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Windows Phone Starter to tackle developing world phones

updated 06:10 pm EST, Fri February 26, 2010

Win Mobile 6 to get a second legacy version

The continuation of Windows Mobile 6, Windows Phone Classic, will have an extra low-end version kept alive for the developing world, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed today. Labeled Windows Phone Starter Edition, it will mimic the role of Windows 7 Home Basic and Starter by giving certain countries a less advanced, less demanding but cheaper OS. It should support most common cell network types, including China's TD-SCDMA, and will have the option of coming with or without Office.

The company is unwilling to give ZDNet pricing or the names of companies making Windows Phone Starter devices, but multiple partners are lined up to launch the first examples sometime this year. It's suspected, but not confirmed, that Windows Phone 7 will eventually receive a similar treatment once it's superceded by a newer release.

Microsoft has already said that Windows Phone Classic and now Starter will exist primarily to keep supporting legacy customers, particularly in Asia and regions where Windows Mobile 6 has a longstanding footprint. Keeping the aging OS around may also help it bring about its Fone+ project to aid poorer communities. Windows Phone 7 cuts off support for most all Windows Mobile 6 apps and requires much more expensive hardware.

However, the release may also serve a practical competitive advantage. The company faces a major threat from Android, which is sometimes free to license and can run on low-end hardware; it used a similar tactic with Windows XP Home and now Windows 7 Starter to price its OS low enough that it would crowd out free versions of Linux. Pushing an inexpensive smartphone platform could similarly help against closed but still budget-oriented smartphones like the $99 iPhone 3G.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ricardogf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh boy

    As if the stupid personal computer Windows segmentation wasn't enough, now we have to hear about Windows Mobile 6 Starter Edition...these guys are really, when are we getting Windows Mobile 7-Eleven Ultimate Armageddon Edition for our Dell Ditty Phones?


  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Maybe Morons, but smart ones

    By giving away tools on the cheap, you build the Windows installed base from the ground up. When users move up, it will be Windows for their choice.

  1. Raman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Windows Phone Starter Edition


  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No one wants WIMPS

    Skype Pulls VOIP Apps From Microsoft WiMPs

  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    last line

    OK - REALLY?!?!?! A crippled version of WinMo is going to be competition to a full version of iPhone OS on a phone with a modest amount of memory.

    THE FULL VERSION OF WIN MO 7 IS NO COMPETITION TO iPHONE OS! These two OS's are not in the same league - they are not even in the same state.

    Its like saying the winning Hockey team of the special olympics... ( no wait - I'd say a stripped down android would still beat win mo starter) its like saying a team competing in the special olympics has a chance against a lower ranked team in the real olympics.

    Even if you do well as a cripple - your still no match for even the worst of the pros.

    and this has to be the FIRST time I have heard of any version of the iPhone be called a "Budget Phone" ($99 is with subsidies and a monthly plan)

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