Reported unveiling date for next gen Windows
According to an article published by CNET, Microsoft intends to introduce their next generation Windows Mobile OS, code-named Magneto, as early as the second week of May. From the article:
… a conference May 9-10 in Las Vegas at which Microsoft plans to introduce the next version of its Windows Mobile software, code-named Magneto, with new productivity and multimedia features….
Previously, speculation about the release date had centered around a June/July timeframe. If Magneto follows the same release cycle as the last major update, Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, devices running the new OS could be out as soon as mid-July.
StyleTap runs Palm OS apps on PocketPC
A company called StyleTap Inc. has opened up a public beta test of a program that lets Palm OS applications run on a standard PocketPC. Unlike some previous compatibility attempts using emulators, StyleTap allows you to run programs designed for Palm OS 5, as well as programs designed for previous versions of Palm OS. Though it is a beta, and as yet still has bugs in evidence, user reports suggest that it’s highly effective, running an estimated 95% of Palm OS apps, as full speed, and using the classic Palm OS launcher.
At this time, the beta version does not support sync conduits, hacks, or Bluetooth connectivity, however it seems likely that Bluetooth at least will be addressed in the final version. The beta is also limited to 14 days of use. The full preview version, which comes with with a free upgrade to version 1.0 when it becomes available, costs $30.
Gartner predicts Windows/Symbian OS war
Analysts at market research firm Gartner predict that with the forthcoming release of Microsoft’s next generation Magneto operating system, the Redmond giant will go head to head with Symbian for control of the smartphone market. The analysts claim that the current Symbian lead will be rendered moot by Microsoft’s marketing edge along with the new and more competitive OS.
Meanwhile, speaking of OS wars, research firm Canalys places Microsoft as the number 2 ranked OS maker for smartphones, trailing Symbian by a considerable margin, and leading PalmOS by about 850,000 units.
I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, that Nokia’s Symbian “smartphone” numbers are greatly padded. They stick a micro-kernel of Symbian into devices never meant for use as anything other than camera phones, and call them “smartphones.” This artificially inflates Nokia, Symbian, and sales of so-called “smartphones.” I suspect that if you compared the sales of Symbian phones that are actually used as smartphones, they would be on par or below the sales of Palm and PocketPC based phones.