"In just five weeks, you'll have a bunch of new Windows phones to choose from. But before we show you some of the cool, new phones that will be coming out, I want to explain how we're trying to make phones even better with Windows. When we started work on Windows phones, we met with people all over the world who were likely to buy a smartphone and talked with them about what's important to them in their phone. Looking at the U.S. market, for example, we found that about 15 million people in the next year will buy a new smartphone. Of the people we talked to, 74% listed productivity as the top feature they value in their smartphone. We took this feedback to heart, making the user interface more touch friendly and improving notifications and updates from e-mail, text and calendar items."
The post at The Windows Blog goes on to mention that "most people who carry a Windows phone don't realize it's running Windows Mobile", which is interesting, yet not that all surprising. We're in a time now when the iPhone and Android handsets are dominating headlines, and device manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung work around the clock to develop UIs that mask many of Windows Mobile's less-than-desirable qualities. You would think that Microsoft would do anything to promote its brand, and urge its partners to do the same, so that quoted statement almost comes across as an admission that a lot more needs to be done to increase public awareness of Windows Mobile.
There's now the chance to do just that with Windows Mobile 6.5, starting with a new and improved look (honeycomb haters will disagree), a new name for its devices (all hail the "Windows phones"), and a host of partners (listed below) to kick off the show. Mark October 6 on your calendar, because that's when we'll be able to get our grubby hands on a wide range of Windows phones to suit our varied tastes, needs, price points, and geeky pleasures.
- North America: (Mobile Operators) AT&T, Bell Mobility, Sprint, TELUS and Verizon Wireless; (Phone Manufacturers) HP, HTC Corp., LG Electronics, Samsung and Toshiba Corp.
- Europe: (Mobile Operators) Orange, Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc; (Phone Manufacturers) Acer, HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba
- Latin America: (Mobile Operators) TIM Brazil; (Phone Manufacturers) HTC, LG Electronics and Samsung
- Asia Pacific: (Mobile Operators) NTT DOCOMO Inc., SOFTBANK Mobile Corp., SK Telecom, Telstra and WILLCOM Inc.; (Phone Manufacturers) Acer Inc., HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba