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Windows Mobile 6.5 review roundup

Windows Mobile 6.5Microsoft has pulled back the thin veil that was covering Windows Mobile 6.5 and launched its next generation operating system for mobile phones. And it's pretty much exactly what you would expect based on all the information that's been coming out over the past year or so. That's to say, it appears to be a minor, mostly cosmetic update to Windows Mobile 6.1.

A number of tech news sites have published detailed reviews of Windows Mobile 6.5. And here's what they generally have in common: Microsoft has tweaked the home screen to make it more attractive and more user friendly. The program launcher has also received a minor cosmetic update that makes it easier to navigate with a finger and no stylus. But there's no good way to sort programs or arrange them the way you like them. And when you actually launch the applications you're often greeted with programs that haven't changed much since Windows Mobile was called Pocket PC 2002. For instance, the calendar is as ugly and feature-free as it was 7 years ago.

The web browser is actually a pretty major improvement. It's based on Internet Explorer 6, which may be incredibly out of date when it comes to desktop browsers. But for a mobile web browser, it's pretty good at rendering most of the web content you'll encounter. It also has improved navigation buttons that don't take up as much on-screen real estate. Those buttons disappear when you're not using them. The browser supports Flash, and you can zoom in and out of web pages to see the full page or just the text area you want to read.
The long and short of it? If you're leaning toward getting a Windows Mobile phone anyway, Windows Mobile 6.5 has a few features that you might like. But it's hardly a home-run hit that will help Microsoft compete with Apple, Palm, Google, Symbian, and other mobile platforms. We'll have to wait for Windows Mobile 7 to see any major changes in the platform.

Tags: osupdates, review-roundup, reviews, windows-mobile, windows-mobile-6.5