TELUS introduces Canada’s first Online Internet of Things (IoT) marketplace

Canadian Business has been slow to warm up to Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

Canadian companies have been slow to adopt Machine to Machine wireless technology. Despite all the promise that the technology offers for improved efficiency and increased profits, the market for connected devices has not had significant growth. The market adoption is slow even though the Internet of Things (IoT) is a huge tech buzzword.

TELUS introduces IoT Online Marketplace

In order to take a leadership position in the IoT market, TELUS has created an online Internet of Things marketplace. It is the first online marketplace in Canada that features technology from cutting edge IoT solution providers.

At its launch the IoT marketplace includes solutions for industries such as fleet management, restaurant management, retail, construction, pipeline safety and more. There are 38 individual solutions in the marketplace.
The goal of the marketplace is to make it easy for businesses to discover oportunities to use IoT solutions in their operations.

Some examples of IoT solutions in the TELUS marketplace:

ScreenScape Connect allows you to turn any TV with an HDMI port into a digital sign which will display any message you like. A great solution for promotional messages in high trafficked business.

Think!Wireless is a solutions provider that can help a business optimize its retail traffic patterns inside its store. By knowing the flow of traffic through a retail store a business can maximize their merchandising effectiveness and improve security and reduce losses from theft.

CommandWear is situational awareness platform that allows you to monitor your team and communicate with them in real time. The data is saved and the situation can be reviewed at a later time.

SensorSuite provides a complete solution for monitoring your building. The temperature, air quality, energy, service and security. This solution offers improved building management to property managers.

blueRover offers a solution to the restaurant industry which gives managers real time access to information about their locations. The SafeFood application can monitor air temperature, food temperature, humidity, handheld temperature probes, deep fryers, dishwasher temperature, doors opening and closing and water flow of sinks. This information makes complying with food safety regulations easier.

To see the other solutions available from Telus go to the Telus IoT Marketplace.

Distracted Driving Law in BC

Why is British Columbia cracking down on distracted driving?

 

British Columbia Hands Free Driving Laws

 

  •  Distracted driving causes more fatalities than drunk driving and is the 2nd leading cause of death in motor vehicle accidents. Speeding takes the number 1 spot.
  • More than 50 000 distracted driving tickets were issued in 2013.

 

The British Columbia Hands Free Driving Legislation is often misunderstood.

It isn’t good enough to use a hands free device like a bluetooth headset or visor mount.

Even if you have integrated bluetooth in your car you still aren’t necessarily in compliance with the law.

In order to be compliant with the law you will need to meet other conditions.

If you phone is loose in your vehicle you are not permitted to touch it. You can answer your phone with a single touch to your bluetooth headset or a single touch to a visor mount hands free device. But if you touch your phone without it being properly affixed to the dashboard or windshield (without obstructing your view) of the vehicle then you are breaking the law.

Also, if you are using a headset you must have it on your ear prior to starting to drive. If you receive a call and you are not already wearing your headset it is illegal to put the headset on while driving.

Text messages may only be sent using voice activated technology. You may set up your phone to read you text messages and you may dictate text messages to your phone.

Using an electronic device while stopped at a red light is still an offence.

So as you can see there is more to hands free driving laws in BC than buying yourself a bluetooth headset.

Make sure you are covered because the penalty in BC is steep. As of Oct 20, 2014 the Provincial Government amended the Motor Vehicle Act regulations to add a penalty of 3 points against a driver in addition to the $167 fine. Previously the points and the fine only applied to drivers caught texting while on the road.

The penalty covers watching movies, programming a phone’s GPS and operating hand held musiic players like iPods and other mp3 players. Basically any handheld electronic device can land you $167 fine and 3 points against your license.

And the points can get expensive really fast. Points remain on your driving record for five years and can result in further penalties as they accumulate. If you have too many points you can lose your license.

If you have more than three points you will have to pay a penalty of $175 on your insurance premiums. Six points will get you a $300 premium and of course the fines are on top of the point premiums.

