Windows Mobile 6.5 in April, 7.0 Next Year

Is Windows Mobile 6.5 coming in 2009?

According to ZDNet, the answer is yes.

When it comes to smartphones, Windows Mobile (or WinMo) 6.1 is a popular operating system that a number of different handset makers turn to. However, patience is wearing thin, as Microsoft has yet to deliver the promised 6.5 update to manufacturers. This vacuum is leaving a door open for alternatives, including Android from Google and webOS from Palm.

So after Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha claimed that version 7 was arriving in 2010, many were left wondering when WinMo 6.5 would hit store shelves, or at least be made available to phone makers. Anonymous sources within Microsoft have now laid out a road map for the WinMo OS, including versions 6.5 and 7.0. WinMo 6.5 will be released to manufacturers in April of this year, with handsets based on the OS hitting store shelves in September.

As for WinMo 7.0, first signs of life will be in late 2009. The OS should be arriving on testers' desks sometime in November. Manufacturers are expected to offer 7.0-based phones in April of next year, so its safe to assume they will be receiving the software sometime in very late 2009/early 2010, perhaps December or January. If history has taught us anything, it's that WinMo has rarely met its primary deadlines. While 7.0 will definitely hit in 2010, it might not be in April.

During a financial conference call last week, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha let slip that WinMo 7 was coming in 2010. Motorola, who recently put its efforts behind Google's Android OS, may focus on WinMo 7-based phones when the time comes. "As you know, Windows 6 series is available in 2009 and as compared to Android, we believe in 2009 Android is more competitive," said Jha. "More of our effort and focus in 2009 is going to Android, but in 2010 when Windows 7 will become available, we will then participate in a more focused way in Windows Mobile 7."

Current WinMo 6 phone makers include HTC, Samsung, and LG.

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