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Windows Mobile 6.1 is out, and it's kind of the same as the old one.

We heard whisperings about an update to Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system at the beginning of the year. Now that it's released, we can finally see if Microsoft has been listening to our collective groaning about how un-intuitive previous versions have been. has been told with good authority not to expect Windows Mobile 6.1 phones in Australia until August, but that doesn't mean we can't take a peek now.

Improved Home screen
Removing some of the clutter goes a long way to simplifying the Windows Mobile 6.1 interface.

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Quick connections
Connecting to a WLAN should be a one-click process and, now, it is.

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Getting Started
The new Getting Started menu apparently makes setting up a Windows Mobile device much simpler than with previous versions. Once the phone is configured, the Getting Started menu can be removed from the Home screen.

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Simple settings
Tweaking Windows Mobile 6 was a nightmare, users were forced to search through menus to change basic settings. Hopefully Windows Mobile 6.1 makes most settings easier to find.

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Stay in the loop
It worked for Palm and it's been a hit for the iPhone. Threaded messaging is a function we are really looking forward to.

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Keeping up with the Joneses
Windows Mobile 6.1 will come with the latest version of mobile Internet Explorer pre-installed. We'll be interested to test it out, even though the new features -- like zooming -- just seem aimed at keeping it competitive with the likes of Opera Mini and SkyFire.

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