Earlier this week, Microsoft executives commented to ZDNet that Windows Mobile was “dead”. It appears that only applies to certain target markets however.
“Windows Mobile is dead,” said Aaron Woodman, director of the Mobile Communications Business for Microsoft’s Consumer Experiences Product Management team. – Tom’s Guide
With Windows Phone 7 Series devices having high requirements, many wondered what would happen to Windows Mobile Standard, low-end devices, and corporate applications. While Windows Phone 7 includes SharePoint and Office Mobile, it also lacked the low price point that corporations look for in mass orders. With tax laws increasing the complications of issuing a single corporate-and-personal phone, many look for the cheapest smartphone possible in work situations.
Microsoft confirmed to PhoneNews.com today that Windows Mobile 6.5 is alive and well, and that the statements made by Aaron Woodman point to Windows Mobile 6.5 simply being rebranded under the Windows Phone umbrella. This likely indicates that the widely-rumored re-launch of 6.5 under Windows Mobile 6.6 will be re-named Windows Phone 6.6 Series. Quoting a statement from Microsoft to PhoneNews.com:
“We are proud of the Windows Phone experience we introduced with Windows Mobile 6.5 and continue to partner closely with Operators and OEMs to support and invest in the platform. Windows Mobile 6.5 represents a significant part of the portfolio family that is Windows Phones. Windows Mobile 6.5 delivers a first class experience for customers looking to do more every day in both work and play. And with over 50 phones available around the world today, it offers customers the freedom to choose from among the widest selection of device form factors and price points. We will continue to deliver the great services we introduced with Windows Mobile 6.5, Windows Marketplace for Mobile and Microsoft My Phone. And expect to continue to introduce new devices running Windows Mobile 6.5 to the Windows Phone family in the coming months.”
Microsoft spokesmen have confirmed that Windows Mobile 6.5 will be actively supported for at least three to five years, similar to earlier versions of Windows Mobile. This will give Windows Phone 7 Series devices enough time to become less expensive in the marketplace, and allow the software ecosystem enough time to replace Windows Mobile 6 applications and solutions.