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The Windows CE Newsgroups

The Newsgroup: microsoft.public.handheldpc

What is a Handheld PC?

No Pocket PC questions please!. The phrase "Handheld" is often used to refer to PDA's in general. While it may be a subject of debate as to the accuracy of this in some cases, the term is not what microsoft.public.handheldpc is there to cover.

Microsoft Pocket PC / Palm-sized PC users have their own news group to post questions into: microsoft.public.pocketpc
Non Microsoft PDA users, obviously Microsoft aren't going to host their competitions News Groups on their server. Try looking for a relevant group on your ISP's NNTP list, or via Google Groups.

Microsoft PDA Devices:

Microsoft Logo
Palm-Sized PC Image
Handheld PC Image
Pocket PC Image
Smartphone Image

Microsoft Windows Powered Logo
The Handheld PC (H/PC): ranges from Windows CE 1.0 - 3.0 (H/PC 1, 2, Pro, 2000)
The Palm PC (P/PC): ranges from Windows CE 2.1 - 2.11 (Palm PC 1, 2)
The Pocket PC: Windows CE 3.0 - 5.0 (Pocket PC 2000, 2002, 2003, 2003SE, 5.0)
The Smartphone: based on Windows Mobile Smartphone edition

Users unfamiliar with the terminology used by Microsoft Windows CE Device users should look at the table above. The difference between the Pocket devices and the Handheld PC are quite considerable.

First things first: What is microsoft.public.handheldpc?

microsoft.public.handheldpc is a News Group (AKA Usenet). Its a public newsgroup open to all users. However it is hosted on a private server, Microsoft Corporations Network News Server (news://msnews.microsoft.com).

Microsoft host specific news groups for most if not all of their products. Anyone can access the news groups, whether a new user, or an experience IT Professional. This helps to create an on-line community of users who, invariably will be able to offer a few pointers towards fixing your problem or answering your question.

microsoft.public.handheldpc is the news group specifically for posting questions about the Windows CE based Handheld PC platform. Any user of any Handheld PC device is welcome to post into the group, from H/PC 1.0 right up to H/PC 2000 & dare I say, one day. Handheld PC .net. The only condition is that your question should be Handheld PC related, or Handheld PC community related.

What are the NewsGroup Addresses?

Handheld PC & HPC2000 Tablet PC news://msnews.microsoft.com/microsoft.public.handheldpc
Palm-sized PC & Pocket PC news://msnews.microsoft.com/microsoft.public.pocketpc
Smartphone news://msnews.microsoft.com/microsoft.public.Smartphone
ActiveSync news://msnews.microsoft.com/microsoft.public.pocketpc.activesync
Windows CE Programming news://msnews.microsoft.com/microsoft.public.windowsce.app.development
Windows CE Embedded (General) news://msnews.microsoft.com/microsoft.public.windowsce.embedded
Windows CE Platform Builder news://msnews.microsoft.com/microsoft.public.windowsce.platbuilder

MVP's & Community Regulars

MVP stands for Most Valuable Professional. MVP's are people who spend time assisting the community that they hold the MVP in. Its important to note that MVP's do not get paid for their work in the community and are not Microsoft officials. The Microsoft Mobile MVP's (Palm-sized PC, Pocket PC, Tablet PC, Handheld PC, Smartphone, Windows CE & CE Developer) are:

These fine Men and Women each contribute to the Mobile Devices community in their own way, in their own specialist areas. We don't often see the majority of them on the Handheld PC group, but keep an eye out for them.

It is a sad thing to say but as a user community which is purely interested in the Handheld PC, we do not have that much experience of posts from the majority of MVP's.

For More Information on the MVP Program - Click Here

Spam Control & Group Monitoring

The News Group, like any public service on the Internet is liable to being abused by the minority who think that its all right do do what they wish. There are certain actions that you can take to resolve and prevent problems from arising.

Combating Spam E-Mail - Never use you main E-mail address on a news group, ideally create a special mailbox on your ISP, that you can quickly change if need be. When you configure your News Group settings, your NNTP viewer will ask you for you e-mail address. These e-mail addresses can easily be picked up by automated robots and added to spam lists, so, people often try an prevent their address from being added by adding a wild card statement to their E-mail address e.g.

someone@somewhere.cox : would become : someoneIDONTWANTSPAM@somewhere.cox
A statement such as 'I Don't Want Spam' is often added to the e-mail address to make any robot lists erroneous. Try and choose something original, but obvious. If everyone were to use IDONTWANTSPAM or NOSPAM, then the robot could simply be programmed to seek out those lines and remove them.

These systems are not fool proof. A clever script writer could easily come up with a robot that could counteract the tags all together. Thankfully however, in all my time on the Microsoft Group, I have never received SPAM e-mail from a clone of the News Group addresses list.


Junk posts - The simple fact of the matter is that Junk mailers and posters are just desperate people who try and prey on the insecurities of other, and we all have them. The important thing to remember, is that if its in the Microsoft Group, and its not about the Handheld PC, then simply just ignore it.

Microsoft do a good job of keeping their News Groups tidy. As many of their Junk posters are desperate enough to post their whiles into every single group on the NNTP server, Microsoft has filters that clean them off pretty quick!. A Second line of defence is the hardened band of MVP's, who, as part of their daily rounds like to keep their groups tidy, and will report any problem posts.


Abusive message & flaming - Its not likely to happen to you on the Microsoft Group, were all a pretty strong community in our own little areas. That said, never say never!. My advice to you is to simply ignore it, if you can't resolve the problem between posts in an amicable way, just let it drop. A few carefully aimed posts to ease the tensions, and some calming thoughts from other users will deflate any problem. I have never come across a post that's gone out of hand on the Handheld PC group, after all.
H/PC users are the nicest PDA users of all. If you are really having problems, or find comments of others to be in excusable, I suggest that you drop a MVP a e-mail so that they can look into it as a impartial body or as the entire MVP group. It is usually they who ask Microsoft Admin to look into a problem.


Posting Pocket PC questions in the Handheld PC group - You will be told off. Need I say more.


Posting HTML messages into the News Group - Unless there is absolutely no other way around it, your not spamming, and your being considerate of dial-up users with your post, then OK at a crunch.
If your doing it for any other reason than die hard Handheld PC questions. Expect to be told off and have a MVP slap you on the wrist.


Testing Your News Reader is working - If you wish to test that your news reader is working properly by sending a text message to the News Group, please do not post "test" into the Handheld PC group. Microsoft have provided a special place to test news readers, without cluttering up the main newsgroup. The Test group can be found at microsoft.public.test.here

Last updated: December 31, 2013
Thanks to Marc Zimmerman for pointing out some typographical and content discrepancies

The Microsoft™ Name / Logo, Windows™ Logo, Palm-sized PC™, Handheld PC™, Pocket PC™, Smartphone™ are all property of the Microsoft Corporation.
Reproduction on this page is for illustrative purposes only.
PDA's illustrated: © Phillips, HP Jornada, Compaq, Orange