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. Additionally, third-party software development is available for Windows Mobile. Originally appearing as the Pocket PC 2000 operating system, Windows Mobile has been updated several times, with the current version being Windows Mobile 6.1, and a new release scheduled for 2009.

Microsoft projected in 2008 that shipments of devices with Windows Mobile will increase from 11 million to 20 million units, but it missed its initial goal in only selling 18 million licenses citing the delayed launch of certain smartphones. Windows Mobile's market share as an operating system for smartphones worldwide has fallen from 23% in 2004 down to 12% in 2008. Windows Mobile has a worldwide smartphone market share of 13% now. Microsoft licenses Windows Mobile to four out of the world's five largest mobile phone manufacturers, with Nokia being the other.[1]

Common FeaturesEdit

  • Today Screen - Current date, owner information, upcoming appointments, emails and tasks.
  • Taskbar - Shows the current time, volume, service indication in "bars", battery status and wifi/bluetooth availability.
  • Office Mobile - A Suite of mobile versions of Microsoft's famous Office Suite, including Word, Powerpoint, Access, and Excel.
  • Outlook Mobile - A compact version of Outlook capable of basic email access.
  • Internet Explorer Mobile - A compact "Mobile" enabled version of Internet Explorer.
  • Windows Media Player for Windows Mobile.
  • VPN Client
  • Internet Connection Sharing client


Windows Mobile exists on a number of different hardware platforms, ranging from PDAs, Smartphones, Embedded Devices, and some automobiles.

Pocket PCEdit

The original platform for Windows Mobile, these devices existed as both devices with phone function, and those without. The most current version of Windows Mobile for phone-enabled Pocket PCs is Windows Mobile 6 Professional, and for non-phone Pocket PCs, Windows Mobile 6 Classic.


While Pocket PC technically falls under the term Smartphone, as does Microsoft-branded PDa devices with phone functionality, Microsoft's use of the term Smartphone pertains to phones capable of running Windows Mobile, featuring no touch screen. The current version of Windows Mobile to run on smartphones is Windows Mobile 6 Standard.

Portable Media Center/Embedded DevicesEdit

The predecessor to the Microsoft Zune, the Portable Media Center ran on a highly modified version of Windows Mobile/Pocket PC 2002. Its intent was to allow integration into Windows Media Center.

Windows Mobile for AutomobilesEdit

Although this is not a very public-facing application of WM, it is mostly seen integrated into Ford vehicles running Microsoft Sync. At its base, it is a small integrated device that contains Bluetooth, Phone and Security features. Additional features that can be built in include GPS Support and USB/Bluetooth Music Connectivity.


Pocket PC 2000Edit

Pocket PC 2000, originally codenamed "Rapier", was released in April of 2000, and was based on Windows CE 3.0. It was the debut of what was later dubbed the Windows Mobile operating system, and meant to be a successor to the operating system aboard Palm-Size PCs. Backwards compatibility was retained with such Palm-Size PC applications. Pocket PC 2000 was intended mainly for Pocket PC devices, however several Palm-Size PC devices had the ability to be updated as well. In addition, several Pocket PC 2000 phones were released, however the Smartphone hardware platform was not yet created. The only resolution supported by this release was 240 x 320 (QVGA). Removable storage card formats that were supported were CompactFlash and MultiMediaCard. At this time Pocket PC devices had not been standardized with a specific CPU architecture. As a result, Pocket PC 2000 was released on multiple CPU architectures; SH-3, MIPS, and ARM.

Aesthetically, the original Pocket PC operating system was similar to Windows 98, Windows Me, and Windows 2000 operating systems.

Features/built-in applications for Pocket PC 2000 included the following:

  • Pocket Office
    • Pocket Outlook
    • Pocket Word
    • Pocket Excel
  • Pocket Internet Explorer
  • Windows Media Player
  • Microsoft Reader
  • Microsoft Money
  • Notepad
  • Character Recognition Support
  • IR-Beam Support.

