Windows Mobile 6.1 and the Independence on OEM's

Something that seems to always be a topic of discussion around Windows Mobile is why Microsoft does not provide Operating System upgrades.  This is something that has frustrated me in the past too. There are two main reasons for this: Windows Mobile is for all intents and purposes a read-only OS (particularly true in the […]

Something that seems to always be a topic of discussion around Windows Mobile is why Microsoft does not provide Operating System upgrades.  This is something that has frustrated me in the past too.

There are two main reasons for this:

  1. Windows Mobile is for all intents and purposes a read-only OS (particularly true in the Standard (Smartphone, non-Touch screen) edition but also fairly true of the Professional edition.  There is no 'upgrade', when you apply a new ROM it wipes the device and writes a completely new image.
  2. Windows Mobile is an OEM only OS.  This means that it is not something that you can just go out and purchase and get upgrades for.  The only way you can (legally) get an upgrade for your Windows Mobile device is from the hardware manufacturer who you originally purchased it from.

[Note - yes, if you have an HTC device which is re-badged by multiple carriers you can find multiple ROM's. This does require either a CID/SIM unlock or a workaround, and I doubt whether this process falls within the EULA]

Why does this drive me mad?  Well, effectively we the end-user are reliant on said providers to publish a new ROM based on the new OS.  Typically unless you have a fairly new device this will not happen.  Why would they provide a new OS for an old device which would prevent you from buying a new device?

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Microsoft, Windows Mobile, Windows Mobile 6