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  1.    #1  


    PocketInfo.NL reports that they have information from a reliable source than a new interface for WM 6.1 will be introduced at 3GSM next year, with devices shipping in May 2008. The new interface will be based on the same principle as Windows Media Centre, with a vertically scrolling list and horizontal options. One can only hope the cool WMC eye candy also makes it onto the mobile platform, as well as an improved media player for WM (Zune-like?)An early preview would be the Vodafone carousel as found in the Treo 500v, which was created in a partnership with Vodafone and Microsoft.

    There will apparently be further improvements in WIFI functionality (squiring?) and bluetooth pairing, and improvements in Exchange 2007 integration.

    Its clear that if Microsoft wants to compete with Apple in the consumer space they need to up the eye candy. Here's hoping they do a good job without gimping the power of the OS.

    Surur
  2. #2  
    Thanks for that. Do you have a link?

    The UI sounds not completely unlike what Brighthand described for Photon. So is this basically the Photon UI on WM6 rather than Photon itself (i.e. none of the other expected Photon features, like merging of WM Standard and Pro)?

    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    Its clear that if Microsoft wants to compete with Apple in the consumer space they need to up the eye candy. Here's hoping they do a good job without gimping the power of the OS.
    It needs to look nicer for sure, but I'd argue it also needs to be easier to use, much more intuitive. Just making the screens cleaner and simpler would go a long way to doing both of those but it also needs more of an overhaul, imo. We've discussed this before and doubt we'll agree this time either, but I think these multiple ways of doing things just smack of bad design. I'm thinking in particular of launching apps (which is fairly fundamental to the experience!) Out of the box there are at least three ways of to launch an app - Start Menu, Programs folder, or from the Today Screen; HTC of course added a fourth on some devices with TouchFLO. Sounds like a Media Centre-like UI might do away with that mess. I really like the idea of a vertical menus with horizontal options. I wonder how deep they can integrate it?
  3.    #3  
    Here's the link, but it now links to nothing, meaning it has been pulled (which I guess means it must be true). I still have a copy of the feed in bloglines, here's a screen shot.


    We would have to agree to disagree regarding limited options being better. And I find the media center UI to be pretty, but slow to move from function to function. I want to context switch as fast as I can (which usually means plenty of buttons) not navigate to a central menu every time I want to launch another app. Apple has recognized this with their double tap to launch Ipod, pity they have only one button to use this trick on though. And isn't double-tapping the menu button a bit of poor usability on Apple's part?

    Surur
    Last edited by surur; 10/19/2007 at 06:43 AM.
  4. #4  
    Thanks for the screen shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    And I find the media center UI to be pretty, but slow to move from function to function. I want to context switch as fast as I can (hich usually means plenty of buttons) not navigate to a central menu every time I want to launch another app.
    I see what you're saying and should note that I've never used media centre. At first sight what I found attractive is the idea of options above and below the central element. Perhaps it would never be better than simple screens of app buttons like Palm or iPhone but it might compete if it were done right. I suspect that would mean keeping the horizontal list short (not too many elements). The top level could just be main categories, like Media, Messaging etc, and then have plenty of options: 'Music', 'Podcasts', 'TV shows', etc as options above and below Media - select 'Music', it centres with options like 'Albums, 'Artists', 'Genre', etc above and below. Done right it would be a bit like a tabbed launcher, but one in which adjacent categories were visible and one that extends down at least one level.

    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    Apple has recognized this with their double tap to launch Ipod, pity they have only one button to use this trick on though. And isn't double-tapping the menu button a bit of poor usability on Apple's part?
    Yeah, not really sure what that achieves as app switching is never more than two taps anyway (Home button then appropriate icon). OTOH, IIRC, the double tap works to give you playback controls for the iPod when the device is locked, which does seem useful.

