On the ground: Exchange mail for Windows smart phones
The first device with MSFP (Microsoft's Messaging and Security Pack) has appeared. This is basically a Microsoft technology that allows things like MS Exchange mail servers in businesses to push e-mail to smart phones using Windows Mobile 5. This obviously gives a big edge to these devices, and Microsoft's plan is clear. Ever since they revamped the 2003 version, they have been leveraging every area they possibly can, from Windows XP connectivity, proprietary Windows Media Player formats, and even Xbox Live alerts.
Rumors hint that the next version of Windows Mobile nicknamed Photon is getting a lot of attention and will be a major revamp of the current software. Right now the smart phone market is dominated by a few big players. Most business users use a Blackberry since their e-mail integration services are so efficient, or a Treo using Palm OS for extra functionality. Recently Palm decided to go with Windows Mobile for the Treo. For home users, the two popular high end types are Symbian based devices such as Nokia phones, and Windows Mobile devices such as the Audiovox SMT5600 and the many upcoming HTC phones. I personally think competition is good, and while it's too early to draw any conclusion, I do believe the war of the smart phones is going to be in 2006-2007, and if I was a Microsoft competitor I would be very careful not to be pushed aside like so many companies were from leveraging.