Microsoft’s Robbie Bach has announced new updates to the Windows Mobile platform, including threaded text messaging and ‘desk-grade’ web browsing.  

With the likes of Apple’s iPhone OS – a version of their OSX – wowing many with its simplicity and usability, Microsoft is keen to respond by improving its own Windows Mobile platform in version 6.1.

Bach, the president of the entertainment and devices division at Microsoft and one of the most powerful people in the company, told the CTIA Wireless conference that Windows Mobile 6.1 would have more security features, be easier to navigate and more suitable to people’s everyday lives.

Manage your world

“People want a single phone that’s flexible enough to meet their needs throughout their day, whether it’s connecting to work or your everyday life,” said Bach.

“The innovations we’ve added to our Windows Mobile software ultimately make it easier to manage your world.”

The increased simplicity includes one-tap Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, threaded SMS conversations and easier email management, all wrapped up in a new ‘home’ screen.

Free to Mobile 6 users

Microsoft also unveiled a version of its Live services – minus messenger – that is available for free download for any Windows Mobile 6 users.

Better web browsing is a key part of the mobile operating system wars, but Microsoft’s desk-grade browsing won't be available to phone ‘partners’ until the third quarter of 2008; making it unlikely that it will be available for the public much before the end of this year.