Cordova Windows Phone 8 Exit Application

If you have a Phonegap/cordova app that goes from page1.html to page2.html then follows a link back to page1.html the standard backbutton behavior wont exit the app.

Page1 >> Page 2 >> Page 1 — Windows Phone will take you to page 2 instead of exiting the app. It’s expected behavior but it’s kinda poorly documented..

Anyway I searched around for ages but didn’t find a fix that worked for me..

Diff friendly folks see the commit that includes this fix

TLDR of how I fixed this is to use a JS value to track which page I’m on..

IE in page1.html you could have..

var currentPage = "index";

Then in your app.deviceready function include..

if(currentPage == "index"){
  document.addEventListener("backbutton", handleBack, true);
  document.addEventListener("backbutton", handleBack, false);
function handleBack(){
  // handle other logic here such as handling the back events from page2 to page1..

The real magic here is history.go(-(history.length-9999)) which basically tells the history stack to reset. Also the true statement on addEventListener allows the original registered event to fire (Native back button)..

Anyway give it a try and let me know if it works for you.

Xbox Live Games on Windows Mobile 7

So I don’t feel emotional about this, that pretty much sums it up..

I think its cool that Microsoft are trying but I don’t believe it’s enough.  Shame though because I think a load of educational games tied into an Xbox live type reward structure would be highly motivating and more motivating than a reward structure that is purely focused on Edu.

5 main barriers for Microsoft:

  1. WM7 has too much catchup to do on android
  2. WM7 doesn’t have a following of developers
  3. WM7 devices wont be as open as android
  4. The Xbox live market is pretty small (compared to Google owned farmville etc.)
  5. Lots of xbox live games just wont translate well to mobile (control/interface issues etc).

Will I be looking to develop some educational games for xbox live?  Nah.  I’d rather stick with Flash/HTML5 games and a free/open scoring/reward mechanism.

Further reading on xbox live on WM7 is available here.

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The new Microsoft

The world has changed and Microsoft is changing with it.

Contrary to popular belief Microsoft is longer is Microsoft the money grabbing beast it used to be.

It’s easy for companies  to try to exploit new revenue streams and to gain investor support but this isn’t about new markets, this is about reducing existing market share or presenting better value in markets that provide a healthy revenue stream for Microsoft.

Microsoft are pro-actively cutting existing revenue streams to aid education, I am involved in this and although it damages our profitability it does increase our ability and potential to provide a better service at a lower price.

Live @ Edu is a perfect example of this.  We purchase thousands of pounds/dollars worth of Microsoft Exchange licenses each month and then resell those on to schools through a service called Primary Email.  The introduction of Live at Edu means we can still sell Primary Email but instead of using our own hosting and having to pay Microsoft for Licenses,  Microsoft cover it all, how nice is that?!

Live at Edu is a free service but because we have worked in Primary schools providing email for so long we are able to offer the 5% extra that makes a big difference to how a school efficiently uses email.  Eventually Microsoft will figure this out and push us entirely out of the market and that is fine, but until that point it give us a great opportunity to offer a great service at a ridiculously low price!

Question is..  How does the Microsoft Exchange team feel about this?  Knowing Microsoft I think they will feel somewhat vulnerable and the thought of merging the Exchange team with the Office team could make for some uncomfortable conversations..

In reality..  Imagine you were payed £20k to do your job then your boss said we can’t pay you any more AND you have to work for free..  But in 10 years time your £20k will be £50k.  I hope this is sustainable for Microsoft, I’m pretty sure it will be and their business model/plan will be widely adopted in other emerging and stale markets.

Finally it is worth saying that past experiences means that we do treat Microsoft with the same treatment we treat  other companies growing at the rate of a steroid infused tuma.  With a very, very, very large pole, muzzle and a poached salmon and rocket sandwich.

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Microsoft Office Web Apps 2010 in the primary classroom

Microsoft have released Office Web Apps 2010, this is big news for Primary Schools.  Continue reading to find out why…


Office Web Apps is completely free, you don’t need to buy into Microsoft Office or pay any registration free.  In fact you can start using it right now by visiting Microsoft Office Live.

Documents are stored online

When you work on an office web app all of your documents are stored on Microsoft’s Skydrive.  This means that even if your local computer crashes you won’t lose any documents.  By storing files online you can also access them from anywhere with an internet connection and easily share and collaborate with other people.  Of course the collaboration isn’t as great as PrimaryPad as it is only sentence by sentence and not really-real time 😛

No download or purchase required

Because Office web apps 2010 are completely online you don’t need to download, install or configure anything before you get started.  Watch the video below to get an idea of how simple it is to use.  For advanced editor features you will have to purchase Office 2010

Management with Live @ Edu

Live @ Edu is a service available for your primary school that allows you to have a management portal that manages the configuration of Microsoft Office Web Apps for your school.  Live @ Edu offers a lot more than this but essentially if you think of it being a way to customize a pupil or teachers experience of using one of the Microsoft Office Web Apps tools then you can’t go far wrong!


With Web Apps being relatively new (although in Beta for a long time at Microsoft) there are some obvious limitations:

  • Difficult to wrap text around images
  • Impossible to send content straight from a school MIS to the Web Apps.

I strongly recommend signing into your hotmail/live account and clicking the Office button and having a play.  Only you will know how your school uses Office applications so only you can say what is a limitation for you.  If you do find any please post them as a comment!


With office 2010 being familiar to schools and a very few barriers to uptake I can see this perfectly complimenting the work we are doing in Bradford, I look forward to deploying Live@Edu and think that the impact of extending learning should be easily measurable from an assessment point of view.  The conservatives want to focus on the basics, what better way to focus on the basics than by delivering them anywhere, any time?

Have you had a chance to play with it yet?  Is it too limiting for you?  Do you believe we should be blogging/emailing  instead of word processing?

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