[Whitepaper] Windows Mobile: Community Ecosystem
By on February 21st, 2010

All numbers are correct as on December 31, 2009. The numbers are only representative indicators.

 

PRODUCTS

Major release dates of last few years:

  • Windows Mobile 5.0 – May 2005 (MEDC)
  • Windows Mobile 6.0 – February 2007 (3GSM World Congress)
  • Windows Mobile 6.1 – April 2008
  • Windows Mobile 6.5 / Windows phone – May 2009
  • Windows phone 7 series – February 2010 (MWC)

INDUSTRY EVENTS

CES | January – Las Vegas, NV

This the annual Consumer Electronics Show which is hosted by the Consumer Electronics Association. At this event, major announcements are made from across the industry.

Year

Attendance

2008

140,000

2009

120,000

CTIA Wireless | March – Las Vegas, NV

This is an industry event run by CTIA. CTIA is an international nonprofit membership organization founded in 1984, representing all sectors of wireless communications – cellular, personal communication services and enhanced specialized mobile radio. The event itself is an important one for key announcements (e.g. Microsoft announced Windows MarketPlace for Mobile at CTIA 09).

Year

Attendance

2008

42,000

2009

36,000

GSMA Mobile World Congress | February – Barcelona, Spain

This is an industry event run by GSMA. The GSMA Mobile World Congress is an event in the global mobile Communications market targeted at business decision makers. The event itself is an important one for key announcements (e.g. Microsoft announced Windows Mobile 6.5 at MWC 09 and Windows phone 7 series at MWC 2010).

Year

Attendance

2008

55,000

2009

51,000

 

Tech*Ed | Spring – Various locations

Tech*Ed is a multiple-day Microsoft-sponsored event which exposes software/technology edge trends as they relate to Microsoft products. The event happens at several US cities and across other major cities of the world.

Year

Attendance (US)

2008

12,000

2009

7,000

 

MICROSOFT MVPs (MOST VALUABLE PROFESSIONALS)

Windows Mobile MVPs

Windows Mobile MVPs have registered interest in 50 different technologies. There are 86 Windows Mobile MVPs representing 29 individual countries and 16 languages.

 

ONLINE COMMUNITIES

MoDaCo

MoDaCo is a mobile-focused site which offers cross platform news, forums, downloads and reviews, and has over 415,000 registered members. It is owned by former MVP Paul O’Brien

Howard Forums

Howard forums boasts just short of 1 million members, who have made 12.3 million cumulative posts. It’s divided into 7 main sections – marketplace, phone manufacturers, carriers, smartphones/PDAs, general phone discussion, buy sell trade and general discussions. HowardForums is owned by Howard Chui of Toronto, CA.

XDA-Developers.com

XDA-Dev is a site focused on sharing software which targets devices manufactured by HTC. There is a Wiki, a device database for reference, and hugely active forums. There are currently almost 1.6 million members who have contributed 3.1 million posts. This site maintains a certain level of legal tension with the community because of the underground applications/ROMs shared there apart from very useful forums discussions and useful freeware applications.

PocketPCThoughts/SmartphoneThoughts

ThoughtsMedia is owned by Canadian MVP Jason Dunn. The site has about 51,000 members who’ve posted about 570,000 times, so it’s smaller in comparison to some of the broader scoped sites. Jason is really focused on providing cutting edge news and written and video reviews and has a staff that assists with that.

4winmobile.com

4winmobile.com is run by UK MVP Daron Brewood. The site is pretty full featured with forums, downloads, hardware/softwa
re reviews, editorials news and shopping
. There are currently 43,000 members and almost 150,000 posts. So it’s smaller than some of the broader sites, but this 4winmobile.com is scoped very much to Windows Mobile.

CoolSmartPhone.com

This site is owned and run by UK MVP Leigh Geary and includes news, reviews, blogs forums and downloads. It’s very up to date on news items, has great reviews and has about 282,000 forum members

PocketNow.com

PocketNow is managed by former MVP Brandon Miniman. The site offers news, reviews, forums, software downloads and a well-stocked phone database. The strength of the site is not in the forums, where they about 2700 members, but in news and reviews. They claim about 400,000 visitors per month

Brighthand.com

Brighthand is owned by TechnologyGuide.com and has sub-sites for Desktops, Digital Camera, Laptops, TabletPCs, Printers and Smartphones. It’s a site focused on product reviews, how to guides, news and editorials. The smartphone forums at Brighthand have about 125,000 members, who discuss issues across the various device platforms and manufacturers.

MobilitySite.com

MobilitySite is owned and managed by MVP Chris Leckness. It’s a site that started out as Aximsite – dedicated to the Dell Axim – but now includes a broader focus. It houses news and forums primarily. Much of the other content is a bit dated at this point, but the forums are very active. There are just shy of 250,000 members who have contributed 1.66 million cumulative posts.

 

ONLINE FORUMS

Microsoft Windows Mobile Forums

Microsoft offers five forums in the Windows Mobile Total Access Forums:

  • Activesync / Windows Mobile Device Center
  • Windows Mobile
  • Windows Mobile Help
  • Windows Mobile Phones and Accessories
  • My Phone Service

These forums are new since 2009, after they migrated over from the Windows Mobile Owners Circle forums. There are over 60,000 posts. Developer topics are handled in the Microsoft Smart Device Development forums, but those are a part of the Device Application Development community.

 

NEWSGROUPS

There are 6 English language newsgroups hosted by Microsoft focusing on PocketPC/Smartphone end users. Based on current trends in technology and the community space, it seems increasingly clear that newsgroups are not a long term option, and would eventually be migrated to forums.

  • microsoft.public.pocketpc
  • microsoft.public.pocketpc.activesync
  • microsoft.public.pocketpc.multimedia
  • microsoft.public.pocketpc.phone_edition
  • microsoft.public.pocketpc.wireless
  • microsoft.public.smartphone

 

OFFICIAL CHANNELS

Author: Abhishek Baxi
Abhishek Baxi is an independent technology columnist for several international publications and a digital consultant. He speaks incessantly on Twitter (@baxiabhishek) and dons the role of Editor-in-Chief here at Techie Buzz.

Abhishek Baxi has written and can be contacted at abhishek@techie-buzz.com.
 
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