WindowsCE vs Qtopia Phone Edition

Linksys released today two WiFi VoIP phones from its WIP3x0 series. After some digging up I found that these phones run a modified version of WindowsCE. Honestly, I don’t think that this was the best solution for Linksys. These phones have been on development for over a year, because their engineers had to write from scratch a brand new interface that sits on top of WindowsCE (the default CE interface is not exposed at all, except when loading IE). The only application that they reuse from the default CE package is IE, everything else is re-written, and that, is a huge waste of time. No wonder that these phones are severly overpriced at $220 and $360 USD respectively. Someone has to pay for the engineering time…

It is my opinion that Qtopia Phone Edition 4.x (that also supports SIP) would have been a much better solution. Now, bear in mind that I am usually protective of Microsoft (because most of the time they don’t deserve the bad press), but in this instance, Qtopia Phone Edition makes much more business sense than a hugely re-written WindowsCE does. It would be much cheaper for Linksys to use Qtopia Phone Edition and for the few additional SIP/phone features that they might needed, they could have contracted Trolltech. Let alone that QTopia looks so much better than the currently ugly Linksys/CE UI, plus it’s easily themable. Skype would have been easier to port too, as it’s based on the Qt toolkit too (so that would add more value to the product supporting both SIP and Skype).

The only downside to this idea is that when the phone started getting developed QTopia Phone Edition 4.x had not been released yet (it was released a few months later, it was beta at the time).

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