Microsoft may finally be ready to show Windows Mobile 7, a source said on Friday. The unnamed contact says the decision isn't final but that the company will tentatively use the Mobile World Congress show in February to provide an early look at the next-generation mobile OS. A release schedule isn't mentioned, but Microsoft has traditionally finalized the OS in spring with actual handsets arriving in the summer or fall.
An unveiling would partly contradict talk of an interim Windows Mobile 6.6 that would be used to keep Windows Mobile alive after another delay. Talk has surfaced, but has remained unconfirmed, of a push back to 2011 for unspecified reasons.
Windows Mobile 7 is known to be a major overhaul of the OS not seen since 5.0 and is known to include Internet Explorer 7 Mobile, a new game interface and at least a media interface borrowed from the Zune. While capacitive touch could arrive first in 6.6, full multi-touch has been a publicly stated goal for the new release.
Delays in the OS are widely accepted as having driven companies like Motorola and Palm towards new operating systems, while even the most loyal Windows Mobile devotees like HTC and LG now expect a Android to be in the majority in their 2010 lineups.