windows mobile

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Samsung Propel is back - with Windows Mobile

The last time we saw the Samsung Propel it was sporting just a feature-phone OS, with Windows Mobile nowhere to be found. Now, the Boy Genius has spied an updated version with rearranged hardware buttons and a new keyboard. And it's now the Propel Pro. Yep, another "Pro" phone.

There's also Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard, that optical joystick we just love — and that's about all for now. Now word on price, release date, all those little details.

Anyone getting that special feeling in their tummy over this?

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On the heels of the news that Windows Mobile out sold iPhone during the third quarter of 2008, we are know learning that the WM platform is preferred for most enterprise applications. According to statistics from Evans Data's Wireless Development Survey (registration required to access the report), the number of developers that plan to build enterprise apps for Windows Mobile surpasses those that are focusing on Apple iPhone by 40%.

John Andrews, CEO of Evans Data, states

“Largely, this is a matter of Windows being a more mature platform while Apple has only been in the market a relatively brief time. It should be noted that during the past year, while Windows has remained flat in terms of adoption, Apple has increased three-fold, thus closing the gap,”

The introduction of Windows Mobile 6.5 next month at the Mobile World Congress and the potential release of a fully functional application store, should address the concerns of flatness and keep the gap from closing too much.  We point that out because, well, Redmond Developer News definitely points out the glass-half-empy side of the report, noting that .Net development has seen some reduction since the iPhone came out.  As with political polls, sometimes the trendlines are more important that the numbers.

[VIA: Mobiletopsoft.com and News.Softpedia.com]

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Adding fuel to the fire that is the rumor of Motorola getting/not getting out of the Windows Mobile business, the South Florida Business Journal reported over the weekend that the big M is laying off 77 workers from its Plantation facility by the end of the first quarter. Also, "The company said it will no longer conduct new Windows mobile development at the facility."

Needless to say, that's not good news for 77 employees, and we certainly with them and their families the best. But we're not quite ready to sound the death knell for Windows Mobile on Motorola just yet (though we've got our finger on the trigger, given the bigger picture). But we just don't know Moto's intentions. If it's scaling back on Windows Mobile, then scaling back the division would be in order. But scaling back isn't the same as killing off.

So, we'll keep our fingers crossed that Moto's still got some WinMo magic up its sleeve. But time's running short, and we're going to need more than just another Q variation to keep us interested.

Via Electronistawmpoweruser

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Everyone is raving about the sales the iPhone is making and it deserves its props, but its still not putting up Windows Mobile numbers. In fact, during the third quarter of 08 apple only shipped about 4.4 mill iPhones while Windwos Mobile put out a healthy 5 mil.  Now, part of the the drop in the iPhone sales is that they may have finally reached all the markets they hadn't yet with the iPhone 3G, so they may be coming close to some kind of geographic saturation. 

It's still a close race, but then again close only counts in horse shoes and hand gernades -- not bragging rights. Will Windows Mobile be able to maintain its lead? We'll have to see if WM 6.5 can stir up some excitement -- but frankly even though we know it's software that makes a phone good, we're guessing the average consumer still looks to hot new hardware -- so both Microsoft and its manufacturers will have to do their part.   via mobiletopsoft 
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The Smartphone Round Robin took quite the unexpected hiatus -- I've been awfully busy these past few weeks and truth be told it was Windows Mobile itself that helped me manage my increasingly hectic worklife. In case you missed it, here's my Video of the Fuze, including some details on how I've decided not to use TouchFlo 3D.  Now that I'm back on Windows Mobile, it's time to explain why it's a great OS. Although the Round Robin contest is now over (we'll announce the winners tomorrow!), I'm betting you all will have plenty to say about this year's take on WM.

So read on!

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So it seems like a whole bunch of people got themselves into a tizzy over the recent New York Times piece that said Microsoft was scaling back the number of Windows Mobile phones. Us? Not so worried. We always figured it was a quality-over-quantity move, and not that Microsoft was losing interest in the mobile market.

