We're live at the CTIA 2008 Keynote, speakers to include Robbie Bach of Microsoft (head of the division that includes Windows Mobile, Hint Hint), Richard Branson of Virgin Mobile (who we just spotted chatting up a small group outside), and Dan Hesse of Sprint. We're assuming hoping that Windows Mobile 6.1 is announced today. Tune in after the break for live updates.

It's all done now, folks, we have a full gallery of the Windows Mobile 6.1 features they showed during the keynote after the break!



Times below are MST, newest updates at the top.

10:59 - We're done!

10:56 - "Sprint features increasing openness, or as we prefer to call it, open freedom." "Walled Garden company is the company of the past." Do it Sprint. Bragging about full HTML "off portal" browsing - i.e. letting you go to any web page. Woo.

10:55 - expect multimode devices that do both 3G and WiMAX.

10:53 - WiMAX video. Confirmed, XOHM pronounced "zome."

10:50 - No mention of how they've been flailing about lately. Hm. Time to talk WiMAX. They're going for WiMAX, expect a 2 year time to market advantage.

10:49 - Samsung Instinct. Like no other touchscreen phone, pay no attention to the fact that it sorta kinda looks like an iPhone. GPS too. Available this summer.

10:46 - Talking up Simply Everything. $99 for everything - talk, text, data. etc.

10:43 - I should have made a drinking game out of this. "Last year the mobile industry hit a tipping point."

10:41 - wireless company of the future. Launching Push to Talk to CDMA. "The button." Also adding Push to text. Push to email.

10:40 - intro video talks up how the company that can deliver "immediacy" will have the pole position.

10:40 - Steve Largent is back, bringing on President and CEO of Sprint, Dan Hesse. Care to tell us how you're going to survive there, Hesse?

10:38 - Bach is wrapping up. You can tell because he's saying stuff like "inflection point" and "just the beginning."

10:37 - Hey Bach, tell us when! Hey! When? Free? When?!

10:36 - Sprint: HTC Mogul and Touch, the Q9c, and the Samsung Ace will get 6.1

10:35 - AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Alltel will offer 6.1 phones. Now he's going to talk up AT&T: Samsung BlackJack II, Moto Q9h, AT&T Tilt, and Pantech Duo will all get Windows Mobile 6.1

10:33 - "Best looking mobile phone in the industry today." Cocky, nice. Will run 6.1 and the panel experience. Demoing the panel experience. It's not as fast as I'd like... SE will be selling creating panels with partners for other things like services.

Neat little widget panel showing calendar, weather.

10:32 - Bach is back on stage. Talking about Sony Ericsson and likely the XPERIA X1? Yes, the XPERIA X1. Another Demo.

10:31 - Flash Lite will be built-into Windows 6.1. Showing the full YouTube. Ah, the waterskiing squirrel. ...oh, looks like the new IE won't be out until the end of 2008. Bummer.

10:30 - Showing it on a BlackJack II. The click and zoom is very nice, actually, better than you might expect without a touchscreen.

10:29 - Time to show the Windows Mobile 6.1 browser. A new version of Internet Explorer Mobile. Makes sense to bring IE6 and IE7 to windows Mobile. Desktop-like browsing he says, full page not the mobile optimized page.

10:28 - Showing Live Search for Mobile now. Adding Web Search, Weather. Nice. and "Collections." List of most common searches, i.e. "Upcoming music events" that lets you find what's new for whatever area you're in.

10:27 - Bill Gates what to have lunch with Snyder. THREADED TEXT confirmed (as if you didn't know). It's not very real-estate friendly, it takes up a lot of space per message. "Bringing that to market over the next couple of months."

10:26 - Productivity now. Outlook Mobile. COPY/PASTE on all Windows Mobile phones (incl standard). Yay. Also showing smart filter. Hold Shift key to select multiple messages (nice!)

10:25 - Automatic profiles (sets to vibrate when you're in a meeting).

10:24 - neat photo plug in. We'll have photos ourselves, folks, after the keynote is over.

10:23 - A new "getting started" center. Nice. 10 Minutes. 10 Hours. 10 Days. That's Microsoft's mantra. Has email settings, bluetooth settings (can automatically pair, it tries the pairing codes automatically). How to transfer music to your phone, a new music plugin for the home screen.

This is all standard edition, by the way.

10:22 - Samsung BlackJack II, updatable to 6.1. Showing new today screen. "The sliding panel" See most important information on one screen. Can scroll left and right through notifications, shows details of the notification. Each line of the today screen expands to show more details as you move the 5 way over them.

10:22 - Demo Time!! And Bach invites somebody on stage to demo. Oh yes, it's the Master of Mobility, the Wizard of Wireless, the Warlock of Windows Mobile, Dereeeeeeek Snydeeeeer!

10:20 - Simpler and easier to use for voice, data, communications, entertainment. Showing a BlackJack II. New home screen. New Web Experience. "Full Desktop experience you might expect." (not from what we've seen in screenshots.. hm..). Richer entertainment experiences. Talking about Systems Center Mobile Device Manager (which we wrote about during the last live keynote blog from Steve Ballmer).

10:20 - Announcing Windows Mobile 6.1

10:19 - Services. Tellme. Danger. Musiwave. ScreenTonic. Lots of companies Microsoft has purchased to improve services.

