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windows mobile

1

What goes on when an app crashes

Ever wonder where that Windows Mobile error report screen comes from, and what information you're actually sending back to Microsoft if you still have the thing turned on? OK, us, either. But it's nice to learn that the reports actually do go somewhere and are read by someone, as the Windows Mobile blog details:

What you might not know is that this window is generated by Watson, which is a component of Windows Error Reporting (WER). Specifically, Watson is the client-side executable that is activated when an unhandled exception occurs on your phone. Watson is responsible for preparing an error report (stack details, system information, variable information, etc), notifying the user about the error (happy window), and with the users consent sending the file to Microsoft (via data or ActiveSync). Assuming the user chooses to send the report, these encrypted files are then added to a WER database where they can be reviewed by Microsoft technical support personnel and Microsoft developers.

There's plenty more developer mumbo jumbo to be had in the full post, but it is an interesting look behind the curtain.

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When the iPhone 3.0 software was announced, there was a lot of hullabaloo about its use in the medical community for things like checking blood pressure. That's old news. Here in the Windows Mobile world we're stepping up to ultrasound and, pretty soon, may be performing entire surgeries on an HTC Touch Pro 2. (OK, we made that last part up.) How cool is that?

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis turned a mild-mannered Windows phone into a mobile medical imager, thanks in part to a $100,000 grant from Microsoft. In return, they've come up with a device intended for use in developing countries that have cellular service but where using a full-blown imaging system would be too costly or not practical. So, using a standard USB connection, they've come up with a way to watch food as it passes through your digestive system, and, you know, tell whether it's a boy or a girl, or if that all-important artery is blocked – important stuff like that.

Read the whole story over at Crunchgear

Update: Our man Malatesta informs that this is all brought to you by TreoCentral favorite bsnguy, who also brought us the very cool Treo 800w-USB host info.

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9

Microsoft's Robbie Bach live at CTIA

Come one, come all as we join Microsoft's Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment & Devices Division, who will "discuss his thought-provoking response to the question, 'What does "Mobile Life" mean to you?' " Other than that? We've got no idea what's in store.

So check in after the break for a live stream (fair warning, you're going to need Silverlight) of Bach's talk, and tune your favorite twitter client to @wmexperts as our own Dieter Bohn liveTweets the event.

(Note: Microsoft's saying 10 a.m. Pacific, CTIA and Dieter are saying 9 a.m. Pacific - likely it's the case that 10 Pacific is when Bach will take the stage). In any case, you should be glued to WMExperts regardless!)

Update: Miss it live? It's all after the break in its embedded glory, along with Dieter's tweeted thoughts.

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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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We've been digesting the news surrounding Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Mobile as the details trickle out. Developers keep 70 percent of the profits, same with Apple's App Store. Standards must be met, but Microsoft will be there to guide developers.

And recently there's been a bit of debate as we learned that updates to an application count the same as submitting a new app. [I Started Something via jkontherun]

Here's how it works: For the initial $99 application fee, devs can submit up to five apps. Any additional submission beyond the first five will cost another $99. So you could submit one application, then update it four times in a year without paying more. Or you can submit five different apps. Dealer's choice.  Counting app updates against the 5-a-year free limit sounds downright crazy wrong to us, but we're not developers.

So before we get all outraged, let's take a deep breath and think things through. More to the point, we asked developers. After the break, we talk with a few well-known developers and see how they feel about Marketplace.

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4

Monday rumor mill: Palm delays 2 phones

So the rumors are floating around the Internets that Palm has delayed two smartphones from mid-year to the end of the year. As Dieter points out over at TreoCentral, this almost certainly cannot, does not and shall not mean that the Pre has been pushed back several months.

Reports DigiTimes, citing the Chinese-language Commercial Times (and from the same report that kills the Motorola Alexander):

Shipments of Palm's two smartphones will be delayed as Compal is waiting for Qualcomm's new chipset solutions that will enable better performance, said the paper.

Here's our thing: We know that Palm has dropped the Palm OS and is focusing on WebOS (which is what's on the Pre), and Windows Mobile. So, it's entirely possible that Palm has a couple new WinMo phones in the works, and they've been pushed back a bit. But there are wrinkles in that, too, which Dieter writes about. Or, it could be another couple of WebOS phones, but that seems a bit unlikely so early in the game.

Either way, let the speculation run rampant!

Via Brighthand and Engadget

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3

Dude, we're not getting a Dell

Oh, Dell, what are we going to do with you? For months and months and months (and months) we're teased by rumors that you might be getting back into the smartphone business. And time and time again, we see nothing.

Now comes word from Barrons [via Giz] that Dell's been shot down by the carriers for producing a couple of prototypes that were too "Dell-like."

(Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw) Wu says that he understands that Dell built prototypes using both Windows Mobile and Android, but that the carriers knocked the offerings for “lack of differentiation” versus current and coming products from HTC, Samsung, LG, Nokia, Motorola and others. He adds that the unveiling of the Palm Pre didn’t help, “generating interest from carriers as a viable competitor.”

