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Exam 70-355 Universal Windows Platform – App Data, Services, and Coding Patterns (beta)

Exam 70-355
Universal Windows Platform – App Data, Services, and Coding Patterns (beta)

Skills measured
This exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical tasks listed below. View video tutorials about the variety of question types on Microsoft exams.

Please note that the questions may test on, but will not be limited to, the topics described in the bulleted text.

Do you have feedback about the relevance of the skills measured on this exam? Please send Microsoft your comments. All feedback will be reviewed and incorporated as appropriate while still maintaining the validity and reliability of the certification process. Note that Microsoft will not respond directly to your feedback. We appreciate your input in ensuring the quality of the Microsoft Certification program.

If you have concerns about specific questions on this exam, please submit an exam challenge.

Recognize and apply a specified design pattern
Describe the relationship between architecture, design pattern, and framework
Recognize common architectures and when they should be used, recognize common design patterns and when a pattern can be applied to make programming tasks faster and easier

Describe traditional Microsoft .NET design patterns
Describe the Gang of Four design patterns, including creational patterns, structural patterns, and behavioral patterns; describe 3-tier/N-tier patterns; describe enterprise patterns; describe cloud design patterns; describe head first patterns; describe repository patterns; describe unit of work patterns

Apply the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) Prism pattern
Separate concerns, develop the views for the MVVM app, develop the view-models for the MVVM app, develop the models for the MVVM app, develop class interactions and data binding for the MVVM app

Develop app and business logic, code that interfaces with other line-of-business (LOB) apps, and LOB Server Services (AD, SP)

Develop code for app-specific processes and computations
Create an asynchronous method or process, managing the return value from an asynchronous method, debugging and error handling for an asynchronous method, develop storyboards and custom animations for an object, represent 3-D models as code objects, manage 2-D projections of 3-D objects, use Task, ThreadPool, and background transfers

Implement background tasks
Create a background task, register a background task, set and respond to triggers, debug a background task, implement a lock screen app, share data/events between an app and its background tasks; directly calling a background task

Manage app lifecycle events
Prepare for suspension, resume from suspension or termination, implement an extended splash screen, extend execution and monitor suspension errors

Implement interactions with other apps
Integrate a share contract to share content with another app, integrate contact and appointment functionality, implement mapping and navigation (geolocation, geofencing, and Bing Maps), exchange data/file between apps, including launch for result; use drag and drop

Implement notifications and Windows Push Notification Services (WNS)
Implement and manage notifications; support Live Tile updates, including toasts and badges, support Action Center and secondary tiles

Implement interactions with devices
Develop code for camera and microphone, including photo, video, and audio; implement screen capture; implement printing and Play To; integrate HoloLens sensors and services; support

wireless communication
Develop class libraries (code libraries, DLLs)
Naming assemblies, namespaces, types, and members in class libraries; using static and abstract classes, interfaces, enumerations, structures, and other types; designing and using properties, methods, constructors, fields, events, operators, and parameters; implementing extensibility mechanisms such as subclassing, using events, virtual members, and callbacks; designing, throwing, and catching exceptions

Develop code for implementing secure cloud data services and storage

Design and implement data roaming
Roaming user settings and preferences, roaming app session info
Design and implement a RESTful data solution (oData, JSON)
Using the ASP.NET Web API, implementing JSON serialization, adding a service reference to the project, using Windows.Web.Http.HttpClient objects
Design and implement Azure and cloud data sources
Implement offline data sync, implement caching, support OneDrive integration, implement file access and management (including File Picker and file access APIs), upload images to Azure Storage

Integrate Azure data services
Call a custom Cloud Service API from a client, schedule backend jobs in Mobile Services
Design and implement removable and embedded local data sources
Support SD card storage, implement SQLite on mobile devices

Develop code to implement authentication and business security requirements
Implement code to manage authentication and identity
Web authentication broker; Azure authentication; implement code to manage identity; implement biometric identity verification, including Windows Hello; implement Credential Locker, implement single sign-on
Implement code to manage authorization and access to resources
Implement authentication requests; authorize users and apps; manage authorization IDs; restrict access to resources, including data, files, folders, and devices
Implement cryptography within an app
Create cryptographic keys, hash and sign content, create message authentication codes, encrypt and decrypt data
Support enterprise security considerations
Implement security transparency, implement code access security, implement role-based security

