What Would You Like To Know?

I’m back after taking the month of December off.   It’s always hard to come back.  I love my job.  I’ve been doing it for 13 years and plan to keep doing it for a long time to come.  But working just isn’t the same as snowboarding with my son six times in the last two weeks.  (-: 

On my vacation last year I wrote a lot of code for my smartphones.  This year I was far less productive.  Aside from copious amounts of snowboarding, I played a lot of Gears of War and, surprisingly, even more Viva Piñata.  A giant windstorm in which a million people in Washington lost power removed all my electronic diversions for a good (good?) five days.  I spent most of that time reading, including two books I loved (Holly Lisle’s Talyn and Marie Brennan’s Warrior and Witch--the sequel to one of my favorites, Doppelganger).  I also spent a fair amount of time writing (science fiction, not code).  I don’t publish anymore, because the reward/frustration ratio is just too low for me (that and the fact that I suck at the 50% of being a successful writer that doesn’t involve writing).  But writers write, and I still do that.  The closest thing to work that I did was to drop in here quickly and post a link to my interview with Channel 9. 

It’s the new year, I’m back at work, and things aren’t too terribly busy yet.   I’m looking at the section of my whiteboards where I keep a list of things I might write about on the blog, and none of them look particularly interesting.  So I’m going to open the floor to suggestions from you folks.  What would you like for me to write about next?  Are there aspects of mobile devices that you’ve always wondered about?  More general computing stuff that has at least some sort of applicability to Windows Mobile?  I wouldn’t mind writing about something a little less controversial than my last few entries, but I won’t shy away from the controversial stuff if that’s what you folks really want to know about.  Note that I can’t tell you about unannounced features of future releases or unannounced future devices.  That’s marketing’s domain, and I won’t tread there.

I don’t promise to answer all of your questions.  I’m more interested in doing general topics that a lot of people can learn from than very specific problem solving.  But I do promise to at least consider all of them.  Fire away.

Mike Calligaro

Comments (87)

  1. One thing that I have wanted to do, after getting a Cingular 8125 device with mobile 5.0, is to blog from my pocket pc.

    I have a wordpress based blog, and would love to know if there is a tool or suggested method for mobile blogging. When I load up the wordpress admin pages in the included internet explorer, nothing works, because iframes aren’t supported. I’ve tried Opera and Minimo (the firefox for mobile), and those don’t work correctly either.

    Any good suggestions or ideas on mobile blogging that do not include using the "email" function of a blog?

  2. db says:

    1 thing that has had me wondering over the years since my first pocket pc and still now with my smart phone deals with ActiveSync and its inability to transfer Labels from one computer to the next.  I also why aren’t Reminders the same in the smart phone as they are in Outlook?



  3. Guruparan says:

    I need to know about the NEXT version of Windows mobile!…Will it be a new revolution like Vista..and since graphics cards are INTO the mobiles too…will microsoft utilise this approach…!! And wish you a Happy New Year 2007! – Guru (guruparan@hotmail.com) (http://guruparan.spaces.live.com)

  4. Fernando GD says:

    Hi Mike,

    Now that Vista has been out for a while, I’m really curious to know when the final version of the Windows Mobile Device Center will release.  I seem to remember reading about a release date of 12/15, but that’s long gone.  Any updates?



  5. TOCA says:

    When will Pocket WMP be able to pressent itself to websites as WMP 9 or later, to access streaming contents?

    PIE can be hacked/trimmed to pressent itself as IE6 on the web, so why not PWMP :o/

    And while I’m at it: Will things like Flash and *.pdf ever get standard support in WM?

  6. Steve Finkelstein says:

    Hi Mike,

    I am curious about data tranfer speeds between windows mobile 5 devices and the sd/cf/and mini-sd cards that proliferate now-a-days.  It seems that there is no standard tranfer rate, is that hardware or software/driver related? Thanks.

  7. Richard Jones says:

    I’d love to know what to expect in Compact Framework 3.0.

    Are we getting LINQ?

    Workflow foundation mobile?

    Happy to fill in some sort of online NDA on you’re BLOG 🙂

  8. rmr says:

    I second the request about information for WMDC… Why is the beta only available?  Why wasn’t it included in Vista? Nor is it updated through WU….  What’s the real story behind the poor application provisioning of WMDC to the masses???

  9. Ryan Dancey says:

    1)  Is there an "alt-tab" command for rapidly switching between running applications?

    2)  Can Microsoft lean on t-mobile to remove the port blocking that makes it impossible to use PPTP VPNs with their service?

    3)  Could someone implement a full version of ssh including tunnels and rsa keys?

    4)  Can an option be added to leave messages on the server when using POP mailboxes?

    5)  Why doesn’t my bluetooth headset work when trying to voice-dial a number?

