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By Chris De Herrera 
Copyright 1998-2007
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The End of the Classic Version of Windows Mobile (AKA the PDA)
By Chris De Herrera , Copyright 2009

Revised 3/15/2009

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Windows Mobile Versions

The current definition of Windows Mobile Versions are:

Windows Mobile 6.1 Classic Edition Windows Mobile touch screen devices that do not include cellular capabilities. Formerly known as the Pocket PC.

Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition Windows Mobile touch screen devices that include cellular capabilities. Formerly known as the Pocket PC.

Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard Edition Windows Mobile non-touch screen devices that include cellular capabilities. Formerly known as the Smartphone
In the Beginning of the Pocket PC

When the Pocket PC first arrived in 2000, there was only one version that shipped. The Pocket PC 2000 did not have any built in wireless data capabilities nor did it have a hardware keyboard.

With the introduction of the Pocket PC 2002, OEMs added wireless capabilities to devices. The wireless capabilities were Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.   These devices were known as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).

Introduction of the Phone Edition

Also, the first Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition was created and sold by T-Mobile. This was the first commercial release of the Pocket PC that supported cellular access to data via GPRS. The cellular data capabilities have continued to bloom with Windows Mobile 2003, Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, Windows Mobile 5.0 Professional Edition and Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional Edition.

The Autmn of Windows Mobile Classic  (AKA PDA)

Over the past few generations of the Windows Mobile platform, the number of devices with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth only has been declining. The last major release of Windows Mobile Professional that was sold to consumers was Windows Mobile 6.0 from OEMs like HP. Currently with Windows Mobile 6.1, only OEMs like Motorola (via their Symbol subsidiary) and Intermec offer ruggedized versions of Windows Mobile Professional Edition that do not include cellular data.

Conclusion

In the future, I anticipate that the number of ruggedized devices without cellular data support (Windows Mobile Classic Edition) will continue to decline and at some point in the near future, I expect that they will no longer be financially viable to make. When this occurs, companies can always choose to purchase ruggedized devices with cellular data and not activate the cellular capabilities.


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