Windows Mobile is a discontinued family of operating systems created by Microsoft. It was developed for Pocket PCs and smartphones. It is based on Windows CE (today known as Windows Embedded Compact). Its underuse and the eventual decline were mostly due to competition from iOS and Android, which were much bigger names. Eventually, it was replaced with Windows Phone.
Pocket PC 2000
Pocket PC 2000 was the first operating system version for Pocket PCs, based on Windows CE and versions of operating systems from previous Handheld PCs. It is visually similar to Windows 98, Windows Me, and Windows 2000. It had several Microsoft-made pre-installed apps, most of which were based on applications found on Windows. This includes Internet Explorer and the Microsoft Office apps. This version of Pocket PC was released on April 19, 2000, and was discontinued on September 10, 2007.
Pocket PC 2002
Pocket PC 2002 was released on October 4, 2001. It is very similar to 2000, although it has been redesigned to look similar to Windows XP, which had been released recently. It included new apps such as MSN Messenger and updated previous ones like Windows Media Player. The OS was discontinued on October 10, 2008.
Windows Mobile 2003
Windows Mobile 2003 is the first OS to be given the Windows Mobile name, based on Windows CE 4.20. It had 4 versions:
- Pocket PC Premium Edition
- Pocket PC Professional Edition (budget version of Premium)
- For Smartphones
- Pocket PC Phone Edition (for Pocket PCs that had phone functionalities)
The most notable feature added was support for many Bluetooth devices. It was released on June 23, 2003. Mainstream support was discontinued on July 14, 2009, and extended support expired on July 8, 2014.
Windows Mobile 5.0
Windows Mobile 5.0 was released on May 9, 2005. It included a new version of Office called Microsoft Office Mobile and an updated Windows Media Center. It also changed some background processes concerning the battery and storage, although these are mostly unnoticeable by the user. Mainstream support ended October 12, 2010, and extended support ended October 13, 2015.
Windows Mobile 6.0, 6.1, and 6.5
Windows Mobile 6.0 is very similar to its predecessor, although visually it has been changed to look like the recently-released Microsoft Vista and is now based off of Windows CE 5.2. It had 3 versions:
- Standard for Smartphones
- Classic (for older devices)
Its primary updates were to Internet-related services, such as Email and Internet Explorer. It was released on February 12, 2007, and was discontinued on January 8, 2013.
Windows Mobile 6.1
Windows Mobile 6.1 offered several small changes, which again were internet related. It was released on April 1, 2008, and was also discontinued on January 8, 2013.
Windows Mobile 6.5
This version of Windows was meant to be a bridge between Windows Mobile 6.1 and Windows Mobile 7 (which would end up becoming Windows Phone 7). It was not a full update, considering that Microsoft was trying to switch their focus to Windows Phone. Minor updates released later on introduced features seen later in the Metro design of Windows Phone 7, such as buttons that were icon-based and a drag-and-drop start menu. It was released on May 11, 2009 (with minor updates up to January 2010), and discontinued on January 8, 2013. This was the last version of Windows Mobile created for Pocket PCs, which were discontinued in favor of Windows Phone.
- Pocket PC 2000 and 2002 were used as names for updates to the Pocket PC Planet site. Project 2000 was a visual overhaul, and Project 2002 was the introduction of a user-submission system.