Microsoft and its partners unveiled a slew of mobile phones that are powered by Windows Mobile 6.5.
They showcased HTC Touch 2, LG GM730 and Samsung Omnia II, which are just some of the phones running the much-awaited operating system.
The software giant christened handsets with WM 6.5 as Windows phones — the name change was because the new OS is supposed to offer the same user experience as using Windows on the PC.
The first thing that users will notice is the new homescreen which is inspired by Microsoft’s Zune media player and an iPhone-like grid of applications to make it easier to select programs.Users will also see a tighter integration with Microsoft’s Live services and the ability to share photos across social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Flickr.
The mobile Internet Explorer also received a makeover — it now resembles its PC counterpart and includes features such as panning and zooming capabilities via finger gestures, auto-complete suggestions and a searchable address bar.
Also, the browser supports Adobe Flash Lite so users can access more multimedia content online.
Another cool feature of WM 6.5 is that users can still access basic features and switch screens even when the phone is locked.
WM 6.5 also comes with a free My Phone service that offers 200MB of storage for users to securely backup data such as contacts and photos online.
Following Apple’s iTunes App Store lead, Microsoft is also introducing a virtual store called Windows Marketplace from which users can buy programs to enhance their phone.
Microsoft said phones running the older Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system can be upgraded to the latest OS but it would be up to the manufacturer to release the update.