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Where has Windows Mobile Standard gone?

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Where has Windows Mobile Standard gone?

16 Comments

Totally Agree! I have Moto Q9h...had it for about a year. I'm itching for a new device, but I can't find a compelling upgrade. For those of us who are heavy email users, and don't want a blackberry, a candybar-style phone with a big keyboard is really all we're looking for. I don't need to worry about a stylus, or sharpening my fingernail...and I can do quite a bit with one hand. The E71x looks interesting, but there are lots of discussions about reception quality, and a middling camera.
As you say: WM Standard on updated hardware would be a great option for many of us.

I think there's one word that explains the drop-off in WM Standard: iPhone. Basically, the carriers (other than AT&T) feel as though they have to get as many touch-screen devices as possible in order to sway some momentum from the iPhone. Heck, even Blackberry now has a touchscreen device. :)
Whether it's a good thing or not, the general public now believes that touchscreen is the way to go, thanks to the iPhone. The whole "touchscreen" concept has taken serious mindshare, and I'm sure the carriers don't believe they'll be able to sell a non-touchscreen smartphone as easily as they would a touchscreen one.

I have a Q9h and I'm loving it. However, the Windows Mobile interface is old and not pretty. And we STILL have to use task manager to end most programs. Are you serious Microsoft? Forcing users to use task manager to close out of most apps? It also does not help any that carriers like AT&T remove features like Windows Live Messenger in favor of their own so they can charge texting rates. I am sick and tired of carriers dictating what features on on a phone.

You hit the nail on the head. I want a Blackberry Bold runing Windows Mobile Standard, and now I know that I'm not alone. As you said, standard devices are quicker, more stable, last longer on a single charge, and are less bulky (although this is changing) than Windows Mobile Pro devices. The stock Windows user interface is also better and more phone like. The are a breeze to use 1 handed. That said, it's always been the redheaded stepchild of Windows Mobile. Look how long it took manufacturers to wake up and add a full Qwerty keyboard to Standard devices.
However, I'm a optomist. As the Blackberry Bold becomes more popular and rolls out to more and more carriers and once the Curve II is introduced, device manufacturers will have an incentive to dust off and update their Windows Mobile Standard devices.

I am also a fan of the Standard OS, but I prefer the candybar, 12-key form factor. The last great phone HTC produced with that look was the Tornado way back in 2005! Since then HTC has released slide-out QWERTY models only. Other companies have produced similar phones (e.g. Samsung i200, BenQ E72 and Asus Jupiter) but without a compelling upgrade to the specs.
I think a thinner version of the Tornado, perhaps with 3.5G, and a good camera would be very popular indeed. It continues to baffle me why one has not been made.

Not only quicker and more stable and those sorts of things mentioned above, but WM Standard is simply more intuitive in many ways.
Edit: Oops, missed the section that said that in the main article.

I tried standard, and I didn't like it. For the same reason that I didn't like the BB OS (on my wife's Pearl). No touchscreen. I can do a ton one-handed, but sometimes I just feel like whipping out the stylus (or using my finger) and touching stuff. The Epix is my perfect phone.

[COLOR="Navy">I LOVE the Epix too, it makes WM Professional likeable again.
But honestly I do like the BJII also. Standard is excellent for managing every day activities and light business use. Many developers provide the same apps they do for Pro. Standard is also sometimes faster to get through than Pro.[/COLOR]

"Imagine if the Bold ran Windows Mobile"
You've just described my ideal mobile device. The bold hardware (although I could do without the fake chrome trim) running WM 6.1 standard. I've used WM pro devices before and I much prefer standard. I currently use a Moto Q9H and it is close to perfect but not quite. I wish it was more ergonomic and not such a wide flat slab. I also wish it had wifi and a bigger screen. WM pro seems dated because it relies so heavily on a stylus and not finger touch which is popular. To update it really is going to require a major overhaul in functionality. But standard only needs a light graphical paint job. The sliding panel home screen was a great step in the right direction. All year long I have been wondering, with HTC coming out with so many new WM pro devices, where is the update to the T-mobile Dash?

