Microsoft Windows Mobile

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Windows Mobile Versions

Windows Mobile 2002

Windows Mobile 2002 is powered by Windows CE 3.0. It was targeted at QVGA Pocket PCs.

Windows Mobile 2003

Windows Mobile 2003, codenamed "Ozone", was released on June 23, 2003. It came in three different editions; Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Phone Edition, and Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone. The Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone Edition are very similar other then the fact that the Pocket PC Phone Edition was designed for Pocket PCs with added fun functionalities. This version of Windows Mobile is powered by Windows CE 4.20, which claimed to provide a more responsive system when compared with devices running Windows CE 3.0.

This version of the operating system added many useful features, including a picture viewer, built-in Bluetooth and WiFi support, Windows Media Player 9.0, as well as a host of Personal Information Management application improvements. This version of Windows Mobile required ActiveSync 3.7 to communicate with a host computer.

Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition

This version of Windows Mobile 2003 was an upgrade on the first version and offered many improvements. This version is powered by Windows CE 4.21, and adds support for 640x480 VGA resolution, portrait and landscape display modes, DPI settings, and many other improvements. Devices running this OS are plagued by a need for constant power. While this edition combined with the first edition had one of the longest shelf lives of the Windows Mobile versions (3+ years) very few devices gained popularity. Many devices in this time period chose the more power efficient Palm OS.

Windows Mobile 5.0

Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0, based off of Windows CE 5.0, was released on May 10, 2005. Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 brought many changes to the Pocket PC landscape. For one, with this release, the phone and PDA versions of the OS have merged into one encompassing OS, instead of two separate versions of the same one. Additionally, while past versions of Pocket PC software utilized the RAM of a PDA for program and data storage, Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 uses a PDA's hardware more like a traditional computer. The operating system and user data is stored in the more persistent ROM of the device, and RAM is used in a way more similar to that of a desktop PC. This has implications for forensics, as data stored on these devices is now less volatile.

Crossbow

The next release of Windows Mobile, currently named Crossbow is expected to be released in devices in the first half of 2007. Conflicting reports have some saying it will be based on Windows CE 5.0, while others claim a CE 6.0. This not withstanding, it is expected to integrate tightly with the upcoming Windows Vista and recently deployed Windows Live service. Additional challenges facing forensic investigators is the support for VoIP with Crossbow. While it is too early to offer details or experiences, it is touting to be more in line with the Blackberry "push" model then the previous Windows CE "pull" model.

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