updated 10:55 am EDT, Wed August 19, 2009
Win Mobile Dual Strategy
Microsoft's plans to offer two versions of Windows Mobile at once are part of a strategy deliberately targeted at different competitors, Taiwan phone makers claimed this morning. Windows Mobile 7 is already known to be aimed at iPhones with an emphasis on high-end devices and multi-touch. The just launching Windows Mobile 6.5, however, is now being targeted at Android and will reportedly get both a revamped touchscreen interface as well as a lower price to lure phone designers that would otherwise pick an often free or low-cost Android license instead.
Such a tactic isn't uncommon for Microsoft. Although it has regularly steered companies towards more lucrative Windows Vista and now Windows 7 installs on regular computers when possible, the company has deliberately underpriced XP to squeeze out Linux from netbooks. The strategy reversed the category from primarily Linux-dominated to where over 90 percent of all netbooks use some version of Windows.
At the high end, Microsoft is known to have multiple reference specs for Windows Mobile 7 devices, known as Chassis 1, that would give ideal phones fast processors, high resolution screens, multi-touch and other key smartphone features.