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Category Archives: Windows mobile computer programming

Microsoft posts–then removes–Windows Mobile 6.5 SDK

Microsoft briefly posted a Windows Mobile 6.5 software development kit to its Microsoft Download Center website last week, removing the SDK within a matter of hours. According to ZDNet, the WinMo 6.5 SDK appeared on Jan. 22, and remained online long enough for some bloggers and developers to download the kit–some speculate Microsoft pulled the download because it reportedly contains widget tools and emulators for Windows Mobile 6.5.3, an interim build said to add support for “touchable tiles” as well as enhanced gesture support, a revamped address book and updated start menu placement.

With the web buzzing about the SDK post, Microsoft on Monday issued the following statement: “”On Friday, January 22nd Microsoft prematurely posted a version of an upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5 SDK to a public facing Web page. While the SDK was not announced or promoted, it was discovered and generated questions from the community. The beta SDK has since been removed and will be reposted once final testing has been conducted. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

The WinMo 6.5 SDK snafu seems likely to fuel increased speculation over Microsoft’s mobile roadmap and the long-promised release of Windows Mobile 7. While some sources report the software giant will formally announce the revamped OS during February’s Mobile World Congress 2010 event in Barcelona, others indicate it is now delayed until 2011.

For more on the WinMo 6.5 SDK release:
– read this ZDNet article

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Continue Reading: Microsoft posts–then removes–Windows Mobile 6.5 SDK →
Developers question Windows Marketplace payment delays

A number of Windows Mobile developers are venting their frustration with Microsoft over Windows Marketplace for Mobile payment delays, posting messages on the Windows Mobile Developer Center forum that indicate they are owed substantial sums derived from premium application downloads via the storefront. According to this thread, multiple WinMo developers are awaiting payment following extended delays, some dating back to October 2009 and in several cases totaling thousands of dollars–on its Windows Mobile for Developers FAQ, Microsoft pledges to pay within 15 to 30 days for credit card billing, and within 90 to 120 days for mobile operator billing. “If you’re a developer, you will be paid 70 percent of all application sale prices as your revenue share,” the FAQ states. “At the end of the month, Microsoft will total all transactions for your application sales on which we were able to collect money. Your 70 percent revenue share is then applied to the total and if that equals or exceeds $200 USD we will initiate an Electronic Funds Transfer payment to your bank account.”

Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace for Mobile product manager Mihir Rao responded directly to the Windows Mobile Developer Center thread, stating that Microsoft completed its first round of payouts in December and plans a second round this month. According to Rao, there appears to be confusion around Dashboard status updates indicating whether a developer is eligible for payout, suggesting that some programmers are currently ineligible due to missing bank or tax information, or because the $200 threshold has not been met. However, multiple developers responded to Rao’s post to report their Dashboard has read “Eligible for revenue payout” since last fall.

“I see my explanation of the ‘Eligible for revenue payout’ status has raised more questions than it has answered,” Rao wrote in a post dated Jan. 21. “I am going to get some more details on this particular dashboard status to provide further clarification. I will post back with more details by the end of this week, so stay tuned.”

For more on the Windows Marketplace payment delays:
– read this Ars Technica article

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Continue Reading: Developers question Windows Marketplace payment delays →
Microsoft to discontinue Mobile2Market program

Microsoft will discontinue Mobile2Market, its mobile application certification and marketing program for independent software and hardware vendors. According to an email sent last week by Microsoft to Mobile2Market members, the software giant will terminate the program on Feb. 18. “Benefits of the program–including Buy It Now functionality with online distributors, the Windows Mobile Catalog, the Designed for Windows Mobile 6 logo, and Microsoft Partner Points–will no longer be available after that date,” the email reads. “The Logo License Agreement for Windows Mobile 5.0, 6.0, and 6.1 also will end effective February 18, 2010, at which time distribution of and all references to the aforementioned logos will need to cease.”

The email does not expand on Microsoft’s decision to shut down the Mobile2Market effort. Calls to Microsoft were not returned prior to press time.

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Continue Reading: Microsoft to discontinue Mobile2Market program →
Wait till late next year for Windows Mobile 7

While most of the analysis on Google’s forthcoming Nexus One branded Android smartphone emphasizes the company’s escalating rivalry with Apple, it’s also worth considering how far the gap between Google and Microsoft has widened in recent months. With a growing number of handset manufacturers pinning their hopes on the Android OS and software developers shifting their creative efforts to writing Android applications, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform seems increasingly irrelevant with each passing week. After Windows Mobile lost 28 percent marketshare between the third quarter of 2008 and Q3 2009, according to market research firm Gartner, concern over Microsoft’s mobile viability is at a fever pitch–last week, analyst Mark Anderson told the New York Times “It’s time to declare Microsoft a loser in phones. Just get out of Dodge.” According to Anderson, Microsoft’s enterprise-centric culture is the problem: “Phones are consumer items, and Microsoft doesn’t have consumer DNA,” he said.

To its credit, Microsoft has admitted its mobile missteps. Speaking in October at a private breakfast in Boston, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the company understands it must make significant strides with the long-in-gestation Windows Mobile 7 operating system, adding “We know we have to kill on that one.” At the recent Connect! technology summit in London, Microsoft UK head of mobility Phil Moore was also candid in assessing the firm’s struggles: “We’re still playing catch-up,” he admitted. “When Apple came on to the scene a couple of years ago, it threw away the rulebook and reinvented it. We unfortunately don’t have that luxury. It’s true–Apple caught us all napping. It launched something that was very iconic, new and unseen with a very good user interface.” Moore then dropped a bombshell, admitting Windows Mobile 7 has been pushed back to late 2010. “It is definitely coming,” Moore added. “You’re going to see a lot more on Windows Mobile 7. Giving the enterprise users and consumers what they want will be part of Windows Mobile 7. You’ll get flexibility on a much easier touch UI.”

Given how much the mobile landscape has changed in the last 12 months, it’s impossible to imagine how much further the industry will evolve in the year ahead, and even tougher to imagine where Windows Mobile 7 will fit into the equation when it finally does arrive. Microsoft has already said WinMo 7 is its last shot at a comeback–how could the project veer so far off schedule? Because no matter how innovative or user-friendly the OS turns out to be, a Q4 2010 release seems like too little, too late. Asked in a recent interview with The Washington Times what keeps him up at night, Google CEO Eric Schmidt responded “I’m always worried about Microsoft. The position they have with Windows and Office is so profoundly powerful.” With Windows Mobile 7 out of the picture, something tells me Schmidt’s resting a lot easier right now. –Jason

Continue Reading: Wait till late next year for Windows Mobile 7 →