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Windows Mobile 6.5 Launched, Panned 202

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-the-grassroots-support dept.
Barence writes "It's not Windows Mobile 7, but at least it's here. PC Pro has posted its full review of Windows Mobile 6.5, as found on the new HTC Touch2 handset, which is also reviewed. If you're expecting something to challenge Apple OS and Android, prepare for a very large let-down. The damning quote: 'Business users, as much as consumers, deserve a phone that's quick and intuitive to operate as well as one that hooks in neatly to Exchange and Outlook and is easy to manage centrally. If this is the best [Microsoft] can muster in the year-and-a-half's worth of development time since Windows Mobile 6.1 appeared, we'll be dramatically lowering our hopes for Windows Mobile 7.'"
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Windows Mobile 6.5 Launched, Panned

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  • by davidwr (791652) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @07:55AM (#29655659) Homepage Journal

    we'll be dramatically lowering our hopes for Windows Mobile 7.

    MS Engineer: 6.5 is coming along nicely but it's not fully baked yet. If we try to make the ship deadline we'll have another Vista on our hands. 7.0 looks good though. Can we have an extension on 6.5?
    MS Management team: Our engineers tell us 6.5 looks like another Vista. How about we really cripple it so 7.0 looks like the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    • by 1s44c (552956) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:00AM (#29655715)

      we'll be dramatically lowering our hopes for Windows Mobile 7.

      Most customers just hope for a device that will function without crashing or freezing every couple of hours. Do Microsoft really want customers to lower their hopes below that?

      Microsoft are some kind of joke company.

      • by daid303 (843777) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:09AM (#29655775)

        we'll be dramatically lowering our hopes for Windows Mobile 7.

        Most customers just hope for a device that will function without crashing or freezing every couple of hours. Do Microsoft really want customers to lower their hopes below that?

        Microsoft are some kind of joke company.

        Microsofts new slogan: "Why so serious?"

      • Get rid of the third-party software that causes the instability and you'll be fine.

        I had the same problem with BatteryStatusExt on WM 5.0, 6.0, 6.1 and 6.5... as soon as I took that off, no more freezes, no more standby-of-deaths (which, for people who don't know, is when the device refuses to wake up from standby), nothing. The damned thing's uncrashable :D

        I'm now looking forward to my next HTC device (probably the Leo AKA Touch HD2)...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Absolutely. It's not like anyone ever needs third party software. Microsoft provides everything you'll ever need. Ever.
          • If you read closely, you'll notice that I never said that you should get rid of _all_ the third party software - just the stuff that's causing crashes...

            • by Dster76 (877693) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:03PM (#29660141)
              Hey, let's play a game.

              If you have x third party pieces of software, how many configurations must you test to find 1 piece of software causing crashes?

              If you have x third party pieces of software, how many configurations must you test to find 2 pieces of software causing crashes?

              Yeah, WinMo 6.1 is it for me. No more.

              Let's all be honest: the only reason people have ever used WinMo at all is a lack of choice.

              In fact, right now I'm using a WinMo 6.1 gadget, but instead of syncing my desktop Outlook appointments with it using Activesync, I let Google be the middleman.

              After how many years, and Activesync is still unstable requiring weekly reinstalls? Changing timezone still turns whole day appointments into monstrosities that are time sensitive and cross multiple days? Duplicates still randomly pop up?

              WinMo is over. The end. Goodbye.
              • I've run ActiveSync for over a year and never had this issue.. I think you have a config problem, or possibly some weird broken installation of something.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by kilfarsnar (561956)
          I can't speak to the newer versions, but I had a Treo running WM 5 and the thing crashed more than a hollywood stuntman. It was completely stock; no add-ons ever. It crashed multiple times a week. I had the device replaced four times to no avail! Eventually I gave up and got the same phone with the Palm OS. No more problems.
      • by relguj9 (1313593)

        we'll be dramatically lowering our hopes for Windows Mobile 7.

        Most customers just hope for a device that will function without crashing or freezing every couple of hours. Do Microsoft really want customers to lower their hopes below that?

        Microsoft are some kind of joke company.

        Yea, while the iPhone is pretty good, it does have serious memory issues crashing and locking up (some fault on application designers), occasionally crashes completely in 3.1 (just shuts off) and randomly disconnects calls (although it has gotten better).

