“Always On” With Windows Mobile 5

February 26, 2006

Mobile Phone, Technology

Phew. It’s been a hectic (but thrilling) couple of days. First, I lost my phone earlier this week. Yup. After having a mobile phone for over a decade, I’ve lost my first handset. Apart from the frustration of needing to trace my steps for a six hour period, there was one good thing that happened: I needed to buy a new phone.

So my first challenge was selecting a carrier. That was simple. I chose Sprint. First, I was an employee for 18 1/2 years. Second, my retirement will be, in part, through Sprint. So I care about their success. Third, I do like their service. I’ve never had a problem with service. But this time, I get to experience the “full-on” user experience. And it wasn’t bad at all. They deactivated my service w/o any questions. OK. That’s not a high bar to hurdle. But they were very helpful in cleaning up my old service and transferring my phone number to a separate account (so that I could separate business from family expenses). And the staff in the retail store were great. They were polite and informed. And they seemed to be working for me and my best interests – not just the maximum revenue opportunity.

Once I decided to stay with Sprint, I needed to select a new phone. I chose the Sprint PPC 6700. I love this phone. First, it runs Windows Mobile 5. Yeah, I hear the groans. But WM5 is really quite nice. It has a good phone interface. And it has exceptional integration with Outlook. For me, these two facts are reason enough to buy a WM5-enabled phone. I now have all my contacts synced with my phone. And I can single tap a call from any contact. Just wait to I voice-enable the dialing!

In the meantime, I’ll settle for having my IM presence surfaced through my phone. It’s odd to know that I am “available” as long as I have my phone turned on. I will really have to remember to set my IM status before and after every meeting – lest I get an IM message at an inopportune time.

So I decided on the service and the phone. And the purchase experience was excellent. But I really am dissatisfied witht the Sprint web management experience. The system is complete, but disjointed. You have to know where things are in order to change your plan, service and features. That is a terrible distraction for end users. The interface should be mercifully intutive. Strangely enough the Virgin Mobile folks seem to know how to do this end of the phone business. But I am digressing….


PPC6700: I like it. I have heard horror stories about repairs. I hope I missed out on that aspect of the early-adopter experience. 7.5 points

Windows Mobile 5: I love it. It’s simple and intuitive. Since my life is on a Windows system, Windows Mobile is a natural extension of what I do every day. 8.5 points

Multimedia: Ausgezeichnet! My biggest joy is that I can take any WMA file and use it as a ringtone. This is great. I have a huge library of MP3 files. And I use the Sony Acid Music suite. So I can convert any/all of my music to useable ringtones. 9 points

Retail Store experience: Great people; extremely helpful (including finding ways to lower my monthly bill w/o losing features/functions). 8.5 points

Sprint’s Web Presence: The low point of the experience. But I knew this going in. After three years of outsourcing development, the web presence feels old and creaky. It needs a face-lift. 5 points

All in all, I’m happy with my new setup.




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One Comment on ““Always On” With Windows Mobile 5”

  1. Chris Saunderson Says:

    Great to see you’ve landed on your feet at Microsoft, Lorin! You should be well pleased with the PPC6700 as it’s a neat little unit. WM5 is a solid SmartPhone OS. The Exchange integration is marvellous, rivalling GoodLink for it’s ease of use. Hope things continue to be well for you and your family!


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