Log in

View Full Version : Windows Mobile Defined

Mike Temporale
02-01-2006, 03:45 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.pocketpcmag.com/_archives/buy06/quickguide.aspx' target='_blank'>http://www.pocketpcmag.com/_archives/buy06/quickguide.aspx</a><br /><br /></div><i>"Windows Mobile" is the brand name Microsoft uses with the operating system and software applications it developed for handheld computers. Most of the devices described in this magazine come with a version of Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system (OS) and a suite of Windows Mobile productivity and multimedia applications built-in and ready to use. The Windows Mobile OS and applications are "embedded" programs, which means that Microsoft licenses them to the companies that manufacture the handhelds (known as "original equipment manufacturers" or "OEMs"), and they build them into the devices that they manufacture."</i><br /><br />Smartphone &amp; Pocket PC magazine has posted an article explaining the different types of Windows Mobile. If you've been a little confused over what makes a Smartphone a Smartphone, then you should take a look at this. Of course, the media isn't helping any. They're having a really hard time with this. For the record, the Treo 700w Smartphone is not a Smartphone. It's actually a Pocket PC. ;)

02-01-2006, 05:02 PM
I actually blame Microsoft for this. The term "smartphone" is a generic word for a phone with computer-like functionality. However, Microsoft chose Smartphone as the brand name for their Windows Mobile-derived OS for numeric keypad driven, non-touchscreen style devices.

So the Treo 700w is a smartphone, but not a Smartphone. However, words in names and titles tend to be capitalized so it's virtually impossible to distinguish between the generic term and the brand name.

It's no wonder that the media and consumers are confused.

02-01-2006, 09:12 PM
I think the only difference these days is:

PocketPC have a touch screen.

Everything else can be found on both. eg numeric key baords, alphanumeric keyboards, phone functionality, etc


Sven Johannsen
02-02-2006, 12:33 AM
So the Treo 700w is a smartphone, but not a Smartphone.
I'm not sure you can even make that distinction. MS has not, and probably could not, trademark Smartphone* and so the capatilization doesn't restrict it's application to MS products. That's why Palm can call it a Smartphone if they like.

I agree that with MS the distinction is essentially coming down to touch screen or not, which has significant implications on data entry. Conceptually I think it still comes down to the primary focus of the device. Is it a phone with PDA features, or a PDA with phone features. Some of that unfortunately can come down to how the individual use the device. Don't think it's MSs or the press's fault, it's just the technology has made the distinction pretty gray.

I think my bigger confusion is what makes a phone (or PDA phone) smart? Having PIM functions? A web browser? Extensibility? Is a T610 smart? A Razr? An MPX220? Where do you draw the line? And why?

* http://www.microsoft.com/library/toolbar/3.0/trademarks/en-us.mspx