Microsoft has announced that the next iteration of its mobile phone operating system, Windows Mobile 6.5, will launch worldwide on October 6.Bringing widgets, the Windows Marketplace for Mobile and stronger integration with Microsoft’s phone sync software MyPhone, 6.5 will be the last sequential update before Windows Mobile 7 ships sometime late next year.
“A Windows phone gives people a single phone that works for their whole life, keeping them connected to the people and information they care most about by harnessing the power of the PC, phone and Web,” Todd Peters, corporate vice president of the Mobile Communications Marketing Group at Microsoft said.
6.5 will be available on select new phones from the release date across the world, with phone manufacturers such as HP, HTC, LG, Samsung and Toshiba all preparing to offer the new version.
Microsoft’s attempt to break into the App store bonanza will also come alive, finally shipping and becoming available for the first time since its announcement late last year. It is up for a hard time trying to compete with Apple’s store, but Microsoft have made sure not to make the same mistakes that Apple did and in some cases still does make.
MyPhone, which Microsoft will offer for free, will also bring close integration with your computer, allowing you to back up and sync photos, music, contacts and text messages to the Internet and your local PC.
The web browser on Windows Mobile has also scored an upgrade, now featuring Flash Lite (something the iPhone does not yet have) and a “new browser engine”.
At this stage its unclear how much it will cost to upgrade to the new version on phones already running 6.1. October’s shaping up to be a big month for Microsoft, who are also releasing Windows 7 on October 1st.