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Windows Mobile 6.5 Is Alive

Michael Phelps's recent and unfortunate reentry into the news got us to thinking about Windows Mobile. No, really.

Phelps has mastered one of those sports, swimming, that only really gets much attention every four years -- at least here in the U.S. It's the same for track and field or for downhill skiing in the Winter Olympics; most Americans only care about this stuff once every four years. Then it goes back being the domain of enthusiasts' and the participants' families. (Again, we're talking about the U.S. here; we're well aware that Australians love swimming and Austrians love skiing, for example. But we digress.)

We don't write much about Windows Mobile here at RCPU, mainly because it falls just outside the enterprise technology niche that (we hope) is most interesting to our channel audience. But recently, Windows Mobile -- which, in our defense, was kind of dormant on the news front for a long time -- just won't leave us alone. And with mobile technology already well-integrated into the enterprise, we figure more than a few partners are working with Microsoft's mobile OS, anyway.

So, there was even more news about Windows Mobile this week, albeit nothing earth-shattering, with the rollout of version 6.5 of the operating system, along with the expected announcements about Microsoft's My Phone service and the launch of a new developer site. Microsoft chose the entirely sensible occasion of a conference in Barcelona to roll out the news, and Steve Ballmer also spoke about openness and interoperability, two ideas we hope Microsoft pursues not just in the mobile space but across the board.

Of course, Windows Mobile isn't like desktop Windows in terms of market share. It's got some very stiff competition, and some observers note that the OS isn't yet where Microsoft needs it to be functionality-wise. Supposedly Windows Mobile 7, a much bigger forthcoming release, will be more of a blockbuster than the relatively pedestrian 6.5. We'll await Windows Mobile 7, then, with the same curiosity that leads us to watch stuff like bobsledding on TV every four years. Maybe by then Michael Phelps will be endorsing the product...but we doubt it.

Any thoughts on Windows Mobile to share? Share them at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on February 18, 2009 at 11:55 AM


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