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Microsoft Smartphone OS Overview
By Justin Ong
Category : Mobile Phones
Published by Aaron Yip on Thursday, 18th March, 2004


If you’re reading this article, we’re pretty sure you’re one of the millions to possess a mobile phone. Be it the monochrome display phone of yesterday or the colored MMS-capable phones of today, these life-altering devices has changed the way we socialize, changed the way we communicate, changed the way we lead our lives and above all, it also literally shrunk the globe and expanded our social circle. One device set to bring about an even greater mobile revolution is the Smartphone. But before we bring you the lowdown, ask yourself this; do you actually know the operating system that drives these advance breeds of communicating devices and how they came into play? Well, if we have successfully stimulated the Sherlock Holmes in you, lay back and read on.

Definition and Traits of Smartphones

So besides having a catchy name, just what exactly is a Smartphone?

The definition of Smartphone is a wireless, mobile communicating device that provides advance PIM (Personal Information Management) features of a PDA/PocketPC on top of the basic mobile phone functionalities. It also has to allow PIM data synchronisation between your desktop computer and the Smartphone.

As such, it's not surprising to find these devices having PC/PDA like interfaces and applications. Physically, they have a large colored display to allow the operator to navigate through the GUI (Graphical User Interface) easily. Navigation is done by means of a joystick and keypad found on the phone (screen sizes are typically just slightly larger than normal coloured mobile phones).

In terms of memory, Smartphones have a larger memory capacity than those found in your typical mobile phone. This larger capacity is needed to store the operating system (ROM) and allow applications to use the onboard RAM for faster execution - much in the same way a PC operates. However, should the onboard memory capacity be insufficient for you, Smartphones usually have memory expansion slots such as SD/MMC or CompactFlash for memory and storage boost. Due to the nature of Smartphones’ operating systems, a reasonably fast processor is required.

In a nutshell, Smartphones essentially has the advance Personal Information Management (PIM) ability of PocketPC/PDA and with mobile phones’ communicating capability.

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