Wu says that Dell's going back to the drawing board and could well be making acquitisions to try to get the job done.

Hey, it's touch to top what HTC's doing these days. And there's certainly tons of excitement surrounding the Pre. But shouldn't Dell have a little more to show by now?

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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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If you're still wondering what's keeping Windows Mobile 7 from coming out for at least another year, this may shed a little light on it.

Microsoft has posted a job listing for Principal Development Manager. [via]

Windows Mobile 7 will change the way you view your phone. We aren’t just building a me-too iPhone or RIM competitor; we’re changing the way customers use and experience their device. In the OS Platform team we are responsible for the OS, file systems, security, hardware platforms and drivers, networking & connectivity, location framework and updateability. In other words, we build the foundation upon which the rest of Windows Mobile is built.

So it definitely looks like they're going ground-up on Windows Mobile 7, and they may well still be in the relatively early stages. And note the use of the word "updateability" above, and recall in the latest WMExperts podcast how Dieter explained that updates eventually will come from Microsoft itself, and (hopefully) not pass through (and be delayed by) carriers.

Businesses likely will stick around during the interim. Question is, will the rest of us?

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Palm and Sprint had their little online get-together today for the Pre and Apple tried to one-up that with invitations to the iPhone 3.0 event, so we'll forgive you if you missed this little gem from Microsoft that's making the rounds.

Yeah, it's more of a commercial showing what Windows phones can do, and not so much of a Windows phone actually doing anything. But it's snazzy, and it's new, and it's only a couple minutes out of your life.

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In business, it's all about doing better. Month over month, quarter over quarter, year over year. You need to do better than before. That's growth.

And numbers published today by the analysts at Gartner show that Windows Mobile is far from dead. Specifically, worldwide sales to end users were up 12.2 percent from 2007 to 2008, giving Windows Mobile 11.8 percent of the 2008 market share, behind Symbian and Research in Motion.

OK, WinMo's growth wasn't anywhere near as strong as RIM's (96.7 percent) or Apple's (245.7 percent!) or even Palm's (42.2 percent). But it's positive growth. The Symbian OS fell 6.1 percent from 2007 to 2008 but still has a little more than half of the world's market share. (For more on that, check out Nokia Experts' own Matthew Miller over at ZDNet.)  BlackBerry has 16.6 percent of the market, followed by Windows Mobile at 11.8 percent. The iPhone came in fourth at 8.2 percent.

What's it all mean? The smartphone industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Windows Mobile isn't dead, and there's still plenty of geeky goodness to go around.

JKOnTheRun via ZDNet

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Fine. You caught us. The Windows Mobile Marketplace aped Android's oh-so-unique idea of putting its logo on a shopping bag. We're guilty. And while we're confessing, here are a few more things we did to our open-source cousins:

  • We stole your ball.
  • We broke your crayons.
  • We took your lunch money.
  • We tied your shoelaces together.
  • We pulled your hair.

But don't let that cute little green robot fool you. After the break are a few things we believe might have been pilfered by Andy the Android, if that is his real name.

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My, my, look at that piece of pie. We can imagine that there's a little more gloating going on than is the norm at TheiPhoneBlog.com, with the mobile browsing numbers for February released by Net Applications, by way of cnet. And that's cool. Safari's a great browser on the iPhone. No denying that.

Really of note is Android, which at 6.15 percent of total market share is as high as Symbian, and nearly as high as Windows Mobile. And that's with only being released in October 2008.

Obviously, this will be taken as a measure of how many people are using each platform. And it should be. But, ponder this: On which platform would you be more like to browser the Internet? And in what order would you rank mobile browsers? Safari likely would be first, and Android's browser isn't too shabby, either. It should be interesting to see what this chart will look like, say, in six months, when Mozilla starts to get its mobile browser into Windows Mobile users' hands.

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4

Ballmer speaks, and we translate

We touched very briefly a little while ago on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's seven priorities for the upcoming fiscal year, or what Ballmer calls the "Big seven businesses" of Microsoft.

After digesting Ballmer's presentation at the Strategic Update Meeting (transcript link), let's dive a little deeper into what's going on.

We'll warn you in advance: This mostly isn't sexy stuff. There are no shiny phones on the other side of this story. There is a little talk of Windows Mobile 7, but nothing groundbreaking. But the steps being taken are important to us, and important to Windows Mobile, to better understand where it is Ballmer and Microsoft are taking things.

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What was on Steve Ballmer's New Year's resolution list for 2009? ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley got a peek. Windows 7, netbooks, servers, enterprise, entertainment, it's all there.

As far as Windows Mobile, here's what we've got:

Windows Mobile operating systems and gaming/Zune entertainment services — not a combined hardware/software platform like the iPhone — is where Microsoft is investing, Ballmer reiterated.

Again, no Zune phone. Foley also was kind enough to dig up what Ballmer predicted for 2007 and 2008. Click through to the jump to find out what those predictions were.

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