Mobile
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2/8/2010
12:02 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary
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Latest Windows Mobile 7 Rumors

A flurry of new rumors have been posted about Windows Mobile 7 just over a week before Mobile World Congress, where Microsoft is expected to announce the latest version of their mobile platform. Some of the information is welcome but other bits are surprising. Will they change your opinion of WinMo 7 if all of these are true?

A flurry of new rumors have been posted about Windows Mobile 7 just over a week before Mobile World Congress, where Microsoft is expected to announce the latest version of their mobile platform. Some of the information is welcome but other bits are surprising. Will they change your opinion of WinMo 7 if all of these are true?PPCGeeks has the list of changes, but read it with a jaundiced eye. As they clearly state, "All information detailed within may not be entirely official, although it is definitely the closest information we have heard on actually being real." I am not sure how they say it can be the closest information actually knowing the real information, but such is the claims that blogs make.

I'll let you read the list and make your own decisions, both about how welcome/unwelcome each claim is as well as how likely that claim is to be real or not. I wanted to focus on the claim that WinMo devices will be locked down for application install, restricting everything to the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. The claim is that no more installing apps from storage cards, though there is now a try before you buy feature. Currently the only way to try an app is if the publisher releases a free limited version. You can then buy the full version if you like it. You can also get a refund on any and all purchases in the first 24 hours if you decide you don't like the app. A trial before handing over money would be a welcome addition, and that is one rumor I hope pans out.

I am less enthusiastic about the rest of the Marketplace though. First of all, the number of apps is rather limited. I have a Windows Mobile Professional 6.1 device and there are only 607 apps listed in the catalog if you count apps by category. There may actually be a few less than that if some apps are shown in multiple categories. Of the 607 apps, nearly 32% are games. There are literally thousands of Windows Mobile apps out there. It seems like quite a few developers are bypassing the Marketplace for now. If Microsoft really is headed in this direction, it could be an effort to get more developers to sign up. It could also be to placate the carriers. This strategy would ensure that the vast majority of WinMo 7 devices have apps on them that are safe, reviewed and approved, presenting no danger to the carrier's customers or networks.

Whether the rumor is true or not though, Microsoft needs to revamp the store. I've been less than enthused about it since installing it on my device in November. The browsing interface is fine and purchasing is a breeze. There are some shortcomings though. First of all, not a single app I've installed has ever been auto-upgraded. The first thing I did when I got the Marketplace was uninstall Bing Search that I had manually installed and installed it from the store. I figured it would be a good way to see how the upgrade process went as that app gets an update every now and then. They released a new version late last year and the Marketplace has yet to alert me to it, even when I manually check for updates.

You can easily uninstall an app from within the Marketplace too, but it then just moves to your "Ready to install" queue. I can see that becoming a problem if I get a new device and all of my apps are in that category. I'd have to pay close attention to only install the apps I want and not reinstall unwanted apps. There appears to be no way to get rid of an app from your account.

Enjoy the rumors and post your thoughts on which ones you think will come to fruition and how it affects your view of WinMo 7. I am hoping we'll find everything out in just a week.

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