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Handango - Reality Bites

John Ottini | Handheld PC Software Reviews
12 February 2004

During the past few weeks "we", meaning members of the H/PC community, have been having a pretty candid discussion on the state of our beloved Handheld PC and why it is perceived as dying.

It all began with an editorial by Clinton Fitch over at Clinton Fitch (Dot) Com! entitled "Do You Love Your HPC?" Clinton laid the blame for the death of the H/PC community squarely on the backs of the apathy within the H/PC community and gave some pretty good reasons to back his claim. If you haven't read the editorial, please do so (Link at the bottom of the page), if you have, then you know exactly what I'm talking about?
It's very easy to dismiss his argument until you come face to face with the reality of his statements.

I recently sent an e-mail to the folks at Handango (see below) and received a very disheartening response. For those of you who don't know, Handango is one of the most popular websites where you can download, purchase or just test trial versions of software for the Windows CE (Windows Mobile) platforms. It seems that almost all developers use Handango as a 'middle person' for the sale and distribution of their software. They have been around for years and I have purchased/tested much of my Handheld and Pocket PC software right from their website.

Here is My E-Mail:

February 2004

Hey Guys

You need to do a much more thorough job of making sure the software listed as Windows CE is not in fact Pocket PC software. Most Pocket PC software is not compatible with Windows CE based HPC's like the Jornada 720/728 or the MobilePro 780/790/900 and it's therefore very confusing and frustrating for new users who don't know the difference.




Here is Handango's Response:

February 2004


Thank you for contacting Handango Customer Support. I've included information below to assist you; if it doesn't solve your issue, please let me know.

John, thank you for this feedback. Because Windows CE is being phased out, Handango has chosen to slowly phase this software out as well. Companies that sell applications on our site can still choose the Windows CE catalogue and this is where those programs will appear, however, it is a hidden category on Handango. Applications that are listed under the Pocket PC catalogue and are Windows CE, are chosen by that company. That is not something Handango automatically configures.

To find this software, you can select Windows CE in the drop down box at the top of our screen and then type in keywords of your choice for searching software to purchase.

Again, I am sorry for any inconvenience, however as these operating systems are being phased out, our catalogue is being phased out as well.

We appreciate you choosing Handango for your mobile software needs.


Kristin Edwards
Customer Support Supervisor - PDA Market

There are several ways to interpret their response and we can make all sorts of excuses as to why it's someone else fault and how it's all out of our control, but the bottom line is always dollars and cents. The purchase of and support for H/PC products is just not there…. this statement is true for Handango, its true for Ilium Software and it's true for any number of other H/PC developers who have decided to no longer support the H/PC platform. The bottom line is, if we were buying their products, it really wouldn't make much difference to them what Microsoft decided to do with the Handheld platform.

We can't control what others do but we can control our own actions - Do You Really Love Your HPC? Sometimes you don't know what you've got until its gone.

Clinton Fitch (Dot) Com! - http://www.clintonfitch.com/
Handango - http://www.handango.com/

Contact John by e-mail.
Alternatively visit the Forum for a discussion thread

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Tags | Editorial OpEd