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  • Introducing Windows Mobile 2003... A "dot" release? You be the judge!

    By Glenn Letham (, June 2003

    Printer Friendly Version

    This is the new, global brand for mobile software that runs Pocket PC and Smartphone devices. Windows Mobile strategically aligns a core Microsoft® brand - Windows® - with what has become a core focus for the company: mobile software.
    Industry giant, Microsoft has re-branded it's mobile OS with the 2003 suffix, however, is this latest release worthy of a full-blown product release? Popular technology news provider CNet raised the issue and I have to admit I'm asking myself the same thing! What first got me thinking about the upgrade was a related Dell news release touting news that Dell's Axim PDA line-up would now be shipping with the latest OS (aka. Windows Mobile 2003). Curiously, a visit to the Dell website reveals that the Axim PDA will ship with Pocket PC 2003 - I thought the OS was now called Windows Mobile 2003! C'mon Dell, which is it? Dell's press release also stated "Existing Axim customers in North America and Europe can purchase a Windows Mobile 2003 upgrade with companion CD from Dell for $29"... unfortunately a visit back to turned up zero information on how to upgrade - OK, I'm getting a little ticked off now! - I guess I'll have to wait a few days to upgrade the OS for my Axim.

    Enhancements include

    New Features... this list is relatively short, with much of the WOW factor being hidden behind the scenes. Better memory management, improved VPN support,, and improved power management are promised, along with significant usability enhancements for Wi-Fi or 802.11b. So where's the WOW? TechTV reports that "The new OS won't woo everyday users. But for wireless aficionados, upgrading makes sense". They report several new features are offered, however, it more closely resembles a dot-release more than anything! Here's a run-down of some of the main features:
    • Automatically detects and easily connects to Wi-Fi networks and personal area networks via native support for Bluetooth® Supports Windows Media® 9 Series audio and video technology
    • integrated support for the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework
    • Automatically detects and easily connects to Wi-Fi networks and personal area networks via native support for Bluetooth®
    • Delivers a great messaging and e-mail experience. Enables always-up-to-date e-mail synchronisation through integration with the upcoming Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
    • Offers improved mobile experiences with users’ photos, music and home movies through support of Windows Media® 9 Series audio and video technology
    • Includes integrated support for the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework

    Supporting Device Manufacturers

    A host of companies have already announced devices that support MS Mobile 2003:
    • Extended Systems (Nasdaq:XTND), a leading provider of mobile information management solutions for the enterprise, announced today that the company's software will support Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs (
    • Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG) today announced the Pocket PC e750/755 Series and e350/e355 Series personal digital assistants (PDAs) powered by the new Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs. Existing customers can upgrade for free (+ $15.99 shipping and handling). Personally, I'd rather pay $15.99 for the upgrade and get free shipping!
    • as mentioned above, DELL reports that the Axim PDA will now come sporting the MS Mobile 2003 OS
    • JVC and Gateway are reported to have PDAs slated for release later this year - these devices will be sporting Microsoft Mobile 2003 under the hood.
    • MobiMate announced that its best selling travel application, WorldMate(TM), now supports Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PCs. MobiMate's WorldMate includes world clocks, world weather from The Weather Channel, currency conversion and more.
    • Other companies announcing support for Mobile 2003 include ASUSTeK Computer Inc., Fujitsu Siemens Computers, and HP. All are reported to be shipping products running Windows Mobile 2003
    • In conjunction with this announcement, Microsoft and Wi-Fi industry leader T-Mobile HotSpot, along with Boingo Wireless Inc. and Wayport Inc., announced offers to provide free 30-day access with new qualifying subscriptions to their Wi-Fi services to U.S. customers who purchase a Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC

    For Developers

    Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs [according to Microsoft] is a rich, extensible platform for application development that takes full advantage of the new Windows CE .NET 4.2 operating system and the .NET Compact Framework in ROM. Utilizing Visual Studio® .NET 2003 development tools, millions of Visual Studio application developers can now use their existing skills to develop and deploy innovative applications and take advantage of Web services. Microsoft officially released the Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PCs Software Development Kit (SDK) today to it's developers See

    So what do you think about Microsoft Mobile 2003? Do you plan on supporting or developing apps for Mobile 2003? Send your comments to

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