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Microsoft unveils new mobile OS with Apple-like app store

post #1 of 57
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Microsoft on Monday made its latest bid to stem share loses in the mobile sector with a new version of its Windows Mobile software that includes an online store for third-party applications and also ties into a new cloud service for syncing mobile data.

Presenting at the Mobile World Congress 2009 in Barcelona, the Redmond-based software giant said it's signed deals with a number of top-tier mobile partners to deliver the next generation of Windows phones that will run Windows Mobile 6.5, which features a new user interface and a richer browsing experience when it becomes available during the second half of the year.

The same phones will also debut two new services similar to those offered by rival Apple to users of its iPhone handsets: My Phone, to sync text messages, photos, video, contacts --but not email -- to the Web; and Windows Marketplace for Mobile, a new online application shop that will provide direct-to-phone mobile applications and can be accessed from both the phone and the Web.

Windows phones bring together the best of the Web, the PC and the phone so you can connect instantly to the experiences you care about, no matter where you are, said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer. Were working with partners across the industry to deliver a new generation of Windows phones that break down the barriers between people, information and applications and provide great end-to-end experiences that span your entire life, at work and at home.

Windows Mobile 6.5

One of the highlights of the new Windows Mobile software is a touch-screen interface with a honeycomb Start screen "designed for use with your fingers to accurately select the application, folder, game or setting quickly and easily." Users who password protect their handsets will also see a new Lock screen that will allow responses to interactive user interface elements such as those for missed calls, voice mail, e-mail, text and calendar items with a simple PIN without unlocking the entire device.

Windows Mobile 6.5: Lock screen (left), Start screen (center), Internet Explorer mobile (right).

Windows Mobile 6.5 phones will also ship with a new Internet Explorer Mobile browser that promises "desktop-quality rendering" similar to that provided by Apple's version of mobile Safari. The browser will also let users search in the address bar of the browser like the iPhone and support Adobe Flash Lite, which the Apple handset does not.

My Phone

Microsoft formally announced its answer to portions of Apple's MobileMe service with a complimentary mobile data sync service conveniently called My Phone.

The My Phone service will let users view and manage photos on their phone from the Web..

While both services offer to sync settings, contacts, and calendar data, as well as present a web interface for accessing and editing the same data, My Phone also serves as an online version of some of the features of iTunes, allowing it to backup the entire phone device to the cloud and then restore that image to a new phone.

The service, which is currently available in a limited invitation-only beta, also offers to sync photos and video taken by Windows Mobile phones to its online service, similar to how the iPhone can upload photos to a MobileMe gallery.

For more on My Phone and how it compares to MobileMe on the iPhone, please see the AppleInsider report titled, Microsoft plays catch up to MobileMe with My Phone.

Windows Mobile Marketplace

Perhaps the most significant of Microsoft's announcements are plans to take on Apple's App Store with a similar service dubbed Windows Marketplace for searching, browsing and purchasing mobile applications from Windows phones or from a PC by using a Windows Live ID. The new marketplace will be included with all Windows phones based on Windows Mobile 6.5 and allow developers to offer applications to customers through a security and compatibility check facilitated by Microsoft.

New Windows Mobile Handsets

As part of its announcements Monday, Microsoft said it has inked a new deal with LG, the world's third-leading handset vendor, to install Windows Mobile on the majority of its phones. The LG-GM730 --making its debut with a custom version of Windows Mobile 6.1 -- will reportedly be the first smartphone to use new version of Windows Mobile OS integrated with LG's advanced 3D S-Class User Interface.

"The combination of Windows Mobile and our new 3D S-Class User Interface will make the LG-GM730 the most functional and easiest to use smartphone ever created," said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Mobile Communications Company. "This phone is a springboard for us. We will launch a number of smartphones this year; most of them will follow this same winning formula."

The LG-GM730 will make its debut in the coming months but is unlikely to be sold in North America.

LG's S-Class UI skin sports a 3D cube layout, four customizable home screens, simplified email setup, and "flick of a finger" navigation, while the LG-GM730 itself supports 7.2Mbps HSDPA, 2Mbps HSUPA, and Quadband EDGE. Additional specifications will be announced before the phone goes on sale in the first half of 2009.

Similarly, HTCs Touch Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2, also announced Monday, will be upgradeable to Windows Mobile 6.5. Currently based on a customized version of Windows Mobile 6.1, the Touch Diamond 2 features TouchFLO 3D, a slim design with a large 3.2-inch high-resolution wide-screen display, while HTC Touch Pro 2 introduces new Straight Talk technology, an integrated e-mail, voice and speakerphone experience.

