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Monday, May 18, 2009

Microsoft - bearer-aware applications are the way forward

I just listened to an ultra-detailed and very informative presentation by a technology planning director for Windows Mobile. Irrespective of the current lagging commercial status of WinMob in today's market, I was hugely impressed with the vision.

In particular, it was the most coherent presentation I've heard about the future split of mobile app functionality between device and server ("the cloud"). Various examples were cited of using LTE as a way to offload processing from phone to network, such as realtime voice and image processing, which would overwhelm most handset's chips and batteries.

There was also a discussion of using the handset as a web server - which given that I heard almost exactly the same thing from Nokia at the Telco 2.0 event last week, suggests to me that it's likely to be a big deal quite soon.

He also put up one of the few slides I've seen at a public conference that acknowledged the important future role of both connection manager and some way of exposing information about radio bearers. It mentioned the magic words for APIs that give "Notification of radio states & options" and "Ability for apps to choose radio options".

This is precisely what I've been talking about for several years, and to be fair, it's also something that fits in with Symbian's Freeway architecture and some of the bearer-aware iPhone apps I've seen.

In Q&A he also agreed with me on femtocell awareness - ie applications ideally being able to distinguish between femto & macro (& WiFi) connections and behave differently. (This was one of the main topics covered in the Disruptive Analysis Femtocell-Aware Handsets report a while back)

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