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View Full Version : Smartphones and Pocket PCs to Merge Into Windows Mobile Brand

01-07-2005, 01:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/01/06/HNmicrosoftphaseoutpocket_1.html' target='_blank'>http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/01/06/HNmicrosoftphaseoutpocket_1.html</a><br /><br /></div><i>"Microsoft is gradually phasing out its Pocket PC and Smartphone brands in favor of an overarching Windows Mobile brand, a company representative said Thursday. In the past 18 months, Microsoft has already been pushing the Windows Mobile brand more than the individual Pocket PC and Smartphone names. Over the next year or two, the product category names will be completely phased out as the technologies merge, said Scott Horn, a senior director in Microsoft's Mobile and Embedded Devices group in an interview at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas."</i><br /><br />So basically, people will have to start speaking about Windows Mobile devices, and not about Smartphones and/or Pocket PCs. Right now there still is a substantial difference in functionality between the two platforms, so this would mean those platforms will be moving towards each other as well. Which I think, after having used Pocket PCs and a Smartphone, is only the next logical step. After all, more and more Pocket PCs aim to have a better single handed experience, and many complaints from the Smartphone community concern functionality that does exist in Pocket PCs. And it's not as if all devices which are currently within one group are that similar. I mean, just looks at the differences between the HTC Magician (i-Mate iJam) and the HP iPAQ hx4750. And they're both still Pocket PCs.

01-07-2005, 01:47 PM
I have no problem with the two platforms merging if this means more choice, better devices and most importantly applications, lots more choices. Now the downside would be developers having to rewrite their apps to work on all sceen resolutions etc that may be problematic.

I find myself using my MPx220 alot more than my hx4700. :D 8O :oops:

Mike Temporale
01-07-2005, 05:18 PM
Developers are already re-writing their apps for the Smartphone, VGA, and screen orientation. There will always be something new that will require some sort of re-write or recompile. Sometimes it's small, sometimes it's not. :wink:

With the latest batch of Pocket PC devices, the line seperating them from Smartphones if getting smaller. One-handed operation / touch screen is really the biggest difference. Since there are now Pocket PC's with keypads, and Smartphones with QERTY keyboards. The iJAM is so small it could easily pass for a Smartphone.

01-08-2005, 09:23 PM
I find myself using my MPx220 alot more than my hx4700. :D 8O :oops:

Yea I agree, I rarely if ever use my iPaq 4155 now that I got my SMT5600. :)

Kris Kumar
01-09-2005, 04:55 AM
This just means that Microsoft is realizing that manufacturers/customers no longer want to stick with Microsoft mandated platform specs, i.e. Smartphones will have no touchscreen and will be for single handed use. And Pocket PC will have touchscreen. They have realized that hardware is getting ahead of software. And customers/manufacturers want more combinations or choices.

When Pocket PCs came out, its specs were ahead of time. The then popular Palm handheld did not have color screens, or handwriting recognition (it had graffiti, limited to one section of the screen), or expansion options or chargeable battery. Over the years Pocket PC has managed to amass a few more standard features, like WiFi, BT. And now with cellphone integration and keyboards, the list of available options has become crazy. And sticking with the Microsoft prescribed formula of two hardware designs seriously does not make sense.

I have owned a couple of Pocket PCs and still own one. But I find them bulky. I cannot carry them around in my pocket. The touch screen makes me paranoid. And carrying it on a holster is geekish. I still see the need to own one for GPS Navigation and as the in car MP3 player.

As long as manufacturers carry a "true phone first" Windows Mobile device, I am okay with it. I don't care if it is Smartphone or Pocket PC Phone Edition under the hood. The size matters.

Kris Kumar
01-09-2005, 07:09 AM
Oh...and what about the poor souls at retailer stores like Best Buy and cellphone stores. Even with the Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphone nomenclature they have a tough time figuring out one from the other. With a common name, not sure how they will answer customers questions.

On second thoughts, it may become more easy, because they don't have to worry about names, only the features listed on the brochure.