Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Smartphone Talk" @ 01:45 PM
I know Mel, and I know he's completely sincere about his request for input, but I can't help but be a little bitter in seeing this request. Why? Going back a few years, likely 2004, I was in a conference room with some Microsoft people who had worked on the now-defunct Portable Media Center devices. The UI was one of the strongest aspects of that product, and a certain product manager asked me if I thought they should port that UI to Windows Mobile. There was no hesitation as I immediately replied "Yes". Windows Media Player Mobile was largely abandoned at that point (it still is as far as I'm concerned), and the PMC user interface was designed for fast media access. It was a no brainer and absolutely needed to happen. So what happened? Nothing.
Windows Mobile never got a re-worked Windows Media Player based on the Portable Media Center UI. If it had happened, it would have been the best media UI on a mobile phone - keep in mind this is a couple of years before the iPhone. Now here we are in 2008, and Microsoft is still thinking about how to make the Zune (which is really an evolved PMC) work with Windows Mobile. There are lots of interesting synergies between the products, but there should really be a Zune-type user interface on Windows Mobile for media. Windows Media Player 10 Mobile needs to swim with the fishes...