Link to the legislation:

http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/osmv/shareddocs/electronic-devices-while-driving.pdf

Under the definition of using an electronic device, there is a complete ban on a driver:

  • Holding, operating, communicating or watching the screen of a hand-held electronic communication device
  • Sending or receiving text messages or email on any type of electronic device.
  • Holding, operating, communicating or watching the screen of a hand-held electronic computing device, one of the purposes of which is to process or compute data.
  • As well, B.C.’s distracted driving legislation prohibits drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) from using hands-free devices.

So the bottom line is don’t ignore the safe driving legislation in British Columbia. It could hurt your pocket book and it could hurt you or someone else if you get in an accident as a result of distracted driving.

 

Ask SIRI to read text messages while driving.

Siri can do some amazing things. Ask it what song is playing and it can access the Shazaam database and tell you the song. Ask it how many calories are in the food your are eating and you may order something else. Even ask it how many planes are flying overhead! You ask and SIRI answers.

Siri can also help you to be a safer driver.

 

The importance of Hands Free Driving:

Have you ever seen someone driving their car while reading emails or text messages? Hopefully you aren’t doing this!

People are doing this all the time and our streets have become danger zones as a result. Distracted driving has resulted in a lot of unnecessary damage and loss of life.

Ultimately, the best option is not to use your phone while you are behind the wheel. But if you must be available then it is important to use the right technology to keep yourself and others safe.

The first thing you should do is make sure you have a good hands free system in your car.

If you have an integrated Bluetooth Handsfree system in your car then all you have to do is pair your phone to the car and your good to go.

If you don’t have a built in Hands Free system in your car there are a lot of portable bluetooth hands free car kits available at a reasonable price.

Here are some examples:

 

bluetooth Handsfree visor mount

The Jabra FREEWAY Bluetooth Speakerphone

 

 

 

 

 

Depending on where you live the Hands Free Driving Legislation will determine what equipment you need to purchase. For example, some jurisdictions will not allow suction cup car mounts that attach to the windshield. However, most hands free driving laws require that your device is not loose in the car.

Ok… now you are set up to safely make and receive phone calls in your car.

Note: Some studies show that this may not be the case.

 

Can SIRI read SMS messages to me while I drive?

The safest option is to only use your phone when the vehicle is safely parked on the side of the road. If you are going to drive while making voice calls then as long as you have a hands free system with a car mount for your phone you should be safe and legal.

But what if you need to receive text messages while driving?

Maybe you are a courier that gets pick up notifications delivered by SMS. If you had to pull over every time you get a message it could affect your productivity. And in most jurisdictions it is not legal to hold your phone to read texts even while stopped at a red light.

If you have an iPhone you can set SIRI up to read your text messages or emails to you while you are driving. This way you can comply with the hands free driving laws in your area.

 Here is how to set up SIRI to dictate your SMS messages to you while driving:

First press and hold the home key and simply say, “Siri, read my text messages.”

SIRI will proceed to read your SMS message and when finished will ask if you want to reply. You can say yes or no.

You can also say… no, read the next one. And if you have another message SIRI will read it as well.

If you want to be completely hands free then you’ll want to have SIRI always on. This way SIRI will always be listening and you won’t have to hold the home key down to use SIRI. The BC Hands Free Driving Legislation does allow for one touch dialing (if phone is propperly fixed to the dash)  but you’ll need to check your local hands free driving laws.

Using SIRI for outgoing texts while driving:

Ok… what if I want to text my boss and tell him I’m going to be five minutes late.

To use SIRI for send an SMS message to someone all you have to do is press the home key until you hear SIRI is active and say “Text” followed by the name of the person you are texting. If you are texting more than one person at a time say “Text” followed by “Name 1 and Name2″. You need to say AND between all the names in order for SIRI to understand. If the person is not in your contacts then you can say a phone number instead.

SIRI will then open the iMessage app and ask you what you want the message to say.

