Microsoft announced the latest update to their Windows Mobile software, on Monday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, bringing the software up to the rumoured version 6.5.

The refreshed operating system carries all the hallmarks of former versions, but has now been redesigned to include a honeycomb interface taking key inspiration from the company's Zune MP3 player optimised for the touch of a finger rather than frantic stylus poking.

From your locked device you'll now have a drop-down menu giving you shortcuts into the most frequent functions, such as messages or missed calls.

"Part of the new Windows Phone is that there will be a unified look", our man from Microsoft told us. "Manufacturer's will not be able to customise the interface as much as they have done in the past however will be able to make slight alterations here and there".

The news is likely to affect companies like Sony Ericsson, HTC and Toshiba who have in the past focused on customisation to make the Windows Mobile experience very different from what Microsoft supply.

"We have a very strong relationship with Microsoft", John Wang, the chief marketing officer for HTC told Pocket-lint when asked what HTC was planning on doing with the news, suggesting that HTC may be allowed a bit more leeway than other parties.

Killing rumours dead, James Blamey of Microsoft confirmed to Pocket-lint that "there will be no Zune phone", but that the menu borrows heavily from the Zune experience.

A new version of Internet Explorer will also be introduced, which Microsoft boldly claim will negate the need for a third-party browser. "We want to make sure that our browser has the best out of the box experience", Microsoft told Pocket-lint.

You can expect to see Windows Mobile 6.5 devices hitting the shelves in late-2009 in time for Christmas.