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