On mobile phone operating systems

It finally came time to retire the Touch Pro 2.

Published on Monday, 07 November 2011

It finally came time to retire the Touch Pro 2, which, I believe, is one of the last ever released Windows Mobile devices. I’d only ever used Windows Mobile 5/6 devices before, and only ever devices with a physical keyboard, so it was a natural choice at the time. It was underpowered even then (devices with 700+ MHz processors were already available, or maybe even 1 GHz), but it had the WM6 and the keyboard that I wanted, so I grabbed it.

I’d always maintained that WM6 was a solid smartphone platform, and an extremely open one as well. Install whatever you want, whenever you want. It was easy to develop for (using the .NET Compact Framework), so it seemed like an obvious choice.

How wrong I was (on some points...).

In the two years I owned that phone, the smartphone world made GIANT leaps forward. I sweated quite a bit over what to choose (between Android and WP7/WP7.5, I have no interest in an iPhone), but the truth is that it didn’t matter at all. Everything available had made such progress that everything out there seems like an entirely new universe.

I ended up with a Samsung Galaxy S II, which I’m very happy with (and will be even happier when the ICS update comes, I assume), but the truth is that I could’ve chosen ANYTHING (including, even an iPhone) and would’ve been blown away by how great it was compared to WM6.

WM6 was an embedded device OS, it was never suited to running a smartphone. I recognize that now.