Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

The new look and features of Windows Mobile 6.5 show that Microsoft is
clearly interested in mastering both the consumer and business market when it
comes to portable devices.

Windows Mobile 6.5 offers an improved interface, which makes it easy to launch
applications, surf the Web and check e-mail, all without overcomplicating the
basic features needed on a cell phone.

And it’s pretty clear that Microsoft is looking for a piece of the Apple
pie by including the ability to quickly and easily buy applications from
Microsoft’s revamped Microsoft Mobile Marketplace, which will compete directly
against Apple’s App Store.

Other notable enhancements include larger icons for easier touch-screen
launch, round navigation buttons to ease Web surfing, and hide-away menus that
maximize screen real estate.

Microsoft has put a great deal of effort into IE Mobile, hoping to enhance
the browsing experience for those using smartphones for Web surfing. The idea
is to make complex Web tasks much easier to accomplish, allowing Windows Mobile
6.5-powered devices to work with cloud applications and business programs. The
company has even built support for Flash Lite into the new IE Mobile browser,
hoping to bring video capabilities to the device to compete with iPhones and
iPod Touch devices.

Microsoft’s ultimate goal is to bring smartphones into the unified
communications market, by combining multimedia technologies into a single
endpoint device. If the speed increases and new features and usability match
expectations, Windows Mobile 6.5 will become the mobile answer for unified
communications, leaving Apple to struggle with the iPhone’s lack of business