Windows Mobile Weekly Roundup

by Todd Ogasawara

Here's the weekly summary of a mix of Windows Mobile and general mobile tech related items from my personal blog.

Why Does Microsoft Confuse its Windows Mobile Customers?
In response to a blog item about Microsoft Money being unavailable for Windows Mobile devices, reader Marcos asks: Good information but SPB Finance is only compatible with Windows Mobile 5 not smartphone. I had purchased Money 2007 and also SPB Finance and now that I upgraded my cell phone for a smartphone (Dash)I am in trouble with no sync. Any idea how can I have Money 2007 in my Dash?

Before discussing it in detail, let's see what I wrote in my earlier blog that he is responding to:

If you plan to upgrade to Microsoft Money 2006 or 2007 and use it with your Pocket PC, don't. According to the Microsoft web page Money for handheld devices and Palm Pilots, Money 2007 will not sync with any Pocket PC version and Money 2006 only synchronizes with Pocket PCs that run versions preceding Windows Mobile 5.

If you want something to help manage your finances on your Pocket PC and can sync with both Microsoft Money and Quicken, take a look at Spb Finance.


It would be easy to play the role of an uppity self-proclaimed expert and diss Marcos for not reading blog or to send him to Microsoft's web site to explain that the Windows Mobile branding applies to both Pocket PCs and Smartphones. But, I'm aiming the dissing where it belongs: At Microsoft's marketing of the Windows Mobile brand and its effort to unify the Pocket PC and Smartphone platforms.

Microsoft Windows Mobile consists of two main branches: Pocket PCs with touch screens that may or may not have a cell phone radio (CDMA or GSM) and Smartphones without touch screens and always with some kind of keyboard for dialing and other input. Back when the first generation Smartphone 2002 launched, it was pretty easy to tell the difference between a Pocket PC Phone Edition and a Smartphone. In 2006, we have an entirely different story. Go take a look at a Treo 700w, Motorola Q, T-Mobile Dash, and Samsung BlackJack. Which ones are Pocket PC Phone Edition devices and which ones are Smartphones? Ding! Yep, only the Treo 700w is a Phone Edition among this very similar looking bunch of devices. No wonder Marcos is confused. Even Cingular appears to be confused. Take a look at their product page for the BlackJack. Their ad copy for the phone Mobile Word, Excel, and PowerPoint support. And, yet, Microsoft doesn't provide those applications for their Smartphones. It may have a reader/displayer for those files, but you can't edit Word or Excel documents on a Smartphone using Microsoft applications.With Windows Mobile 5, Microsoft even changed the bottom of the screen to require two giant softkeys at the bottom tied to two hardware buttons for both the Pocket PC and Smartphone. This took away an enourmous amount of screen real estate from developers who had used that bar of pixels to display menus, status, and other useful information. Now, we just have two giant softkeys wasting space most of the time on a Pocket PC device.

The Pocket PC/Phone Edition and Smartphone should be clearly differentiated so that people like Marcos and the vast majority of customers don't need to become Windows Mobile experts to figure out which device they should buy and use. This lack of product differentiation is biting a lot of disappointed consumers. Look at my response to Meg's question just a few blog items ago: Office Mobile for a Smartphone?

This is basically the same issue Marcos faces: People who are interested in or already bought a Windows Mobile Smartphone when they really need a Windows Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition. Why? Because most Windows Mobile Smartphones that were sold prior to the Motorola Q didn't have QWERTY keyboards. That made them less than useful for applications that are data-entry intensive like Word, Excel, and Money from Microsoft as well as many third party applications. This means you don't see as many data-entry intensive applications for the Smartphone since their numbers are probably still small compared to the Smartphones with more traditional dialpads.

So, Marcos. Please read my text again. There is NO Microsoft Money 2006 or 2007 compatible with ANY Windows Mobile 5 platform. And, if you want to perform that kind of task with a 3rd party application like Spb Finance, you should look at a Pocket PC Phone Edition or Pocket PC (no phone), not a Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone device like the T-Mobile Dash.

typepad mobile
I don't use TypePad for blogging. However, if you do and you would like
to use a mobile device to blog from, take a look at...

typepad mobile

There are versions for Palm OS 5, Windows Mobile 5, and Symbian Series
60 (free download). The online manual provides step-by-step instructions
for posting text and photos from a mobile device.

Pocket & Phone SharpMT: Mobile Blogging
I guess this is my mobile blogging topic week. Here's another mobile blogging client...

Pocket SharpMT and Phone SharpMT

...are freeware mobile blogging applications for Windows Mobile Pocket PCs and Smartphones (with .Net CompactFramework 2.0). As you might guess from the MT part of the app name, this client works with the MoveableType API.

Blogger Mobile
Unlike the previous mobile blogging client-side products discussed, Blogger Mobile uses the more familiar mail-the-blog-in model. Actually, there is a twist. It actually uses a gateway instead of mailing directly to a specific blog address. If you use Blogger as your blogging service, head over to read the following two items.

On the Go with Blogger Mobile

Blogger Mobile FAQ

According to the FAQ, the service works with AT&T/Cingular, Sprint PCS, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless in the US. An email or MMS message is sent to the address go@blogger.com to make the magic work. The message can include a photo as well as text.

Moblogging on Yahoo! 360
I discussed moblogging using Google's Blogger yesterday. So, it only seems fair to mention Yahoo! 360 today.

If you login to your Yahoo! account and head over to http://mobile.yahoo.com/mblog, you will see simple specific instructions on how to email text and photos directly from your cameraphone to your Yahoo! 360 blog.

Moblogging to Microsoft Live Spaces (aka MSN Spaces)
Continuing on with Moblogging week... MSN Spaces got a web facelift and renamed Windows Live Spaces earlier this year. Like Blogger and Yahoo! 360, you can email text and photos from your cameraphone to your blog. Unlike the other services, it doesn't have an external write-up you can read without logging in. So, here's some information in case you are considering using Live Spaces.

  • Login to Live Spaces with your Passport account
  • Click on Options on the upper far right side of the window
  • Click on Email Publishing in the left sidebar
  • Fill out the web form and read the instructions about moblogging to your Live Spaces blog

If you are a MSN Soapbox video beta-tester, you can post videos from it to your Live Spaces blog (though you cannot post video directly from your cameraphone).

2 Comments

Bob Gelband
2007-01-16 14:48:15
Thank you so much, I already own a T-Mobile Dash and you still taught me a thing or two... I wish I had read this before I purchased the Dash. I'm quite dissatisfied. The only reason I bought the Dash was to replace my Treo that was stolen - there is a BIG difference!
Mike A
2007-03-12 11:23:48
I think it's just plain stupid that Microsoft gave up syncing to Pocket PC devices. I can sync any version of Money with a Palm (Ultrasoft Money), and I can sync any version of Quicken with a Palm or Pocket PC (Pocket Quicken). I just can't sync any version of Money with Win Mobile 5, and only version Pre 2006 with Win Mobile 2003. It just doesn't make sense why they dropped this, unless they are looking to drop the whole Pocket PC platform. Microsoft cannot talk to Microsoft but everyone else can. Fools.