Windows Mobile 6.5 UI changed because of user feedback

Redmond (WA) – MIX 09 in Las Vegas has been quite an exciting time for Microsoft. It may even be a sign of how Microsoft will begin to respond to feedback in the future. Microsoft showed off the latest version of Windows Mobile 6.5, which has undergone a number of tweaks to its UI design.

Product Manager Loke Uei stated that users who tested the UI complained that it was not “finger friendly”. The company tweaked it prior to Mix 09, making sure to address that issue. One of the most notable and widely discussed changes since last month’s debut of the OS is the removal of the on-screen honeycomb on the home screen. The layout is still the same for the most part. The hex-grid pattern is gone and the icons are larger.

The lock screen was given a few new features. It now shows alerts and notifications. The flick scrolling now stops at page breaks rather than spinning all the way to the bottom of the list.

The company also used Mix 09 as a chance to reveal more details about the future of Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Each mobile device purchased with Windows Mobile 6.5 will offer a Marketplace application with purchase. Thus far, more than 20,000 applications have been developed by independent software vendors. Users will be able to download applications coded in C/C++, .NET and widgets (written in both JavaScript and HTML), which can be launched via the home screen.

Users can make purchases from the application marketplace using their credit card, rather than via the wireless carrier or PayPal.  Purchase updates are done automatically.

Microsoft hopes to grow its marketplace into a venue for developers to continuously create platform applications.