Today is the official launch day for the next set of Windows Phones running the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system. Devices from manufacturers including Acer, HP, HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba, are now available worldwide but what people are really getting excited about is new software installed on the handset.
In Windows Mobile 6.5, the next version of the mobile operating system, Microsoft is debuting our new mobile application store called the Windows Marketplace. Offered on all the new phones, this mobile store lets you browse, search for, and download both paid and free applications directly to your handset. The apps are broken down into categories for easy access, plus there are sections like “what’s new,” “most popular,” and “showcase,” which highlight the various applications available in different ways.
When you’re ready to purchase an app, you’re prompted to enter in your Windows Live ID prior to download. Besides featuring a plethora of great apps including a search app from Bing, apps for Facebook, MySpace, AP News, and tons more, you’re also able to easily receive refunds on app purchases if it turns out that the app you bought wasn’t for you.
The phone’s home screen, while no longer featuring the outline of a honeycomb grid, still keeps apps and icons separated and spaced out perfectly for navigation with a single finger. You can scroll up and down with just a flick and you can press and hold any icon for the option to move it up to the top or down to the bottom of the screen.
Also getting a revamp is the lock screen which provides you with easy access to voicemails, text messages, and email.
Of course, since these are Windows phones, integration with Microsoft Office software is included out of the box. Not only can you view Office files on your phone, you can also modify and create new files too.
It’s also worth noting, especially in light of Adobe’s recent announcements, that Windows Phones support Flash content (and have for some time). However, the phones will come with a new version of the Internet Explorer browser which offers more of a desktop-like browsing experience than before.
Coinciding with the handsets’ launch is the launch of the new MyPhone service which lets you backup your phone’s data including contacts, calendar, and photos to the web. Once there, you can use the provided tools to organize your phones, search through your messages, and post content to other social networking sites. The service also lets you remotely wipe your phone, lock it, locate it using GPS, or call it.
To get more details on the models being offered, check out PressPass which list the different phones and availability dates for the handsets being launched.