    EDIT. Apparently the Home button double-tap can also be configured to go straight to Favorites in the phone app, so that would be one tap saved:

    http://www.macworld.com/news/2007/09...date/index.php

    I'm quite willing to bet though that I'd still go Home>Phone>Favorites.
    Last edited by marcol; 10/19/2007 at 07:22 AM.
  5. #5  
    Looks like PSP's cross media bar (XMB) to me.
  6.    #6  
    Marcol, I'm sure you have Sky+. Isn't it irritating to have to go through 2 menus to get to your recorded programs? Dedicated buttons FTW.

    Surur
  7. #7  
    In our forums, surur tells us that pocketinfo.nl had reported that Microsoft would be announcing **Windows Mobile 6.1** in February, devices shipping in May. The story has since been pulled (*interesting*), but the scuttlebut is that the main feature of 6.1 will be a new interface very similar to what Microsoft and Vodaphone developed for the Treo 500v: a carousel.

    The carousel (check out The Unwired Video of the interface) is actually really cool. You move left or right to switch between different "zones" and then up and down to choose an "action." The idea is that instead of thinking in terms of "applications," you can think in terms of "what do I want to do today?" (Ah, Microsoft slogans, how I love them). So instead of having to go into the Tasks app to make a new task, you just flip to the proper portion of the carousel to do it directly.

    6.1 is apparently going to be a vertical scroller with horizontal options in place of the 500v's horizontal scroller. Improved WiFi, Exchange integration, and Bluetooth are also in the mix.

    I wasn't expecting any significant improvements to Windows Mobile until we saw Photon hit. Careful readers will note that this interface sounds quite a bit like the recent patent that Microsoft filed:

    > *a list centered around a user's current day can include items corresponding to meetings scheduled for that day using a calendar application, E-Mail received on that day through an E-Mail application, and a weather forecast for the day provided by a weather service application.*

    We can only hope that Windows Mobile 6.1 will be made available as upgrades to current devices in addition to shipping on new devices in May.

    Big ups to Surur for the find!


    Read more at http://www.wmexperts.com/articles/ru...ming_with.html
    Last edited by Dieter Bohn; 10/19/2007 at 07:45 AM.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    Marcol, I'm sure you have Sky+. Isn't it irritating to have to go through 2 menus to get to your recorded programs?
    No Sky, just cable. Sounds like the Sky+ UI is on a par with Virgin's pathetic efforts.

    The more I think about (my perception of) the media centre launch method the less I like it. I think you're right, it could just be too slow to navigate.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by WMExperts Articles View Post
    The carousel (check out The Unwired Video of the interface)
    Broken link?
  10. #10  
    Broken link?
    indeed it was - wrong link. fixed in story and here is it again:

    link
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by septimus View Post
    indeed it was - wrong link. fixed in story and here is it again:

    link
    Thanks.

    So that one really is just a tabbed launcher? Looks like it might OK - much better than a Start Menu, Today Screen, Programs folder combo anyway
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by marcol View Post
    Thanks.

    So that one really is just a tabbed launcher? Looks like it might OK - much better than a Start Menu, Today Screen, Programs folder combo anyway
    I agree. Check out the patent link as well - I am *very* sure that's what it is. Like I wrote, the thing that excites me most is that it's a sign that Microsoft is thinking deeply about interface design in non-standard ways. I'm really fond of the idea of making apps "invisible" for reasons I can't quite explain.
  13. #13  
    This update sounds more like a shell update than a full UI update. I would expect to see that patent come into play on the full version of WM7/Photon where the intergration with the apps can be better exploited.

    Media Center has a slick UI, but it is about as RAM hungry as they come. That being said, it really is one of the better UI's MS has in its stable and there are several aspects of it that would make it more than suitable enough for a mobile.