    6)  Could a feature be added to show the battery status of my bluetooth headset?

    7)  Can I turn off the notification that an SMS message has been sent?

    8)  I’d like my phone to both vibrate and ring.

    9)  Is there a better way to display a Remote Desktop session, like interpolating bits so that the actual screen simulates a screen 2x or 3x as large?  I.e., "zoom out" on the image?

    Thanks for any feedback you can provide!


  10. Ray Price says:

    I would like to know…

    Why is it still so hard to gain access to my corporate network and/or sync with my corporate email?  We have an SSL VPN and there is no SSL VPN client, plus no Java support in IE to allow the Java VPN client to run.

  11. rjune@ says:

    >I am curious about data tranfer speeds between windows mobile 5 devices and the sd/cf/and mini-sd cards that proliferate now-a-days.  

    >It seems that there is no standard tranfer rate, is that hardware or software/driver related? Thanks.


    SD/MiniSD are the same, give or take size. Their speed is usually based on the maximum clock speed they tranfer at. Usually this is the maxiumum the 1.0/1.1 spec states. If it’s not it is usualy due to the SD Host (usully on the microprocessor), sometimes this is the card. the 2.0 spec will increase these speeds alot, although there is currently no microprocessors with 2.0 hosts.

    Drivers can have an effect, certainly. But assuming they use DMA, then the speed will be governed by the clock speed.

    CF is a different beast, I’m not to familiar with the spec, but I suspect there isn’t a maximum clock speed (?) or it is higher than the flash media, so data tranfer will be limited by the flash media.

  12. Cocotteseb says:

    I would like to know what is planned for .NET CF3 🙂

    Also a question : Why Microsoft Bluetooth stack is so limited (compared to the widcomm one)

    Indeed I cannot access to files transfers (obex missing?),…

    With my hp RX3715 I have no problems to browse a device, send files,… whereas on my x51v (WM5 AKU 2.3.1) I cannot do this…

    Thanks and continue the blog it is really interesting!


  13. The Windows Mobile SDK contains a mysterious "Document List" control which looks like the key to opening user user files. Unfortunately, there is no overview of how the control works or how to use it properly. Could you elaborate on this important bit of user interface?

  14. Rick Hirst says:

    1) Why can’t I connect my PPC6700 to my Vista desktop?

    2) Why is there no logging/debugging support to track down the problem?

    3) Why does nobody seem to own the problem (not MS, not the device manufacturer, and not the wireless provider?)

    4) Why are the wireless providers in particular so EVIL?

  15. Charles says:

    1/ Active Sync


    As a new [s]convert to[/s] user of Windows Mobile after Palm, I am struck by the limitation of 2 Associations in Active Sync.

    Even though I had read some post/article some year(s) ago when I hesitated about the Windows and Palm, the fact that this limitation still exists in 2007 really enrages me daily (I have a minimum of three computers to sync with, including at least a Mac).

    The article in question was pointing that with more than 1 computer it is in fact impossible to have them all in sync at anytime without doing 3 syncs, so "you could imagine with more!"; I had found this explanation dubious, because this kind of issue of sync between different locations/systems has long been solved for many databases by tracking changes to records with a date of change and prompting user for records with several changes since last handshake (isn’t it what we all do everyday in our code development with whatever versioning solution?)

    What is so specific about ActiveSync/WinCE that it can’t achieve proper sync? (e.g. compared to Palm’s Hotsync).

    2/ Security on Windows Mobile for Phone Edition


    Since increased security is the justification for completely removing Active Sync over IP, I am wondering why there is no firewall on my Windows Mobile for Phone Edition.

    I have not even been able to find a "prompt me before connecting to Internet" options (but the opacity of all the control panels is another subject).

    I store some "sensitive" information on my phone, and I see that once in a while my phone connects to Internet without me asking it anything…

    Where is the security? I am missing something?

  16. DennisQ says:

    First off, happy new year and welcome back!  Since leaving MS back in Sept. I’ve joined Yahoo and am taking a look at Y! Go.  Sure do miss the insider privs @ MS, but it’s certainly been interesting to see the other side of it as an external developer.

    Some great suggestions so far.  I’ll 2nd a couple and add my own.

    1) Can you dive into the ever-elusive IE Control?  It seems as though PIE gets plenty of test coverage between releases.  But the IE Web control seems to be in poor shapes.  I’ve seen no less than 3 major breaks b/c of it in the past year of WM AKU releases.  The latest MotoQ AKU (3?) apparently broke it again and a couple significant apps are hosed.  Is it a parallel implementation to PIE, or does PIE actually rely on it at all?