Still don't believe us? TamsPPC [via] got 'hold of Microsoft Austria and heard back from the Mobility group:

We are always working on new versions of the OS and always looking for ways to improve our products with our partners. Microsoft will be focusing on building out the quality of the Windows Mobile experience, investing more in working with its partners to ensure the best hardware-software integration. While this may result in fewer phone models, Microsoft will continue working with our partners to innovate on the Windows Mobile platform.

The MS statement goes on to say that The New York Times piece was just plain inaccurate in its implication, and that "Todd Peters stated that Microsoft would be focusing on building out the quality of the Windows Mobile experience."

There you go. Quality over quantity. Or, as we like to say around here,

Choosy moms choose Windows Mobile.

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The rumors of the untimely demise of Windows Mobile over at Motorola appear to be false. We've been hearing grumblings that Motorola was planning on cutting their development teams in half and ditching Windows Mobile for Android.

But in an interview with Computerworld.com, Brian Viscount, Motorola's Vice President of Marketing for Mobile Enterprise Computing (some title), insisted that the recent news of Windows Mobile's demise at Motorola were false. He stated Microsoft's enterprise division, "remains 100% committed to Windows Mobile".

The comments were made during an interview about Motorola's new Snap-on Mobile Payment devices that work on their enterprise-class MC-70 and MC-75 wireless handhelds, which happen to be powered by Windows Mobile. The wireless handhelds are used in retail/commercial locations to track inventory, set pricing, ordering stock and with the snap-on attachment they can be used to accept payments for merchandise.

So there is joy in Mudville tonight as it appears that Motorola will not be ditching Windows Mobile.  Now if we can only dispel the EOL rumors for the Q Series.

[VIA: wmpoweruser.com]

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Yep, you read that right. Microsoft apparently is planning to scale back the number of devices it puts Windows Mobile on. And this really isn't that surprising and almost definitely is a move in the right direction.

The New York Times reports that Microsoft is planning a "major announcement" next month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, so we'll likely get more details then. For now, here's what Todd Peters, VP of Marketing for Windows Mobile, told the Gray Lady.

The reason that Microsoft is limiting the number of phones with the operating system is because, he said, the company does not want to have its efforts diluted over too many devices.

“I’d rather have fewer devices and be more focused,” he said. That way “we get better integration” between phone and operating system.

This really makes sense to us. We've ranted talked about how AT&T in particular has too many Windows Mobile phones to pick from, and the NYT story spells it out — there are 140 phones that currently run Windows Mobile. There is, in fact, too much of a good thing. Concentrating on a smaller number of outstanding devices definitely should be better in the long run for the platform, and for Microsoft in general. Sure worked out well for these guys.

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WMExperts Podcast 14 - Diamond, WCDMA

Dieter's not going solo every other week anymore, Malatesta has joined in. This week we discuss the news and focus on what exactly WCDMA is and why it matters to both carriers, manufacturers, and -- yes -- you. Listen in!

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Here's a Chinese copy that brings the best of current operating systems. The QiGi i6 is pretty much a knockoff of the HTC Touch, in looks anyway. Under the hood we have the following:

  • Marvell 624MHZ processor.
  • 256 megs ROM/128 megs RAM.
  • 2.8-inch QVGA screen.
  • WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth.
  • 2MP camera.
  • MicroSD.
  • And it comes with either Windows Mobile, or Google's Android operating system.

This is an either/or deal. There's no dual-boot. The phone either runs Android, or it runs Windows Mobile. Don't really think the hardware's beefy enough to do both anyway.

But this certainly isn't the first time a device has been offered with more than one operating system. Palm's been doing it for some time with its Garnet OS and Windows Mobile, albeit with subtle differences between devices, as seen in the Treo 700p/700w/700wx and the 750 and 755p.

eprice.com via unwiredview

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Originally noted over at the Microsoft Exchange Blog and then noted, well, all over, the Mobile Communications Product Group at Microsoft now has a new leader: Terry Myerson. Myerson comes over to the WinMo team after heading up Exchange (Andy Lees is still the SVP, in case that was unclear). Why's that important? In recent years Exchange has become pretty much the de-facto corporate email solution, they've pretty much taken the lead under Myerson's watch.

