Its those Pocket PC's Again...

     I was following some dead links on the Microsoft web site looking for back dated information on Windows CE when I was automatically routed the the Windows CE, Pocket PC web site.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Microsoft have updated the layout and the graphics slightly on the Pocket PC site. Ever hopeful that there would be changes to the Microsoft Handheld PC site, I followed the link to find that nothing had changed what so ever.

Microsoft obviously don't consider the H/PC market a valuable enough resource to provide site content for. The Pocket PC site has its own owners club, regularly updated user news, tips and tricks for the general user and advanced information for the business user and corporate administrators. Even the Palm PC has its own especially constructed area. Surprisingly Microsoft haven't even updated the H/PC site with a link to information on the forthcoming US "Mobile Experience Tour". Does this mean we are not invited?

"...Nothing had changed what so ever"

Microsoft have produced 7 individual downloads and updates this year for their Pocket PC operating system, compared with only 1 for the Handheld PC based system. This combined with the P/PC's list of software available from other manufacturers including 2 new game packs from other vendors and 1 from Microsoft.

ce320 wouldn't necessarily expect reams of updates for the older versions of Windows CE, this is a trait of the company, however a Euro Dollar () character support patch wouldn't go amiss for European users as this will soon become a necessity rather than a convenience with the continuing uptake of the Single European Currency. Not to mention utilities for MSN E-mail on the H/PC, the recent Windows Media 8 CODEC support and general bug fixes for the Handheld PC Windows Media Player that we have seen for the Pocket PC. Regular updates for the Windows CE 3 devices wouldn't go amiss either.

What can be done

There have been several sites that have raised this issue with Microsoft. Plenty of users who feel that Microsoft have abandoned their investment in favour of what Microsoft are trying to push. 

The simple fact remains that for what ever reason companies an individuals alike want to make use of the features found only in the Handheld PC, features like the larger screens and efficiently usable keyboards. The tradition of these devices, started in the earliest release of Windows CE are something that consumers want. The fact that there is little uptake for the devices stems from the fact that Microsoft seems reluctant to openly market the H/PC as a solution for anything other than the most resource needy businesses. As a result retailers throughout the world have been reluctant to stock the devices, opting to press the P/PC's.

Until a unified front of Handheld PC users gathers together on-line there is little hope that Microsoft can be persuaded to change its mind. But who has the guts to go up against Microsoft.

After all, all H/PC users would like to see these new game packs released for the Handheld PC... Why else did we buy them!

Article By,
Chris Tilley, HPC Factor
4th July 2001