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All posts tagged "windows mobile"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Microsoft Confirms: No Plans To Build Handsets

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 10:00 AM

"Unlike Apple or RIM, which design both their phones and operating system, Microsoft (MSFT) has been taking a different approach for several years -- focusing on the OS and letting partners figure out what the gadget will do and where it'll sell. This is sort of what Google's doing with Android and its Open Handset Alliance. Despite having its own gadget design teams -- which make the Zune and Xbox -- Microsoft has 'no plans to build our own phone,' says Scott Rockfeld, group product manager for Windows Mobile. 'Right now we're happy to share the limelight,' he adds."

Well to be honest, this is pretty unsurprising news. I know in the past I have been a huge supporter of Microsoft building their own Windows Mobile device so they would not have to worry about their partners cutting corners and releasing unattractive and hard to use devices that can hurt their brand. Recently however with Steve Ballmer’s internal memo that was floating which stated that Microsoft would "work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises," I am more faithful that we will see more fun and stable devices in the future. Here’s hoping we hear something tangible about these new devices soon, I'm getting antsy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

T-Mobile G1 Announced. Android On the Loose. Now What?

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Talk" @ 11:00 AM

It's official. The Android-powered G1 will be hitting T-Mobile stores across the US on October 22, the UK in November, and elsewhere in Europe in early 2009. Being a Windows Mobile site, we'll spare you the fine details. Head over to the T-Mobile G1 site, and check out the videos after the break, if you're eager to learn more.

On to other matters: Android is one capable platform, and undoubtedly, one that users of Google services will love. Combined with Apple's continuing efforts to enhance the capabilities of the iPhone and Mac OS X, and the growth of heavyweights such as BlackBerry and Symbian, where does this leave Windows Mobile? Over the past year, we've perused multiple comments from readers suggesting that the platform is becoming increasingly stagnant and that efforts by HTC, Samsung, and other manufacturers to improve the usability of the platform are merely a band-aid solution.

As a result, you may have already jumped ship or are considering it. If you're in that group, just what would Microsoft have to do to Windows Mobile to win you back? If you're not in that group, what is it about Windows Mobile that's keeping you glued to the platform? The mobile war is on. And it's you, the consumer, who dictates the winners and the losers. Tell us what makes, or would make, Windows Mobile a winner for you.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Mozilla's Firefox Mobile Expected in 2010

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 11:12 AM

"Well the mobile browser world will likely be in for some serious churn now that Mozilla's Firefox, codenamed "Fennec", is throwing its hat into the ring. Mozilla's Tristan Nitot commented that not only is the mobile browser in the works, but that its expected to arrive for Windows Mobile, Symbian, and Linux. Though, the rub here is that we'll need to wait until sometime in 2010 to see this live, and honestly, we may have HTC handsets integrated into our minds well before then."

It amazes me that we have been hearing about a mobile Internet browser from Mozilla for years and the soonest it will be available will be 2010! By that time Opera and all the WebKit variants will have a strangle-hold on the mobile browsing market – at least on the Smartphone side of things. There might even be a sliver a hope that by 2010 Microsoft would have already released Windows Mobile 7 and be on the way to announcing Windows Mobile 8 which hopefully will have a new and improved browser. 2010 is a little late to be jumping into the mobile Internet ring in my opinion but who knows, there is still a chance they might come out with something incredibly awesome and do to the mobile world what they have done to the Desktop world.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sync Services for ADO.NET on Windows Mobile Released

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Developer" @ 11:45 PM

"Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.NET 1.0 provides the ability to synchronize data from disparate sources. Rather than simply replicating a database and its schema, the Synchronization Services application programming interface (API) provides a set of components to synchronize data between data services and a local store. Applications are increasingly used on mobile clients, such as laptops and devices that do not have a consistent or reliable network connection to a central server. It is crucial for these applications to work against a local copy of data on the client. Equally important is the need to synchronize the local copy of the data with a central server when a network connection is available. The Synchronization Services API, which is modeled after the ADO.NET data access APIs, gives you an intuitive way to synchronize data. It makes building applications for occasionally connected environments a logical extension of building applications where you can count on a consistent network connection. Synchronization Services for ADO.NET 1.0, which released with Visual Studio 2008, enabled synchronization between a server database and a SQL Compact 3.5 client database running on a desktop. With this download, you can also synchronize between a server database and a SQL Compact database on a Windows Mobile 5 or 6 device."