        There's no such thing as bug free software, especially when you're talking about something as complex as an OS + applications running on top of it, but striving for greater stability is always a good thing.

    • Direct ascent. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by eddy (18759)

      Isn't it likely that 7.0 is a now radically different branch (maybe branched off 6.0 a long time ago) with many more engineering hours behind it than this 6.5-semi-service-pack? If so, it doesn't make any sense to lower your expectations about a future product which isn't directly based on the one you're reviewing. In fact, 6.5 might be lousy because all effort is going into mainline instead.

      What I'm trying to say is that your scenario may play out, but for less conspiratory reasons.

      • Re:Direct ascent. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357) * on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:21AM (#29655921) Homepage Journal

        "In fact, 6.5 might be lousy because all effort is going into mainline instead."

        You're serious, right? Or, are you playing on the posts above that say MS is a joke?

        I'll answer you, with a serious answer. Mobile devices are being sold NOW. More and more people are becoming accustomed to devices that WORK. MS knows better than anyone (witness past exclusivity agreements) that the time to corner a market is in the early days. If MS wants to be relevant in the mobile devices market, they need to get into it NOW, not next month, not next year. It's a now or never thing. Each day that passes without a compelling reason to use MS OS's is one more nail in MS's coffin.

        The mobile market belongs to *nix and Apple. It's just that simple. Chrome may or may not become relevant, but again, time is working against them, just as it is working against Microsoft.

        • Re:Direct ascent. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:41AM (#29656169)

          The mobile market belongs to *nix and Apple. It's just that simple. Chrome may or may not become relevant, but again, time is working against them, just as it is working against Microsoft.

          The mobile market is also (or rather, has historically been) substantially more fickle than the PC OS market. It's fairly easy to move between devices when all the information you need on it can be re-downloaded from Exchange or other groupware of choice.

          This has made cornering it a whole lot harder.

          • And has made the quality of OS and hardware better. The easier a customer can switch devices, the more you'll strive to keep that customer on your device.

        • Re:Direct ascent. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mdwh2 (535323) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @09:00AM (#29656401) Journal

          The mobile market belongs to *nix and Apple. It's just that simple.

          Sales figures suggest otherwise. For phones, the market is dominated by Nokia, with many other companies around too (e.g., RIM). If we include netbooks too (as you suggest, with your Chrome comment), then Apple have zero presence there, whilst Windows obviously have a major presence. Even though Microsoft aren't doing too well on handhelds such as phones, netbooks are going to become a major influence on mobile computing.

          • I'm not contradicting you, just curious. Is that phones or smart-phones? I'm willing to believe that Nokia owns the phone market, but the smart-phone market seems like a three horse race between HTC (Android and Win Mob), Apple, and RIM; with Palm eating up some of the rest of the pie. Nokia doesn't seem to be a big player (at least from the anecdotal evidence of "stuff I see people using")

            • The smart-phone market is a horse race between RIM, Nokia and Sony. HTC and Apple trying to catch up from far behind. That's what it is like in the EU.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              I'm not contradicting you, just curious. Is that phones or smart-phones?

              It's smartphones. Have you heard of Symbian and S60?

              Nokia doesn't seem to be a big player (at least from the anecdotal evidence of "stuff I see people using")

              You're most likely in U.S. or Canada. Global market is much bigger than that (remember that EU alone is larger), and plays out differently.

          • Re:Direct ascent. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by 10Ghz (453478) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:10PM (#29659171)

            The mobile market belongs to *nix and Apple. It's just that simple.

            Sales figures suggest otherwise.

            What Nokia has going for it, is the fact that it gained dominance years ago. Symbians market-share is going down fast, while sales of iPhone is growing fast. The only reason why iPhone does not dominate the market is is the fact that it has been available for just a bit over 2 years. You can't take over a market like this in such a short time.

            Symbian is becoming Nokia's VIsta. And they know it too, their new flagship-phone runs Linux, not Symbian.

          • by CAIMLAS (41445)

            Also, if you look at total devices sold with a mobile OS, I think you'll find the numbers substantially skewered in MS's favor: there are far more WinMo phones sold than there are iPhones, if I recall correctly. Nevermind Linux.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Isn't it likely that 7.0 is a now radically different branch (maybe branched off 6.0 a long time ago) with many more engineering hours behind it than this 6.5-semi-service-pack?

