Windows Mobile Weekly Roundup

by Todd Ogasawara

Odd Results from (Yellow Pages)
This started out as a quick note about the Yellow Pages website formatted to be mobile browser friendly. But, it turned out to be a post about what looks like a little search engine issue over there. I tested it searching for the word dogs in areas that are familar to me. However, I didn’t get many useful results (though the results I got were on target). Then, I tried the search you see in the image above. And, well, the result was pretty weird. If anyone from would care to comment, I’m sure a few people besides myself would be interested to learn how your search engine decided on this result.

Windows Mobile Comm Manager Oddities
Windows Mobile Comm Manager
Windows Mobile communications related oddities continue to baffle me after a decade of using the product. Various versions of the Comm Manager (T-Mobile Dash version seen above) have been in all Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices I’ve seen. And, yet, the ActiveSync button (7 in the screen cap above) does not consistently work across devices. It works fine (brings up ActiveSync on a T-Mobile Dash running WiMo6 and an HTC Advantage 7500X running WiMo5). But, it does nothing on an i-Mate K-JAM running WiMo5. Most people won’t be bothered by this. But, if you sync wirelessly using Bluetooth like I do, it is a small but annoying issue.

Smartphones Are NOT An Enterprise Tool>
One of my big beefs with Windows Mobile’s roadmap for the past few years has been its focus on the Enterprise and mobile carriers instead of the consumer. So, here comes the Information Week 500 survey, and it reports that…

And those smartphones? Just 10% consider “issuing smartphones beyond a few top executives” a most-effective strategy of the past 12 months,…

IMHO 10% maketh not an enterprise strategy (as IW points out above). In the meantime, while people synching with Exchange Server may be OK, ActiveSync and WMDC remains broken. Windows Mobile is a great platform. But, it needs to be refocused on its core customers: Individuals on the street who go and buy their own phone and don’t have an IT department to support them.

diggm8: Digg Reformatted for Mobile Viewing
diggm8 (pronounced digg-mate) is a non-Digg affiliated site that reformats for mobile browsing. Unlike Digg’s own iPhone formatted site, diggm8 works fine with a Windows Mobile IE browser.

Digg was my favorite post-Slashdot morning destination site. But, its focus has become so diluted that I’m looking for a new destination site. Any recommendations for something to succeed Slashdot and Digg (or TechMeme for that matter) for geekie news?

Power Toys for .NET Compact Framework 3.5
OK, this one is for the Windows Mobile developers out there…

Power Toys for .NET Compact Framework 3.5

…was released on Sept. 12. The various toys focus on diagnostics and performance evaluation. The Known Issues list is quite long. So, be sure to read through the list before using the Power Toys.

Lotus Notes Traveler for Windows Mobile
Lotus Notes Traveler
Lotus Notes Traveler is scheduled for release sometime in 2008 (screen shot above obtained from IBM’s site). The big deal about this IBM product is that it will, for the first time, provide native Windows Mobile connectivity to Lotus Notes. I wonder, though, how widely accepted this will be buy Lotus Notes support staff may be very unfamiliar with Windows Mobile devices. And, I wonder how it will affect the long available CommonTime products that seem to currently be the product line of choice to get Lotus Notes and Windows Mobile devices working together.

What’s with the Names Windows Mobile Standard Edition and Professional Edition?
HTC TyTn and HTC Vox
Most non-geeky, non-techie people (if you are reading this, you are a tech geek, btw), seem to know how to distinquish the different Apple iPod models. The shuffle doesn’t have a screen. The nano is the little one with a screen The iPod (now iPod classic) is the big one. And, the touch… well you can touch its screen on purpose. It is the iPhone without the phone (for the most part). You don’t need to go into engineering or design philosophy details to distinguish the various models. And, note that the distinguishing names are all in lower case: shuffle, nano, classic, touch.

Now look (literally) at the Windows Mobile Standard Edition and Windows Mobile Professional Edition. You practically need to be an engineer to sufficiently distinguish the two devices past the touch non-touch dimension because the Professional Edition is not a true superset of the Standard Edition. The Pro Edition is actually missing a few features that are in the Standard. And, quick, look at the photo above and figure out which is the Standard and which is the Professional in under 1 second (the time it would take to distinguish between iPod models).

What is the deal with the Standard and Professional designations anyway? Is the Standard Edition for non-professionals? That’s the implication from the names, isn’t it? Microsoft needs to rethink this whole branding campaign. The previous Smartphone vs. Pocket PC Phone Edition was much easier for the average consumer to figure out (though still way to wordy) that Standard vs. Professional. The first thing they should do is create a secondary branding using WiMo instead of Windows Mobile just to shorten that part of the name. Then, they need to shorten the device category names to something like WiMo Touch (Pocket PCs with touch screens) and WiMo Phone (no touch screen) or WiMo One (one-handed Smartphone operations) and WiMo Two (two-handed Pocket PC operation). Or, how about WiMo Pocketphone and WiMo Smartphone? It would be a lot easier for non-techies to remember and cut down the typing and awkward sentences in articles and blogs :-)


Fast Eddie
2007-10-07 00:15:56
I totally agree with the whole marketing campaign and more- my colleague and i (He does graphic Design and I do IT) (he is in Kahula Lumpor (sp?) and uses Windows Mobile 5 and I just bought a Q. I want a touchscreen, because it seems all the programs (even for the q) would work much better (navigation, mostly) if you had a stylus. I'm seriously reconsidering the Q because it seems to be marketed more for the teeny bopper techie who loves music- I need it for work and personal convenience (GPS, Contacts, Mail, Documents). I have been looking at ths i730, i830, and i760. i760 looks the best with windows mobile 6 pro but no Java and only v 1.1 usb.