One of the bigger news from MWC 09 in Barcelona is that Microsoft was finally able to announce their finger touch optimized Windows Mobile 6.5 OS version, along with a couple of new services – Marketplace (for mobile apps) and MyPhone (for phone back-up).
Not that they are ready to put WM 6.5 on any device yet. You will only start seeing them this fall, so all serious vendors had to go out of their way to promise free upgrades to newly announced handsets that will start with WM 6.1 at first.
Still, Windows Mobile 6.5 is a pretty significant upgrade for the struggling operating system. It is less cluttered, much more user friendly and handles the finger touch navigation much better.
Microsoft was making a presentation of their new Windows Mobile OS running on HTC Touch Diamond2 handset at their stand and here’s the video with quite extensive feature overview of WM 6.5, along with their new MyPhone service:
And here’s some live pictures of WM 6.5 on HTC Touch Diamond2:
Overall, the new OS looks pretty nice. But will it be enough to really improve Windows Mobile fortunes?
Yes, all the touch improvements look good. But by now everyone is has more or less figured out how to do touch on mobile. And another 6-8 months until the new WM 6.5 based devices are ready to ship is a darn long time.
With your main partners suspending or deemphasizing WM handset development in favor of Android, almost all current vendors going out of their way to create their own touch interfaces and to hide WM presence from the user, and significant WM7 upgrade more then a year away, I don’t know…
Microsoft has tons of money and incredible perseverance. But it faces an uphill battle here, with many years of effort, very limited results to show for it, and with an upgrade that will change WM fortunes, perpetually just around the corner
If you liked the post, you might find these interesting too:
- Windows Mobile 6.5 is now complete, “looks really good”
- HTC Touch Diamond2 announced for India
- Microsoft My Phone beta now available for everyone
- HTC Touch Diamond, HTC Touch Pro (Raphael) and HTC Touch Dual Pro coming
- Verizon’s Touch Diamond2 leaked; HTC Mega and Tachi also show up