Palm OS – Throw Back Thursday

In honor of “Throw Back Thursdays”, here’s a Palm OS device family photo I took recently.

In that top row, we have the original Palm Pre, an H/Palm TouchPad, and the elusive Palm Foleo.  The second row includes an early USRobotics Pilot and a 3Com Palm Pilot (both running Palm OS 2.0).  You’ll also notice that a Fossil smartwatch on the far left of the fourth row.  Lastly, you’ll notice that I do have a Palm Treo 750 (Windows Mobile 6.0).

Happy Throw Back Thursday!

Nokia Lumia 900 Now 50% Off

“The Lumia 900, Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone handset and AT&T’s “hero phone,” has had its U.S. price slashed by half, just three months after its release. As of Sunday, the Lumia 900 can be purchased for just $49.99 with a two-year contract through AT&T.”

Wow, that was fast.  Only on the market for 3 months and the phone is on “sale” for $49.99 with a new 2-year service agreement?  I guess is sucks when Microsoft tells the world that your ‘hero’ phone won’t be able to run the next version of Microsoft Windows Phone software due out later this year.  Ouch.

[Via AllThingsD.com…]

Frugal, or Just Plain Cheap?

It’s fair to call me a technology junkie.  As in addict.  I can’t get enough when it comes to some of my favorite computers, tech companies, gadgets and toys.

I’ve lost track of how many Palm OS PDAs I have.  I have a Newton Message Pad and a Palm Foleo.  Throw in some iPods, BlackBerries, Treos (Windows Mobile and Palm OS), and an iPhone for good measure.

So, why I am I still using the ancient (read: 4 years old) Palm GPS Navigator kit and a Treo 755p for driving directions?

Like most cars today, when I purchased my car, I could have also purchased the in dash navigation kit; but it cost an extra $2,500.  I said I can buy a good window mount GPS kit from TomTom or Garmin for $200.  But I haven’t.  I’m still using the Treo and the Palm GPS puck.

Part of the reason why I haven’t upgraded is because it’s functional.  I like the interface, the 3D maps, and “Mandy”, my female digital co-pilot, and the GPS puck doesn’t rely on any cell towers for triangulating location – it talks with the satellites in space.  (I’m still amazed that such a small device that fits in my pocket can talk to a satellite orbiting the Earth.)

Sure, I can’t upgrade the maps on the bundled 1GB SD card.  I can’t download new voices, a feature that I do think I would use.

Am I being cheap?  Frugal?  I’d like to think I’m being frugal because the GPS kit still works.  But I think that the real reason that I have not upgraded to a new window mounted GPS kit is because, as much as I like to admit I’m a technology addict, GPS units are on the outskirts of my addiction.

[Photos via PalmInfoCenter.com…]

Shout Hallelujah, Come On, Get Appy

Time Magazine’s Techland writer, Peter Ha has a good write up of Microsoft’s recently announced Windows Phone 7 series mobile operating system, due out at the end of the year (2010). While I don’t agree with everything Mr. Ha writes (Doesn’t Motorola’s MotoBlur do the same social media aggregation trick as Windows Phone 7?), he does a good job of summing up why this now mobile operating system is so important to Microsoft.

“When you think about Microsoft, a lot of adjectives come to mind, but hip and cool are probably not among them. Many consumers associate Microsoft only with the Windows machine they’re using. And all those “I’m a Mac. I’m a PC” ads have made Apple users like me feel kind of sorry for PCs.

But it’s a brand-new decade, and Microsoft is about to leapfrog Apple — and every other player in the cell-phone world — with the launch of Windows Phone 7 (WP7).

But the most underappreciated product in Microsoft’s vast portfolio, the Zune digital media player, is about to roll all these products into one handy little phone that catapults Microsoft ahead of Apple, Google, Palm and BlackBerry’s maker, RIM.”

You can read Mr. Ha’s full article on the Time website.

Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Series

Earlier today, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer showed off the next generation of Microsoft’s mobile operating system: Windows Phone 7 Series.

BARCELONA, Spain — Feb. 15, 2010 — Today at Mobile World Congress 2010, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the next generation of Windows® Phones, Windows Phone 7 Series. With this new platform, Microsoft offers a fresh approach to phone software, distinguished by smart design and truly integrated experiences that bring to the surface the content people care about from the Web and applications. For the first time ever, Microsoft will bring together Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music and video experience on a mobile phone, exclusively on Windows Phone 7 Series. Partners have already started building phones; customers will be able to purchase the first phones in stores by holiday 2010.

“Today, I’m proud to introduce Windows Phone 7 Series, the next generation of Windows Phones,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “In a crowded market filled with phones that look the same and do the same things, I challenged the team to deliver a different kind of mobile experience. Windows Phone 7 Series marks a turning point toward phones that truly reflect the speed of people’s lives and their need to connect to other people and all kinds of seamless experiences.”