Dictate the message to SIRI and then SIRI will display the message on the screen and asks you if you would like to send it.

You can say Yes or Send to send the message or you can say Cancel to discard the message.

If you say No, SIRI will ask you what you would like to do with the message.

You can Send, Cancel, Review or Change it.

If you are driving and can’t read the screen then saying “review” is a good choice. SIRI will read you the message and then you can choose to Send it or Change it.

So, if you are not using SIRI while driving I highly suggest that you start now. If you are using an Android Device you can do this too by saying “OK Google”. Blackberry 10 has Blackberry Assist and Windows Phone has Cortana. No matter what Smart Phone you have you will be able to drive safe.

Another option is to use one of the many Safe Driving apps that are available in the App Store. If you use an app that you really like tell us about in the comments below.

Happy Driving!

 

Shaw to Launch city wide WIFI networks

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Shaw abandons plans to launch mobile phone network and opts for wifi instead

Shaw Communications has taken a pounding in their core business by new entrant in the TV market, Telus. TELUS launched its Optik TV platform a couple of years ago and has run a very successful campaign luring clients away from Shaw. With Optik TV a client ony needs one PVR to connect to up to 6 televisions and has cool features like a Smart Phone app that acts as a remote control for the PVR.


5 reasons why Optik TV kicked Shaw’s butt

  1. PVR Anywhere – Telus Optik TV allows you to hook up multiple TVs to one PVR.

  2. The Optik TV Smart Phone app – Available on iphone, android, windows phone 7 and blackberry.

  3. On screen caller id – If you have a land line your caller id displays on the TV Screen so you don’t have to get off the couch.

  4. Excellent user interface – more advanced and user friendly

  5. FREE X-box with Kinnect or FREE Samsung Tablet PC

TELUS came out with a superior product at a competitive price and has almost knocked Shaw out for the count. But Shaw was down but not out and has launched a new Fibre Optik Network which is competitive with Telus Optik TV and now they are going after the wireless data business with city wide wifi networks.

Choosing megabytes over minutes!

Shaw had planned on coming out swinging at Telus by launching a mobile phone network to compete with Telus in its core mobility business. Industry commentators speculated that Shaw would come out gunning for Telus on its own turf. However, deploying a full scale mobile network would cost well over a billion dollars and Shaw has decided to target mobile data usage and will forgo competing in the mobile voice market. A Wi-Fi network of this scale most likely would cost one quarter the price of a wireless phone network.

Shaw has partnered with Cisco to deploy a huge Wi-Fi network that will cover public areas in Western Canada’s major cities. Shaw customers will have internet access on their mobile devices for no additional charge.

The new Shaw public Wi-Fi network will start in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver and will be open for business by April or May of next year.

This move will leverage Shaw’s existing network and provide an extra benefit for choosing Shaw as your home or business internet provider. Wi-Fi access is aimed at the fast growing smart phone and tablet pc market which increases the demand for access to hotspots. The new network will be much more than a series of hotspots and will cover transit lines, stadiums and public venues, parks and busy urban centers.

Shaw is planning to earn advertising fees from the service by using location based delivery of promotional offers.

Would you be more likely to stay with Shaw or switch back to Shaw because of this service?

[post-tiles]

Set Up Your Shaw E-Mail on your Android Phone

How to set up your Shaw e-mail on your Android Phone?

Shaw email can be tricky to set up on any mobile device. I have had a huge response from the “How to Set Up your Shaw e-mail on your Telus iPhone” post so I decided to put up instructions on how to do the same on an Android phone.

Different versions of the Android OS may have slightly different instructions due to minor changes to the menu and manufacturers overlay. However, it should be very similar to this procedure.

These are the instructions for setting up your Shaw email on your Android phone

Shaw Email Setup for Android Smartphone

1. Select the Application icon which should be on the bottom right side of the screen.

2. Select the Email Icon.

3. If you are setting up an email account for the first time the email setup screen will appear. If your shawmail account is not the first email account on your android phone then press menu and choose “Add Account”.

