Windows Mobile 6

OK, then, what about features? Well, on the surface a Windows Mobile 6 device looks pretty much the same as a Windows Mobile 5.0 one. The user interface tweaks are minor, and anyone who has used the old version should have no trouble getting to grips with the new one.

Tweaks that everyone will have access to include features such as full HTML email support enabling mails to have hyperlinks. It is also possible to direct dial phone numbers from emails. There is also a new email search facility. It works by letting you type text and narrowing down your full email inbox to find those that contain your search string – just like contact searching in Windows Mobile 5.0.

There are some new options for email creation and management in general. Nine shortcuts that can be used either with keypad or QWERTY keys depending on the device, enable you to do things such as Reply to All, Mark Messages as read or unread, forward messages and move them to other folders.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 users can also search for emails stored in any Exchange Server mailbox and if you run either this or Exchange Server 2003 SP2 you can search a Microsoft Exchange Server Address Book, pulling contacts down into your own personal contact book.

Meanwhile, the calendar had a small makeover too. In the day view there is a horizontal bar that sits along the top of the screen and shows when you are busy and when free. If you run Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 there are some added features such as the ability to set up Out-of-Office and Auto Reply from a Windows Mobile 6 device.

There are many, many smaller tweaks and twists like these, which individually seem quite tiny but collectively make for a large and complex set of developments. They span changes to applications and more overarching changes such as better device security features, including stronger PIN control for device locking and encryption of data on storage cards.

Two somewhat more sizeable developments in their own right concern Windows Live! and the Office Mobile Suite. The latter, comprising Word Mobile, Excel Mobile and PowerPoint mobile, are now going to be available on all Windows Mobile 6 devices, meaning that even users of the humble smartphone will theoretically be able to view documents and edit Word and Excel documents (PowerPoint Mobile is read only) without the need for third party add-ons.

Windows Live! is integrated into every Windows Mobile 6 device. It includes Hotmail and Windows Live email, IM including file exchange and multi-person IM chat and Web searching.

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