At some point it seems like Microsoft was going to merge both Smartphone and Pocket PC platforms into one, making the touchscreen optional if desired or a must-have if desired. Unfortunately, there came the fricking iPhone and all of a sudden everybody has to be a slave of the screen. While it is so easy to dial without looking at the screen, and use keyboard shortcuts to quickly access menu items on WM Standard without too much work on the arrow keys on WM Standard devices, users are now being told they need to touch a fricking screen with oversized, childlike icons.
Even though the QWERTY-bar WinMo Pro devices like the Samsung Epix, Treo Pro and the iPAQ 910c have tried to bring that ease of use feeling of great keyboarding where the touchscreen is optional, they are still hindered by developers who have the iPhone mentality and develop their apps for touchscreen use. For example, I'm not upgrading Opera Mobile from 8.65 because the UI in Opera Mobile 9.x has been made too touchy that it doesn't make sense for a keyboard-oriented user anymore. Also, QWERTY-bar WinMo Pro devices tend to take the most bashing from reviewers because they aren't "iPhone killers", like everybody has to aspire to have an iPhone or a look-alike.
Sadly, WinMo Standard devices are destined to either disappear, or be limited to low-cost smartphones. If the latter happens on the other hand, we could get smartphones with a stable and efficient OS that they may even be accessible on pay as you go or non-contract plans. We can only hope...

Completely agree. Last month, I actually turned off my AT&T Tilt and went back to BlackJack, just because I miss have the "smartphone features" that WM Standard offers that WM Pro does not. Then the BlackJack died (would not turn on), and I went to look for another WM Standard, and the only choices were BJII and Q9H. I am pleasantly surprise at the custom features on the Q9H (it's speakerphone is better than my Parrot bluetooth), but really had missed having Profile Automatic and real Speed Dial keys (both significantly lacking in WM Pro). I tell others, I have a notebook, I just want a "Smart" phone.

Another issue is that developers don't care so much about it either. For example, Resco Explorer, up to a 2009 version on Palm and a 2008 version on WM Pro, is still on a 2007 version on WM Standard.

That's so true. Good article.
As some already said the iPhone hype led to this Smartphone decease. The most consumer don't know about good usability and are consumers, they are not productive. A touch based usability allows only "consuming" use cases: surfing sites, watching videos, photos and so on. RIM brought us with the qwerty based candy bar phone the true deliverance.
I had two Blackberrys and loved the usability, mainly because of its one-hand usage. I even liked BES and its architecture. But BES is for private use to expensive and the BB OS is to restricted and after a while pretty odd looking. So I bought the Blackjack. Small and still one-hand usability but the keyboard and jogidal of a BB stays unmatched. Now, I have an iPhone and a Touch Diamond. I prefer the Diamond over the iPhone and both are great but they are again phones for passive consumers. I wrote books with my Blackberrys and Blackjacks. To fill waiting situations with real brain work is so satisfying and is definitely a new experience.
The general usability is different, sometimes you are faster on a touch based device, sometimes on a Smartphone device. But a real keyboard is a must because sooner or later you have to enter letters and then a touch screens sucks. The idea of having a BB device with WiMo would be a dream, especially the new Javelin with WiMo would be perfect.
I'd even buy an EPIX or an Treo Pro. But both are weak. The EPIX misses a D-Pad, essential when editing text, and the Treo Pro's keyboard is real crap and it looks like a glossy wannabe gayPhone.
So yesterday I ordered a new T-Mo Dash with black front metal for just 50 bucks at eBay. Flashing a brand new ROM from xda-developers.com, this phone should be still near to perfect. No 3G, but EDGE, a great keyboard (better than the Blackjack) and a great and still living dev community on XDA. You have to get used to its design but it could be worse.
And there's hope for the upcoming Kogan ...

There's the upcoming Pantech Duo II, but asides for a nicer exterior, there is nothing noteworthy when it comes to upgrades to the specs.

I also know Microsoft should take a lot of the blame for the demise of WinMo Standard. Just this naming convention where a device with touchscreen is "Professional" while one without touchscreen is just "Standard" have left some people (users, developers and even manufacturer and carrier execs) under the impression that WM Standard is a crippled OS and that they need to have the "full" OS that is WinMo Professional. A WinMo Standard device can be as powerful and productive (maybe even more productive) than a WinMo Pro device, if the manufacturer so chooses. But like I've been saying, more and more people are regarding the WinMo Standard platform as crippled or downgraded and therefore, leaving it for lower-end, underpowered devices.