From Transportation to Pixels

“Finally, we believe in honesty in design. A user interface is created of pixels, so in Metro we try to avoid using the skeumorphic shading and glossiness used in some UI’s that try to mimic real world materials and objects.”

In the Windows Phone Design Team blog, the history and the future of the Metro design language, the way WP7 UI was designed, is briefly explained. Some people find it “simplistic” but as an instructional designer I know how difficult it is to produce something simple and useful. As a very good friend, and one of the best designers I’ve ever met, always says: form follows function.

The Windows Phone 7 Series UI Design and Interaction Guide is available for download as a PDF from here.

You can also watch the video and read the slides of session CL14 at MIX10: Windows Phone UI and Design Language



Green technology isn’t just a trend and Lenovo has the first certified laptop

Lenovo had some problems with Greenpeace in the past, but it seems that they learned their lesson well. UL announced that it has issued its first-ever Gold level Sustainable Product Certification for the laptop category to the Lenovo ThinkPad T420, scheduled to be launched later this year. This UL Environmental SPC Gold certification indicates a product has met the most stringent and prestigious of three levels of compliance in the industry-wide sustainability standard for laptops, IEEE 1680.1.

UL Environment tested the ThinkPad T420 to IEEE 1680.1 criteria including reduction or elimination of environmentally sensitive materials in product and packaging, energy conservation, end-of-life management and corporate environmental practices.

I’m waiting for my T420s. You know, the thinner, lighter, faster edition…

Lenovo ThinkPad T420 Is First Laptop To Get UL Environment’s Gold Certification.

Ανάπτυξη παιχνιδιών για συσκευές με Windows Phone 7

Διαβάστε τι λέει ένας έλληνας developer, o Μάριος Καραγιάννης, για τις εμπειρίες του από την ανάπτυξη 2 παιχνιδιών για WP7. Δοκιμάστε και εσείς, δεν είναι κάτι εξωτικό… 

“Για πρώτη έκδοση πάντως, πιστεύω ότι η Microsoft, αν και αργά, (ξανά)μπαίνει πολύ δυναμικά σε μία αγορά που πολλοί λένε ότι έχει χάσει ήδη. Αν σκεφτούμε ότι το iOS 1 (τότε iPhone OS) δεν είχε καν τη δυνατότητα εγκατάστασης εφαρμογών (το App Store εμφανίστηκε στη δεύτερη γενιά iPhone), ενώ η πρώτη έκδοση του Android (για όποιον την είχε δει ποτέ) δεν είχε τα πιο βασικά πράγματα, πιστεύω ότι υπάρχει και μερίδιο και μέλλον για όσους θα έχουν την υπομονή να μπουν τώρα που είναι νωρίς, χωρίς να περιμένουν πολλά ως αντάλλαγμα.”


Διαβάστε όλο το κείμενο στο Ανάπτυξη games για Windows Phone 7 smartphones.

Nokia and Microsoft – an unholy alliance?

We are living in interesting times… Nokia and Microsoft are “shaking hands” on many different things and not just a smartphone OS platform.

Till now they were considered to be “enemies” even though they had already agreements on Exchange and Office technologies. Starting from today, they are discussing about Ovi Maps and Bing (Nokia owns Navteq, one of the big two mapping companies – the other one is TeleAtlas owned by TomTom), XBox Live on Nokia devices, Bing Search and adCenter on Nokia devices and services.

Time will show if this strategic alliance can bear fruit or just cost money and lost jobs. The only certain thing is that competition is increasing and this is good for all of us. Some people in key positions are losing their sleep…



Today’s press release:

Nokia and Microsoft announce plans for a broad strategic partnership to build a new global ecosystem
February 11, 2011

Companies plan to combine assets and develop innovative mobile products on an unprecedented scale

Nokia Corporation
Stock exchange release
February 11, 2011 at 9.30 (CET +1)

London, Feb. 11, 2011 – Nokia and Microsoft today announced plans to form a broad strategic partnership that would use their complementary strengths and expertise to create a new global mobile ecosystem.

Nokia and Microsoft intend to jointly create market-leading mobile products and services designed to offer consumers, operators and developers unrivalled choice and opportunity.  As each company would focus on its core competencies, the partnership would create the opportunity for rapid time to market execution.  Additionally, Nokia and Microsoft plan to work together to integrate key assets and create completely new service offerings, while extending established products and services to new markets.

Under the proposed partnership:

– Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.

– Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone.  Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.

– Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.

– Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities.  Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.

– Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services.   For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience

– Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.

– Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.

– Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

“Today, developers, operators and consumers want  compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great  experience,” Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO, said at a joint news conference in London. “Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race.”

“I am excited about this partnership with Nokia,” said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale. The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute.”

