So what can we expect from Windows Mobile 5.0?
At this point in time, I have had a very limited view as to what we might expect but I believe we are going to find a huge change that will have a lot of options. With the new Windows Mobile 2005, we will be able to complete the daily tasks we need to accomplish, integrate with a variety of services, have a familiarity with the interface that will make applying the new 2005 version a seamless change and most importantly, the personal aspect of the OS will remain.
We will see improved productivity with faster access to email and information. An updated Office Mobile Suite will make the overall experience smoother and security and device management will be at significantly higher levels.
Integrated Multimedia Experiences will be key to this with hard drive and fast sync support, more available services with desktop media support and you will find more personalization with media.
Of course, the Partners of Microsoft will now have greater options to create better data services support and the ability to have new tools and APIs that will speed device, apps, and create the ability for innovation of new services.
The “naming” has changed and I like it. The name “Windows Mobile 5.0” allows for a simplified versioning cycle and the change from “Pocket Word” etc to “Microsoft Office Word Mobile”, Microsoft Office Outlook Mobile”, etc gives you the feeling that the apps are more closely aligned to the base applications — and they are. Examples of changes include support for photos in Outlook and a totally redesigned Contacts where spacing is better. The ability to create charts in Excel and the introduction of Power Point Mobile are huge. The changes in Microsoft Office Word Mobile are extensive. To highlight a few, you will see support for tabs, lists, Images and toolbar softkeys. The ability to create a documents and then go “back and forth” between your iPAQ and your PC (“round tripping”) with out losing any formatting is a welcome change and was very much needed.
The addition of Power Point Mobile will give you the ability to view native slides. Still, there is much more to add to the Power Point feature but this is a real beginning. Seeing a download bar when receiving files in PIE is a magnificent change. Now you will know just what is happening and where you are. I really like this feature! For those that use MSN Messenger, a newly resigned interface should improve your overall experience.
Of course, with the addition of Active Sync 4.0, it will be downward compatible. However, you must have 2005 to be able to use it on a device. What will you see for improvements? An easier setup, new wizards, and improved error handling. You will see fast USB 2.0 support and more versatile Bluetooth support. With the improved Contacts sync, you will have support for pictures and 10 new contact properties.
The Integrated Multimedia Experience will be dramatically improved. You will find Windows Media DRM playback support, pluggable 3rd party DRM and Codecs, and new user features such as a smart filter to find media, mobile playlists, 5 star rating synchronization and much much more.
It looks to me as if we are about to have a great new experience and I can’t wait to finally try it out on my iPAQ. How long will we have to wait? — not sure but one thing we do know is that it will be coming and it will be soon.