Wait a minute, wasn't this supposed to be a Windows Mobile Professional?
It would be if it had Windows Mobile 6 running and using the new naming convention. But for some strange reason this brand new device is coming out with the old Windows Mobile 5... Very interesting because the equivalent Sprint Mogul is running Windows Mobile 6 from the start.
We can't complain about specs though. 256 MB memory is not bad, although the website doesn't say if it's 256 flash ROM for storage (would be great), or 256 MB total (storage and program execution). It comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (including support for A2DP). And they throw in a 512 mini SD card.
And sorry for the small, low quality picture. I had to grab this from the Telecom site, since no official release announcement was made and no quality pictures distributed.
As suggested by Darryl I will demo something with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2.
Did you know you can download virtual machines with Visual Studio 2008 already installed and ready to use? I am downloading it now, and also downloading the Windows Mobile 6 SDK.
There's only one thing though: there are no frigging Windows Mobile 6 devices in New Zealand yet!
Believe it or not, Telecom New Zealand has just released the HTC Titan, and it's running Windows Mobile 5! And Vodafone New Zealand has not moved to release the promised Treo 750v update yet, although I have been told it's close, as well as an update for the v1210 Windows Mobile Smartphone. Vodafone also have plans to release a brand new Windows Mobile 6 device as soon as October.
I will be doing a demo, but using a device with a "test" ROM.
Just to check the specs, the Apple touch is like an Apple iPhone, but without the cellular voice and data part. It comes with Wi-Fi for Internet access, including the Safari browser and iTunes Music Store. And it comes with 8 GB and 16 GB storage. We can't find this on Pocket PCs.
With its wireless you can sample and purchase music on-line, and next time you plug it to your PC the songs are downloaded. Easy as...
And there's the user interface, based on the multi-touch technology, the same used on the iPhone.
The Nokia N770 would be the closest competitor to the iPod touch, if it wasn't for its non-consumer appeal. It's a geek device, but with very nifty features - I really liked the one I had for a week for review. But users in general don't want to go messing around with a complicated Linux user interface.
Meanwhile, what were Microsoft's attempts to get to the mainstream consumer market?
Windows Mobile, the operating system behind Microsoft's Pocket PCs and Smartphones evolved into a hybrid system used on Portable Media Centers. Those are dead now. They were large, heavy with short battery life. Oh, there was the iRiver Clix, which was really small, but I didn't even see one in real life.
Then came the Zune, with an user inteface kind of similar to the Portable Media Center. Usable, but limited. And the fact that with the Zune you can only use the Wi-Fi for limited music sharing - no Internet browsing, no on-line purchases, nothing else.
Then we have the multiple Microsoft approaches to on-line music. We had the MSN Music, now closed. We had the Plays for sure initiative, now dead. We had the Urge, no longer supported by MTV which has just moved to Real Networks Rhapsody services.
Microsoft tried three or four different "platforms" and they all were limited - either user interface, regional availability of hardware, or very restricted and limited availability of content.
When are they going to learn?
Server ActiveSync users (Windows Mobile and other platforms such Symbian) will have lots of new stuff they can control from the server side:
New Policies – We've added a ton of new policies. Look for an upcoming post for details.
Bandwidth reductions – Less round trips and less data transferred while maintaining functionality.
S/MIME support – S/MIME has been added and has backward support for WM 5 + MSFP. We have not only added S/MIME but there is now policy control around the use of S/MIME.
Sync State Upgrade for Migrations – Allows users to maintain their setting while their mailbox is transitioned from Exchange 2K3 to Exchange 2K7 (no need to re-sync to the new server).
Default Policy Support – A default policy can now be set so administrators don't have to apply the policy to each user or write a script to iterate though users.
Cancel Remote Wipe – Canceling remote device memory/storage wipes is now available in OWA and though Exchange Management Console.
However, I see an update for Windows Mobile 6 in the horizon already, seeing that this very important line is there: "For the record, there is corresponding client work that needs to be done to fully deliver this functionality to end user."
We all know what it means: partners will get to the market first. Palm has added ActiveSync support to VersaMail, DataViz has incorporated ActiveSync into its RoadSync product for Symbian S60, Symbian UIQ, and Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition. Nokia has also licensed ActiveSync for its Symbian S60 products and a few other partners are delivering products based on the ActiveSync protocol (even laptops with Windows SideShow, such as the Toshiba R400).
But updating Windows Mobile devices is always a pain, because we rely on mobile operator allowing the updates, which the way it goes requires people to buy new hardware a lot of the times (unless the device was release fairly recently).
Let's see how it goes this time...
New Zealand timezone changes for Windows Mobile 5.0
New Zealand timezone changes for Windows Mobile 6
(And yes, if you read closely, even Microsoft is not using the new names Windows Mobile 6 Preofessional and Windows Mobile 6 Standard, still using the old Pocket PC and Smartphone naming convention...
You can find a short bio and my picture (the same used here) in the Microsoft New Zealand Parrners Conference speakers page.
If you don't know Sprite Backup is written by the same guys who brougth us Ghost (before it became Norton Ghost). It's a great backup solution for Windows Mobile devices, both Pocket PC and Smartphone. And now it's compatible with Windows Mobile 6.
So if you fancy a $5 discount on this software simply visit the Sprite Software on-line store and use the code "freitasm" during check out to get your discount!
The discount code is valid through 17 August 2007, so hurry up.
It works really well with the Vodafone New Zealand voice mail system.
I hope Vodafone New Zealand doesn't remove this feature (or includes it) when they come around to actually releasing the Windows Mobile 6 ROM upgrade for the Treo 750v here in New Zealand (which seems to be taking forever).
The demos include the following topics: Microsoft Surface, Live Lab Photosynth, Windows Live for Windows Mobile, Microsoft RoundTable, Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM, Microsoft SilverLight, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Automotive.
The Windows Mobile demo is interesting, with a quick demo of the UI released by HTC with its HTC Touch device, plus Windows Live for Windows Mobile showing what can be accomplished with a rich client connecting to web services.
Of course, as we all know, this didn't happen (the announcement), but it doesn't mean the iPhone can't already work with Exchange Servers, through the IMAP protocol.
The Exchange Server team has posted a comparison on their blog, showing the differences and simillarities between the experience provided by EAS and IMAP.
If your company is interested in deploying iPhones for their work force (yes, I know some IT departments have already been asked for it) then you should read that blog entry.