Tuesday, 07 June 2005

Too bad there's not a Windows Mobile device that truly rivals Blackberry's form-factor for durability and real-world practical power use (yet, that is) (in my humble opinion, that is), but I can continue to hold out hope for better PocketPC's now.

Why? Because the Windows Mobile OS (2005 version) will soon be getting a messaging security and feature pack update that will enable "push" technology for instant delivery of all your Exchange 2003 info (email, contacts, calendar, etc) to your Windows Mobile 2005 powered device. Exchange 2003 SP2 will enable the functionality on the server side.

So half my concerns about the PocketPC/SmartPhone editions of Windows Mobile will be alleviated - namely the always there, immeidate delivery story.

Funny thing... I was having coffee with a Microsoft friend just the other day. He asked me why I was still using a Blackberry (common question from my Microsoft acquaintances), and I didn't have to say much. My first argument was the lack of real-time push.sync (which we both knew was coming on with the next Exchange update and the Mobile update). He agreed with me in one respect, though: RIM got the form-factor figured out when they built these Blackberry things - nailed it right on the head. RIM's keyboard rocks, plain and simple.

Good going for the Windows Mobile team. Lord knows that whole Blackberry Connect thing has never really panned out (it's supposedly Blackberry software that runs on the Windows Mobile OS, but it's really not materialized anywhere to speak of).

But about those devices running Winodws Mobile... They need to be improved to really make them work and hold up. My idea? Simple. Microsoft doesn't make the hardware (they keep reminding us of this, and it's become more of an excuse than a reason over the past couple years, guys), but they do have some control and impact in that area. Microsoft should exercise some release management and licensing control over the hardware manufacturers - Perhaps they should specify some quality and usability requirements and license the OS first to those manufacturers that actually produce a better product. that meets some stringent requirements for usability, reliability, durability, performance and battery efficiency.

Important message to all companies looking to do handheld QWERTY keyboards: You might want to consider where you're going to spend your "innovating" funds. You might be best served to simply pay RIM however much they ask to use their keybord. Like, as in their actual keyboard, not some knock-off, lumpy chicklet version like on several of the Windows Mobile powered devices I have used in the past, or the river-rockish Treo keyboard (yuck). Just buy the technology from RIM - Their's ain't broke, nothing to fix or improve.

At any rate, looks like the possibilites continue to change and grow, and Microsoft's made a good move here. Glad to see it's coming to pass.

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Mobile | Tech
Tuesday, 07 June 2005 05:52:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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