    2) WMP vs Core Player (others?):  How is it that MS w/ the inside scoop on WIMo development gets schooled by TCPMP (Core Player) and others?  I spent quite a bit of time transcoding video lately, only to have my devices CRAWL when playing them.  At first I blamed it on the CPU, the MiniSD transfer rate, etc.  But after all the excuses, I fired it up in TCPMP and my video ran full speed ahead w/ no hitches.  What are they doing right that MS isn’t or can’t do w/ WMP?

    3) Would love to hear more on the storage card speed question.  Does that really matter, and if so are the 60x, 133x cards, etc. really worth the premium?  Maybe a video/music bitrate vs SD Speed vs CPU speed vs Battery Life breakdown would prove interesting in finding out where the bottleneck really is.

    4) On the task manager side of things, I’d like to know why on EVERY Smartphone I’ve owned at some point the task manager apps hang/crash themselves b/c of other apps.  Generally one app hangs, so I hit home, then fire up 1 of many task managers.  A good percent of the time though the task manager seems to block on what I can only assume is a call to the hung window for it’s Window Name while iterating all windows?  Is this what’s going on?  How come Task Manager on the desktop doesn’t run into this issue?

    5) What ever happend to the Windows Update functionality launched in WM5?  2yrs later and not a single operater has jumped on board?  Is this an OEM/Operator/Marketing issue?  I would have expected to see someone bite by now and have offered an AKU over the air.

  17. Mindflayer says:

    Here’s a non-development question – what phone do the developers use?

  18. galt says:

    Every WM device I’ve touched can’t send a calendar apt. by email, it always defaults to mms even when email is selected.  Why?

  19. CorporateMonkey says:

    Why did MS remove bluetooth dial up networking (BT DUN) from smartphone aku3? I realize it was replaced by BT PAN networking, but some of us cannot use PAN. This feature removal has completely locked out osx/linux users from tethering our devices.

    Why could we of had both???

  20. CorporateMonkey says:

    Why did MS remove bluetooth dial up networking (BT DUN) from smartphone aku3? I realize it was replaced by BT PAN networking, but some of us cannot use PAN. This feature removal has completely locked out osx/linux users from tethering our devices.

    Why couldn’t we of had both???

  21. BradT says:

    I would love to see some best practices and tips on how exceptions should be handled in enterprise-level mobile apps.  Not the typical "exceptions are expensive so use them wisely" but more along the lines of how best to log exceptions, notify users of expceptions and how to pass that info on to developers somehow.  It would be really great to see an example that allows applications to attempt to continue executing.  Just my $0.02

  22. Simon says:

    1. Why are there no vendor independent updates to WM? I don’t expect patches of the kernel, but maybe some patches that fix one or another annoyance in a built-in app.

    2. I’m working on my own OS. It’s my third attempt. After some time I had to start over because I made some bad decisions when I designed the API or the kernel. What would you change in the CE kernel if you could?

    3. Will we ever see x86 based smartphones/PDAs?

    4. Even if it’s not related to Windows Mobile: I would love to hear some stories about the Dreamcast…

    5. Are there any plans to make the built-in applications easier? Less options, less bloat, more… uhm… PalmOS 🙂

    Thumbs up for the Why-We-Disabled-Sync-Over-WLAN- (I still don’t get your point) and the Why-Does-X-Minimize-posts.

  23. Henry Boehlert says:

    Happy New Year and welcome back!

    1. First, and last, and always, and to second Simon, I’m eagerly awaiting update.microsoft.com/mobile. Will that happen?

    2. What improvements are planned for the SDK documentation? There are so many broken links (offline and online) and so much information is missing.

    3. When will you release Active Sync 4.5?

    4a. Will you bring back backup/restore in ActiveSync 4.6 including support for the databases and the most common configuration providers?

    4b. Alternatively, please blog about how Protected Storage is implemented so I could figure out how to write a backup/restore tool for it. I frequently have the problem that my e-mail/wifi/bluetooth/app passwords and keys are gone after my TyTN needs a soft-reset. It then is always a huge nuisance to rapiconfig back the email accounts and wifi networks and repeat the bluetooth pairing and TomTom activation, especially when I’m on the go. If could just click a cab file …

  24. Dom Barnes says:

    I would like to know if there is a way to change your domain on PPC2003. I’m a bit behind the times and don’t use my PDA enough with work to warrant a new one. I can get on my network with my iPaq 5450 but it never seems to appear in the windows network on my XP machine, or when browsing the network using Resco File Explorer.

    Also, on the Today screen, why does the Wifi icon sometimes allow me to turn the Wireless on and sometimes it doesn’t. It seems inconsistant.

    Lastly, when will IE be updated?

  25. Kevin Amick says:

    I also would like to know why BT DUN was removed completely….as a new DASH owner I am completely unable to tether my new smartphone until OS X supports PAN.  

  26. Solnyshok says:


    First of all, welcome back and all the success to You in 2007!!!