Pocket PC 2002Edit

Pocket PC 2002, originally codenamed "Merlin", was released in October 2001. Like Pocket PC 2000, it was powered by Windows CE 3.0. Although targeted mainly for 240 × 320 (QVGA) Pocket PC devices, Pocket PC 2002 was also used for Pocket PC phones, and for the first time, Smartphones. These Pocket PC 2002 Smartphones were mainly GSM devices. With future releases, the Pocket PC and Smartphone lines would increasingly collide as the licensing terms were relaxed allowing OEMs to take advantage of more innovative, individual design ideas. Aesthetically, Pocket PC 2002 was meant to be similar in design to the then newly released Windows XP.

New features/built-in applications included the following:

  • Enhanced user interface, first time supporting Themes.
  • Pocket Word received Spell Checker support
  • WAP/Save Downloads
  • Folder Synch
  • MSN Messenger
  • Terminal Services
  • Windows Media Player 8/Streaming
  • Microsoft Reader 2
  • Palm OS Beaming Support (IR)
  • Enhanced Pocket Outlook
  • DRM Support in Microsoft Reader

Windows Mobile 2003Edit

Windows Mobile 2003, originally codenamed "Ozone", was released on June 23, 2003, and was the first release under the Windows Mobile banner. It came in four editions: "Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Premium Edition", "Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Professional Edition", "Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone" and "Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Phone Edition". The last was designed especially for Pocket PCs which include phone functionalities. The Professional Edition was used in Pocket PC budget models such as the iPAQ rz1700 series. It lacked a number of features that were in the Premium Edition, such as a client for L2TP/IPsec VPNs. Windows Mobile 2003 was powered by Windows CE 4.20.

New features/built-in applications included the following:

  • Support for add-on keyboards
  • Bluetooth support
  • Pictures app supporting viewing, emailing and IR-transfer.
  • Jawbreaker game
  • vCard and vCal support for Pocket Outlook
  • Windows Media Player 9.0 with Streaming Support
  • SMS Reply feature for Phone-systems
  • MIDI support for polyphonic ringtones.

Windows Mobile 2003 SEEdit

Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, was a minor update for WM2003. It features the following updates:

  • Landscape switching between portrait and Landscape mode. (For sliding devices, first features on the Dell Axim)
  • Single-Column mobile-enhancement for Pocket Internet Explorer.
  • Multiple Screen resolution options.
  • WiFi Protected Access point support.

Windows Mobile 5Edit

Windows Mobile 5.0, originally codenamed "Magneto", was released at Microsoft's Mobile and Embedded Developers Conference 2005 in Las Vegas, May 9–May 12, 2005, and first offered on the Dell Axim x51. It was powered by Windows CE 5.0 and used the .NET Compact Framework 1.0 SP3 — an environment for programs based on .NET. Windows Mobile 5.0 included Microsoft Exchange Server "push" functionality improvements that worked with Exchange 2003 SP2. The "push" functionality also required vendor/device support With AKU2 software upgrades all WM 5.0 devices supported DirectPush. WM 5.0 featured increased battery life due to Persistent storage capability. Previously up to 50% (enough for 72 hours of storage) of battery power was reserved just to maintain data in volatile RAM. This continued the trend of Windows-based devices moving from using RAM as their primary storage medium to the use of a combination of RAM and flash memory (in use, there's no distinction between the two apparent to the user). Programs and frequently accessed data run in RAM, while most storage is in the flash memory. The OS seamlessly moves data between the two as needed. Everything is backed up in the flash memory, so unlike previous devices, WM5 devices don't lose any data if power is lost. With Windows Mobile 5.0, OS updates were released as Adaptation kit upgrades. AKU3.5 is the most current release. In performance, it was generally much slower and less stable than the previous WM2003SE, especially on older devices "upgraded" to WM5 but even on native WM5 devices.

