The official announcement of Windows Mobile 6.5 is expected soon, and details are starting to slip out. The latest leak takes the form of a pair of screenshots of important features of this upcoming OS.
The look of Windows Mobile has always generally appealed more to business users than consumers. The next version apparently seeks to change this.
At the same time, Microsoft also seems to be trying to make this operating system easier to use with a fingertip. Previously, Windows Mobile was designed to be controlled with a stylus, but these screenshots show an OS in which all the elements are much larger, and therefore more fingertip friendly.
In the current version of Windows Mobile, the list of installed applications is fairly generic. One of the leaked screenshots shows that this will change in the upcoming version. This is apparently part of a new look designed to appeal to consumers.
The second leaked screenshot shows the Today Screen from the next version of this OS will be both more fingertip friendly and and more consumer oriented.
The upcoming version apparently puts much more emphasis on consumer friendly features like music playback at the expense of business features.
More about Windows Mobile 6.5
Although there has been no formal announcement of Windows Mobile 6.5, it's existence went beyond the rumor stage this fall when no less a person than Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, mentioned it in a speech.
In addition to some changes to the user interface, unconfirmed reports say that this upgrade will come with some new online services. Microsoft is reportedly going make a Windows Mobile software store part of Windows Mobile 6.5, and also a over-the-air data backup service with Web access.
The announcement is rumored to be at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona in February, but that doesn't mean the first devices running this new version will debut at that time. Reports coming out of Asia indicate that work on Windows Mobile 6.5 won't be finished until the end of the second quarter of this year, so models running it won't hit store shelves until Q3.
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