I previously posted about the different versions of Windows Mobile 5. Microsoft has just taken the wraps off of the next version of Windows Mobile. Interestingly, MS has decided to rename the Windows Mobile products. Specifically, MS previously had two version of Windows Mobile called “Mobile Smartphone Edition” and “Mobile Phone Edition”. To clarify, the latter is the most fully featured version and includes a touch screen and the ability to create and edit Office documents. The former is the smaller footprint version that is designed for streamlined PDAs and examples of this include the Q and the Blackjack. The new names for these two versions is the “Standard Version” and “Professional Version.”
Laptop Magazine has a full review. The verdict is that the biggest benefit is improved stability of the new platform. That is it no longer crashes like WM5 did. (Clearly a benefit, but isn’t stability a required pre-requisite?) This is not a comment against the review, but rather an indictment of WM5. Instability in these types of platforms is intolerable, and I can’t believe that users tolerate it. The sum of the review is that WM6 has some nice features, but does not provide compelling upgrade in regards to features or functions. Clearly, if you are buying a Windows Mobile based PDA then you should get a WM6 version, but if you already have WM5 then the choice is less obvious.
One question that may come up is whether you can upgrade a WM5 device to WM6. The answer is that it is unclear. The hardware is not the issue, but rather getting your carrier to test and provide the upgrade. It sounds the first supported upgrade for a phone is the T-Mobile Dash as reported on the boygeniusreport.com. Hopefully more carriers will support the upgrades on their phones, but it is uncertain and there are no guarantees.