By April 10, 2009

Windows Mobile answer the Facebook questions

image We reported a while ago that the Windows Mobile Team were asking for questions on their Facebook channel and they have eventually got round to answering some of the questions thrown at them. Unfortunately there is no order to the questions and answers so we have put them together to make it easy to follow. As expected a lot of “we can’t comment on that at this time” answers but there is some interesting information none the less. Take a look after the break, there are quite a few questions.


When will…
…Silverlight be finally on WM?
…there be WM6.7? [With SL and SL in Widgets]
…Widgets get IE8 WebSlices?
…century old base OS controls be shiny like XP>Vista?

Windows Mobile

While we are not dicussing future versions of the product beyond what we announced at Mobile World Congress, I can say we are committed to bringing Silverlight to Windows Mobile in the future.


I have a suggestion for WM6.5. Could you possibly make the start menu (honeycomb) be able to scroll backwards and get to the bottom of the list of programs? If you don’t understand what I mean, you know when you open the start menu, you have to scroll down to get to the icon of the program you want. Well, you should be able to scroll up to get to the bottom of the menu instead of having to scroll through many pages of icons (if you have a lot of programs) to finally get to an icon that’s at the bottom of the list. This is made even worse since you guys decided to get rid of the stupid fast scrolling on the start menu. You guys have WM6.5 only scrolling one page at a time of icons. That means you do one flick and it goes one page… You can’t just do one giant flick of the finger and get to the bottom and even if you could. Just being able to come from the back makes usability better and getting to the programs you want faster and easier. What if my program was 3/4 of the way down the menu? Wouldn’t scrolling up (backwards) instead of down make more sense? You only have to scroll though 1/4 of the menu to get to what you want. I know you guys have it like it is right now so you know that you’re at the top if hexagon in the middle is empty since it’s a honeycomb, but who cares? I know I’m at the top if the menu starts there when I click the Start menu. The trade off in usability is much more in favor of doing it the way I’m proposing.

Windows Mobile

Great suggestion.
We are constantly trying to make the UX better, I think the next version is an amazing and needed step forward. There is still room to improve and it is this kind of feedback that leads to those types of changes. I think you will see the UX constantly improve based upon consumer input over relases of the product.


When will Windows Live calendar and contact pictures be able to synchronize?
Have we already seen everything that’s Windows Mobile 6.5 or will there possibly be updates to thing like the ugly calendar or Windows Media Player?

Windows Mobile

We have really seen the bulk of the innovation of Windows Mobile 6.5, but there are always a few surprises. We also believe there will be continuous investment into the services, but nothing I can talk about now.


Are there yet plans that you can share about making an express version of Visual Studio available for Windows Mobile? I’ve had luck helping others set up managed development environments sans debugger ( but wanted to know whether or not a free solution for native development was on Microsoft’s timeline before I begin assembling a solution myself.

Windows Mobile

Not currently that I am aware of.


Microsoft isn’t disallowing capacitive screens. See more details here
That being said if you wanted to see a consistent implementation of multitouch then Microsoft would be the proper company for providing support for that.

Windows Mobile
We see this discussion a lot. I think when we talk to most consumers they want a finger friendly, responsive, and intelligent user experience. There is less concern about what technology is used to achieve that. I think in the past we have been more focused on using a stylus to drive the UX, with 6.5 we really change the UX to be finger friendly, responsive with a new physics engine to give things like


Please, please, pleaseee make WM able to sync with Windows Live Calendar… It syncs with Hotmail and my contacts, but why not Calendar? It doesn’t make sense. Do it, please. You guys really have a good thing going with Windows Live. If you guys would just be smart enough to take advantage of it. If all the Windows Live services were able to sync with WM, it’s just like MyPhone… You guys have photo sharing, video sharing, bloging, email, calendar, contacts… All of that through Windows Live… Just add syncing text messaging and put it all on one simple page/program (ie. Windows Live) that works on WM and you’re all set. A service that’s better than MyPhone without having to develop new services. You guys really need to look closely at what you guys already have. Microsoft has many great services, but they just don’t work well together. If you guys could just make things work well like Google, you wouldn’t be in the mess you guys are in today.

Windows Mobile

Great suggestion, currently there is nothing I can say about our services roadmap here, other than to tell you we will make investments here, as you can see from My Phone and we will continue to invest here.
Aaron Woodman


is there any plan to provide update/upgrade to the existing Windows mobile device center 6.1 ?

Windows Mobile

Not currently.


When will the "Problem with the server" be fixed, allowing me to use Windows Live Messenger on my device again? It’s been 4 months now. The last I heard from your customer services was that it was a known issue but there was no timeframe for resolution.

Windows Mobile

I am unaware of any long term issue here. Are you seeing an error code? I am happy to escalate this issue and see if we can connect on a better solution than, to wait. Also try the new client available for download, this might solve the problem.


