updated 06:50 pm EST, Wed February 17, 2010
Microsoft expects Win Mo 6 alive past WP7
Microsoft plans to keep Windows Mobile 6 but downplay it in a rebadged form, the company said in an interview. It had already mentioned that Windows Mobile 6.5 would still ship alongside Windows Phone 7 but now says it will rename the software as Windows Phone Classic and limit it to specific uses. Classic will be limited both to large-scale businesses and to the developing world, Microsoft said, exiting the mainstream entirely.
Much of the decision to keep the existing OS will be to preserve the effort put into Windows Mobile by smartphone makers and software developers. Windows Phone 7's completely new interface renders earlier apps incompatible and also requires much more demanding hardware than its predecessor.
The switch to the new OS has created a split for Microsoft. A rapid decline in Windows Mobile's popularity prompted the creation of Windows Phone 7 to take on platforms like Android and iPhone, but a dependence on the old platform in US enterprise has in many cases kept it making incremental changes.