        You are absolutely correct, and, in fact, this isn't even news. Anyone who's been following release schedule for 7 and 6.5 knew that 6.5 is just a bunch of minor updates, and 7 is the next and very major update. In fact, there wasn't even supposed to be 6.5, but 7 kept getting delayed for long enough that they felt an interim release was needed so as to not fall behind hopelessly.

        In other words, the expectations of 6.5 were already low for everyone in the know, and its relevance on how 7 will turn out to be

        • In fact, there wasn't even supposed to be 6.5, but 7 kept getting delayed for long enough that they felt an interim release was needed so as to not fall behind hopelessly.

          Wow, if that doesn't bring back memories of Windows ME I don't know what will....

  • by Saint Fnordius (456567) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:01AM (#29655723) Homepage Journal

    ...then Microsoft is headed towards irrelevance in this field.

    The most damning part is how it claims it is less for private users and geared towards businesses. That's just another way of admitting that they were driven by bullet points and not by how people would actually use the devices. They only expect IT departments to buy them, and not the people who actually use them.

    Windows Mobile has become a Terry Schaivo. The only reason it's not dead is because Microsoft refuses to pull the plug on the poor thing.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:25AM (#29655977)

      Except the whole point of Windows 7 is that it's being re-written from scratch to compete with the iPhone (and other multitouch phones.)

      I'm with him on 6.5, but that doesn't necessarily mean 7 will also be a huge failure.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by R2.0 (532027)

        "Except the whole point of Windows 7 is that it's being re-written from scratch to compete with the iPhone (and other multitouch phones.)"

        Hmmm, lets see.

        Netscape re-write? disaster (in a business sense)
        Palm re-write? Disaster

        I'm sensing a pattern here...

        • by tobiasly (524456)

          Netscape re-write? disaster (in a business sense)

          I think that Mozilla and their millions of dollars in revenue would argue that the Netscape re-write (most of us call it "Firefox") is far from a business disaster.

      • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:57AM (#29656363) Homepage

        Yeah, but how much longer for 7? There are no fewer than 4 next gen smart phone platforms out there that MS is slowing but surely losing market share too. The iPhone OS, new Palm OS, new BB OS, and Android are all in the wild, and the worst of them is considered better than Win Mobile by most people at this point. I mean, stop gap measures are nice and all, but it seems that the time for them past a year or two ago. When it was just the iPhone, MS had time. Especially since the 1.0 iPhone OS was clearly not appropriate to business uses. Since them Palm and Black Berry, both big players in the business phone market at one time (RIM of course still is), have released their own attempts, and Apple has done a lot to improve business functionality. Android hasn't made a big splash in business yet, but it's improving too.

        How much longer before MS has past the point of no return and releases its brilliant new mobile OS to a market already saturated. Even if Win Mobile 7 really is a good answer to the competition (and that remains to be seen) it won't matter if everyone has already standardized on something else before it hits the market. You gotta figure that if they're bothering to release 6.5, 7 is at least 6 months to a year out. There's always going to be a baseline of "OMG Windows, Yay!" IT managers out there who'll buy whatever MS gives them, but if they lose the rest of the market they've got problems.

      • by Saint Fnordius (456567) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:57AM (#29656367) Homepage Journal

        I know nothing about Windows Phone 7 (formerly Windows Mobile, and also distinct from Windows 7), so I can't comment on it. But the review seems to paint a bleak picture of how Microsoft treats end users. By the time WinPhone 7 hits the market, many manufacturers could already be committed to Android or Symbian, leaving Microsoft an also-ran.

        What the review doesn't mention is the schizophrenic strategy Microsoft is following on the handheld market: Windows Phone, the Zune, and now Project Pink all overlap, yet none of the devices interoperate with one another. This also doesn't help Microsoft sell its OS to phone manufacturers.

        • by Blakey Rat (99501)

          A large portion of the point of Mobile 7 is to integrate it with Zune. Since Zune has te UI down, and Windows Mobile has the apps, it should be interesting. Of course, there's no guarantee it'll be any good. But it's too early to dismiss it.

        • What the review doesn't mention is the schizophrenic strategy Microsoft is following on the handheld market: Windows Phone, the Zune, and now Project Pink all overlap, yet none of the devices interoperate with one another.

