Like anything else in the wireless business, speculation and industry rumors surrounded it, and today, Microsoft confirmed the existence of Windows Mobile 6.5 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Coming to devices in the fourth quarter of 2009 (and no earlier, according to sources), the revised OS places a heavy emphasis on touch operations. Take the main menu, for example: icons are now arranged in a 'honeycomb' format, to allow for a better touch experience, and a new main page allows the user to bring up their messages, voicemails, dates, and more - all with the flick of a finger. The browser is refined as well, offering a touch slider to control zooming on pages. Though the update is certainly welcome, it appears to be a bit less than what many were expecting.
Additionally, Microsoft announced the "My Phone" service, allowing users to back up contacts, appointments, text messages, music, documents, and media to an online account. And last but not least, in a move showing that application stores are "all the rage" in today's mobile environment, the company announced Windows Marketplace for Mobile, an application store available for devices running Windows Mobile 6.5. Offering 20,000 titles at launch, the applications can be downloaded over the air or via PC with a Windows Live username.
In an apparent name shift, phones with the Windows Mobile OS will be called 'Windows phones,' in order to place more of an emphasis on the Windows element. Initial adopters include the Touch Diamond 2 and the Touch Pro 2, both of which Noah has handled at MWC.