Allow us to get up on our soapbox for a minute. We're well aware that in 2009, it's entirely possible to go the entire lifespan of a phone without connecting it to a computer.

But, Microsoft, occasionally we do need to plug in our phones, and it'd be a big help if your Mobile Device Center (the successor to ActiveSync) were actually built in to an operating system. It's not even a part of the Windows 7 beta (at least as of build 7068, which we're very much enjoying). Sure, my phone plays quite nicely with the cloud and will work over Bluetooth. But if I want to plug in the darn thing and transfer a bunch of files (which is quicker than doing so over Bluetooth, and easier than remembering where I left my microSD card adapter), then I have to hunt down and download Mobile Device Center.

If Microsoft's serious about connecting its three major platforms – desktop, mobile and gaming/entertainment – it needs to get serious about making things easier on the user, and it can start by including Mobile Device Center with Windows 7. Maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised and find it in the upcoming Release Candidate version or final build. But we're not holding our breath


(And so that we're not just whining, here are the 32-bit and 64-bit download locations for Mobile Device Center.)