Ugh . . . stupid Apple . . . releasing a freaking $199 iPhone that has both 3G and GPS which finally brings it to feature parity with my Moto Q9 . . . but the real coupe de grace is the fact that it will also natively support Exchange Direct Push thereby ensuring that tons of business people that were locked into WM devices will now be switching to iPhones (including a ton of Microsoft people I know) since they'll be able to get their corporate email on the phone. $199 . . . that's the right price point Apple (but MAN I'd be pissed if I JUST recently bought an iPhone for retail of like $400 or whatever they old one is going for).
So what do we have in the works? Well - not much it seems . . . we have an update to Windows Mobile (6.1) coming out soon. I watched the video and WM 6.1 does look sort of hot . . . but the UI changes are minor, evolutionary vs. revolutionary . . . but the real bulk of the changes in 6.1 seem to be 'under the covers' stuff that the average consumer isn't going to know about or even care about. Don't believe me? Check out this load of changes / features geared towards security and manageability of the devices: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/business/strategy/mdmsecurityfeatures.mspx. Encryption, S/MIME support (freaking finally), inventory, feature control, etc.
My phone - the Q9 allegedly will be offered this update from AT&T for free but there's no ETA . . . I can buy an iPhone 3G on July 11th which will probably be before I can upgrade my Q9 to our latest hotness . . . I can't say for sure because I can't get AT&T to tell me when I can get 6.1!! But they'll happily announce a month in advance when I'll be able to get an iPhone 3G. That's another super frustrating thing for me as a WM consumer - I hear all about this new Windows Mobile hotness as far back as April of this year - but here it is in June and I sitll have no clue if or when I'll be able to get it for my phone which conveniently cost about the same as the new iPhone. When Steve Jobs gets on stage - he announces a date - and then delivers on that date. I admire that - I wish we could do that. I wish we could convince AT&T to work with us like that.
Anyways - looking at the rather long and distinguished list of security features and 'behind the scenes' non-sexy to consumers stuff on tap for WM 6.1 . . . I can't help but ponder how Apple seem to have once again nailed the consumer part of the equation while attempting to make business in-roads and we seem to be trying to really perfect the business end while not focusing as much on the consumer pieces (usability, sexiness etc.).
Hmm - that sounds like a familiar battle . . .
You know I am not a big fan of apple, with Itunes and all that junk I just do not want or need. However, I have been saying this for years before the iPhone even existed, if Windows Mobile based phones would increase their internal storage and not through extra cards I have to buy then it would have been really awsome. Especially with the .net platform running on it. There could have been apps for productivity as the model is open and ripe for development, just storage was so low it was useless unless you went out and bought extra cards. Big fat buttons, duh was yelling about that for years as well.
I mean really how many times using your mobile do you really feel like pulling out your stylus pen tool to navigate around. I had this same argument with my boss on a system we built that went on forklifts in plants with nice touch screen monitors, my boss, business guy and I mean all business, wanted everything to look on the forklift drivers screen like excel. I basically told him he was wrong but built it anyway, the forklift drivers hated it. Finally he let me fix it how I wanted, I game em big buttons and easy to read text with the minimal information they needed to do their jobs. They loved it. When my boss asked why I told him simply to go out and watch how forklift drivers worked. He did and he still didn't see it. I finally showed him they have gloves on. Your interface made them stop, take their gloves off. try to scroll around and then lean forward to find what they wanted. Mine, they do not need to take their gloves off and can see what they want at a glance it doesn't get in the way. The iPhone is the same way. people can just pull it out of their pocked hit one button and take a picture. My windows mobile I have to pull it out get the stylus out because I shut off the camera button on the side because I kept hitting it by accident which really runs the battery down. then hit the start button find the small row for my camera, then pull the camera up wait for it to try to focus then adjust it. This is ok if I am a Realtor taking pictures of houses but for a teen or someone in their 20's out having fun with friends and want a picture, not so much. So its not that they captured sexy really, they just get the heck out of peoples way and let them have fun. I would love to see MS do this. Vista though never have I ever wanted to throw my computer through a window until I try to do something in Vista.