Although Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition brought some important improvements to the Pocket PC platform, Microsoft has not yet made the myriad of other changes to the operating system people have been hoping for.
However, it is beginning to seem that the next version of this operating system, code-named Magneto, will bring some significant improvements.
It has been known for some time that this will be based on Windows CE 5.0, while the current version is based on Windows CE 4.2.
Because of this change, Magneto will include Direct3D Mobile (D3DMobile), a graphics solution built on DirectX, Microsoft’s desktop technology. This will allow Pocket PCs to offer even higher-performance graphics and multimedia, similar to a desktop experience.
According to information on Microsoft Germany’s web site, both Pocket Word and Pocket Excel will be revised. Not many details on this are available at this point, but it is known that the ability to view tables will be added to Pocket Word, and so will the ability to display numbered lists.
In addition, Pocket Internet Explorer will get support for Security Zones, like the desktop version already has.
The latest version of .NET Compact Framework, Microsoft’s technology to enable Web services on mobile devices, will be built into the ROM.
Magneto will come with ActiveSync 4.0, a new version of Microsoft’s desktop synchronization software.
At this point, Magneto is expected to be called Windows Mobile 2005, and to be available in the first half of next year.
Unfortunately, there is no way to know at this point which Pocket PC handhelds will get upgrades to the next version of the operating system.
Better Late than Never
According to industry sources, Microsoft had originally hoped to have Magneto out this year, but delays pushed the release back until 2005.
Some of Microsoft’s licensees were so eager to put out their first Pocket PC’s with 640-by-480-pixel (VGA) displays that they were unwilling to wait that long. These companies persuaded Microsoft to release Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition with VGA support.
Thanks to Pocket PC Thoughts for the tip.