Welcome!

Wearables Authors: Mauro Carniel, Rostyslav Demush, Pat Romanski, Shelly Palmer, Yeshim Deniz

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 :)

tags:    
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
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...