Integrate cloud services and Azure App Service services
Build native and cross-platform apps using services
Integrate Azure App Service mobile app functionality within an existing mobile app, use a .NET client with Mobile Services, call a custom API from a client
Connect to your enterprise systems using services
Build a service that uses an existing SQL database, connect to an on-premises SQL Server from an Azure mobile service using hybrid connections, scale mobile services backed by Azure SQL database, authenticate your app with Active Directory Authentication Library single sign-on, add role-based access control to mobile services with Azure Active Directory, access Microsoft SharePoint on behalf of the user, schedule backend jobs in mobile services, troubleshoot a mobile services .NET backend
Connect to SaaS APIs using services
Implement single sign-on using credentials from third-party identity providers, build a service that uses MongoDB as a data store
Build offline-ready apps with sync using services
Allow employees to work offline when connectivity is not available, synchronize with your enterprise backend systems when devices comes back online, recover in the event of a disaster
Push notifications to users using services
Add push notifications to your app, send push notifications to authenticated users

Develop code that is maintainable and that supports app versioning, compatibility, and coexistence
Develop code using version control (TFVC or Git)
Develop code using a standardized coding convention, implement best practices for assembly versioning
Implement best practices for assemblies and side-by-side execution
Use strong-named assemblies, including version, culture, and publisher; use the GAC to provide version-aware storage; create an app that runs in isolation
Implement best practices for assembly placement and the GAC
Using an app configuration file, using codebases, providing a binding context

 

 

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15 Top Paying Certifications for 2013

15 Top Paying Certifications for 2013
Randy Muller, Global Knowledge Instructor, MCT, MCSE, MCSA, MCDST

Having earned an IT certification, many individuals think they are automatically entitled to a huge raise. The truth is that several factors, including geography, industry, experience, and yes, certifications, combine to play a major role in determining an individual’s salary. However, certain certifications do have greater impact on the earning potential of an individual. Here, we take a look at the 15 certifications with the highest earning potential for 2013.

Note: The rankings below are derived from certifications that received the minimum number of responses to be statistically relevant in the Global Knowledge annual salary survey completed in October 2012. Certain certifications pay more, but are not represented due to their exclusive nature. These include CCIE: Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert and VCDX: VMware Certified Design Expert, for example.

1. PMP: Project Management Professional – $105,750
The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) credential is recognized as the most important certification for project managers. It is globally acknowledged, in heavy demand, and highly sought after by corporations and individuals alike. A Project Management Professional designation demonstrates that you have not only the experience but also the education to successfully lead and direct projects. The PMP credential is for experienced project management professionals, as the qualifications and testing for this certification are rigorous, as are the required continuing education requirements. All of these factors ensure that the PMP credential is widely respected. The PMP experience and exam requirements focus on five process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling, and Closing.

2. CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional – $103,299
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential is primarily intended for security managers and profes¬sionals who develop policies and procedures in information security. The CISSP certification has become the gold standard in information security certifications and education. Earning and maintaining a CISSP certification is required for many government, military, and civilian security positions. The CISSP was the first credential in the field of information security, accredited by the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) to ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Standard 17024:2003.

3. MCSD: Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer – $97,849

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer is the new Microsoft developer certification that replaces the old Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer certification. The new certification validates a candidate’s ability to design and build application solutions. These solutions may span multiple versions of a single technology or integrate multiple technologies. Developers are expected to analyze and design enterprise solutions using different Microsoft languages and development tools.

Currently, there are three separate certification tracks for those seeking to earn this certification: MCSD: Windows Store Apps, MCSD: Web Applications, and MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management. Each MCSD track requires anywhere from three to six separate exams. Microsoft has introduced a recertification requirement for the new MCSD. Current certification holders will have to recertify every two years, ensuring that they remain current on the base technology that will have changed due to service packs, revisions, and new product releases. (Those holding MCSE certifications will have to recertify every three years).

4. MCDBA: Microsoft Certified Database Administrator – $95,950

Access to information is critical in today’s fast-paced, global environment. Corporations are even more dependent on quick and reliable systems to process and retrieve information. This means they must operate their own database servers and business intelligence software to access this information in order to grow and become more successful, and Microsoft Certified Database Administrators (MCDBA) are the ones who provide this expertise. An MCDBA-certified individual has proven his or her ability to design, implement, and manage SQL Server 2000 databases. This certification was retired on September 30, 2012, though if you achieved it before that date it will still appear on your transcript as a legacy certification. There are two new MCSE certifications for SQL 2012: Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Data Platform and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Business Intelligence.

5. CCDA®: Cisco Certified Design Associate – $94,799

The Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) indicates that the certified individual has a strong foundation and apprentice knowledge of network design for Cisco converged networks. A CCDA certification is for network design engineers, technicians, and support engineers, who enable efficient network environments. The CCDA-certified individual has the skills to design a routed and switched network infrastructure and services involv¬ing LAN, WAN, and broadband access for businesses and organizations.