    Surur, please don't take this as a critism, its an observation on my part and a helpful one to me: you seem to be one who more or less likes a place for everything and everything in its place when it comes to functionality. For whatever reason, that seems to mesh well with you when it comes to several buttons that may or may not have multiple levels of functionality. Unfortunately, its not a general perspective of users. That being said, neither is that of Apple's approach where things are too simplified. There is a ton of room for a healthy balance when it comes to UIs, and I think that between the lot of us who have been harping on this for the past days, mobile device makers could have a ton of good info as to not just how to make a successful scaling UI, but also devices that take advantage of it. I just kinda wanna say that while I don't share all of your assertions, I really do enjoy the process of bending my mind around trying to understand it. Its helping me get better use out of all the devices I play with, and hoepfully, makes me a better purveyor of these things.
    MMM | AntoineRJWright.com | BH | Jaiku

    Moved on to Symbian, but still will visit from time to time.
  14.    #14  
    I'm Job's antithesis when it comes to buttons (he apparently has a button phobia). I'm on my Kaiser at the moment (56 buttons in total) and I run AE button plus, which gives me 4 actions on many buttons. My internet button launches PIE, and on long press toggles wifi. My e-mail button also toggles A2DP on long press. My start menu button on long press opens a customized shortcut menu, where I can get to about 20 programs with one thumb. My speechdial button goes to the same menu (for easier one-handed usage) and on long press to the speed dail app, from where I can launch a variety of apps I have recorded tags for, and of course dail people. My side OK button is mapped to a mortscript, which does different things depending on which app is running, e.g. a back button in file explorer for easier one-handed usage. In a tribute to Apple I made double tapping the action button to launch the Audio Manager.

    The result of this button mania is a very fast an efficient interaction, but with a steep learning curve (you have to remember what each button does for one thing). What Apple does with their UI is remove the learning curve, but with this also the power of the platform. Personally I find the trade of undesirable for my PDA, but I can see how some may feel happy about it. What irks me however is calling these UI's better, just because its better for the masses who do not want to invest any time in learning their device.

    Easier - fine. Better, not.

    Surur
  15. #15  
    So if we have a 750 on ATT, we can expect an update around June...no August....no September.....no October, definitely October of 2008?
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by septimus View Post
    I'm really fond of the idea of making apps "invisible" for reasons I can't quite explain.
    Not too sure myself. Under some circumstances definitely yes. When a phone call comes in I'm sure none of us want to have to navigate to some app launcher, find the phone app, open it and then find the answer command - we just want a nice big button (physical or virtual) that we can push so we can start talking. I really don't know quite what Microsoft has in mind - I'm really not a that much wiser after reading the unwired article - and I have a bit of a problem imagining how well this dynamic, customisable menu-on-a-carousel idea would pan out in practice. I certainly agree that it's good that Microsoft seem to be thinking hard about the UI though. As ever, proof of the pudding...
  17.    #17  
    Here's the original text of the article BTW. I still have it open on my PC.

    Primeur: eerste details Windows Mobile 6.1 uitgelekt
    Door Gonny van der Zwaag - 0 reactie(s)
    Microsoft heeft er nog niets over bekendgemaakt, maar uit betrouwbare en geverifieerde bron hebben we al kunnen achterhalen dat er een update voor Windows Mobile 6 aankomt. Het meest vernieuwend in Windows Mobile 6.1 zijn aanpassingen in de interface.

    De gebruikersinterface van Windows Mobile zal gebruik maken van een carrousel, dat te vergelijken is met de gebruikersinterface van Windows Media Center. De hoofdonderdelen daarvan zijn ondergebracht in een verticale lijst waar je doorheen kunt bladeren. Wil je dieper gelegen subopties kiezen, dan moet je horizontaal bladeren. Dergelijke vernieuwende interfaces vinden we ook op de Samsung i600 en de Treo 500v. Bij de Treo 500v moet je echter horizontaal bladeren en daarna in verticale richting een suboptie kiezen.

    De aankondiging van Windows Mobile 6.1 zal op 3GSM in Barcelona worden gedaan. We zullen dus nog tot februari 2008 moeten wachten. De eerste toestellen komen vervolgens naar verwachting in mei. Geruime tijd later in 2008 of 2009 volgt dan Windows Mobile 7.

