It’s this part of the year again: while the rest of the world is running around celebrating and accepting usury cup deposits of more than 2 Euros per cup, yours truly is sitting in front of his MSI Wind U100, creating a reflection on the events of the year.
For the PocketPC, 2008 was a year of stasis without any big moves. Microsoft has managed to establish its Windows Mobile OS well – for them, it is a war of attrition rather than one of innovation. They are under pressure from two points: while RIM is encroaching on the business side, the iPhone is hunting for “fray consumers”.
Redmond’s response seems to take a “back-to-the-roots” approach. Windows Mobile 6.1 was an excellent update for businesses, as it took the fear out of device management due to the excellent integration with Active Directory.
I am not sure if/how long Microsoft wants to continue to pursue the individual (private) consumer market with WM devices now that they have Danger in-house – as the demands of consumers and business users are not exactly aligned, making an OS which fits both is difficult at the least.
According to my information, Windows Mobile 7 will try to “bridge the gap” and eliminate the annoying plethora of different UI systems – if Microsoft manages to release it in 2009, it could heat up the market significantly.
Either way, the growth and demise of Windows Mobile is no longer governed by Microsoft, but rather by its partners and competitors. Interesting times lay ahead – stay tuned!
P.S. Similar thingies will pop up at our sister sites shortly. In case you are interested in my outlook on any of the platforms below, just hit the link and enjoy!