Introducing Windows Mobile Device Center for Windows Vista

Windows Vista Beta 2 features built-in support for Windows Mobile-powered devices for the very first time with the new Windows Mobile Device Center.  Instead of installing ActiveSync to use our devices, our device drivers are now part of Windows Vista.  Due to this built-in functionality, installation of ActiveSync is blocked.

Windows Mobile Device Center can perform "Guest" functionality similar to ActiveSync, but with some new and exciting features.  With Windows Mobile Device Center, you will be able to browse your device, synchronize media using Windows Media Player, and even play media files and view pictures and documents directly from the device.  Our devices will be able to connect with Windows Vista via Bluetooth, USB or infrared.

An update to the Windows Mobile Device Center will be available shortly on Windows Update.  With this update, you will be able to create partnerships and synchronize your Windows Mobile-powered device with Outlook.  Stay tuned!

Comments (52)
  1. Anonymous says:

    They have a new post on the Windows Vista Team Blog today about the Windows Mobile Device Center. Windows…

  2. Eric M. says:

    Is it a correct assumption that ActiveSync is then no more? If so, will the built-in mobile synchronization with Vista support sync with exchange public folders and/or share items such as contacts?? This is a feature that is lacking from ActiveSync and would make Windows Mobile Devices more competitive with Blackberry.

  3. Sidebar Geek says:

    I think ActiveSync will continue on for XP but on Vista, Windows Mobile Device Center will take its place.

    You ask good questions and let me see if I can get some answers to those!

  4. itechsolutions says:

    My team and I are full into the BETA for both VISTA and Office 12. I like the new functionality and some of the new features, but a couple of things stand out thing stands out. First is the resource issue ( I have ONE machine right now that can even come close to using VISTA). The second is compatability. In the Outlook 2007 I had to upgrade to Acrobat Professional 7, otherwise Outlook crashed every second email. Being a familiar user of Active Sync, I am wondering if device / application compatability is going to be an issue. Certainly not everyone uses Active Sync (see earlier Blackberry comment) to sync their devices and some only work with earlier versions. Is blocking Active Sync such a great idea and will Mobile Device Centre address legacy issues?

  5. Enefiok says:

    I can’t wait to see what this update can do different as compared to activesync. I would like to synchronize my contacts from my WM5 device.

  6. Black Baron says:

    Following on from Enefiok will Windows Mobile Device Center suppot syncing with Windows Mail, Windows Calendar & Windows Contacts? It makes perfect sense if it does otherwise why build in a feature into the base OS that is no use until you install another application (Outlook)

  7. Chris Sheets says:

    Very good news

  8. How long is shortly? A few hours or a few days? Looking forward to it either way.

  9. David says:

    Hopefully this update will be soon.

    Also, what about programs that check for Activesync installation before installing?  I’m assuming some kind of shim will be in place for this.

  10. George Elliott says:

    There was a post on the Windows Mobile blog about this last week, answer over there as to when it would be available was by the end of June, MS insiders already get it through windows update apparently.

  11. Antonio says:

    I would like to see the update for the mobile device soon so I can sync my WM5 device with Outlook.

  12. Ted Fine says:

    I am just curious why a public beta would be release without a vital part like mobility sync not working properly. Am I wrong that this is a VERY widespread and important part of many business people now? Just curious. I was surprised that this was not a high priority to begin with.

  13. Sidebar Geek says:

    Ted, thats why this is called a Beta. Not everything is ready or working. This specific feature may not have been ready by the time Microsoft declared Beta 2.

    I think its absolutely fantastic that they are issuing an update through Windows Update to add more functionality to the Windows Mobile Device Center. I don’t think we should be complaining cause they could easily have just waited for the next build release.

  14. v-wdli says:


  15. Morgan ABBOU says:

    I can’t wait for the WDC update to be released with Outlook contact sync. Since I’ve upgraded my system to Windows Vista, I can’t update my appointments on my PDA.

    Since it is key for me, I may need to go back to XP to be able to use activesync till you release the update.

    Anyway, keep up the great work, Vista is much better than what I expected

  16. chrissheets says:


  17. Ted Fine says:

    I wasn’t complaining really. I think Vista is great. I was just surprised that the sync function wasn’t considered core. Maybe like my daughter says, I am just to much of a geek sometimes 🙂

  18. Ashwin says:

    Vista is cool, But the startup is a little slower. (well, it is a beta). For a beta it works pretty good, although there are some compatibility issues.

  19. Ashwin says:

    People, type *sign* if you think Vista is going to be delayed again. I’m not betting on it. But everytime Microsoft released an OS, it was delayed at leat 1 yr or so. And its the not company’s fault, its just they make schedule, and something usually comes in the way of that schedule.

