Overview of Windows Mobile 5.0 (Magneto)

It so happened that the opportunity to get acquainted with the new version of the Windows Mobile operating system appeared before the official announcement, long before the appearance of the first devices based on the new OS. A version of this OS appeared on the Internet for the HTC Himalayas device (Qtek 2020, I-mate Pocket-PC and others, we tested on Qtek 2020). Today we publish an update of the review. We must make a reservation that neither in the forum nor by e-mail we will answer questions about where to download the firmware with the new operating system and how to install it.

As we promised, as soon as the final device based on the new optional system gets into our hands, we will update the review. Now is a good time for this - more than four months have passed since the announcement of the operating system, and devices based on WM 5.0 have just begun to appear on sale.

Originally it was assumed that the announcement of the new OS will take place in February this year. But then the announcement was postponed to May. The first device based on the new OS appeared in September (almost 4 months after the announcement of the OS). The design name of the new Windows Mobile is Magneto. Let's remember together what project names were the previous versions of mobile Windows, as well as the dates of the announcements.

  • Windows Mobile 5.0 - Magneto - May 10, 2005
  • Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition - Ozone Update - March 24, 2004
  • Windows Mobile 2003 - Ozone - June 23, 2003
  • Pocket PC 2002 - Merlin - October 4, 2001
  • Pocket PC 2000 (Palm-size PC v2) - Rapier - April 19, 2000
  • Palm PC v1.0/1.2 - Gryphon/Wyvern - January 8, 1998 (Palm PC renamed to Palm-size PC 3 months later)

The operating system was finally named Windows Mobile 5.0. Recall that the question of the final name was open until the announcement - it was assumed that the operating system would be called Windows Mobile 2005. Why was such a name chosen in the end? This is the fifth version (see the list above), chronologically the release fell on 2005, the fractional part allows Microsoft to release updated versions of the operating system without adding the cumbersome suffixes "Second Edition", "Third Edition" (5.1, 5.2 and so on, simply and clearly ). So the final name is quite logical.

The system resource requirements are as follows - 32 MB Flash ROM, 32 MB RAM. The most typical devices will be 64 MB RAM and 64 MB RAM. The operating system has old requirements for processor performance, that is, it will work acceptable even at a frequency of 200 MHz (due to the new core, the speed of working with the interface has grown a little).

The optional system is based on the Windows Compact Edition (WinCE) version 5.1 kernel. Its main differences are the appearance of Direct3D Mobile support (initially optimized for Wireless MMX), Windows Error Reporting, the ability to work as a USB drive without drivers, improved Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, and many other changes. But these are core changes, the shell has undergone much more changes.

General changes

At the first start, the device asks you to set a password (a simple four-digit or strong one, you can additionally enter a hint for the code). The step is correct, many simply used the default settings, which meant the absence of any protection. Changed system sounds, they are more pleasant. The old ones, to be honest, are already fed up. System reminders now pop up from below instead of above as bubbles as they used to.

At first glance, the interface has not changed. The design of the cross in the upper right corner has changed. As before, it only minimizes the running program, but does not close it. The ideology of the operating system assumes that the OS itself decides which programs the user currently needs and which can be closed as unnecessary (the concept of Smart Minimizing). The start screen looks the same, two standard themes are available. At the top left is the "Start" button, to the right, in the upper strip of indicators, everything is unchanged - the connection indicator (GPRS, Wi-Fi, Active Sync), the cellular network signal indicator, volume, time.

Major interface changes are aimed at ensuring that all the features of the OS can be used with one hand, without using the touch screen. Soft keys appeared at the bottom of the screen (two labels at the bottom of the screen). They can be bound to any hardware keys you wish. In this regard, the design of all built-in applications has changed, all options have been moved to soft keys. On the start screen, the lower icons are placed one line above, these are the Bluetooth manager, Wi-Fi, and other icons. For comparison with Magneto (on the right), we provide screenshots from WM 2003 SE (on the left) - here and in some places further.

The second point, aimed at making it easy to control the device without taking out the stylus, is improved navigation with a joystick, previously its functions were limited. Let's take an example: changing the GPRS settings. Using a separate key, we call the Start menu.Double-click "up" and "enter", we get into the settings. Four times “up” (we get to the settings tabs), two times “to the right” (we get to the “connections” tab), two times “up” and “enter”. Change the settings, click "OK". Previously, this could only be done using a stylus, now it can be done exclusively with hardware keys. The same applies to other actions - various slider adjustments (screen brightness, for example), ticking checkboxes, moving from field to field, between values ​​in the list.

Working with the QWERTY keyboard has also changed - almost all actions can be performed from the keyboard (previously, the help of the stylus was practically necessary).

The effect of the changes is obvious: with the advent of QVGA screens in smartphones, there is no need for a separate version of Windows Mobile for smartphones. It makes no sense to support two versions of the operating system - Windows Mobile for Smartphone and Windows Mobile for Pocket PC - when one combines the capabilities of the two. Previously, separation was justified by two factors. Firstly, this is a limitation on screen resolution. Secondly, the inability of older versions of Pocket PC and Windows Mobile to control using a joystick and a numeric keypad. However, the two branches still exist side by side, the version for smartphones will still live for some time (despite the fact that WM for PPC can be controlled without using a touch screen, not all of the many functions are available without a touch screen, in terms of ergonomics, two operating systems are still different). Microsoft clearly intends to merge the two branches into one, but more on that in the conclusion of the review.

Outlook Mobile

One of the main tasks of pocket computers is the organization of contacts, work schedules, to-do lists, notes. You can add email to this. Naturally, all this should be synchronized without problems. All this is done by the Pocket Outlook package. Some of the applications included in the kit have been improved, some have remained without significant changes.

Contacts. The main change: now you can attach a photo to a contact without any standard programs. This feature appeared in the desktop version of MS Outlook 2003, it was logical that it migrated to the mobile version. Contact capabilities are at the level of the desktop counterpart. In the previous version of Windows Mobile, there were 29 fields to fill out, plus a text note. In WM 5.0, in addition to a photo, you can assign a ringtone to an individual contact. There are 37 fields to fill in (additional fields - IM, Company Tel, IM2, IM3, Manager, Govt. ID, Account, Customer ID) text note (text only, freehand drawing or saving a voice note is no longer possible).You cannot change the name of the fields, as in the desktop version. It is difficult to call this a disadvantage - 37 fields are more than enough, and if something does not fit, you can write it down in a text note. There are fields for two home and two work numbers, but only one mobile number, the number of fields cannot be changed, as in the desktop version. You can't assign a ringtone to a group, you'll have to do it with a third-party program like Photo Contacts Pro. There are no problems when synchronizing with a PC, including with the Russian language.

Календарь. При помощи этой программы можно составлять расписание текущих дел, ее возможности не претерпели изменений. Доступны четыре режима просмотра – день, неделя, месяц, год. Синхронизация с настольным компьютером и сервером не вызывает никаких проблем. Как и прежде, по функциям он не дотягивает до аналога в настольном MS Outlook, мобильная версия сильно упрощена.

Tasks. This program is used to schedule tasks. It is as simple as possible, greatly curtailed compared to its analogue on a PC. You can only set the due date, priority and progress indicator of the task, set a reminder and define a category. You cannot set, for example, the percentage of task completion. Synchronization occurs without any complaints.

Notes. In this program, you can take notes by hand, use the voice recorder Land or use the virtual keyboard. Handwritten text can be recognized (only Latin characters). Notes are also synced with desktop Outlook. Notes can be taken during a call, then they are attached to the corresponding call in the call log.

Messages. Here, unfortunately, there are no major changes: as before, HTML is not displayed in the body of the letter - only text, the design has changed slightly (filling the letter header). The problem with incorrect display of the Cyrillic alphabet in the header when viewing a letter has been fixed, now the problem with displaying letters in local encodings is completely absent. You can set the automatic detection of the encoding, if desired, you can select the encoding manually. Deleted emails are not re-downloaded, but emails are not deleted from the server. We can recommend Web IS Mail 2 as an alternative mail client, all problems with Cyrillic have been solved by now (it is the best mail client for Pocket PC today).

Text messages are in the same program. Everything is standard here. In the settings, you can set the default delivery notification request, previously you had to do this for each message separately, which was not convenient.

