Today was supposed to be the day for Windows Mobile 6, but after the embargo on was was broken late last week, a lot of the details are already widely known. However, that doesn't mean that there isn't a bunch of new info that you'll want to know about today. The most exciting bits: photos of WM6 running on a bunch of old and new devices - photos after the break.
It appears that T-Mobile is going to be the first US Carrier out of the gate with WM6 shipping on the Dash. The really surprising news is that it looks like a few current WM5 devices will be getting upgrades - T-Mobile has already announced they'll be giving a free upgrade for the Dash and Palm is expected to announce an upgrade for the Treo 750 as well. Given the standard operating procedure of most carriers and manufactures, not having to buy a new gadget to get the new OS is a welcome change.
The other exciting bit this morning is that both Toshiba and Lenovo are in the Windows Mobile game now (Toshiba got out of the game a few years ago, welcome back!). The MotoQ is coming to GSM too. Also after the break: the official press release, Microsoft's WM6 "Fact Sheet", and a ton of device shots.
Here's the offical press release. If you've been following the story, there's not much new here. If you have not, here's a few important bits:
- View emails in HTML, email also requires fewer clicks to do stuff like delete and forward emails.
- Built-in Windows Live Search
- Edit Office docs on all platforms
- WM6 Pro is the touchscreen smartphone version, WM6 Standard is the non-touchscreen smartphone version, and WM6 Classic is the non-smartphone, touchscreen version (quit snickering, you, some people still want this).
- Direct Push with Exchange Server built-in (for those of you with terminally old version of WM5)
- Devices available in Q2.
- All sorts of companies are on board, including: "AT&T, Chunghwa Telecom, Dopod International Corp., HP, LG Electronics, Motorola Inc., Palm Inc., Samsung, Sprint, Telefónica, Toshiba, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone."
- "One-Click easy" Internet sharing (read: Dial-up Networking) over bluetooth and USB. Please, carriers, don't break this.
- Built-in VOIP "backend" to make developing VOIP applications easier.
You may also want to take a peek at the WM6 Fact Sheet, which teaches us, well, it teaches us the same things but in a shorter, better-looking format.
From the horse's, er, mouth, comes this gallery of Window Mobile 6 screenshots
Finally, Microsoft has a new Windows Mobile 6 page up, for those who want the official pretty. They also have a great webcast available as well (Internet Explorer required, naturally) hosted by Pieter Knook, Senior Vice President, Microsoft Mobile and Embedded Devices division (since my name is Dieter, a guy who puts an "i" there in his name is OK in my book).
WM6 Devices that should make it to the US:
Great to see Toshiba (and Lenovo, see below) come back to the PocketPC game. Toshiba's really out-doing themselves here, the G900 and the G500 both look great.
The G900, the one with the full keyboard there, is a HSDPA WM6 Professional phone with all sorts of neat little innovations, including:
The G500 is no slouch either, despite having WM6 Standard. It has essentially the same specs as the G900m, just lacking the touchscreen. Strangely, Toshiba's site says this little bugger runs WM5. Say it ain't so, Toshiba.
Moto Q9: Awesome; Moto Q: Coming on GSM
HP: iPaq keeps chugging along
|HP hasn't impressed me lately, with any luck this new Voice Messenger iPAQ 500 will change that. It's got VOIP built in and a full 6 hours of talk time on GSM/EDGE. No UMTS or HSDPA, tsk tsk, HP, you're continuing to disappoint me. I appreciate the built-in WiFi, though. It looks like HP is positioning this as a kind of super-office-phone, using VOIP when you're at work and the cell radio when you're not. More on the iPAQ 500 at Mobility Site|
HTC: T-Mobile Dash to Run WM6, HTC Vox: Pretty Please, come to the USA
Also new from HTC and running WM6 Standard, the HTC Vox. This looks like a great form-factor to me. Here's hoping I'll be able to get one in the states soon. Shots of the Vox below, including comparisons to the Dash (aka. the HTC Excalibur)
Samsung SCH-i760: Best Slider Yet?
Ever since I saw the (battery-less) i760 at CES, I've been in love. The little wonder is due to come out on Verizon. I really like the innovation of moving the 5-way down to make space for a full 12-key phone pad, I really like the slider on this guy, I really like the fact that it runs WM6 Standard. Samsung seems to be doing a really good job with form-factors lately (check out this dual-sliding awesomeness, though no word yet on what the linked f520 will have for an OS). Übergizmo has a video from CES of the i760.
Since the i760 has me so jazzed, I have to include a few extra photos here.
Palm Treo 750 Running WM6
Here's what appears to be a 750 running WM6. It does appear to be that horrible 240x240 resolution (though it's worth noting that WM6 supports 320x320, the Treo's resolution on the PalmOS versions). Palm will be announcing upgrade to the 750 later. JOY.
Live Search is out of Beta
They renamed it "Live Search", thank the lord, so that it doesn't share the same name with the built-in Search app on WM. This is one 3GSM announcement you can apply to your current phone - it works just fine with WM5 (it's built-in to WM6. You can go get it here.
Live Search for Mobile, which we first revealed in December, is now out of beta and available for public consumption in two localized versions - United States and United Kingdom.
WM6 SDK for developers available soon
Although WM6 looks to be fully backward-compatible with WM5 apps, that doesn't mean that there aren't new WM6 toys for developers to play with. Linked is a white paper describing the new tools available to developers.
The Windows Mobile® 6 developer platform release focuses on a few core goals: simplify line of business (LOB) application development and deployment, make the task of building a single application that runs successfully across the many different devices in the Windows Mobile family easier, and provide an enhanced user experience. This paper explains the new Windows Mobile 6 features and their purpose from a developer's perspective. This paper also explains the many new tools provided by the Windows Mobile 6 Software Development Kit (SDK), and provides some guidance on getting started developing Windows Mobile 6 applications.
Devices that may or may not (sniffle) make it to the US
Asus has a few devices coming, we'll start with the Aries, a UMTS Tri-band (850, 1900, and 2100) QWERTY phone with a scroll whell, 2 megapixel cam (and smaller one on the front).
Here's the Pegasus line: P735 (no keyboard on front) and P526 (keypad on front). Not much in the way of details on these yet, but the P526 is pretty darn good looking. The P526 also should have GPS built-in and has won a design award too, rightly so.
i-mate has announced a slew of great-looking phones, I really hope that they make their way to these shores, but I'm not optimistic. Pictured here is the i-mate SPL, now available in colors.
Also new from i-mate is the JAQ4, a QWERTY phone with Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, which is disappointing, but it does feature WiFi, so that helps.
The JAQ3 will also run WM6. Here is it next to it's newly announced big brother. Specs on both here
Good news: Lenovo is also jumping on board the Windows Mobile Bandwagon! Bad News: we know next to nothing about these two phones. More details as they come - one of which I hope will be the explanation for that intriguing "Google G" we see in that first shot.
Phew! That'll do for now. There are other announcement by other manufactures like Gigabyte and BenQ, but I don't think there's much of a chance of seeing those in the US market.