Windows Mobile site gets a new site design

It appears that the Windows Mobile site recently received a design fix-up.

                                                                 

I have to say, it’s MUCH better than the old site. The old site was horrendous to navigate, and appeared to not have been updated since pre-2003. Overall, it’s much better to go through, except for some things like:

  • There are ads – Ads that are completely NOT related to WinMo at all. A product site should NOT have ads at all, unless it has something to do with the products. I do not think that a "Visio Toolbox" ad, fits in at all on WinMo site. Isn’t there enough advertising in the world? A product site shouldn’t have that. It’s a bit of a distraction, and I don’t feel happy seeing Microsoft post some ads, on a product site. It’s just not right, and pretty unprofessional.
  • "Windows Mobile Catalog" is a weak attempt at a store – One of the best things about WinMo, is the freedom to make applications or software for WinMo (without the restrictions that another company takes). What’s missing though, is a central place (or store) to find & download apps for a WinMo phone. However, "Windows Mobile Catalog" is a very weak attempt in my opinion. First, it’s a pretty hard to find (hidden in a link on the "Meet Windows Mobile" page near the bottom). Second, you can’t buy or download directly from the site. Instead, 3rd party sites like Handango and MobiHand must do it, which is not as convenient. Third, most apps. (if not all) are NOT free. Forth, users cannot submit applications to the site. Fifth, each application page does not have handy features like (several) screenshots, videos, ratings, reviews, and other typical goodies. It’d also be nice if the store could be a part of WinMo, instead of a separate site, with an ugly mobile interface.
  • NO Test drive – Have you guys never heard of virtual emulation test drives? Like where you can sort of play with the actual WinMo UI, and explore how it works and all that, on a website? It’s like getting to experience the real WinMo, without a real phone.
  • Little focus on multimedia and internet – When it comes to electronic gadgets, what do typical consumers like? Two things : Multimedia and internet. On the site, there’s little focus on the multimedia side and the internet. Actually, in general, the multimedia and internet offerings on WinMo are rather pathetic. I think Microsoft knows this, right? PIE in general does a simple enough job, but it’s NOT enough. WMP 10 with a WMP 11 skins, is NOT enough. I’d like to see how the site can show that the browser and multimedia capabilities, are much better than that of other mobile browsers and other phones. Which I doubt is possible.
  • The site’s pretty good though. I hope other Microsoft sites get a fix-up. I don’t know how difficult it is to give a site a better look, but it seems to take Microsoft forever with all their product sites.

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