9/16/2009 11:52:00 AM
Microsoft revamps Windows Mobile
Microsoft will revamp its Windows Mobile offering on 6 October with the global launch of an upgraded software platform, Windows Mobile 6.5.
The upgrade will be released alongside an improved Marketplace applications store and a free web-based backup system called ‘My Phone’.
The move is designed to spearhead Microsoft’s push into the consumer market. James McCarthy at Microsoft UK’s Mobile Communications Business division told Mobile: ‘It’s not a revolution – it’s an improvement to the platform with a new phone, but we have ambitions that are much bigger.’
McCarthy hinted that the introduction of Windows 7 to Windows Mobile in 2010 would see many more significant changes.
The major difference between Windows 6.5 and 6.1 is that the interface is designed to be used with fingers rather than a stylus, to provide a more ‘user friendly’ experience.
Most operators have committed to providing customers using 6.1 with a downloadable upgrade to 6.5. This will be restricted to newer devices where it makes commercial sense to upgrade.
Microsoft has around 20,000 applications on other sites and is persuading them to port the applications they hold onto Marketplace. Application developers will receive a 70% revenue share with the remaining 30% split between Microsoft and the operators.
The new package also includes My Phone, a free online backup service, with between 200MB and 500MB of storage. Customers go to Microsoft.com/myphone, enter their user live ID and can then copy SMS, photos, music, calendar, contacts, tasks and the like onto the web. If the phone is lost, all the information can be downloaded onto a new handset. A premium service with a much greater storage capacity will also be available.
McCarthy said the goal was to push more of the Windows Live environment into the mobile world.
Customers can now use the Messenger chat service and leave it running in the background without accumulating a lot of data and burning up the battery. Hotmail can be retrieved either on a live basis or at intervals set by the user.