When will Windows provide tools to create application with advanced graphics ( in order to make finger-friendly applications) on Windows Mobile?

Windows Mobile

There are no changes to the SDK, but there are a lot of tools out there today that plug in to the SDK that expose this type of functionality.


Why has Microsoft decided to make developers pay for updates to programs and why do you believe this will be beneficial to the marketplace?
There has been a lot of criticism of this decision and its potential to be a fatal flaw, though I would like to hear the reasoning behind it from Microsoft’s point of view.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions!

Windows Mobile

We have since changed this policy specifically cause of this type of feedback. We will continue to talk with the development community, listen to feedback and make changes. The new policy is to not charge for updates here, other than significant versions, like new apps.


Do you not think that the best way to enable yourselves to innovate and be able to provide updates through the life of a device, it to build the whole device yourselves?
iPhone and Zune both have 1st party hardware with end-to-end ecosystems and add functionality over time, which is a great way to increase the value of the device and build goodwill with customers. Under the current model, there’s little incentive for device manufacturers or mobile networks to provide updated firmware to existing devices, which means that they are losing value from the moment you get one. As much as I’m not an iPhone fan, I tend to think that if I got one it would continue to improve over the time I have it (as far as the hardware is capable). That’s a great selling point, and very rare in Windows Mobile devices.

Windows Mobile

This would give us more control, but maybe not the best solution. Microsoft’s deep expertise is software and services and we work with some of the worlds leading hardware innovators, like Samsung. Across a lot of these relationships we will ultimately see more choice and more innovation. We can always improve and need to increase our focus on the consumer, but I am extremely excited by some of the phones coming out the 2nd half of the year for the next wave of Windows Mobile phones.


Why is the next version of Widows Mobile never offered as an upgrade? Users are always forced to port a new version from other devices.

Windows Mobile

This really is the decision by the OEM and mobile operator. Everyone wants to get the greatest number of phones running the latest software, but not at the expense of a great experience and in some cases software isn’t going to be compatible with the new hardware. In some cases you will see upgrades offered.


A suggestion, could you please have Pocket Outlook contacts save or store personalized ringer settings into the desktop version of Outlook? Currently (on my 8525) they aren’t saved so every now-and-again when I get the "a change on the server requires a complete re-sync" error, I have to go through a good portion of my contacts and re-assign ringtones. If the ringtone was saved as part of the contact, this wouldn’t have to be done.
Also, the contact saving which speed dial it was assigned to, would also be nice.

Windows Mobile

I appreciate your passion, and a great suggestion.
I will take this back to the Outlook team and our Mobile Sync team as a suggestion.


What improvements does WM6.5 bring over WM6.1 apart from the whole honeycomb start menu and home screen?
I want to see WM6.5 on my X1!!!!!

Windows Mobile

There are really four key improvements that will be meaningful for 6.5. First the user experience; the Start screen is part of it, as well as a new Lock screen and Home screen. There is also a new engine and the ability to use your finger much more across the experience. There is a new browser brought over from the desktop and two new services, Microsoft My Phone and Windows Marketplace for Mobile.


When will be Silverlight 2.0/3.0 available on WM?

Windows Mobile

In a future version, we are not announcing timing, but clearly hear the desire and are working to deliver.


When will the Zune player make it to WinMo?

Windows Mobile

Sorry Eric, nothing to announce.


Personally, I wonder why XNA and other tools have not made it yet to windows mobile. Also, why there is not a unified nice UI for the developers.
And for god’s sake why don’t you pressure Htc and the other partners the same gaming capabilities as the iPhone.
I just bought an htc hd, a more expensive and powerful phone than the iphone, but still i believe that even pacman would be slow!!!!!
Why do you let them destroy the brand by doing so…
Games where important to the advancement of windows, and one serious reason not to get a Mac. In the mobile world it seems right now that it is the other way around… 🙁
That is what i ask from windows mobile 6.5. And simplicity!!!!
From 7 i demand the same level of innovation windows 7 brought.

Windows Mobile

We are working closely w/ our partners on hardware and have some exciting hardware coming both on the 6.1 platform and announcements on 6.5.


While I like the whole honeycomb idea, navigating back through all the menus can be less than productive. I am new to the whole area of smart phones, so maybe it is just something I don’t know, but if the functionality is not designed in, could we have the equivalent of a "home" button (how about a gesture) to rapidly get back to the root where the user started from. I would like to have update information on where MS is with widgets from the p.o.v. of user customization and control. I am an Omnia owner and I am unenamored with having to pull a widget off the tab to use it (especially when the sidebar widgets are the only good thing about Vista).

Windows Mobile

There is a Home button on all Windows Mobile 6.5 that takes you to the Start menu and one to the Home screen.


