Microsoft's Windows Mobile Becoming Windows Phone 6 Starter
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.