Flops and vapor: 10 ways Microsoft tried and failed to rule mobile

Take a tour through Microsoft's forgettable, regrettable mobile OS history

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Pocket PC/Windows Mobile

You'd need a big pocket for this

Picture courtesy of Old Shoe Woman

This entry is certainly the least floppy, least vapor-y of the bunch for this slideshow. There's been a continuous series of Windows CE-based devices -- PDAs and phones -- released over the past decade, and they've sold respectively. In typical Microsoft fashion, they've come out under a dizzying and sometimes baffling array of brands, including "Pocket PC," "Windows Phone," and "Windows Mobile Classic."

But if this branch of the Windows family tree can't be called a failure, it can't really be called a success, either. Certainly Windows Mobile never achieved the hegemonic status that its desktop cousin took for granted. And in recent years the platform has stagnated while the iPhone OS and other smartphone operating systems have shaken up the market. Windows Phone 7, though a direct descendent of this product line under the covers, will featured a completely revamped user experience in an attempt to catch up.

See also: Businesses That Dumped Microsoft ... and Won

Next page: Windows XP Tablet Edition

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