Developers, head over to the Microsoft Download Center and grab Sync Services for ADO.NET on Windows Mobile. The prerequisites are SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP1 and Visual Studio 2008 SP1, so install those if you already haven't done so. Happy syncing!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Microsoft Job Posting Hints at Cross-Platform Zune Environment?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Zune News" @ 12:00 AM

"We've heard Microsoft make vague references for some time about a Zune-like experience involving non-Zune devices (Windows Mobile phones, Xboxen), and it looks like they may be making real moves in that direction. A recent job posting from Redmond for a 'Software Development Engineer in Test' calls on someone who 'dream[s] about having a mobile phone based entertainment experience powered by a unified entertainment service across devices such as Zune, Xbox and PC.' Someone, the ad reads, who will, 'create a 'Connected Entertainment' experience, realized through the Zune service, that spans multiple devices such as Zune, Xbox, PC and Mobile phones.'"

When I read this the first thing that pops into my head is "It is about time they started focusing on convergence!" I mean, seriously, how long have we been in the 21st century now? This is basic stuff we were promised whenever someone mentioned the future! This, and flying cars, and we all know those aren't being created anytime soon so why not just give us the one basic thing that is well within the grasp of technology? Well I'm glad the good folks at Microsoft are starting to realize this as well. Better late than never I always say. I am really excited and looking forward to Microsoft and mobility in 2009. With the new 3rd generation Zunes right around the corner and the awesome features they will bring, as well as the rumblings of Windows Mobile 7 devices out in consumer hands around Q1 of next year, it really is starting to look like 2009 will be the year Microsoft comes out swinging!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Microsoft's WinMobile Team: Big on futures, slow on deliverables

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 04:00 PM

"With Google’s Chrome browser announcement and revelation of plans by Microsoft to roll out an iPhone app store competitor, all eyes should be on Windows Mobile... Google had no plans to develop its own browser, Eric Schmidt and Co. are doing just that... From a July 2008 speech at the Microsoft partner conference by Andy Lees 'Well, of course, consumers want to use the devices to be able to do things like to access the Internet. That’s why we’re putting Internet Explorer 6.0 on Windows Mobile where we’ll complete that in the next six months, and that’s so that you get the full PC experience on a mobile device. That’s not a cut-down browser; it’s the full IE 6.'... SkyMarket, SkyLine and SkyBox are all in their early/startup phases. Windows Mobile 7 is expected to be released to carriers in late 2008/early 2009, which means the first WinMo 7 phones — with an IE 6 browser and maybe a new app marketplace — should hit later on in 2009. Is Microsoft falling too far behind to stay competitive in the mobile space, clearing the way for Google’s Chrome to come in and clean Redmond’s clock?"

You would think with all of the security flaws that surround Internet Explorer 6 that they would just trash the source code by now. Even if all the security flaws weren't an issue the simple fact that Web Developers have to jump through hoops to get their code to function correctly on IE6 would be enough to make them make a more standards compliant browser for their mobile offerings. You would think that after finding out about this in July I would have time to have calmed down and not be so disgusted by the information, but no, I'm still horribly upset about it.

We are now reaching the point with the release of the Beta of Internet Explorer 8 where web developers, like myself, were starting to jump for joy at the chance to drop Internet Explorer 6 support. Internet Explorer 6 is nothing less than a nightmare. Hopefully Microsoft realizes their folly before the release of Windows Mobile 7 because including a browser that is over 5 years old on your devices when the competition are using top of the line WebKit browsers is a definite shot in the foot for Microsoft.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Windows Mobile Development Webcast on September 3rd

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 10:30 PM

"Tomorrow (September 3rd) there is a webcast available for those of you considering starting to develop applications for Windows Mobile. The webcast is an introductory session on developing managed applications for Windows Mobile devices. It will cover the tools that are available as well as giving guidance on how to best approach developing applications."