10:18 - Driving innovation. Infrastructure, PlayReady, partnering with nvidia for video chipsets. Web - Silverlight (glee, though nothing new here) and mentions they're going to add Flash Lite.

10:17 - 160 operators, 18,000 applications (seems higher than I remember)

10:17 - Windows Mobile's distinguishing feature is choice of devices.

10:16 - Windows Mobile should handle leisure better in the future, not just be a "work device." Pushing into consumer space. 20 Million Windows Mobile devices will ship this year. Ahead of RIM, ahead of Apple.

10:15 - It's not just the Windows Mobile team. It's also the developer tools team. Office aps team. Entertainment team for mobile. It's a company-wide effort. Also, they lights are still on from Branson's stunt and shining in our eyes.

10:14 - Software + Services across Windows Vista, Windows Mobile, Windows Live.

10:13 - How Microsoft is working to bring innovation to the mobile environment. Premise from their customers - "All of their experiences wherever and whenever they want them."

10:12 - Robbie Bach, President of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division!

10:10 inviting people to come on stage who want to go to Mars. Hilarious.

10:04 - Let's recycle cell phones and accessories. More on Virgin Mobile (now Virgin Media). Commitment to listening to customers.

10:01 - Hey, Virgin Mobile! Every Virgin phone comes with a pre-paid postage envelope so it can be returned for recycling when its time is done. Virgin Mobile Canada has a campaign called "Flick Off" to turn off lights.

9:58 - Branson, we love ya man, but this is a mobile conference, kay? Ok, now we're moving on to climate change - guess you could say that's related.

9:56 - Google and Virgin called Virgle. Building a giant Noah's Arc, spaceship powered by the sun. Carry 30 passengers. Animals and seeds on board. To populate Mars. What day is it again?

9:55 - Virgin Trains. Virgin Galactic. Virgin.. In... Spaaaaace

9:45 - Talking about the history of Virgin. Virgin airlines.

9:40 - Branson takes the stage. Talking about how Virgin does things differently.

9:31 - Introducing Richard Branson, or rather, introducing the guy who will introduce Richard Branson. Video intro showing how Branson loves to jump off of things. Also, dropped the F-Bomb on the crowd during the video - quick, bring back the FCC Chairman!!!

9:26 - Talking about FCC auctioning off spectrum. "Although initially opposed by the industry, the commission also worked to create a more open portion of the spectrum." Google might have pushed them just a bit. More on the Open Platform requirement - something about net neutrality couched in intentionally complicated language that I couldn't catch. Talking about Verizon, T-Mo, Sprint, and AT&T's commitment to openness.

Since the industry has embraced so much openness, He will try to DISMISS THE PETITION BY SKYPE TO REQUIRE CARTERPHONE REQUIREMENTS. Scattered applause(!)

9:25 - Oh ho! He's talking about the iPhone - the mobile device that was persona non grata at the last CTIA.

9:22 - Martin is a boy wonder, a young'un. He's talking up the pace of innovation and how it's moving forward as a part of a larger argument that FCC needs to get out of the way to let it happen. Arguing that competition is good right now, "Wireless is the poster child of competition."

9:21 - FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.

9:18 - Statistics time! As of Dec 2007:

  • 255 million wireless subscribers, 84% o the US population.
  • Annual minutes of use exceed 2 trillion minutes a year
  • Wireless data revenues soar, $23 Billion in revenue annually. 17% of total carrier revenue, 53% increase over last year.
  • 48 Billion Text messages per MONTH in the US, 157% increase over last year.

9:17 - CTIA President Steve Largent takes the stage

9:13 - People die because local cities don't let us built enough towers. Local taxes on mobile is too high (as much as 20% in some areas). McAdam is pretty serious about having unregulated mobility industries - regulation is a "clear and present danger."

9:08 - "Ultimate power, the ultimate authority in the customer's hands." Spit take. "But to be truly ready, there is work yet to be done. ... We cannot let ourselves become the 21st Century version of a regulated telephone company. ...Our industry has brought along some baggage that we now must discard." Dude is working towards talking about openness as a path to avoiding regulators -- a good way to make this argument, I suppose.

Regulation moves way too slow to regulate the mobile industry that is changing way too quickly. "Customers provide the best kind of regulation with their ability to choose." Now talking about how he's against state-by-state regulation.

9:05 - 24 Billion in infrastructure, 3.something million Americans are employed. Well on the road to 4G. 260 million customers. "Keep their numbers and change their ringtones." Seriously, talking about how they're responsive to customer needs, as though they haven't often stood in the way every now and then. Now for a video telling us how well they've met our needs. Go on and read our CTIA editorial while we watch this video.

9:03 - 25 years of CTIA. That's a lot of years. LOL. "We feel a deep proprietorship for our industry." I bet the CEO of Verizon feels like he owns the wireless industry. Time to name drop now, talking about the CTIA board. Special thanks to Steve Largent.

9:02 - CTIA Chair Lowell McAdam takes the stage. Get your refresh buttons going, kids.

9:00 - Fancy music time. Blah.

8:56 - I just noticed there's a cell phone in the middle of the CTIA logo, ala the arrow inside the FedEx logo. Nice.