Archive for Phones

Microsoft Phone Business Sold

Lumia 950The writing has been on the wall for this announcement, as far as I’m concerned, since the day Microsoft bought Nokia’s phone business back in 2013.  They spent $7.2 billion to purchase Nokia.

And today it’s announced that they’re selling it for $350 million to IH Mobile and HMB Global.

Aarrgghh …

You can read more of the details here and here.

Setup BlackBerry Priv for Exchange Email

I have a customer that still uses Blackberry phone with their SBS 2011 server with Exchange 2010. Their previous BlackBerry 10 connected up with no problems to Exchange and ActiveSync several years ago. The owner recently replaced his BB10 with a newer BB Priv.

When he went to configure his new phone to Exchange, however, it was asking him to install a SSL security certificate, which the previous phone did not require.

Listed below are the steps we took to get his phone connected to Exchange.

Two things to note before we begin:

  • The person with the phone needs to setup up an alternate email (such as GMail) on the phone before proceeding. The reason will become obvious below.
  • You need access to the SBS/Exchange server to export the SSL certificate, and then email the exported certificate file to the user

So, let’s get started

Part 1 – From the SBS/Exchange Server, create an exported PFX certificate file

  1. From the server, open up MMC from an administrator level command prompt
  2. Select to load the Certificates snap-in to the local Computer account.
    (Note: if you do not know how to do this process, see this Microsoft article for detail instructions)
  3. Drill down Certificates –> Personal –> Certificates and locate your SSL certificate from the middle pane
  4. Right click on the certificate, then select All Tasks –> Export
  5. Click Next –> Click Yes, export Private Key –> verify PFX format is selected
  6. Enter a password when prompted (keep it short – very short, like ‘abc’)
  7. Click browse to assign a filename and select a location to save the exported file

Part 2 – Send PFX file to user’s alternate mail account

  1. Now, you need to email the PFX certificate file you just created to the user, sending it as an attachment to the user’s alternate email account on his or her phone.
  2. How you do this is up to you – I’m sure you can figure out this step.

Part 3 – User creates Exchange account and installs SSL certificate on the phone

The following instructions are general in nature, and not specific, because I did not do these steps myself. My customer was able to do it, with just a couple of corrections that I was able to walk him through by phone.

  1. First, user should open up the Gmail (or other) account on their phone, locate the email you sent them, and select to save (download) the attachment to the phone. Just download the file, do not try to install it.
  2. Now let’s start creating the Exchange account.
  3. Select Settings –> Accounts –> Add Accounts –> Exchange
  4. Enter your email address and password.
  5. Phone will go out and check things, and should come back asking for more server information.
  6. For your username: enter DOMAINNAME\USERNAME
  7. When prompted, select to install a certificate, and located the file you saved.
  8. For the server name/address, enter the URL you would use to access your OWA account – such as or
  9. Select SSL/TLS (Accept all certificates)

At this point, it should start setting up your email account. Good luck!

Just Received My Lumia 950 Windows 10 Phone

I will be honest. My first two smart phones years ago were Apple iPhones.  I had an iPhone 3, and liked it enough to upgrade to an iPhone 4. I enjoyed them both. I refuse to use the word “love” when talking about a phone!  I also have a Galaxy tablet back then.

When Microsoft came out with their Windows 8 phones, I knew I wanted to try one. So I went with the Nokia Lumia 920 three years ago. I liked it enough that when the phone cracked from repeated drops to the floor, I picked up an exact replacement.

But I’ve been biding my time for the Windows 10 phones to come out. recently announced the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. I wanted to get the XL as it is slightly larger, but I decided to go with the Lumia 950 due to pricing and availability through AT&T, who released it on Nov 20th.

I will write up a report of my experience in a week or two. I have some an upcoming trip and will get to utilize the phone a lot during that time. I’m anxiously awaiting arrival of my Microsoft Docking Device

But my first impressions of the 950 are good ones. I was able to restore all my apps, settings, files and pictures. I was able to activate my SIM/Cellular from a web page or phone (so no driving to the local AT&T store to do it). It’s a cleaner image than the Windows 8 phone.

So, in the words of The Rocket Man … “I like it!”

Windows 10 Phone Update

I have been using a Lumia 920 phone for almost 3 years now, and love it, in spite of a few quirks. I have been anxiously awaiting news of a Windows 10 phone.image

On the heels of releasing Windows 10 operating system back in July, Microsoft did announce the Microsoft Lumia 950/950XL Windows 10 phones. Both phones will come with a 20-megapixel camera. The 950 will have a 5.2” screen size, and the 950XL will be 5.7”. AT&T has already announced that will carry the phone.

However, availability of these phones are still up in the air.

But wait … there’s more!

Surface Phone Next?

News is slowly coming out that Microsoft may release a new Windows Phone next year that may be marketed as a Surface Phone, rather than a Lumia. Attachments could include a pen and a mini-attachable keyboard.

Read more at the Latin Post.

Watch Out for Malicious Flashlight Apps

Who would have thought that the flashlight app on your smartphone could be malicious?

According to this cyber-security company, SnoopWall, there are at least ten flashlight apps that are malicious, and can steal and send personal data. They published a threat assessment report back in October, 2014.

