What’s the Difference Between the Two Types of Windows Mobile?

by Reads (24,276)

Smartphones and other cellular-wireless devices are selling faster than ever, and people who in the past would never have considered anything more than a simple dumbphone are now sporting a Treo or a Motorola Q.

Many of the most popular smartphones bear the Windows Mobile logo, but anyone considering buying one of these should be aware that there are two very different versions of Windows Mobile, leading to significant differences between devices.

For example, only one of the versions allows users to edit Microsoft Office documents, and software is not cross-compatible between the two.

Unfortunately, many retailers don’t make it clear which Windows Mobile version each model is running, so sometimes a bit of research is required.

Differences Between the Two Versions

Windows Mobile for Pocket PC is the version that is used with the most full-function cellular-wireless devices. These come with touchscreens, and their displays can be rotated between portrait and landscape modes.

Pocket PC are the only Windows Mobile devices that come with Office Mobile, which allows them to view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents.

In addition, there is far more software available for Pocket PCs.

Windows Mobile for Smartphone is the version specifically created for phones. These are typically much smaller than Pocket PC devices. They don’t use a touchscreen, and have been designed around allowing the user to completely control the device with just one hand.

WM Smartphones don’t include Office Mobile, but many of these devices come with ClearVue suite, which allows users to view — but not edit — Microsoft Office documents.

As mentioned earlier, there is less software available for WM Smartphones than there is for Pocket PCs, but developers are starting to release more.

Incidentally, it should be made clear that one of these isn’t an updated version of the other. While Pocket PCs can do more than WM Smartphones can, each has been designed for a different type of device, and both have been updated simultaneously.

It’s not possible to "upgrade" a WM Smartphone with the Pocket PC system software.

Similarities Between the Two Versions

Despite their differences, Pocket PCs and WM Smartphones have a great deal in common.

There are many Pocket PCs that have cellular-wireless functionality, and therefore can be used as phones. Naturally, all WM Smartphones can do this.

Both can access email and the Web, play games, and run other types of applications.

Below is a list of popular Windows Mobile devices and which version of this operating system they are using.

Pocket PC WM Smartphone
Cingular 8125 Cingular 3125
Cingular 8525 Motorola Q
HP iPAQ hw6500/hw6900 Samsung BlackJack
Treo 700w/wx T-Mobile Dash
Treo 750v  
Verizon VX6700  




All content posted on TechnologyGuide is granted to TechnologyGuide with electronic publishing rights in perpetuity, as all content posted on this site becomes a part of the community.