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Windows Mobile 6.5 Launched, Panned

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the what-about-the-grassroots-support dept.

Windows 202

Barence writes "It's not Windows Mobile 7, but at least it's here. PC Pro has posted its full review of Windows Mobile 6.5, as found on the new HTC Touch2 handset, which is also reviewed. If you're expecting something to challenge Apple OS and Android, prepare for a very large let-down. The damning quote: 'Business users, as much as consumers, deserve a phone that's quick and intuitive to operate as well as one that hooks in neatly to Exchange and Outlook and is easy to manage centrally. If this is the best [Microsoft] can muster in the year-and-a-half's worth of development time since Windows Mobile 6.1 appeared, we'll be dramatically lowering our hopes for Windows Mobile 7.'"

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It's a secret plot, and they succeeded! (4, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | about 5 years ago | (#29655659)

we'll be dramatically lowering our hopes for Windows Mobile 7.

MS Engineer: 6.5 is coming along nicely but it's not fully baked yet. If we try to make the ship deadline we'll have another Vista on our hands. 7.0 looks good though. Can we have an extension on 6.5?
MS Management team: Our engineers tell us 6.5 looks like another Vista. How about we really cripple it so 7.0 looks like the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Re:It's a secret plot, and they succeeded! (3, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | about 5 years ago | (#29655715)

we'll be dramatically lowering our hopes for Windows Mobile 7.

Most customers just hope for a device that will function without crashing or freezing every couple of hours. Do Microsoft really want customers to lower their hopes below that?

Microsoft are some kind of joke company.

Re:It's a secret plot, and they succeeded! (5, Funny)

daid303 (843777) | about 5 years ago | (#29655775)

we'll be dramatically lowering our hopes for Windows Mobile 7.

Most customers just hope for a device that will function without crashing or freezing every couple of hours. Do Microsoft really want customers to lower their hopes below that?

Microsoft are some kind of joke company.

Microsofts new slogan: "Why so serious?"

Re:It's a secret plot, and they succeeded! (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about 5 years ago | (#29656267)

Get rid of the third-party software that causes the instability and you'll be fine.

I had the same problem with BatteryStatusExt on WM 5.0, 6.0, 6.1 and 6.5... as soon as I took that off, no more freezes, no more standby-of-deaths (which, for people who don't know, is when the device refuses to wake up from standby), nothing. The damned thing's uncrashable :D

I'm now looking forward to my next HTC device (probably the Leo AKA Touch HD2)...

Re:It's a secret plot, and they succeeded! (2, Insightful)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | about 5 years ago | (#29656323)

Absolutely. It's not like anyone ever needs third party software. Microsoft provides everything you'll ever need. Ever.

Re:It's a secret plot, and they succeeded! (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about 5 years ago | (#29656379)

If you read closely, you'll notice that I never said that you should get rid of _all_ the third party software - just the stuff that's causing crashes...

Re:It's a secret plot, and they succeeded! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29656477)

Damn thing still crashes due to memory leaks without any apps installed.
Want me to uninstall that too?

Re:It's a secret plot, and they succeeded! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29657347)

I don't know what you are doing but 640kb ought to be enough for anybody.

Re:It's a secret plot, and they succeeded! (2, Interesting)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 5 years ago | (#29656875)

I can't speak to the newer versions, but I had a Treo running WM 5 and the thing crashed more than a hollywood stuntman. It was completely stock; no add-ons ever. It crashed multiple times a week. I had the device replaced four times to no avail! Eventually I gave up and got the same phone with the Palm OS. No more problems.

Direct ascent. (1, Insightful)

eddy (18759) | about 5 years ago | (#29655825)

Isn't it likely that 7.0 is a now radically different branch (maybe branched off 6.0 a long time ago) with many more engineering hours behind it than this 6.5-semi-service-pack? If so, it doesn't make any sense to lower your expectations about a future product which isn't directly based on the one you're reviewing. In fact, 6.5 might be lousy because all effort is going into mainline instead.

What I'm trying to say is that your scenario may play out, but for less conspiratory reasons.

Re:Direct ascent. (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 5 years ago | (#29655921)

"In fact, 6.5 might be lousy because all effort is going into mainline instead."

You're serious, right? Or, are you playing on the posts above that say MS is a joke?

I'll answer you, with a serious answer. Mobile devices are being sold NOW. More and more people are becoming accustomed to devices that WORK. MS knows better than anyone (witness past exclusivity agreements) that the time to corner a market is in the early days. If MS wants to be relevant in the mobile devices market, they need to get into it NOW, not next month, not next year. It's a now or never thing. Each day that passes without a compelling reason to use MS OS's is one more nail in MS's coffin.

The mobile market belongs to *nix and Apple. It's just that simple. Chrome may or may not become relevant, but again, time is working against them, just as it is working against Microsoft.

Re:Direct ascent. (3, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | about 5 years ago | (#29656169)

The mobile market belongs to *nix and Apple. It's just that simple. Chrome may or may not become relevant, but again, time is working against them, just as it is working against Microsoft.

The mobile market is also (or rather, has historically been) substantially more fickle than the PC OS market. It's fairly easy to move between devices when all the information you need on it can be re-downloaded from Exchange or other groupware of choice.

This has made cornering it a whole lot harder.

Re:Direct ascent. (3, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 5 years ago | (#29656401)

The mobile market belongs to *nix and Apple. It's just that simple.