Guys WM is dying. I have been a keen supporter ever since the 1st Compaq iPAQ to the Tilt now. I see iPHONE and Google phone overtaking WM unless there is a huge leap forward in the WM arena. I have loved my WM devises until recently. God help me as I am now looking forward to see what Apple will release int he new June iPHONE. Never thought I would jump ship but right now WM is dying!

Windows Mobile

We are working on bringing 6.5 to market with an updated finger friendly version, new browser, and entirely new services. We will continue to deliver new functionality over the coming year.


Will 3D/Hardware acceleration be on automaticly like Google Android??

Windows Mobile

Not that I know of.


actually you can completely blame it on htc and qualcomm as htc refuses to pay the money to get the drivers from qualcomm.
but being such a great asset to wm, you’d think microsoft would put pressure on htc to get their phones up to par

Windows Mobile

(response to both Joey Workman and Alex McCaffrey)
The reality here is we need to do better hardware and software to build competitive solutions. We are working on both the engagement process and the product in order to achieve this.


Scott, the iPhone capacitance based screen is so last year… Microsoft need to mandate the new Stantum restistive multi-touch screen – see Saw it at MWC and was very impressed.

Windows Mobile

Sorry Scott & Andy, nothing to announce at this time.


can someone tell me how i can download windows mobile 6.5 to my htc touch diamond and how can i get the facebook application as well?

Windows Mobile replied to Scott’s postat 14:58 on 06 April 2009

Windows Mobile 6.5 is not available from Microsoft at this time.


When will the Touch Pro2 come to Vodafone UK????? Hurry hurry hurry!

Windows Mobile

No date is announced.


On the subject of AKs/AKUs could you give a breif overview of what is involved in taking an AKU and creating an image? I’ve read about the process of creating a CE image from the Platform Builder but wasn’t sure how much of that transfers over to WinMo.

Windows Mobile

We do not publicly disclose the commercialization process.


Will i ever be able to sync windows mobile with novell groupwise??

Windows Mobile

It would be an opportunity that a 3rd party could take advantage of.


Is there any way that we can sync Windows Mobile’s emails, contacts, and calendar to Thunderbird and Lightning/Sunbird…
WITHOUT using BirdieSync or FitchSync?
I’m sorry – Outlook 2007 just doesn’t work for me… It keeps crashing or not responding and has resulted in me losing more hair than normal…

Windows Mobile

Not with out a 3rd party connector.


I would really like to see the same "dial from calendar" functionality that I have in Windows Mobile Standard edition (aka smartphone) added to Windows Mobile Professional edition. I know I can "trick" it into working by using the "tel:" but other people sending calendar invites don’t know that, so it’s a real pain either having to add it or having to flip between my calendar and the dialer just to dial a conference number. Any chance this will be a feature/enhancement offered in future versions? How about a patch to add it to Windows Mobile Professional 6.1?

Windows Mobile

Great recommendation, I will check in with the team.


Why do we have to buy separate licenses e.g. i have WM5 but i cant get WM6 without shelling out. Surely because WM6 is just an update to WM5 i should get it for free, right?

Windows Mobile

There are hardware considerations and are entirely different versions of the product. There is more than an update here.


Will we ever be able to sync the Zune player from our laptop/desktop with our WM device?
Also, while I know that quite a few people here are murmuring about upgrades and how we should have them and I understand the fact that you guys simply don’t have the resources to upgrade everyone’s product for free. Given how WM 6.1 is relatively new and WM 6.5 is supposed to be a somewhat minor upgrade, would it be possible for you guys to maybe put an upgrade together and sell the upgrade much like you sell the upgrade for your OS?

Windows Mobile

For Zune sync – nothing to announce at this time.
The upgrades will be determined by whether the hardware is capable and then it is a OEM and Mobile Operator decision on whether or not to offer this and how.


I’m using WM 6.1pro on i780. Although i love the threaded sms, but to forward sms i have to klik on the number, cancel the phonecall, and goes back again to see that the message has been selected. Then i can actually forward the sms. Is there actually an easier way to do this ?
I love Windows Mobile on my i780 and i think its far superior than blackberry 🙂

Windows Mobile

You should be able to SELECT the message and then forward with out the phone call.


will WinMo7 user friendliness close gap with other emerging mobile phone OS? or we still have to rely on 3rd party shell apps, like spb mobile shell or winterface, or manufacturers interface like TouchWiz and TouchUI to slap some user friendliness to our mobile device?

Windows Mobile

We are not discussing future versions of Windows Mobile beyond 6.5. However, I will say the new UX in 6.5 goes a long way to making this more accessible and usable by a finger.


Will users of a htc touch hd be able to upgrade to windows mobile 6.5? considering it is a brand new phone, top of the line windows mobile phone?

Windows Mobile

That will be a decision up to the Mobile Operator and OEM.

The full Facebook discussion can be found here.

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