Microsoft's Windows Mobile Becoming Windows Phone 6 Starter

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News Posted: Fri, Feb 26 2010 11:47 PM
It's really stunning how fast Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.5 rushed tothe back of everyone's memory. It already feels like a pipe dream, andyet, it's still the latest mobile operating system available from thecompany. The fact is, many couldn't (and still can't) wait for WindowsMobile to be nothing more than history; over the past few years, the OShas fell far behind the likes of iPhone OS, webOS and Android. Itsimply can't keep up in terms of quickness and intuitiveness, andMicrosoft unveiled Windows Phone 7 Series earlier this month at MobileWorld Congress in order to turn over a new leaf.

The new OS won't ship on phones until this holiday season, leavingconsumers the choice of buying a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone now or aphone now powered by Microsoft. But if you thought Microsoft reallywould be throwing Windows Mobile away once Windows Phone 7 Series hitthe market, you're wrong. In fact, the company is planning to renameWinMo and target it at a different audience, and now that we'relearning more about the company's plans, it all sort of makes sense.

According to information given out by an undisclosed Microsoft mobilespokesperson, Windows Mobile will live on. The OS will be calledWindows Phone Starter, and it will be made available in two versions:one with Office Mobile, and one without. It could also be calledWindows Phone 6 Starter Edition, and the concept here isn't new. EvenWindows 7 has a "Starter" edition, and much like that, this newlyrenamed mobile OS will be targeted at developing nations. There are noreal 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 noneed to buy a smartphone OS that cannot render web pages very well. Ifyou're paying the same amount, you might as well get a modern OS. Wesuspect this reasoning is why Microsoft is using what's now known asWindows Mobile to target up and coming nations who are just now gettingtheir palms on smartphones.

Few other details were given out, but we suspect that will change onceWindows Phone 7 Series is officially on sale in the market place. As itstands, Microsoft still has to push Windows Mobile for a few moremonths, and they probably don't want people knowing that it's asecond-rate product (or sorts). We couldn't be happier about thisdecision; Americans won't be saddled with a last-generation OS, whileother nations will get the opportunity to throw away their "dumbphones"and finally get a taste of the smartphone world.

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Feb 27 2010 2:51 AM

I guess the final paragraph kind of makes some sense. I don't get it though. Why not do what Apple did and introduce something to the countries that are just now getting smartphones, and put 7 on them. Then you build a concentration like Apple did, rather than having Android, the iPhone or any other decent mobile OS just come through and take your business. This in that sense makes no sense to me really.

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