3G (acronym for "3rd Generation"): A current mobile phone network standard for Internet access.

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AC adapter (also known as "AC/DC adapter" or "power adapter"): An external power supply that plugs into an electrical outlet and connects to a Windows Mobile device.

Accessory: A physical product (as opposed to a software program) that adds functionality to a Windows Mobile device. For example, a storage card, carrying case, external keyboard, etc.

ActiveSync: User-installable desktop PC software program that synchronizes information, installs programs, and copies files between a WM device and PC.

Align Screen: The process of setting up the touch screen to accurately recognize screen taps.

APN (acronym for "Access Point Name"): The name of an access point for GPRS.

Application Icon: Small graphics file that represents a program installed on a WM device. Tapping the icon starts the program.

Applications: Software programs used to accomplish a task or access information. For example, Outlook, Word, Excel, Solitaire, Media Player, and most third-party software can be considered applications. Contrast applications with "system software," which includes operating systems and setup utilities that manage a computer's resources.

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Backlight: Illumination of an LCD screen with the light source built in the back.

Backup: A copy of data file(s) and/or folder(s) kept on a separate storage card or desktop PC. Note: Backups protect against loss of data due to device failure, or if it is lost or stolen. It's important to back up a Windows Mobile device. Syncing the device with a PC creates identical copies of the information stored in Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and other applications, depending on what ActiveSync is configured to synchronize.

Beam: Process of transmitting data using infrared technology.

Bluetooth: A short-range wireless radio technology used primarily to communicate with peripherals such as headphones.

Bubble Breaker (also known as “Jawbreaker” on pre-WM 5 devices): A puzzle game built into all Windows Mobile devices.

Build: A sub-version of a software program. For example, Microsoft's most recent version of its mobile OS and application suite is called Windows Mobile 5.0. As it makes minor improvements to the OS it release new "builds" of Windows Mobile 5.0 to device manufacturers.

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CAB file: A "Cabinet" (CAB) file is a a single file created to hold a number of compressed files. This special type of installation file can be copied or downloaded directly to the Pocket PC and when tapped, installs a third-party program. A CAB file always ends with the ".CAB" file extension (e.g., MSREADER.CAB). A CAB file differs from a software installation file with an .EXE extension in that the CAB file only installs software when activated (tapped) on the mobile device, whereas an EXE file runs on the desktop PC and installs the software automatically on the mobile device through ActiveSync. A CAB file may be contained in an EXE installation file, but is installed automatically as part of the installation process.

Calendar: A scheduling program used to keep track of appointments that can be viewed by day, week, month, or year.

Card reader: A device used to transfer data and files to and from CF, SD, and other flash memory storage cards. Card readers are built into Windows Mobile devices and can be added to PCs.

Card slot: The card reader slot(s) on a Pocket PC or Smartphone that accepts various types of storage cards to expand the device's capabilities.

Carrier (also known as "Wireless Carrier"): Wireless service providers like AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

CDMA (acronym for "Code-Division Multiple Access"): A digital cellular phone technology used primarily in the U.S. (CDMA is promoted as providing better capacity for voice and data communications than other commercial mobile technologies.)

CF card (acronym for "CompactFlash card"): An expansion card used to add file storage and input/output capabilities. Current CF cards vary in capacity from 128 KB to 8 GB. Examples of CompactFlash Input/Output cards include modems, Wi-Fi, GPS, VGA-out adapters and more.

Consumer device: A Pocket PC or smartphone designed for and marketed primarily to individuals.

Contacts: A program used to organize and keep track of names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. Contacts is built into Windows Mobile devices and the PC version of Outlook. ActiveSync can be used to synchronize information between them.

CPU (acronym for "Central Processing Unit"): The "brains" of the computer; microchip responsible for running computer programs.

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Data cradle (also known as "docking cradle" or "sync cradle"): A cradle that connects to a desktop PC via cable. To connect a device to the desktop PC, slip it into the cradle.

Data field: An area on a particular screen where you can enter information. For example, if you are creating a new e-mail message to send, there is a data field labeled “To:” where you enter the e-mail address.

Device driver: A small software utility that "teaches" a particular computer or operating system how to communicate with a specific peripheral. For example, to use a Pocket PC with an external keyboard, installation of a device driver onto the Pocket PC may be necessary.

