Sony Ericsson is announcing a new phone based on Windows Mobile 6.5.3 that will initially be on sale in the UK. The phone is called the Aspen and seems to be geared more towards business users. While this is a .dot.dot release for Windows Mobile, it shows that Microsoft is serious about turning Windows Mobile's perception around. This update to 6.5 provides a lot more features than you'd think of for a .0.3 release.
Sony Ericsson is announcing a new phone based on Windows Mobile 6.5.3 that will initially be on sale in the UK. The phone is called the Aspen and seems to be geared more towards business users. While this is a .dot.dot release for Windows Mobile, it shows that Microsoft is serious about turning Windows Mobile's perception around. This update to 6.5 provides a lot more features than you'd think of for a .0.3 release.Sony Ericsson's press release is here. Windows Phone Thoughts has a few screen shots of the device in the two colors it will be available in. Sony Ericsson says the phone has its GreenHeart Identity, which means special power saving modes, waterborne painting and recyclable components like the charger. As you can see from the specs on Sony Ericsson's site, this isn't meant to be a blowout device the tech geek lusts for. It is a sensible and capable device designed for the business user. At a glance, you might be reminded of a Blackberry device.
For Windows Mobile, the biggest changes to the platform are native support for a capacitive screen and multitouch. HTC had already cooked those features into some of its phones running Windows Mobile, but having that support built in means HTC and other manufacturers can focus on other areas. It also means developers can more easily take advantage of those features without having to worry about programing to one OEM, or worse, one model. The specs on the Aspen don't say whether or not it is capacitive or resistive, just that it is a touch screen. We'll have to wait for hands-on reviews to come out for more details.
Microsoft has also included a magnifier tool that brings touch support to older apps that are expecting a fine tipped stylus. You can also now drag and drop icons on the Start Screen. The browser has also been tweaked to load pages faster, have better memory management, smoother pan and flick gestures and increased speed in zooming and rotating.
While capacitive and multitouch are supported, I don't think they are required, so those of you with a WinMo 6.5 can hold out a little hope that your device maker will provide a 6.5.3 upgrade. Apple's iPhone and Google's Android have made these upgrades the de facto standard. WinMo device makers need to get with the program.
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