Windows

Poll: Would you hold off buying an iPhone 3G S to see how Windows Mobile 7 compares?

Microsoft hopes Windows Mobile 7 will finally put it on a level playing field with Apple's iPhone. If you're thinking of buying an iPhone 3Gs, but not totally committed, would the possibility of a much-improved Windows Mobile OS make you reconsider?

ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley and Sumi Das talk about Microsoft's latest announcements around its new OS, search, and mobile. Foley says Bing and Windows 7 are getting most of the press as of late, but it's really Windows Mobile 7 that could cause the biggest stir when it launches next Spring.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Windows Mobile operating system. The interface is difficult to navigate with your finger, even with the recent updates, and the Web browsing experience is awful compared to the iPhone. But, I like the integrated support for Exchange and Office applications.

If the previews for Microsoft's new mobile  OS show an improved browser and GUI, I may be tempted to hold off an iPhone purchase until the first Windows 7 device are released sometime in early 2010. If you're thinking of buying an iPhone 3Gs, but not totally committed, would the possibility of a much-improved Windows Mobile OS make you reconsider?

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

18 comments
Jaqui
Jaqui

but then, I have no intention of buying an iphone anyway. and I'll not buy anything that comes with MS software. nor will I buy anything with an os written in Java, like Android, which is only a jvm on top of a GNU/Linux kernel.

jfreedle2
jfreedle2

I know that Windows Mobile 5 is 10 times better than iPhone OS 10.0

scootitsa
scootitsa

iPhone OS 10??? Wake up and give comments that is worth reading... Mobile 5 like all w-mobile only half met any expectation that they create. Iphone OS 2 has vastly improved with the Apple phone os but yet again the hype retail therapy these os-providers create has seemed to rank the utmost gullibility of any of its clients/fans. All in all Wmobile leaves to much open, iphone os limits and the it technician is given no real space when it comes to a "true" platform. But Win7mobile could prove to change the genre, or maybe the battle shouldn't be mac vs win and rather android vs the rest.

LarryBoy2
LarryBoy2

I'm waiting for Palm WebOS devices to be made available on other carriers. I wouldn't touch Win Mobile w/ a 100' pole.

bblackmoor
bblackmoor

This is like asking if I would I put off buying a leather buggy whip until I see how those newfangled vinyl buggy whips work... folks, I drive a CAR. I do not need a buggy whip. There will be over a dozen (maybe even two dozen) Android phones by the end of the year. Cover that. Leave the talk of iPhone and Windows based phones to the historians.

Litehouse
Litehouse

The only thing preventing me from buying the iPhone 3Gs is my Apple contract on my current iPhone 3G. It's just under a year old, but my contract is for 2.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I've never had to reboot a phone more often for silly things. The prime example is just this morning my phone refused to connect to ANYTHING. It recognized I was on a 3G network and I had full bars, but nope. The only thing that fixed it was a reboot. I've never had to do that with a Blackberry or an iPhone. I've also had all kinds of email syncing issues on my Windows mobile phone that I never saw on Blackberry or iPhone...oh and iPhone synchs with Exchange.

wolters
wolters

I find Windows Mobile to be very productive in what I need but I do have to reboot once a day as messaging just stops responding for some reason. It isn't a smooth as iPhone either but I can do so much more with it. VPN and Remote Desktop are nice to have when on-call and far away from a PC.

possmann
possmann

There are so many "undocumented features" that seem to get in the way. Unlike the Mobile OS - Blackberry, Android and iPhone OS's were built to be a phone and data device first an foremost - think user-usability. I find that the Windows Mobile OS is first and foremost the Windows Operating system shrunk down to fit on a smaller device - and then after they did that they thought about user-usability. Look at what HTC did - created its own "shell" to make the user experience more palatable and why? Let's face it, for everything the Windows Mobile OS can do - ease of use (and stability) were not first and foremost in the minds of the designers...

TNT
TNT

I disagree. First, Windows Mobile is not a shrunken version of Windows, it is a completely different OS. It was built as a platform for communication management and as such it has performed exceptionally well. To get push email on Blackberry used to require a Blackberry server which most SMB's could not afford. WM on the other hand could receive push from Exchange almost from day one. Even the iPhone realized the error of its ways and finally added the ability to synch to Exchange server. But face it, WM has had calendar, email, and task syncing along with phone and voicemail capability long before most vendors. Is it's interface clunky? Ya, it is and it needs an overhaul (which it gets with WM7). But remember your comparing an OS whose interface has largely gone unchanged over the last few years to completely new devices. As an aside, I think its funny how people complain about Microsoft changing the interface of their desktop OS all the time, and then complain that the WM interface is outdated since it hasn't changed in so long. Microsoft just can't win.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

But I've had bad luck with Remote Desktop...

TNT
TNT

While it's true that iPhone recently added Exchange support (also a feature of Snow Leopard), it hadn't for the longest time. This is clearly one area where Apple had to play catchup with Microsoft. Another area was with their sync software. They finally licensed sync from Microsoft because Apple's implementation was so horrible. The iPhone is maturing into a good product, but for many IT pro's, including me, its still not quite there. I'm looking forward to seeing WM7.

dalton.justin
dalton.justin

I have to say I am actually impressed by the Windows 7 Beta and RC versions that I have installed. I haven't said that about a windows product in a long time. Of course I'm not an apple fanboy either, I am more of a Linux guy in general.

jpdecesare
jpdecesare

" But, I like the integrated support for Exchange and Office applications" HUH? I have all my email, calendar, and global contacts on my iPhone 3G with push synced right to Exchange. I can also read any Office 2003 or 2007 doc (OK, not Access obviously). Personally I have zero need to create or update Office docs, any PDA is way too cramped for that. So what integration makes Windows Mobile so much better? Plus, when iPhone 3.0 comes out next week with full phone search and Cut/Copy/Paste, there's no looking back.

---TK---
---TK---

I have seen the iPhone and messed around with it... A few of my friends have/use them, along with a few others have blackberries... Personally, I like the Win Mobile OS's better. Why? B/c its easer to more or less Hack (NOT CRACK!). And over time, I have really screwed up the OS, and thankfully its very easy to get the PPC's back to the factory defaults. I worked on blackberries for a year, and I have scene more issues with those devices than I care to talk about... One example: multiple different models out of the blue, would started deleting emails randomly (not a space issue)... iPhones are neat, slick, ect ect... But they just are not for me. I'll stick with my win mobile series, it just works better for me...

ricklipinski
ricklipinski

I am an accounting person who dabbles in PCs, PDAs, etc. to see what capabilities are out there. I see one advantage the iPhone has compared to my Samsung Omnia, the app store. Find a list of new features for the iPhone 3G and the 3G S, compare that to the list of specs/capabilities out of the box for an Omnia.....OK, agree now? For non-tech folks if they want to buy an iPhone for fashion and fork over money to be able to 'find an apartment'(google) fine. I expect more from this crowd. To name a few Omnia advantages, 5 megapixel camera, sync with Outlook and FULL FLASH COMPATIBILITY with Skyfire. All this for about half the price out of the gate. Rick

wlapaire
wlapaire

You could wait, and risk yet another disappointment, or this might be the time that MS gets it right. Having abandoned W-mobile in the past due to configuration and usability issues, I will wait for others to do the testing. In the meantime, the iPhone really does work, and you don't need to be an OS expert to use it.

Marcelle Green
Marcelle Green

I agree W-mobile has been awful, but it maybe shaping up. Windows have been doing some major research into customer use. I think they may be going in a different route