At the 2009 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer was joined by key mobile partners including HTC, LG and Orange to announce next generation Windows phones which will be based on Microsoft's new Windows Mobile 6.5 OS. Two new services were also announced for Windows phones: My Phone, which lets users sync text messages, photos, video, contacts and more to the Web, and Windows Marketplace for Mobile, which is basically Microsoft's new mobile Apps store where direct-to-phone mobile applications can be accessed from a Windows Phone, and the Web. The new Windows phones should be available in the second half of 2009.
Windows Mobile 6.5 Delivers New User Experience
The new Windows Mobile 6.5 home screen keeps people up-to-date on important information by providing a dashboard-like experience to items such as new e-mails, texts, missed calls and calendar appointments. It also includes an improved touch-screen interface, making it easy to take action with a finger, and an updated version of the latest Internet Explorer Mobile browser, which in a third-party research study sponsored by Microsoft supported execution of up to 48 percent more assigned tasks than the other browsers and phones studied.
My Phone Service Connects the Phone to the Web
The free My Phone service will enable people to access, manage and back up their personal information on their device to a password-protected Web-based service, making it easier to upgrade phones without the worry of losing important information. With automatic syncing and backup, users can count on their contacts, appointments, text messages and other information being kept up to date and easily restored should they lose or upgrade their phone. Consumers also will be able to automatically upload photos and video from their Windows(R) phone directly to the My Phone service, making it simple to preserve content that, in the past, would have lived and died on the phone. The My Phone service is currently available in a limited invitation-only beta.
Rich and Integrated Marketplace Service Will Offer Easy Access to Mobile Applications
The new operating system features Windows(R) Marketplace for Mobile, a rich and integrated marketplace for searching, browsing and purchasing mobile applications from Windows(R) phones or from a PC by simply using a Windows Live ID. The new marketplace will be included with all Windows phones based on Windows Mobile 6.5, which will help consumers to easily find, install and experience those applications that fit their needs and make the phone truly personal. Developers, who have already built over 20,000 applications for Windows(R) phones, will be able to offer applications to customers through the marketplace via a simple security and compatibility check from Microsoft.
Partners Showcase New Windows(R) Phones
Leading mobile partners from around the world revealed some of the first Windows(R) phones showcasing the new operating system. In particular, mobile operator Orange will update its portfolio to offer new Windows phones with enhanced browsing, diverse personalization options and new user experiences. Similarly, two of the world's top phone manufacturers displayed their Windows(R) phones.
-- The LG-GM7300 is a stylish, user-friendly phone with features such as one-click e-mail set up to help people stay connected to the information they care about most. Available first on Windows Mobile 6.1, LG will add a Windows Mobile 6.5 version to the family, complementing an expanded alliance to dramatically increase the number of LG phones running Windows.
-- HTC's Touch Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2, announced today, will be upgradeable to Windows Mobile 6.5. New enhanced contact integration combined with new Internet capabilities deliver a people-centric approach to mobile communication. HTC's Touch Diamond 2 features TouchFLO 3D, a sleek and compact design with a large 3.2-inch high-resolution wide-screen display, while HTC Touch Pro 2 introduces one of the best-ever mobile productivity experiences on a phone highlighted by HTC's new Straight Talk technology, an integrated e- mail, voice and speakerphone experience.