Designed for Life in Motion

With Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft takes a fundamentally different approach to phone software. Smart design begins with a new, holistic design system that informs every aspect of the phone, from its visually appealing layout and motion to its function and hardware integration. On the Start screen, dynamically updated “live tiles” show users real-time content directly, breaking the mold of static icons that serve as an intermediate step on the way to an application. Create a tile of a friend, and the user gains a readable, up-to-date view of a friend’s latest pictures and posts, just by glancing at Start.

Every Windows Phone 7 Series phone will come with a dedicated hardware button for Bing, providing one-click access to search from anywhere on the phone, while a special implementation of Bing search provides intent-specific results, delivering the most relevant Web or local results, depending on the type of query.

Windows Phone 7 Series creates an unrivaled set of integrated experiences on a phone through Windows Phone hubs. Hubs bring together related content from the Web, applications and services into a single view to simplify common tasks. Windows Phone 7 Series includes six hubs built on specific themes reflecting activities that matter most to people:

  • People. This hub delivers an engaging social experience by bringing together relevant content based on the person, including his or her live feeds from social networks and photos. It also provides a central place from which to post updates to Facebook and Windows Live in one step.
  • Pictures. This hub makes it easy to share pictures and video to a social network in one step. Windows Phone 7 Series also brings together a user’s photos by integrating with the Web and PC, making the phone the ideal place to view a person’s entire picture and video collection.
  • Games. This hub delivers the first and only official Xbox LIVE experience on a phone, including Xbox LIVE games, Spotlight feed and the ability to see a gamer’s avatar, Achievements and gamer profile. With more than 23 million active members around the world, Xbox LIVE unlocks a world of friends, games and entertainment on Xbox 360, and now also on Windows Phone 7 Series.
  • Music + Video. This hub creates an incredible media experience that brings the best of Zune, including content from a user’s PC, online music services and even a built-in FM radio into one simple place that is all about music and video. Users can turn their media experience into a social one with Zune Social on a PC and share their media recommendations with like-minded music lovers. The playback experience is rich and easy to navigate, and immerses the listener in the content.
  • Marketplace. This hub allows the user to easily discover and load the phone with certified applications and games.
  • Office. This hub brings the familiar experience of the world’s leading productivity software to the Windows Phone. With access to Office, OneNote and SharePoint Workspace all in one place, users can easily read, edit and share documents. With the additional power of Outlook Mobile, users stay productive and up to date while on the go.

Availability

Partners from around the world have committed to include Windows Phone 7 Series in their portfolio plans. They include mobile operators AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, and manufacturers Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC Corp., HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm Inc. The first phones will be available by holiday 2010. Customers who would like to receive additional information about Windows Phone 7 Series and be notified when it is available can register at http://www.windowsphone7series.com.

To watch the full replay of Steve Ballmer’s press conference at Mobile World Congress, and to experience Windows Phone 7 Series through an online product demo, readers can visit http://www.microsoft.com/news/windowsphone.

Today’s Microsoft press release was posted on the Microsoft website.

HTC Touch Pro 2

The company I work for is continuing it’s search to find the perfect smartphone to replace our existing Treo 700p and 755p fleet of phones. This past Friday, I found a new phone to take out for a test drive: the Verizon Wireless edition HTC Touch Pro 2!

The Touch Pro 2 is a Windows Mobile 6.1 powered phone that has one of the largest screens I’ve ever seen on a Windows Mobile phone. (The last two Windows Mobile phones I’ve used where the Palm Treo 750 and Palm Treo Pro.)

There are two things that you will immediately noticed as different with the Touch Pro 2 than other Windows Mobile phones. The first is the Touch Pro 2 is has a slider that reveals a roomy landscape keyboard that will make people who complain about cramped keyboards happy. The screen also tilts up toward the user. The second thing that you will notice as being different in this Windows Mobile phone is the the special sauce that HTC has added; TouchFlo. TouchFlo is HTC’s customized user interface (UI) that added the much needed “cool factor” to Microsoft’s mobile operating system.

To learn more about the HTC Touch Pro 2, visit the HTC website.

Rumor: Major Changes Coming to Windows Phone 7

If a recent article by Electronista.com is accurate, there will be more changing with Windows Mobile than the product name.

With the next release of the Windows Mobile operating system, Microsoft is rumored to be changing the name from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone, all the while keeping the version numbering system from Windows Mobile. (Confused yet?) Windows Mobile 6.5.x will be replaced by Windows Phone 7 late this year.

The name change isn’t the only thing getting a refresh. Microsoft is also rumored to be making several engine changes that will either make you jump for joy or throw up your arms in disgust. After Palm OS 5, the Windows Mobile User Interface (UI) is the next mobile operating system in need of a make over – and Windows Phone 7 will provide it. In addition to making Windows Phone look and work more like a Zune or the iPhone, it is also rumored that Microsoft will be removing multitasking support from Windows Phone. It is also rumored that Microsoft may also lock down the default UI, preventing third-party developers like HTC from adding their own UI layer on top of Windows like they currently do with the Sense UI on handsets running Google’s Android operating system.