  20. Sidebar Geek says:

    Ashwin, I am unsure about how your comments relate to the topic at hand on this post. This post is about Windows Vista and its Mobile Device Center – no one is talking about any delay with Vista.

    Ted, I totally agree with you that you’d expect to see the sync function in such a highly talked about Beta release but sometimes things don’t make it in – I can’t wait for the update. Keep checking Windows Update!

  21. chrissheets says:

    The Update Is Here!!! Thank You guys!!!

  22. Sidebar Geek says:

    The update has arrived just as chrissheets pointed out.

    I’ve got some info and screenshots posted up on my blog:

    The answer to folks questions about OneNote Mobile is yes, it syncs with OneNote Mobile 2007!

    This is a very impressive update and I’m sure its only going to get better from here!

  23. Unlimited says:

    Great!! and after all sooner than expected!

    But… I do have a problem in changing the config. It tells me with Calendar, Contacts and E-mail that ‘Outlook has not been configured’. But Outlook 2007 beta 2 is running and has been configured. Although not with Exchange but with POP e-mail. And connected to WM2003SE.

    Any ideas?


  24. Merzhin says:


    It seems to be a good promise but I cannot sync with Outlook 2007 (French).

    When I try to do it, contacts, calendar and mail with

    my Orange SPVM1000 (Qtek 2020) under WM 2003, WMDC answers me: "Outlook has not been configured".


    I don’t see how to configure Outlook to sync fine with the WMDC.

    Any solution?


  25. Dave says:

    any clues on how to sync ppc2k3 with outlook 2k7 with this new update???  i am getting the same errors "outlook not configured"

  26. Tim says:

    I found it quite unfortunate when ActiveSync 4.0 was released along with WM5 that a wireless sync, ie – 802.11, was unavailable.  I was very much hoping that with any new release of active sync this feature would be reinstated.  What a disappointment to find that this is not the case.  I would love to learn more as to why this is.  

  27. Al says:

    This doesn’t work on my machine (german Vista).

    While trying to set up my device I get an Error that I’ve chosen to not install any updates and that Windows Mobile Device Center Beta was not installed.

  28. dom says:

    I am getting the same error  "Outlook has not been configured" I am using a Pocket 2003 device and Outlook 2007 beta, I am not sure if I should downgrade to an older version of Office… but if there is another solution that would be great.

  29. chrissheets says:

    I think is only happens to 2003 and older mobile OS’. I use CE-5 with Outlook 2007 and all is fine. The Vista newsgroup has alot of people with this issue.

  30. tom says:

    >This doesn’t work on my machine (german Vista).

    >While trying to set up my device I get an Error that I’ve chosen to not install any updates and that Windows Mobile Device Center Beta was not installed.

    This is for me, too

  31. A2E says:

    using Vista beta2 and Outlook 2007 beta, I also get the "Outlook not configured" error… Help?!

  32. Taylor Kemp says:

    What about support for sideshow via a device hooked up with BT or something, or will that be out with the next version of WIN MO

  33. Ted Fine says:

    I installed the update and now I get an error on system startup that says "wmdsync.exe unable to locate component. This application has faild to start because RAPI.DLL was not found." I have read posts related to my problem but see no answer at this time. I am unable to uninstall the update and try again. I also cannot find RAPI.DLL to download as a seperate file. HELP!!!!!

  34. Sidebar Geek says:

    For folks having technical issues associated with the update to Windows Mobile Device Center or issues before the update – please direct your technical issues to the public newsgroups created specifically for Beta 2. Its unlikely you’ll get answers to your technical issues here.

  35. Garry Trinder says:

    Yep, well, that site is not allowing posts at this time. So much for participating. I guess we just wait for microsoft to decide they want to handle new problems? Worst beta response I’ve encountered to date.

  36. Sidebar Geek says:

    Ted, I can log in and make posts on the public newsgroups just fine – the site is open for comments and posts and has been since the CPP launched. I am sorry your experience with response has not been so great.

    Please keep in mind also that Microsoft made it very clear when signing up for the CPP:

    "This is pre-release (beta) software distributed for trial and testing purposes only. Microsoft does not provide technical support for beta releases. Although formal support is not offered for this beta, we have provided newsgroups to help answer questions you may have related to the installation and use of Windows Vista Beta 2 (and RC1)."

    You can try submitting feedback using this feedback page also displayed on the CPP page:

  37. Garry Trinder says:

    Yes, but the answers seem to come full and happliy as long as there is no contraversy involved or everything is working. Just an observation.

