NEWS

WinMo 6.5 based Smartphones unveiled

Oct 7, 2009 8:51 PM

Elizabeth Mont

Windows-Mobile-6.5.jpg

Microsoft smartphone partners are expected to deliver about 30 new Windows Mobile 6.5 devices by the end of 2009, including and Toshiba shown for the first time at a Microsoft Open House in New York City today.
The 30-or-so Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphones will be sold in approximately 20 different countries, said Robbie Bach, head of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, speaking at a Microsoft open house.

Windows Mobile devices getting first-time looks encompassed the HTC Tilt 2 from AT&T, the HTC Imagio from Verizon Wireless, and an as-yet-unnamed device built by Toshiba and anticipated for sale in the Japanese market.
In his keynote, Bach suggested this kind of hardware diversity is a key selling point for Microsoft in its struggles with Android, iPhone, Palm, and others for greater consumer mindshare.

Apple's iPhone, after all, has been available in very limited form factors, and the same has held true so far for Android phones promulgated by Google.
Bach noted that while some users like large touchscreens, some practically can't live without keyboards, and others prefer slider architectures that give them a choice of using a keyboard.

True to Bach's words, the Windows 6.5 smartphones displayed later in the day -- hung in and around artificial trees in a mock treehouse set up for the occasion -- sported a variety of different form factors.

Although pre-loaded this time around with Windows 6.5, the Tilt 2 looks and feels quite similar to the original Tilt, a device known for its slider architecture, powerful speakers, and solid video performance.
While it's about the same size as the Tilt, and its screen size is a comparable 3.6-inches, the Imagio seems slightly thinner, and lacks a slideout keyboard.

The as-yet-unnamed smartphone from Toshiba -- so far codenamed the TG0I -- boasts a much larger screen, estimated by one Microsoft rep at 4.2 inches. But it also lacks a slider.

In a briefing during the event, Elizabeth Sloan, senior marketing manager for Windows Mobile pointed to another type of differentiator for Microsoft. Sloan contended that Apple targets its phones mainly at consumers, while RIM aims for corporate customers, Microsoft is uniquely positioned to provide both business- and consumer-oriented capabilities in a single mobile OS.

"We've figured out that the business user is often the same person as the one who uses the phone for personal things," Sloan noted.

Sloan also honed in on some of the new features in Windows Mobile 6.5, including MyPhone; Windows Marketplace, Microsoft's answer to Apple's App Store; a mobile browser based on Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0; Theme Creator; and new, user-friendly screens such as the Today Screen, for accessing e-mail, calendar items, photos, favorites, and other frequently needed items from the same place.
In addition to helping users locate their lost cell phones, MyPhone lets users back up as much as 200 MB of contact info and other mobile data free of charge in the cloud, she said.

MyPhone's phone-finding capabilities will work even when the smartphone has been turned off, according to Sloan. Microsoft can use GPS to locate a missing phone, and then "wake it up" remotely.

Microsoft is offering the phone-finding service free of charge for the first month. After that, the user will be charged $4.99 per incident.

ALSO READ

HBO ponders discounts for prepaid HBO Now subscribers

Now that HBO sells a standalone streaming service, it must figure out how to keep those subscribers between seasons of hit shows such as Game of Thrones.

iOS 9 may include a HomeKit hub called Home

Apple says the first HomeKit devices will be arriving in June, which means you'll need a centralized remote control for managing all of those home gadgets. That will reportedly come in the form of an app built into iOS 9 called, appropriately, Home.

Open Interconnect Consortium: MediaTek exec calls on car giants to join IoT standards body

MediaTek chips are installed in everything from the Xbox to smart TVs but the company plans to be a major IoT player.

ADT hooks up with LG to compete in the budget smart-home space

ADT doesn't want to get caught sleeping on smart homes.

Rdio's cheaper music plan combines ad-free radio with a handful of on-demand songs

If you can't decide between Internet radio and on-demand streaming, Rdio's $4 per month plan will give you a bit of both.

Expert Opinion

fadell-nest-100254262-orig_500.jpg

Apple doesn't need its own gadgets to dominate the smart home

If you believe the weekend rumors, Apple will announce a connected-home platform next week at WWDC. But before you get too excited about an iThermostat and an iFridge and an iCamera watching you sleep, consider this: If Apple does get into the home-automation market, that doesn't necessarily mean it'll make smart-home gadgets of its own.

Editors Pick

justin_tv-100367814-orig_500.jpg

Justin.tv goes off the air

With all signs pointing to a Google purchase of Twitch, the company behind Justin.tv has shut down the live video service.

my_verizon_mobile-100367793-orig_500.png

Verizon fires back at FCC over data throttling

The FCC called out Verizon for its plans to throttle customers with unlimited data plans who use the most data, so the carrier responded.

unionstreet_yelp-100366548-orig_500.png

Business faces backlash after threatening $500 fines for negative Yelp reviews

Businesses who don't know how to manage their social media presence should remember that the Internet can be vicious.

Latest Product Reviews

key-ingredient-tablet-100566733-orig_500.png

Key Ingredient kitchen tablet review: Yummy recipes can't rescue this crummy tablet

Meatballs. Giant bacon-wrapped meatballs. The Key Ingredient Recipe tablet suggested this fantastic idea to me when I searched for a meatball recipe. It's a good thing the meatballs were tasty, because that's about the only thing this tablet gets right.