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  1. Drewidian's Avatar
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       #1  
    Hi all,

    This is a letter I sent to Paul Thurrott and I'd like to get your opinions about it. Feel free to be critical. I can take it. :D

    Hello Mr. Thurrott,

    First I'd like to say thanks for all of your hard work over the years. I've been watching Windows Weekly since Episode 3, and felt you've done an excellent job covering the topics in a moderately unbiased fashion. While you do have your own opinions (most of which I agree with), I've always felt that they were well thought out and insightful. OK... enough of the praise and on to why I've contacted you.

    I recently had a conversation with a friend who wanted to migrate from his iphone 4 to WP7. I showed him all of the interesting and cool things I could do with Zune, XBox games (a couple that were XBox live games that were ported over), email, etc. When he asked me about books, I showed him the Amazon app which was pretty good in comparison to the ios version. He liked what he saw since he had only Amazon books, but I started to think that this is one place WP7 could and should be beating Apple and Google. A number of IOS users buy their apps from many different sources and get it "aggregated" to their Newsstand. I started thinking about a WP7 take on this using hubs and came up with a couple of ideas.

    I think there should be two separate hubs to cover print and web media. A "News and Information" hub could aggregate news from RSS feeds, Weather, News Apps, and have pivots for Favorites, New/Breaking/Now (not sure what to call it), Top Stories. Anytime a person clicks on an aggregated topic or link it would pass that info to the associated application such as the CNN, MSNBC, or Fox. RSS feeds would open a specified RSS App or a web page of the article if so specified by the application. Due to deep linking coming in Mango, I'd allow for pinning of articles or even any of the pivots to allow quick access to your important media. Perhaps it is even possible to set up standard sections such as Technology, Entertainment, etc. and aggregate the information to those sections of the hub. There are literally a dozen different ways to go with this.

    Another separate hub would be a "Periodicals/Bookshelf" hub. Obviously it is where you would aggregate magazines, newspapers, books, and other traditional print media. Following a similar model as the News and Information hub, this one would have pivots for Magazines, Books, and Newspapers, and have a Favorites and New pivots. The new pivot would show new issues (user specified) and could of course be pinned as well. Again opening an issue would open the respective app through which it was purchased. This one would also allow for users to synchronize their media with Skydrive and allow for a person to go to any of the 3 screens to resume, keep bookmarks, and save issues that would be linked to your Live ID to avoid the pesky copywrite issues. MS could add a new section to the Zune software to allow for purchasing of subscriptions of Newspapers, Magazines, Comics, etc., and due to it being in the Marketplace, could be downloaded to multiple devices or the Skydrive. On Skydrive, I'd have a folder for the hub and subfolders for each subscription.

    Thanks for reading this. Any thoughts or opinions?

    Best Regards,
  2. gibbyhome's Avatar
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    #2  
    I like it , good Idea.
  3. Luisraul924's Avatar
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    #3  
    Digging the news and weather hub, not so much the books/article one though. I don't think it'd see enough widespread use to demand Microsoft's attention to create the hub. The news and weather... effin everybody would use that one lol.
  4. Drewidian's Avatar
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       #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Luisraul924 View Post
    Digging the news and weather hub, not so much the books/article one though. I don't think it'd see enough widespread use to demand Microsoft's attention to create the hub. The news and weather... effin everybody would use that one lol.
    Alright... Imagine if School books and magazines had the same shelf space on your phone, computer, and tablet. Now picture it with the ability to have it linked to course outlines, class schedules, and homework assignments. Imagine if you will MS doing a Chrome like tablet deal with Office 365, Skydrive integration, a Bookstore, and access to Skype/Lync virtual classroom video chat? I think that would be a deal that neither Apple or Google could match. I work at a college where we already are partnered with MS to provide e-mail accounts for all of our students. We are currently considering Office 365 to be rolled into the tuition for the students at a very low cost(probably $15/student). Once they leave the college, they will have the option to extend it, but they will always keep their e-mail address forever. Lots of potential. Its all about the ecosystem and getting people to use it.
  5. Rhody#WP's Avatar
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    #5  
    I think they're both good ideas. I wouldn't use the book/magazine one but I still think it would be a valuable feature to provide, and enough people would use it to devote resources to create a hub.
  6. Luisraul924's Avatar
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Drewidian View Post
    Alright... Imagine if School books and magazines had the same shelf space on your phone, computer, and tablet. Now picture it with the ability to have it linked to course outlines, class schedules, and homework assignments. Imagine if you will MS doing a Chrome like tablet deal with Office 365, Skydrive integration, a Bookstore, and access to Skype/Lync virtual classroom video chat? I think that would be a deal that neither Apple or Google could match. I work at a college where we already are partnered with MS to provide e-mail accounts for all of our students. We are currently considering Office 365 to be rolled into the tuition for the students at a very low cost(probably $15/student). Once they leave the college, they will have the option to extend it, but they will always keep their e-mail address forever. Lots of potential. Its all about the ecosystem and getting people to use it.
    **** well when you put it that way then **** yeah it would be useful. The first description you gave wasn't too in depth and came off as a simple book reading service to me, but when you add the SkyDrive integration and other stuff for school then **** yeah it would be awesome.
  7. Rhody#WP's Avatar
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    #7  
    I'm surprised MS didn't make the hubs pluggable so you can select what you want. For example, the people hub could have a twitter plug-in, a linkedin plug-in, or even a myspace plug-in. The picutres hub could have a flickr plug-in, a photobucket plug-in, or a picasa plug-in.

