“I really didn’t want to beat up on WinMo here, because at this point it just feels tired. But man, come on Microsoft, you’re giving me no choice. Windows Mobile 6.5 isn’t just a letdown—it barely seems done,” John Herrman reports for Gizmodo.

“It’s nowhere near the upgrade that Windows Mobile needs to be even remotely interesting,” Herrman reports. “It’s a superficial update, and not a very thorough one. It’s an interim product, and a vain attempt to hold onto the thinning ranks people who still choose Windows Mobile despite not being somehow tethered to it until the tardy Windows Mobile 7 comes out, whenever that may be. And it won’t work.”

Herrman reports, “It doesn’t really feel like a redesign—it feels like someone went through 6.1 and adjusted a few values. Add a few pixels of menu spacing here, some plasticky highlight graphics there, and BOOM. 6.5. Let’s go to lunch.”

“The confusingly-named Mobile Internet Explorer 6 is to Mobile IE 5 what IE 7 was to IE6 on the desktop. Get that? This is to say it’s a massive upgrade, but like IE7, which added tabs and popup blocking about two years after everyone else had it, Mobile IE6 is at least a generation behind its competitors,” Herrman reports. “Microsoft isn’t really advertising the SUPER SPEED of Windows Mobile 6.5, which makes sense: 6.5 is based on the same underlying Windows CE version (5.2) as 6.1, and even 6.0. In other words, its guts are oooold.”

There’s much more in the full review here.

Bill Rigby reports for reuters, “Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer played down recent industry talk that the company was developing its own smartphone. ‘We are not here to announce today that we are making phones,’ he said at an event in Paris.”

“The market for phones is set to treble or quadruple in the next few years, Ballmer said, and Microsoft is ready to challenge other phone makers for market share,” Rigby reports. “He added that Windows Mobile’s share of the mobile phone market is equal to Apple’s. ‘We and Apple are and we’re chasing the two other players,’ said Ballmer, referring to Nokia, the world’s No. 1 smartphone maker, and Research in Motion.”

Rigby reports, “Microsoft also announced a new online application store, where users can buy 246 applications for their phones.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Steve Ballmer is batshit insane.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “GizmoDan” for the heads up.]