News 2/22/10

First off, thanks to everyone who has registered their company with the HIStalk Mobile Resource Guide. If you haven’t done so yet, please take a couple minutes to fill out the registration form.

There’s a great interview over on HIStalk with Cameron Powell, MD, of AirStrip Technologies.

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News 2/17/10

FINALLY! Microsoft announces Windows Mobile 7. And for starters, it’s not Windows Mobile but Windows Phone. Windows Phone 7 Series, to be more precise. By all accounts, the new mobile OS represents a major overhaul to Windows Mobile 6.5 which was released back in October. Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer unveiled the new OS at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The recurring theme during the announcement was – the phone is not a PC, reflecting a major change in the company’s mobile strategy. The biggest and boldest changes? To begin with, the user interface has been completely redesigned. Instead of the small icons that were used as part of the desktop metaphor, the home screen uses “live tiles” which provide dynamically updated, real-time content. The tiles can be customized as quick launches, or links to contacts or applications. The OS places heavy emphasis on social networking with built-in support for managing status updates from multiple sources. Close integration with the XBox allows for LIVE games. Windows Phone 7 Series integrates key elements from the Zune HD as well as the Zune marketplace to support a broad array of video and music, including FM radio. Microsoft is partnering with nearly all of the major carriers, as well as multiple device manufacturers.  The first handsets are expected to hit the market before the holidays late this year.

And if that’s not enough… Nokia and Intel launch a new mobile operating system. The companies merged two of their mobile operating systems to create MeeGo, a Linux-based, open operating system. The new operating system will combine the best features from each of the companies respective operating systems, including the Moblin core (Intel) and the user interface toolkit from Maemo (Nokia). The MeeGo source code, along with the build system and developer tools will be released in the coming weeks. The MeeGo source code will be hosted by the Linux Foundation.

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News 2/12/10

Sorry for the delayed news entry. I am currently traveling and have been somewhat affected by the weather in the Northeast. In fact, my ten year old daughter and I were stranded overnight in Atlanta without our luggage which had been checked through to Seattle. We were stranded because our first flight was delayed close to two hours as the airline scrambled to assemble a crew. Even with the lengthy delay, we still had a shot of making our connecting flight. Halfway into the boarding process, though, all of the overhead bins were full and the attendants spent at least 30 more minutes trying to get bags sent to the cargo hold. So this brilliant policy of charging passengers $20 per bag resulted in dozens of passengers missing connecting flights, additional labor for special handling of bags which ended up in the same place anyway, and a massive inconvenience for everyone. I guess my point is that we still have lots of room for improvement when it comes to mobility.

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News 2/8/10

From Boomer: “Re: iPad. I continue to believe that if Apple put a simple 1D bar code reader on the iphone or iPad that they could open the door to all types of industrial applications.  Cost to do this would be minimal.” You bring up a great point about adding additional functionality on the iPhone or iPad.  In the old days (at least as far as mobile devices are concerned), we used to be totally dependent on the IrDA ports to transfer data wirelessly. There was a point when device manufacturers were moving away from Ir – because it was no longer en vogue in the consumer market. It was roughly at the same time that high speed Ir was becoming available. On one hand the technology was available to really make Ir communication compelling, and on the other device manufacturers were dropping it altogether.  I was convinced, at the time, that it was to save pennies on each device. I made many frustrated phone calls trying to convince manufacturers that not only was the IrDA port important to healthcare, but to all of enterprise mobility.  Thank goodness WiFi had such rapid penetration.

Not sure if you’ve seen the teardown guesstimates on the iPad. Brian Marshall of BroadPoint AmTech has speculated that the 16GB, WiFi-only iPad costs Apple $270.50, leaving $208 in profit per device. At some level, you have to believe that a great deal of thought has gone into the relative value of additional features versus the price elasticity of demand.  I think this just goes to show how these devices, despite their potential in any given industry, are totally beholden to the consumer market.

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News 2/4/10

If your company offers a mobile solution to the healthcare market and would like to be included in the upcoming HIStalk Mobile Resource Guide, please take a couple minutes to fill out the registration form.

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