Windows Mobile 7 all but certain to be revealed at Mobile World Congress next month

During Microsoft’s PDC09 developer event in November last year, it was revealed (to the disappointment of many) that Windows Mobile 7 would only be discussed half-a-year-later at Microsoft MIX10 in March. However as of today it’s pretty much certain we’ll get to see this make-or-break mobile OS first, a month-ahead of MIX10, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona during February 15-18.

In an invitation from Microsoft I received today for Mobile World Congress, teased

Microsoft will be making several exciting announcements during the show. You will learn:

  • How the company plans to align its consumer vision and grow opportunities for the mobile industry as a whole.
  • How it will tackle challenging times ahead, in the face of economic uncertainty and stiffening competition.

If that doesn’t sound like Windows Mobile 7, then I don’t know what does. Although it should be noted the event’s current keynote lineup does not mention any representation from Microsoft, but I’ve also been told that will change in the weeks to follow.

Even if in the minds of many – including myself as WM user – hope for the future success of this platform withers down by the day, there is still a chance Microsoft can come out guns blazing. After all, you only have to look at the history of the XBOX to realize how Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices division can take an underdog to the top of the hill.

Disclosure: I’ll be attending Mobile World Congress 2010 as a guest of Microsoft Australia.

56 insightful thoughts

  1. Don’t dare to underestimate them.
    There’s still possibility they will announce minor update to Windows Mobile, or present new device from partners and call it as a great step in addressing their position in the mobile industry (at least until their internal plan allows anyone to make official statement about WM7).

  2. It better be WM7.

    Microsoft is on a dangerous downhill slope right now. Yesterday’s CES keynote was probably the worst ever – based on an outdated marketing model, boring with nothing to show. An absolute waste of time. Time is running out for them.

  3. They do have everything to built a very good mobile OS: Bing for a central search, maybe a free Bing Navigation, Zune for music streaming and buying and Windows Live (with Messenger) for the social aspects and hopefully an integration of Xbox Live Arcade games. Add to this some powerful Office Apps and done!

    We will see.

  4. Also keep in mind WM 6.5.3 (or whatever the 6.5 revision with the restructured UI will be called) has yet to be unveiled officially. I doubt they’d do after talking about WM 7, so it’s possible that MWC might just include a 6.5.3 launch and possibly some glimpse/mention of WM 7…

  5. well it doesnt look like danger is attending.

    oh i forgot about 6.5.3 maybe thats why sony(and rogers) is taking so long to update NA xperia(public not service centers)

  6. I think there were some last minute scratches to lastnight’s keynote.

    1. Power outtage apparently took out a screen that was to demo something. (maybe not that important)
    2. Google making announcements a couple days before may have forced some cards to be held closer to the chest. (I’m thinking Sprint/LG).
    3. Near confirmation on Apple’s possible Feb surprises.

    Telling too much now would have left nothing much for MWC, Mix and E3.

    Maybe project pink is a Facebook phone powered by Winmo 7 for consumers (danger etc) using sprint’s 4G network. hmmm

  7. Meh, every now and then we hear about how Windows Mobile might finally catch on. It’s been the same story for a while now. I doubt MS will come out guns blazing, because they really never do that. Well, I was kind of surprised about Windows 7 . . . but still. The Zune HD was also supposed to be the “next big thing” from Microsoft, but has so far been pretty much forgotten because MS didn’t do all they could for it. So no, WM 7 is not going to save the whole platform because they’re too indifferent and uncommitted to too many of their (sometimes really good) products to keep people interested past the launch date. WM is already dead.

    Now, if they came out with their own phone with it’s own /exclusive/ Mobile OS, that might be different. But that’s not going to happen, either.

  8. YAPC,

    The Zune HD is failing because Microsoft still thinks the US market is enough to keep the device afloat on the market. The device is an impressive machine, ahead of the competition UX wise, but without a larger support base, it is not possible to create the critical mass that will make it expand. We’ve been waiting 2 years now for the Marketplace to open outside the US market. Microsoft just seems clueless with this kind of issue and seems wondering how Apple could do it.

    For WM, it is possible that the game is already over. I see change occuring in people’s mind (top management) where they’re about to completely ditch WM in favor of the iPhone and BlackBerry. It will take a TREMENDOUS effort to reverse this upcoming buldozer effect. And if WM7 if not simply fantastic and very close to ship, it will simply get flattened out by the new trend.

