MS have confirmed that the offical launch date for Windows Mobile 6.5 is May 11th 2009, which is the first day fo this year’s TechEd event.
The Windows Mobile blog says:
“Stephanie Ferguson, GM (General Manager) of Business Experiences at Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business is going to deliver the kick off launch presentation of Windows Mobile 6.5 on Monday, May 11th at 1:00PM – 2:15PM. This Tech Ed 2009 session focuses on one of the biggest launches in the history of Windows Mobile – Windows Mobile 6.5. It is targeted at both IT Professionals and Developers, with a cool demo and an outline of great stuff to come.”
It will still be a number of months until we see any WinMo 6.5 devices but TechEd will give us a chance to see even more about the features of the new mobile OS and more things to look forward to!
*Update* Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 phones will start being released on October 6th 2009 :-)
With only days to go until the start of the Mobile World Conference, there are more rumours and hints around Microsoft’s mobile based plans.
CNET report that on 22/01/09, MS split the Zune team into 2 divisions-“Software + Services” and “Hardware”. The interesting thing is that the head of the Hardware team, Tom Gibbons, also heads up hardware design for the Windows Mobile division-this definitely points to some synergy between the two in my book!
Enrique Rodriguez, head of Zune S+S, says that “Zune the service needs to transcend Zune the device” & “The goal is to make non-gaming entertainment a first-class citizen within Microsoft’s business“.
Gizmodo are reporting that while no specifics were mentioned, it was said that we can expect products other than the Zune to be using Zune Marketplace by the end of this year (2009).
ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley has again dug up more information on Microsoft’s plans for Windows Mobile, this time in the form of a rough timeline:
Windows Mobile 6.5 RTM (release to manufacturing): April 2009
First Windows Mobile 6.5 devices from cell phone makers: September 2009
Windows Mobile 7.0 release to testers: November 2009
First Windows Mobile 7.0 devices from cell phone makers: April 2010
I’m hoping that WinMo 6.5 is going to be available as a software update for current 6.1 devices but I’m not particularly hopeful. If it isn’t I think I’m gonna skip it completely & go straight to WinMo 7 in 2010..how about you?
Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet has got some great new info on Microsoft’s plans for SkyBox and Windows Mobile.
SkyBox is the central online hub-a place to store photos, mp3’s, contacts etc as a backup for your device and we now have visibility of the timeline for this product.
SkyBox 1.0 will go to beta in Mid-Feb and due to it’s ad-supported web portal, will be free which like the sound of! You’ll be able to backup/restore your data as well as share it with other users-this is quite a neat feature as it means you no longer have to be in Bluetooth range…
Come Summer ’09 we’ll have SkyBox 1.5 at which point it will branch off in to 2 versions: the free version with ads and a premium ad-free flavour. This 1.5 release will be available on WinMo 6.1, 6.5 AND select NON-WinMo phones.
Sometime after that, I’d guess Q1 2010 will mark the arrival of the all-singing, all-dancing SkyBox 2.0, at this point users will be able to alter/manage their devices from the web. So you can change your wallpaper, add a new ringtone, install new apps etc all from the web-this is pretty freakin’ cool!!! Also by 2.0 Live Services including Mesh will be integrated and it will integrate with the upcoming SkyMarket where you can purchase new apps etc-a Microsoft version of the iPhone App store.
I’m really excited about both of these services. My mobile is always a little bit out of the loop and to get things from there on to a pc-especially if not at home-can be a pain so SkyBox will make all that much easier and SkyMarket will mean us WinMo users can get some of the cool apps iPhone users have available :-)
The guys over at Pocket PC thoughts have got some new WinMo 6.5 screenshots from a new manufacturer called CompuLab:
I’ve got to say that I’m liking what I’m seeing here (apart from the scary Ostrich!)-the honeycomb style icon layout looks good and I imagine is a lot easier to navigate that what we have at the minute.
These screenshots have got me looking forward to the upcoming release even more-how about you?
Microsoft look set to announce WinMo 6.5 at the Mobile World Congress and also a number of new cloud services including SkyBox, SkyLine and SkyMarket (via Gizmodo).
These are all exciting additions to the Windows Mobile experience and I can’t wait to start using them on my WinMo 6.1 HTC Diamond…first up SkyBox.
SkyBox is an Over-The-Air (OTA) sync/backup service for your contacts, email, SMS, calendar and pictures…very handy :-) The rumour is that this will be available to non WinMo devices but I’m not sure if that will come off…good way to get some extra love though!
SkyLine seems to be a “Small Business” version of SkyBox with the inclusion of Exchange and SkyMarket is MS’s version of the iPhone AppStore. A Windows Mobile app store will be brilliant as it will really help users to enhance their mobile experience with 3rd party apps that make their days easier and/or more fun!
Microsoft have done a brilliant job of turning things around with Windows 7 so hopefully 6.5/7 and the Sky set of products can do the same for WinMo…
Both Gizmodo & Engadget are reporting that there are some homebrew-style builds that are “mostly” Windows Mobile 6.5 available for install now.
Heads over at XDA Developers have got it running on some old school HTC models such as the MDA 3 and Qtek 9090, but it doesn’t look like much cop to me. It doesn’t look like the screenshots in my other recent postand I’m inclined to believe it’s just WinMo 6.1 with a new skin really.
The Gizmodo article with links is here.