Among the worthy alternatives to Outlook Mobile (contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, but not mail), we can name the most famous and functional Pocket Informant and Agenda Fusion packages.

Office Mobile

The version of MS Office for PDAs has been renamed from Pocket Office to Office Mobile, and the programs included in the package have been renamed in the same way. In addition to the new name, the package has undergone significant changes: from global changes in Word Mobile and Excel Mobile, to the appearance of a completely new PowerPoint Mobile program. Note the refusal to use the pocket format of documents, only the desktop format is used. You can forget about the *.PSW (Pocket Word Document) and *.PXL (Pocket Excel Workbook) file formats that have not taken root. But first things first.

Excel Mobile. The main innovation is support for graphs (six types of graphs are available). The rest has not changed much. Zoom is available, full screen output, areas can be fixed. You can choose for yourself which interface elements to remove. For example, hide the right scrollbar, remove the status bar, and so on. Thus, a large display surface is given to display the worksheet. Let's now create an Excel document with complex formatting (we will have a chart on the second sheet), and try to edit it in Windows Mobile 2005 and in the previous version of the operating system (Pocket Excel).

As you can see, the link to the overview in the second cell is gone, the inserted picture with the logo is gone, the merged cells are disbanded, the slanted text has moved back to the horizontal plane, and most importantly, the diagram from the second sheet has disappeared. The rest of the formatting is preserved, there were no problems with displaying fonts.

Everything is the same, the diagram remains, only slightly changed appearance. In general, there are many formatting losses, but they are not critical. The main complaint was the lack of support for graphs and charts, now this has been fixed (in a limited version, a three-dimensional graph still cannot be built). When saving, the system honestly warns that unsupported formatting may be lost.

Word Mobile. The built-in text editor has undergone major changes. First, as in the case of Excel Mobile, the developers abandoned the internal file format (Pocket Word Document). The possibilities for creating documents are similar to its predecessor - this is a simple formatting of text, a paragraph, lists, but you cannot insert a table or a picture, not to mention a more complex design. But as soon as it comes to editing ready-made documents, then the differences are fundamental.

As you can see, almost all formatting is lost (footers, tables, fonts, notes, and everything else). The Russian text is displayed as "crazybrami". Let's see what's changed in Magneto.

Almost all formatting is preserved, including even notes, tables, and figures. The appearance of the document has not changed. Two things that are missing are revision records and AutoShapes (including drawings inserted as AutoShapes). What we have as a result is very good, the changes are radical, but there is still work to be done. We hoped that the problems with autoshapes would be solved by the time of the final release, but this did not happen.

PowerPoint Mobile. New program included in the package. It is intended only for viewing presentations, you cannot edit them. Works almost flawlessly, displaying pictures, main graphics. Large files load fairly quickly.

Calculator. Everything is standard, without innovations and changes. An ordinary calculator, nothing more.

Internet

Internet Explorer. Visible changes are as follows - a secure connection icon to the left of the address bar, an additional line at the bottom of the screen (it displays the progress of the page loading). Now you can resume downloading files if the connection was interrupted.

The page processing engine has not changed, but a full-screen mode has appeared, the ability to save pictures is also an innovation. Almost any page can be stretched into one column, without horizontal scrolling (“one column” mode, there are three modes in total). The disadvantage is the only serious one - the inability to open several windows at the same time. Alternatives include MultiIE, which can open multiple windows. Rather, it is an add-on for the built-in Pocket Internet Explorer, expanding its capabilities. there is a built-in MSN Messenger as part of the MSN package.

New application - Download Agent. Logical and convenient - this tool automates the download of software updates directly to the device. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to test it in action yet.

Multimedia

Windows Media version 10.1 was also available for Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, but only for a small number of devices. Now it is becoming the standard. Its main purpose is to serve as an addition to the desktop version of the "dozens", to synchronize with it via Active Sync. The only visible difference is that the user himself can assign a rating to compositions on a five-point scale (the rating is displayed in the form of stars - from one to five).

Disadvantages - the lack of equalizer settings, the inability to assign actions to the buttons in the standby mode (in previous versions this was possible). To play videos, we recommend using the free Beta Player program (recently renamed to TCPMP), it has no equal among competitors.

Picture & Video (previously just called Pictures). A simple program for viewing photos and videos taken with a built-in or external digital camera. There are a huge number of alternative photo viewers on the market that are superior to the built-in one. Although, if there are no special requirements for the viewer, then this one will do.

File Explorer. A simple file browser. Easy to manage, designed for only the most basic file operations.

Phone

The telephone part of the operating system. There are no fundamental changes, the design of the application has changed. The main points remain the same. You use the on-screen numeric keypad to dial a number. During the conversation, you can make a note, there you can record the conversation on a voice recorder. After the call, the duration of the call is displayed. In idle mode, the last incoming or outgoing call is displayed (Number, name and photo, if any).

Speed ​​Dial. A quick call to a subscriber, the list must be formed independently. Holding down the virtual key for a few seconds dials one of the nine numbers.

Call History. The main complaint about the list of calls was that the records were not grouped by subscribers. That is, if you tried to call a certain number for 20 times, then this created 20 entries in the list, and then it was not very convenient to navigate through them. Unfortunately, nothing has changed in Windows Mobile 5.0, but this is not a very serious minus - the list of calls is already as functional as possible. The number of entries is not limited, the call history can be exported to desktop MS Outlook.

In the settings of the phone part, we only note that files with the extension wav, wma, mid, mp3 can be set as a ringtone (they must be written to the Windows / Rings folder). The following ring options are available: just ring, increasing ring, one ring, just vibra, vibra and ring, vibra then ring. As an alternative for managing personal ringtones and photo contacts, we can recommend the already mentioned Photo Contacts Pro program.

Settings, built-in drivers

Bluetooth. The implementation of this wireless standard (embedded drivers) is again in its infancy. Some attempts to improve the built-in stack have been made, but this is still very far from what we can see in Broadcom drivers (they are used in all models of the middle and upper price range). There are icons for various types of devices, built-in support for HID devices (you can connect a Bluetooth keyboard, for example).

There is a built-in utility responsible for the camera (photos, videos). It is part of the Picture & Video program.

Similarly, we note the built-in driver for controlling the GPS (satellite receiver). With it, several programs can access data from satellites at once.

One of the most fundamental and important changes is the approach to memory usage. Now RAM is allocated only for RAM, it is impossible to install programs into it, as before. Now you can not be afraid of losing data when the battery is dead, all data will be saved in the permanent flash memory of the device. More RAM is now allocated directly to RAM. You can read a lot about the organization of memory in the official explanation of the developers here.

The last thing we note is the Error Reporting utility. It collects and sends information about errors to Microsoft, on desktop Windows such a system has existed for a long time. The utility can be disabled.

ActiveSync 4.0

A new version of the program for synchronizing PDA data with a PC. Judging by the synthetic tests, if the synchronization speed has increased, then only slightly - by 10-15%. It feels like the speed of access to data has greatly increased. If synchronization is interrupted, now when you reconnect, synchronization will start from the point where it was interrupted, this is quite convenient. The maximum number of computers that the device can sync with is two. Settings can be changed directly from the Pocket PC.

Synchronization settings have been expanded. You can select groups of contacts to synchronize, you can exclude individual contacts from synchronization. Similarly, you can select groups for the calendar and to-do list. You can select folders and subfolders for mail synchronization. A small observation - the interface of the program changes when a device based on Windows Mobile 2005 is connected (it remains the same for earlier OS versions).

Let's note one more point: at the request of developers (that is, this function will not be available for all models), the PDA can switch to mass storage mode, that is, you can work with a memory card as if it were a removable disk without using drivers (previously this function was available only PDA from Palm).

In the end

Windows CE-based operating systems have already surpassed any other operating system in PDA market share. The operating system Windows Mobile 5.0 will help Microsoft to gain a foothold in the OS market for smartphones/communicators. In the near future, this is one common operating system that will replace Windows Mobile for Pocket PC and Windows Mobile for Smartphone. The version of Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphone will remain, but the need for it is gradually disappearing, it will leave the market within a year. The mere fact that Magneto runs and runs programs designed for Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone already says something. If you look at Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphone (its review is available here), there are very few innovations in it, there are practically none.

