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The best mobile smartphone yet?
Posted on 14-Aug-2003 19:34 | Tags Filed under: News

The best mobile smartphone yet?
Jeff Kirvin, from writes about the Windows Mobile powered Smartphone:

"Smartphone is caught between two standards, two expectations, two histories. On the one hand, it's a PDA running Windows Mobile and capable of running a rich selection of third party software. In a lot of ways, it's the tiniest Windows computer yet. On the other hand, it's a phone. Phones are usually closed systems, so closed that it never occurs to most cell phone users that the device even has an operating system. Carriers have established business models built on controlling the content on the handset, charging for things like games and ringtones. Carriers have a tradition of blocking the ability to add anything to the phone that they don't provide and profit from.

On which side of the fence does Smartphone fall? Currently, it's stuck on the top of the fence. Carriers have the ability to "lock" phones and prevent users from installing unsanctioned applications to them. Orange has backed off on this a bit after an initial scandal, but the potential problem still exists. In order for Smarphone to take off as a computing platform rather than just an uppity phone, users have to be able to customize their phones with software that fits their unique needs.

And for now...

The Microsoft Smartphone is the best phone I've had yet. It's amazing what this thing can do. But for writing, it's limited at best. Writers looking at carrying the minimum possible should hold off and see what the Palm Treo 600 really looks like when it comes out this fall. The Treo's ability to run applications like WordSmith and the existence of a full QWERTY thumbboard rather than just a 12-key phone keypad will make it more compelling for text longer than a quick message.

On the other hand, I'm starting to see what Microsoft sees in the Smartphone/Tablet PC combination. For a lot of people, a Smartphone is really the only mobile device they need to carry around in a pocket. For times when writing serious word count seems likely, a light convertible tablet like the Acer or Compaq units might just trump PDAs."

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