  38. Sidebar Geek says:

    No contraversy here Ted. Its apparent that there are issues with the Windows Mobile Device Center, as well as many other aspects to Vista. Go read some of the comments from folks who can’t even get it installed. The best advice is to post technical issues such as this in the public newsgroups in hopes of finding some sort of answer to help folks out. But Microsoft, as stated above, is not committed to offer technical support for the Beta 2 CPP. Not sure what your expectations are or were for Beta 2.

    I recommend, since you’re very unhappy wth your experience thus far, to fill out the feedback form and send it in to Microsoft and let them know what you think:

  39. Garry Trinder says:

    Just frustrated. 🙂

  40. Daniel says:

    Can you direct me to the update? The beta of Vista that I have seems to be missing Mobile Device center completely.

  41. Garry Trinder says:

    I realize that there is no tech support for beta products in general, but it would be nice if there was somewhere that information would be posted on a daily basis about problems with major modules. Be warned, WMDC is a crock so far for at least some people. If anyone knows of anyone anywhere to get info on progress fixing this vital part of windows I would appreciate the help. Thanks.

  42. Garry Trinder says:

    Yes, I have been to this site. I see no answers to several iterations of this problem. That is the point……

  43. lesbian rape says:

    Best of all people w can talk…

  44. mcouteau says:

    problems with syncronization via bluetooth

    hp ipaq 24xx, win mobile 5.0, linksys usbbtv2

    stack. not connecting to mobile device center.

  45. jim says:

    I’ve found no current solutions to this issue (synching with outlook).  I’ve got wm2003 on the device and I could easily list all my system particulars but the most I hope for now is to report the issues through the MS channels and see major improvements in updates and, ultimately, the final Vista release.  I think the strides MS has made, thus far, towards multi-device integration is positive but not quite cooked yet.  I’ll keep watching boards like this and look forward to smiles on all our faces when, finally, we pop our phone onto our computer and don’t have to think about the details!

    I’m actually just happy that my computer can charge my phone!

  46. Robin says:

    Great… Vista recognises my SPV-C500 Smartphone and asks me if I would like to synchronize Outlook with it (am using Office 2003 SP2 on Vista b2, so far not a problem).

    Then it very unhelpfully reports that Outlook ‘is not configured’, and refuses to sync anything….! It offers no explanation of how or why it thinks Outlook isn’t configured, so now the hunt around the web for a solution, or news that WMDC doesn’t support Outlook 2003 – who knows!

  47. dom says:

    Well, I suppose I could fix the problem and get it to work, but alast, I am too lazy.  Well, the problem to the best of my undersanding is with the version of Outlook on Pocket PC devices, not with Outlook on the computer.  For the sync to work successfully the registry entires and directory structure would have to be same on a WM5 device as it is on a Pocket PC 2003 device.  Basically WMDC is looking for certain registry entires (and or directory/file structure) on your win 2003 device.  So if someone really wanted to fix the problem they would first begin by either downloading the WM5 emulator and rom image from the microsoft website or asking a friend to borrow their WM5 device and then comparing the registry entries as well as the directory structure.  If only the registry entries are different then this a really simply problem to fix.  If it is a directory issue then one would have to make a simple bootup utility that would run every 30 seconds or so that would copy  the files to the right directory.  For example if on the win 2003 device the Outlook setup files are stored in /win2003/My Documents/Outlook then this utillity would copy these files into another directory on the win 2003 device called /win5/My Documents/Outlook.  If it is not only just a directory issue but also a file issue, things could ge quite a bit complicated.  It might then be quite a bit of work to get things going.

  48. epop says:

    am having trouble using the Mobile Device Center.  I installed it via Windows Update and when it tries to start I get the following error message:

    "The procedure entry point CeSvcGetStringW could not be located in the dynamic link library CEUTIL.dll."

    I also got this error with the rapi.dll but was able to solve the problem by downloading the dll and placing it into c:windowssystem32.  

    I downloaded the ceutil.dll assuming it would also solve my problem but with no luck.  I have an HP Ipaq running 2003.  I posted this same message on the technet forum and am awaiting an answer.  If anyone reading this knows, I would love some help.

  49. Garry Trinder says:

    What is the deal with these blogs. Are they only here for us poor saps stupid enough to have taken part in this beta to vent with absolutely no response whatsoever? I see tons of entries with no response of any kind. Where is the "TEAM" part of this beta????????? I just see answers to the easy questions. It would be nice to get some kind of daily update on whether anyone is even paying attention to our woes. I am ready to wipe my machine and go back to XP and wait 3 or 4 years to update to vista. You guys are making a huge PR error at microsoft in my humble opinion.

  50. Levi says:

    make sure you adress the problems stated here in this TechNet discussion

  51. Garry Trinder says:

    Why do you give out these totally useless links? Are you part of the MS Team?

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