Microsoft has just sent out an official press release announcing the availability of Windows Mobile 6.5 (even their press release uses the word Mobile and not just Windows phone so I will too:)) and that will also be the opening of Marketplace. From their release (in part and with my highlights):
Microsoft Corp. today announced that Windows phones will be widely available at retail stores worldwide on Oct. 6, 2009. The new phones will be the first to feature Windows Mobile 6.5, the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile phone software, and will deliver new customer experiences through an improved, easy-to-use user interface, better browsing capabilities and access to valuable services, including Windows Marketplace for Mobile and Microsoft My Phone.
The redesigned Internet Explorer Mobile browser includes a new engine and built-in Adobe Flash Lite support for better rendering and completion of tasks, so it’s easy to do more from a phone, such as check in for a flight, get directions or pay bills while on the go.
With Windows Live on their phones, users can keep track of friends in one place, no matter which social networking sites they belong to — Facebook, Twitter or MySpace Windows Live.
Customization is their selling point:
Windows phones give consumers the choice of a broad selection of form factors from sleek, touch-screen devices to full QWERTY keyboards to make it easy to find a phone that fits their needs. Windows Mobile 6.5 provides easy access to third-party applications such as Facebook, Netflix and Zagat, and an improved, touch-friendly user interface that allows customers to tailor their phone to suit their individual style. With the new version, users can change the look and feel of their phones with designer themes or a personal background and customize their home screen with widgets so the information they need is always easy to find.
The release does name partners for 6.5 which include AT&T and HTC of course as well as Sprint and Verizon but omits T-Mobile so I’m not sure what to make of that. Anyone want to start speculating if an AT&T branded Touch Pro 2 or Diamond 2 will be released on October 6?