Definitions

Windows Mobile 7

Windows Mobile

Windows Mobile is a compact operating system combined with a suite of basic applications for mobile devices based on the Microsoft Win32 API. Devices that run Windows Mobile include Pocket PCs, Smartphones, Portable Media Centers, and on-board computers for certain automobiles. It is designed to be somewhat similar to desktop versions of Windows, feature-wise and aesthetically. Additionally, third-party software development is available for Windows Mobile. Originally appearing as the Pocket PC 2000 operating system, Windows Mobile has been updated several times, with the current version being Windows Mobile 6.1, and a new release scheduled for 2010.

Microsoft projected in 2008 that shipments of devices with Windows Mobile will increase from 11 million to 20 million units, but it missed its initial goal in only selling 18 million licenses citing the delayed launch of certain smartphones. Windows Mobile has a worldwide smartphone market share of 13%. Microsoft licenses Windows Mobile to four out of the five world's largest mobile phone manufacturers, with Nokia being the other.

Common features

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

Hardware platforms

Windows Mobile runs on multiple hardware platforms including Pocket PCs, smartphones, Portable Media Center, and automobiles. These hardware platforms did not always exist from the inception of Windows Mobile.

Pocket PC

The Pocket PC was the original intended platform for the Windows Mobile operating system. These devices consisted of both standalone Pocket PC devices without mobile phone capabilities, and those that included mobile phone capabilities. The most current name of Windows Mobile intended for use on Pocket PCs is officially "Windows Mobile 6 Professional" for devices with mobile phone capabilities and "Windows Mobile 6 Classic" for devices without mobile phone capabilities.

Smartphone

The Smartphone became the next hardware platform after the Pocket PC to run Windows Mobile, and debuted with the release of Pocket PC 2002. Although in the broad sense of the term "Smartphone", both Pocket PC phones and Microsoft branded Smartphones each fit into this category, it should be noted that Microsoft's use of the term "Smartphone" includes only more specific hardware devices that differ from Pocket PC phones. Such Smartphones were originally designed without touchscreens, intended to be operated more efficiently with only one hand, and typically had lower resolution displays than Pocket PCs. Microsoft's focus for the Smartphone platform was to create a device that functioned well as a phone and data device in a more integrated manner. The current name of Windows Mobile intended for use on Smartphones is officially "Windows Mobile 6 Standard".

Portable Media Center

The Portable Media Center was a device that focused on integration with Microsoft's Windows Media Center and Windows Media Player to allow users to carry their media libraries with them on the go. The Portable Media Center was officially introduced in 2004, and ran a modified version of Windows Mobile. These devices became the predecessor to Microsoft's Zune, and after 2006 Microsoft discontinued the project in favor of the latter.

Automobiles

"Windows Mobile for Automotive" is the name for Microsoft's operating system that facilitates multiple functions in automobiles including communication, entertainment, information systems. Windows Mobile for use in automobiles is the latest platform for the operating system, and was introduced by Microsoft in February of 2006 at the Geneva International Motor Show. Windows Mobile for Automotive comes in two different versions. The Basic version includes a Bluetooth connectivity and USB interface for music playback. The Standard version includes this also, but additionally it features a built-in GPS, GSM phone, and security features. These systems are more widely known as SYNC. The Windows Mobile for Automotive hardware specification includes a 300 MHz ARM processor, 32 MB of RAM, and a microphone.

Versions

Pocket PC 2000

Pocket PC 2000, originally codenamed "Rapier", was released in April of 2000, and was based on Windows CE 3.0. It was the debut of what was later dubbed the Windows Mobile operating system, and meant to be a successor to the operating system aboard Palm-Size PCs. Backwards compatibility was retained with such Palm-Size PC applications. Pocket PC 2000 was intended mainly for Pocket PC devices, however several Palm-Size PC devices had the ability to be updated as well. In addition, several Pocket PC 2000 phones were released, however the Smartphone hardware platform was not yet created. The only resolution supported by this release was 240 x 320 (QVGA). Removable storage card formats that were supported were CompactFlash and MultiMediaCard. At this time Pocket PC devices had not been standardized with a specific CPU architecture. As a result, Pocket PC 2000 was released on multiple CPU architectures; SH-3, MIPS, and ARM.

Aesthetically, the original Pocket PC operating system was similar to Windows 98, Windows Me, and Windows 2000 operating systems.

Features/built-in applications for Pocket PC 2000 included the following:

Pocket PC 2002

Pocket PC 2002, originally codenamed "Merlin", was released in October 2001. Like Pocket PC 2000, it was powered by Windows CE 3.0. Although targeted mainly for 240 × 320 (QVGA) Pocket PC devices, Pocket PC 2002 was also used for Pocket PC phones, and for the first time, Smartphones. These Pocket PC 2002 Smartphones were mainly GSM devices. 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. Aesthetically, Pocket PC 2002 was meant to be similar in design to the then newly released Windows XP.

New features/built-in applications included the following:

Windows Mobile 2003

Windows Mobile 2003, originally codenamed "Ozone", 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. 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 was powered by Windows CE 4.20.

New features/built-in applications included the following:

  • Support for add-on keyboards
  • Enhanced communications interface with Bluetooth device management
  • Bluetooth file beaming support
  • Bluetooth headset support
  • Pictures application with viewing, cropping, e-mail, and beaming support
  • Jawbreaker game
  • Enhanced Pocket Outlook with vCard and vCal support
  • Improved Pocket Internet Explorer
  • Windows Media Player 9.0 with streaming optimization
  • SMS reply options for Phone Edition
  • MIDI file support as ringtones in Phone Edition

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.

