Forget Windows Mobile 6.5. Look at Windows Mobile 6.5.1!



Did Windows Mobile 6.5 leave you wanting more? Hang in there — by all accounts, you’ll have to wait until the second half of 2010 for the next version, which is Windows Mobile 7. Or is it? Over at Download Squad I just read about newer Microsoft (s msft) builds of WinMo 6.5 that are unofficially called version 6.5.1 by the user community. At first, I thought this was a version from the talented folks at XDA Developers, but as I dig around, it appears that Microsoft has created these newer builds.

Long Zheng has a few screenshots and I like what I see. For starters, some buttons and actions are down in a taskbar-like row on the bottom of the screen, providing more room for content. These look like icon-based actions, although some shots show labels in lieu of icons. The contacts app looks slightly refreshed, and some of the old-looking input screens also get a touch-up. Some of these builds have been leaked and packaged for specific devices, so Long recommends hitting up the XDA folks if you’re looking for something a little newer than the just-released Windows Mobile 6.5.

One of my issues with Microsoft’s mobile operating system is the lack of timely updates. I don’t see the same issue with Apple (s aapl), Google (s goog), or Palm (s palm), for example. But this could be a positive sign that Redmond is finally looking to offer more incremental updates to its partner carriers or its customers.


Frank McPherson

I’ll be more blunt than Jake. If Microsoft releases this directly to users and NOT via carriers then it will be a win. If updates like this get stuck in carrier hell, it doesn’t matter. It would be great if the updates were OTA, but just providing them for direct user download on a Microsoft web site would be a BIG improvement.

James Kendrick

I don’t see that happening, and that’s the problem with WinMo. MS has contracts with the carriers/ partners and they can’t just push out updates. It’s the WinMo hell.


Ah yes, the eternal promise of OTA updates for Windows Mobile :) The situation is supposed to be fixed in 6.5 but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see whether these improvements ever make it to anybody’s phone as an update.

Ricky B.

I’ve been using builds with this on my Touch Pro since before 6.5 went RTM — it’s much nicer. I don’t like how the bubbles look in those screenshots, but some of the theming — which can be done much more easily than in the past, I gather, without hacking at least — makes it look beautiful, and it is much more usable.

You get just as much screen space, too — the wasted whitespace on the top bar is gone to make more room for the bar on the bottom.

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