          It is really messed up, and the problem is that those products are being developed by very different MS divisions (which are on separate branches of MS org chart), with little communication in between.

          Both WinMo and Zune are WinCE underneath, but what they build on top of that is very different...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tobiasly (524456)

        Except the whole point of Windows 7 is that it's being re-written from scratch to compete with the iPhone (and other multitouch phones.)

        I'm with him on 6.5, but that doesn't necessarily mean 7 will also be a huge failure.

        But 6.5, like 6.1 and 6.0, is basically just a facelift to the years-old 5.0. Since 6.0 was launched, Google, Palm, and RIM have rewritten or created new mobile OSes that can hold their own, and here we have Microsoft slapping yet another veneer on their tired old OS. Why isn't 7 out already? Why can't Microsoft even keep up with everyone else?!

        As Gizmodo pointed out [gizmodo.com], the really bizarre thing is that even the Zune is more polished and up-to-date than Windows Mobile. What the hell have the WinMo team been

    • by iamhigh (1252742)
      You must not actually work with mobile computing devices... Windows Mobile runs on nearly every delivery handheld (I think UPS has a proprietary system, though). Symbol, Intermec, Motorola all make "rugged" equipment for delivery drivers, traveling salesmen, and other on-the-road jobs. Almost all are Windows Mobile.

      And quite frankly, I am glad. I don't know why WM gets such a bad rap here (well, yeah I do)... It's quickly become the only mobile platform where you don't have to sign an agreement and d
    • by Da_Biz (267075)

      Hell, Windows Mobile is crap from a "business person's perspective." I'm a Business Analyst who spends most of his days developing requirements for business apps--and think that Windows Mobile is absolutely abysmal. My technical acumen is, ostensibly, above average--but there are times where I'd wish something would simply work. I no longer want to spend entire weekends wrenching on a gizmo.

      In keeping with the spirit of this thread, I'll even use Bullet Points for a theoretical missive to Microsoft...

      --C

    • by Locutus (9039)
      <quote>Windows Mobile has become a Terry Schaivo. The only reason it's not dead is because Microsoft refuses to pull the plug on the poor thing.</p></quote>

      good one and true. They have lost somewhere over $15 billion( with a "B" ) on the WindowsCE productline over the 15+ years it's been on the market. A whole lot of that money goes into marketing deals( ie kickbacks ) so vendors install it and to things like paying off vendors to only show Microsoft products at shows like that one early t
    • That's unfair to Terri Schiavo. Terri showed some signs of life.

  • The worst part (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dingen (958134) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:02AM (#29655735)
    You can't even upgrade most WinMo phones to this new release without hackishly installing an unofficial ROM. If you're a simple consumer, you'll get this update with a new phone, or you won't get it at all.
    • But that drives sales!

      /me runs away.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rarel (697734)
      The HTC Touch Pro 2 and a few others are eligible for a free upgrade

      http://wmpoweruser.com/?p=7347 [wmpoweruser.com]

    • by alen (225700)

      that's because they are made by companies in china operating on low margins and meant to be throw away phones. i remember even with pocketPC the upgrade options were limited

      • by sarhjinian (94086)

        Even with high-margin, business-grade phones this seems to be the case. Part of it is carrier reticence: since each carrier has a customized ROM and quality assurance is basically money down the toilet, no carrier wants to request, package, crapware-ify, test, release and support phones that hardly anyone is buying. The other part is just vendor laziness for similar reasons: you could understand Rogers or AT&T or T-Mobile not wanting to go through the exercise, but when Hewlett-Packard flat gives up

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)
      Hahaha! Do you honestly believe anybody who knows the word "ROM" in the context of these phones uses an official release?

      "Hackishly installing an unofficial ROM" is automated. Two files (HardSPL and CustomRUU) are required to perform the update; The first unlocks vendor locks for software, allowing you to run unofficial / unsigned ROMs, and the second is the automated update software. Wizard driven, even offers protection against bricking (asks if you've backed up your data, checks battery life is above 50
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dingen (958134)
        You're proving exactly what I'm trying to say: there is no official update route for most phones. Sure, some people may attempt to install unofficial firmware, just like people will jailbreak their iPhone or unlock their Android device, but how easy or hard this is, is completely irrelevant for most people, as they will only use official releases that are pushed to them. And for most of these people, there is no update at all.
  • by alen (225700) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:05AM (#29655743)

    i remember when smartphones and PDA's were first taking off 10 years ago and people were coming up with interfaces Bill Gates decreed that MS will have a "consistent user experience" and that was the end of any chance that MS had at success.