6. MCAD: Microsoft Certified Application Developer – $93,349

The Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) credential provides industry recognition for professional developers who build powerful applications using Microsoft Visual Studio .NET and Web services. Responsibilities include implementing requirements, developing, testing, deploying, and maintaining department-level applications components, Web or desktop clients, or back-end data services by using Microsoft tools and technologies. The MCAD certification is appropriate for Programmers, Analysts, Software Engineers, Software Application Specialists and Application/Software Developers.

7. VCP-DV: VMware Certified Professional Datacenter Virtualization – $92,400

Virtualization, and those who are knowledgeable on virtualization products, are in heavy demand, especially those professionals with datacenter virtualization skills. In the highly competitive virtualization market it is essential to distinguish yourself with a certification that validates your technical capabilities. VMware is one of the leading vendors of virtualization products and earning a VMware certification is the first step toward gaining industry-recognized expertise in virtual infrastructure. Earning the VCP-DV certification demonstrates that you have not only completed a VMWare-authorized training course but also have the necessary experience and training to successfully install, deploy, scale, and manage VMware vSphere environments.

8. CNE: Certified Novell Engineer – $91,350

The Certified Novell Engineer (CNE) shows that those certified individuals have the expertise and knowledge to solve advanced company-wide support problems and high-level network problems. They perform planning, installation, configuration, troubleshooting, and upgrade services for networks. The Certified Novell Engineer (CNE) has been recognized as one of the IT industry’s leading certifications for advanced networking and troubleshooting professionals.

9. ITIL v3 Foundation – $90,900

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITILv3) is a foundational process that provides for quality IT Service Management. The success of ITIL is through the use of documented and proven processes that cover the entire Service Lifecycle. The ITIL Expert level is the third of four levels. The ITIL Expert level certification is aimed at those individuals who are interested in demonstrating a superior level of knowledge of ITIL Version 3 (v3) in its entirety. Once you have achieved ITIL Expert level you will also satisfy the pre-requisite entry criteria for the ITIL Master Level; the highest level of certification within the ITIL v3 scheme, though the Master level is still under development.

10. CCA: Citrix Certified Administrator – Citrix XenServer 6 – $90,850

The Citrix CCA is an entry-level certification. Earning this certification validates the candidate’s skills with one of 11 specific Citrix products, the most popular being XenApp, XenDesktop, and XenServer. The Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) for Citrix XenServer 6 certification validates the certified individual’s ability to effectively install, configure, administer, troubleshoot, and maintain XenServer 6.0 Enterprise edition and Provisioning Services 6.0 in an enterprise environment.

11. MCITP: Database Administrator – $90,200

The MCITP certification validates that the IT professional is capable of deploying, building, designing, optimizing, and operating technologies for a particular job role. MCITP certifications builds on the technical proficiency measured in the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certifications. In order to earn the MCITP: Database Administrator you must first pass the Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist certification in SQL Server 2008 (by passing the 70-432 exam) and then pass the 70-450 exam. The MCITP Database Administrator demonstrates knowledge of SQL Server instances and database solutions, database server security solutions, high availability databases, backup and recovery solutions, monitoring strategies, database management and maintenance strategies, and data distribution strategies.

12. MCTS: SQL Server 2005 – $90,100

Those who have earned the MCTS: SQL Server 2005 certification are IT professionals who may pursue careers as database administrators, database developers, or business intelligence developers. They may also be people who do not work with Microsoft SQL Server as a part of their primary job functions but who want to show their breadth of technology experience, such as developers, systems administrators, and others. This certification validates that the IT professional can implement and maintain databases by using specific instructions and specifications.

13. MCT: Microsoft Certified Trainer – $89,949

Those holding the Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCTs) certification are the premier technical and instructional experts on Microsoft technologies. An MCT has earned at least one premier certification on a Microsoft product and maintains that certification. Some of the benefits of earning and maintaining an MCT include access to the complete library of Official Microsoft Learning Products; substantial discounts on exams, books, and Microsoft products; members-only newsgroups and online community resources; and invitations to exclusive events and programs. MCT’s must renew each year by completing an online application, pay an annual fee, and meet a number of program requirements to renew your certification for the coming year.

14. CCNP®: Cisco Certified Network Professional – $89,749

There are two tracks available at the Associate and Professional levels – Designing and Networking. The Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) demonstrates that you have the ability to plan, implement, verify, and troubleshoot local and wide-area enterprise networks. A CCNP-certified individual is expected to work collaboratively with other Cisco specialists on advanced products such as security, voice, wireless, and video solutions.