Windows IT Pro had a sit down with Myerson about the move and what he thinks about the future of Windows Mobile. Despite the iPhone's unprecented quarter (seriously, it was ginormous), Myerson doesn't think that Apple's going to drive them out of business anytime soon. He cited WinMo's 18 million licenses in the past year and 30 phones they introduced in 2008.

More on what exactly Myerson is facing after the break!

The main focus moving forward (besides helping Windows Mobile 7 get out the freaking door) looks to be a continued focus on Enterprise while making that same device usable outside of work:

“Microsoft’s strategy for Windows Mobile has always been to nail tough business requirements while not forgetting that all of us go home to our families and friends,” Myerson said. “And we want people to carry a single phone that crosses those two worlds seamlessly.”

Myerson also cited the Danger acquisition -- we're hoping we will see the fruits of that either in Windows Mobile or in WM services right quick. In all, it looks like a good move for the WinMo team bringing on an Executive with a proven track record of success with Exchange.

Here's the thing, though, although we agree with the argument that there's plenty of room in the smartphone market for even niche players and with the argument that competitors like the iPhone and Android raise general awareness of Smartphones and therefore can help Windows Mobile (the rising tide argument), we really don't want Windows Mobile to be stuck as a “niche player.”

Think about how quickly the smartphone market has changed in the past year: the iPhone has gobbled marketshare like a hungry, hungry hippo; Android has gone from a glimmer in our eyes to a shiping device; RIM has managed to pivot and introduce their own iPhone-competitor in the Storm. We fully expect the next year to be just as crazy -- there's no market like the smartphone market, as I said at TiPb earlier.

Given that the latest rumors are pegging the Windows Mobile 7 release for late 2009, that would likely mean we wouldn't see devices until 2010. If the next version of Windows Mobile is going to be a little more than a year away, it's going to need to feel like a device that's “five years ahead of the competition” if it's going to viable in this crazy-fast smartphone marketplace. That's in addition to the “big launch” Robbie Bach has said we can expect someday.

While we hate to raise expectations too high, that's pretty much where we feel the smartphone market is at: it's changed so much in the past year and is changing so quickly now that Microsoft needs to target the next version of Windows Mobile to beat the next versions of the competition, not what they have out now.

In other words, Myerson and the rest of the WinMo team have their work cut out for them.

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Introducing 'Around SPE'

You may not realize it, but the site you're reading right now is a part of one of the premier networks of smartphone news and review sites. We call it the 'Smartphone Experts Network' and if you haven't heard, we've recently added a new member to our family, Android Central. That brings the number of our smartphone communities up to five sites. You can find links to these sites and to their latest stories either in the sidebar or footer of every SPE site.

I thought now would be a good time to introduce a new weekly blog post I'll be putting up at each of our sites called 'Around SPE,' which will give you a very quick roundup of the biggest stories at each of our sites. Now, 'big stories' are just a tiny part of what we offer, as each of our sites also feature vibrant communities, engaging podcasts, and also accessory stores if you're looking to make your smartphone a little better.

In addition to our new sister site, there's also some other SPE Network news to share, so follow me after the break to learn more!

Let's start with a quick note about Smartphone Experts:

Beyond the launch of Android Central, there's also a couple other things that may interest you. First and foremost, we're going to be launching the 2nd Annual Smartphone Round Robin on November 17th! If you're unfamiliar with the Round Robin, here's how it works. An editor from each of our five sites must, for one full week, give up their smartphone of choice and use a competing smartphone. During the course of that week, each editor will be publishing a review of that new smartphone from their unique perspective. It's a great way to gain insight into how all these different smartphones work.

We have chosen our devices for this year (it was tough!) and everybody's getting ready to give up their own favorite phones to try their hand with the others. We're going to mix things up a bit this year with some multimedia coverage and maybe another surprise or two -- so stay tuned! If you want to get caught up, you can check out all the articles from the 1st Annual Smartphone Round Robin here.

