Windows Mobile: The Sixth Time Is the Charm

Usually, it takes Microsoft three versions to get a product right. That means Windows Mobile 6 must be pretty darn good!

The new software for smart phones and other small devices supports Office apps, boasts better synchronization with Outlook and now Vista, and has contacts listed alongside their call history.

Of course, with all these features one has to wonder what kind of degree is required to make the thing work!

A Non-Announcement Concerning Microsoft/Novell Interoperability
On Nov. 2 of last year, Microsoft and Novell announced a pretty important interoperability agreement. This week Microsoft offered up a completely non-important update. The 1,128-word press release was so bereft of new information it could have been written by a congressional intern.

I parsed it pretty carefully and the only news I could discern is the fact that the OpenXML to OpenDoc translator is now shipping, something Microsoft announced separately last week. The company also announced plans to announce an updated directory and identity roadmap in the second half of this year.

Sun Ships Office to OpenOffice Translator
The hunk of code I told you about last week (and reiterated in the item above) that converts files from Office's OpenXML to OpenDoc and back is now available from Sun. If you're like me, you've had your share of file conversion nightmares. So is this conversion any good? Let us know at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Vonage and Mozilla: What's their Major Malfunction?
The great thing about having a magazine, newsletter or Web site (and I've got all three!) is you get to complain and people have to listen. Today's beef: Vonage pop-up ads!

One reason I moved to Firefox (besides wanting my kids to think I'm cool) is it promises to reduce pop-ups. And it does, except for those coming from one company -- Vonage. I've got the pop-up blocker active, but to no avail. Vonage just busts on through!

Obviously, the company is purposely bypassing these protections, leading me to launch a one-man boycott of Vonage. I wouldn't buy their phone service if it was free (well, maybe if it was free and they corrected their horrible IP voice quality).

You know what's wild? I never get these pop-ups on IE6!

Doug's Mailbag: A Nod for Microsoft, Pitting TV Against the Web
There's no shortage of negative opinions when it comes to Microsoft. But here's one reader who stays optimistic:

Been testing software from Microsoft and other sources for many years (since the 1970s). In retrospect, looking at how far Microsoft has come, it is astonishing indeed. There are some glitches but, eh, perfect is in the mirror only!

1. Vista promises to allow dual boot, which means to me I can keep my trusty XP and play the Vista discovery, which -- from having seen the beta and subsequent releases -- is impressive, despite rumors it will run on an older machine if you upgrade the video card (which I did. Need 2GB, though.

2. The Office suite is really mind-blowing and will take a while to master (if at all -- so many features).

3. Yes, I like Linux as well, but if it is a hardship to play a simple DVD, then back to Windows (I know, I know, download this, redo the kernel that, but so much to do and so little time). So Linux folks: MEPIS, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Red Hat, etc. are cool but...?
-Leendert

So Bill Gates thinks that television is still in the "dark ages" and it'll take a revolution via the Internet to resuscitate it. Is one better than the other? One reader isn't so sure:

When cable television first came out, it promised more variety and fewer commercials. Problem is, cable and the regular broadcast channels (VHF or UHF) have too many commercials. Now we look at the Internet. Even more variety and even more advertising. I have never had a pop-up ad come up while watching television and requesting my input for a survey. Television gets the nod here. My television has never brought a virus into my home. But television still has too many commercials.

Now, the Internet has advertising, but at least it's off to the side and you can pay attention to the rest of the screen. With television, it's either commercials or your program. The Internet wins here.

I like both and cannot pick one over the other. You don't have to log in to your television to watch it. But you cannot prompt your television to answer a pressing question or get more information. Fact is, each has its own strength and weakness. It's the same thing with e-mail and snail mail, but that's another question for another time.
-Les

Go ahead and add your 2 cents! Coment below or contact me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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