Please visit for press materials.

About Nokia

At Nokia, we are committed to connecting people. We combine advanced technology with personalized services that enable people to stay close to what matters to them. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people connect to one another with a Nokia device – from mobile phones to advanced smartphones and high-performance mobile computers. Today, Nokia is integrating its devices with innovative services through Ovi (, including music, maps, apps, email and more. Nokia’s NAVTEQ is a leader in comprehensive digital mapping and navigation services, while Nokia Siemens Networks provides equipment, services and solutions for communications networks globally.

Nokia and Microsoft have entered into a non-binding term sheet. The planned partnership remains subject to negotiations and execution of the definitive agreements by the parties and there can be no assurances that the definitive agreements would be entered into.


Nokia – Press Release.

European Union’s ‘One charger for all’ is the final solution

The end to multiple chargers…

I wonder how Apple will handle EU’s requirement for micro-USB connectors. They have to show a solution till the end of 2011. The text below says: “For phones that do not have a Micro-USB interface an adapter is allowed under the Memorandum of Understanding.” Interesting. Is this the reason the iPad cannot be used as a phone? Normal chargers cannot support its power needs so a simple adapter wouldn’t be a solution.

IP/11/136 Brussels, 8 February 2011

Manufacturers deliver the common mobile phone charger

Have you ever been annoyed for not being able to borrow a friend’s or a colleague’s mobile phone charger because it wasn’t compatible with your phone? This era is coming to an end. A common charger compatible with mobile phones of all brands is the simple idea that the Commission has been pushing for many years. Thanks to the cooperation between fourteen companies and the European Commission the solution is there: New technical standards for data-enabled mobile phones were published on 29 December 2010. Today, Vice President Antonio Tajani receives a sample of a compatible common charger from Bridget Cosgrave, Director-General of DIGITALEUROPE, the largest Association of European digital technology industry.

“I welcome the roll out of new chargers for mobile phones based on the new EU standard. This is genuine good news for the European consumer. Now we await the arrival of the new charger and compatible mobile phones on the shelves. I urge industry to speed up their introduction in the market to enable citizens throughout the EU to enjoy the advantages of a common charger as soon as possible” said European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship.

Today marks the start of an implementation process triggered by the European Commission. The support of the Commission has enabled manufacturers to deliver this benefit to European consumers in a relatively short period of time. The EU has achieved the common charging solution using a common-sense approach that benefits everyone – without the need for any new regulation. The European Commission will work with industry so that European consumers can profit from the initiative as soon as possible.

The publication of the standards in December 2010 means that mobile phone manufacturers can now proceed with required design and testing changes for chargers ensuring compatible phones are safe and interoperable. Compatible data-enabled mobile telephones of different brands can now operate with the same common charger – a big step forward for mobile phone users. The fourteen manufacturers have agreed to introduce the new common mobile phone chargers onto the European market in the course of 2011.

The common charger is a tangible proof of how standardisation can facilitate the life of Europeans. Standardisation is one of the key elements that the Commission promotes to untap the potential of the Single Market, as put forward in the Annual Growth Survey of January 2011.


Incompatibility of mobile phone chargers causes not only inconveniences for users, but is also an important environmental issue in the European Union. Mobile phone users who wish to replace their mobile phones are often required to purchase a new charger, regardless of the condition of the existing one.

Following a request from the European Commission, fourteen major mobile phone manufacturers agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to harmonise chargers for data-enabled mobile phones sold in the EU. The MoU signatory companies include Apple, Emblaze Mobile, Huawei Technologies, LGE, Motorola Mobility, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Research In Motion (RIM), Samsung, Sony Ericsson, TCT Mobile (ALCATEL mobile phones), Texas Instruments and Atmel.

Following a mandate from the European Commission, the European Standardisation Bodies CEN-CENELEC and ETSI issued the harmonised standards to be adhered to by data-enabled mobile phones compatible with the new common charger as of 2011. The common charger solution is based in the Micro-USB connector technology. For phones that do not have a Micro-USB interface an adapter is allowed under the Memorandum of Understanding.

The agreement covers data-enabled mobile phones, i.e. those that can be plugged into a computer to exchange for example pictures, files and music. Data-enabled mobile phones are already predominant on the market. So called smartphones are a segment of data-enabled mobile phones.

Adobe prepping “Creative Suite 5.5 Digital Publishing” for iOS, Android development

Flash has finally entered iPhone and iPad through the back door. Flash Pro CS5 is already packaging flash apps for iOS but don’t expect to have the exact functionality (and performance) you can have on a desktop machine. Especially animations are very sloooow… We are waiting the next Flash Player version from Adobe and their new suite CS5.5. As they promised, it will be optimised for mobile devices. Let’s see.