Windows 6.5 (aka Windows Phone) may yet to be released, but it seems Microsoft is already working hard on iterations beyond the RTM.
'Windows Mobile 6.5 build 23022' is the codename of easily the most exciting Microsoft stab at the mobile OS to date. The xda-developers forum has managed to get a hands-on video with the build (above) and for the first time we see proper finger friendly icons, menus and a proper virtual keyboard with iPhone-esque magnifier.
Perhaps equally exciting is talk that the build can be tweaked to support capacitive touchscreens - a major failing in every Windows Mobile version to date. Heck, even the additional spit and polish to the honeycomb icons on the homescreen make it a platform which no longer induces nausea.
Talk is Windows Mobile 6.5 build 23022 won't make it out in time for the Windows Mobile 6.5/Windows Phone debut in Q4, but that it could soon come as a downloadable update. It also hints that, with a little effort, Windows 6.5 may not leave such a gaping chasm for Windows Mobile 7 to fill after all.
Let's hope so. Microsoft has long been a traditionally more open developer than Apple and it has the financial clout to really make a comeback if it can produce an OS that measures up. Windows 7 has already suggested it can, so let's keep our fingers, toes and whatever else your unique party skills allow crossed that Microsoft is back in the game...