So it’s official – Windows Mobile 6 has been announced. Wait, what’s that buried in the press release?
“In Europe, Orange plans to deliver the SPV E650 smartphone from HTC, and in Japan, SoftBank Mobile Corp. will offer new devices from Toshiba and HTC. And in the United States, the popular T-Mobile Dash will be updated with Windows Mobile 6 and be available in the coming months. Current T-Mobile Dash owners will also be able to upgrade existing devices with Windows Mobile 5.0 to Windows Mobile 6.”
So it’s great news for T-Mobile Dash owners in the USA, plus we’ll be seeing a QWERTY slider from Toshiba too. The Orange SPV E650, though, is something we’d not heard of until recently. Hot on the heels of the Orange SPV E600, the E650 is rumoured to be the HTC Vox / HTX S710 – a handset we’ve been drooling over for quite some time. This innovative handset comes with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard (like the M3100) plus a “normal” numeric keypad on the front. Sources quote a launch date of March, and if correct you’ll no doubt find me hammering on the doors of Orange HQ for one.
Press release below, more details here.
Microsoft Reveals New Windows Mobile 6 Smartphone Software, Improves World’s Fastest-Growing Mobile Operating System
Latest software to feature new messaging tools, tighter security and improved productivity features; devices to begin shipping worldwide by second quarter of 2007.
BARCELONA, Spain — Feb. 12, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled Windows Mobile® 6, the newest version of its mobile software platform. By improving usability and adding support for Microsoft® Office features previously available only on PCs, Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 delivers to the small screen a familiar and rich experience that meets the needs of work and life while on the go, all with a single device.
“A work force that is both mobile and connected is becoming essential for business success,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “That’s why we’re integrating innovative mobile technologies into all our key products, with Windows Mobile as the centerpiece.”
Windows Mobile 6 delivers the ability to view e-mails in their original rich HTML format with live links to Web and SharePoint® sites, which means text and images are displayed as they would be on a PC, and are available from a corporate e-mail server such as Exchange Server 2007, from Web-based accounts such as Windows Live™ Hotmail or from a myriad of other popular service providers. Windows Mobile 6 also includes Windows Live for Windows Mobile, which provides customers with a rich set of Windows Live services. For example, now through Windows Live Messenger, people can chat with more than one person at one time, express themselves through animated figures, quickly send a file or image, or record and send voice notes.
The newest version of the platform offers the most genuine Microsoft Office system experience in the mobile versions of Office Outlook®, Office Word, Office Excel® and Office PowerPoint® by bringing capabilities once available only on the PC versions of these products to the small screen. This allows users to neatly view, navigate and edit Word documents and Excel spreadsheets in their original formatting, without affecting tables, images or text, and to view PowerPoint presentations on their device.
All Windows Mobile 6 powered devices include Direct Push Technology for up-to-date e-mail delivery and automatic synchronization of Outlook calendars, tasks and contacts through Microsoft Exchange Server. Windows Mobile 6 also offers a set of important device security and management features that include the capability to remotely wipe all data from a device should it be lost or stolen, helping ensure that confidential information remains that way.
Broad Industry Support to Result in Broader Choice of Devices
By the second quarter of this year, the world will see the first Windows Mobile 6 powered devices available on the market. In Europe, Orange plans to deliver the SPV E650 smartphone from HTC, and in Japan, SoftBank Mobile Corp. will offer new devices from Toshiba and HTC. And in the United States, the popular T-Mobile Dash will be updated with Windows Mobile 6 and be available in the coming months. Current T-Mobile Dash owners will also be able to upgrade existing devices with Windows Mobile 5.0 to Windows Mobile 6.
Scores of additional mobile operators and device makers from around the globe, including Cingular Wireless, now the new AT&T, Chunghwa Telecom, Dopod International Corp., HP, LG Electronics, Motorola Inc., Palm Inc., Samsung, Sprint, Telefónica, Toshiba, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, plan to ship Windows Mobile 6-based devices this year. Many of these partners are expanding large existing portfolios of Windows Mobile powered smartphones.
“In a highly sophisticated mobile market such as Japan, people are turning to powerful and intuitive mobile devices to stay competitive in the business world,” said Ted Matsumoto, executive vice president of technology and chief strategy officer at SoftBank. “We continue to work with Microsoft to equip SoftBank Mobile customers with the most cutting-edge tools in mobile technology and are excited that they will be able to experience the enhanced features and functionality of Windows Mobile 6 on two new smart devices from Toshiba and HTC.”
