Here's video of two things not yet available in the United States: an HTC Touch HD, and Windows Mobile 6.5. The Touch HD we can't do anything about. It's just not coming. WinMo 6.5, on the other hand, should make its official debut this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We can't vouch for anything here, but it does look pretty snappy.
So now we've seen picture after picture after picture of Windows Mobile 6.5, an early port, and finally some grainy video. Is there anything left? Fortunately we've got Dieter on the ground in Spain to bring you the official announcement in the coming days. Stay tuned.
Thanks, Chris, and everyone else who sent this in.
Unless you're a real dev-type, the "Milestone Release" of Mozilla's Fennec mobile browser likely was a nonstarter — it's a pre-alpha build and not at all intended to serve as a daily browser just yet. But what it does do is show us that work on the browser is progressing nicely for Windows Mobile.
Fennec developer Brad Lassey, who joined the company in October 2008 to work on mobile products, agreed to answer a few of our burning questions about Fennec. Will it be available for non-touchscreen phones? What's up with Fennec for our cousins over at NokiaExperts? When might we see a proper Windows Mobile beta? And what can we do to help?
OK, so "Field of Dreams" this ain't. But the news that Microsoft has hired a VP of Retail Stores [via ZDNet] and intends to dive into the retail market means this is a whole new ball game for Windows and Windows Mobile.
First, the man behind the curtain: David Porter has been hired away from Dreamworks Animation SKG, where he was head of worldwide product distribution.
“There are tremendous opportunities ahead for Microsoft to create a world-class shopping experience for our customers,” Porter said. “I am excited about helping consumers make more informed decisions about their PC and software purchases, and we’ll share learnings from our stores with our existing retail and OEM partners that are critical to our success.”
Now, peddling the wares: We've, er, mentioned before that the sheer volume of Windows Mobile devices can be a wee bit overwhelming. And as Malatesta just pointed out, it's getting to the point where phone manufacturers and carriers aren't even mentioning Windows Mobile, as if it's an anchor dragging the user into the briny deep.
But imagine a place where you can go and interact (read: play) with the latest Windows Mobile phones and — this is important here — see firsthand how Windows Mobile and the new versions of Windows and its upcoming cloud services work together. Yeah, this is hardly groundbreaking stuff in the retail world, so scoff if you want. But until now, Microsoft has relied on others to show off the fruits of its labor. Sure, Microsoft made the operating system, but it's been up to the (ever dwindling) big-box stores and late-night infomercials to give you any sort of a good look at what you'll be using.
Same goes for Windows Mobile. We've all stood there in a carrier's store or at a kiosk in a mall, but you're on their turf. Microsoft bringing you into its environment means you see its products on its terms. We're well aware that nary a brick has been laid yet. But a proper place to showcase Windows 7 and (eventually) Windows Mobile 7 could do great things for what we hope and pray expect to be an entirely new way of doing business for Microsoft.
Update: Did we totally call this, or what? Microsoft's Robbie Bach, from Techflash:
"We have plenty of distribution. These stores for us are about building our connection to customers, about building our brand presence, and about reaching out and understanding what works and what improves the selling experience. Apple, you would think of it as a volume distribution play. You should think of ours as much more of a brand and customer relationship investment, more than anything else."
While we've known about that pesky Sprint Treo Pro delay for a few weeks now and that it had something to do with Sprint's certification process, up till now we had no idea exactly what was wrong.
According to PhoneNews, what is being fixed is that annoyingly low RAM that we've reported on previously and talked about in the Podcast. In case you don't remember, the Treo Pro only has ~43 MB of free available RAM after a soft-reset, which is about 20 MB or so lower than its GSM cousin.
HTC engineers have confirmed that the issue causing the continual delay of the Sprint Treo Pro lies in continuous ROM testing and certification to resolve a perpetual low free memory issue after many insiders discovered that the Treo Pro had ~40 MB of free memory with no applications running, despite shipping with 256 MB of RAM.
