View Full Version : Windows Mobile 2003 - To Upgrade or not to Upgrade?
October 12, 2003, 04:23 PM
Microsoft has recently released Windows Mobile 2003 for the Pocket PC platform. Many new handhelds are already shipping with this new platform. However, what about those who still have Pocket PC 2002? Should you upgrade to the new OS? Read the rest of this post to find out.
Members of this board have already reviewed the platform in some detail. However, no one has justified the movement to the platform before now. If you are in a dilemma about going cross-platform to 2003, hold on to your stylus, you need to know a few things first.
It is purpose that drives us, purpose that binds us, upholds us, it is purpose that defines us - BUT - purpose is something lacking in the new platform. Hold up, I'm not bashing. I'm serious here. Windows Mobile 2003 does add a few tweaks to the previous 2002 platform, but it does more harm than good. The following is a detailed outline of things you MUST know before you port.
WM 2003 uses a new Kernel
That means that many programs that ran on your PPC 2002 platform will not work on 2003. It's like trying to run a game written for Windows XP in DOS. Conversely, all programs written for the Windows Mobile 2003 platform will NOT work on the Pocket PC 2002.
There is a software compatibility list that you can check to find out which programs will or will not work with Windows Mobile 2003. You can read that here (http://www.manueldelatorre.com/ppc2003/list.asp?brand=&compatible=&Submit=Filter).
October 12, 2003, 04:24 PM
WM 2003 Uses a new Filesystem
That means that software such as Battery Pack and some antivirus suites will not work.
WM 2003 Uses a new Memory Addressing Scheme
That means that many games will experience severe slow down issues, and sound will be choppy at best for many games. That includes such titles as Toki Tori, Rayman Ultimate, and a host of others. This is experienced right across the board, as is not limited to any particular brand of handhelds.
Dell Axim users should steer clear of WM 2003, because not only does this issue affect games, but the operation of the entire system. There will be times when the entire device becomes unusable (Even when there are no programs running).
Dell has since officially withdrawn the Axim X5 WM 2003 ROM update as it will not only give users a free copy of WM 2003, but it also has severe lag issues in the general usage of the device.
October 12, 2003, 04:28 PM
WM 2003 uses a new, incompatible Virtual Device Driver engine
That means that additional hardware that worked for your 2002 platform will either have issues, or will simply not work with WM 2003. With regards to the Dell Axim Keyboard, that's an absolute no-no. The Keyboard drivers will install, but your Axim won't be able to start up usung the power button after you install them. You will have to conduct a hard reset everytime you want to turn on your device.
However, this VxD problem is NOT limited to Axim handhelds. This goes for ALL Pocket PC machines. That's why newer iPAQs are shipping with newer devices.
WM 2003 Uses a different Theme Database Engine
That means programs like Pocket Facelift (http://www.pocketfacelift.com/) will not work under Windows Mobile 2003. This also eliminates at least HALF of the most well known pocket pc theme enhancement software out there. They simply just won't work.
If you're thinking of using your Jornada Dashboard with WM 2003, forget it. That doesn't work with it either. In some cases, the program won't even start up.
October 12, 2003, 04:29 PM
WM 2003 Does not ship with Visual Basic eNable runtime libraries
- That means that all programs, productivity or entertainment, that was written for the Pocket PC platform using Visual Basic, will not run under WM 2003. These runtime libraries shipped with Pocket PC 2002 by default. With WM 2003, you have to go out and download them yourself - ON the device. In other words, you have to surf to the website to download those libraries USING the device. It installs automatically.
You can download the Visual Basic eNable runtime libraries here (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/resources/downloads/developer/evb.mspx).
Do you have anything Good to say about WM 2003?
- Yes. It has a notably faster browser, supports bluetooth right out of the box, has a slightly prettier backdrop than PPC 2002 and has some nice tweaks to the e-mail system.
...but considering that they changed so much of it under the hood, so that half of my software doesn't work or gives issues, I find it hardly worth the US$29. I mean,
WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING? ??? ??? >:(
October 12, 2003, 04:31 PM
So what are you saying? Should I Upgrade?
If you are not a heavy PPC user, which would mean that you bought your Pocket PC to look at the pretty backlit screen, sure. Go right ahead. Just make sure that you only use Microsoft Products.
If you are a HEAVY PPC user, which would mean that you bought your Pocket PC to push it to every conceivable limit known to handheld technology, then by all means avoid Windows Mobile 2003 like the PLAGUE. Believe me, you will find yourself SCAMPERING to reload the Pocket PC 2002 Rom Image.
If you still feel you MUST use WM 2003 or your brand new iPAQ shipped with the OS, PLEASE check the Software Compatibility List (http://www.manueldelatorre.com/ppc2003/list.asp?brand=&compatible=&Submit=Filter), before you go out and shell out your hard earned cash for any software for it. You will save yourself a LOT of money and a LOT of headaches.
Furthermore, if you get the ROM update for your PPC 2002, you will get most of the good tweaks that WM 2003 has, without WM 2003. This is particularly true for the Dell Axim handhelds. That means, you can enjoy this faster browser on your PPC 2002 platform.
October 12, 2003, 04:34 PM
As I was saying, it's all about Purpose. PPC 2002 took the Pocket PC platform by storm, went to town and came back with a TON of support and a massive cult following. It dominated the Handheld market and posed a VERY serious threat to the slightly more difficult to use handheld contendor, Palm OS.
But its successor, Windows Mobile 2003, is nothing more than a very fancy service pack - (with lots of changes mind you), that does more harm than good. If Microsoft had made more of an effort to make the platform backward compatible, without changing the entire Kernel while they're at it (hence rendering half of the massive Pocket PC software library useless), I'm sure this thread would never exist and developers would have hailed its coming.
Now developers have to be scrambling to fix THOUSANDS of their software releases for people who go out and buy new Pocket PCs, when OEMs mindlessly stuff their products with WM 2003 without TESTING it first. Idiots. I swear, sometimes I wonder why these people are still in business. Now they are suffering a massive deluge of tech support calls from all over the world:
"Heeeellp! My programs won't start up on my new PDA!"
The price we pay for ignorance is rather a very expensive one.
WM 2003 is a very bad Microsoft mistake and they are going to pay for it dearly in dollars and sense.
Let's hope that our new iPAQ owners are more forgiving. >:(
Ok. NOW you can go nuts with your stylus....
October 15, 2003, 06:22 PM
Xeno you provided a very great review. But i would not place so much emphasis on the incompatability list issue because it won't be a problem period.
Do you remember the time when Win3.x was updating to Win95 the only reason why many never upgraded and suffered for a period of time due to incompatiblility issues was because many manufacturer's were not so enthusiastic about this new windows product.
But look at history since then, as soon as there is a new OS out by Micro$oft, software manufacturers release and upgrade or provide some patch within 30 days or so.
Plus if there is something new why resort to the old, if the new is performing much better than the predecessor? (i.e. Windows Me -> Win XP)
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