Key innovations in Windows Mobile 5.0:

  • The ability to operate the device with one hand, without using the touch screen.
  • Greatly improved support for QWERTY keyboards
  • Programs from Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone work. The brightest devices demonstrating this approach will be Asus p515, HTC Blizzard
  • A fundamentally new memory organization, data safety does not depend on the state of the battery
  • To a contact in m's notebook

Overview of Windows Mobile 5.0 (Magneto)

It so happened that the opportunity to get acquainted with the new version of the Windows Mobile operating system appeared before the official announcement, long before the appearance of the first devices based on the new OS. A version of this OS appeared on the Internet for the HTC Himalayas device (Qtek 2020, I-mate Pocket-PC and others, we tested on Qtek 2020). Today we publish an update of the review. We must make a reservation that neither in the forum nor by e-mail we will answer questions about where to download the firmware with the new operating system and how to install it.

As we promised, as soon as the final device based on the new optional system gets into our hands, we will update the review. Now is a good time for this - more than four months have passed since the announcement of the operating system, and devices based on WM 5.0 have just begun to appear on sale.

Originally it was assumed that the announcement of the new OS will take place in February this year. But then the announcement was postponed to May. The first device based on the new OS appeared in September (almost 4 months after the announcement of the OS). The design name of the new Windows Mobile is Magneto. Let's remember together what project names were the previous versions of mobile Windows, as well as the dates of the announcements.

  • Windows Mobile 5.0 - Magneto - May 10, 2005
  • Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition - Ozone Update - March 24, 2004
  • Windows Mobile 2003 - Ozone - June 23, 2003
  • Pocket PC 2002 - Merlin - October 4, 2001
  • Pocket PC 2000 (Palm-size PC v2) - Rapier - April 19, 2000
  • Palm PC v1.0/1.2 - Gryphon/Wyvern - January 8, 1998 (Palm PC renamed to Palm-size PC 3 months later)

The operating system was finally named Windows Mobile 5.0. Recall that the question of the final name was open until the announcement - it was assumed that the operating system would be called Windows Mobile 2005. Why was such a name chosen in the end? This is the fifth version (see the list above), chronologically the release fell on 2005, the fractional part allows Microsoft to release updated versions of the operating system without adding the cumbersome suffixes "Second Edition", "Third Edition" (5.1, 5.2 and so on, simply and clearly ). So the final name is quite logical.

The system resource requirements are as follows - 32 MB Flash ROM, 32 MB RAM. The most typical devices will be 64 MB RAM and 64 MB RAM. The operating system has old requirements for processor performance, that is, it will work acceptable even at a frequency of 200 MHz (due to the new core, the speed of working with the interface has grown a little).

The optional system is based on the Windows Compact Edition (WinCE) version 5.1 kernel. Its main differences are the appearance of Direct3D Mobile support (initially optimized for Wireless MMX), Windows Error Reporting, the ability to work as a USB drive without drivers, improved Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, and many other changes. But these are core changes, the shell has undergone much more changes.

General changes

At the first start, the device asks you to set a password (a simple four-digit or strong one, you can additionally enter a hint for the code). The step is correct, many simply used the default settings, which meant the absence of any protection. Changed system sounds, they are more pleasant. The old ones, to be honest, are already fed up. System reminders now pop up from below instead of above as bubbles as they used to.

At first glance, the interface has not changed. The design of the cross in the upper right corner has changed. As before, it only minimizes the running program, but does not close it. The ideology of the operating system assumes that the OS itself decides which programs the user currently needs and which can be closed as unnecessary (the concept of Smart Minimizing). The start screen looks the same, two standard themes are available. At the top left is the "Start" button, to the right, in the upper strip of indicators, everything is unchanged - the connection indicator (GPRS, Wi-Fi, Active Sync), the cellular network signal indicator, volume, time.

Major interface changes are aimed at ensuring that all the features of the OS can be used with one hand, without using the touch screen. Soft keys appeared at the bottom of the screen (two labels at the bottom of the screen). They can be bound to any hardware keys you wish. In this regard, the design of all built-in applications has changed, all options have been moved to soft keys. On the start screen, the lower icons are placed one line above, these are the Bluetooth manager, Wi-Fi, and other icons. For comparison with Magneto (on the right), we provide screenshots from WM 2003 SE (on the left) - here and in some places further.

The second point, aimed at making it easy to control the device without taking out the stylus, is improved navigation with a joystick, previously its functions were limited. Let's take an example: changing the GPRS settings. Using a separate key, we call the Start menu. Double-click "up" and "enter", we get into the settings. Four times “up” (we get to the settings tabs), two times “to the right” (we get to the “connections” tab), two times “up” and “enter”. Change the settings, click "OK". Previously, this could only be done using a stylus, now it can be done exclusively with hardware keys. The same applies to other actions - various slider adjustments (screen brightness, for example), ticking checkboxes, moving from field to field, between values ​​in the list.

Working with the QWERTY keyboard has also changed - almost all actions can be performed from the keyboard (previously, the help of the stylus was practically necessary).

The effect of the changes is obvious: with the advent of QVGA screens in smartphones, there is no need for a separate version of Windows Mobile for smartphones. It makes no sense to support two versions of the operating system - Windows Mobile for Smartphone and Windows Mobile for Pocket PC - when one combines the capabilities of the two. Previously, separation was justified by two factors. Firstly, this is a limitation on screen resolution. Secondly, the inability of older versions of Pocket PC and Windows Mobile to control using a joystick and a numeric keypad. However, the two branches still exist side by side, the version for smartphones will still live for some time (despite the fact that WM for PPC can be controlled without using a touch screen, not all of the many functions are available without a touch screen, in terms of ergonomics, two operating systems are still different). Microsoft clearly intends to merge the two branches into one, but more on that in the conclusion of the review.

Outlook Mobile

One of the main tasks of pocket computers is the organization of contacts, work schedules, to-do lists, notes. You can add email to this. Naturally, all this should be synchronized without problems. All this is done by the Pocket Outlook package. Some of the applications included in the kit have been improved, some have remained without significant changes.

Contacts. The main change: now you can attach a photo to a contact without any standard programs. This feature appeared in the desktop version of MS Outlook 2003, it was logical that it migrated to the mobile version. Contact capabilities are at the level of the desktop counterpart. In the previous version of Windows Mobile, there were 29 fields to fill out, plus a text note. In WM 5.0, in addition to a photo, you can assign a ringtone to an individual contact. There are 37 fields to fill in (additional fields - IM, Company Tel, IM2, IM3, Manager, Govt. ID, Account, Customer ID) text note (text only, freehand drawing or saving a voice note is no longer possible).You cannot change the name of the fields, as in the desktop version. It is difficult to call this a disadvantage - 37 fields are more than enough, and if something does not fit, you can write it down in a text note. There are fields for two home and two work numbers, but only one mobile number, the number of fields cannot be changed, as in the desktop version. You can't assign a ringtone to a group, you'll have to do it with a third-party program like Photo Contacts Pro. There are no problems when synchronizing with a PC, including with the Russian language.

Календарь. При помощи этой программы можно составлять расписание текущих дел, ее возможности не претерпели изменений. Доступны четыре режима просмотра – день, неделя, месяц, год. Синхронизация с настольным компьютером и сервером не вызывает никаких проблем. Как и прежде, по функциям он не дотягивает до аналога в настольном MS Outlook, мобильная версия сильно упрощена.

Tasks. This program is used to schedule tasks. It is as simple as possible, greatly curtailed compared to its analogue on a PC. You can only set the due date, priority and progress indicator of the task, set a reminder and define a category. You cannot set, for example, the percentage of task completion. Synchronization occurs without any complaints.

Notes. In this program, you can take notes by hand, use the voice recorder Land or use the virtual keyboard. Handwritten text can be recognized (only Latin characters). Notes are also synced with desktop Outlook. Notes can be taken during a call, then they are attached to the corresponding call in the call log.

Messages. Here, unfortunately, there are no major changes: as before, HTML is not displayed in the body of the letter - only text, the design has changed slightly (filling the letter header). The problem with incorrect display of the Cyrillic alphabet in the header when viewing a letter has been fixed, now the problem with displaying letters in local encodings is completely absent. You can set the automatic detection of the encoding, if desired, you can select the encoding manually. Deleted emails are not re-downloaded, but emails are not deleted from the server. We can recommend Web IS Mail 2 as an alternative mail client, all problems with Cyrillic have been solved by now (it is the best mail client for Pocket PC today).