    Thanks for daily_dose. I like it, and that line about convergence ("convergence sucks") is just brilliant, given authors’ background.

    Hmm, questions… I will be provocative today 🙂

    1. Is Palm (device manufacturer that resently bought back their OS) working with MS to make a PALM GUI on WinCE?

    2. There are spyshots of UMPCs running on WM. Comments?

    3. Mobile predictions for 2007? (Specially vague definition, tell us about anything you think is going to affect this space soon)



    p.s. Heath Buckmaster – if you would consider switching from Typepad to Blogger, you might use Opera to blog from your device. PIE, Minimo, and Picsel Browser are not good with this. I did not try Netfront, though, ’cause it is still buggy. But you may give it a try.

  27. gwinter says:

    I’m disappointed with the current support for multi-language/multiple-script (as compared to the desktop).

    I’m assuming that the lack of support is primarily driven by the need to reduce the ROM image footprint, since WinCE does have support for the major languages/scripts including right-to-left and complex scripts. Since feedback is important to let a feature have a chance of being implemented in the future, I’d like to know where the request for better support should be directed, the Windows Mobile team or the OEM for the devices?

    I’d like to point out that on Vista, multi-language/script support is enabled by default and can no longer be disabled as far as I know. This is a step in the right direction, and it happened because it was one of the most frequently requested item to the GIFT team.

  28. m@ says:

    CSPs – I would love to get some more info on the Configuration Service Providers which are available in WM5 and additions which will be made available in the future.

    How about a tutorial on how to make our own CSPs?

  29. Gwen says:

    Dark/White Screen of Death (DSOD) is a killer.  I would say it’s the number one reason people turn away from WM.  To be able to install programs to storage card, only to have them somehow hang the machine (often) is unacceptable and a fix is long overdue.  I can understand why Microsoft employees want to stay far away from this.  I want to hear that somebody there at least cares.

  30. Jack says:

    Also interested in why the bluetooth DUN was limited in the latest version. Need to be able to sync and tether with multiple platforms.

  31. Andy says:

    Hello – thanks for the opportunity to ask a question.

    I’d like to know why ActiveSync absolutely refuses to let me copy over a 600mb .avi file to my Smartphone (T-Mobile SDA) which has a completely empty 1GB Mini-SD storage card installed?  The copying process makes it about two "blips" along before failing.  The only error I’ve ever received was one that said something about the file destination not having enough room – which is rubbish considering the 1GB card is *empty*.  

    I’ve turned of file conversion in hopes that might solve it, but no such luck.  Any hints and/orsuggestions?  Is there a better way I can transfer this file?

  32. Zelig says:

    Hi Mike.  

    Firstly, I would just like to say a big thank you to you for bothering to have such an informative blog.  I assume maintaining this blog is not part of your job description. I, like many others, really appreciate you going that extra mile for us end users.

    I would like to add my name to the list of people wanting to know more about Memory Cards and WM devices, ie

    a) do the higher speed SD/mini SD cards add any real benefit to justify the higher cost?

    b) is there any effect on battery consumption from using higher speed or higher capacity memory cards or no difference to normal cards?

    Also, are there any advances in battery technology on the horizon that we can look forward to significantly improve battery life of WM devices ?

  33. wmshell says:

    William Swanson asked about the Document List control way up there ^. MSDN has some articles about it – but they are a bit buried, especially the ones for native code.

    For native code, see: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa458181.aspx

    For managed code, have a look at: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/microsoft.windowsce.forms.documentlist.aspx

    Hope that helps,

    James D.

    Windows Mobile Shell

  34. M Furey says:

    I’d like your general opinion on the Pocket PC/Mobile device market. I’m an ISV and I’ve been developing and selling Pocket PC applications since 2001, and it seems that in 2005 that my software sales have really flatten out. From my observations, it appears that the Pocket PC device market is fully saturated and new users are not buying Pocket PC devices. I suspect that a higher percentage of people are going with the Smartphone devices. Since all of my applications rely on a touch screen and stylus for input, porting to the Smartphone platform would take some considerable effort. Question: In your opinion, would you suggest I focus my efforts on Smartphone applications?



  35. Mariush says:

    I just always wanted to know how to load custom build of Windows CE on to my mobile device. I am also curious about loading custom images onto my device.

    I am aware of potential riks (quite huge) involved in loading custom images of WM, but I have got spare device to experiment 🙂 It would be great fun playing with it!

    I would be very gratefult if anybody posted some relevant information 🙂 Thx!

  36. Fred Jones says:


    WMDC!  Melsam said it would be available around the 15th December, but it’s still not released.  I guess we should have asked "which year?".

    So WHEN is it going to be available?

