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Things are getting a little cloudy in the Windows Mobile world, and we're welcoming the stormy skies. First, a refresher:

  • We're expecting Windows Mobile 6.5 to be released in the coming weeks.
  • We're pretty sure there's a Windows Mobile 6.5.1 waiting in the wings. We've seen but can't share (yeah, that's not fair, but them's the breaks) early — repeat: as in some time ago — screen shots of the purported build. The leaked ROMs we've seen recently (Exhibits A and B) appear headed in that direction but actually aren't quite there yet.
  • We're expecting the as yet still unannounced Windows Mobile 7 early next year, and it (hopefully) will be more along the lines of what we're seeing on the Zune HD than what we're used to on our current (and even upcoming) devices.

Now, fast-forward to the present, specifically the latest from Digitimes. They're giving an Oct. 1 date to the 6.5 "release" - quotation marks ours because you're probably not going to be able get a carrier-sanctioned upgrade at midnight or anything. Windows Mobile is still Windows Mobile, and carriers is carriers.

Digitimes also reports Microsoft plans "an upgrade version with a touch interface in February 2010, the sources indicated citing Microsoft roadmap." That's also right in line with what we've heard (but admittedly have have not second-sourced) regarding Windows Mobile 6.5.1. What phones will get 6.5.1? We're hearing the HTC Touch Pro 2 and Touch Diamond 2 — specifically the AT&T versions, which would lend credence to recent musings by Engadget that we'll finally see the keyboardless phone on the same network at the iPhone.

Then there's Windows Mobile 7, which Digitimes says will co-exist alongside Windows Mobile 6.5 when it's launched sometime in Q4 of 2010. As in, more than a year from now. The idea, Digitimes says, is to take on Android from the 6.5 front and the iPhone from Windows Mobile 7. (Sorry, Android. You get the second string offense, apparently.)

Now, we're among the first to take news from Digitimes with a big 'ol helping of salt. So what should you take out of this?

If you're not stoked about Windows Mobile 6.5, that's cool. We're pretty sure bigger things are in the works, starting with Windows Mobile 6.5.1, and really getting going with Windows Mobile 7. Look no further than the Zune HD for evidence of what Microsoft is capable of.

It's going to require some more ... what's that word? ... Patience.

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Gotta love Microsoft for this one. The mother ship shows its chutzpah and has released a developers guide for porting iPhone apps over to Windows mobile 6.5, using an app called Amplitude for the case study. All in all, not a bad idea, really. Let's face it: There are a bunch of apps we'd love to see running natively on Windows Mobile. (And we've got a few that would be killer on the iPhone, though there's no way Apple would let most of the them into the App Store.)

Yeah, yeah. Microsoft (and us, by extension) are just opening ourselves up for further ridicule here. Go head, Apple lovers, joke all you want. But while you're doing so, we'll be sitting here enjoying our excellent third-party media players and Google Voice. Microsoft opening its (far less Draconian) doors to developers is a win for them, and for us.

Via the Windows Team Blog

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OK, this isn't exactly a fair fight, but forget about that for a minute. To the average user it probably doesn't matter whether your browser is being rendered through a proxy, security and privacy implications be damned.

So casting that difference aside, our own resident Nokia Expert and regular ZDNet contributor Matt Miller set forth to test the beta version of Opera 9.7 against a number of other phones, including the T-Mobile G1, iPhone 3G, Nokia N97, Nokia 5800, Nokia N85 (hey, we told you he's a Nokia Expert) and iPhone 3GS. For the WinMo side, Matt was rocking Opera Mobile 9.7 on a Pharos Traveler 137.

And what did he find? In straight page-loading tests, Opera Mobile 9.7 won. Read his full findings here. Matt's also keen on the rendering.

Opera gets it right with Opera Mobile and is much smarter about optimizing your display size and resolution. The custom HTC builds of Opera Mobile even allow several custom zoom levels where the text always fits on the display just right. There is still work for Apple to do in the browser, but they definitely have the loading speed down pat.