15. CCA: Citrix Certified Administrator – Citrix XenDesktop 5 – $89,499

The Citrix CCA is an entry-level certification. Earning this certification validates the candidate’s skills with one of 11 specific Citrix products, the most popular being XenApp, XenDesktop, and XenServer. The CCA for Citrix XenDesktop 5 certifies the expertise required to install, administer, and troubleshoot an enterprise environment containing a XenDesktop implementation, including Provisioning Services, XenServer, XenApp and the Desktop Delivery Controller
Summary

Earning a certification does not guarantee that you will walk into a higher paying job. Certification counts, but employers look at several factors, including experience. There was a time when certification holders were reasonably assured of landing a job. Today it is more of a qualifier – not having a certification means you may not even get an interview.
About the Author

Randy Muller (MCT, MCTS, MCSE, CEH) is an instructor with Global Knowledge, specializing in teaching Microsoft Office 365, Exchange, Lync Server as well as Windows Server 2008.


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The Rewards of Microsoft Certification

 

Microsoft certification is a vast combination of rich and varied spectrum of job and responsibilities. To successfully perform the critical IT function we should earn a specific credential providing objective validity of the ability. One of the most effective ways to reach a long-term career goal, which is even embraced by industry professionals worldwide, is Microsoft certification.

 

What are the benefits of achieving a Microsoft Certification?

Microsoft Certification enables you to keep your skills relevant, applicable, and competitive. In addition, Microsoft Certification is an industry standard that is recognized worldwide—which helps open doors to potential job opportunities. After you earn your Microsoft Certification, you have access to a multitude of benefits, which can be found on the MCP, MCT, or MOS member site.

 

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Advancing with long-term career goals Microsoft certification has helped countless IT professionals work more effectively. Individuals have started quoting their valuable experiences during the Microsoft certification course on the websites available. The professionals of Microsoft certification course are very different from the IT counterparts. They not only keep on fighting the challenges of IT field but also have keep themselves a step ahead from them by developing and improving their skills. These certification processes gives one a kind of knowledge to know how to get recognized in any field.

 

The professionals of Microsoft certification are called at the Microsoft certified professionals or MCP. For the this Microsoft certification they have to pass current Microsoft certification exam which will proved a reliable and valid measure of professional and technical expertise. The validity of a current exam is only considered and not which is retired. Microsoft certification exams reflect how Microsoft products are used in the organization.

 

Microsoft certification exams are developed from the inputs received from the IT industry professionals. The independent testing organizations administer these exams. There is one very big reason why IT professionals and developers become Microsoft certified professionals is that they all know that their clients, peers, employees and the IT industry shall acknowledge their expertise in working with the Microsoft products and technologies.

 

There are various steps towards obtaining Microsoft certification. Firstly, one should decide which Microsoft certification is correct for the person. As Microsoft offers a vast variety of professions within the IT industry one should understand which course would be the best for him. One should also get handy with the Microsoft products, which can be done only after working in the IT industry. Experience should be expanded with training by taking advantage of the training resources.

 

For obtaining Microsoft certification, it is also better to know what to expect in the exam. Previous question papers or taking consultation from those who have appeared or cleared the test is always a good choice. Taking helps from the help guides for Microsoft certification exams is also an added advantage. These help provide guidelines and suggestions to the person appearing for the exam. It is also suggested to take trial tests before appearing for the final exam. The test center should be selected from the worldwide locations. Also certain details like area of study, testing program and region etc should be mentioned.

 

If your ready for career change and looking for Microsoft MCTS Training, Microsoft MCITP Training or any other Microsoft Certification preparation get the best online training from Certkingdom.com they offer all Microsoft, Cisco, Comptia certification exams training in just one Unlimited Life Time Access Pack, included self study training kits including, Q&A, Study Guides, Testing Engines, Videos, Audio, Preparation Labs for over 2000+ exams, save your money on boot camps, training institutes, It’s also save your traveling and time. All training materials are “Guaranteed” to pass your exams and get you certified on the fist attempt, due to best training they become no1 site 2012.

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About The Author

Hi I educated in the U.K. with working experienced for 5 years in multinational companies, As an IT Manager and IT Instructor, I am attached with certkingdom.com here they provide IT exams study material, the study materials included exams Q&A with Explanation, Testing Engine, Study Guides, Training Labs, Exams Simulations, Training Videos, Audio Exams Training, etc. for certification like MCTS Training, MCITP MCTS, MCSD, MCSA, MCSE  Training, CCNA exams preparation, CompTIA A+ Training, and more Certkingdom.com provide you the best training 100% guarantee. “Best Material Great Results”
My Specialties

I’ve worked with a lot of technologies, but these are where my focus has been in recent years:

* Microsoft SQL Server (particularly high availability and disaster recovery)

* VMWare Virtualization

* Oracle (yes, Oracle, I’ve worked on 7-11)

* Microsoft Clustering

* Red Hat Linux (I can still write shell scripts)

Bluetooth in Brief

Bluetooth is a radio or wireless technology designed for short range data communications in the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) band. The frequency range is from 2.402Ghz to 2.480Ghz, with the available frequency sprectrum being broken up into 79 x 1Mhz wide bands.

