There's a new mobile OS, Windows Mobile 6.5, that's supposed to be friendlier than the notoriously clunky earlier versions. (ZDNet's mobile maven Matthew Miller is still disappointed.)
There's a set of cloud-based services for synchronizing data like contacts and photos. (Although apparently v.1 will not be connected with the Windows Live or Live Mesh platforms or services, so the vision of unified data sync across devices is still a whiteboard drawing as far as Microsoft products and services are concerned.)
There's a marketplace for Windows Mobile apps. There's a brand change--the phones will be called "Windows Phones," although the OS is still "Windows Mobile." (Confused?) Oh, and the company has finally acknowledged that competing in the consumer space is important, a year and a half after CEO Steve Ballmer dismissed the iPhone as a "$500 subsidized item" that had "no chance" of gaining any significant market share.
Assuming that any of this makes you want to run out and buy a Windows Mobile phone, too bad. None of it's available until late this year.
I'll give Microsoft some credit for envisioning and beginning to build a free alternative to Apple's MobileMe service. And the mobile marketplace is a no-brainer. But Monday's announcements just underscore that Microsoft has no answer to the iPhone. … Read more