HTC's Touch Diamond 2.

The Touch Diamond 2 is expected to hit major European and Asian markets early next quarter, with broader global availability coming later in the year. Among the handset's features are:
Larger 3.2-inch high resolution wide-screen VGA display for a greater viewing area
13.7mm thick
New touch sensitive zoom bar for even faster zooming of Web pages, emails, text messages, photos or documents
Optimized for one-hand use
50% better battery life
5MP auto focus camera
Expandable memory
Gravity sensor
Ambient light sensor
HTC's Touch Pro 2.
Meanwhile, the HTC Touch Pro 2 should be available across major global markets beginning early summer. Some of its features include:
Designed for business professionals
High-resolution 3.6-inch widescreen VGA display
Large finger-friendly QWERTY keyboard
Improved battery life
Expandable memory
Touch-sensitive zoom bar
Gravity, proximity, ambient light sensors
Optimized for touch as well as heavy email use
post #2 of 57
Anyone who has seen the WM6.5 Demo video will agree that this is really sad and that Microsoft shareholders should start worrying about Microsoft big time, here's the link in case you haven't seen it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mrrdj...eature=related
post #3 of 57
I can only assume they will charge for apps with MS points, like they do with the Zune /Xbox, instead of real currency. MS is quite prone to adding an extra layer of confusion or two.
post #4 of 57
Gosh what a surprise!
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #5 of 57
Depending on when the HTCP Touch Pro 2 is coming out, I'm trading my iPhone in for it. If a 3rd iPhone comes out, with something dazzling, I'm trading up to it. Timing is everything, and I'm ready for a new phone.
post #6 of 57
This is really sad.... Microsoft is losing the mobile OS battle big time. This is not a matter of hating microsoft or Apple. ( I love Apple) Microsoft is becoming more and more like Apple and other companies by the day.

okay I give Microsoft one point for having a flash player built into Windows mobile 6.5.
but, I have a feeling Apple is going to do it, and do it 10x better than any other cell company on the market. If you look at the demo on youtube, you will notice how microsoft copied the iPhone in the method of unlocking the phone. With the iPhone you slide to unlock it. Well, in 6.5 one will notice that instead of an arrow that you have to slide, you see a crap made "padlock" icon to slide and unlock.

And with the AppStore. Give me a break Microsoft! That OS is not capable of running any of the apps the iPhone is capable of. Nobody want to play freakin' bejeweled anymore. If you ask me Microsoft should start using webOS. instead of windows. Which is garbage
post #7 of 57
You do know apps have been available for WM phones for years right? WTF r you talking about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post

This is really sad.... Microsoft is losing the mobile OS battle big time. This is not a matter of hating microsoft or Apple. ( I love Apple) Microsoft is becoming more and more like Apple and other companies by the day.

okay I give Microsoft one point for having a flash player built into Windows mobile 6.5.
but, I have a feeling Apple is going to do it, and do it 10x better than any other cell company on the market. If you look at the demo on youtube, you will notice how microsoft copied the iPhone in the method of unlocking the phone. With the iPhone you slide to unlock it. Well, in 6.5 one will notice that instead of an arrow that you have to slide, you see a crap made "padlock" icon to slide and unlock.

And with the AppStore. Give me a break Microsoft! That OS is not capable of running any of the apps the iPhone is capable of. Nobody want to play freakin' bejeweled anymore. If you ask me Microsoft should start using webOS. instead of windows. Which is garbage
post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Gosh what a surprise!

This would be a surprise to Mac users because "IT'S FREE" & "CROSS PLATFORM".

Imagine that. $100 for MobileMe or MyPhone FREE with more features than MobileMe.

It should go great with the FREE version of Windows 7 for Vista Users.
post #9 of 57
As usual, Microsoft does okay on copying the aesthetic and fails on the user interface. Look how much space is wasted on the start page so they can use the bloated honeycomb design? It's getting to be cliche nowadays, but their function is falling waaaay behind the form.
post #10 of 57
Is it actual Windows this time?
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My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
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post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post

You do know apps have been available for WM phones for years right? WTF r you talking about.

yeah, I know that. But, Microsoft is making the Appstore one of its primary features on the OS. What if Apple never came out with an Appstore?? Do you think Microsoft would have done it?

