Tim Elhajj

Off the Microsoft stack!

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Goodbye iPhone, Hello Windows Phone

Windows Phone 7, that is.

I picked up my new phone earlier this week, compliments of Microsoft. I have had it less than a week, but so far I’m impressed. This might be love.

I got my first smart phone last year. Two years prior to that, I picked up my first iPod Touch. As it turned out, having the Touch prior to getting my first smart phone ruined me for Windows Phone 6.5. I kept it for less than a day. I had to give back some of my employee discount and pay AT&T a $35 restocking fee to get an iPhone 3GS, but it was worth it. As I explored Windows Phone 6.5, it would freeze. I had to remove the battery to get it back online. Not that I never had to do that with my iPhone (hello occasional hard reset), but everything seemed so hard compared to the Touch. Not to mention the sexy factor of the iPhone.

But those days seem gone. I got the Samsung Focus (pictured). I love how it feels in my hand, its gorgeous screen. I touch it every day.

If my kids touch it with their sticky fingers, I scowl at them. Shine it up on my shirt.

“Wash your hands,” I say.

But seriously: it’s a sexy phone.

I am experiencing some iPhone related transition pain. For example, I don’t know how many times this week I have touched the Start button to wake it up. And I haven’t gotten all my music or podcasts moved over. But when I’ve found feature discrepancies between the two (no bus routes in maps), I’ve found apps that have more than filled the gap (OneBusAway is an awesome app). Once I get a few more hours with it, I’ll post more about my experience.

For now, I must say I feel proud it’s a Microsoft product.

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What Does Miley Cyrus Have to Do With Harry Potter?


At least, this past weekend these three unlikely partners came together for a few hours.

My division had a morale event for the premiere of the new Harry Potter movie. They rented an entire theater in downtown Bellevue for shows throughout the day Saturday. I love the Potter series and had been eagerly awaiting this movie. Developer division generously provided for me and three guests. And I just so happen to have twelve-year-old twins and a wife who also love Harry Potter.

Meanwhile, Microsoft also opened one of its new stores in downtown Bellevue this weekend, with a Miley Cyrus concert to promote it. My daughter loves Miley Cyrus. I was tempted to stand in the long lines to get us tickets, but she had swim team practice and I had work. And we had tickets to Harry Potter!

So I decided not to tell her about it.

I would have gotten away with it, too, but I didn’t realize the Cyrus concert was 100 yards from the theater. My wife dropped us off and went in search of parking. As we got out, she said to our daughter, Kennedy, “Go listen to Miley!”

Kennedy looked around: The streets were crowded and you could hear the band playing loud.

“This is Miley Cyrus?” she asked.

“Wait,” she said. “How did Mom know Miley Cyrus was here?”

I felt guilty.

“Microsoft,” I said. “Microsoft opened a new store and asked Miley to sing.”

Kennedy looked at me with such disappointment. Microsoft invites Miley Cyrus to Bellevue and you get us Harry Potter tickets? I felt bad. I can see I am going to have to take her to a Miley Cyrus concert soon. 

Deathly Hallows was fabulous.

We were too cold and hungry to make it to the new store after the movie, but I am sure I’ll check it out before Christmas. I’m certinly a PC, but I have been known to go into the Mac store from time to time. I’m looking forward to seeing how the new Microsoft stores stack up.