Text messages are in the same program. Everything is standard here. In the settings, you can set the default delivery notification request, previously you had to do this for each message separately, which was not convenient.

Among the worthy alternatives to Outlook Mobile (contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, but not mail), we can name the most famous and functional Pocket Informant and Agenda Fusion packages.

Office Mobile

The version of MS Office for PDAs has been renamed from Pocket Office to Office Mobile, and the programs included in the package have been renamed in the same way. In addition to the new name, the package has undergone significant changes: from global changes in Word Mobile and Excel Mobile, to the appearance of a completely new PowerPoint Mobile program. Note the refusal to use the pocket format of documents, only the desktop format is used. You can forget about the *.PSW (Pocket Word Document) and *.PXL (Pocket Excel Workbook) file formats that have not taken root. But first things first.

Excel Mobile. The main innovation is support for graphs (six types of graphs are available). The rest has not changed much. Zoom is available, full screen output, areas can be fixed. You can choose for yourself which interface elements to remove. For example, hide the right scrollbar, remove the status bar, and so on. Thus, a large display surface is given to display the worksheet. Let's now create an Excel document with complex formatting (we will have a chart on the second sheet), and try to edit it in Windows Mobile 2005 and in the previous version of the operating system (Pocket Excel).

As you can see, the link to the overview in the second cell is gone, the inserted picture with the logo is gone, the merged cells are disbanded, the slanted text has moved back to the horizontal plane, and most importantly, the diagram from the second sheet has disappeared. The rest of the formatting is preserved, there were no problems with displaying fonts.

Everything is the same, the diagram remains, only slightly changed appearance. In general, there are many formatting losses, but they are not critical. The main complaint was the lack of support for graphs and charts, now this has been fixed (in a limited version, a three-dimensional graph still cannot be built). When saving, the system honestly warns that unsupported formatting may be lost.

Word Mobile. The built-in text editor has undergone major changes. First, as in the case of Excel Mobile, the developers abandoned the internal file format (Pocket Word Document). The possibilities for creating documents are similar to its predecessor - this is a simple formatting of text, a paragraph, lists, but you cannot insert a table or a picture, not to mention a more complex design. But as soon as it comes to editing ready-made documents, then the differences are fundamental.

As you can see, almost all formatting is lost (footers, tables, fonts, notes, and everything else). The Russian text is displayed as "crazybrami". Let's see what has changed in Magneto.

Almost all formatting is preserved, including even notes, tables, and figures. The appearance of the document has not changed. Two things that are missing are revision records and AutoShapes (including drawings inserted as AutoShapes). What we have as a result is very good, the changes are radical, but there is still work to be done. We hoped that the problems with autoshapes would be solved by the time of the final release, but this did not happen.

PowerPoint Mobile. New program included in the package. It is intended only for viewing presentations, you cannot edit them. Works almost flawlessly, displaying pictures, main graphics. Large files load fairly quickly.

Calculator. Everything is standard, without innovations and changes. An ordinary calculator, nothing more.

Internet

Internet Explorer. Visible changes are as follows - a secure connection icon to the left of the address bar, an additional line at the bottom of the screen (it displays the progress of the page loading). Now you can resume downloading files if the connection was interrupted.

The page processing engine has not changed, but a full-screen mode has appeared, the ability to save pictures is also an innovation. Almost any page can be stretched into one column, without horizontal scrolling (“one column” mode, there are three modes in total). The disadvantage is the only serious one - the inability to open several windows at the same time. Alternatives include MultiIE, which can open multiple windows. Rather, it is an add-on for the built-in Pocket Internet Explorer, expanding its capabilities. there is a built-in MSN Messenger as part of the MSN package.

New application - Download Agent. Logical and convenient - this tool automates the download of software updates directly to the device. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to test it in action yet.

Multimedia

Windows Media version 10.1 was also available for Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, but only for a small number of devices. Now it is becoming the standard. Its main purpose is to serve as an addition to the desktop version of the "dozens", to synchronize with it via Active Sync. The only visible difference is that the user himself can assign a rating to compositions on a five-point scale (the rating is displayed in the form of stars - from one to five).

Disadvantages - the lack of equalizer settings, the inability to assign actions to the buttons in the standby mode (in previous versions this was possible). To play videos, we recommend using the free Beta Player program (recently renamed to TCPMP), it has no equal among competitors.

Picture & Video (previously just called Pictures). A simple program for viewing photos and videos taken with a built-in or external digital camera. There are a huge number of alternative photo viewers on the market that are superior to the built-in one. Although, if there are no special requirements for the viewer, then this one will do.

File Explorer. A simple file browser. Easy to manage, designed for only the most basic file operations.

Phone

The telephone part of the operating system. There are no fundamental changes, the design of the application has changed. The main points remain the same. You use the on-screen numeric keypad to dial a number. During the conversation, you can make a note, there you can record the conversation on a voice recorder. After the call, the duration of the call is displayed. In idle mode, the last incoming or outgoing call is displayed (Number, name and photo, if any).

Speed ​​Dial. A quick call to a subscriber, the list must be formed independently. Holding down the virtual key for a few seconds dials one of the nine numbers.

Call History. The main gripe with the list of calls was that the records were not grouped by subscribers. That is, if you tried to call a certain number for 20 times, then this created 20 entries in the list, and then it was not very convenient to navigate through them. Unfortunately, nothing has changed in Windows Mobile 5.0, but this is not a very serious minus - the call list is already as functional as possible. The number of entries is not limited, the call history can be exported to desktop MS Outlook.

In the settings of the phone part, we only note that files with the extension wav, wma, mid, mp3 can be set as a ringtone (they must be written to the Windows / Rings folder). The following ring options are available: just ring, increasing ring, one ring, just vibra, vibra and ring, vibra then ring. As an alternative for managing personal ringtones and photo contacts, we can recommend the already mentioned Photo Contacts Pro program.

Settings, built-in drivers

Bluetooth. The implementation of this wireless standard (embedded drivers) is again in its infancy. Some attempts to improve the built-in stack have been made, but this is still very far from what we can see in Broadcom drivers (they are used in all models of the middle and upper price range). There are icons for various types of devices, built-in support for HID devices (you can connect a Bluetooth keyboard, for example).

There is a built-in utility responsible for the camera (photos, videos). It is part of the Picture & Video program.

Similarly, we note the built-in driver for controlling the GPS (satellite receiver). With it, several programs can access data from satellites at once.

One of the most fundamental and important changes is the approach to memory usage. Now RAM is allocated only for RAM, it is impossible to install programs into it, as before. Now you can not be afraid of losing data when the battery is dead, all data will be saved in the permanent flash memory of the device. More RAM is now allocated directly to RAM. You can read a lot about the organization of memory in the official explanation of the developers here.

The last thing we note is the Error Reporting utility. It collects and sends information about errors to Microsoft, on desktop Windows such a system has existed for a long time. The utility can be disabled.

ActiveSync 4.0

A new version of the program for synchronizing PDA data with a PC. Judging by the synthetic tests, if the synchronization speed has increased, then only slightly - by 10-15%. It feels like the speed of access to data has greatly increased. If synchronization is interrupted, now when you reconnect, synchronization will start from the point where it was interrupted, this is quite convenient. The maximum number of computers that the device can sync with is two. Settings can be changed directly from the Pocket PC.

Synchronization settings have been expanded. You can select groups of contacts to synchronize, you can exclude individual contacts from synchronization. Similarly, you can select groups for the calendar and to-do list. You can select folders and subfolders for mail synchronization. A small observation - the interface of the program changes when a device based on Windows Mobile 2005 is connected (it remains the same for earlier OS versions).

Let's note one more point: at the request of developers (that is, this function will not be available for all models), the PDA can switch to mass storage mode, that is, you can work with a memory card as if it were a removable disk without using drivers (previously this function was available only PDA from Palm).

In the end

Windows CE-based operating systems have already surpassed any other operating system in PDA market share. The operating system Windows Mobile 5.0 will help Microsoft to gain a foothold in the OS market for smartphones/communicators. In the near future, this is one common operating system that will replace Windows Mobile for Pocket PC and Windows Mobile for Smartphone. The version of Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphone will remain, but the need for it is gradually disappearing, it will leave the market within a year. The mere fact that Magneto runs and runs programs designed for Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone already says something. If you look at Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphone (its review is available here), there are very few innovations in it, there are practically none.