Dialog boxes: Boxes that pop up and prompt the user to enter information or make choices about activating features in a program.

Direct Push Technology: A technology that offers the instant delivery of messages to Windows Mobile devices over the air (OTA) through a wireless service account.

Download: To transfer content (music, video, documents, user-installable applications) from an Internet site to your computer or mobile device.

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Earbuds: Headphones that can be used with WM devices.

eBook or e-book (acronym for "electronic book"): An electronic (or digital) equivalent of a conventional printed book. They can be downloaded onto a device and read using programs such as Microsoft Reader.

EDGE (acronym for "Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution"): A technology incorporated into some GSM/GPRS wireless networks that allows data to be delivered at rates up to 384 Kbps. To access this capability, the Windows Mobile device must have an "EDGE-capable" GSM phone built into it.

Enterprise: Relating to a business or other organization.

EV-DO (acronym for "Evolution-Data Optimized"): A wireless network standard that is an add-on to the CDMA network. It delivers data speeds between 144 kbps and 2 mbps and is used by carriers such as Sprint and Verizon.

Excel Mobile (also known as "Pocket Excel" on Pre-WM5 devices): A multi-featured spreadsheet program similar to the desktop PC version of Excel.

Exchange Server: A messaging and collaborative software product developed by Microsoft for PC-based e-mail servers. Exchange's major features consist of electronic mail, shared calendars and tasks, and support for mobile and Web-based access to information, as well as support for very large amounts of data storage.

EXE: An “executable” (EXE) file that immediately launches a program when it is opened.

Expansion card (also known as storage card, memory card): In reference to Windows Mobile devices, an expansion card refers to a card that plugs into the card slot of the device and adds storage memory capacity or additional functionality such as Wi-Fi or GPS capability. CompactFlash, Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, and mini-SD cards are examples of expansion cards used with Windows Mobile devices.)

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Favorites: A list of your favorite Web sites found in Internet Explorer.

File: A collection of data or information that has a name, called the filename. Almost all information stored in a computer must be in a file. There are many different types of files: data files, text files, program files, directory files, and so on. Different types of files store different types of information. For example, program files store programs, whereas text files store text.

File Explorer (also known as called "File Manager" on Smartphones): A program that allows the user to view, copy, paste, delete, rename, or move files and folders.

File format: The way in which information in a computer file (document, video, music, database, or other type) is encoded and stored. Different types of files have different formats and can only be opened by related programs. (For example, Word documents can be opened and read in Word Mobile, but not in Windows Media Player.)

Flash ROM (acronym for "Flash Read Only Memory"): A type of non-volatile memory used in Windows Mobile devices to store the OS and other built-in software. On more recent Windows Mobile devices, flash ROM is also used to store some of the user data (Contacts, Calendar, Inbox, etc.) and user-installed programs. On Windows Mobile 5.0 devices, flash ROM is used to store the built-in software and all of the data and user-installed programs.

Folder (also known as "file folder" and sometimes "file directory"): Computers running the Windows operating system organize the storage of computer files in folders. Folders act the same way as in a physical filing cabinet, to store groups of computer files.

Form factor: The general look, or size and shape, of a mobile device.

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Gesture: Lines drawn on the Pocket PC's touch screen with the stylus. These are interpreted by built-in programs and translated into actions. For example, the Windows Mobile input program Transcriber will interpret certain gestures and enter the appropriate character, such as a space or paragraph return, into a document.

Gigabyte: (GB) One Gigabyte (GB) equals 1,024 Megabytes (MB) or approximately one billion bytes of information.

GPRS (acronym for "General Packet Radio Service"): A standard for wireless data communications which runs at speeds up to 115 kilobits per second. Most GSM networks use GPRS for data communications.

GPS (acronym for "Global Positioning System"): Refers to the U.S. satellite-based radio positioning systems that provide 24 hour three-dimensional position, velocity and time information to users equipped with a GPS receiver. (Such receivers are available for Pocket PCs and Smartphones. In addition, some Windows Mobile devices have a GPS receiver built into them.)

GSM (acronym for "Global System for Mobile Communications"): The leading digital cellular system in the world (outside the U.S.). GSM service is available in more than 100 countries and has become the de facto standard in Europe and Asia.

