You can bash Microsoft for a lot of things, but it does have a tendency to be refreshingly frank about its products from time to time. Though could this latest moment of candour prove rather more damaging?
Speaking in a Q&A session at the London 'Connect!' summit mobile news reports Microsoft UK head of mobility Phil Moore addressed the thorny subject of Windows Mobile saying: "We’re still playing catch-up. When Apple came on to the scene a couple of years ago, it threw away the rulebook and reinvented it. We unfortunately don’t have that luxury. It’s true, Apple caught us all napping. It launched something that was very iconic, new and unseen with a very good user interface."
Of course Microsoft thinks it has the answer in the shape of Windows Mobile 7, then Moore dropped this bombshell: "It has been put back until late next year but it is definitely coming. You’re going to see a lot more on Windows Mobile 7. Giving the enterprise users and consumers what they want will be part of Windows Mobile 7. You’ll get flexibility on a much easier touch UI."
The problem is the new OS may well give "enterprise users and consumers what they want" and provide "flexibility on a much easier touch UI", but we'll be well into a fourth generation iPhone OS by then, a sixth generation RIM OS, a second generation web OS and heaven only knows where the exponential evolution of Android will have taken it? There's little point trying to catch up to a point all your rivals will already have moved on from.
Can Microsoft survive in the smartphone space with Windows Mobile 6.5 for the vast majority for 2010? I'd say it's touch and go...