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We're live at the CTIA 2008 Keynote, speakers to include Robbie Bach of Microsoft (head of the division that includes Windows Mobile, Hint Hint), Richard Branson of Virgin Mobile (who we just spotted chatting up a small group outside), and Dan Hesse of Sprint. We're assuming hoping that Windows Mobile 6.1 is announced today. Tune in after the break for live updates.

It's all done now, folks, we have a full gallery of the Windows Mobile 6.1 features they showed during the keynote after the break!

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Almost Hands-On with the XPERIA X1

The XPERIA X1 got some facetime during the Windows Mobile portion of today's keynote, and our impression was that the “tiles” were a lot slower than we'd been hoping for. We'll give the Sony booth a shot, but given how they've been reticent to let people lay hands on this sucker since the Mobile World Congress, our hopes are not high.

Everything else, though, still looks awfully sweet. So sweet, in fact, that the folks over at the Microsoft booth saw fit to encase the thing a tube of protective acrylic. So best we can give you real live shots showing a real live device, under glass.

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Hands-On With the Touch Dual

We grabbed some face time with the Touch Dual, which is just like the original Touch Dual except that it sports that US-friendly Quad Band interface. We're hearing that HTC is going to forego trying to wrangle carrier relationships and just sell the thing unlocked in the US (price unknown) in the next few months. Better news: it should sport Windows Mobile 6.1 and it's highly likely that it will be the first official Windows Mobile 6.1 device available in the US, way ahead of the carrier-slowdown that will keep the new OS off current devices until this summer.

We're still fans of the 20 key version of the Dual and also really like the “Quick Start” sort of menu that pops up when you open the slide. TouchFLO 2 is still here (the kind you saw on the Sprint Touch) of course, and overall it feels much snappier than the original GSM Touch.

Pricing and availability indeterminate, of course, though your best bet is probably going to be the same retail channels that HTC has already got going (namely, Best Buy).

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We snagged a few hands-on pics with the Lime Green Moto Q9c (Brushed metal, nice!) - expect those pics later today. The bad news from the Moto booth (as though they needed more) is that the Q10 we spied in a Moto promotional video is nowhere to be seen.

Looks like the Q9h is still the cream of the Moto GSM crop for the time being - the fact that Microsoft confirmed that it would get a Windows Mobile 6.1 update helps, too.

Update: Those promised hands-on pics of the Q9c in Lime Green:


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Well BGR got a sneak peak at "Manilla" which is HTC's v2.0 attempt to add beauty to the beast that is Windows Mobile. We saw a bit of Manilla already, so this is just a bit more.

For those familiar with HTC's previous homescreen workin's (and the hacks to customize, natch), this newer version continues delve deepr, customizing the dialer, call history, in-call screens and some multimedia action to boot.

The screenshots, as noted, are from the VGA HTC Advantage, so don't get too worked up over that smoothness just yet. More interestingly, this version of "Manilla" (can I stop saying that yet?) is from an as-yet-unknown and upcoming HTC VGA device...ooooooo!

Love the "running programs", reminiscent of MagicButton and boy, that in call screen looks mighty familar...ahem.

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CTIA: We Love to Hate 'em but Still Love that Conference

Let's get one thing clear: we're fond of this CTIA Wireless conference we're headed to. Fond because it's a hotspot of Mobile gadgetry and, just as importantly, a hotbed of people who think clearly and deeply about what mobile gadgetry can do for our lives. It's all sponsored by, naturally, the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, which is essentially a trade group representing all the heavy hitters in the mobile world.

There's a rub there, though, and it's not that we're filthy Communists who hate all corporations. We just have a love/hate with certain corporations because they so often limit the way we can (and should) use our mobile devices. The term here is “Walled Garden” and we've been railing against them basically since WMExperts has been founded. CTIA does bequeath a great conference unto us and does manage to do some lobbying for good for the companies that they represent -- but they also do lobbying for evil.

Evil you say? Then why truck with evil? Answers to both questions after the break.

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Best of WMExperts Week, 3-28-08

Much of this week at WMExperts has been devoted to pounding the drumbeat leading up to CTIA 2008. We told you that we're expecting Windows Mobile 6.1, showed you about a third of the gear we're packing, and pimped our brand new Twitter feed and Flickr too. Then we had to turn that hyperventilation into a holding of breath as we took the very organization hosting this fine event behind the woodshed for their support for crappy wireless corporate practices. Maybe that article will cause Steve Largent will pull us out the registration line just like an Evolutionist at an Intelligent Design Movie Premier. You never know.

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Refurbished BlackJack II Now Just 50 Bucks

In our BlackJack II vs. Motorola Q9h Smackdown we forgot one essential factor: price. The BJII is significantly cheaper than the Q9h -- and now it's even cheaper still, you can get a refurb unit from AT&T for just 50 clams after the requisite 2 year contract.

Heck, you might even get the unit we ourselves had to send back because of a bum charging connector.

At 50 bucks, it might be a little hard to justify keeping that original BlackJack. Then again, the Windows Mobile 6.1 Cooked ROM we told you about has just been updated to Beta 2.

