Oh, hello Samsung Omnia 2, how are you? We're really digging the AMOLED screen (at least we are on the indoor-show floor), which is plenty responsive. The 800x480 is quite nice too, but the rich and deep colors are the real show here. You can take a look at Sammy's cube interface in the quick vid above, but it's more flash than substance.
8 gigs of storage, 256 megs of RAM, an 800MHz processor, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, and yes, that 8 megapixel camera round out the specs on this device. This is the version with Windows Mobile 6.5, which is to say it's the GSM version, which is to say that the Verizon version is currently running WinMo 6.1. ...Which is to say that all things considered, it's best to avoid thinking about the that particular stumble by taking a gander at the handful of photos after the break.
Remember Microsoft's list of phones that will officially be upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.5? It's gotten a couple of updates already. While it's not like we have actual release dates, at least we're getting a window. And as the chart notes, it's not Microsoft providing the information, so these ranges are subject to change.
Looks like XDA member Chainfire has already "cracked" the security protection of distribution of paid-for-apps in the Marketplace.
Long story short, when you "buy" a program, you download the .cab file, which automatically installs to main memory. After the installation, the (registered) .cab file gets deleted from your system immediately.
Chainfire has figured a way to circumvent this system, thereby saving the .cab file. One can then simply and illegally re-distribute this file to friends, warez groups etc. Ouch.
Now the good news is Chainfire did not release how he did this (and has no plans to), but considering it took him only "five minutes", it doesn't bode well for long term security. The question is, how else could this have been done while not breaking the OS and keeping things uniform? Could they not pre-register the .cab files with your user ID, like Kinoma offers?
That's one of the bigger questions when it comes to the future of Windows Mobile. Some of us around here *cough* have made it no secret that the software on the Zune HD would fit just fine on a Windows phone. Will that happen?
Let's start with the above video from CNet [via pocketnow] with Ina Fried and Molly Wood interviewing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
The talk runs the gamut of Windows 7 to netbooks to tablets to mobile.
"It's all about shipping good product," he says, going on to trumpet Windows Mobile 6.5 (which, after all, was why he was there).
There's more of the party line about Windows Mobile 6.5, but then he gets down to brass tacks.
What is Zune HD? Zune HD is a couple things. Number one, Zune HD is a music player with a nice music service. By the way, the same software will be available on Windows Phones and Windows PCs. You have that today on the PC, you'll see that in our phone environment as well.
But, he adds, "It's not our plan to make a phone out of that (Zune HD) hardware."
Then there's ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, who spoke with Jose Pinero, Director of Communications for Microsoft’s TV, Video and Music Business on Tuesday at Microsoft's Open House in New York City.
“Our next step is mobile phones, but we haven’t talked about a timeline for when that will happen,” he said.
Pinero said Microsoft’s more immediate priorities are to get Zune music and Video services on the Xbox. Microsoft officials said earlier this year that Microsoft plans to make the Zune video marketplace available as part of Xbox Live this fall.
Take that however you want, but if Microsoft does the right thing, we'll see it as a major part of Windows Mobile 7.
Above you see the Toshiba K01, with its monsterous (though not quite as big as the HTC HD2) 4.1-inch capacitive screen, horizontal slider keyboard (hmmmmm ... We'll have to think about the diamond-shaped keys) and Windows Mobile 6.5.
We're still not entirely sold on the whole voice command thing when it comes to mobile phones (though admittedly it's very helpful while driving). But you've gotta admit Microsoft's Tellme service (whose purchase allowed Windows Mobile to put the old Voice Command out to pasture) looks pretty compelling. Sure, it's a few extra steps to do basic functions, so it's probably not something we'd use while walking down the street. But it absolutely would be handy in a car, and you have to admit the speech-to-text is pretty cool.
Now we have something more official, and word that an update to the Bing app is due this fall:
Congratulations to our friends over in Windows Mobile for the launch of Windows Mobile 6.5 today! It’s an exciting time for mobile and for Bing. With today’s announcement we are kicking off what we like to call the Autumn of Mobile!
This week in New York we were able to share a sneak peek of the Bing for mobile application due out later this Fall. In case you missed it, here’s a screenshot of what’s to come. The Bing app continues to be a great tool for local searches, maps, and directions, and now it has a whole new look.
Judging by the screen shot, the new app looks to be, bingeriffic. (Ducks!)
When asked directly, Motorola's Christy Wyatt said that Motorola is waiting for the next generation of platform software from Microsoft before it will begin making Windows Mobile devices again. It will not be adopting nor making any devices running Windows Phone 6.5.
So there you have it, folks. Don't expect to see anything new from Motorola until Windows Mobile 7, if not later.
Now that doesn't mean there are custom builds of Windows Mobile 6.5 floating around out there. These are just the U.S. phones that will get official updates. The Toshiba TG01 also will be updated, and undoubtedly there are other phones floating around out there.
One of the events at today's Microsoft Open House was a sit-down chat with Elizabeth Sloan,Senior Marketing Manager for Windows Mobile.
Not a whole lot of secrets were spilled and we were certainly not expecting any (Project Pink? No comment). Still, it's nice to hear the ideas behind the decisions of Windows Mobile 6.5, the branding, the Marketplace, etc. Here is a brief recap of some of the things discussed:
The three screens approach: PC, Web & Phone — we've heard Ballmer talk about this and it is the guiding philosophy behind all of their devices/services going forward
Marketplace offers a full refund within 24 hours if you do not like the program you purchased
We will be hearing a "steady drumbeat" of announcements from Microsoft over the next few months
30 Windows phones, in 3 months — more later
OS version numbers are bad — getting away from that approach
Sorry about the no-carrier updates, but they operate on their own schedule — Microsoft takes a hands-off approach when dealing with the carriers — nothing is mandated by Microsoft, not even GPS or hardware. OEMs? Starting to look like a different story obviously
200-plus program in Marketplace today — huge focus and emphasis on quality, rigorous testing and high standards. Microsoft works closely with the developers
Focusing on consumer now that the business end is solid; also the consumer/professional is the same person = one phone
For my Twitter followers, I tried to ask some of your questions, or others did, but of course, no comment (though she would love to tell us). All in all Microsoft is pretty proud of WM6.5 as it should be — it's a darn solid OS and the new services are top-notch.
And thanks, Elizabeth, for a great Windows Mobile open house!
The HTC HD2, aka the Leo, has been one of the worst-kept secrets out there, and HTC pulled the covers off it this morning. Unfortunately we're not looking at a U.S. release, so we'll have to gaze at the massive 4.3-inch screen, 1GHz Snapdragon processor and honest-to-goodness Sense UI, as first seen on Android, from afar.
The HD2 will be available "later this month across Europe."
That's right, folks. For $199 after two-year contract and rebate, you, too, can have your very own Verizon Imagio, with it's 3.6-inch screen and Windows Mobile 6.5 goodness. Act now, because if it's anywhere near as popular as the Touch Pro 2 has been for Verizon (it's currently out of stock), you could find yourself waiting for a while. And if you want to pick one up in a Verizon store, you're going to have to wait until Oct. 20 anyway.