Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of Windows Mobile (TM) 2003 software for Pocket PCs. Customers can choose among a variety of devices based on Windows Mobile software, available for purchase today. This new version of Microsoft(r) Windows Mobile software enhances the Pocket PC software experience by including support for easy access to wireless networks, a powerful digital media experience, and support for developers building Microsoft .NET services and applications. Industry partners around the world, including new and existing Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC manufacturers, mobile operators and independent software vendors (ISVs), joined Microsoft in the introduction of this offering. In related news, Microsoft today also announced the new Windows Mobile brand, a single brand that extends the familiarity of the Windows(r) brand, while reflecting the uniqueness of software for mobile devices.
"Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs creates new opportunities for hardware, software and wireless companies to partner and deliver innovative solutions to help improve the way people work and live," said Juha Christensen, corporate vice president for the Mobile Devices Division at Microsoft. "By improving the core elements of Windows Mobile software, Microsoft has enabled customers to take advantage of software features that are wireless-ready and easy to use, and to connect with people and information with a broader range of new device hardware -- and at attractive prices."
New Devices and Partners
Microsoft is pleased to announce two new manufacturers for the Windows Mobile platform, Gateway Inc. and JVC Company of America, which will introduce new Pocket PCs later this year. Customers can choose among a variety of devices from ASUSTeK Computer Inc., Dell, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. and ViewSonic based on Windows Mobile software, available for purchase today. In addition, Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC devices will be available soon from existing device manufacturers including Acer Incorporated, ASUSTeK Computer, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, Intermec Technologies Corp., Legend Group Ltd., MiTAC, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., Symbol Technologies Inc., Toshiba America Information Systems, Trimble and ViewSonic.
In conjunction with today's announcement, Microsoft and Wi-Fi industry leader T-Mobile HotSpot, along with Boingo Wireless Inc. and Wayport Inc., announced offers to provide free 30-day access with new qualifying subscriptions to their Wi-Fi services to U.S. customers who purchase a Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC.
"T-Mobile's Wi-Fi promise of wireless broadband solutions where you already go means our customers can check e-mail, download large files or access corporate intranets at T-1 speeds," said Joe Sims, vice president and general manager of T-Mobile HotSpot. "T-Mobile is excited to work with Microsoft to launch Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs. We believe that this software will further enhance our customer's user experience."
Pocket PC, Refined
This latest version of Windows Mobile improves the core elements of the Pocket PC software through enhancements in wireless connectivity, easy navigation and rapid application development support as well as more entertainment options. Enhancements include these:
* Enables easy connection to a variety of wireless networks. Automatically detects and easily connects to Wi-Fi networks and personal area networks via native support for Bluetooth(r)
* Delivers a great messaging and e-mail experience. Enables always-up-to-date e-mail synchronization through integration with the upcoming Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and encourages further hardware innovation with native support for integrated keyboard devices
* Expands the digital media experience. Offers improved mobile experiences with users' photos, music and home movies through support of Windows Media(r) 9 Series audio and video technology:
* Pictures. Users can store, edit and display digital photos on their device.
* Windows Media Player 9:
* Provides access to a wider range of high-quality digital media content (no longer just content formatted for portable devices) over Wi-Fi networks at speeds of up to 300 Kbps.
* Enables playback of home movies and digital photo albums created with Windows Movie Maker 2 or Plus! Photo Story.
* Supports Plus! Sync & Go, allowing users to synchronize digital content from the Internet or their PC.
* Encourages platform innovation. Includes integrated support for the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework, providing an exciting opportunity for enterprise developers, ISVs and solution providers with a rapid application development platform for a wide variety of applications that can take full advantage of Web services and XML
A Superior Platform for Developer Innovation
Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs is a rich, extensible platform for application development that takes full advantage of the new Windows CE .NET 4.2 operating system and the .NET Compact Framework in ROM. Utilizing Visual Studio(r) .NET 2003 development tools, millions of Visual Studio application developers can now use their existing skills to develop and deploy innovative applications and take advantage of Web services. The .NET Compact Framework brings the power and performance of the desktop to the handheld device.
Today, Microsoft officially released the Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PCs Software Development Kit (SDK) to new and existing Windows Mobile developers. To date, more than 8,000 developers have received the Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PCs SDK in advance, at the Microsoft Mobility Developer Conferences in the United States, Europe and Japan, at Tech-Ed in the United States, and through the Microsoft Mobile Solutions Partner Program. More information on the SDK is available at http://www.microsoft.com/mobile/developer/.
Interest from the community of Pocket PC developers continues to grow with new and existing ISVs and solution providers today announcing their support and commitment to create applications based on Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PCs.
"Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs continue to generate increased interest from users and developers alike," said Laura Rippy, chief executive of Handango. "The community of Windows Mobile developers selling Pocket PC applications has nearly doubled and is up 95 percent in the first quarter of 2003 over the first quarter of 2002, and Pocket PC software sales are up over 67 percent from the first quarter of 2002."