We've spotted a couple of Windows Mobile 6.5.3 devices at CES this year.
Microsoft has kept their point release under wraps but device manufacturers are slowing rolling the update out on new devices. Depending on who you talk to, some Microsoft officials were hesitant to confirm Windows Mobile 6.5.3 and others freely spoke about the new enhancements and features. ROMs have been leaking for months and Microsoft officially confirmed the existence in an MSDN posting last month. Windows Mobile 6.5.3 includes better touch support with improved menus, gesture based navigation and a new touch bar at the bottom of the screen for easy navigation.
The first device we spotted was the Toshiba TG01 which packs a 1GHz snapdragon processor and 4.1" WVGA screen. The Toshiba also includes 256RAM and 512MB ROM.
The second device is the Pharos Traveler 137 GPS. Complete with a 3.5" WVGA screen and a 528MHz processor it's not quite as snappy as the Toshiba but includes Pharos' hybrid navigation system complete with US maps. Both devices are running build Build 23091.5.3.0
What about Windows Mobile 7?
That is the question on everyone's lips right now. Microsoft officials refuse to comment on Windows Mobile 7 in most cases but Robbie Bach, Entertainment and Devices Division, held an analysts call at CES and confirmed that the company will share details of Windows Mobile 7 next month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. "I've seen it and played with it," Bach said. He also believes that Windows Mobile 7 will "set the bar forward not in (just) an evolutionary way." From what we are hearing from insiders the company is ready to show off Windows Mobile 7 and will do so at Mobile World Congress. Microsoft's annual conference, Mix 2010 in March, will be the time for company officials to unveil developer features. We questioned Toshiba, Samsung and LG about their Windows Mobile 6.5.3 and 7 plans but all refused to answer the future of Windows Mobile, presumably due to non-disclosure agreements with Microsoft. LG did confirm that Windows Mobile 7 devices are due this year.
In September last year, Microsoft confirmed that the current team of 1,000 developers, working on Windows Mobile 7, are planning to feature social networks as a key element of Windows Mobile 7. Since September it has been quiet on the Windows Mobile 7 front. Microsoft officials confirmed they would talk about Windows Mobile 7 at the upcoming MIX 2010 conference in March next year. Microsoft also posted what appeared to be a concept UI for Windows Mobile 7 on the Office 2010 mobile site.