We expected Mobile World Congress next month to be dominated by the Palm Pre, but Microsoft could be planning a few headline-grabbing announcements of their own. According to Neowin, three new Microsoft mobile services are slated for launch, together with the official unveil of Windows Mobile 6.5. They also suggest that the leaked GUI screenshots first spotted last November are authentic concept shots for the new WM6.5 honeycomb web start menu.
As for the three services, two deal with mobile backup and synchronisation, while the third is Microsoft’s entry into the App Market field. SkyBox is the consumer backup system, offering automatic backup and restore of cellphone content, together with access and management of phone data (presumably through an online interface). It will also offer straightforward communication and sharing with other users, including contacts, email/SMS, calendar items and pictures, and could be supported both on Windows Mobile and non-WM handsets. It’s counterpart is SkyLine, which offers a similar palette of services to business users, integrated with Microsoft Exchange.
Finally, Microsoft will apparently launch SkyMarket, their version of Apple’s App Store. First unearthed back in September, after the company advertised for team members, it will offer straightforward, on-device access to Windows Mobile software, thus answering a common complain we’ve made here at SlashGear that while the OS has plenty of third-party apps available, there’s no streamlined way to install them.
SlashGear will be attending MWC next month, so expect all the details as they break.