Microsoft’s approach to software development is pretty unique – more than one book has been written on the topic.

Technologizer now spoke with the project manager behind the original version of Windows:

At that point Windows was no longer considered the company’s star project, as it had become a bit of an embarrassment. Even internally there were doubts among some in the company that Windows would ever ship. Also, because Ballmer had already burned though four product managers to try to get there–people who now had been either reassigned or were no longer at Microsoft–the product was developing a reputation for career death.

Further information can be had at the URL below:
http://technologizer.com/2010/03/08/the-secret-origin-of-windows/

Long-term followers of Tamoggemon know that the products usually have a minimized interface – this is due to fanatic tap counting in the UI design department. However, tap counting is but part of a successful mobile UI – you usually also need to adhere to common design patterns.

So far, no collection of design patterns for mobile applications has been published in book form. However, the design4mobile wiki is a more than adequate replacement:
mobile design patterns Mobile Design Patterns   the list

Hit the link below to find out more:
http://patterns.design4mobile.com/index.php/Main_Page

iSuppli has done quite a few extremely interesting reports in the past – their latest one looks at Windows Mobile and starts out as follows:

Despite intensifying competition and the loss of some high-profile licensees, the usage of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Mobile operating system in smart phones will nearly triple from 2009 to 2013, allowing it to reclaim the No.-2 position in the global market, according to iSuppli Corp.

In 2013, 67.9 million smart phones will use the Windows Mobile operating system, up from 27.7 million in 2009. This will give Windows Mobile a 15.3 percent share of the global market in 2013, second only to the Symbian operating system, which will control 47.6 percent.

windows mobile marketshare iSuppli: Reports of Windows Mobile’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated

Further information can be had below:
http://www.isuppli.com/News/Pages/Reports-of-Windows-Mobiles-Death-are-Greatly-Exaggerated.aspx

Windows Mobile 6.5 initially hit the road in the USA. This means that US-based outlets are in an advantaged situation over non-US ones – here is a round-up of their “first impressions”.

BrightHand
BrightHand was one of the first to get their hands onto an AT&T Pure – and isn’t too impressed with the added features (which they consider not enough):

I really like the changes in Windows Mobile 6.5, especially the new Start Screen. And any improvement is good.

But when I consider that it took Microsoft a year to add these tweaks, I have to shake my head. I’m really hoping future versions of this operating system can pick up the pace a bit. Windows Mobile is facing some intense competition these days, and it needs to pick up its heels if it’s going to keep up.

Engadget
Engadget provides a few screenshots of the new features, and classifies the OS as follows:

Microsoft’s not promising the world with Windows Mobile 6.5, nor are they delivering it — it’s very much a stopgap, complete with duct tape, bubble gum, and Bondo. The platform is hopefully one of the last in a long, dreary line of revisions that may have looked fresh years ago …

Put simply, 6.5 won’t win a single user to the platform, even though the snazzy hardware that’s running it just might. What it does do is make the full touchscreen use case just bearable enough to keep users already in the WinMo ecosystem hanging around — and a stop-loss plan is exactly what Microsoft needs while it gets version 7 locked and loaded over the next few months. Let’s make it happen, guys.

Gizmodo
Gizmodo also was unhappy:

Judging from the first wave of 6.5 handsets, the change OS will barely be noticeable to most folks. Alternative interfaces like TouchFLO and TouchWiz will remain, and won’t outwardly change, nor will included apps—they’re all compatible. Customers will buy Windows Mobile phones based on the quality of their 3rd party interfaces; carriers will continue to carry them because certain people, chained by their employers or a specific piece of software, will need them; and app makers will be slow to take to the Marketplace, since hey, how much longer do these Windows CE 5-based OSes even have left? It’ll be a sad, long slog until April (or god forbid, December) when Windows Mobile 7, whatever it is, finally hits phones.

image002 HTC service manuals galoreDon’t ask me what eekers the man pictured on the left has – Mike Channon has created a web site containing literally thousands of useful documents related to HTC’s handsets.

He describes his page as follows:

Here you will find a collection of Service Manuals, User Manuals, dismantling guides and disassembly videos.

The emphasis is placed on PDA Phones manufactured by HTC, but some of the more popular models form other makers are included. Many of the manuals are of a technical nature and are not designed for the everyday user. In fact, using these guides to dismantle your phone will invalidate your warranty

As all of the stuff seems to be free, hit the link below for a really cool resource:
http://www.mikechannon.net/

PocketPCThoughts Jason Dunn just came back from Microsoft’s latest Mobius conference, and posted a rather detailed 5page wrap-up of the topics covered.

He has a nice summary of all presentations, whose topics ranged from mundane things like Windows 7 to more interesting stuff like HTC’s view of the future and a variety of interesting stats.

As usual, the full scoop can be had here:
http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/news/show/91879/mobius-2008-winter-edition.html

The US roll-out of HTC’s Touch Pro has kept us busy for the last weeks – now that AT&T has burned its fuze out, Sprint and Verizon remain waiting. Here’s what we know:

Verizon gets Touch Pro November 24th
Engadget Mobile reports that the Verizon version of the Touch Pro (with slower CPU) will become official on the 24th of this month; and will hit stores on the 1sr of December.

The machine will cost whooping 419$ on a 2yr contract (!!!) – the 70$ mail-in rebate brings the device down to still-insane 350$ (unlocked GSM Touch Pros currently go for 600 Euros).

Fuze reviewed
BrightHand’s Ed Hardy brings a small preliminary review of AT&T’s Fuze. He generally likes the device, but is annoyed by the aggressive AT&T branding.

