Windows Mobile 6.5 user interface  (Source: Engadget)

Microsoft My Phone  (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft unveils two key features of Windows Mobile 6.5 at MWC

When many consumers think about the most slick and easy to use operating systems for smartphones, Windows Mobile is not often among the top choices. The clear leader in UI-friendliness in the OS market for smartphones is Apple.

Microsoft is looking to remove the notion held by many that Windows Mobile is a clunky and non-intuitive operating system for smartphones with the reveal of some Windows Mobile 6.5 features. The new version of Windows Mobile was shown today at Mobile World Congress 2009 running on handsets from HTC, LG, and Orange.

Microsoft promises that version 6.5 will feature an improved user interface and a much friendlier user experience. The new devices will be called Windows phones and will feature a pair of new services called My Phone and Windows Marketplace for Mobile.

My Phone is a service that synchronizes text messages, photos, video, contacts, and more to the web. Windows Marketplace is a place for developers to offer direct-to-phone mobile applications that can be accessed from the phone and from the web.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement, "Windows phones bring together the best of the Web, the PC and the phone so you can connect instantly to the experiences you care about, no matter where you are. We’re working with partners across the industry to deliver a new generation of Windows® phones that break down the barriers between people, information and applications and provide great end-to-end experiences that span your entire life, at work and at home."

The new OS offers a dashboard that allows users to stay aware of important information like new emails, texts, missed calls, and calendar appointments. The OS offers an improved touch interface designed to be navigated with a finger rather than a stylus.

The My Phone web service is password protected and allows users to access, manage, and backup content from their mobile phones allowing users to easily access data and restore it to a device in the event of an upgrade or replacement. The My Phone service is currently limited to an invitation only beta. Handsets shown at MWC 2009 running Windows Mobile 6.5 include the LG GM7300 and the HTC Touch Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2.

Windows Mobile 7 was reportedly delayed until the second half of this year, but will likely be even further out now that Windows Mobile 6.5 is just now debuting.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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