  9. I don’t mean to be annoying or sound negative, I am a Microsoft fan but all I have to say is:
    YAY another WM OS & Awesome Phone Hardware that will not come to Canada for at least 4 years…… GAWD DAMN-IT its a 3 hour drive to Redmond from the boarder, why is it so hard to get this stuff up here, Motorola Droid by Google is already launching here in a few months…… Arggg

    Also cell phone prices are BS there is no way a touch screen, cell antenna, keypad, memory, and meh processor adds up to $800+. A Sony Ericsson w580i is about $450 “in Canada no/contract” and it doesn’t even have a touch screen, I can buy a new, fast desktop PC for that much with way more in it. *sigh* *shrug* whatever…

    Oh, we found out about the Arcade game room thing on Xbox360 almost a year ago, nothing new there. wasn’t really anything at all new this CES :(

  10. @CyberKnight: Yeah, but the Zune HD isn’t even popular here in the US. I’ve never even seen one. They just launched it, put out a handful of “meh” apps, and now there’s nothing.

    @Jeff: I completely agree, cell phone prices are ridiculously inflated. Not even a netbook with a 3G antenna costs that much. I really don’t know how they get away with it.

  11. @Long Zheng: Haha, I hope not either :p. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised given the amazingly glacial speed of WM development during, oh, just about the whole last decade, haha.

  12. you know guys Google NEXUS ONE released on 5 Januray

    But I am still waiting for windows mobile 7 I am not going to buy Nexus One

    though people says NEXUS ONE is Apple’s iPhone killer but I don’t think so. it still lacks lot of features that I would like to see in a smartphone.

    I hope Microsoft would definaitly gonna make something AWESOME!

  13. Damn you NDA ( Non-disclosure agreement )

    QUOTE ” @rad: I don’t think MIcrosoft will tell me to travel half way around the world to see 6.5.3. :P

    Hey Long

    Why do I get the feeling you already know what is going to be announced.. did u already see WM7 !!!!

    Wink with the right eye if you do …

    @ vinni : I think Nexus one is good but Google just shot itself in the foot with that move. Google launched a new hardware and now compete against its OEM Partners. Plus they throw in Anroid 2.1 on Nexus while the other devices are still on 2.0. As one would expect all new thing will be released on the Google device first while the OEM partners are left hanging.

  14. @Saijo George: I do not have any non-disclosure agreement with Microsoft about Windows Mobile 7 or any other product.

  15. hey @Saijo George

    I just checking out about WINDOWS MOBILE 7 on net

    I am personally expecting a lot of thing from WM7

    well, GOOGLE NEXUS ONE lacks multitouch though it has 5 MP camera

    so in my opinion Nexus one is not a net gen phone they just put new themes and some improve voice control kinda stuff

  16. @ Long .. fair enough..

    @ Vinni : There are rumors that Nexus One will get multitouch via an update. ( I dont know if the NEXUS one has a Capacitive screen , if it doesn’t the rumor can be shot down )

    What I am expecting from WM7 :
    1) Zune Integration ( for multimedia like music and videos )
    2) XBox live integration ( the job posting related to this was fairly recent so it might not make it to MWC but should ship with WM7 when it is ready )
    3) Multi Touch
    4) Updates to My Phone and Marketplace

  17. After being at PDC and seeing much disappointment, I’m sure WM7 will be a welcomed announcement at this year’s MWC. What do you think they’ll reveal at MIX10 then?

  18. i am expecting a future generation kind of mobile based on WINDOWS MOBILE 7

    I hope Microsoft wouldn’t disappointed us

  19. hmm, I’ve been holding out to see what might happen. iPhone and others are so close to what I want, but not quite. I want to feel like a magician when I have that phone.

    I want a little of what Bill Buxton suggest in this vid. http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/LarryLarsen/CES-2010-NUI-with-Bill-Buxton/ (imagine the phone he speaks of later)…

    …add some of this http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/06/is-this-windows-mobile-7 (look at all the images below)…

    …Throw in some Zune HD UI and hardware sexiness…

    …Then sprinkle in some premium services such as Xbox Live and Zune. Add windows live and an app store.