Browser wars are a favorite pastime of smartphone nerds (Exhibit A, Exhibit B) and there are a ton of variables to take into account (not to mention one's own patience level). But if it's good enough for Matt, it's good enough for us. If you've got a touchscreen device, head on over to Opera and try out the 9.7 beta for yourself.

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Chief WMExpert hits up CNN

We'll have to forgive the boss for not getting a Windows Mobile phone into the conversation (note to HTC, Samsung et al: It's past time to get something new and cool out in the U.S.), but it's still great to see one of our own getting a few minutes of face time on CNN.

Dieter talked smartphones with CNN International's "Quest Means Business," giving some love to the Palm Pre and, yes, the iPhone. We have just one question for el jefe: You couldn't sneak in a shot of the watch?

Hit the pic above to check out the interview. Oh, and Dieter isn't the only one making the media rounds. The iPhone Blog's Rene Ritchie landed a spot on National Public Radio.

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Look, we know full well some of us you are double-fisting and dabbling with the iPhone. Or at least an iPod Touch. And so you're probably sitting there, clicking the "Check for update" button in iTunes, waiting for the 3.0 software to come out today. And that's fine. But while your waiting, at least make yourself useful and read through The iPhone Blog's excellent 3.0 Walkthrough. And share it with a friend.

And join them tonight for the latest edition of iPhone Live, where you'll find out how you can win a free iPhone 3G S, courtesy of TiPB.

Then, you know, come back and hang out with us some, mkay?

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One of the biggest arguments in the Windows Mobile world is whether Microsoft will ever build its own phone. We've repeatedly heard a resounding "NO!" from MS execs, but we've heard execs deny things before, only to do that exact thing later. (We're looking at you, Apple.) That said, we are still expecting to see the Zune creep into Windows Mobile.

And with that we turn to a brief Wall Street Journal story [via Engadget and BGR] in which Microsoft is rumored to be in talks with Verizon to launch a multimedia-focused touchscreen phone early next year to compete with the iPhone, if/when it actually comes to Verizon. And the the phone to do that is rumored to be none other than the fabled "Pink" project.

Microsoft's project, which is code-named "Pink," is aiming to produce a phone that extends the tech giant's Windows Mobile cellphone operating system, adding new software capabilities. It would also likely include Microsoft's new Windows Marketplace for Mobile, a mobile application store along the lines of Apple's, these people say.

Who "these people" are we have no idea, and the WSJ ain't sayin'. But, heck, we can tell you that any MS phone would have Marketplace access. That's a given. As for it being "along the lines of Apple's" App Store, we'll have to wait and see. Unless you mean that they both sell apps.

So for now, we'll put it to you. Should Microsoft attempt to take on the iPhone head-to-head? Or do you think this is all just another unsubstantiated rumor?

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Touch Diamond 2 vs. iPhone: Fight!

As you heard in the latest WMExperts podcast (you have listened to it, right?), Dieter explained his thoughts behind importing (or not) an HTC Touch Diamond 2. While he's still on the fence, we'll point you to an excellent breakdown of the TD2 and its touchscreen-lovin', 5-megapixel (er) camera-in', ready-for-WinMo 6.5-in' self when put up against none other than the iPhone 3G and its upcoming 3.0 software upgrade.

And for that we point you to ZDNet's (and from our own Nokia Experts) Matthew Miller in the finale of his excellent Clash of the Titans series. Enjoy.

Clash of the Touch Titans: iPhone 3.0 3G vs HTC Touch Diamond2

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We try not to wade into the whole "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" thing because, frankly, while often entertaining, we don't believe they do much to further either platform.

What we will do, however, is tip our hats to MacJournals [via DF] for pointing out some shenanigans in the recent "Legal Copy" piece. Hey, we're all for a little back-and-forth, as our frenemies at The iPhone Blog know full well. But let's fight somewhat fair, shall we?

You folks get your flame on in the comments.

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When iPhones congregate, it's not unusual to hear a sucking sound – from the mass amounts of bandwidth being digested. So much so, that AT&T cracked under all the Apple weight at South by Southwest.

