The Windows Vista Blog is promoting (a new release of?) Windows Live for Windows Mobile:

Windows Live for Windows Mobile is now available to download for your Windows Mobile phone. Windows Live for Windows Mobile lets Windows Mobile users sync their email from Windows Live Hotmail as well as their Windows Live Contacts.

To download, just head on over to this URL on your Windows Mobile phone:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/mobile/wl/download-en-us.mspx

Just download the .cab file for the version of Windows Mobile you are running (Standard or Professional). Windows Live for Windows Mobile works on phones running both Windows Mobile and Windows Mobile 6 (and 6.1).

Ah, nothing like a nice simple URL to type on that tiny keyboard (real or virtual), eh? Was something like mobile.live.com too difficult to set up?  :)

Anyway.

Push email support for Hotmail: Good.

But this? Not so good...

Windows Live for Windows Mobile however does not come with a Windows Live Messenger client for your Windows Mobile phone.  We've chosen to do this to support carrier's plans for IM services for their phones. If there is no IM client on your phone, you can try our browser based version of Windows Live Messenger to chat with friends or ask your carrier about IM options for your phone.

This statement speaks volumes to my primary problem with Windows Mobile: Unlike with Apple's iPhone, Microsoft is beholden to the Gatekeepers of the Wireless World (tm), i.e. the wireless carriers. And rather than step on their toes and, God forbid, actually add some useful functionality to Windows Mobile, Microsoft has decided to ship a third rate Web client for Windows Live Messenger and let the Gods at Verizon, AT&T, and elsewhere decided whether their peon customers deserve a real working executable for that service.

Way to go, Microsoft.

Until this situation is reversed, Windows Mobile will always be a hobbled joke. I can't stress this enough: The primary innovation of the iPhone has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with Apple's ability to loosen the stranglehold that wireless carriers have on the devices they sell. Microsoft plays within the confines of this system and Windows Mobile (and its users) suffer as a result.