    Apple and RIM went back to the OS 9/Win 3.1 days for an interface that works on a mobile device and it proved to be popular. MS stuck with it's stupid start button and pocket versions of MS Office and IE. i had a pocket PC back in the day and IE was so bad that it wouldn't close out and you had to reboot the device to free up memory.

    Then there is Microsoft's use of selling a bare OS to Chinese and Korean companies who make the device. Apple, RIM and Palm proved that if you control the phone hardware and the OS you get a good user experience and a good brand name. MS and Google's strategy of using OEM's means their customers don't care which OS they use and no one knows the names of the phones since they are always changing and are considered throwaways. the phone manufacturers put on their own GUI's and themes so you can have two WinMo or two Android phones side by side and they will look completely different.

    This is why people are buying blackberries and iphones. when you compare the 2 year cost of the phone it makes sense to buy a brand name.

    • Bill Gates decreed that MS will have a "consistent user experience"

      Well they certainly achieved that goal, with Windows Mobile.

      It wasn't up to snuff when it was up against Palm OS, and it wasn't up to snuff when Palm OS atrophied and left it as the only game in town. And that's about the most damning thing you can say, really: during that brief window when it was the best there was in the mass market, it was still almost better not to bother.

      In this modern Web OS, OS X, Android world it stinks like a fucking dinosaur. It's as archaic now as Palm OS was in 2005 when th

    • by tepples (727027)

      MS stuck with it's stupid start button

      The iPhone has a start button (marked Square). What's the big difference?

      • Actually, the iPhone has a multi-function button which, depending on the context, will:

        • terminate the currently running app
        • return you to the default application page
        • Take you to the search app
        • Take you to the media player, or camera, or phone app
        • Display date and time
    • by dbcad7 (771464)

      MS and Google's strategy of using OEM's means their customers don't care which OS they use and no one knows the names of the phones since they are always changing and are considered throwaways. the phone manufacturers put on their own GUI's and themes so you can have two WinMo or two Android phones side by side and they will look completely different.

      Lumping MS and Google together.. Interesting.. Android phones are hardly throwaway phones, there may come a point in the future as things take off, but up ti

    • People may deride at Apple for being more about design than functionality but looking at the state of smart phones, I would say that design matters. Anyone with sense will tell you that interfacing with a phone will be different than a desktop/laptop. There's no mouse and a finger/stylus is a good substitution only in certain conditions. There's very little screen space, etc.

      The worst decision that MS made was to design WinMo to have a "consistent user interface" with Windows. In other words, MS didn't

  • Nothing new (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dmesg0 (1342071)
    The unofficial beta builds of WM6.5 were available for all the major WM phones more than a year. They didn't look much different from what we see in this review.

    Besides this interface doesn't matter much, people are still going to use interface add-ons on most WM phones (SPB mobile shell, TouchFlo3d, Samsung TouchWiz etc).

    In short, no new information in this review. However, the announcements of the new phones (e.g. HTC Leo, Samsung i8000) are much more interesting.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:23AM (#29655941) Journal
    There was a time, when Microsoft was praised to high heavens and no IT guy ever got fired for buying Microsoft. Among the hatebois, fanbois and shills, the saner voices got lost.

    Now the pendulum is swinging far more on the opposite side, and as usual the balance has shifted from fanbois to hatebois and shills continue their shillings and as usual the saner voices will be drowned.

    If Microsofties think it is unfair critique playing to the galleries, just remember it is just regression to the mean and correction for the undeserved praise they bought earlier

  • And the rest? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdwh2 (535323) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:23AM (#29655947) Journal

    If you're expecting something to challenge Apple OS and Android

    Well actually as well as Android and "Apple OS", I was more interested in how it compares to the likes of "Nokia OS", "Blackberry OS" and "Motorola OS". It seems odd that Slashdot only seems to acknowledge the existence of the Iphone and now Android, when the vast majority of the market is made up of other manufacturers...

