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RENAMED: Microsoft drops Pocket PC & Smartphone in favor of Standard, Professional & Co
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 08.02.07 - 09:17:47 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 10983x
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With today's announcement of Windows Mobile 6, Microsoft also introduced a new naming scheme of its PDA and smartphone device classes. No more Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, no more Windows Mobile for Pocket PC Phone Edition and no more Windows Mobile for Smartphone but just Windows Mobile 6 xyz where xyz becomes more generic then it was before; in fact it becomes similar to the Windows Vista and Windows Office 2007 naming scheme
The following overview should help you to get a better understanding what your device was in past and what it will be from now (with the official introduction of Windows Mobile 6):

  • (Windows Mobile 5.0 for) Pocket PC becomes Windows Mobile (6) Classic
  • (Windows Mobile 5.0 for) Pocket PC Phone Edition becomes Windows Mobile (6) Professional
  • (Windows Mobile 5.0 for) Smartphone becomes Windows Mobile (6) Standard

According to Microsoft, this change in version names should better align the brand with the evolution of the market from traditional handheld devices to today's telephony-enabled "smart" devices. The new version names connect the two telephony-based versions of Windows Mobile 6 in a hierarchy which reflects their relative functionality:

  • Standard which is optimized for devices without touch screens (previously known as Smartphone)
  • Professional which designed for devices with touch screens (previously known as Pocket PC Phone Edition)
  • Classic which is designed for traditional touch screen devices, which do not provide mobile telephony (previously known as Pocket PC)

Windows Mobile is also now powering an increasing variety of device form factors, many of which are blurring the traditional concepts of "phone" and "PDA." These new device styles and forms factors have rendered the previous Windows Mobile version names (which were based on device form factors) out-of-sync with, and sometimes counter-intuitive to, common marketplace conventions.

Please be aware, from today, Microsoft is officially retiring the terms Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone Edition. In the future, Microsoft will use more conventional terms when referring to Windows Mobile powered devices as either smartphones or PDAs.

For you, as a user (as well as for developers which are offering applications), these differences mean that applications developed for one version may not operate on devices running the other version (while Classic will run the same applications as Professional). Therefore it's critical to understand, that the difference is whether or not a device has a touch screen and Microsoft will use this approach right from now, being effective for both Windows Mobile 5.0 and 6 powered devices.

Please note that for the next few months, we - at the::unwired - will continue to use the Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphone terms (in combination with the new Windows Mobile 6 names) to make sure everybody knows what we are talking about.

Cheers ~ Arne

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