    I’m telling you, MS will have an instant blockbuster if they do some serious cross branding with Facebook. Heck lay low on the MS and Windows brand and just advertise it as the Facebook phone. (of course, I don’t use facebook, so it’s less exciting for me, but I understand the implications for all involved).

    Huge I tell ya.

  20. @ Saijo George google shot themselves in the foot by contracting htc to make it. & no doubt the new android update is update will be avaible througth google not the hardware manufacture from what i have herd in the past with other updates

  21. So are they already done “simplifying” Windows Mobile now? They’re done with “simplifying” Windows, Office and Zune.

  22. Saijo George: I was being more uber hopeful than anything else. But seriously, you’re probably right that it’s a long way off.

    However, I can’t see why it can be an incremental step forward. Some of the elements are already available already. Silicon has come down in price, computing power is there and battery life is improved. Which is what we hear from MSR all the time…that being that some of the ideas can be implemented once all those conditions are met.

    The engadget link above has some really interesting slides in that lot. Many of the items in those pics were stuff you’ve seen out of MSR over the last 6 years or so (nevermind before that when they weren’t public). There seems to be some common dna between Surface, Natal and Voice stuff from MSR. Who knows if some of it makes it to the mobile arena.

    btw, many new MS jobs.
    http://www.microsoft-entertainment-jobs.com/go/microsoft-games-studios-jobs/44366/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=anlohrhttp://www.microsoft-entertainment-jobs.com/go/microsoft-games-studios-jobs/44366/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=majornelson

    This one is interesting.
    http://www.microsoft-entertainment-jobs.com/job/REDMOND-MGS-LIVE-Mobile-Job-WA-98052/694547/

    Ok, can we embed html tags here/

  23. you know guys I am expecting in WINDOWS MOBILE 7 some cool features like Skype video chat from mobile to PC from anywhere, yahoo messenger, windows live messenger, facebook, remote desktop, a gaming device

    hey you know have you seen Microsoft slogan “Your PC, simplified” for Windows 7, I just want to see that slogan for WINDOWS MOBILE 7

    Your Mobile, Simplified – WIndows Mobile 7
    © 2010 Microsoft

    THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!!!

    guys, what feature do you wnt to see in WM7?

  24. Hey vinni

    Yeah, I’d like MS to just tie things up… put it all together. Clearly they’ve been working on stuff.
    I remember last year when E3 was approaching and we all began our speculating about motion controls… I remember telling my g/f that I so badly wanted MS and Sony to NOT just do another wii-mote clone. I was very very pleasantly surprised. After soaking it in I was blown away.

    We learned that MS can keep secrets. Perhaps, there’s some secrets in the Mobile space that they’ve been able to keep under the lid. (just never know)

    There are videos where Johnny Chung (of wii-mote hack fame) discussed why he was excited about working for MSR. He kept stressing that alogorithms that can utilize today’s tech in computer vision and other NUI concepts are ripe. (here’s yet another video. http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/Glucose/Hanselminutes-on-9-Johnny-Lee-on-Computer-Vision/ ) There’s other videos that I’m referring too, but cannot find yet. But in this video you’ll be interested in what he says after 7 mins.

    My point (good question) is that for about a year and half now, there’s been a steady drumbeat coming out redmond. Specifically, out of MSR (research.microsoft.com). So many MS folks are suggesting a little bit more loudly that the cost of tech, the performance of tech and the software are ready for the next batch of innovations.
    When Bach says that this may not be an evolutionary step wrt WM7… I actually believe that there might be some wow there.

    Natal blew me a way once I soaked it in and thought outside the box. After it was explained about what was under the hood in Surface (of course, with some of the kickbutt demos) I was blown away…. can MS surprise us again?

    I don’t have inside info, I’ve just been skulking around on channel 9, MS Research and several other places like here over the years and try to connect dots.

    So yeah… um, surprise the world MS. lol

  25. @Seika:
    “Don’t dare to underestimate them.
    There’s still possibility they will announce minor update to Windows Mobile, or present new device from partners and call it as a great step in addressing their position in the mobile industry (at least until their internal plan allows anyone to make official statement about WM7).”