  37. Bob Packwood says:

    +1 on the bluetooth dial up networking issue

  38. Sivaiah says:

    I would like to know whether there are any good executable compressors for windos mobile. We are developing an app and facing the big binary size problem. We have tried various compiler (/GR- /Ob0 /O1 ) and linker option (/OPT:REF /OPT:ICF), but would like to decrease the size further.

  39. ashwin says:


    what are some of the large deployments of windows mobile in the US and across the globe? i

  40. phi says:

    i’d have add my vote on why the disappearance of the DUN bluetooth profile removal

  41. Chris E. says:

    I’d love to see something written about the various ways to programatically interface with on-board GPS units (builtin, not cabled/bluetooth)

  42. Mobile_developer says:

    I would love to hear your views on Pocket PC phones/Smart phones being used as universal payment devices.

  43. HEI says:

    Please tell me how to install Windows Mobile Word on my Samsung Blackjack smart phone

  44. Brad H. says:

    Just to add my two cents:  Why was the DUN profile removed?  Can’t DUN and PAN peacefully co-exist?  Did anyone consider that PAN requires two separate actions to create a connection (one on the phone, one on the computer), while DUN requires only one (on the computer)?

  45. Steve says:

    I have a T-Mobile DASH and a Macbook.  I just found out that I cannot use my phone as a bluetooth modem because the Bluetooth DUN profile was removed from Windows Mobile 5.  This is one of the stupidest moves I have ever heard of.  I would encourage the Windows Mobile Team to provide a patch as soon as possible to add the DUN profile or at least some sort of work around.  I cannot even use the DASH with a USB cable because there is no USB connection option in the software or registry!

  46. scyost says:

    mariush: Flashing your device with a custom rom image isn’t something we support, so we can’t provide any such information here.

  47. Mick says:

    Hey Mike – I’m an avid reader of your column and have enjoyed all your articles to date. Keep ’em coming.

    To put a slightly different slant on the some of the excellent suggestions above and hopefully choosing a topic that might be close to your heart, most of us realize that software development is comprised of a team effort. With respect to that, what I’d really be interested in knowing is:

    What makes a successful Mobile Development team?

    What are the backgrounds of your colleagues?

    How many heads comprise of the MS development team?

    What’s the interaction like between your peers and management at MS?

    Is the team growing in 2007 and beyond?

    Does the team interact outside the work environment?

    What’s the actual work environment like?

    And what is the key ingredient on successfully collaborating with your team members to design and build mobile solutions?

    Hopefully you can provide us with some insight on the inner workings of a MS Mobile Development team.



  48. Christophe says:

    Hello, Mike

    I’d like to know how to secure mobile device in an enterprise context since there’s no admin / user distinction. How to prevent bad behavior etc…

  49. bill spain says:

    Can you help me with an understanding of how to optimize performance in a given scenario?

    I have developed an application where the desired interface would be a listbox containing checkbox objects.

    To simulate that, I am currently creating a panel and adding check boxes to its controls collection and setting the location properties for each object to provide listbox-like scrolling functionality.  When I am working with a large number of checkbox objects in this panel, reformatting all the objects to simulate an action such as deleting an object from the list, takes an unacceptably long time to process the the positioning of each object.

    In contrast, I present an alternate ui where the text of each object is displayed in a list box.  This ui presents a much more optimized performance, but I lose the check functionality that I can get with the checkbox controls.

    Are there any optimizations in this space that I might be overlooking?



  50. igalan says:

    Hello Mike,

    I’m interested in knowing a bit more why over time Windows Mobile performance degenerates, why the system has aging issues? Why do I need to do a hard-reset after 6 months of use to regain lost performance?

    Over the years since I got my first PocketPC, an iPaq 3950, I tried to fight this with little success. I’ve asked on forums, looked for solutions, cleaned the registry, events, databases and file system over and over, but there seems to be no way to reverse this process. Eventually I need to hard-reset my devices and start over. I keep a strict control on what programs I install, and I avoid installing programs just to try them if I’m not sure I’ll need them. But that’s still not enough.

    I understand it may be a complex issue, but this affects every body, specially those of us who like to settle on a device and not rush to get the latest and greatest, unless it proves to provide some real advantage for our daily work.


  51. Mike says:

    How can I replace MS Active Sync? I want to sync data between pc and pocket pc to the directory that I want. I don’t want to sync under user initial directory?

    If you have the solution please email me at hotvit0000@yahoo.com

    Thank you

  52. Rudy (rudo3@hotmail.com) says:

    Hi, I have "advanced" problem with synchronization with two PCs (I’ve tried ActiveSync 4.2 and 4.5 Beta 2). Problem is as follows: Every time I’ve made succesfull synchronization with both PCs, "first" PC fails to recognize PDA security code (even though I’ve checked to remember the code) and partnership, asks for code again and starts partnership wizard resulting in loss of partnership with that computer. I’ve tried to change names of PDA, names of partnerships, reinstallation, everything. After months of trying I gave up. I have HTC TyTN (MDA Vario II) with Windows Mobile 5. I’m quite desperate. rudo3@hotmail.com

  53. pc2 says:


    It might be a strange question, however I am interested in the booting process of windows mobile. Hopefully you have something to say about it 🙂

    Many thanks!

