Microsoft Corp. is giving its operating system for "smart phones" a new look in time for the holiday shopping season.
The world's largest software maker says phones running the next version of Windows Mobile will hit stores worldwide on Oct. 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 the BlackBerry and the iPhone.
Windows Mobile 6.5 includes a new Web 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 synchronize text messages, contacts, photos and other phone data on the Internet.