    That way your ideas would be very useful. The book/magazine hub could include kindle, zinio, etc. Think of the implications for Windows 8.
  8. dtboos's Avatar
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    #8  
    The news & information hub is a no brainer to me. I have no doubt it will come in time. When? Thats up in the air as I haven't heard anything about it.
  9. jimski's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by dtboos View Post
    The news & information hub is a no brainer to me. I have no doubt it will come in time. When? Thats up in the air as I haven't heard anything about it.
    But unless I can select every individual feed, like I can with Weave, wouldn't work for me. As long as I does not eat data except when I open it, ok though.

    Sent from my HTC Surround using Board Express
  10. dtboos's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by jimski View Post
    But unless I can select every individual feed, like I can with Weave, wouldn't work for me. As long as I does not eat data except when I open it, ok though.

    Sent from my HTC Surround using Board Express
    I'm thinking more along the way the game hub is designed. Just a place that all those type of apps congregate in one hub. To get feeds would require opening of the actual app from within/ with voice commands ect.
  11. jimski's Avatar
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by dtboos View Post
    I'm thinking more along the way the game hub is designed. Just a place that all those type of apps congregate in one hub. To get feeds would require opening of the actual app from within/ with voice commands ect.
    Ok, now I got it. But that sounds like an extra step for me. I use 2 apps for 95% of my news, both pinned to Start, and with the new live tile deep linking coming with Zune, pinning will be evn more interesting. And not ready to give up my Weather Channel live tile to the hub. But again, don't mind if Microsoft adds it, as long I am not required to use it.

    Sent from my HTC Surround using Board Express
  12. Luisraul924's Avatar
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    #12  
    Wow all these complications! Why not just a nice double wide live tile with the weather off to one corner of the tile, and news headlines taking center stage with both of them cycling through different cities for weather, and different headlines for news. Simple enough layout, then within the hub show the news and weather details as well as a settings area that allows for setting cities for weather, feeds for news, and whether you would like news articles to be downloaded via 3G and WiFi, or WiFi only. I know that might seem complicated but think about it and it starts to become very consistent with the OS in terms of its simplicity.
  13. dtboos's Avatar
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    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by jimski View Post
    Ok, now I got it. But that sounds like an extra step for me. I use 2 apps for 95% of my news, both pinned to Start, and with the new live tile deep linking coming with Zune, pinning will be evn more interesting. And not ready to give up my Weather Channel live tile to the hub. But again, don't mind if Microsoft adds it, as long I am not required to use it.

    Sent from my HTC Surround using Board Express
    And thats probably why its not there. Some people only use one or two apps. I have 7 news apps so it would be nice not to have to take up so much of my home screen just for those. And I don't want to keep them all in the app list as they are all over the place alphabetically.

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