Microsoft is hoping that a new crop of phones next month will help the company in its desperate bid to stay relevant in the mobile market.
The software maker said on Tuesday that the first phones running Windows Mobile 6.5 will launch worldwide on 6 October and will include handsets from HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson among others.
With Windows Mobile 6.5, Microsoft is hoping to convince users that its phones are not only good for work. Much of the company's development focus has been on improving the operating system's consumer features in an effort to regain ground lost to rivals.
"We know people want a phone for their whole life," said Stephanie Ferguson, general manager in the Windows Mobile unit. "They just frankly want to do more. That's why we've shifted."
Although it includes features such as improved Web browsing and threaded email, as well as a new Windows Marketplace app store, 6.5 is seen largely as an interim upgrade of the operating system, with WinMo 7 due next year.