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.

Ready for Windows Vista for Windows Mobile?
Microsoft Windows Vista is finally available for anyone to purchase/upgrade. Are you ready to sync your Pocket PC or Smartphone with Vista? Here's some references for you to check out if you're planning to use Vista with your Windows Mobile device.

Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center

Couple of important notes from this page. First, if your device pre-dates Windows Mobile 2003, you can't sync it with Vista and WMDC. Second, the oldest version of Outlook supported is XP (2002). I've seen some sites say Outlook 2000 is supported. But, that is not indicated on Microsoft's WMDC page. Third WMDC appears to still be in a beta-release stage.

Synchronizing with Vista -Windows Mobile Device Center FAQ

The site above is maintained by fellow Mobile Devices MVP Chris De Herrera.

Troubleshooting Vista Windows Mobile Device Center

Finally, the blog entry linked above is by Microsoft's own Mr. Mobile Jason Langridge.

Happy Vista-ing, folks!

EV-DO applicability in Japan?
Reader J.V. asks: Would a BlackBerry with Ev-DO technology (such as the 7703e) be usable in Japan? Would a BlackBerrys on GSM/GPRS and EDGE networks be usable in Japan?

Most of the world does not use CDMA/EVDO. Most of the world tends to be GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS. Japan's NTT DoCoMo invented W-CDMA used by both FOMA used in Japan and UMTS used in a lot of places (except for most of the US where we tend to lag behind in the wireless world).

I took a look at taking my GSM/GPRS phone with me when I visited Japan back in 2005. I ended up leaving it behind. In speaking with people who visit Japan regularly, it seems that they tend to buy a phone with rechargeable SIMs (fixed number of minutes). If you read the article I wrote about my trip for O'Reilly's MacDevCenter...
Japan Primer for the Mac Techno-Tourist'll find a section sub-titled Mobile Phones, Broadband, & Wi-Fi Hotspots that provides links to sites that discussing phone roaming options.

Windows CE vs. Windows Mobile
Reader Z.M. asks: Two products I have seen, the Cisco/Linksys WIP330, and the Y5 World handset use Windows CE/Mobile for the OS and browser, but they do not have the full UI suite you see on Windows Mobile mobile phones. They both use what looks like the same 3rd-party UI kit for a telephony UI. I was wondering if you know who makes this software?
Microsoft provides the base platform for Windows CE that is used in embedded devices such as the ones you mention (and many more). This base platform is then molded and enhanced by independent developers to create products like the ones you mention. This is a large number of embedded systems developers working to develop these kinds of products.
Windows CE is also the underlying platform for Windows Mobile devices: Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone Edition, and Smartphone. The Windows Mobile Shell, Office, and other teams add on the features you see on Pocket PCs and Smartphones based on Windows Mobile.

Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center is Available
Microsoft released the production versions of Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) for Windows Vista on January 31. WMDC replaces ActiveSync for Vista users. There are two versions available...
Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center Driver for Windows Vista (x86)

Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center Driver for Windows Vista (AMD64)

Please note that you must check which version of Windows Vista you are using. I suspect that many people with AMD Athlon 64 based PCs (like me) are running the 32-bit version of Vista for driver compatibility. So, just having an Athlon-64 CPU does not mean you should download and try to install the AMD64 version of WMDC.

Windows Mobile Device Center Site

In my previous blog entry, I pointed out the two download links for the 32-bit and 64-bit veresions of the Vista replacement for ActiveSync. Here's a link to its home web site...

Windows Mobile Device Center
It's interesting that the full name for the software is Windows Mobile Device Center 6. Something to match up with an unreleased Windows Mobile 6, perhaps (we are currently at Windows Mobile 5 release)?

There's a link to a WMDC troubleshooting page. One interesting note on this page is that while pre-WM2003 devices are not supported as partnered devices, you can still browse the ancient device and copy files.

I haven't installed WMDC on my Vista PC yet. But, you can read what I have learned from installing Windows Vista Ultimate Edition on a cheap ($500) PC on another personal blog of mine:

InformationWeek's Smartphone OS Roadmap

Information Week has a useful...

Road Map For Smartphone Operating Systems

...on their website. Anyone interested in trying to get a quick grasp of where the major mobile device OSes will be in the near future would find the table on their web site interesting. The table provides an overview of the near-future guess-timates for Symbian, Linux, Garnet OS (formerly Palm OS), Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and Mac OS X (Apple iPhone).


2007-03-20 12:15:19
WMDC imports all my Word and Excel files (I have over 1200 on my pda) in ppc format (pws and pxl). I thought it was the fault of Office XP vs Vista (I could read those files fine on Office XP installed on an XP pc)and that when I bought Office 2007 I'd be able to read the ppc files on my PC. No such luck.

It will import rtf files directly, so I've translated literally hundreds of doc files into rtf format; however I don't see any workaround for the spreadsheet files. I even tried openoffice on my Vista machine. It won't read those files either.

I'm running ppc 2003 on an iPAQ 2755. Have been using them FINE for over a year on XP and using various versions of ActiveSync.

I'm close to paying the computer shop that built my machine for me to revert to XP from on my brand new machine unless I can get some answers.

Is there any way to get Microsoft to talk about these problems for brand new software?



Todd Ogasawara
2007-03-21 01:32:52
Patrick: You can find my detailed response over on my personal blog (seemed a bit large to type into the little comment box here :-)
2007-03-21 15:35:31
I have a Dell Axim X-5 PDA from 2002. Is there any solution (patch, add drivers etc.) to fix the sync problem with Vista? (Short of having to buy a new PDA)
Todd Ogasawara
2007-03-22 00:37:39
Cochran: It depends whether or not you upgraded the Dell Axim X5 to Windows Mobile 2003 when Dell made the upgrade was available for purchase. Windows Vista's Windows Mobile Device Center only works with Windows Mobile versions 2003 or newer. So, it won't work with an X5 running Windows Mobile 2002.
2007-04-23 10:04:09
I got a downloadable version of Dell's Windows Mobile 2003 upgrade from eBay. I see many people offering it now for $2-$8. After upgrading, neither of my wi-fi cards would work, even with supposed Mobile 2003 drivers, so I went back to 2002.