Sales figures suggest otherwise. For phones, the market is dominated by Nokia, with many other companies around too (e.g., RIM). If we include netbooks too (as you suggest, with your Chrome comment), then Apple have zero presence there, whilst Windows obviously have a major presence. Even though Microsoft aren't doing too well on handhelds such as phones, netbooks are going to become a major influence on mobile computing.

Re:Direct ascent. (1)

Painted (1343347) | about 5 years ago | (#29656691)

I'm glad you posted that- someone was arguing yesterday in the Palm vs. Apple USB thread that (paraphrasing the quote) "Apple has a monopoly on digital music, media players, and smartphones." I couldn't believe that someone could be so naive- to me it's obvious that Apple would be lucky (and quite happy) to capture 10% of the smartphone market...

Guess they got lucky then (3, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 years ago | (#29657265)

To me it's obvious that Apple would be lucky (and quite happy) to capture 10% of the smartphone market...

Well "Captain Obvious", I guess they got Lucky after all [engadget.com] .

"RIM increased its share of the lucrative (smartphone) market to 19.5% (7.4 million units) from 10.9% while Apple more than doubled its share, up from 5.2% to 10.7% (4.1 million units)."

That report is from March 2009. Before the 3Gs, and the $99 iPhone 3G...

So who is that market share eroding from? Windows Mobile.

Nokia in what country? (0)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#29656757)

For phones, the market is dominated by Nokia, with many other companies around too (e.g., RIM).

In what country? Apple, Microsoft, and Slashdot are based in the United States, where Nokia has less of a presence than it has in Europe.

Re:Nokia in what country? (1, Flamebait)

mvdwege (243851) | about 5 years ago | (#29657135)

It might surprise you, but there is actually a world outside the U.S. borders.

Mart

I call (0, Flamebait)

mujadaddy (1238164) | about 5 years ago | (#29657261)

Bullshit.

Re:Direct ascent. (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 5 years ago | (#29657191)

I'm not contradicting you, just curious. Is that phones or smart-phones? I'm willing to believe that Nokia owns the phone market, but the smart-phone market seems like a three horse race between HTC (Android and Win Mob), Apple, and RIM; with Palm eating up some of the rest of the pie. Nokia doesn't seem to be a big player (at least from the anecdotal evidence of "stuff I see people using")

Great (0, Flamebait)

1s44c (552956) | about 5 years ago | (#29655667)

The last device I had with windows mobile on it was such a pain that I'll never waste money on anything with that rubbish on ever again.

Re:Great (4, Interesting)

hattig (47930) | about 5 years ago | (#29655749)

Yeah, "stylus hand cramp" is a thing of the past with the iPhone, Android and the Palm Pre, yet the review states that most of the applications require the use of said implement. If that means that the damn thing is as unfriendly and frustrating as the WinMob devices I've used in the past (especially the PIM apps, which were so backwards I don't know how it even got mildly popular as a mobile OS).

The fact is that Microsoft need to remove the existing UI libraries and do what Apple did - create a Touch variant of their current libraries. I.e., a ".NET Touch". All packaged applications need to be implemented in this for consistency throughout the system.

However with Microsoft competing against itself in the mobile OS stakes - Pink Phone UI, Zune UI, WinMob UI, they haven't got a hope in hell of creating a single, decent, developer-friendly and attractive mobile interface.

Re:Great (4, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | about 5 years ago | (#29655905)

(especially the PIM apps, which were so backwards I don't know how it even got mildly popular as a mobile OS).

I'll tell you how. Certain managers (who I shan't name) decided they liked Outlook, saw the Microsoft name attached to a mobile phone and thought "Great! Outlook while out of the office!".

In extreme cases, they are so locked in this mindset that they point-blank refuse to try anything else.

Re:Great (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 5 years ago | (#29656331)

Optically they seem to be taking baby steps towards the right direction (WinMo 6.5 looks kinda like the new Zune interface with its scrolling lists of huge text), API-wise I have no idea - however it's true that Apple had the right idea with Cocoa touch.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29655931)

I agree. The only thing my WinMo did successfully was crash to the point that no buttons worked. Not even power. The only way to reboot the blasted thing was to take the battery out, then wait 2 minutes for it to come back up.

One thing that MS seems to forget in the mobile market is that the consumers want something fast, responsive, and able to take care of their daily business. You need all three, but with WinMo you only get 2, depending on the device.

Re:Great (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 5 years ago | (#29656061)

Try porting Linux to an iPAQ (hint: Ã...ngstrÃm [angstrom-d...bution.org] /OpenEmbedded). You'll love the Windows mobile platform ;-)

PS: Kudos to the Mysaifu developers for making sane programming available.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29656373)

Agreed - battling with the latest eNerGyROM to still see massive memory leaks, woefully slow browsing and lack of consistent config pages was never fun.

Add to that a pitiful battery life using wifi and a bluetooth stack that breaks up when you move more than a metre away, and I realised that I was always making excuses for the damn phone/OS.
Best part what they never seemed to get right was the "caller has to wait 3 rings before the phone actually vibrates and does its ringtone"
The amount of calls going to voicemail because of that was seriously not funny.

I finally ditched my touch diamond after it decided to randomly hard reset and wipe my stuff when I needed it most (needed directions somewhere - couldn't reinstall anything as it killed my cab files and ran out of battery before I could even get google maps back on it)
I bash Apple with the best of them, but I can't really fault their phone - the 3GS has a bluetooth range which is ridiculous, actually has a battery life of more than an hour when in serious use, can browse at near normal speeds and hasn't been rebooted yet.

