New York Times is un-impressed with Windows Mobile 6.5

Mon, Feb 16, 2009


Writing in the New York Times today, Saul Hansell observed that while Windows Mobile 6.5 does contain some improvements, it largely remains an un-impressive upgrade with no features that haven’t been seen before.

I had a chance to preview the new Windows Mobile 6.5 cellphone operating system that Microsoft is introducing today. I was unimpressed with the new graphic flourishes that are the bulk of the changes…

Most of Microsoft’s changes to the operating system are meant to update it to work better on phones that people touch with their fingers rather than tap with a stylus. It is also trying to make the phone have a less businesslike look (without losing appeal to corporate technology managers who have been among the operating systems main proponents).

That means that the pull-down menus are de-emphasized in favor of icons and scrolling lists of large, friendly-looking type. The overall effect is pleasant, but it appeared derivative, with nothing that I noticed that pushed the art of cellphone interfaces forward.

On first glance, Windows Mobile 6.5 is clearly an improvement over its predecessor, but Microsoft is in the un-enviable position of being forced to cater to its business users while at the same time trying to attract mainstream consumers.  That’s a tricky, if not impossible, line to toe for a company whose Mobile OS has largely been geared towards the enterprise for almost a decade now.



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