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Microsoft finally revealed Windows Mobile 6.1 at the CITA Wireless event in Las Vegas on April Fool's Day.
This much-trailed update to Windows Mobile 6.0 presents a range of new features. Still, it's more about enhancing the existing functionality of Windows Mobile than doing anything revolutionary, and overall the update smacks of playing catch-up with the competition. For a really big overhaul, we'll have to wait for Windows Mobile 7.
The few developments unique to Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard (for devices without touch-screens) narrow the gap between it and Windows Mobile Professional devices.
If you have an existing Windows Mobile 6.0 device, keep an eye on your vendor's web site for notification of ROM updates. New devices running Windows Mobile 6.1 are expected to appear during the second quarter of 2008 — any time from now on, in fact.
Much of the look and feel of Windows Mobile 6.1 is familiar, but there are plenty of changes under the surface. The Today Screen, for example, now has a plug-in which Microsoft is calling the Sliding Panel.
This uses a series of horizontally scrollable screens that allow you to move through related information. The theory is that you can get to more information more quickly using this system than you can with a 'flat' screen.