Over at Dr Neil’s Notes Neil and Hugo started what I think should be a multi-part discussion on the differences and similarities between WM5 and UMPC devices both from a consumer and a developer perspective. My only frustration with this podcast was that it didn’t stay on topic, which makes me think that a second attempt at this topic is in order. What they did cover was whether there is a future for the Windows Mobile OS – this is an interesting point as we are seeing devices not only decrease in size, weight etc, but also increase in hardware functionality (ie longer battery life, more storage…). As Neil points out Windows Mobile (essentially Windows CE) has a different set of priorities that Windows Vista. While support for occasionally connected devices has really improved in Windows Vista, the operating system is still much heavier that Windows CE which effectively cuts the battery life, in some cases by as much as half.
The show also covers the new Zune device, and future versions of the iPod, where WiFi will be built into the device. Neil makes the point that, much to our dismay, the built in WiFi will be locked down so that you can only connect to other Zune devices. Currently I have to open iTunes (or equivalent), let it download the latest shows for the podcasts I have subscribed to and then I have to sync it with my iPod. Although I have become used to doing this (I tend to kick this off before going to bed each night) I would much prefer for the device to be able to automatically download the podcasts when it is connected to a WiFi network. Does anyone know of a petition that we can all sign to convince Microsoft of the errors of their ways?