Editor's Corner

Windows Mobile 6 roundup
This week I'm compiling reviews and information about Windows Mobile 6. The big news is that Microsoft plans to have the WM6 SDK available for download on March 1 (and an updated version on May 1).

I've previously linked to Microsoft's paper on new WM6 features for developers, but here the highlights:

  • Many new emulator tools: FakeGPS, FakeServer (a Local Server Framework emulator) and improved CAB signing tools. Developers can also test how their apps respond to incoming calls and messages or dropped connections. 
  • Windows Ink Services for Pen (WISP Lite) support. This is a subset of the same API included in Tablet PC devices.
  • New sound APIs
  • Existing WM5 applications "should" just work under WM6
  • New naming scheme--a sign Microsoft is getting ready to unify the PPC and Smartphone code base in the new version of Windows Mobile, based on Windows CE 6.
  • And, of course, SQL Server CE and .NET CF v2 SP1 are built in to the ROM.

Now some bad news for developers hoping to score a gray market WM6 ROM image: Microsoft has ordered XDA-Developers, a popular Windows Mobile programming forum, to remove all downloadable ROM images, even those put out by operators rather than Microsoft itself.

WM6 OS reviews from around the Web:

Laptop Mag: "Although the coolest capabilities are reserved for Exchange 2007 users, we recommend WM6 because of the platform's improved ease of use and performance." (3.5 stars)

Modern Nomads review: "Going back to Windows Mobile 5 would be painful. It is not the large functional changes that do that, it is the small tweaks in the OS that really perfect some usage scenarios."

CNET: "One of the changes that is under the hood in Windows Mobile 6, but not expected to be visible to consumers, is support for Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, calling. Microsoft isn't including software to let individuals make such calls, but has added the internal plumbing to allow carriers and device makers to add VoIP support if they wish."

PPC Thoughts: "Email setup has been streamlined...Microsoft recently contracted a third party service that has now taken over this task, and the experience is supposed to be much better than before with a broader range of ISPs." -Eli