HTC and MS - shove your "phone OS", Palm and Apple have you beat so hard it's not even funny,

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29656405)

The last device I had with windows mobile on it was such a pain that I'll never waste money on anything with that rubbish on ever again.

+1

Ouch. If that's consensus... (4, Insightful)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | about 5 years ago | (#29655723)

...then Microsoft is headed towards irrelevance in this field.

The most damning part is how it claims it is less for private users and geared towards businesses. That's just another way of admitting that they were driven by bullet points and not by how people would actually use the devices. They only expect IT departments to buy them, and not the people who actually use them.

Windows Mobile has become a Terry Schaivo. The only reason it's not dead is because Microsoft refuses to pull the plug on the poor thing.

Re:Ouch. If that's consensus... (0, Offtopic)

foobsr (693224) | about 5 years ago | (#29655853)

they were driven by bullet points

Could not resist: Chairs?

CC.

Re:Ouch. If that's consensus... (4, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 5 years ago | (#29655977)

Except the whole point of Windows 7 is that it's being re-written from scratch to compete with the iPhone (and other multitouch phones.)

I'm with him on 6.5, but that doesn't necessarily mean 7 will also be a huge failure.

Re:Ouch. If that's consensus... (2, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | about 5 years ago | (#29656355)

"Except the whole point of Windows 7 is that it's being re-written from scratch to compete with the iPhone (and other multitouch phones.)"

Hmmm, lets see.

Netscape re-write? disaster (in a business sense)
Palm re-write? Disaster

I'm sensing a pattern here...

Re:Ouch. If that's consensus... (1)

tobiasly (524456) | about 5 years ago | (#29657217)

Netscape re-write? disaster (in a business sense)

I think that Mozilla and their millions of dollars in revenue would argue that the Netscape re-write (most of us call it "Firefox") is far from a business disaster.

Re:Ouch. If that's consensus... (4, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 5 years ago | (#29656363)

Yeah, but how much longer for 7? There are no fewer than 4 next gen smart phone platforms out there that MS is slowing but surely losing market share too. The iPhone OS, new Palm OS, new BB OS, and Android are all in the wild, and the worst of them is considered better than Win Mobile by most people at this point. I mean, stop gap measures are nice and all, but it seems that the time for them past a year or two ago. When it was just the iPhone, MS had time. Especially since the 1.0 iPhone OS was clearly not appropriate to business uses. Since them Palm and Black Berry, both big players in the business phone market at one time (RIM of course still is), have released their own attempts, and Apple has done a lot to improve business functionality. Android hasn't made a big splash in business yet, but it's improving too.

How much longer before MS has past the point of no return and releases its brilliant new mobile OS to a market already saturated. Even if Win Mobile 7 really is a good answer to the competition (and that remains to be seen) it won't matter if everyone has already standardized on something else before it hits the market. You gotta figure that if they're bothering to release 6.5, 7 is at least 6 months to a year out. There's always going to be a baseline of "OMG Windows, Yay!" IT managers out there who'll buy whatever MS gives them, but if they lose the rest of the market they've got problems.

Re:Ouch. If that's consensus... (4, Interesting)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | about 5 years ago | (#29656367)

I know nothing about Windows Phone 7 (formerly Windows Mobile, and also distinct from Windows 7), so I can't comment on it. But the review seems to paint a bleak picture of how Microsoft treats end users. By the time WinPhone 7 hits the market, many manufacturers could already be committed to Android or Symbian, leaving Microsoft an also-ran.

What the review doesn't mention is the schizophrenic strategy Microsoft is following on the handheld market: Windows Phone, the Zune, and now Project Pink all overlap, yet none of the devices interoperate with one another. This also doesn't help Microsoft sell its OS to phone manufacturers.

Re:Ouch. If that's consensus... (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 5 years ago | (#29656581)

A large portion of the point of Mobile 7 is to integrate it with Zune. Since Zune has te UI down, and Windows Mobile has the apps, it should be interesting. Of course, there's no guarantee it'll be any good. But it's too early to dismiss it.

Re:Ouch. If that's consensus... (2, Interesting)

tobiasly (524456) | about 5 years ago | (#29657367)

Except the whole point of Windows 7 is that it's being re-written from scratch to compete with the iPhone (and other multitouch phones.)

I'm with him on 6.5, but that doesn't necessarily mean 7 will also be a huge failure.

But 6.5, like 6.1 and 6.0, is basically just a facelift to the years-old 5.0. Since 6.0 was launched, Google, Palm, and RIM have rewritten or created new mobile OSes that can hold their own, and here we have Microsoft slapping yet another veneer on their tired old OS. Why isn't 7 out already? Why can't Microsoft even keep up with everyone else?!

As Gizmodo pointed out [gizmodo.com] , the really bizarre thing is that even the Zune is more polished and up-to-date than Windows Mobile. What the hell have the WinMo team been doing for the past five years?!

Re:Ouch. If that's consensus... (0)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 5 years ago | (#29657685)

Could be IE syndrome... that is, Microsoft doesn't even bother to attempt to be competitive if they have no competitors (or perceive that they have no competitors.) Once browser competition started up again, Microsoft ramped up the IE team and now they're releasing on-par with the rest of the industry.

The point of the Mobile 7 re-write, though, is to integrate all the progress they've made with Zune and also unify the two platforms, so it might turn out really good. Even if it should have been out a year ago.

