Microsoft's Lost Decade In Mobile

Ten years ago, you could buy the HP Jornada 548 with a colour screen, which let you listen to MP3s, surf the web, check your email and keep a calendar. It had a touchscreen. It ran Windows. It was awesome.

Today, you can buy a smartphone with a colour screen, which lets you listen to MP3s, surf the web, check your email and keep a calendar. It has a touchscreen. It runs Windows. It does everything - everything - better than its ancestor did, in a much sexier hardware package. Plus it makes calls! It will cost you less than the $US450 Jornada 548, though you'll probably have to sign a 24-month mobile phone contract. Amazingly, though, its software looks and feels almost exactly the same as its 10-year-old brother.

I don't just want to beat up on Microsoft here, because disregarding aesthetics and UX, Windows Mobile has evolved a lot since it was just a twinkle in Windows CE's eye. But not as much as the competitors around it, and not fast enough to stay relevant. So instead of looking back, let's look forward: Microsoft, Windows Mobile 7, whatever it is, is your chance to win us back. The mobile space moves faster than is did back at the turn of the millennium, back when you had some of the best mobile software on the market, but it also has a shorter memory. Show us what you've got; we're eager to see it.

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