The evolution of Windows Mobile

Ah, it's always fun to go back to the old neighborhood. For those of you new to Windows Mobile, here's a great video retrospective by 1800PocketPC showing where we've come from over the years, from PocketPC to Windows Phone. But, just like the old neighborhood, it's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

Via Jason Landridge's Mr. Mobile Blog

Phil Nickinson

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

  • It's amazing how much they've HAD to innovate in the past year. From year 2000-2008 they've basically had zero interface innovation.
  • "But, just like the old neighborhood, it's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there" I barely want to live in WinMo now. I've been a faithful user for many years now... Back in the WM2003 era. But there's less and less of a reason to stay with each new month.
  • What happened to the Handheld PC which was the first MS mobile device running Windows CE.
  • To be fair, the new Today screen shown in 6.5 here was actually in 6.1 Standard. Whichever manager decided that that screen should only be in Standard and not Professional should be fired. But overall, I agree that there was really no movement forward here until 6.1S/6.5P. The previous ones were all relatively minor tweaks on the same theme. And even the new screen has a lot of the same control elements of the old one, just with a snazzier UI that the hardware the older versions ran on probably couldn't have handled. That is to say, the idea of basically horizontal bars, each of which is a single THING, is present throughout every version.
  • anyone remember the Palm sized PC?
  • But aren't they missing the old Windows CE? Back when all we had was a gray scale display.
  • Yeh, I agree. The incremental changes in UI isn't really worth talking about. Fact is, WM remained stagnant since, oh, I don't know, PPC2000? WM6.5 is just a pretty face on top of an OS which should have been retired years ago. Core applications (Notes, Tasks, Calendar) have received zero innovation over the years.
  • Gotta agree with all the other commenters. I've been using WM since PPC2000 (first device: HP Jornada 520), and have used each version, aside from the new interface on WM6.5 it is pretty much unchanged. You could hand a user back in 2000 a new 6.5 device and they would feel right at home with it. If WinMo was still the only game in town that might not be a bad thing, but with so much competition now it's time for Microsoft to do something revolutionary.
  • Isn't feeling right at home the purpose? Notice how much Windows (the regular version) has changed since Windows NT. If Microsoft had made radical changes to Windows, they surely would've lost a lot of customers. People prefer to maintain the status quo. Evolution, not revolution.
  • Not to go all fanboy on you guys, but has anyone consided the lack of evolution of the Today screen as an indication that it works? Arguably, the look and feel of Windows 7 isn't all that much different than Windows 95 either- show a Win95 user Windows 7, and they'd be able to get around without too much trouble. I've been using WinMo since Palm-sized PC, and there's a certain comfort in the fact that the elements that work well, like the Today screen, continue to work well, while areas that needed improvement (IE Mobile, Office Mobile) have evolved (though admittedly not enough!) I'll take my circa-2000 Today screen, with all of my most needed info available at a glance, including upcoming appointments listed in full- not just a number telling me how many, over the HTC-style "giant digital clocks plus the current weather" displays that seem to pass for a "modern" home screen any day of the week!
  • This video a perfect example how micrsoft is missing to innovate in mobile solutions (and, by the way, desktop OS as well). It's really a shame to see that some people see this as an indication that it "just is perfect - so no need to change" - including some of microsofts managers. Lets face it - Vista made me switch from Windows to Linux and WiMo 6.5 will make me switch to Andoid (no, maybe not, to googlie), iPhone or WebOS. But i really do want some innovations. And i think i'm not the only one.