATEGORY by simply changing the VIEW.  It is an incredibly efficient way of sub-setting or analysing by CATEGORY … you just need to plan ahead and consider how you might need to view and create all the necessary Categories.

In Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007, you can VIEW by CATEGORY… this screenshot shows the Calendar by Category …


To reverse the process, choose VIEW, Current View … and the top item from the menu … which will set you back to the default screen.

Another useful aspect of CATEGORIES is that in Word, the mail-merge feature can use Outlook to merge to a particular sub-set.  Therefore, if you want to merge to a particular group of your contacts you simply need to assign a CATEGORY or CATEGORIES to those people and have them on screen, then open up Word, start the merge process and when asked what data to use … simply choose Outlook and you will be able to use the Current View which will contain the correct names and addresses.