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Exciting New Windows Phone Build Leaks On Video

Gordon Kelly


Exciting New Windows Phone Build Leaks On Video

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...


xda-developers forum Post Page


August 11, 2009, 1:37 pm

I can't see anything remotely exciting about this half-baked effort. The media player still looks like WM6.


August 11, 2009, 2:20 pm

I think it looks promising too. At least they're finally doing something, even if it is too late for me. The magnifier's pointless though. Just stick in a trackball, much quicker and more accurate. I stopped paying attention a little while ago but 6.5 actually looks half decent.


August 11, 2009, 2:32 pm

Have to agree with Bones, Ok, I know it's a leaked Beta so hopefully these observations are mute. The media player doesn't look in sync with the rest of the UI, and on a small device that is more important than a full OS. The buttons at the bottom just look like they have been thrown there, it's not that hard surely to at least line them up a bit nicer, or is this some advanced control-random-x generator at work. Hope the double-tab feature works better in the proper release, the way it was working on the YouTube video looked really irritating.


August 11, 2009, 2:47 pm

As the presenter says towards the end of the video, "it's very crude and doesn't work very well." Sort of fascinating that MS has had a mobile OS since 1996, and have a practically bottomless pool of cash and talent, but since the iPhone appeared 2 years ago they've looked totally lost. Way to squander a 10 year headstart, guys!

... and this is despite Bill Gates fully recognizing the importance of the mobile space, referring to Symbian back in 1998 as one of Microsoft's "greatest threats".


August 11, 2009, 3:03 pm

The video didn't leave me very excited. It didn't leave me excited at all. If this is some sort of big improvement over what we were expecting from 6.5 then Microsoft are still way off with it.

David Horn

August 11, 2009, 3:29 pm

I think that keyboard is actually the one HTC supply with their WinMo phones. It was definitely on my Touch Diamond. To be honest, I don't see any great improvement here. My feeling is that they should have taken the Zune HD approach and rebuilt the interface from the ground up.

I'll stick with my Hero, thanks.


August 11, 2009, 4:45 pm

With windows mobile it looks like MS have tried to port the UI of a full size computer onto the small screen of a phone, instead of creating one tailor made to better suit a hand held device. The whole thing just looks awkward and kind of slow lets hope this is fixed in the full release.

The media player looks terrible, that third screenshot is hardly competition to that on the iphone/touch. Also the start button is in the worst place ever; should be bottom left to make it easier to operate with the one right hand.


August 11, 2009, 7:03 pm

@all - you are looking at a very early build, but the potential is surely obvious for all to see? And I'm one of Windows Mobile's biggest critics...


August 11, 2009, 7:58 pm

@Gordon - Not really... watched the video, and it put me in mind of MS crudely 'skinning' their own OS to try to make the touch UI a little more iPhone-esque. And companies like HTC are doing this better. Also, 'potential' is a huge remove from a polished product delivering such a well-designed, consistent, slick user experience as the iPhone. How far away is this for MS? Unless they raise their game, the corporates will have their Blackberrys, anyone who can recognize a decent touch UI will have an iPhone, and MS will be the preserve of the geeks. (For the record, I use a Windows Mobile phone :-)

Oliver Levett

August 12, 2009, 5:49 pm

I take it no one here has noticed anything about WM6.5.1. I've posted numerous things about it (check the MoDaCo news for the stuff I've posted my self).

This isn't WM6.5, this is WM6.5.1.

@simonm: this is a very very early release. WM6.5.1 is also leading towards a proper (compositing) window manager, and hardware accelerated UI, at which point all the fancy UI stuff is run much faster, and will be prettier. Wait for them to finish there job!

@J4cK1505: Have you seen any of the WM7 "screenshot" renders? Quite a lot of those were WM6.5.1. The media player also hasn't been updated for some time, MS are focusing on the UI components and the shell as a whole currently, and then will develop what uses the shell in the future.

@Keith: if you look at the buttons, it's a small OK button, then a full length softkey, then another small button for the SIP and then a full length softkey. That's not random. The actual locations are likely to be adjusted, and I suspect the "windows" key will be put to the bottom bar as well, and the top bar reduced in size, and only used to display information rather than buttons etc.

Oliver Levett

August 12, 2009, 5:53 pm

Also, the SIP is an HTC one from the upcoming Leo device (it's EzInput 2.1). There's a similar build of it for the Topaz WM6.5 build, but with the arrow keys visible at all times rather than just as a popup.

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