Friday’s question: what do you want in Crossbow?


Crossbow_smartphone_1_1I’ve recently realized (just this week) that I use my Windows Mobile device much less than I used to. I’m not suggesting that’s a general trend for everyone, but as computing devices become smaller and more connected (think UMPCs and beyond), I do wonder if this is the beginning of a trend. There will probably always be place for a mega-featured phone or PDA for some, so I’m not predicting doom and gloom here. Nope, instead, I’m wondering what features we’ll see (or should see) in the next version of Windows Mobile that will keep those handhelds worth holding. We already know that Crossbow is that next version and there are some new features of course. Here’s my question to you:

What features aren’t currently in Windows Mobile that you’d like to see in Crossbow?

Me personally: I’d like to see native Java support for more dynamic web pages. Speaking of web pages, I’d also like to see some of the great features in Opera and other mobile browsers to be part of IE Mobile. How about you?



I would like to be able to choose which calendar, contacts, or task list I would like to sync. If I have a public calendar and use it as my primary calendar (along with others in my team for scheduling meetings, etc), I can’t do this. With WM5 you can only sync your personal inbox, calendar, contacts, task list with Exchange.

There are many of my clients that would like the same thing also. I mean all you have to do is set the path location of the item. Palm has supporting software that allows this, but MSFT doesn’t, particularly anything built in to ActiveSync, Windows Mobile, Outlook, and Exchange.

This would be an excellent feature.


Well, they’ve already included two of the features I’ve wanted most: HTML email and message flags. I’d love to see message categorization as well. Certainly PIE could use some improvements, primarily around JavaScript and AJAX support. Multiple tabs or open pages would be nice, but isn’t as critical to me.

Support for Word and Excel 2007 documents has been promised, but I’d like to see, literally, more of the document formatting on the Mobile versions. Now that the XML document standards are public, perhaps someone else will write viewers or editors for WM that will improve on the MS software.

In WMP I’d like to see better organization for your media, something akin to the Library in the XP/Vista version. And for playing video, I’d like to see some more options for scaling the video size or viewing in full screen, like rotating the video in any orientation.

I’d like to see better ink support for OneNote Mobile. And better inking for all applications, although that would likely require a hardware change to a touch screen with better resolution. And of course, File Manager has needed a major overhaul for a long time now.


I would like the browsing and resolution to be the same as the Nokia 770. Pretty much I want games from a windows mobile device, ebooks from wm, and web browsing from nokia 770.


If it just fixed the send calendar apt. bug (always tries to send via MMS no matter what) I’d be pretty thrilled…

Dave Zatz

How about stability & reliability? My phone needs a reboot every other day, gets hung up at various times. I imagine some of this coul dbe due to third party apps, so why not better insulate the core OS from this? Also some of the conveniences found on the Blackberry would be nice – hitting the spacebar can insert an @ sign or period (.) in a URL or email address. Improved support for one-handed operation. Better browser in general is needed.

Josh Pollard

it would be nice if Windows Media Player wasn’t total crap. I have an XV6700 and have basically given up ever using WMP on it. I use MortPlayer for everything. If WMP’s library automatically updated itself and wasn’t such a resource hog AND had a Today screen plugin, then I would probably use it.

I think the next thing that I’m really looking for in a PocketPC phone is a hard drive and a VGA display. These tiny hard drives are obviously getting a lot cheaper (I can get an 8gb iPod Nano for $250!) so that shouldn’t be a big deal. But obviously that’s not the OS’s fault.

Colin Walker

Seeing as Crossbow has already been supplied to OEMs it’s all a bit academic so we should really be asking what we’d like to see in Photon. Still:

WMP in crossbow is supposed to have a rudimentary equaliser so this is definitely something I’m waiting for (although more advanced than just rudimentary would be nice) and I’d like WMP NOT to be a huge memory hog like it is in WM5.

I quite agree with the ideas on Java and PIE – we should have things like tabs etc. natively rather than having to rely on something like PIE Plus.

The obvious suggestion is Office 2007 support but we know that’s coming next year and won’t be in Crossbow unless there will be a separate patch released – this may be on the cards as Crossbow has Windows Update.

A better inking experience would be good – let’s face it, it’s all a bit jagged and wobbly at the moment. And why stop at the software, what about a PPC with an active digitiser! woohoo ;)

As the functionality of the device is limited by teh form factor I don’t think you can get too much more than we’ve already got.

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