If your phone has one of these listed apps, the recommendation is to backup your contacts and personal files from your phone, and then do a factory reset your phone. Deleting the app is not enough, as these apps are storing malicious information  in hidden places on your phone.

Here is a 6 minute video from Fox News interviewing SnoopWall’s CEO, Gary Miliefsky, on this subject.

BOA Dropping Windows Mobile Phone App

wp_ss_20150219_0002I am not a happy camper with both Bank of America (BOA) and Microsoft.

Earlier this month I started to receive the following message whenever I logged onto my BOA phone app from my Nokia Lumia 920 –>

So, what’s their definition of “soon”?

You have to go to the Windows Phone App store to find that in “early March 2015” they will stop supporting this app on the Windows Phone platform!


I utilize the electronic check deposit feature of their phone l the time.

Their suggestion that I do my mobile checking through the browser is a farce, since their web site does not provide the capability of electronic check deposit.

Why am I upset with Microsoft? Because it appears that BOA is waling away from the Windows Phone platform, and I’m not hearing anything from Microsoft on this situation. If BOA walks, whose next? And what does that say about the future of the Windows Phone platform?

P.S. Now it looks like both BOA and Chase are moving away from the Windows Phone platform! click here

Windows 10 for 2015


Microsoft announced today (Oct 30, 2014) that the next release of Windows will be called Windows 10. Their main goal is to have a single, common operating system that runs on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smart phones. Windows 10 will be in various stages of internal and beta testing thru 2015, with an anticipated general release date sometime in the second half of 2015.

If you want to get a running commentary, with photos, of today’s release, click here.


Here is a quick summary of new features and changes to Windows 10:

  • The Start menu will look more like Windows 7, although there is an area on the start menu to show “live tiles” like what was on the Windows 8 metro screen
  • Newer style “apps” will work in more traditional windows, with ability to minimize, move or click X to close as expected. It will not feel like two different worlds which Windows 8 feels like.
  • It will have the ability to have multiple “desktops” with different apps and windows running in each desktop (nice way to separate work and home) and the ability to flip through the desktops.
  • The “charm” bar is still on the right side of the screen like in Windows 8.
  • There will be a “Touch UI” tool to allow operation similar to Windows 8 for those who like that.. and will also be good for two-in-ones (laptop/tablets) to still operate like a touch tablet. They call the new tool “Continuum” that will help users switch between touch and keyboard modes for the two-in-one convertible devices.
  • They’ll be releasing the Technical “Preview” version soon. The Windows Insider program opens tomorrow  – there’s a video there now showing a few of the new features.
  • The actual Windows 10 operating system is expected to ship in 2015 “mid to later in the year” as they will still be previewing new consumer aspects and new “universal apps” in April.
  • Windows 10 is also the next version of the phone operating system.. will run the same operating system family on all devices from 4″ to 80″. However phone version does not have a ‘desktop’.

Roboform for Windows 8 Phone

I’ve used Roboform on my main desktop for years to store and manage my logins and passwords to web sites. So, when I purchased my Windows 8 Phone (Lumia 920) back in November 2012, I was disappointed (to say the least) when I discovered that Roboform did not have an app for my phone.

Lo and behold, after waiting for more than a year, Roboform finally released version 1.0 of their Windows 8 Phone app. I will let you read all the complaints and criticisms from people about this first release.

For me, it installed and worked without a hitch. Intuitive? No, but if I can figure out how to make it work, I’m sure you can. Here are some actual screenshots of my first attempt at using the new Roboform app v1.0:

Step 1

Go to the Windows Store on your phone, and search for Roboform and download the app.

wp_ss_20140309_0001  wp_ss_20140309_0002

Step 2

Next, login using your Roboform login name and password. The settings page is pretty sparse, and I did not change them from the default.

wp_ss_20140309_0003  wp_ss_20140309_0004

Step 3

For my first attempt, I decided to see if I could access my Twitter web page, which I hardly do. Type in the Twitter URL, and it then takes me to the mobile version of their login page.

wp_ss_20140309_0005  wp_ss_20140309_0006

Step 4

Look down at the bottom of the screen, and when I press the left icon (highlighted by the arrow), it displays for me the two Twitter login accounts that I have previously saved in Roboform from my desktop.

wp_ss_20140309_0007a  wp_ss_20140309_0008

Windows Phone 8 – Phone Home Please!

Admit it.


More than once you’ve misplaced your phone, and it was right under your nose the whole time. With my Windows Phone 8 I can now use the WindowsPhone web site to locate my phone. It displays a map of it’s current location. And it gives me the ability to send out a really annoying beep to help me locate it if it’s close by, or lock or erase it if it has been stolen.

  • Go to the WindowsPhone web site, and login using your Microsoft Live account.
  • Near the top right hand side of the screen, locate your name.
  • Hover over the Windows Phone drop down box, and click on Find My Phone.
  • You will then be displayed a screen with a map of where your phone is currently located, and options top Ring, Lock or Erase.
  • Go ahead and click on the Ring link – ANNOYING, but oh so helpful.

Bye, bye Live Mesh!

Microsoft announced today on their SkyDrive blog site that Live Mesh will be officially retired on February 13, 2013.

SkyDrive continues to be enhanced with apps for Windows, Windows Phone, Android, iPhone, iPad and Xbox 360, and is deeply integrated with Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT.