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Microsoft's Windows Mobile moves: Too little, too late

So. I'm on vacation this week with spotty connectivity, so it's hard to keep up with the outside world, let along blog about it. (I'll be home Friday.) That said, I feel like I should comment on this week's Windows Mobile news. Here's the word from Microsoft:

Today at Mobile World Congress, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made significant announcements regarding the company’s mobile software plus services strategy. Some major milestones announced include the next generation of Windows phones, running Windows Mobile 6.5 that combine the power of the platform with rich integrated services, namely My Phone and Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Additionally, LG and Microsoft also announced an expanded alliance making Windows the primary mobile platform for LG to dramatically increase the number of LG phones running Windows.

Understanding that people need phones to span all areas of their life, the new Windows phones will have the same security, manageability, and enterprise features that you come to expect, but are also coupled with exciting items such as a new UI and widgets. 

My Phone is a next generation mobile Web service focused on the movement of content between your phone, the Web and your PC. Our other new service, Windows Marketplace for Mobile, makes it easier than ever to purchase and download enterprise and LOB applications so employees can do more while on the go.

I've also written up a news story for WinInfo.

Long story short, this is too little too late.

Here's why:

  • The iPhone will be in its third generation by the time Microsoft's partners get around to shipping Windows Mobile 6.5-based phones.
  • Windows Mobile 6.5, itself, is an interim solution created on the fly as a response to the iPhone.
  • My Phone looks interesting and useful.
  • Microsoft can talk up 20,000 apps all it wants. Virtually none of them are any good. Plus the disparity of Windows Mobile hardware types means that these things won't work consistently across devices. That's the dark side of choice, I guess.

I just can't get excited about this though I will of course check it all out as soon as I can. I'm ready and willing to have my mind changed here, but I have this nagging feeling that it ain't happening. Why can't they move quicker than this?

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