updated 08:10 am EST, Thu February 8, 2007
Windows Mobile 6
Microsoft this morning made an early announcement for the 3GSM expo by announcing Windows Mobile 6, the latest version of its OS for cellphones. Divided into three editions -- Classic for PDAs, Standard for intermediate smartphones, and Professional for more advanced communicators -- the new software represents a much tighter integration with the Internet. Key to the upgrade is integration with Windows Live, Microsoft says: Mail, Messenger, Search, and Spaces are all built-in. A new feature called Direct Push is also integrated and sends not only live e-mail but also calendars and contacts.
Crucially, however, the phone OS includes a number of features that hope to remedy weaknesses Apple claims to have addressed with its iPhone. Optimizations with the Device Center in Windows Vista now let Mobile 6 automatically sync music, photos, and other media without requiring separate software.
A core problem with web rendering has been equally addressed, according to Microsoft: in addition to a 30 percent improvement in speed for Internet Explorer, the integrated mail software now supports HTML for virtually every mail format, allowing for complex formatting and remote images.
Other changes include a new version of Office Mobile with richer editing of documents directly from the phone, better contact details both inside and outside of calls, and a new calendar "ribbon" which lets owners more quickly find scheduled dates by the day or week. Microsoft expects devices using Windows Mobile 6 to arrive in the Spring, including the forthcoming HTC Vox.