New features/built-in applications included the following:

  • New Office Mobile
    • PowerPoint Mobile
    • Graphic Ability in Excel Mobile
    • Tables and Graphics insertion in Word Mobile
  • Windows Media Player 10
  • Photo caller ID
  • Directshow Support
  • Picture and Video Package, which combined the handling of pictures and videos.
  • Enhanced bluetooth support
  • GPS Management interface
  • Microsoft Exchange push support
  • Default QWERTY support
  • Error Reporting similar to XP
  • ActiveSync 4.2 with a 15% speed increase over older versions.
  • Persistent storage support
  • Increased battery life.

Windows Mobile 6Edit

Windows Mobile 6, formerly codenamed "Crossbow", was released on February 12, 2007 at the 3GSM World Congress 2007. It comes in three different versions: "Windows Mobile 6 Standard" for Smartphones (phones without touchscreens), "Windows Mobile 6 Professional" for Pocket PCs with phone functionality, and "Windows Mobile 6 Classic" for Pocket PCs without cellular radios.

Windows Mobile 6 is powered by Windows CE 5.0 (version 5.2) and is strongly linked to Windows Live and Exchange 2007 products. Windows Mobile 6 Standard was first offered on the Orange's SPV E650, while Windows Mobile 6 Professional was first offered on the O2's Xda Terra. Aesthetically, Windows Mobile 6 was meant to be similar in design to the then newly released Windows Vista. Functionally, it works much like Windows Mobile 5, but with much better speed and stability, comparable to Windows Mobile 2003SE in performance.

Added features include:

  • Office Mobile support for Smartphones
  • Operating system Live Update
  • Improved Remote Desktop service
  • VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) with Echo Reduction
  • Windows Live for Widnows Mobile.
  • Customer Feedback Option
  • Enhanced Microsoft Bluetooth Stack
  • Storage card encryption
  • Smartfilter for searching within programs
  • Improved ICS
  • HTML Email support in Outlook Mobile
  • Exchange Contacts search ability
  • AJAX and Java support in Explorer Mobile
  • Out of Office Replies with Exchange 2007
  • Unlicense Mobile Access support
  • Server Search for Exchange 2007
  • .NET Compact Framework
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition
  • OneNote Mobile
  • Office Mobile 6.1 announcement, with support for Office Formats

Windows Mobile 6.1Edit

Windows Mobile 6.1 was announced April 1, 2008. It is a minor upgrade to the existing Windows Mobile 6 platform which brings with it a redesigned Home screen featuring horizontal tiles that expand on clicking to display more information, although this new home screen is featured only on Windows Mobile Standard edition. This feature was inexplicably left out of the Professional edition. Several other improvements such as threaded SMS, full page zooming in IE and 'Domain Enroll' have also been added. Domain Enroll is functionality to connect the device to System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008, a product to manage mobile devices. There are other differences as well. The most prominent difference for the user is that the Standard version (like earlier versions) still creates automatic links for telephone numbers in Tasks and Appointments, which allows for the easy (and safe while driving) click and dial of stored telephone numbers within these Outlook items. For some reason, the Professional version has eliminated this important feature.

List of Windows Mobile DevicesEdit

  • Acer
    • N10
    • N30
    • N310
    • N35
    • N50
  • Alltel
    • HTC Apache
  • AnexTek
    • 3160
    • 3360
    • 3380
    • SP230
    • SP310
  • Asus
    • A600
    • A620/BT
    • A632
    • A636
    • A639
    • A716
    • A730
    • P305
  • Casio
    • Casio E200
  • Cingular
    • HTC 2125
    • HTC 3125
    • HTC 8125
    • HTC 8500
    • HTC 8525
    • HTC 8925
    • HTC Fuze
    • Samsung Blackjack
    • Samsung Blackjack II
    • Motorolla Q9/h
    • Samsung Epix
    • LG Incite
    • Palm 680
    • Palm 750
  • Verizon
    • Pantech PN820
    • HTC Harrier

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