Thursday, July 26, 2007

Microsoft to Turn Your Windows Mobile 6 Phone into a Sideshow Device

Gadgets on the desktop are a little gimmicky ... But gadgets on ... gadgets are a lot cooler.

I love Windows Sideshow, the technology that gives lets you browse and control your media right on your remote or digital picture frame, or read your email on a watch or a digital fridge magnet -- even (especially!) when the "media" or "mail" apps are really running on your PC and your PC is powered down!

But I don't run Vista on my laptop (a post for another time). And anyway, I don't have any Sideshow compatible devices.

I find myself simulating Sideshow though, with my Windows smartphone: typically email pops up on the phone (via DirectPush) before it gets to my desktop. So I monitor my email on my phone, even when I'm at my desk. It's great to have that extra screen on the phone, so I don't need to bring up Outlook when I'm coding. Same thing with calendar items, contacts, and my notebarn list o' lists. The phone is always more "up-to-date" than desktop Outlook.

Admittedly, though, this isn't the full Sideshow experience.

So I was psyched to come across this thread where Microsoft contributor Dan Polivy writes

"Windows SideShow support is not built in to Windows Mobile 6, but we will be
releasing an application which will enable your WM6 device to work as a
Windows SideShow-enabled device. It's a software-only addition, assuming
your device already has a Bluetooth radio in it. Stay tuned for more
information; our current release target is the 3Q of this year."

This move is a brilliant way to tap into a ready-made pool of millions of powerful devices and enthusiastic users.

Sideshow is only supported on Vista, not XP ... but if I can get Vista in VMWare to see my Bluetooth radio, I might be cooking with gas...

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