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Microsoft: Windows Mobile 7 Delayed Until Late 2010

Gordon Kelly


Microsoft: Windows Mobile 7 Delayed Until Late 2010

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...


via mobile news

Smithfield Building

December 14, 2009, 7:46 am

From looking at them screen shots I cannot see why anybody already using iPhone OS or Android would switch. What is it that Microsoft don't get? Why release something that each and everyone of us know will be an inferior experience to that of a product which will have been on the market gone three years by the time this is released. The reason Apple has become the powerhouse it now is over the last decade is because it constantly strives to set the benchmark, offering innovation unparalleled across the market. It's the same case with Google, one only has to look at the stuff they put out and develop to realise that these two companies got where they are today by revolution. I can't help but think that MS struck it extremely lucky with early Windows and its monopolisation of the PC market, something they can still thank now for enabling them to still be major player. W7 isn't anything that people make it out to be, it just followed on from Vista.

The UI looks God-awful.


December 14, 2009, 1:29 pm

No matter how bad it gets, Microsoft won't lose; because of the enterprise lock-in.

Pretty much every courier that I take deliveries from is packing a WM device (except UPS, they have a bespoke tablet).


December 14, 2009, 2:26 pm

@Smithfield Building - Those are screenshots from Windows Mobile 6.5, which we all know isn't exactly proper competition to Android, WebOS and the iPhone OS. Not too much is know about what Windows Mobile 7 will look like.


December 14, 2009, 2:59 pm

So glad I'm still not waiting for this. It will have to be out of this world for me to switch back. I'm not holding my breath.


December 14, 2009, 4:31 pm

As a long time WM user I dont get how Microsoft got so left behind. What where they doing all those years? If it wasnt for XDA I would have ditched WM this year but next year I am. Just waiting on the proper High end android phones.

If Apple, Palm or Google can get proper enterprise software this year then MS is dead in the water.

ps what would really swing it for me would be a great gaming device (and by that I mean proper controls) in WM7 but until then, im out.


December 14, 2009, 6:57 pm

Just to play Devil's advocate here, I should point out that Microsoft do know what a decent finger-friendly OS looks like and they are perfectly capable or creating one. If you don't believe me, take a look at the interface on the Zune HD or Microsoft's big-ass table (I forget what they really called it). http://www.youtube.com/watc...

There's a very good reason why every iteration of Windows Mobile looks much like the last and it's something that Apple and Google don't have to worry about. Legacy.

Unlike the iPhone or Android OSs, WM already had a huge user base (including many corporate users) when Apple unleashed their game changing finger-friendly UI on the market. They have to look after those users even now, particularly as business users can't stomach sweeping change. That's why the Windows Mobile fundamentals may stay the same for years to come. It's a very similar story with Windows.

I was really hoping that Microsoft would leave WM to the business users and concentrate on a parallel mobile OS for consumers, perhaps along the lines of the Zune. Maybe then they could actually compete with Apple and Google on a level playing field. Without something radical, I don't see WM ever competing with the big boys in the consumer market.


December 14, 2009, 7:00 pm

End 2010 is right about when my 18 month O2 contract will expire, and my 3GS will need to be refreshed. I'd be interested to see what MS come up with then - no way I'm going to write it off now.


December 14, 2009, 8:08 pm

I kind of agree with Chris, and think people are unfair to MS. I've never actually had a WM phone, but to me it's basically a business device first and foremost, which given the mobile market 3 years ago was actually a pretty powerful OS. iPhone came along making everything pretty and for general consummers this was revolutionary. But it didn't do half the things WM phones did. Now slowly Apple have are catching up with the enterprise stuff, while at the same time MS are catching up on the UI side. It's pretty even, yet people bash MS and don't usually complain about Apple's lack. That is cos most people Ui is more important than features.

I thought the plan for WM phones was 6.5 for business and 7 for consummers, with the two running side by side. Perhaps they've decided to merge them which is why it's going to take longer.

I've got an Android phone and to be honest I'm not as impressed as I thought I would be. From what I've seen of WM I think that's still got more to offer. I don't mind the odd UI quirk, all I do is send messages, make calls, send emails - from what I've seen WM is fine for that, so why all the cafuffle?


December 15, 2009, 1:14 am

In response to the first comment:

Main reason for switching from an iPhone to WM7 when it's available - ITUNES.

iTunes is now really fat and bloated. Things have been bolted on to it almost willy nilly and it's in need of a serious overhaul.

Another major reason: MS Office. The iPhone sucks at this.

'Proper' apps for WM outweigh the light-weight apps from the apple store.

No business that is serious about security has approved the iphone for it's employees (maybe Apple have!).

I'm not bashing the iPhone as it has its good points - in fact, I own one.

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