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Windows Mobile

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Windows Mobile is a compact operating system combined with a suite of basic applications for mobile devices based on the Microsoft Win32 API. Devices which run Windows Mobile include Pocket PCs, Smartphones, and Portable Media Centers. It is designed to be somewhat similar to desktop versions of Windows.

Common Windows Mobile Features

Windows Mobile for Pocket PC carries these standard features in most of its versions:

  • Today Screen shows the current date, owner information, upcoming appointments, e-mail messages, and tasks. Users can customize the screen by selecting what information they wish to be displayed. It also includes the notification bar which includes icons to notify the status of Bluetooth, etc. Programs can be installed which adds extra items to the Today screen. One of these is Microsoft Money for Pocket PC. The background image can be customised directly through the Pocket PC, or themes can be created and synchronized onto the Pocket PC.
  • The taskbar shows the current time, the volume, and the connectivity status. When a program or message box is open the blank space after the clock is filled with an OK or close icon. The main feature of the taskbar is the Start Button, which is designed similarly to the Start Button which features on desktop versions of Windows. The Start Menu features recently opened programs at the top, nine customizable menu entries, and links to the program, settings, find (search), and help.
  • Mobile versions of Microsoft Office applications are included in Windows Mobile. These include Word Mobile and Excel Mobile. In Windows Mobile 5.0 PowerPoint Mobile has been included. These versions include many of the features which are used in desktop versions, but some other features like inserting tables and images have not been included in pre 5.0 versions. ActiveSync has capabilities which convert desktop versions of files to Office Mobile compatible versions.
  • Outlook mobile comes with Windows Mobile. This includes tasks, calendar, contacts, and inbox that can be sync'ed either with Outlook or direct with an Exchange Server or Kerio MailServer (internet connection is required for this method). Microsoft Outlook for desktop versions is sometimes included in a value-added CD-ROM which is included with the Pocket PC hardware manufacturer.
  • Windows Media Player for Windows Mobile is bundled with the Windows Mobile software. Currently, all new Windows Mobile 6 Devices include Version 10.2 of the player. For Older devices, Version 10 is available for download for only specified devices — these include devices from the Dell Axim range. The player supports .WMA, .WMV, .MP3, and .AVI files. Currently MPEG files are not supported, and a third-party program must be downloaded to play these, and WAV files are played in a separate player. Some versions are also capable of playing .M4A audio.
  • Client for PPTP VPNs.

Windows Mobile 6

Typical Windows Mobile 6 Professional Today Screen
Typical Windows Mobile 6 Professional Today Screen

Windows Mobile 6, formerly codenamed Crossbow is the latest version of Windows Mobile platform and has been released on February 12, 2007 [1] at the 3GSM World Congress 2007. It features three different versions: Windows Mobile 6 Standard for Smartphones (phones without touchscreens), Windows Mobile 6 Professional for PDAs with phone functionality (Pocket PC Phone Edition), and Windows Mobile 6 Classic for plain PDAs without cellular radios.[2]

Windows Mobile 6 is powered by Windows CE 5.2 and is strongly linked to Windows Vista, Windows Live, Microsoft Office and Exchange 2007 products.

Summary of Specs: [3][4]

  • Based on Windows CE 5.0 (version 5.2)
  • Support 800x480 resolution
  • 1:1 view webpages
  • Advanced Business and Enterprise propositions
  • Strengthened phone experience
  • Operating System Live Update [5]
  • Improved Remote Desktop access [6]
  • Faster, easier application development and distribution
  • VoIP (Internet calling) support with AEC (Acoustic Echo Cancelling) and MSRT Audio Codec
  • Windows Live for Windows Mobile. [7]
  • Microsoft Bluetooth Stack greatly improved.
  • Storage Card Encryption - Windows Mobile 6-based Pocket PC and Smartphone devices support encryption of data stored in external removable storage cards.
  • Smartfilter to search faster through emails, contacts, songs, files, etc.
  • Improved Internet Sharing to easily setup your device as a Modem.
  • Outlook Mobile now supports viewing HTML email.
  • Ability to search for contacts in an Exchange Server Address Book.
  • Support for AJAX, JavaScript and XMLDOM on Internet Explorer Mobile
  • Set Out of Office Replies from the device.
  • Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) support for selected Operators(like BT in the UK).
  • Server Search to Search your entire Exchange mailbox from the device. (Requires Exchange 2007)
  • .NET Compact Framework v2 SP1 in ROM.
  • SQL Server Compact Edition in ROM.
  • Office 2007 XML formats are not currently supported.

Windows Mobile 5.0

Typical Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC Today Screen
Typical Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC Today Screen

Windows Mobile 5.0, originally codenamed "Magneto", was released on May 9, 2005, and first offered on the Dell Axim x51. It is powered by Windows CE 5.0 and uses the .NET Compact Framework 1.0 SP2 — an environment for programs based on .NET to be used.