  54. miguelito says:

    I hate to repeat what others have asked, but you have yet to answer this question: Why was the BT DUN profile removed in AKU3? Even though PAN might be a better implementation at the end of the day, not only it is not universally supported (read: Macs), but it also is a whole lot less convenient to use (you have to start the connection on the phone, and connect from the laptop to the phone). Not nearly as sleek as hitting connect in the computer with your phone in your pocket.

    Maybe you secretly want us to buy an iPhone? Convenience!

  55. Acapulco Rolf says:

    I’ve just seen this post over at the XDA Developers forum.


    "I’ve noticed that sometimes after rebooting my MDA Pro some SMS are missing. Usually the once I had received within about 2hours of reseting the device.

    How long should I have to wait before they are saved to a more permanent storage?"

    It’s a behaviour that I’ve also encountered. I think I understand why this happens, i.e. the latency involved ahead of commiting cached data to flash memory, but is there a practical way of preventing this type of data loss?

    Many thanks

  56. andyh says:

    I am another user who would like to understand why the DUN profile has been dropped from AKU3. PAN isn’t as convenient, and can’t be used on all platforms (e.g. Macs). This is a real step backwards in my opinion

  57. tdbearct says:

    I would also like to add my concern about not having DUN available under WM5 AKU3.

    I am currently considering selling my otherwise useful WM5 device because I do not have easy EDGE access from my PCs and Macintosh. The PAN profile is not user friendly, and the lack of DUN locks out many people with older Bluetooth dongles or stacks.

  58. JasonCAI says:

    In Pocket MSN, specifically using Hotmail.  Is there a way to change the default folders in the dropdown list when you save an attachment?  Currently it only uses the folders inside My Documents.  We use a Trimble surveying software that would be ideal to allow the user to save the file to the Trimble Data folder.

    Is it possible to add this folder to the dropdown list?

  59. MikeCal says:

    Thanks everyone for the great questions and suggestions.  I did the SD entry as a result of your suggestions.  The most frequent question now is about BTh DUN being replaced with BT PAN.  I’ve asked the main BTh developer if he’d like to write an entry about that and he agreed.  Hopefully we’ll see that soon.

    There have been a few questions about the possiblity of a Windows Update for mobile devices.  I can’t announce features, but I will say that we’ve been heading in that direction for the last few releases.  We put in most of the low level infrastructure in WM5 to make it possible.  We fully understand the value of Windows Update and want to have it on our devices.

    Gwen: you asked if we care about the "Dark Screen of Death" issues.  We absolutely care.  In almost all cases, a DSoD is the result of an OEM driver crashing on the suspend or resume of a PocketPC.  DSoDs generally don’t happen on Smartphones, because the SP power model doesn’t suspend and, thus, avoids the issue entirely.  The DSoD issue is one of the main reasons we’re pushing toward moving everything to the Smartphone power model.  

    M Furey: when you ask about "PocketPC" do you mean the old style "PocketPC that isn’t a phone" or do you include "PocketPC Phone" in your description?

    While Smartphones and PocketPC Phones sale are growing extremely rapidly, PocketPCs that aren’t phone sales are shrinking (and rather quickly at that).  At this point, when I say "PocketPC" I mean "PocketPC Phone."  I don’t even think about non-phone devices anymore.  I certainly wouldn’t try to make a business around selling software to the non-phone PocketPCs.  

    In the PPC Phone vs Smartphone case, though, things are still very healthy.  We sell more PPC Phone devices than we sell Smartphone devices, and our year to year growth of both has been pretty extreme for the last few years.  As some very compelling SPs have been released (especially the Moto Q), we’ve seen SP pulling its weight more than it did in the past.  So there has been some shift from PPC to SP.  But there should still be many more PPC Phone devices for you to sell your software to this year than there were last year.

    All that said, as SP continues to grow, it would be a very good idea for you to start targeting them as well as PPCs with your software.


  60. MikeCal says:

    Andy, I asked the Active Sync people about your 600mb issue and they asked for more information.  Can you click the email link above and send us your email address?  They specifically asked for your OS version, Active Sync version, device type, etc.  But if we’re communicating in email we can go back and forth and have you try thing, etc.


  61. Hank L says:

    I’m new to writing Windows Mobile apps, and I have an idea for an app that would at least partially replace Call History.  However, I can’t find any documentation/APIs that tell me how to get access to call history data.