4. In the first box enter your Shaw Email Address

5. the second box enter your Shaw Email Password

6. the bottom of the screen you have two options: Manual Setup and Next. Choose Manual Setup.

7. Choose POP3 Account and enter the following values into the fields.

Username – Enter your full email address.
Password – Enter your email account password.
POP server – pop.shaw.ca
Port – 110
Security type – None

8. Select Next.

The device will connect to the internet and check your incoming settings.
On the Outgoing server settings screen, enter the following values into the appropriate fields.

SMTP server – mail.shaw.ca
Port – 587
Security – TLS (accept all certificates)
Note: Ensure Port is still 587.

9. Select Require sign-in checkbox.
In the Username box, enter your full email address.
In the Password box, enter your email account password.
Select the Next button. The device will connect to the Internet and check your outgoing settings.

10. On the Account options screen, select your Email checking frequency.
Note: Changing frequency will impact battery life. The more frequently you have your phone check for new emails the more it will use your battery.
Under Notify me when email arrives checkbox to see an alert on the status bar when you have new email.

Name your account Shaw Email or another name if you prefer.
Enter your name as you want it displayed in email.

And… Bingo… you’ve got mail.

Let me know in the comments if this works for you!

Kobo Touch e-Reader

The Kobo E-Reader

The Kobo Reader Touch is the e-Reader I use. I like the size and weight and when used with the leather bound case it literally feels just like a book.

The touch screen is responsive and rarely results in a missed page turn. All that is missing from the reading experience with The Kobo Reader (and all e-readers for that matter) is the ink and paper smell.

Oh… and if it is a library book the risk of bed bug eggs is absent as well. ;).


This digital reader features built-in wireless networking for connection to the Internet without wires and preloaded eBooks so you can enjoy reading while you’re on the go.

Having built in WIFI access on an e-reader is a major convenience. While at the airport I was able to download a couple books for the flight without having to tether to my computer. Definitely a must have! The Kobo Touch e-Reader doesn’t have a 3G connection to access the internet outside of a hotspot.



thetitle

  • Features: Memory Expansion Slot, E- Reader Sync, Internet Browser, Wireless, Auto Shutoff, Auto Scroll, Dictionary
  • Built-In Memory Storage Capacity: 2GB (more than 1,000 ebook storage capacity)
  • Display Features: 6″ E-Ink Display; Maximum Resolution: 600 x 800
  • USB 2.0; MicroSD Card Slot; Wireless Standard: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
  • Battery Charge Life: Up to 2 weeks; 1 Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty
image
title Kobo eReader Touch (Lilac) CaseCrown Regal Flip Case (Brown) for New Kobo eReader Touch Edition Kobo Touch Survival Guide: Step-by-Step User Guide for Kobo Touch: Getting Started, Tips and Tricks, Downloading FREE eB
price 129.00 5.21 2.99
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Link More Info More Info More Info

I enjoy reading books using an e-reader. I thought I might miss the feel and smell of a physical book but once I start reading the electronic ink actually looks like paper. And with the leather case on the Kobo it literally feels like a book. Love it!


motorola xoom

Android Honeycomb Tablet

With the entire consumer electronics industry collectively diving into the tablet market we are being flooded with a variety of devices and options to choose from. One of the latest and greatest devices to launch is the Motorola Xoom.

The Xoom sports Android version 3.0, also known as Honeycomb which is the first Android OS designed specifically for the tablet form factor. It has an improved notification panel, easy home screen customization, a desktop like web browsing experience, google mail with two pane user interface (email app offers multipane view and unified email box).

Another feature that is nice is the Micro SD Card slot allowing you to increase your memory or switch out memory cards as needed. The iPad comes with internal memory and that’s all she wrote. No expandable memory.

The Xoom has a 5 MP Camera with Dual LED Flash and HD Video Capture which is pretty much standard now for tablets.