Other changes that could be coming to a Microsoft-powered phone near you could be XNA application programming language that would allow for easier migration of XBox services to the Windows Phone platform. While that does sound cool, Microsoft appears to be eyeing an Apple App Store-like distribution model with applications being installed from a single source. And backward application compatibility? If the rumor is true, they could be on the endangered species list.

Electronista does state that most of this information has not been confirmed and as with any rumor, needs to be taken with a gain of salt. Hopefully Microsoft will give us more details at this years, Mobile World Congress taking place in Barcelona, Spain, later this month.

[Via Electronista.com…]

Microsoft Makes Windows Mobile Noise

First it was Windows CE. Then it was Pocket PC. Next came Windows Mobile. Now Microsoft is talking “Windows Phone.”

According to Electronista.com, Microsoft is going to be talking about some new details about the next version of Windows Mobile at Mobile World Congress, held in Barcelona. The February European mobile event is just as geeky at January’s Consumer Electronics Show.

Will Microsoft finally give us some real details on the next version of their mobile phone OS or will they talk about some release of Windows Mobile that will sit between Windows Mobile 6.5 and 7.0?

[Via Electronista.com…]

Windows Mobile 7 Delayed Until “Late Next Year”

“Delayed until late next year.” Those are the works that fans of technology hate to hear. But fans of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform are going to have to learn to live with them for the next 12 months. At least we have some nice screen shots to look at.

Phil Moore, who heads up Microsoft’s UK mobility unit was on the hot seat during a Q&A session at the Connect! technology summit, which was held in London recently.

Reporting on the event, the Mobile News website, based in the UK, quotes Mr. Moore as saying:

“We’re still playing catch-up. When Apple came on to the scene a couple of years ago, it threw away the rulebook and reinvented it. We unfortunately don’t have that luxury. It’s true, Apple caught us all napping. It launched something that was very iconic, new and unseen with a very good user interface.”

Mr. Moore continued stating that one of the goals for Windows Mobile 7 is address the massive gap (my words) between the Windows Mobile experience and the iPhone experience. Mr. Moore continues:

“It [Windows Mobile 7] has been put back until late next year but it is definitely coming. You’re going to see a lot more on Windows Mobile 7. Giving the enterprise users and consumers what they want will be part of Windows Mobile 7. You’ll get flexibility on a much easier touch UI.”

Ouch! Being a long time fan of Palm, I can surely relate to what Windows Mobile fans are feeling right now. It was a good 5 years between the release of Palm OS 5.0 and Palm webOS. Microsoft is going to have to fill a tall order if they are going to try to take on Apple for the hearts and minds of mobile users.

You can read the full article on the Mobile News website.

AT&T Introduces the HP iPAQ Glisten World Phone

Last week I had posted that HP was still selling handheld PDAs running the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.0 Classic operating system. Looks like this would be why – HP is working with AT&T to bring a new Windows Mobile powered smartphone to market.

AT&T and HP today [November 24, 2009] announced the upcoming availability of the new HP iPAQ Glisten, a feature-rich 3G world phone that meets the increasing demands of modern mobile professionals. AT&T’s first smartphone with an AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) screen, the HP iPAQ Glisten is loaded with features tailored with the business power user in mind.

Featuring the Microsoft Windows® Mobile 6.5 operating system, the iPAQ Glisten offers a touch-friendly user interface and improved browser with Flash support. Connections to your favorite people, content and applications are a fingertip away on the redesigned Start Menu, and Internet Explorer Mobile supports the rich experiences that many Web pages offer for desktop computers.

“iPAQ Glisten adds to our innovative Windows Phone portfolio,” said Michael Woodward, vice president, Mobile Phone Portfolio, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “It meets the demands of our business customers while boasting a beautiful AMOLED touch screen and a full package of multimedia features.”

“The iPAQ Glisten packs a powerful punch with its multiple input methods, variety of connectivity options, and a familiar, consistent email experience that allows mobile professionals to connect with the people and information that matter most to them,” said Susan Macke, vice president, Marketing, Handheld Global Business Unit, Personal Systems Group, HP. “Our strategy for success in growing the iPAQ business and customer base is working with industry leaders, like AT&T and Microsoft, and leveraging our collective strengths in the business and prosumer markets.”

Pricing and availability

The HP iPAQ Glisten will be available in the coming weeks for $229.99 (receive a $50 AT&T Promotion Card with two-year agreement, smartphone data plan). The smartphone will be available through AT&T business services, HP corporate sales, small and medium business and consumer Websites at AT&T.com and HP.com as well as through third-party e-commerce sites.

More information on HP iPAQ Glisten is available at www.att.com/hpipaqglisten and www.hp.com/go/glisten.