No surprises at Microsoft’s MWC press conference today as it announced Windows Mobile 6.5 and a handful of services we’ve already detailed fairly extensively. Kicking things off with the the big news, 6.5 features a variety of enhancements from the new lock screen that provides dynamic notification to the honeycomb start menu, a finger-friendly Today screen and a new version of Internet Explorer Mobile that offers Adobe Flash lite support. Phones running the latest version of Windows Mobile will be re-branded as “Windows phones” to reflect Microsoft’s desire to bring the full Windows experience to your handset. Windows Mobile 6.5 will be available later this year with no specific date given. Early adopters of the platform include HTC with its Touch Pro 2 and Touch Diamond 2 as well as LG with its GM7300. While end-users will have to wait a while to begin playing with 6.5, LG must have been fairly impressed as it just announced a partnership with Microsoft to launch 50 Windows Mobile-powered handsets between now and the end of 2012. So much for that whole “fewer devices, more focused” thing. Hit the jump for the rest of Microsoft’s press conference round up and some Windows Mobile 6.5 screenshots.
Microsoft also announced the new “My Phone” service, its cloud backup solution for Windows phones, and Microsoft Recite which is a voice memo organization tool. The My Phone service will sync your contacts, appointments, text messages, documents, music, photos and videos to a password protected online account on Microsoft’s servers. My Phone is currently available as an invitation-only beta. Microsoft Recite, on the other hand, is available now as a free technology preview (early beta) for phones running Windows Mobile 6.0 or higher. Recite allows you to record, search and retrieve voice memos using only your voice.
Last but not least, Microsoft announced its online marketplace, Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Available on phones running Windows Mobile 6.5, the new Windows Marketplace will allow users to search, browse and purchase applications over the air from a compatible mobile phone or PC using a Windows Live ID. With over 20,000 applications available for Windows phones, the new marketplace certainly has a jump start on content.