You can transfer information between your computer(s) by tethering to the micro USB port. This port is not for charging, however. The Xoom has a single pin charging port. I’m not sure why you can’t charge with the Micro USB port. Personally, I think it would have been better to charge the device with the many Micro USB adapters I already have. :(
thetitle

Motorola Xoom specs

Optimized document viewing on large 10.1″ HD display – Good sized real estate on the screen. The tablet market seems to be dividing itself up by screen size with the Playbook and Kindle Fire, Kobo Vox and others coming in at the 7″ mark and the Xoom, iPad and others opting for the larger screen space.

A 1 GHz dual-core processor and 1GN DDR2 Ram
OTA upgradable to future tablet software releases

Rapid charge technology lets you charge approx 50% faster which is great for days when you are relying on your Xoom for your entertainment and productivity needs.

Scratch resistant screen – this is great for people like me who tend to be a little rough on the their devices. I still recommend a screen protector though because you can’t be too careful!

Optimize document viewing on the large 10.1″ HD widescreen display (1280 by 800 wvga) and of course, lets not forget to mention the support for Adobe Flash 10.0 This is a big deal for some people who like to have access to websites built using Flash on their mobile devices. The well documented Flash war may be over with Apple holding their hands up in victory but there are still many flash based sites on the internet.

The 2 MP front-facing camera is great for self portraits and for google plus hangouts skype. The HD camcorder with 720p video capture allows you to make some cool movies.

  • The Android 3.0 platform and 1 GHz dual-core processor.
  • It has 10.1-inch multi-touch HD display, 25 ounces.
  • It has 1 GB of DDR2 RAM.
  • It also consists of 802.11b/g/n, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, 2-megapixel front-facing web cam.
image
title MOTOROLA XOOM Android Tablet (10.1-Inch, 32GB, Wi-Fi) Motorola Protective Portfolio Case for MOTOROLA XOOM (Motorola Retail Packaging)
Height 0.5 inch 11.3 inch
Length 9.8 inch 7.56 inch
Width 6.6 inch 0.95 inch
Weight 1.61 pound 0.5 pound
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Feature
  • The Android 3.0 platform and 1 GHz dual-core processor.
  • It has 10.1-inch multi-touch HD display, 25 ounces.
  • It has 1 GB of DDR2 RAM.
  • It also consists of 802.11b/g/n, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, 2-megapixel front-facing web cam.
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How to Sync your iPhone with Outlook or Google?

Sometimes the simplest thing can seem so complicated. All I want is my Outlook to communicate with my iphone and Google Account so everything syncs up and is current. Follow these instructions and you should be good to go!

How do I sync my iPhone with Microsoft Outlook?

First, you need to make sure you have the latest version of iTunes. To do that click on “Help” and “Check for Updates” Once you have the newest version of iTunes…

Plug in your iPhone to your computer using your USB cable and iTunes will launch and connect to your iPhone.

Now, click on iPhone on the left side of the iTunes interface and select the info tab. Pick Outlook in the “Sync contacts from” drop down menu. The other options are Google Contacts, Yahoo Address Book and Windows Address Book. For outlook you can choose which groups you would like to sync.

You will have two Sync Options to choose from: Merge or Replace entries which iTunes determines are duplicates. The resulting sync may contain duplicates that you can manually deal with if you don’t want to risk losing data by merging or replacing the duplicates.

How do I sync my iPhone with gmail contacts and calendars?

To sync your Google Calendar and Contacts with your iPhone you can set up your gmail account as an exchange email account. To do this enter your email information as usual but for the exchange server setting choose m.google.com. Choose Contacts and Calendars when prompted for what you want to sync. Your gmail contacts, calendars and email will then sync with your iPhone.

The other way is to set this sync option up in iTunes just as in the instructions above for Outlook. The only difference is you will choose Google or Gmail and then enter your google id and password when prompted.

To sync your google calendar with outlook you can also use Google Calendar Sync which I covered in a previous post.

