Wearables Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Mauro Carniel, Rostyslav Demush

Related Topics: Wearables, Mobile IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Adobe Flex, SYS-CON MEDIA, Machine Learning , AJAXWorld RIA Conference & Expo, FlexSeminar.com, Video, iPhone Developer Summit 2008 East

Wearables: Article

Windows Mobile Discussion During iPhone Developer Summit

A Shrunken, Crippled Version of Windows

During the Q&A period after one of my sessions at the iPhone Developer Summit last Thursday, there was someone there from Microsoft Competetive Intelligence. She asked myself and some other folks who were lingering nearby to describe, in our unbiased opinions, what we thought was wrong with Windows Mobile.

Talk about a can of worms. My unbiased opinion is actually pretty close to my biased opinion. I've written Compact Framework applications for Windows Mobile and Pocket PC 2003 and have written Embedded VB and Embedded C++ apps for Windows CE, and I've even written applications for Palm OS ($%#@!#@! endian conversions can bite me!). The Compact Framework makes developing for Windows-based mobile devices brainless, easy, and extremely productive. That said, Windows Mobile is fugly.

My response to her was that Windows Mobile is a crippled, shrunken version of Windows. By this I mean that when you are using Windows Mobile, you do not ever, at any point, feel as though you are in the middle of a user experience designed for mobile users and mobile devices. In fact, what you really feel like is that you are mired knee-deep in a bastardized Windows desktop experience that has been hacked, slashed, cut, and mangled until it is nothing more than a limbless victim bleeding out on the mobile device battlefield. Granted, even cut and slashed as it is, its an extremely powerful OS rich with capability. But that's the problem: it has capability, but it has a terrible experience.

Why does a mobile device need a Start menu and/or button? Basically what you are left with is the feeling that someone thought (quite erroneously) that since all mobile device users are at some point Windows desktop users and said users are stupid and incapable of adaptation that Windows Mobile must look and feel as much like what those users are familiar with on the desktop as possible. This is stupid and this is why no one actually wants to use Windows Mobile! Think about it, when was the last time you, as a windows mobile device owner, actually felt pleasure while using your WM device? When was the last time you said "Awesome, I'll just whip out my WM device and we'll check that (insert query) online!" Probably never. In fact, the conversation usually goes something like this:

Buddy: Hey, when is (movie) playing?
You: Hellifiknow.
Buddy: So get off your ass and check it online.
You: Dammit. No laptop nearby.
Buddy: Don't you have net access on your phone?
You: Yeah, but its Windows Mobile.
Buddy: f**k. Well, I'm gonna go get a coffee while you check.
You: Dammit. You check.
Buddy: You check.
... and so on
20 minutes later someone has suffered through IE on the mobile device or, if they're lucky, they have a movie time application that they use that they also suffered through (only less so than with IE)

What's the moral of the story? Windows Mobile devices are a means of last resort. A last ditch effort. A necessary evil. People use them because they have access to corporate e-mail, some of them play music, and they have access to a plethora of ugly-ass applications with a few gems hidden in the endless sea of available shareware/freeware apps. When a WM owner needs to check something online using a browser, it involves cringing, sighing, or just giving up.

Developers writing WM applications need to exert tremendous influence and effort on the lowest level functionality to avoid and escape the terrible experience and provide something that users actually enjoy using. Windows Mobile was not designed from the ground up to be a mobile experience. Using WM feels kludgy, slow, unproductive, and alien. If you are going to build a mobiel device that people enjoy and people want to use, then the first step is to actually design an experience that fits the mobile form factor and the mobile digital lifestyle. Anything less is a hack. The only reason why WM has so much proliferation is because it is the defacto standard for corporate mobile devices. It is like the phone company of the days of old. Service sucked, support sucked, prices sucked, but people used it because they had to. Once people had other options (VoIP, voice-over-cable, cheap cellular, low-cost competitors) they took them and they took them in droves.

What will happen to Windows Mobile once people have an alternative that is both pleasant to use and works with both their corporate and personal lives? Adapt or die. At some point Microsoft must rearchitect Windows Mobile from the ground up to be a compelling mobile user experience.

- Anyway, this has been a verbose description of my own two cents. Your mileage may vary :)

links: digg this del.icio.us technorati reddit

More Stories By Kevin Hoffman

Kevin Hoffman, editor-in-chief of SYS-CON's iPhone Developer's Journal, has been programming since he was 10 and has written everything from DOS shareware to n-tier, enterprise web applications in VB, C++, Delphi, and C. Hoffman is coauthor of Professional .NET Framework (Wrox Press) and co-author with Robert Foster of Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Development Unleashed. He authors The .NET Addict's Blog at .NET Developer's Journal.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
Adam Lein 03/26/08 10:00:36 AM EDT

First of all, it sounds like you're talking about Windows Mobile Professional, not Standard.
The Start menu is just like having a Home button that brings you to a list of applications. How do you expect to access other applications without an easily understandable method of doing so?
Having the feel resemble the desktop version of Windows is actually very smart. This lets users bring what they already know about interacting with computers to the mobile device thus decreasing the learning curve and increasing the sense of intuitiveness.

In reality many users do want to use Windows Mobile. 20 Million this year was it? If you've ever used the Live Search program for Windows Mobile, you'll see how ridiculously easy it is to find and purchase movie tickets. It even has voice recognition for search queries!! Myself and other Windows-Mobile-using friends do this all the time. Heck, it's easier than opening a web browser on a desktop computer and searching for movies that way! I often use the Windows Mobile Live Search program to do those kinds of things even if I'm sitting in front of a desktop. It's just so much easier.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...