Key innovations in Windows Mobile 5.0:

  • The ability to operate the device with one hand, without using the touch screen.
  • Greatly improved support for QWERTY keyboards
  • Programs from Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone work. The brightest devices demonstrating this approach will be Asus p515, HTC Blizzard
  • A fundamentally new memory organization, data safety does not depend on the state of the battery
  • To a contact in m's notebook

Overview of Windows Mobile 5.0 (Magneto)

It so happened that the opportunity to get acquainted with the new version of the Windows Mobile operating system appeared before the official announcement, long before the appearance of the first devices based on the new OS. A version of this OS appeared on the Internet for the HTC Himalayas device (Qtek 2020, I-mate Pocket-PC and others, we tested on Qtek 2020). Today we publish an update of the review. We must make a reservation that neither in the forum nor by e-mail we will answer questions about where to download the firmware with the new operating system and how to install it.

As we promised, as soon as the final device based on the new optional system gets into our hands, we will update the review. Now is a good time for this - more than four months have passed since the announcement of the operating system, and devices based on WM 5.0 have just begun to appear on sale.

Originally it was assumed that the announcement of the new OS will take place in February this year. But then the announcement was postponed to May. The first device based on the new OS appeared in September (almost 4 months after the announcement of the OS). The design name of the new Windows Mobile is Magneto. Let's remember together what project names were the previous versions of mobile Windows, as well as the dates of the announcements.

  • Windows Mobile 5.0 - Magneto - May 10, 2005
  • Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition - Ozone Update - March 24, 2004
  • Windows Mobile 2003 - Ozone - June 23, 2003
  • Pocket PC 2002 - Merlin - October 4, 2001
  • Pocket PC 2000 (Palm-size PC v2) - Rapier - April 19, 2000
  • Palm PC v1.0/1.2 - Gryphon/Wyvern - January 8, 1998 (Palm PC renamed to Palm-size PC 3 months later)

The operating system was finally named Windows Mobile 5.0. Recall that the question of the final name was open until the announcement - it was assumed that the operating system would be called Windows Mobile 2005. Why was such a name chosen in the end? This is the fifth version (see the list above), chronologically the release fell on 2005, the fractional part allows Microsoft to release updated versions of the operating system without adding the cumbersome suffixes "Second Edition", "Third Edition" (5.1, 5.2 and so on, simply and clearly ). So the final name is quite logical.

The system resource requirements are as follows - 32 MB Flash ROM, 32 MB RAM. The most typical devices will be 64 MB RAM and 64 MB RAM. The operating system has old requirements for processor performance, that is, it will work acceptable even at a frequency of 200 MHz (due to the new core, the speed of working with the interface has grown a little).

The optional system is based on the Windows Compact Edition (WinCE) version 5.1 kernel. Its main differences are the appearance of Direct3D Mobile support (initially optimized for Wireless MMX), Windows Error Reporting, the ability to work as a USB drive without drivers, improved Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, and many other changes. But these are core changes, the shell has undergone much more changes.

General changes

At the first start, the device asks you to set a password (a simple four-digit or strong one, you can additionally enter a hint for the code). The step is correct, many simply used the default settings, which meant the absence of any protection. Changed system sounds, they are more pleasant. The old ones, to be honest, are already fed up. System reminders now pop up from below instead of above as bubbles as they used to.

At first glance, the interface has not changed. The design of the cross in the upper right corner has changed. As before, it only minimizes the running program, but does not close it. The ideology of the operating system assumes that the OS itself decides which programs the user currently needs and which can be closed as unnecessary (the concept of Smart Minimizing). The start screen looks the same, two standard themes are available. At the top left is the "Start" button, to the right, in the upper strip of indicators, everything is unchanged - the connection indicator (GPRS, Wi-Fi, Active Sync), the cellular network signal indicator, volume, time.

Major interface changes are aimed at ensuring that all the features of the OS can be used with one hand, without using the touch screen. Soft keys appeared at the bottom of the screen (two labels at the bottom of the screen). They can be bound to any hardware keys you wish. In this regard, the design of all built-in applications has changed, all options have been moved to soft keys. On the start screen, the lower icons are placed one line above, these are the Bluetooth manager, Wi-Fi, and other icons. For comparison with Magneto (on the right), we provide screenshots from WM 2003 SE (on the left) - here and in some places further.

The second point, aimed at making it easy to control the device without taking out the stylus, is improved navigation with a joystick, previously its functions were limited. Let's take an example: changing the GPRS settings. Using a separate key, we call the Start menu. Double-click "up" and "enter", we get into the settings. Four times “up” (we get to the settings tabs), two times “to the right” (we get to the “connections” tab), two times “up” and “enter”. Change the settings, click "OK". Previously, this could only be done using a stylus, now it can be done exclusively with hardware keys. The same applies to other actions - various slider adjustments (screen brightness, for example), ticking checkboxes, moving from field to field, between values ​​in the list.

Working with the QWERTY keyboard has also changed - almost all actions can be performed from the keyboard (previously, the help of the stylus was practically necessary).

The effect of the changes is obvious: with the advent of QVGA screens in smartphones, there is no need for a separate version of Windows Mobile for smartphones. It makes no sense to support two versions of the operating system - Windows Mobile for Smartphone and Windows Mobile for Pocket PC - when one combines the capabilities of the two. Previously, separation was justified by two factors. Firstly, this is a limitation on screen resolution. Secondly, the inability of older versions of Pocket PC and Windows Mobile to control using a joystick and a numeric keypad. However, the two branches still exist side by side, the version for smartphones will still live for some time (despite the fact that WM for PPC can be controlled without using a touch screen, not all of the many functions are available without a touch screen, in terms of ergonomics, two operating systems are still different). Microsoft clearly intends to merge the two branches into one, but more on that in the conclusion of the review.

Календарь. При помощи этой программы можно составлять расписание текущих дел, ее возможности не претерпели изменений. Доступны четыре режима просмотра – день, неделя, месяц, год. Синхронизация с настольным компьютером и сервером не вызывает никаких проблем. Как и прежде, по функциям он не дотягивает до аналога в настольном MS Outlook, мобильная версия сильно упрощена.

Tasks. This program is used to schedule tasks. It is as simple as possible, greatly curtailed compared to its analogue on a PC. You can only set the due date, priority and progress indicator of the task, set a reminder and define a category. You cannot set, for example, the percentage of task completion. Synchronization occurs without any complaints.

Notes. In this program, you can take notes by hand, use the voice recorder Land or use the virtual keyboard. Handwritten text can be recognized (only Latin characters). Notes are also synced with desktop Outlook. Notes can be taken during a call, then they are attached to the corresponding call in the call log.

Messages. Here, unfortunately, there are no major changes: as before, HTML is not displayed in the body of the letter - only text, the design has changed slightly (filling the letter header). The problem with incorrect display of the Cyrillic alphabet in the header when viewing a letter has been fixed, now the problem with displaying letters in local encodings is completely absent. You can set the automatic detection of the encoding, if desired, you can select the encoding manually. Deleted emails are not re-downloaded, but emails are not deleted from the server. We can recommend Web IS Mail 2 as an alternative mail client, all problems with Cyrillic have been solved by now (it is the best mail client for Pocket PC today).

Text messages are in the same program. Everything is standard here. In the settings, you can set the default delivery notification request, previously you had to do this for each message separately, which was not convenient.

Among the worthy alternatives to Outlook Mobile (contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, but not mail), we can name the most famous and functional Pocket Informant and Agenda Fusion packages.

Office Mobile

The version of MS Office for PDAs has been renamed from Pocket Office to Office Mobile, and the programs included in the package have been renamed in the same way. In addition to the new name, the package has undergone significant changes: from global changes in Word Mobile and Excel Mobile, to the appearance of a completely new PowerPoint Mobile program. Note the refusal to use the pocket format of documents, only the desktop format is used. You can forget about the *.PSW (Pocket Word Document) and *.PXL (Pocket Excel Workbook) file formats that have not taken root. But first things first.