I just ran across this interesting little tidbit on Jason Langridge's blog. If you are looking to get into software development for the Windows Mobile platform, this would be an ideal starting ground. To sign up for the MSDN Webcast and for more information point your browsers over here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

FOX Business Showcases Windows Mobile Devices

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 08:30 PM

"Microsoft Mobile Communications Group Manager Scott Rockfeld was on Fox Business chatting up quite a lot of Windows Mobile devices. The context of the discussion is basically 'competitors to the iPhone,' which is a little aggravating because, let's face it, the iPhone and Windows Mobile aren't always going for the same demographic. Some of the smartphones shown off: HTC Diamond, HTC Touch Pro, and the BlackJack II."

I've watched this video several times, mostly because the Touch Diamond looked so swanky in it, but also because I thought Scott Rockfeld, Microsoft Mobile Communications Group Manager, handled himself brilliantly. Scott came out swinging showing off some of the more popular Windows Mobile 6.1 devices on the market, including the HTC touch Diamond, and was really hammering home that the Windows Mobile platform is all about choice. This seems to tie in exactly with all of the recent talk on the Internet of Microsoft’s new "Windows Not Walls" campaign. On top of that you throw in the fact that every device featured in this segment has sold over a million or more devices it starts to make a lot of the recent Apple sales hype start to look a little sad.

Microsoft builds fantastic products but unfortunately they're not the best when it comes to feeding the publicity machine. One of the biggest hurdles for Windows Mobile has always been lack of visibility in the public’s eye. All of us as Smartphone and Pocket PC fans have heard the pitch that Scott gave in this video dozens of times over but I think Microsoft is finally understanding that we are not the ones that need to be told this over and over again but instead the general populous needs to know. I just hope Microsoft does more of these segments on other news networks. So what did you guys think of the video?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Skyfire Available to All for a Limited Time

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Software" @ 05:00 PM

"For a limited time only Skyfire, the only flash-enabled web browser for the Windows Mobile platform, is opening up to all comers. The browser, which now supports Silverlight, will now be accessible to all comers who use the special code 'Michael8', meaning Skyfire users can now watch all the streaming video from the Olympics. Skyfire says they did this to commemorate Michael Phelps’s monumental accomplishment of winning 8 Gold metals in a single Olympic games."

If you have been waiting to test out the new Skyfire web browser but have not been able to get into the Beta testing, now is your chance. From now until August 30th 2008 Skyfire will be available to all users who use the special code "Michael8". To sign-up to use the only Flash enabled web browser available for Windows Mobile visit Skyfire's website here.

AOL Releases AIM for Windows Mobile

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Software" @ 01:30 PM

"We reported back in June that AIM for Windows Mobile was now in beta. Well, the folks at AOL have sent word that it’s now officially out of beta and available as a free download at The latest version of AIM for Windows Mobile supports both smartphones and touch-screen devices running Windows Mobile 5 and 6 and features status messages, buddy icons, and the option of sending text messages via SMS."

It has always amazed me that it has taken this long for AOL to release AIM for Windows Mobile. Sure there have been a few Instant Messaging applications over the year that could handle the AIM protocol, but it just seemed odd that AOL never released their own. You can download this free piece of software today from AOL's website here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Android Wars: The Battle for Smartphone Users Begins!

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 02:00 AM

As I am sure all of you have heard the release of Google's open source operating system is right around the corner. As Jon posted yesterday, T-Mobile is having some weird special event pre-sale to kick off the release of the first Android device, the HTC Dream, and T-Mobile subscribers can expect to pick up this new handset for a mere $150USD. This is an amazing price for a touch screen smartphone.

As some of you have probably heard me say before, as of the last Android SDK release, the operating system felt more like a collection of stuff rather than a useable mobile platform. With the recent release of the Android SDK we can see a lot of that "hobbyist" feel that usually accompanies most things open source start to peel away from the device as Google shapes Android up to a viable iPhone killer. Read more...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Samsung to Boost Performance of Flash Memory in Smartphones

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 01:00 PM

"Samsung recently announced new software that will greatly improve the way its flash memory behaves in smartphones running the Windows Mobile, Symbian, Linux and RTOS platforms. The software makes communication between the memory chips and the phone's operating system more efficient. It also has an improved file system. These two improvements combined should result in fast boot times and faster downloading to memory and searching memory. Samsung did not indicate exactly when this new software will be available."

