In a much anticipated announcement, Microsoft announced and released further details of Windows Mobile 6.5. In general, the user interface continues to advance and initial experiences have been favorable. It doesn’t appear to have multi-touch support like the iPhone.
Two new services are also coming with the release.
- My Phone – to support sync’ing from the phone to a cloud based storage service. This is generally a competitive announcement to counter Apple’s MobileMe. For enterprise users – especially those who use BizSpeed’s goRoam mobile applications – the cloud based storage is not as important. goRoam keeps all data stored on the server for Line of Business apps.
- Windows Marketplace for Mobile – again, like Apple’s iTunes AppStore, the Windows Marketplace will be site where users can download direct to device software. In our experience, most iPhone types apps are still decidedly consumer oriented. There are a lot of games, social networking (ex. Twitter, Facebook) and such. The business related apps like the SalesForce.com and Oracle CRM mobile client get much less press, usage and attention.
Probably one of the biggest benefits of the official announcement is the fact that we are seeing more handset momentum around Windows Mobile. So much attention has been paid to the iPhone, Blackberry and Google Android that WM devices have been pushed to the backburner. The reality for rugged equipment (Motorola and Intermec) is that all their devices run WM or CE.NET. This is expected to continue for a few reasons – including the fact that when enterprises purchase computers, they expect support for an extended period of time, whether it is a laptop, desktop or mobile device.
To get a better sense of the new features and see screenshots and videos of the new interface, check out the following:
- Microsoft official announcement – Microsoft Reveals New Windows® Phones With Marketplace and My Phone Services
- Boy Genius Report – Microsoft announces Windows Mobile 6.5, My Phone, Recite and a Marketplace
- GizModo – Windows Mobile 6.5 Hands On: The New Interface Rocks