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Bluetooth was designed by Ericsson as a short range wireless connectivity solution and is used to build Personal Area Networks, or PANs as they are known so that devices in close proximity can pass information. Typical examples being a mobile phone downloading data to a Personal Computer or a mobile phone earpiece communicating with the phone itself.
The technology behind Bluetooth is known as FHSS (Frequency Hopped Spread Spectrum), where the datastream is broken up into small pieces, each containing several binary bits of data which are transmitted in a pseudo random sequence over a series of up to 79 frequency bands. As Bluetooth has developed and matured, a number of data modulation schemes have been used to modulate the data onto the radio carriers including GFSK (Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying), DQPSK (Differential Quadrature Phase Shift Keying) and 8DPSK (8-ary Differential Phase Shift Keying). The development and use of the different modulation schemes were an attempt to increase the data rates of the system.
So how does Bluetooth operate?
Two or more Bluetooth devices that establish a connection (and share a channel) form a small wireless network known as a Piconet, with up to eight devices, forming the piconet . One device becomes the Master station, can join a Bluetooth piconet. Normally the device which initiates the connection will be the Master and other devices joining the PAN will be slaves. The master passes a Frequency Hopping Synchronisation (FHS) packet to any slaves containing its address and clock. The address of the Master Bluetooth device is used to determine the hop sequence and all slaves use the Master Clock to determine which frequency to transmit or receive on at any given time.
A group of piconets are referred to as a Scatternet, with each individual piconet having a unique hopping sequence, determined by it’s Master’s address. If a collision occurs where two devices transmit on the same frequency, a device will just retransmit the data on the next frequency hop. Although this can ultimately affect the performance and data rate of the transmission, it is the accepted method, just like collisions are a way of life in a shared Ethernet network when a hub is in use.
Devices can be a member of multiple piconets by using each Master address to determine the hopping sequence for each network, but can only be the Master for one piconet. The access method used by Bluetooth devices is known as TDD (Time-Division Duplex) where each device (Master and Slave) share the same frequency and are allocated a timeslot during which to transmit. A master will normally use even-numbered time slots and the slave will use odd numbered timeslots.
There are two types of transmission links normally supported by Bluetooth, known as SCO (Synchronous Connection-Orientated) and ACL (Asynchronous Connectionless Link). General Bluetooth operation uses ACL, where the packet and payload length will determine how many timeslots are required. Because ACL is Connection-Orientated, packets that are not acknowledged will be automatically retransmitted, abeit on a different timeslot or timeslots. Forward error correction can be employed as an option and although the data delivery may be more reliable, the data rate will reduce accordingly depending on how error prone the environment is at the time.
Voice over Bluetooth normally used an SCO link, where the voice data is sent over a number of reserved timeslots within an already established ACL link. Retransmissions do not occur on an SCO link as this could cause a number of problems, least of all latency and jitter. However, forward error correction can be used to provide a degree of reliability. There is an Enhanced version of SCO that can employ retransmission in some circumstances.
The latest version of Bluetooth, version 4 and all previous versions of Bluetooth have been designed to be backward compatible with previous versions, so no worry about using older devices with the newer Bluetooth devices.
The Bluetooth technologies have allowed us to provide fast data communications between devices that are in close proximity (within a few metres) without the need for a cable running RS-232 protocol for example and so have provided us with mobility free from the constraints imposed with the use of copper wiring.

Cloud platform supports product development activities

OneDesk collects feedback and ideas from internal sources and social media; a new API allows it to integrate with apps from NetSuite, Oracle, SAP and Salesforce.com.

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When you talk about the sorts of internal collaboration activities that companies of any size need to support, those related to product development should be right up near the top of the list.

That’s why your organization might want to take a peek at a platform called OneDesk, a cloud-based application that is explicitly intended too coordinate product managers, engineers, marketing teams and even customer support professionals.

I spoke a few weeks back with Catherine Constantinides, one of the OneDesk team members, a few weeks back about how the platform might be used and the sorts of features that are included.

She describes it as a place for companies to declare and manage all the “needs requirements” associated with a given product or product development project.

Internally speaking, there are places to share ideas for the next releases, which can bubble up from anywhere. As some of these ideas are embraced for future features, the team can track the progress as well as any challenges or objections that might occurs along the way.

From an external perspective, OneDesk can be used to monitor and gather feedback about a product that is emerging in social media or social networks.

Ultimately, the main benefit is that all feedback — whether it is internal or external — can be gathered and searched from one location. “You can see all of the requirements, feedback and tasks associated with a particular product release,” Constantinides said. Then again, you can turn off any particular module that isn’t relevant to your organization.

