Windows Mobile handhelds and smartphones have always come with a copy of of Microsoft Outlook, as this application is needed to synchronize the mobile device with a desktop computer. This is about to end, at least for HP iPAQs.
A note on HP’s web site says it all:
The Getting Started CD that comes with each HP iPAQ manufactured after March 2007 will not have the Microsoft Outlook setup on it.
Although HP does not give any details on why it is making this move, there is more to this situation.
It’s Been Done Before
As mentioned earlier, Pocket PCs and WM Smartphones have always shipped with Microsoft Outlook. But this application is not included in the Windows Mobile licensing fee, and companies have had to pay extra to bundle it with their devices, although the cost to the licensees has been much less than the retail price of this software.
Last year, Motorola began shipping the Q smartphone without a copy of Outlook, and there was no significant outcry from consumers. This may be because many people already have this application through their work, synchronize over the air with an Exchange Server, or never bothered to synchronize the PIM data on their smartphone at all.
It seems HP is learning from Motorola’s experience and is going to save itself the cost of adding an additional application that many people don’t want.
Outlook and Vista
Another reason HP might be ending the practice of bundling Outlook with its Windows Mobile devices is the version of this application that was previously included, Outlook 2002, is not completely compatible with Windows Vista.
To partially address this problem, Microsoft is going to give those who get a Windows Mobile 6 handheld or smartphone a 90-day evaluation copy of Outlook 2007, with the option of buying the full version at a greatly reduced price. Naturally, this version is completely compatible with Vista.
However, this doesn’t help those who buy an HP device running Windows Mobile 5 now and need a copy of Outlook 2002.