Visiting Microsoft at CES
Unsurprisingly, there wasn't much at Microsoft's CES booth that we hadn't seen before. The HTC HD2 and yesterday's official announcement that it will be available "this spring" on T-Mobile was on the tip of everyone's tongues. But other than that, there were no new Windows phones announced.
We did take a spin with Ford Sync, which is Microsoft's system that will pair just about any device -- Bluetooth or otherwise -- with a new Ford or Mercury vehicle. Voice commands are the key to the whole thing, so you keep your hands on the wheel.
The Zune guys were more than happy to hear that we're hoping to see Zune software integrated into Windows Mobile in the next year or so. But we could get neither them nor the Windows phone folks to spill the beans as to what might or might not be coming in Windows Mobile 7.
Awkward moment of the morning: Our pal Rene Ritchie from The iPhone Blog hits up the Bing team to ask about the Bing iPhone app. And they'd never heard of it.
Photos of the exploits after the break.
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Something curious about the HTC HD2 during Ballmer's keynote at CES yesterday. The European release of the HD2 has actually been pretty buggy. Lots of niggling bugs and defects, but you can search the net if you want to read about them in detail. One particular bug is the inability of Windows Mobile to recognize the video hardware in the HD2. It runs the Snapdragon processor, which includes hardware for decoding high-definition video at 720p res. Windows Mobile simply doesn't handle the HD video, for unknown reason. But the unit that Ballmer had on stage did. He was apparently playing HD video from the handset. So what is different about Ballmer's HD2 which can play HD video, and everyone else's HD2 that can't? Was Ballmer using a future version of Windows Mobile that has this issue fixed? The Android phones running on Snapdragons can play HD video without problem.
Who knows? Maybe he was? It's well known that HTC has been releasing ROM updates and patches for the HD2 like crazy since it went on sale. Ballmer could have been using a HD2 with something like ROM 2.1 or newer. I believe the leaked builds/roms xda gets aren't the newest MS has internally, that's just my gutt feeling.