With the recent iPhone mania there is a lot of Windows Mobile negativism going around. Windows Mobile users in USA especially feel undervalued, ignored and counted out. Successes, such as 90% year on year growth are just ignored in favour of bogus comparisons of how much media coverage each operating system has.
It is therefore timely to remind Windows Mobile users of the strength and breadth of the Windows Mobile community. One of the bastions of this community has always been XDA-Developers.com. The site, which dates from 2002, has always been about aiding the Windows Mobile community. As their header says:
“This site is about certain PDA-phones, made by a firm called HTC in Taiwan. Their makers named them ‘Wallaby’, ‘Himalaya’, ‘Blue Angel’, ‘Wizard’ and ‘TyTN’, but almost nobody knows them by those names. The mobile provider O2 sells them under the brand-name ‘XDA’, and that’s what we had in our hands first. They’re also known as Qtek, MDA, SX-56, Hermes and many, many other names.
Since we develop software for it, we need information, and nobody seemed eager or ready to give us what we needed. So we ‘reverse-engineered’ the devices, found a lot of information, and shared it with the world. But as our site grew we realised that lots of ordinary users were also suffering from a lack of support. They started using the xda-developers forum to communicate and before long the forum was as much a user forum as it was a developer forum.
We hope that you will enjoy this site and find it as useful as we do.”
Since 2002 XDA-Developers has accumulated more than 1.7 million posts. Alexa, which measures web trends and traffic, shows that XDA-Developers has overtaken Slashdot last October already, and while Slashdot has plunged from popularity, XDA-Developers has continued to hold strong, despite the iPhone propaganda assault. And while in the early days of the iPhone release a lot of activity was around duplicating the iPhones attractive GUI, Windows Mobile OEM’s like HTC and Samsung has taken up the challenge of developing Windows Mobile in its own direction, and at the moment all of the excitement is about the HTC Touch Diamond, and posts of how to “turn your Windows Mobile phone into an iPhone” are few and far between.
Of course XDA-Developers also rank head and shoulders aboveÂ popular Apple community sites like macnn.com, tuaw.com, macworld.com and appleinsider.com, but thats hardly surprising. After all, despite appearances, the Apple community is tiny, and make much more noise than their numbers actually justify.
There is no doubt in my mind that Windows Mobile will remain a solution more suited to the mass market that the closed system that is the iPhone, and therefore I also have no concern that the Windows Mobile community will wane either, especially when backed by the 850 000 members of the great XDA-Developers.com.