There was this Windows Mobile Experience Tour that was happening in Low Yat plaza throughout the weekend so I decided to check it out
They erected a simple stage in the foyer area. Which also held several booths comprising of the various Windows Mobile device manufacturers. The manufacturers who you expected to be there were all there, HTC, Samsung and Sony. What I wasn't expecting to see was a HP booth.
I thought they had given up on Windows Mobile powered devices already, but they brought along the iPaq Data Messenger (which has a sliding keyboard and costs LESS than 2000) as well as the iPaq Voice Messenger which is a Windows Mobile Standard phone (non touchscreen).
Another surprise for me was seeing Motorola there pushing the Motorola A3100. Which after seeing the specs it would seem that like Netbooks, Windows Mobile professional devices seem to have established some entry level specifications which are
- 528Mhz Processor (Most probably a Qualcomm)
- QVGA Resolution Screen
- Builtin GPS (From the Qualcomm chip most likely)
- WiFi + HSDPA support.
- 128MB of operation memory
Anything lower (ie, without 3G or GPS) would be meant for users who want the capabilities of a Windows Mobile phone but uses it more as a PIM with phone capabilities instead of a smart phone. For those people I would say just get a Windows Mobile Standard device instead of a Professional then.
The main point of interest of the event is of course, the Windows Mobile Roadshow container.
Inside the container are demo units of the various WM devices so people can have some hands on experience trying out all the devices from the various manufacturers. They also have screens that show off the various capabilities of WM devices which most people forget to mention. For example, we can search through our SMS messages by simply typing our search keyword, no need to initiate a search function or thumb through messages. But I do wonder about one thing though.
Can't exactly fit a big crowd into the thing, The walkway seems to be about oh... 3 people wide? Other than having devices for you to fondle with in the container, the containers are manned by Windows Mobile enthusiasts who can help answer questions regarding the Windows Mobile devices which you might have. I cornered one and asked him the million dollar question "Why a Windows Mobile device and not an iPhone?" The guy gave a very politically correct answer, talked about the enterprise support on WM devices, communications support, etc. etc. He gave some good responses, but I wonder why no direct hits on the iPhone was performed. Such as you can't use the iPhone as a modem unless the telco allowed it, lower screen resolution compared to the high end WM devices, lower end camera (though I wouldnt call camera on phones a feature), etc. etc.
Then he got it wrong when he mentioned that iPhones are meant for Macs and Windows users can't use it fully for example they can't sync their information to Outlook without a 3rd party program. Hmmmm.... I'm pretty sure Windows iPhone users can at least sync the information to iTunes so you can't say Windows users can't sync information.
When pressed about playing videos on the WM devices the guy gave a politically correct answer again, saying that videos can be played using the onboard Windows Media Player. Only problem is that people who really use WM devices will probably tell you that they NEVER use WMP for watching videos. The typical app which WM users use to watch video is CorePlayer, which is so capable on higher spec'ed WM phones that it can play most videos without having to reencode them. The guy also made a mistake when I asked him how do I get video files onto the device he mentioned that files on the internet were already in Windows Media Format. The correct answer would have been to either use Windows Media Player to sync and transcode the files to the device or another 3rd Party conversion tool.
He did get one thing right though, he mentioned that most users would Jailbreak their iPhones in order to run certain apps which are unsanctioned by Apple App Store guide lines, which effectively terminates your warranty. Whereas there's no such limitation on the Windows Mobile platform (at least not here in Malaysia since we don't have that many Telco sponsored devices)
Outside the container they had some promo info
So the first 500 people to buy WM phones during the event gets a free key to one of 5 SPB programs, and there's that little closet on the right hand set which people go in and grab discount vouchers I guess.
They were also having a Bubble Breaker Challenge...
Bubble Breaker? That's like the Minesweeper of Windows Mobile, I wonder why of all things they picked THIS to be the games challenge, I guess they couldn't get the rights to use Guitar Hero 3 Mobile?
Then as I was about to leave since WZ was getting close to his bed time and got ready to throw a tantrum some guests showed up.
As I was repeating WTF WTF in my head the MC mentions why they are here, the staff will take a picture of you with them using a Windows Mobile phone and then mail the photo to you. While that was an interesting idea, I can't help but wonder how that helps selling Windows Mobile devices on the day itself, since the customer can't get the photo right after it's taken and if he feel's that he likes the performance of the WM device once he gets the photo the event might already be over (it only runs till tomorrow).
Anyway since WZ was enthusiatically screaming Chun Li, Chun Li I took him over to pose for a picture, it was taken with an Omnia and I'm still waiting for the pic to get back to me.
Of course since this is an event there are definetly some special offers, and since I'm too lazy to type out the offer information.
Remember you can click on it to get a larger more readable version.
They say that Malaysia is the 1st stop on the South East Asia Windows Mobile Experience tour. Wonder where else they might be going off to, and I hope the people will be more well equipped to answer the #1 question. "Why Windows Mobile and not an iPhone?"