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Today's the day our iPhone brethren finally ... FINALLY! ... get MMS. Now they can finally ... FINALLY! ... send pictures over text messaging. Congrats, guys and gals. You certainly have had to wait longer than deserved. (And if you allow a friend or family member to use an iPhone, have them read TiPB's MMS walkthrough.)

As for the rest of us, a big fear is that AT&T's oft-struggling network will come to a screeching halt as thousands of pictures of cats and dinner choices are sent flying through the ether. And, so, we get our troll on and ask: How's it holding up for you?

How's AT&T's network holding up for you now that the iPhone has MMS?(trends)
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You can calling it closing the barn door after the horse is out, you can call it too little too late. But our glass is half-full, and we're taking Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's recent admission that Windows Mobile 7 was botched and late as a positive step.

Ballmer (seen above in all his fuzziness) spoke at a Venture Capital Summit for about 200 in California and let loose a couple of nuggets, which of course immediately made it onto Twitter. [via wmpoweruser, image via @manukumar]

Said @pjozefak: "Ballmer says they screwed up with Windows Mobile. Wishes they had already launched WM7. They completely revamped the team."

And said @beninato: "Ballmer re: poor execution in Windows Mobile" 'We've pumped in some new talent and said "This will not happen again" ' "

We can only imagine the weeks and months of stewing that led up to that, but to us it's a good thing. Because the first step to fixing a problem is recognizing it in the first place.

In the same vein, Ballmer sat down for a chat with TechCrunch's Mike Arrington for a brief state of the union. Any Windows Mobile talk was brief and not overly specific, but Ballmer did drop the following:

So I think you can have an Apple in the phone business, or a RIM, and they can do very well, but when 1.3 billion phones a year are all smart, the software that’s gonna be most popular in those phones is gonna be software that’s sold by somebody who doesn’t make their own phone. And, we don’t want to cross the chasm in the short run and lose the war in the long run and that’s why we think the software play is the right play for us for high volume, even though some of the guys in the market today with vertically oriented solutions may do just fine.

Watch Arrington's interview after the break.

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Palm finished with Windows Mobile

We hate to see it happen, but it's really not that much of a surprise:

After pumping out a half-dozen Windows Mobile devices, Palm officially is finished with the operating system and will focus solely on webOS. Our pals at PreCentral.net just broke the news from John Rubenstein himself during a financial conference call:

Due to importance of webOS to our overall strategy, we've made the decision to dedicate all future develoment resources to the evolution of webOS. Which means that going forward, our roadmap will include only Palm webOS-based devices

That's definitely a bummer for all you Windows Mobile Treo fans (and we certainly have our share around here). But strategically, it makes sense. Palm will be able to throw all of its resources into webOS, as it really needs to be doing.

The good news, at least for those of you lugging around Treo Pros, is that you'll still be able to partake in the Windows Mobile 6.5 fun, thanks to custom ROMs.

Fare thee well, Palm. Thanks for many years of solid Windows Mobile devices. You'll be missed.

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The following comment was posted yesterday on the "Windows Mobile 6.5 and 7, and their tag-team match with Android and iPhone" story.

... if you want a device that you are sure will have periodic upgrades look no further than Blackberry or IPhone, because you will not ever have many chances to upgrade Windows Mobile. The reason I believe this is because I have had at least 9 WM devices with not a single rom update available anywhere but XDA's hacked roms.

That got us thinking. We're not going to ask the commenter to back that up and list his nine phones that might or might not have received updates, but let's start a list of phones that have received official, carrier-sanctioned ROM updates. (And, no, we're not talking about through that joke of an on-board update system.) Gonna have to dig back, people. I'll start.

Has your Windows phone gotten an official upgrade?

