Microsoft is giving its operating system for smart phones a new look. The world's largest software maker said that phones running the next version of Windows Mobile will hit store shelves worldwide on October 6.
Windows Mobile 6.5, as the new system is called, has an updated look that brings Microsoft's offering more in line with competitors such as Research in Motion's BlackBerry and Apple's iPhone
Windows Mobile 6.5 includes a new version of its Internet Explorer browser for phones, and changes that make it easier to use on touch-screen devices
Microsoft also has developed a free service called My Phone that lets people synchronise text messages, contacts, photos and other phone data on the Internet, where it can be edited or transferred to a new phone
Microsoft is also launching a mobile application store akin to Apple's store for iPhone apps on iTunes
Microsoft is betting the updated smart phone system will lure more consumers while still appealing to the corporate technology gurus who like the way it works with company e-mail servers. (AP)