GUI (acronym for "Graphical User Interface"): Graphical screens and menus used to control the functioning of applications. GUIs have buttons and screen areas that can be tapped with the stylus to enter a command.

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Handheld (also known as "handheld computer" or "handheld device"): A generic term referring to a device that is easy to hold and use in your hand. This would include all Handheld PCs, Pocket PCs, Smartphones, and Palm OS devices. It does not include notebooks or tablet PCs.

Handheld PC: Refers collectively to the various small clamshell devices with keyboards based on the original version of Microsoft's mobile OS. (They run on one of these operating systems: Handheld PC, Handheld PC Professional Edition, or Handheld PC 2000).

Handwriting recognition: The ability of a device or software program to analyze the shape of cursive or printed handwriting drawn on a touch screen and then translate it into letters, words, numbers, and punctuation marks. Pocket PCs come with built-in handwriting recognition capability. Smartphones have no need of it since they lack a touch screen.

Hard Reset: The process of totally resetting the device back to factory defaults. Completely erases any third-party installed software and data files from the internal memory of the device.

Hotspot: A site or other location that provides public access to the Internet via a broadband wireless connection. For example, many Starbucks coffee shops have Wi-Fi hotspots in their buildings. They are also available in many airports, schools, hotels, and other public buildings. Many, but not all, hotspots are free of charge.

HSDPA (acronym for "High-Speed Downlink Packet Access") (also known as 3.5G): An upgraded version of the wireless GSM network, often called 3.5G. It is slightly faster than the UMTS network, and currently, only AT&T offers it. T-Mobile is working on an HSDPA network, which is planned to be launched at the end of this year.

HTML (acronym for "Hypertext Markup Language"): A script-like language used to create and format hypertext documents on the Internet. Internet Explorer Mobile and other Web browsers can display HTML documents.

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I/O (acronym for "Input/Output"): Refers to data transfer from input devices (keyboard, mouse, scanner, etc.) to output devices (printer, screen, etc.).

IMAP (acronym for "Internet Message Access Protocol"): A standard client/server protocol that allows access to e-mail from a server. Using IMAP, e-mail can be stored and browsed on the server.

Inbox: The name used on pre-WM 5 devices for the application that lets you send, receive, and view e-mail.

Infrared: (Abbreviated "IR" or "IrDA.") A short-range wireless communications technology based on the transmission of infrared light. Almost all Pocket PCs and Smartphones have infrared ports, which allow users to "beam" data between similarly-equipped devices.

Input panels: Refers to text input methods on the Pocket PC, including the Soft Keyboard, Block Recognizer, Letter Recognizer, and Transcriber.

Installation wizard: A utility that pops up and walks the user through the process of installing third-party software on the device.

Internet Explorer Mobile (also known as "Pocket Internet Explorer" on Pre-WM5 devices): A Web browser similar to the desktop PC version of Internet Explorer.

IRC (acronym for "Internet Relay Chat"): A form of real-time Internet chat. It is mainly designed for group (many-to-many) communication in discussion forums called "channels," but also allows one-to-one communication via private message.

IrDA (acronym for "Infrared Data Association"): Defines protocol standards for the short range exchange of data over infrared light.

ISP (acronym for "Internet Service Provider"): A company that provides access to the Internet. For a monthly fee, subscribers are provided with the necessary software, a username, password, and access phone number. ISP's usually provide the user an e-mail address, and some may provide free Web space, allowing the subscriber to create a simple Web site and have a presence on the Web.

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JPEG (acronym for "Joint Photographic Experts Group"): An image-compression graphics format that often reduces the size of bitmapped graphics by as much as 90%, but with little discernible image degradation. JPEG graphic files have ".jpg" or ".jpeg" as a file extension. They can be viewed by the Pictures or Pictures & Video application built into Windows Mobile devices.

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Killer application (also known as Killer app): A software application that insures the success of a hardware platform. (For instance, some would say that the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet was the killer application for the IBM PC.)

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LAN (acronym for "Local Area Network"): A computer network technology designed to connect computers separated by a short distance. The linked computers are generally connected to a single, shared server.

LCD (acronym for "Liquid Crystal Display"): The type of display used on mobile devices.