This is pretty cool news. Way to go Samsung! Who wouldn't love faster RAM without upgrading their hardware? I know I would. It is unclear if this software will be released to the masses or just released to manufacturers but we will keep you guys (and girls) updated on any progress we hear, just in case.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is the iPhone Now More Unstable than Windows Mobile?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 08:00 PM

"...Dare I say, Windows Mobile is not Unstable, it’s the applications we flood the devices with. Bashing Microsoft for other developer’s applications is something that has just become the 'cool thing to do', I guess. Windows Mobile is not perfect, but it’s not the beast many want us to believe. Apple has 3rd party applications now. Nice right? Well, iPhone owners are complaining of lockups and having to reset. It could never be Apple’s fault though, it’s got to be the applications. Bad developers, bad apps, it could never be Apple’s fault. So here we are, Apple iPhone locks up… Bad App. Windows Mobile Phone locks up, Bad Microsoft. Hmmm… Ok. Let’s talk about the iPhone shall we?"

I had a little internal battle with myself before releasing this. On one hand I am incredibly sick and tired of the constant barrage of articles comparing the iPhone to Windows Mobile. At the end of the day their differences and user experiences are so unique that it is pretty much useless to try and draw comparisons. These devices were designed from the ground up for completely different customer bases mean Windows Mobile will always be superior to the iPhone when it comes to the business side of things and the iPhone will always outshine Windows Mobile when it comes to user interface.

Chris from Mobility Site does bring up an interesting point though. With the release of the new iPhone and application store there appears to be larger than average complaints from users about device lockups, hard resets, bricking from other the air application updates, and even the camera distorting images - it looks as if Apple's little device that could is starting to experience some big boy growing pains like all the other mobile smartphone operating systems. So what do you guys think, are these all just isolated incidents or are any of you iPhone users experiencing any of these issues?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lenovo and Intel Launch Mobile Widget for Summer Games

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Software" @ 09:00 PM

"Lenovo brings the Games to your phone. Follow the Olympic athletes on their journey to Beijing. Download free mobile widgets for your Windows Mobile, BlackBerry or iPhone keep up with the athletes as they strive for Olympic Gold! It's totally free, customizable and ready for you to download now!"

I just received word that Lenovo and Intel have created some widgets for Zumobi that will allow you to follow the Olympic athletes on their journey to the Olympic Games in Beijing. The best part is, according to the Zumobi website, this is a completely free download that is customizable and ready for your handset. I haven't had a chance to download this application to give it a try since I have been on the road almost all day but if you are like everyone else and have the Olympics on the brain then I recommend giving this application a download!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Android delayed, HTC Doubting the Almighty Google?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 06:30 PM

"The word from Half Moon bay is that Google’s 'GPhone' cell-phones, being built by various handset makers, could be delayed from an end-of-year introduction to sometime later in the first quarter of next year, according to Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research. Among the issues causing the apparent delay are the following: Handset maker High Tech Computer (HTCKF) is 'having structural problems to incorporate Google’s demanded feature set'; HTC is 'demanding a guaranteed minimum revenue surety from Google', from which Chowdhry concludes that 'Probably HTC does not think there will be enough demand for GPhone.'"

When Google's operating system was first announced I was incredibly excited. The more competition there is, the better the products get for us consumers over time. Though after taking some time to play with Google's Developer kit every few months since it was released, I became less and less impressed with it over time. Sure it does some cool things but just like Google's Internet presence, Google's operating system feels like bits and chunks services thrown together into a big pile of Beta. This might work for the web but I cannot see this working for the average consumer. It seems as though the Powers That Be at HTC are starting to have their doubts about Google's operating system as well, but their doubts come from a different problem that I never even thought about; will there really be that much of a demand for a Google phone? What do you guys think?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Windows Mobile Quick Reference Guide

