Windows Mobile

Windows Mobile is a compact operating system combined with a suite of basic applications for mobile devices based on the Microsoft Win32 API. Devices that run Windows Mobile include Pocket PCs, Smartphones, Portable Media Centers, and on-board computers for certain automobiles. It is designed to be somewhat similar to desktop versions of Windows, feature-wise and aesthetically[1].

Licensing

Windows Mobile is closed source. However its interfaces are open and are based on the Microsoft Win32 APIs. Windows Mobile OS must be licensed from Microsoft under Microsoft EULA.

Sponsorship and Financial

Windows Mobile is financed, developed and marketed by Microsoft. Microsoft charges $8 to $15 per phone, according to Strategy Analytics[2].

Community

Windows Mobile Developer Site provides tons of resources for WinMo developers. MSDN forums and newsgroups provide opportunities for developers to interact with the developer community. Windows Mobile also has a certification process that certifies applications developed by third party developers. Plenty of books are also available for Windows Mobile developers.

Market Penetration

Windows Mobile now has a worldwide smartphone market share of 14%[1]. This is down from 23% in 2004. Microsoft licenses Windows Mobile to four out of the world's five largest mobile phone manufacturers, with Nokia being the exception. More than 50 device manufacturers and 160 mobile operators in 55 countries design or offer Windows Mobile devices. Today 80% of all Windows Mobile based smartphones are made by HTC, either under the HTC brand or OEM for other cellphone handset vendors.

Support and Infrastructure

Windows Marketplace for Mobile is a rich and integrated marketplace that enables customers to find and purchase mobile applications designed for aWindows® phone running Windows Mobile 6.5. You can access Windows Marketplace for Mobile from your Windows Mobile 6.5 phone or from a computer by using your Windows Live ID. Marketplace makes it easy for developers to generate revenue by enabling them to reach millions of Windows® phone users directly. It also enables mobile operators to increase their data plan attach rates and generate new revenue streams from application transactions.

Community support is available through MSDN forums and professional support is available through Microsoft.

Third-party software development is available for the Windows Mobile operating system. There are several options for developers to use when deploying a mobile application. This includes writing native code with Visual C++, writing Managed code that works with the .NET Compact Framework, or Server-side code that can be deployed using Internet Explorer Mobile or a mobile client on the user's device. The .NET Compact Framework is actually a subset of the .NET Framework and hence shares many components with software development on desktop clients, application servers, and web servers which have the .NET Framework installed, thus integrating networked computing space (a.k.a. "The Cloud").

Microsoft typically releases Windows Mobile Software development kits (SDKs) that work in conjunction with their Visual Studio development environment. These SDKs include emulator images for developers to test and debug their applications while writing them. Microsoft also distributes Visual Studio 2008 / 2005 Professional Editions, and server / database counterparts to students as downloads free of charge via its DreamSpark program.

Quality

Windows Mobile has been around for almost a decade and is currently at version 6.5.

Portability

Software written for Windows Mobile platform can typically run on any Windows Mobile handset.

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