Windows Mobile 6.5, Microsoft's new mobile operating system, will be integrated into several smartphones in fall 2009, including the HTC Touch2 and Sony Ericsson Xperia X2. Although Microsoft lags behind Apple, Palm and other companies currently entrenched in the smartphone space, adding functionality to Windows Mobile 6.5 may allow it to seize a greater portion of market share.
Windows Mobile 6.5, the latest version of Microsoft
mobile operating system, will be installed on a number of smartphones set to
debut in fall 2009, including the HTC Touch2
and Sony Ericsson's Xperia X2.
The HTC Touch2 will make its debut on
Oct. 6, with broad availability in "a variety of European and Asian
markets in early Q4 2009," according to HTC.
In addition to Internet Explorer Mobile with Flash support, features bundled
with Windows Mobile 6.5 include Windows Marketplace for Mobile-Microsoft's
mobile application-store competitor-and the My Phone backup service. As
announced by HTC on Sept. 2, the phone will
feature a touch-screen interface and quick access to application widgets.
Nearly simultaneously, perhaps to steal a little thunder from HTC
and other mobile-device manufacturers, Sony Ericsson
announced that its
upcoming Xperia X2 device will also be a Windows phone. The company did not
disclose a specific release date for the device, which will have built-in
access to Flash-supporting Internet Explorer Mobile and Windows Marketplace for
Mobile as part of Windows Mobile
The Xperia X2 will also have a feature called SlideView, which allows users
to rapidly access frequently used applications such as Windows Live and games
through a set of preloaded and downloadable touch-screen panels.
As the Oct. 6 rollout date for Windows Mobile 6.5 approaches, Microsoft
has been slightly more forthcoming about its strategy in the mobile space.
Stephanie Ferguson, Microsoft's general manager of product management, mentioned
in a Sept. 1 blog post that the Microsoft mobile team had absorbed user
about the operating system and had committed to "making the user
interface more touch-friendly and improving notifications and updates from e-mail,
text and calendar items."
Part of that process has been the integration of applications into Windows
Mobile such as My Phone, which backs up user data, and a version of Internet
Explorer for mobile phones. Windows Mobile 6.5 will debut in North
America on phones manufactured by HTC,
LG Electronics, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba, and on the AT&T, Bell
Mobility, Sprint, TELUS and Verizon Wireless networks.