Frustration with Windows Mobile


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Frustration at trying to link a Window Mobile device to a Windows computer

Jo J. writes with frustration at trying to link a Window Mobile device to a Windows computer:


I go buy three products and I real love using office 2010, a breath of fresh air. But I cannot get it to work(sync) with my mobile. It’s like getting a GM car and getting them to install a GM steering wheel and then saying sorry pal won’t work. Have the car and now wait for it; you can’t steer it.

Microsoft you need to use the KISS principle that will beat Apple and Google(cause they are already using it). Alternative, be an ostrich and keep making computers with the mindset of circa 1985. Its now 2010, a sync should do what they are meant to do share and reshare information.

I’m afraid you’re not telling us anything we and many Office-Watch.com readers don’t already know. The connection between a Windows PC and a Windows Mobile phone has been unreliable for years. We’ve heard complaints about it for a long time and experienced the problems for ourselves.

You should be able to plug in a Windows Mobile phone, have it reliably detected by Windows and sync with Outlook. Alas that’s often not the case — all too often you can get the link setup and working only to find it break down for no apparent reason. Sometimes these ‘voodoo’ tricks work:



  • merely unplugging the device and plugging it back in is enough

  • or maybe plug into another USB socket

  • Rebooting the computer

  • Uninstalling and reinstalling ActiveSync or Windows Mobile

  • Uninstalling and reinstalling the phone device drivers.

None of these tips is guaranteed to work – but it’s all you have.

Microsoft is little help – in all the years that there have been Windows based mobile devices, they’ve managed to be in almost complete denial about the reliability of the USB connection to their own desktop operating system. They’ve told us it’s not a problem at all, or if it is a problem it must be the customers fault, or the device makers or the relative position of the sun and moon – anyone’s fault but Microsoft.

There’s no sign that this will change with Windows Mobile 7 – there’s lots of boasting about the new interface (which is a marked improvement) but no talk about basic reliability and connection issues with Windows desktop or Outlook.

In fact Microsoft’s Mobile team seems to have forgotten about Microsoft Outlook entirely. Instead they are focused on ‘cloud’ storage and the device getting all information from some online storage. That’s a great option for those who can afford the mobile data costs and are content to have their personal information stored elsewhere.

As Jo notes, what makes it really infuriating is that Apple and Google can manage USB links to Windows without so much trouble.

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