There are two flavors of OneDesk, one that is free, which supports up to 30 people within a company (which is great if you are small small business) and that comes with up to 100 megabytes of data storage. OneDesk Pro will cost your organization $30 per user, per month. That essentially pays for the much larger storage capacity each users gets, up to 1 gigabyte per person.

For midsize businesses that need to worry about such things, OneDesk just released an application programming interface (API) that enables its application to be integrated with enterprise resource planning and CRM applications including Oracle, SAP, Salesforce.com and NetSuite (they aren’t the only applications supported, but are among the most relevant, of course).

RIM’s new CEO wants to focus more on consumers

RIM’s new CEO, Thorsten Heins, wants the company to improve its product development while also becoming better at marketing, he said during a conference call on Monday.

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Heins is taking over from Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, who had co-CEO roles and will remain with the company.

“I pledge to do everything possible to exceed the expectations of all of the company’s shareholders,” said Heins.

RIM’s decision to pick its new CEO from within the company makes it clear that it won’t budge from current strategy, which is based on its acquisition of the QNX operating system, according to Geoff Blaber, analyst at CCS Insight. QNX is already used on its PlayBook tablet, and will also be used on its smartphones with the arrival of BlackBerry 10, Blaber said.

“Eighteen months ago Mike and Jim took a bold step when we had to make a major decision around our future platform, and they purchased QNX to shepherd the transformation of the BlackBerry platform for the next decade,” Heins said. “Right now, with PlayBook 2.0 coming out in February, we are more confidant than ever that this was the right path to go.”

At first, Heins will focus on improving the company’s marketing efforts, which include hiring a new chief marketing officer as soon as possible, and the way it develops products.

“We need to be more marketing driven, and we need to be more consumer-oriented because that is where a lot of our growth is coming from,” said Heins.

RIM will also change how it develops products. The company has been innovating while developing the products, and that needs to stop, Heins said.

Innovation will take place with much more emphasis on prototyping, and RIM has great teams that can try new ideas out, he said.

“But when we say a product is defined … execution has to be really, really precise, with no churn in existing development programs,” said Heins.

Heins didn’t address rumors about RIM being acquired, but emphasized that its current model is the way forward.

“I will not in any way split this up or separate it into different businesses,” said Heins, adding that while he will listen to anyone who wants to license BlackBerry 10, it is not his main focus.

Picking a new CEO from within was the right decision, according to analysts.

“Heins has been the COO for some time. He has been at RIM for over four years now, and he has been leading the current product transition,” said Blaber. “It will be about delivering on the strategy they have already embarked on.”

Pete Cunningham, analyst at market research company Canalys agreed: “RIM has been stagnating and needed an injection of fresh leadership.”

Bringing someone in from the outside would have been riskier, according to Cunningham.

The big challenge now is to get BlackBerry 10 smartphones to market as soon as possible. In December, RIM said it would not start selling phones with the software platform until the “later part” of 2012, because it wanted to wait for the arrival of more advanced chipsets.

“It is hard to see that a change of leadership at the company can accelerate that schedule terribly much,” said Cunningham.

Products based on the BlackBerry 10 platform were expected to arrive earlier, and the delay has hurt RIM, according to Blaber.

“The reality is that creating a new platform, albeit be it on a pre-existing operating system in QNX, was always going to take some time,” said Blaber, who thinks that the development of the PlayBook distracted RIM’s engineering department to the detriment of new smartphones.

Another of Heins’ main challenges will also be to help RIM regain some of former glory in the U.S. The company watched its market share drop from 24 percent in the third quarter of 2010 to just 9 percent in the same period last year, according to Canalys.

However, the picture for RIM in other parts of the world is more positive. The Middle East and Africa and Southeast Asia were particular bright spots during the third quarter, Canalys said.

“There are a number of markets where BlackBerries are still selling really well, but the problem RIM has that everyone is focused on the U.S. market, and that is where is has taken a real beating,” said Cunningham.

It is likely to get worse before its gets better for RIM. Just like vendors such as Sony Ericsson, Motorola Mobility and HTC RIM struggled during the fourth quarter.

RIM has its BlackBerry World conference coming up at the beginning of May. That will be one of the first opportunities for Heins to present his vision for the company, and bring back some excitement.

“But that will not be an easy job,” said Cunningham.

Oracle calls school’s revised lawsuit over software project a ‘transparent ploy’

Oracle is asking a judge to throw out some of the claims made in a lawsuit filed against the vendor by Montclair State University over an allegedly failed ERP (enterprise-resource-planning) software project, according to a filing made this week in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

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MSU sued Oracle in May 2011, blaming the vendor for a series of problems and delays on the PeopleSoft project, which was supposed to replace 25-year-old legacy applications. The parties had signed a US$15.75 million contract for software and implementation services in 2009.