And if you want good Microsoft products, compete with them. :)

Runs fine on my TP (1, Informative)

p51d007 (656414) | about 5 years ago | (#29655725)

I've been running leaked builds of 6.5 from XDA-Developers and the last 5-6 builds have been great. Boots faster than 6.1 and is a lot more stable.

Re:Runs fine on my TP (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29655793)

6.5's new features are that it isn't slow, and doesn't crash? Awesome!

Re:Runs fine on my TP (1)

Neil Hodges (960909) | about 5 years ago | (#29656445)

Pretty much the same features that Windows 7 has over Vista.

Re:Runs fine on my TP (2, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#29656525)

You jest, but it's a big issue. It's got no lock-in like Android and iPhone UI, MS don't gimp your phone if you try and unlock it (and nor do the carriers) and there are plenty of useful (read: Not involving boobs, fart noises, or hideous bright colours) and mature applications for the platform from several [freewarepocketpc.net] websites [1800pocketpc.com] listed [smartphone-freeware.com] on [freewareppc.com] Google search [google.co.uk] .

The UI reponse and stability issues are really all that anyone who owned a WinMobile phone after version 5 complained about.

Re:Runs fine on my TP (1)

Fuzi719 (1107665) | about 5 years ago | (#29656599)

I'm also running a WinMo 6.5 build on my old HTC Excaliber (T-Mobile DASH). It is faster than the stock T-Mobile WinMo 6.0, has better battery life, looks great, and works without crashing. Using Bing to retrieve maps and info via voice command is a great ap, even Google Maps triangulates locations on this thing with pretty good accuracy. I have a 8GB SD card chock full of music and can even watch a few movies using TCPMP full-screen and a stereo Bluetooth headset. YouTube plays without stuttering. And this is on a 2 year old unlocked phone I bought on Ebay for $70 and purchased two new batteries and a desktop charger for $15. And with T-Mobile giving me unlimited anytime calling, unlimited text/mms, and unlimited data for $75/month, I can't complain. Now even have the new Windows Mobile Marketplace with a lot of new aps available.

Re:Runs fine on my TP (3, Insightful)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | about 5 years ago | (#29656705)

The Knicks called, they want their astroturf back.

Re:Runs fine on my TP (1)

crow (16139) | about 5 years ago | (#29656709)

I have the same phone, and I'm very pleased to hear that you're having success. The only real question I have for WM6.5 is, is the browser any better?

The worst part (2, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | about 5 years ago | (#29655735)

You can't even upgrade most WinMo phones to this new release without hackishly installing an unofficial ROM. If you're a simple consumer, you'll get this update with a new phone, or you won't get it at all.

Re:The worst part (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | about 5 years ago | (#29655753)

But that drives sales!

/me runs away.

Re:The worst part (2, Insightful)

rarel (697734) | about 5 years ago | (#29655767)

The HTC Touch Pro 2 and a few others are eligible for a free upgrade

http://wmpoweruser.com/?p=7347 [wmpoweruser.com]

Re:The worst part (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 years ago | (#29655839)

that's because they are made by companies in china operating on low margins and meant to be throw away phones. i remember even with pocketPC the upgrade options were limited

Re:The worst part (2, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#29656699)

Hahaha! Do you honestly believe anybody who knows the word "ROM" in the context of these phones uses an official release?

"Hackishly installing an unofficial ROM" is automated. Two files (HardSPL and CustomRUU) are required to perform the update; The first unlocks vendor locks for software, allowing you to run unofficial / unsigned ROMs, and the second is the automated update software. Wizard driven, even offers protection against bricking (asks if you've backed up your data, checks battery life is above 50% before it will continue, and will stop if you try and continue anyway). Compared to unlocking an Android device, or iPhone, it's a piece of cake.

Hey, guess what comes here! A disclaimer: My experience only expressed above, undertake unofficial updates at your own risk, you may void your warranty etc etc.

Re:The worst part (2, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | about 5 years ago | (#29656823)

You're proving exactly what I'm trying to say: there is no official update route for most phones. Sure, some people may attempt to install unofficial firmware, just like people will jailbreak their iPhone or unlock their Android device, but how easy or hard this is, is completely irrelevant for most people, as they will only use official releases that are pushed to them. And for most of these people, there is no update at all.

you can thank bill gates for this one as well (5, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about 5 years ago | (#29655743)

i remember when smartphones and PDA's were first taking off 10 years ago and people were coming up with interfaces Bill Gates decreed that MS will have a "consistent user experience" and that was the end of any chance that MS had at success.

Apple and RIM went back to the OS 9/Win 3.1 days for an interface that works on a mobile device and it proved to be popular. MS stuck with it's stupid start button and pocket versions of MS Office and IE. i had a pocket PC back in the day and IE was so bad that it wouldn't close out and you had to reboot the device to free up memory.

Then there is Microsoft's use of selling a bare OS to Chinese and Korean companies who make the device. Apple, RIM and Palm proved that if you control the phone hardware and the OS you get a good user experience and a good brand name. MS and Google's strategy of using OEM's means their customers don't care which OS they use and no one knows the names of the phones since they are always changing and are considered throwaways. the phone manufacturers put on their own GUI's and themes so you can have two WinMo or two Android phones side by side and they will look completely different.

This is why people are buying blackberries and iphones. when you compare the 2 year cost of the phone it makes sense to buy a brand name.

Re:you can thank bill gates for this one as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29655923)

How did Apple go back to OS 9?