LED (acronym for "Light Emitting Diode"): A semiconductor light used on Pocket PCs and Smartphones to indicate that certain features are in use. For example, LEDs can indicate that the device is connected to an AC adapter and is charging its batteries, or that a Calendar appointment has come due, or that wireless services are turned on.

Lithium Ion: (Li-Ion) A rechargeable battery technology used in Pocket PCs and Smartphones. It is capable of storing a large amount of energy for its weight and does not use lead, mercury, or other poisonous metals.

Lithium Polymer: (Li-Polymer) Lithium-ion-based technology that allows a battery to be shaped. For instance, it allows vendors to create flat batteries, thus reducing the thickness of their devices.

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Megabyte: (Abbreviated "MB") 1,024 kilobytes, or about one million bytes of information.

Memory: A general term used to refer to RAM (the memory in a Windows Mobile device used to run programs), flash ROM (the memory used to store programs and data), and other file storage technologies.

Menu: A list of available commands, options, or items displayed on a computer screen, allowing the user to communicate choices to the device.

Messaging: The name of the program built into Windows Mobile 5.0 device that allows access to e-mail, instant messaging, and similar capabilities.

Messaging & Security and Feature Pack: An update to the Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 platform to support Direct Push Technology and enhanced security features.

MHz (acronym for "megahertz"): A term used with the speed rating of processors used on these devices. One MHz equals 1,000,000 cycles per second. Generally, the more the MHz rating, the faster the performance of the device.

MicroSD card (acronym for "Micro Secure Digital"): The smallest commercially available removable flash memory card. Many Windows Mobile devices now have microSD slots.

Microsoft Reader for Pocket PC: Mobile version of Microsoft’s eBook reader program. It’s built into pre-WM 5 Pocket PCs and can be downloaded for free for subsequent touch screen devices.

MiniSD card (acronym for "Mini Secure Digital"): A storage card with the same features as the SD card, but smaller (21.5 x 20 x 1.4 mm). Designed to meet the needs of the mobile phone market, but can be used in an SD card slot with an adapter.

MIPS: A type of computer processor used in the first versions of the Pocket PC (2000) and Handheld PCs.

MMC (acronym for "MultiMediaCard"): A solid state file storage card slightly thinner than an SD card, but otherwise identical in size. They can be used in the SD card slots.

Mobile applications: A phrase used to describe the suite of productivity applications from Microsoft that are built into the Pocket PC. This is the phrase favored by Microsoft for devices running Windows Mobile 5.0. In Windows Mobile 2003 and earlier, they were referred to as "Pocket applications."

MP3 (acronym for "MPEG layer 3"): An audio storage protocol that saves music in a highly compressed format, with very little loss in sound quality. (Media Player Mobile plays MP3 and WMF audio files.)

MPEG (acronym for "Motion Picture Experts Group"): A common, highly compressed video format. Windows Media Player Mobile supports the WMV format and will not play MPEGs. However, there are third-party programs that can play MPEGs.

Multimedia: Software that is presented in a combination of forms, such as graphics, text, sound, and animation.

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Navigation button (also known as "D-pad"): The large hardware button located below the display in the middle of the quick-launch buttons. It can be used to scroll up, down, left, or right. The button in the middle of the navigation button is the Enter button, which is used to select a highlighted item.

Network: A collection of two or more PCs, printers, or related devices connected together through a system of cables or wireless transceivers. A central computer called a server is used in larger networks, called client/server networks. Networks of two or more computers without a central server are called "peer-to-peer networks."

Non-touch screen smartphone: A Windows Mobile Smartphone Standard.

Notes: A combination word processing, drawing, and voice note program built into the Pocket PC. Notes can be synched between a desktop PC and a Windows Mobile device via ActiveSync.

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OEM (acronym for "Original Equipment Manufacturer"): Companies that design and manufacturer PPCs and Smartphones incorporating the WM operating system and built-in applications they license from Microsoft.

Operating system: (OS) The software controlling the operation of the computer, including memory allocation, input, output, and more. Pocket PCs and Smartphones use Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system.

Outlook: (Full name: Microsoft Office Outlook) A personal information manager on desktop PCs, which includes e-mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes, all of which can be synchronized with Outlook Mobile on Windows Mobile devices via ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center.

