Windows Mobile 6.5 at MWC 2009
Rather than a quantum leap in technology, the upcoming Windows Mobile (WM) 6.5 focuses on improving the user experience as well as introducing new consumer services. At a press conference in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2009, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage and showed what the new mobile operating system is all about.
Ballmer has stated that he considers the current economic climate a “reset” rather than a recession. As such, he expects the market to seek greater value though services. The latest WM 6.5 takes the user interface to new levels and increases the usability of mobile devices. In fact, the Redmond company considers the Windows experience to be close enough to its desktop equivalent such that phones based on the new 6.5 system will be rebranded as simply Windows phones (instead of Windows Mobile phones).
There were three major announcements made today.
Windows Mobile 6.5 will be available in Q3 2009
Acocrding to Prithvi Raj, product manager for WM, the three most frequently accessed information on a mobile phone are time, appointments and message notifications. The new Home screen on WM 6.5 puts these on the front display in a tabbed format for easy viewing. The new honeycomb Start menu is also customizable, allowing users to put the most used apps at the top.
Another major improvement is the new Internet Explorer Mobile which supports flash animation and features a new rendering engine. It was originally expected to be shipped with Windows Mobile 6.1, but delays have resulted in some vendors bundling Opera Mobile on recent handsets instead. The new version of Internet Explorer will offer some of the features of Opera, including zoom function and finger scrolling. When asked if the delay and subsequent adoption have hurt Microsoft’s chances at the mobile Internet browser market, Ballmer was confident that once WM 6.5 rolls out, users will return to using Internet Explorer. At this time, Silverlight is not supported on Microsoft’s mobile browser. For more details on the new operating system, click on our roundup of the new features in WM 6.5.