One other quick note -- I'm an RSS fiend and I figure maybe some of you are too. I've created a Combined RSS Feed for the SPE Network that mixes all of our daily postings in a single feed. Heck -- you can even Subscribe to SPE Network by Email. I'm going to go ahead can call the combined feed a “Beta” for now, there are a few kinks to work out in our system. The good news is the URL will always stay the same.

Alright, enough of that, let's get to the news of the week!

-Dieter Bohn, Editor in Chief, Smartphone Experts

The biggest news of the past week in the entire smartphone world is -- without question -- the release of the T-Mobile G1. At Android Central, we've been covering the news from every angle. The most important angle has to be our full reviews of the device.

If you're unfamiliar with Android, our video overview of the platform is a great primer. If you're interested to hear how this first ever 'Google Phone' is from a hardware perspective, our hardware review of the T-Mobile G1 has you covered. Finally, we've also published a full review of Android on the G1. Grab yourself a tasty beverage and dig in. If you have any questions about the G1 or about Android in general, be sure to stop by the new Android Forums.

Over at CrackBerry.com, you'll find there was a lot of news out of the first-ever BlackBerry Developer Conference. While the BlackBerry App Center/App Store news was big, perhaps the most exciting takeaway wasn't made in the form of an announcement at all, but rather that RIM is becoming a much more sociable company as they focus their energy on the consumer market. Day 1 and Day 2 highlights give a good impression of what went down at DevCon.

Who are we kidding? The biggest news of the week was that Kevin has posted his full hands-on review the BlackBerry Storm!

One of the best things about Windows Mobile is the multiplicity of devices available for the platform. This week at WMExperts.com has been a pretty good example of that. We gave one of the first reviews of the Samsung Epix on the web, looked forward to the AT&T Fuze, and celebrated the official launch of the Touch Pro on Sprint.

A story that may have flew under your radar is a roundup of rumors coming from what appears to be an insider at HTC. If you're of a more technical bent -- or just want to see what sorts of crazy hacks are possible on Windows Mobile, check out Registry Edits I Have Loved.

The iPhone Blog has been focusing on how The iPhone made huge financial numbers this week for both Apple and AT&T, with almost 7 million iPhones sold -- (temporarily?) eclipsing both Blackberry and Windows Mobile. Just imagine what an iPhone HD could do! At 5500 Apps and 200,000,000 downloads to date (some of which you can win right now in TiPb's AT WORK contest!), however, questions remain as to whether or not developers for the iPhone's market defining App Store will likewise enjoy the “long tail” of success.

Over at TreoCentral, we read that Access recently unveiled their new version of the Access Linux Platform (ALP). Although not strictly-Treo-related, it is an interesting look at what might-have-been for the Treo. Access is the company that ultimately purchased the rights of Palm's original next generation platform, then called Cobalt, before scuttling it. It will be interesting to see if ALP picks up any traction against Android or Palm's upcoming OS.

We also learned that Sprint is finally joining their competitors in trimming the outrageous fees they charge for early termination of cell phone service contracts. In an interview with the Associated Press this week, Sprint's CEO, Dan Hesse, said Sprint could start lowering the fees as soon as December, pending updates to its billing software.

That's it for this week, folks! Stay tuned for more details on the Smartphone Round Robin and be sure to say hello over at Android Central!

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Yep. We were pretty sure that after the Norwegian shenanigans showing Windows Mobile supposedly running on an iPhone that there'd be plenty more crawling out of the woodwork.

Exhibit B: Edward over at msmobiles has posted a video that supposedly is a demonstration of Office Mobile and Word Mobile running on his "fruit phone."

The quality of the video is so poor (think Blair Witch project, only darker), that it's tough to render judgment as to its authenticity. But we're dubious for (at least) the following reasons:

  1. As a commenter points out, Windows Mobile indeed does NOT support the 320x480 resolution on the iPhone.
  2. Check out the logo at the top left of the video, and the spinning wheel as the app's loading. Again, the quality's pretty poor, but it sure looks to be a little off. Compare it to this one, from an Office Mobile story we did last spring.

Let us know in our comments what you think. MS? Or BS? And if you have any links to videos of Windows Mobile running on, say, an old TI Speak & Spell, we'll be more than happy to take a look at them, too.

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