Hardware already exists for Windows Mobile 7?

csr-winmobile7

A tiny piece of silicon has caught the attention of my peripheral vision perhaps providing some clues to just how far Microsoft is in to the development of Windows Mobile 7, or from the glass is half full perspective – how close Windows Mobile 7 might be to market.

Cambridge Silicon Radio, a UK company that specializes in chips for mobile devices (who just merged with the world’s #1 supplier of GPS chips SiRF), announced mid-June the UniFi CSR6026/CSR6028 chip, a single-chip solution to deliver WiFi 802.11n support in mobile embedded devices such as smartphones. The most noteworthy of its specifications is a mention of “Windows Mobile 7” in its list of supported operating systems, on top of “Windows Mobile 6.x, Windows CE 6.1 and 5, Linux v2.6, Android”.

Assuming the specification is accurate (and it’s hard to imagine it being a typo of Windows Mobile 6.5), it means either CSR engineers are in possession of an operational time machine or that the kernel or hardware interface layer of Windows Mobile 7 have already been finalized by Microsoft. I’ll let you decide which one is more plausible.

student-wm7

On a related note, a student newspaper at the University of Waterloo interviews student Naheed Hirji who worked at Microsoft during winter break on Windows Mobile 7. Whilst Naheed appears extremely well trained by the Microsoft public relations folks on disclosure, he confirms WM7 is to be released in 2010 and reveals “the aim of Windows Mobile 7 is to be a hybrid between business and consumer oriented phones”. Right, whatever that’s suppose to mean. You win this round ambiguous marketing speak!

17 insightful thoughts

  1. Windows Mobile 7 close to market? I think I just had a heart attack because I’ve been transported to an alternate reality. Windows Mobile is slower to update then a snail, or at least feels like it to me.

  2. Thank God, finally the release is near. But, if it isn’t completely awesome, this could be the death of WinMo. WinMo 7 is Microsoft’s last chance to get it right.

  3. I just got an Android phone. I had the choice between it, a BlackBerry, and a Windows Mobile phone.

    I wonder how different my life would have been if I had gotten a Windows Mobile phone.

  4. I am using windows based phones for 6 years now and have gone throw so many Bugs but now at least I know what to do when things go wrong. Though when i look at Android and iPhoneOS (especially 3.0) I think Microsoft has done nothing in keeping up to the market needs. I remember the time when Steve Ballmer was giving a speech at Stanford University he said there is a cloud an 3 screens (he clarified PC, Phone, TV) but I think he is the only one at the software giant who knows about this and not the Windows mobile team or other teams, look at live mesh, it’s been nearly 8 months now from its developer releases and then its beta release and now still they are thinking whether or not to do the mobile version.

    Farzam

  5. The first WM7 phones are scheduled for release between June and August sometime.

    I’m sure we all agree that Microsoft has fallen behind in making their phone OS “pretty” and “simply for the stupid”.

    Android is nice looking but programming for it is extremely difficult (as reported all over the place by various programmers) with it missing all sorts of hardware APIs etc. While iPhone OS is “easier” (than Android) to program for, you end up fighting Apple in the end.

    Sure WM doesn’t look pretty… but *I* prefer an OS where I can choose what I want to do with it and how. For me, that OS is WM. WM itself has never once crashed or locked up on me… sure HTC’s TouchFlo has but WM itself never has.

  6. @Glen That’s true, but just saying that program development is easier for WM so we don’t need a fast and easy to use (not just with stylus but with fingers too) DOES NOT JUSTIFY the fact that MS is far behind what it should be, MS has the potential to do the best WM in A HUGE variety of editions, UIs and now the fact that they should keep up with trend to Cloud computing and do a WebOS kinda thing BUT they have to use their potentials, like I think Live team have to offer their own Mobile OS which brings all the live services to your mobile, I think that OS itself kicks Android in the ass.

  7. @Glen Your dates are wrong.
    Windows Mobile 7 is supposed to be RTM this november with phones available around April 2010 (5/6months from RTM to retail)
    Windows Mobile 6.5 got RTMd in May and should be launched in October (5/6 months from RTM to retail..)

  8. @Farzam – I certainly don’t deny Microsoft are playing catch up with simple and KISS principle UI’s for phones. Yes Microsoft should have done far more with WM 2-3 years ago, no denying that at all. For the record, WM phones don’t *require* the use of stylus – I have HTC TouchPro that I *never ever* use a stylus with and I have big fingers.

    @Casimodo – I was not referring to RTM dates but yes, RTM is supposed to go to OEMs in November this year. I was referring to when actual phones should be available by and yes I know about April but I tacked on a few more months “just to safe” 😉

    BTW… has anyone seen the XML based UI video thats *probably* going to be basis for the WM7 UI?? I refer to this as what Microsoft are intending on doing with the backend of WM7 UI.

  9. I did read somewhere that the Zune HD is running an early version of Win Mobile 7 and that they are just working on the phone features and API stuff. If this was true the kernal would probably have to be finished and thus drivers could probably be written; hence hardware with Win Mobile 7 support.

    Hope they are quick with WM7, I’m waiting for HTC to release the update to 6.5 for my Diamond2 but really looking forward to 7. What I’ve read about it is very promising.

  10. Hmm…so WM 7 was supposed to be based on CE 7 (Chelan), but this shows CE 6.1 and 5. WM 6.x is based on CE 5, so could this indicate that WM 7 will in fact be based on CE 6.x, not Chelan?

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