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Doug's Mailbag: Windows Phone Impressions, Mainframe Thoughts

One reader shares his experience with a new Windows Phone 7 device:

I bit and bought a Samsung Focus Windows Phone over the weekend. I had been reading quite a bit about it and have been following Paul Thurrott's experiences with it as well. After verifying that it would do what my company requires for phone security, I gave up my iPhone 3Gs. I figured, worst case, I could get my iPhone fix from my iPad. With only having it a few days, I have to say I'm impressed with the first version. I especially like how the e-mail/calendar functionality works. Especially the calendar. I hate the way the iPhone's calendar works and rarely use it to set up appointments. I'd simply wait until I had my Outlook client. The look and feel of the Windows Phone is sleek and easy to use.

Are there things that I'd like to see in the Windows Phone? Yep. And I believe that I will get them in the not-so-distant future. Applications are far behind, but most of the ones I used on the iPhone are already available and there are hundreds of new apps being added to the store every day. In another six months I believe that the Windows Phone will begin cutting into the market share of the iPhone and Android, at least from an enterprise perspective.

 P.S. This is only based on usage over the weekend. We'll see how it works in the weeks to come.

  Doug asked about your mainframe strategy and thoughts. Here are a couple responses:

Today's "mainframe" is not the same thing as the massive MVS-based boxes of the 1980's. Instead, A GREAT DEAL has changed!

"Microcomputers" did not replace mainframes, they replaced Selectric typewriters and ledgers with word processing and electronic spreadsheets.

The mainframes of the 1980s were transaction processors for moving customer data around and making it accessible to anyone with a direct-connected terminal attached to it.  Today's "mainframes" also do transaction processing but now they run Unix or Linux and they provide data access to anyone connected to the Internet -- provided they have the credentials which permit that access.

It's true that during the 1980s, microcomputers (especially those from Sun Microsystems, HP and others running various flavors of Unix) permitted smaller transaction processing systems to be distributed to offices and desktops and those systems have now been returned to the machine room -- mostly due to security concerns and the availability of centralized maintenance, common resources and support, but today most of those "mainframes" are really racks of blade servers, with each of those physical servers housing a dozen or so "virtual servers."

Logically, the distributed model of computing that grew out of the 1980s is still distributed into small to medium desktop-like services which are physically housed together in a single location -- often housed on a single physical box, but they are individual virtual servers just the same.

This is "the cloud" and it will prevail -- but so will desktop systems when versatility, flexibility and bandwidth needs trump the need for economies of scale.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Sorry Doug, I just couldn't resist since I got my start on IBM 360s and 370s using COBOL 74.

000030 AUTHOR. Webster.
001300 BEGIN.
001400   DISPLAY "I completely agree with you." LINE 15 POSITION 10.
001500   STOP RUN.
001700   EXIT.

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Posted by Doug Barney on 11/17/2010 at 1:18 PM


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