The New Jersey school ended up firing Oracle and has said completing the project will cost up to $20 million more than the original budget. Oracle has countersued, seeking money it says MSU owes it and blaming school officials for the project’s woes.

In December, the school filed an amended complaint that added new allegations, including that Oracle had conducted a “rigged” demonstration of the software package at issue.

Oracle’s motion this week responds to that filing, asking that its allegations of fraudulent inducement, gross negligent misrepresentation, grossly negligent performance of contractual obligations and willful anticipatory repudiation of contract be dismissed.

The school’s initial complaint “was premised on the alleged breach of the Consulting Agreement between Oracle and MSU,” Oracle wrote in its filing this week. “Now, recognizing that there was no breach by Oracle and that the contract contains valid and enforceable limitations of liability, MSU has conjured up claims which completely contradict the allegations it filed initially.”

This amounts to a “transparent ploy” that “fails as a matter of law because, try as it may, MSU cannot avoid the fully integrated, extensively negotiated contract which covers the exact terms that form the basis of MSU’s new tort claims,” Oracle added.

MSU’s amended complaint includes claims of wrongdoing by Oracle that are “directly contradicted by a number of contractual provisions,” according to the filing.

For example, the school had alleged that Oracle said its base PeopleSoft system for higher education institutions would satisfy 95 percent of MSU’s more than 3,000 business requirements.

But “the Consulting Agreement makes clear, however, that 596 of the 3,071 requirements laid out in Attachment C-1 of the Fixed Price Exhibit were ‘Not in Scope,’ that 60 of the requirements were designated as ‘Undefined,’ and 52 of the requirements were to be met by customization of the base product,” Oracle said. “Thus, the Consulting Agreement provides that roughly 23% of MSU’s requirements were not to be met by the Oracle base product.”

Oracle’s motion also denies MSU’s allegation that the software vendor misrepresented how much MSU staff and resources would be required to finish the project on Oracle’s proposed schedule.

Once again, the parties’ consulting agreement contradicts the allegation since its wording “put the onus on MSU, not Oracle, to assure that MSU had the required personnel and resources,” the filing states.

If the school can provide documentation for all of its allegations in the 60-plus-page amended complaint, “they’re going to be in a real strong position,” but it’s not yet clear how the case will play out, said one IT consultant and expert witness who has testified in several cases involving Oracle software.

For example, the amended complaint included a long list of original project requirements. “Many of them are stated in general enough terms that it’s entirely possible there was a legitimate misunderstanding on the part of Oracle as to what those requirements involved,” said the consultant, who requested anonymity because of current involvement in another case regarding Oracle.

To that end, Oracle’s motion to dismiss cites an “assumption” in the consulting agreement regarding the project requirements.

If the base PeopleSoft product could do “what” a particular requirement called for, but not “how” MSU wanted it addressed, “it is MSU’s responsibility to change MSU’s business process to accommodate how the base product’s business process addresses the requirement,” the motion states.

“It’s entirely possible when you look at what was delivered it will be a judgment call, rather than a clear-cut determination, as to whether what Oracle delivered met those requirements or not,” the consultant said.

MSU plans to oppose Oracle’s motion, according to a spokeswoman, who declined further comment.

Overall, the case presents a cautionary tale for vendors and software customers.

“This is why both sides should document the process,” said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research. “When a project goes down, fingers point everywhere.”

Lumia 900 release window confirmed

One of the hottest devices to be announced at CES 2012 was Nokia’s Lumia 900. Nokia and Microsoft already gave us the lowdown on the big brother of the Lumia 800, but one detail that they left out was a release date. All we had to go on was “the next few months.” Now it appears that we can narrow down that timeframe: the Lumia 900 will be launching on AT&T in March.

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The info was spilled via the Nokia Developer portal. In an otherwise typical press release announcing the Lumia 900, it is revealed that the Lumia 900 “will become available exclusively through AT&T in March.”

The Lumia 900 is, by most people’s measures, a gorgeous phone. Its polycarbonate build is complemented by a 4.3-inch display that uses ClearBlack technology for darker darks. Its software is the real deal too, sporting the latest edition of Windows Phone, version 7.5 Mango. The Lumia 900 will run on AT&T’s burgeoning LTE network.

Microsoft and Nokia wanted to wait until after the 2011 holiday season to launch the first fruits of its collaboration. This was allegedly because it wanted to have its own moment in the spotlight. This may prove to be a smart strategy: apart from maybe Intel’s Medfield announcement, the Lumia 900′s unveiling may have been the biggest smartphone news to come out of CES 2012. March shouldn’t be a crowded field for big smartphone releases, though the expected release of the iPad 3 will surely dominate tech headlines in that month.

