There are so many cooked ROMs out there it’s hard to tell how far Microsoft has come with 6.5. With that in mind, Herg put together a naked ROM for me – one that lacks HTC and other enhancements. This way you can get a sense as to what MS has done and what they need to do. This build is very new and it’s very stable as well. That’s the good news. The bad news is that when you strip WM of third party enhancements you have to deal with a number of shortcomings. Well, watch the video and we can discuss afterwards:)



So yes, this build is stable and in use it’s very fast. I should note that trying to get good video creates a little lag itself and the frame rate is capped at 15fps but it is faster and smoother than it appears on video.

Moving all of the buttons to the bottom does make a lot of sense and when you get used to it you realize it’s a lot more intuitive and quicker. The close button always should have been at the bottom. Pressing the top bar to drop down a larger bar (thus requiring two taps to change the sound for example) is up for debate.

We’re reminded that they are trying to make a finger friendly UI and they have the same keyboard they started with, pocket Internet Explorer is useful but not the best, the picture application is antiquated (I kept trying to double tap to zoom all for nothing) and even the communications settings are out of date. The text selection method is a step in the wrong direction (it wasn’t broken…until now). For me, it was a true reminded how much HTC has contributed to WM as a platform from the enhanced notifications, keyboards, streaming video, contacts manager, UI, photo viewer, etc. So yes, it runs better than 6.1 and it is finger friendlier and scrolling is nice, but a raw ROM exposes some weakness that MS needs to get on.

Let me also note that the 6.5 builds are coming out on a rapid basis (several a week) so I wouldn’t be surprised if MS is intentionally leaking them to let the community bug test. Anyone else have a better theory?:)

From what we’ve seen of the Zune HD it’s a jump from 6.5 from the photo viewer, music player, radio, keyboard and web browser…how long will we have to wait for that though?

Thanks again to Herg for the ROM…of course, Herg owns my phone as I’ve been rocking his ROMs since I started flashing:)  And don’t forget to thank your favorite chef – they turned this into a usable ROM by modifying it and tweaking it for you and as you can see, it’s a project and a half.