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windows mobile

No doubt lots of people are clamoring at the notion that "Windows Mobile is dead" (evidently this crew has moved on from mocking Palm) and what with Motorola on WM hiatus, Palm parting ways, the eternal delay of WM7 and the perhaps too-little-to-late Windows Mobile 6.5, it is easy to see why.

On the other hand there is the stark reality: Microsoft has a lot of licensees (14 to be exact), including most recently LG, which is committed to a reported 50 devices in the next few years. HTC has lots of hits with its Touch series and their increase in market power is unrelenting.

To back this up, iSuppli, which performs market analysis, came out with a report stating that though Microsoft is down right now, it is poised for a strong comeback. It is predicting "a 15.3 percent share of the global market in 2013, second only to the Symbian operating system, which will control 47.6 percent." Basically they're going to bounce from No. 2 to No. 3 this year and back to second-place by 2012.

Expanding on this, Tina Teng, a senior analyst at iSuppli, goes on to correctly note

“To win in today’s environment, a company needs not only an operating system but also device support, an application store, a broad portfolio of applications and support from the developer community. While Windows Mobile is losing some share to competitors in 2009, most of the alternatives cannot match Microsoft’s complete suite of offerings.”

This isn't too hard to fathom either with Ballmer revamping the Windows Mobile team and making it the second top priority for the company. Heck, look at all the Live services (Bing, Mesh, MyPhone), tech previews (Recite, Deepfish), Marketplace, the Chassis-1 specifications, the Orion project, TellMe, gesture navigation, non-touch gestures/Side Sight, Silverlight, free automagic-ness and Windows Mobile 7 looks to be a monster OS with very advanced technology. Now combine all of that with 14 hardware manufacturers, market presence, integration with Windows 7, Xbox and that Zune HD thing. Ka-ching.

Microsoft has all the pieces, now it just has to merge them all into a unified and compelling OS.  One year from now we thing will be very interesting times.

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Finally, after what has seemed like an eternity, Adobe this morning announced Flash Player 10.1 for Windows Mobile (and other smartphones, too) will be available in early 2010. No more Flash Lite. No more need for a proxy browser (though we still think they have their place). Real, live Flash in your mobile browser.

That said, we'll need to see it to believe it. We all know how taxing Flash can be on a desktop system, it's reasonable to believe that only the newer hardware will be able to capably run it. From the Adobe news release:

The browser-based runtime leverages the power of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) for accelerated video and graphics while conserving battery life and minimizing resource utilization. New mobile-ready features that take advantage of native device capabilities include support for multi-touch, gestures, mobile input models, accelerometer and screen orientation bringing unprecedented creative control and expressiveness to the mobile browsing experience. Flash Player 10.1 will also take advantage of media delivery with HTTP streaming, including integration of content protection powered by Adobe® Flash® Access 2.0. This effort, code-named Zeri, will be an open format based on industry standards and will provide content publishers, distributors and partners the tools they need to utilize HTTP infrastructures for high-quality media delivery in Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe® AIR® 2.0 software.

Get the full rundown here, and check out of a video of Flash 10.1 on the Toshiba TG01 (which is running a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, btw).

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Surveys and marketing research are important things. Without them, companies would be flying blind.

The Seattle P-I points us to the CFI Group Smartphone Satisfaction Survey [pdf link] of 1,074 people, and the boys and girls in Redmond can't be happy with the results. Results are broken down into the following devices:

  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Pre
  • BlackBerry
  • Treo
  • Other

Ouch. At least the Nokia fans our feeling our pain, as Windows Mobile and Symbian both apparently had such low mindshare as to fall into the "other" category. CFI spells it out:

Throughout this report we have focused on the main ‘branded’ smartphones like iPhone, Android, Pre, BlackBerry,
and Treo. And yet there are many more smartphones in use
today, manufactured by the likes of LG, Samsung, Motorola,
and Nokia, running either the Windows Mobile or Symbian
operating system. What’s going on with these smartphones?

For one thing, many users can’t identify their operating
system. While Android users know they have phone on the
Android platform, most Windows Mobile or Symbian users
have no idea what operating system is running their phone.
This lack of branding and awareness can only hurt the
generic smartphone.

Obviously, that's not good. We're expecting big things from Microsoft with Windows Mobile. We'll repeat it until we're blue in the face: Microsoft has proven it can marry a compelling user interface with sleek and sophisticated hardware with the Zune HD. It for darn sure better do so with Windows Mobile 7 (and we still have to figure out where exactly the Project Pink phones fit in).

And we'll go one further and say that this is the reason Microsoft is pushing the "Windows phone" strategy so hard. Microsoft has some great manufacturers behind Windows phones. HTC. Samsung. Sony Ericsson (for now). LG. Acer. Once upon a time, Palm. But, outside of the Treo line, mindshare is still lacking, as evidenced by this survey. Will Windows Mobile 7 and the whole "Windows phone" strategy begin to turn that around? (And we say "begin" because to expect an iPhone-like response is just not rational, for smartphone manufacturer.) News at 11.

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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 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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