    (Once upon a time it was the case that "smartphones" ran a branded off-the-shelf OS like Symbian or Windows, like Android today, so I could understand doing a comparison of only those ... except "Apple OS" doesn't fit into that category anyway.)

    • Well actually as well as Android and "Apple OS", I was more interested in how it compares to the likes of "Nokia OS", "Blackberry OS" and "Motorola OS".

      I'm sure it sucks just as much as them. Why would this irrelevant factoid be of any use to, well, anyone?

      Even if SOME of those platforms have more current devices in the wild, it doesn't matter - the writing is on the wall unless they seriously update, and in the end they'll all probably be using Android. Except for Microsoft, who will be forced to buy Pal

      • by yoshi_mon (172895)

        Even if SOME of those platforms have more current devices in the wild, it doesn't matter - the writing is on the wall unless they seriously update, and in the end they'll all probably be using Android.

        Says who and why?

        I'm sorry but this is pure speculation that could easily be replaced with such things like, "2010 the writing is on the wall for Windows, Linux (sic) will be on the desktop!" Or predictions about how cloud computing will takeover. Or, my personal fav, how the PC game market will die. (Again.)

        • Says who and why?

          Says myself, because it's obvious.

          I'm sorry but this is pure speculation that could easily be replaced with such things like, "2010 the writing is on the wall for Windows, Linux (sic) will be on the desktop!"

          But in order for Linix to rise in prominence, there wold first have to be a desktop better or at least equivalent. I never made a prediction like that, because it made little sense.

          In the smartphone market you have the iPhone with so many applications it has developed a huge moat of fu

      • by gordguide (307383)

        " ... I know someone who has a Storm, and she has never opened the web browser. Is that really the same kind of user who is on Android or an iPhone? She might as well have a single use phone (except she does use it for email sometimes). ..."

        Not sure where you were going, but you've nailed the difference between BlackBerry and iPhone users.

        The BlackBerry is an outstanding eMail phone that also does the web; and the iPhone is an outstanding Web phone that can also do some eMail.

        I find it perfectly normal that

        • The BlackBerry is an outstanding eMail phone that also does the web;

          Generally I totally agree with that point.

          However this user is not really the "constant emailing" type, she is not employed (retired) and emails family occasionally.

          The big issue I see for RIM around your point though, is that the Storm (which she uses) is by no means an "outstanding email phone". I found typing on that damn Storm (with an onscreen keyboard in landscape mode!) to be more frustrating than even typing messages on my ancient

  • Hardly a suprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xest (935314) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:40AM (#29656155)

    Even Ballmer admitted it's not the release he wanted and that they'd wished they could've got Windows Mobile 7 out the door earlier instead. It's wrong to assume that Windows Mobile 7 will only comprise of a year and a half of additional work on top of Windows Mobile 6.5 when Windows Mobile 7 has been receieving development time in parallel with Windows 6.5.

    It's too early to judge how 7 will end up, and it's no suprise 6.5 is dissapointing. Microsoft knew they were caught with their pants down in the mobile market and now they're frantically playing catch up. Whether Windows Mobile 7 will be their catch up we'll realistically have to just wait and see, but it's wrong to assume what the quality of 7 will be like based on this rather poor release that is 6.5.

    • by hellfire (86129) <deviladv@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @09:12AM (#29656565) Homepage

      If Ballmer says this isn't the release he wanted, then why didn't he kill it? It says a lot about a company if you "have" to release a product even though it's crappy, and all that it says is very bad. Not to draw yet another cliched Apple parallel, but look at Steve. Rumors abound that Apple has been working on this tablet mac since 2003, and that Steve has been unsatisfied with it and has refused to release it because he doesn't feel it's a product people want. Yet Apple's stock isn't tanking on this news. Why the hell can't Steve reign in something like this?

      Thus continues the long slow decline of Microsoft, who can't even generated shit that smells like shit any more.

      • by Xest (935314)

        Because although it's not the release he wanted, it's still better than 6.1.

        If they released nothing they'd likely lose the remaining Windows Mobile providers they have so they had little choice. That's also why it can't be compared to Apple's rumoured tablet PC, because Apple doesn't yet have a tablet market to lose.

        WM6.1 isn't good enough compared to alternatives to survive in todays market, 6.5 is good enough to survive, but not to thrive and it's that that was the source of Ballmer's dissapointment. The

        • If they released nothing they'd likely lose the remaining Windows Mobile providers they have so they had little choice.

