Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

Some thoughts on Windows Mobile

with 2 comments

Windows Mobile, Microsoft’s operating system for phones, has been wildly ridiculed over the past few years with many analysts, journalists, bloggers and commenters stating their belief that Microsoft have lost the mobile phone war and they should ditch their whole Windows Mobile strategy. Whilst I can definitely agree that Microsoft have been overtaken at a quite frightening rate of knots in this space, most notably by Apple and Google, I do not think that Windows Mobile is a lost cause and in this blog post I’ll explain why.

Paul Thurrott of http://www.winsupersite.com/ has been a near lone voice in the sea of negativity in regard to Windows Mobile and today he wrote a blog entitled Microsoft’s Plan to Save Windows Mobile where he outlined 2 important advancements that will help Windows Mobile’s cause in 2010. Paul says:

  • The first comes with the HTC HD2 smartphone, a gorgeous device with an 800 x 480 capacitive touch screen…These types of screens are much easier to use then the resistive touch screens used by first generation Windows Mobile 6.5 devices, the latter of which require more pressure and often result in mistaken finger tap selections. Many of the complaints about early Windows Mobile 6.5 devices are in fact related to this problem, and capacitive screen compatibility will begin appearing in non-HD2 devices throughout 2010.
  • The second Windows Mobile 6.5 update answers the second major complaint about the latest release of Microsoft’s smart phone system. That is, while Windows Mobile 6.5 does support touch and multitouch … you don’t have to dig too deep into the system before you run into decades-old UIs that were originally designed for stylus taps. Windows Mobile 6.5.3 finally replaces those ancient, lower-level UIs with finger-friendly buttons and menus

I said at the top of this piece that I didn’t think Windows Mobile was a lost cause and to demonstrate that belief I recently purchased the HTC HD2 device that Paul mentions (yes, it is available in the UK right now). I am often asked why I stay wedded to Windows Mobile phones and my answer is simple; my personal email account and the associated contacts are hosted by Hotmail and Windows Mobile (coupled with Windows Live for Windows Mobile) offers the best solution, bar none, for accessing my email on the go.

The HD2 is quite simply stunning and, as Paul says, this is largely down to it sporting a 800 x 480 capacitive touch screen coupled with a very powerful SnapDragon processor. The bundled Opera browser, HTC Sense UI GPS receiver, 5MP camera and accelerometer are also vital components of the overall package that significantly enhance the experience.

The truth of the matter is that coupled with a phenomenal device like the HD2 rather than the turgid efforts that we have seen it foisted onto down the years Windows Mobile can both hold its own and also differentiate itself from the competitors such as the iPhone. I am not proclaiming that the combination of an HD2 device and Windows Mobile is the best that there is out there (and indeed the competitors differentiate themselves in their own way) but what I AM saying is that this combination stands on its own as a phone that one should seriously consider if one is ready to wax lots of money on a top end smartphone.

So whilst Microsoft are currently fighting a losing battle in the mobile phone space I do see a way back for them with devices such as the HD2 coupled with enhancements in the O/S. There are more enhancements to come, we know this, but for the time being Windows Mobile has an important weapon in the HD2. For those that have never seen this device before here is a short flavour of it:

 

@Jamiet

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Written by Jamiet

January 11, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. From Thurrot’s article, the part I’d hoped the most for is the software updates.If Microsoft want to please their partners by helping them force consumer to buy new device for updates, that would be great minus point. These devices could cost more than a PC. Contracts seems to be lasting for two years (don’t have that system here) so at least I want to expect my investment to be supported with updates for that long.Imagine buying 6.5 device earlier this year for hundreds of dollars, then left in the dust when 6.5.3 is released in the middle of the year (and WM7) and users had to buy new devices (or depend on cooked ROM which is then, depending on the developers’ generosity and free time).

    Seika

    January 11, 2010 at 10:59 pm

  2. Yeah I agree with Seika. MS should not alienate customers by not offering upgrades. I was extreamly annoyed when they said that my phone (Original HD) wouldn’t be getting the upgrade to 6.5 becuase it was "Too old" (only a year old) and users "Wouldn’t want to upgrade anyway". This is despite the fact that 6.5 was developed on the original touch HD. MS Need to get their act together and stop messing us around.

    Ed

    January 12, 2010 at 9:40 am


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