updated 06:20 pm EST, Thu January 28, 2010
Microsoft to show next mobile OS at Barcelona
Microsoft during the conference call it used to discuss its latest results has confirmed that it will show a new version of Windows Mobile at Mobile World Congress. Without going into detail, CFO Peter Klein said the next version of the mobile OS would be shown at the Barcelona event "in a few weeks." The company has dropped hints of its activity over past weeks but until now hasn't directly outlined its plans.
The is expected to be Windows Mobile 7 and would the most comprehensive refresh of Windows Mobile since version 5 was released in 2005 and is known to bring Zune media elements and native multi-touch. Some rumors, however, have also pointed to integration of Xbox Live, Facebook, Twitter and even Mediaroom IPTV services. Most of these supposed leaks also agree on the existence of a "chassis program" that will require Windows Mobile 7 phones to run a minimum 1GHz processor and an 800x480 touchscreen along with common features like 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi.
Many of the changes are commonly assumed to be reactions to Android and iPhones eating into Windows Mobile's market share. Microsoft has had to implement two yearly stopgap updates to Windows Mobile 6 as delays in version 7 have left it trailing behind in user interface, touchscreen support, media and web browsing.
Chances remain that the company will only shown Windows Mobile 6.6 or similar, though these have been increasingly downplayed in recent weeks.
Handset designers like HTC and LG may have been hand-picked to develop flagship phones and could show early forms of these at Mobile World Congress, which starts February 15th.