Re:you can thank bill gates for this one as well (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 years ago | (#29656039)

on the BB and and iphone the interface is just icons similar to the old Win 3.1. no taskbar, dock or whatever. just icons

Re:you can thank bill gates for this one as well (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 years ago | (#29656057)

ever since the orginal WinMo in 2000 or 2001 they tried to push the start bar and the Win95 interface and it was a failure. iphone and BB got it right, but even their interfaces are now straining and getting old the way smartphones are developing

Re:you can thank bill gates for this one as well (1)

wild_quinine (998562) | about 5 years ago | (#29655971)

Bill Gates decreed that MS will have a "consistent user experience"

Well they certainly achieved that goal, with Windows Mobile.

It wasn't up to snuff when it was up against Palm OS, and it wasn't up to snuff when Palm OS atrophied and left it as the only game in town. And that's about the most damning thing you can say, really: during that brief window when it was the best there was in the mass market, it was still almost better not to bother.

In this modern Web OS, OS X, Android world it stinks like a fucking dinosaur. It's as archaic now as Palm OS was in 2005 when that jury-rigged bastard child the lifedrive was borne out of warped metal and torment.

The only difference is that Palm OS will be remembered fondly.

Re:you can thank bill gates for this one as well (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#29656833)

MS stuck with it's stupid start button

The iPhone has a start button (marked Square). What's the big difference?

Typical Linux fanbois (-1, Troll)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | about 5 years ago | (#29655747)

By your own flawed logic, GNU Hurd is a complete failure. At least Microsoft is shipping something, even if they know the next version is much much better...

I know it's hard for Linux zealots to comprehend, but in the real world often times a corporation cannot abandon a lesser product due to contractual obligations. Go ahead and mod me troll or flamebait or whatever it is you need to mod me because this post hurts your feelings.

Mod parent down! (0, Offtopic)

1s44c (552956) | about 5 years ago | (#29655829)

Go ahead and mod me troll or flamebait or whatever it is you need to mod me because this post hurts your feelings.

I can't, I've already posted. Someone else do the honors please.

Re:Mod parent down! (0, Offtopic)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | about 5 years ago | (#29655985)

Go ahead and mod me troll or flamebait or whatever it is you need to mod me because this post hurts your feelings.

I can't, I've already posted. Someone else do the honors please.

If I were a fanboi too I'd offer you a hug.

Re:Typical Linux fanbois (4, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 5 years ago | (#29655857)

HURD is worse than a complete failure, because it's basically a never-was. It's the bit player without a speaking roll who still managed to be ushered off the stage due to a chronic inability to grasp the blocking of the scene.

OS/2 and BeOS were complete failures... they had their chance and got beaten down. And its not because they were inferior products, its because they just couldn't sell themselves. Windows succeeded not because it was better, but because Microsoft was able to position it to the point where it didn't have to sell it.

Linux is to HURD in the same way, only bigger, than Windows is to OS/2 or BeOS. Windows was supposed to be a stop-gap until OS/2 was fully functional, but then it just sort of took over all the momentum and steam rolled the original plan. Linux was supposed to be a stop-gap kernel until HURD was fully functional and a completely GNU system could be deployed.

Well, that shit isn't ever going to happen, just like OS/2 is never going to rise from the dead to regain its rightful throne as king of the corporate desktop. Shipping isn't everything, and it isn't even enough -- you need to ship at the right time to steal the momentum and draw in a critical mass. Windows did it, Linux did it, and both left a trail of dead bodies in their wake.

But I still prefer BSD...

Re:Typical Linux fanbois (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | about 5 years ago | (#29656003)

But I still prefer BSD...

Amen!

Re:Typical Linux fanbois (1)

renoX (11677) | about 5 years ago | (#29656665)

>OS/2 and BeOS were complete failures... they had their chance and got beaten down. And its not because they were inferior products, its because they just couldn't sell themselves. Windows succeeded not because it was better, but because Microsoft was able to position it to the point where it didn't have to sell it.

Agreed for OS/2, disagreed for BeOS: at least one PC manufacter (Hitachi) wanted to install it (in dual-boot configuration) but Microsoft prevented them to do it, using its monopoly as a leverage..

Re:Typical Linux fanbois (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 5 years ago | (#29655859)

You are trolling the wrong crowd. The primary competitors to MS here are Google and Apple - possibly Palm. You need to blast Google on privacy issues or complain about the price of Apple's hardware. On the off chance that there is a Palm fanboi here, rattle on about how few applications there are for that platform.

Re:Typical Linux fanbois (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | about 5 years ago | (#29656019)

You are trolling the wrong crowd. The primary competitors to MS here are Google and Apple - possibly Palm. You need to blast Google on privacy issues or complain about the price of Apple's hardware. On the off chance that there is a Palm fanboi here, rattle on about how few applications there are for that platform.

Hey I resemble that statement! FYI Palm just dropped a bunch of new apps on their app store less than a week ago.

Re:Typical Linux fanbois (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 years ago | (#29656371)

unlike their computers, the iphone costs the same as every other smart phone. less than others. iphone will run you $70 a month on the basic plan. a BB on VZ will run you $85 a month. T-Mo's basic plan is around $65 and Sprint is the cheapest at $60 for everything including texting. too bad sprint and t-mo have crappy networks compared to AT&T and VZW.

do elementary school math and over 2 years the prices are almost exactly the same. unlike a computer where Mac's cost double what a PC costs and people treasure them for years like a child or a pet when it's the same cheapo hardware built by little kids chained to their desks.

in other words.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29655791)

Tucker Max FAIL!

