It's really stunning how fast Microsoft
's Windows Mobile 6.5
the back of everyone's memory. It already feels like a pipe dream, and
yet, it's still the latest mobile operating system available from the
company. The fact is, many couldn't (and still can't) wait for Windows
Mobile to be nothing more than history; over the past few years, the OS
has fell far behind the likes of iPhone OS, webOS and Android. It
simply can't keep up in terms of quickness and intuitiveness, and
Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 7 Series
earlier this month at Mobile
World Congress in order to turn over a new leaf.
The new OS won't ship on phones until this holiday season, leaving
consumers the choice of buying a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone now or a
phone now powered by Microsoft. But if you thought Microsoft really
would be throwing Windows Mobile away once Windows Phone 7 Series hit
the market, you're wrong. In fact, the company is planning to rename
WinMo and target it at a different audience, and now that we're
learning more about the company's plans, it all sort of makes sense.
According to information given out by an undisclosed Microsoft mobile
spokesperson, Windows Mobile will live on. The OS will be called
Windows Phone Starter, and it will be made available in two versions:
one with Office Mobile, and one without. It could also be called
Windows Phone 6 Starter Edition, and the concept here isn't new. Even
Windows 7 has a "Starter" edition, and much like that, this newly
renamed mobile OS will be targeted at developing nations. There are no
real plans to sell this as a "stripped down" smartphone OS; after all,
if someone has to pay $30/month for mobile data in the U.S., there's no
need to buy a smartphone OS that cannot render web pages very well. If
you're paying the same amount, you might as well get a modern OS. We
suspect this reasoning is why Microsoft is using what's now known as
Windows Mobile to target up and coming nations who are just now getting
their palms on smartphones.
Few other details were given out, but we suspect that will change once
Windows Phone 7 Series is officially on sale in the market place. As it
stands, Microsoft still has to push Windows Mobile for a few more
months, and they probably don't want people knowing that it's a
second-rate product (or sorts). We couldn't be happier about this
decision; Americans won't be saddled with a last-generation OS, while
other nations will get the opportunity to throw away their "dumbphones"
and finally get a taste of the smartphone world.