    Is there an API that gives developers access to all of the Call History data?  For example, is it possible to find out when the last time a person called is?  Or when the last call was?  If not, is there any way to do this?

    In addition, I’d love to learn how to code up a view that looks like the Inbox mail view.  I don’t see a control for this in Visual Studio.


  62. Zelig says:

    Hi Mike,

    This is a bit of a follow up to your previous blogs on power consumption, but I wasn’t sure if you would see a new comment on one of those old blogs.

    Anyway, until now many of us have used an external BT GPS receiver in conjuction with our Pocket PC’s.

    Nowadays, more and more devices are coming out with internal GPS receiver hardware.

    I am interested in the likely power consumption comparison of the following two scenarios:-

    a) PPC running an internal GPS chip

    b) PPC running bluetooth and talking to an external BT GPS receiver

  63. Chris says:

    Why is Windows Mobile so damn hard to work with?  Back?  End?  Home?  Do they all do the exact same thing or is it jsut a magical grab-bag type of thing?

    By the way, why was DUN removed in the Dash in favor of some other totally useless PAN junk?  Why no option?

    Lastly, why does WM make me want to kill myself?  And why isn’t shutdown under start, the logical place, as it is in windows?

  64. Zelig says:

    How does WM5 know which screen resolution the device is running and therefore when to display scrollbars etc ?

    Is their some Registry key that tells the OS it is 240 x 320, or 240 x 240 or 480 x 640 ?

  65. MikeCal says:

    Zelig, I see comments on all entries, no matter how old.  Sometimes comments get lost in the deluge of comment spam we have to wade through and delete every day, but in general I’ll see comments you make in my previous entries.  For your question, you should generally assume that an integrated solution will use less power than an external one.  If the chip is the same in both cases, the internal one will definitely use less total power.  It won’t have the overhead of communicating with the external device.  Of course, if the external unit has its own batteries, then it will end up using less of the phone’s power.  But then you have more batteries to charge…


  66. MikeCal says:

    Regarding how the OS knows the screen resolution: the display driver tells it.  On boot, the OS asks the display driver for the screen resolution.  This means that the display driver code needs to be specific for the hardware being used, but that’s true anyway.  


  67. Zelig says:

    Thanks for your replies Mike.

    In terms of my external/internal GPS question, I was only interested in the PPC’s power consumption (ie does running bluetooth use more power on a PPC than running an internal GPS on the PPC).  

    As you point out, the power consumption of the external GPS chip is largely irrelevant because it has its own battery and therefore doesn’t impact on the PPC.

    The reason for my question is I have heard some people say "why would you want an internal GPS – it will just drain your battery".

    My first reaction to such a comment was perhaps running Bluetooth to talk to an external GPS is just as bad, if not worse, for your PPC battery life – hence my question.

  68. Dan R says:

    I have a Samsung Blackjack and it lacks — amazingly — the simple ability to do dial-by-name (e.g., call 1-800-NOW-HERE or "enter the first few letters of the person’s name with your numeric keypad…")

    Is this an oversight in WM5 or is it a problem specific to the Blackjack?

    And, more importantly, how would I go about replacing the dialers that come with my Blackjack (there are two — a windows mobile default and a samsung dialer that’s more colorful).



  69. MikeCal says:

    Zelig, sorry, even though you said BT, I misunderstood what you were asking.  I was thinking of a plug in GPS unit where the device was powering it.

    Your real question is whether BTh uses more power than GPS.  It generally takes less power to receive than to transmit.  GPS only needs to receive, while BTh needs to both receive and transmit.  So, in general, I’d expect GPS to use less power than BTh.  

    However, you could always compare a very power efficient BTh module to a very power inefficient GPS module and see the opposite being true.  Power would also depend on how the software handles the GPS unit.  You’re only powering the BTh connection while you’re using it.  If, however, the GPS unit was powered all the time, it could end up using more power.  I’d expect the driver writer to power the GPS unit down when it’s not being used, but they might not have.  On the other side of the coin, if you’ve always got BTh on anyway because you’re using a BTh headset, it might not take much extra power to occasionally communicate with the GPS unit.

    So the end answer is, "It depends."  (-:    With well written software, well designed hardware, and otherwise equivalent usage, though, I’d expect GPS to take less power than BTh.


  70. MikeCal says:

    Dan R, you’re describing what we call "the 1-800-FLOWERS problem."  I think you just gave me the topic of my next blog entry.  Look for a full answer in the next few days.


  71. Tommy says:

    I have a question who is contactable about WMDC? I have a toshiba tablet pc with the toshiba bluetooth stack and it appears WMDC doesn’t work with this bluetooth at all. I can sync my phone with USB without any hassle, just can’t use the bluetooth. I can’t find anywhere online to ask someone about this problem except here :). Thanks for your time.

  72. miguelito says:

    One more time: Why was BT DUN dropped?