 

Let me know if this worked for you in the comments below…

Sync your Gmail Calendar with Outlook

One of the benefits of using a Blackberry device is that it is easy to sync your Blackberry Contacts and Calendar with Outlook. The Blackberry Desktop Software allows you to set up two way sync between your Blackberry and your Outlook on your desktop or laptop computer.

This is particularly important to non tech-savy Small to Medium Sized Businesses (SMB’s). They are used to using Microsoft Outlook and are not ready or willing to move over entirely to Gmail or Google Apps to handle their contacts and calendar needs.

So when a company is thinking about switching over to Android based phones this a big issue. But there is a solution that works well for syncing your Google Calendar with Outlook and it is free and easy to set up. For Contacts it is a little more complicated and requires a third party application or a subscription to a Google Apps account.



How to sync your Gmail Calendar with Outlook?

To sync your Google Calendar (and thus your Android device Calendar) with Outlook you need to download the Google Calendar Sync Application. It is easy to set up and works well. And it is 100% FREE!

Follow this link to the Google Calendar sync application:

http://goo.gl/8vhd

Follow the instructions to install the google calendar sync app and enter your gmail account information and you’ll be good to go!

Syncing Android (Google) Contacts with your Outlook Contacts

So now that you have your Outlook Calendar syncing nicely with your Android phone (and Google Calendar) it is time to do the same with your contacts. The bad news is that a simple free solution is not available from Google and there isn’t much out there for free third party applications either.


If you have an exchange server you will be able to get your Calendar and Contacts syncing via the exchange server. But not all SMB’s have an Exchange Server set up. Some small business owners are looking for an easy and cheap solution to sync their data with Outlook without hiring an IT Professional to manage their small mobile workforce requirements.

How to get my contacts into my Android phone

One solution would be to download the Google Sync app to your current smart phone like a Blackberry and sync your Blackberry Contacts (or other Smart Phone) to Google using this app. This will get your contacts from your smart phone to your Google account and therefore will automatically sync with your Android as well. This option will work to transfer your phone book does not help with ongoing sync between Outlook and your Android phone.

The best solution is to get a Google Apps account. Google Apps is basically a premium Gmail account for business. Google Apps allows you to use your own domain name as your email address and gives you an application similar to the Calendar Application that works for your contacts. A google Apps Account is $50 per year and may be worth the expense if a simple and easy solution is required for your Android phone deployment.

The Google Sync Application for Google Apps is here -> http://goo.gl/1hYvZ

There are other third party applications to sync your Google Contacts with your Outlook Contacts but personally I favor the Google Apps option. However, I’ll list some of these other solutions for you to decide for yourself.

Sync Google Contacts with OggSync

OggSync is an application that costs $29.99 per year and will sync your Google Contacts and Calendar with Outlook.

OggSync stands for Outlook to multiple Google calendar sync. Also, the term Ogg originates from Ogging. Ogging is a multiplayer online strategy term used for a coordinated attack usually from multiple angles to eliminate a particular problem or threat. In the case of OggSync, the problem is disconnected and compartmentalized scheduling. There is only one of you, so why do you schedule your life on two (or more) calendars? Most people have a work calendar (Microsoft Outlook and Exchange) and a personal calendar (Google Calendar).

You may have other software that you use, if so, send an email to support@oggsync.com stating which package you use.

OggSync’s mission is to combine both lives into one manageable view! If you are looking at your Outlook calendar, you should see what you have scheduled personally and professionally, so that you can meet commitments in both sides of your life.

Likewise, if you are looking at your Google calendars, you should see your personal events along with any other business commitments you might have.

Please try the 3 day evaluation period, and then register OggSync. Your registration will enable us to improve the software and develop more solutions like this!

Sync Google Contacts with Outlook using GO Contact Sync

GO Contact Sync is an open source google sync tool.

GO Contact Sync is a tool that synchronizes your contacts between Microsoft Outlook and Google Mail, it removes the hassle of entering details more than once.

