updated 02:15 pm EDT, Tue April 1, 2008
Win Mobile 6.1 and New IE
Microsoft today ended months of speculation and formally introduced Windows Mobile 6.1, its first concerted effort to improve the handheld OS beyond e-mail and Office support. The new version centers around the home screen and makes much more information accessible from the top level. A new sliding panel home screen interface lets users quickly scroll through calendars, notices, and media; for the first time, Windows Mobile users can perform basic music functions through the home screen.
Internet Explorer Mobile has also received its first major upgrade and now offers a full-page view that lets users zoom in rather than scroll at full zoom. Pages will also have many more features common to more advanced web phones with Flash Lite, H.264, and Microsoft's own Silverlight enabled.
Other additions will involve an easier setup process, custom e-mail support for POP3 and IMAP servers, threaded SMS message conversations, and access to more features on non-touchscreen devices than was possible with version 6.0. Microsoft anticipates phones shipping with 6.1 to arrive in the spring and will see several phones receive the upgrade, including the BlackJack II, most versions of the Q9, and a new version of the HTC Touch DUAL meant for the US. Internet Explorer will receive its upgrade during the summer.