Getting a device onto CNet isn’t easy – if a manufacturer manages to accomplish this, one can reasonably except the device to sell in at least one market.

Even though I thoroughly dislike the reviewer (Bonnie Cha) for her tendency to work inaccurately, the review contains quite a bit of useful information. The hardware of the machine generally seems to be well-done: the issue is Velocity Mobile’s custom UI system called Odyssey. Bonnie found it to be lag-prone, even though Qualcomm’s 400MhZ CPU can not be considered excessively slow.

The full scoop can be had here!

Supporting bloggers and online journalists has not always been easy for traditional PR agencies: while people like your truly can have huge reader counts that exceed these of many magazines, their demand for high-speed access to samples can easily overburden PR agents (there are no deadlines – its minutes that count).

Nokia’s blogger relations are handled by a firm called TalkingHeads, who do an excellent job most of the time. Sony Ericsson now cloned their web site with a portal called xperiancers:
Unbenannt Sony Ericsson launches XPERIA blog

As of now, the web site is devoid of useful content – as it looks now, it will be centered around lifestyle stuff rather than information useful to readers of TamsPPC. The page’s layout doesn’t make your life easier either…

Brave souls (with loads of time to waste) can give them a click at the URL below:
http://xperiancers.com/

Currently, nobody knows if the XPERIA X1′s case will be silver or black. The review at SM@PE’s can’t clarify this issue (they have photos of silver and black devices), but makes for excellent reading nevertheless.
2a XPERIA X1   the next review

First of all: the keyboard and hard keys really seem to suck. The reviewer’s opinion is similar to the Boy Genius’s: the buttons feel loose, lack a pressure point and generally can’t fight the Touch Pro’s (which IMHO isn’t that great, either).

The XPERIA X1′s “panel” software seems to satisfy the editor – it’s concept is similar to Dynamo’s, but goes a lot further. Gadgets can be added to increase the functionality, and thumbnails are constantly updated.

Further information and a bunch of YouTube videos can be found here

The boys at PocketNow’s recently reviewed the Touch Pro, and didn’t like it too much. Tracy&Matt’s review follows a few days afterwards – and their impression is more positive.

Mr. Matt concludes that the Touch Pro:

… is by far the best phone I have tested; I think it is a great size, not too big or too small. It has all the functionality and speed that I need day to day.

The price tag? Well, anything worth buying is invariably not cheap, and this is no exception, it is relatively expensive in the PDA world, but it is probably the best on the market at this time.

Is it the Ultimate device? It is very close, I am sure they could get it a little thinner in time, the camera and rear speaker could do with an upgrade, in my opinion, that apart it is very impressive. …

Get the full scoop here:
http://www.tracyandmatt.co.uk/blogs/index.php/2008/08/22/htc-touch-pro-review

I have worried about the quality of the Touch Pro’s keyboard in the past, and am now happy to see that it isn’t as bad as I originally expected it. PocketNow’s Brandon Miniman has reviewed the device, and stated that the keyboard is “generally easy to use”.

Unfortunately, Miniman wasn’t too happy with the device. He worries about the build quality, keyboard lags, thickness and OTC price.

Get the full scoop below:
http://pocketnow.com/index.php?a=portal_detail&t=reviews&id=1094&p=4

 Pandora coming to Windows Mobile after all
I have really liked the so-called Music Genome Project’s streaming radio service called Pandora – unfortunately, licensing concerns no longer allow them to send to Europe.

Nevertheless, Windows Mobile users in the USA will soon be able to enjoy Pandora on the go (if they have a hefty data plan). Tom Conrad, the CTO of Pandora’s mother company, stated that a version of Pandora is upcoming for WM in a recent wmpoweruser.com interview:


Without question I’ve learned a lesson about commenting on unreleased products… truth is it was almost two years ago when I shared on our blog that we were working on a Windows Mobile build of Pandora. At the time I really believed it was less than 90 days away from release. I guess it’s never a good idea to talk about products that you haven’t yet released.

…. our deals with Sprint (and then later AT&T) came through. With those deals in place we started shifting our mobile development priorities to sync up with what the carriers wanted us to do — without exception that was to so-called “feature phones” and not smart phones. …

The good news is that we do have a team working on Windows Mobile versions of Pandora. Given my track record it’s probably best not to comment on the “when” but it’s certainly not a question of “if”.

So far, HTC’s web site has been among the most annoying on the internet (along with Sprint’s) – you had to give up your email address and get an account in order to get ROM updates for your (purchased) device.

According to SmartphoneThoughts, the company has now seen the light of day. From now on, you just need to enter the serial number of your machine in order to get your hands on updates.

P.S. Other device makers give out updates to everyone. I consider it somewhat likely that HTC intends to introduce “tracking information” into the updates eventually…which could be very helpful when it comes to quenching the flow of “inofficial updates” seen at xda-developers…

The folks at BrightHand’s have managed to somehow generate stats that show which devices stir up the most “user activity” – their results are posted once a month and usually provide pretty interesting reading.

When looking at the chart, we see Apple, Windows Mobile and PalmOS powered devices and a dumbphone. the Palm TX managed to get back into the list, while the HTC Mogul, Nokia N96 and the ipaq 110 flew out:
 BrightHand releases mind share stats for July

Here’s the exact ranking:

  1. HTC Touch Diamond
  2. iPhone 3G
  3. HTC Touch
  4. ipaq 210
  5. HTC Touch Pro
  6. Samsung Instinct
  7. Xperia X1
  8. Palm Centro
  9. iPod touch
  10. Palm TX

In case you feel like comparing it to last month’s mind share rankings – please use this link!

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