Windows Mobile 5.0 sees light of day

Microsoft has officially launched the next version of its operating system for smartphones and PDAs, named Windows Mobile 5.0.

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By  Chris Fernando Published  May 15, 2005

Microsoft has officially launched the next version of its operating system for smartphones and PDAs, named Windows Mobile 5.0. Speaking at the Microsoft Mobile & Embedded DevCon 2005, chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates explained that the platform features updated mobile versions of Office and Media Player, together with support for persistent memory storage. According to the company, support for persistent memory storage was the most requested productivity feature from partners and customers; therefore the new OS allows a mobile device to retain information even when the battery is depleted. The new mobile platform boasts new features such as support for 3G networks, Wi-Fi for the smartphone platform and improvements to existing Bluetooth support. "In the past five years there has been a profound shift in the kind of data and services people access on their mobile devices, from multimedia to business applications," said Gates. "Windows Mobile 5.0 enables our industry partners to develop exciting new hardware designs and solutions that will revolutionise how customers use mobile devices." Thus, security has been beefed up with features such as Bluetooth authorisation, which will deter unauthorised access to a bluetooth-enabled device and support for end-to-end encryption over a virtual private network. One-handed keyboard navigation is also possible, which will allow users to access their information without a stylus. HP will soon offer Windows Mobile 5.0 upgrades for the iPAQ hx2100, hx2400, hx2700 and hx4700 handhelds, while Dell will offer an upgrade for the Axim X50 handheld family later this year. Though vendors in this region are yet to announce any new handhelds featuring Microsoft's new platform, Samsung's new smartphone, the SGH-i300 - launched at the CeBIT in March - will be one of the first mobile devices to run the new version of Windows when it hits here.

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