back to article SkyBox cracks open as Microsoft Mobile timetable leaks

Some details of Microsoft's SkyBox service had started to emerge, along with a schedule for Windows Mobile 7 that precludes the online competitor to MobileMe waiting for the next full version of Windows Mobile. The next version of Windows Mobile won't be here until 2010, leaving a makeover of version 6 - to be known as 6.5 - to …

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Looks like...

...6.5 will be a glossy UI overlay in a similar vein to HTC's TouchFlo 3D or Sony-Ericsson's Panels.

Hopefully though there'll be a modicum of integration with the underlying OS that'll help eliminate the stylus though. Maybe HTC will make it available as a download for my Touch Pro, that would be groovy.

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New?

"Some details of Microsoft's SkyBox service had started to emerge, along with a schedule for Windows Mobile 7 that precludes the online competitor to MobileMe waiting for the next full version of Windows Mobile."

"It might seem strange to turn to a PC to configure the phone in your pocket, but that's what iPhone users have been doing for a while now, and iTunes has proved quite popular."

Aside from the fact that ActiveSync/WMDC can be used to configure certain aspects of your phone (Exchange mostly), Windows Mobile supports synchronisation of contacts, calendar and e-mail with an Exchange server. For consumers, Windows Mobile 6 can synchronise contacts and (if you have Hotmail) e-mail with Windows Live. Surely SkyBox is just an extension of the existing Live functionality?

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Stu
Stop

Agreed - 'No Stylus Required' Please!

Only trouble is the WM devteam at Microsoft seem to have churned out the same olde thing with only miniscule differences across its entire life, right the way back from Windows CE v1.0.

I would have thought that with the advent of the iPhone (which love it or hate it, is actually a fantastic piece of Mobile user interface design) that MS might have learned their lesson prior to releasing WM6.0, alas no.

Here's hoping that they'll abolish ALL of those poorly designed config screens buried deep in the OS. Ditch it all!

Here is just one example of an abysmal piece of UI design that was there way back in CE v1 I believe, and is STILL THERE! :

Start -> Settings -> System Tab -> Clock and Alarms.

Just try pressing the little spinner buttons to set the time! They must be, maybe, 10 pixels across!

.

Everyone, even the third parties such as HTC, Toshiba and Sony Ericsson know its shit, thats why they built their own visuals on top.

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Agreed, heres hoping T-Mobile release v7 for my TyTn II. Then again knowing past experience with new firmware....

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Re: "Agreed - 'No Stylus Required' Please! "

"Only trouble is the WM devteam at Microsoft seem to have churned out the same olde thing with only miniscule differences across its entire life, right the way back from Windows CE v1.0"

And even that is loosely based on the same concepts as Windows 95. Which, lets face it, works as an interface for a PC (where you have a relatively large space for a desktop), but works terribly on small screen.

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Confusion over names ?

Wonder if Sky has any issues with the name, given that most satellite users have a 'Sky box' ?

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Unhappy

Let's see now?

2010

-1995

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15

15 years in the making? Isn't that just a little too long in the making?

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Anonymous Coward

MS Missed the boat

Sorry, but much as I despise the iPhone, it's leading the way in user experience on the mobile platform. Android is also miles ahead. As has been mentioned, WM6 should have got MS to where the iPhone is now, the fact that they're only putting a bit of gloss on it now, and are releasing the re-build WM7 (which, presumably, will finally have a decent GUI) in a year's time means that they've totally missed the boat.

As has been mentioned, 10-15 years of being ahead of the game (from a mobile/smartphone point-of-view) totally squandered. Shame really.

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Re: Looks like...

I've got my hands on a beta of 6.5, and the UI is pretty much identical to 6.1 (at least, on the "Classic" PDA version). However, compared to 6.1 is it a lot faster - I would have frequent regular slowdowns on 6.1, something that has yet to happen with 6.5.

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Rob

Interface design

I think MS will leave it all alone and let people like HTC design an interface for WM, it would be nice though if it was more like a skin, least that way HTC could design a true interface, not one that disappears once you've selected an option in TouchFLO and takes you to the standard WM interface.

Even some of the ROM Cookers out there have done a better job with WM's UI.

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