Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Smart and smarter

In my previous Blog "Returning the Q", I was not knocking the Motorola Q so much as highlighting some of the confusion caused by the Windows Mobile Operating System on cellphones. It seems like there are two distinct flavors of the Windows Mobile 5 OS: Pocket PC (which can also run on some cellphones), and "Windows Mobile powered smartphones" (Microsoft's terminology)

On the Microsoft Windows Mobile Website, one of their FAQs tried to answer the question:

Q: What'’s the difference between a Pocket PC and a Smartphone?

"A: Pocket PCs come with mobile versions of Office applications in addition to Microsoft Outlook Mobile. Though there are different Pocket PCs, many come with Wi-Fi to enable you to connect to the Internet when you are in a wireless hotspot. With a Pocket PC, you'll be able to use Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, and PowerPoint Mobile and browse the Internet if you have a device with Wi-Fi and are in a wireless hotspot.
You can compose e-mail messages and send them by synchronizing with your desktop computer or wirelessly when you're in a hotspot. You can do everything with a Pocket PC Phone that you can do with a Pocket PC with the addition of wireless access to the Internet and cellular phone capabilities. If you have a Pocket PC Phone, you can access the Internet through your wireless connection - you won't need to find a wireless hotspot.
You can add a wide variety of software titles to your Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone..."

Here's the smartphone which is not a Pocket PC phone:

"A smartphone has phone capabilities and comes with a smaller set of applications. though you can add third-party software titles to your smartphone, the smaller keypad and screen are designed to give you quick one-handed access to important data. A smartphone is a good choice for business users who need to check e-mail, keep track of their calendars, and take voice notes, but who don't need the added functionality of Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, and PowerPoint Mobile. If you find yourself wanting more functions after you've purchased your device, there are good third-party software titles designed to extend the capabilities of a Windows Mobile powered smartphone."

A few weeks back I spent some time with a Sierra Voq smartphone. Although it wasn't running the latest version of Windows Mobile. I soon realized that it was a smartphone and not a Pocket PC phone. I could "extend its capabilities" by installing some applications (like SplashID for Windows Mobile Smartphones), but other's, like DayNotez, only have a version for phones running the full Windows Mobile Pocket PC, not the smartphone edition.

So, when hunting for a smartphone, some smartphones are smarter than others, so smart that they are Pocket PC smartphones. Of course, at the moment Palm OS based smartphones are extra smart, and who knows about Sybian-based smartphones. Linux based ones will naturally be smarter...

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