Outlook Mobile: The suite of programs built into Windows Mobile devices. It includes Tasks, Calendar, Contacts, and Inbox/Messaging. These programs can be synced with the desktop PC versions via ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center.

Over the air: (OTA) The method of wireless delivery of digital information to mobile devices.

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PalmOS: The operating system developed by Palm for use on PDAs manufactured by them and other OEMs.

PAN (acronym for "Personal Area Network"): A computer network used for communication among computer devices (including telephones and personal digital assistants) close to one person. A wireless personal area network (WPAN) can also be made possible with network technologies such as IrDA and Bluetooth.

Partnership (also known as "ActiveSync partnership"): Term used to describe the relationship set up by ActiveSync between a desktop PC and a Pocket PC or Smartphone so the two devices can synchronize information, transfer files between each other, etc.

Password protection: A password security system used to protect information.

PC (acronym for "Personal Computer"): A computer running some version of Microsoft's Windows operating system; it can be either a desktop or laptop computer.

PDA (acronym for "Personal Digital Assistant"): Handheld devices on which personal information such as contacts and calendar information can be stored and later retrieved. (Originated by Apple Computer to describe their Newton handheld device; now used as a generic describer.)

Peripheral: A hardware accessory, such as a printer, scanner, monitor, etc., that can be connected to a computer.

Pictures & Videos (also known as "Pictures" on Pre-WM5 Pocket PCs): A media file management program built into some Windows Mobile devices to view and edit pictures and videos.

PIM (acronym for "Personal Information Manager"): An application or suite of applications used to organize and access important personal information. For example, the PIM on Windows Mobile devices is Outlook Mobile ("Pocket Outlook" on Pre-Windows Mobile 5.0 devices). The term is also occasionally used to refer to a device that comes with PIM software built in.

Pixel: The pixel is the smallest part of a digitized or digital image. Pixel measurements are used to describe the resolution of a screen. For example, most Pocket PCs and Phone Edition devices have QVGA ("quarter VGA") screen resolutions, which display 240 columns and 320 rows of pixels, which is referred to as a 240x320 pixel display. Some Pocket PCs have full VGA screens, which display 480x640 pixels. The standard Smartphone has a screen resolution of 176x220 pixels, and some of the newer ones have a QVGA (240x320 pixel) screen.

Plug-in: A program that interacts with a main application (a Web browser or an e-mail program) to add a certain specific function. For example, there is a plug-in that displays current stock prices on the Today screen.

Pocket applications: A phrase used to describe the suite of productivity applications from Microsoft that are built into the Pocket PC. This was the phrase favored by Microsoft before the release of Windows Mobile 5.0. They now prefer to refer to these as "mobile applications."

Pocket PC: A small, portable, handheld device that incorporates the Windows Mobile operating system and mobile application suite.

Pocket PC Phone Edition: A Pocket PC with built-in phone capabilities.

Podcast: A multimedia file distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. A podcast is distinguished from other digital audio formats by its ability to be downloaded automatically using software capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom.

Pop-up menu: A menu that appears on Pocket PCs when you tap and hold such items as icons or files. Similar to "right-clicking" an item on a desktop PC.

POP3 (acronym for "Post Office Protocol 3"): A standard client/server protocol that allows access to e-mail from a server. Using POP3, e-mail must be downloaded to a local system to be viewed.

PowerPoint Mobile: A program only available on Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PCs that can be used to view PowerPoint presentations created on desktop PCs and transferred via ActiveSync. PowerPoint Mobile does allow you to create or edit presentations.

Programs, built-in: Applications built into your device by the manufacturer. These include Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Messaging, and a variety of other programs from Microsoft. The device manufacturer may build additional applications into the device. These are stored in a protected portion of the flash ROM and cannot be modified or deleted.

Programs, user-installed: Applications, games, and other software programs that are installed on a mobile device. May also be uninstalled by the user.

Proxy server: A server set up by a company that acts as a filter between employees and the Internet. It filters out sites that the employees should not be browsing. It enhances performance because commonly accessed sites are cached on the proxy server. If you use your Pocket PC or Smartphone to connect to the Internet through your company, you may be using a proxy server.