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 05:00 PM

If you're new to the Windows Mobile scene, or work for company that uses Windows Mobile phone, and need a little reference guide to help you figure out what the heck we are talking about sometimes then do I have a present for you. Pocket PC FAQ has put together this simple one page PDF file that gives you the skinny on what all those pesky things on your homescreen or Today Screen are called. This guide is free for individuals to download and use but if you are a corporate user you will have to contact Pocket PC FAQ for details on licensing this guide and customization options.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Microsoft's spent $500 Million on Danger

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 04:00 PM

"We had heard that Microsoft threw down a cool half billion to acquire Danger earlier this year, but quite honestly, we found it a bit tough to believe. After all, analysts are saying that even Motorola is barely worth that much. Regardless of all that, the outfit's latest quarterly report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission affirms that it did indeed spend $500 million on Danger. That's a lot of jack, son."

['Danger' is my middle name]

Not only did Microsoft pick up one super snazzy smartphone maker but when they spent a half billion dollars on purchasing a company with a name as awesome as this but I feel Microsoft bought the right to say that 'Danger' is your middle name. In fact, you can even say Microsoft eats Danger for breakfast... too much? Alright I’ll stop now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do we Really Need a Zune Phone?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 02:22 PM

[What do you think? Is this what we really need? (Artist Concept)]

There is a bit speculation going around the Interweb as of late that Microsoft is hard at work on a Zune based phone, or ZunePhone if you want to call it what all the cool kids are calling it. In a recent memo making the rounds at Microsoft, Steve Ballmer is quoted as saying the following:

"In the competition between PCs and Macs, we outsell Apple 30-to-1. But there is no doubt that Apple is thriving. Why? Because they are good at providing an experience that is narrow but complete, while our commitment to choice often comes with some compromises to the end-to-end experience. Today, we’re changing the way we work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises. We’ll do the same with phones—providing choice as we work to create great end-to-end experiences."

After reading this memo I did what any fan of technology would do - I ran to my nearest window to get a glimpse of the pigs flying because Microsoft is finally starting to take an Apple-like approach to things by taking more control with hardware vendors to provide a "complete experiences with absolutely no compromises" for their end user. While I applaud Microsoft for taking that first step in hopefully stopping the hardware vendors from providing us with sub-par systems cluttered with excessive junk that we will never need or use on both the Desktop and mobile arena, you have to stop and ask yourself two questions:

  1. Why the heck has it taken so long for Microsoft to step in to ensure a better user experience?
  2. How angry are all the hardware vendors going to be over this news?


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Software" @ 03:30 PM

"Leisure Suit Larry hits the high seas as he cruises for love in this comic adventure game, which mixes hilarious dialogue, mini-games and puzzles. Your favorite smooth talker from the 80’s hit the high seas as he cruises for love! Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail is a mobile re-production of the classic Larry PC game. Become Larry as he tries to woo the most beautiful, unsuspecting female vacationers. Larry has seemingly infinite opportunities to use his signature lines, including a plane, cruise ship, beaches, and the casino. He is on the trip of a lifetime and the theme provides the perfect summer fun. Will Larry score a date? You control Larry’s fate."

If there is one thing I have learned in life above all others it is that in real life girls really aren't that found of guys with large gold medalions and leisure suits. However, you have to admire a cartoon man with confidence with the law of averages on his side. You can pick up Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail today from WinPlay for only $9.99

Live Mesh Available Via Your Mobile Web Browser

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 11:57 AM

"On Wednesday we brought news of Microsoft's Live Mesh cloud-based storage service, giving you 5 gigs of space for your files to come and go as you please. Today, the big M unleashed mobile-optimized access to the service, meaning you can get to your data while you're on the run. It's not the full-on Windows Mobile client we're hoping for, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. If you're already signed up for the tech preview, point your favorite mobile browser (yes, even the iPhone's) at - note the secure site - and have at it."

Not to get ones hopes up but this is not the speculated mobile client that will make transferring data from the cloud to your handset as easy as pie. However, what this web application does, it does pretty well. Signing into the service you can browse through your Live folders and even download files that are in there. At the time of posting this I was unable to test downloading any other filetypes besides images so I am unsure if you could download a Zip archive or EXE file to your handset but if you wanted to get some images from your desktop computer to your handset and did not want to deal with the hassle of pulling out your USB cable and syncing, I would suggest giving Live Mesh a try.

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