Evidently the problem is this: The RAM on this device is on separate chips and Windows Mobile has problems recognizing this extra amount of memory – so it is physically there, just not being seen by the system. This mirrors some similar issues with HTC's Touch Pro (Verizon) and other original Touch devices, so it sounds very plausible.
Finally, we're getting word that some Sprint stores are getting re-stocked as we speak with new Treo Pros with the new ROM on board, so keep an eye out for those. Now if you don't mind, I'm going to get my Treo Pro packed and ready to send to the HTC gods ;-)
No, there still isn't going to be a Zune phone. But CNET's Ina Fried lends even more credence to some of Zune's features showing up on Windows Mobile phones. She reports that Microsoft's Zune team has been split in two, with the software end now reporting to the Media Center side under Enrique Rodriguez, and the hardware side falling under the auspices of Tom Gibbons, how also heads the design end for Windows Mobile. So, the phone's not coming to the Zune. But bringing the Zune to the phone?
Rodriguez wasn't ready to offer details on when the Zune service would come, say, to Windows Mobile, but he did say to expect products within this calendar year that take the Zune service beyond just Microsoft's own line of digital music players.
Add this to what we recently learned about Microsoft's "reference chassis" for the future of Windows Mobile, and the picture is continuing to become a little less muddy. Microsoft's moving the pieces around the board, and Zune services are just part of the start of something new. The end game definitely isn't year, and probably not even for 2010. But it's clear Microsoft is plowing ahead with Windows Mobile.
Recently I reviewed Phone Dashboard Minute Tracker which can track your minutes that you use each month to help make sure that you never go over your minutes on your plan. As a result, I was asked several times if it could track the data usage, and the answer was No. So I went looking for a utility that could. The very week (November 18th to be exact) I started looking, SPB released version 3 upgrade for their Wireless Monitor.
SPB was gracious enough to give me a copy to review. I have put it through its paces and have come up with a verdict...
HTC became its own branded company about 2 years ago and since then has really swept up the Windows Mobile market.
So it was just a matter of time to start seeing HTC commercials airing on TV, flaunting its highly successful Touch-line of devices. And in fact at least on Comedy Central, we've been seeing these commercials airing all week, especially during the Daily Show/Colbert Report time slots.
What is really interesting here? Not a single mention of Microsoft or a peek of Windows Mobile! It's all TouchFlo3D. (Same goes for a Cellular South commercial, which has been pimping the HTC Touch Diamond with nary a mention of WinMo.)
And check out the 2nd version of the HTC commercial after the jump. Unfortunately they're only video-copied versions, but they'll get the point across.
The HTC Touch Cruise has passed FCC review and done so sporting AT&T's 3G bands. The Touch Cruise also sports the "Footprint" feature we saw previously. "Footprint" essentially is tagging a photo with GPS coordinates which allows you to track back to where the photo was taken. A few more specifications from the Touch Cruise include a 528Mhz processor, 512mb ROM, 256mb RAM, and a microSD expansion slot. The device measures 4.02x2.11x.57 inches and weighs in at 3.63 ounces. The Touch Cruise will run Windows Mobile 6.1 and have Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS functionality.
The weakest point in the specifications may be the 1100mAh battery. For a device that is marketable for the "Footprint" feature which relies heavily on GPS, I can't help but think this is an awfully small power source. No confirmation on pricing, availability or if AT&T is a lock on picking this phone up. But we're not going to bet the farm on it, given that it still has that other keyboardless phone.
Mobile World Congress starts Monday, and we're expecting Microsoft to officially unveil Windows Mobile 6.5 at some point early in the event.
Unofficially, the leaked ROMs keep flying through the Interwebs. One of the more recent – and the best we've seen since learned about Outlook Live earlier this week – hit today at PocketPC.ch. [via] There are a few dozen large shots reportedly taken of an HTC Touch HD, and we get a great look at the (er, HTC) on-screen keyboard, as well as the phone screen, both of which you can see above.
We've got more pictures after the break, and hit up the translated page for more chatter.