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Quick-launch buttons (also known as "application launch buttons," "shortcut buttons," or "hardware buttons"): Physical buttons found on all Pocket PCs and Smartphones that you press to launch applications and activate other features. OEMs pre-program these to launch specific applications and activate certain functions. Pocket PC users can reconfigure some of the buttons to launch other applications or activate other functions.

QVGA (acronym for "Quarter Video Graphics Array"): A graphics display system used primarily for Smartphones and Pocket PCs. QVGA screens have a 320x240 pixel resolution.

QWERTY keyboard: A keyboard with the most common letter layout. Many non-touch screen smartphones and some touch screen devices include QWERTY keyboards.

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RAM (acronym for "Random Access Memory") (also known as "SDRAM," a more recent version of RAM): The "volatile" memory used in conjunction with the computer's CPU to run programs and open data files. On pre-WM5 devices, RAM memory was partitioned and used to both run programs and store data. Starting with Windows Mobile 5.0, all RAM on a Pocket PC or Smartphone is reserved for running programs and opening data files. All other files (data, images, video, user-installed programs, etc.) are stored in non-volatile "flash ROM."

Restore: The act of restoring from a backup location or file onto a device. With Pre-WM5 Pocket PCs this can be done via ActiveSync. On WM5 devices it can be done using the backup program built-in or using a third-party solution.

RSS (acronym for "Really Simple Syndication, among others"): A simple XML-based system that allows users to subscribe to their favorite Web sites using an RSS reader program such as RSSHome.

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SD card (acronym for "Secure Digital Card") (also known as "expansion card" or "storage card"): An ultra small flash memory card designed to provide high-capacity memory in a small size. SD cards are used in many small portable devices such as digital video camcorders, digital cameras, handheld computers, audio players and mobile phones. In use since 1999, SD Memory Cards are now available in capacities between 16 Megabytes and 1 Gigabyte. An SD card typically measures 32 x 24 x 2.1 mm and weighs approximately 2 grams.

Settings: A folder located in the Start menu containing utilities that allow you to customize and set up your device.

Setup wizard: A program that offers a simple, step-by-step process for setting up and configuring a computer or software program. All Windows Mobile devices have a Setup Wizard that runs the first time you turn the device on. It walks you through the configuration of the device.

Shortcut: A small file that points to another file on your device. For example, the icons in your Start > Programs folder (in Pocket PCs) are shortcuts to the actual program files they represent. Select the shortcut and the program is started. You can have shortcuts to programs, documents, graphics, videos, and other types of files.

SIM card (acronym for "Subscriber Identity Module"):
A removable card for GSM mobile phones that stores service and subscriber information and that identifies and enables the phone for service. SIM cards can be swapped and used with any mobile phone that runs on the GSM network.

Smartphone: Used generically, it refers to any handheld device that integrates the functionality of a mobile phone and a PDA.

Smartphone Professional: A Windows Mobile 6 touch screen device that has a built-in phone.

Smartphone Standard: A Windows Mobile 6 non-touch screen smartphone.

SMS (acronym for "Short Message Service"): A service that is capable of sending short messages to wireless devices.

SMTP (acronym for "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol"): A type of protocol used for sending and receiving e-mail. SMTP is typically coupled with POP3 or IMAP.

Soft key: A key found on non-touch screen smartphones that is directly below the screen and is used to select the option on the menu bar directly above it (on the screen). There are two of these keys—one on the left and one on the right.

Soft keyboard: The built-in keyboard interface in Pocket PCs that is used for text entry. Text is entered by tapping a character button on the screen with a stylus.

Soft Reset: The act of rebooting or restarting your device in order to clear its internal (non-storage) memory of running programs. (This is a way to start fresh if an application is misbehaving.)

Software, Add-On: Software programs that are purchased or downloaded and then installed, as opposed to being built in to the device by the manufacturer.

Software, Built-In: The software that is pre-loaded into your device by the device manufacturer. This includes Microsoft’s OS and applications, as well as additional applications that the device manufacturer decides to provide.

Software, Commercial: Software created by independent developers to be sold to consumers and installed on their devices.

Software, Demo (also known as "demoware"): Trial versions of commercial software programs that you download and install for free to see if you like the program. Demo software usually has limitations and/or an expiration date. You need to purchase the full version of the software to use it past the expiration date, or to get the full functionality.