GO Contact Sync is still in beta and apparently there are frequent error messages when setting it up. If this happens to you try restarting the application which appears to fix the problem.

Hopefully this information is helpful with getting your information organized and readily available to you both while your in the office and on the road.

If you try the GO Contact Sync option I’d love to hear from you. Did this option work well for you?

Nokia embraces Windows Phone 7 | Turns down Android

Nokia Saves the WP7 Day


Nokia has single handedly saved Windows Phone 7 from potential obscurity. I’m a fan of Windows Phone 7 and recently wrote a post about the TOP 10 Reasons Why I Love My Windows Phone 7. I do have a few concerns and issues with the phone which I will explain in an upcoming post. Despite these issues, I am happy with my phone but unfortunately the market has been slow to adopt Windows Phone 7. It is difficult to wipe out the memory of Windows Mobile 6.5 (and below) I suppose…


Who is happy about this partnership between Microsoft and Nokia?

Of course Microsoft has to be happy with this arrangement. Symbian is the most popular smart phone operating system in the world not because it is a great OS but because Nokia is the dominant brand in Europe. With Symbian being scrapped in favor of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has scored a major coup! By partnering with Nokia, Microsoft has catapulted its mobile OS literally years ahead.

Consumers will benefit as well. With four strong operating systems to choose from it will increase competition and keep innovation alive in the smart phone market.

Developers love the partnership between Microsoft and Nokia because it is easier to develop 4 versions of an app instead of 5. With iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7 and Symbian it adds up to a lot of development work. And to top it off Symbian is the most difficult platform to develop for due to legacy programming issues.

Of course RIM’s Playbook is coming to market which will add another platform to the mix but that is essentially a non issue because Blackberry devices will be QNC devices going forward anyway. So there will still only be five platforms. And RIM may be announcing soon that QNC will support Android apps. Which will also make developers happy!

Nokia turns down Google’s Android:

Nokia was seriously considering going Android but opted for Windows Phone 7 due to fears of Android phones becoming a commodity. Every manufacturer will have one or more Android phones in their roster. So by partnering with Microsoft, Nokia is differentiating themselves from the competition.

Nokia Shareholders Are Not Happy with the Windows Phone 7 Deal

A group of Rogue Nokia Shareholders have published a website with a “Plan B” for Nokia and are attempting to stage a coup in order to dethrown CEO, Stephen Elop. The Group Of Nine have chosen to remain anonymous for now but claim they have interested other Nokia shareholders in their cause. It will be interesting to see if a small group of anonymous shareholders can bring down the board of a major corporation!

Below is The Group Of Nine Shareholders open letter about Nokia and Windows Phone 7:

We are a group of nine young Nokia shareholders. All of us have worked with Nokia in different capacities in the past. We plan to challenge the company’s strategy and partnership with Microsoft in the next Annual General Meeting scheduled for May 3, 2011.

If you elect us to a majority in the Nokia Board of Directors we will pursue the following agenda:

* Return the company to a strategy that seeks high growth and high profit margins through innovation and overwhelmingly superior products with unrivaled user experience.

* Maintain ownership and control of the software layer of the Nokia products. Software is where innovation, differentiation and shareholder value can most easily be created.
* Revamp hiring strategy to target the top young software talent from around the world. Only if Nokia is able to attract and keep the best talent in the industry it will be able to generate the level of innovation that is needed to achieve sustained growth and consistently high profit margins.
* Dramatically increase efficiency by eliminating outdated and bureaucratic R&D practices like geographically distributed software development and outsourcing.
* Avoid at all cost becoming a poorly differentiated OEM with only low margin, commodity products that is unable to attract top software talent and cannot create shareholder value though innovation.

.

