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Windows Mobile 6

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Windows Mobile 6 was announced at this year’s 3GSM conference in February. Held in Barcelona, this is the premier event for all things telephonic. By making the announcement of the latest version of Windows Mobile here rather than at a special event all of its own, Microsoft is hinting at a key aspect of its strategy for Windows Mobile going forward: it is a platform for connected – SIM supporting – devices.

That is really no surprise. The handheld and smartphone platforms have been steadily converging for a while now, and it is getting quite rare to find a handheld or PDA running any operating system that doesn’t have a SIM slot in it.

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What is also apparent as soon as you start looking at Windows Mobile 6 in any detail is that Microsoft appears to have decided that the key to its success with the platform will lie with companies rather than individuals. There are things in Windows Mobile 6 that are only available to those running Microsoft Exchange Server – and in some cases Exchange Server 2007, forcing an upgrade if you want access to them.
Keeping mobile devices up to date over the air with email, calendar and contacts is crucial for many companies if staff are to work efficiently while on the move.

It seems to me then, that Windows Mobile 6 has been developed with companies running Microsoft Exchange Server powered networks at the centre of its thinking. Think of Microsoft’s markets as being arranged like an archery target. In the bullseye sit companies running networks that use Microsoft Exchange Server. The next outer ring contains smaller or non Exchange Server companies while, small office or home office workers and consumers are in the outer circles.

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With all this in mind it may come as no surprise that there has been a change in the naming convention for Windows Mobile 6. We still have three versions, as we did with Windows Mobile 5.0. The new naming is Classic (what was previously for unconnected Pocket PCs), Standard (formerly Smartphone Edition), and Professional (formerly Pocket PC Phone Edition).

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