New features/built-in applications included the following:

Windows Mobile 5

Windows Mobile 5.0, originally codenamed "Magneto", was released at Microsoft's Mobile and Embedded Developers Conference 2005 in Las Vegas, May 9–May 12, 2005, and first offered on the Dell Axim x51. It was powered by Windows CE 5.0 and used the .NET Compact Framework 1.0 SP2 — an environment for programs based on .NET. Windows Mobile 5.0 included Microsoft Exchange Server "push" functionality improvements that worked with Exchange 2003 SP2. The "push" functionality also required vendor/device support With AKU2 software upgrades all WM 5.0 devices supported DirectPush. WM 5.0 featured increased battery life due to Persistent storage capability. Previously up to 50% (enough for 72 hours of storage) of battery power was reserved just to maintain data in volatile RAM. This continued the trend of Windows-based devices moving from using RAM as their primary storage medium to the use of flash memory. With Windows Mobile 5.0, OS updates were released as Adaptation kit upgrades. AKU3.5 is the most current release.

New features/built-in applications included the following:

  • A new version of Office called "Office Mobile"
    • PowerPoint Mobile
    • Graphing capability in Excel Mobile
    • Tables and graphics insertion in Word Mobile
  • Windows Media Player 10 Mobile
  • Photo Caller ID
  • DirectShow support
  • Picture and Video package, which converged the management of videos and pictures
  • Enhanced Bluetooth support
  • Global Positioning System (GPS) management interface
  • Microsoft Exchange Server "push" functionality improvements
  • Default QWERTY keyboard-support
  • Error reporting facility similar to that present in desktop and server Windows systems
  • ActiveSync 4.2 with 15% increased synchronization speed
  • Persistent storage (PS) support in Pocket PCs
  • Increased battery life

Windows Mobile 6

Windows Mobile 6, formerly codenamed "Crossbow", was released on February 12, 2007 at the 3GSM World Congress 2007. It comes in three different versions: "Windows Mobile 6 Standard" for Smartphones (phones without touchscreens), "Windows Mobile 6 Professional" for Pocket PCs with phone functionality, and "Windows Mobile 6 Classic" for Pocket PCs without cellular radios.

Windows Mobile 6 is powered by Windows CE 5.0 (version 5.2) and is strongly linked to Windows Live and Exchange 2007 products. Windows Mobile 6 Standard was first offered on the Orange's SPV E650, while Windows Mobile 6 Professional was first offered on the O2's Xda Terra. Aesthetically, Windows Mobile 6 was meant to be similar in design to the then newly released Windows Vista.

New features/built-in applications include the following:'''

Windows Mobile 6.1

Windows Mobile 6.1 was announced April 1, 2008. It is a minor upgrade to the existing Windows Mobile 6 platform which brings with it a redesigned Home screen featuring horizontal tiles that expand on clicking to display more information, although this new home screen is featured only on Windows Mobile Standard edition. Several other improvements such as threaded SMS, full page zooming in IE and 'Domain Enroll' have also been added. Domain Enroll is functionality to connect the device to System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008, a product to manage mobile devices.

Future versions

Windows Mobile 7

Codenamed "Photon, Windows Mobile 7 is a major upgrade planned for release in the second half of 2009. Not much else is known about the release, though leaked information suggests a revamped UI, multi-touch and motion-related features. Companies such as MWg and HTC are expected to release Pocket PC phones supporting this version. Features include redesigned interface, new Office Mobile version, next Internet Explorer Mobile, accelerometer functionality with interface (gestures), new media player version. Microsoft has somewhat confirmed the leaks, showing the homescreen during a commercial of their Live Mesh software operating on what appears to be an HTC Touch Dual. Microsoft also plans on bringing some form of Zune functionality or software to this version.

Naming conventions

Pocket PC 2000 Pocket PC 2002 Windows Mobile 2003 Windows Mobile 2003 SE Windows Mobile 5.0

Windows Mobile 6
Pocket PC (Without Mobile Phone) Pocket PC 2000 Pocket PC 2002 Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Windows Mobile 2003 SE for Pocket PC Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC Windows Mobile 6 Classic
Pocket PC (With Mobile Phone) Pocket PC 2000 Phone Edition Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Phone Edition Windows Mobile 2003 SE for Pocket PC Phone Edition Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC Phone Edition Windows Mobile 6 Professional
Smartphone (Without Touch Screen) N/A Smartphone 2002 Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone Windows Mobile 2003 SE for Smartphone

Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphone Windows Mobile 6 Standard

Other: Windows Mobile for Automotive 1.0, Windows Mobile software for Portable Media Centers

Software development

Third-party software development is available for the Windows Mobile operating system. There are several options for developers to use when deploying a mobile application. This includes writing native code with Visual C++, writing Managed code that works with the .NET Compact Framework, or Server-side code that can be deployed using Internet Explorer Mobile or a mobile client on the user's device. The .NET Compact Framework is actually a subset of the .NET Framework and hence shares many components with software development on desktop clients, application servers, and web servers which have the .NET Framework installed, thus integrating networked computing space (a.k.a. "The Cloud").

Microsoft typically releases Windows Mobile Software development kits (SDKs) that work in conjunction with their Visual Studio development environment. These SDKs include emulator images for developers to test and debug their applications while writing them. Microsoft also distributes Visual Studio 2008 / 2005 Professional Editions, and server / database counterparts to students as downloads free of charge via its DreamSpark program.

Prior to the release of Windows Mobile 2003, third-party software was developed using Microsoft's eMbedded Visual Tools.

See also

References

External links

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