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Windows Mobile 6.5's start screen features larger icons which allow for touch functionality. The OS is set to come out very soon, but will be quickly replaced by Windows Mobile 7 in under a year.  (Source: PC World)
The newest version of Windows Mobile is almost done, but it won't be around for long

Windows Mobile 6.5 is nearly here.  "For the record, Windows Mobile 6.5 is DONE . . . complete . . . looks really good," noted the Windows Mobile Developers Team on its Twitter account. The post was later deleted, but most believe it’s a sure sign that the update is nearing release.

The post puts the spot on the potential of the new release and its problems.  First the potential; Windows Mobile 6.5 will offer key improvements from the previous version 6.1, including touch capability.  It will be available on a rumored 31 smart phones, including models from HTC, Toshiba, Samsung, and Motorola.

Next the problem(s); Windows Mobile 6.5 will be eclipsed in under a year by the Windows Mobile take on Windows 7, aptly named Windows Mobile 7.  WinMo 7 should bring many more improvements to the table -- and there's no telling what phones will be compatible with the new mobile OS.

In short, Windows Mobile 6.5 has an identity crisis -- it might tempt users to update, but it seems unlikely to snare a large volume of new business, as it will be quickly replaced by its own kin.  For those updating, the new release tweaks the UI, replacing the small icons with larger ones allowing users to ditch the stylus and use finger navigation.  Likewise, Internet Explorer Mobile has received an overhaul and is now touch friendly.  The Today Screen has also been tweaked to allow items such as a music player to be added.

For those willing to wait, Windows 7 Mobile should bring much more, including a modern multi-touch interface, complete with scaling and zoom.  It will also bring new versions of the company's mobile programs -- IE, email, SMS, photo/music management -- packaged together in a suite.

Others, though, will likely be lured away by the promise of Palm's new webOS featured on its upcoming Pre phone, or the OS X-sporting iPhone 3G.  And Google's Android OS, aboard the G1 phone, remains yet another popular smart phone operating system.

Microsoft owns a large portion of the smart phone OS market share.  However, its previous version of the OS was lagging behind competitors in certain key features, such as touch functionality.  Windows Mobile 7 should even the playing field, but in the meantime customers will be offered Windows Mobile 6.5 -- a halfway OS that will likely find a tough time establishing its identity, though offering some new perks.

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By aebiv on 5/18/2009 7:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree, while my Motorola Q9h was limited by lack of touch screen, it was by far one of my favorite and most stable phones. The Fuze/Touch Pro I now have far eclipses it in terms of performance though.

What people get wrong, is that it isn't the OS or the phone that is usually error prone, but the ROM bundled with the phone from the provider. If HTC could get AT&T and VZW's fingers out of the OS, MANY more people would be pleased at what these phones can do.

By omnicronx on 5/19/2009 10:13:22 AM , Rating: 3
If HTC could get AT&T and VZW's fingers out of the OS, MANY more people would be pleased at what these phones can do.
Exactly.. the sad reality is, Carriers don't know how to make a good ROM. I've owned three windows mobile phones, and if not for the ability to load customized ROM's without the carrier BS, I would have ditched windows mobile a long time ago.

P.S Jason: That screenshot is VERY old.. the honeycomb start menu was removed from the beta's a while back. Perhaps you should show off the new Titanium Today screen.

By therealnickdanger on 5/19/2009 11:46:52 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, if it wasn't for custom ROMs (like my current 6.1 Diamond knock-off for my regular Touch) I would probably be annoyed. The problem with Windows Mobile is just like the problem with Vista:

Great, customizeable, dependable OS not tweaked enough (or at all) by the vendor for use on specific hardware. Remember all those Vista systems with Celeron CPUs and 512MB-1GB RAM? FAIL.

WM6.1 is a solid OS, but your experience will differ greatly depending upon the device it is loaded on. However, take WM6.1 and alter it specifically for use with one type of phone to bolden strengths and smooth over weaknesses and you've got the best combination on the market. IMO, obviously.

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