While the 65-minute video from the MIX09 Windows Mobile Seminar concentrated heavily on developer and marketplace information, it did cover some new information about the Windows Mobile 6.5 appearance and interface. The first semi-surprise was that honeycomb is out of the Start Screen. The decision was made to go for larger icons that translated to easier targets for your fingertips. The fact that the honeycomb pattern wasn't well received had a role in the decision as well. That said, the icons are still in the same pattern. It's just that the chrome has been changed a bit.
The Today screen can be navigated by moving or sliding the selector bar or spinning the background until the appropriate choice appears in the stationary selector. The Today Screen reminded me of Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard's slider panels. Key difference being the touch screen navigation.
The unlock screen will show you the time your next appointment. The unlock slider can be tapped to show a summary of your notifications. If you want to go directly to email or SMS messages, simply slide the icon to unlock and you're taken directly to that messaging app. It's a nice feature that will give you the functionality of a slide to unlock feature and the convenience of unlocking your phone directly to your messaging screens.
Appearance-wise, Windows Mobile 6.5 seems to have improved since the first screen shots surfaced. Without the honeycombs (or the loveable grey crowned crane), WM 6.5 comes across a touch more professional.