Windows Mobile 7, now renamed Windows Phone 7, is likely to make its long-awaited debut at Mobile World Congress 2010 on Feb. 15. However, many details surrounding the newly redesigned mobile OS are thought to have been leaked, at least unofficially.
Microsoft unveiled Windows Mobile 6.5.3 at CES 2010, but what most people are waiting for is news of Windows Phone 7, the new and much-anticipated new mobile operating system which will determine Microsoft’s future in the sector.
Both PPCGeeks and MobileTechWorld have published details of Windows Phone 7 they claim to have received from an unnamed source. There’s no guarantee the details are accurate although many do ring true and bear out rumors that have circulated for a while.
It looks as though Windows Phone 7 will be unveiled at MWC in a week’s time. Although Microsoft only plans to show the user interface for the new platform rather than any in-depth demonstration. Hardware is planned for release in September after a fast-track development cycle.
According to the source, Windows Phone 7 will feature a very similar interface to that of Zune HD. Codenamed METRO, it will be “clean, soulful, and alive,” and offer a completely new Start page. Windows Phone 7 will drop multitasking in favor of apps pausing themselves in the background. There will also be no Flash support or NETCF backwards compatibility, although both should be added further down the line.
Windows Phone 7 will be more closed than Windows Mobile 6, with apps only being available through Windows Marketplace rather than the browser. The platform will boast full Zune and Xbox Live integrations, with support for social networking, XNA applications, and a “try before you buy” option for apps.
Microsoft is aiming to beat the iPhone 3GS for Web browsing speed, but it’s more likely to be similar to the iPhone 3G.
If true, these rumored details for Windows Phone 7 suggest a progressive-repressive strategy directly aimed at competing on a level playing field with the Apple and Android platforms. Whether that will prove a successful strategy remains to be seen but we should get our first taste on Feb. 15.