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MS confirms Win Mo 7 multi-touch, iPhone rivalry

updated 10:15 am EDT, Mon August 3, 2009

Win Mobile 7 Multi Touch

Microsoft has confirmed in a preview of Windows Mobile 6.5 that version 7 of the mobile OS will include multi-touch and will be targeted at the same high-end market as Apple's iPhone or most current Android phones. The company promises to the Inquirer that multi-touch will be a core feature of Windows Mobile 7 and that many of the experiences of competing phones will be "knocked in the different realm" of Microsoft's new platform.

At the same time, Microsoft also admitted that it's targeting the very high end and has been setting high specifications for the first phones that will launch with the new software. Calling 7 a "premium" experience, a spokesman said it will actually co-exist with the just-launching 6.5 release rather than replace it as all Windows Mobile releases have done in the past. While it's shipping on high-end phones like the HTC Touch Diamond2 (shown in the video), 6.5 will eventually be reserved just for budget phones while 7 will only take its place once the hardware is inexpensive enough.

The OS approach is in stark contrast to that for most operating systems. Apple, Google and Symbian all typically ship a near-identical version of their core software on more than one device and normally only have slight differences between them, such as the absence of phone-related apps on the iPod touch or Symban S60 5th Edition's touch-oriented features.

Windows Mobile 6.5 has been acknowledged by Microsoft as a stopgap release and primarily adds a few more touchscreen-ready interface elements, an accurate HTML web browser and direct integration with Windows Marketplace for Mobile, Microsoft's attempt to shadow the success of the iPhone's App Store as a central software portal.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    never learn

    It seems that Microsoft will simply never learn that a single OS sold at a single price is cheaper and easier to support and maintain, doesn't alienate customers and business partners and most importantly eliminates confusion. Oh, I forgot... confusion, like uncertainty and doubt, is a core tenet of Microsoft's business and marketing strategy. Why do they make life so hard for themselves?

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What took SO long?

    For Microsoft to copy the iPhone's multi-touch abilities. It remains to be seen how much of a bloated, counter-intuitive hack job they do in their "interpretation" of it!

    @Feathers... MS has made zillions with that approach. So, what's there to change?

    There's a huge econo-system that flourishes because of the FUD filled atmosphere that MS creates to surround their products. MS WANTS fearful users, who are dependent on IT personnel to tell them what to do.

    It's win-win for all but the users. There's MUCH more money to be made that way!

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Interesting move

    "Windows Mobile 6.5 has been acknowledged by Microsoft as a stopgap release" ...

    Wow, what a brilliant marketing strategy. Hang on a sec while I dig out my credit card.

  1. jreades

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hope it's better than v.6

    I have an HTC touch (couldn't justify the original O2 iPhone offerings in the UK) running WinMobile 6 and let me tell you how pants the experience has been. In no particular order:

    1. It feels like it takes about 5 minutes to start up -- while the real duration may be less, it's got to be more than 60 seconds and that's just unacceptable in anything that isn't running on a full computer.

    2. Default settings that you can't delete -- so the OS comes with "Email Sample" and "Outlook" accounts that are, I suppose, to help people who don't know how to set anything up. Turns out that you can't configure them or change them or rename them. So my phone has always had two accounts that I can't actually access. Huh?

    3. Worst web browser ever -- seriously, I have never been able to get the browser to show me anything useful. The NYT is the only site that has ever worked as far as I can tell, and so on most sites if you can get the page to load at all you then have to use a grid-search pattern to find the content because it's too stupid to scale or strip out the absolute positioning.

    4. Kludgy touch keyboard -- it's way fun when the touch keyboard slides up and over the box where you're trying to input information. Smart, MS, real smart. Honestly, was there no Q/A testing of this OS at all?

    Sorry, I've built up a lot of resentment about this phone. Literally the only thing that I like about this phone is that it charges via mini-USB so I can charge it off of my laptop in a pinch.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Death & Taxes

    Death, Taxes & MS ME TOO. Now three things you can always count on to happen.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Well, it's nice to see they haven't lost their MO of releasing c*** while demoing vaporware and promising the world in the fabled "next release". Then you wait two years, just to see them rinse and repeat.

  1. George3

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The irony of MS and Apple. Apple flew the Jolly Roger, but it actually should be MS flying the pirate flag.

  1. musocat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Butt Ugly

    That is one ugly OS. Typical MS garbage.

  1. Wingsy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Swipe Software < 100%

    In every demo I've seen of a touch screen scrolling, you can see times when a swipe does nothing at all. This demo is no different. In several places you can see the guy swipe... and NOTHING. I never see this on my iPhone.

  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it has Flash

    WOW and what does the world say about that? the iPhone does not have Flash so let us not develop for the iPhone. We will only develop for the WinMo whatever.

    Frankly I do not see why would I ever want Flash. Asn as many of you observed and experienced, WinMo is slow and OMG, no wonder that this guy is presenting without showing his face(reflection not counted). Why? Obviously he does not want want to be kicked by his friends when they see this video. Or he uses an iPhone really and does not want to be snickered at. Heh...heh,..heh

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