"Microsoft has brought on a new hire - a former founding member of Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie's Iris Associates - to help the Redmond software company port the Windows Mobile operating system to new form factors. Len Kawell, whose title is "Distinguished Engineer in the Mobile Communications Business Group," is charged with "defining the application model for occasionally connected rich Internet applications in the mobile environment," according to his biography on Microsoft’s Web site. Kawell is also working on scaling Windows Mobile to "new kinds of devices with larger screens and faster processors - also known as Mobile Internet Devices, or MIDS," his bio adds. Microsoft hasn't talked much (if at all) publicly about MIDS; instead, the company has been championing ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs) as the form factor most likely to occupy the space between notebooks/Tablets and cell phones. But Microsoft’s processor pal Intel has been touting both UMPCs and MIDS. Intel distinguishes the two by noting that MIDS tend to be smaller (five-inch screen size) and not providing the ability to monitor "office apps.""
Windows Mobile on a phone? Great. Windows Mobile on a Mobile Internet Device (MID)
? I'm not sold. Part of the appeal of an MID is its larger, high-res display, and if the hardware and software are integrated well, it should provide that advertised rich Internet experience. Now, these devices have been shown to work great with Windows and Linux, and because these operating systems offer a great set of browsers, frameworks, and plug-ins, they usually have no problems delivering that core experience. What about Windows Mobile? It's instant-on and favours batteries a little better, which is great for a device of this form factor. However, plain and simple, Internet Explorer Mobile sucks
, and most of you know it. Microsoft can't possibly use this as a selling point for an MID. There would need to be radical changes to the browser in order for it to be successful. Otherwise, you'd be better off sticking with an iPhone or iPod touch. Smaller screen size, but at least Safari is a heck of a lot better at rendering pages big and small.