In our forums, surur tells us that had reported that Microsoft would be announcing Windows Mobile 6.1 in February, devices shipping in May. The story has since been pulled (interesting), but the scuttlebut is that the main feature of 6.1 will be a new interface very similar to what Microsoft and Vodaphone developed for the Treo 500v: a carousel.

The carousel (check out The Unwired Video of the interface) is actually really cool. You move left or right to switch between different "zones" and then up and down to choose an "action." The idea is that instead of thinking in terms of "applications," you can think in terms of "what do I want to do today?" (Ah, Microsoft slogans, how I love them). So instead of having to go into the Tasks app to make a new task, you just flip to the proper portion of the carousel to do it directly.

6.1 is apparently going to be a vertical scroller with horizontal options in place of the 500v's horizontal scroller. Improved WiFi, Exchange integration, and Bluetooth are also in the mix.

I wasn't expecting any significant improvements to Windows Mobile until we saw Photon hit. Careful readers will note that this interface sounds quite a bit like the recent patent that Microsoft filed:

a list centered around a user's current day can include items corresponding to meetings scheduled for that day using a calendar application, E-Mail received on that day through an E-Mail application, and a weather forecast for the day provided by a weather service application.

We can only hope that Windows Mobile 6.1 will be made available as upgrades to current devices in addition to shipping on new devices in May.

Big ups to Surur for the find!