Microsoft has given a very brief glimpse of its plans for future versions of the Windows Mobile platform.
In the near term will be an update for Windows Mobile 5.0.
Microsoft declined to give any details on this, but it will likely be somewhat similar to the way this company released Windows Mobile 2003, then Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition a year or so later.
This means it will probably have a few new features and other improvements, but won’t a major upgrade.
The only hard fact known about this upcoming version is its codename, “Crossbow.”
It is expected to be released in the first half of 2006.
Let There Be Light
The next major version of Windows Mobile is codenamed “Photon.”
There are virtually no details available on this, but people who have seen brief demonstrations of it have been very impressed.
Microsoft has officially announced that Photon will fully merge the Pocket PC and Smartphone versions of Windows Mobile into one.
Photon is still in an early stage of development, and will not be available until 2007.
Whenever new versions of operating systems are being discussed, the issue of upgrading current devices is also raised.
Whether any currently available handhelds or smartphones will be able to upgrade to Crossbow or Photon is not known at this time.
Although Microsoft would prefer to make upgrades available to everyone, some of its licensees would rather users have to buy a new device in order to get the upgrade.