|By Chris De Herrera
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Mobile versus BlackBerry
By Chris De Herrera,
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During the past year, I
had the opportunity to use a BlackBerry on a daily basis for over 6 months.
I also assisted other users with setting up their new
BlackBerrys as well.
Here are my thoughts (in
no particular order) on Windows Mobile 6.1 versus the BlackBerry 8703e based
on my experiences:
- The BlackBerry does not support a
touch screen. It is my understanding that they are working on
supporting a touch screen in the future. A Windows Mobile device
with a touch screen is easier to navigate on.
- There are no BlackBerry devices
that support GSM high speed internet access such as UTMS (2mb/s).
The fastest speed that the BlackBerry supports today is Edge (200k/s).
Windows Mobile supports UTMS (2mb/s) today with vendors such as ATT
- On the BlackBerry the SureType
function where each key represents 3 characters did not work well for
me. This was excruciating to enter a password as required for the
- In some cases, Windows Mobile
requires more keystrokes to perform similar functions.
- While BlackBerrys with the
BlackBerry Enterprise Server can view Microsoft Excel, Word and
PowerPoint documents, they cannot edit them. The viewing was
sometimes very difficult.
- Windows Mobile can view Microsoft
Excel, Word, PowerPoint and OneNote files as well as edit Excel, Word
and OneNote documents. Further when a user edits a Word document, the
integrity of all the formatting is retained even if it is not visible on
- Windows Mobile has a much richer
web browser experience. The BlackBerry tends to treat websites as
simple HTML and does not provide a desktop view or the ability to zoom
in and out like Windows Mobile 6.1 does.
- The BlackBerry provides the
ability to view threaded e-mail and missed calls on one screen as part
of the Inbox. Windows Mobile does not have a similar feature.
- With a Windows Mobile touch screen
device it is easier to scroll through a list of entry items rather than
using the jog wheel on a BlackBerry.
- Windows Mobile supports submenus
so it's faster at selecting items than the BlackBerry which does not
support submenus. So the menus can be longer on the BlackBerry.
- With Windows Mobile 6.1 and
Exchange 2007, users are able to setup their out of office reply.
There is no similar option on the BlackBerry.
Handango, one of
the leading retailers of mobile software, there are many more apps for
Windows Mobile than BlackBerry - 18,357 vs. 3,928.
- The BlackBerry has a plastic
holster that automatically shuts it off when you insert it into it.
This is done via a simple magnet in the holster. I have yet to see
a Windows Mobile device with this feature however I really think it
would be very beneficial!
- With Windows Mobile, users can
schedule peak and non-peak times for push e-mail and whether or not push
e-mail is sent when roaming (such visiting a foreign country where data
is a lot more expensive!)
- Windows Mobile is cheaper to
connect to Exchange since there is no additional license fee vs. the
BlackBerry where RIM charges for their BES server and a license for each
BlackBerry that is setup on the server.
- The path that Windows Mobile
e-mail delivery follows is directly from the company's Exchange server
to their device while with the BlackBerry, all e-mail is sent to one of
RIM's servers (for North America it is in Canada) and then it is sent to
the user. This is why when RIM has a network disruption, it
affects the delivery of e-mail to all their users that are in that
- Windows Mobile 6 allows users to
flag e-mail with Exchange 2007 vs. the BlackBerry which does not support
- With Windows Mobile, setting up
synchronization with Exchange does not require an administrator vs. the
BlackBerry does require a BlackBerry Enterprise Server to setup a new
device and give the user a special password to register the device.
- For basic device management of
Windows Mobile devices, there are options built right into Exchange 2003
and 2007. For advanced management of Windows Mobile requires
software such as System Center, Mobile Device Manager and for BlackBerry
BlackBerry Enterprise Server. With Windows Mobile and Mobile
Device Manager, each device is registered in Active
Directory and uses a full time, mobile optimized VPN.
Today the BlackBerry still uses many
screens of text for apps such as e-mail, contacts and calendar. While
with Windows Mobile all screens are presented as graphics in a user
interface with scroll bars (if needed).
So, comparing the BlackBerry to Windows Mobile reminds me of the old
comparisons made with DOS versus Windows. DOS was faster because it was all
text while Windows is capable of communicating so much more with it's
support of graphics. I think it is just a matter of time before
the BlackBerry interface will change to support more graphics and require
higher end hardware in order to offer higher levels of functionality to
compete in the marketplace.
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