New name, new UI, big marketing spend as giant plans fresh assault on smartphone market

Microsoft kicks off new mobile push

Windows Phone is the rebranded name of Windows Mobile (specifically verison 6.5), and will be available across multiple devices and operators within a few weeks.

The new user interface features all the current obsessions – touch, swipe, aggregation of social networks in one place, calling from within IM/phonebook/Facebook etc.

A few interesting new elements include an enhanced lock screen that displays calendar information and lets users move to applications in more or less on action.

There’s also a free back-up service that archives all phone media and contacts on the cloud without the need for a click.

Windows Phone devices will, of course, link to Windows Marketplace. It launches with 60 apps in the UK and around 250 worldwide.

They include Facebook, MySpace, Netflix, games from Astraware and Magmic and more. Operator billing will be available in the US, but for the rest of the world it’s credit card only.

Microsoft says that, internally, it’s calling 2009 the year of the consumer and will up its marketing budget for mobile by 40 per cent.

The full story can be found on Mobile Entertainment.

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