Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

I Am Boycotting IE Mobile Until Microsoft Gets Its Act Together

I have very high expectations for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile announcements at CES this year. You see, I have been a fan of Windows Mobile for quite some time. but, for whatever reason, Microsoft has completely dropped the ball on their platform for mobile devices. For evidence, look no further than the Windows Mobile roadmap. First Microsoft said that Windows Mobile 7 was coming soon, and it was going to radically change the platform. We haven’t heard anything about that in a while, then Ballmer mentioned Windows Mobile 6.5, and everyone went.. .WTF? Then, Microsoft announced that IE6 Mobile was only going to be available on new devices under Windows Mobile 6.1.4.

We’ve waited something like 4 years to get a decent browser for Windows Mobile, and they’re not even going to make it a downloadable update? Screw multimedia features, i just want a better renderer, mmkay?

IMO, I think that the Samsung Omnia is the closest thing the Windows Mobile ecosystem has to an iPhone competitor… the featureset is just spectactual. But the whole UI is custom, and if you do it right, you’ll hardly seen WiMo at all. It’s a shame that the platform can’t have these features out of the box. But the most telling part is, Omnia’s default browser is… opera Mobile. I had the chance to try an Omnia out for myself the other day, and browsing is a dream… so much so, that I’m making a drastic decision.

Until the Windows Mobile team gets their act together and at the very least makes IE6 Mobile a downloadable upgrade for all existing WM6 phones, I’m switching browsers to Opera Mobile. IE has been banished from my phone. Microsoft may be content to let Mozilla and Apple kick their butt in the mobile space, but that doesn’t mean that I have to be caught in the middle. I’d like you to join me. Maybe if our voices are loud enough, maybe we can convince the Windows Mobile team to actually build something innovative… and release it before the end of the decade. I know that’s asking a lot, but I think it can be done.

Your move, Microsoft.



  • Tom Warren said:

    Robert, if you're waiting on Windows Mobile announcements then it's only gonna be them pushing 6.5 and Flash unfortunately. Windows Mobile 7 will be the strong focus point of PDC 2009. That's how far delayed mobile 7 is.

    January 6, 2009 12:49 AM
  • Long Zheng said:

    Making PocketIE6 only available to new devices with a new ROM is a complete dumbfounded move. Several enthusiasts have extracted the new IE and put it on their existing mobiles and runs fine. If it doesn't, then IE team needs to learn some performance optimization tips from the Opera guys.

    Opera Mobile on WM is awesome. You can always find new unofficial builds on xda-developers like this one

    January 6, 2009 1:10 AM
  • That's total BS. Apple is kicking Microsoft's ass... they need to do something about it... now. It's like pitting a spitball against a bazooka.

    January 6, 2009 2:19 AM
  • Nicko said:

    Robert, have you tried Skyfire? I can playback [real, not mobile] YouTube videos fine, even on my dodgy Treo 750, with it.

    January 6, 2009 2:41 AM
  • Deepesh Shah said:

    Agree with Nico, Try Skyfire, I have been using it since last 2 months and it is brilliant, also support Flash movies and Ajax enabled sites like Gmail.

    January 6, 2009 5:44 AM
  • Pony99CA said:

    Congratulations on the most ineffective boycott ever.

    First, why would Microsoft care if you don't use IE Mobile?  Saying you won't use Windows Mobile at all would be more of a statement.

    Second, I've read that IE Mobile is actually better at rendering some Web sites (single-column) than Opera.

    Third, MVP Menneisyys (spelling?) said IE Mobile 6 in its current form stinks.

    Finally, unless you're using a custom ROM, you haven't banished IE Mobile at all.  It's still lurking in your ROM.

    Yes, Microsoft needs to improve the browser, but your boycott is ridiculous.

    Oh, yeah, I'm posting this from my Motorola Q9m using IE Mobile.

    January 6, 2009 6:06 AM
  • Oliver Daniel said:

    The IE6 Mobile mishap may not be entirely their fault. Rumor has it that the carriers forced Microsoft to restrict it to new phones only.

    January 6, 2009 7:00 AM
  • said:

    I have very high expectations for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile announcements at CES this year. You see, I have been a fan of Windows

    January 6, 2009 10:20 AM
  • Joe said:

    I went with the Touch Pro from HTC and it comes with Opera Mobile pre-installed.  I use it all the time.  It is not perfect, but it is light years ahead of PIE.  Microsoft has been behind for years.  The thing that I find most entertaining is that they claim to understand how important mobile is, and yet this 90K+ employee company that can develop new iterations of their server and desktop operating systems can't seem to get enough talented mobile developers to turn out a decent version of their mobile OS.  If they are not willing to do it, why don't they open source CE and let the community get to work doing the work they refuse to do?

    January 6, 2009 11:50 AM
  • ttklf4 said:

    Microsoft seems to have overtaken your opinion and now has reviewed Opera Mobile and Fennec in the Windows Mobile Team blog.

    January 6, 2009 12:47 PM
  • surilamin said:

    I agree with you a 100% Robert.  WinMo has dropped the ball completely and is getting its ass kicked.  I don't know if they need to rewrite the platform, but if its necessary they should do it.

    I would rather see one nice Microsoft phone (as Apple [iphone] has done) than windows mobile on a thousand different phones...

    January 6, 2009 9:28 PM
  • Henry Boehlert said:

    For Windows Mobile, Microsoft does not see *you* (ISV/user) as the customer. It's OEM partners, device manufacturers and mobile operators.

    And they've already dropped IE and I wish they'd sack tmail as well.

    For a marvelous device such as the HTC Touch Pro, the OS is actually the limiting factor. I hope Android can change this game.

    January 8, 2009 1:47 AM