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It's an odd thing, being a journalist. Your job is to report what other people have said and only occasionally should your own view creep in, if at all. It's the same in America; the serious newspapers were exemplary in being fair to both sides in the recent election, at least until Sarah Palin started holding forth about Africa being a country rather than a continent and shooing the Russians out of Alaska.

It's different when you're blogging. You can argue, make points, and wonder what in the world people are taking when they claim Windows Mobile is the operating system of choice for the mobile workforce. I'm sitting here looking at the reportage and I still don't quite believe it. I've used it and it's really, really clunky (though not as much of an own goal as Vista). I'd go far as not to want to wish it on anyone. Apple's iPhone is easier and for more 'serious' applications (not that I admit the iPhone isn't perfectly good for business) everyone I know who needs e-mail on the move carries a Blackberry. They even talk about Blackberry functionality when it's built into another phone.

And this is where RIM has got it wrong about Blackberry. Yes, everyone identifies the name with the function, but that doesn't necessarily win any market share. Let's think of a parallel industry, in which something becomes so well known its name gets attached to the product. Let's take, say. Hoover. It may or may not be the market leader in vacuum floor cleaners but it hasn't always been - here's a potted history of highs and lows. Biro doesn't make ballpoint pens any more unless I'm mistaken - either way it's not a big name in the field.

So we come to the Blackberry. It created the market. It did incredibly well and people refer to a Blackberry rather than any other sort of mobile device when they want to discuss mobile e-mailers. Unfortunately history isn't in favour of the brand. History over the last 20 years - the exact time bar three weeks that I've been a journalist - militates instead in favour of branding everything with one name. Like Windows. In the early nineties Windows was nowhere as a network operating system. It took over the desktop and had this creep effect from there. Then it changed the name of LAN Manager to Windows NT and the rest was kind of history.

So we have Windows mobile. It's not an elegant system. It's clunky to use and people are attached to their Blackberrys and iPhones. But it's taking over and a load of people are saying they prefer it. I can hear history repeating itself...

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Last Post by Fred Mackie
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windows mobile runs the majority of shop floor / warehouse devices as well as the things UPS etc... have for signatures, as well as those portable ticket printers they ticket guys have on trains

wm is everywhere

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