Microsoft says a new generation of Windows Mobile phones, operating on Windows Mobile 6.5, will be available on Oct. 6. The new phones will be the first to feature the new operating system (OS).
In a press release, the company said 6.5 will deliver an improved user interface, better browsing capabilities and access to Windows Marketplace for Mobile and Microsoft My Phone.
Changes to the new OS include a redesigned Internet Explorer Mobile browser, built-in Adobe Flash Lite support and direct download of applications from Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Additionally, Windows Mobile 6.5 will feature one-touch widget access to such services as Facebook, Netflix and Zagat.
Despite big name OEM partners like HTC, LG and Samsung, Microsoft has struggled to capture a significant portion of the mobile platform market. According to an August report from Gartner, Microsoft’s share of the mobile platform market continued to drop year-on-year to account for 9 percent of the overall market in the second quarter of 2009.
Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner, said in a press release that Microsoft licensees like HTC and Samsung continued to add features to their own interfaces, on top of Windows Mobile, “to create more competitive products and make up for the usability constraints of the Microsoft platform.”
Microsoft has been aggressively pursuing the mobile space. In mid August, the software giant announced a partnership with Nokia aimed at producing an enterprise-grade mobile software component for the Finnish OEM’s smartphones. And just last week, Microsoft launched OneApp for feature phones, a mobile applications enabler that runs partially in the cloud.