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Windows Mobile 7 being beta tested

Windows Mobile 7 being beta tested

Despite Windows 6.5 still not having hit shelves, Microsoft is testing version 7.0 of the smartphone OS with a view to an April launch.

Microsoft might not even have launched version 6.5 of its smartphone oriented edition of Windows yet rumours are afoot that the next version is already being beta tested.

The source for these rumours - reported over on Ars Technica - is the LinkedIn profile of an alleged senior engineer at Motorola's Chinese arm which states that he is currently working on product development and application migration on the Windows Mobile 7.0 (Beta) platform.

With third party developers already working with the code, it's likely that the next-next generation version of Windows Mobile is already pretty advanced. Based on available evidence the rumours claim public testing will occur around November this year, with a Release To Manufacturing date of April 2010. This means that there will be a mere six months between the up-coming launch of Windows Mobile 6.5 this October and its replacement in April next year.

While the improvements to Windows Mobile 6.5 - including a newly designed user interface which Microsoft believes makes the devices easier to use, an improved version of Internet Explorer, and access to the App Store-styled Windows Mobile Marketplace - are well known, the features that will be making it into Windows Mobile 7 haven't yet been made public. It's likely, however, that the release will see moves towards Microsoft's preferred nomenclature of "Windows phones" for devices running the OS - something it's encouraging but not enforcing for Windows Mobile 6.5.

Once thing's for sure: with increased competition from the incredibly popular iPhone OS and the open-source Android platform, these next two releases could be make or break for Microsoft's mobile platform.

Do you believe that Microsoft has a hand on the future with its next couple of Windows Mobile releases, or has it already been consigned to the history bin by its competitors? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

15 Comments

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Jack_Pepsi 7th September 2009, 12:05 Quote
Looking forward to 6.5 - anything will be an improvement over 6.1.

LOL - that Baseball guy has a Mullet!
nevynev 7th September 2009, 12:17 Quote
Tried 6.5, imho just a shoddy facelift, the interface is actually pretty annoying, doesn't come close to HTC touch flo.
crazyceo 7th September 2009, 12:22 Quote
I'm running 6.1 on my HTC Touch Diamond and it works just fine. Runs everything I want it to do and is one of the phones that allows me to share my mobile unlimited broadband with my netbook via bluetooth while I'm away from the office.

I'm not one to spend the whole day using apps on my phone so I can only say that for what I use my mobile for, 6.1 is fine.
mjm25 7th September 2009, 13:01 Quote
used 6.1 on a friends sony erricson... possibly the Xperia... i can't remember. hated it. way too clunky and slow to do anything and a stylus was almost required, bad times indeed. luckily it got stolen the other day and she's getting something else!

i hope Microsoft can make a radical departure with Mobile7 and make it as good an experience as Windows7 is.
Bauul 7th September 2009, 13:01 Quote
Windows Mobile has a tiny share of the market these days, at least in the UK. I'd argue it's not in competition with the iPhone OS: that's never going to be used on anything other than iPhones. What Microsoft need to do is convince the handset manufacturers to plump for Windows Mobile as opposed to the likes of Android and Symbian, something I'm not sure they're capable of with the product in its current, rather out-dated and bloated form.
UncertainGod 7th September 2009, 13:09 Quote
This was always intended to be the case since 6.5 was always a stop-gap, it's just 6.1 with a couple of the 7 UI elements. Microsoft's major problem is that the things driving the new generation of phones, namely massive online connectivity and multimedia are the very things that Microsoft are terrible at on all platforms.
ChaosDefinesOrder 7th September 2009, 14:24 Quote
I wonder how long it'll take for the XDA-Developers to get hold of this WiMo 7 beta and get it into cooked ROMs...
Stormwulf 7th September 2009, 14:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncertainGod
Microsoft's major problem is that the things driving the new generation of phones, namely massive online connectivity and multimedia are the very things that Microsoft are terrible at on all platforms.

QFT!
Nikumba 7th September 2009, 15:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncertainGod
Microsoft's major problem is that the things driving the new generation of phones, namely massive online connectivity and multimedia are the very things that Microsoft are terrible at on all platforms.

I dont think they struggle with teh 360 with X-Box live, that seems to handle multimedia very nicely from a streaming point of view.

The other advantage Apple has is its OS only has to run on 3 or 4 types of hardware, MS has to cater for much of the market. Maybe MS should look at making a phone OEM style and sell that to the carriers to modify as they see fit.

That way the OS would not have to be written for a sea of devices

Kimbie
coolius 7th September 2009, 15:45 Quote
I'm using 6.5 at the moment on my Xperia X1.

Definitely an improvement over 6.1, much more finger friendly, but hopefully 7 will improve the speed.
Jozo 7th September 2009, 19:06 Quote
If it will be realesed six months after the 6.5 I'm only seeing it as a version with few bug fixes just to have the same number as the Windows 7.

I grew up on Windows Mobile 5, yes it isn't finger friendly but I still manage to hit the smallest buttons with my thumbs which ain't small. Microsoft should learn from HTCs TouchFlo 3D.
What is different about Windows Mobile from other OSes like iPhone OS is it needs a geek touch.
Darkedge 7th September 2009, 19:53 Quote
running 6.5 and it is faster than 6.1, they have some great builds on XDA devs - esp the manila 6.5 Athine OS.
The default OS is not great but getting better but the multimedia performance is much better, esp as it now supports Flash natively in IE on it. I hate to say it, it's now my favourite mobile browser (sorry it really does work better than Safari on the iphone)
Shagbag 7th September 2009, 21:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Is Windows Mobile even relevant anymore?
xprodancer 8th September 2009, 02:56 Quote
spose it would be good to give it a try and upload it to my pda check it out! but i think i willk wait for WM7 tho to see if the speed is better!

Nikumba - very good point btw!!!!!
Yourcomputer 8th September 2009, 03:23 Quote
Windows mobile 7 is supposed to be for high-end smartphones, while 6.5 is supposed to be for entry or mid-level smartphones.

Think of 6.5 as something on a phone like the HTC Ozone (although hopefully touchscreen) and WM7 being on a "ZunePhone".
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