Microsoft reports it has wrapped work on the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system, expected for release later this year. On its Twitter account, the Windows Mobile developer experience team writes "For the record, Windows Mobile 6.5 is DONE... complete... looks really good [in our humble opinion] and every bit functional." However, the tweet follows on the heels of a surprising admission made by Windows Mobile senior project manager Loke Uei Tan, who said at last week's Tech Ed 2009 event that WinMo 6.5 was rushed to completion and will require some additional finessing: "The reason why we couldn't complete the interface on Windows Mobile 6.5 is because of time," Tan said, according to Ars Technica. We only spend what, eight months, nine months, to build 6.5 from ground up and it's actually an amazing engineering feat. But, in order to do that, we had to do some prioritization and we had to cut certain features. Eventually, we will make sure that the UI capabilities are carried out throughout the whole platform."
Tan added that WinMo 6.5 will not include support for the Silverlight browser plugin: "Silverlight will not be on Windows Mobile 6.5, unfortunately. Due to a lot of reasons, we want to make sure the experience is better for the next version. So we will hold off until then." WinMo 6.5 is slated to boast a number of new features and upgrades, however, including a gesture-driven UI for menus, emails and voice services, a new desktop-like browser, widget support, integrated My Phone services to back up data to an online account and, perhaps most notably, support for the Windows Marketplace for Mobile application storefront.
For more on Windows Mobile 6.5:
- read this Ars Technica article
First Windows Mobile 6.5 devices expected in September
Can Windows Mobile 6.5 reinvent the user experience?