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Acer Smartphone Confirmed: Feb 16

We knew that after Acer's acqusition of E-Ten that it was only a matter of time before we saw an Acer Smartphone.  That time will apparely come February 16th at Mobile World Congress.  We're hoping for some 6.5 action, but honestly we'd settle for something new and interesting and not just a rebrand of E-Ten's Glofiish series -- devices which are nothing to sniff at, but still aren't really the makings of of a brand new launch.

MWC09 should be pretty exciting, we'll be there. 

[Read: Pocket-Lint via BGR]

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Microsoft just announced that its next desktop operating system will come in five flavors, much to the chagrin of many:

  • Windows 7 Starter
  • Windows 7 Home Basic (for "emerging markets")
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate

Here in Windows Mobile world, we've got two choices within the OS – Professional (for touchscreen phones) and Standard (for those who like to keep their fingers off the screen). And, really, how much more would we need? We already know from the beta testing that Windows 7 plays just fine with Windows Mobile.

But here's a twist: Will Windows 7, which save for the multiple versioning has gotten mostly rave reviews, kill off the fledgling mobile companion market? We've seen from jkOnTheRun how well Windows 7 runs on netbooks. Between that and what we're hoping to see with Microsoft's new cloud services, will there be any room left for a devices that doesn't do it all? And as we saw in our Redfly vs. MSI Wind smackdown, is there any room for that now?

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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: and]

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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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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, 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.


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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. 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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