Yes its competition, but thats besides the point. Its pathetic to see Microsoft do everything they can to try and be like Apple. Everything from a retail store (that Apple has been doing for years) or how Windows's UI is looking more like OS X by the version. ( Before you say is doesnt, go look at windows 7's new taskbar. Dont even tell me that does not look similar to OS X.)
post #12 of 57
And, please dont get me ever started on how 6.5's UI has loooked the same for over about a decade. its 2009, get with the program
post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post

Depending on when the HTCP Touch Pro 2 is coming out, I'm trading my iPhone in for it. If a 3rd iPhone comes out, with something dazzling, I'm trading up to it. Timing is everything, and I'm ready for a new phone.

You are a crazy person.

Even if for some really weird reason you think Windows Mobile is "the future" or some such, 6.5 is just a dressed up version of the same thing.

Microsoft got caught with their pants down when the iPhone came out and made their "market leader" OS irrelevant almost overnight. Windows Mobile 6.5 is the reaction to that, it's the version where they kind of "dress up the corpse" and make it look like all the other innovative systems out there. Windows Mobile 7.0 (to match Balmer's "lucky seven" theme), is the one where they will present what they think is going to be competition to iPhone.

6.5 is just intended to stop the bleeding, if you want to move to Windows Mobile, wait for 7.0.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #14 of 57
They can have all these fancypants features but the key question is whether WM6.5 is built on a new, efficient code base or is it just another layer of patches and workarounds on the same old buggy WinMo?
post #15 of 57
The gray and black icons at the bottom of the IE screen look a lot like the toolbar icons on the iPhone. I know, I know, surprise, surprise.
post #16 of 57
That video linked above told me all I need to know: Lipstick on a pig.

It still has the jerky Windows UI.
It is just a new launcher application on top of the same old Windows Mobile UI.
The web browser is IE6 level, not IE7, never mind IE8! (I read this elsewhere)

I worked with Windows Mobile PDAs for a couple of years, and they are a total pain, the entire experience is painful, it's a poorly translated desktop metaphor on a small screen. It simply doesn't work.

The iPhone has problems, but it's state of the art right now in terms of interface. It is consistent throughout, and touch throughout. It's integrated in look and feel. It's intuitive. It works.

Android and Symbian are not too far behind, Android having the benefit of seeing where the iPhone succeeded and failed. The Palm Pre WebOS I don't know what to think, it's probably 2007 or 2008 era.

It is quite clear that Windows Mobile 6.5 == Windows Mobile 2006. I wouldn't stretch to 2007 to be honest. The entire system needs to be ripped apart and rebuilt, and that means making all the old applications incompatible or running on a compatibility layer that new applications should eschew.
post #17 of 57
Does it come in 20 versions like Vista / Windows 7?

:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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post #18 of 57
While I just love LG's attempt here, I'm always cautious of buying products with that new-fangled 'bluethooth' technology. It's just so unpredictable!



... I couldn't resist.

Jimzip
"There's no time like the present, and the only present you'll never get, is time." - Me
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"There's no time like the present, and the only present you'll never get, is time." - Me
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post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimzip View Post

While I just love LG's attempt here, I'm always cautious of buying products with that new-fangled 'bluethooth' technology. It's just so unpredictable!

... I couldn't resist.

Jimzip

No, new Fangled would be "Stereo BlueTooth", "Background Notification", "Multi Tasking"

All of which the new Fangled iPhone still doesn't have.

Wait, I forgot to mention 10 year old new fangled features like 1 touch voice dialing.
post #20 of 57
so what does this mean for android; or more realistically, what does android mean for windows mobile?
post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

Does it come in 20 versions like Vista / Windows 7?


Outstanding! Yes same old same old from Micro$oft. Never an original thought or idea in their RD dept.
post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by xirtus View Post

so what does this mean for android; or more realistically, what does android mean for windows mobile?

It means that with Google & Microsoft you can synch your phone and data for FREE.

With Apple you are still paying $99 for Beta Software with less features.
post #23 of 57
Glad to see that Apple provided inspiration to Microsoft - again.
post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimzip View Post

While I just love LG's attempt here, I'm always cautious of buying products with that new-fangled 'bluethooth' technology. It's just so unpredictable!

... I couldn't resist.

Jimzip

Yes, but I'm betting LG's "bluethooth" supports more profiles than the iPhone's "bluetooth". Hell, my crappy, free after rebate, LG phone from 4 years ago does.
post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

Does it come in 20 versions like Vista / Windows 7?