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While we are anticipating the "official" release of Windows Mobile 6.5, the "unofficial" versions of the new operating system have been making the rounds through cooked or home-grown ROMs for some time now. Chefs at such sites as XDA Developers, PPCGeeks, and Mobility Digest have successfully cooked WM 6.5 ROMs in their kitchens, and we decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Understand that cooked ROMs are a lot like beta versions of applications. They can work like a charm or turn your phone into a "pretend" phone for you children (if you are so inclined) to play with. If you are considering flashing your Windows Mobile phone with a cooked ROM, extensively research the process as well as the ROM you are considering. Then and only then proceed at your own risk. Just as cooking up these ROMs isn't for everyone, flashing them isn't as well.

Now that the obligatory cautionary statement/words of warning have been tossed out, to see what our experiences has been with the cooked ROM menu, just follow the break.

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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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We've discussed as far back as February that Microsoft was likely sending the "Windows Mobile" moniker the way of the dinosaur and instead going with "Windows Phone." Looks like they haven't forgot.

According to The Inquirer (.net, not the tabloid) [via Giz], the change indeed is coming with Windows Mobile 6.5 — er, the next release of Windows Mobile — er, the next release of Microsoft's operating system for mobile phones. And as much as we loathe the idea of trying to discuss various versions of an OS without the handy numeral suffixes (never mind that our little site here is called WMExperts), we'll (hardly) be the first to say that things are in need of a reboot. Badly.

Says The Inquirer:

The name change also "reflects the upcoming desktop operating system release where people away from their PC can have the same experience everywhere," says Microsoft.

The My Phone service certainly seems to have begun that transition to a more seamless desktop-mobile experience.

But what say you, dear reader?

Is changing "Windows Mobile Version X" to "Windows phone" a good move?(answers)
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Reminder: Forum Software Giveaway

Just a reminder that you still have time to put your name in the drawing for one of ten copies of Vito Technologies Communications Suite.  Just head on over to this discussion going on in our forums and tell us where you think the future holds for Windows Mobile. 

Posts made before 5:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 will be eligible for the drawing.  Winners will be notified as soon as possible by e-mail and a braggin' rights post.

You do have to be registered to post in the forums, which is an painless process that starts here.  Thanks to Vito Technologies for sponsoring this software giveaway.

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An interesting question coming from a Web site dedicated to Windows Mobile, right? While we believe Windows Mobile headed in the right direction, you could make the argument (and, yes, many do) that it's stagnant, stale, and on it's last leg.

With the glowing (almost nauseating) success of Apple's iPhone, the ever present Blackberry, pesky Nokia Symbian OS as well as the new kids on the block Android and Palm Pre the smartphone arena has gotten crowded. Does Windows Mobile have enough staying power to last?  Whats the future hold for this OS?

One potential factor in WinMo's survival rate is the number of phones that are on the way to market. Arguably, one of iPhone's strengths is that there's only one iPhone. There are dozens of Windows Mobile phones on the market plus two versions of the OS. Would Windows Mobile be more successful if there were fewer choices?  What about a hybrid between WinMo Pro and Standard?

Well here's your chance to sound off on what you think the future holds for Windows Mobile. Head on over to this forum discussion and tell us what you think the future holds for Windows Mobile.  To help motivate you, we'll be giving away copies of Vito Technologies Communications Suite to ten randomly selected posts. Posts made between now and 5:00pm EST on Wednesday, July 29th will be eligible for the drawing. You do have to be registered to post in the forums, which is an easy process that starts here

Thanks to Vito Technologies for sponsoring this post and providing the software prizes.

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There's been a good amount of speculation over what exactly will go into Microsoft's upcoming retail stores — and, rightfully, there's been a bit of laughter over the reported strategy of not actually selling anything. Then there's the report that Microsoft plans to set up shop right next to Apple stores in a few cities.

Gizmodo just scored a leak from the design company that reportedly is bringing all this together:

Essentially, Microsoft is taking the best elements from the Apple Store, Sony Style and other "flagship" stores. The main focuses are going to be Windows 7, Xbox, PCTV (Windows Media Center) Surface and Windows Mobile, revolving around this concept customer they call "Emily," who's basically a younger version of your mom, since they make all the buying decisions.

And, above, we see the concept for the Windows phones display. Nothing earth-shattering there. We're all used to seeing phones lined up like that in carrier stores. (And try not to read too much into the original Dash being shows as the Dash 3, m'kay?)