    In Windows Mobile 6.1 zal de Wi-Fi-functionaliteit verder verbeterd zijn. Ook wordt het makkelijker om Bluetooth-pairing uit te voeren. Gebruikers van Exchange 2007 zullen ook verheugd zijn: in combinatie met Windows Mobile 6.1 is een datacompressie van 400% haalbaar.

    Deze upgrade heeft overigens niets te maken met de Office Mobile 6.1 die Jason Langridge had gelekt, waardoor de compatibiliteit met Office 2007 werd verbeterd. Daarmee was het mogelijk om Office 2007-bestanden te bewerken en zip-archieven uit te pakken, zoals Langridge eerder al beloofd had. Het is te hopen dat we daarvoor niet tot februari 2008 hoeven te wachten.

    Ook bij Windows Media Center moet je verticaal door het hoofdmenu scrollen en daarna horizontaal scrollen om een keuze te maken.
    http://www.pocketinfo.nl/nieuws/nieu...uitgelekt.html

    A rough translation:

    Microsoft has still announced nothing, but from a reliable and verified source we retrieve have been possible already that there update for Windows Mobile 6 arrives. The most renewing in Windows Mobile 6.1 is adaptations in the interface.

    The user interface of Windows Mobile will use of a carrousel, which is to compare with the user interface of Windows media Center. The head components of it have been categorised in a vertical list where you can thumb doorheen. You want choose deeper lain subopties, then you must thumb horizontally. We find such renewing interfaces also on Samsung i600 and the Treo 500v. At the Treo 500v you must thumb however horizontally and afterwards in vertical direction suboptie to choose.

    The notice of Windows Mobile 6.1 will be done on 3GSM in Barcelona. We therefore still up to February 2008 must wait.
    The first toestellen come vervolgens according to the expectations in May. Considerable time later in 2008, or 2009, then Windows follow Mobile 7.

    In Windows Mobile 6.1 Wi-Fi-functionaliteit will be further improved. Also it becomes easier carry out bluetooth pairing. Users of Exchange 2007 will be also delighted: in combination with Windows Mobile 6.1 is datacompressie of 400% feasable.

    These upgrade have moreover nothing with the Office do Mobile 6.1 those Jason Langridge had leaked, as a result of which the compatibiliteit with Office 2007 was improved. With that it was possible treat Office 2007-bestanden and zip-archieven as to unpack, Langridge had earlier already promised. It is hope that we do not have 2008 wait for that up to February.
    Surur
    Last edited by surur; 10/19/2007 at 12:03 PM.
  18. #18  
    Thanks for the translation.

    Admittedly it is almost surely "just a skin" on top -- but it will still be nice to have all those functions in just one place. It's the sort of thing that Palm should have done with Garnet.

    ...but let's not talk about "what Palm should have done with Garnet" too much, because I bet the stock answer is "put it down like a sick horse."
  19. #19  
    That's a good news and a bad news ...


    Good for WM6 users who are waiting for an upgrade to their currently working devices to get better..

    Bad news for people waiting for WM Photon to be released by the beginning of the next year ....

    so my Q is ill this update push Photon back to be released later maybe next year.... ?? (HOPE NOT)
  20. #20  
    Two possibilities, I guess:

    1- This is photon (which was most likely going to run on the same CE base anyway) and MS is rushing it so much that they are instead making it and "AKU" type upgrade. Coincidentally, this is oOpposite of Crossbow, which was supposed to be an AKU update that they decided to call WM6.

    2- This is SOME of Photon that can easily be added to WM6, expediting its release. If so, then there will most likely be some issues that will be corrected when Photon actually is released in full.

    3- Not photon at all. This is my guess considering the patent was just requested a week or so ago according to engadget mobile.

    As far as the UI, I would have to use it to judge it. I guess it looks OK, nothing MIND-BLOWING like the brighhand article had suggested so long ago. Regardless, MS knows this has to be done. Companies like HTC (touch flo) and SPB (pocket plus now finger-slowing, uhh, scrolling) basically trying to TAKE OVER the interface of WM. If that's not a wake up call to MS, I'm not sure what is!
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