But the iPhone's sole U.S. carrier reportedly is again beefing up its network – it did so for EDGE before the original iPhone (2G) launch and again before the iPhone 3G – and that would mean faster speeds for all of us.

So the next time you're multitasking with your WinMo phone on AT&T's network, and you see someone with an iPhone, go ahead and thank them. Better yet, give 'em a hug and tell 'em "Thanks, from Windows Mobile." Then back away slowly. You can't be too careful. :)

Via The iPhone Blog

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We had a little fun with our friends at The iPhone Blog last week after the iPhone 3.0 software was announced. Certainly it's a red-letter day in TiPB nation.

But now that we've had our fun, let's a take a serious look at how the iPhone 3.0 software compares to Windows Mobile present — and future, in Windows Mobile 6.5. Join us as we break down Rene's excellent 3.0 walkthrough.

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And now, the WMExperts players present "Juiced: Powering the iPhone in a 3.0 World."

Join us after the break for a very special WMExperts post as our little iPhone cousin dives into the deep, dark world of multitasking and background notifications. Will he thrive alongside his Windows Mobile brethren? Will he survive? In the end, there can only be one.

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Rene, our No. 1 frenemy over at The iPhone Blog, points us to an article in this month's Vogue magazine that — Hang on. My phone's ringing.

What's that, Rene? You don't actually read Vogue, it's an article that GeekSugar and Gizmodo picked up? Sure, sure, I'll mention that. Don't think anyone'll believe me, but anything for you, pal.

Sorry about that. Where were we? Oh, yes, the article. See, Melinda Gates, wife of one of the richest men in the world, sat down with Vogue and let slip that iPhones and iPods are banned in the Gates household, even though she occasionally thinks they're kinda cool.

“There are very few things that are on the banned list in our household,” Gates tells me. “But iPods and iPhones are two things we don’t get for our kids.” Harsh, perhaps, but understandable. After all, it’s hard to walk around tethered to merchandise made by your father’s most famous competitor. Still, Gates acknowledges the inevitable lure of forbidden fruit. “Every now and then I look at my friends and say, ‘Ooh, I wouldn’t mind having that iPhone.’”

So, no iFun in the Gates household. Which leads us to the following question:

How do they prop open their doors?

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WunderRadio for Windows Mobile


We’ve seen a number of the Windows Mobile apps that we know and love make their way to the dark side, but the flip side of that trend seems to be kicking in.

One of the iPhone app store’s finest, WunderRadio, is making its way to a Windows Mobile device near you. WunderRadio has gotten rave reviews from various locations in the Blogosphere as an Internet Radio application. Having partnered with RadioTime.com, WunderRadio offers mobile access to over 36,000 radio stations.

WunderRadio will reportedly be available for 30 day promotional prices of $9.99, after which it will set you back $14.99. Notable features include GPS functionality to find local radio stations and the ability to listen to popular programs after they have aired.

Via jkOnTheRun


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Momentum Swing for Apple?

Say it ain't so Joe! ...er, Steve. You know, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO.

Remember when he said, referring to the iPhone's 2G launch, "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."? Yet almost two years later the iPhone is one of, if not, the best selling smartphone around. In an interview with Financial Times (registration required), Ballmer acknowledged the edge companies such as Apple and Google have gained in important parts of the consumer business having "clear market momentum".

While Ballmer may be conceding that Microsoft may be down, they're certainly not out. While Palm isn't making it easier with the well-received introduction of the Palm Pre, Ballmer doesn't strike me as someone who will go quietly. With the announcement of Windows 7, partnerships with Dell and Verizon to increase the distribution of Windows Live Search and the anticipated announcement of Windows Mobile 6.5 next month at the Mobile World Congress, Microsoft may begin to pick up steam in the mobile market.

Plus, just when we thought Windows Mobile Standard was on its last breath with the retirement of the Motorola Q line a new spark is seen in the HTC S743. Ballmer's acknowledgment that Apple is closing in on a lead in the market isn't a sign of defeat but maybe a call to arms. Hopefully, next month's World Mobile Congress will be for Microsoft what the 2009 CES was for Palm.

[via: theiphoneblog.com]

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