There still isn’t any pricing info for the Lumia 900, but it would be wise for Nokia and AT&T to keep it at $200. Verizon’s annoying habit of pricing its new LTE phones at $300 may work for the Android fans who always want the latest-and-greatest. But it wouldn’t be a wise pricing strategy for a platform that’s still unfamiliar to most Americans. $200 would match it up evenly with the iPhone, which is a comparison that Microsoft and Nokia will gladly accept.

CES 2012: Following the new startups

Whenever I go to a large show such as CES, I always try to make time to look around on the fringes of the show, where the small and (hopefully) up-and-coming companies are. This year, the CEA pointed directly at some very early startups with its Eureka area, which featured companies and products which (at least most of them) aren’t quite ready for prime time, but which show potential for the future.

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Many of the companies seemed to be approaching tech from a for-fun point of view. For example, a company called Modular Robotics was showing electronic building blocks it calls Cubelets, which it is marketing as a toy for children but which I think not a few adults wouldn’t mind spending some time with — you attach power blocks, sensor blocks and action blocks together to make small robots that move, light up or perform other actions.

Another company was creating small robotic vehicles that used smartphones as the driving intelligence. Romotive lets you either preprogram your smartphone — Android or iOS — to drive a small wheeled device in a preprogrammed pattern, or you can use your tablet to direct its movements. According to one of its representative, Phu Nguyen, kits are now being sold to developers, and they hope to come out with a consumer-ready product in another year or so.

Another not-quite-ready startup showing at the Eureka area was nVolutions, which was developing cases that would power up your mobile phones using a small wheel attached to the back of the case that powers it via a spinning motion. It’s an interesting idea, certainly; one of several companies trying to figure out how people can keep their smartphone batteries going without having to constantly search for a power source.

Whether nVolutions, or any of the other startups showing this year, will make it will be interesting to follow. I’m glad that, despite the overwhelming presence of large companies at CES, there are still tiny, ambitious developers out there ready to enter the fray.

Speeding up the computer running on Windows 7

Windows 7 have numerous design, performance and security enhancements over its predecessors. Still new or old computers running on Windows 7 face sluggishness in their performance. Be n number of reasons if an old computer is working slowly but what for a new one. A Windows OS have numerous performance settings, which are set to default in a new machine. In this write up, we will discuss how you can speed up a computer running on Windows 7. Let us have a look upon them.

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Low RAM
The first and foremost thing about the performance is hardware configuration. Make sure to have an adequate amount of RAM in the computer. If it seems low then you can also think to upgrade it. The minimum required RAM to install Windows 7 is 1GB but it is recommended to have 3GB RAM for optimal performance. If you working as a photographic professional or facing slow computer problem then have a look at this option too. You can consult an expert at Windows 7 Tech Support to know the minimum amount of RAM required as per your configuration and requirements.

Limiting the startup
Almost each application is designed to load at startup with the Windows automatically in order to have maximum use and fast launch. However, this option lets the Windows to start the computer slowly. The bottom right corner of your screen nearby the clock is the system tray. Here, all the programs loading on startup will appear. You can also click the arrow icon to see the hidden programs.

One can use Microsoft Startup System Configuration utility or Autoruns to block the programs from loading on startup. Blocking unnecessary applications can decrease the startup time but selecting the system default utilities can stop the proper functioning of associated programs. Therefore, it is recommended to have expert assistance for limiting the startup.

Cleaning up the junk
Use Disk Cleanup to remove the unwanted, temporary, and system-generated junk files from your computer. This will also let you to remove the unnecessary old system log and empty the Recycle Bin. Removing these files helps your processor to work faster and focus only the work related files.

Performance Troubleshooter
Go to Start menu and click Control Panel. Type ‘troubleshooter’ in the search box, click ‘Troubleshooting’ in ‘System & Security’. Now, select ‘Check for performance issues’. This will open the Performance Troubleshooter Wizard. Follow it step by step to analyze the performance issues. If you’re not able to understand or resolve the problem then it is the time to buzz Windows 7 tech support.

Virtual Memory
As the name suggests, it is the virtual memory assigned on the primary or secondary disk drives for the system work. Windows recognizes this area as primary memory. It is recommended to assign 1.5 times of the RAM as minimum and 2 times as maximum amount of virtual memory. By default, it is selected to be assigned automatically by Windows. Set the virtual memory properly from 1.5 to 2 times of RAM and see a difference between in the computer performance after a restart.

Conclusion
You can follow above steps to optimize the performance of a Windows 7 computer. If it still runs slow with these steps then it is advised to take help of third-party Microsoft Support for resolving this performance glitch in your computer.