Excel Mobile. The main innovation is support for graphs (six types of graphs are available). The rest has not changed much. Zoom is available, full screen output, areas can be fixed. You can choose for yourself which interface elements to remove. For example, hide the right scrollbar, remove the status bar, and so on. Thus, a large display surface is given to display the worksheet. Let's now create an Excel document with complex formatting (we will have a chart on the second sheet), and try to edit it in Windows Mobile 2005 and in the previous version of the operating system (Pocket Excel).

As you can see, the link to the overview in the second cell is gone, the inserted picture with the logo is gone, the merged cells are disbanded, the slanted text has moved back to the horizontal plane, and most importantly, the diagram from the second sheet has disappeared. The rest of the formatting is preserved, there were no problems with displaying fonts.

Everything is the same, the diagram remains, only slightly changed appearance. In general, there are many formatting losses, but they are not critical. The main complaint was the lack of support for graphs and charts, now this has been fixed (in a limited version, a three-dimensional graph still cannot be built). When saving, the system honestly warns that unsupported formatting may be lost.

Word Mobile. The built-in text editor has undergone major changes. First, as in the case of Excel Mobile, the developers abandoned the internal file format (Pocket Word Document). The possibilities for creating documents are similar to its predecessor - this is a simple formatting of text, a paragraph, lists, but you cannot insert a table or a picture, not to mention a more complex design. But as soon as it comes to editing ready-made documents, then the differences are fundamental.

As you can see, almost all formatting is lost (footers, tables, fonts, notes, and everything else). The Russian text is displayed as "crazybrami". Let's see what has changed in Magneto.

Almost all formatting is preserved, including even notes, tables, and figures. The appearance of the document has not changed. Two things that are missing are revision records and AutoShapes (including drawings inserted as AutoShapes). What we have as a result is very good, the changes are radical, but there is still work to be done. We hoped that the problems with autoshapes would be solved by the time of the final release, but this did not happen.

PowerPoint Mobile. New program included in the package. It is intended only for viewing presentations, you cannot edit them. Works almost flawlessly, displaying pictures, main graphics. Large files load fairly quickly.

Calculator. Everything is standard, without innovations and changes. An ordinary calculator, nothing more.

Internet

Internet Explorer. Visible changes are as follows - a secure connection icon to the left of the address bar, an additional line at the bottom of the screen (it displays the progress of the page loading). Now you can resume downloading files if the connection was interrupted.

The page processing engine has not changed, but a full-screen mode has appeared, the ability to save pictures is also an innovation. Almost any page can be stretched into one column, without horizontal scrolling (“one column” mode, there are three modes in total). The disadvantage is the only serious one - the inability to open several windows at the same time. Alternatives include MultiIE, which can open multiple windows. Rather, it is an add-on for the built-in Pocket Internet Explorer, expanding its capabilities. there is a built-in MSN Messenger as part of the MSN package.

New application - Download Agent. Logical and convenient - this tool automates the download of software updates directly to the device. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to test it in action yet.

Multimedia

Windows Media version 10.1 was also available for Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, but only for a small number of devices. Now it is becoming the standard. Its main purpose is to serve as an addition to the desktop version of the "dozens", to synchronize with it via Active Sync. The only visible difference is that the user himself can assign a rating to compositions on a five-point scale (the rating is displayed in the form of stars - from one to five).

Disadvantages - the lack of equalizer settings, the inability to assign actions to the buttons in the standby mode (in previous versions this was possible). To play videos, we recommend using the free Beta Player program (recently renamed to TCPMP), it has no equal among competitors.

Picture & Video (previously just called Pictures). A simple program for viewing photos and videos taken with a built-in or external digital camera. There are a huge number of alternative photo viewers on the market that are superior to the built-in one. Although, if there are no special requirements for the viewer, then this one will do.

File Explorer. A simple file browser. Easy to manage, designed for only the most basic file operations.

Phone

The telephone part of the operating system. There are no fundamental changes, the design of the application has changed. The main points remain the same. You use the on-screen numeric keypad to dial a number. During the conversation, you can make a note, there you can record the conversation on a voice recorder. After the call, the duration of the call is displayed. In idle mode, the last incoming or outgoing call is displayed (Number, name and photo, if any).

Speed ​​Dial. A quick call to a subscriber, the list must be formed independently. Holding down the virtual key for a few seconds dials one of the nine numbers.

Call History. The main complaint about the list of calls was that the records were not grouped by subscribers. That is, if you tried to call a certain number for 20 times, then this created 20 entries in the list, and then it was not very convenient to navigate through them. Unfortunately, nothing has changed in Windows Mobile 5.0, but this is not a very serious minus - the list of calls is already as functional as possible. The number of entries is not limited, the call history can be exported to desktop MS Outlook.

In the settings of the phone part, we only note that files with the extension wav, wma, mid, mp3 can be set as a ringtone (they must be written to the Windows / Rings folder). The following ring options are available: just ring, increasing ring, one ring, just vibra, vibra and ring, vibra then ring. As an alternative for managing personal ringtones and photo contacts, we can recommend the already mentioned Photo Contacts Pro program.

Settings, built-in drivers

Bluetooth. The implementation of this wireless standard (embedded drivers) is again in its infancy. Some attempts to improve the built-in stack have been made, but this is still very far from what we can see in Broadcom drivers (they are used in all models of the middle and upper price range). There are icons for various types of devices, built-in support for HID devices (you can connect a Bluetooth keyboard, for example).

There is a built-in utility responsible for the camera (photos, videos). It is part of the Picture & Video program.

Similarly, we note the built-in driver for controlling the GPS (satellite receiver). With it, several programs can access data from satellites at once.

One of the most fundamental and important changes is the approach to memory usage. Now RAM is allocated only for RAM, it is impossible to install programs into it, as before. Now you can not be afraid of losing data when the battery is dead, all data will be saved in the permanent flash memory of the device. More RAM is now allocated directly to RAM. You can read a lot about the organization of memory in the official explanation of the developers here.

The last thing we note is the Error Reporting utility. It collects and sends information about errors to Microsoft, on desktop Windows such a system has existed for a long time. The utility can be disabled.

ActiveSync 4.0

A new version of the program for synchronizing PDA data with a PC. Judging by the synthetic tests, if the synchronization speed has increased, then only slightly - by 10-15%. It feels like the speed of access to data has greatly increased. If synchronization is interrupted, now when you reconnect, synchronization will start from the point where it was interrupted, this is quite convenient. The maximum number of computers that the device can sync with is two. Settings can be changed directly from the Pocket PC.

Synchronization settings have been expanded. You can select groups of contacts to synchronize, you can exclude individual contacts from synchronization. Similarly, you can select groups for the calendar and to-do list. You can select folders and subfolders for mail synchronization. A small observation - the interface of the program changes when a device based on Windows Mobile 2005 is connected (it remains the same for earlier OS versions).

Let's note one more point: at the request of developers (that is, this function will not be available for all models), the PDA can switch to mass storage mode, that is, you can work with a memory card as if it were a removable disk without using drivers (previously this function was available only PDA from Palm).

In the end

Windows CE-based operating systems have already surpassed any other operating system in PDA market share. The operating system Windows Mobile 5.0 will help Microsoft to gain a foothold in the OS market for smartphones/communicators. In the near future, this is one common operating system that will replace Windows Mobile for Pocket PC and Windows Mobile for Smartphone. The version of Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphone will remain, but the need for it is gradually disappearing, it will leave the market within a year. The mere fact that Magneto runs and runs programs designed for Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone already says something. If you look at Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphone (its review is available here), there are very few innovations in it, there are practically none.

Key innovations in Windows Mobile 5.0:

  • The ability to operate the device with one hand, without using the touch screen.
  • Greatly improved support for QWERTY keyboards
  • Programs from Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone work. The brightest devices demonstrating this approach will be Asus p515, HTC Blizzard
  • A fundamentally new memory organization, data safety does not depend on the state of the battery
  • To a contact in m's notebook

Overview of Windows Mobile 5.0 (Magneto)

It so happened that the opportunity to get acquainted with the new version of the Windows Mobile operating system appeared before the official announcement, long before the appearance of the first devices based on the new OS. A version of this OS appeared on the Internet for the HTC Himalayas device (Qtek 2020, I-mate Pocket-PC and others, we tested on Qtek 2020). Today we publish an update of the review. We must make a reservation that neither in the forum nor by e-mail we will answer questions about where to download the firmware with the new operating system and how to install it.

