This has been on my mind for a little while now and sometimes the fanboy eyeglaze needs to wear off before you evaluate things for what they are.
I will never buy another Windows Mobile phone until Microsoft stands behind its platform and here is why you shouldn’t either: It’s not Microsoft.
Microsoft has made its significant wealth by producing business tools that grew, scaled and upgraded. I have never owned a computer that I couldn’t upgrade to the next version of Windows. Our servers have scaled from Windows Server standard, to SBS, to Enterprise with clustering. We (and I) could afford to keep up with the technology and with Microsoft and realize the business and productivity benefits because we did not face a significant hardware charge every time we wanted to implement something new. The idea of Software Assurance further delivers on this promise.
But take that same strategy to Windows Mobile platform. Can you do the same? For a very large population of devices the answer is yes – albeit, illegally.
Want a legal way to upgrade your phone? $499 please. Wait, $499 is $400 more than you advertise a brand new phone for, how can an upgrade cost four times more? Oh! You’re not really upgrading my phone, which is perfectly capable of running the said software, you’re just replacing it with the brand new phone. Oh, and you want at least a two year contract on it too?
This is where the Microsoft – OEM – Telco menage a trois infuriates the customer and makes them abandon Windows Mobile and crumbles the Exchange, Unified Communications, Windows Platform and the “connected” dream evaporates: They look elsewhere.
I cannot and will not recommend a Windows Mobile phone anymore until Microsoft starts offering upgrades for them, directly from Microsoft’s site. Please do not buy into the lie that only the OEM can write the drivers and only the carrier can publish it because thats a total copout. For literally everyone in my audience that has seen a Windows Mobile demo or a new release preview, just what do you think that demo ran on? Boiling pot of water? Of course not. Microsoft develops and tests this software on the Windows Mobile devices you own and use. Every developer that compiles of a piece of Windows Mobile code already has the architecture cabs as a part of their Visual Studio SDK for mobility so if we can roll out the new OS, if we can compile software for it – what are we waiting for the OEM and the carrier to do? Compile their garbage IM software and design a new theme?
OEMs and carriers have the least incentive to implement any software upgrades because it means more support and more documentation work for them. They usually never relase them and you’re stuck buying a new phone. And in business, being forced to buy something new and abandon something functional is equivalent to theft.
Blackjack is my last Windows Mobile phone, even if I get a free one I will give it away.
If you are a business, avoid Windows Mobile until Microsoft chooses to stand behind its platform a little more than just releasing Haloween backgrounds and ringtones.
For those of you that don’t understand what I mean without using crude street language (all complaints should be sent to my PR firms: Tim Barrett & Co in USA and Susanne Dansey, LTD worldwide):
If I wanted to be fucked by a telco carrier and mislead into a product purchase of a toy that will be obsolete the moment I opened the box I would have bought an iPhone.