Information Management Made Easier
Users of the Microsoft Office system on the PC — of which there are nearly 400 million worldwide — will feel right at home with the new mobile versions of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint available for Windows Mobile 6 powered devices. Windows Mobile 6 addresses extensive user feedback and makes information management easier and more convenient through the following improvements:
Better-looking e-mail. Users view e-mail the way it was intended with its original pictures, tables and formatting, whether from a corporate e-mail server such as Exchange Server 2007, Web-based accounts such as Windows Live Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail, or a wide range of other service providers.
Ease of viewing and editing of Office system documents. The new Office Mobile suite, built for all Windows Mobile powered devices, gives users a truly familiar and powerful experience with rich viewing and editing capabilities, without having to worry about the deletion of critical formatting and images.
E-mail management and setup with fewer clicks. Nine new one-click options have been added, including Reply All, setting a flag, moving a message to a subfolder, and, of course, Delete. Users can set an automatic out-of-office reply while on the road when using a Windows Mobile 6 powered device and Exchange Server 2007.
Synchronization with Windows Vista. Windows Vista™ and the Windows Mobile Device Center take the guesswork out of managing a device and swapping music, pictures, movies and Outlook information between PC and the device.
Smart calendar bar. This innovative new feature gives users the ability to understand at a glance the day or week ahead and quickly determine open time on their schedules. With Exchange Server 2007, they can see who is attending a meeting and forward or reply to meeting requests.
Web search, e-mail, instant messaging (IM) and blogging all together. Windows Live for Windows Mobile will provide customers with a rich set of services including Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Live Search and Windows Live Spaces, uniquely designed to work with Windows Mobile software. Users can also find all their contacts in one unified list and see presence information on their Windows Live Messenger contacts.
Contacts with context. Call history is now placed where it belongs, in each individual contact card, so people spend less time searching and more time communicating.
“T-Mobile is excited to make it even easier for our customers to stay connected to the people that matter most with the increased functionality delivered by Microsoft Windows Mobile 6,” said Cole Brodman, senior vice president and chief development officer at T-Mobile USA. “The T-Mobile Dash is already one of our best-selling smartphones, so we’re thrilled to improve on an already great communications experience for our customers.”
The Best Platform for Business
Windows Mobile efficiently works with existing Microsoft business technology investments and offers users a familiar software experience, making it the smartest mobile solution for businesses to deploy:
Security options. The platform offers a variety of security options, giving IT departments ways to help secure a device, including new Exchange Server policies and certificate options, storage card encryption, and continued support for remote and local device wipe.
Protected content. Organizations using Information Rights Management (IRM) technology to help control the viewing, storing and printing of confidential information on PCs can now extend those capabilities to Windows Mobile 6 powered devices, a feature not available on any other mobile phone platform.
Line-of-business applications. Powerful, new mobile versions of the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework and Microsoft SQL Server™ are built into Windows Mobile 6, making it even easier to create and access sales tools, inventory tracking and many other applications from a Windows Mobile 6 powered smartphone.
Internet sharing. A new built-in application makes using a Windows Mobile 6 powered smartphone as a laptop’s high-speed modem “one-click easy” with either a Bluetooth wireless or cable connection.
Communication alternatives. Windows Mobile 6 makes it easier for operators and device-makers to integrate a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) solution into devices they are building. British Telecom in Europe, as well as HP, will be among the first to provide smartphones with new VoIP offerings for their business customers.
“As the first operator to ever release a Windows Mobile Smartphone, Orange has always had a strong relationship with Microsoft, and the launch of Windows Mobile 6 is a natural continuation of our story together,” said Sanjiv Ahuja, CEO of Orange. “Now more than ever our customers can enjoy a straightforward mobile working experience with fast access to e-mail and business applications. The increased security removes barriers to mobile working, allowing more people to experience the benefits of having their office with them on the move.”
Windows Mobile 6 comes fresh on the heels of a successful year that saw Microsoft’s worldwide converged mobile device shipments grow 135.3 percent (year over year) in 2006, according to leading IT market research and advisory firm IDC. The industry is fast taking notice of Microsoft in the wireless arena and realizing the business benefits of Windows Mobile devices, resulting in IDC’s expectation that Windows Mobile will experience the largest growth of any mobile operating system worldwide, at 75.6 percent, through the year 2010.*