With all this talk of Windows Mobile 6.5 coming to market as a stop-gap solution to hold us over until Microsoft releases Windows Mobile 7, there was bound to be a WM6.5 leak or two. The Windows Mobile 6.1 successor that started off as a slip of the tongue has been confirmed by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and the internets are abuzz with Windows Mobile 6.5 speculation.
The latest bit of WinMo6.5 news to hit the wires is this purported Windows Mobile 6.5 screenshot leak. There’s little doubt as to whether or not these screenshots are legitimate – given the “Today” icon’s similarity to the Mac OS X “Home” icon, these screen-captures may very well be mockups/concepts.
Still, there’s no denying that Microsoft has finally started to move past their business-suited Windows Mobile UI. With Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard, we saw Microsoft finally starting to adopt a pane/category-driven approach to their mobile OS. With applications and features divvied up by categories (messaging, media, calendar, etc.), the Windows Mobile 6.1 Sliding-pane UI was a welcome change to the traditional Start Menu setup.
For Windows Mobile 6.5, we can see Microsoft shunning a menu-based interface in favor of a more intuitive (and more attractive) UI that makes use of icons and function categories. Windows Mobile is still the most flexible and arguably the most powerful mobile OS, so the functionality is there. We’re predicting that Microsoft will start to incorporate all that functionality into a snazzy new UI that appeals as much to our inner-geek as it does to our inner-designer.
If Microsoft does indeed push out a Windows Mobile 6.5 release that looks even remotely as slick as these screenshots/mockups show, we’ll be happy WinMo-campers.