Microsoft goes official with Windows Mobile 6.5 at Mobile World Congress!

windows-mobile-65-1It’s not like we didn’t know almost everything there is to know about the Windows Mobile 6.5 OS from the various leaks that have hit the web recently, but there’s just something about an official product launch to really get the hype-machine going.

In fighting for global attention on the first day of Mobile World Congress 2009, Microsoft has finally taken the wraps off their Windows Mobile 6.5 OS and its finger-friendly makeover. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer kicked off the mobile phone show’s inaugural Monday with a demonstration of the new Windows Mobile 6.5, highlighting Microsoft’s push to bring Windows Mobile up to speed with the touchy-feely UI offerings from the likes of Nokia, Apple, Samsung, LG, and Sony Ericsson.

With a completely revamped Internet Explorer Mobile that windows-mobile-65-5allows for an enhanced mobile web browsing experience, a touch-optimized honey-comb applications launcher, a Zune-like homescreen, and at-a-glance access to missed calls, voicemails, new messages, and upcoming calendar events, the Windows Mobile 6.5 OS pushes the limits of just how finger-friendly the current Windows Mobile platform can really be.

Windows Mobile 6.5’s new Internet Explorer Mobile is built on the same underpinnings that support the desktop version of Internet Explorer 6. And, as such, the new Internet Explorer Mobile supports Flash and javascript functionality. Zooming and panning are now a simple matter of dragging the slider to your liking, while the “breadcrumb” feature shows you just where you are on a webpage.

windows-mobile-65-12The new honeycomb launcher makes it easy to launch an application with just a casual touch of a finger – the design apparently makes it easier to tap a desired icon accurately. But, the touch-friendly nature of Windows Mobile 6.5 doesn’t end there. The lock screen serves up information on things like missed calls, messages, and calendar events with a simple swipe of the screen – literally placing critical information at your fingertips.

The gallery shows screenshots of Windows Mobile 6.5 in action, so be sure to check it out.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has confirmed that current Windows Mobile devices won’t be blessed with the Windows Mobile 6.5 update. It seems Microsoft is looking to market their new touch-optimized Windows Mobile on new hardware, giving loyal Windows Mobile fans a swift kick in the pants at the same time.

  • Tom

    Is it just me or does that interface look pretty unpolished? :-\

  • vpr

    Looks pretty good, looks pretty polished to me

  • Simon Sage

    I hope all of this touch-friendly stuff means they’re ditching the stylus.

  • Dave Cooper

    As far as the stylus is concerned, I have been using an HTC TyTn II for the last 12 months on WM6.0 and I have barely had the stylus out of the housing. I realise that this HTC’s TouchFLO coming into play rather than basic functionality of WM, but it just demonstrates that if Microsoft get the interface right, WM can be a very effective touch operated OS.

  • Al Andrew

    Two Words for you chaps………. WEB OS…….better close the windows boys its over !

  • bolaji

    can i change my pocket pc window mobile 5.0 to 6.5, if yes please how can i do that. please i will like to know!

  • TJ

    I really hate when people say “Web OS”. Obviously people have no idea that to run anything on a computer you still require an underlying operating system. Period. you cannot load an OS image from the web, today’s internet simply wouldn’t handle it and I doubt it will for the next 100 years or more. “Web OS” is truly just a “Rich Portal” to launch web-based apps, and has been around since 1997 in various forms, none successful to date.

    Second, we are talking about mobile platforms here. Mobile platforms have horrifically unreliable internet connections and very slow speeds most of the time, unless you are lucky enough to be in an area with excellent 3G coverage and never leave that area. And this doesn’t even factor in that you would require unlimited internet, something I pay $50 a month for and most users won’t afford. A “Web OS” wouldn’t be very useful in these situations.

    Lastly, I am disappointed in WM 6.5. As someone who has use WM for years I rather expected MS to be able to compete with some of the newer platforms, specifically Android and Apple devices. From the looks of this UI, they have failed miserably. And to top it off they slap us in the face by once again forcing us to upgrade devices to get the new functionality? I am pretty certain I am done with MS-based mobile devices.

  • phil

    I manually upgraded my blackjack II to windows mobile 6.1 from 6.0. I wonder if there is a way to do the same thing for 6.5? I used myblackjack2.com for my windows mobile update. If u have a blackjack II it is a pretty sweet site with a bunch of applications you can get. They say they require you to upgrade devices to get 6.5 but i say nay nay. lol. Theres gotta be another way

  • Snowy

    Just so you guys know, 6.5 requires a windows key, if you don’t have one you need a new phone. Viva Planned obsolescence! I hope I’m wrong. I can get buy with my Touch Diamond Asia model but depending on how good the browser is compared to the skyfire browser it may just make me bite. Is there built in nonmobile-Flash support IN the browser?

  • Lauriel

    I have been a palm user for years and must admit gave up on them last year when it was announced that they were cutting hundreds of staff. I crossed to the “dark” side and purchased a HTC 3G touch. I once used windows mobile and promised I would never go back. If only I listened to myself.

    5 weeks after buying the HTC Palm announced the Pre ! I must admit I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for it’s release. They must have some issues to hold off launching so long from it’s announcement in January.

    Now WM 6.5. I am not sure who comes us with some of these dumb decisions in these large companies but to not offer an upgrade from a phone that is not 12 months old just alienates customers. Windows mobile trails the other PDA operating systems by miles and you would think that MS would try and win some market share rather than lose it. Even if they offer a trade up offer it would be something.

    Anyway it is likely I will buy a Palm or even the next Iphone. MS – another nail in the coffin !

  • Corkey Lloyd

    It sucks that MS won’t be giving updates for the older phones i have a HTC Touch Pro and i would love to have the new update for my phone being how much i payed for it and i only had it 4 months now and now there is a new touch pro coming out they should let me upgrade my phone now

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