Smartphone makers will reportedly get Windows Mobile 7 in the first quarter of next year, allowing them to begin work on a new generation of smartphones. These won’t be released until months later, though.
This leaked timetable in in line with earlier rumors, and with Microsoft’s previous practices. Nothing has emerged so far to change estimates that this new version will be released next fall, roughly a year after the debut of Windows Mobile 6.5.
Real Change May on the Way?
Windows Mobile 7 is expected to be a significant revamp of Microsoft’s operating system for smartphones, something many people consider long overdue.
For the past several years, Microsoft has released annual updates to this OS, but these have been more small tweaks than serious upgrades.
This company is under strong pressure from a range of rivals like Apple, RIM, Google, and Nokia. Even CEO Steve Ballmer has gotten impatient, saying publicly that he wishes Windows Mobile 7 was out now.
Mostly Still a Mystery
With the release still nearly a year away, not much information on the next version of Windows Mobile has come out yet. Not surprisingly, there’s nothing official, but the rumormill hasn’t gotten started yet, either.
A rare exception is the screenshot at right, supposedly giving a sneak peek at the new Today Screen.
Most likely, leaks will begin in earnest once the new version goes out to device makers in the first quarter of next year.
The Chassis Strategy
A smartphone platform is more than just an operating system and other software — hardware plays a significant role. Windows Mobile 7 will mark a major change in this area.
Microsoft will be giving a collection of reference designs to manufacturers. These designs, called chassis, will then serve as guidelines for the next generation of smartphones.
This strategy is expected to lead to less differentiation in Windows Mobile models. However, there will be benefits from this system. Because Microsoft is supposedly going to reduce the hardware options it gives device makers, the operating system can be simpler. This could lead to quicker OS updates.
Source: ZDnet Taiwan