    When you said “Don’t dare to underestimate them” , you got it all wrong. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but that “minor update to Windows Mobile” your hoping for is already here. Its called Windows Mobile 6.5. I find it hilarious that everything you said is what happened last year and you hope and pray Microsoft will do it again this year. Again, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it will not happen again.

    People, don’t listen to this person. There are people like this who say stuff like this about WM all the time. I can
    guarantee you this person will feel like and idiot next month at the Mobile World Congress when Microsoft unveils the greatest mobile OS the world has ever seen.

  26. @Saijo George: Thx… there’s a ton of things to speculate about. Natal, Surface and things like Courier give us some hope that MS might have some big announcements between WMC, Gamefest, Mix and E3.

    I thought last year (wrt zune) was going to be the convergence many folks were waiting for. (think xyz project thingy). But Natal was the big thig and Zune HD, although really nice, was just an evolutionary advancement.

    Maybe this is the year we see some serious convergence.
    Food for thought:

    - http://technologizer.com/2009/01/29/microsoft-patent-transforms-smartphones-into-pcs/
    This combined with some Sprint Overdrive tech could be cool. I’m sure everyone and their brother has something coming like this.

    - http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220070247435%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20070247435&RS=DN/20070247435
    I saw a MSR demo with a camera with dual sided cameras allowing you to kinda see right through the screen. (sorry can find the video yet).

    - http://www.electronista.com/articles/07/04/20/microsoft.net.game.patent/
    This is definitely a potential. It makes a lot of sense to me.

    Anyways, don’t want to clog up the comments sections. lol Sorry long.

  27. yeah if they could Simplify the classic ver. & try to do the same for the pro edition(which is used more by manufactures)

  28. @Long I do not have any NDA with MS about WM 7
    Do you have a NDA about your NDA? And an NDA about that NDA? An endless chain of NDAs? =D

  29. @long yeah, how does that work? Do they just send you an email telling you where to be? do they help with the cost of traveling and lodging and all that?

    I agree that there’s a potential for something big to be announced, but I would doubt they’d have you travel that far for only 6.5.3 lol

    @Saijo George Hey, no prob. I was acutally looking to start a conversation about what to expect etc. Trying to connect dots and whatnot.

    Over the last day or so, I’ve read more of Robbie Bach’s comments from his analyst meeting before CES. I’m torn about what to expect now.

    Last year i though integration and convergence was going to be the new theme for MS starting with Zune HD. But that turned out to be a trickle of awesome compared to what I was expecting. We’re all mostly sure that integration and convergence is coming and will probably see a big push with WM7, but is that it?

    Anyways, I don’t want to hog up this post again. lol

  30. @ majg :

    I was reading thorough various CES news and came across a statement which hinted that Windows Mobile 7 MIGHT just cater to just 2 resolutions [ possibly WVGA (800×480) and FWVGA (854×480) ] all other resolutions like SVGA, QVGA, WQVGA, VGA , etc will be dropped. That is good news for developers :)

    give me a shout via ppcinformer@gmail.com anytime .

  31. “Although it should be noted the event’s current keynote lineup does not mention any representation from Microsoft, but I’ve also been told that will change in the weeks to follow”

    The agenda (http://www.mobileworldcongress.com/documents/MWC10_Agenda_at_a_Glance_v1.pdf) has 6 time slots for keynotes. Do you think Eric Schmidt (Google) has to step back and will be replaced by Steve Ballmer? Would be funny…

    “The World of Applications” on Wednesday will be held César Alierta (Telefónica) alone which is strange (Telefónica is not well knows for their mobile applications).

    “Mobile Entertainment & Lifestyle – The Future of Media on Mobile” currently features Mike Lazaridis (Research in Motion). I don’t think he wants to be on stage when Steve Ballmer presents WM7 (if at all)

    They could add another keynote Wednesday evening + MS sponsored party afterwards.

    I am just wondering when Microsoft will do their keynote (if at all).

  32. i consider it was a bit rushed, and neglected some features that not many individuals talk about. Everybody knows that the majority new smartphones have web, so why present that primary function at its bear minimum. Scroll up scroll down zoom in zoom out. Really? which new cellphone doesnt do this? How bout discuss how the textual content rearranges itsself. Also the texting, very poor review. Why didnt you mention you should use the mic and text with your voice? Disregarded ALOT of other extra important features

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