Nothing new (2, Interesting)

dmesg0 (1342071) | about 5 years ago | (#29655821)

The unofficial beta builds of WM6.5 were available for all the major WM phones more than a year. They didn't look much different from what we see in this review.

Besides this interface doesn't matter much, people are still going to use interface add-ons on most WM phones (SPB mobile shell, TouchFlo3d, Samsung TouchWiz etc).

In short, no new information in this review. However, the announcements of the new phones (e.g. HTC Leo, Samsung i8000) are much more interesting.

Just wait for the next version! (0, Troll)

NtroP (649992) | about 5 years ago | (#29655845)

Seriously people. The shipping version is always "just a stopgap" with Microsoft. It's always the NEXT version that will be the Next Big Thing(TM). This is what keeps everyone hanging on. It allows CIOs and IT managers to address user complaints and keep competing products out while covering their asses. "Hey, Microsoft is the industry standard. Besides, just wait for the next version!". No one ever got fired for recommending Microsoft, after all.

Who knows though, with Linux finally getting some much-needed polish and OS X maturing, not to mention Android and-the-like coming into their own on mobile devices, maybe people are starting to wake up to the alternatives.

Nah...

Re:Just wait for the next version! (1)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | about 5 years ago | (#29656427)

And by the time they've patched the hell out of it, and it resembles something relatively stable... it's time for the next major point release!
3. Profit!

Pendulum swings too far on the other side (2, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 5 years ago | (#29655941)

There was a time, when Microsoft was praised to high heavens and no IT guy ever got fired for buying Microsoft. Among the hatebois, fanbois and shills, the saner voices got lost.

Now the pendulum is swinging far more on the opposite side, and as usual the balance has shifted from fanbois to hatebois and shills continue their shillings and as usual the saner voices will be drowned.

If Microsofties think it is unfair critique playing to the galleries, just remember it is just regression to the mean and correction for the undeserved praise they bought earlier

And the rest? (4, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 5 years ago | (#29655947)

If you're expecting something to challenge Apple OS and Android

Well actually as well as Android and "Apple OS", I was more interested in how it compares to the likes of "Nokia OS", "Blackberry OS" and "Motorola OS". It seems odd that Slashdot only seems to acknowledge the existence of the Iphone and now Android, when the vast majority of the market is made up of other manufacturers...

(Once upon a time it was the case that "smartphones" ran a branded off-the-shelf OS like Symbian or Windows, like Android today, so I could understand doing a comparison of only those ... except "Apple OS" doesn't fit into that category anyway.)

There is one "Rest" - Palm (1, Redundant)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 years ago | (#29657063)

Well actually as well as Android and "Apple OS", I was more interested in how it compares to the likes of "Nokia OS", "Blackberry OS" and "Motorola OS".

I'm sure it sucks just as much as them. Why would this irrelevant factoid be of any use to, well, anyone?

Even if SOME of those platforms have more current devices in the wild, it doesn't matter - the writing is on the wall unless they seriously update, and in the end they'll all probably be using Android. Except for Microsoft, who will be forced to buy Palm to compete. And devices in the wild hardly equates to the same kinds of uses - I know someone who has a Storm, and she has never opened the web browser. Is that really the same kind of user who is on Android or an iPhone? She might as well have a single use phone (except she does use it for email sometimes).

Even if Palm is not bought, they have a modern platform and I think a good future for the new PalmOS.

There is no way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29655957)

...that anyone in the industry takes MS seriously in the Mobile market any longer. They have market share due to name sake alone, but their platform is so amazingly bad that it's got to simply be an afterthought on MS' part as well as it is on the industry.

Re:There is no way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29656095)

AFAIK, "Windows Mobile" was originally designed for PDA use, not for a mobile phone. Different markets.

Re:There is no way... (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | about 5 years ago | (#29656237)

That's like saying that wheels were originally designed for motorcycle use, not bicycle use. Different markets yes, but you still expect that the wheels on your Ducati will work just as well as the wheels on your kid's training bike.

Re:There is no way... (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 5 years ago | (#29656459)

That's like saying that wheels were originally designed for motorcycle use, not bicycle use. Different markets yes, but you still expect that the wheels on your Ducati will work just as well as the wheels on your kid's training bike.

That's like saying a really bad analogy.

Re:There is no way... (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | about 5 years ago | (#29656713)

No it isn't.

To force your 'analogy' into alignment with what GP actually said, it'd be like expecting the wheels on your kid's training bike to work on your Ducati.

But that's still not entirely appropriate.

Re:There is no way... (2, Informative)

lordandmaker (960504) | about 5 years ago | (#29656377)

I'm ashamed to say that we do. 'We' obviously being those people whose decisions I get to implement.

Fact is that if you've never used anything else, WM is perfectly adequate. And for a lot of people adequacy's just great.

Hardly a suprise (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 5 years ago | (#29656155)

Even Ballmer admitted it's not the release he wanted and that they'd wished they could've got Windows Mobile 7 out the door earlier instead. It's wrong to assume that Windows Mobile 7 will only comprise of a year and a half of additional work on top of Windows Mobile 6.5 when Windows Mobile 7 has been receieving development time in parallel with Windows 6.5.

It's too early to judge how 7 will end up, and it's no suprise 6.5 is dissapointing. Microsoft knew they were caught with their pants down in the mobile market and now they're frantically playing catch up. Whether Windows Mobile 7 will be their catch up we'll realistically have to just wait and see, but it's wrong to assume what the quality of 7 will be like based on this rather poor release that is 6.5.