Software, Freeware: A software program that you can download and install on your device for free. (Some developers offer “freeware” versions of their software programs and sell commercial versions with more features—this straddles the definition of “demoware.”)

Software, Shareware: Software marketed on an honor system. It is freely downloaded or distributed. You install and use it to see if you like it. If you decide to keep using it, you "register" the program by sending the developer a shareware fee (usually $5 to $30, depending on the program). Sometimes this entitles you to a version of the program with more features, a user manual, support, upgrades and more.

Software, Third-Party: Software created for Windows Mobile devices by independent software developers. It can be commercial, demo, freeware, or shareware.

Software, Utility: Software specifically designed to perform a single task or a small range of tasks. Examples would be disk defragmenters, virus scanners, or encryption software.

Solitaire: The standard “Klondike” version of solitaire that is built into all Windows Mobile devices.

Speed Dial: A feature in Smartphones that allows the user to program a button to dial a complete phone number.

SSL (acronym for "Secure Sockets Layer"): Cryptographic protocols which provide secure communications on the Internet for such things as Web browsing, e-mail, Internet faxing, and other data transfers.

Start menu: The menu from which all programs and files on a Windows Mobile device can be accessed, either directly or through a sub-folder. In Pocket PCs, the Start menu is accessed from the top left corner of the screen; in Smartphones, it's accessed from the lower left corner of the Home screen.

Status icons: Icons that appear in the title bar (along the top of the screen) that indicate current conditions and settings of a device (such as speaker volume, network connectivity, etc.).

Storage: Memory space on a Windows Mobile device in which you can store files for later use.

Storage card (also known as "expansion card"): A flash-memory card that can be used to store information. In Windows Mobile devices, a storage card can be used to store installed programs as well as data files. Further, it can store files such as music (MP3, etc.) or photos (JPG, TIFF, etc.). There are two main formats for storage cards on Pocket PCs; CF (Compact Flash) and SD (Secure Digital). Some new Phone Edition devices and Smartphones use Mini-SD or Micro-SD storage cards. Storage cards differ in physical size and storage capacity, as well as the speed at which they can save and retrieve files.

Stream: A technique of transferring a data file over a Web connection that allows an application to process the data as it is received, as opposed to waiting for the data file to be completely downloaded before processing. For example, many sites stream video content.

StrongARM: A family of microprocessors used in Windows Mobile devices. Microsoft standardized on this processor type with the release of the Pocket PC 2002 device. Now, all Pocket PCs and Smartphones use processors based on StrongARM technology.

Stylus: A pen-like instrument used to navigate, access features, and write and draw on the touch screen of Pocket PCs.

Stylus silo: The slot (usually located on the top or bottom of the device) where the stylus fits into for storage.

Sync: To synchronize the data between a handheld device and a laptop or desktop computer.

Sync cable / cradle: Peripheral used to connect your Windows Mobile device with your PC to synchronize data.

Synchronizing: (Abbreviated "Sync") The process by which data on one computer is integrated with data on another. Note: Synchronizing is more than simply copying files back and forth. It's a process by which the program compares data on two computers, determines which is the most current data, and makes sure that data is in both computers.

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Tabs: In Windows Mobile menus, divisions which allow you to make additional choices. For example, from the Start menu on a Pocket PC, the Settings folder has three tabs at the bottom of the screen labeled "Personal," "System," and "Connections." Tapping on the desired tab gives access to additional choices.

Task bar (also known as "command bar"): A menu bar at the bottom or top of the screen that contains icons and menus items that can be selected.

Tasks: A program to keep track of things you need to get done. Tasks can be synced between a desktop PC and a Windows Mobile device.

TCP/IP (acronym for "Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol"): A set of communication protocols (commonly used methods) originally developed by the U.S. Department of Defense that allows dissimilar computers to share information over a network.

Template: A file type or document that is pre-formatted on which other files or documents can be based on.

Terminal Services: A program built into Pocket PCs that allows them to remotely access and control PCs and other devices on a network. Both devices must have an active Internet connection. (Renamed “Remote Desktop Mobile” on Windows Mobile 6 touch screen devices.)

