Microsoft launched Windows Mobile 6.5 as their supposed answer to touch-friendly mobile operating systems like iPhone and Android, but we all knew it was nothing more than a slight re-skin of the Windows Mobile platform meant to hold us over until Windows Mobile 7 was ready for consumption. Turns out, Windows Mobile 6.5 may not have even been ready to go live. The screenshots you see here from a purported Windows Mobile 6.5.1 update suggest that Microsoft is still scrambling to bring their mobile operating system up to speed with competitors. The update boasts changes to button design, button layout and button size that should make Windows Mobile 6.5 more user friendly.
The screenshots show the “Start” button has moved from the top row of the screen (the task bar) to the bottom of the screen. The task bar is now dedicated to displaying tasks, notifications and settings – all accessible with a tap of the finger.
For those of you paying attention, the new button layout meshes nicely with the new Internet Explorer Mobile’s interface (which we briefly show in this hands-on video), which lines the bottom of the display with navigation buttons. The buttons also get a refresh with a more modern look and a bump in size for easier finger input.
Is Microsoft looking to bring the Windows Mobile 6.5 UI more in line with their Windows Mobile 7 design philosophy in order to make the transition to WM7 as smooth as possible? Or does Microsoft really have no idea what they’re doing and hoping to somehow pull a miraculously enjoyable Windows Mobile 7 out of the proverbial air?
Whatever the case, Windows Mobile 6.5 shouldn’t have launched until it was really ready to launch.