Then why didn't Ballmer kill it? (5, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | about 5 years ago | (#29656565)

If Ballmer says this isn't the release he wanted, then why didn't he kill it? It says a lot about a company if you "have" to release a product even though it's crappy, and all that it says is very bad. Not to draw yet another cliched Apple parallel, but look at Steve. Rumors abound that Apple has been working on this tablet mac since 2003, and that Steve has been unsatisfied with it and has refused to release it because he doesn't feel it's a product people want. Yet Apple's stock isn't tanking on this news. Why the hell can't Steve reign in something like this?

Thus continues the long slow decline of Microsoft, who can't even generated shit that smells like shit any more.

Re:Then why didn't Ballmer kill it? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 5 years ago | (#29656697)

Because although it's not the release he wanted, it's still better than 6.1.

If they released nothing they'd likely lose the remaining Windows Mobile providers they have so they had little choice. That's also why it can't be compared to Apple's rumoured tablet PC, because Apple doesn't yet have a tablet market to lose.

WM6.1 isn't good enough compared to alternatives to survive in todays market, 6.5 is good enough to survive, but not to thrive and it's that that was the source of Ballmer's dissapointment. The hope for Microsoft is that 7 will be good enough for WM to thrive once again in the face of the likes of Android, the iPhone, Maemo and Blackberry's.

Again, whether it really does or not we'll have to see of course!

Is it really? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 years ago | (#29657159)

If they released nothing they'd likely lose the remaining Windows Mobile providers they have so they had little choice.

Releasing a disappointing product is also a great way to drive people into the arms of another. Better to have some hope for WM7, than to have the very real disappointment of a supposed update than is little better than what you have after a long delay AND requires some retraining. If you are going to have to change how you use the phone anyway, why not simply get one that is fundamentally better rather than one with a new skin over the same old features?

Re:Is it really? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 5 years ago | (#29657463)

It's not just a new skin over the same old features, there are new features- just not as many as are planned for Windows 7, again, it's still an improvement, and it's better to be selling 6.5 than 6.1 until 7 comes out if 6.5 is better.

Reasons for sticking with an inferior platform may be resources invested in that platform- many companies have applications built in .NET for the Windows Mobile platform that they do not wish to spend resources porting. Some will no doubt jump on this as an example of Microsoft being anti-competitive but it's really the same with the iPhone. Personally, it's why I'd always write general mobile applications in Java too, in case I ever did need to port, although that wouldn't help with a move to the iPhone it'd at least open up porting between Windows Mobile, Symbian, Android etc. It's just a shame J2ME has been shit for so long allowing other platform specific technologies to take hold, but it's rapidly improving now at least.

Again, to put it into survival speak, you have WM6.1 which isn't fit to survive in todays market, you have 6.5 which is fit to survive, but not thrive, and 7 which Microsoft hopes will thrive. Keeping 6.1 as the only option would kill Microsoft's userbase in almost it's entirety, releasing 6.5 at very least stems the flow of people leaving the platform even if it can't reverse the pattern, that's still better than nothing and it's presumably the best they could do in the short term.

Re:Hardly a suprise (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | about 5 years ago | (#29656673)

Even Ballmer admitted it's not the release he wanted and that they'd wished they could've got Windows Mobile 7 out the door earlier instead.

Then they should have waited.

Much as it is "wrong to assume what the quality of 7 will be like based on this rather poor release that is 6.5", that's what everyone is going to do. If MS feel they can get away with shipping decidedly crap software now, why would one presume they're going to feel different on the ship date of WM7?

Though, that said, I do use debian. I like waiting for software...

Re:Hardly a suprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29656811)

Even Ballmer admitted it's not the release he wanted and that they'd wished they could've got Windows Mobile 7 out the door earlier instead. It's wrong to assume that Windows Mobile 7 will only comprise of a year and a half of additional work on top of Windows Mobile 6.5 when Windows Mobile 7 has been receieving development time in parallel with Windows 6.5.

It's too early to judge how 7 will end up, and it's no suprise 6.5 is dissapointing. Microsoft knew they were caught with their pants down in the mobile market and now they're frantically playing catch up. Whether Windows Mobile 7 will be their catch up we'll realistically have to just wait and see, but it's wrong to assume what the quality of 7 will be like based on this rather poor release that is 6.5.

You must be new here. Windows Mobile has been out for over 4 years. It has never been a usable platform. You can keep saying Microsoft MIGHT make a usable mobile platform one of these days, but you'll be the only one left caring.

Re:Hardly a suprise (1)

Xest (935314) | about 5 years ago | (#29657557)

Well, it's marketshare is second only to RIM and Symbian. It may not be great, but usable or not it's still a major player ahead of Mac OS X, Linux, Palm's Web OS and such.

There's certainly no question it's losing ground to these other players now, but writing it off when it holds such a noticable segment of the market is stupid. Losing ground does not equal irrelevant, for example, Internet Explorer has been and still is (thankfully!) losing ground to Firefox relatively quickly, but you'd be a fool to ignore it and develop a website that didn't support it.

Re:Hardly a suprise (1)

LtGordon (1421725) | about 5 years ago | (#29657099)

I think the reason that WinMo 6.5 is being criticized as heavily is because they're pretending this is anything other than a maintenance release. They've long since been developing WinMo 7, so most of their development resources are going to be in getting 7 out the door as soon as possible. I'm sure 6.5 is a solid improvement over 6.1 in many respects, but it's really just a Service Pack in the grand scheme of things.