Theme (also known as "skin"): A single file containing graphical and user interface details used to customize the look and feel of the Today or Home screen. Most commonly changes the background picture of the Today screen

Title bar (also known as "navigation bar"): Bar at the top of the screen that contains the Start menu (on the PPC) and status icons.

Today/Home screen: The display that you see when you first power up your device. The Today screen on the Pocket PC and the Home screen on the Smartphone include a background graphic, menus, and other information.

Touch screen: A touch-sensitive screen found on all Pocket PCs, Pocket PC Phone Editions, and Windows Mobile 6 Smartphone Classic and Professional devices. It makes it possible to use a stylus much as you would a mouse to navigate and access features. You can also draw simple images on the screen and use handwriting recognition programs to translate print or cursive writing into text.

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UMTS (acronym for "Universal Mobile Telecommunications System") (also known as 3G): An upgraded version of the wireless GSM network, often called 3G. Currently, only AT&T offers UMTS networks.

URL (acronym for "Uniform Resource Locator"): The Web address that identifies a resource on the Internet. For example, Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine's URL is "".

USB (acronym for "Universal Serial Bus"): Intel's standard for attaching peripherals to PCs. A type of fast serial interface that lets users with USB-equipped computers connect to external devices without having to install device driver software. The sync cradles and cables that come with Pocket PCs and Smartphones connect to PCs using USB connectors.

User interface: A program interface that takes advantage of the Pocket PC's graphic capabilities to make a program easier to use.

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Vertical niche: Refers to a tightly focused task or area of focus. For example, "vertical niche Pocket PC" refers to a device with software and hardware components designed to work in a specific industry or for a specific function in the enterprise.

VGA (acronym for "Video Graphics Array"): Refers to the display resolution of the screen. Available for the first time for Pocket PCs in 2004, it provides a resolution of 480 by 640 pixels, four times the standard QVGA screen resolution of other Windows Mobile devices, which is 240 by 320. Note: Most but not all third-party software will run correctly on devices with VGA screens.

Voice note/voice recorder: A program used to record a short audio clip.

VoIP (acronym for "Voice over Internet Protocol"): Technology involving software and hardware that allows a user to place and receive phone calls over a computer connected to the Internet.

VPN (acronym for "Virtual Private Network"): A set of communication protocols that allows remote users to securely access a remote network.

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WAN (acronym for "Wide Area Network"): A geographically dispersed network formed by linking several computers or local area networks (LANs) together over long distances. WANs can use cabled or wireless technology.

WAV: The standard audio file format used for voice recordings on Windows Mobile devices. The WAV format is used on music CDs, and yields high quality while requiring a great deal of space. Compare with "MP3."

Wi-Fi (acronym for "Wireless Fidelity"): Short-range, broadband wireless technology based on the 802.11 protocol and used primarily for connecting computers to Local Area Networks for Internet and company server access.

Windows CE: The original name of Microsoft's mobile operating system introduced in 1997 and designed for small, embedded systems mobile devices. Microsoft now refers to this as "Windows Mobile."

Windows Media Player Mobile: An audio and video media player program similar to the desktop PC version of Windows Media Player. Supported file types include WMA, WMV, and MP3.

Windows Mobile: A compact operating system combined with a suite of basic applications for mobile devices, including Pocket PCs, Pocket PC Phone Editions, Smartphone Professionals, and Smartphone Standards. It is designed to be somewhat similar to desktop PC versions of Windows, in terms of the way it looks and functions.

Windows Mobile Device Center: The synchronization software used to sync Windows Mobile devices to desktop PCs in the Windows Vista OS. ActiveSync is not compatible with Windows Vista.

Word Mobile (also known as "Pocket Word" on Pre-WM5 devices): A multi-featured word processing program similar to the desktop PC version of Word.

WYSIWYG (acronym for "What You See Is What You Get"): WYSIWYG applications display a document on the screen in the same way it will appear when the document is printed out. (Word Mobile and most other current word processors are examples of WYSIWYG applications.)

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XML (acronym for "Extensible Markup Language"): A programming language used to create Web pages.

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ZIP file: (Zipped, unzipped, .zip extension, etc.) A popular data compression format which allows for compression and archiving of multiple files into a single “ZIP file” (which usually has a .ZIP file extension). Developers sometimes distribute their programs as a single ZIP file.


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