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MS tweaks Win Mobile 6.5 for iPhone-like touch

updated 08:10 am EDT, Fri March 20, 2009

MS Win Mo 6 5 UI Tweaks

Microsoft at the MIX09 conference revealed that it has already made significant alterations to the Windows Mobile 6.5 interface in the month since introducing it at Mobile World Congress. The mobile group's Senior Technical Product Manager Loke Uei Tan cited initial feedback from Microsoft employees that reacted negatively to the original version of the interface, which included small icons and a conspicuous "honeycomb" to indicate the available touch zones. Microsoft has since dissolved the lines entirely and enlarged the icons to make them easier to identify.

Scrolling behavior has also been changed for a more natural response. The early public version of the Windows Mobile update had an unusual all-or-nothing scroll that would move to the top or bottom; in the revision, the software has a more iPhone-like response that stops scrolling the moment the user removes the finger from the screen with a slight "bounce" to indicate the stopped movement.

While not a complete reworking of the interface, the changes are unexpectedly substantial with just a month before the slated April completion date and hint the company hadn't built end-user feedback into the core of its development process for the interim upgrade. Actual phones preloaded with Windows Mobile 6.5 aren't anticipated until near September. [via Ars Technica; relevant video starts at 6:50 mark]

by MacNN Staff



  1. gor3don

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I wonder if MSFT employees had any negative reactions to Vista. But glad to see they said to make it more iPhone-like.

    If final 6.5 comes out around the same time as new iPhone hardware (big if on many accounts), be interesting to see the comparisons.

  1. revco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Round of applause

    for Microsoft's favourite R&D team: Apple.

  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I have to laugh at them..

    Talk about "damned if you do, damned if you don't"... They take heat for copying Apple's stuff, and when they try hard to make it not seem that way, they take heat for that, too.

    The karmic pigeons are finally coming home to roost... after all those years of relying mostly on market inertia to move product, Microsoft just doesn't seem to know how to come up with cool stuff on its own anymore.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: I have to laugh at


  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Trying to reinvent a perfectly-round wheel is very difficult, I am sure Steve Ballmer can tell you.

    In other words, Microsoft has been trying to run with square or polygon tires for a long time.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More copy please

    Yet Ballmer is running around getting excited about Apple losing sales. Yet MS is busy copying just about everything Apple does, and failing at it.

  1. MacnnChester

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I actually liked the hexagonal lines as a way of delineating space efficiently and to create a different look. Without the lines, the icons look like they are randomly strewn around the "desktop."

    MS has been devoid of innovation for a long time and with an R&D dept. several times bigger than Apple, it is amazingly pathetic that they have to resort to reacting to Apple. I really think that the VP's there keep thinking they are only competing with Palm and Symbian. They can not honestly assess their position with respect to Apple and thus can not even articulate a vision for their products ... beyond wireless mice. Maybe they should just make a Zune/Mouse that can make phone calls.

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How can you guys complain about people copying Apple when Apple just stole "copy and paste" from every other cell phone manufacturer, for iphone OS 3.0? Hahahaha. Ohhh that isn't "stealing" because people wanted it! I get it!

    Apple can enter the phone market, take EVERYONE else's ideas and over a decade worth of innovation, but nobody is else is free to benefit from Apple's innovation. Real logical.

  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You sure do not know that "cut, copy and paste" is a basic part of the OS. Why Apple had not included it in the iPhone was because they did not want a sloppy implementation. This was not "copied" from others. The iPhone is a device that is not just a phone but a whole new computing paradigm. When you say Apple took the industry ideas and created a phone, well were these patented? Not all. And what do you think Apple should have done instead? Create a communication device that would be embedded in our head and allow us to directly converse with people we want to talk to. May be someday. Apple is an innovative company, they do not necessarily invent stuff and they don't have to.

    I am sure that you do not understand development and you are not a codie. If at all you were, you would know that the "cc&p" by Apple for iPhone OS 3.0 is the best implementation of the "public" idea.

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If you followed any of the discussion on Palm and Apple, you'd know that some of the ideas were patented. Not to mention, Apple's patent/trademark/trade dress approach is much far inclusive than any other corporation in the industry.

    Not to mention, you are arguing with the details of my argument, but not the point. Whether you admit it or not, Apple had the benefit of hundreds of different modals of other companies' phones to study and analyze before they entered the market. You don't think Apple studied its competitors before releasing the iphone? There has been a long history of features added to mobile phones over the last decade. Apple had no part in that implementation.

    Most importantly, you missed the sarcasm in my post. I couldn't care less about "copying" or "stealing" in the industry. I think it makes for a better selection of great consumer phones. I was simply mocking all the apple zealots in this forum.

    Your argument that "cc&p" for the iphone is the best implementation of a public idea is absurd. It shows your lack of any rationality. Franky, it doesn't even make any sense.

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