BlackJack II at AT&T (Thanks to Chris for the tip!)

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Windows Mobile 6.1 to Arrive April 1st? - Updated

Update: Looks like BGR received yet another one of those mysterious Q9s with WiFi. This one has what appears to be a finalized version of Windows Mobile 6.1 with a few new features. Go check it out.

...That's the prediction from Pocket Lint [via Gizmodo]. Sounds pretty good to us. We would normally be a little gun shy about this sort of prediction, especially since we whiffed our prediction it would be unveiled at MWC2008. However, CTIA just happens to start on April first. And Head-of-The-Division-That-Contains-Windows Mobile Robbie Bach just happens to be giving the keynote. And WMExperts just happens to be planning on heading over to Las Vegas for the show.

So file this one under “Very Likely.”

Speaking of CTIA: expect wall-to-wall coverage. We'll live-blog Bach's keynote, we started up a Twitter feed for WMExperts, and heck, we will even post up direct from the show floor via our trusty Motorola Q9h.

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Motorola to Split in Two - Updated

Update: Engadget has posted an insider's letter detailing just how badly Motorola has been mismanaged. Must read. Boy oh Boy, things look bad -- A split didn't work out so well for Palm, it might not work out so well for Motorola. Is this company screwed?

Looks like Carl Icahn has had his way - Motorola switched from dipping their foot in the spin-off waters to diving in completely. They're splitting in two - one company for handsets, another for enterprise services and the like. No word yet on what the two companies will be named - one hopes that the Moto brand, complete with vowels, will continue to be applied to their handsets.

They are also looking for somebody to head up their handset business -- so polish up that resume, because the way things have been going at Motorola lately, anybody could head up that company and do a better job than ZNDR (Erm, Ed Zander), the guy who pretty much ran them into the ground before the new CEO, Greg Brown, started cleaning house with a broom in one hand while fending off Carl Icahn's “activism” with a epee in the other.

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Vital CTIA Gear

Here's a portion of some of the gear we'll be using to cover CTIA next week - where we (still) fully expect Windows Mobile 6.1 to be announced. We're fervently hoping it will even be released, but don't get your hopes up.

The big day will be Tuesday, when we will Live Blog Robbie Bach's keynote and then hit the show floor like the Incredible Hulk with a sledgehammer. This year, we expect Windows Mobile to be front and center at CTIA: Android isn't ready, Apple stays away, and Palm ain't got nothing but the Centro.

You can follow most of the action on our main site - but if you're a junky you can also follow us on Twitter and also keep an eye out on our Flickr page. Both of those places will sport stuff from our CTIA experience that isn't technically news - but hey, it's Vegas, right? Should be some stuff to take pictures of. :)

Our primary tool for covering CTIA is, of course, a Windows Mobile Smartphone. Our weapon of choice for this task is the Motorola Q9h (see our full review here) - 3G, 2 megapixel camera (with flash), and the best keyboard on any smartphone available today makes this little sucker ideal for keeping connected to WMExperts and to you, dear reader.

Ideal enough to make this very post happen - it was posted directly from the Q9h (and yes, tweaked a little via the old ways after the fact).

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Windows Mobile 6.1 Cooked for BlackJack

Engadget Mobile points us to TXCaesar's Rom Kitchen, where Da_G has cobbled together a build of Windows Mobile 6.1 for the original BlackJack. We waited and waited (and waited some more) for Windows Mobile 6 to be officially available for the BlackJack, so it's a safe guess (if a depressing one) that we'll have to do the same for 6.1 on the BlackJack. That's assuming, of course, that it will be made available for the sweet little guy in the first place. He has a newer, cooler brother in the BlackJack II (which will see 6.1 for sure), so it doesn't feel like a safe bet that 6.1 will appear on the original.

The ROM looks to occupy the netherworld between

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Sprint's XOHM WiMAX network might still be on track to reach 100 million people, but even 100 million people is chump change compared to the size of the market in India. If Sprint is looking for a little inspiration for how to properly roll out WiMAX, they need look no further than India's Tata Communications:

India is about to become the frontier for high-speed, mobile Internet connections. On March 4, India's Tata Communications, an emerging broadband player, announced the countrywide rollout of a commercial WiMax network, the largest anywhere in the world of the high-speed, wireless broadband technology.
Already 10 Indian cities and 5,000 retail and business customers use the product, and by next year Tata will offer service in 115 cities nationwide. The folks at Tata can hardly contain their excitement. “WiMax is not experimental, it's oven-hot,” says Tata's Prateek Pashine, in charge of the company's broadband and retail business. - [Open Gardens]

We've about reached the point where 3G has penetrated the majority of the US on the majority of carriers (apologies to T-Mobile and to, uh, my hometown, which is still EDGE-only), so it's only natural that we're looking ahead to WiMAX and the GSM-based LTE, to say nothing of the new spectrum that Verizon and AT&T just snapped up. Still, wouldn't it be nice if the roadmap for where and when we'll see these lightning fast mobile speeds was a little clearer?