If you elect us to a majority in the Nokia Board of Directors we will take the following concrete actions:

* Immediate discharge of Stephen Elop from his duties as President and CEO of the company. Appointment of a new CEO with an international mobile industry background. The new CEO will be committed to carry on the rest of the actions listed below.
* Restructure alliance with Microsoft as a tactical exercise focused primarily at the North American market. Release one or two Windows Phone devices under a Nokia sub-brand. Only if carrier acceptance, sales volumes and profit margins are satisfactory, consider releasing more WP devices and make them available in Europe. Windows Phone will not be the primary development platform for Nokia. The Nokia phones with Windows Phone operating system will simply take advantage of the existing developer tools and application ecosystem already put in place by Microsoft.
* MeeGo will be Nokia’s primary smartphone platform. This is where the bulk of the innovation will happen. If MeeGo does not bring great devices to market at an accelerated pace, this strategy will not work. MeeGo smartphones and tablet devices will offer overwhelmingly superior experiences and applications than iOS and Android based competitor products. To reduce time to market, all MeeGo R&D will be done in-house and in a single geographical location. If necessary, suspend cooperation with Intel and concentrate resources on innovation and releasing new Nokia MeeGo devices to market faster.
* Increase the lifespan of Symbian to a minimum of 5 years. Reap the profits of the existing market share and consumer preference that Symbian already enjoys in Europe and Asia. Increasingly use Symbian to target mid-tier and feature phone segments. Up-sell existing Symbian users to MeeGo. Focus Symbian efforts in specific countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America where Nokia and Symbian enjoy a high level of consumer goodwill and can be sold at healthy margins.
* Developer strategy based on Qt with primary focus on MeeGo, but providing a credible developer story for Symbian. Enable developers to make money by targeting the huge Symbian installed based while simultaneously offering their best user experience on the MeeGo platform. All this with a common developer ecosystem that allows writing and releasing software for both Meego and Symbian with minimal interoperability work.
* End of distributed R&D. Transition to an R&D setup where 90% of all Nokia R&D takes place in only two geographical locations. One of them will be in Finland and the other will be defined later. There will be no more R&D projects with resources in multiple cities and different time zones. Only small tactical software projects will be allowed to take place outside two main R&D locations.
* End of R&D outsourcing. Bring all core software and hardware development in-house. Immediate end to outsourcing structures where there are multiple layers of Nokia project managers and subcontractor project managers between product managers and the software developers (in some cases up to 90% of the team is management overhead). This action implies substantial personnel layoffs in Finland and other R&D locations worldwide as well as hiring of key external talent and possibly tactical company acquisitions.
* Leadership team shakeup. Immediate discharge of Tero Ojänpera, Niklas Savander and Mary McDowell from all their duties with the company. Other members of the Nokia Leadership Team may be discharged pending individual reviews with the Board of Directors. Discharged members of the Nokia Leadership team to be replaced with internal and external talent.
* Aggressively recruit young software talent from top universities. Nokia Recruiting to actively visit top universities worldwide to screen and and invite top students for interviews in Nokia R&D locations. Establish a credible and rewarding technical career progression path in Nokia (to avoid the best talent leaving the company or becoming management overhead). Offer internationally competitive salaries to new talent (if necessary, significantly above local market salaries). Establish Nokia as a company where the best and the brightest want to work.
* Specific further actions related to the S40 platform, the Ovi services and the company’s marketing activities will be determined at a later stage.

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We will update this website with more specific information about this Plan B and about ourselves in the near future. We will also provide specific instructions on how you can support us and make sure this Plan B is approved during the next Nokia Annual General Meeting.

For now, if you are a Nokia shareholder or institutional investor and support this plan, please get in touch with us at investors (at) NokiaPlanB.com. You can also help us by publicly expressing your support for this plan in your website, blog, twitter feed, Facebook page or by issuing a press release.

If you are a Nokia user, Nokia employee, Nokia fan, or if you develop applications for Nokia phones and want to support this proposal, please click on the ‘Facebook Like’ and ‘Tweet’ buttons on this website. We’d also love if you could post links to this Plan B from your blog or website.

A very interesting week in the Mobile Technology world…

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