With a wallpaper like that (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | about 5 years ago | (#29656285)

It's no wonder they didn't like it.

Windows doesn't get panned (2, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#29656305)

Windows doesn't get panned, it gets pwnd.

MS Just Doesn't Get It... (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | about 5 years ago | (#29656395)

I'm no fanboy of any technology, but I have to say that Microsoft is just losing dismally to Apple lately. They are so cognizant of being too copy-catish of Apple and they are also trying to be so anti-Apple as well that all they are accomplishing is shooting themselves in the foot. What MS needs to do is to hire/buy a really unique and cutting edge design firm and rethink everything from the ground up.

There are people like myself who love the consistency and cleanness of OS X but don't like our every move dictated and locked down to the point that I'm told that I don't know what I actually want unless Steve tells me. But I also don't need umpteen layers of complexity like Linux offers. I want something that works, is flexible, and is intelligently put together and clean. I don't care about backwards compatibility that is for business to worry about and for a business OS.

My next computer will be a Mac unfortunately because Win 7 is just not for me and I don't see anything coming that will change my mind from Redmond. I've been a system builder and Linux user since 1995.

OSX is customizeable (1)

wandazulu (265281) | about 5 years ago | (#29656773)

I get what you're saying about having every move dictated by Steve in OSX, but I think the real situation isn't as cut-n-dry. The point of the OS is to run other applications, with all their related complexities; theoretically there's no reason why you need to spend any time dealing with the OS at all, short of moving files around. When it comes to this particular aspect, I don't see how OSX is any different from Windows or Gnome in terms of features, capabilities, etc. I honestly can't think of a particular aspect of file management that any OS has over another; they all use the same metaphors and offer the same capabilities (icons, lists, dragging, etc.)

The difference is that Windows puts all their options in a set of tabs in a dialog box, and then makes that dialog box available in every single Explorer window. Additionally, because Windows uses a menu bar for each window, instead of OSX's single menu bar, you end up with a lot of "visual complexity" in terms of what you're supposed to click on.

My complaints about OSX is that there is a ton of additional capability hidden in the keyboard shortcuts, but they don't go out of their way to ever tell you what they are. I actually spend a lot of time doing stuff in the terminal just because I perceive that as being faster to manipulate stuff and only because that's what I'm used to.

Apple has made a lot of the interface customizable, in terms of being able to see the full path to the current window, as one example, but they don't seem interested in mentioning how to do it. Likewise you can do a *lot* of stuff by manipulating plist files, but again they don't ever go out of their way to tell you how. In a lot of ways, I think they made a conscious decision to avoid having a Mac version of a "registry" where, yes everything is in one place, but make one wrong move and your machine becomes unbootable

Re:OSX is customizeable (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | about 5 years ago | (#29656915)

agreed, and like I said, I'm no fanboy to any company of any sort except in my hiking/climbing gear which actually at times controls whether I live or die... *THAT* is a reason to be a fanboy, not technology.

I'm not trying to say either is some insane extreme, and yes there are customizations available in OS X it is more of a lock in to their workflow and mindset that I don't like. I may chose to tackle a problem in my own way, and often the options are simply not even there on OS X or in Apple apps. You do it their way or the highway, even if it isn't always the best or most efficient.

Obviously it isn't overly terrible or I wouldn't be considering a switch for my next machines (which are 3 years out so I'm looking forward to where all options are by then)

Re:MS Just Doesn't Get It... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29657695)

There are people like myself who love the consistency and cleanness of OS X but don't like our every move dictated and locked down to the point that I'm told that I don't know what I actually want unless Steve tells me.

There are different kinds of customizability at the OS level. In Windows you can change the color of the window surrounds. In OS X, you can install text services that allow you to automatically replace any number of space characters more than one, with a single space in any application. As a power user, I know which kind of functionality is more useful to me. I just don't understand why other power users would think Windows is more customizable instead of differently customizable.

6.5 is a minor update, leaked versions a year old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29656501)

There is nothing new here, people have been using windows mobile 6.5 for more than a year thanks to cooked versions from sites like www.xda-developers.com

It was already known that 6.5 was going to be a minor update, with a little bit better browser and a bit more touch friendly UI, but nothing exciting. I have been using it for a while, and it is actualy an improvement.

Microsoft is promising major changes with windows mobile 7 though.

Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29656601)

That UI looks like a retarded Win3.11 someone threw up on.

Touch2 = Bad, Touch Pro 2 = Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29656741)

This is the HTC Touch2, not the Touch Pro2 or the Touch HD 2/Leo The Touch wasn;t great to start with and the Touch 2 is just a cheapass touch phone.

Breaking news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29656771)

A manufacturer who can control both the hardware and software run on their system is having better success than the competitor who allows third party apps to be installed at will on hardware they have little control over. News at 11!

Why did they pick the most low-end device? (3, Insightful)

godefroi (52421) | about 5 years ago | (#29656799)

Why did they pick the low-end WM6.5 device to review? Why didn't they use the Touch Diamond 2 (AT&T Pure) or the Touch Pro 2 (AT&T Tilt 2) to base the WM6.5 review on? Those devices at least have good screens (480x800).

They need to get the Kountz touch on this (1)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | about 5 years ago | (#29657669)

Someone needs to stand up there and tell the boss man that "I could run this effing company better than you could."
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