          Releasing a disappointing product is also a great way to drive people into the arms of another. Better to have some hope for WM7, than to have the very real disappointment of a supposed update than is little better than what you have after a long delay AND requires some retraining. If you are going to have to change how you use the phone anyway, why not simply get one that is fundamenta

          • by Xest (935314)

            It's not just a new skin over the same old features, there are new features- just not as many as are planned for Windows 7, again, it's still an improvement, and it's better to be selling 6.5 than 6.1 until 7 comes out if 6.5 is better.

            Reasons for sticking with an inferior platform may be resources invested in that platform- many companies have applications built in .NET for the Windows Mobile platform that they do not wish to spend resources porting. Some will no doubt jump on this as an example of Microso

    • Even Ballmer admitted it's not the release he wanted and that they'd wished they could've got Windows Mobile 7 out the door earlier instead.

      Then they should have waited.

      Much as it is "wrong to assume what the quality of 7 will be like based on this rather poor release that is 6.5", that's what everyone is going to do. If MS feel they can get away with shipping decidedly crap software now, why would one presume they're going to feel different on the ship date of WM7?

      Though, that said, I do use debian

  • It's no wonder they didn't like it.
  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:51AM (#29656305) Homepage Journal
    Windows doesn't get panned, it gets pwnd.
  • I'm no fanboy of any technology, but I have to say that Microsoft is just losing dismally to Apple lately. They are so cognizant of being too copy-catish of Apple and they are also trying to be so anti-Apple as well that all they are accomplishing is shooting themselves in the foot. What MS needs to do is to hire/buy a really unique and cutting edge design firm and rethink everything from the ground up.

    There are people like myself who love the consistency and cleanness of OS X but don't like our every move

    • I get what you're saying about having every move dictated by Steve in OSX, but I think the real situation isn't as cut-n-dry. The point of the OS is to run other applications, with all their related complexities; theoretically there's no reason why you need to spend any time dealing with the OS at all, short of moving files around. When it comes to this particular aspect, I don't see how OSX is any different from Windows or Gnome in terms of features, capabilities, etc. I honestly can't think of a particula

      • by rAiNsT0rm (877553)

        agreed, and like I said, I'm no fanboy to any company of any sort except in my hiking/climbing gear which actually at times controls whether I live or die... *THAT* is a reason to be a fanboy, not technology.

        I'm not trying to say either is some insane extreme, and yes there are customizations available in OS X it is more of a lock in to their workflow and mindset that I don't like. I may chose to tackle a problem in my own way, and often the options are simply not even there on OS X or in Apple apps. You do

  • by godefroi (52421) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @09:30AM (#29656799)

    Why did they pick the low-end WM6.5 device to review? Why didn't they use the Touch Diamond 2 (AT&T Pure) or the Touch Pro 2 (AT&T Tilt 2) to base the WM6.5 review on? Those devices at least have good screens (480x800).

  • WinMo vs the rest (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rickerbr (112947) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:30PM (#29660639) Homepage

    Ironically windows mobile is the most "open" platform today. If you have an HTC device, going to xda-developers.com can get you a 6.5 ROM port for nearly any recent model. I can't install any software I want on a iPhone without dealing with app store, not sure what BB development environment setup looks like, Android will eventually garner more development support, but right now, with Visual Studio and .NET I can write and deploy whatever I need on the phone without 3rd party interference.

    Windows Mobile 7 is going to require new hardware (fast processors, multi-touch etc.). The recently announced HTC Leo will be one of the first devices on the market that will support 7 out of the box.

    I am not a "business user" but I did an extensive bake off for my personal needs of the winmo devices vs the iPhone. As hard as it was for this Mac and Unix user to accept, the winmo platform best fit my needs. My Tilt running a 6.5 rom will be replaced this week with a Tilt2 (aka TouchPro2) when AT&T releases them on the 8th.

  • If they don't like the way their own development is going they're not above buying out the competition to get what they want. Palm is pretty cheap right now. But the better bet would be Research in Motion. It'd be an expensive purchase, but given what they offered Yahoo last year I think they can manage.

    Ever notice the similarities between the Windows and Blackberry logos? It's destiny... ;-)

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