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Windows Mobile 6.5 - It's A Shame It's So Lame

No threat to the Apple iPhone or Google Android as it's hard to call Windows Mobile 6.5 much of an upgrade.

Microsoft has announced phone partners for Windows Mobile 6.5 and we now have a bird's-eye view of the mobile OS upgrade. Too bad there's not a whole lot to see. Some UI changes, including dumping the Today screen for something a bit more pleasing to the eye and easier to use, a new app store, and an upgraded IE browser with Flash lite support. At least Windows Mobile 6.5 has Flash to tout compared to the iPhone, but that's about it. But even the new UI changes aren't that compelling if HTC will overlay them with its own TouchFLO interface. Other phone manufacturers are doing the same. If you look at the new UI you'll see why, as it's basically like everything else out in the phone market, minus a true touch interface. Even the current time won't stay on the main screen, a problem for those of us who no longer carry our watch because it's been so easy to glance at our phone for the current time.

Okay, I've obviously gone negative here on Windows Mobile 6.5 (justifiably so) but there are some useful improvements. The IE6 and Flash Lite upgrade being one (though the browser takes a LONG time to switch between portrait and landscape modes), something I found very annoying on the Blackberry Storm). The other very useful improvement is that parts of the UI work well with touch though parts are still better with a stylus. And we expect Windows Mobile to integrate well with Microsoft Exchange as it has in the past. We now have the new Marketplace app store which is very reminiscent of the app store on the Blackberry Storm also. And there's the new MyPhone service for backing up your phone and wiping it remotely if you lose the phone.

Engadget has an excellent review of 6.5 (including a great video) and the YouTube video below is by PhoneScoop.com. Both give you a good feel for the new Windows Mobile 6.5 OS.

All of that said, Windows Mobile 6.5 isn't much of an upgrade. While it gives Windows Mobile some small improvements, it does nothing to help Windows Mobile catch up with the likes of the iPhone or Google Android. Frankly, this pretty lame upgrade puts even more pressure on Windows Mobile 7 which is still likely a good 8-12 months or so away.

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