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Microsoft on Monday released a new version of its Pocket PC handheld operating system, rebranding the software and making a number of changes meant to simplify its use.
One change to the software, now called Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PC, is a new configuration manager capable of automatically detecting and connecting to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks. That will make it possible for users to connect wirelessly without having to deal with any complicated configurations or setup, according the company.
The new release also includes improvements to the mobile Web browser, easier E-mail connectivity through integration with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, support for Windows Media 9 audio and video, a new photo album application, and better functionality for running on hybrid mobile phones.
Microsoft's intent is to make Windows Mobile-driven devices easy enough to use by anyone in a company and to remove any hurdles on the user side that might keep a company from deploying the devices, says Nucleus Research analyst Rebecca Wettemann. "They've improved the user experience," she says.
Other changes to the operating system include support for stronger security standards and the Microsoft .Net Compact Framework.
Microsoft also revealed an agreement with wireless service providers Boingo Wireless, T-Mobile, and Wayport to provide Windows Mobile customers with free trial access to their networks of Wi-Fi hot spots.