I was just going off about this on twitter and I felt it was worth posting about too. I downloaded the beta for FourSquare on Windows Mobile. However, the application requires .Net Compact Framework 3.5 on the device. At first, I figured that a new HTC HD2 running Windows Mobile 6.5 should already have the 2 year old version of the Compact Framework installed in the ROM. Guess what I found out – No .NetCF 3.5 on the device.
While that’s just short sighted and stupid on Microsoft’s part, the solution is pretty simple. All I need to do is download the CAB from the web and I’m good to go. Sadly, it’s just not that simple. You see, the .NetCF 3.5 installer is a 33MB desktop installer that contains the CAB files inside of it. So you can’t simply download it to your device and install. Now I’m really wondering what the hell Microsoft is thinking. Have they lost sight of the end user in all this?
Let’s take a look at the steps to install the .Net Framework 3.5 on your Windows Mobile 6.5 device: 1) boot up laptop, 2) goto download page, 3) download huge 33MB installer, 4) install on desktop, 5) find 1 small 2.5MB CAB file left behind from installer, 6) ActiveSync your phone, don’t use ActiveSync then you need to copy it to a MicroSD card and insert that into your phone. 7) On your phone, launch File Explore and find the file. 8) Run the file.
And now the steps if a CAB file was available directly from Microsoft’s site: 1) goto download page, 2) download file, 3) install file. DONE.
I would really like to see some sort of explanation on A) why it’s not already baked into the device ROM, and B) why the end user can’t simply download the CAB file directly to their device.