Features include

  • A new version of Office called "Office Mobile"
    • PowerPoint Mobile has been added
    • Excel Mobile adds graphing capability
    • Word Mobile adds tables and graphics insertion
  • Windows Media Player 10 Mobile
  • Photo Caller ID
  • DirectShow Support
  • Picture and Video package, which converges the management of videos and pictures
  • Bluetooth support with fewer features than prior Broadcom/Widdcomm alternatives, although some users reportedly have managed to replace the default stack with the legacy Broadcom/Widdcomm stack.[citation needed]
  • Global Positioning System (GPS) management interface to all navigation programs installed
  • Microsoft Exchange Server "push" functionality improvements - Improvements only function with Exchange 2003 SP2 installed: The "push" functionality also requires vendor/device support:, with the Palm Treo and Motorola Q scheduled to receive support with Q1 2006 firmware updates. With AKU2 software upgrades all WM 5.0 devices support DirectPush
  • QWERTY keyboard-support is included by default
  • Error reporting facility similar to that present in desktop and server Windows systems
  • ActiveSync 4.2, promising 10–15% increased speed on synchronization
  • Persistent storage (PS) is now supported in Pocket PCs allowing devices to have increased battery life. Previously up to 50% (enough for 72 hours of storage) of battery power was reserved just to maintain data in volatile RAM. Windows-based devices are moving from using RAM as their primary storage medium to the use of flash memory.
  • Windows Mobile updates are released as Adaptation kit upgrade. AKU3.5 is the most current release.

Windows Mobile 5.0 was released at Microsoft's Mobile and Embedded Developers Conference 2005 in Las Vegas, May 9–May 12, 2005.

Windows Mobile 2003 SE

Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, also known as Windows Mobile 2003 SE, was released on March 24, 2004 and first offered on the Dell Axim x30. It includes a number of improvements over its predecessor, such as:

  • The option to switch from landscape to portrait screen layout. This is not available in the Smartphone version.
  • Pocket Internet Explorer (otherwise known as PIE) includes the option to force a page into a single-column layout, making reading easier since one now only has to scroll vertically.
  • VGA (640×480) screen resolution is now supported in addition to the previous 320×240 resolution. Also supported is a new square form factor (240×240 and 480×480 for VGA screens), which is ideally suited for manufacturers wishing to include a hardware keyboard. Although it wasn't originally stated to contain this feature, Microsoft decided to add it due to pressure from Pocket PC manufacturers.
  • Support for Wi-Fi Protected Access.

Windows Mobile 2003

Typical Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Today Screen
Typical Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Today Screen

The third version, named Windows Mobile 2003, was released on June 23, 2003, and was the first release under the Windows Mobile banner. It came in four editions: "Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Premium Edition", "Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Professional Edition", "Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone" and "Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Phone Edition". The last was designed especially for Pocket PCs which include phone functionalities (like HTC's Himalaya, distributed in many countries as Qtek, XDA, MDA or VPA). The Professional Edition was used in Pocket PC budget models such as the iPAQ rz1700 series. It lacked a number of features that were in the Premium Edition, such as a client for L2TP/IPsec VPNs.

Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone is — despite several similarities with Pocket PC — a substantially different platform that also requires software applications to be specifically targeting this device type. To name a few specifics, Windows Mobile powered Smartphone devices do not have touchscreens, have lower display resolution, have a regular phone keypad, and are specially designed for single-handed use.

Windows Mobile 2003 is powered by Windows CE 4.20.

Pocket PC 2002

Pocket PC 2002 was powered by Windows CE 3.0. Targeted specifically at 240 × 320 (QVGA) Pocket PC (keyboardless) devices, PocketPC 2002 was, like the original PocketPC 2000 release, a stand-alone entity in the Microsoft Embedded device range. With future releases, the Pocket PC and Smartphone lines would increasingly collide as the licensing terms were relaxed allowing OEMs to take advantage of more innovative, individual design ideas.

Next Versions

Microsoft is currently working on an upgrade to the Windows Mobile platform which is codenamed Photon and will be powered by Windows Embedded CE 6.0. It's said that Photon will finally merge the Smartphone and Pocket PC versions in one unified Windows Mobile Version.

Photon (2008)

The upgrade to Windows Mobile 6 (formerly codenamed Crossbow) is codenamed Photon and is scheduled for release in the first half of 2008.[8]

Summary of Specs:

  • Q4 ‘07 Release to manufacturers
  • Based on Windows CE 6.0
  • New, Flexible Shell
  • Modular Containers
  • “Yamazaki” CE kernel
  • Q1/Q2 ’08 Marketing Launch


With the advent of the OQO Model 2, Windows Mobile is somewhat obsolete since Windows XP which is more ubiquitous and that the OQO Model 2 is a pocket-sized computer with an x86 processor capable of running it.

See also

  • StyleTap
  • Microsoft
  • Windows CE, Windows CE 3.0, Windows CE 5.0
  • ActiveSync
  • Handheld PC
  • Motorola Q
  • Palm-size PC
  • Pocket PC
  • Smartphone 2002, Smartphone 2003
  • Tablet PC
  • Palm OS
  • Treo 700w
  • Treo 700wx
  • Qtopia
  • Browser wars: Other browser competition: Mobile Devices
  • Zune, a family of portable music, gaming, and video devices and services from Microsoft that competes with Apple Inc.'s iPod and iTunes business model. Runs on a modified version of Windows Mobile for Portable Media Center.
  • Adaptation kit upgrade.
  • Symbian OS
  • Access Co.

External links

  • Official site of Windows Mobile
  • Windows Mobile Product Team Blog
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