As we promised, as soon as the final device based on the new optional system gets into our hands, we will update the review. Now is a good time for this - more than four months have passed since the announcement of the operating system, and devices based on WM 5.0 have just begun to appear on sale.

Originally it was assumed that the announcement of the new OS will take place in February this year. But then the announcement was postponed to May. The first device based on the new OS appeared in September (almost 4 months after the announcement of the OS). The design name of the new Windows Mobile is Magneto. Let's remember together what project names were the previous versions of mobile Windows, as well as the dates of the announcements.

  • Windows Mobile 5.0 - Magneto - May 10, 2005
  • Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition - Ozone Update - March 24, 2004
  • Windows Mobile 2003 - Ozone - June 23, 2003
  • Pocket PC 2002 - Merlin - October 4, 2001
  • Pocket PC 2000 (Palm-size PC v2) - Rapier - April 19, 2000
  • Palm PC v1.0/1.2 - Gryphon/Wyvern - January 8, 1998 (Palm PC renamed to Palm-size PC 3 months later)

The operating system was finally named Windows Mobile 5.0. Recall that the question of the final name was open until the announcement - it was assumed that the operating system would be called Windows Mobile 2005. Why was such a name chosen in the end? This is the fifth version (see the list above), chronologically the release fell on 2005, the fractional part allows Microsoft to release updated versions of the operating system without adding the cumbersome suffixes "Second Edition", "Third Edition" (5.1, 5.2 and so on, simply and clearly ). So the final name is quite logical.

The system resource requirements are as follows - 32 MB Flash ROM, 32 MB RAM. The most typical devices will be 64 MB RAM and 64 MB RAM. The operating system has old requirements for processor performance, that is, it will work acceptable even at a frequency of 200 MHz (due to the new core, the speed of working with the interface has grown a little).

The optional system is based on the Windows Compact Edition (WinCE) version 5.1 kernel. Its main differences are the appearance of Direct3D Mobile support (initially optimized for Wireless MMX), Windows Error Reporting, the ability to work as a USB drive without drivers, improved Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, and many other changes. But these are core changes, the shell has undergone much more changes.

General changes

At the first start, the device asks you to set a password (a simple four-digit or strong one, you can additionally enter a hint for the code). The step is correct, many simply used the default settings, which meant the absence of any protection. Changed system sounds, they are more pleasant. The old ones, to be honest, are already fed up. System reminders now pop up from below instead of above as bubbles as they used to.

At first glance, the interface has not changed. The design of the cross in the upper right corner has changed. As before, it only minimizes the running program, but does not close it. The ideology of the operating system assumes that the OS itself decides which programs the user currently needs and which can be closed as unnecessary (the concept of Smart Minimizing). The start screen looks the same, two standard themes are available. At the top left is the "Start" button, to the right, in the upper strip of indicators, everything is unchanged - the connection indicator (GPRS, Wi-Fi, Active Sync), the cellular network signal indicator, volume, time.

Major interface changes are aimed at ensuring that all the features of the OS can be used with one hand, without using the touch screen. Soft keys appeared at the bottom of the screen (two labels at the bottom of the screen). They can be bound to any hardware keys you wish. In this regard, the design of all built-in applications has changed, all options have been moved to soft keys. On the start screen, the lower icons are placed one line above, these are the Bluetooth manager, Wi-Fi, and other icons. For comparison with Magneto (on the right), we provide screenshots from WM 2003 SE (on the left) - here and in some places further.

The second point, aimed at making it easy to control the device without taking out the stylus, is improved navigation with a joystick, previously its functions were limited. Let's take an example: changing the GPRS settings. Using a separate key, we call the Start menu. Double-click "up" and "enter", we get into the settings. Four times “up” (we get to the settings tabs), two times “to the right” (we get to the “connections” tab), two times “up” and “enter”. Change the settings, click "OK". Previously, this could only be done using a stylus, now it can be done exclusively with hardware keys. The same applies to other actions - various slider adjustments (screen brightness, for example), ticking checkboxes, moving from field to field, between values ​​in the list.

Working with the QWERTY keyboard has also changed - almost all actions can be performed from the keyboard (previously, the help of the stylus was practically necessary).

The effect of the changes is obvious: with the advent of QVGA screens in smartphones, there is no need for a separate version of Windows Mobile for smartphones. It makes no sense to support two versions of the operating system - Windows Mobile for Smartphone and Windows Mobile for Pocket PC - when one combines the capabilities of the two. Previously, separation was justified by two factors. Firstly, this is a limitation on screen resolution. Secondly, the inability of older versions of Pocket PC and Windows Mobile to control using a joystick and a numeric keypad. However, the two branches still exist side by side, the version for smartphones will still live for some time (despite the fact that WM for PPC can be controlled without using a touch screen, not all of the many functions are available without a touch screen, in terms of ergonomics, two operating systems are still different). Microsoft clearly intends to merge the two branches into one, but more on that in the conclusion of the review.

Outlook Mobile

One of the main tasks of pocket computers is the organization of contacts, work schedules, to-do lists, notes. You can add email to this. Naturally, all this should be synchronized without problems. All this is done by the Pocket Outlook package. Some of the applications included in the kit have been improved, some have remained without significant changes.

Contacts. The main change: now you can attach a photo to a contact without any standard programs. This feature appeared in the desktop version of MS Outlook 2003, it was logical that it migrated to the mobile version. Contact capabilities are at the level of the desktop counterpart. In the previous version of Windows Mobile, there were 29 fields to fill out, plus a text note. In WM 5.0, in addition to a photo, you can assign a ringtone to an individual contact. There are 37 fields to fill in (additional fields - IM, Company Tel, IM2, IM3, Manager, Govt. ID, Account, Customer ID) text note (text only, freehand drawing or saving a voice note is no longer possible). You cannot change the name of the fields, as in the desktop version. It is difficult to call this a disadvantage - 37 fields are more than enough, and if something does not fit, you can write it down in a text note. There are fields for two home and two work numbers, but only one mobile number, the number of fields cannot be changed, as in the desktop version. You can't assign a ringtone to a group, you'll have to do it with a third-party program like Photo Contacts Pro. There are no problems when synchronizing with a PC, including with the Russian language.

Calendar. With the help of this program, you can schedule current affairs, its capabilities have not changed. Four viewing modes are available - day, week, month, year. Synchronization with the desktop computer and the server does not cause any problems. As before, in terms of functions, it does not reach the analog in desktop MS Outlook, the mobile version is greatly simplified.

Tasks. This program is used to schedule tasks. It is as simple as possible, greatly curtailed compared to its analogue on a PC. You can only set the due date, priority and progress indicator of the task, set a reminder and define a category. You cannot set, for example, the percentage of task completion. Synchronization occurs without any complaints.

Notes. In this program, you can take notes by hand, use the Land recorder or a virtual keyboard. Handwritten text can be recognized (only Latin characters). Notes are also synced with desktop Outlook. Notes can be taken during a call, then they are attached to the corresponding call in the call log.

Notes . In this program, you can take notes by hand, use a voice recorder Land land or virtual keyboard. Handwritten text can be recognized (only Latin characters). Notes are also synced with desktop Outlook. Notes can be taken during a call, then they are attached to the corresponding call in the call log.

Messages. Here, unfortunately, there are no major changes: as before, HTML is not displayed in the body of the letter - only text, the design has changed slightly (filling the letter header). The problem with incorrect display of the Cyrillic alphabet in the header when viewing a letter has been fixed, now the problem with displaying letters in local encodings is completely absent. You can set the automatic detection of the encoding, if desired, you can select the encoding manually. Deleted emails are not re-downloaded, but emails are not deleted from the server. We can recommend Web IS Mail 2 as an alternative mail client, all problems with Cyrillic have been solved by now (it is the best mail client for Pocket PC today).

Text messages are in the same program. Everything is standard here. In the settings, you can set the default delivery notification request, previously you had to do this for each message separately, which was not convenient.

Among the worthy alternatives to Outlook Mobile (contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, but not mail), we can name the most famous and functional Pocket Informant and Agenda Fusion packages.

