updated 09:55 pm EST, Thu January 22, 2009
Next Win Mobile hints
The upcoming version of Windows Mobile will integrate a variety of new features that synchronize data through the cloud. Andrew Lee, vice president of Microsoft's cellphone software, provided details to the New York Times about the software that will be revealed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month. The next-generation platform will offer features for personal and entertainment use, such as photos, music, instant messaging, text messaging and social networking. The shift marks a change from the business-centric features of the current versions of Windows Mobile.
The enhancements will allegedly make it easier to synchronize data between handsets, computers and web services. "What should happen, is when you take a picture it should automagically[sic] arrive on your PC and be in the cloud," he said. "I should be able to fix the red eye on the PC and have it automagically go back and fix the red eye everywhere else." The photos could also be routed to friends via social networking services.
The company does not plan to charge for the basic service, which will be included as part of Windows, Windows Mobile and Windows Live Web. Lees does not believe that anyone will make money from synchronization. "It is simply what people will come to expect," he noted. Most of the profit is expected to come from licensing the software to device manufacturers, while carriers could also customize or add to the services.
The cloud capabilities and data synchronization features are designed to give Windows Mobile an edge against competitors such as Android. "They are going to look around at what their options are and say 'Is open source going to do all the things I need to do to compete with Windows Mobile?'" Lees said.