wx, y&z but don’t forget p

August 26, 2006

So, having switched to Sprint over 2 months ago to take advantage of their cheap data plans, I have to say I’m quite pleased with their coverage thus far. Between my PPC6700 and my wife’s 700p we’ve gotten impressive evdo speeds in many different locales. The 6700 is certainly a very data capable device, especially with regard to my use of over the air synchronization with my company’s Exchange server (particularly task syncing which I use extensively) and Terminal Services over vpn. The ability to switch to a WiFi connection where available is also something I wouldn’t feel good about losing at this point. However, the overall experience on Windows Mobile is beggining to truly make me question whether this is my mobile platform of the future. Yes, the “one-handedness” is much improved in WM5 and especially so for devices with dedicated “Start” and “OK” buttons like the 6700. But it still doesn’t come close to the snappy and covienient Palm OS based Treo experience. As you might have guessed I have been experimenting with my wife’s 700p a fair amount lately, and I have to say that though I know the PalmOS (as we now know it) is certainly going nowhere, and though there are some functionality sacrifices from a multi-tasking perspective one would have to make switching from WM5, the overall experience is so much less cumbersome, it just might be worth it. In fact if the measure of a device’s worth is directly connected to the quality of its browser as Engadget’s Ryan Block recently and correctly posited, then PalmOS has to trump WinMO precisely because Blazer is now more capable than PIE. Despite my ongoing sourness with WM, I just haven’t been able to make this complete leap though, because from an OS stability perspective I think it’s sadly a draw, if not a complete win on this front for “Magneto”. The latest iteration of Garnett is certainly the best, mainly because of the improved functionality in the Blazer browser, but also due to the improved Exchange Activesync capabilities (no task syncing though). But it is certainly not without it’s share of annoyances, and it is likely the last dot upgrade to this venerable but long in the tooth user interface. At least Redmond is a little closer to perfecting their vision for mobile OS computing (“Crossbow”), whereas PalmOS/Access has really just wrapped up their Linux focused “Back to the Drawing Board” session from a market availability perspective.

So, as a psychological compromise why am I not using the 700w? It would be easy to guess I’ve spent considerable time in various Verizon retail stores playing with the “w”, but just haven’t been able to pull the credit card trigger due to concerns about Verizon’s expensive data plans, not to mention the now notorious memory issues on the first WM Treo. Therefore, it is with great anticipation that I await the bonafide release of the 700wx on Sprint, as both of those problems will have been solved. However, the larger problem remains: which letter of the alphabet do I really prefer in this never ending quest for mobile OS perfection? As for the “y&z” in my post title, those are meant to represent the soon to be released Treo “Lennon” and “Nitro” devices for GSM networks. The Lennon will run WM and supposedly be HSDPA capable, but the Nitro will apparently only be EDGE capable due to the aforementioned multitasking defenciencies in the latest, and hopefully last Garnett release. It has been speculated that these 2 devices might also have WiFi which might cause me to hold off on wx until y&z get released. Or, I might just have to convince my wife to relinquish the deathgrip she has on the p, and if that doesn’t work then maybe I’ll have to continue to live in both worlds and drive myself (and anybody who ever reads this and future posts) crazy!

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