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Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter and
those who matter don't mind
--Dr. Seuss
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post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamacnewton View Post

Best. Post. Ever.

It's bad enough the guy posted a giant graphic, did you really have to double-post it?

Edit: now it's triple posted! argh!
Did you guys only just hear of the internet or what?
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #27 of 57
IF IT LOOKS LIKE AN iPHONE, IF IT TALKS LIKE AN iPHONE, IF IT SOUNDS LIKE AN iPHONE WHAT IS IT?
A MY-PHONE!!!!
post #28 of 57
Give me a break, Ball-merrr. You should have spent more time trying to stop Gates from stealing the OS from Apple back in 84. Now here you are just stealing the retail store, the Dock, and now the iPhone look and feel! Anything else?
post #29 of 57
After the thousands of dollars some of us individually spent on WM devices, each time hoping for a decent browser, this is what Microsoft can offer 2 years after iPhone 1.0? Too little, way too late.

I suspect the makers of the iPhone clone called "MiPhone" will not be pleased! :-)

Will the MyPhone sync with gimme.com?
post #30 of 57
I know this is not directly rated but ever since I put he latest iPhone update, Safari has refused to crash on my iPhone. I've been away from home and using the iphone to browse the internet and it handles everything I throw at it wonderfully, Apple had done a great job improvig it and Im loving this phone the more I use it, this is my first smartphone.
post #31 of 57
Gravity sensors huh? Well I'm sure that'll come in handy in space. "No Gravity Here - this phone is pretty light huh?"
post #32 of 57
Nah, I don't think is "the future", but I don't think my iPhone is either. I'm one of the strangers who enjoys WM (even though I just sold mine) phones. I'm loving the Pre too. I just like gadgets, no matter who makes them or how other feel about the company that puts them out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

You are a crazy person.

Even if for some really weird reason you think Windows Mobile is "the future" or some such, 6.5 is just a dressed up version of the same thing.

Microsoft got caught with their pants down when the iPhone came out and made their "market leader" OS irrelevant almost overnight. Windows Mobile 6.5 is the reaction to that, it's the version where they kind of "dress up the corpse" and make it look like all the other innovative systems out there. Windows Mobile 7.0 (to match Balmer's "lucky seven" theme), is the one where they will present what they think is going to be competition to iPhone.

6.5 is just intended to stop the bleeding, if you want to move to Windows Mobile, wait for 7.0.
post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnp1 View Post

Give me a break, Ball-merrr. You should have spent more time trying to stop Gates from stealing the OS from Apple back in 84. Now here you are just stealing the retail store, the Dock, and now the iPhone look and feel! Anything else?

What else? Apple's OS X Leopard? Renamed 'Windows 8'?

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #34 of 57
The new phones are based on a customised version of the os. Developer hell for 3rd party apps.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #35 of 57
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #36 of 57
I was just hoping MS would call it the ProgStore.

Aqua-Aero
Widgets-Gadgets
Genius-Guru
AppStore-ProgStore
post #37 of 57
When I demonstrated my iPhone to my 97 year young father, he said it needed a stylus. I think he was a Microsoft focus group contributor. It's just something else to track or loose and replace for $29.95.
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post #38 of 57
I think it's great Microsoft are investing in this market. It'll certainly keep Apple on its toes.

Whilst they can't dominate in a free market they have a massive user base and that's a lot of leverage.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #39 of 57
Serious competition is coming with high quality features such as:

- a better and bigger screen;

- a 5 MegaPixel auto-focus camera;

- a finger friendly larger QWERTY keyboard;

- a much lower price.


Consumers and business customers will turn down a lower quality and more expensive iPhone, $600 before carrier subsidies, showing once more that an early entry into a new market is not a guarantee of long term success, especially when you gauge early customers on the mistaken belief that you are special and that no one, absolutely no one, can offer a better deal (higher quality components and a lower price).

It's Windows 95 all over again.

There is an obvious ego problem at Apple, but I am tempted to conclude with this business maxim:

Either lead, follow, or get out of the way.

What I mean to say is that Apple should abandon the intelligent phone market if it cannot or will not provide a better iPhone with higher quality components and a lower price. That's how competition works.

As a customer, I look forward to the increased offer of better, newer and lower priced cell phones.


post #40 of 57
Yeah, Microsoft will keep Apple on its toes, while Microsoft two years later is still on its own heels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

Either lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Right, Microsoft should get out of the way!
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