    If you do the stats on the questions here, you’ll find that BT DUN has been mentioned approximately 8 times more than any other issue. Yet no answer so far.

    If you’re serious about listening to your customers, you ought to answer this one!

  73. MikeCal says:

    miguelito, please see http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsmobile/archive/2007/01/04/what-would-you-like-to-know.aspx#1537791

    Understand that we’re developers with day jobs.  Doing our day job has to take precedence over answering questions on the blog.  That said, I’ll ping the BTh guys again and see if things have settled down for they yet.


  74. Andy J Hubbard says:

    Add me to the list of people keen to hear the promised follow up on missing DUN profiles

  75. Matthew says:

    In addition to the BTh guys answering about DUN, perhaps the Macintosh Business Unit folks could offer a PAN solution on that side of the equation?

  76. MikeCal says:

    Matthew, PAN is a system service, not an application.  Microsoft really isn’t in a position to be adding system code to the Mac OS.  We don’t have access to Apple’s system code, and even if we did, we wouldn’t have the right to change it.


  77. Accosto says:


    I’d like to know what is the hidden idea of not giving a homescreen plugin access to the picture it will be placed on?

    Ok, not a homescreen’s hdc itself but a copy of it.

    It’s just a couple of sourcecode lines and it will help so mush.

    Until it is implemented a plugin can’t use an alpha channel to draw something blended with the background (well, it’s possible but much more complex).

    Thank you!

  78. miguelito says:

    About BT DUN and BT PAN on the Mac. In their latest Tiger release, 10.4.9 (free upgrade), they’ve provided BT PAN.

    It is so painless it is brilliant. Works perfectly.

    I guess they do listen.

    Enough said…

  79. rjoek says:

    MikeCal said (January 26, 2007 2:06 PM) "The most frequent question now is about BTh DUN being replaced with BT PAN.  I’ve asked the main BTh developer if he’d like to write an entry about that and he agreed.  Hopefully we’ll see that soon."

    ??  Please provide this response, as promised.  Lack of BT DUN is completely crippling.  Alternative: BT PAN functionality requiring inititaion on client only.


  80. miguelito says:

    BT PAN does require initiation on the phone. On Mac OSX 10.4.9, once this is done, you can just go to the BT menu and say "Join mycell bluetooth network", and you’re done.

    Save for the oddity of needing to initiate the connection on the phone, this works pretty well.

    BTW, with HSDPA, I still get better throughput over a USB connection than BT (my phone and MacBook Pro both support BT 2.0). I get about 500kbps/450kbps (down/up) vs 1000kbps/450kbps over USB.


  81. rjoek says:

    Sorry — should have been more clear.  Client = laptop.  I want is to connect to the phone without having to take it out of my pocket.  Initiating the connection from the phone is more than an "oddity".  It’s a major inconvenience, and completely unnecessary if Microsoft would have given this issue 2 seconds of thought.  I don’t care if the connection is made through DUN or PAN, I just want it to work with at least as much functionality as it did prior to AKU3.  Seriously, Mike, please provide a good explanation for MS’s reasoning on this.  Or are you too busy snowboarding?

  82. MikeCal says:

    rjoek, I did go snowboarding last weekend, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be the last time of the season.  There’s still enough snow in the mountains, but the weather’s turning pretty nice here and my skateboards are starting to call to me…

    As for the PAN vs DUN thing, I do ping the developer regularly.  He’s still planning to write something.


  83. rjoek934 says:

    Thanks for the response, glad to hear you’re enjoying the weather.  It’s also been quite nice here in San Jose, but that’s not altogether surprising.

    Could you provide a ballpark timeframe for when we’ll hear this response?  Or at least let your colleague know how critical this issue is.  This is a pretty significant problem, as evidenced above, and I would hope Microsoft has a patch in the works to correct this oversight.  Unless you have a very good reason that is not market (mobile service provider) driven.  One would hope the primary interest would be your customer (end user), who is also choosing whether or not to use your other software products and services.

  84. rjoek934 says:

    It’s been a while — can we kindly get an update?



  85. MikeCal says:

    I reviewed Greg’s article late last week.  So, I’m guessing we’ll see it this week.  Thanks for everyone’s patience.


  86. MikeDevenney says:


    Off topic question, but are you lefthanded?  I notice your smileys go "the other way" than what I’m used to seeing…  : ) vs ( :

    Is that an MS thing?

  87. Shaun says:


    Upgraded to WM6.1 and now see lots of things I don’t like – for a start, it doesn’t seem to want to connect to wireless anymore, as if the wireless card is disabled.  Secondly, my (non-MS Exchange) e-mail now says LOCKED, as does my SMS/MMS – ie I can’t send anymore. Anyone seen anything similar? HTC TyTN II, btw.

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