If you didn't realize that the 2009 Mobile World Congress was just a few days away, you'd swear there was something in the air. Between new phones to updated software, news from the Windows Mobile industry isn't letting up. It's also turning out to be the week of the browser, with Mozilla and Skyfire already coming to the table.
Not to be left out in all this excitement, Opera Mobile has announced it is going Turbo. Opera Turbo (pdf link) is boasting an 80 perecent traffic compression by using the trick of rendering Web sites on their servers then sending the compressed version to the mobile browser. What's that mean to you? Faster load times. Opera Turbo is reported to support Flash and AJAX. This is all in the same vein of what Skyfire's been doing for a while now, but it's good to see other browsers throw their hat into that ring.
Opera plans to show off Turbo in Barcelona next week, and we'll add this to Dieter's "To Do" list.
If you haven’t been using Pocket Tunes 4.1, you’ve been missing out. In my opinion, PocketTunes is one of the few truly powerful media players for Windows Mobile. Offering synchronization with iTunes, Internet radio and support for different skins, Pocket Tunes has been on my must-have list ever since it was first released for Windows Mobile.
If you remember (or want to read) my review of Version 4.1, there were a couple of issues we wanted resolved. I’m guessing that the folks at Normsoft were listening; because they took care of the biggest issues that I had, as well as resolving some issues that I hadn’t even thought about.
Take a page out of the playbook it recently bought from Alltel, Verizon Wireless is launching a "Friends and Family" plan [via] that lets you call five to 10 numbers for free, a la "My Circle." That should alleviate any fears Alltel subscribers may have had after thei were swallowed up by Verizon.
The "Friends and Family" deal goes live on Sunday. Here's what you need to qualify:
To take advantage of Friends & Family, you need to be on a qualifying Nationwide Single Line plan with 900 or more Anytime Minutes. Single line customers can select up to 5 numbers to add to their Friends & Family calling group.
If you are on a Nationwide Family SharePlan®, you need to have 1,400 or more Anytime Minutes, and you can select up to 10 numbers that will be shared among plan members.
Once you make a change to Friends & Family numbers, the information in your account(s) will update the following day. There is no charge to sign up and no charge, ever, to make changes to your Friends & Family calling directory.
Google Maps and Microsoft Live Search certainly aren't the only search games in town. Yahoo has updated its oneSearch service with oneSearch Shortcut, which hooks into your today screen and offers location-based search for select phones. Also new is the voice search feature, which brings it in line with Microsoft's Live Search.
Skyfire is making available today the latest version of its browser, version 0.9, for Windows Mobile and Symbian. Just point your mobile or desktop browser to http://get.skyfire.com and Skyfire will detect your phone model and provide you with the appropriate installer. Skyfire is recommending you uninstall previous versions of Skyfire before you install version 0.9.
Skyfire is still in Beta form but has improved from the previous Beta release. Version 0.9 Beta now supports all regular screen resolutions available for Windows Mobile devices as well as wide-screen formats. A few other new additions include the inclusion of Facebook and Twitter on the Skyfire start page, improved text readability, an improved superbar, downloadable media that allows you to download freely accessible media files to your phone, and updated plug-ins to include Flash 10, Silverlight 2.0 and the newest Quicktime version. Read on after the break for our initial thoughts on this new release and a few screen shots.
What you're looking at is the DX650, which has a proper 2.8-inch QVGA touchscreen on one side. On the back (or the front, we guess), is a monochrome OLED display and a full numeric keypad and camera. Why, we ask. Why?
There's also GPS, microSD and mini-USB. And a monochrome OLED display and full numeric keypad on the back. It's doubtful this is what Acer intends to show off at Mobile World Congress next week. Probably. Right?
More recognizable is the Acer X960, seen here at right, which appears to be another step in the newly acquired Glofiish line. It's got a 2.8-inch 640x480 touchscreen, an 533MHz Samsung processor, a 3.2-megapixel camera HSDPA, WiFi, GPS, and microSD.