Windows Mobile 7 devices to launch Q4 2010, 6.5 and 7 to co-exist?

In a rumor that could spell doom (ok, maybe not doom) for Microsoft Windows Mobile, DigiTimes is reporting that Microsoft will adopt a two pronged approach for its upcoming Windows Mobile handsets when it finally launches Windows Mobile 7. Rather than go full bore with Windows Mobile 7 in early 2010 (as was expected), Microsoft will allegedly debut a more touch-friendly version of Windows Mobile 6.5 in early 2010. This will be followed by Windows Mobile 7-powered handsets sometime in Q4 2010. The rumor further states that Windows Mobile 7 devices will not replace 6.5 devices. In a rather interesting move, the two platforms will co-exist with 6.5 being a budget OS that will take on Android devices and WM7 being a premium version that will take on the iPhone. We’re not saying it’s impossible but it seems highly unlikely that Microsoft would choose to maintain two concurrent and very different mobile operating systems — especially when the company has struggled to be innovative with the single version of Windows Mobile it has developing for the past nine years.

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