Readers Respond to Microsoft SMS Mobile Support

In the October 10 edition of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I discussed Microsoft's forthcoming Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 release. I mentioned that Microsoft is looking for input about mobile-device support. Current plans are for SMS 2003 to support as-yet unreleased Pocket PC 2003, Windows CE .NET, and Windows XP Embedded devices—but not today's Pocket PC 2000 and 2002; Windows CE 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0; or Windows NT Embedded. In other words, Microsoft doesn't plan to support today's installed base of non-PC devices.

Readers Sami Hanninen and Geoffrey McNaughton provided feedback. Both are glad that Microsoft is making an effort to provide mobile device support (McNaughton's first comment was "Hooray!"), but both also want to see support for the existing installed base. Hanninen wants to see support for Handheld PC (H/PC) and Windows CE 3.0 devices, and McNaughton expects support for at least today's Pocket PC 2002 devices. Both readers have several additional SMS suggestions, such as improving SMS 2003's software and hardware inventory, and adding the ability to enforce security policies. I've forwarded their comments to Microsoft. I'd like to provide more feedback, so if you have an opinion about SMS's mobile device support, please tell me about it. You can reach me by email at [email protected]

The September 26, 2002, issue of "The Economist" features an article titled "Time for Plan B" that details some of the problems European companies are facing as they attempt to launch so-called third-generation (3G) networks. According to the article, a central problem is the instability of the Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) network protocol, which is specifically required in European 3G licenses.

In the 1990s, Europeans benefited from standardization on the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) protocol, which enabled first-generation (1G) digital cell phones to send digital data, basically throughout Europe. That standardization might now be working against Europeans. The "Economist" article goes on to note that a competing standard to WCDMA—called CDMA2000—is finding some success in Asia and the United States. In Japan, a new CDMA2000-based service appears to be taking business away from NTT DoCoMo, which is based on WCDMA.

Just this once, maybe we should be happy that the United States doesn't enforce one standard for digital data!

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