Is there something wrong with Mobile?

I've got my own share of nits to pick with Windows Mobile, but I've been holding my tongue until I break down and buy a WM6 device and see if they fixed it. Jonathan's article doesn't give me much hope:

Why Can't Microsoft Get Windows Mobile Right? (

So, here are my chief complaints about WM5 that I still hold out some vain hope are fixed with whichever WM6 device I buy soon:

  1. Off means off, dammit! When I hit the Power button, the screen should never come back on until I push the Power button again. Sound alarms, vibrate, whatever, just don't activate any of the buttons or the screen!! Alas, this is not true of WM5.
  2. Reminders should be rock solid reliable. I have to reboot my stupid xv6700 on a regular basis because the Dismiss|Menu soft button options for reminders disappear while the reminder is still sounding or vibrating... and quite often reminders just FAIL to work until I reboot the phone and then they all pop at once.
  3. On means on, goshdarnit! I frequently have to soft boot the phone to get it to wake up for some inexplicable reason... and there aren't any "event logs" that I can locate to help me figure out why. Unfortunately, this usually means that I've missed a call or a reminder because I didn't know the phone was AWOL. I can see both indicator lights flashing, but I can't get the phone to respond. Grrr.
  4. WM should warn me before the battery gets low. It doesn't. It just "helpfully" starts powering off things, like the SD card, without warning.
  5. Bluetooth should not freak out. Every once in a while, Bluetooth will just turn itself off, presumably related to a power event, but with no warning to the user that it's doing so. Sometimes turning it back on will not allow my Plantronics headset to find it again, and I have to soft boot the phone to make it right.
  6. I should be able to tweak memory usage. WM2003 gave me the option to rebalance the usage of RAM for storage or programs, but I seem to have lost that feature with WM5. Doh!
  7. I should be able to have more than one Microsoft Exchange mailbox account on different servers. I have more than just my Microsoft email on an Exchange server that I need to sync with: multiple clients, personal email, etc. IMAP is just limping along by comparison. This would also help me keep multiple calendars in multiple Exchange orgs in sync, too!!

Don't get me wrong. I can't live without my Windows Mobile phone. As a consultant and father of three, I live a very calendar-driven life. It would be embarrassing (to me) for people to know how many "personal" things that my wife has to send me meeting requests for in order to get my attention... It's just that my relationship with Windows Mobile is less-love/more-hate than I would like it to be!

On my wish list is a mute slider like my old Treo 600 had (before I came to Microsoft). It was sure nice to be able to switch between audible and vibrate modes without having to wake up the phone, unlock the phone, tap the tiny, stupid little speaker icon, tap the tiny little radio button for vibrate, then relock the phone and turn it back off. Grrr.

I will, however, give the standard Mat Noguchi (Bungie) answer to any complaint about his platform/product... he points at Careers. "If you want to bitch about it, then come fix it." (Paraphrasing Mat.) There are nearly 100 empty jobs in the vicinity of the Mobile product space. At Microsoft, there's a strong culture of "if you point out a problem, you just volunteered to fix it" so I'm going to shut up now and hope that some enterprising new Mobile coders will sign up and fix it for me. Heh.

Comments (1)

  1. MSDN Archive says:

    From my experience, the lockups and battery issues on the 6700 stem from a problem with networking — the system will go into a battery-draining mode that requires a reset to recover from.

    Turn off auto-sync, or reduce its frequency dramatically, and see if that helps.

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