Office Mobile

The version of MS Office for PDAs has been renamed from Pocket Office to Office Mobile, and the programs included in the package have been renamed in the same way. In addition to the new name, the package has undergone significant changes: from global changes in Word Mobile and Excel Mobile, to the appearance of a completely new PowerPoint Mobile program. Note the refusal to use the pocket format of documents, only the desktop format is used. You can forget about the *.PSW (Pocket Word Document) and *.PXL (Pocket Excel Workbook) file formats that have not taken root. But first things first.

Excel Mobile. The main innovation is support for graphs (six types of graphs are available). The rest has not changed much. Zoom is available, full screen output, areas can be fixed. You can choose for yourself which interface elements to remove. For example, hide the right scrollbar, remove the status bar, and so on. Thus, a large display surface is given to display the worksheet. Let's now create an Excel document with complex formatting (we will have a chart on the second sheet), and try to edit it in Windows Mobile 2005 and in the previous version of the operating system (Pocket Excel).

As you can see, the link to the overview in the second cell is gone, the inserted picture with the logo is gone, the merged cells are disbanded, the slanted text has moved back to the horizontal plane, and most importantly, the diagram from the second sheet has disappeared. The rest of the formatting is preserved, there were no problems with displaying fonts.

Everything is the same, the diagram remains, only slightly changed appearance. In general, there are many formatting losses, but they are not critical. The main complaint was the lack of support for graphs and charts, now this has been fixed (in a limited version, a three-dimensional graph still cannot be built). When saving, the system honestly warns that unsupported formatting may be lost.

Word Mobile. The built-in text editor has undergone major changes. First, as in the case of Excel Mobile, the developers abandoned the internal file format (Pocket Word Document). The possibilities for creating documents are similar to their predecessor - this is a simple formatting of text, a paragraph, lists, but you cannot insert a table or a picture, not to mention a more complex design. But as soon as it comes to editing ready-made documents, then the differences are fundamental.

As you can see, almost all formatting is lost (footers, tables, fonts, notes, and everything else). The Russian text is displayed as "crazybrami". Let's see what has changed in Magneto.

Almost all formatting is preserved, including even notes, tables, and figures. The appearance of the document has not changed. Two things that are missing are revision records and AutoShapes (including drawings inserted as AutoShapes). What we have as a result is very good, the changes are radical, but there is still work to be done. We hoped that the problems with autoshapes would be solved by the time of the final release, but this did not happen.

PowerPoint Mobile. New program included in the package. It is intended only for viewing presentations, you cannot edit them. Works almost flawlessly, displaying pictures, main graphics. Large files load fairly quickly.

Calculator. Everything is standard, without innovations and changes. An ordinary calculator, nothing more.

Internet

Internet Explorer. Visible changes are as follows - a secure connection icon to the left of the address bar, an additional line at the bottom of the screen (it displays the progress of the page loading). Now you can resume downloading files if the connection was interrupted.

The page processing engine has not changed, but a full-screen mode has appeared, the ability to save pictures is also an innovation. Almost any page can be stretched into one column, without horizontal scrolling (“one column” mode, there are three modes in total). The disadvantage is the only serious one - the inability to open several windows at the same time. Alternatives include MultiIE, which can open multiple windows. Rather, it is an add-on for the built-in Pocket Internet Explorer, expanding its capabilities. there is a built-in MSN Messenger as part of the MSN package.

New application - Download Agent. Logically and conveniently, this tool automates the download of software updates directly to your device. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to test it in action yet.

Multimedia

Windows Media version 10.1 was also available for Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, but only for a small number of devices. Now it is becoming the standard. Its main purpose is to serve as an addition to the desktop version of the "dozens", to synchronize with it via Active Sync. The only visible difference is that the user himself can assign a rating to compositions on a five-point scale (the rating is displayed in the form of stars - from one to five).

Disadvantages - the lack of equalizer settings, the inability to assign actions to the buttons in the standby mode (in previous versions this was possible). To play videos, we recommend using the free Beta Player program (recently renamed to TCPMP), it has no equal among competitors.

Picture & Video (previously just called Pictures). A simple program for viewing photos and videos taken with a built-in or external digital camera. There are a huge number of alternative photo viewers on the market that are superior to the built-in one. Although, if there are no special requirements for the viewer, then this one will do.

File Explorer. A simple file browser. Easy to manage, designed for only the most basic file operations.

Phone

The telephone part of the operating system. There are no fundamental changes, the design of the application has changed. The main points remain the same. You use the on-screen numeric keypad to dial a number. During the conversation, you can make a note, there you can record the conversation on a voice recorder. After the call, the duration of the call is displayed. In idle mode, the last incoming or outgoing call is displayed (Number, name and photo, if any).

Speed ​​Dial. A quick call to a subscriber, the list must be formed independently. Holding down the virtual key for a few seconds dials one of the nine numbers.

Call history. The main complaint about the list of calls was that the records were not grouped by subscribers. That is, if you tried to call a certain number for 20 times, then this created 20 entries in the list, and then it was not very convenient to navigate through them. Unfortunately, nothing has changed in Windows Mobile 5.0, but this is not a very serious minus - the list of calls is already as functional as possible. The number of entries is not limited, the call history can be exported to desktop MS Outlook.

In the settings of the phone part, we only note that files with the extension wav, wma, mid, mp3 can be set as a ringtone (they must be written to the Windows / Rings folder). The following ring options are available: just ring, increasing ring, one ring, just vibra, vibra and ring, vibra then ring. As an alternative for managing personal ringtones and photo contacts, we can recommend the already mentioned Photo Contacts Pro program.

Settings, built-in drivers

Bluetooth. The implementation of this wireless standard (embedded drivers) is again in its infancy. Some attempts to improve the built-in stack have been made, but this is still very far from what we can see in Broadcom drivers (they are used in all models of the middle and upper price range). There are icons for various types of devices, built-in support for HID devices (you can connect a Bluetooth keyboard, for example).

There is a built-in utility responsible for the camera (photos, videos). It is part of the Picture & Video program.

Similarly, we note the built-in driver for controlling the GPS (satellite receiver). With it, several programs can access data from satellites at once.

One of the most fundamental and important changes is the approach to memory usage. Now RAM is allocated only for RAM, it is impossible to install programs into it, as before. Now you can not be afraid of losing data when the battery is dead, all data will be saved in the permanent flash memory of the device. More RAM is now allocated directly to RAM. You can read a lot about the organization of memory in the official explanation of the developers here.

The last thing we note is the Error Reporting utility. It collects and sends information about errors to Microsoft, on desktop Windows such a system has existed for a long time. The utility can be disabled.

ActiveSync 4.0

A new version of the program for synchronizing PDA data with a PC. Judging by the synthetic tests, if the synchronization speed has increased, then only slightly - by 10-15%. It feels like the speed of access to data has greatly increased. If synchronization is interrupted, now when you reconnect, synchronization will start from the point where it was interrupted, this is quite convenient. The maximum number of computers that the device can sync with is two. Settings can be changed directly from the Pocket PC.

Synchronization settings have been expanded. You can select groups of contacts to synchronize, you can exclude individual contacts from synchronization. Similarly, you can select groups for the calendar and to-do list. You can select folders and subfolders for mail synchronization. A small observation - the interface of the program changes when a device based on Windows Mobile 2005 is connected (it remains the same for earlier OS versions).

Let's note one more point: at the request of developers (that is, this function will not be available for all models), the PDA can switch to mass storage mode, that is, you can work with a memory card as if it were a removable disk without using drivers (previously this function was available only PDA from Palm).

In the end

Windows CE-based operating systems have already surpassed any other operating system in PDA market share. The operating system Windows Mobile 5.0 will help Microsoft to gain a foothold in the OS market for smartphones/communicators. In the near future, this is one common operating system that will replace Windows Mobile for Pocket PC and Windows Mobile for Smartphone. The version of Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphone will remain, but the need for it is gradually disappearing, it will leave the market within a year. The mere fact that Magneto runs and runs programs designed for Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone already says something. If you look at Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphone (its review is available here), there are very few innovations in it, there are practically none.

Key innovations in Windows Mobile 5.0:

  • The ability to operate the device with one hand, without using the touch screen.
  • Greatly improved support for QWERTY keyboards
  • Programs from Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone work. The brightest devices demonstrating this approach will be Asus p515, HTC Blizzard
  • A fundamentally new memory organization, data safety does not depend on the state of the battery
  • To a contact in m's notebook