Converging Devices – Windows Mobile AND Windows XP

Geekzone have a blog article that shows a DualCor cPC device that runs two Micrososft operating systems (each running on their own processor), Windows XP and Windows Mobile (which is of course Windows CE 5.0) – the operating systems share the single display (800×480), the user can switch between the operating systems.

Here’s the Geekzone article and here’s an image of the device.

I’m wondering whether Windows XP at this resolution and processor speed is usable, particularly as a portable device, I can’t imagine the batteries lasting too long – in Windows XP mode it’s similar to the OQO device in many respects [I have one of the model 1 OQO devices] which gets very hot when charging and the battery life isn’t spectacular.

Windows Mobile devices support instant on, have mobile versions of the office applications, have all the connectivity you would want (voice, data, 3G, bluetooth, IR etc…), is this “good enough” for the road warrior that can make do with non-pc functionality while on the road, and then switch back to full desktop experience when in the office/hotel/home?

I was working at CES all of last week and had very limited access to a real network connection (yes, there was a TON [or probably closer to two tons] of wireless networking at CES, many of it “open”, but no internet connectivity, most networks were being used for closed demo connectivity) – so I relied heavily on my HTC Universal (aka iMate JasJar), this was my primary voice/data device for the week – yes, the device is as big as a small house, but the screen is great, the keyboard usable, and works really well with a Bluetooth headset (I would strongly recommend getting a BT headset with the Universal – holding a small house to the side of your head doesn’t look great!). My only gripe with the Universal is that it’s too big to fit into a pocket, and I didn’t have a belt holster for the device – I also have a Typhoon (smartphone) and Wizard (Pocket PC Phone Edition) but left both of these back in the office.

I really like the candy bar Smartphone for “read only” content and the Pocket PC Phone Edition for the R/W aspect of e-mail, text messages, hotmail, and phone usage (with a BT headset) – at this point I’m not sure that I’ve locked on one form factor or another to be my primary and fixed device.

Maybe the Palm Treo 700W might be a good mix – although, I do need something that works in the US and in Europe.

What do you use, and why ?

– Mike

Comments (6)

  1. tzagotta says:

    When I travel, I need WinXP because I sometimes need to do work in applications like Visual Studio and other similar engineering applications. So I really couldn’t consider traveling with a WinCE device by itself.

    What is "instant on" – and can that be used in devices that don’t have a battery to keep a booted OS image in RAM?

  2. tzagotta says:

    One additional question, the article mentioned that the WinCE side requires a "special driver" to run at 800×500. Any idea why this is the case?

  3. mikehall says:

    Instant on means that you hit the power and "Bam!" the device is ready to use, Windows CE/Mobile devices also support Instant Off – hit the power button and "Bam!" the device is turned off.

    I agree that having Windows XP around is great for "full desktop applications" like Visual Studio 2005, Windows CE Platform Builder etc. which is why I carry my HP Mobile Workstation laptop with me and also my Windows Mobile device.

    Most Windows Mobile Pocket PC devices run at 240×320 or 480×640 – the DualCor cPC is running at a non-standard Windows Mobile resolution, so needed a display driver to drive the hardware appropriately.

    – Mike

  4. Tim says:

    You mentioned you HTC Universal being too big and I agree. The real question is why is there no 3GSM/W-CDMA/UMTS device with the same form factor of the Wizard? This device is really a gap in the range for GSM operators (Cingular/T-Mobile in US) especially as the CDMA operators have the Apache.

  5. galego says:

    I have been using my laptop + JasJar since the PDC. I was working out of my city for 16 days, and used almost all the time the JasJar.

    Eventually when I have to use some Visual Studio, i got my laptop, but it was about 2 or 3 times only.

    I really don’t know if using the DualCor as an XP machine you can do more than using JasJar Windows Mobile + Terminal Service Client.

  6. My Universal (JasJar) has *finally* replaced my old Psion 5mx! The new persistent storage in WM5 has been crucial for this, since I was always losing information with older PPCs. It’s not perfect, far from it, but it’s good.

    I also still carry a Typhoon, since that contains my business SIM (the JasJar has my personal SIM), plus I like a smaller device for just phone calls and read-only surfing. But I also carry my laptop all over the place as well, during business anyway.