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Treo 800w Watch: July on Sprint?

Thanks to Vyruz Reaper via SprintUsers, we have what appears to be the release chart for upcoming Sprint devices and lo and behold, the Treo 800w is smack on there for a July release (crosses fingers).

Could we at least get a new mock-up already? Yeesh...

Welp, looks like my dreams of WM 6.1 have been shattered (sheds tear) but all the other rumored features are still there:

  • WM 6.0
  • EvDO Rev A
  • WiFi
  • Autonomous GPS
  • Camera & non-camera versions

(Edit: although you do have to wonder...the date of the chart, according to the source who leaked it is actually Feb 19th, so this might not be the latest info. Wm 6.1 might not be ruled out since this pre-dates any official announcement by MS--stay tuned!)

Anywho, hop back in our contest and get the EXACT date right and you may just win one ;-)

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Dashwire Mirrors Your Phone's Content Over the Web

So I'm checking my email as usual and I see an email from Dashwire saying my phone is ready for their software. I'd like to think my phone was ready all along and it's just that their software was ready for my phone. Anyway, I have the Treo 750 so I decided to give it a try and am already loving it.

The basic idea is it will invisibly back up much of your smartphone's content to their servers with little to no interaction on your end. The thing I love about it most is the fact that it syncs your contacts, photos, text and even videos to an online web site wirelessly. Now you never have to worry if you uploaded that last picture or if you added that contact to your friends list.

The best part is that it

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Sprint WiMAX WaTCH: XOHM Network Still on Track

Looks like not only is Sprint still planning on launching XOHM, their 4G WiMAX-based network, they're feeling pretty good about it too. Electronista reports that Sprint core technology vp Ben Vos says the new network is on track (we saw a soft launch in December), presumably to the markets totaling 100 million people Sprint promised. Best part - XOHM looks to use standard IP switching to managing devices, just like the internets. That should make creating networked apps a lot easier.

...For a second there you thought we were going to talk about Sprint without bringing up the possibility of an imminent Deathwatch, didn't you? Silly rabbit. No, the wrinkle with XOHM is that Sprint isn't telling just how the expansion is going to go until their next financial results call (when they will hopefully lay out the details). Sounds an awful lot like they're trying to make sure they have some good news to offset what many expect to be a deluge of red ink and bad news.

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We're listening in on the Palm Quarterly Results Conference call and we have some bad news to report. CEO Ed Colligan just confirmed our worst fear, with regard to “new Windows Mobile Treos,” he said this:

Those products are not coming out this quarter.

Ouch. Earlier in the call Colligan said new Windows Mobile Treos would be released “before the end of summer.” If you're currently entered in our Treo 800w Rumortastic Giveaway, it's time to go update your guess.

That giveaway, if you didn't know, is that we are going to give away a Treo 800w plus some great extras to a lucky commenter who can guess the release date.

On the bright side, Colligan is also saying that the new Treo (which he didn't name, but come on!) “will be the most competitive enterprise solution in the marketplace.”

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Make your WinMo Phone More Googley or More Microsofty

Its seems as though google is neck and neck with windows mobile apps available for download. Microsoft currently has Live search, Live Messenger, Live Search Bar built into most mobile phones and Mobile Outlook ready for the Windows Mobile community as we speak . Google has been firing back with apps such as Google Maps, Gmail through Java, GMobileSync and the new addition of Google Search Bar.

So you may wonder which suite is best for you? Well it really depends on what kind of user you are. If you find you self addicted to Outlook and MSN messenger than the first apps are going to feel familiar, whereas if you like the threaded chat style email or the Google search results, then the latter is the best choice.

In order to get started on some of these amazing apps you will want to have an unlimited data plan because of the internet usage. Then point your mobile browser to http://m.google.com and download Google Maps and the new Today Screen Plugin, or hit up http://m.live.com and download Microsoft's Live Search. Or heck - do what I do and download them all -- it never hurts to have an extra tool on your smartphone.

Me, I tend use Google apps more due to the ease and familiarity. Using Gmail through Java is a cinch since I don

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Best of WMExperts' Week, 3-21-07

The Windows Mobile news of the past week was surrounded by two Treo 800w bookends: on Saturday we got a nice little leak that one of our forum members had seen a Verizon Treo 800w, and yesterday we heard the downer news: the Treo 800w won't be released until “Late Summer.” The news sent everybody scrambling to change their guess on the release date for our Treo 800w giveaway, aka the Contest That May Never End. The good news is that Palm talked pretty big game about their “upcoming Treo,” which we're going to take as an admission that our leaks about the specs are right.

We'll also mention that Palm CEO Ed Colligan repeatedly described Palm's current WinMo line up as “aging” and “aged.” True that.

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How to: Delete Recent Calls on Treo 750

You know you've done it -- the drunk dial. The late night, did-I-really-do-that-yes-I-did call. The kind you want to pretend never happened. Simply delete your call log and your embarrassing moment is gone forever.

Unless, that is, you have a Treo 750.

For some strange reason this device has a pesky little bug that doesn

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