Windows Mobile phone maker HTC launched a shot directly at Apples bow with todays release of the HTC Touch, an iPhone-like Windows Mobile device that uses a gestural touch screen.
Like the iPhone, the Touch is almost all screen—though HTCs device does have three buttons below its large touch screen. You execute commands by poking at the 2.8-inch, 320-by-240, 65K-color screen with a finger or sweeping your finger in various directions. (HTC calls the finger-sweep technology "TouchFLO.")
Sweeping your finger up on the home screen reveals an entirely new interface that doesnt look much like Windows Mobile, with big, finger-friendly buttons giving you access to contacts, media and applications. You can also use your finger to scroll through documents or drag yourself around Web pages. Like the iPhone, the Touch lacks physical number buttons or a letter keypad.
The iPhone will run OS X on AT&Ts network; the Touch runs Windows Mobile and works best on T-Mobile, as its a tri-band European phone lacking the 850-Mhz band that AT&T relies on in some metro areas.
As a Windows Mobile 6 phone, the Touch synchronizes with Windows Media Player on XP and Vista systems to play music and video that you either rip yourself or that youve purchased from stores like Napster, Rhapsody, URGE, and Yahoo! Music. (The iPhone will run iTunes, of course.) The Touchs Internet Explorer Mobile browser is set against the iPhones Safari.