Hit up the Giz post for all the other deets. Including having birthday parties at the store.

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TerreStar is reporting it has successfully a test of their TS-1 satellite with a Windows Mobile satellite phone. On July 1, 2009, TerreStar launched a 15,000-pound communications satellite that's about the size of a minivan (soccer mom not included) into orbit. The 500-beam antenna array is capable of covering all of the United States and Canada.

The success of this launch and testing likely will keep TerreStar on track with an end of the year launch on their WinMo Satellite phone. Plans are still being reported that TerreStar will partner with AT&T to provide traditional service when not relying on satellite service.

Still no word on pricing, but the design of the Windows Mobile satellite phone remains slim with no chunky antenna.

Via Windows for Devices

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Every so often we see headlines exclaiming "Cell manufacturer abandons Windows Mobile for (insert cool new OS here)!" HTC has no such pretensions, despite all the attention being paid to Android this year.

HTC France exec Frederic Tassy spells it out in an interview with Mobinaute:

"For HTC 2009 is the year-off system Android. By the end of the year, we remain a strong player in this market. For other brands, there will be I think a lot of bluff with products that are likely to be delayed. We will always be more flagship products on Windows Mobile. Our best selling smartphone in Europe is also the HTC Touch HD Windows Mobile. "

So fear not, WinMo fans. HTC isn't going anywhere on us.

wmpoweruser via Android Central

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Rubenstein takes over as Palm CEO

While our pals over at Precentral.net at TreoCentral certainly see the lion's share of Palm news, let us not forget that Palm still has a strong Windows Mobile showing, most recently with the Treo Pro.

And with that we join with our Pre- and Treo-loving brethren as we congratulate Jon Rubinstein in becoming the new CEO of Palm, and also offer our thanks to Ed Colligan, who led the company for 16 years and the release of six Windows Mobile phones.

Rubenstein takes over on Friday. Colligan will take some time off, Palm said in a statement, then join Elevation Partners, which came to Palm's financial rescue in late 2008.

So to Colligan, we say thanks. Windows Mobile Treos are what brought many of us into the smartphone world. And to Rubenstein, we again offer our congratulations on a successful launch of the Pre, and we hope to see more for Windows Mobile in the months ahead.

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We gotta say, that's the best looking BlackBerry we've seen thus far. OK, so it's only a theme. And it costs $6.99. But is that really too high a price to pay for Storm owners who already are paying the price for not using Windows Mobile?

We're not sayin', we're just sayin.

Berry Review via IntoMobile

Update: Or, you can turn a Storm into a Palm Pre!

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How Windows Mobile Measures Up

A reader asked over at the report of Microsoft's Quarterly Report what number of phones worldwide use the various mobile operating systems. Well as fate may have it, the answer fell in out laps this morning.

Electronista.com is reporting on an AdMob March 2009 report that shows how each OS stacks up worldwide and in the United States.

According to the report, in the U.S. Apple has approximately 50 percent of traffic where RIM gets 22 percent. Windows Mobile has 11 percent in its home arena, and both Android and Palm lay claim to 6 percent. Hiptop represents 4 percent while Symbian earns just a single percentage point. Worldwide, Apple drops to 38 percent, RIM is at 11 percent, Symbian 37 percent, Palm and Android are at 3 percent, Hiptop at 2 percent and Windows Mobile comes in with 6 percent.

The one caveat on these reports, they are based on AdMob's advertising requests and not necessarily sales figures. AdMob is a mobile advertising marketplace, offering solutions for discovery, branding and monetization on the mobile web. So while this bodes well for Apple in the U.S., the report is based on ad sales as opposed to unit sales.

I am sure that the sales figures will be slightly different.  Microsoft reportedly selling 20 million units worldwide in 2008 and Apple claims 37 million units sold.  The one problem with Apples sales figures is that it combines the iPhone and iTouch; a trend that is becoming more popular with Apple.  I wonder if Microsoft includes PDA's that run Windows Mobile in their stats?

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