[CoMoDev] Early review of (leaked) Windows Mobile 5

  • From: David Beers <cervezas@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 6 May 2005 17:07:25 -0600

Magneto (a.k.a Windows Mobile 5 a.k.a. Windows Mobile 2005) is supposed to be 
out some time next week.  Meantime, somebody got hold of a leaked copy of 
Magneto and reviewed it here: 

The review concludes:

Main innovations in Windows Mobile 2005:

    * The single-handed control of the device, not involving the touch screen. 
The support of applications for Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone. The key 
devices that will illustrate this approach this year are Asus p515, HTC 
Blizzard and Samsung Thor.
    * Possibility to add photos and assign personal melodies to the contacts.
    * Greatly improved Word Mobile (it keeps formats while editing, shows 
pictures); to a smaller extent ? Excel Mobile. New application added ? 
PowerPoint Mobile.
    * Built-in drivers (APIs) for GPS and the camera.

Except for the last item, what struck me about this list is how much of a 
catch-up game Microsoft is still playing with PalmSource with regard to smart 
phone features.  All of these features have been on Palm OS smart phones from 
palmOne or Samsung for a year or two.  In particular I've always found it 
strange that the best handheld support for MS Office documents has always been 
on Palm OS devices--I mean practically from day one. I was watching PowerPoint 
presentations delivered directly from a Handspring Visor to a projector back in 
early 2001 and you've been able to edit even complex Word documents without 
loss of formatting on a Palm for years as well.

Of course there's the other side of the coin: the areas where PalmSource and 
its licensees still have lagged far behind their Windows Mobile counterparts. 
Most egregious is the area of WiFi support, but also support for VGA screens, 
schema databases and multitasking at the application level.  These kinks appear 
to be nicely worked out in Palm OS Cobalt, but Cobalt has been released for a 
year now and still we see no Cobalt devices.  "Third Quarter" they say.  Mmm 
hmm.  No question, the biggest shortcoming of Palm OS has just been getting its 
shiny new OS to market.

Interestingly, it's quite possible that Microsoft doesn't care that much about 
delivering a knockout punch to the likes of Palm and Symbian.  Microsoft has 
licensed ActiveSync technology to both of them, which fits with my theory that 
its main interest in mobility is to drive sales of its office and server 
software.  Its mobile division has yet to turn a profit and Redmond may not 
feel urgently that it needs to.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Skype ID: pikesoft

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  • » [CoMoDev] Early review of (leaked) Windows Mobile 5